UNited Kingdom - updates

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EU and Britain clash over Johnson's Brexit backstop demand

Aug 20, 2019 - 11:58 PM

London has insisted there is 'no prospect' of a Brexit deal unless the Irish border backstop plan is abandoned

BREXIT. In this file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) speaks flanked by Youth Justice Board Adviser Roy Sefa-Attakora (R) during a roundtable on the criminal justice system at 10 Downing Street in London on August 12, 2019. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool/AFP

English town celebrates hometown hero Ed Sheeran

Aug 20, 2019 - 5:26 PM

The small town of Ipswich celebrates their pride and joy Ed Sheeran with a public exhibition on his life, entitled 'Made In Suffolk'

Britain 'concerned' by reports Hong Kong consulate employee detained in China

Aug 20, 2019 - 3:31 PM

'We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen,' a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson says

CONCERNED. A general view shows the exterior of the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong on August 20, 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

UK to end EU free movement immediately after Brexit

Aug 20, 2019 - 12:16 AM

A Downing Street spokesperson says the government has planned 'tougher criminality rules for people entering the UK' as part of the new hardline stance

NEW HARDLINE STANCE. In this file photo, EU flags flutter on the day of Britain's newly elected prime minister Boris Johnson's debut in the House of Commons, outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on July 25, 2019. File photo by Niklas Halle'n/AFP

Gibraltar rejects U.S. demand to detain Iranian oil tanker

Aug 18, 2019 - 9:06 PM

Gibraltar's government says it could not seek a court order to detain the supertanker because US sanctions against Iran were not applicable in the European Union

Picture shows Iranian supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on August 15, 2019. - Gibraltar's Supreme Court ruled today to release an Iranian supertanker seized last month on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions, despite a last-minute US request to detain the vessel. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO / AFP)

UK strips citizenship from 'Jihadi Jack' dual national – report

Aug 18, 2019 - 6:36 PM

Jack Letts is currently detained in Syria after being captured by Kurdish forces

ENEMY LINE. A flag of the Islamic State (IS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad, on the road between Kirkuk and Tikrit, on September 11, 2014. JM Lopez/AFP

British MPs press Johnson to recall parliament over Brexit

Aug 18, 2019 - 10:28 AM

More than 100 MPs write to Johnson to urge him to reconvene and let them sit permanently until October 31 – the date Britain is due to leave the European Union

BORIS JOHNSON. Boris Johnson gives a speech at an event to announce the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest in central London on July 23, 2019. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Gibraltar orders Iranian tanker release despite U.S. detention bid

Aug 15, 2019 - 6:22 PM

(UPDATED) The Grace 1 'is no longer subject to detention,' Gibraltar Chief Justice Anthony Dudley says in court

Iran says in touch with Britain over seized tanker

Aug 13, 2019 - 8:16 PM

A court in Gibraltar is to decide the fate of Grace 1 supertanker on Thursday, August 15, when an order for its detention lapses

DETAINED. A British Royal Navy ship (back right) patrols near supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions after it was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, 2019. File photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

China demands Britain stop 'meddling' in Hong Kong

Aug 11, 2019 - 12:23 PM

The Chinese foreign ministry says it was 'wrong' for British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to call Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

FREEDOM. Hong Kong's colonial flag (center) is held up during a protest march in Hong Kong on July 1, 2017, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP

Brexit turmoil drives UK economy towards recession

Aug 09, 2019 - 6:02 PM

Gross domestic product fell 0.2% in the April-June period, the first time the economy has contracted in almost 7 years

UK ECONOMY. Union flags fly near the Houses of Parliament, comprising the House of Commons and the House of Lords, in London on March 13, 2017. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Beatles fans come together for 50th anniversary of Abbey Road photo

Aug 09, 2019 - 10:33 AM

The iconic photograph used for the cover of The Beatles' last album was taken on August 8, 1969

ABBEY ROAD. Beatles lookalike band Fab Gear and fans of The Beatles pose at the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing in London, England on August 8 the 50th anniversary of the day that the iconic Beatles album cover photograph was taken. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

British ministers in U.S. to 'fast-track' post-Brexit trade deal

Aug 07, 2019 - 9:10 PM

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson determined to ensure Britain leaves the European Union on October 31, with or without a deal, striking some kind of trade accord with the US has taken on even greater importance

BREXIT. The British Union flag (L) and the EU (European Union) flag (R) fly from flag poles in London on March 2, 2017. File photo by Daniel Sorabji/AFP

UK's Johnson offers new health funds to meet Brexit promise

Aug 04, 2019 - 8:30 PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pays tribute to National Health Service staff but notes that 'the pressures, the delays, the cancellations and the obvious need to get more funding to the front line'

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the first meeting of the National Policing Board at the Home Office in London, on July 31, 2019.  Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP

Frenchman achieves 'dream' of first hoverboard Channel crossing

Aug 04, 2019 - 3:53 PM

(UPDATED) Franky Zapata has spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard

'FLYBOARD.' Franky Zapata on his jet-powered "flyboard" lands on St. Margaret's Bay in Dover, on August 4, 2019, after his attempt to fly across the 35-kilometer (22-mile) Channel crossing in 20 minutes. Photo by Glyn Kirk/AFP

UK fashion label acknowledges using Filipina artist's work without her consent

Aug 02, 2019 - 1:13 PM

Rixo announces its collaboration with artist Feanne months after she accused the popular UK fashion label of plagiarism

SETTLED. UK label Rixo acknowledges that elements of Feanne's art (right) was incorporated into the print for their clothing (left). Screenshot from Instagram.com/feanne

Fearing no-deal Brexit, UK carmakers slam brakes on investment

Jul 31, 2019 - 11:15 PM

New investment in the United Kingdom's automotive industry plummets by 70% in the 1st half of 2019

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 06, 2017 Opel cars are prepared for distribution at Vauxhall's production plant in Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire, north-west England. - French carmaker PSA warned it could shut down a plant in northwest England if the factory becomes unprofitable because of Brexit, the Financial Times reported on July 29, 2019. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

UK says EU must compromise on Brexit deal

Jul 29, 2019 - 11:02 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to change the exit terms struck by predecessor Theresa May but insists he will leave the European Union without any agreement at all if necessary on October 31

UK warship arrives in Gulf to escort tankers

Jul 29, 2019 - 5:58 PM

HMS Duncan will help accompany vessels through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker there earlier in July

HMS DUNCAN. A March 22, 2013 handout photo released by Britain's Ministry of Defence in London on July 12, 2019, shows the British Royal Navy's HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, as it prepares to arrive in Portsmouth, southern England. AFP PHOTO / CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019

Meghan Markle guest edits British Vogue

Jul 29, 2019 - 8:24 AM

The September issue includes a 'candid conversation' with former US first lady Michelle Obama

This undated handout photo issued on July 28, 2019 by Kensington Palace shows Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Patron of Smart Works, in the workroom of the Smart Works London office. - Prince Harry's wife Meghan will guest edit the September issue of iconic fashion magazine British Vogue, which will see her in "candid conversation" with former first lady Michelle Obama. (Photo by @SussexRoyal / KENSINGTON PALACE / AFP) / XGTY / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / @SUSSEXROYAL" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - NO COMMERCIAL USE - NO THIRD PARTY SALES - RESTRICTED TO SUBSCRIPTION USE - NO CROPPING OR MODIFICATION - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS /

Johnson says Brexit a 'massive economic opportunity'

Jul 27, 2019 - 8:01 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promises to step up negotiations on post-Brexit trade deals and set up free ports to boost the economy

BREXIT. In this file photo, activists wave EU flags near the Houses of Parliament in central London on April 10, 2019. File photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

British navy to escort UK-flagged ships in Gulf strait

Jul 25, 2019 - 9:15 PM

Britain currently has the HMS Montrose warship in the Gulf and a handful of smaller naval vessels. The Montrose had tried to rush in to rescue the Stena Impero but arrived too late to the scene.

HMS MONTROSE. A picture taken on February 3, 2014, shows the British warship HMS Montrose docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol on February 3, 2014. File photo by AFP

Swedish owner of tanker seized by Iran says crew 'safe'

Jul 25, 2019 - 11:25 AM

Aside from a Filipino seafarer, the rest of the 23 detained crew of the oil tanker Stena Impero hail from India, Russia, and Latvia

An image grab taken from a broadcast by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on July 22, 2019 shows crew members of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero, after it was seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. Britain on July 23, said it was planning a European-led protection force for shipping in the Gulf after Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged tanker in a dramatic escalation of tensions in the region. In a ramping up of tensions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the Stena Impero on July 19 in the Gulf's strategic Strait of Hormuz. IRIB / AFP

Britain's Johnson leads right-wing cabinet on new Brexit course

Jul 25, 2019 - 7:19 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The new government is comprised of a mix of social conservatives and Brexit hardliners who argue that leaving the EU after 46 years without an agreement will be less painful than economists warn

ANTI-BORIS. Demonstrators carry placards as they protest against Britain's newly appointed prime minister Boris Johnson outside Downing Street in London on July 24, 2019. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP/Pool

Boris Johnson becomes British PM with Brexit vow

Jul 24, 2019 - 10:56 PM

In a speech in Downing Street, Johnson repeats that he will prepare to leave the European Union without an agreement with Brussels but suggests this is a 'remote possibility'

NEW PRIME MINISTER. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London on July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. Photo by Victoria Jones/Pool/AFP

May slaps down 'Stop Brexit' cry in farewell speech

Jul 24, 2019 - 9:49 PM

(UPDATED) Theresa May tenders her resignation to Queen Elizabeth II, the head of state

MAY RESIGNS. Britain's outgoing prime minister Theresa May, (L), accompanied by her husband Philip, gives a speech outside 10 Downing street in London on July 24, 2019 before formally tendering her resignation at Buckingham Palace. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

World reacts to Britain's PM to-be Johnson

Jul 23, 2019 - 10:11 PM

Here are some of the initial reactions from home and abroad to Boris Johnson's victory

WORLD REACTS. In this file photo, Conservative MP Boris Johnson leaves a house in London on May 30, 2019. File photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Boris Johnson wins race to become Britain's next PM

Jul 23, 2019 - 7:14 PM

The former London mayor easily beats his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a vote of members of the governing Conservative party

NEW PM. New Conservative Party leader and incoming prime minister Boris Johnson gives a speech at an event to announce the winner of the Conservative Party leadership contest in central London on July 23, 2019. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Britain holds crisis talks after Iran seizes tanker

Jul 22, 2019 - 5:56 PM

The standoff comes at a sensitive time for Britain, with May due to resign on Wednesday over her Brexit strategy and with former foreign minister Boris Johnson the overwhelming favourite to replace her

THERESA MAY. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at Chatham House in London on July 17, 2019. File photo by Henry Nicholls/AFP

LOOK: Prince George all smiles as he celebrates 6th birthday

Jul 22, 2019 - 5:17 PM

Kensington Palace shares recent photographs of Prince George taken by Kate Middleton

SIX. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, takes a photo of Prince George. Photo from The Kensington Palace

Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker, Britain to hold emergency meeting

Jul 22, 2019 - 9:24 AM

Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a meeting of Britain's emergencies committee on Monday, July 22, to discuss the seizure of the Stena Impero

STENA IMPERO. This handout picture released by Tasnim News Agency on July 20, 2019, shows British-flagged tanker Stena Impero anchored in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. Photo by Tasnim News/AFP

UK finance minister to quit if Boris Johnson becomes PM

Jul 21, 2019 - 6:45 PM

'I'm sure I'm not going to be sacked because I'm going to resign before we get to that point,' says Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond, an increasingly fierce critic of Boris Johnson

RESIGN. Britain's finance minister Philip Hammond said he will resign if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister. AFP file photo

Manila asks Iran to free Filipino on seized British-flagged tanker

Jul 20, 2019 - 4:20 PM

(UPDATED) The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says one of the crew members of the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero is a Filipino citizen

This handout photo received on July 19, 2019 courtesy of Nico Kemps shows the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, off the coast of Amsterdam on December 26, 2018. The British-flagged tanker Stena Impero seized by Iran is now at anchor off the port of Bandar Abbas with all its crew aboard after colliding with a fishing boat, authorities said on July 20, 2019. The Swedish-owned Stena Impero "collided with a fishing boat", said Allah-Morad Afifipoor, director-general of the Hormozgan province port and maritime organisation.  Nico KEMPS / VESSELFINDER.COM / AFP

No-deal Brexit forecast to spark year-long UK recession

Jul 18, 2019 - 5:50 PM

'The UK enters a year-long recession in the fourth quarter of 2019' should Britain depart the bloc on October 31 with a 'no-deal, no-transition Brexit,' the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts in a key report

BREXIT RECESSION? Pro-Brexit flags fly from a fishing boat moored in Ramsgate on June 13, 2016.  File photo by Chris J. Ratcliffe/AFP

Man found guilty over car attack outside UK parliament

Jul 17, 2019 - 9:40 PM

Although Salih Khater did not kill anyone, and ended up crashing the car into security barriers, the August 2018 attack sent several people to hospital for treatment

PARLIAMENT CAR ATTACK. Police forensics officers work around a silver Ford Fiesta car that was driven into a barrier at the Houses of Parliament in central London on August 14, 2018. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

UK PM hopefuls slam Trump tweets, but refuse to call them racist

Jul 16, 2019 - 7:33 AM

Front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refuse to call the tweets of US President Donald Trump racist when pressed to do so during their last debate

A combination of file pictures created in London on June 21, 2019 shows Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (L) giving a speech at the Konrad-Adenauer foundation in Berlin on February 20, 2019 and British Conservative Party politician Boris Johnson (R) giving a speech during a fringe event on the sidelines of the Conservative Party Conference 2018 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, on October 2, 2018. Britain's leadership race leaves London for the English countryside Saturday as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt begin wooing grassroots Conservatives who will pick the new premier. Paul ELLIS, Odd ANDERSEN / AFP

UK's new banknote to feature mathematician Alan Turing

Jul 15, 2019 - 7:15 PM

The Bank of England, in unveiling the new £50 banknote, hails mathematician Alan Turing as 'a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand'

Jeremy Hunt: 'No place for neutrality' in fight for media freedom

Jul 13, 2019 - 3:35 PM

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt explains why everyone must stand with those who seek to report the truth and bring the facts to light. Here is his full speech at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London.

FIGHT FOR MEDIA FREEDOM. Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt takes part in a panel discussion at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London on July 10, 2019. Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP

Britain sends second warship to the Gulf after Iran tanker standoff

Jul 12, 2019 - 9:31 PM

(UPDATED) British officials say the naval deployment is part of a pre-planned rotation and meant to ensure a continued British naval presence in one of the most important but volatile oil shipment routes in the world

HMS DUNCAN. A March 22, 2013 handout photo released by Britain's Ministry of Defence in London on July 12, 2019, shows the British Royal Navy's HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, as it prepares to arrive in Portsmouth, southern England. AFP PHOTO / CROWN COPYRIGHT 2019

Man arrested after scaling Buckingham Palace gates

Jul 11, 2019 - 4:34 PM

The 22-year-old, who was unarmed, is arrested at around 2:00am (0100 GMT) on Wednesday and the incident is not being treated as terror-related, the police says

BUCKINGHAM PALACE. Britain's Red Arrows, the flying display team of the Royal Air Force (RAF) fly over Buckingham Palace as members of the Royal Family stand on the balcony to watch, in London on June 8, 2019. File photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Amal Clooney: Duterte gov’t after Maria Ressa over human rights abuses exposés

Jul 11, 2019 - 12:40 PM

'Journalists who expose abuses face arrest while those who commit the abuses do so with impunity,' says international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney

Lebanese-British human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney holds a press briefing on her Media Freedom Campaign on April 5, 2019 in Dinard, western France, on the margins of the G7 Foreign ministers meeting to prepare the G7 Summit in Biarritz which will take place from August 25 to 27, 2019.  Damien MEYER / AFP

Countries that harm journalists must pay 'diplomatic price' – UK

Jul 11, 2019 - 8:39 AM

'If we act together we can shine a spotlight on abuses and impose a diplomatic price on those who would harm journalists or lock them up for doing their jobs,' says British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

PRESS FREEDOM. Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt takes part in a panel discussion at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London on July 10, 2019. Photo by Tolga AKMEN/AFP

WATCH: Global Conference for Media Freedom 2019

Jul 10, 2019 - 10:23 PM

This conference brings together countries and organizations taking action to defend media freedom

Iran's Rouhani warns UK of tanker seizure 'consequences'

Jul 10, 2019 - 8:42 PM

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani calls the seizure of the tanker 'a foolish act'

WARNING. A British Royal Navy ship (left) patrols near supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions after it was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, 2019. File photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

'More courageous investors' needed in media, journalism

Jul 10, 2019 - 8:12 PM

'If you value democracy you need to realize it can’t function without journalism. It’s the lifeline of democracy.... We need more courageous investors in the media space,' says Nienke Venema of Stichting Demacratie en Media

Britain's U.S. ambassador resigns after Trump spat

Jul 10, 2019 - 7:13 PM

'The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,' Kim Darroch writes in his resignation letter

RESIGNATION. In this file photo, Ambassador Kim Darroch speaks to guests during the Capitol File 2017 WHCD Welcome Reception at the British Ambassador's Residence on April 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. File photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Capitol File Magazine/AFP

Trump derides May's 'foolish policies,' 'pompous' envoy

Jul 10, 2019 - 2:56 PM

The missives threaten to plunge Washington and London into a rare diplomatic crisis and have landed their author, British envoy Kim Darroch – and by default his prime minister – in the US president's crosshairs

DONALD TRUMP. US President Donald Trump meets with the emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (not shown) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 9, 2019. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP

UK leadership hopefuls clash over Brexit promises

Jul 10, 2019 - 7:00 AM

Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt insist they can renegotiate the divorce terms that Theresa May agreed with Brussels, but which parliament repeatedly rejected, forcing her to delay Brexit twice

DEBATE. Conservative leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (R) take part in Britain's Next Prime Minister: The ITV Debate in Manchester on July 9, 2019. AFP PHOTO / ITV / MATT FROST

Trump calls British ambassador to U.S. 'a very stupid guy'

Jul 09, 2019 - 9:10 PM

'I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool,' Trump writes in a series of early morning tweets doubling down on British envoy Kim Darroch

SLAMMING KIM DARROCH. US President Donald Trump speaks during an event about expanding health coverage options for small businesses and workers in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, June 14, 2019. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

'One country, two systems': Hong Kong's special status

Jul 05, 2019 - 8:31 AM

The 'one country, two systems' deal is at the center of the row between London and Beijing

A woman places signs on a fence next to the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong on July 4, 2019. Hong Kong authorities on July 3 vowed to hunt down the protesters who ransacked parliament in an unprecedented challenge to the Beijing-backed government, as the city grapples with its biggest political crisis in decades. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP