United Kingdom - updates

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UK construction looks to cement recovery from virus woes

Jul 10, 2020 - 1:10 AM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants Britain to 'build, build, build' its way out of the virus-induced downturn with infrastructure investment

A student accomodation project is under construction in Guildford, southern England on July 8, 2020. - Cranes whir above the affluent market town of Guildford, southwest of London, as Britain's construction sector cranks back into gear after a damaging coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP)

UK sheds thousands of retail jobs despite state aid

Jul 09, 2020 - 11:45 PM

Pharmacy giant Boots is cutting more than 4,000 jobs, while the John Lewis department store chain is slashing 1,300 positions

A picture shows the Boots signage outside a branch of the retailer and pharmacy in London on July 9, 2020. - UK pharmacy giant Boots on July 9, 2020 said it will cut more than 4,000 jobs after the coronavirus pandemic slashed sales. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

Johnny Depp denies slapping ex-wife Amber Heard

Jul 09, 2020 - 10:52 AM

'I'm sorry but that is not true, you are mistaken. I didn't hit Ms Heard,' Depp responds to claims that he attacked Heard under the influence of alcohol and drugs between 2013 and 2016

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CLAIM. After filing for divorce, Amber Heard accuses husband Johnny Depp of domestic violence. File photo shows the former couple arriving for the premiere of 'Black Mass' at the 59th BFI London Film Festival in London. Photo by Will Oliver/EPA

Britain focuses on youth in $37-billion virus package

Jul 09, 2020 - 9:25 AM

The UK government pledges £1,000 for firms to take on trainees, and £2 billion to subsidize placements for 16- to 24-year-olds from lower-income families

Pedestrians, one wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walk past clothing stalls at Petticoat Lane Market in London on June 7, 2020, as lockdown measures are partially eased during the COVID-19 pandemic. - Outdoor markets swung open their gates on June 1, and car showrooms tried to lure back customers and recoup losses suffered since Britain effectively shut down for business on March 23, to ward off a disease that has now officially claimed more than 40,000 lives in the country. Britain's Health Ministry said 40,261 people who tested positive for COVID-19 had died as of 0800 GMT on Friday June 5. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

Ineos sparks fury in UK with possible 4x4 relocation to France

Jul 08, 2020 - 10:20 AM

Ineos Automotive is now rethinking its plan to build the Grenadier car in Wales, after entering into talks to acquire a plant from Daimler in France

An undated handout picture released by INEOS in London on September 18, 2019, shows a computer generated image (CGI) of INEOS's proposed new factory in Bridgend, south Wales. - British industrial giant INEOS, founded by Jim Ratcliffe, announced Wednesday that it will open a car factory in Bridgend, south Wales, where US auto manufacturer Ford is set to close its own in 2020. (Photo by HO / INEOS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / INEOS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS  TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY Veronique DUPONT

Russia will impose counter-sanctions on UK – Kremlin

Jul 07, 2020 - 10:43 PM

'We can only regret such unfriendly measures,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says after London blacklisted Russian officials for their alleged involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attend the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leaders summit in Astana on October 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / SERGEI GUNEEV (Photo by SERGEI GUNEEV / RIA NOVOSTI / AFP)

Outrage at British PM comments on virus-hit care homes

Jul 07, 2020 - 10:19 PM

Critics say the rapid transfer of elderly patients from hospitals to care homes in a bid to free up beds at the start of the pandemic helped spread the coronavirus disease in the UK

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses a news conference to give a daily update on the government's response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, inside 10 Downing Street in London on March 20, 2020. - Britain's government Friday rolled out a series of extra measures including direct grants to cover wages of employees who have been temporarily furloughed, as it ordered cafes, pubs and restaurants to close entirely. (Photo by JULIAN SIMMONDS / POOL / AFP)

Russians, Saudis top UK 'independent' sanctions list for rights violators

Jul 07, 2020 - 6:47 PM

'These sanctions are a forensic tool, they allow us to target perpetrators without punishing the wider people of a country that may be affected,' says Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

SANCTIONS. In this file photo, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing street for a cabinet meeting in London on July 25, 2019. File photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

Johnny Depp libel trial set to start in London

Jul 07, 2020 - 11:24 AM

The actor is suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun, for an April 2018 article which referred to him as a 'wife beater' to ex-wife Amber Heard

US actor Johnny Depp poses during a photocall for the film "Minamata" screened in the Berlinale Special Gala on February 21, 2020 at the 70th Berlinale film festival in Berlin. - The 11-day Berlinale, one of Europe's most prestigious film extravaganzas alongside Cannes and Venice, celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2020 and will be running from February 20 to March 1, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

China accuses UK of 'gross interference' over Hong Kong

Jul 07, 2020 - 9:14 AM

The UK government says it will offer Hong Kong residents a broader path to citizenship in response to the sweeping new security law for the former British territory

A couple wear face masks as they walk along the Thames embankment in central London on January 28, 2020. Around 1,500 people who came to Britain from the Chinese epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in the past two weeks must put themselves in isolation, the UK health minister has said. Justin TALLIS / AFP

U.S., China left out as England slashes quarantine list

Jul 06, 2020 - 11:04 AM

Under the new rules, a traffic-light system – red, amber, and green – will be used for different countries depending on their prevalence of the coronavirus

People walk over Westminster Bridge wrapped in Union flags, towards the Queen Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and The Houses of Parliament in central London on June 26, 2016.  Britain's opposition Labour party plunged into turmoil Sunday and the prospect of Scottish independence drew closer, ahead of a showdown with EU leaders over the country's seismic vote to leave the bloc. Two days after Prime Minister David Cameron resigned over his failure to keep Britain in the European Union, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a revolt by his lawmakers who called for him, too, to quit.  / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN

Prince Andrew 'bewildered' after Maxwell arrest

Jul 03, 2020 - 9:17 PM

Prince Andrew is claimed to be stonewalling a US investigation into alleged sex trafficking of minors by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 7, 2019 Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges in Bruges. - Britain's Prince Andrew is to defer an honorary Navy promotion having stepped back from frontline royal duties over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Buckingham Palace said Friday. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)

England begins lifting coronavirus quarantine

Jul 03, 2020 - 10:47 AM

'Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,' Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says

A still image of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with a message of hope from her special address to the nation is seen on the giant billboard in Piccadilly Square, central London on April 18, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. - The number of people in Britain who have died in hospital from coronavirus has risen by 888 to 15,464, according to daily health ministry figures on Saturday. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

The pitfalls of UK's citizenship offer for Hong Kong

Jul 03, 2020 - 9:53 AM

Do Britons want migrants?

BREXIT DISCORD. A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a Union flag themed umbrella as they walk near the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 25, 2016. File photo by Justin Tallis/AFP

London hospital sees spike in child abuse during lockdown

Jul 03, 2020 - 8:11 AM

Clinical examinations reveal symptoms including bleeding in the eyes, bruising, and scalp swelling, while X-rays or CAT scans show brain hemorrhaging, internal bleeding, and skull fractures

EU, UK warn of big differences as Brexit talks move to London

Jul 02, 2020 - 10:29 PM

The talks this month are being held in a more limited format than earlier rounds, in hopes that a more personal encounter can deliver a breakthrough

DIFFERENCES. European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (R) and the British Prime Minister's Europe adviser David Frost speak at start of the first round of post-Brexit trade deal talks between the EU and the United Kingdom, in Brussels on March 2, 2020. File photo by Olivier Hoslet/Pool/AFP

UK court sides with Guaido in Venezuela gold dispute

Jul 02, 2020 - 9:10 PM

The rival claims come two years after election results handing President Nicolas Maduro a victory sparked mass protests and a violent police crackdown

UK-RECOGNIZED PRESIDENT. In this file photo, Juan Guaido, acting President of Venezuela, speaks at an event on February 1, 2020 in Miami, Florida. File photo by Saul Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

Ed Sheeran, Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney back urgent call to aid UK live music

Jul 02, 2020 - 3:00 PM

Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, and Rod Stewart are also urging the British government to save the country's live music industry from collapsing because of the coronavirus

'Urgent' help needed for UK Airbus staff facing redundancy

Jul 02, 2020 - 8:30 AM

The United Kingdom's leading manufacturing union, Unite, describes Airbus' planned layoffs as an 'act of industrial vandalism'

AIRBUS. The logo of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus at its Wings Campus in Blagnac, France, on March 7, 2018. Photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP

UK offers Hongkongers immigration rights after new China law

Jul 01, 2020 - 8:35 PM

Britain's new offer applies to an estimated 3 million Hongkongers but Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab refuses to be drawn about how many would take up the offer

IMMIGRATION. A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as he makes a statement on Hong Kong, in the House of Commons in London on July 1, 2020. AFP PHOTO/PRU

UK economy suffers worst quarterly slump since 1979

Jun 30, 2020 - 6:55 PM

The British government revises the gross domestic product contraction in the 1st quarter of 2020 to 2.2%, from the initial 2%

People enjoy the warm weather and sunshine on the southern bank of the River Thames in London on June 25, 2020. - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP)

EU, Britain intensify talks on post-Brexit future

Jun 29, 2020 - 10:47 AM

Hopes are that the intensification of the discussions will make it possible to deliver results after previous sessions, of mainly videolink talks, achieved little

BREXIT UNCERTAINTY. Union and European flags flutter in the breeze in central London. File photo by Niklas Hallen/AFP

Under pressure Johnson to launch UK post-virus spending drive

Jun 28, 2020 - 9:31 PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says there would be no return to controversial austerity policies practiced by his Conservative Party over the past decade

A handout image released by 10 Downing Street, shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he participates in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) workers and frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, in the doorway of 10 Downing Street in central London on April 2, 2020. - ˜The UK government said Friday it was rushing to build more emergency field hospitals ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus cases, hours after recording a record 569 deaths from the disease. (Photo by Pippa FOWLES / 10 Downing Street / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / 10 DOWNING STREET / PIPPA FOWLES" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

UK shopping mall giant Intu collapses

Jun 26, 2020 - 9:40 PM

Intu, which owns 17 malls in the UK, is going into administration

A picture shows signage outside the Intu Lakeside Shopping Centre in Grays, east of London, on June 26, 2020. - British shopping centre giant Intu, already hit hard before the coronavirus lockdown, warned Friday that it was on the brink of collapse after talks failed to restructure its finances. The debt-laden firm, which owns 17 giant shopping malls including MetroCentre and the Trafford Centre in northern England and Lakeside in the southeast, was seeking to progress talks with creditors before a midnight deadline. Intu employs around 2,500 staff but another 100,000 people work at shops and restaurants inside its facilities, while another 30,000 are involved on the supply side. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

UK teen who threw French boy off gallery balcony jailed for life

Jun 26, 2020 - 8:35 PM

(UPDATED) The teenager says he carried out the attack because he had not been given proper treatment for mental health issues

Huawei makes inroads in Britain with new R&D center

Jun 26, 2020 - 10:56 AM

Huawei's announcement of the research center comes in the middle of a UK government review of a contested decision to plug the firm's technology into Britain's speedy 5G data network

HUAWEI. In this file photo taken on August 2, 2019 people walk past a Huawei logo during the Consumer Electronics Expo in Beijing. Photo by Fred Dufour/AFP


UK postal operator Royal Mail cuts 2,000 jobs

Jun 25, 2020 - 10:45 PM

While Royal Mail sees a jump in demand for parcel delivery, it continues to suffer from a slump in its core letters business

(FILES)This file photograph taken on July 10, 2013, shows pedestrians as they pass a Royal Mail post box on a street in London. - The British postal group Royal Mail announced on June 25, 2020, that it was cutting 2,000 jobs in order to adapt to a loss of momentum in its mail business in favour of parcel delivery, a trend reinforced by the health crisis. (Photo by ANDREW COWIE / AFP)

UK car sector warns 1 in 6 jobs in virus danger

Jun 24, 2020 - 8:45 AM

Britain's carmakers are ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, with the sector already shedding more than 6,000 jobs in June 2020

New Jaguar cars are pictured on the forecourt of a Jaguar Land Rover new car show room in Tonbridge, south east England, on May 24, 2020. - Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by India's Tata Motors, was on Sunday said to be in talks with Britain's government in the hope of to securing a loan following a drop in sales due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

UK looks to 'right the wrongs' of 'Windrush' scandal

Jun 22, 2020 - 10:13 PM

The move comes after an official report found successive governments pushing a hard line on illegal immigration showed a 'complete disregard' for the plight of the immigrants

Security questions after 3 die in UK knife attack

Jun 22, 2020 - 7:46 PM

The knife attack in a park in Reading, west of London, on Saturday evening, June 20, is the third in a year, and has again raised concern about the early release of offenders from prison

AFTERMATH. A police officers lays flowers, given by a member of the public, at an entrance of Forbury Gardens park in Reading, west of London, on June 22, 2020, the scene of the June 20 stabbing spree. Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

Britain opens 'terror' probe into deadly stabbing spree

Jun 21, 2020 - 8:01 PM

Police says 'counter terrorism policing can now confirm that the stabbing incident that happened in Reading has now been declared a terrorist incident'

Church and Bank of England apologize for slavery roles

Jun 19, 2020 - 11:15 AM

Research finds that nearly 100 clergymen and 6 governors plus 4 directors of the bank benefitted from slavery

A pedestrian walks past the Bank of England in London on June 17, 2020. - The Bank of England, confronted by Britain's collapsing coronavirus-ravaged economy, will on June 18 reveal the outcome of its latest monetary policy meeting with analysts predicting more stimulus. The British central bank has been at the forefront of economic fire-fighting over this year's deadly COVID-19 emergency -- and could expand its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus in an attempt to kickstart growth. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

Locsin apologizes to U.K. for British man's death in Cebu City hospital

Jun 18, 2020 - 11:05 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the British man waited some 8 hours in an ambulance at the Chong Hua Fuente hospital before dying of cardiac arrest

CASES RISE. Commuters in the road in Cebu City on June 1, 2020. Photo by Geo Litonjua/Rappler

Virus-fighting Bank of England pumps out extra £100-billion stimulus

Jun 18, 2020 - 11:05 PM

Analysts say the Bank of England's move is ultimately aimed at avoiding deflation – a spiral of falling prices

A pedestrian walks past the Bank of England in London on June 17, 2020. - The Bank of England, confronted by Britain's collapsing coronavirus-ravaged economy, will on June 18 reveal the outcome of its latest monetary policy meeting with analysts predicting more stimulus. The British central bank has been at the forefront of economic fire-fighting over this year's deadly COVID-19 emergency -- and could expand its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus in an attempt to kickstart growth. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UK PM Johnson's car hit in collision outside parliament

Jun 17, 2020 - 11:36 PM

Johnson's Downing Street office confirms it is the prime minister's car and there are no reported injuries

COLLISION. A protester from a pro-Kurdish demonstration is stopped and detained by police officers as he ran towards the car of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C) as it was leaving with a police escort from the Houses of Parliament in London on June 17, 2020. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

UK fines Commerzbank over money laundering failures

Jun 17, 2020 - 9:00 PM

Commerzbank is ordered to pay a fine of almost £38 million ($47.9 million)

Picture taken on May 13, 2020 shows the logo of German bank Commerzbank on one of the bank's branches in Berlin. - Germany's second-largest lender Commerzbank sank into a loss in the first quarter as it took a hit of 479 million euros over the coronavirus pandemic, it said Wednesday, May 13, 2020. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

London mayor takes pay cut over virus funding cut fears

Jun 17, 2020 - 7:22 PM

Sadiq Khan says the capital faces a budget shortfall of nearly £500 million ($628 million) over the next two years because of an 'unprecedented' income loss from the crisis

PAY CUT. London Mayor Sadiq Khan leaves 10 Downing Street in central London on March 16, 2020, after a COBRA meeting on the government's response to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. File photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

UK inflation hits 4-year low on virus lockdown

Jun 17, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Britain's inflation rate slumps to 0.5% in May 2020 despite a rebound in oil prices

shoppers, some wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), of a face mask or cvoering as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walks past recently re-opened shops on Regent Street in London on June 17, 2020, as lockdown restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus continue to be relaxed. - Britain's annual inflation rate slid to 0.5 percent in May, the lowest level in four years, as the country's coronavirus lockdown dampens prices, official data showed Wednesday. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

UK jobless claims near 3 million on coronavirus

Jun 16, 2020 - 11:55 PM

Economists argue that the full extent of the coronavirus will not be clear until Britain's jobs retention scheme ends, as furloughed workers are currently not in the unemployment statistics

UK PARLIAMENT. The Palace of Westminster housing the Houses of Parliament is seen from Westminster Bridge with a Union Flag in the foreground in central London on August 28, 2019. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

More 'oomph': UK's Johnson eyes Brexit trade deal by July

Jun 15, 2020 - 11:17 PM

(UPDATED) Both sides hope the intervention of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen could revive proceedings

TALKING BREXIT. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) walks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen inside 10 Downing Street in central London on January 8, 2020, ahead of their meeting. File photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP

UK's Johnson announces inequality review after anti-racism protests

Jun 15, 2020 - 5:52 PM

Britain has been rocked by protests against racial discrimination, some of them violent, following the death of George Floyd

PROTESTS. Protestors march during an anti-racism demonstration in London, on June 3, 2020, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man died during an arrest in Minneapolis, USA. File photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Outrage sparks over UK story 'justifying' JK Rowling domestic abuse

Jun 13, 2020 - 5:47 PM

Domestic abuse campaigners are angry over a front-page story in Britain where the ex-husband of 'Harry Potter' author J.K. Rowling defended hitting her in the past

UK formally rejects post-Brexit transition delay

Jun 12, 2020 - 10:35 PM

London and Brussels have made very little progress in agreeing a new trade deal for when Britain leaves the EU's single market and customs union on December 31

Anti-Brexit campaigners are seen in Westminster, central London on February 26, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

UK PM defends history in statue row

Jun 12, 2020 - 9:12 PM

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes peaceful anti-racism demonstrations in London have been 'hijacked by extremists'

Airlines launch legal action against UK over quarantine

Jun 12, 2020 - 7:30 PM

British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair say Britain's quarantine policy for arrivals will have 'a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs'

ARRIVALS. Travelers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on March 19, 2020, after being flown back from Cuba. Photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP

UK economy shrinks a fifth on virus lockdown

Jun 12, 2020 - 6:45 PM

Britain's gross domestic product nosedives by a record 20.4% in April 2020

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 19, 2020 A pedestrian walks along an empty street outside York Minister in the centre of York, northern England, as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues. The UK government said on June 7,2020, it will reopen places of worship "for private individual prayer" on June 15 as it continues to progressively ease coronavirus restrictions. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said services and worship groups will still be banned for the time being due to concern that the virus spreads more quickly in enclosed spaces. OLI SCARFF / AFP

HSBC under fire in UK for backing China's Hong Kong law

Jun 12, 2020 - 1:15 PM

HSBC's support for China's proposed Hong Kong security law angers business and political circles in Britain

HSBC. The bank's building in Hong Kong. Photo from HSBC website

Fearful Hong Kongers rush to secure limited British passports

Jun 12, 2020 - 11:05 AM

(UPDATED) Some 2.9 million people – anyone born before 1997 – are eligible for BN(O) status and Britain has said any citizenship plan will also include them

Riot police detain a group of people during a protest in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on May 27, 2020, as the city's legislature debates over a law that bans insulting China's national anthem. - Hong Kong police placed a dragnet around the financial hub's legislature on May 27 and fired pepper-ball rounds in the commercial district as they tried to stamp out protests against a bill banning insults to China's national anthem. (Photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)

UK beer sales fall flat in virus lockdown – industry group

Jun 12, 2020 - 2:00 AM

The British Beer and Pub Association urges the government to reopen pubs as sales drop

SOCIAL DISTANCING. A single customer sits at the bar in a near-empty pub in central London on March 17, 2020. Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP

Unilever to merge Anglo-Dutch arms in British company

Jun 11, 2020 - 8:35 PM

Unilever says ending its 90-year-old double-headed structure would make it more responsive to challenges including the coronavirus pandemic