Friday, 16 August 2019: UK Home Office on lockdown after stabbing, EU states offer to take stranded migrants from Italy, Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker, Norway detects radioactive iodine after explosion in Russia


UK Home Office on lockdown after stabbing: The offices of Britain’s interior ministry in London were placed on lockdown Thursday after a man was stabbed on the street outside. The victim, a government worker in his 60s, suffered non-life threatening injuries. A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of CS spray. Police said it was not being treated as terror-related, but they were keeping an open mind about possible motives. Home Secretary Priti Patel sent out a tweet saying her thoughts were with the victim and his family. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick called the incident a horrific attack on a colleague.,,

Corbyn plan to stop no-deal Brexit meets resistance: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to prevent a no-deal Brexit by being installed as a caretaker PM was met with opposition from key potential allies. The SNP and Plaid Cymru did not rule out supporting a cross-party government to stop a no-deal exit. But Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said she would not support making Corbyn prime minister. She offered to meet him in the coming days to discuss who else might be able to lead an emergency government. Green MP Caroline Lucas made a personal appeal for Swinson to rethink her position, Labour’s Angela Rayner branded the Lib Dem leader childish, and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon criticised her position as daft. Given the circumstances, nothing should be ruled out, Sturgeon tweeted. Campaigners for a second referendum are herding a flock of sheep down Whitehall to protest against the impact a no-deal Brexit could have on the farming community. About one million EU citizens currently living in the UK have obtained the right to reside in the country after Brexit., (Corbyn); (Protest); (EU citizens)

Corbyn says parliament should not block second Scotland poll: Labour leader Corbyn has confirmed he believes Westminster should not block a second referendum on Scottish independence. He implicitly endorsed remarks by his close ally John McDonnell last week where he said a Labour government would not obstruct a fresh independence vote if there was sufficient support for one in the Scottish parliament.

Labour: Unison boss Dave Prentis accuses Labour leadership of trading seats intended for female candidates
Kashmir: Thousands protest in Britain for Kashmir outside Indian High Commission


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EU states offer to take stranded migrants from Italy: A deal has been made to send all migrants on board the Spanish rescue ship “Open Arms” to six European countries: France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the move in an open letter to Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who refused to allow them to disembark. Conte also strongly criticised Salvini in the letter, saying that the minister is focusing too much on migration and reducing the complex issue to a simple solution of closing ports in order to score political points. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on EU states to resume sea rescue initiatives in the Mediterranean Sea.,,

Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker: Authorities in Gibraltar have released an Iranian oil tanker they impounded six weeks ago, defying a United States request hours earlier to seize the ship. The US Department of Justice had sought to stop the tanker’s release by requesting a new legal procedure for the detention of the vessel, according to Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. The basis of Washington’s legal efforts was unclear Thursday. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the US request as a piracy attempt, writing on Twitter that the United States had attempted to abuse the legal system to steal Iran’s property. Iran denies that the tanker was headed for Syria.,,

China holds exercises near border with Hong Kong: Hundreds of members of China’s People’s Armed Police were seen marching and conducting exercises in the city of Shenzhen near the Hong Kong border on Thursday. China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has warned British politicians against interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs. US President Donald Trump has urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet personally with Hong Kong protesters, saying it would lead to an end to tensions that have seized the territory for weeks. (Exercises); (Ambassador); (Trump)

Israel denies entry to US congresswomen: Israel announced Thursday it will not allow two US Democratic congresswomen to visit the country. The congresswomen, Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, are vocal supporters of the Palestinians and the movement called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Israel was open to critics, but that Israeli law prohibits the entry into the country of those who call for, and work to impose, boycotts on Israel. The decision came shortly after President Donald Trump said Israel would be showing great weakness if it allowed the two Democrats to visit. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has announced that Germany will make extra payments to Holocaust survivors. The German town of Potsdam has published an antisemitism report. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has criticised a CDU initiative to stop religious slaughter of animals without anesthesia., (US congresswoman); (Holocaust survivors); (Potsdam); (Central Council of Jews)

New EU Commission President: German military honours Ursula von der Leyen
Brexit: Germany believes no-deal Brexit is highly likely
Tax fraud: Poland is moving forward in fight against tax evasion
Data security: Facebook says no EU users affected by transcribing of audio chats


Norway detects radioactive iodine after explosion in Russia: Norway’s nuclear safety authority has detected small amounts of radioactive iodine at an air-filter station, one week after a mystery-shrouded explosion at a Russian military test range. Norway’s radiation and nuclear safety authority DSA said it had detected the radioactive iodine at its air filter station in Svanhovd, which is by the Russian border. It added that is was not possible to determine if the iodine detection was linked to the accident in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region last week.,

Germany warns about Canada’s melting Arctic: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Thursday toured Canada’s far north. He said Europe had an extraordinary task to slash fossil fuel emissions. If it didn’t, climate warming would rob polar regions of more ice cover. The ice loss showed that climate change was no theoretical discussion and made clear what would happen if humans did not change their behaviour, Maas said.

Germany is popular with students: Germany has overtaken France as the most popular non-English-speaking country for international students, according to a new study. Nearly 252,000 students came from abroad to study in Germany in 2016, 16,000 more than in the previous year, and 6,000 more than in France. Some 83% of the students surveyed said that they had chosen Germany because it offered them good professional opportunities, while 74% said they had come for an internationally recognised qualification.

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Metallica donates to Romanian pediatric hospital: American heavy metal band Metallica has donated 250,000 euros to a Romanian association building the country’s first pediatric oncology hospital. Construction began in mid-2018 on the hospital in Bucharest, one of the few to be built in Romania over the last three decades. The project is expected to be completed next year, with donations from 260,000 individuals and around 2,000 companies so far.

Ukraine: Politically persecuted Russians to get passports
Austria: Prosecutor examines link between hard drive destruction and Ibiza video
France: German radio journalist expelled ahead of G7 summit in Biarritz

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ECB website shuts down following hacker attack: The European Central Bank ECB shut down one of its websites on Thursday after it was hacked and infected with malicious software. An ECB spokesman added the earliest evidence found of the attack on the banks’ Integrated Reporting Dictionary (BIRD), which it uses to provide bankers with information on how to produce statistical and supervisory reports, dates back to December 2018. The incident was discovered during regular maintenance work. The hackers may have captured names, email addresses and other contact data from 481 users.,


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