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LONDON (Bywire News) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of breaking the Ministerial Code again - this time by using taxpayer funds in the campaign for the Hartlepool by-election. According to Insider, the Conservative Party’s spending return for the election shows that the Party spent nothing on transport during their successful campaign for candidate Jill Mortimer to win the seat in Hartlepool. However, on April 1st, Boris Johnson used a private jet to fly from London Stansted to Teeside International Airport, then rode in a motorcade from the airport to a B&Q in Middlesbrough, where he announced a raise in the minimum wage. He then went to Hartlepool to support Mortimer’s campaign, touring a local company and visiting an estate to talk to residents, before flying back to Stansted Airport. Yet the cost of Johnson’s travel has not been included in the spending return, or for the further visits made by Johnson and Priti Patel in the run-up to the by-election. Guidance...
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LONDON (Bywire News) - Protesters waving the Afghanistan flag have been killed by the Taliban, witnesses say. Earlier today, protesters in the capital city of Kabul marched through the streets carrying flags and chanting “our flag, our identity” and tearing down Taliban flags in retaliation to the country’s takeover by the militant extremists. Yesterday, there were reports of Taliban soldiers firing at, and killing, protesters in the cities of Jalalabad, Asadabad and Khost. Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh praised the protests on Twitter:   از حرکت شجاعانه و میهن دوستانه مردم با عزت کشورم در نقاط مختلف بخاطر برافراشتن پرچم ملی برضد گروه نیابتی طالب ابراز حرمت ، حمایت و قدردانی می نمایم. شماری درین راه با عزت شهید شدندSalute those who carry the national flag & thus stand for dignity of the nation & the country. — Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 19, 2021   In Asadabad, where several people were killed, witness and protester Mohammed Salim said: "Hundreds of pe...
People carry Afghan flags as they take part in an anti-Taliban protest in Jalalabad, Afghanistan August 18, 2021 in this screen grab taken from a video. Pajhwok Afghan News/Handout via REUTERS
Chef and TV presenter Gordon Ramsay has been awarded the title of sexiest TV host.
Gordon Ramsey. Image taken at Gardeners World Live 2008
LONDON (Bywire News) - Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne has been widely criticised on social media for implying that Afghans desperate to escape the Taliban are 'cowards'. His comments were made during a debate in the House of Commons about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, where the brutal Taliban regime have taken over after the withdrawal of US and UK troops. Swayne, who sits as the MP for New Forest West, intervened during a speech by Keir Starmer, asking the Labour leader: “Were the government of this Kingdom to be overthrown by a wicked and brutal regime, I venture that he would want a leading role in the resistance, he wouldn’t be queuing at the airport would he?” Unsurprisingly, Swayne's comments were met with derision from the Labour Leader, who replied: “When I was Director of Public Prosecutions I had some of my prosecutors in Afghanistan at huge risk working on counterterrorism with other brave souls there. So I won’t take that from him or anybody else,” In addition to Starm...
A Labour Council leader has been severely criticised after calling for the formation of an 'anti-migrant militia' to defend Britain's coastline. Brendan Chilton, the Labour Group Leader on Ashford Council in Kent, suggested that ordinary Brits could set up a "Home Guard" to repel asylum seekers arriving on UK shores. Writing on Twitter, Chilton said: "Here's an idea. It's quite clear the Channel migrant crisis is not going away. The Government haven't got a clue. How many are arriving and then disappearing? Perhaps we need to form a sort of 'Home Guard'- voluntary- to support the coast guard, police, border force etc?'   The leader of @ashfordlabour @BrendanChilton has now deleted his anti-refugee tweet so here's a screenshot. pic.twitter.com/Qu30zrQrEf — Bridget Chapman 🧡 #WearAMask #GetVaccinated (@BridgeeCee) August 11, 2021   After being inundated with a torrent of criticism, Chilton swiftly deleted his tweet - but not before numerous Twitter users managed to grab screenshots, l...
A Labour Council leader has been severely criticised after calling for the formation of an 'anti-migrant militia' to defend Britiain's coastline. Brendan Chilton, the Labour Group Leader on Ashford Council in Kent, suggested that ordinary Brits could set up a "Home Guard" to repel asylum seekers arriving on UK shores. Writing on Twitter, Chilton said: "Here's an idea. It's quite clear the Channel migrant crisis is not going away. The Government haven't got a clue. How many are arriving and then disappearing? Perhaps we need to form a sort of 'Home Guard'- voluntary- to support the coast guard, police, border force etc?'   The leader of @ashfordlabour @BrendanChilton has now deleted his anti-refugee tweet so here's a screenshot. pic.twitter.com/Qu30zrQrEf — Bridget Chapman 🧡 #WearAMask #GetVaccinated (@BridgeeCee) August 11, 2021   After being inundated with a torrent of criticism, Chilton swiftly deleted his tweet - but not before numerous Twitter users managed to grab screenshots,...
LONDON (Bywire News) - A secret club exists for super-rich Tory donors to schmooze with senior members of the government including Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, it has been revealed.  The Conservative ‘Advisory Board’ is an exclusive club for super-rich businesspeople who have donated large sums of money to the Tories. In return for their financial contributions, members are invited to regular meetings and calls with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.  According to the Financial Times, one donor said that some members of the secretive organisation use meetings to demand lower taxes and cuts to public spending.  The group is reportedly run by the Conservative co-chair Ben Elliot - whose company, Quintessentially, admitted to making illegal payments to its shareholders earlier this year.  In addition to the so-called 'Advisory Board', the Tories have another exclusive donors-only organisation - called the “Leaders Group” - which allows people who have donated £50,000 to the party e...
LONDON (Bywire News) - An astonishing video created by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) explaining exactly why they rescue asylum seekers in distress in the English Channel has gone viral on Twitter - and it shows precisely why Priti Patel and the Conservative Party should be truly ashamed of themselves. Earlier this month, the government published the Nationality and Borders bill - a piece of legislation which aims to make it illegal for asylum seekers to enter the UK without permission. Patel claims that, rather than attempting to cross the Channel themselves, asylum seekers should simply use 'safe and legal routes' in order to claim in asylum in the UK. Despite Patel's advice, there is currently no safe and legal route for unrecognised refugees to claim asylum in the UK - a fact that Clare Mosely of the Care4Calais charity eloquently summed up, stating: "If this Government really wanted to combat people smugglers, it would create a safe way for refugees to claim UK asyl...
LONDON (Bywire News) - Boris Johnson's official spokeswoman has been well and truly roasted on social media after making an incredibly unpopular suggestion on climate change. Writing on Twitter, Allegra Stratton - who was appointed as the PM's spokeswoman in October 2020 - said that if people wanted to fight climate change, they shouldn't rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.   Could not rinsing dishes b4 the dishwasher be your #onestepgreener ahead of #COP26? If that’s too hard a habit to kick, pick something else. At COP26 we have big asks for the world on cash, coal, cars and trees but the micro matters too. Change is coming. https://t.co/2f23IyBBPW — Allegra Stratton (@AllegraCOP26) July 27, 2021   Unsurprisingly, given the fact that 71% of global emissions are caused by just 100 multinational corporations, people were not exactly impressed at Stratton's attempt to lay the burden of responsibility for climate change at the door of ordinary people:   [BYWIRE_DO...
By Richard Martin LONDON - Major tournaments have not always brought happy memories for Raheem Sterling but he has risen to the occasion at Euro 2020 and become England's most effective player in their run to Sunday's final against Italy. Of the 10 goals Gareth Southgate's side have scored at the tournament, Sterling has had his prints on seven of them, providing the cutting-edge to England's carefully crafted machine and frequently finding the breakthrough goal. His goal in the opening game against Croatia showcased his ability to prise rigid teams open, darting across the pitch undetected to insert himself between defenders and beat the keeper with one touch. Coming at Wembley Stadium which he had grown up next to, it was a hugely significant goal for Sterling, who had come off the back of a disappointing season on an individual level with Manchester City despite winning the Premier League title. He faded from the team in March and posted his lowest goal count in the league in four...
- Entertainment venues in England will force customers to use so-called vaccination passports from autumn to prove they have had either both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test the day before, The Times newspaper reported. COVID-19 certificates will be required for customers to enter bars, restaurants and nightclubs under plans to tackle a fourth wave of the coronavirus, the newspaper said. The government plans to lift capacity restrictions on pubs, restaurants and other public events on July 19 in England.   (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)...
LONDON - Britain reported on Friday 35,707 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, government data showed. That compared with 32,551 cases and 35 deaths reported a day earlier.   (Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Toby Chopra)...
LONDON - A British police officer on Friday admitted murdering Sarah Everard whose killing sparked anger and soul-searching across the country about what police, government and society can do to stop male violence against women. Wayne Couzens, 48, a London officer who guarded diplomatic premises, had previously admitted rape and kidnap. Everard, 33, was abducted as she walked home from a friend's house in south London on March 3 and her body was later found in woodland around 50 miles away in southeast England. A post-mortem last month concluded she had died as a result of compression of the neck. Appearing by videolink from prison for a hearing at London's Old Bailey Court, Couzens, bearded and wearing a blue sweatshirt sat head bowed and said "guilty ma'am" when asked how he pleaded to the charge of murder Prosecutor Tom Little said the officer had never met Everard prior to kidnapping her from London's South Circular road and were "total strangers". Little said it might not be poss...
LONDON - Sterling edged lower on Friday after data showed Britain's post-lockdown economic rebound slowed sharply in May despite a further relaxation of social-distancing rules. Gross domestic product grew by 0.8% from April, the Office for National Statistics said, much weaker than the median forecast of 1.5% in a poll of economists. After being hurt by a broader shakeout in FX markets that saw riskier currencies fall and safe havens gain on Thursday, sterling had flattened at $1.3786 by 0830 GMT. In earlier London trading, it fell to $1.3756 when the GDP data was released. "Sterling has started the day on the back foot after May’s growth data came in below expectations," said Francesco Pesole, FX Strategist at ING. "Some cracks in the so-far very positive recovery story in the UK may leave sterling a bit more vulnerable." Versus the euro, sterling flattened at 85.94 pence, after having its worst day in two months on Thursday as the European Central Bank set a new inflation target, w...
-London's FTSE 100 gained on Friday as a weaker pound helped support export-focussed stocks, but was set to end the week lower on signs that the pace of economic recovery could be slower than expected. The blue-chip FTSE 100 rose 0.5%, powered by Glencore, Rio Tinto, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. Britain's economy grew by a slower-than expected 0.8% in May from April, official data showed. A poll of economists had pointed to month-on-month growth of 1.5% in gross domestic product. "With the government's overwhelming desire to get back to normal and completely relax all restrictions in the face of rapidly accelerating virus cases, there is a growing risk that the economy will continue to print lower growth numbers in the months ahead," said Charles Hepworth, investment director at GAM Investments. Travel stocks gained 0.9% after three straight sessions of declines, as Britain plans to scrap quarantine for fully-vaccinated arrivals in the coming weeks. The domestically focussed mid-cap...
By Yuka Obayashi TOKYO - Oil prices were mixed on Friday and still on track for a weekly loss, amid optimism stemming from a draw in U.S. inventories and uncertainty about global supplies fuelled by an OPEC+ impasse. Brent crude oil futures were down 3 cents at $74.09 a barrel by 0442 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were up 6 cents, or 0.1%, at $73.00 a barrel. Prices on both sides of the Atlantic were headed for a weekly loss of nearly 3%, dragged by the collapse of output talks between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, or OPEC+. "The markets have no clear direction due to uncertainty over the OPEC+ production after August," said Chiyoki Chen, chief analyst at Sunward Trading. "A draw in the U.S. crude inventories was a positive factor, but it could be a temporary phenomena given a resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and elsewhere," he said. Fresh COVID-19 lockdowns could slow a recovery in air travel and demand f...
BRUSSELS/LONDON - A European Union plan to extend carbon pricing to the fuel used in cars and to heat homes is facing a wall of early resistance from countries and lawmakers fearing a public pushback unless backers find ways to compensate those worst hit. According to leaked drafts, the scheme would set up an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for transport and heating, creating a market price for carbon – a price that fuel suppliers are likely to pass on to Europe's half a billion consumers in the form of higher bills. Expected to be part of a package of proposals on July 14 aimed at ensuring the EU hits a target of cutting net emissions by 55% by 2030, it has been singled out by some capitals as something that could hurt the poorest in the 27-nation bloc. Some even raise the prospect of it triggering "yellow vest" movements like the often violent protests that spread across France from late 2018 after an attempt to raise fuel taxes. "This is a big risk for the willingness among the popu...
VENICE - Finance ministers and central bankers from the group of 20 rich countries will meet face to face on Friday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic at a gathering in Venice where corporate tax reform will top the agenda. The G20 is expected to give its political endorsement to plans for new rules on where and how much companies are taxed which were backed last week by 130 countries at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The deal envisages a global minimum corporate income tax of at least 15%, a level which the OECD estimates could yield around $150bn in additional global tax revenues, but leaves much of the details to be hammered out. Officials say the two-day gathering in Italy's historic lagoon city will open a discussion on how to put the OECD proposals into practice, with the aim of reaching a final agreement at a Rome G20 leaders' summit in October. The G20 members account for more than 80% of world gross domestic pro...
By Trevor Hunnicutt WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden's frustrations with Afghanistan boiled over more than a decade ago, and they never again eased. On a trip to Kabul in January 2009, shortly before he was sworn in as vice president, Biden warned Afghanistan's then-President Hamid Karzai at a dinner that he could lose Washington's support unless he started governing for all Afghans, hinting at corruption allegations targeting Karzai's brother. Karzai shot back that the United States was indifferent to the deaths of Afghan civilians. As the dispute went on, Biden threw down his napkin and the dinner ended abruptly, according to several people in attendance. Biden had previously supported strong military and humanitarian efforts to rebuild Afghanistan after the United States toppled the Islamist militant Taliban government in retaliation for its aiding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. But the clash with Karzai and the...
By Manasi Pathak - Sports bodies and athletes reacted with disappointment to the news there will be no spectators at the Tokyo Olympics but downplayed the potential impact on performances and said it was important that the global sporting showpiece went ahead. Organisers announced the decision to ban fans from Tokyo venues on Thursday as a resurgent novel coronavirus forced Japan to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the Games. American 100 metres hurdles world record holder Kendra Harrison said not having fans present would make little difference in her bid for her first Olympic medal. "In the midst of just being lined up with the best in the world, you are not really worried about who is in the stands," Harrison told Kentucky's Spectrum News 1. "You are just worried about going out and competing to the best of their abilities." International Equestrian Federation (FEI) President Ingmar De Vos echoed the comments of other sports bodies when he said h...