Estelle Shirbon
Estelle Shirbon
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City of London to remove statues linked to slavery trade

City of London to remove statues linked to slavery trade

By , LONDON (Reuters) - The City of London on Thursday approved the removal from its ceremonial Guildhall home of statues of two figures that symbolise the financial sector’s historic role in slavery.Slideshow The move, voted through by the City’s elected representatives, is part of a wider debate over how Britain remembers and represents its history, sparked by the spontaneous toppling of a slave trader’s statue in the city of Bristol during Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.Following those protests, the corporation that runs the Square Mile financial district set up a task force on...

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Estelle Shirbon
Jan 21
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UK stars from Ed Sheeran to Elton John raise alarm over post-Brexit music tours

UK stars from Ed Sheeran to Elton John raise alarm over post-Brexit music tours

By LONDON (Reuters) - More than 100 British musicians, from Ed Sheeran, Sting and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters to classical stars like conductor Simon Rattle, have said tours of Europe by British artists are in danger because of Brexit.In a letter to The Times newspaper published on Wednesday, the musicians said the government had “shamefully” broken a promise to negotiate a deal allowing musicians to perform in the European Union without the need for visas or work permits.They called for a reciprocal deal allowing paperwork-free travel for both British and European touring artists.“The deal...

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Estelle Shirbon
Jan 20
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Britain gets ready for rollout of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine this week

Britain gets ready for rollout of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine this week

By , LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is preparing to become the first country to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, initially making the shot available at hospitals before distributing stocks to doctors’ clinics, the government said on Sunday.Footage posted by the National Health Service (NHS) showed boxes containing doses of the vaccine being delivered to Croydon University Hospital in south London and being stored in a special, securely locked fridge.“This is just so exciting. It’s a momentous occasion,” said Louise Coghlan, joint chief pharmacist at the Croydon health...

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Estelle Shirbon
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Dec 6
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Fauci apologizes for casting doubt over UK's approval of Pfizer vaccine

Fauci apologizes for casting doubt over UK's approval of Pfizer vaccine

By LONDON (Reuters) - Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci apologized on Thursday for casting doubt on the rigor of the British regulators who approved the Pfizer Inc vaccine against COVID-19, saying he had faith in the quality of their work.Britain announced the approval of the vaccine on Wednesday, with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) saying it had rigorously assessed the vaccine data and had cut no corners.It gave the UK the jump in the race to begin mass inoculation against a virus that has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally and...

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Estelle Shirbon
Dec 3
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Minister resigns as UK cuts foreign aid spending commitment

Minister resigns as UK cuts foreign aid spending commitment

By LONDON (Reuters) - Britain reduced its foreign aid spending commitment on Wednesday to 0.5% of gross domestic product from 0.7%, causing one minister to resign and an immediate outcry from development organisations and the spiritual head of the Church of England.The move, announced by finance minister Rishi Sunak as part of an annual review of government spending, will be popular among some voters and media who argue that COVID and the resulting economic crisis mean Britain should spend less on aid.“During a domestic fiscal emergency, when we need to prioritise our limited resources on...

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Estelle Shirbon
Nov 25
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UK's Johnson raises ire of Scots independence-seekers with devolution 'disaster' comment

UK's Johnson raises ire of Scots independence-seekers with devolution 'disaster' comment

By , LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the devolution of powers to Scotland “a disaster”, a comment that played into the hands of Scottish nationalists as recent polls show a majority of Scots now support independence.The bonds holding the United Kingdom together have been severely strained over the last five years by Brexit, the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and repeated calls by the Scottish National Party (SNP) for a new referendum on independence.In a video call on Friday with northern English lawmakers from his Conservative Party,...

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Estelle Shirbon
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Nov 17
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UK Labour suspends ex-leader Corbyn on anti-Semitism 'day of shame'

UK Labour suspends ex-leader Corbyn on anti-Semitism 'day of shame'

By , LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Labour opposition suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on Thursday after he downplayed a report that detailed serious failings in the party’s handling of persistent anti-Semitism complaints during his 2015-2019 leadership.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it had found evidence of failure to adequately train people investigating alleged anti-Semitism, political interference in the processing of complaints, and harassment of individuals.Corbyn’s successor, Keir Starmer, said he accepted the findings in full.“It is a day of shame for...

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Estelle Shirbon
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Oct 29
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Send them to Moldova? Build a sea wall? UK's asylum 'brainstorm' under fire

Send them to Moldova? Build a sea wall? UK's asylum 'brainstorm' under fire

By LONDON (Reuters) - The British government came under fire on Thursday after newspapers revealed it had studied housing asylum seekers on disused oil rigs, banishing them to camps in Moldova or Papua New Guinea, or building floating walls in the sea to keep them out.Slideshow The main opposition Labour Party said the plans, revealed in leaked papers published by several newspapers, showed the government was “lurching from one inhumane and impractical idea to another” and had “lost control and all sense of compassion”.Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has said it is studying how to...

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Estelle Shirbon
Oct 1
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Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state, become republic - National | Globalnews.ca

Barbados to remove Queen Elizabeth as head of state, become republic - National | Globalnews.ca

Want to discuss? Please read our first.AdvertisementClose XBackto topAAwants to remove Britain’s as its head of state and become a republic, the Caribbean island nation’s government has said, reviving a plan mooted several times in the past.A former British colony that gained independence in 1966,has maintained a formal link with the British monarchy as have some other countries that were once part of the British empire.“The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” saidGovernor General Sandra Mason, delivering a speech on behalf of the country’s Prime Minister Mia...

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Estelle Shirbon
Sep 16
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J.K. Rowling reveals past abuse and defends right to speak on trans issues

J.K. Rowling reveals past abuse and defends right to speak on trans issues

United States LONDON (Reuters) - Author J.K. Rowling defended her right to speak about trans issues without fear of abuse in an intensely personal essay in which she explained the complex reasons for her interest in the subject, revealing painful details from her past. The Harry Potter creator has long been a target of criticism by trans activists who have taken issue with some of her social media posts. At times, the criticism has taken the form of abusive language and threats of violence. “I know it’s time to explain myself on an issue surrounded by toxicity,” she wrote at the start of...

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Estelle Shirbon
Jun 10
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Back from COVID-19, Johnson urged to reveal UK lockdown exit strategy

Back from COVID-19, Johnson urged to reveal UK lockdown exit strategy

United States LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to his Downing Street residence on Sunday after recovering from COVID-19, ready to take the helm again with pressure growing for the government to explain how it will ease a month-old coronavirus lockdown. Johnson, 55, spent three nights in intensive care with the illness. A spokeswoman confirmed he was back at 10 Downing Street on Sunday evening after two weeks recovering at Chequers, his country residence. He will resume full-time work on Monday and is “raring to go”, his stand-in Dominic Raab said. On his desk,...

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Estelle Shirbon
Apr 26
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UK coronavirus deaths rise above 11,000, government grapples with economic toll

UK coronavirus deaths rise above 11,000, government grapples with economic toll

United Kingdom LONDON (Reuters) - The death toll from COVID-19 in British hospitals rose to 11,329 on Monday as the government - without its recuperating leader Boris Johnson - faced questions over its handling of the outbreak and the impact on the economy. Finance minister Rishi Sunak has told colleagues Gross Domestic Product could shrink by up to 30% this quarter because of the coronavirus lockdown, The Times newspaper reported, and there was little hope restrictions would soon be lifted. The British death toll is the fifth highest globally and a senior scientific adviser to the...

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Estelle Shirbon
Apr 13
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As death toll soars, UK finance minister warns economy could shrink by 30% - report

As death toll soars, UK finance minister warns economy could shrink by 30% - report

United Kingdom LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance minister has told colleagues the economy could shrink by up to 30% this quarter because of the coronavirus lockdown, a newspaper reported, as the soaring death toll gave little hope restrictions would soon be lifted. The number of COVID-19 deaths in hospitals across the United Kingdom has passed 10,000 and a senior scientific adviser to the government has said the country risked becoming the worst-hit in Europe. The government has had to defend its response to the outbreak, with complaints of insufficient testing, a dearth of protective...

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Estelle Shirbon
Apr 13
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