Whistleblower: As Afghanistan fell, UK abandoned supporters
A whistleblower has alleged that Britain’s Foreign Office abandoned many of the nation’s allies in Afghanistan and left them to the mercy of the Taliban during the fall of the capital, Kabul, because of a dysfunctional and arbitrary evacuation effort.
US and UK reject reports of imminent prisoner deal with Iran
The U.S. and the U.K. are dimissing reports coming out of Iran that they are thrashing out a prisoner exchange deal with Tehran that could see the imminent release of a British-Iranian woman, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and four Americans, among others.
UK, US impose sanctions targeting Myanmar military business
Protesters carry flags as they drive their motorcycles during an anti-coup protest in Mandalay, Myanmar on Thursday March 25, 2021. (AP Photo)The U.K. and the United States are imposing further sanctions over human rights violations in Myanmar, Britain's top diplomat said Thursday. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures target military-owned conglomerate Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. for its involvement in serious abuses against the country's Rohingya minority and for its association with senior military figures. Thursday's announcement followed asset freezes and travel bans that the British government imposed on nine members of Myanmar's military leadership last month. On Wednesday, more than 600 demonstrators were released, a rare conciliatory gesture by the military that appeared aimed at placating the protest movement.
EU, US, UK, Canada target China officials over Uyghur abuses
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks to the media prior to a meeting of the European Foreign Affairs Ministers, at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Monday, March 22, 2021. The EU targeted four senior officials in Xinjiang. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the measures were part of “intensive diplomacy” by the U.K, the United States, Canada and the 27-nation EU to force action amid mounting evidence about serious rights abuses against the Uyghur Muslim people. Officials deny all charges of human rights abuses there. AdChina’s Foreign Ministry denounced the EU sanctions as “based on nothing but lies and disinformation” as it issued its own retaliatory measures.
UK: Poorer nations should get 'gold-standard' COVAX vaccines
Raimonde Goudou Coffie , culture minister, receives a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday March 1, 2021. But Raab urged poorer nations to wait for the “gold standard” vaccines delivered by a U.N.-backed program rather than opt for shots from China and Russia. Raab said COVAX “is the gold standard of international support for the most vulnerable countries around the world. So far, around 500,000 doses have been delivered to Ivory Coast and 600,000 to Ghana. The British government has pledged to give “the majority of any future surplus vaccines” to the COVAX effort, but has not said when that surplus might become available.
The Latest: Hong Kong ease pandemic rules as cases decline
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, people wearing masks attend a vigil for Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)HONG KONG — Hong Kong is reducing social distancing rules following a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, including restarting indoor dining and reopening gyms. More than two-thirds of the new cases were in Seoul area, home to half of South Korea’s 51 million people. The company has contracted to provide 100 million doses — enough for 100 million Americans — by the end of June. “We just need the vaccine to arrive.”___ATLANTA — Snowy and icy weather across much of the nation has “significantly” delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to Georgia, state health officials said Wednesday.
UN chief urges global plan to reverse unfair vaccine access
The coronavirus has infected more than 109 million people and killed at least 2.4 million of them. America's top diplomat said the U.S. also plans to provide “significant financial support” to COVAX through the GAVI vaccine alliance, and will work to strengthen other multilateral initiatives involved in the global COVID-19 response. India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also called for a halt to “vaccine nationalism” and encouragement for internationalism. he said Russia is ready to discuss progress on implementing the only resolution the Security Council has adopted on the pandemic. After three months of difficult negotiations, the council last July 1 endorsed fhe secretary-general’s call for cease-fires in major global conflicts to tackle COVID-19.
The Latest: Mexico sees near-record daily coronavirus deaths
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)MEXICO CITY — Mexico reported a near-record 1,707 confirmed coronavirus deaths Wednesday, as the country runs out of vaccines. Ad___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:Spain surpasses 60,000 confirmed virus deaths. British officials say Oxford study backs up their decision to delay second vaccine shot for up to 12 weeks. Ad___OKLAHOMA CITY -- About 11,500 doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be shipped to pharmacies across Oklahoma next week, state health officials said. ___MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s government says it has approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.
UK aims to give 1st COVID-19 shot to all adults by September
Cubicles erected inside Salisbury Cathedral, for people to receive a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, in Salisbury, England, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. Vaccination centers are being opened in England at some of the country's great cathedrals. Salisbury Cathedral, which also houses a copy of the Magna Carta, opened its great nave to the public. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)LONDON – The U.K. government plans to offer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to every adult by September as the nation’s health care system battles the worst crisis in its 72-year-history. The National Health Service opened a mass vaccination center on Saturday at the historic Salisbury Cathedral, where injections were accompanied by organ music.
Going 'the extra mile': UK, EU keep up Brexit trade talks
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives to deliver a statement at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP)BRUSSELS – Teetering on the brink of a no-deal Brexit departure, Britain and the European Union stepped back from the void Sunday and agreed to continue trade talks, although both downplayed the chances of success. U.K. and EU negotiators were still talking at EU headquarters on Sunday, with less than three weeks to go until the U.K. leaves the economic embrace of the 27-nation bloc. What we want is a good deal, a deal that respects these principles of economic fair play." Tariffs will be applied to many U.K. goods, including 10% on cars and more than 40% on lamb, hurting the U.K. economy as it struggles to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
UK's Johnson: 'Strong possibility' Brexit talks will fail
The political leaders are meeting in the hope of finalising a Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European bloc. “I do think we need to be very very clear, there is now a strong possibility — a strong possibility — that we will have a solution that is much more like an Australian relationship with the EU," Johnson said, using his phrasing for a no-deal exit. Australia does not have a free trade deal with the 27-nation EU. Months of trade talks have failed to bridge the gaps on three issues — fishing rights, fair-competition rules and the governance of future disputes. “I still hope that we will find a solution but it’s half-half," said Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, before adding“I prefer no deal than a bad deal."
UK says Brexit trade talks with EU are in their 'last week'
Teams from Britain and the European Union are continuing face-to-face talks on a post-Brexit trade deal in the little remaining time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON – Britain’s foreign minister said Sunday there is only about a week left for the U.K. and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, with fishing rights the major obstacle to an agreement. EU countries want their boats to be able to keep fishing in British waters, while the U.K. insists it must control access and quotas. “On fisheries, there is a point of principle: As we leave the transition, we are an independent coastal state and we’ve got to be able to control our waters,” Raab said. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU.
UK, Canada impose sanctions on Belarus president, officials
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko salutes during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. (Andrei Stasevich/Pool Photo via AP)LONDON – Britain and Canada imposed sanctions Tuesday on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, his son and other senior government officials following the country's disputed presidential election and a violent crackdown on protesters in Belarus. Macron hoped that EU sanctions against Belarus officials will be adopted at the next European Union summit, according to Tsikhanouskaya’s advisor, Franak Vyachorko. Cyprus has so far insisted it won’t agree to sanctions on Belarus unless the bloc also imposes sanctions on Turkey in a separate dispute.
UK is preparing human rights sanctions against Belarus
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko takes his oath of office during his inauguration ceremony at the Palace of the Independence in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Lukashenko of Belarus has assumed his sixth term of office in an inauguration ceremony that wasn't announced in advance. (Sergei Sheleg/Pool Photo via AP)BRUSSELS – Britain is preparing sanctions on individuals allegedly involved in human rights violations in Belarus, working with the United States and Canada to hold President Alexander Lukashenko and his government accountable. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons in London on Thursday that in light of the European Union’s delay in preparing its own sanctions, the U.K. would join other allies to adopt targeted sanctions against those responsible for human rights abuses. He belongs on the EU sanctions list.”“The secrecy surrounding his inauguration ceremony just illustrates that he has not been sworn in based on free and fair elections, but on election fraud and violence,” Kofod said.
The Latest: China lifts pandemic bar on entry by foreigners
Officials announced seven new coronavirus cases Thursday, all of them imported, marking 39 days since China has reported a case of domestic transmission. Neighboring Slovakia had 338 cases Tuesday for a confirmed total of 7, 269 cases and 41 deaths since the start of the pandemic. ___LONDON — Scotland has recorded 486 positive coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the highest number of daily cases in a single day. She says there were two recorded deaths in the past day, bringing the total confirmed toll to 2,508. Spain recorded 241 more virus-related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total confirmed death toll to 30,904.
Amal Clooney quits UK role over 'lamentable' Brexit plan
In a letter Friday to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, the human rights lawyer said she is quitting her role as the U.K.’s special envoy on media freedom over the government’s “lamentable” suggestion. Clooney, who married movie star George Clooney in 2014, becomes the latest lawyer to resign over the planned legislation. Richard Keen, the British government’s law officer for Scotland, and the head of its legal department, Jonathan Jones, have also quit in the past couple of weeks. The British government has admitted that the legislation could potentially break international law, but argues that it’s an insurance policy for that potential ‘no-deal’ scenario. As a result, the two sides agreed there would be some kind of regulatory border between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland, an agreement that the planned legislation could breach.
Multiple people injured in series of stabbings in England
British police say that multiple people have been injured in a series of stabbings in a busy nightlife area of the central England city of Birmingham. (Jacob King/PA via AP)LONDON Multiple people were injured in late-night stabbings in a busy nightlife area of the central England city of Birmingham, police said. That was soon followed by reports of other stabbings in the area. Cara Curran, a club promoter, said she saw multiple people fighting in the street. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street urged people to not speculate about the incident" and to remain calm but vigilant.
UK to make changes to extradition treaty with Hong Kong
LONDON Britain's government will be making changes in its extradition arrangements with Hong Kong on Monday, after China imposed a tough new national security law. He promised to be tough'' but to not completely abandon a policy of engagement with China. Johnson said he would leave it to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to outline the extradition changes in a statement to the House of Commons later Monday. Johnsons government has already criticized Chinas decision to impose a sweeping new national security law on Hong Kong. Its Western countries, headed by United States they started this so-called new Cold War on China."
UK accuses 'Russian actors' for meddling in 2019 election
FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, May 7, 2020, Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street, in London. The papers were believed to have appeared online some months earlier but attracted little attention until they were picked up by the Labour campaign. It was unable to publish the report since it was compiled last year after Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to clear it for release ahead of the December election. The decision to publish the report comes a day after the new committee for this current parliamentary term was formed. The job had been expected to go to a former minister, Chris Grayling, who is a loyal supporter of Johnson.
UK sanctions Russians, Saudis under new Magnitsky powers
LONDON Britain on Monday announced economic sanctions against individuals and organizations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea under new U.K. powers to punish human rights offenders. Britain has previously imposed sanctions as part of the European Union or under the auspices of the United Nations. Since leaving the EU in January, it has implemented its own version of the United States Magnitsky Act, which allows authorities to ban or seize assets of individuals guilty of human rights abuses. The U.K. law authorizes the British government to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering the country, channeling money through British banks, or profiting from the U.K. economy. Conservative lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, who heads the Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee, said there had been a remarkable silence on human rights violations in China."
UK foreign secretary under fire for taking-a-knee comments
LONDON Britains foreign secretary has drawn criticism after he suggested in an interview that taking a knee appeared to be from Game of Thrones and was a symbol of subjugation. Downing Street said that Raab had been expressing a personal opinion. The gesture has come to be recognized as a symbolic act in opposing racism and police violence and has been widely used by people worldwide protesting the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25. It gained momentum in 2016 when American football player Colin Kaepernick took the knee during the national anthem before a game to protest racism and police bruality. ___Follow all AP coverage of racial injustice and police brutality at https://apnews.com/GeorgeFloyd.
Protest in Hong Kong over China move to pass security law
Protesters gesture with five fingers, signifying the "Five demands - not one less" in a shopping mall during a protest against China's national security legislation for the city, in Hong Kong, Friday, May 29, 2020. The British government says t it will grant hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents greater visa rights if China doesn't scrap a planned new security law for the semi-autonomous territory. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said about 300,000 people in Hong Kong who hold British National (Overseas) passports will be able to stay in Britain for 12 months rather than the current six. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)HONG KONG Dozens of people joined a protest in a mall in Hong Kong on Friday following a vote by Chinas ceremonial parliament to approve legislation that could severely restrict opposition political activity and civic activity in the Asian financial center. Details of the final version of the law arent known, but China says it will prohibit separatist activities and actions that might threaten the Communist Partys monopoly on political power in mainland China.
UK will extend HK visa rights if China pursues security law
LONDON The British government said Thursday that it will grant hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents greater visa rights if China doesnt scrap a planned new security law for the semi-autonomous territory. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said about 300,000 people in Hong Kong who hold British National (Overseas) passports would be able to stay in Britain for 12 months instead of the current six if China does not rethink its plan. Raab said the length of stay also would be extendable and provide a pathway to U.K. citizenship. When Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 after 150 years as a British colony, its residents were not granted the right to live in the U.K.Chinas proposed national security law aims to reinforce Beijings control over Hong Kong in a bid to prevent a return of often-violent protests seen for months last year. Raab and the foreign ministers of the United States, Canada and Australia said in a joint statement the proposed law would curtail the Hong Kong peoples liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kongs autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.
UK urges US to return diplomat's wife who left after fatal crash
The United Kingdom has urged the return of an American diplomat's spouse who left the country while a suspect in a fatal traffic collision. Northamptonshire Police Superintendent Sarah Johnson said in a statement on Saturday that a 42-year-old American woman "being treated as a suspect in our investigation into a fatal road traffic collision... has left the country." Harry Dunn, 19, died in the accident while riding his motorbike, according to a statement from his family. Unfortunately, we were latterly advised that the waiver had been declined and that the suspect had left the UK." She added that the suspect "must return to the UK to face justice."