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Boris Johnson

According to new reports, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of an act of “direct military aggression” by supplying missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

This “may be considered an act of war”, Saudi Arabia state media quoted the crown prince as telling UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in a phone conversation.

On November 4, a ballistic missile was intercepted near Riyadh.

Iran has denied arming the Houthi movement, which is fighting a Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government.

On November 6, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Saudi Arabia’s “wars of aggression” and “regional bullying” were threatening the Middle East.

Image source Wikimedia

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Houthi-aligned media reported that the rebels had fired a Burkan H2 ballistic missile at King Khaled International Airport, which is about 530 miles from the Yemeni border and 7 miles north-east of Riyadh, on November 4.

Saudi media reported that missile defenses intercepted the missile in flight, but that some missile fragments fell inside the airport area. No casualties were reported.

Human Rights Watch said the launch of an indiscriminate missile at a predominantly civilian airport was an apparent war crime.

On November 7, the official Saudi Press Agency (SAP) reported that in his telephone call with Prince Mohammed, Boris Johnson had “expressed his condemnation of launching a ballistic missile by Houthi coup militias” and affirmed “Britain’s stand with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in confronting security threats”.

“For his part, the crown prince stressed that the involvement of the Iranian regime in supplying its Houthi militias with missiles is considered a direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war against the kingdom,” it added.

On November 6, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, an Iranian proxy, was also involved.

“It was an Iranian missile launched by Hezbollah from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen,” he said.

The Gambia intends to rejoin the Commonwealth, UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is in the West African country, has confirmed.

Boris Johnson’s visit, the first to The Gambia by a British foreign secretary, comes weeks after long-time ruler Yahya Jammeh went into exile after losing elections.

Yahya Jammeh took The Gambia out of the Commonwealth in 2013, calling it a neo-colonial institution.

Newly-elected President Adama Barrow had promised a return to the 52-nation grouping.

Before leaving for Banjul, Boris Johnson said: “We will ensure this happens in the coming months.

“The strength of our partnerships show that Global Britain is growing in influence and activity around the world.”

The Commonwealth secretariat said it welcomed the news, saying the formal process of rejoining would have to be agreed by the 52 heads of government.

A spokesman said: “When The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, the heads of government… noted its decision with regret. We looked forward to the country’s eventual return because it was part of our very close knit family and our doors have always remained open.”

Last week, the EU promised The Gambia an aid package of nearly $81 million – almost three years after freezing its assistance to the West African nation.

Adama Barrow, who was sworn in last month, has also said The Gambia will reverse its move to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In a statement on February 13, the government said it had written to UN chief Antonio Guterres to inform him of its decision “to discontinue the withdrawal notice”.

In 2016, a former Gambian information minister had referred to the court as “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans”.

The move is a blow to Africa’s anti-ICC lobby – which includes South Africa, Namibia and Burundi.

At the annual African Union summit held this month, leaders called for a mass walk-out from the ICC, but faced opposition from other countries, including Nigeria, Senegal and The Gambia.

The Foreign Office said as well as holding talks with Adama Barrow, Boris Johnson would visit the UK-funded Medical Research Council and speak to Chevening scholars and workers and employers in the tourism industry.

The Gambia is a popular holiday destination for Britons. Thousands had to be evacuated last month because of security concerns when Yahya Jammeh was refusing to hand over power after losing December’s elections.

Adama Barrow, whose swearing-in was held in neighboring Senegal, is to be inaugurated as president in a ceremony at the national stadium on February 18.

Several heads of state are expected to attend. Local dignitaries may include former VP Alhagie Saihou Sabally, who local media said had returned to the Gambia on February 13 after 22 years in exile.

Yahya Jammeh, who took power in coup in 1994, is now in exile in Equatorial Guinea after West African leaders deployed troops to The Gambia to ensure he left power.

Boris Johnson will go on to Ghana for talks with President Nana Akufo-Addo on February 15.

UK’s PM Theresa May has started forming her new government – as she begins her first full day in Downing Street.

Former London mayor and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said he was “humbled” having been named new foreign secretary, in one of Theresa May’s first cabinet appointments.

Philip Hammond became chancellor, Amber Rudd is home secretary, and Eurosceptic David Davis is new Brexit secretary.

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Theresa May later told European leaders she was committed to the UK leaving the EU.

Asked about his first priorities as chancellor, Philip Hammond said there would be “no emergency Budget”.

Philip Hammond said he would work closely with the Bank of England and other economic experts and make “carefully considered decisions over the summer”, followed by an Autumn Statement “in the normal way”.

Before the EU referendum, Philip Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne said he would have to cut public spending and increase taxes in an emergency Budget if the UK voted for Brexit.

In a series of congratulatory phone calls taken by Theresa May on July 13, the UK’s second female prime minister spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

A Downing Street spokesman said Theresa May had “emphasized her commitment to delivering the will of the British people to leave the European Union”.

“The prime minister explained that we would need some time to prepare for these negotiations and spoke of her hope that these could be conducted in a constructive and positive spirit,” the spokesman added.

Theresa May will continue to fill out her new cabinet on July 14, with the new secretaries of state for health, education, and work and pensions among those expected to be appointed.


London Mayor Boris Johnson says he intends to renounce his American citizenship to prove his “commitment to Britain”.

He told the Sunday Times that his citizenship was “an accident of birth that has left me with this thing. I’ve got to find a way of sorting it out”.

Boris Johnson, who was born in New York, has in the past been forced to pay US tax because of his American citizenship.

He has just completed a six-day tour of cities in the US.

Boris Johnson said he would approach US ambassador Matthew Barzun to explore what steps he had to take to give up his American nationality.

The Conservative politician – who was born in Manhattan in 1964 and owns a US passport alongside a British one – said that relinquishing his citizenship was a “laborious business, they don’t make it easy for you”.Boris Johnson to give up American citizenship

Boris Johnson’s passport was renewed in November 2012 but he had previously stated that he would give it up after being told in 2006 that, as a native born American, he could only use a US passport to travel in that country, and not his British one.

“The reason I’m thinking I probably will want to make a change is that my commitment is, and always has been, to Britain,” he said.

In January Boris Johnson settled a US tax bill he had previously described as “absolutely outrageous”.

The mayor had faced a demand from the US authorities to pay capital gains tax on profits from the sale of his house in north London.

American law requires all citizens to pay US taxes even if they live abroad.

Boris Johnson is running for parliament in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the forthcoming general election.

In 2012 Boris Johnson told David Letterman that he could “technically speaking” become US president, as that nation requires its presidential candidates to be born there.

His trade mission to the US this week was aimed at bolstering London’s science and technology industries.

Boris Johnson began his east coast tour in Boston before heading to New York City and Washington DC.

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Designers, models, singers, actors and a sprinkling of gold medal winning Olympians lit up London’s Royal Opera House for GQ magazine’s annual awards.

GQ (originally Gentlemen’s Quarterly) is an American monthly men’s magazine focusing on fashion, style, and culture for men, through articles on food, movies, fitness, sex, music, travel, sports, technology, and books.


GQ Men Of The Year Awards winners are…

Solo Artist – Tinie Tempah

TV Personality – Damian Lewis

Tanqueray Most Stylish – Dermot O’Leary

Comedian– Sacha Baron Cohen

Entrepreneur – Chris Corbin and Jeremy King

Designers – Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

Designers, models, singers, actors and a sprinkling of gold medal winning Olympians lit up London’s Royal Opera House for GQ magazine's annual awards

Designers, models, singers, actors and a sprinkling of gold medal winning Olympians lit up London’s Royal Opera House for GQ magazine's annual awards

Chef – Wolfgang Puck

Writer – Aaron Sorkin

Editor’s Special– James Corden

Alfred Dunhill Cultural Icon – Thomas Heatherwick

Lifetime Achievement – Bradley Wiggins

Politician – Boris Johnson

Icon – Robbie Williams

Woman – Lana Del Rey

International Breakthrough – Chris Hemsworth

Outstanding Achievement – Gary Barlow

International Man – John Slattery

Actor – Michael Fassbender

Inspiration– Sir Salman Rushdie

Legend – Sir Tom Jones

Team – Team GB Olympians

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London’s Mayor Boris Johnson was left dangling on a zip wire for several minutes when it stopped working at an Olympic live screen event.

Boris Johnson was trying out a 45 m (150 ft) high zip wire at Victoria Park, where the Games are being shown on big screens.

The wire then lost momentum, leaving him suspended “like an odd Christmas decoration” above a crowd of people.

As onlookers snapped photos, he joked: “This is great fun but it needs to go faster.”

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson was left dangling on a zip wire for several minutes when it stopped working at an Olympic live screen event

London’s Mayor Boris Johnson was left dangling on a zip wire for several minutes when it stopped working at an Olympic live screen event

Lee Medcalf, who was at the event, said: “When Boris came down the zip wire, it was very James Bond-esque with him shouting <<Team GB>>.

“However, he seemed to lose momentum and was left hanging there like an odd Christmas decoration for about five to 10 minutes.

“He spoke to the crowd, which had gathered beneath him, saying <<this is what it’s all about; this is great, this is fantastic, this is Team GB>>.

“I was thinking <<Yeah it’s good, but you’re still just hanging there>>.”

A spokesman for the mayor said: “The mayor has survived his first zip wire experience relatively unscathed.

“Clearly the judges are likely to have marked the mayor down for artistic impression, and unlike team GB, the mayor may not be winning too many Gold medals today.

“He does however remain unbowed.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said London was “lucky to have” Boris Johnson as mayor.

David Cameron said: “If any other politician got stuck on a zip wire it would be disastrous.

“With Boris it’s a triumph… London is lucky to have him.”

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The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Large crowds gathered across London to see the flame on the penultimate day of its journey around the British Isles.

The torch relay also passed through Downing Street, where it was greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

David Cameron earlier said the London Games would show the world “beyond doubt that Britain can deliver”.

The flame ended the day in Hyde Park where the final torchbearer lit a cauldron in front of 60,000 people who have gathered for a celebratory concert.

London Mayor Boris Johnson wished the crowds a “wonderful” Olympics, and thanked them for their support.

“Are we ready? Yes we are,” Boris Johnson said, in a rallying cry to the audience.

The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge

The Olympic torch has been welcomed to Buckingham Palace by members of the royal family, including Princes William and Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge

Meanwhile, Great Britain’s men’s football team is taking on Senegal at Manchester’s Old Trafford ground.

On Friday, the Olympics will be officially opened by the Queen and the torch’s journey will come to an end during the opening ceremony.

A unanimous decision has been made over who will light the Olympic Stadium’s cauldron, LOCOG said, but it will be kept secret until the ceremony.

Earlier, David Cameron told reporters during a news conference at the Olympic Park: “This is a great moment for us. Let’s seize it.”

And he said security was his main concern ahead of the Games – an area he said he takes “personal responsibility for”.

David Cameron described a blunder in which North Korean footballers’ images were shown next to the South Korean flag as an “honest mistake”.

The prime minister called the eve of the Games “a truly momentous day for our country”.

“Seven years of waiting, planning, building, dreaming, are almost over – tomorrow, the curtain comes up, the spectators arrive, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012 can officially begin.”

David Cameron also met the Republican candidate for the US presidency, Mitt Romney, during his campaigning and fundraising visit to London.

Mitt Romney had earlier expressed concerns about “disconcerting” signs of a lack of readiness for the Games.

“The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials – that obviously is not something which is encouraging,” Mitt Romney told a US television station.

It is “hard to know just how well it will turn out”, said Mitt Romney, who managed the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

David Cameron responded by saying: “Of course, this is a time of some economic difficulty for the UK. Everybody knows that.

“But look at what we’re capable of achieving as a nation, even at a difficult economic time.”

Mitt Romney, who also met Labour leader Ed Miliband, later said outside Number 10: “I expect the Games to be highly successful.”

In other developments:

• Long queues outside St James’s Park in Newcastle meant some football fans missed the start of Mexico v South Korea

• The PM met David Beckham at Downing Street to discuss how to tackle world hunger. It came ahead of a “hunger summit” on the final day of the Games, Sunday 12 August

• A planned strike by East Midlands Trains (EMT) during the Games was called off after a pensions dispute was settled

• LOCOG apologized after an official football programme listed Welsh footballer Joe Allen as English. It said the error would be corrected for Team GB’s next match

• A global investment conference in London kicked off a series of business summits intended to showcase the UK and attract investment during the Games

• A new record for arrivals at Heathrow is expected to be set on Thursday, with up to 125,000 incoming passengers

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Scotland Yard has charged more than 1,000 suspects over the last weeks London riots.


Tim Godwin, London Metropolitan Police acting commissioner hailed a “significant milestone” as he said a total of 1,005 suspects had been charged after 1,733arrests so far.

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Tim Godwin, who said last weekend that the force was aiming for 3,000 convictions, added that the investigation is “far from over”.


Scotland Yard has charged more than 1,000 suspects over the last weeks London riots

Scotland Yard has charged more than 1,000 suspects over the last weeks London riots


Operation Withern – the force’s investigation into the violence and looting last week – includes 500 officers who have gathered 20,000 hours of CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) footage.

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Forensic officers have made more than 300 submissions to labs from more than 1,100 crime scenes, the force added.


Commissioner Godwin hailed also the work of his officers and Londoners over the response to the crisis.


“Our tireless investigations to find those responsible for last week’s appalling violence continue,” he said.


“Officers across the Met are carrying out great police work, day and night, to gather the kind of evidence which has led to these charges.”


“The response from the public in coming forward with information has been fantastic. I want to thank all communities for their help over the last 10 days and ask for their continued support. If you know anyone involved in the disorder tell us – don’t let them get away with it.”


London Mayor Boris Johnson said:


“Thanks to the commitment and hard work of each and every police officer in London, those responsible for the sickening crimes we saw across the capital last week are swiftly being brought to justice.”


“To have already charged 1,000 people is a testament not only to their dedication, but also to the outstanding support they have had from law-abiding Londoners who will not tolerate this behaviour in their communities.”


“We have shone a torch on London’s criminal fraternity, and this milestone sends out the clear message that offenders will be made to pay for their appalling actions.”