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Newsline: Trump nominates sports lovers as UK, Belgium ambassadors

President Donald Trump has nominated the chief executive of an asset management firm to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. and a former owner of a baseball team to be ambassador to Belgium. Richard Wood Johnson IV, a longtime supporter of the Republican Party, had been touted by Trump as his likely nomination for the position of U.S. ambassador to the U.K. He has run the New York-based asset management firm The Johnson Company for 30 years and is the owner of the New York Jets, an American football team. In 2006, he was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate over a tax-avoidance scheme he participated in that cost the U.S. Treasury an estimated $300 million. He subsequently repaid the figure. Trump’s pick for ambassador to Belgium, Jamie McCourt, is also a sports fan, having been the president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball team. McCourt, “a prominent entrepreneur and attorney,” backed Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and, according to the White House press release announcing her nomination, “speaks French.”

http://www.politico.eu/article/trump-nominates-sports-lovers-as-uk-belgium-ambassadors/

Newsline: Irish embassy in London hit by record demand for citizenship

The Irish Independent has today reported that the rush for Irish citizenship and passports in the UK reached a record high on the day British Prime Minister Theresa May signed the document paving the way for Britain’s exit from the European Union. Demand for Irish passports from people with Irish heritage in the UK soared by 94%. The surge in Irish passports from those living here has prompted the Irish Government to look to hire consultants to forecast the likely demand as the country’s exit from the EU nears. It has been estimated that there are 6.7 million people in the UK who are eligible to apply for an Irish passport.

https://www.businessworld.ie/political-news/Irish-embassy-in-London-hit-by-record-demand-for-citizenship-568650.html

Newsline: US Embassy in London on lockdown amid bomb threat

Two controlled explosions have been carried out at the US Embassy in London amid a major security alert. Police and fire crews have sealed off the building in Nine Elms, according to witnesses. Officers were seen setting up cordons around the building in Nine Elms, Battersea, and warning people to clear the area. Residents living nearby were told the stay indoors while bomb disposal teams made the area safe. It is understood two controlled explosions were carried out near the embassy after two unattended vehicles were deemed “suspicious”. Police said they were called to a street outside the new embassy, which is still currently under construction. An embassy spokeswoman said no US diplomats were in the building which is still under construction.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/814296/US-Embassy-London-terror-alert-police-cordons-bomb-threat

Newsline: US embassy in London directly contradicts Trump’s Twitter attack on London’s mayor

The acting US ambassador to the United Kingdom sent out a series of tweets on Sunday in response to Saturday’s terrorist attacks, one of which appeared to challenge President Donald Trump’s criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan. “It is with a heavy heart I offer my condolences and support to the people of the United Kingdom. America grieves with you,” tweeted acting ambassador Lewis Lukens. “The response from emergency services, law enforcement & officials in Ldn–as well as ordinary Londoners–has been extraordinary,” Lukens continued. Trump, who initially used the terrorist attacks to tout his travel ban and push the courts to reinstate it, slammed Khan earlier on Sunday. “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'” Trump tweeted. Several critics pointed out that Trump had taken Khan’s words out of context — the mayor said on Sunday that Londoners have “no reason to be alarmed” about the increased police presence in the city in the days following the attack. Saturday’s attack at London Bridge and Borough Market killed seven people and left dozens injured. All three attackers were fatally shot shortly after carrying out the attacks. Police conducted a series of raids following the incidents and arrested 12 people from the East London neighborhood, which is home to many Muslims. The identities of the attackers have not yet been released.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-embassy-london-directly-contradicts-212900286.html

Newsline: Russian embassy in London recommends avoiding emergency area in UK capital

The Russian embassy in London recommends staying away from the London Bridge area where an incident occurred on Saturday. “An emergency occurred on the London Bridge – a minivan ploughed into pedestrians; the area is closed by police. We recommend keeping an eye on police information and avoid the emergency area,” the embassy said, indicating its emergency phone number.

http://tass.com/world/949738

Newsline: US, UK, Australia Embassy warn citizens after Philippines attack

The US, UK and Australian governments issued separate travel advisories on Friday, June 2, urging their citizens to exercise caution following the attack that left 37 people dead at Resorts World Manila. A gunman stormed the Resorts World Manila and torched gambling tables in the crowded area on Friday before dawn, June 2. Aside from 37 fatalities, dozens were injured. The resort hotel is located in Newport City, opposite the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City. In a statement posted on its website, the US Embassy advised American citizens to “exercise caution and review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates.” The United Kingdom, meanwhile, advised its citizens to “avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities.” British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad said in his tweet that there were no Britons harmed in the incident.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/06/02/us-uk-australia-warn-citizens-after-resorts-world-attack-545284

Newsline: New Ecuador leader says ‘hacker’ Assange can stay at embassy

Ecuador’s new President Lenin Moreno criticized Julian Assange as a “hacker” but stressed his country would continue providing asylum to the WikiLeaks founder fleeing international arrest. Moreno, who took office this month, has struck a more critical tone toward Assange than his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who said earlier his country had “done its duty” by granting Assange asylum in 2012. “Mr Assange is a hacker. That’s something we reject and that I in particular personally reject,” said Moreno, who warned Assange during the presidential campaign to “not interfere” in Ecuadoran politics. “But I respect the situation in which he finds himself,” holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, Moreno said. Earlier this month, Swedish prosecutors dropped a seven-year rape allegation against Assange and withdrew the European arrest warrant that had prompted his flight to the embassy and an appeal for asylum. However, British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the London embassy after he violated the terms of his probation in Britain in 2012 when he took refuge in the diplomatic mission. “It seems the British government is not going to grant safe passage, meaning that Mr Assange can continue living in the Ecuadoran embassy, and we will respect that condition,” Moreno said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/ecuador-leader-says-hacker-assange-stay-embassy-232354000.html