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Archive for UK

Newsline: Bahraini dissident says embassy staff in London tried to kill him

A Bahraini dissident has filed a formal complaint with police in the United Kingdom, claiming that staff at the Bahraini embassy in London tried to murder him. Moosa Mohammed climbed to the top of the embassy in July to protest against the imminent executions of two anti-government activists in Bahrain. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/bahraini-dissident-embassy-staff-kill-191120070419148.html) He says staff tried to push him off the roof then began the process of trying to kill him inside.

Newsline: Lebanon taxi driver sentenced to death over murder of UK embassy worker

A man convicted of the rape and murder of a British embassy worker in Lebanon has been sentenced to death, the country’s state-owned National News Agency reported. In December 2017, a taxi driver picked Rebecca Dykes up from a Beirut bar and drove her to a mountainside motorway where he sexually assaulted and strangled her with a rope. (https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/01/middleeast/rebecca-dykes-uk-embassy-lebanon-murder-intl-gbr/index.html) Dykes was an employee at the UK Department of International Development at the British embassy in Beirut. She was last seen leaving a bar named “Demo” off of the Gemmayze Street, a popular nightlife spot in the Lebanese capital, the source said. Her body was found in a ditch along a mountain highway near the outskirts of the city.

Newsline: U.K. Police Interview American Diplomat’s Wife About Deadly Crash

British police have interviewed an American diplomat’s wife who was involved in a crash that killed a British teenager and have passed their recommendations on to U.K. prosecutors. Northamptonshire Police interviewed Anne Sacoolas about the crash that killed 19-year-old Harry Dunn in August. His motorcycle collided with a car she was allegedly driving near a British military base used by the U.S. military in southern England. The 42-year-old Sacoolas left Britain shortly after the crash. (https://time.com/5715118/uk-police-interview-anne-sacoolas/) She was granted diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s family has launched a campaign seeking its revocation. President Donald Trump has called what happened “a terrible accident,” noting that the British drive on the left side of the road, while in the United States people drive on the right.

Newsline: Vietnam’s embassy says no confirmation of identity of 39 UK truck victims

Vietnam’s embassy in London said on Saturday it did not have official confirmation of the identity of the 39 people who died in the back of a truck to the east of London this week. In a statement, the embassy said its ambassador had spoken to Britain’s interior minister and was staying in close contact with the police as they work to identify the bodies. (https://news.yahoo.com/no-confirmation-identity-39-uk-165006562.html) “According to the Essex Police, the identification and nationality of the victims are still under investigation,” it said. “The Embassy of Vietnam and relevant UK agencies affirmed the willingness to exchange information and to coordinate in order to facilitate the identification of the victims.”

Newsline: Zimbabwe was not evicted from its London embassy

Zimbabwe House is still listed at 429 Strand. AFP in London also visited the building and saw that the embassy was operating as normal. (https://factcheck.afp.com/no-zimbabwe-was-not-evicted-its-london-embassy-it-owns-building) The building was erected in 1908 to serve as headquarters for the British Medical Association. The government of Southern Rhodesia had acquired the British Medical Association Building in the Strand and remodelled it into offices for its London representatives. It’s been known as Zimbabwe House since the country’s independence in 1980. Prior to that, it was known as Rhodesia House. Zimbabwe House is also a Grade II* listed building on the National Heritage List for England – that grading means it’s an important building of more than special interest. According to the UK Land Registry, Zimbabwe House belongs to the Zimbabwe government.

Newsline: Saudi Ambassador to UK Calls Donald Trump A “Tweet Monster”

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.K. Prince Khalid Bin Bandar has described United States President Donald Trump as a “tweet monster” over his belligerent response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities at Abqaiq last month. Speaking at defence think-tank the Royal United Services Institute in London on October 14, Prince Khalid was asked about Trump’s initial response that the U.S. was “locked and loaded” and ready to respond to the attacks. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/10/15/saudi-trump-tweet-monster/#3e1de14f7eed) “He is a tweet monster if you like. He loves engaging with people on social media,” said the ambassador, who was appointed to the role earlier this year. “He does so very quickly and sometimes it’s just his initial reaction.”

Newsline: Spain: Court probes spying of Assange at Ecuadorean embassy

Spain’s National Court said Wednesday it is investigating a Spanish security firm that worked for the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on suspicion that it spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for U.S. secret services during the seven years he spent in the embassy. The court said it is investigating whether David Morales and his Undercover Global S.L. security agency invaded Assange’s privacy and that of his lawyers by installing hidden microphones and other devices in the embassy. (http://www.startribune.com/spain-court-probes-spying-of-assange-at-ecuadorean-embassy/562627142/) It said the information gathered appeared to have been passed on to Ecuadorean and U.S. bodies. Assange is jailed in London, fighting extradition to the United States on espionage charges. He was given asylum in the embassy for some seven years after jumping bail in 2012 when Sweden sought his extradition on sexual misconduct allegations. Court documents said Morales and his firm, based in the southern Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera, were also under investigation for bribery and money laundering. The court opened the investigation in August following a complaint by Assange and his defense team, but did not release the information until Wednesday as it had placed a secrecy order on the case. A court official confirmed that Morales was arrested last month but is on conditional release.