London

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
London police chief faces calls to resign after officers smash vigil to murdered Sarah Everard
London police chief faces calls to resign after officers smash vigil to murdered Sarah Everard
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

The head of the London Metropolitan Police is under pressure to explain her officers' actions during a vigil in south London on Saturday in memory of Sarah Everard.

Police were seen grabbing and leading women away from the event in handcuffs.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was "urgently seeking an explanation" from Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, while Home Secretary Priti Patel has asked the Met for a report on what happened.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Fintech unicorn TransferWise rebranded to Wise
Wise logo
Wise logo Credit: Wise

Founded in 2011 by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the Estonian fintech unicorn company Transferwise announced on Monday the rebranding to Wise. The company has around 10 million international customers at present.

"The core experience of using Wise will remain faster, cheaper, and more convenient than anything else. Our mission remains the same. We’re still making — and always will be making — money work without borders," said Käärmann in a blog post

With offices initially in Tallinn later joined by London, where the company is headquartered, and other locations, including the United Arab Emirates.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
99-year-old Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, admitted to hospital
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015
Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth II in 2015 Credit: Kiefer (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Prince Philip, 99, was taken to King Edward VII hospital in London, the Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The statement said he was admitted as a precautionary measure on the advice of his doctor after feeling unwell.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public duties in 2017 and rarely appears in public.

Business • Markets
Amsterdam overtakes London as most important financial center in Europe
Amsterdam overtakes London as most important financial center in Europe
Credit: unsplash.com / Adrien Olichon

In January, 9.2 billion euros were traded daily on the Amsterdam stock exchanges, significantly more than in London with 8.6 billion euros, according to figures from the financial market firm Cboe Europe.

By comparison, in 2020, an average of 17.5 billion euros per day had still been traded in London, according to Cboe, while Frankfurt was second with 5.9 billion euros per day and Amsterdam only sixth with 2.6 billion per day.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Great Britain expels three alleged Chinese spies posing as journalists
Image shows the Union and Chinese Flags together.
Image shows the Union and Chinese Flags together. Credit: Sergeant Paul Shaw LBIPP (Open Government Licence v3.0)

Three Chinese citizens - suspected to be spies posing as journalists - must leave Great Britain. This was reported by the Daily Telegraph with reference to a high-ranking government source in London.

The MI5 intelligence service uncovered the true identities of the three spies; the report continues. They had been working for the Chinese Ministry of State Security. According to the report, all three individuals claimed to "work for three different Chinese media agencies" and had entered the country in the past 12 months.

Health
Stud: Apple cider vinegar can eliminate antibiotic-resistant germs

A research team from London now writes that apple cider vinegar can also eliminate antibiotic-resistant germs. The researchers have carried out tests with resistant staphylococci and e-coli bacteria. In the tests, the apple cider vinegar penetrated the bacterial cells and stopped the growth processes there. According to the researchers, the effect is comparable to that of certain antibiotics, which are no longer effective against these germs.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Scottish National Party publishes “Roadmap to Referendum”
Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Ninian Reid (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Scottish National Party (SNP) of head of government Nicola Sturgeon announced that it would hold a "legal referendum" after the end of the pandemic. The precondition, she said, is that pro-independence parties again win a majority in the regional election scheduled for May 6. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson strongly opposes a new referendum.

In its roadmap, the SNP stresses that the British government in London has three options. Either it concedes that the Scottish Parliament already has the power to call a referendum or it officially authorizes the vote. Alternatively, it could try to challenge "the wish of the Scottish people" in court.

Health
Boris Johnson: British Covid-19 variant possibly more deadly
Boris Johnson: British Covid-19 variant possibly more deadly
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

According to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there is "some evidence" that the variant of the coronavirus first discovered in the UK may be more deadly than the previously prevalent one. Johnson made the announcement at a press conference at Downing Street, the seat of government in London.

Johnson's chief scientific adviser said this was indicated by data from people who tested positive and were not treated in hospital. According to the data, 10 out of 1000 people over the age of 60 die from the old variant and 13 out of 1000 from the new variant. This has not been found in hospital patients. However, the data situation is still uncertain at the moment, the consultant explained.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Glastonbury 2021 cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Glastonbury 2021 cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

As a study from London's Imperial College revealed that Covid-19 cases in England are "not falling," despite a third lockdown, the Glastonbury music festival has been cancelled once again, festival organizers announced on Thursday.

2021 will mark the second summer in a row where the international festival was not held after the 2020 event was cancelled last March.

"In spite of our efforts to move Heaven & Earth, it has become clear that we simply will not be able to make the Festival happen this year," organizers Michael and Emily Eavis said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Glastonbury has been headlined by a glittering array of British and global stars since its first date in 1970, including David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Oasis, U2 and Beyoncé.

Law
UK court denies US extradition request for Julian Assange due to mental health concerns

The US extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was rejected by a London court on Monday. The court cited medical reasons for the decision, in particular Assange's mental condition and suicidal risk. The lawyers for the US judiciary immediately appealed.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Britain extends Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Britain extends  Covid-19 restrictions onto England
Credit: unsplash.com / John Cameron

In Great Britain, the highest Corona warning level has been applied to further parts of the country. It has been extended beyond London and the southeast of England to large parts of the center, the north and the southwest of England, according to the British Health Minister Matt Hancock.

As a result, three-quarters of England's population is now subject to the most severe restrictions under the country's Corona regulations: It is forbidden for members of more than one household to gather together. Non-essential businesses will be closed, and restaurants and bars can only offer a pick-up service.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Virgin Atlantic passengers require negative Covid-19 tests to fly from London to US
Virgin Atlantic passengers require negative Covid-19 tests to fly from London to US
Credit: Alan Wilson, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Virgin Atlantic has announced that all passengers travelling from London to the United States will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 vaccine. The new requirement will go in effect on December 24.

“With the health and safety of our customers and people always our number one priority, we will require all travellers to present evidence of a negative LAMP or PCR Covid-19 test, taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, including on-site at the airport,” Virgin said in a statement.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
UK imposes strict lockdown on southeast England, including London
Credit: unsplash/Max van den Oetelaar

After a new Covid-19 strain was detected in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed a Tier 4 lockdown on southeast England, including London, banning Christmas gatherings beyond individual households and support bubbles.

All non-essential shops and businesses have to close at midnight and residents are to stay at home except to travel for work or education. The new restrictions apply in London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London) and the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire and Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). The new restrictions will be reviewed on December 30.

Health
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
New Covid-19 strain detected in United Kingdom possibly up to 70% more transmissible
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

A Covid-19 variant discovered in England is massively accelerating the spread of the virus. According to experts, the mutation could also be responsible for the increase in Germany.

According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the new variant of the coronavirus discovered in Great Britain is, according to initial findings, significantly more contagious than the known form. But there was no evidence that vaccines were less effective, Johnson told reporters in London.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Dame Barbara Windsor has died, aged 83
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010.
The late Barbara Windsor, actress and local resident, plants last of 53 trees to be added to Weymouth Street, London in 2010. Credit: Portlandvillage, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in the Carry On films and as Peggy Mitchell, the landlady of The Queen Vic in Eastenders has died aged 83 in a London care home on Thursday (10/12/20) evening from Alzheimer's.

Her husband, Scott Mitchell, confirmed the news that she had died peacefully. He said that Dame Barbara would be emembered for the "love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first high profile people to react to her death on Twitter. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also paid tribute to her charity and acting work.

Law
Johnny Depp loses libel trial against The Sun newspaper
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp Credit: Andy Templeton (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Johnny Depp’s libel action against the publishers of the Sun newspaper – which was dismissed by a judge in London this week – may prove to be the moment the public was finally disabused of any lingering illusions of Hollywood as a place of glamour and sophistication. Depp sued the newspaper over an article that claimed the actor was violent toward Heard while they were together, and branded him a "wife-beater".

Judge Andrew Nicol said in his judgment Monday: "I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely, as well as the over-arching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Boris Johnson: England will enter national lockdown as coronavirus surges
Boris Johnson: England will enter national lockdown as coronavirus surges
(Open Government Licence v3.0)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new month-long stay-at-home order for England will come into effect next week. "From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home," Boris Johnson said.

Johnson was forced to make the announcement on Saturday after the government's plans were leaked to numerous national newspapers the previous evening. The plan had been initially to announce the measures on Monday.

The rules apply only to England. Wales and Northern Ireland are already effectively in lockdown and Scotland has implemented a set of tough regional restrictions.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
British House of Lords rejects Single Market Act by a large majority
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: Annie Mole (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The British House of Lords rejected the Single Market Act by a large majority. It voted 395 to 169 against the draft. If the law passes at a later point Boris Johnson's government could use the law to cancel parts of the exit agreement between London and the EU.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Herbert Kretzmer, Les Misérables lyricist, dies aged 95

Herbst Kretzmer, a London journalist and lyricists, has died Wednesday in his London home at the of 95. Kretzmer was known for writing the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables.

Lifestyle • Religion
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Vatican official Cardinal Becciu resigns unexpectedly
Credit: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The second most senior official in the Vatican's Secretariat of State, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, has unexpectedly resigned from office after being involved in a controversial deal to use church funds to invest in the purchase a London building. Becciu has denied any wrongdoings.

"Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu," so the Holy See.

"An investment was made on a building. It was good and opportune occasion, which many people envy us for today," Becciu earlier this year.