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UK Agency Questioned Over Financial Support To SARS

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A member of the British parliament, Ms Kate Osamor, representing Edmonton, has written to question and seek clarification on the nature of aid the United Kingdom Government through the office of the Secretary of State, Foreign Affairs, extends to Nigeria’s disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

According to Thisday, The letter written on October 15 and personally signed by Osamor, called the attention of the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Mr Dominic Raab, to the nationwide protests in Nigeria in the past seven days against the excesses of SARS.


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She warned that further assistance be withheld and also called for an audit of what the previous aids were used for so that the UK Government agency would not be unintentionally supporting or facilitating the actions of an agency notorious for human rights violations.

The letter made available to ACE was written in a tone of caution to avoid a situation SARS got support from the agency without proper use.

Osamor’s letter cited that there have been 82 proven and documented incidents of torture, ill-treatment, extrajudicial executions and gross human rights abuses against SARS since January 2017 and cautioned it would be unthinkable that UK agency gives support to such body unless for training on proper conduct that respects human rights.

Osamor notified Raab that she wrote in her capacity as a member of a committee that superintends the agency.

She alerted that given the shady accountability process in the Nigerian agency, there might be the likelihood that UK might have been unknowingly providing support for an agency involved in the offences of abuses mentioned.

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FTSE 100 opens trading at six-month low after markets lost £37BILLION

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ftse 100 opens trading at six month low after markets lost 37billion

The London stock market was trading at new six-month lows today as the threat of stricter coronavirus restrictions sent shockwaves through the City.

The FTSE 100 index had a topsy-turvy first 30 minutes this morning as it opened up, then fell, then climbed again to be trading flat at 5,583 by 8.30am.

The index has not seen such low figures since it closed at 5,582 on April 6, just two weeks after the lockdown was imposed.  

But the market, which had suffered a three-day sell-off before today, was helped by Lloyds Bank and Royal Dutch Shell posting upbeat earnings.

TODAY AND YESTERDAY: The FTSE 100 index had a topsy-turvy first 30 minutes this morning as it opened up, then fell, then climbed again to be trading flat at 5,583 by 8.30am

TODAY AND YESTERDAY: The FTSE 100 index had a topsy-turvy first 30 minutes this morning as it opened up, then fell, then climbed again to be trading flat at 5,583 by 8.30am

TODAY AND YESTERDAY: The FTSE 100 index had a topsy-turvy first 30 minutes this morning as it opened up, then fell, then climbed again to be trading flat at 5,583 by 8.30am

WEEK SO FAR: The FTSE 100 had suffered a three-day sell-off in London before today

WEEK SO FAR: The FTSE 100 had suffered a three-day sell-off in London before today

WEEK SO FAR: The FTSE 100 had suffered a three-day sell-off in London before today

2020 SO FAR: The FTSE 100 has fallen this week to levels not seen since early April

2020 SO FAR: The FTSE 100 has fallen this week to levels not seen since early April

2020 SO FAR: The FTSE 100 has fallen this week to levels not seen since early April

However, gains on the UK’s blue chip index were capped by concerns over surging Covid-19 cases and a stronger pound pressuring exporters.

It comes after £37billion was yesterday wiped off the FTSE 100, which underpins the pensions of millions of households, in another blow for savers.

This morning, Royal Dutch Shell Plc jumped 3 per cent after posting a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and increasing its dividend.

And Lloyds Banking Group added 2.5 per cent after the domestic lender posted a forecast-beating quarterly profit, boosted by a home-loan lending boom.

European markets were rather more settled this morning, with the Paris CAC 40 up 0.5 per cent to 4,592 and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 adding 0.6 per cent to 11,624.

Currency traders are pictured today at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. Asian equities mostly fell overnight after the stocks meltdown in New York and Europe

Currency traders are pictured today at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. Asian equities mostly fell overnight after the stocks meltdown in New York and Europe

Currency traders are pictured today at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. Asian equities mostly fell overnight after the stocks meltdown in New York and Europe

OANDA analyst Craig Erlam told Agence France-Presse today: ‘European stocks are off to a more promising start but any rally should be treated with extreme caution.’

‘Downside risks have been evident for weeks, if not months, and we’re starting to see some of these materialise.

‘Covid-19 is obviously at the centre of much of this and the rapid increase we’re now seeing – particularly across Europe – and the severity of the restrictions is a brutal reminder of the dark days of March and April and we’re not close to the peak yet.’

The analyst said that chronic uncertainty over US stimulus measures were also clouding the outlook.

Asian equities mostly fell overnight after the stocks meltdown in New York and Europe, sparked by France re-imposing a nationwide lockdown – and with fears other major economies could follow suit.

The City of London skyline and its iconic skyscrapers are pictured at sunrise yesterday

The City of London skyline and its iconic skyscrapers are pictured at sunrise yesterday

The City of London skyline and its iconic skyscrapers are pictured at sunrise yesterday

Europe had suffered badly yesterday with London stocks losing 2.6 per cent, Frankfurt diving by more than 4 per cent and Paris slumping more than 3 per cent.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to shut down the country for a month came as Germany said it would impose drastic new curbs as experts warned hospitals would soon be overwhelmed.

The moves followed weeks of exponentially rising new infections across Europe that have forced governments across the continent to put containment measures in place, with warnings that Britain could be next.

But Housing Minister Robert Jenrick said a second national lockdown in Britain was not inevitable, even as a study by Imperial College showed England’s Covid-19 infections doubled every nine days.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Groping claims against ex-Tory MP thrown out by official inquiry

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groping claims against ex tory mp thrown out by official inquiry

Groping claims which ended the Westminster career of a Tory MP who helped Boris Johnson win the Conservative Party leadership have been thrown out by an official inquiry. 

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards said allegations made against Ross Thomson by the former Labour MP Paul Sweeney were unfounded. 

Mr Thomson, who coordinated Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign in Scotland, opted not to run for re-election at the 2019 general election because of the allegations made against him. 

He said in a statement today that he looked forward to ‘drawing a line under this ordeal’ after two years of ‘living hell’. 

Ross Thomson, pictured holding a phone to take a picture with Boris Johnson in May last year, opted not to contest the 2019 general election

Ross Thomson, pictured holding a phone to take a picture with Boris Johnson in May last year, opted not to contest the 2019 general election

Ross Thomson, pictured holding a phone to take a picture with Boris Johnson in May last year, opted not to contest the 2019 general election 

Paul Sweeney, a Labour MP who lost his seat in 2019, alleged he had been molested by Mr Thomson in a House of Commons bar in 2018

Paul Sweeney, a Labour MP who lost his seat in 2019, alleged he had been molested by Mr Thomson in a House of Commons bar in 2018

Paul Sweeney, a Labour MP who lost his seat in 2019, alleged he had been molested by Mr Thomson in a House of Commons bar in 2018 

Mr Sweeney, who lost his Glasgow North East seat to the SNP at the election last December, went public with claims against Mr Thomson, who was MP for Aberdeen South, before the poll. 

He alleged he had been molested by Mr Thomson in a House of Commons bar in 2018.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has now finished an investigation into the allegations and has cleared Mr Thomson of any breach of Parliament’s misconduct policy, The Times reported. 

The Commissioner also concluded that Mr Thomson’s behaviour was not sexual in nature. 

The Times said Mr Sweeney had declined to comment on the outcome of the probe. He has the right to appeal. 

The Commissioner said that witness accounts did not support the claims made by Mr Sweeney and added they ‘cannot safely conclude that this complaint presents as a malicious one’. 

The Commissioner ruled there was insufficient evidence to find Mr Thomson had groped Mr Sweeney. 

Mr Thomson said in a statement published on Twitter this morning: ‘The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards will not uphold complaints made against me last year and I welcome this decision.’  

Mr Thomson said it was ‘regrettable that I had to wait this long to clear my name’ but that he was ‘satisfied that the independent inquiry was both extensive and robust’.

He said: ‘The last two years have been a living hell, with these false allegations triggering a barrage of unfair headlines and unrelenting abuse on the street and online.

‘I was forced to give up the job I loved, making myself and my office staff unemployed.

‘Furthermore my reputation has been irreparably damaged by these lies.’

He added: ‘I am currently exploring all legal avenues and I look forward to drawing a line under this ordeal and finally moving on with my life.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Nice ‘terror’ attack: One dead, several wounded, attacker arrested, police source says

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nice terror attack one dead several wounded attacker arrested police source says

Several people have been stabbed in what appears to be a terrorist attack near the Notre Dame basilica in the French city of Nice.

The city’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, tweeted: ‘I am on site with the [police] who arrested the perpetrator of the attack. 

‘I confirm that everything suggests a terrorist attack in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Nice.’ 

More to follow… 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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