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UK raises threat level for personnel in Iraq over Iran ‘threat’

UK raises threat level for personnel in Iraq over Iran ‘threat’

World
By Deborah Haynes, foreign affairs editor Britain has raised the threat level for UK forces and diplomats in Iraq because of what sources say is a heightened security risk from Iran, Sky News can reveal.The UK has also put its personnel and their families in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar on an increased state of alert. The UK assessment appears to be similar to US claims of a heightened threat amid escalating tensions between Donald Trump's administration and Tehran. One Whitehall source said Britain believes there is an increased likelihood of Iran or its proxies taking action against British, US or other allied interests in the region in a way that can be plausibly denied so as to avoid triggering an all-out war.The targets would most likely be ...
Snakebites are ‘world’s biggest hidden health crisis’

Snakebites are ‘world’s biggest hidden health crisis’

World
A multi-million pound fund has been launched to improve treatment for venomous snakebites, which are thought to kill up to 138,000 people a year.The World Health Organisation (WHO) figure is an upper-estimate because bites are not always recorded effectively in the countries they are most common. Of the roughly 5.4million people who suffer venomous bites around the world each year, 400,000 suffer life-changing injuries such as paralysis or amputations.Scientists have described snakebites as the world's biggest hidden health crisis.Existing methods to make antivenom, using antibodies extracted from horses, have not changed since the 19th century and lead to a high risk of contamination and adverse reactions in patients. Advertisement...
US says it will not join Christchurch Call against online terror

US says it will not join Christchurch Call against online terror

World
The US has declined to join an international initiative aimed at tackling the spread of terror online.The White House said on Wednesday it supported the Christchurch Call's aims but was "not in a position to join", citing the need for freedom of speech.The comments came as five of the world's biggest tech companies pledged to tackle extremist material.The Christchurch Call was launched in response to a deadly terror attack that was live streamed on Facebook.The March attack launched by a lone gunman on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch left 51 people dead.What is the Christchurch Call? The Christchurch Call is a voluntary commitment by governments and tech companies to improve their efforts to tackle extremist c...
Mexico City issues emergency alert as wildfire smoke fills air

Mexico City issues emergency alert as wildfire smoke fills air

World
May 14 (UPI) -- Mexico City's environmental officials issued an emergency alert Tuesday as nearly two dozen fires worsened poor air quality in the region. The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis urged residents to avoid outdoor activities, and infants, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses to stay indoors entirely. The city's IMECA air quality index increased from 144 to 158. The index includes five levels on a scale from zero to more than 200. Zero to 50 is "good," 51 to 100 is "regular," 101 to 150 is "bad," 151 to 200 is "very bad" and more than 200 is "extremely bad." Firefighters are attempting to contain the wildfires, but to help reduce pollution in the city, officials asked residents to reduce emissions from vehicle use and notify authorities of any activities t...
Iran’s ambassador in Britain accuses U.S. of provoking war

Iran’s ambassador in Britain accuses U.S. of provoking war

World
May 14 (UPI) -- Iran's ambassador to Britain accused the United States of dragging Iran "into an unnecessary war" Tuesday, though both U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei both said they're not seeking violence. Tensions between the two countries have been ratcheting up in recent weeks after the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran and moved an aircraft carrier strike team, B-52 bombers and a Marine expeditionary unit to the Middle East. Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeidinejad said the U.S. deployments to the Persian Gulf were a "serious miscalculation." "While we have renounced any escalation in the region, I would assure you that Iranian armed forces are fully ready for any eventuality in th...