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UK's May to face angry lawmakers over Syria airstrikes

UK's May to face angry lawmakers over Syria airstrikes

World
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to face restive British lawmakers Monday to justify her decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without a vote in Parliament. Royal Air Force jets joined American and French warplanes and ships in hitting targets in Syria Saturday in response to a reported chemical attack in the town of Douma. Parliament, which returned Monday after a spring break, was not consulted about the action. The government is not legally bound to seek lawmakers' approval for military strikes, though it is customary to do so. May's office said Monday that she plans to tell lawmakers that the airstrikes were "in Britain's national interest," were carried out to stop further suffering from chemical weapons attacks and had broad international support. "We cannot allow the use of ...
Calais migration crisis is 'half UK's problem'

Calais migration crisis is 'half UK's problem'

World
The French interior minister has told Sky News the migration crisis in northern France is the UK's problem as much as it is France's.Gerard Collomb was speaking as he visited Calais - the focal point for migrants - with French President Emmanuel Macron, and ahead of a key Anglo-French summit in London on Thursday."It's a problem between France and Great Britain," Mr Collomb said."It's not just our problem or your problem but we have the same problem with immigration and, as the President said, we must welcome refugees but not welcome all the world."We work together and when we will go (to) London after tomorrow we will talk about that."Speaking to police and security forces in the town, Mr Macron said: "I am here in front of you, two days before a Franco-British summit.Image:France's inter...
UK's Halley Antarctic base set for second closure

UK's Halley Antarctic base set for second closure

Science
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) will once again close its Halley station at the end of the coming Southern Hemisphere summer.The base sits on the floating Brunt Ice Shelf, which is currently being incised by two large developing cracks.BAS withdrew its staff from Halley this past winter because of uncertainty over how these fissures would evolve.The survey has now confirmed it will do the same again when the approaching summer season comes to an end."What we are witnessing is the power and unpredictability of nature," said BAS director Prof Dame Jane Francis."The safety of our staff is our priority in these circumstances. Our Antarctic summer research operation will continue as planned, and we are confident of mounting a fast uplift of personnel should fracturing of the ice shelf occur...
Environmentalists: UK's Antarctic islands need protection

Environmentalists: UK's Antarctic islands need protection

Science
Environmental groups are urging the UK to protect one of its most remote territories - the rugged, uninhabited South Sandwich Islands on the edge of the Antarctic.The bid, by a coalition called Great British Oceans, calls for the islands to be made a sanctuary - ceasing all fishing and commercial activity.Few people have set foot on the islands. The group says they are some of Earth's last wildernesses and need protection.Scientists also suggest that, because of their location in the South Atlantic - right at the northern edge of the Antarctic, they could provide a valuable barometer for the effects of climate change in the region. Hostile wildernessOne of the islands - Zavodovski - was captured in a dramatic sequence for the BBC's Planet Earth 2 series, which documented the hostile enviro...
UK's credit rating downgraded by Moody's

UK's credit rating downgraded by Moody's

Business
The UK's credit rating has been cut over concerns about the UK's public finances and fears Brexit could damage the country's economic growth.Moody's, one of the major ratings agencies, downgraded the UK to an Aa2 rating from Aa1.It said leaving the European Union was creating economic uncertainty at a time when the UK's debt reduction plans were already off course.Downing Street said the firm's Brexit assessments were "outdated".The other major agencies, Fitch and S&P, changed their ratings in 2016, with S&P cutting it two notches from AAA to AA, and Fitch lowering it from AA+ to AA.Moody's said the government had "yielded to pressure and raised spending in several areas" including health and social care.It says revenues were unlikely to compensate for the higher spending.Media pla...