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Ireland abortion vote: What happens now country has voted overwhelmingly to repeal strict laws? 

Evening Standard
Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to liberalise some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. The public decided by a two-to-one landslide to repeal part of the state's constitution which effectively prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is endangered. A referendum was held on Friday and produced overwhelming consensus for reform amongst men and women, nearly all classes and age groups, and across most counties in Ireland. Here are some questions answered about where we go from here. What happens now? The constitutional provision which prohibits abortion in all cases except where a mother's life is endangered has been overturned. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said his Government aims to pass new laws by the end of the year. Draft measures would allow relatively free access to abortions, subject to consultation with a medical professional and after a short waiting period, up to 12 weeks after gestation and up to 24 weeks with restrictions. If, after 12 weeks, a woman's life is threatened or there could be serious harm to her health, two doctors will consider whether to allow the procedure. Terminations will not be carried out after the foetus becomes viable, following 24 weeks of pregnancy. Are new laws a certainty? The leader of the Opposition, Micheal Martin, has said his No-supporting Fianna Fail parliamentarians will not block the change. Those who campaigned against the measure have said they respect the democratic decision. The law will be subject to debate inside and outside the Dail parliament, and judging by the partisan nature of that before the referendum it could be passionate. There is likely to be renewed emphasis on crisis pregnancy prevention and care which has seen the number of cases dramatically decrease in Ireland in recent years. Yes supporters celebrate the result in Dublin castle (Getty Images) How does the proposed regime in Ireland compare with the UK? The UK is covered by the 1967 Abortion Act after a private member's bill was brought by David Steel MP. Abortions can legally be performed if continuing with the pregnancy involves a greater risk to the mental or physical health of the woman than having a termination. An abortion must be agreed by two doctors and carried out by a doctor in a hospital or clinic. Is Ireland ready to provide abortions? The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) said it was committed to offering the procedures. Chief executive Niall Behan said it would support women with crisis pregnancies through whatever decision they make. "The Yes vote places the imperative squarely on the Government to ensure that the legislation is enacted and services put in place without delay," he said. "The IFPA stands ready to provide high quality abortion services In Ireland."... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 23:52:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Kim Jong-un meets South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in surprise summit 

Evening Standard
Kim Jong-un has met South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in a surprise meeting in the demilitarised border area between the two nations. The pair discussed Kim's potential meeting with Donald Trump next month - which was cancelled by the US president before he later backtracked and suggested it could still go ahead. The meeting at a border truce village came hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for the summit between President Trump and Kim. President Trump later tweeted that the summit, if it does happen, will likely take place on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned. The two leaders embrace ahead of the surprise summit (AFP/Getty Images) In their first summit in April, the two leaders announced vague aspirations for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and permanent peace, which Seoul has tried to sell as a meaningful breakthrough to set up the summit with President Trump. But relations between the rival Koreas have chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea cancelling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in regular military exercises with the United States and insisting that it will not return to talks unless its grievances are resolved. When President trump announced his meeting with Kim was cancelled, Theresa May released a statement saying that Britain was "disappointed". She added: "We are disappointed that the meeting will no longer go ahead as planned. We need to see an agreement that can bring about the completely verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and we will continue to work with our partners to this end."... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 22:30:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Hundreds of far-right protesters descend on Whitehall after Tommy Robinson arrested for 'breaching the peace' 

Evening Standard
Hundreds of far-right protesters have descended on Whitehall to demonstrate against Tommy Robinson's arrest for 'breaching the peace' outside a courthouse. Whitehall had to be closed to traffic as a huge group gathered outside Downing Street on Saturday afternoon, chanting Mr Robinson's name. It comes after the founder of the English Defence League was apprehended by police while streaming a Facebook live video outside a grooming trial in Leeds on Friday morning. In the footage, he can be seen being led to the back of a van and asking "Am I being arrested? I'm 'causing a breach of peace'...I'm being arrested for breaching the peace." Whitehall at a standstill. I imagine won't be on the news #FreeTommypic.twitter.com/S9IVLmn7J6 - algernond (@algernond) May 26, 2018 Unreal support for Tommy Robinson at such late notice! #FreeTommypic.twitter.com/JhhbA0cvcY - Nick Scanlon (@NickScan92) May 26, 2018 The incident has triggered a furious reaction from his fans, who could be heard chanting "shame on you" outside Whitehall. Footage showed one man being lifted up to the top of the gates before turning to the crowd and pumping his fist. Police officers could be seen attempting to keep the demonstration under control as violence threatened to break out at one point, with some protesters pushing officers. #FreeTommy pic.twitter.com/lyjd04dNk6 - caroline england (@carjengland) May 26, 2018 Live at #FreeTommypic.twitter.com/e0FSKgXw2U - Vervima Media (@VervimaMedia) May 26, 2018 Many protesters could be seen holding aloft "#FreeTommy" signs or waving flags, including the St George's Cross, the Union Jack and the UKIP logo. One woman held a cardboard sign which read: "Free the truth teller. Free Tommy". Crowd now so exhausted, people are sitting down outside Downing Street, Whitehall. #FreeTommypic.twitter.com/pnkAD5vmMk - Conor O'Dwyer #FreeTommy (@MrJibber) May 26, 2018 Downing Street right now #FreeTommypic.twitter.com/uqflFnTSCy - Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) May 26, 2018 The protest later moved down the road to Parliament Square. Meanwhile, almost 70,000 people have signed a petition calling for Mr Robinson to be freed. The Met Police said there had been no arrests.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 21:28:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Subtropical Storm Alberto path: 'Lives at risk' as parts of US braced for torrential rain and strong winds 

Evening Standard
A subtropical storm is set to bring torrential rain, strong winds and possible flash floods to parts of the United States. Storm Alberto - the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season - has hit coastal parts of Mexico and Cuba, where some heavy flooding has already been reported. A gradual strengthening is expected as the storm moves north before striking south Florida and the Gulf Coast. The downpours could dampen Memorial Day, which falls on Monday and marks the unofficial start of the summer tourist season along Gulf beaches. Recent satellite imagery shows sub tropical storm #Alberto lying close to the west coast of Cuba. Over the next few days it is expected to head north and strengthen, threatening the mainland of the US next week pic.twitter.com/5THRD2Fx04 - Met Office (@metoffice) May 26, 2018 A storm surge watch - meaning lives are at risk due to rising coastal waters - has been issued for a stretch of coastline in Florida and the mouth of the Mississippi River. "The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. An empty beach as Alberto approaches Cancun, Mexico (REUTERS) Isolated tornadoes could erupt over the Florida Keys or south-west Florida on Saturday, and are also possible around coastal Alabama and Mississippi. Forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) warned residents in coastal Alabama and Mississippi as well as the Florida Panhandle to brace for heavy rain and high winds. The service said a flash flood watch would be in effect from Saturday evening through Tuesday evening in the areas. The ocean swells ahead of Storm Alberto in Cancun (REUTERS) "This system will bring excessive rainfall to the watch area beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Tuesday evening," the NWS said. "Rainfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches, and possibly locally up to double these amounts are possible in this area with this event." Along with the rain and wind rough seas are expected with the threat of rip currents from Florida to Louisiana that can sweep swimmers out to sea.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 20:41:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Donald Trump hails release of US 'hostage' held for two years on weapons charges in Venezuela 

Evening Standard
US President Donald Trump has hailed the release of an American citizen who had spent nearly two years behind bars accused of weapons charges in Venezuela. Utah resident Joshua Holt had gone to Venezuela in June 2016 to marry a woman he met online while looking for Spanish-speaking Mormons. He was later arrested on suspicion of stockpiling weapons. President Trump tweeted today: "Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela. Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela. Should be landing in D.C. this evening and be in the White House, with his family, at about 7:00 P.M. The great people of Utah will be very happy! - Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018 "The great people of Utah will be very happy!" Mr Holt and his wife were freed from detention in Caracas and are expected to land in the US this evening. BREAKING: Senator Hatch has secured the release of Utahn Josh Holt from Venezuela. #utpolpic.twitter.com/q9bPIVHgmk - Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) May 26, 2018 Senator Orrin Hatch said he had secured the release of Mr Holt. "Senator Hatch has secured the release of Utahn Josh Holt from Venezuela," his office said in a statement posted online. Mr Holt's family said his release was a miracle.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 20:23:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Urgent search launched for 13-year-old girl from Wimbledon who disappeared on way to school 

Evening Standard
Police have launched an urgent search for a 13-year-old girl who left the country after disappearing on her way to school. Serena Alexander-Benson, from Wimbledon, south west London, left the UK on a Eurotunnel train on Friday "probably in the company of an older person", police said. Scotland Yard said it was concerned about her welfare. She was last seen by her father that day when she left for school. The force added that although Serena lives with her father in London, her mother lives in Poland. 🚨 MISSING 13 year old#Missing from the New Malden area - Serena has been missing since 8.30am today. She was in a green blazer / school uniform - with Dark brown hair, tied up. Any sightings or information ?? 999 immediately. Our thanks are as always in advance pic.twitter.com/hEsfJny5CV - Wandsworth Police (@MPSWandsworth) May 25, 2018 She left the country via Eurotunnel at Folkestone in Kent and was wearing a green school blazer with her dark brown hair tied up. Anyone who may know Serena's whereabouts or who may have seen her as she travelled through Folkestone should call officers at Wandsworth CID on 020 3276 2588.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 18:18:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Ireland votes 'resoundingly' for allowing abortion in historic referendum 

Evening Standard
Ireland has voted 'resoundingly' in favour of overhauling its abortion laws in a historic referendum, the country's leader said today. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the country is united and voted "resoundingly" in favour of yes in the abortion referendum. Voters' ballots were being counted today on whether to change Ireland's Eighth Amendment which makes abortions illegal except where the mother's life is at risk. As votes were being counted today, pro-life leaders conceded defeat in the vote after exit polls predicted almost 70 per cent of people said Yes to repealing the law. Going over the numbers in Citywest. Final Tally: Dublin West Yes 74% No 26% pic.twitter.com/miV5Ot5ibl - Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) May 26, 2018 Mr Varadkar claimed Ireland was united - with men and women, nearly every age group and every social class opting for reform in Friday's referendum. Repeal campaigners smile as votes are counted in Ireland's referendum on abortion (Getty Images) He campaigned for the change, which he said represented the compassionate choice for women forced to travel to England for terminations or taking unregulated abortion pills. He said: "The public have spoken, the result appears to be resounding in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment, possibly to carry every constituency in the country." Women cheer at a vote count in Dublin (PA) With polling data suggesting seven out of 10 voters backed reform, campaigners in favour suggested it meant a moment of profound change - when the nation had collectively stood up for women and their healthcare. The vote saw citizens effectively opt to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the state's constitution, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger. An official oversees the count in the historic referendum (PA) Earlier, 'No' campaigners conceded defeat. The Save the 8th campaign, who wanted the existing ban on abortion in Ireland to remain in place, conceded defeat as counting was underway. A mural in Dublin's city centre by art group Subset calling for 'Repeal The 8th' (PA) In a statement, Save the 8th communications director John McGuirk said: "The unborn child no longer has a right to life recognised by the Irish state. Shortly, legislation will be introduced that will allow babies to be killed in our country. We will oppose that legislation." "If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the Government to keep their promise about a GP led service, we will oppose that as well. "Every time an unborn child has his or her life ended in Ireland, we will oppose that, and make our voices known." Earlier an exit poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested almost 70% of the electorate sided with the Yes camp. Another poll by The Irish Times recorded 68% in favour of ending the country's all but blanket ban on terminations. The formal result is due later this afternoon. This story is being updated... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 17:52:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Mystery 'wolf-like' creature shot dead in US baffles experts 

Evening Standard
US wildlife experts have been left baffled by a "wolf-like" animal that was shot dead by a farmer protecting his livestock. The creature was killed by a rancher near the town of Denton in Montana last week. However experts have been unable to determine what type of animal it is. The front claws and teeth are too small and ears too large in proportion to its skull for it to be a wolf, Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) spokesman Bruce Auchly said. The creature was shot dead near the town of Denton, Montana (AP) It was originally reported as a wolf, however speculation has been rife on social media due to its strange features. Some have suggested it is a dire wolf, one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America that is now extinct. Some have suggested the animal is a dire wolf or the legendary Chupacabra (AP) Others have suggested it is the legendary Chupacabra, or "goat-sucker", sightings of which have been reported as far north as Maine. However Wolf management specialist Ty Smucker said the animal could be a wolf-dog hybrid. The confusion has prompted State wildlife officials to take DNA samples to determine what type of animal it was. The DNA tests haven't been returned. In a news release, the FWP said it was a "young, non-lactating female and a candid, a member of the dog family, which includes dogs, foxes, coyotes and wolves". The wildlife agency added that the rancher was within his rights to kill the animal because it was seen near livestock, domestic dogs and children.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 17:27:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Cyclone Mekunu: Child killed and 40 others feared dead as two years worth of rain falls in one day in Oman 

Evening Standard
At least three people, including a child aged 12 have been killed as two years worth of rain fell in one day as a cyclone struck Oman. Areas of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as Cyclone Mekunu made landfall. Forty others are missing from the Yemeni island of Socotra, which took the brunt of the storm, police said. Yemenis, Indians and Sudanese were among those missing on the Arabian Sea isle. Officials feared they are likely to have been killed. Flooded streets in Oman in the aftermath of cyclone Mekunu (EPA) India's Meteorological Department said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of 105-111 mph with gusts of up to 124 mph. ??? ?????? ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ??????? .. ???? ?????? ???? ????? ??????? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??????? ??????? #?????? ?????? ???? #??????#Mekunupic.twitter.com/BjDdXoa0Jz - ??? ????? (@WeatherOman) May 26, 2018 It called the cyclone "extremely severe". Across Salalah, branches and leaves littered the streets. Several underpasses became standing lakes. Some cars were left abandoned on the road. Electrical workers began trying to repair lines in the city while police and soldiers in 4x4s patrolled the streets. ??? ??????? ??????? ??????? #?????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ????? #mekunupic.twitter.com/ArEuUbIbpz - ??? ????? (@WeatherOman) May 26, 2018 On the outskirts of the city, near the Salalah International Airport, what once was a dry creek bed had become a raging river. Many holidaymakers fled the storm on Thursday night before the airport closed. The Port of Salalah - a key gateway for the country - also closed, its cranes secured against the pounding wind and rain. Omani forecasters warned Salalah and the surrounding area would get at least 200 millimetres (7.87 inches) of rain, over twice the city's annual downfall. Authorities remained worried about flash flooding in the area's valleys and potential mudslides down its nearby cloud-shrouded mountains. A sizable police presence fanned out across the city, the home town of Oman's ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said. As torrential rains poured down on Friday, authorities opened schools to shelter those whose homes are at risk. About 600 people, mostly labourers, huddled at the West Salalah School, some sleeping on mattresses on the floors of classrooms. On Socotra, authorities relocated over 230 families to sturdier buildings and other areas, including those more inland and in the island's mountains, Yemeni security officials said. Flash floods engulfed Socotra streets, cutting electricity and communication lines. Some humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates arrived on the island just hours after the cyclone receded. Socotra Gov Ramzy Mahrous said one ship sank and two others ran aground in the storm, initially saying authorities believed 17 people were missing and presumed dead. Yemen's self-exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi issued a statement ordering troops under his command on the island to help citizens, deliver supplies and reopen roads. The island, listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, has been the focus of a dispute between the UAE and Yemen's internationally recognised government, which are ostensibly allied against Shiite rebels known as Houthis. Socotra has a unique ecosystem and is home to rare plants, snails and reptiles that can be found nowhere else on the planet.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 16:59:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Ireland abortion referendum: Pro life campaigners concede defeat while votes are still being counted.. after exit polls show landslide win for 'Yes' camp 

Evening Standard
Pro life campaigners have conceded defeat in a landmark referendum on abortion in Ireland. The Save the 8th campaign, who want the existing ban on abortion in Ireland to remain in place, conceded defeat as counting was underway in the Irish referendum. Exit polls showed a landmark victory for the Yes camp, with early predictions giving them as much as 70 per cent of the vote. As the law stands, abortion in Ireland is illegal except for emergency medical intervention to save the mother's life. Indian dentist SavitaHalappanavar died in hospital in Galway aged 31 when she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage (REUTERS) Millions of people headed to the polls to vote yesterday in an effort to have the law changed. In a statement, Save the 8th communications director John McGuirk said: "The unborn child no longer has a right to life recognised by the Irish state. Shortly, legislation will be introduced that will allow babies to be killed in our country. We will oppose that legislation." Ireland PM Leo Varadkar casts his vote in Dublin (PA) "If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the Government to keep their promise about a GP led service, we will oppose that as well. "Every time an unborn child has his or her life ended in Ireland, we will oppose that, and make our voices known." Earlier an exit poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested almost 70% of the electorate sided with the Yes camp. A voter leaves a polling station in Dublin (Getty Images) Another poll by The Irish Times recorded 68% in favour of ending the country's all but blanket ban on terminations. The formal result is due later this afternoon. The polling data suggests a huge gulf in views held by Ireland's youngest and oldest generations. Voters make their way to and from a polling station situated at St Anne's national school in Dublin (Getty Images) Both exit surveys recorded support for the Yes camp at approaching 90% among 18 to 24-year-olds. By contrast, the over-65 group was the only age bracket to vote No, with around 60% wanting to retain the Eighth Amendment. Urban areas appear to have been more strongly in favour of repeal, at just over 70%. But according to the polls, rural areas also voted Yes, with around 60 to 63% in favour. Dublin had the highest Yes vote of around 78%. A mother pushes a pram past a placard for the NO campaign in Dublin (Getty Images) In Leinster, just under two-thirds of voters (66%) backed liberalisation, with a similar figure in Munster. In Connacht/Ulster, the figure was slightly lower at around 61%. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar thanked voters for taking part in the referendum, tweeting: "It's looking like we will make history tomorrow". A woman campaigns for the Yes vote in Dublin (REUTERS) Ireland's deputy premier, Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the referendum had made him "proud to be Irish" "Thank you to everybody who voted today - democracy can be so powerful on days like today - looks like a stunning result that will bring about a fundamental change for the better," he tweeted late on Friday night. Health minister Simon Harris tweeted: "Will sleep tonight in the hope of waking up to a country that is more compassionate, more caring and more respectful." A Yes supporter dons a T-shirt ahead of the expected landslide win for legalising abortion (REUTERS) The leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, said it appeared to be an "incredible result for #together4yes #repealthe8th". She tweeted: "Eyes will now turn to us: yet again a place apart. Behind GB. Behind Ireland." UK Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said it was a "historic & great day for Ireland, & a hopeful one for Northern Ireland". http://players.brightcove.net/1348423965/default_default/index.html?videoId=5789831845001 Prominent No campaigner Cora Sherlock expressed disappointment at the polls. "Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight," she tweeted late on Friday. "But those who voted No should take heart. Abortion on demand would deal Ireland a tragic blow but the pro-life movement will rise to any challenge it faces. Let's go into tomorrow with this in mind." Thousands of Irish citizens living overseas travelled home in droves to exercise their democratic right on the emotive issue. The vote saw citizens effectively opt to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the state's constitution, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger. The specific question people were asked was whether they wanted to see the Eighth Amendment replaced with wording in the constitution that would hand politicians the responsibility to set future laws on abortion, unhindered by constitutional strictures. Ministers have promised to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. The liberalisation campaign gathered momentum in 2012 after an Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, died in hospital in Galway aged 31 when she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage. Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, said she repeatedly asked for a termination but was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. In 2013, following an outcry over Mrs Halappanavar's death, legislation was amended to allow terminations under certain tightly restricted circumstances - the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. When doctors felt a woman's life was at risk due to complications from the pregnancy, or from suicide, they were permitted to carry out an abortion. Under pressure from the UN about alleged degrading treatment of women who travelled to England for terminations, the Irish Government began exploring the possibility of further reform, culminating in the calling of Friday's referendum and the promise to legislate.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 16:02:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Morgan Freeman denies assaulting women in second statement over sexual misconduct claims 

Evening Standard
Morgan Freeman has said that he "did not assault women" as he issued a second statement in response to allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour. The 80-year-old Hollywood star was accused of repeatedly behaving in ways that made women feel uncomfortable on film sets and at his production company Revelations Entertainment, in an investigation by CNN. The actor had initially apologised to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected" following the reports. In a fresh statement, Freeman said that he is "devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye" due to the reports on Thursday. He said: "All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. "But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humour. "I admit that I am someone who feels a need to try to make women - and men - feel appreciated and at ease around me. As a part of that, I would often try to joke with and compliment women, in what I thought was a light-hearted and humorous way. "Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended." Freeman said that the reported misinterpretation of his actions is "why I apologised Thursday and will continue to apologise to anyone I might have upset, however unintentionally." He added: "But I also want to be clear: I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex. "Any suggestion that I did so is completely false." CNN spoke to 16 people who described a pattern of behaviour, including a production assistant on the film Going In Style who alleged that Freeman had repeatedly attempted to lift her skirt. He was also accused of making comments about women's clothing or bodies, with some alleged incidents taking place in front of witnesses and even on camera, according to the report. The news outlet said they had spoken to three entertainment reporters who claimed Freeman made inappropriate remarks during interviews including CNN reporter Chloe Melas, who was pregnant at the time and co-wrote the investigation. She alleged he shook her hand and repeatedly looked her up and down and said "I wish I was there" and "You are ripe" less than a year ago. Reporting by PA... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 15:35:00 Categories: Evening Standard

UK weather forecast latest: Entire south of country on alert with torrential downpours and thunderstorms on the way 

Evening Standard
The entire southern UK has been put on alert with torrential downpours and severe thunderstorms forecast over the coming days. The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning across southern England and Wales for the whole of Saturday and Sunday, with lightning strikes, hail and strong winds possible. It comes with temperatures set to soar as high as 30C in Britain over the bank holiday weekend. Northern parts of the UK, in particular Scotland, are expected to see the best of sunshine. Good morning, Heavy thundery showers for some. Increasingly warm. Keep up to date here: https://t.co/jtrhUzUBdR ^Louise pic.twitter.com/rtgTWMwoZh - Met Office (@metoffice) May 26, 2018 Forecaster Marco Petagna told the Standard: "There is a bit of a north/south split over the coming days. "Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the best of the dry and sunny weather. "England and Wales will be warm and humid, with some sunshine at times but we are already seeing outbreaks of rain. "People need to be prepared for some heavy and thundery downpours. "Temperatures could possibly reach 25 or 26C in the south east today, with similar temperatures in parts of Scotland." A yellow weather warning has been issued from 6am on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, however Mr Petagna said it could be extended into Monday. He said: "There is a warning for southern England and Wales today and tomorrow and possibly Monday, with some torrential rain forecast and a risk of flooding in places. "There is scope for some intense storms pushing up overnight tonight. "In the north the fine weather will continue into tomorrow but some storms could push further north. "The best of the weather will be in north and east of Scotland." Temperatures will continue to increase over the course of the bank holiday, and could even reach 30C on Monday. Mr Petanga said: "By Monday temperatures could reach 30C in the south. It is unlikely to break record for second May bank holiday - that was 32.8C in 1944 In the south there will be sunshine at times for the south and west of England but there is a further risk in the south of rain although not quite as intense as today and tomorrow. "Scotland will see more dry weather again but an easterly breeze could bring in some cloud. The best of the sunny weather will in the north west of Scotland. "On Tuesday and Wednesday we will still see some very warm weather. However in England and Wales heavy thundery showers continue . "Further north there will be a lot of dry weather, with north west Scotland again seeing the best of the sunshine."... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 14:45:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Trump summit with Kim Jong Un could take place after all 

Evening Standard
Donald Trump has said "very productive talks" are ongoing with North Korea over reinstating a summit with leader Kim Jong Un, adding that if successful it will likely take place in Singapore on June 12. The US president left open the possibility that the meeting could be put off to another date if negotiations do not make sufficient progress. He tweeted: "We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date." Mr Trump shocked the international community on Thursday when he pulled out of the historic summit after talks deteriorated. The US president pulled out of the talks on Thursday but they now appear to be back on the table (AFP/Getty Images) On Thursday, White House officials had noted that Mr Trump had left the door open with a letter to Mr Kim that blamed "tremendous anger and open hostility" by Pyongyang but also urged Mr Kim to call him. We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date. - Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018 By Friday, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still "willing to give the US time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format". Mr Trump rapidly tweeted that the statement was "very good news" and told reporters that "we're talking to them now". Confident in his negotiating skills, Mr Trump made a quick decision to accept the sit-down in March, over the concerns of many top aides, and has remained committed, even amid rising concerns about the challenges he faces in scoring a positive agreement. Asked on Friday if the North Koreans were playing games with their communications, Mr Trump responded: "Everybody plays games. You know that better than anybody." While the president did not detail the nature of the new US communication with the North on Friday, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said at the Pentagon, "The diplomats are still at work on the summit, possibility of a summit, so that is very good news." He characterised the recent back-and-forth as the "usual give and take". A previously planned trip by White House aides to Singapore this weekend to work on logistics for the trip remained on schedule, said two White House officials. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Friday with a top official from South Korea, whose leaders had appeared to be taken aback when Mr Trump withdrew from the summit. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo and South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed their "shared commitment to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula" and pledged to coordinate "in all of their efforts to create conditions for dialogue with North Korea". South Korea's government said in a statement released on Saturday that it was relieved about the revived talks for a summit. Mr Trump's comments on Friday came after days of mixed messages on the summit. Mr Trump, in his letter to Mr Kim on Thursday, objected specifically to a statement from a top North Korean Foreign Ministry official. That statement referred to vice president Mike Pence as a "political dummy" for his comments on the North and said it was up to the Americans whether they would "meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown". The president then said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea - with which the US is technically still at war - though he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point. A senior White House official said the North had reneged on its promises ahead of the summit, including a pledge to allow international inspectors to monitor its explosive destruction of its nuclear test site. Mr Trump's aides had warned that merely agreeing to the summit had provided Mr Kim with long-sought international legitimacy and, if Mr Trump ultimately backed out, he risked fostering the perception that the president was insufficiently committed to diplomatic solutions to the nuclear question. US defence and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental US with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Mr Trump and other US officials have said they would not tolerate. Russian president Vladimir Putin said from St Petersburg: "If you don't behave aggressively and if you don't corner North Korea, the result that we need will be achieved faster than many would think, and at less cost."... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 14:18:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Finsbury Park stabbing: Man rushed to hospital after being knifed near busy north London Tube station 

Evening Standard
A man has been rushed to hospital after he was stabbed near a busy Tube station in north London. Emergency services rushed to the scene of the incident close to Finsbury Park station early on Saturday morning. Police and paramedics were called just before 4.30am. They found a man, believed to be aged in his 30s, suffering from stab injuries on Blackstock Road near the junction with Seven Sisters Road. As officers tried to help him, they were forced to use CS spray on a second man who became "obstructive". The stab victim has been taken to a north London hospital, Scotland Yard said. Police were unable to confirm how serious his injuries are. The second man did not require treatment and was arrested on suspicion of affray. He was taken to a north London police station where he remains in custody. A crime scene has been put in place, with pictures posted on social media showing a cordon and police car at the scene.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 13:37:00 Categories: Evening Standard

School shooting in Noblesville Indiana: teacher 'throws basketball at gunman and swats pistol from his hand' to save students' lives 

Evening Standard
A US teacher has been hailed a hero for single-handedly thwarting a school shooting by 'swatting' a gun from a student's hand as he tried to gun down classmates. The student, armed with two handguns, opened fire at the school in Indiana, wounding a classmate and heroic teacher Jason Seaman at around 9am yesterday morning. The attacker had asked to be dismissed from his science class, before returning brandishing the two guns and opening fire at Noblesville West Middle School. Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said the student was arrested "extremely quickly" after the incident. Seventh-grade student Ethan Stonebraker said the student was acting suspiciously when he walked into the room while the class was taking a test. Hero teacher: Jason Seaman (AP) He said science teacher Mr Seaman had averted a "catastrophe." "Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground," Stonebraker said. "If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure." Ethan told ABC News that Mr Seaman threw a basketball at the shooter and ran through a hail of bullets as screaming students sought cover behind a table. He said he also knew the suspected gunman, whom he described as "a nice kid most of the times" and said he often joked with the classmates. Ten people were killed recently in a separate major shooting at a school in Santa Fe, Texas (AP) "It's just a shock he would do something like that," Ethan said. The attack comes a week after an attack at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, that killed eight students and two teachers, and months after the school attack that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida. The Florida attack inspired students from that school and others throughout the country to call for more restrictions on access to guns. Bombs were planted and eight students died at the shooting in Texas (AP) Seaman's brother, Jeremy Seaman, told The Indianapolis Star that his brother was shot three times and was undergoing surgery. He said he was conscious after the shooting and talked with his wife, telling her he was OK. Jason Seaman, 29, of Noblesville was in good condition Friday night, police spokesman Lt. Bruce Barnes said. The injured student, a girl, was in critical condition, Barnes said. Her name has not been released. "There were no apparent injuries to the alleged shooter," Barnes said. Jeremy Seaman, who now lives in Arizona, said his brother was a defensive end for Southern Illinois University's football team and has never been a person to run away. Hours after the shooting, law enforcement agents sealed off part of an upscale neighbourhood in Noblesville but weren't commenting on whether the suspect lived there. Sandy McWilliams, a member of a landscaping crew working nearby, said six officers toting assault rifles entered a home. Students were bused to the Noblesville High School gym, where hundreds of parents and other family members arrived to retrieve them. Authorities referred to a prompt and heroic response at the school but didn't confirm accounts of the teacher tackling the student or describe the role of the resource officer who was stationed at the school. When asked to elaborate on his praise of the response, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said: "Wait `til one day we can tell you that story. You'll be proud of them, too." Eighth-grader Chris Navarro said he was inside an auditorium when he heard several gunshots about a minute before the bell rang for the change in classes. "The speaker came on and said we were on lockdown and people rushed in and we went to the back of the room. I went into this little room in the back with three other people," he said calmly standing between his parents as they picked him up. Jennifer Morris, who was among the worried parents who rushed to get their kids, appeared slightly dazed and said she was at work when her 14-year-old son sent a text message about the shooting, stunning her. "He said, `I'm OK, please come get me.' That was probably 20 minutes after it happened," Morris said. "It's like a bad dream. I don't know how you get the kids through this. This isn't something you're trained for as a parent." Gov. Eric Holcomb, who was returning from a trip to Europe on Friday, issued a statement saying he and other state leaders were getting updates about the situation and that 100 state police officers had been made available to work with local law enforcement. "Our thoughts are with all those affected by this horrible situation," Holcomb said. Noblesville, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis, is home to about 50,000 people. The middle school has about 1,300 students from grades 6-8. The school's academic year was scheduled to end next Friday. Indiana's Senate Democrats issued a statement in response to Friday's school shooting expressing their condolences to the victims and calling for steps to prevent such shootings, including restrictions on guns.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 13:28:07 Categories: Evening Standard

Abortion referendum Ireland: exit polls predict landslide for Yes camp in favour of looser laws on terminating pregnancies as Irish PM says country 'will make history' 

Evening Standard
Ireland's historic abortion referendum looks to have delivered a landslide win for the Yes vote with two major exit polls recording huge victory margins. One poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested almost 70% of the electorate sided with the Yes camp. Another poll by The Irish Times recorded 68% in favour of ending the country's all but blanket ban on terminations. Counting is underway today, with the formal result due this afternoon, however early indications suggest Ireland is on the cusp of a defining moment in its social history. The polling data suggests a huge gulf in views held by Ireland's youngest and oldest generations. Follow the latest on the referendum LIVE A woman campaigns for the Yes vote in Dublin (REUTERS) Both exit surveys recorded support for the Yes camp at approaching 90% among 18 to 24-year-olds. By contrast, the over-65 group was the only age bracket to vote No, with around 60% wanting to retain the Eighth Amendment. Urban areas appear to have been more strongly in favour of repeal, at just over 70%. Indian dentist SavitaHalappanavar died in hospital in Galway aged 31 when she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage (REUTERS) But according to the polls, rural areas also voted Yes, with around 60 to 63% in favour. Dublin had the highest Yes vote of around 78%. In Leinster, just under two-thirds of voters (66%) backed liberalisation, with a similar figure in Munster. In Connacht/Ulster, the figure was slightly lower at around 61%. A voter leaves a polling station in Dublin (Getty Images) Taoiseach Leo Varadkar thanked voters for taking part in the referendum, tweeting: "It's looking like we will make history tomorrow". Ireland's deputy premier, Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the referendum had made him "proud to be Irish" "Thank you to everybody who voted today - democracy can be so powerful on days like today - looks like a stunning result that will bring about a fundamental change for the better," he tweeted late on Friday night. http://players.brightcove.net/1348423965/default_default/index.html?videoId=5789831845001 Health minister Simon Harris tweeted: "Will sleep tonight in the hope of waking up to a country that is more compassionate, more caring and more respectful." The leader of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, said it appeared to be an "incredible result for £together4yes £repealthe8th". 😀 will sleep tonight in the hope of waking up to a country that is more compassionate, more caring and more respectful. It has been an honour to be on this journey with you and to work #togetherforyes . See you all tomorrow! - Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) May 25, 2018 She tweeted: "Eyes will now turn to us: yet again a place apart. Behind GB. Behind Ireland." UK Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt said it was a "historic & great day for Ireland, & a hopeful one for Northern Ireland". Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight. But those who voted No should take heart. Abortion on demand would deal Ireland a tragic blow but the pro-life movement will rise to any challenge it faces. Let's go into tomorrow with this in mind. #8thref - Cora Sherlock (@CoraSherlock) May 25, 2018 Prominent No campaigner Cora Sherlock expressed disappointment at the polls. "Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight," she tweeted late on Friday. "But those who voted No should take heart. Abortion on demand would deal Ireland a tragic blow but the pro-life movement will rise to any challenge it faces. Let's go into tomorrow with this in mind." Voters make their way to and from a polling station situated at St Anne's national school in Dublin (Getty Images) Thousands of Irish citizens living overseas travelled home in droves to exercise their democratic right on the emotive issue. Ireland PM Leo Varadkar casts his vote in Dublin (PA) The vote saw citizens effectively opt to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the state's constitution, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger. The specific question people were asked was whether they wanted to see the Eighth Amendment replaced with wording in the constitution that would hand politicians the responsibility to set future laws on abortion, unhindered by constitutional strictures. If the Yes vote is confirmed, the Irish Government intends to legislate by the end of the year to make it relatively easy for a woman to obtain the procedure in early pregnancy. A mother pushes a pram past a placard for the NO campaign in Dublin (Getty Images) Ministers have promised to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. The Behaviour & Attitudes poll for RTE surveyed 3,800 people at 175 polling stations across the country. With a margin of error of +/- 1.6%, 69.4% voted to repeal the Eight Amendment of the constitution while 30.6% voted No. The exit poll conducted for The Irish Times indicated a 68% to 32% Yes vote. That poll saw 4,000 voters interviewed by Ipsos/MRBI as they left 160 polling stations on Friday. The margin of error is estimated at +/- 1.5%, the newspaper said. The polling data suggests a huge gulf in views held by Ireland's youngest and oldest generations. Both exit surveys recorded support for the Yes camp at approaching 90% among 18 to 24-year-olds. By contrast, the over-65 group was the only age bracket to vote No, with around 60% wanting to retain the Eighth Amendment. A total of 3.3 million citizens were registered to vote in Friday's referendum. The Catholic Church was among influential voices calling for a No vote, arguing that the life of the unborn should be sacrosanct. The Yes camp, which portrayed itself as modernising and in step with international opinion, said repeal would demonstrate Ireland's compassion for thousands of Irish women forced to travel to England for the procedure. The debate during eight weeks of campaigning was emotive and divisive. While the leaders of all the main political parties backed change, there were also many vocal and high profile advocates for the retention of the Eighth. The amendment is a clause in the Irish constitution which was written after a previous referendum on the issue in 1983 recognised the right to life of the unborn child. It protects the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn and effectively prohibits abortion in most cases. In 1992, women in Ireland were officially given the right to travel abroad, mostly to the UK, to obtain terminations. Pro-repeal campaigners say almost 170,000 have done so. The liberalisation campaign gathered momentum in 2012 after an Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, died in hospital in Galway aged 31 when she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage. Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, said she repeatedly asked for a termination but was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. In 2013, following an outcry over Mrs Halappanavar's death, legislation was amended to allow terminations under certain tightly restricted circumstances - the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. When doctors felt a woman's life was at risk due to complications from the pregnancy, or from suicide, they were permitted to carry out an abortion. Under pressure from the UN about alleged degrading treatment of women who travelled to England for terminations, the Irish Government began exploring the possibility of further reform, culminating in the calling of Friday's referendum and the promise to legislate.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 12:57:00 Categories: Evening Standard

Irish referendum on abortion live: Exit poll signals landslide win for Yes as counting is set to begin 

Evening Standard
Ireland's historic abortion referendum looks to have delivered a landslide win for the Yes vote with two major exit polls recording huge victory margins. One poll by national broadcaster RTE suggested almost 70 per cent of the electorate sided with the Yes camp. Another poll by The Irish Times recorded 68 per cent in favour of ending the country's all but blanket ban on terminations. Counting is underway today, with the formal result due this afternoon, however early indications suggest Ireland is on the cusp of a defining moment in its social history. If the public votes Yes the Irish Government intends to legislate by the end of the year to allow women to obtain an abortion up to 12 weeks with medical consent and, in some exceptional circumstances, up to 24 weeks. Read the latest updates on this story below...... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 12:54:00

Ken Livingstone interview: 'Apologise over anti-Semitism? That would involve me lying' 

Evening Standard
It didn't have to end like this for Ken Livingstone. His career in politics spanned 40 years, and saw him upset the odds, take on his own party, and make a lasting imprint on London's political landscape. But this week, he finally quit Labour in the wake of a long-running row over anti-Semitism. Triggered by his insistence that Adolf Hitler was "supporting Zionism", the row ran and ran - and then carried on running some more. Livingstone, it seemed, could not resist delving into the topic whenever asked about it, though he claims this will be the last interview he gives on the subject. Why didn't he just stop talking about it earlier, I ask, genuinely baffled. "If a newspaper alleged that you were a paedophile and this was being reported for two years, you'd go and do interviews to point out you weren't a paedophile, wouldn't you? Put your mind on what it's like to be on the receiving end of this sh*t. To ignore it? Just let the lie rumble on? I don't want to go to my grave with people assuming I said Hitler was a Zionist." In the garden: Ken Livingstone, with his dog Coco (Matt Writtle) I read the offending quote, from 2016, back to him. "When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews." Read more MPs warn against re-admitting Livingstone to Labour amid speculation I point out that Hitler actually lost the 1932 election to incumbent Paul von Hindenburg. "Oh. Oh right, I thought he won in '32". Anyway, I say, can you see why the comments caused such offence to members of the Jewish community and more widely? "No. No-one said it's offensive in all this time. Only in the media. I can't go down the street without people stopping me and telling me about their support. "No-one has been unpleasant to me throughout these two years and hundreds of people have stopped me to say 'we know what you said is true'." "I mean, Jews know their history," he belligerently informs me. Is it wise to make such sweeping generalisations about a religious or racial group, I ask. "It's a simple fact," he says. "Literally, the Jewish community in Britain has the highest level of educational attainment of any community. "The Jewish community are bound to have known about this because they have relatives who ended up in Israel because of this deal." http://players.brightcove.net/1348423965/default_default/index.html?videoId=5787724889001 Ken Livingstone resigns from the Labour Party I meet Livingstone at his house in north-west London, two days after he resigned from Labour. His departure had been a long time coming; it was two years ago that he was suspended, and since then he has faced a barrage of criticism and watched on as the party leadership was dragged further and further into a damaging anti-Semitism row. Members of the Jewish Labour Movement urged the party's ruling body not to readmit him, and he faced vehement criticism from Labour MPs. In the two years since he was suspended, Livingstone says he has concentrated on his role as a "house-husband", and tending to his immaculate garden. His home is bright and stylishly decorated, if a little cluttered. His walls and shelves are adorned with awards celebrating his work in LGBT rights, as well as a cartoonish clay model showing him clambering into Tony Blair's skull, and a poster for a Russian event in Clapham. Livingstone at his home in north-west London (Matt Writtle) At the age of 72, does he envisage a return to Labour in the future? Again, he uses the question as an opportunity to protest his innocence. "I've no plan to go back into the Labour party. What would be the point? I'm not going to run for Parliament again, I'm not going to run for Mayor again. The only reason that garden's beautiful is I've been suspended for two years. "I can support the Labour party from the outside. If I try to go back in, all the investigation has to go back again. Won't it be embarrassing for them when they discover that I was suspended for saying something I didn't say? It would reveal a travesty of injustice." Livingstone casts his vote in the 2008 mayoral election (PA) Livingstone has clashed with the Labour party machine before: when Frank Dobson won the Labour nomination for the first London mayoral election, he stood against him as an independent. Within four years, he had been re-admitted and was re-elected to City Hall in 2004. "It was an electrifying period, we achieved so much. There was a really good atmosphere in there, it was all open to ideas and debate. I came into politics to do things, I love running things." He highlighted the introduction of the Congestion Charge and winning the Olympic Games as standout achievements, and also cites work he undertook to promote LGBT rights. If he were in Sadiq Khan's shoes now, I ask, would he welcome Donald Trump to London? "He won't be welcomed, because of his racism," Livingston replies. "People will despise him, there'll be lots of demos, but in a democracy you can't ban someone from coming." A long-term republican, he adds: "It will be embarrassing for the Queen if she has to meet him." Did he watch the Royal wedding? "I thought it was lovely. What's come over is that Harry and his brother are just normal people. Whereas poor old Prince Charles grew up in a world where there was a Victorian culture around the Palace. One of the reasons I've always been in favour of abolishing the monarchy. I just don't think kids should grow up in a world where they're waiting for their parent to die." But as well as clashing with the party machine, Livingstone also has previous with anti-Semitism. Examples include him claiming the Jewish community had stopped voting Labour as they got richer in 2012, and his suspension as Mayor after comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard in 2005. Perhaps it's time to issue an unequivocal apology for the most recent comments, I suggest. He won't back down. "That would involve me lying. I've never lied in my entire political career and I'm not going to lie now. I stated historical fact." He may be a veteran left-winger, but Livingstone thinks he's right until the bitter end.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 12:41:04

Die-in protest planned after two cyclists killed on same road in Greenwich 

Evening Standard
Cycle safety campaigners will stage a demonstration in Greenwich demanding safer conditions after two men were killed on the same road within a week. Edgaras Cepura, a 37-year-old software engineer, died on May 18 after being struck by a lorry on the A206 by the Woolwich Road roundabout. Heathrow worker Oliver Speke, 46, collided with a lorry outside the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, also on the A206 Romney Road, and died in hospital two days later on May 11. Outspoken campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists will take to the street outside Woolwich Town Hall - not far from the road where the tragic collisions occurred - to stage a "die in" in response to the deaths. A graphic of the stretch of road where the two cyclists collided with HGVs Protesters will lie in the road with their bikes in order to highlight the dangers faced on the streets of London. The protest is planned for the evening of Wednesday June 7. A die-in vigil (@Cycle_Whamp) Campaigners taking part are calling for the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4 from Tower Bridge to be extended along the A206 to Woolwich. The area of road that runs from the Cutty Sark to the Blackwall Tunnel flyover had initially been part of initial CS4 plans but was dropped from the route, which is out for consultation. They are calling for extended cycle lanes to protect cyclists Their demands also include enforcing technology that uses carefully-placed cameras to show lorry drivers if anyone is in their blind spot, and introducing emergency safety measures at Woolwich Road Roundabout junction. STK Co-founder Donnachadh McCarthy said the "peaceful" protest would be held in response to the "horrific deaths", adding: "Month after month pedestrians and people cycling are suffering horrific deaths by blindly driven HGVs. http://players.brightcove.net/1348423965/default_default/index.html?videoId=5780777408001 Tweed Run 10th anniversary: Cyclists dress in vintage clothes for peddle through London "It is time the mayor made CCTV mandatory for trucks sharing our streets with people walking and cycling." Read more First two cyclists killed this year are hit by lorries on same road Co-organiser Alex Raha added that the council was "delaying the extension of the protected cycle-highway CS4 by up to 8 years", accusing them of being "one of the most anti-cycling councils in London". But a Greenwich council spokesman said it was lobbying Transport for London to "ensure delivery of the full CS4 route to Woolwich as swiftly as possible". Nigel Hardy, head of programme sponsorship for surface transport at TfL, said it will work closely with the council "on our plans for a new cycle route between Greenwich and Woolwich."... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 12:34:48

Ireland abortion referendum: Exit poll says 68 per cent of voters have backed repealing the Eight Amendment 

Evening Standard
An exit poll has suggested Ireland has voted by a "landslide margin" to repeal the Eighth Amendment so that abortion can be legalised. A poll conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI said 68 per cent of voters in the Republic of Ireland have backed changing abortion laws while 32 per cent have opposed it. Polls closed across the country at 10pm amid reports of a strong turnout in many parts of the country, particularly in urban areas. Citizens were effectively opting to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the state's constitution, which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger. Earlier Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a proponent of liberalising Ireland's strict abortion regime, predicted a high turnout would be good for those campaigning for change While thousands of Irish citizens living overseas travelled home in droves to exercise their democratic right on the emotive issue. Counting will begin on Saturday morning, with the result expected later that day. The specific question people are being asked is whether they want to see the Eighth Amendment replaced with wording in the constitution that would hand politicians the responsibility to set future laws on abortion, unhindered by constitutional strictures. If the public votes Yes, the Irish Government intends to legislate by the end of the year to make it relatively easy for a woman to obtain the procedure in early pregnancy. Ministers have promised to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina cast their votes in Dublin on Friday morning. Around two hours later Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a vocal advocate for repeal, voted in the city. "I always get a little buzz from voting, it just feels like it is democracy in action," Mr Varadkar said after emerging from the polling station at Castleknock. "Not taking anything for granted of course, but quietly confident - there's been good turnout across the country so far and hoping for a Yes vote tomorrow. "Obviously, I would be encouraging everyone to come out and vote, a high turnout would be to the advantage of the yes campaign." 'Vote yes': Pro-repeal campaigners in Dublin make their message heard with a sign bearing the face of SavitaHalappanavar, who died after being denied a termination (PA) Leader of the main opposition party, Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin, voted to repeal in his constituency in Cork while Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald also cast a Yes vote in Dublin. However, her Sinn Fein party colleague and vocal anti-abortion campaigner Peadar Toibin called on Irish people to vote No to "abortion on demand". "The irony that the referendum on abortion is being held on International Missing Children's Day will not be lost on many Irish people," he tweeted. "Those on the margins of society suffer most from abortion. Vote No to Abortion on Demand." http://players.brightcove.net/1348423965/default_default/index.html?videoId=5789351079001 Thousands return to Ireland to vote in abortion referendum A total of 3.3 million citizens are registered to vote, with 6,500 polling stations open across the country. The Catholic Church is among influential voices arguing that the life of the unborn should be sacrosanct, but the retain campaign faces a major challenge from a Yes camp which has portrayed itself as modernising and in step with international opinion. The debate during eight weeks of campaigning has been divisive, with the leaders of all the main political parties, including Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar, backing change. They argued that a Yes vote represented the compassionate choice for thousands of Irish women forced to travel to England for the procedure. A woman casts her vote with her daughter in a polling station on Friday (REUTERS) Opposing them was a vocal No camp, including the bishops, which insisted the life of the child is sacrosanct and interference in that right is immoral. Around 2,000 voters in 12 islands off the mainland were eligible to vote on Thursday to prevent any delay in counting their ballot papers. The Eighth Amendment is a clause in the constitution which was written after a previous referendum on the issue in 1983 recognised the right to life of the unborn child. Read more Why we travelled home to vote in landmark Ireland abortion referendum It protects the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn and effectively prohibits abortion in most cases. In 1992, women were officially given the right to travel abroad, mostly to the UK, to obtain terminations. Pro-repeal campaigners said almost 170,000 have done so. The liberalisation campaign gathered momentum after an Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, died in hospital in Galway aged 31 when she was refused an abortion during a miscarriage. Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar, said she repeatedly asked for a termination but was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat.... read more
 
26. toukokuuta 2018 2:52:00
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