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Reduction of air pollutants in the UK, a progress

by UNTV   |   Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

UK environmentalists have welcomed the overall drop in pollutants from cars and lorries.

Total emissions from motor vehicles fell 12% from 2012 to 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.

However, the UK remains in breach of European limits for nitrogen oxides in 16 cities.

Nonetheless, environmentalists have welcomed the overall drop in pollutants from cars and lorries.

The UK has been given a final warning from Brussels about its failure to bring down nitrogen oxide levels in cities to acceptable levels.

The government has registered significant progress though in reductions of another gas, the sulfur dioxide.

The report said sulfur dioxide emissions decreased by 29% from 2015 to 2016, dropping to a new low.

This is mainly thanks to the steady closure of coal-fired power stations in the country.  — Reuters


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WHO warns of soaring rates of measles in Europe

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan holds the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 during a news conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, October 19, 2015. REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of soaring rates of measles in Europe.

The cases increased four-fold, with more than 20,000 people affected and 35 deaths.

Fifteen European region countries, including the UK, had large outbreaks. Measles cases were highest in Romania, Italy, and Ukraine. The UK saw 282 cases in 2017.

The UK recently achieved WHO’s measles elimination status, meaning that for the past few years the number of cases has been low enough to stop the disease circulating around the country.

The overall risk of measles to the UK population is low, but WHO warns that due to ongoing measles outbreaks in Europe, cases in unimmunized individuals and limited onward spread can occur. — Reuters

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Chinese paper says UK trying to grab attention with South China Sea mission

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, February 15th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.

BEIJING (Reuters) – Britain’s Defence Ministry is trying to justify its existence and grab attention with a planned mission by a British warship to the disputed South China Sea next month, a Chinese newspaper said on Wednesday.

A British warship will sail through the South China Sea to assert freedom-of-navigation rights, British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said in remarks published on Tuesday during a visit to Australia.

British officials first flagged the voyage six months ago and the journey is likely to stoke tensions with China, who claim control of most of the area and have built military facilities on land features in the sea.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to the energy-rich sea through which billions of dollars in trade pass each year.

The widely read state-run tabloid the Global Times said Williamson needed to state clearly the purpose of the mission.

“If not provocation, the Royal Navy should behave modestly when passing through the South China Sea,” it said in editorials published in its English and Chinese-language editions.

“By acting tough against China, Britain’s Ministry of Defence is trying to validate its existence and grab attention,” it said.

The paper wondered whether the Royal Navy could actually complete the trip, considering budget cuts and problems with a new aircraft carrier that has a leak.

“As the Royal Navy has been hit by news such as a leaky aircraft carrier and the UK government has a tight budget, it appears a difficult mission for the Royal Navy to come all this way to provoke China,” it wrote.

China has repeatedly accused countries outside the region – generally a reference to the United States and Japan – of trying to provoke trouble in the South China Sea while China and its neighbors are trying to resolve the matter through diplomacy.

Speaking of Britain’s plan, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it hoped “relevant sides don’t try to create trouble out of nothing”.

Britain, which will be leaving the European Union next year, has looked to China as one of the countries it wants to sign a free trade deal with once it leaves the bloc. British Prime Minister Theresa May ended a largely successful trip to China earlier this month.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait

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British PM, locals, condemn calls for beggars to be removed before UK royal wedding

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018

“Yes, I don’t agree with the comments that the leader of the council has made. I think it is important that we, councils, work hard to ensure that they are proving accommodation for those people who are homeless, and where there are issues of people aggressively begging on the streets then it’s important that councils work with the police to deal with that aggressive bullying,” said Britain Prime Minister Theresa May.

This was the comment of British Prime Minister Theresa May on the statement of Simon Dudley, the leader of the royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, on Twitter where he said there had been an “epidemic of rough sleeping and vagrancy” in the town and said he wanted police “to focus on dealing with this before the #royalwedding in May.”

His remarks drew criticism from Prime Minister Theresa May and even from locals.

“I don’t know any aggressive beggars. I don’t know one person who is an aggressive beggar. There is a couple of people that ask for money, but they are homeless people at the end of the day,” said Stuart, a homeless man in Windsor.

“No one has said anything to us, mentioned. But of course, if you see people are lying on the floor, wherever they are, not just Windsor, all around London, it’s a big big problem, big issue. It has to be dealt with in a humane way,” said Rooney.

These were reactions on the idea that beggars need to be cleared by police from the streets of Windsor before the wedding of Prince Harry to girlfriend Meghan Markle because their “detritus” is presenting the picturesque English town in a poor light, the local council leader has said.

Windsor, the oldest inhabited castle in the world which has been a home of British monarchs for almost 1,000 years, attracts 1.3 million visitors every year, while many also visit the town to watch the regular “changing the guard”. — Reuters


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