UK factory production up 1 pct in May
2012-07-10 11:00:14 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Factory output in the United Kingdom rose by 1.2 percent in May compared to April, beating the market consensus of a 0.9 percent gain.
The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that the increase was driven by a 3.7 percent gain in output of transport equipment and a 2.2 percent rise in food, drink and tobacco.
The broader index of production was up 1 percent led by a 1.2 percent rise in output of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning.
Factory output in March-May period was down 0.3 percent compared to the previous three months.
Roger Federer wins 7th Wimbledon title
2012-07-08 17:47:25 UTC
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Once the Centre Court roof was closed, nothing could stop Roger Federer from winning his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title.
The 30-year-old Federer finally equaled Pete Sampras' record at the All England Club, and won his 17th Grand Slam title overall, by beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday.
Once Murray's forehand landed wide on match point, Federer collapsed to the grass with tears welling in his eyes. He got up quickly and shook hands with Murray at the net.
Up in the players' box, Federer's wife and twin daughters cheered and smiled as Federer took his seat to await yet another Wimbledon t...
7th person arrested in British terrorism probe
2012-07-07 11:31:26 UTC
LONDON (AP) — British police say they have arrested a seventh person over an alleged plot to launch a terrorist attack.
The Metropolitan Police says the 22-year-old woman was arrested Saturday at a home in east London "on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."
Six other people were arrested on the same charges Thursday, including a British Muslim convert and three brothers who were detained by armed police at their home close to London's Olympic Park.
Counter-terror officers are on high alert ahead of the Summer Games, which begin July 27, but police say this week's arrests are not connected...
Federer reaches record 8th Wimbledon final
2012-07-06 15:33:07 UTC
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Roger Federer advanced to his record eighth Wimbledon final on Friday, beating defending champion Novak Djokovic in four sets.
The six-time champion defeated Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 under a closed roof on Centre Court and is one victory from equaling two other records in an already record-laden career.
"This is what you want to be playing for — the Wimbledon trophy," Federer said. "I've got a tough task ahead of me."
If Federer beats either Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Sunday's final, he will equal Pete Sampras' record of seven Wimbledon titles, a mark he shares with 1880s player William Rensh...
Diamond in the rough; Banker Bob falls on sword
2012-07-03 18:52:58 UTC
LONDON (AP) — He was a poster boy for corporate arrogance, telling Parliament last year that the time for bankers to apologize had passed.
Now Bob Diamond is just the latest victim of growing public anger at a British establishment they regard as greedy and ethically challenged. Bankers, politicians and journalists have all felt the full force of the growing disdain at a time of economic troubles.
The hard-driving CEO of Barclays bank resigned Tuesday, buckling under massive media pressure and a few none-too-subtle hints from top politicians that his days at the top should be numbered.
In the few short days since Barclays was fine...
Publisher: Here's cover of new J.K. Rowling novel
2012-07-03 17:29:28 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Publishers have released the cover of the J.K. Rowling novel set for worldwide release in September.
"The Casual Vacancy" will be the Harry Potter author's first offering aimed primarily at adults.
The novel is set in the fictional English town of Pagford and deals with the unexplained death of a village resident.
The cover released Tuesday is mostly red with a yellow border, and shows what looks like an "X'' marking a box.
Little, Brown Book Group says film and stage actor Tom Hollander will record the audio version of the book.
Rowling's series about Potter, the boy wizard, made her one of the most successful...
WikiLeaks: Julian Assange not leaving embassy
2012-07-03 02:19:08 UTC
LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange has defied a British police summons and won't be leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy in London until he hears about his asylum bid, a member of his defense fund said Friday.
British police had demanded that the silver-haired computer expert report to a London police station Friday, the first step in what would have been his extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations.
But Susan Benn, a member of his defense fund, said he would rebuff the U.K. authorities.
"Mr. Assange has been advised that he should decline the police request," she told reporters gathered outside the embassy, saying tha...
Mood pessimistic on Syria peace plans
2012-06-30 12:59:35 UTC
GENEVA (AP) — A conference called by special envoy Kofi Annan to end the Syria crisis appeared on the brink of failure as it opened Saturday, with the U.S. and Russia still divided over a role for President Bashar Assad in a transition government.
Annan seemed confident of his plan a few days ago, but Russia has refused to back a provision that would call for Assad to step down to make way for a unity government, a stance that could scuttle the entire deal.
The envoy warned the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — that if they fail to act at the talks hosted by the Un...
British police demand Assange report to station
2012-06-29 06:17:32 UTC
LONDON (AP) — British police served Julian Assange on Thursday with a demand that he report to a police station as the first step in his extradition to Sweden to face sex crime allegations.
The WikiLeaks founder said he was unlikely to obey the order to show up on Friday.
The letter was delivered to Ecuador's London embassy, where Assange has been holed up for nine days.
The Metropolitan Police said it had "served a surrender notice upon a 40-year-old man that requires him to attend a police station at a date and time of our choosing. This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process."
Will Britain finally replace the House of Lords?
2012-06-27 15:45:38 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Can Britain's government ditch the dukes, eject the earls and kick out the cronies?
Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday set out ambitious plans to replace Britain's 700-year-old House of Lords, the country's unelected upper chamber, with a smaller, mostly elected body — taking on a task that has frustrated political leaders for decades.
"We have been discussing this issue for 100 years and it really is time to make progress," Cameron told legislators, hoping his government can succeed in stripping the country's non-elected elites of a legislative role which has its roots in the 11th century.
Like the United Sta...
Queen, ex-IRA chief plan symbolic Belfast meeting
2012-06-27 09:08:31 UTC
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II and a former Irish Republican Army commander are about to meet for the first time in a symbolic milestone for Northern Ireland's peace process, but journalists wanting to record the moment are being kept at bay.
The Wednesday's event will feature a handshake between the monarch and Martin McGuinness, whose Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein long has refused all contact with British royals. McGuinness is the senior Irish Catholic in Northern Ireland's 5-year-old unity government.
British officials say only two photographers are being admitted to record the occasion.
The queen is co...
Ecuador studying asylum bid by WikiLeaks founder
2012-06-26 02:08:38 UTC
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador's foreign minister says lawyers convened by the government are studying the political and legal implications of granting exile to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Minister Ricardo Patino did not indicate when a decision might come. Ecuador's ambassador to Britain returned to Quito over the weekend and discussed the case Monday with Patino and President Rafael Correa.
Assange took refuge in Ecuador's London Embassy last Tuesday in a last-ditch attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in the alleged sexual assault of two women.
Assange claims he's being persecuted poli...
Olympic torch becomes cultural happening in UK
2012-06-24 10:19:58 UTC
BLACKPOOL, England (AP) — Sgt. Richard Clement plowed up Dickson Road on Friday, the Olympic torch attached to the side of his wheelchair, flame burning despite pouring rain.
The crowd clapped solemnly, water slapping against their hands, cheering on a soldier who had stepped on a mine in Afghanistan and changed his life forever, losing his legs.
He didn't seem to mind the drenching - or the fact that his section of the torch relay was all uphill - but he did want everyone to think about other service people, some far, far way.
"I just want everyone to be a bit proud of the forces and the job they do really," he said. "I'm carryin...
Ecuador's envoy heads to Quito for Assange talks
2012-06-23 17:36:42 UTC
LONDON (AP) - Ecuador's embassy in London said Saturday that ambassador Anna Alban was traveling to her country's capital to brief President Rafael Correa on the bizarre request for political asylum made by Wikileaks chief Julian Assange.
Assange took refuge inside the embassy on Tuesday and remains camped out in an office there after his legal options ran out for avoiding extradition from Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for alleged sex crimes.
Correa, Ecuador's leftist president, has said his government is considering Assange's request, but has not indicated when a decision will be made.
In a statement, the ...
Assange faces arrest if he leaves Ecuador embassy
2012-06-20 22:06:53 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Julian Assange has spent years on the move, trying to keep ahead of authorities who want to stop his secret-spilling mission.
Now the WikiLeaks founder finds himself confined in the surprising setting of Ecuador's London embassy, where he was holed up Wednesday while diplomats discussed his fate and British police waited outside to arrest him if he leaves.
Assange is seeking political asylum in the South American nation, in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning about alleged sex crimes. His supporters say he fears charges in the United States for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. docum...
London Games to be first social media Olympics
2012-06-20 06:00:48 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Tweet this: The London Games will be the first Olympics told in 140 characters or less.
The London Games will be the most tweeted, liked and tagged in history, with fans offered a never before seen insider's view of what many are calling the social media Olympics, or the "socialympics."
Hash tags, (at) signs and "like" symbols will be as prevalent as national flags, Olympic pins and medal ceremonies. Some athletes may spend more time on Twitter and Facebook than the playing field.
Mobile phones have become smarter, laptops lighter and tablet devices a must-have for technology lovers — meaning social-savvy fans, wheth...
UK: 'Arms' ship for Syria heading back to Russia
2012-06-20 05:18:57 UTC
LONDON (AP) — A Russian-operated ship said to be carrying military helicopters to Syria appears to have turned back after its British insurer removed coverage for the vessel, U.K. officials said Tuesday.
Britain's Foreign Office said the ship, the MV Alaed, changed course in Europe after news reports emerged about its alleged contents. Earlier, the Foreign Office confirmed it was aware that a ship carrying a consignment of refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters was heading to Syria.
The ship has "turned back now apparently toward Russia," Foreign Secretary William Hague told British lawmakers in Parliament. The vessel appeared t...
WikiLeaks founder seeks asylum at Ecuador embassy
2012-06-20 05:06:07 UTC
LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange has made a run for the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, seeking asylum in a long shot move that, if successful, would place him in a small, friendly South American country rather than in Sweden facing questioning about alleged sex crimes.
Tuesday's unexpected caper has added a new and bizarre twist to Assange's increasingly desperate bid to avoid extradition to Scandinavia. Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the leftist government of President Rafael Correa — an administration often at odds with Washington — was weighing the request, although he did not indicate when a decision migh...
McCartney turns 70, shows no sign of slowing down
2012-06-18 19:38:18 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Paul McCartney can still rock at 70. What more could a former Beatle want?
He celebrated his birthday in private Monday, perhaps resting up between gigantic gigs this summer. But he shows no sign of slowing down as his music is passed on to generations too young to have seen him in Wings, much less the Beatles.
Once a pot-smoking counterculture rebel, "Sir Paul" is very much part of the British establishment now, closing Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee concert earlier this month with a mix of favorites that included a raucous "All My Loving," one of the Beatles' first smash hits.
He's also preparing for a featur...
IOC probes black market Olympic ticket scandal
2012-06-17 23:47:23 UTC
LONDON (AP) — International Olympic officials have opened a high-level investigation into allegations that authorized representatives in more than 50 countries — including a national Olympic committee — were involved in selling London Olympics tickets on the black market for profit.
The International Olympic Committee convened an emergency session Saturday to discuss a dossier of evidence presented to it by Britain's Sunday Times. The newspaper published an investigation Sunday claiming that officials have been offering tickets for the July 27-Aug. 12 London games, including highly sought-after events such as the men's 100-meter final, ...
Whoops! UK PM leaves 8-year-old daughter in pub
2012-06-11 22:15:36 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife got home from lunch with friends at a pub in the English countryside to discover they forgot something: 8-year-old daughter Nancy.
Nancy was fine — she was quickly reunited with her parents after they realized she was missing. But Cameron's parenting skills took a drubbing Monday, just weeks after the government set up a program to give parents of young children classes on how to raise them.
Downing Street said the incident happened "a couple of months ago" as the family was leaving a pub near Chequers, the official country house prime ministers use when they want to escape Lond...
Ex-UK PM Brown: Murdoch lied under oath to inquiry
2012-06-11 18:47:11 UTC
LONDON (AP) — Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown lambasted Rupert Murdoch before Britain's media ethics inquiry on Monday, claiming the media mogul had lied under oath to the inquiry and saying that a Murdoch tabloid had undermined the British war effort in Afghanistan.
In an often bitter attack, Brown directly contradicted Murdoch's claim that Brown had vowed to "make war on your company" during an abusive phone call after Murdoch's The Sun tabloid switched its support from Brown's Labour Party to the rival Conservatives.
"It didn't happen," said Brown, adding that he had been shocked to hear Murdoch make the allegation to the inqui...
UK's Cameron to face media ethics inquiry
2012-06-08 19:07:17 UTC
LONDON (AP) — British media ethics inquiry said Friday that Prime Minister David Cameron will give evidence next week, amid questions over his ties to a number of suspects in the country's tabloid phone hacking scandal.
The judge-led inquiry, which Cameron set up to examine malpractice in the media and ties between politicians and the press, said it would also take testimony from ex-leaders Gordon Brown — who had an often troubled relationship with British newspapers — and John Major.
It confirmed it would also take evidence from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Treasury chief George Osborne, Scottish leader Alex Salmond and main op...
UK's Cameron, Obama urge action on eurozone crisis
2012-06-06 23:32:49 UTC
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama have agreed on the need for immediate action to resolve the eurozone crisis.
Downing Street said the two leaders spoke on the phone late Tuesday ahead of the G20 summit in Mexico later this month, when world leaders will discuss Europe's financial woes.
A spokesman for Cameron said he and Obama agreed on the need for an immediate plan to tackle the crisis, as well as a longer-term strategy to secure a strong single currency.
"Speed is of the essence," Cameron told reporters in Oslo before meeting Norwegian Premier Jens Stoltenberg late Wednesday. "Cle...
Queen's husband in hospital with bladder infection
2012-06-04 18:39:11 UTC
LONDON (AP) -- Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was hospitalized Monday with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of the celebrations of the monarch's 60 years on the throne, Buckingham Palace said.
The palace said the prince, who will turn 91 on Saturday, was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a precaution and will remain under observation for a few days.
He will miss Monday evening's Buckingham Palace pop concert celebrating the queen's jubilee, as well as a service of thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral and a carriage procession Tuesday.
"He is, understandably, disappointe...