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Osborne Claims 'Real Win' Over £1.7bn EU Bill

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 08 November 2014 | 20.48

George Osborne has described his efforts to cut the surcharge Britain will pay towards the European Union budget as a "real win" after being accused by Labour of "trying to take the British people for fools".

The Chancellor and the Prime Minister claimed to have halved the UK's £1.7bn bill from the EU but critics said the reduction would have been achieved by bringing forward a rebate to which the UK would have been entitled anyway.

Mr Osborne and Mr Cameron have argued that it was not certain that the rebate would apply to the surcharge, which was demanded after a recalculation of Britain's gross national income relative to the other 27 member states, until the deal was struck in a summit with fellow EU finance ministers in Brussels.

The Chancellor defended their stance, saying: "Everyone said we were going to have to pay £1.7bn (but) instead we are going to have to pay half that so no-one should be in any doubt this is a real win for Britain."

He added: "It shows this Government can deliver for Britain in Europe.

Video: Cameron: 'Good News' On EU Bill

"Every time the Government sets out the goals it wants to achieve in Europe people say they're impossible to achieve.

"When we do achieve them, like cutting the European budget or getting out of the bailouts or now reducing this bill, people say that was inevitable. Well people shouldn't be in any doubt, it's a real win."

Labour has claimed the deal does not save the UK "a single penny", while the Chancellor's European counterparts also appeared to contradict his account of the deal.

Irish finance minister Michael Noonan said he believed that the UK "will pay the whole amount" while Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said "it's not as if the British have been given a discount".

The European Commission's vice-president with responsibility for the budget, Kristalina Georgieva, said the additional contribution being demanded from the UK meant that its rebate was also increased, leading to a "downward correction" in the overall sum to be paid.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said: "David Cameron and George Osborne are trying to take the British people for fools.

Video: A Surcharge Victory Or Just Spin?

"Ministers have failed to get a better deal for the British taxpayer. Not a single penny has been saved for the taxpayer compared to two weeks ago when David Cameron was blustering in Brussels.

"By counting the rebate Britain was due anyway, they are desperately trying to claim that the backdated bill for £1.7bn has somehow been halved. But nobody will fall for this smoke and mirrors.

"The rebate was never in doubt and, in fact, was confirmed by the EU Budget Commissioner last month."

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: "Osborne (is) trying to spin his way out of disaster.

"Borrowing what we are rightfully owed in the future to pay an unfair bill being levied now is not a victory. It's a sham."

The bill is now due to be paid after the next General Election, rather than on 1 December as originally demanded by the EU.


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Police Question UK 'Islamist Plot' Suspects

Counter-terror police have arrested four men in connection with an alleged Islamist terror plot following raids across west London and in the Thames Valley.

The arrests came ahead of this weekend's Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day events.

Earlier this month, senior police officers and MPs said there was likely to be a significant rise in the number of armed police at Sunday's commemorations in London due to increased fears of a terror attack.

A 27-year-old man was arrested at gunpoint in a car in the street in Southall, west London.

Two other suspects, aged 22 and 25, were detained at addresses in Hounslow and Uxbridge, also in the west of the capital.

The fourth man, 19, was detained at an address in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Armed police took part in the operations in Southall, Hounslow and High Wycombe but no shots were fired.

The arrests were made on Thursday evening and in the early hours of Friday.

Counter-terrorism officers were leading searches of various properties in Hounslow, High Wycombe, Uxbridge, Southall, Greenford and Hayes.

The properties include a terraced house on Desborough Avenue in High Wycombe, Sky's Tom Parmenter reported from the scene.

Parmenter said there was some concern in the community over the arrest of the man in the town and the alleged "disproportionate" use of force by anti-terror police.

Youth worker Saqib Deshmukh, who knows the suspect, told Sky News: "One of the concerns that we heard was that it was a disproportionate use of force and armed response. Did it necessitate that? Was there a need for that to happen?

"Was there an actual threat on the ground? And that's a concern - that the actual number of forces and the level of force used is disproportionate and it doesn't merit it based on the evidence."

Local shopkeeper Sutha Tangaraj works opposite the house and told Sky News he saw the armed police arrive.

"At about 7pm or 7:30pm at least half a dozen armed police surrounded the house, they knocked the door and no one answered.

"A lady in the house eventually opened the door and they went and have since been searching ever since."

He said police were at the same address six months ago.

Mr Tangaraj said the man who lives at the property "is a regular customer and lives in the house with his family - his mother is very chatty".

The four men were all taken to police stations in central London. 

Scotland Yard said the arrests and subsequent searches were part of an "ongoing investigation into Islamist-related terrorism".

Sky's home affairs editor Mark White said: "Scotland Yard are officially giving very little in the way of information on these arrests, but sources are suggesting it is linked to an alleged extremist plot against the UK."

The arrests came a few months after the national terror threat level in the UK was raised from substantial to severe, meaning a terrorist attack is "highly likely".


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Call For Probe Into 'Cannibal' Killer's Release

The decision not to monitor a man who then murdered a woman in a reported act of cannibalism after he was released from prison must be investigated, a Welsh politician has said.

Cerys Marie Yemm, 22, died after an attack at a homeless hostel in the village of Argoed, South Wales.

Sources have said she was found with substantial facial injuries.

Police fired a 50,000-volt Taser at Matthew Williams to try to stop the attack in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The 34-year-old was arrested but later became "unresponsive" and died in custody.

It is believed Williams had recently been released from jail after serving time for violent behaviour and the Ministry of Justice has confirmed he was not subject to probation conditions.

It is not clear if he had served his full term.

Video: 'I Feel Sickened And Shocked'

Welsh Assembly member William Graham said it was vital to look into the terms of the killer's release.

"It is now clear that Mr Williams posed a risk to the public and I am extremely concerned that monitoring appears to have been deemed unnecessary," he told the BBC.

"If true, a wider inquiry into the circumstances surrounding his release is urgently required.

"Questions must be answered by authorities and a full explanation provided on the decisions taken in this extremely tragic case."

The Ministry of Justice said a serious further offence review is carried out in all cases where a new offence is committed within 30 days of a prisoner being released.

Gwent Police have said they are not looking for any other suspects in the murder investigation.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has also started its own probe into the suspect's death.

The post-mortem examination on Miss Yemm has started but Chief Inspector Paul Staniforth said it would "take some time".

He refused to be drawn on gruesome speculation over the attack, telling reporters it was "unhelpful and very upsetting for the family of the deceased".

It is believed Miss Yemm, who worked at Next, had met her attacker through mutual friends.

Video: 'Two Dead On Our Doorstep'

"I feel stunned, shocked and sick to my stomach," said a friend, who did not want to be named.

"It's horrific. She was a lovely person. She didn't deserve to die like that."

People in Argoed, 20 miles north of Cardiff, have told Sky News they are "sickened" by the apparent savagery of the attack.

The Sirhowy Arms Hotel - where Miss Yemm was discovered - is used by Caerphilly Council to house homeless people while they wait for permanent accommodation.

Local resident Susan Gibbs told Sky: "We have had a lot of problems up there. Every other week, well every other day sometimes, there are police up there."


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Cyborg Hears Colour With Device Fixed To Skull

An artist who claims to be the world's first officially-recognised cyborg has told how he "hears" colours using an antenna fused onto his skull.

Neil Harbisson was born with a condition that meant he could not see any colours at all - only shades of grey.

So he had a device, which he calls an "eyeborg," attached to the bone on the back of his head to act as a third eye.

The implant reads colours - including dozens of shades imperceptible to the human eye - and turns them into sound waves that vibrate in his skull.

Belfast-born Mr Harbisson won a battle with the British Passport Authority to have his passport picture showing his antenna.

Video: How Cyborg Artist Hears Colour

The victory for cyborg rights came after he successfully argued that the antenna, which he has worn for 10 years, was not a piece of technology but part of his body.

Speaking from Barcelona, he told Sky News: "It slowly became a part of my life. Now it's just a body part and an extension of my senses.

"I don't feel I'm using or wearing technology, I feel that I am technology."

The most recent update to the antenna included an internet connection, which allows Mr Harbisson to receive colours from all over the world - and even from space.

He said: "Now there's five people on different continents that have direct connections to my skull and if they feel like sharing a colour they're seeing they can use their mobile phone... so I feel like I have an eye in each continent. 

"What I did two weeks ago was I connected to a satellite, so I could sense the colours in space, because there's colours that we can't receive here that exist in space."


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'Fake Rape' Case Investigated After Suicide

Written By andika jamanta on Jumat, 07 November 2014 | 20.48

The Director of Public Prosecutions is investigating the case of a woman who killed herself after being prosecuted for making an allegedly false rape claim.

Eleanor de Freitas, 23, killed herself in April - three days before she was due to stand trial at Southwark Crown Court accused of making up an allegation of rape against a man.

The CPS decided to prosecute her after the man reportedly spent £200,000 on a private prosecution.

The A-grade student, who had bipolar disorder, left her family a note blaming her fear of giving evidence as a motive for her suicide.

Lawyers for her family have called on the coroner to postpone an inquest into her death, which was due to start today, so that an inquiry can be carried out into whether the CPS decision to prosecute Miss de Freitas contributed to her death.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, said she was "very saddened" by the death in a case she described as "one of the most difficult I have seen".

She added: "I have asked the team which dealt with this case for a full explanation which addresses all of the de Freitas family's concerns.

"I appreciate the family's unease which is why I am looking at this personally in order to satisfy myself of the detail surrounding all the stages of the case.

"Prosecuting cases of perverting the course of justice in connection with an alleged false rape allegation is rare, extremely difficult and always complex and sensitive."

She offered to meet Miss de Freitas' family "to discuss the case and the law surrounding it".

Miss de Freitas' father, David, told the Guardian that his daughter had been prosecuted "despite the fact the police did not believe there to be a case against her".

He added: "There are very serious implications for the reporting of rape cases if victims fear that they may themselves end up the subject of a prosecution if their evidence is in any way inconsistent.

"It is of the utmost importance that the CPS consider very carefully whether such cases are in the public interest."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed the alleged rapist was arrested by police soon after the complaint was made in January 2013 but, due to lack of evidence, he was released and the case was closed.


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Labour Pair Deny Secret Pact Over Miliband

Two of the most senior members of Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet have strenuously denied making a secret pact in the event of the Labour leader stepping down.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and shadow health secretary Andy Burnham were reported by The Times to have struck a "non-aggression pact".

The newspaper quoted one figure as saying: "It's about presenting a joint offer to make a contest unnecessary."

But Ms Cooper's spokesman said there was "no foundation whatsoever" to the suggestion.

He said: "The spreading of lies like this only damages the Labour Party and should be seen as exactly what it is - complete and utter garbage. Yvette, the shadow cabinet and the party are united behind Ed's leadership."

Video: Ed Miliband's Gaffes

The shadow health secretary's spokesman insisted there were "no discussions of this kind", adding: "The party is united behind Ed's leadership and we are confident he will become the next prime minister."

Mr Miliband made no comment and refused to answer questions as he left his home in north London on Friday morning.

Sky's Jason Farrell said: "This is probably the biggest crisis he has faced over his leadership thus far."

Video: Debate: Should Miliband Go?

Mr Miliband was earlier forced to deny reports that several backbenchers had demanded his resignation amid concerns over Labour's prospects of victory at next year's General Election.

Dismissing the reports as "nonsense", Mr Miliband insisted the party was focused "on the country and the things that matter to the country".

In a show of support, former cabinet minister David Blunkett has called for an end to "this bout of political insanity".

Video: Labour: Potential Future Leaders

"When you are standing on the edge of a cliff it is unwise to believe that by jumping you will suddenly learn to fly," he told The Guardian.

Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said Mr Miliband is "the right person to lead Labour and the right person to lead Britain".

One of Labour's biggest individual donors, JML founder John Mills, urged the party to "rally behind its leader ... not to get involved in internecine fighting like this".

Video: Balls Denies Miliband Plot Rumours

But Lord Soley, who as an MP chaired the parliamentary party, issued a bleak vision of the party's General Election prospects and suggested Mr Miliband should take a less prominent role as he was not seen by voters as a "charismatic potential prime minister".

And there was further bad news for Mr Miliband as a recording emerged of shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith saying the party is "dying" and that unless it becomes "much, much more vigorous ... then we are lost".

His remarks were made during a fringe event at a conference organised by CLASS, a left-wing think tank.

Video: Labour Party Is 'Dying'

A Labour spokesperson said: "Anyone who was at the event would know that this comment was a humorous dig at the age of the people attending the fringe meeting and not a comment on the Labour movement.

"It is ludicrous to twist it in this fashion.‎"

Video: Miliband's Approval Rating New Low

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'Cannibal' Death Victim Named By Police

A woman murdered in a South Wales village - in what unconfirmed reports described as a cannibalistic attack - has been named by police.

Sources say 22-year-old Cerys Marie Yemm was pronounced dead at a bed and breakfast in Argoed, in the Valleys, after being found with substantial facial injuries.

Police fired a 50,000-volt Taser at Matthew Williams in an effort to stop his attack, before the 34-year-old man was restrained and arrested.

He later died in custody.

Gwent Police said they were not looking for any other suspects in the murder investigation.

The victim has not yet been named and officers have refused to comment on her injuries or reports they were in a relationship.

The attack happened at around 1.30am on Thursday at the Sirhowy Arms Hotel, used by Caerphilly Council to house homeless people while they wait for permanent accommodation.

Neighbour Susan Gibbs told Sky News: "We have had a lot of problems up there.

"Every other week, well every other day sometimes, there are police up there." 

Leon Gardiner, deputy mayor of the village, 20 miles north of Cardiff, said: "This has hit the community for six."

He told Sky News: "This is the sort of thing you don't ever expect... We've just got to live with it and hope that the hurt goes away - but it will take a long time."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has started its own probe into the suspect's death.

A Gwent Police statement confirmed "a Taser was discharged and a 34-year-old local man was arrested".

It added: "Whilst under arrest, the man became unresponsive. Officers and paramedics administered first aid but he was also pronounced dead at the scene."


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Petrol Price Cuts Demanded By Treasury

Written By andika jamanta on Kamis, 06 November 2014 | 20.48

A failure by petrol firms and supermarkets to pass on the full benefit of falling oil prices to customers filling up at the pumps would be an "outrage", a Cabinet Minister has warned.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander has demanded guarantees from fuel companies and distributors that they were doing all they could to pass on the price cuts to hard-pressed motorists.

His comments came as Asda announced it would be cutting the price of petrol and diesel by 1p to 119.7pm and 123.7p a litre.

Asda said it was the first time its petrol had gone under 120p a litre in four years.

Video: Chancellor On Petrol Prices

It triggered a supermarket price war and Sainsbury's and Tescos quickly followed suit with 1p cuts of their own.

At a speech in Aberdeen, Mr Alexander said consumers felt petrol prices rise "like a rocket" when oil costs went up, but fall "like a feather" when they came down.

And he said people would "rightly be angry" if they felt prices were not coming down as much as they should.

Brent crude slumped as low as $82 (£51) a barrel earlier this week, its lowest level in just over four years due to concerns about over-supply.

The Liberal Democrat frontbencher will say: "Especially in the current economic circumstances people would rightly be angry if they feel that pump prices don't fall as much as they should on the back of falling oil prices."

However, investigations into the failure to pass on the fall in the price of oil has been inconclusive.

Video: 'We Still Pay Too Much For Fuel'

Mr Alexander has written to the industry's major players "seeking their assurance that they are doing all they can to pass on the benefit of falling oil prices as quickly as possible".

He said: "When the price of oil falls, the public have a right to expect pump prices to fall like a stone, not a feather."

Motoring organisations were quick to say there was more then Government could do that just put pressure on oil firms.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "It is encouraging that Mr Alexander shares the concerns of the nation's drivers but in a way he is passing the buck.

"The biggest driver of pump prices remains the Government. Well over 60% of the price is tax."

AA president Edmund King said: "They themselves could do more.

Video: Cuts: A Loss Leader Or Real Deal?

"First, policies to help strengthen the pound by just 10 cents against the dollar would double the potential for a 2p-a-litre fall in the price of petrol to 4p.

"Secondly, the Government's failure to introduce fuel price transparency, showing the relationship between oil, wholesale and pump prices, has helped no one."

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said: "Of course it's right that drivers should benefit from falling oil prices with lower prices at the pumps.

"But since 2011 people have paid 3p more on every litre of petrol because the Lib Dems broke their promise and backed the Tories in raising VAT."


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Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Is Revealed

Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Is Revealed

We use cookies to give you the best experience. If you do nothing we'll assume that it's ok.

Video: Ben Laden's Killer Reveals Himself

By Sky News US Team

The former Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden has been identified for the first time as Rob O'Neill.

The revelation in the Mail Online came ahead of a Fox News interview in which Mr O'Neill is expected to discuss the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the terror mastermind was killed.

The website described Mr O'Neill, 38, as a veteran Navy SEAL who had concluded several tours of duty, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He earned two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars with Combat "V" among other decorations, the report said. He left the service after 16 years.

His decision to come out as the killer of al Qaeda leader bin Laden was made in part because he lost some military benefits, having left the SEALs before a full 20 years of service, according to the report.

1/10

  1. Gallery: Bin Laden's Hideout From Air And Ground

    This aerial view of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad shows the area (highlighted) before the building was built in 2004 and then again in 2011.

This photograph was taken in 2005. It is believed bin Laden could have lived in the compound for up to six years before he was finally tracked down by the CIA last August.

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The location of the heavily fortifed villa, located just a few miles from the capital Islamabad, has raised questions about how Pakistani intelligence agents failed to detect the world's most wanted man.

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This illustration shows the high walls surrounding the house and the area where all of the property's rubbish was burnt.

]]>
Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Is Revealed

We use cookies to give you the best experience. If you do nothing we'll assume that it's ok.

Video: Ben Laden's Killer Reveals Himself

By Sky News US Team

The former Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden has been identified for the first time as Rob O'Neill.

The revelation in the Mail Online came ahead of a Fox News interview in which Mr O'Neill is expected to discuss the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the terror mastermind was killed.

The website described Mr O'Neill, 38, as a veteran Navy SEAL who had concluded several tours of duty, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He earned two Silver Stars and four Bronze Stars with Combat "V" among other decorations, the report said. He left the service after 16 years.

His decision to come out as the killer of al Qaeda leader bin Laden was made in part because he lost some military benefits, having left the SEALs before a full 20 years of service, according to the report.

1/10

  1. Gallery: Bin Laden's Hideout From Air And Ground

    This aerial view of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad shows the area (highlighted) before the building was built in 2004 and then again in 2011.

This photograph was taken in 2005. It is believed bin Laden could have lived in the compound for up to six years before he was finally tracked down by the CIA last August.

]]>

The location of the heavily fortifed villa, located just a few miles from the capital Islamabad, has raised questions about how Pakistani intelligence agents failed to detect the world's most wanted man.

]]>

This illustration shows the high walls surrounding the house and the area where all of the property's rubbish was burnt.

]]>

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More Claims Of Abuse By Savile On NHS Premises

Twelve NHS Trusts have been contacted over fresh investigations into alleged abuse by Jimmy Savile on NHS premises.

The NHS Legacy Unit, which oversees NHS investigations into alleged abuse by Savile, passed on information from victims and the Metropolitan Police to the trusts, which are responsible for nine hospitals and health services not featured in earlier inquiries.

The new claims have emerged since 28 investigation reports were published in June, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed in a written statement.

Outstanding investigation reports, including into Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, as well as the publication of investigations into alleged abuse by Savile in children's homes and schools have been delayed until later this year, Mr Hunt added.

The following hospitals and health services are included in the fresh claims:

:: Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

:: Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

:: Birch Hill Hospital, Rochdale Pennine Acute NHS Trust

:: Scott House Hospital, Rochdale Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust

:: Bethlem Royal Hospital, South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust

:: Shenley Hospital, Central and North West London NHS Trust (now closed)

:: West Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service

:: St Martins Hospital, Canterbury Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

:: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

:: Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust

:: Meanwood Park Hospital, Leeds and York Partnerships Foundation Trust

:: Calderdale Royal Hospital, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

The June investigation reports found Savile had committed "truly awful" abuse against patients at hospitals across the country, and had even boasted about having sex with corpses.

Savile was branded as an "opportunistic sexual predator" who used the NHS and his celebrity status to "exploit and abuse" patients and staff.

Among the findings were claims the former radio presenter performed sex acts on dead bodies in the mortuary at Leeds General Infirmary and at least one other hospital.

The former Radio 1 DJ and Top of the Pops presenter died in October 2011 at the age of 84.

Efa Schimdt, a lawyer with Slater and Gordon which is representing 169 of Savile's alleged victims, said he was not surprised there were more allegations.

He said: "We must not stop until we know absolutely everything about how Savile was able to carry out decades of abuse in plain sight.

"The victims are pleased that we are getting closer to understanding exactly how all this was allowed to happen. However with every new investigation the pain goes on."

Tracey Storey, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell which is also representing some of Savile's alleged victims, added: "It is incredibly worrying to see more concerns related to Savile emerge and it is vital that authorities work quickly to fully investigate these new allegations."


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