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by Euro Reporter
2010-11-19 09:58:41
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27 held after drug gang raids in UK

More than 200 police officers took part in co-ordinated raids across the UK in an operation targeting drug gangs. Twenty men and two women were arrested in Merseyside, three men in London, one man in Lancashire and a 48-year-old man in Cairnryan, near Stranraer, Scotland.

Officers seized a quantity of cash, class A drugs and a number of forged identity documents. Searches were also carried out at two properties in Cushendall, County Antrim. Items were removed for forensic examination from a house in Gaults Road and an apartment on Coast Road in the village, near Ballymena.

The operation, supported by Merseyside Police, took place over the last two days and relates to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking, money laundering and the production and supply of false identity documents. A Soca spokeswoman said: "The individuals are currently being questioned by Soca officers at police stations in the Merseyside area."

Four men quizzed after UK police find dying man in van

British police were given an extra 36 hours to question four men arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a dying man in a van. A postmortem examination conducted by a police pathologist established that the victim died from head injuries. He is due to be formally identified. Armed officers acting on a tip-off had pulled over a white Mercedes Sprinter van in Sunningdale, a village 25km west of London, at about 1pm local time on Wednesday.

When the van was stopped, four men tried to escape but three were quickly arrested. The fourth was found with the help of a police helicopter and members of the public. According to the Thames Valley Major Crime Unit, the men arrested were aged 24, 26, 54 and 56. The victim was found when police searched the van following the arrests. He was said to be "breathing shallowly".

Attempts were made to revive him, and at 2pm an air ambulance was called, but paramedics were unable to save him. Eyewitnesses said the victim was wrapped in bags, and one officer at the scene remarked that he appeared to have been tortured. Bystanders also said a sledgehammer, which may have been used to attack the victim, was recovered from the van by investigators. Police were reportedly conducting a search today at a residence in Sunningdale.


Cameron Wants U.K. Public Holiday for Royal Wedding

Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain should have a public holiday to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton next year. “If it’s in the middle of the week, it would be a very good idea to have a bank holiday,” Cameron told lawmakers at the end of a question-and-answer session in Parliament. “Even if it’s at the weekend, it would be a great idea to have a national day of celebration.”

No date has been set for the wedding beyond spring or summer next year. William’s father, Prince Charles, announced the couple’s engagement Nov. 16, ending years of speculation about whether the second in line to the throne would ask the girlfriend he had been dating since 2003 to marry him. William proposed to Middleton with his mother’s, Princess Diana’s, engagement ring while on holiday in Kenya three weeks ago. That puts her in line to become the first commoner to be queen in modern times. The couple, both 28, met while studying at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Earlier in the 2 1/2 hour session with senior lawmakers, the prime minister took a swipe at Defense Secretary Liam Fox, who wrote to him before last month’s spending review, warning against cutting military expenditure too deeply. The letter was leaked to a newspaper. Cameron said the agreement on defense spending had been the hardest to reach of all the ministries. “Leaked letters don’t help,” he said. “That department does seem to have had a problem on leaks, which is a problem when it’s the department responsible for security.” The prime minister described the Ministry of Defense as “a bit of a train crash when we took it over.”

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