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by Euro Reporter
2012-02-06 07:39:23
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British riot police use batons on embassy-storming anti-Syria protesters

British police have used batons and riot shields to hold back protesters trying to storm the Syrian Embassy in London for the second time in one day. Earlier Saturday, demonstrators stormed the embassy after Syrian forces reportedly killed more than 200 people in the city of Homs. Police said six people were arrested in that incident.

Protesters regrouped and gathered force later in the day, breaking through police barriers and chanting, “We want to close the embassy!” Police brought in sandbags and riot gear to regain control of the surging crowd, which lobbed objects at the embassy, situated near Buckingham Palace. Demonstrators against Syrian President Bashar Assad have stormed five embassies in Europe and the Middle East.


Departure of British official shakes Cameron’s coalition

Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government was shaken on Friday when criminal charges for perverting the course of justice in an eight-year-old speeding case were laid against Chris Huhne, the minister of energy and climate change. Mr. Huhne, 57, immediately resigned and said that he would mount a “robust defence” when the case came to an initial court hearing on Feb. 16. He will face trial with his former wife, Vicky Pryce, 59, a prominent Greek-born economist who has held high-ranking government jobs. Legal experts said that precedents set in similar cases had resulted in jail terms, usually in the range of three to nine months. The case will centre on accusations that Mr. Huhne, then a member of the European Parliament, was caught speeding by a police camera on a highway outside London in 2003 and falsely claimed, with his wife, that she was the driver, to avoid having his license suspended.

Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, told reporters that lawyers for the service had concluded that there was “sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against both Mr. Huhne and Ms. Pryce.” The case is not expected to come to trial for several months. Mr. Huhne has denied any wrongdoing in the affair, as he did again after the criminal charges were announced. “The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision today is deeply regrettable,” he told reporters in a brief statement. “I am innocent of the charges, and I intend to fight them in the courts, and I am confident that a jury will agree.” He declined to answer questions.

Beyond its political reverberations, the case is tinged with personal aspects that have made it rich fodder for Britain’s newspapers. Police investigations into the speeding case were intensified last summer after an article in Britain’s Sunday Times in which Ms. Pryce was quoted as saying that her former husband had asked another, unnamed individual — herself, as prosecutors now claim — to take responsibility for the speeding offense. That disclosure followed a bitter breakup of the couple’s 26-year marriage after Mr. Huhne took up with a younger woman who had previously worked as one of his political aides. Officials at the prosecution service have said that a crucial factor in the decision to lay criminal charges in the case came last month when The Sunday Times, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, abandoned an appeal against a court order requiring it to hand over a cache of e-mails that had passed between Ms. Pryce and the newspaper, and delivered the e-mails to investigators.


UK plans to deploy nuclear submarine to Malvinas, British press says

The UK is reportedly planning to deploy a nuclear submarine to the Malvinas islands, in addition to warship HMS Dauntless, according to British newspaper the Daily Mail, as the thirtieth anniversary of the war approaches and tension between both countries mounts. A British Ministry of Defence spokesperson said "we don’t comment on submarine deployments for operational security.’

The nuclear submarine that will reportedly be deployed to Malvinas could either be the HMS Tireless or the HMS Turbulent, equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles. The HMS Dauntless, a modern destroyer, is set to arrive in April to patrol the islands. Earlier this week, Prince William landed into the disputed lands as part of a six week tour of duty as a RAF search and rescue pilot, a move Argentina deemed “insensitive" but the British Defence Minister insisted was just "a routine tour."

Tension has mounted between both countries in the last few weeks, as Prime Minister David Cameron accused Argentina of colonialism due to the country’s sovereignty claim over the islands. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration said Cameron’s comments were "offensive."

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