LONDON, August 15, 2018 (News Wires) — Police in London have returned a 12th century statue of Buddha to India after recovering it 57 years after it was stolen.
Police handed over the bronze statue with silver inlay during a ceremony Wednesday in London marking India’s Independence Day.
The Buddha was one of 14 statues stolen from a museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961.
Police were called after representatives from the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art and the India Pride Project noticed the statue at a trade fair. The dealer and the owner co-operated fully and, upon learning the item had been stolen, agreed to return it.
Detective Constable Sophie Hayes says the case is “a true example of co-operation between law enforcement, the trade and scholars.”
LONDON, August 15, 2018 (News Wires) - British authorities said they are considering turning the area around Parliament into a pedestrian zone to prevent future vehicle attacks as police searched three properties for clues about the motivation of a man who plowed into cyclists and pedestrians.
Local media on Wednesday identified the suspect as Salih Khater, a 29-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin. Police searched the suspect’s apartment in Birmingham, as well as another property in the city and a third in Nottingham. A Facebook page for a man of the same name says he lives in Birmingham, works as a shop manager, and has studied at Sudan University of Science and Technology.
British authorities do not name suspects until they are formally charged.
The incident was the second in less than 18 months in which a suspected terrorist used a vehicle to attack the heart of Britain’s government. Over the past two decades authorities have tightened security around Parliament with fences, crash barriers and armed police. Now the rise of vehicle attacks around the world is triggering calls for traffic to be barred from the area.
“So some of the things we’re keen to do, working with the Palace of Westminster, working with the council and the experts, is to part-pedestrianize that part of Parliament Square immediately outside the gates to Parliament, but at the same time making it attractive,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the BBC.
While such a project presents challenges, Khan said, “it’s possible to have a design solution that meets the objectives … in relation to keeping our buildings and our people as safe as we can do, but also not losing what’s wonderful about our city which is a vibrant democracy.”
LONDON, August 14, 2018 (AP) — A car plowed into pedestrians and cyclists near the Houses of Parliament in London during the morning rush hour Tuesday, injuring three people in what police suspect is the latest in a string of vehicle-based attacks in the British capital.
Armed police flooded the area after the incident was reported at 7:37 a.m., hauling the driver from the vehicle, arresting him and cordoning off streets surrounding the heart of Britain’s government. The nearby Westminster subway station was closed, and police asked people to stay away from the area.
“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police Service told reporters outside Scotland Yard.
A man in his late 20s was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences. The suspect was not co-operating with police, and officers were trying to confirm his identity, said Basu, who oversees U.K. counterterrorism policing. No other suspects have been identified and police believe there is no further threat to Londoners, he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called the crash outside Britain’s Parliament “another terrorist attack in London.”
Trump tweeted: “These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”
Eyewitnesses said the silver car was travelling at high speed when it hit pedestrians and cyclists, then crashed into a barrier designed to protect Parliament from vehicle attack. Two people were taken to local hospitals and another was treated at the scene. One woman remained hospitalized Tuesday afternoon, but her injuries aren’t believed to be life threatening, authorities said.
“The car drove at speed into the barriers outside the House of Lords. There was a loud bang from the collision and a bit of smoke,” Ewelina Ochab told The Associated Press. “The driver did not get out. The guards started screaming to people to move away.”
Jason Williams also saw a car moving at high speed.
“It didn’t look like an accident,” he said. “How do you do that by accident?
MANCHESTER (UK), August 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Ten people, including two children, were taken to hospital on Sunday with pellet-type wounds after reports of a shooting in Manchester in northern England, police said.
Officers were called at around at 2:30am (01:30 GMT) to the Moss Side neighbourhood of the city, where a party had been held following a Caribbean Carnival nearby.
"Nine people went to hospital, including two children, with pellet-type wounds that are not believed to be serious," a statement from Greater Manchester Police said.
"A tenth person -- a man -- remains in a stable but serious condition in hospital with injuries to his legs."
Police said they hoped the less seriously injured victims would begin to leave hospital during the course of the day.
"This was a reckless act that could have had devastating consequences with families and friends losing loved ones," Chief Superintendent Wasim Chaudhry said.
In a message to the local community, he added: "Guns have no place on our streets and we want to assure you we are doing everything we can to find the person or people responsible."
LONDON, August 10, 2018 (News Wires) - British banks should pass on last week's Bank of England interest rate rise to savers as "a matter of trust", the chair of the parliament committee which monitors them said on Friday.
"Passing on interest rate rises to savers as well as borrowers is a matter of trust which our banks would do well to take on," lawmaker Nicky Morgan, a member of Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party, said on Twitter.
Last week the BoE raised its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 percent from 0.5 percent, its highest since it slashed borrowing costs during the 2008-09 financial crisis.
BoE Governor Mark Carney said he did not expect banks to pass rate rises on in full to savers because during the crisis rates on many low-interest bank accounts had been unable to fall by the full amount by which the BoE cut its own interest rate.
Earlier on Friday, The Times newspaper reported that only one British lender -- Beverley Building Society in northern England -- had said it would increase interest rates for all savers by 0.25 percentage points.
Interest rates on many mortgages rise automatically by the full amount of BoE interest rate rises.
LONDON, August 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Uncertainty over Brexit is depressing economic growth in Britain, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday after official data showed lacklustre year-on-year expansion.
"Clearly that uncertainty is having a depressing effect on economic growth," Hammond told broadcasters during a trip to central England to announce 780 million pounds ($996 million) of public investment in high-tech industry.
Brexit proposals set out last month by Prime Minister Theresa May should lead to economic growth broadly the same as if Britain were to stay in the EU, he added.
Hammond said that in the long run he wanted to see growth rates faster than the year-on-year expansion of 1.3 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2018.