Police speak to Scottish leader Sturgeon over mask slip-up
Police said Monday that they spoke to Scotland’s leader to reminder her about sticking to coronavirus mask rules after she was filmed without a face covering indoors, Police Scotland said officers reminded First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of the “importance of wearing a face covering when there is a legal requirement to do so.”.
UK to offer COVID vaccine to all children 5-11
British officials say a coronavirus vaccine will be offered to almost six million children from 5 to 11 years old in the U.K. The government said young children will be offered a low-dose COVID-19 shot on a “non-urgent” basis beginning in April in England.
Scottish Greens agree to back pro-independence government
The Scottish National Party and the Scottish Greens have agreed a power-sharing deal that falls short of an official coalition government but could pave the way to another referendum on Scotland’s independence from the U.K. in the coming couple of years.
Former Scottish leader launches new pro-independence party
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014 file photo, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond poses for photographs in Turriff, Scotland. The former First Minister is setting up a new pro-independence party that will field candidates in the countrys upcoming elections. The governing Scottish National Party, which Salmond led for two decades until 2014, hopes to use the vote as a springboard to another referendum on Scottish independence, and is leading in opinion polls. The new party is the latest twist in a bitter feud between Salmond and with his successor as SNP leader, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Salmond was Scotland’s first minister between 2007 and 2014, playing a major role in transforming the separatist party into Scotland's dominant political force.
In split vote, probe says Scottish leader misled lawmakers
A Scottish parliamentary investigation says Sturgeon misled lawmakers about sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor. Lawmakers have been investigating the Scottish governments handling of sexual harassment allegations against former First Minister Alex Salmond. A report published Tuesday says Sturgeon gave lawmakers an inaccurate account of what happened at a key meeting with Salmond in 2018 and "misled the committee on this matter. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)LONDON – A Scottish parliamentary investigation concluded in a split decision Tuesday that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon misled lawmakers about sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor. … But I am clear in my mind that I acted appropriately and that I made the right judgements overall," Sturgeon told lawmakers.
Lawyer clears Scotland's leader of misleading lawmakers
FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks during a 'Scotland's European Future after Brexit' event at the European Policy Center in Brussels. Sturgeon did not mislead lawmakers or act improperly over sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor, a senior lawyer said Monday, March 22, 2021 in his report into a scandal that is roiling Scottish politics. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool, File)LONDON – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon didn't mislead lawmakers or act improperly over sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor, a senior lawyer said Monday in his report into a scandal that has roiled Scottish politics. Hamilton’s probe centers on the Scottish government’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against Alex Salmond, who served as Scotland’s first minister before Sturgeon took office in 2014. The political and personal feud has pitted Sturgeon against her former friend and mentor Salmond, and is wracking Scotland’s governing Scottish National Party.
Scottish leader under fire after lawmakers fault testimony
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at the Holyrood Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday March 18, 2021. Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed suggestions that she misled lawmakers, saying she stands by testimony she gave to the Scottish parliament committee investigating her governments handling of sexual harassment allegations against her predecessor Alex Salmond. (Andy Buchanan/PA via AP)LONDON – Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has dismissed suggestions that she misled lawmakers, saying opposition members of a legislative panel had made up their minds before they heard her evidence. If Sturgeon is found to have misled parliament, she could be forced to resign for breaking the rules governing the conduct of government ministers. In his testimony to the committee, Salmond criticized the government of his one-time friend for undermining democratic principles and the rule of law.
Under fire, Scottish leader defends handling of sex claims
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon takes the oath before giving evidence to the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, at Holyrood in Edinburgh, Scotland, Wednesday March 3, 2021. The inquiry is investigating the governments handling of sexual harassment allegations against former leader Alex Salmond, and allegations that Sturgeon misled parliament. Its antagonists are Salmond and Sturgeon, two former allies and friends who have dominated Scottish politics for decades. AdHe accuses Sturgeon of lying about when she learned of the allegations and breaking the code of conduct for government ministers. "I’ve learned things about Alex Salmond over the past few years that have made me rethink," she said.
UK's Johnson faces criticism over Scotland trip in lockdown
Johnson is facing accusations that he is not abiding by lockdown rules as he makes a trip to Scotland on Thursday to laud the rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the United Kingdom. (Jeff Mitchell/Pool Photo via AP)LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced accusations Thursday that he is not abiding by the country's lockdown rules as he visited Scotland to laud the rapid rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the United Kingdom. “I’m here in my capacity as prime minister of the whole country to thank hard-working officials and public servants across the whole of Britain who are doing fantastic work," he said. Police Scotland confirmed they had received a “small number” of complaints about the prime ministerial visit. ___Follow AP’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, vaccines and understanding the outbreak:https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemichttps://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccinehttps://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak___Follow all AP stories about Brexit and British politics at https://apnews.com/Brexit
Pandemic haunts new year as virus growth outpaces vaccines
Mexico City’s hospitals hold more virus patients than ever. Even pandemic success story Thailand is fighting an unexpected wave of infections. January is going to be “a tough one,” said Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization. Mexico’s capital has more virus patients than at any point in the pandemic and is flying in doctors from less hard-hit states. The pandemic is even reaching countries that seemed to have the virus under control.
UK hospitals stagger as new virus variant takes huge toll
“It’s not hyperbole to say that the (National Health Service) is going through probably the toughest time in living memory,″ said Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst of the King’s Fund, a U.K. think tank that focuses on health and social care. Johnson and Sturgeon said the restrictions were needed to protect the hard-pressed National Health Service as a new, more contagious variant of coronavirus sweeps across Britain. On Monday, hospitals in England were treating 26,626 COVID-19 patients, 40% more than during the first peak in mid-April. In December, a record 2,930 people were forced to wait 12 hours or more before hospitals could find beds for them, the Health Service Journal reported Monday, citing leaked figures from the National Health Service. In addition to a nationwide network of hospitals, doctors and nurses, it can rely on other allied health care professionals, such as pharmacists, to deliver the vaccine.
UK prime minister orders new virus lockdown for England
People were told to work from home unless it's impossible to do so, and leave home only for essential trips. All nonessential shops and personal care services like hairdressers will be closed, and restaurants can only operate takeout services. As of Monday, there were 26,626 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in England, an increase of more than 30% from a week ago. Authorities have recorded more than 50,000 new infections daily since passing that milestone for the first time on Dec. 29. London and large areas of southeast England were put under the highest level of restrictions in mid-December, and more regions soon joined them.
The Latest: China makes parts of province high danger zones
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING — China has designated parts of Hebei province near Beijing as a coronavirus high danger zone after 14 new cases of COVID-19 were found. The other three COVID-19 cases were in the city of Yantai. Approximately 174 private clinics have also requested vaccines, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. County health officials fear the incoming Christmas and New Year’s surge. Superintendent Henderson Lewis said a spike in positive cases in the city prompted the “unfortunate but necessary” decision to go back to distance learning.
Quiet New Year gives breathing room after UK-EU Brexit split
A lorry arrives to board the first ferry heading to Britain after Brexit, Friday Jan.1, 2021 in Calais, northern France. A new U.K.-EU trade deal will bring restrictions and red tape, but for British Brexit supporters, it means reclaiming national independence from the EU and its web of rules. In the subdued streets of London — which voted strongly to remain in the EU in Britain's 2016 referendum — there was little enthusiasm for Brexit. Northern Ireland, which shares a border with EU member Ireland, remains closely tied to the bloc’s economy under the divorce terms. In Scotland, which voted strongly in 2016 to remain in the EU, Brexit has bolstered support for separation from the U.K.
Scottish leader Sturgeon sorry for breaking COVID-19 rules
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gives an update on COVID-19 restrictions, at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 22, 2020. (Russell Cheyne/PA via AP)LONDON – Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has apologised for breaching coronavirus restrictions when she took off her face mask at a funeral wake. A photograph published in the Scottish Sun newspaper showed Sturgeon chatting to three women in a bar while standing at a distance but without wearing a mask. Under the Scottish government’s coronavirus rules, customers in restaurants and bars must wear a face covering except when seated at their table. “I was in the wrong, I’m kicking myself, and I’m sorry.”
Tone deaf? Prince William's tour criticized amid pandemic
(Jonathan Buckmaster/Pool via AP)LONDON – A national train tour by Prince William and his wife Kate has received a frosty welcome from leaders in Wales and Scotland, with one Welsh official saying he would rather “no one was having unnecessary visits” during the coronavirus pandemic. Asked if it was the right moment for the royal couple to visit, Gething said Tuesday: “I’d rather that no one was having unnecessary visits. “The tour will be a welcome morale boost to frontline workers who have done so much during the pandemic,” the statement said. Wales and Scotland have their own devolved governments and different sets of coronavirus restrictions from England even though they are all part of the United Kingdom. Welsh and Scottish officials have discouraged people from the rest of the U.K. from traveling to their regions without a reasonable excuse in a bid to reduce the virus’s spread.
Douglas Stuart hopes Booker win helps working-class writers
FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 file photo, Douglas Stuart speaks at The 2020 Booker Prize Awards Ceremony, at the Roundhouse in London. The Scottish writer was at home on Manhattans Lower East Side when he was announced as the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize last week. The Scottish writer was at home in Manhattan when he was announced as the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize last week. Glasgow-born Stuart is only the second Scottish Booker winner in the 51-year history of the prize, open to English-language novels from around the world. Stuart thinks it’s important — and overdue — that a working-class writer has won the Booker Prize.
UK's Johnson allegedly brands powers for Scotland a disaster
But it said he was not criticizing devolution, only its use “by separatists and nationalists to break up the U.K.”“The PM has always supported devolution,” Downing St. said in a statement. Brexit was championed by Johnson and supported by a narrow majority of U.K. voters in a 2016 referendum, but strongly opposed in Scotland. Scotland voted to remain in the U.K. by a margin of 55%-45% in a 2014 independence referendum that was billed as a once-in-a-generation event. If Sturgeon’s SNP wins the anticipated majority, she is likely to demand a new independence referendum. U.K. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick defended Johnson, saying he did not oppose Scotland exercising its own powers.
Sean Connery, the 'original' James Bond, dies at 90
“He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words — ‘The name’s Bond... James Bond,’” they said in a statement. Connery continued as Bond in “From Russia With Love,” “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball,” “You Only Live Twice” and “Diamonds Are Forever,” often performing his own stunts. By then he was at peace with James Bond, and when he arrived onstage at the Oscars ceremony he declared, “The name’s Connery. Those were the things the English loved to read about following the privations of the war.”The “real” Sean Connery had a troubled first marriage and a history of comments justifying domestic violence. Thomas Sean Connery was born Aug. 25, 1930, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the first of two sons of a long-distance truck driver and a domestic worker.
England to have 3-tier lockdown system amid 'tipping point'
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on Monday expected to back a new three-tier local lockdown system, which could see pubs and restaurants in coronavirus hotspots in England being temporarily closed. In response to the virus’ resurgence, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce in Parliament on Monday a three-tier local lockdown system, formally known as "Local COVID Alert Levels," for England, his office said. Under the new system, the country will be placed into “medium,” “high” and “very high” alert levels. The new lockdown system, which is intended to simplify the process by which local restrictions are imposed, has been widely anticipated for a couple of weeks following a sharp increase in new cases. England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, warned that the U.K. is at a “tipping point" akin to where the country was in March.
England's big northern cities brace for more lockdown curbs
“In some parts of the country, the number of cases are rising very fast and we are taking that very seriously." In many areas of northern England, it's not clear the local restrictions have worked — in some areas, the number of new infections is 10 times higher than when the localized virus restrictions were announced. Unions are demanding that the government accompanies any lockdown changes with a financial support package to prevent mass unemployment. A national program that has helped keep a lid on unemployment is due to halt at the end of October. ___Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
UK's Johnson urges 'spirit of togetherness' to combat virus
Britain's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced that pubs and restaurants closing at 10pm, due to the spike of cases of coronavirus across the United Kingdom. The most high-profile change centered on pubs, restaurants and other entertainment venues in England, which from Thursday must close at 10 p.m. In a change of emphasis, Johnson urged people to work from home where possible. “If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together,” Johnson said in a prime-time televised address. “In essence, the government is saying, ‘Stay sober, stay sensible and the venues can stay open.’ It’s a carrot to encourage responsible behavior,” she said.
UK urged to drop ex-Australia PM Abbott from trade envoy job
LONDON Prominent equality and environmental activists, including Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen, have urged the British government to drop plans to make former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott a U.K. trade adviser. Prime Minister Boris Johnsons government faced growing criticism Friday over reports it will appoint Abbott, who led a conservative Australian government between 2013 and 2015, to the U.K.s Board of Trade. Opponents cite Abbott's opposition to same-sex marriage, persistent allegations of sexism and statements downplaying the impact of climate change. In power, his government repealed a carbon tax paid by polluting Australian industries. Abbott has been in London in recent days and said he has spoken to the government about a roleThe U.K. is seeking to boost trade with countries around the world in the wake of its departure from the European Union.
Scotland's handling of virus boosts support for independence
The handling of the coronavirus pandemic by Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has drawn praise, in contrast to the sometimes-chaotic approach of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson. That has catapulted the idea of Scottish independence from the U.K. back up the political agenda. The four parts of the U.K. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland acted together to impose a nationwide lockdown in March. If Sturgeons Scottish National Party wins the anticipated majority, she is likely to demand a new independence referendum. I would love to have independence, but I think maybe now is not the time.___Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
5 Things to Know for Today
Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during the Republican National Convention from the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:1. SCOTTISH LEADER WINNING PRAISE Nicola Sturgeons calm and sober response to the coronavirus pandemic is standing in contrast to the sometimes-chaotic approach of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. WE HAVE NO WAY TO FORCE THEM OUT Beiruts massive explosion has fueled widespread anger at Lebanons ruling elite, whose corruption and negligence many blame for the disaster. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY SAGA PERSISTS The evangelical school said Jerry Falwell Jr., embroiled in a sex scandal, had offered his resignation as president but then reversed course.
UK's Johnson says face masks in schools in England possible
LONDON The British government came under renewed pressure Tuesday to recommend high school students in England wear face masks, at least in communal areas such as hallways, after the advice in Scotland was changed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government is ready to follow suit and advise a change in certain situations if the medical evidence deems face masks to be necessary in containing the spread of the coronavirus. If we need to change the advice, then of course we will.For now, the advice of the British government, which oversees schools in England, is that face masks aren't necessary. It points to a recent report from Public Health England that showed very few virus infections during the partial reopening of schools for younger students in June. Schools in England are Wales are due to reopen in September.
UK scientists openly question government's pandemic response
The British government insists that science is guiding its decisions as the country navigates its way through the coronavirus pandemic. But a self-appointed group of independent experts led by a former government chief adviser says it sees little evidence-based about Britains response. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)LONDON As Britain navigates its way through the coronavirus pandemic, the government insists that science is guiding its decisions. And at nearly every turn, the independent experts have essentially pointed out glaring mistakes in the governments approach. We fear that the government has given up trying to control the pandemic further," the independent scientists wrote in a July report.
UK scraps quarantine for some visitors as pubs set to reopen
When pubs and restaurants reopen Saturday, it will be anything but business as usual. I think the vast majority of pubs and restaurants are welcoming and opening with enthusiasm, said Jane Pendlebury, chief executive of the Hospitality Professionals Association. Nonessential shops have been closed and pubs and restaurants will not be reopening on Saturday. Pubs in Scotland can open beer gardens from Monday but wont be able to serve people indoors until July 15. Scotland also has not agreed to the plan to end quarantine for arrivals from low-risk countries, which for now applies only to England.
Alaska Airlines secures loans; casinos in NJ reopening
Five of Atlantic City's casinos will reopen on Thursday, while three others, including Harrah's, will open Friday. ________________________FINANCIAL AID: Alaska Airlines has secured nearly $1.2 billion in private loans to further secure its financial stability. McGee Air Services, a wholly owned ground services subsidiary of Alaska Airlines that operates independently, has also received nearly $30 million in funding. Three others, Caesars, Ballys and Harrahs, will reopen Friday, after allowing their highest rollers a one-day head start on Thursday. MARKETS: Wall Street is rallying Thursday after a report showed the U.S. job market continues to climb from the crater created by the coronavirus pandemic in the spring.
UK delays post-Brexit border checks as virus slams economy
The British government said Friday it will delay bringing in full border checks on goods coming from the European Union to relieve pressure on businesses hammered by the coronavirus pandemic. After that, British firms trading with the EU will face customs checks, border inspections and unless there is a free trade deal tariffs. But on Friday the government said border checks would be introduced in stages. The U.K. says it will build new customs and border facilities for all the checks a process that has been set back by the pandemic. Asked about the border checks, Sefcovic said the EU is determined to protect its single market, customs union and financial interests.
Face coverings to be mandated on public transport in England
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON LONDON (AP) Passengers on Englands buses, subways and trains will have to wear face coverings from June 15 when most shops reopen, the British government said Thursday. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said face coverings will be mandatory from the date nonessential stores, such as department stores and electronics retailers, are scheduled to reopen. The evidence suggests wearing face coverings offers some, albeit limited, protection against the spread of the virus, he said at the government's daily briefing. He also said face coverings will be a condition of travel and failure to abide by the requirement could potentially lead to fines. Transport unions had also been urging the government to make face coverings compulsory after the deaths of dozens of workers.
UK eases lockdown restrictions but many flout guidelines
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)LONDON The U.K. eased more lockdown restrictions Monday despite warnings from some health officials of another spike in coronavirus infections, especially if Britons persisted in flouting the new guidelines. She said police in Scotland dispersed 797 groups on Saturday alone for not abiding by the guidelines, five times higher than the previous Saturday. The four nations that make up the U.K. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are moving at different speeds out of the lockdown that began March 23. He also said the U.K. recorded 111 new coronavirus-related deaths, the lowest daily total since the lockdown was put in place on March 23. Schools have remained open to vulnerable and key worker children throughout the lockdown period, and as the lockdown eases, it is likely this will lead to greater demand for places, he said.