United Kingdom

Ariana Grande concert bombing could have been stopped - inquiry

The head of MI5 said he was "profoundly sorry" the security service did not prevent the Manchester Arena attack.

BBC reports a public inquiry found MI5 missed a significant chance to take action that might have stopped the 2017 bombing.

Chairman Sir John Saunders said the intelligence could have led to suicide bomber Salman Abedi being followed to a car where he stored his explosives.

UK set to have world's biggest automated drone superhighway

The drones will be used on the 164-mile Skyway project connecting towns and cities, including Cambridge and Rugby.

It is part of a £273m funding package for the aerospace sector which will be revealed by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Monday.

Other projects include drones delivering mail to the Isles of Scilly and medication across Scotland.

Mr Kwarteng is to announce the news at the Farnborough International Airshow - the first to be held since 2019.

Ed Sheeran was the UK's most-played artist of 2021

The star also had the most-played song of the year with Bad Habits.

It's the fourth time in five years that Sheeran has been named the UK's most-played artist, calculated by plays on radio, TV, pubs, clubs and shops.

The singer last topped the most-played song chart in 2017 with Shape Of You, over which he recently won a High Court copyright case.

Sheeran's continued success is "a testament to the quality of his output [and] the strength of UK music at a time when the global music landscape is more competitive than ever," said PPL chief executive Peter Leatham.

Cinemas now accepting digital ID cards

The UK Cinema Association - which includes Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase Cinemas, and Vue - are partnering with digital ID firm Yoti.

The free app will be accepted as proof of age, providing a safe and convenient way to show ID.

It is hoped the move will tackle abuse against cinema staff too.

Yoti harnesses the same technology you see at the airport, where you scan your passport and capture an image of your face.

UK targets 24/7 Covid-19 vaccine delivery as death toll soars

The reported daily number of deaths exceeded the 1325 recorded on 8 January and comes as Britain battles a new, more transmissible variant of the virus. The government figures showed there were another 47,525 cases, up from 45,533 new cases on Tuesday.

Britain is targeting a 24-hour, 7-day a week Covid-19 vaccination programme as soon as possible, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, as he bids to step up the pace of the rollout with daily coronavirus deaths at record levels.

Covid: 16,000 cases in UK missed in daily figures after IT error

Public Health England said 15,841 cases between 25 September and 2 October were left out of the UK daily case figures.

They were then added to Saturday's figure of 12,872 new cases and Sunday's 22,961 figure.

PHE said all those who tested positive had been informed. But it means others in close contact with them were not.

The issue has been resolved, PHE said, with outstanding cases passed on to tracers by Saturday.

UK commits to EPAs after Brexit

The United Kingdom Minister for Trade Policy, George Hollingbery, said this while briefing ACP Trade Ministers on Brexit.

PNG was represented at the October 25th meeting by the Papua New Guinea Ambassador to ACP and EU, Joshua Kalinoe.

At the meet, Hollingbery advised Ministers that UK will honour the existing Economic Partnership Agreement that ACP countries have with EU.

Accordingly, priority for UK is to work with existing parties to trade under the current EPA until similar Agreements are negotiated and implemented after 2021.

Brexit: EU says it doesn't want to 'punish' Britain for leaving

"Brexit is punitive enough," said Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

The EU nevertheless set out a tough set of principles for Brexit negotiations. They offer the possibility that trade talks could begin before the UK leaves -- but only after "sufficient progress" is made on the complex task of untangling Britain from the EU.

In her letter triggering the UK's formal exit from the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May had asked for a parallel approach from the start.

$74 million yacht too big to berth in harbour

The yacht, named simply ‘M5’, is a sloop-rigged super yacht launched in 2003 as the Mirabella. 

The 75 metre yacht, which hails from the United Kingdom, arrived Thursday last week but was unable to berth at Avatiu harbour because of its 97m mast height which would run it foul of airspace laws.  

The yacht’s captain, Don Anderson, said the yacht had cost about US$50m to build. Anderson is accompanied by 15 other crew on the M5’s maiden world tour and the super yacht will be here for two weeks before leaving for French Polynesia.