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WORLD
September 12, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Britain's Royal Mail, whose origins date back to the reign of Henry VIII, is to be sold off to private investors, the government announced Thursday, setting up a bitter battle over the selling of a national icon. Even former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who happily sold off other services such as Britain's railways, considered unloading the Royal Mail a step too far, reputedly saying that she wasn't ready to “have the queen's head privatized.” Queen Elizabeth II's profile appears on all stamps in this country.
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WORLD
September 9, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Monday kept up the Obama administration's push for international support of a military strike on Syria and reassured Britain that Washington had “no better partner” in the world despite the British government's decision not to participate in any armed reprisal against Damascus. With a cliffhanger vote to endorse a military strike looming in Congress, Kerry insisted that the United States was under “no illusions” about a military solution to the Syrian conflict, and that diplomacy was the only path to a resolution.
WORLD
September 4, 2013 | Ken Dilanian and Shashank Bengali
The death toll given by the Obama administration for an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack is far higher than confirmed counts of two key allies and a main activist group, which said it was shocked by the U.S. figure. In pressing Congress to authorize a military strike against Syria, the administration has asserted that the government of President Bashar Assad killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 attack on the suburbs of Damascus. But Britain and France have cited far lower numbers of confirmed deaths, raising questions about the intelligence the White House is using to make its case to launch missile strikes against Syria.
WORLD
September 2, 2013 | By Janet Stobart
LONDON --The British government has ruled out a second parliamentary vote on participation in a military strike against the Syrian ruling regime. Senior politicians had urged another vote after the government's surprising defeat Thursday, when Parliament rejected plans to respond to lethal nerve gas attacks in Damascus with armed intervention. But the prime minister's office said Monday there were “absolutely no plans” to go back to Parliament for a second vote. President Obama's decision to seek a vote from Congress on military action against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad sparked demands for the government to reconsider and resubmit a new motion.
WORLD
September 1, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for a military strike on Syria could open the door to another vote by the British Parliament, which rejected such intervention, senior officials here suggested Sunday. The delay before a possible strike as Obama makes his case to U.S. lawmakers could give their British counterparts time to consider new evidence pointing toward the Syrian government's culpability in gassing rebel-held neighborhoods in Damascus. “It opens a very important new opportunity,” Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the parliamentary intelligence committee, told the BBC. Rifkind supports force as an option in responding to the Syrian government's alleged chemical attack.
WORLD
August 30, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Will the sun ever stop setting on the British Empire? A day after Parliament's surprising refusal to back a possible international military strike on Syria, Britons both wrung their hands and rejoiced over what some pundits described as the end - yet again - to British imperial pretensions, to punching above the country's weight on the world stage. “There will be a national soul-searching about our role in the world, whether Britain wants to play a big part in upholding the international system,” a disappointed George Osborne, a senior Cabinet member, said Friday.
WORLD
August 30, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - Has the sun finally stopped setting on the British Empire? A day after Parliament's surprising refusal to back a possible international military strike on Syria, Britons both wrung their hands and rejoiced over what some pundits described as the end - yet again - to British imperial pretensions, to punching above the country's weight on the world stage. "There will be a national soul-searching about our role in the world, whether Britain wants to play a big part in upholding the international system," a disappointed George Osborne, a senior Cabinet member, said Friday.
WORLD
August 29, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- As lawmakers prepared to debate their response to alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian regime, the British government laid out its arguments Thursday for the legality of military intervention “as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity.” Prime Minister David Cameron's office said the aim of striking specific targets within Syria would be to deter President Bashar Assad's regime from launching...
WORLD
August 29, 2013 | By Henry Chu
LONDON - A sharply divided British Parliament on Thursday rejected the use of military force as a response to suspected chemical attacks in Syria, depriving Washington of assistance from its most trusted ally if the U.S. launches a military strike against the Syrian government. Hours of impassioned debate in the House of Commons culminated in a 285-272 vote against a motion to condemn the alleged use of poison gas against Syrian rebel strongholds and to uphold military reprisal as a legitimate option against the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
August 28, 2013 | By Henry Chu, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
LONDON -- Britain said it would propose a resolution at the United Nations on Wednesday authorizing action to protect civilians in Syria from chemical weapons. Prime Minister David Cameron did not specify what that action would be or whether the resolution would explicitly lay out military intervention, but the British leader was scheduled to meet with his national security advisors Wednesday to discuss military options that could include airstrikes on Syrian defense assets. “We've always said we want the U.N. Security Council to live up to its responsibilities on Syria,” Cameron said.
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