United Kingdom

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Nerve Agent That Poisoned Ex-Spy More Toxic Than VX

Novichok agents developed in secret in Russia in the 1970s and '80s

(Newser) - British Prime Minister Theresa May says the chemical used to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his adult daughter in England was a Novichok nerve agent, tied to Russia not only through its name. Novichok—meaning "newcomer" in Russian—is a class of chemical agents developed in the Soviet... More »

Zoo Forced to Put All Mammals on Contraception

It's worried about overcrowding during tuberculosis quarantine

(Newser) - Thanks, in all likelihood, to a tuberculosis-infected badger, a zoo in England has had to put 60 mammal species on birth control via injections, implants, tablets, and IUDs, the BBC reports. And, yes, that includes lions and tigers, according to the Times . The large cats must be knocked out with... More »

KFC Customers Get Their Chicken Back, With a Catch

Now there's no gravy at many UK locations

(Newser) - Winner winner chicken dinner? Sure, but likely without the gravy. That's the conundrum KFC is facing in the UK, where feathers were ruffled earlier this month when the fast-food chain had delivery issues that resulted in a chicken shortage and mass restaurant closings . Now, even though all but about... More »

Comedian's Husband Sues After She Mentions Him in Show

She says he's trying to silence her

(Newser) - The future of comedy could depend on how much of a sense of humor British judges have when dealing with an unusual defamation lawsuit, legal experts say. Comedian Louise Beaumont says her estranged husband is suing her for mentioning him in her stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last... More »

Cops: KFC Closures Not an Emergency

Angry Brits are making their feelings known

(Newser) - Failure to get your hands on finger-lickin'-good chicken is not a real emergency, no matter how bad your craving, British police are stressing in the midst of KFC's UK chicken shortage . Police in Tower Hamlets produced the warning about improper police calls Tuesday on Twitter , per the Evening ... More »

KFC Suffers Mass Closures Over Lack of Chicken

Some 600 of its 900 UK locations were closed Monday

(Newser) - The chicken has crossed the road, "just not to our restaurants," explains KFC UK in a tweet addressing its weird problem: no chicken. USA Today reports about 900 of the chain's roughly 21,500 locations are in the UK, and only 300 of them were open Monday... More »

3 Billboards Driven Through London Demand Justice

'71 dead. And still no arrests? How come?'

(Newser) - Activists for victims of a deadly London high-rise fire have taken inspiration from an Oscar-nominated film to press for more action by police. Three mobile billboards were driven through the British capital Thursday on behalf of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign, the AP reports. The group was set up after... More »

Judge Dashes Assange's Hopes of Leaving Embassy

British judge upholds the arrest warrant against him

(Newser) - A British judge on Tuesday upheld a UK arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, leaving his legal position unchanged after more than five years inside the Ecuadorean Embassy. Judge Emma Arbuthnot rejected a call from Assange's lawyers for the warrant to be revoked because he is no longer... More »

Lord Quits British Government Because He Was Tardy

Government refused to accept Lord Bates' resignation

(Newser) - Britain's Lord Bates is clearly a man who values punctuality: After arriving a few minutes late for a session in the House of Lords on Wednesday, the lawmaker declared that he was "thoroughly ashamed"—and resigned on the spot. Bates, a minister at the Department for International... More »

Trump Makes 'Significant Climbdown' in Interview

He says he's ready to apologize for far-right retweets

(Newser) - President Trump made what British TV host Piers Morgan called a "significant climbdown" during an interview in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday. The president told Morgan that he is prepared to apologize for his controversial retweets last year of anti-Muslim videos from the far-right Britain First group, the BBC reports. Trump,... More »

Trump Denies Report of Bad Relationship With British PM

'There's a little bit of a false rumor out there'

(Newser) - "The prime minister and myself have had a really great relationship, although some people don't necessarily believe that," CNBC quotes President Trump as saying Thursday in Switzerland. "There's a little bit of a false rumor out there, so I just wanted to correct it,... More »

Charity Behind 'Grope-Fest' Folds

Britain's Presidents Club to close after distributing remaining funds

(Newser) - The charity organization responsible for a dinner and auction that's been skewered in the British House of Commons this week will close its doors. Trustees of the 33-year-old Presidents Club announced Wednesday the organization will shut down once its remaining funds are "distributed in an efficient manner to... More »

Coroner: Owner Died After 'Show of Affection' From Pet Snake

Victim's mom kept all 10 of his snakes

(Newser) - Dan Brandon loved his 8-foot pet python Tiny and, fatally, the feeling was apparently mutual. Brandon, 31, was found dead in his home in Basingstoke, England, last August, and a coroner's inquest has concluded that he was asphyxiated by the African rock python, one of 10 snakes and a... More »

Elite Charity Dinner Exposed as Grope-Fest

2 female reporters for 'Financial Times' work as hostesses

(Newser) - On the surface, it was a respectable event that raised $2.8 million for charities including a world-renowned children's hospital. But a bit of digging reveals London's men-only Presidents Club Charity Dinner is the opposite of respectable, reports the Financial Times . The newspaper sent a pair of undercover... More »

If UK Has Its Way, No One Will Be Lonely Again

PM Theresa May announces a minister of loneliness to address this public health issue

(Newser) - There's a rampant health issue in Britain that may be worse for one's health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and PM Theresa May has just appointed a person to address it. "For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life," May... More »

Why Stopping a 150mph Sneeze Isn't Smart

UK patient ruptures throat, researchers warn about other possible damage that could result

(Newser) - It's said to be "exceedingly rare," but a study in the BMJ Case Reports journal documents the case of a 34-year-old UK man who showed up at a Leicester hospital complaining he was having a hard time swallowing, and that he felt a "popping sensation" in... More »

No Jail for Doc Who Burned His Initials Into Patients' Livers

UK's Simon Bramhall, who's still practicing, gets 120 hours community service, nearly $14K fine

(Newser) - A UK surgeon busted for laser-inscribing his initials into the livers of two transplant patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2013 won't go to jail for his "arrogant" act. Sky News reports 53-year-old Simon Bramhall managed to avoid time behind bars for "[betraying] the trust" of his... More »

Trump Calls Off London Visit, Blames Obama

He says embassy sale was a 'bad deal'

(Newser) - President Trump says he has scrapped plans to visit London—and it's former President Obama's fault. In a tweet late Thursday, Trump said he will not be unveiling the new American embassy in the city because his predecessor made a "bad deal," reports Reuters . "Reason... More »

Assange Granted Citizenship, but He's Still in a Snag

Ecuador comes to his aid yet again

(Newser) - Following a "total victory" last spring , Julian Assange has faced a setback in his attempt to extricate himself from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London that's been his home for five and a half years. The British government announced Thursday it had rejected Ecuador's request to grant Assange... More »

1.4K Cars Destroyed in New Year's Eve Blaze

6 dogs were rescued from blaze next to UK horse show

(Newser) - A massive fire New Year's Eve in a multi-story parking garage in Liverpool, England, destroyed around 1,400 cars, with one exploding every few seconds at the height of the blaze, authorities say—but no humans or animals were seriously injured. Horses had been stabled in the garage before... More »

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