An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Wednesday:
UK spending review - UK Chancellor George Osborne will present a review aimed at cutting the government’s ballooning fiscal deficit. The review is expected to result in some of deepest austerity cuts made by any country in Europe.
France strikes - President Sarkozy will debate his Pension Reform Bill in French parliament today ahead of a final vote later in the week. The proposals have met with fierce, public opposition and brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of France.
An update from the newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Tuesday:
France strikes – People were taking to the streets in France again on Tuesday, a day before Sarkozy’s controversial pension reform bill is set to become law. There have been further skirmishes between students and police in French suburbs, and demonstrations are planned throughout the country. Many flights from several airports are expected to be canceled. Read the full story
Chechen attack - Three suicide bombers launched an attack on the Chechen parliament Tuesday, killing at least three people, officials told CNN. The exact number of casualties in the attack was unclear.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Monday:
Europe terror threat - In a radio interview Sunday, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said that Saudi Arabian intelligence services are warning of a new terrorist threat from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula targeting Europe, especially France.
Congo rape - Nima Elbagir visits the village of Kahungu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where only a few days ago, armed militants launched an attack of rape and sexual abuse.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Tuesday:
Ukraine bus crash – A collision between a bus and a train in the Ukraine left 40 people dead, officials say. The crash took place when a commuter bus and a railway locomotive collided in Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk region, according to Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry.
Hostage death – President Obama has offered his condolences to Prime Minister Cameron for the death of British hostage, Linda Norgrove, in Afghanistan. It is thought that she may have been a victim of "friendly-fire" rather than been killed by a captor’s suicide belt as originally thought. Both leaders have pledged a full investigation into the death.
Hungary toxic sludge - Hungarian officials have admitted that a second tide of red sludge is possible after cracks were spotted on the reservoir wall. Villages near the reservoir have been evacuated and a huge effort to build an emergency dam is under way. But does it come too late? Read the full story
Queen Elizabeth - Queen Elizabeth II is due to unveil Cunard’s new cruise ship in Southampton, southern England, which is called the Queen Elizabeth. It is thought that the ship was named after the late Queen Mother. Zain Verjee is reporting live from Southampton.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Friday:
Hungary toxic sludge - Experts have said that it looks like the sludge contamination has been diluted sufficiently enough to not pose a threat to the main Danube River. Other countries along the river’s banks are making contingency plans in case they are affected by the contamination, but fears of mass pollution seem to have abated.
Nobel Peace Prize - The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Liu Xiaobo, a leading Chinese dissident who is serving an 11-year prison term. Liu was sentenced in 2009 for inciting subversion of state power. He's the co-author of Charter 08, a call for political reform and human rights, and was an adviser to the student protesters at Tiananmen Square in 1989. We're chasing reaction.
An excavator pours industrial gypsum to reduce the alkalinity into the Marcal River, Hungary.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Thursday:
Hungary toxic sludge - The river of red toxic sludge is inching ever closer to the Danube river. Four people have died and over a hundred have been injured after a leak from a metals plant reservoir sent caustic sludge through villages in Western Hungary. Read the full story
Luzhkov interview - Matthew Chance sits down for an exclusive interview with the ousted former mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov. Luzhkov accuses President Dmitry Medvedev of overseeing "calamities, terrorist acts, and bad harvests," during his period in power. Read the full story
Commonwealth Games - The list of countries that have agreed to compete in the Commonwealth Games is growing. Team Wales and Team England have announced that they will travel to Delhi for the competition, despite criticism that the athletes' village is uninhabitable and filthy.
U.N. focus on Sudan - The United Nations today turns its focus to Sudan, and a January referendum for independence in the south of the country. Given the ethnic divisions and potential violence, the world body wants the election to be peaceful. Today's session will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, who also meets with ASEAN leaders.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on the stories we're watching on Thursday:
France strikes - French trade unionists will bring the country to a standstill today as they hold a one-day strike to protest against Sarkozy’s plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
Greece strikes - On the tenth day of action, protesting truck drivers blocked traffic for hours on Greece's two busiest highways and clashed with police in front of parliament Wednesday, as lawmakers approved a shake-up of labor market rules as part of an agreement for international rescue loans.
Commonwealth Games - With fears over security and poor infrastructure following Tuesday’s Delhi bridge collapse, it looks like the Commonwealth Games are in trouble. Across the globe, athletes are pulling out, with England stars announcing that they will not be taking part and Scotland delaying sending its team to India to give the authorities a few days to improve conditions.
Arctic conference - An international conference to discuss the future of the Arctic is taking place today. Several countries have laid claim to different areas in the region which is said to hold up to a quarter of the world’s oil and gas resources.
An update from the TV newsdesk in London on the stories we're following on Tuesday:
Somalia clinic - A hospital set up by and for African Union troops has quickly become the only source of free medical care for the embattled and ravaged citizens of Mogadishu. Jane Ferguson is filing a report.
Cricket row - The head of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has allegedly threatened legal action against Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt over comments that he made in the last few days accusing England players of having being paid to throw a match.
Paris art heist - The trial of three men allegedly involved in stealing paintings from Pablo Picasso's great-granddaughter is to begin in Paris Tuesday.
Al-Megrahi visit - British media is reporting that Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter died in the Lockerbie bombing, met with convicted Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi in Libya last week. Apparently he’s physically weak but sound of mind, according to Swire.
Paris terror threat - France’s Interior Ministry has confirmed that present terror levels have been reinforced in the wake of terror alerts following France’s banning of the burqa.
Bond Street luxury – “Main Streets Across The World” global retail report from Cushman & Wakefield finds that London's New Bond Street has overtaken Paris's Avenue des Champs-Elysées as Europe’s most expensive retail location, but New York's Fifth Avenue remains the world's most expensive shopping street. Jim Boulden reports. He also speaks to the CEO of Burberry at London Fashion Week and gets her views on the state of the luxury goods industry.
Greece truckers - Greece’s truckers extend their protests ahead of draft bill that will be submitted to the country’s parliament and which proposes opening up the sector.
Sangin handover - British forces in southern Afghanistan have handed responsibility for security in Sangin to U.S. forces, the Ministry of Defence says. The British Government first announced the transfer of authority in July. Control of the area was handed from 40 Commando Royal Marines to the U.S. Marine Corps.
Cricket claims - Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt is reported to have said some England players were paid to lose Friday's one-day international. He has since denied making the comments, but the England cricket team are expected to make a statement in response. The teams meet each other again in London today.
Swedish election - A far-right, anti-immigration party has won representation in Swedish Parliament for the first time. The win by the Sweden Democrats won 20 of the 349 seats in the Swedish assembly, denying the governing center-right alliance an overall majority.
Air de Paris - Air de Paris ... it might sound like a new cologne, but no, it’s the name of the tethered balloon which lets everyone within 15 miles of Paris know exactly how polluted the city’s air is at any moment. Created as more of a tourist attraction back in 1999 (it can carry 30 people up to 450 feet), it has been turned into an eco-awareness symbol which constantly measures air quality across the city. Jim Bittermann reports.
Germany killings - Authorities in southwest Germany are looking for a motive in an apartment building fire and a hospital shooting that, together, left four people dead. Police believe the incidents are linked. Two bodies - one of a man and another of a 5-year-old boy - were found inside a burning building in the city of Loerrach, police say.
Amputee swimmer - A French quadruple amputee swam the English Channel to inspire all those "who think life is nothing but suffering." Using special flippers he made the 12-hour swim at the weekend, nearly two decades after an electrical accident cost him his legs from the knees down and his arms from the elbows down.
Pope visits UK - Pope Benedict spends the second day of his UK state visit in London where he will meet with a congregation of young people, the Archbishop of Canterbury as well as former PMs Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher. He will also address the Civil Society in Westminster Hall.
Pakistani politician - There are fears of violent demonstrations in Karachi after a prominent Pakistan politician was stabbed to death outside his home in North London. De Imran Farooq was a leading member of Muttahida Quami Movement.
Chechen arrested – The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office is preparing the documentation required for the extradition of Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev who was detained in Poland, the agency says. Zakayev had been living in the UK since 2003, but the country refused to arrest him.
Prince William - Britain's Prince William, the second in line to the throne, was due to become a fully qualified search and rescue pilot when he graduates from his training course Friday.
Greece skulls - Two U.S. tourists unknowingly bought six human skulls in Greece, which they learned when they were stopped at the airport in Athens. The Americans carried the skulls in their hand luggage, which was scanned during a layover on their way back to the United States from the island of Mykonos.
Stockholm bomb - A suspect device has allegedly been found outside the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm. We are chasing the story.
Pope visits UK - A day ahead of the pope’s visit to the UK, a group of victims who suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy is holding a news conference in Central London. We also have an interview with the Archbishop of Westminster. Meanwhile, a UK ad for ice-cream depicting a pregnant nun has been banned in the run-up to the pope’s visit in case it causes offence to Roman Catholics.
Somalia violence - It’s been a brutal summer in Somalia. The al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist group Al Shabab controls most of the country. The embattled and U.N.-backed government controls only pockets of the capital. Defending the government are AMISOM - African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi. But in Mogadishu the line between defense and offense is rarely clear. A war with no end in sight. We have an exclusive report from Jane Ferguson.
Hayward grilling - BP’s outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward is to appear before the UK parliament’s Energy and Climate Select Committee today as part of an inquiry into deep water drilling in the UK. Jim Boulden will be reporting live.
France reforms - France’s National Assembly is due to vote today on President Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial retirement reform proposals which would see the retirement age rise to 62.
Lego trademark - The Lego group has lost an 11-year legal battle to register its eight-stud brick as a trademark, after a ruling by the European Court of Justice. Max Foster is on the story.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're following today:
Burqa ban - France’s Senate votes today on a full ban on the burqa being worn in public. This is the second stage in a three-stage process which would see the proposal become law.
Popemobile - Max Foster goes to a special preview of the Popemobile, a bulletproof, modified, white Mercedes which will be used to transport the pope while he’s in the UK this week.
George Michael - George Michael will be hoping for Freedom today as he places his Faith in the UK’s judicial system to Listen Without Prejudice as he waits to hear if he will be jailed after being found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. He will be hoping that the court will allow him One More Try to clean up his act.
European Champions League - The richest and most prestigious football competition gets under way this week as Inter Milan start the defence of their title.
Greece strikes - Freight truckers in Greece are set to strike today.
Fighting pirates - London camera heading down to Southampton to shoot a story on the latest techniques to fend off attacks by pirates, including a demonstration at sea.
Salman Butt, left, Mohammad Asif, center, and Mohammad Amir are at the center of the allegations.
Cricket scandal - Three Pakistan cricketers at the center of a spot-fixing controversy will miss the rest of their tour of England, according to team manager Yawar Saeed. They are appearing before their country’s top cricket officials at the Pakistani High Commission in London. Scotland Yard may also be waiting to question the players as their investigations continue.
Cardinal has “moved on” - In a rare sit down interview Nic Robertson speaks with Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Irish Catholic Church and the man at the centre of the abuse scandal. Cardinal Brady feels enough has been done for the victims; he says that he has moved on, and sees no reason for the pope to travel to Ireland during his upcoming visit of the United Kingdom. Read the full story
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're following on Wednesday:
Spain prostitution – A trafficking ring responsible for bringing 60 to 80 young male prostitutes to Spain from South America has been dismantled by Spanish police. The men were allegedly plied with drugs and Viagra and forced to work around the clock after the ring bombarded them with death threats. Read the full story
Cricket cheating claims - A meeting between the Pakistan cricket players at the centre of an alleged cheating storm and the country’s top cricket officials due to have taken place in London has been postponed until Thursday. In the meantime, the national team continues to practice in Taunton, UK ahead of a match against Somerset Cricket Club.
An update from the CNN newsdesk in London on some of the stories we're following on Tuesday:
Amsterdam arrests - Two men, allegedly of Yemeni origin, are being questioned at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport having arrived on a flight from Chicago. U.S. authorities had spotted “suspicious items” in their luggage. The items discovered apparently included watches and mobile phones taped to a bottle of stomach medicine. The men were allowed to travel to Amsterdam but Dutch authorities decided to arrest the pair. Read the full story
Cricket investigation - Federal investigators from Pakistan are expected to arrive in England on Tuesday to look into a betting scandal related to south Asian nation's cricket team, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told CNN. The Federal Investigation Agency officers will arrive in London two days after allegations surfaced that gamblers fixed part of a Pakistan match against England last week. Investigators from the International Cricket Council, the sport's governing body, are already in the United Kingdom making inquiries into the allegations, the council said Tuesday.
South Africa strike - Crisis talks have failed to halt the public sector strike in South Africa with the education and healthcare systems continuing to be the hardest hit. CNN’s Robyn Curnow goes to visit a man in Soweto who cannot get hold of vital medication.
UK obesity - The number of obese people in England undergoing surgery in NHS hospitals to help them lose weight has increased ten-fold since 2000, according to a study published Friday. Weight-loss procedures rose from 238 in 2000 to 2,543 in 2007, while between April 2000 and March 2008 6,953 operations took place, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported. Obesity is fast beginning to challenge smoking as the greatest healthcare system cost in the UK.
HIV singer verdict - German pop star Nadja Benaissa faces a verdict today in a case which has seen her confess to sleeping with various partners without telling them she was HIV positive. The singer has already apologised for her actions saying that she had been “absolutely careless.” One of her former partners blames the singer for his now HIV positive status. Phil Black reports. Read the full story
South Africa struggle – As the public sector strike in South Africa continues to claim victims, a father took to the radio airwaves in Johannesburg today to plead for help for his premature baby daughter. His girlfriend had been turned away from a public hospital where workers were striking and refusing to allow patients into the building. A private hospital responded to the man’s pleas and hopefully the life of this innocent child can be saved. Read more on South Africa strikes
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