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Posted by: James Youell
16/03/2018

The head of Nato has said that Russia underestimates the ‘resolve and unity’ of UK allies. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Nato was undergoing its biggest strengthening of collective defence since the end of the Cold War. The recent nerve agent attack on British soil on Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal, 66 and daughter Yulia Skripal, 33 has left them in critical condition after they were found slumped on a bench in the Wiltshire city on the 4th of March. Det Sgt Bailey also remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being contaminated with the chemical. Investigators also said that as many as 131 people may have been exposed to the chemical attack in Salisbury but have not shown any symptoms. The UK government has said they were poisoned with a nerve agent of a type developed by Russia called Novichok and PM Theresa May said she believed Moscow was ‘culpable’. Since then she has ordered the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, prompting Russia’s foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to say it will also do the same in response. Mr Stoltenberg said Nato has ‘no reason’ to doubt the British findings suggesting Russia’s responsibility and that the UK is not alone with support from the US, France, and a pledge of support from Australia. Russia still denies any involvement with the ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko claiming the UK had angled allegations against Russia to ‘divert attention from Brexit’ (Source – BBC News)

Parsons Green tube bomber convicted of attempted murder. Teenager Ahmed Hassan planted a homemade bomb on a packed rush hour train injuring 30 people and was sentenced this week after ‘overwhelming evidence’ against him. The device which he built partially detonated in September last year. A fireball swept through the carriage burning passengers skin, hair and clothing. Survivors spoke of feeling their faces being both burned and lacerated by flying glass at the same time. Hassan, 18 of Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey admitted making the bomb by mixing a powerful but unstable explosive using hydrogen peroxide and he made an initiator using a kitchen timer. Hassan said that he had made the bomb because he was ‘very bored, very depressed and very confused’ and wanted to draw attention to himself. The Jury heard of how both Hassan’s parents were dead by the time he was six and his father’s death was due to an air raid; Hassan blamed Britain for his father’s death. He had also complained about ongoing airstrikes against his country but still denies the bomb attack was motivated by hatred or revenge. The London court heard that he had told Home Office immigration officials he had been abducted by Islamic State in Iraq and spent three months ‘being trained to kill’ he later then said that this story was fabricated as a way to win sympathy and secure leave to remain in the UK. (Source – The Guardian)

Snow forecast…again?! The met office issues amber weather warnings as the snow forecast for the weekend has just got worse. There could be up to 20cm (8in) which could fall as forecasters warn of a mini ‘beast from the East’. The Met Office said the snow and ice will begin in some places this afternoon with the worst of the weather being across London, South East, Midlands and Yorkshire from around 4pm tomorrow afternoon and into Sunday morning. (Source – Sky News)

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