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British police on Wednesday charged a 19-year-old man with making or possessing explosives after a suspicious item was found on a London Underground train last week.

Damon Joseph Smith was charged a week after the item was found on a train at North Greenwich station, which serves the O2 entertainment complex in southeast London.

He is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

London's Metropolitan Police allege Smith "unlawfully and maliciously made or had in his possession or under his control an explosive substance with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom".

The charges relate to a day between October 18 and October 21, when Smith was arrested by armed police on a busy shopping street. An electric stun gun was used during the arrest, but no shots were fired.

A police spokeswoman would not confirm whether the explosive substance was a viable bomb and told AFP that Smith's alleged offence was not terrorism-related.

 

 

 

Security has been stepped up on the London Underground network, police said Saturday, following the arrest of a 19-year-old man after a suspicious item was discovered on a Tube train.

"The public will see more officers, including armed police, in and around transport hubs," a Scotland Yard spokesman told AFP.

Armed police arrested the 19-year-old in London on Friday under counter-terrorism laws in connection with the suspicious package found the day before.

An electric stun gun was used during the arrest on a busy shopping street, but no shots were fired.

The suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism acts, remains in custody on Saturday.

The item, found on a train at North Greenwich station, which serves the O2 entertainment complex in southeast London, was being forensically examined.

 

 

The United States and Britain warned on Sunday that Western allies were considering imposing sanctions against economic targets in Syria and Russia over the siege of Aleppo.

US Secretary of State John Kerry branded the bombardment of civilians in the Syrian battleground city as "crimes against humanity" and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged Moscow to show mercy.

"There are a lot of measures that we're proposing including extra measures on the regime and their supporters," Johnson said, standing alongside Kerry after talks in London.

"These things will eventually come to bite the perpetrators of these crimes, and they should think about it now," he warned.

Kerry, meanwhile, warned that US President Barack Obama had not taken any option off the table in terms of tackling Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's assault on his own people.

He too raised the idea of sanctions but he played down the possibility of military action and insisted that it was his and Johnson's duty to "exhaust" all diplomatic options.

"We are discussing every mechanism available to us but I haven't seen a big appetite from anyone in Europe to go to war," Kerry said after talks with French and German officials.

 

A local fire service is visiting Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point to give safety advice at the weekend.  Crew members from Lambeth Red Watch – London Fire Brigade will be making a special visit to the supermarket to provide hints and tips to help Lambeth and Wandsworth customers stay safe during the firework season. The fire-fighting team will be at the store on Saturday 22nd October 2016 from 11:00am for a few hours. They will be based in the store’s Foyer area on the day and will be handing out useful leaflets with information that customers can take away with them. Store Manager, Andy Robins, said: “As a store which sells fireworks, it’s really important that we act as a responsible retailer and make sure that our customers can take away some safety tips when using fireworks. That’s why we’re delighted to be partnering with Lambeth Red Watch – London Fire Brigade this firework season and we hope our customers will take away some great advice when the fire-crew visit the store”.

 

 

The British government will make a long-awaited decision next week on plans to boost London's airport capacity, a spokeswoman said Tuesday, with growing speculation that it will back expansion at Heathrow.

In a rare move, ministers opposed to the decision will be allowed to voice their views when the preferred option is revealed, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said.

The unusual arrangement comes amid mounting speculation that the government will back a new runway at Britain's busiest airport, Heathrow, after years of debate and wrangling over the issue.

The decision on whether to approve this option or instead expand London's Gatwick airport will be taken by a cabinet sub-committee on transport, which includes May and Finance Minister Philip Hammond.

The spokeswoman said the decision had been "delayed for too long" and should be made now "in the national interest", after cabinet ministers met Tuesday to discuss the matter.

 

 

Britain's stock market scored a record high Tuesday as share prices were boosted by the weak pound, which lifts exporters, and a recent bounce in oil prices.

At about 1120 GMT, London's FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies jumped to 7,129.83 points, beating the previous record set on April 27, 2015.

"There's been two key factors driving the FTSE to record highs," Oanda analyst Craig Erlam told AFP.

"The first is the dramatic depreciation of the pound, as a large proportion of FTSE 100 company profits are generated abroad. The weak pound therefore boosts earnings in sterling terms."

The energy-heavy benchmark FTSE 100 index has also been buoyed by Monday's rebound in oil prices.

Customers at Sainsbury’s Nine Elms had a helping hand at the till by a local cause. Volunteers from Tooting & Balham Sea Cadets were providing a bag-packing service for customers on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd October 2016, to raise money for a new gallery that will allow the cadets to gain more catering qualification within the unit and for the juniors to gain modules.

The Tooting & Balham Sea Cadets , situated in Mellison Road have been supported by Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point for years. The store have supported the Tooting & Balham Sea Cadets so far by allowing the charity to have awareness stands, collections days and bag packing in store.

Jessica Burton from Tooting & Balham Sea Cadets who was taking part in the bag-packing said: “We was really looking forward to helping pack checkout customer’s shopping and now we would like to take the opportunity to thank Sainsbury’s for their support and helping to raise awareness of our Tooting & Balham Sea Cadets.”

 

Syrian and Russian air strikes on Aleppo have prompted accusations of war crimes over claims they involve sophisticated weaponry that can have a devastating effect in residential areas.

It is not clear exactly what armaments have been deployed but UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cited reports of incendiary weapons and bunker buster bombs, while barrel bombs and cluster munitions have also been used previously in Syria.

Which weapons might have been used?

- Bunker busters: named for their use in penetrating hardened targets such as underground military headquarters.

- Incendiary weapons: used to start fires, including materials such as napalm and white phosphorous, which can cause severe burns if they come into contact with skin.

They have a legitimate function of generating smokescreens.

 

 

The 'passport' rights allowing 5,500 British-based financial firms to operate freely across the European single market are at stake in the fallout from Brexit, posing a 'significant' risk to the finance sector, the country's financial watchdog has revealed.

Some 8,000 financial firms based elsewhere in the European Union also do business in Britain via passporting, and their rights are likewise threatened, data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulator showed.

The passport scheme allows companies to do business across the 28-nation European Union -- and the 31-strong European Economic Area which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

In the run-up to Britain's EU exit referendum in June, major players in the City of London finance district warned about the impact of a possible departure from the EU single market -- and the loss of passporting.

The future of those rights is uncertain ahead of the expected start of Brexit negotiations next year to draw up a formal new trade deal with the EU.

"These figures give us an initial idea of the effects of losing full access to the single market in financial services," said lawmaker Andrew Tyrie, who heads parliament's Treasury Select Committee (TSC).

Britain has criticised Hungary's government for a leaflet being distributed there ahead of its referendum on EU migrant quotas which indicates parts of Britain as "no-go areas" due to high numbers of immigrants.

The no-go zones map of Europe came out as a newspaper ad in Hungary several months ago. It has now been included in the 18-page pamphlet posted to millions of people ahead of the referendum next month.

"This leaflet is clearly inaccurate. There are no areas in the UK in which the laws of the UK cannot be enforced," Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

The British embassy in Budapest has complained to the Hungarian foreign ministry about the publication.