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Hundreds of thousands of revellers took to the streets to celebrate London's Notting Hill Carnival on Monday, as police made more than 400 arrests during the festival's 50th anniversary.

Feathered dancers, steel bands and earth-shaking sound systems featured in the vibrant celebration of British Caribbean culture, with many festival-goers sporting glittery face paint and waving Jamaican flags.

"It's excellent! We are loving the free spirit of everyone and we have all been dancing," said Annuar Aziz, a 41-year-old businessman from Malaysia who stumbled on the event by accident with his wife and four children.

"We heard the music from where we are staying in Bayswater and just followed the sound."

As every year, some outbreaks of violence and many drug arrests marred Europe's biggest street party.

 

 

Ecuador says it will let Swedish officials interview Julian Assange at its embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been sheltering for the past four years.

Quito's foreign ministry said in a statement late Wednesday that a letter has been sent by the Ecuadoran government to set up the meeting.

"In the coming weeks, a date will be established for the proceedings to be held at the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom," the statement read.

Prosecutors in Sweden have said they want to interview Assange in connection with a 2010 rape allegation against him.

"The prosecutor has requested permission to carry out an interrogation, so it is of course good for the investigation if it can be held," Karin Rosander, spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told AFP on Thursday.

She said however that the exact date of the interview has not yet been pinned down.

Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point store donated water bottles, flavoured drinks, crisps, cups and plates to InHarmony Lambeth Community Concert at Wheatsheaf Hall, where students were playing the orchestra in front of children, students, young people, tutors and parents. All the goods donated by the store will be used to support the local children that attend the InHarmony events in Lambeth.

Steven Moore, After School Lead at InHarmony contacted the store looking for support with refreshments and treats for the event on Thursday 14th July 2016, which was estimating around 250/300 people to attend, the community concert event took place at the Wheatsheaf Hall, Wheatsherf Lane off South Lambeth Road.

In Harmony Lambeth (IHL) was launched in 2009 and is inspired by the Venezuelan El Sistema Programme. It is primarily a social action programme which encourages the pursuit of excellence to enrich the lives of children, young people, families and the wider community around the Stockwell and Vauxhall area.

If you wish to find out more about the School and up coming public events then please visit: http://www.inharmonylambeth.co.uk/ also there will be some great pictures taken at the event by the school which can be located on their social media feed: https://twitter.com/ihlambeth

 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke out against the banning of the Islamic burkini swimsuit in France as he headed to Paris Thursday for talks with his French counterpart.

Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital, spoke out after some 30 French towns banned the burkini, triggering a fierce debate about women’s rights and secularism.

"I don’t think anyone should tell women what they can and can’t wear. Full stop. It’s as simple as that," he told the London Evening Standard newspaper.

"I don’t think it’s right. I’m not saying we’re perfect yet, but one of the joys of London is that we don’t simply tolerate difference, we respect it, we embrace it, and we celebrate it."

 

The new Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point has opened today creating 250 new jobs for the local community.

Former long-serving colleague, Ann Martin, joined store manager, Andy Robins, to cut the official ribbon of the new store and declare it open for business.

The new store sees Sainsbury’s return to the area, with the company having had a store there previously for over 30 years.   The old store was demolished to pave the way for the current redevelopment of Nine Elms.

Commenting on the opening, store manager Andy, said:

“It is fantastic to have Sainsbury’s back at the heart of a community that we previously served for over 30 years. We have been counting down the days to Wednesday 24th August, and can’t wait to showcase what we have to offer in store.”

We’ll be pleased to see the familiar faces of returning staff and welcome new employees from Lambeth and Wandsworth. The new store is another mark of progress in and around Vauxhall”,- said Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Lambeth Cllr Jack Hopkins.

 

London's Labour mayor Sadiq Khan on Sunday urged party members to unseat boss Jeremy Corbyn in the upcoming leadership election, saying he had "failed to win the respect of the British people."

"Jeremy's personal ratings are the worst of any opposition leader on record and the Labour party is suffering badly as a result," Khan wrote in the Observer, the Sunday version of the centre-left Guardian newspaper.

"He has lost the confidence of more than 80 percent of Labour's MPs in parliament -- and I am afraid we simply cannot afford to go on like this," he added.

Khan is backing Owen Smith in the upcoming party election, voting for which will begin on Monday when ballot papers will be sent out to Labour members.

 

Midnight at bustling Oxford Circus Underground station in the heart of London, a band is playing and weekend revelry is only just beginning for some residents of the Big Smoke.

Excited Londoners and tourists jostle to be among the first to take the Night Tube — a new service that will see the Victoria and Central lines run all night on Fridays and Saturdays.

“It’s great that the tube’s going to be open all night,” said Omar Khan, a 27-year-old clothing designer who was planning to party through the night with his friends.

The Night Tube is seen as a boost for revellers, tourists and shift workers, who on Friday and Saturday nights will now be able to travel on the network at any chosen hour.

 

Residential rents for new lets in London have fallen for the first time in six years, according to the first study published on the issue since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

A monthly survey published by Countrywide estate agents on Monday found that new rental contracts were priced 0.5 per cent lower in July than for the same period last year.

The average monthly rental contract in July was £1,280 ($2,214), around £7 cheaper than a year ago.

 

China's ambassador to Britain urged London on Tuesday to approve a Beijing-funded nuclear power plant as soon as possible, warning that relations between the two countries were at a critical point.

"Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more," Liu Xiaoming wrote in an article in the Financial Times newspaper.

"I hope the UK will keep its door open to China and that the British government will continue to support Hinkley Point -- and come to a decision as soon as possible so that the project can proceed smoothly."

On July 28, Britain's new government said it was delaying final approval of the £18-billion (21-billion-euro, $23 billion) project to build Hinkley Point, the country's first new nuclear plant in a generation.

 

The last two reporters working on Fleet Street filed their final stories on Friday, ending more than 300 years of journalism on the London thoroughfare synonymous with Britain's newspaper industry.

London chief reporter Gavin Sherriff and entertainment features writer Darryl Smith, journalists with Scottish weekly The Sunday Post, are all that remains of the famed institution.

"We knew as journalists that this was an important part of history for our profession, which we love," Smith told AFP.

"There is still that attachment to Fleet Street as a centre of the profession, and we are that final torchbearer."

AFP's departure from Fleet Street in 2009 left the London bureau of Scottish publishers D. C. Thomson as the last remaining newsroom in the industry's spiritual home, now overtaken by investment banks and legal offices.