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New London mayor Sadiq Khan said Wednesday that he was not a Muslim leader but represented everyone in the city, after making history by becoming the first mayor of his faith in a major Western capital.

 

 

"Let me be very clear, I'm not a Muslim leader or Muslims' spokesperson, I'm the mayor of London. I speak for all Londoners," the 45-year-old said in a wide-ranging media briefing.

 

 

Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, added however that his election proved "that it's possible to be Muslim and a Westerner. Western values are compatible with Islam".

 

 

He repeated his criticism of presumptive US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has proposed banning all Muslims from entering the United States.

 

 

Khan, a member of Britain's opposition Labour party, said Trump was "ignorant about Islam" and was "playing into the hands of the extremists".

 

 

Britain leaving the EU would damage Western security and dangerously weaken Europe, five ex-NATO chiefs and a host of former US secretaries of state and defence warned on Tuesday.

The former NATO heads said a so-called Brexit would undermine the transatlantic military alliance and "give succour to the West's enemies", and would "undoubtably lead to a loss of British influence".

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, they said they were following the debate ahead of the June 23 referendum on Britain's EU membership "with growing concern".

"Given the scale and range of challenges to peace and stability we collectively face, the Euro-Atlantic community needs an active and engaged United Kingdom.

 

 

Sadiq Khan was sworn in as London mayor Saturday after being elected the first Muslim leader of a major Western capital, as the Conservatives defended attempts to link him to extremism during the campaign.

 

 

The opposition Labour lawmaker, the son of a Pakistani bus driver who grew up in social housing in the city, broke from convention by taking his oath of office in a multi-faith ceremony at Southwark Cathedral.

 

 

"My name is Sadiq Khan and I'm the mayor of London," the 45-year-old said to cheers from supporters, who had earlier given him a standing ovation as he walked in.

 

 

He added: "I'm determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen, and to represent every single community, and every single part of our city, as mayor for all Londoners."

 

 

Khan won 57 percent of the vote in Thursday's mayoral election, securing 1.3 million votes to see off multimillionaire Conservative Zac Goldsmith and make history as the city's first Muslim mayor.

 

 

In his victory speech in the early hours of Saturday morning, Khan referenced the negative campaign against him by saying London had chosen "unity over division".

 

 

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had led the attacks against Khan for sharing platforms with radical Muslims at public events.

 

 

There was criticism from across the political spectrum on Saturday at the tone of the Tory campaign, but Defence Secretary Michael Fallon insisted it was legitimate.

 

 

"Both candidates were asked questions about their backgrounds, their personalities, their judgment, the people they associate with," he told BBC radio.

 

 

Opposition Labour lawmaker Sadiq Khan is on course to become the new mayor of London and the first Muslim leader of an EU capital, final opinion polls suggested Wednesday, despite attempts to link him to extremists.

The son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver has a 12- or 14-point lead over Zac Goldsmith, his multimillionaire rival from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party, according to two polls published ahead of Thursday's vote.

In a final campaign stop in a street market in a multi-cultural district of south London, Khan joked with stallholders and their customers and posed in the spring sunshine for selfie pictures.

But he condemned the divisive nature of the campaign that has seen him repeatedly forced to defend himself against claims that he has failed to condemn Muslim extremists.

"I am disappointed that the Conservatives and Zac Goldsmith have decided to have a negative, divisive and increasingly desperate campaign," he told AFP.

"Hopefully if I win, I'll be the mayor that unites our city again, that brings communities together."

Tensions over the campaign have been exacerbated by a simmering row over anti-Semitism in the Labour party, which exploded last week with the suspension of a lawmaker and former London mayor Ken Livingstone.

 

 

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright on Monday identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin following years of speculation about who invented the pioneering digital currency.

 

 

Wright was named by three media outlets -- the BBC, The Economist and GQ magazine -- and posted a blog on his website.

 

 

However, in a defiant interview with the BBC, the 45-year-old insisted that he would have preferred his identity to remain secret, adding he was not seeking cash or honours.

 

 

"I don't want money, I don't want fame, I don't want adoration, I just want to be left alone," Wright told the British broadcaster.

 

 

"If anyone puts me up for awards or anything like that, I will never, ever accept a cent. Ever."

 

 

He added that he had not taken the decision to identify himself, saying: "I had people decide this matter for me."

 

 

Some raised questions about his claim, suggesting more work should be done to verify it.

 

 

Bitcoin is a technically sophisticated and untraceable currency based on the same underlying mathematics as governments and militaries use to encrypt codes.

 

 

Unlike traditional currencies such as the dollar or the euro, which require the sponsorship of a central bank, Bitcoin is decentralised.

 

 

Digital coins are created by supercomputers and then traded online or exchanged for goods and services by a peer-to-peer network of computers connected to the Internet.

 

 

The favourites to become London’s new mayor on Thursday are two completely contrasting candidates: Zac Goldsmith, the son of a tycoon financier, and Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver from Pakistan.

Polls put Labour candidate Khan, 45 and his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith, 41, as the top two candidates in a field of 12.

– Sadiq Khan –

Khan’s rise to prominence represents a modern fairytale.

Born in London in 1970 to parents who had recently arrived from Pakistan, he grew up in public housing with his six brothers and sister in Tooting, an ethnically diverse residential area in the south of the city.

But his modest background plays well in a city that boasts about its diversity and loves a self-made success story.

Khan regularly recalls how his father drove London’s famous red buses, how his mother was a seamstress and one of his brothers is a motor mechanic.

 

 

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone said on Saturday he regretted a row over anti-Semitism that has rocked Britain's opposition Labour party, but refused to withdraw comments linking Hitler to Zionism.

 

 

"I really regret saying it because it has caused all this eruption," the veteran politician told LBC radio, amid a controversy that threatens to damage Labour's chances ahead of regional elections next week.

 

 

But he said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made similar remarks, adding: "I never regret saying something that is true."

 

 

Livingstone was suspended from the centre-left party on Thursday after saying Hitler initially wanted to move Jews to Israel, and "was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews".

 

 

 

Britain's opposition Labour Party on Thursday (April 28) suspended former London mayor Ken Livingstone after he said Hitler supported Zionism, in a furious row over anti-Semitism that is dividing the party.

"Ken Livingstone has been suspended by the Labour Party, pending an investigation, for bringing the party into disrepute," a Labour spokesman said.

Mr Livingstone told BBC Radio London: "When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews."

 

 

Big Ben will fall silent for several months while the iconic London clock tower next to the Houses of Parliament undergoes "desperately needed" repairs next year, officials said on Tuesday (April 26).

The bell, whose chimes feature on British radio broadcasts, will be silenced as part of the £29 million repairs.

The work will repair the clock faces and mechanism, cracks in the tower's masonry and corrosion in the roof, as well as restoring the edging around the clock faces to their original 19th-century colour.

 

British Prime Minister David Cameron accused the main opposition Labour party's candidate for London mayor of associating with an alleged supporter of the Islamic State group on Wednesday, triggering a furious row.

Cameron's comments were aimed at Sadiq Khan, a Muslim former government minister and human rights lawyer who is leading opinion polls for the May 5 mayoral election.

During Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, Cameron accused Khan of appearing alongside imam Sulaiman Ghani on nine occasions. "If we are going to condemn not just violent extremism but also the extremism that seeks to justify violence in any way, it is very important that we do not back these people and we do not appear on platforms with them," Cameron said.

The prime minister added that he was "concerned" about Khan, accusing him of appearing "again and again and again" with Ghani, saying: "This man supports IS." Cameron's comments were interrupted by an uproar from Labour MPs, some of whom shouted "racist" at him.