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24.03.2018 14:23

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Scores of Russian diplomats set to be expelled after EU leaders agree Russia 'highly likely' to have carried out Salisbury attack

24.03.2018 14:10

Scores of Russian diplomats look set to be expelled from European capitals as ten EU countries indicated they were preparing to follow Theresa May's lead in the wake of the Salisbury attacks. France, Poland, Ireland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Estonia and the Netherlands are all in discussions about deporting suspected spies after Theresa May shared intelligence about the nerve agent attack at a meeting of the European Council. Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has also hinted that she may be prepared to go beyond merely rebuking Vladimir Putin, and the EU recalled its ambassador to Moscow overnight in a show of solidarity with Mrs May. Throwing their weight behind the Prime Minister, the 27 leaders of the European Council said it was “highly likely” that the Kremlin was responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. Responding to the announcement on Friday, Moscow accused the UK of leading the European Union towards an "anti-Russia campaign".  In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry said the only explanation was that European leaders "wanted to help the British Prime Minister out of a difficult situation". It came as Markus Ederer, the EU ambassador, was recalled from Moscow on Thursday night to consult with Brussels over the EU’s response to the attack, while a number of EU member states said they were poised to announce expulsions of Russian diplomats. While Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte said the move was a "measure" rather a "sanction" against Russia, the decision paves the way for further retaliatory action against the Kremlin which could see its European spy network dismantled within a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, a convoy of vehicles left the British Embassy in Moscow on Friday morning ahead of a Russian deadline for 23 diplomats to leave the country. A convoy of vehicles leaves the British embassy in Moscow on Friday morning Credit: Pavel Golovkin /AP Russia said it was expelling the diplomats last Saturday in a carefully-calibrated retaliatory move against London, which has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating the nerve toxin attack. On Friday morning, staff were seen embracing colleagues as vehicles were being readied on the grounds of the British embassy. Members of the British embassy staff gather at its compound in Moscow on Friday morning Credit: TATYANA MAKEYEVA /Reuters Leaving a dinner with European leaders on Thursday night, Mrs May said the Council was “standing together” against the growing threat posed by the Putin regime. "I welcome the fact that the EU Council has agreed with the United Kingdom Government's assessment that it is highly likely that Russia is responsible for the attempted murder that took place on the streets of Salisbury and that there is no plausible alternative explanation,” she added. "The threat that Russia poses respects no borders and it is a threat to our values and it is right that here in the EU Council we are standing together to uphold those values." On Friday morning, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on a visit to Hanoi that the UK is "feverishly trying to force allies to take confrontational steps". Theresa May left a dinner with European leaders late on Thursday night  It came after five EU countries indicated they are prepared to follow Theresa May’s lead by expelling diplomats suspected of espionage. France, Poland, Lithuania and at least two other countries are understood to be in discussions about co-ordinated expulsions of Russian Embassy officials in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings. On Friday, Latvia said it would expel "one or several" Russian diplomats. The Czech prime minister Andrej Babis said it was "probable" his country would follow suit, with a decision to be made on Monday. Estonia is understood to be taking action. Irish PM Leo Varadkar said Ireland would conduct a security assessment of Russian diplomats, which could lead to expulsions.  It comes as Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said leaders of the 28 EU states agreed that Russia is likely behind the attack.  At a dinner with other EU leaders in Brussels, Mrs May warned her allies that Russia represents a “long term” threat to each of them and urged them to consider taking action either individually or as a bloc. #EUCO agrees with UK government that highly likely Russia is responsible for #SalisburyAttack and that there is no other plausible explanation.— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) March 22, 2018 Following a meeting between Mrs May, the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French officials hinted that the country was prepared to act. Mr Macron and Mrs Merkel agreed on the importance of sending "a strong European message" to Russia. Dalia Grybauskaite, president of Lithuania, confirmed she was contemplating the deportation of Russians, and Poland’s deputy foreign minister Bartosz Cichocki told The Telegraph his country was prepared to act unilaterally in expelling Russians if it encouraged others to take steps against Moscow. The development is a huge victory for Theresa May Credit: WOLFGANG RATTAY/REUTERS EU leaders made a joint statement on Thursday night agreeing they stood in "unqualified solidarity" with the UK in a big victory for Mrs May. In a joint statement, they said: "The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent attack in Salisbury, expresses its deepest sympathies to all whose lives have been threatened and lends its support to the ongoing investigation. "It agrees with the United Kingdom Government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We stand in unqualified solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this grave challenge to our shared security. "The use of chemical weapons, including the use of any toxic chemicals as weapons under any circumstances, is completely unacceptable, must be systematically and rigorously condemned and constitutes a security threat to us all. "Member states will co-ordinate on the consequences to be drawn in the light of the answers provided by the Russian authorities. The European Union will remain closely focused on this issue and its implications. "Against this background, the European Union must strengthen its resilience to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related risks, including through closer cooperation between the European Union and its member states as well as Nato. "The European Union and its member states should also continue to bolster their capabilities to address hybrid threats, including in the areas of cyber, strategic communication and counter-intelligence. The European Council invites the European Commission and the High Representative to take this work forward and report on progress by the June European Council."

Best Killer Deals On Windows 10, Apple Laptops: 13-inch MacBook Pro Vs. Dell XPS 13

24.03.2018 14:02

In a deal duel which top-flight laptop comes out on top?


Metro Redux Bundle for PC / Mac / Linux for $5

24.03.2018 12:57

Fanatical (formerly Bundle Stars) offers Steam downloads of the Metro Redux Bundle for Windows, Mac, and Linux for $4.99. That's the lowest price we could find by $25 and the best deal we've seen. It includes Metro Last Light Redux and Metro 2033 Redux. Deal ends March 26 at 11 am ET.

Tags: PC, Mac

Historic non-stop flight between Australia and UK ready for take off

24.03.2018 12:12

Passengers were preparing for the first direct flight between Australia and London on Saturday, passing a major milestone by reducing to 17 hours a trip that once took 12 1/2 days. The 9,000-mile flight from Perth, one of the world’s most isolated cities, marks the first direct passenger service between the continents. Qantas Airways' inaugural service between the Australian city of Perth and Heathrow will touch down in London at 5.05am on Sunday before departing for the return trip at 1.15pm that afternoon. Passengers will be on board the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft for 17 hours as they make the 9,009-mile journey. This is 24% further than the UK's existing longest route of 7,275 miles, operated by Garuda Indonesia between Heathrow and Jakarta. Everything you need to know about the first non-stop flights from Britain to Australia The new link with Perth will be around three hours quicker than routes which involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel. It will also enable faster journeys to Sydney and Melbourne than flying via Dubai. Travel firm Flight Centre has recorded "high demand" for the new Qantas flights. Its head of aviation, Justin Penny, said: "Flight Centre definitely feels that long-term the new route is viable and we will see additional services being launched from Europe to Australia in the coming years." Top 10 | The world’s longest flights Lisa Norman, the flight's captain, said  "we have been working towards (this) for the past three years and it’s very exciting”. “When I joined Qantas not in my wildest imagination would I have thought this possible,” she told the West Australian. Capt. Norman says she will be “absolutely exhilarated” when the plane touches down in London. “It’s like when a painter puts the final brush stroke on the work.” Alan Joyce checks in for the first Perth to London direct flight. Possibly the most filmed check in ever at— Rob Scott (@Rob7Scott) March 24, 2018 Aviation consultant John Strickland said the launch of the flights was a significant moment for the airline industry. He told the Press Association: "It will be a further test of how successful airlines can be with ultra long-haul flying and whether this delivers sufficient profitability to justify the investment in aircraft. "Qantas will certainly be hoping to attract a higher proportion of premium customers due to the speed advantage combined with the 787's better cabin atmosphere." The Dreamliners on the Perth-Heathrow route will have 42 business class flat-bed seats, 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats. The aircraft boasts a number of advantages over other models, including lower cabin noise, larger windows, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence. History is being made today. Our new international terminal will open and all @Qantas services will operate from T3/T4. Check your itinerary for your terminal number. The first non-stop flight from Perth to London will depart this evening. ��— Perth Airport (@PerthAirport) March 24, 2018 They are also heralded for their fuel efficiency, although the impact of this will be reduced by the weight of the fuel needed to fly between the UK and Australia without stopping. The world's longest regular passenger flight is operated by Qatar Airways between Doha and Auckland, at 9,025 miles. For Qantas, the Perth connection is a high-profile test for a planned ultra long-haul network that the airline hopes will span the world by 2022.  “You have the resources sector on both sides, you have banks, you have lawyers that all want to fly fast and reliably and comfortably,”’ said Rico Merkert, professor of transport and supply-chain management at the University of Sydney’s business school. “And I think they’re prepared to pay the premium.” flight board is live! Perth-London non-stop - last two continents to be connected by direct air service. Care to guess exact flight time (scheduled 17hrs, 20min)? I’m tipping 16.59— Andrew Parker (@ajamesparker) March 24, 2018 Mining companies in Western Australia dig up more than a third of the world’s iron-ore and bring in some of the largest hauls of gems and rare earths. The sector also supports financial-services firms such as Hartleys Ltd., whose Perth-based director of corporate finance Steve Kite is booked on Sunday’s flight -- the second in the new service to London -- for just a four-day trip. “It’s effectively an overnight flight for me and that feels like I’m saving a lot of time,” Mr Kite said. Not everyone is convinced of the route’s commercial future. Aircraft leaving Perth for London will need feeder passengers from around Australia, said Volodymyr Bilotkach, author of the book “The Economics of Airlines.” But flying from Sydney to London via Perth saves little time over a transfer in Asia or the Gulf, he said. Historic flight Perth-London direct tonight with @Qantas Dreamliner making the first 17-hour non-stop service. Glad to be a part of last night's launch. Sure beats four days and 9 stops in 1947. Great boost for WA tourism and investment.— Michael McCormack MP (@M_McCormackMP) March 24, 2018 Andrew McGinnes, a spokesman for Qantas in Sydney, said bookings on the new route “have been strong” and corporate clients in eastern Australia have indicated they’ll stop in Perth for meetings on their way to London. “It’s a very competitive market but this is a unique flight,” Mr McGinnes said. An analysis of flight times and prices highlights the challenges Qantas faces. Flying business class from Perth to London with Qantas in mid-June would cost A$6,614 (£3,600). Opting for Singapore Airlines via Singapore would take an extra 2 1/2 hours but cost just A$4,843 (£2,600), according to fares on Webjet. Qantas has challenged Boeing and Airbus to build a jet by 2022 that can fly fully loaded from Sydney to London without a break. Success on the Perth-London service would lay the foundations for even longer routes to Europe. “It’s really just the beginning,” said Merkert at the University of Sydney.

Macron expresses 'concern' over Turkish offensive in Afrin

24.03.2018 10:57

March 24, 2018 10:57 PM
PARIS (AFP) - French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday (March 24) expressed "concern" over Turkey's military offensive in Afrin in Syria, telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan it was vital that humanitarian aid be allowed to reach the area.


Is panic driving the Jets' big, green offseason bus?

24.03.2018 10:11

Amid the Ndamukong Suh rumors, our mailbag examines whether GM Mike Maccagnan might be pressing or if he's acting with a boldness the Jets need.

Tags: UK, Mac, GM

Doctor Choices Will Narrow After Congress Denied Obamacare Funds

24.03.2018 10:06

Narrower doctor networks won't go away for Obamacare plans after Congress failed to include a stabilization package in its massive spending bill signed by President Trump.


Macy's Has a Plan to Fend Off Amazon

24.03.2018 8:48

The department-store chain has a number of new ideas to modernize its stores.

Tags: Amazon, Mac

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