Adrian Croft

IMF gives gloomy assessment of world economy

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave a gloomy report on Saturday on prospects for the world economy to a dozen leaders debating how to respond to global financial turmoil. Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a high-powered forum that most of the downside risks to the world economy feared six months ago had now become reality.

UK backs ban on Zim cricket tour

Britain said on Tuesday it would support a ban on a tour next year by the Zimbabwe cricket team in protest at President Robert Mugabe's rule, but the decision was up to the sport's authorities. The BBC's Inside Sport said the government was looking at several options to stop next year's tour.

UK says US rendition flights used its territory

Britain said for the first time on Thursday the United States had used British territory to transfer terrorism suspects, in an embarrassing apology that corrected previous denials. Allegations of covert US activities as part of the ''war on terror'' have circulated for years.

UK: Odds against fair Zimbabwe elections

The odds are against Zimbabwe's elections next month being free or fair despite South African efforts to mediate between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition, Britain's Africa minister said. ''We want to keep an open mind on this ... but the omens and early signs are not good,'' said Mark Malloch-Brown.

BA plane makes emergency landing in London

A British Airways (BA) plane on a flight from China made an emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday and three people were slightly hurt in an incident police said had no link to terrorism. ''We can confirm that BA Flight 38 arriving from Beijing made an emergency landing,'' an airport spokesperson added.

Gordon Brown pledges more public-service reform

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised a new drive to transform the health service and schools on Monday, but again failed to stamp out speculation he may call an early general election. He was to lay out his plans for "a fairer, stronger Britain" in his first speech as leader to the ruling Labour Party's annual conference later on Monday.

New health scheme launched to help world’s poor

Seven developing countries in Africa and Asia will be the first to take part in a new global health campaign aimed at directing aid more effectively at the basic needs of poor countries. Health ministers from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Zambia, Cambodia and Nepal will take part in the launch of the initiative at British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office later on Wednesday.

UK suspects new foot and mouth case

British officials said on Friday they were investigating a new suspected case of foot and mouth outside a previously infected area, but the farmer involved said vets were sure his animals were disease-free. Britain's chief veterinary officer said early on Friday there was a new suspected case outside a 10km surveillance zone.

Brown to walk careful line in meeting with Bush

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was expected to walk a fine line in talks on Monday with President George Bush, keeping some distance on issues like Iraq while preserving the ''special relationship'' with the United States. The Camp David meeting is the first between the new British prime minister and Bush since Brown succeeded Tony Blair last month.

UK’s Brown sets priorities to win back support

Prime Minister Gordon Brown set a target on Wednesday of building three million new houses in Britain by 2020 under measures to tackle a growing crisis over a shortage of affordable homes. Brown knows that solving the housing problem and improving public services may be crucial to his Labour Party winning a fourth successive general election.

Blair’s Africa visit to focus on G8, trade

British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to use a farewell trip to Africa this week to build momentum for a rich nation summit that will focus on Africa and to push for a world trade deal, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. Blair flies to Libya, Sierra Leone and South Africa on one of his last trips abroad before stepping down on June 27 after a decade in power.

Blair set to make announcement on his future

Tony Blair is expected to set a date for his resignation as British prime minister when he makes an announcement about his future on Thursday. Blair, who notched up 10 years in power last week, is expected to stay as prime minister and Labour Party leader until a successor can take over at the end of June or early July.

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