Adrian Croft

Northern Ireland enters new power-sharing era

Northern Ireland's Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders, arch-foes during decades of bloodshed, launched a new power-sharing government in the British province on Tuesday aiming to put a final end to violence. Hard-line Protestant cleric Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness took a pledge of office as first minister and deputy first minister.

Blair accuses Iran of causing trouble

British Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Iran on Tuesday of trying to whip up the ''maximum trouble'' possible but said no one was contemplating military action against Tehran. Blair, a close ally of United States President George Bush, accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons capability in defiance of the United Nations.

Blair vows not to quit despite probe uproar

Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed on Friday not to quit before British police finished a political funding investigation, despite growing alarm in his Labour party over the damage the probe is inflicting on the government. Blair, questioned by police for a second time about the case last Friday, voiced hope the investigation would end soon.

Blair to renew UK’s nuclear arsenal

Prime Minister Tony Blair opted to keep a British nuclear arsenal well into the 21st century on Monday, saying the government planned to order new nuclear-armed submarines to replace its existing fleet. But in a concession to dozens of legislators in his Labour Party who oppose spending billions of pounds on a new nuclear-weapons system, Blair said Britain would cut its nuclear warheads by 20%.

Spy contact says he was poisoned over shared secrets

An Italian contact of poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko said he believed both were targeted with a radioactive substance because of secrets they shared. Mario Scaramella said on Saturday urine tests showed he had received a potentially lethal dose of polonium 210, the rare radioactive isotope that killed Litvinenko.

UK radiation probe widens

Britain said on Thursday it was monitoring five planes for radiation and pledged to contact every country they had visited in a widening investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy. Home Secretary John Reid told Parliament radioactive traces had been found at 12 of 24 locations being investigated and promised there would be no political barriers to the probe.

Don’t panic, Iraq tells US and UK

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih warned against defeatism and panic on Monday as his United States and British allies came under growing pressure to change their Iraq strategy in the face of relentless bloodshed. Salih made clear his anxiety about the change in tone in London and Washington, where senior figures are questioning the current strategy.

Blair calls Muslim veils ‘a mark of separation’

United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped into the debate over the integration of Muslims into British society on Tuesday, calling the full veil worn by some Muslim women ''a mark of separation''. Controversy has erupted in Britain over the wearing of the veil with some leaders of Britain's 1,8-million Muslims accusing the government of stirring up Islamophobia.

Blair urges Labour Party to put aside squabbles

British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged followers on Tuesday to put aside squabbles over who succeeds him and focus on winning the next election in an emotional farewell speech to his party. Blair defended the centrist policies he has followed in nine years in power but said the party had to face up to challenges such as climate change, organised crime and terrorism.

Muslim groups say UK policies fuel militancy

United Kingdom Muslim groups said on Saturday that the UK's policies on Iraq and Lebanon were fuelling militancy, as Pakistan said it had arrested a UK al-Qaeda member over an alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. A court gave UK police more time to question 22 of the 24 suspects arrested in swoops on Thursday.

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