Liz Truss has emerged as the clear favourite to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the ruling Conservative party and UK prime minister, using her political experience to pull ahead of challenger Rishi Sunak.
Sunak helped to spark the contest after resigning in opposition to a series of government scandals, prompting others to follow and Johnson to step down.
But although considered a better public speaker, he has come under fire for clinging to fiscal orthodoxy to tackle the economic crisis and hamstrung by his image as a wealthy technocrat.
Sunak, who would become Britain’s first prime minister of colour, has also faced accusations of treachery for bringing down the Tories’ Brexit hero Johnson.
Truss meanwhile has doggedly hammered home a direct and consistent message, promising massive tax cuts, and has shied away from criticising Johnson.
“She’s a better politician,” said John Curtice, a political scientist at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
“If you ask me what Liz Truss’s campaign was about I will immediately say to you: ‘a tax cut not a handout’.
Very clear,” he told AFP.
“There is no strapline for Sunak, nothing.
”For Curtice, Truss has effectively conveyed “traditional Conservative messages” to Tory members while Sunak has been more nuanced.
“It’s also a bit of a lecture,” he said, assessing that he has come across as “a wee bit brittle” under pressure.
“You can see that she’s been in the game for longer,” he added.
– Political journey –Truss, 47, has described her ascent towards the top of British politics as a “journey” that has seen her criticised for being ambitiously opportunistic.
She comes from a left-wing family and initially joined the centrist Liberal Democrats before jumping ship to the right-wing Conservatives.
She became MP for the South West Norfolk constituency in eastern England in 2010, surviving revelations of an affair that almost cost her the nomination.
Since 2012 she has held a series of ministerial posts in the education, finance, and departments as well as a difficult spell in justice.
In 2016, she campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union but quickly became one of its strongest supporters when Britons voted for Brexit.
When the UK left the EU, Johnson put her in charge of negotiating new free trade deals before appointing her as foreign secretary last year.
In the role, she took on the controversial task of trying to overhaul differences with Brussels about post-Brexit trade in Northern Ireland.
Like Johnson, she has talked tough on Russia and given unswerving backing for Ukraine.
Truss’s dress sense and photo opportunities — posing in a tank in Estonia and wearing a fur hat in Moscow — have earned her comparisons to Tory icon Margaret Thatcher.
Her sometimes stiff style has become visibly more relaxed and allies have sought to soften her image, revealing her love of karaoke and socialising.
– Establishment elite?
–“For a party that’s gone in quite a populist direction in recent years, she’s been able to present herself as more authentic, more ordinary than Rishi Sunak, who is all too easily presented as part of the global elite,” said Tim Bale, from the Queen Mary University of London.
“Like Boris Johnson, she is keen on the idea that there is some kind of elite that has to be countered and she sets herself up as being outside the establishment, despite having been in government for eight years.
” Sunak, 42, the grandson of Indian immigrants, grew up as the son of a doctor and a pharmacist in Southampton, on England’s south coast.
He attended the prestigious fee-paying Winchester College school, then Oxford University.
Truss, who went to a state school in Leeds, northern England, also studied at Oxford.
Both studied politics, philosophy, and economics.
Sunak met his wife, Akshata Murty, whose father founded the Indian tech giant Infosys, at US university Stanford before jobs at Goldman Sachs and investment funds.
He has represented the constituency of Richmond in northern England since 2015, where he was soon marked out as a potential future prime minister.
He became finance minister in early 2020, quickly winning plaudits for spearheading government support for people and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
But Sunak, a self-confessed geek with a love of Star Wars, saw opinion turn against him this year after it emerged that his wife did not pay UK tax.
Critics have also used his private wealth, expensive clothes, and houses to portray him as out of touch with the ordinary public.
Greece on Saturday concluded 12 years of European Union fiscal surveillance that was imposed in return for bailouts after a crushing debt crisis.
In November 2009, Athens revealed a sharp rise in its public deficit that eventually led to a financial crisis across the eurozone and wreaked havoc on Greek finances for a decade.
In exchange for bailout cash of 289 billion euros and to stop Greece from crashing out of the eurozone, a “troika”, made up of the International Monetary Fund, EU and the European Central Bank, demanded across-the-board reforms from Athens.
These included deep state spending and salary cuts, tax hikes, privatisations and other sweeping reforms aimed at righting public finances.
The economy contracted by more than a quarter, unemployment spiked to almost 28 percent and skilled professionals emigrated in droves.
“A cycle of 12 years which brought pain to citizens, led to economic stagnation and divided society,” has ended, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
“A new horizon filled with growth, unity and prosperity emerges for all,” he said.
“The Greece of today is a different Greece.
“We have recorded strong growth and a significant slide in unemployment of three percent since last year and 5 percent since 2019,” he added.
Ending the oversight will strengthen Greece’s international market position by increasing its attractiveness to investors.
Athens will also now have greater control over its domestic economic policy.
Nevertheless, Greece — like fellow bailed-out EU members Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland — will still be monitored by its creditors while paying back its debts.
In Greece’s case, that will take another two generations, with the last loans due for repayment in 2070.
According to European Commission projections, the Greek economy will grow by 4 percent this year, much higher than the eurozone average of 2.
However, Greece’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the monetary union, its minimum wage one of the lowest and the country’s debt is 180 percent of gross domestic product.
A 44-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of 87-year-old Thomas O’Halloran on a mobility scooter in west London.
He was arrested at an address in Southall, west London, in the early hours of Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.
“I will like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident.
“As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest had been made and this investigation is progressing at pace.
“Mr O’Halloran’s family have been updated with this development and they will continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
’’ Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, had said.
It came after officers were called to Cayton Road in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday to reports of a stabbing and Mr O’Halloran was declared dead at the scene.
Detectives believed Mr O’Halloran was stabbed in Western Avenue at about 4.00 p.
m. before managing to travel around 75 yards on his mobility scooter to Runnymede Garden where he flagged down a member of the public for help.
Mr O’Halloran was originally from Ennistymon, Co Clare, in the west of Ireland.
The local community in Clare expressed their deep shock following the pensioner’s death.
Mr O’Halloran is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.
Local Fine Gael Senator, Martin Conway, said Mr O’Halloran visited Ireland regularly and that his death had left his home community in Ennistymon and north Clare in deep shock and sadness.
Mr Conway noted the passionate musician was very popular in Greenford and often busked for charity.
Footage on social media showed Mr O’Halloran busking to raise money for Ukraine months before the killing.
He could be seen playing his accordion and smiling, with a makeshift blue and yellow collection box strapped to his frame, in the video posted online in June. Former Labour MP Stephen Pound paid tribute to Mr O’Halloran, an ex-constituent whom he knew from the busker’s regular public presence in the area.
He told GB News: “Tom was a real local character.
He would be outside Greenford Station playing the accordion, occasionally the harmonica.
“He was a sweet, lovely man.
He was well-liked and well-loved, but, above all, he was one of those characters who will cement an area.
Oil spill contingency planning is the process of developing an adequate spill response capability with guidance on the contingency planning process for potential oil spills in the water or on the water following an accidental release of oil in a marine or aquatic environment, whether during the handling, transportation, production or storage of petroleum products.
Somalia is exposed to serious pollution of the marine environment, especially that emanating from oil spills, which is however an international problem and the solution lies in the application of international standards by countries such as Somalia.
On February 15 and 16, the first part of the Maritime Criminal Justice Chain (MACRILEX) 2 exercise was held, organized by the Ministry of Ports and Maritime Transport (MPMT), with a seminar on the preparation exercise for hydrocarbon spills.
The exercise was attended by high-level directors such as Dr. Mahad Mohammed Hassan, Deputy Minister of MPMT, who chaired the event with the relevant support of the Director of National Maritime Coordination and Blue Economy (Office of the President), representatives of the Somali Maritime Administration, MPMT, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Somali Police Force Maritime Police Unit Department of Coast Guard, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Human Rights and Women's Development (WIMS Project Representatives), Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Internal Security (Department of Maritime Security).
The event focused on the MV Wakashio oil spill event (summer 2020) for reference.
The currently existing draft Ministry of Ports and Shipping Oil Spill Contingency Planning was presented to the audience by the Director of the Department of Marine Environment at MPMT, also Presentations from advisers from the UK Spill Association and Ireland, EMSA, IOC, IMO, Nairobi Convention Secretariat, IOPC Secretariat, UNSOM, UNEP and EUCAP served to fuel a very fruitful and participatory discussion on the needs and details needed to improve the Contingency Planning of Somalia from the perspective of each of the institutions present.
Special comments were made regarding Somalia's adherence to the different relevant international treaties on the matter and the existing compensation schemes.
Possible criminal consequences and the protection of seafarers' rights required in such events were also discussed.
Recommendations agreed by Somali stakeholders, among others, included the establishment of an Oil Spill Contingency Planning Working Group that includes Federal Member States.
All documentation and presentations will be shared among the participants, in order to achieve a comprehensive and feasible contingency plan to better prevent and deal with potential oil spills in Somalia.
EUCAP will continue to collaborate with relevant Somali authorities and counterparts to help the Ministry of Ports and Shipping (MPMT) improve its existing oil spill contingency planning to respond effectively and efficiently to oil spills in accordance with the international regulatory standards.
The United States continues to lead the Women's World Ranking; Changes to the top three; A record 185 teams listed in the rankings.
July 2022 was a busy month for women's football, with five major tournaments taking place around the world.
In addition to UEFA Women's Euro 2022, continental championships were held in Africa, South America, North America and Oceania, serving as qualifying events for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™.
Since June 17, 2022, when the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking was last published, no fewer than 221 matches have been played, generating considerable movement up the rankings.
And while the USA (1st, -), recent winners of the CONCACAF Women's Championship, remain the team to catch, the Stars and Stripes have a new challenger in the form of Germany (2nd, plus 3).
The EURO 2022 runners-up overtake Sweden (third, minus 1), whose own European title ambitions came to an end in the semi-finals.
Newly crowned continental champions, England (4th, plus 4) moved up four places ahead of France (5th, minus 2).
The relegations of the Netherlands (6th, minus 2), Canada (7th, minus 1) and Spain (8th, minus 1) are the other significant changes in the Top 10 of this edition.
Like the Lionesses, South Africa (54th, plus 4) also moved up four places thanks to their 2022 CAF Women's Africa Cup of Nations title.
Semi-finalists in that tournament, Zambia (80th, plus 23) are the team that has improved the most in this edition after ascending 23 positions.
Nigeria (46th, minus 7), which surprisingly lost 1-0 to She-polopolo in the match for third place, recorded the biggest decline in terms of points (minus 69.33).
Another notable improvement in this edition is Jamaica, who achieved their highest placement (42, plus 9), after their third place in the Concacaf Championship.
Also enjoying record highs are Iceland (14 plus 3), the Republic of Ireland (26 plus 1), Portugal (27 plus 3) and Zambia.
Four new teams have joined the Ranking since June 2022: Cambodia (120, -), Turkmenistan (137, -) Timor-Leste (152, -) and Guinea-Bissau (169, -), giving the August edition of 2022 a record - breaking 185 FIFA member associations.
Click HERE (https://fifa.fans/3QhktOi) to see the full standings.
The next edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking will be published on 13 October 2022, ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ Draw on Saturday 22 October 2022 in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau.
Leader USA (no change) Moves into top 10 None Moves out of top 10 None Total games played 221 Most games played England, Philippines, Senegal (9 each) Most movement by points Zambia (plus 89.78) Most movement by ranks Zambia (23+ places) Biggest Drop by Points Nigeria (minus 69.33)Biggest Drop by Ranks Mexico (10+ places)Newly Qualified Teams Cambodia, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Guinea-BissauTeams No Longer Qualified None
The Super Falcons of Nigeria have dropped by seven spots in the July FIFA Ranking, to be placed 46th, after ending 4th at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco.
In the ranking table published on the website of the world football governing body on Friday, Nigeria garnered 1535.09 points in the month under review and lost 69.33 points, which is the biggest decline in terms of points.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the former African champions surprisingly went down 1-0 to the She-polopolo of Zambia in the match for the third place match of 2022 WAFCON.
At the continental level, the drop in spot however did not displace the Falcons as the 1st placed team in Africa with the current WAFCON winner, South Africa placed 2nd.
Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast are the 3rd, 4th and 5th placed teams, respectively.
South Africa (54th, plus 4) moved up four places on the back of their title triumph at the 2022 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Semi-finalists at that tournament, Zambia (80th, plus 23) are this edition’s most-improved side after surging 23 places.
At the global scene, July 2022 was a busy month for women’s football, with five major tournaments taking place across the globe.
In addition to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, continental championships were held in Africa, South America, North America and Oceania, all serving as qualifying events for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.
Since 17 June 2022, when the -Cola Women’s World Ranking was last published, no fewer than 221 matches have been played, generating considerable movement in the standings.
And while USA (1st), recent winners of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, remain the team to catch, the Stars and Stripes have a new pursuer in the shape of Germany (2nd, plus 3).
The EURO 2022 runners-up move ahead of Sweden (3rd, minus 1), whose own European title ambitions came to an end in the semi-finals.
Freshly crowned continental champions, England (4th, plus 4) moved up four places ahead of France (5th, minus 2).
Drops for the Netherlands (6th, minus 2), Canada (7th, minus 1), and Spain (8th, minus 1) are the other significant changes in this edition’s Top 10. Another notable improver in this edition is Jamaica, who achieved their highest-ever placing (42nd, plus 9), following their third-place at the Concacaf Championship.
Also enjoying all-time highs are Iceland (14th, plus 3), the Republic of Ireland (26th, plus 1), Portugal (27th, plus 3) and Zambia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that four new teams have joined the Ranking since June 2022 namely Cambodia (120th), Turkmenistan (137th) Timor-Leste (152nd) and Guinea-Bissau (169th), giving the August 2022 edition a record-breaking 185 FIFA member associations.
Ways to halt the war in Ukraine and the possible launch of a new conflict in Syria are expected to dominate talks on Friday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish leader was riding high from the diplomatic success of helping orchestrate the resumption of Ukrainian grain shipments across the Black Sea when he took most of his top ministers to Sochi for his second talks with Putin in 17 days.
But there are tensions.
Putin told Erdogan in Tehran last month that Russia remains opposed to any new offensive that Turkey might be planning against Kurdish militants in northern Syria.
Analysts believe these strains form part of the “competitive cooperation” that has defined the two leaders’ relationship over the past 20 years.
The two were expected to hold private talks and a working lunch but no joint press conference.
“Russia’s war on Ukraine has restored Turkey’s self image as a key geopolitical player and given Erdogan more visibility than at any time in the last few years,” European Council on Foreign Relations fellow Asli Aydintasbas wrote in a report last week.
Truce talks Attempts by NATO member Turkey to remain neutral in the face of Moscow’s historic stand-off with the West over Ukraine are starting to pay off.
Months of Turkish efforts saw Moscow and Kyiv sign a UN-backed agreement in Istanbul last month to resume grain deliveries from Ukrainian ports.
The first ship from Ukraine crossed Istanbul on Wednesday.
Three more ships destined for Turkey and markets in Ireland and Britain set sail on Friday under a landmark deal designed to relieve a global food crisis caused by the war.
Turkey wants to translate this success into truce talks in Istanbul between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“We discussed if the grain agreement could be an occasion for a sustainable ceasefire,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said after talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Asia this week.
Complicating these efforts are repeated threats by Erdogan to launch a new military operation in Syria — a country where Russian and Turkish interests clash.
Russia’s army helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad survive a decade-long rebellion by groups backed by Turkey.
But Erdogan is threatening to invade northern Syria to expand an existing buffer zone that pushes out Kurdish groups he links to “terrorists” waging an insurgency against the Turkish state.
Putin told Russian media in Tehran he still has “certain disagreements, obviously” with Erdogan about Syria.
“In most likelihood, (Friday’s) meeting has something do with a possible incursion into Syria, for which Turkey did not get a green light,” said foreign affairs analyst Soli Ozel of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University.
“Russia would have to get something in return,” Ozel added.
Waiting game Some analysts speculate that what Putin really wants is drones and ways to escape Western sanctions linked to the five-month-old war.
Turkey has been supplying Kyiv with lethal Bayraktar aerial vehicles that have proved effective in destroying Russian armoured columns across the Ukrainian war zone.
US officials say a Russian team has visited Iran to scope out the purchase of hundreds of drones for its own forces in Ukraine.
Erdogan has added to the intrigue by telling his cabinet that Putin asked him in Tehran to start selling the Bayraktars to Russia.
A senior Turkish official later said that Erdogan interpreted the suggestion as a joke.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov appeared to lend credence to the idea.
“Military and technological cooperation are always on the two countries’ agenda,” Peskov told reporters.
Ukrainian intelligence also leaked an alleged Putin proposal to The Washington Post detailing ways Russia could use investments in Turkey to circumnavigate Western sanctions slowly strangling its economy.
Western officials cited by the paper could not confirm if the alleged Ukrainian intercept was real.
Turkey is under heavy US pressure to comply with the sanctions in full.
One unlikely source of friction is how the two leaders — renowned for being chronically late — will actually meet.
Erdogan made Putin stand in place for nearly 50 seconds before walking out to greet him in Tehran.
A Turkish state news agency camera zeroed in on Putin’s fidgeting face the entire time.
Many interpreted this as payback for the time Putin made Erdogan wait for nearly two minutes at a meeting in 2020.
The new UN Women Country Representative, Paulina Chiwangu, formally assumed her duties on Wednesday after presenting her credentials to the Ugandan Foreign Minister, the Hon. General Jeje Odongo.
The launch took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and was witnessed by dignitaries from MOFA and the UN Women Country Office in Uganda.
During the ceremony, the minister recognized the tremendous work of UN Women in supporting women's empowerment and gender equality.
She commended the new country representative for her impressive experience and for having worked extensively in Uganda.
“Women in Uganda still face many challenges, including the effects of COVID-19, the challenges of outsourced work in the countries they work in, and the patriarchy that still leaves them behind.
We want to work with UN Women to address the prevailing challenges in refugee settings and outsourcing.
UN Women must work closely with the government to identify priority areas where they can work together," said the Hon. Jeje Odongo.
Ms. Chiwangu commented on her warm welcome to Uganda, highlighting UN Women's mandate to support all countries to promote gender equality and women's empowerment".
First of all, I congratulate Uganda and Brenda Akia for being voted into the CEDAW committee, the first time a Ugandan woman has been elected to the committee.
On behalf of UN Women, I pledge our close collaboration with her in the work of CEDAW.
Also Congratulations to the country for the launch of the Parish Development Model and I promise to support to ensure its successful implementation”, said Paulina Chiwangu is a Doctor of Philosophy and has more than 20 years of experience in development and humanitarian work.
She previously served as UN Women Deputy Country Representative in South Sudan and as UN Women Country Office Deputy Country Representative in Iraq, as well as Head of KR Sub-Headquarters G.
Prior to her work with UN Women Iraq, she worked with UN Women Bosnia and Herzegovina as Head of Gender Coordination for the UNDAF.
She worked with UN Women in Serbia as acting Head of Office.
Before that, she headed the UN Joint Inter-Agency Program on Gender Equality and was Acting Country Representative for the UN Women office in Uganda for a year.
Before joining UN Women, she was Head of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as the Public Relations Unit of the UNDP Police Reform Program in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
She has held positions in various countries in southern Africa, as well as in the United States and Ireland.
The UN Women Country Representative is an accredited representative of the UN Women Executive Director and Regional Director and is responsible for negotiations with the host country.
The Country Representative also oversees relations and activities with the government and other partners, provides security for UN Women staff, and facilitates common service functional arrangements with other UN agencies.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Iyeneobong Essien, a 16-year old Nigerian girl, for finishing second at the Champion of Champions World Golf Championship Invitational in Northern Ireland.
In a statement by his Spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina on Tuesday in Abuja, the president saluted the achievements of the youngster, who currently topped the junior player cadre in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Essien has been cr
British Airways on Tuesday suspended ticket sales for short-haul London Heathrow flights until at least Monday, in order to meet the hub’s request to cap flights due to staff shortages.
The carrier has been among the worst affected by sector-wide turmoil, as airlines eye recovery after the lifting of Covid pandemic travel restrictions.
BA has already axed thousands of short-haul flights this year as it struggles to meet strengthening demand with sufficient staff.
“As a result of Heathrow’s request to limit new bookings, we’ve decided to take responsible action and limit the available fares on some Heathrow services to help maximise rebooking options for existing customers,” BA said in a statement on Tuesday.
The carrier, which is owned by airline conglomerate IAG, added it took the decision “given the restrictions imposed on us and the ongoing challenges facing the entire aviation industry”.
BA has already been operating a pared-down flights schedule.
In early July, it cut 10,300 short-haul flights up to the end of October.
That brought total flight cancellations to 13 percent of its entire summer schedule.
Separately, BA had last month avoided a strike by its Heathrow ground staff after making an improved pay offer.
Tuesday’s news came after IAG announced last week that it flew back into profit for the first time since the start of the pandemic, boosted by a strong recovery in demand.
IAG logged net profit of 133 million euros ($135 million) in the second quarter, after a loss of 981 million euros a year earlier.
The conglomerate also owns Ireland’s Aer Lingus, as well as Spain’s Iberia and Vueling.
Airlines and airports are struggling to recruit staff after sacking thousands of workers as the world entered Covid lockdowns.