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USA UK and Malta News
25/11/2007 - 23:38

Editoweb: UK today, 25 nov 2007

Darling must tell 'whole truth' - Oxford Union in furore over controversial free speech debate - MPs demand defence debate - Couple survive cruise ship disaster - Virgin Group preferred Northern Rock bidder: BBC.



Darling must tell 'whole truth'
Conservatives have accused Alistair Darling of failing to tell "the whole truth" about the loss of confidential child benefit data, and demanded an emergency statement from the Chancellor on the debacle.
Senior ministers were forced to defend the Government's competence, as a slew of polls suggested a series of blunders, culminating in the loss of 25 million people's data, have wiped out its reputation for being able to handle a crisis.

Oxford Union in furore over controversial free speech debate
Oxford University's prestigious student debating club was embroiled in a growing row Sunday ahead of a planned event on free speech involving a Holocaust-denying historian and a far-right politician.
Critics said the Oxford Union's debate, set for Monday evening, risked turning "bigots into martyrs" with hundreds of protesters expected outside.

MPs demand defence debate
The Government is being accused of sneaking out a decision to allow an RAF base to be used as part of America's missile defence system.
Defence Secretary Des Browne revealed he had approved a US request to use the top-secret Menwith Hill facility through a written statement as MPs left Westminster for the summer.

Couple survive cruise ship disaster
A British couple have told how they were rescued from a cruise liner which hit an iceberg and sank in the Antarctic.
Gillian and Brian Lee, from Telford, Shropshire, were among 24 Britons and four Irish holidaymakers who escaped on lifeboats as the M/S Explorer began taking on water.
They were picked up by another ship and taken to a remote island where they spent the night in military barracks before being flown to Chile.

Virgin Group preferred Northern Rock bidder: BBC
Troubled British lender Northern Rock will name a consortium led by billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Group as its preferred buyer, the BBC reported Sunday.
Without citing its sources, the broadcaster said on its website that the bank would make an announcement detailing the decision on Monday.
Northern Rock has borrowed an estimated 25 billion pounds (34.8 billion euros, 51.5 billion dollars) in emergency funds from the Bank of England since September

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