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USA UK and Malta News
12/04/2008 - 22:24

UK today Editoweb, 12 april 2008

Move to defuse row over terror law - Brown urges Africa to help Zimbabwe - Public's say over 'ghost ships' - Brown vows steps to pass on rate cuts - Briton held illegally in Equatorial Guinea over coup attempt: lawyer.

Move to defuse row over terror law
The Home Secretary made a fresh move to defuse the row over tougher anti-terror laws, warning critics as many as 30 active plots against Britain were now being investigated. Jacqui Smith, who faces a serious Labour rebellion over plans to extend the time suspects can be held without charge to 42 days, said it was vital to "stay ahead". She must calm intense anger within the party if the Government is not to suffer a repeat of the damaging 2005 defeat of proposals to extend the limit to 90 days.

Brown urges Africa to help Zimbabwe
African leaders were urged by Britain to help find a solution to the Zimbabwe election controversy, as Gordon Brown dubbed the situation "appalling". The Prime Minister warned President Robert Mugabe that the world's patience was "running thin" with his failure to release the results of the poll after almost two weeks. But in spite of reports of state-sponsored violence and a ban on political demos, South African President Thabo Mbeki insisted there was "no crisis".

Public's say over 'ghost ships'
The public is to have a final say into whether a company's controversial attempt to dismantle so called 'ghost ships' will go ahead, said the Environment Agency. The Agency has started a public consultation on a waste management licence that would allow Able UK to scrap ships at its Graythorp site in Hartlepool and dispose of or recycle their materials. Four US ships have been rusting in the company's dock on the Tees since late 2003 as the company sought permission to begin work and fought off challenges from protestors.

Brown vows steps to pass on rate cuts
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised new measures to ensure that Bank of England interest rate cuts are passed on to mortgage holders. A global lending squeeze has made it harder for banks to raise funds on financial markets, forcing mortgage lenders to toughen up their loan terms and raising the risk of a sharp housing market downturn and economic slowdown in Britain. "Although the Bank of England has cut rates in recent months, the banks have not always been passing those reductions to their customers," Brown said in an article for Sunday's News of the World tabloid newspaper.

Briton held illegally in Equatorial Guinea over coup attempt: lawyer
A Briton accused of masterminding a failed coup in Equatorial Guinea was being held illegally and denied access to his lawyer since being charged in February, a defence attorney said Saturday. British mercenary Simon Mann, a former officer of Britain's SAS special forces regiment, was secretly deported to the west African state of Equatorial Guinea on January 31 from Zimbabwe, even though still appealing extradition. "The current detention of Simon Mann is illegal in law," said local attorney Ponciano Mbomio Nvo, assigned to Mann's defence, claiming he had not even been given access to the file on the accused.

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