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World more volatile and dangerous than at any time since Cold War, Rishi Sunak warns on trip to Europe | Politics News

Rishi Sunak warned the world is now “more volatile and dangerous” than at any time since the Cold War, as the prime minister embarked on a trip to Poland and Germany to discuss the threat of expansionist Russia and refocus the world’s eyes back on to Ukraine.

Speaking to journalists on the flight over to Poland, the prime minister said we were “unfortunately living in a world that is more dangerous than we’ve known it in decade, probably more dangerous than the end of the Cold War”, adding that this was why it was “important in that we do invest more in our defence and that’s what we’ve been doing”.

“My first priority is to keep people safe, and you’re right, I have been honest with people that the world is less safe than it has been in decades and my job, indeed my obligation, is to invest to keep the country safe, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Announcing a further £500m of military support being sent to Ukraine – taking the UK’s total support this year to £3bn – the prime minister told journalists he was “proud” the UK had led on supporting Ukraine and also told European allies it was “important” for Europeans to invest in security in these volatile times.

“We’re stepping up because that is what the situation demands and requires,” he said.

Politics latest: Rwanda bill finally clears parliament

“And if we are joined by other European partners in that it is important that Europeans invest in their own security,” he told Sky News.

“[It was] very welcome news over the weekend from the US, but that doesn’t take away from the need for Europeans to invest in their security.

“I am very proud that the UK has always led in that regard. We are Europe’s largest defence spender and one of the few countries that’s consistently met the 2% NATO pledge and today’s action is another example of us leading by example.”

The prime minister is joined on this trip by his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, raising expectations that the prime minister might be making a bigger funding commitment on defence as he comes back on to the world stage. He will meet Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over the next 24 hours.

The UK on Monday committed its largest ever donation of kit, including more than 400 vehicles, more than 1,600 missiles and 4m rounds of ammunition to the Ukraine war effort as Russia makes inroads.

“They have asked and we have answered,” said the prime minister as he warned that Mr Putin “will not stop at the Polish border” if Russia defeats Ukraine.

But having raided the UK’s arsenal to send to equipment to Ukraine, the next obvious question is whether the prime minister will finally lift the UK’s defence spending to 2.5% of GDP in the face of the growing threat of Russia and China.

The drumbeat is getting louder with two ministers last month – Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Tom Tugendhat – publicly urging the government to invest at a “much greater pace”.

The chancellor has said spending above the 2% NATO target would rise to this figure “as soon as economic conditions allow”.

Read more:
UN urges UK to reconsider Rwanda plan
Govt borrowing higher than forecast

The House of Commons spending watchdog – the Public Accounts Committee – has warned the gap between the Ministry of Defence budget and cost of the UK’s desired military capabilities has risen by £16.9bn – the largest deficit ever – despite a promised injection of over £46bn over the next decade.

Fresh from victory on the passing of his landmark Rwanda legislation and emphatic that a regular rhythm hour of flights will be taking off from July, the trip to Europe is part of a publicity blitz as the embattled prime minister looks to get on the front foot ahead of next week’s local elections, aware that a disastrous night could put him not just back on to his heels but into free fall.

Kyiv’s weapons pile has been depleted, with a $60bn military aid package held up in the US Congress for months. The House of Representatives finally approved the funding at the weekend, with the deal now awaiting approval in the Senate, which should mean American weapons should start flowing into Ukraine in the coming days.

Men who murdered aspiring lawyer Sven Badzak after Waitrose trip in case of mistaken identity jailed for life | UK News

Two drug dealers who stabbed an aspiring lawyer to death in a case of mistaken identity have been handed life sentences for his murder.

Rashid Gedel and Shiroh Ambersley were among a group of six men who targeted 22-year-old Sven Badzak and his 16-year-old friend in a “gang-style attack” as the victims returned from a trip to Waitrose, the Old Bailey heard.

Mr Badzak fell to the ground and was repeatedly stabbed during the incident in Kilburn, northwest London, in February 2021, while the teenager was also stabbed but managed to run to a nearby supermarket for help.

Rashid Gedel
Pic:Met Police
Image:
Rashid Gedel was convicted of murder. Pic: Met Police

Prosecutor Anthony Orchard KC said neither victim was a gang member or associate but appeared to be the “unfortunate victims of mistaken identity”.

Gedel and Ambersely, both 22, were found guilty last month of murder and wounding with intent.

They were each acquitted of attempted murder of the 16-year-old but both convicted of wounding with intent.

Gedel, from Ilford, was jailed for at least 27 years and Ambersley, from Wembley, was also sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison.

Shiroh Ambersley
Pic:Met Police
Image:
Shiroh Ambersley was also found guilty of murder. Pic: Met Police

Mr Badzak’s mother Jasna, a former Conservative Party activist, attended the trial by video link after it was delayed due to industrial action by barristers last summer.

Following her son’s murder, she shared pictures on Twitter of him as a child with then prime minister Boris Johnson, former chancellor George Osborne, and ex-PM David Cameron, alongside a plea for help.

She thanked jurors for “their hard work and diligence in reaching the rightful verdict of murder” after the defendants were convicted in July.

Ms Badzak also vowed to “fight till the end of her life” to secure “Sven’s law” – to ensure anyone found to be in possession of a knife is handed a mandatory 20 year sentence.

Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak
Image:
Boris Johnson and Sven Badzak as a child. Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak

Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak
Image:
George Osborne with Sven Badzak and his mother, who is a former Conservative Party activist. Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak

Fatal attack lasted 20 seconds

The court heard Gedel and Ambersley had admitted previously carrying knives and drug dealing in the area.

Gedel had four previous convictions for carrying blades dating back to 2014. On his arrest in March 2021, a hunting knife was seized from his bedroom wardrobe.

Ambersley also had a conviction for possession of a blade, two offences of threatening with an offensive weapon in a public place and affray, and possession of drugs.

They had gone to a bakery looking for other young people to attack minutes before the murder and approached Mr Badzak and his friend as they returned from the Waitrose in Finchley Road.

Ms Badzak also shared a photo of her son with David Cameron. Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak
Image:
Sven Badzak’s mother shared a photo of her son with David Cameron. Pic: Twitter/JasnaBadzak

“Sven Badzak and his friend were wholly unaware of what was about to happen,” Mr Orchard told the jury.

Mr Badzak was stabbed in the chest, dropping his shopping bag as he fled and collapsed, the court heard.

Mr Orchard said the victim was kicked, punched and stabbed four times during the attack, which lasted just 20 seconds.

Both defendants, who were identified on CCTV, admitted being at the scene but denied they were carrying knives that day and claimed they were only there to sell drugs.

Titan submersible: Student, 19, killed was ‘terrified’ before trip but went as a Father’s Day present | World News

The 19-year-old university student who was killed in the Titan submersible was “terrified” before the trip but went as a Father’s Day present.

Azmeh Dawood, the older sister of businessman Shahzada Dawood, told Sky’s US partner network NBC News that Mr Dawood’s son Suleman was “very not into doing it”.

“Suleman had a sense that this was not okay and he was not very comfortable about doing it,” she said.

Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman
Image:
Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman (L)

Tributes paid to Titan passengers – live updates

“But it was a Father’s Day thing. It was a bonding experience and he wanted the adventure of a lifetime just like his father did.

“His father wanted it and that was Sule all the way – he’d do anything for anyone.”

Azmeh said the other men who were killed in the “catastrophic implosion” went on the trip “for their own interests” – unlike Suleman.

“They were there for their own reasons. Suleman was just there for [a] Father’s Day bonding experience.

“To be honest, as terrible as it sounds, at least knowing that they wouldn’t have had time to know, they would have just been sat there enjoying themselves and then suddenly boom. It was over. To know that my Sule didn’t feel a moment’s pain.”

Titan submersible in June 2021. File pic: OceanGate Expeditions via AP.
Image:
Titan submersible in June 2021. File pic: OceanGate Expeditions via AP

Describing Shahzada as a “precious angel”, she said he was interested in the Titanic from a young age.

“It was his biggest wish, dream, everything,” she said.

“For Shahzada he fulfilled his dream in an extraordinary way.

“He’s become part of the Titanic legend. I mean, in those terms, it could be nothing greater.”

Speaking from her home in Amsterdam, Azmeh said she was glued to news coverage on the Titan.

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‘Two friends of mine are gone’

Questions remain about Titan’s mechanical and safety issues

It was the outcome that nobody wanted but everyone feared.

As time passed in this search, the prospect of a happy ending diminished.

Coordinators had spoken of hope but throughout they had managed expectations – emphasising the scale of the challenge, calling it “enormously complex”, in an offshore environment they described as “incredibly unforgiving”.

So there was a sense of inevitability about the announcement that debris had been found – the Coastguard news conference on Boston’s harbour side was laced with sorrow, if not surprise.

Questions will continue to be asked about the Titan, its condition and suitability to make the trip.

Mechanical and safety issues remain a big part of this story.

There has been much criticism of the vessel’s structure before, during and after it went missing.

OceanGate, the company that owned the Titan, issued a statement in which it described the five on board as “true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure”. No doubt.

No doubt, either, that in pursuit of adventure, they deserved transport they could count on.

Misplaced trust cost them their lives as they sought a glimpse of the Titanic.

Disasters do tend to attract disaster.

Maritime investigators will consider whether, in the case of the Titan, this was one waiting to happen.

“I feel disbelief,” Azmeh said, speaking through sobs. “It’s an unreal situation.”

“I feel like I’ve been caught in a really bad film, with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you’re counting down to.

“I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them.”

Read more:
What happened to the Titan submersible?
Who were the five men on board Titan?

Both British citizens, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were members of one of Pakistan’s most prominent families.

The family’s namesake business empire, Dawood Hercules Corporation, has investments in agriculture, the health sector and other industries.

Billionaire Shahzada was the vice chairman of the Karachi-based Engro Corporation and an adviser to Prince’s Trust International, a charitable organisation founded by King Charles.

Donald Trump defends golf trip amid rape trial: ‘We’re doing very well in New York’ | UK News

Former US president Donald Trump has told Sky News that he flew to his golf course in Ireland instead of attending his civil rape trial in New York because “of a long-standing agreement” to visit.

He spoke briefly after arriving at his golf course outside the town of Doonbeg in Co Clare, on Ireland’s west coast.

When asked why he was here, instead of facing in person the rape allegation made by accuser E Jean Carroll, he said: “We’ve had a long-standing agreement to come here. We’ve had a tremendous reception, a beautiful reception.

“The people of Ireland have been great, and we’ve had tremendous success, and I hear we’re doing very well in New York.”

The former magazine columnist Ms Carroll says that Mr Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in 1996 – a claim the former president denies.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump rape accuser E. Jean Carroll arrives to the Manhattan Federal Court in New York, U.S. April 25, 2023.  REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Image:
E Jean Carroll at Manhattan Court on 25 April

The civil case has entered its second week in a Manhattan courtroom, but Mr Trump has not attended the trial, and flew to Scotland on Monday to visit his two golf resorts there.

He travelled to Shannon Airport on Wednesday, and will play golf at Doonbeg on Thursday, before bringing his trip to a close.

He also told reporters that the impasse over post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland was a “tough one”.

Read more:
Donald Trump greeted by hat-waving workers at Turnberry golf resort
Trump in Scotland: ‘The home of my mother!’
‘Donald Trump raped me,’ accuser tells New York court

“Well we’re going to see, they’re negotiating and we’re going to see, there are a lot of negotiations going on in Ireland and other places right now, but it’s going be a tough one,” he said.

“It’s not an easy one. We have to work it out.”

Doonberg: The Irish beachside haven where Trump is among staunch friends

Donald Trump remains a popular figure in the tiny seaside destination of Doonbeg.

His hotel employs around 300 people at peak season – that’s roughly the population of the entire village.

People here disassociate themselves from his politics, and instead focus on his vital economic contribution to the area.

As a result, tough questions are rarely asked when Mr Trump visits, as he has done half a dozen times since purchasing the resort in 2014.

After I asked him why he was on a golf trip instead of facing the rape accusations in person in a New York courtroom, he stopped to give an answer.

But after he moved on, I was called a “f****** scumbag” by a small group of bar patrons, who demanded to know why I had “attacked” the former president.

While the vast majority of locals, including the courteous and professional hotel staff, tolerate the media attention, some here are clearly resentful of outsiders questioning their loyalty to the Trump family – even if Donald Trump is facing legal accusations of the utmost gravity.

The former president may only be on a fleeting visit – but here in this beachside haven, he knows he’s among staunch friends.

Mr Trump’s reference to ongoing negotiations in Ireland, comes despite months of talks between the European Union and the British government, which culminated in the Windsor Framework, although No 10 is still in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) about accepting the deal.

Apart from the civil rape case, the trip to Scotland and Ireland is also Mr Trump’s first abroad since he became the first former US president to face criminal charges.

No travel conditions were placed on him after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York in April.

Reece Rodger: Police search for missing man who vanished on camping trip | UK News

Police are “extremely concerned” over the disappearance of a man who went missing during a camping trip in Perthshire.

Reece Rodger, 28, was last seen in the Kinloch Rannoch area at around 11.30pm on Saturday night.

He was camping on the north shore of Loch Rannoch with friends, who believed he had gone to bed.

However, there was no trace of Mr Rodger on Sunday morning and he was reported missing, Police Scotland said.

Sergeant James Longden, of Pitlochry Police Station, said: “We are extremely concerned for his safety as he is not dressed for the cold weather and he is not familiar with the area.

“Searches and enquiries are ongoing to trace him as soon as possible to ensure that he is safe and well.”

Mr Rodger, from Fife, is around 6ft tall and of medium build with dark hair. When last seen he was wearing a black t-shirt, black jogging bottoms and wellington boots.

Sergeant Longden added: “I would urge anyone who has seen Reece, or who has any information on his whereabouts to contact police.

“I would also ask anyone living in the local area to please check their outbuildings or sheds in case he has taken shelter there.”