Tuesday, 16 January 2018
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British diplomat abducted and murdered in Beirut

Added: 19.12.2017 13:32 | 2 views | 0 comments


A young British embassy worker has been found murdered in the Lebanese capital Beirut after reportedly being strangled and reportedly sexually assaulted.  Rebecca Dykes, 30, from London, who had been working for the Department for International Development, was killed after leaving a bar with friends on Friday night. She had been out in the lively Gemmayzeh neighbourhood of Beirut for the farewell party of a colleague at the British embassy and had left just before midnight with a friend.  The two then parted ways, leaving Miss Dykes to either walk or take a taxi to her home five minutes away.  She had not been drinking as she had an early flight to catch home early the next morning for the Christmas holidays.  She was abducted some time after and killed. Her body was found dumped on the Metn highway several miles away.  Police sources told the Telegraph the first autopsy revealed the cause of death as strangulation, however a second postmortem examination is to be carried out later.  They said they did not believe the attack to be politically motivated. One friend told the Telegraph: "It's horrific. We had no idea what happened to her until we got a call today to go to the police station to give statements." Miss Dykes had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017. Beirut killing She had worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 2010, previously on Libya and Iraq.  She is thought to have grown up in Hong Kong, but attended Malvern St James Girls boarding school in Worcestershire before later studying anthropology at Manchester University and International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.  Friends described her as "warm" and "clever". "She was just finding her feet in Beirut, she was just getting to know the city," on said.  Miss Dykes spoke fluent Mandarin having worked as a teacher in China and Hong Kong for four years prior to joining the Foreign Office. In a statement her family said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened." Hugo Shorter, the British ambassador to Lebanon, said: "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.  "We're providing consular support to her family and working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation." A spokesman for the Department for International Development where she worked said: "Our thoughts are with Becky's family and friends at this very upsetting time. "There is now a police investigation and the FCO (Foreign Office) is providing consular support to Becky's family and working with the local authorities." Such incidents are rare in Beirut, despite the fragile security situation in the country. Since the end of the country's 15-year civil war in 1990, Lebanon has become more stable.  It saw record numbers of tourists this year and attracts increasing numbers of holidaymakers looking to enjoy its Mediterranean beaches and hot climate. 

British diplomat found dead in Lebanon

Added: 18.12.2017 0:37 | 3 views | 0 comments


A young British embassy worker has been found murdered in the Lebanese capital Beirut after reportedly being strangled and reportedly sexually assaulted.  Rebecca Dykes, 30, from London, who had been working for the Department for International Development, was killed after leaving a bar with friends on Friday night. She had been out in the lively Gemmayzeh neighbourhood of Beirut for the farewell party of a colleague at the British embassy and had left just before midnight with a friend.  The two then parted ways, leaving Miss Dykes to either walk or take a taxi to her home five minutes away.  She had not been drinking as she had an early flight to catch home early the next morning for the Christmas holidays.  She was abducted some time after and killed. Her body was found dumped on the Metn highway several miles away.  Police sources told the Telegraph the first autopsy revealed the cause of death as strangulation, however a second postmortem examination is to be carried out later.  They said they did not believe the attack to be politically motivated. One friend told the Telegraph: "It's horrific. We had no idea what happened to her until we got a call today to go to the police station to give statements." Miss Dykes had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017. Beirut killing She had worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 2010, previously on Libya and Iraq.  She is thought to have grown up in Hong Kong, but attended Malvern St James Girls boarding school in Worcestershire before later studying anthropology at Manchester University and International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.  Friends described her as "warm" and "clever". "She was just finding her feet in Beirut, she was just getting to know the city," on said.  Miss Dykes spoke fluent Mandarin having worked as a teacher in China and Hong Kong for four years prior to joining the Foreign Office. In a statement her family said: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened." Hugo Shorter, the British ambassador to Lebanon, said: "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.  "We're providing consular support to her family and working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation." A spokesman for the Department for International Development where she worked said: "Our thoughts are with Becky's family and friends at this very upsetting time. "There is now a police investigation and the FCO (Foreign Office) is providing consular support to Becky's family and working with the local authorities." Such incidents are rare in Beirut, despite the fragile security situation in the country. Since the end of the country's 15-year civil war in 1990, Lebanon has become more stable.  It saw record numbers of tourists this year and attracts increasing numbers of holidaymakers looking to enjoy its Mediterranean beaches and hot climate. 

WW3: World leaders unite to condemn North Korea's 'terrifying and reckless' missile launch

Added: 29.11.2017 3:52 | 5 views | 0 comments

NORTH Korea’s recent "reckless" missile launch has sparked outrage, fear and widespread condemnation across the world, the British ambassador declared.

From: feedproxy.google.com

British ambassador to Iran furious after TV channel 'fails to explain jailed mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday'

Added: 16.11.2017 11:35 | 7 views | 0 comments

Britain's ambassador to Iran has hit out at the country's state TV channel over their reporting on jailed London mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

From: https:

Britain Could Still Change Its Mind On Brexit, Former EU Ambassador Says

Added: 10.11.2017 0:03 | 3 views | 0 comments

Prime Minister Theresa May should stop misleading voters and admit that Brexit can be avoided if Britain decides to unilaterally scrap divorce talks, the man who drafted Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will say on Friday, Reuters reports. May formally notified the European Union of Britain’s intention to leave the EU by triggering Article 50 of the treaty on March 29, setting the clock ticking on a two-year exit process, which has so far failed to yield a divorce deal. “While the divorce talks proceed, the parties are still married. Reconciliation is still possible,” John Kerr, British ambassador to the EU from 1990 to 1995, will say in a speech in London. “We still have all the rights of a...

Britain calls for UN sanctions on Syria over sarin attack

Added: 29.10.2017 21:35 | 10 views | 0 comments


Britain on Friday urged the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria after a UN-led investigation found that government forces were responsible for the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun. A joint UN-Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) panel said the Syrian air force had dropped a bomb on the opposition-held town on April 4, releasing the deadly nerve agent that killed more than 80 people. "A robust international response is now essential to hold those responsible for the Khan Sheikhun attack to account," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters. Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft Credit: Bebeto Matthews/AP "It now falls on the Security Council to act on these findings and to deliver justice." Britain is in talks with the United States on a draft resolution that would impose sanctions on Syria, the ambassador said. FAQ | Sarin Such a measure, however, would likely face a veto from Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia questioned the findings, citing many "inconsistencies" in the report and criticizing the expert investigators over the use of "doubtful witness accounts and unverified evidence." Moscow has maintained that the sarin attack was most likely caused by a bomb set off directly on the ground, not by a Syrian air strike. Britain has accused Moscow of "covering up" for Syria and Rycroft said Russia must "find their moral compass" and support accountability for the Khan Sheikhun attack. US Ambassador Nikki Haley said after the report was sent to the council on Thursday that the top UN body must send a "clear message" that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated. US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, Credit: Stephanie Keith/Reuters "Syria’s blatant disregard for international norms and standards should be met with condemnation and accountability by all members of the international community," State Department spokesman Heather Nauert later emphasized in a statement. After a previous report by the same panel found that Syrian forces had used chlorine in attacks in 2014 and 2015, Britain, France and the United States pushed for sanctions, but China and Russia vetoed that resolution. French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the priority now was to "recreate a consensus" at the Security Council on how to address Syria’s use of banned poisonous gases in the six-year war. On Tuesday, Russia vetoed a US-drafted resolution that would have extended by a year the mandate of the panel, known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). Russia said it wanted to study the report on Khan Sheikhun before deciding whether to extend the JIM, which it helped set up in 2015 jointly with the United States. FAQ | Sarin The French ambassador said the panel must be allowed to continue its work, suggesting that the council could vote again on its renewal before its mandate expires on November 17. "The JIM is not a tool of the West. It is a common asset of the international community," said Delattre. Sweden, a non-permanent council member, said it would try to convince Russia to not block the work of the experts on chemical weapons. "This is difficult," said Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who was in New York to attend a debate on women’s role in peace and security. "We have to convince the Russians not to veto the next steps." The council will discuss the report’s findings on Khan Sheikhun on November 7.  

Britain calls for UN sanctions on Syria over sarin attack

Added: 29.10.2017 13:16 | 9 views | 0 comments


Britain on Friday urged the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria after a UN-led investigation found that government forces were responsible for the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun. "A robust international response is now essential to hold those responsible for the Khan Sheikhun attack to account," British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters.

From: https:

Life in North Korea: Food rations, power failures and no free speech

Added: 22.10.2017 14:00 | 8 views | 0 comments

David Slinn was the first British ambassador to North Korea. He tells us about life in Pyongyang.

From: https:

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