Robber stabs 20-year-old and steals her handbag at bus stop

A robber held a knife to a woman’s neck before stabbing her hand and stealing her bag while she was waiting at an isolated bus stop.

The attack, which occurred at about 7.45pm on Saturday, took place while a group of young women and teenagers waited for a Bus Éireann bus at Blanchardstown Shopping Centre westbound slip road in Dublin.

It is understood the robber, who wore a bandana around his face, approached one of the group – a 20-year-old woman from Ratoath, Co Meath – with a knife and held it to her neck.

He stabbed the terrified woman in her hand before running away with her handbag.

A Garda investigation is now underway, but no arrests have been made to date.

“A female’s bag was taken from her at knife-point and she received a minor injury to her hand at the time of the robbery. Investigations are ongoing,” a Garda spokesperson said.

Fianna Fáil Meath East general election candidate Deirdre Geraghty-Smith described the bus stop where the attack took place as “notorious”.

“This is very disturbing and is something no one in the local community either expects or is prepared for. There have been increasing concerns raised by bus users about safety at this bus stop over the last number of months.

“It is isolated, in darkness and people awaiting buses are extremely vulnerable to opportunistic attacks. This attack should act as a spur to move this bus stop to a safer, more central location to ensure that commuters waiting for a bus can feel safe.”

A spokesperson for Bus Éireann told the Irish Independent that gardaí were responsible for dealing with anti-social behaviour. “Bus stop locations are also overseen by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and local authorities. Lighting in public areas such as bus stops is provided by local authorities,” they said.

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Macron renews European army call in a veiled swipe at US

Emmanuel Macron has said Europe must “take more responsibility for its defence and security”, while visiting Berlin for a remembrance service to victims of war and dictatorships.

The French president – speaking alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel – warned the continent could not influence global politics if its “content to play a secondary role on the international scene”.

He added that the two countries were “invested with this obligation not to allow the world to slide into chaos”.

The comments, made yesterday, could be seen as a swipe at US President Donald Trump, who reacted angrily last week to Mr Macron’s suggestions Europe should develop its own army in order to be less reliant on America.

Ms Merkel has offered theoretical long-term support for the idea of such an army.

The remarks came as the two leaders used the visit to also discuss issues including migration, fixing the euro currency, and taxing digital companies.

It emerged they have struck an agreed position on a common budget for EU countries that use the shared euro – something Mr Macron has persistently pushed for.

The size of the budget – quoted by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire as around €25bn – is far below what the French leader had proposed.

But the compromise underlines Germany’s reluctance to do anything that might be perceived as transferring taxpayer money from its own economy to the likes of Italy or Greece.

A European summit in December is also now expected to rubber stamp limited proposals to strengthen the euro currency with a series of measures including upgrading the eurozone’s bailout fund.

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Dashcams insurance plan faces 'data issue' on footage

Proposals to use dashcams fitted in cars as a means of promoting road safety – and even potentially identifying fraudulent insurance claims – could be scuttled by strict data regulations.

A leading barrister has warned the proposed roll-out of dashcams and, critically, the indefinite storage of such footage, could have enormous implications under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

William Bulman BL stressed the use of the cameras needs to be justified to meet data protection rules, with the long-term storage of such data an additional problem.

“There is clearly an issue. Even though these cameras are programmed to over-write the footage after a specific period, which is usually quite short depending on the card size, computer technicians can retrieve over-written data.

“Even though nothing is stored for any great length of time, GDPR is a potential issue,” he said.

Storage

“If footage is to be stored for a longer period of time – or permanently stored so that it could be used for legal purposes either in a pending civil or criminal court case – then serious questions about how the data was stored arise.

“There are also issues such as the storage of data containing a person’s personal details ranging from the registration number of their vehicle potentially through to identifying where they may live,” he said.

His warning came as insurance giant AXA Ireland partnered with a major camera company to offer up to a 10pc discount on policies for motorists who have a dashcam fitted. Camera firm Nextbase will match this with a 10pc discount on its dashcams bought in specific retailers.

It is estimated about 150,000 motorists here drive without proper insurance cover.

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Intense week of talks ahead of Brexit showdown summit

BRUSSELS (AFP) – European governments get their own say on Brexit this week as they debate future ties with London in the run-up to Sunday’s (Nov 25) summit to sign Britain’s divorce papers.

Ministers from the other 27 European Union member states are in Brussels on Monday (Nov 19) at the start of what Prime Minister Theresa May calls “an intense week of negotiations”. The British leader has said she will be in the city herself later in the week to meet the head of the EU commission, Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, for last-minute talks.

Neither Mrs May nor European leaders are keen to reopen the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement that was grudgingly approved by the British Cabinet last week.

But both sides are scrambling to finalise a parallel political declaration that will set out a road-map for post-Brexit negotiations on future EU-UK ties.

“The focus this week will be on the future relationship,” Mrs May told Sky News.

“We won’t agree the leaving part… until we’ve got what we want in the future relationship, because these two go together.”

Specifically, London wants to lay out in as much detail as possible how to get to a free trade agreement before the end of a 21-month post-Brexit transition.

Brussels, meanwhile, insists Britain cannot have the same privileged access to the single market as it did as a member state after Brexit on March 29 next year.

European negotiators plan to publish their version of the statement on future relations on Tuesday, after their ambassadors met over the weekend.

On Sunday, according to diplomatic sources, the document was fleshed out from just over six pages to around 20 as more details were agreed.

They also discussed an EU proposal that the draft withdrawal agreement be amended to extend the post-Brexit transition to the end of 2022.

No decision was taken on this, however, and members are wary of reopening the document and allowing British hardliners to restart a debate on its terms.

More closed-door talks were to follow on Monday, when the EU’s 27 ministers of European affairs meet to prepare Sunday’s signing summit.

In the meantime, EU Council president Donald Tusk is going ahead with plans to bring Mrs May and her fellow leaders together on Nov 25 to sign the deal.

“We now have an intense week of negotiations ahead of us,” Mrs May will tell British business leaders on Monday, according to Downing Street.

“During that time, I expect us to hammer out the full and final details of the framework that will underpin our future relationship,” she is to say.

“And I am confident that we can strike a deal at the council that I can take back to the House of Commons.”

Integrity of the Union

While the EU 27 and their negotiator Michel Barnier have remained publicly united through the 17-month negotiation – Britain’s political camps are at war.

Whether or not Mrs May wins an improved future partnership offer this week, she still has to get the withdrawal deal itself past the Westminster Parliament.

Hardline Conservative Brexiteers and Mrs May’s Northern Irish unionist allies have pledged to vote down the treaty despite the threat of a calamitous no-deal Brexit.

And the opposition Labour Party, scenting a chance to topple Mrs May’s government, has also warned that its members will not support her deal.

After making what they regard as an offer that respects Britain’s desire to leave but preserves the integrity of the Union, EU officials are surprised by the furious debate.

Publicly, they refuse to intervene in Britain’s bitter debate, but privately, they insist both sides “exhausted their margin to manoeuvre” in the divorce negotiation.

Some member states were annoyed that their rights to fish in British waters were not guaranteed in the withdrawal deal and have been left to future talks.

And Spain also has concerns about the future status of Gibraltar, the British territory on its southern coast, a diplomatic source said.

But thee grumbles remained behind closed doors because, in the words of one European diplomat, the ambassadors agreed “not to pour oil into the British fire.”

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Four men stabbed in north London fight

Officers were called to Fraser Road in Edmonton just before 6pm, where they found the victims – all in their 20s – with stab wounds.

Two vehicles that had been involved in a collision were also found and a crime scene has been put in place, with the residential street closed off.

No arrests have been made.

It comes just 24 hours after a teenage boy was among three people hurt in a drive-by shooting just a few miles away from Fraser Road.

Scotland Yard is appealing for information regarding the incident in Gordon Road, Enfield, which saw two 22-year-old men and a 16-year-old boy fired at with a shotgun as they sat in the back of a taxi.

Police believe that two men approached the mini-cab after their vehicle pulled up alongside it, one of whom was armed with the weapon.

None of the injuries sustained in the shooting are life-threatening, although those suffered by one of the passengers are said by police to be potentially life-changing.

There have been no arrests in connection with the incident.

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Suspected Iranian migrants found after landing in Folkestone in inflatable boat

Local media reported that they were found clambering up rocks.

Police said they were alerted just before 7am over concerns for people in a boat off the Dover coast.

The Border Force responded and apprehended the group, with a Home Office spokeswoman saying they will be “processed in line with the immigration rules”.

There have been a number of similar incidents over the last week.

On Friday, seven people – also believed to be Iranians – were picked up at Samphire Hoe near Dover after arriving in an inflatable boat with a small engine.

Three more boats were intercepted off Kent on Wednesday morning and afternoon, with a total of 24 people picked up – including a toddler.

On Tuesday, 14 men and three minors – all Iranian – were stopped at Dover harbour after trying to get into the UK on a fishing boat.

The boat was reportedly stolen from from Boulogne-sur-Mer in France.

Later on Tuesday, Dover police found seven men in a lorry arriving from Calais.

The Home Office said three had claimed to be Iranian, while four said they were from Iraq.

A spokeswoman said: “We are alert to the risk posed by people attempting to reach the UK illegally via small boats.

“This year we have increased the number of coastal patrol vessels and, in light of recent events, have stepped up deployments along the South-East coast.

“We continue to work closely with law enforcement partners in the UK and overseas to tackle people smuggling at source.

“Nobody should put their life at risk attempting to smuggle themselves into the UK across the Channel. Thankfully, this route to the UK remains relatively rare.”

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Ukraine country profile

Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since veered between seeking closer integration with Western Europe and being drawn into the orbit of Russia, which sees its interests as threatened by a Western-leaning Ukraine.

Europe’s second largest country, Ukraine is a land of wide, fertile agricultural plains, with large pockets of heavy industry in the east.

While Ukraine and Russia share common historical origins, the west of the country has closer ties with its European neighbours, particularly Poland, and nationalist sentiment is strongest there.

A significant minority of the population uses Russian as its first language, particularly in the cities and the industrialised east.

An uprising against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 ushered in a Western-leaning government, but Russia used the opportunity to seize the Crimean peninsula and arm insurgent groups to occupy parts of the industrialised east of Ukraine.

FACTS

Ukraine

Capital: Kiev

Population 44.9 million

Area 603,700 sq km (233,090 sq miles)

Major languages Ukrainian (official), Russian

Major religion Christianity

Life expectancy 64 years (men), 75 years (women)

Currency hryvnya

LEADERS

President: Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko won the presidential election of May 2014 at a time of crisis tht saw the ouster of his predecessor, the loss of Crimea to Russia, and a Moscow-organised insurgency in the east of the country.

A billionaire businessman, Mr Poroshenko won an unprecedented first-round victory in the elections which were held three months after President Viktor Yanukovych was chased from office by crowds following months of street protests against his corruption and pro-Russian policies.

MEDIA

National media have adopted a united patriotic agenda following the Russian annexation of Crimea and armed conflict in the east. Ukraine has banned cable relays of leading Russian TVs; in turn, areas under Russian or separatist control have seen pro-Kiev outlets silenced.

Television dominates the media scene, and private commercial channels are the most watched outlets.

Powerful business groups are influential in the market. Half a dozen major networks, including Inter TV and 1+1, attract the biggest audiences.

As part of reforms, Ukraine launched a public service TV broadcaster in 2015.

Many newspapers publish Ukrainian and Russian-language editions. The press is diverse in terms of formats and political affiliation.

TIMELINE

Some key dates in Ukraine’s history:

1918 – Ukraine declares independence after Russian Revolution.

1921 – Soviet rule established as Russian Red Army conquers two-thirds of Ukraine.

1932 – At least seven million peasants perish in man-made famine during Stalin’s collectivisation campaign.

1941-44 – Ukraine suffers terrible wartime devastation during Nazis occupation.

1945 – Allied victory in Second World War leads to conclusive Soviet annexation of west Ukrainian lands.

1986 – A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, sending a radioactive plume across Europe.

1991 – As the Soviet Union heads towards dissolution, Ukraine declares independence.

2004 – Orange Revolution mass protests force pro-European change of government.

2014 February – Maidan Revolution ousts pro-Kremlin government over stalled European Union association deal. Russia subsequently seizes Crimean peninsula and launches insurgency to occupy parts of eastern Ukraine.

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Bag of 'dangerous' drugs stolen from ambulance in Edinburgh

The bag of controlled drugs was taken from staff while they attended an incident in Caledonian Road in the Dalry area of the Scottish capital at around 9.20pm on Saturday.

Whoever stole the green nylon rucksack – emblazoned with the wording “Emergency Medical Response” – has been warned that the drugs could be dangerous if taken or administered without the necessary medical training.

Police have issued an appeal calling for anyone who saw the theft take place to get in touch.

Inspector Gill Lundberg said: “Stealing from emergency service workers trying to help someone is a despicable act.

“While the theft of this equipment has not impacted on the care of the patient, I am concerned what could happen if the stolen drugs were to be taken by a member of the public. These drugs can be dangerous if misused.

“I would appeal for anyone who witnessed the theft, or knows where these items are now, to contact police immediately.”

:: Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident 4228 of 17 November.

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Theresa May: ‘The Next Seven Days Are Critical’

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday that she would hold more talks in Brussels this week over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union while she battles twin threats at home: a possible no-confidence vote on her leadership and new resignations from her fractious cabinet.

Mrs. May faces a perilous few days after her draft agreement provoked two cabinet resignations and such widespread objections from lawmakers of all political persuasions that the document looks unlikely to win Parliament’s approval.

“This isn’t about me,” Mrs. May said on Sky News. “This is about the national interest. The next seven days are critical.”

Since Britons voted in 2016 to quit the European Union, Mrs. May’s Conservative Party has been split between those who want to keep close economic ties with the bloc and a more hard-line faction that wants a clean break.

But since an agreement on a draft deal on the process known as Brexit was announced, those arguments have exploded in public, leaving the government in disarray, Parliament seemingly deadlocked and the future uncertain after March 29, when Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union.

Mrs. May said that she planned to visit the Belgium capital this week, before a summit meeting of European Union leaders on Nov. 25 that was called to discuss the draft plan.

Mrs. May dug deep in her television interview, as she has so often done during the Brexit saga, insisting that she will not be deflected from her strategy.

“A change of leadership at this point isn’t going to make the negotiations any easier, and it’s not going to change the parliamentary arithmetic,” she said. “What it will do is mean there is a delay to those negotiations and that’s a risk that Brexit gets delayed or frustrated.”

A group of pro-Brexit cabinet ministers is pressing for a variety of changes that they hint will decide whether they can stay in the cabinet and support the deal.

In reality, Mrs. May is unlikely to secure any concessions that address her critics’ main fear: that Britain could be tied indefinitely to European Union rules over which it has no influence and no clear escape route.

Yet further negotiations may at least buy her time to tamp down the crisis and produce promises for a longer-term trade plan that may be more palatable for hard-line Brexit supporters.

Also speaking on Sky News on Sunday, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, appeared to soften his personal opposition to the idea of holding another referendum on the terms of an exit deal, including the option to remain.

A second referendum was “an option for the future, but it’s not an option for today,” said Mr. Corbyn, who opposes Mrs. May’s plan.

His colleague Keir Starmer told The Observer newspaper that Labour would try to pass a law in Parliament to make it impossible to leave the bloc without a deal.

“If the prime minister’s deal is rejected — and that’s looking increasingly likely — Parliament will not just sit back and allow her to proceed,” Mr. Starmer said.

The immediate focus in Westminster, however, is on whether Mrs. May can keep her post. Hard-line Brexit supporters within the Conservative Party believe that they will soon have the 48 letters required to hold a no-confidence motion.

As the process is conducted in private, the only person who knows how close they are is Graham Brady, the chairman of the committee that oversees the election of Conservative Party leaders. He told the BBC that the threshold had not been met, but would not say exactly how many letters have come in, adding that he had not even shared that information with his wife.

Even if Mrs. May’s critics muster the number to force the vote, her supporters believe she could survive because her enemies do not agree on a successor and would have to persuade a majority of the 315 Conservative lawmakers to oust her.

But she also has trouble in her cabinet, where her draft withdrawal agreement has been criticized by several ministers. Two have resigned so far, including Dominic Raab, the chief Brexit negotiator. If more cabinet ministers quit, it would raise further questions about Mrs. May’s ability to carry on.

When she travels to Brussels, Mrs. May is unlikely to secure any significant changes to the terms of the draft agreement. These include Britain’s fee for leaving the union, the rights of European Union citizens living in Britain and vice versa, and plans to prevent physical checks at the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, which will remain in the European Union.

European officials have made it clear that they are in no mood to reopen the withdrawal agreement, but there is scope for negotiation over a vaguer, nonbinding agreement on long-term trade — something that Mrs. May could use to win over critics.

For now, there seems to be agreement on only one thing: A crucial moment is approaching for Britain.

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Rich, Ancient City Is Unearthed in Greece

LONDON — First, the archaeologist and her team uncovered a sarcophagus from a village in southern Greece in 1984.

Thirty-four years later, an ancient road in the same village led to a Roman mausoleum.

Then, in October, a lost city called Tenea was found.

“After I uncovered the sarcophagus, I knew I had to go back for more,” the archaeologist, Elena Korka, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

Dr. Korka, the director of the Office for Supervision of Antiquaries and Private Archaeological Collections in Greece’s Ministry of Culture, started the project in 2013. But excavations in Chiliomodi, the small village where her team found the sarcophagus in the Peloponnese Peninsula south of Athens, did not begin until early September this year.

Before the discovery, no evidence of the ancient city of Tenea existed; it was found only in historical texts and myths.

“Tenea was built by the Trojans after the end of the Trojan War, according to the myth,” Dr. Korka said.

Across an area stretching more than 670 meters, or 733 yards, the team uncovered a dense, organized residential space consisting marble, stone and clay floors in good condition.

Inside, it found architraves, or beams; little columns; a storage space with amphoras (tall jugs); and the tombs of two babies. According to Dr. Korka, the discovery was an indication that this was indeed, a city, as babies were only buried in the residential area and not in graveyards outside the city.

The variety of the findings — which included part of a clay pipeline — indicated that the city had been populated for centuries, possibly from late Mycenaean times, and by wealthy residents.

Among the other items found was a collection of more than 200 coins that dated from the early Hellenistic years, a historical period that started after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C., and to the Roman Empire.

“During the Roman years, Tenea cut coins,” Dr. Korka said, adding, “This shows full independence.”

The tombs showed that the area’s population had been a wealthy one. Dr. Korka’s team found a Roman mausoleum outside the city, as well as seven Roman and Hellenistic tombs, all of which had been adorned with ancient urns and gold and silver coins, among other things.

The discoveries in the large graveyard and in the residential area are rare, according to Dr. Korka, and indicate that the city had relations with the East and the West.

“We found urns that we haven’t seen before,” she said. “They were in touch with the West because of Syracuse,” she noted, which the citizens of Tenea had colonized along with the citizens of Corinth, one of the most affluent cities of the Peloponnese.

But the tombs in Tenea were even more affluent than the ones in Corinth, Dr. Korka said.

She and her team found the graveyard after uncovering an ancient road. They had a vague idea of where to look because of past investigations, local information, and field and drone research, she said.

“Every excavation is important, as it brings something new to light,” she said, adding that the team hoped that examining the findings would give them a complete idea of the city and its history.

Who knows what else they might discover.

“You know,” Dr. Korka said, “there are rumors that even Oedipus was raised there.”

Follow Iliana Magra on Twitter: @magraki.





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