Category: Europe

news from Europe

Controversial French Doctor Sparks Hope, Criticism for Coronavirus Research

Fellow scientists question his findings, but an unlikely mix of supporters — from French yellow vest protesters to U.S. President Donald Trump — are cheering their promise.Last month, French immunology specialist Didier Raoult had no Twitter account. Now, he has more than a quarter-million followers, and counting.   The 68-year-old French physician has emerged as one of France’s most publicized and polarizing figures of these coronavirus times, since claiming his research shows an anti-malarial drug can help fight COVID-19.   Outside the Marseille university hospital where he works, a long line of sick and frightened people waits to be tested each day for COVID-19.   The sick may receive a much-hyped experimental treatment — a mix of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and antibiotic azithromycin that have starred in a pair of quick, small-scale studies that Raoult conducted, and were published this month. Together, the studies show the “efficacy” of the anti-malarial drug in fighting the virus, Raoult and his research team claim, and the synergetic effects of adding the antibiotic.  “He’s a visionary,” Renaud Muselier, head of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region and a friend of Raoult, told the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche. “That’s what makes his strength today.”   But critics say Raoult’s team did not follow rigorous procedures, had no control group, and drew their results based on too few people, among other failings.   “The methodology is fragile, the results are forced, one doesn’t give people hope based on approximate trials,” Gilles Pialoux, infectious diseases head of Paris-based Tenon Hospital, told BFMTV.     A few years ago, Raoult grew his white-blond hair long — adding a mustache and beard —just to annoy the establishment, he is reported as saying. No stranger to controversy Raoult, who heads the infectious diseases department of La Timone Hospital in Marseille, is no stranger to controversy — or applause. Born in Dakar, Senegal, he dropped out of high school in his junior year and spent a couple of years in the French merchant marines before heading to medical school. A few years ago, he grew his white-blond hair long — adding a mustache and beard —just to annoy the establishment, he is reported as saying.  His award-winning research includes discovering giant viruses and new bacteria. He has published prodigiously, although his massive output has sparked skepticism about its rigor.   Raoult has also questioned climate change. In January, he initially dismissed the first coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan as overblown.   And while he has been added to the government coronavirus team of health experts, he has reportedly distanced himself from it, failing to attend recent meetings. “I don’t care what others think of me,” he told La Provence newspaper. “I’m not an outsider. I’m the one who is the most advanced.”   After Raoult’s first coronavirus findings were published mid-March in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, Trump tweeted that the two-drug combination he tested could become “the biggest game changers” in medical history.  France and the United States have since authorized limited, emergency use of hydroxychloroquine and related compound chloroquine in treating the most serious COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the French food safety agency warned of potentially dangerous side effects.   But the public has dismissed such strictures. Pharmacies report a rush for Plaquenil, the brand name of hydroxychloroquine, which has worried lupus and other patients who have long depended on it.   Local hero  New and larger experimental studies are now under way in Europe and the United States to see if Raoult’s findings, among others, can be replicated on a bigger scale.   In the meantime, he has vaulted to near rock star status. His wide spectrum of supporters includes controversial French comedian Dieudonne, far-right adherents, ex-soccer champion Eric Cantona and several prominent politicians, some of whom took Raoult’s experimental treatment after contracting COVID-19.   “Bravo to @raoult didier and his team,” tweeted Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi. “I’m proud to have fought beside him.”   But a raft of medical experts is less enthusiastic, questioning the credibility of Raoult’s studies, the first of which involved just 20 patients.   “No, ‘not huge’ I’m afraid,” tweeted Francois Balloux of University College in London, in response to the results of Raoult’s second study involving 80 patients.   Released Friday, the study claimed that most of the patients treated with the combination drug had favorable outcomes.   But Balloux noted that those who had tested presented mild symptoms of coronavirus and likely would have recovered anyway.

your ad here

Scotland Increases Spending on Women’s Crisis Programs

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced an appropriation of $1.8 million Tuesday for Scottish women’s aid and rape crisis programs, noting coronavirus-mandated isolation can put domestic abuse victims at greater risk.Speaking to reporters Tuesday in the capital, Edinburgh, Sturgeon said the new funding will ensure access to support services by women and children who find themselves more isolated and vulnerable during the current crisis.Sturgeon also announced a total of 1,993 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Scotland as of Tuesday, up 430 from the previous day. She noted 108 of those cases came from one laboratory that had been unable to report its data from the weekend. She said the spike also reflects a greater capacity for testing in the country.The first minister also reported 13 additional deaths from the coronavirus since Wednesday, raising the total number of fatalities in Scotland to 60. 

your ad here

HRW: Ankara Denying Water to Syrian Kurds as Coronavirus Escalates

Turkey is being accused of “weaponizing” water against Syrian Kurds amid the coronavirus epidemic. Ankara is dismissing the accusation, however, as a “smear campaign.”  U.S.-based Human Rights Watch warned Tuesday that “Turkish authorities’ failure to ensure adequate water supplies to Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria is compromising humanitarian agencies’ ability to prepare and protect vulnerable communities in the COVID-19 pandemic.”   The key Allouk water-pumping station is at the center of the controversy. HRW says that through March, the station worked only intermittently and now is closed again.  Syrian forces backed by Ankara operate the water station that serves territory held by the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, which is designated as terrorists by Ankara.In October, Syrian rebels backed by Turkish forces launched an offensive against the YPG, taking control of a large swathe of territory. Ankara claims the Kurdish militia is affiliated with the PKK, which is fighting a decade’s long insurgency inside Turkey for greater minority rights.  A Syrian girl fills a jug with water in Washukanni camp, on Dec. 16, 2019, which was recently established on the outskirts of Hasakeh city for people displaced from the northeastern Syrian town of Ras Al-Ain.”Turkey and Turkish-backed factions are in control of the area where the Allouk pumping station is. Before they took control, we hadn’t seen any interruption in the water supply,” said Sara Kayyali, a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Syria. “What we’ve seen by the closure of the pumping station is an attempt to weaponize, to use water as a weapon to get more out of the Syrian Kurdish lead authority, as well as the Syrian authorities,” said Kayyali.  HRW warns the pumping station is of critical importance to hundreds of thousands of people.  “The water pumping station supplies clean drinking water to the most vulnerable refugee camps in the region,” said Kayyali.  “There are tens of thousands of Syrians and foreigners who are already living in dire humanitarian conditions. If you stop pumping water to these regions and coronavirus comes in, it will become an absolute disaster,” she said.  “Fortunately, until now, we don’t have any corona cases, because we acted very quickly, by closing all the borders,” said Dr. Raperin Hasan, co-chair of regional Health Authority in Jazira, an autonomous region of northern and eastern Syria.  But Hasan warns, with the region hosting several large refugee camps, the loss of the Allouk water station means they are still facing a humanitarian crisis.   “We now have hundreds of thousand people living together closely without water. They have only a small quantity of water every three days,” said Hasan.  “We are trying to bring water from other places by truck, but there is only a very small quantity. It’s not working, as there are so many people, and the water quality is not the same as if it comes piped in,” she said.  “We already have a lot of diseases — diarrhea, stomach problems, and skin diseases,” she added. “But our biggest fear is the coronavirus. Because there is no water to wash their hands, and they have the same problem in Hasakah [a local city].”  A woman carries jerry cans to fill them up with water at the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp for the displaced where families of Islamic State (IS) foreign fighters are held, in the al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on Dec. 9, 2019.Personal hygiene, particularly regularly washing hands, according to experts, is one of the main ways of controlling the spread of the virus.  Ankara is blaming Damascus for failing to provide adequate electricity for the pumping station.  “The unstable electricity supply in the region affects the sustainment of water services provided by the Allouk water station,” according to a Turkish official speaking on the condition of anonymity.  “The Assad regime should prioritize repair and maintenance of the electricity infrastructure in the region rather than initiating a joint smear campaign against Turkey with the terrorist organization PKK-YPG, its long-time partner.”  HRW’s Kayyali disputes Ankara’s explanation. “It’s not that there’s not enough electricity; it’s just they [Ankara] want the electricity for rest of the region they control,” she added.  “Turkey had never used water as a weapon in the region, even when the Syrian regime was hosting the terrorist leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan,” said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci, of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University.  “But if Ankara was to use water to squeeze the Syrian Kurds, that would be against international law and will create major problems for Turkey internationally,” he said.  “I think the situation is more likely a failure of all sides to work together, Damascus, Russia, Syrian Kurds, and Turkey. They all need to sit down talk together to resolve this, as it’s the most vulnerable who are suffering,” Bagci added.  Hasan concurs, warning that the water crisis comes as they are engaged in a desperate struggle to prepare for combating the coronavirus pandemic.   
   
“Our health care system is very, very weak. We don’t have supplies. We don’t have major hospitals. It’s a very big problem. We don’t have any international support. We don’t even have masks,” said Hasan.  “The coronavirus represents a threat to all of us,” said Kayyali. “It will be very easy to see how a failure to respond in one part of Syria will defiantly lead to consequences in areas of Syria controlled by other groups, but also in Turkey itself given it’s a neighboring country. It’s very clear, if we don’t fight coronavirus collectively and do what we can, we are all going to suffer the consequences.”  

your ad here

Greece Blocks Iranian From Plotting to Arm Asylum Seekers

In Greece, the case of an Iranian migrant now jailed on charges of inciting an insurrection is highlighting the Greek government’s rising concerns about a flare-up of clashes involving migrants along Greece’s border with Turkey. Greek authorities say the Iranian man — a self-described anarchist — was urging groups in Greece to arm asylum seekers trying to enter Europe from Turkey. The man, if convicted, faces a stiff sentence of up to ten years in prison.Greek counter-terrorism forces say they arrested the 23-year-old Iranian national in central Athens after he posted a call for an armed insurrection on a website that is often visited by homegrown extremists and urban guerrilla groupings.Authorities say the unidentified man describes himself as a migrant anarchist and they say he has not denied the criminal charges set against him — among the stiffest slapped on a migrant in recent years.
 
Greek intelligence officials say Greece granted the man political asylum three years ago and that he has since then established a militant profile, linking up with a far-left extremist group in Greece.
 
Left-wing groups in Greece have long supported asylum seekers, advocating their safe passage — and their right to stay in Europe. But in his online calling, the Iranian went a step further, urging anarchists to help arm migrants, take to the streets and renew clashes with authorities in northern Greece to help tens of thousands trapped in Turkey stream in to Europe.
 
Authorities in Athens say they have not established links between that plot and Turkey.
 
But the Iranian’s arrest here and the severity of the charges laid against him underscore Greece’s desperate bid to stamp out any potential flare up of migrant clashes along the country’s borders with Turkey.
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flung open the borders to migrants heading for Europe in late February after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in an air raid in Syria. FILE – Migrants walk in Edirne at the Turkish-Greek border, March 9, 2020.Turkey last week said it moved 5,800 migrants away from the border crossing at Edirne province where they had been massing, citing concerns over the threat of coronavirus.  The move was interpreted by some in Greece as a reversal by Ankara. But Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told an independent broadcaster the move did not represent a policy change.
 
“Once the COVID-19 crisis is over, the Turkish government will not block migrants from returning to the border,” he said. Although Greek authorities have not established a link between the Iranian migrant and the Turkish government, they worry about how Ankara may use the nearly four million Syrian refugees now inside Greece.
Ioannis Mazis, an international relations analyst in Athens, said Greece has already seen Turkey using tens of thousands of migrants as pawns in the recent border clashes. He said the Turkish government has even admitted that it has orchestrated much of the border violence. So, threats of further clashes should not be underestimated, Mazis added.
 
By some accounts, as many 150,000 migrants and refugee tried to push into Europe last month. Greece says it succeeded in fending off more than 50,000, while many others managed to sneak in.  
 
  

your ad here

Hungary’s PM Wins Emergency Powers to Fight Coronavirus

Hungary’s parliament granted nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban the right to rule by decree on Monday to fight the coronavirus, ignoring calls by opponents and rights groups to put a timeframe on the extra powers.
 
President Janos Ader, an Orban ally, signed the legislation extending a state of emergency after it was approved by parliament, dominated by Orban’s Fidesz party. Ader said it was in line with international treaties and Hungary’s constitution.
 
The law has triggered criticism from opposition parties, rights groups and the Council of Europe, Europe’s main rights forum, because it does not set a specific limit on the time the additional powers will be in force.
 
It also imposes jail terms of up to five years on those hindering measures to curb the spread of the virus or spreading false information that could upset people or hinder the fight against the virus.
 
Rights groups said this might be used to muzzle journalists as remaining independent media are forced to cut staff and budgets while media loyal to the government continue to receive taxpayers’ money.
 
Since he took power in 2010, Orban has built media he can control, using legal levers, ownership changes and advertising money for more loyal media coverage. The economic impact of the coronavirus could accelerate the shake-up of the media, journalists say.
 
The government has rejected the criticism, saying the law empowers it to adopt only measures needed to fight the virus, and that parliament can revoke the special powers.
 
“This is an authorization limited both in time and scope … as it is solely related to the coronavirus, and you are crying a dictatorship,” state secretary Bence Retvari told opposition parties before the vote.
 
Justice Minister Judit Varga said it was “very damaging fake news” that the law is intended to neutralize the national assembly.
 
Orban, who has gradually increased his power in a decade in office, has often been in conflict with the European Union and rights organizations over his perceived erosion of democratic checks and balances and the rule of law.
 
Opposition lawmakers said they back the government’s overall fight against the coronavirus but wanted a time limit placed on the government’s special powers, which parliament can extend if necessary. Parliament rejected all opposition amendments.
 
President Ader said the government’s special authorization would end once the epidemic is over and was limited to dealing with the epidemic and its fallout.
 
“The controlling role of Parliament and the government’s duty to report will remain in place during the epidemic,” Ader said. Hungary has reported 447 coronavirus cases and 15 deaths.
  Independent Media at Risk
 
Some media companies, facing severe short-term liquidity problems, have already scrapped plans for 2020.
 
Central Media, one of Hungary’s largest media groups, has put journalists on reduced hours and cut salaries by up to a quarter, several sources told Reuters.
 
Pesti Hirlap, a tabloid, has told staff it will cut jobs and switched to online-only mode. Executives at HVG, a weekly that also runs a popular web site, warned staff of budget cuts, according to several sources.
 
“Press freedom could fall victim to the coronavirus,” Miklos Hargitai, chair of the Hungarian Journalists Association (MUOSZ), told Reuters.
 
State media have an annual budget of around 90 billion forints ($280 million). The public media budget is not affected by the crisis this year, a government spokesman said.
 
Loyal outlets receive state advertisements regardless of their audience size, data shows.
 
“The coronavirus epidemic will have a devastating effect on Hungarian independent media,” said Agnes Urban, director of the Mertek Media Monitor think tank. “This can become critical for independent outlets within 2-3 months as most lack a rich owner.” 

your ad here

Iran Gets Medical Aid Through US Sanctions Workaround

Germany, Britain and France have facilitated exports of medical goods to Iran in the first use of a mechanism designed to get around U.S. sanctions, Germany said Tuesday.A German Foreign Ministry statement Tuesday did not specify what type of medical supplies were involved, nor any companies that were part of the action.It said now that the system had been used successfully, the two sides would “work on more transactions.”Iran and a group of five world powers signed a deal in 2015 that restricted Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.After the United States withdrew from the deal and imposed sanctions, Iran pressured the European signatories to work around those restrictions to help its battered economy.That pressure included Iran taking a series of steps away from its commitments under the 2015 deal, including caps on uranium enrichment.

your ad here

Ukraine Approves Legislation in Bid for IMF Aid

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to lift the ban on the sale of farmland in a move that would allow the country to get $8 billion worth of aid from the International Monetary Fund.  The bill, long pushed by economists to stimulate investment in agriculture, was approved by 259 votes out of 450 late Monday. It opens up the land market for Ukrainian citizens starting from July 1, 2021, and for Ukrainian companies starting from 2024.  Ukrainians will vote on a nationwide referendum on whether to allow foreigners to buy farmland.  FILE – In this handout photo released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at a ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 13, 2020.Speaking in parliament Monday night, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stressed the importance of getting the IMF loan.  “It is really important for us, to sign the memorandum with the IMF, and you know well that the two main conditions were the land law and the banking law,” Zelenskiy said.Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal echoed his sentiment in televised remarks Monday.  “Without the support of international organizations we will have to fall into the abyss of a financial meltdown,” Shmyhal said.  Earlier Monday, lawmakers approved the banking law in the first reading. It prevents former owners of banks that were nationalized or liquidated from regaining ownership rights or receiving compensation from state funds.  Some said that the bill, among others, targets billionaire tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky, whose Privatbank was nationalized in 2016 and who sought to get it back using his connections to Zelenskiy. In recent months, Zelenskiy has been trying to distance himself from Kolomoisky, who wasn’t hiding his ambitions to influence both domestic and foreign policies, observers say.According to Zelenskiy, once Ukraine fulfills the conditions outlined by the IMF, it will receive the first batch of funds — $1.75-$2 billion — in 15 days.  “We agreed with the management of the IMF,” Zelenskiy said.

your ad here

Russia Embraces Quarantine Tactics Amid Coronavirus Surge

Russia tightened controls aimed at combating the spread of the coronavirus on Monday, with Moscow introducing temporary quarantine measures, and the Kremlin moving to extend the lockdown nationwide. The new restrictions came as President Vladimir Putin discussed the coronavirus, among other issues, with President Donald Trump in a phone call that the Kremlin insisted was at Washington’s request.The conversation came as Putin made clear he recognized the growing threat of the COVID-19 outbreak. He appeared for his second televised national address on the issue Monday afternoon with a new sense of urgency.“If you value your life, you should remain home,” he said, addressing elderly Russians, in particular. “God helps those who help themselves,” added the Russian leader. A doctor observes through a glass window the condition of the patient in a ward in the Moscow Sklifosovsky emergency hospital in Moscow, Russia, March 25, 2020.The new tone came as a  government task force said suspected cases of COVID-19 had swelled past the 1,800 mark with nine deaths — numbers that continued to place Russia far lower than other global coronavirus hotspots but that Kremlin allies and critics alike now acknowledge reflect some degree of underreporting.Moscow through the looking glass  Under new rules that went into effect midnight Sunday, the vast majority of Moscow’s 15 million inhabitants now face a blanket “home isolation quarantine” — with exceptions for trips to local supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as walking pets or taking out trash. A police officer wearing a protective mask and glasses stops a car driver to check his documents in Grozny, Russia, March 30, 2020.City authorities also announced that a system of smart QR codes would be developed to track people moving about the capital, as well as plans to retrofit additional public hospitals and private clinics to accept COVID-19 patients.“The situation with the spread of coronavirus has entered a new phase,” Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote in a blog post explaining the new rules with Moscow now an epicenter of the virus threat.  “The extremely negative turn of events that we see in the largest cities of Europe and the USA is cause for enormous concern for the lives and health of our citizens,” Sobyanin said.Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin later issued an appeal to Russia’s far-flung regional governors to follow Moscow’s lead — calling the quarantine a “logical extension of the president and the government’s policies to battle the coronavirus.” Putin’s ‘workless week’Moscow’s restrictions seemed to upstage the “workless week” introduced by Putin in an address to the nation last week.While the Russian leader requested people to stay home, his appeal fell far short of the quarantines and self-isolation measures now commonplace in cities across Europe, the United States and Asia.Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Russian regional officials via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, March 30, 2020.Some Russians seemed to interpret the “workless week” as an unexpected paid vacation — a factor that Sobyanin said played a role in the decision to close Moscow down. “Movement across the city has been cut by two-thirds, and that’s very good,” Sobaynin wrote in the blog. “But it’s also obvious that far from everyone has heard us.” Amid a spell of spring-like weather over the weekend, parks were so crowded that authorities resorted to blasting public service announcements from passing ambulances. The message: Go home. Media reports also noted a run on meat and charcoal at local supermarkets, suggesting the outdoor barbecue season was, or soon would be, in full swing.  Meanwhile, there was a spike in booked flights from Moscow to the southern resort city of Sochi — so much so that the region’s local governor, Benjamin Kondratiev, warned on social media that “this is not a week of extra leave or a holiday,” and ordered city attractions closed.  Good cop, bad copRussia’s political chatter centered on the seeming gulf between Sobyanin and Putin over how to respond to the contagion.  Had the mayor undermined the president? And who was in charge?“The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” Genady Gudkov, a former member of Parliament with ties to the opposition, wrote in a post on Facebook. “Either Putin is losing control, or differences among the elite are dangerously strong.”Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin attends a cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow, Russia, March 30, 2020.Others argued that Putin was merely distancing himself from more unpopular restrictions — at least until they were trial-ballooned by the hapless Moscow mayor — in effect, playing good cop to Sobyanin’s bad. Putin threw Sobyanin “before the firing squad, and himself remained in the shadows, giving speculation that Sobyanin is acting on his own,” wrote Tatiana Stanovaya, a political analyst with R.Politik, in a post to her Telegram channel. Stanovaya chalked the showdown to the shifting improvisational nature of Putin’s rule, one in which “circumstances rule.” “And who rules the circumstances, rules Russia,” added Stanovaya.
 

your ad here

Spain Postpones 5G Spectrum Auction Due To Coronavirus

Spain will delay a planned auction of 5G spectrum due to the coronavirus outbreak, the government said on Monday.
 
As part of a Europe-wide drive to speed up the roll out of fast Internet and broaden coverage, Spain had been due to free up space in the 700 MHz band of its network by switching from analog to digital terrestrial television by June 30.
 
One of the world’s worst national outbreaks of the virus, which had infected 85,915 people and killed 7,340 as of Monday, constitutes force majeure, making it impossible to stick to that deadline, the government said in a statement.
 
Madrid has told Brussels it will set a new deadline for the 700 MHz band depending on the eventual end-date for emergency measures including restrictions on people’s movements, it added.
 
Austria postponed a planned 5G auction last week, and the CEO of French group Iliad said one coming up in France would likely meet the same fate. 

your ad here

UK’s Prince Harry, Wife Meghan Bid Farewell to Royal  Roles 

Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan posted their last message as working members of Britain’s royal family on Monday before officially embarking on new careers without their “Royal Highness” styles.   Harry and Meghan shocked Queen Elizabeth and the royal family in January by hastily announcing plans to take a step back from their royal roles. A later deal brokered by the 93-year-old monarch sees them go their own way from April.   “While you may not see us here, the work continues,” the couple said in the last message they will post on their susexroyal Instagram page.   “Thank you to this community — for the support, the inspiration and the shared commitment to the good in the world. We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You’ve been great!   “Until then, please take good care of yourselves, and of one another.”    

your ad here

UK’s Prince Charles, 71, Out of Self-Isolation, in Good Health 

British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation after seven days and is in good health, his spokesman said on Monday. Last week, his Clarence House office revealed that Charles, 71, had been tested after displaying mild symptoms of the virus and had been in self-isolation at his Birkhall home in Scotland where he had continued to work. After consultation with his doctor, he is now out of self-isolation, Clarence House said. He will resume meetings and take exercise in accordance with government and medical guidelines. However, his wife Camilla, who tested negative for coronavirus, will remain in self-isolation until the end of the week in case she too develops symptoms. Buckingham Palace has previously said Queen Elizabeth, who left London for Windsor Castle on March 19 along with her 98-year-old husband, Philip, is in good health.  

your ad here

Britain Names Ken McCallum as new Head of MI5 Spy Service

Britain on Monday named career spy Ken McCallum as the new head of its MI5 domestic intelligence agency.McCallum, whose appointment was announced by interior minister Priti Patel, has worked for MI5 for almost 25 years and oversaw counter terrorism investigations in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics.He succeeds Andrew Parker who retires in April.

your ad here

Britain Names Ken McCallum as new Head of MI5 Spy Service

Britain on Monday named career spy Ken McCallum as the new head of its MI5 domestic intelligence agency.McCallum, whose appointment was announced by interior minister Priti Patel, has worked for MI5 for almost 25 years and oversaw counter terrorism investigations in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics.He succeeds Andrew Parker who retires in April.

your ad here