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New law could ban Britons from visiting terror hotspots in parts of northern Syria | UK News

Hard-hitting new security powers that would ban British citizens from designated terrorist hotspots are set to be introduced across large parts of northern Syria.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed he is asking officials to draw up an urgent case for introducing the new ban around Idlib province in northwestern Syria and others areas in the northeast of the country.

The move comes amid an upsurge in violence around Idlib in particular, where Russian-backed Syrian government forces have launched an offensive against rebel fighters.

A picture taken on May 10, 2019 shows a building destroyed by reported shelling by government forces on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province

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Idlib province is repeatedly targeted by the Russian-backed Syrian government

On Friday, the United Nations warned of a “humanitarian crisis” and urged the Syrian and Russian governments to give assurances that the bombing of hospitals and schools would stop.

The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019, which became law earlier this year, created a new power allowing the home secretary to ban British nationals from travelling to – or remaining in – specific designated areas.

Mr Javid said: “I’ve asked my officials to work closely with the police and intelligence agencies to urgently review the case for exercising this power in relation to Syria, with a particular focus on Idlib and the northeast.

“So anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason should be on notice.”

In order to use the power, the home secretary would need to be satisfied that it is necessary to restrict UK nationals and residents from a specific area and his recommendation would need to be ratified by parliament.

An individual found to have entered or remained in a designated area could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The new law was introduced to counter the problem of hundreds of foreign fighters heading off to overseas trouble spots, with little fear of prosecution.

Officials estimate more than 900 British citizens travelled out to take part in the conflict in Syria.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid giving a speech about violent crime at the Oval Space in London

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid will give a speech on the potential bans on Monday

Around 400 have since returned, but difficulties in securing any evidence of wrongdoing in an area of lawlessness has meant less than 10% of those who have returned have been prosecuted.

Under the new law, prosecutors will only have to prove a person has been in a designated area without good reason.

There will be exemptions to the travel ban, allowing the likes of legitimate aid workers, journalists, or those attending a family funeral, to enter such areas.



Syrian government fire mortars in Idlib

Mr Javid will give more details of how he expects the new law to operate during a speech in central London on Monday morning, where he will also reassure his audience of extremism experts and security officials that, whatever Britain’s future relating to the EU is, the UK will continue to be a powerful international partner in dealing with security threats.

He is expected to say: “From terrorism, to crime, to hostile state activity, we are facing international problems, and they require an international response.

“As these threats become more global we all rely on an international system of defence, policing, security and intelligence. A safety net based upon cooperation, and unity.

“More than any other country on Earth, the UK has a coherent, connected approach to intelligence and security and when threats appear, the world still turns to the UK for leadership, support, and action.”

Despite the large scale dismantling of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, security officials warn the UK terror threat will continue to be very significant for the foreseeable future.

The recent bombings in Sri Lanka, which have been linked to IS, and the reappearance of the group’s leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, have shown that the fragmentation of the terror network has not weakened its determination to launch attacks around the globe.

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Egypt authorities killed Morsi – President Erdogan alleges

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Egypt authorities for the death of an ex-Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi.

Erdogan blamed Egypt authorities when delivering a televised speech in Istanbul on Wednesday, saying that Morsi was struggling on the floor in the courtroom for 20 minutes and nothing was done to save him.

“Morsi was killed, he did not die of natural causes.

“I will follow up on the process related to Morsi’s death and do whatever is needed for Egypt to be tried in international courts,” he said.

DAILYPOST recalls that former Egypt President, Morsi died in court.

Morsi was buried on Tuesday, as rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an independent probe into the causes of his death.

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‘Credible evidence’ Saudi crown prince responsible for Khashoggi murder – UN expert

A UN expert investigating the murder of Jamal Khashoggi says there is “credible evidence” suggesting Saudi Arabia’s crown prince is responsible for the killing.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, has recommended an investigation into the possible role of Mohammed bin Salman in the journalist’s death.

In a 101-page report into Mr Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October, Ms Callamard calls for the UN to “demand” a follow-up criminal investigation.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative FII conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 24, 2018. - The summit, nicknamed 'Davos in the desert', has been overshadowed by growing global outrage over the murder of a Saudi journalist inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP) (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has denied Mohammed bin Salman was involved in Mr Khashoggi’s death

She noted the “extreme sensitivity” of considering the criminal responsibility of the crown prince, as well as Saud Alqahtani, a senior adviser to the Saudi royal court who has not been charged.

“No conclusion is made as to guilt,” she wrote of the two men.

“The only conclusion made is that there is credible evidence meriting further investigation.”

There was no immediate reaction from Saudi Arabia but the kingdom has regularly denied accusations that the prince was involved.

More from Jamal Khashoggi

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate on 2 October where he was due to receive papers ahead of his wedding.

His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found.

Following a six-month investigation, Ms Callamard said it was her conclusion that Mr Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” and an “extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law”.

“There is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi officials’ individual liability, including the crown prince’s,” she added.

“Indeed, this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the crown prince demanding further investigation.”

Salah Khashoggi, Jamal Khashoggi's son, meets Mohammed Bin Salman. Pic: Saudi Press Association

Jamal Khashoggi’s son Salah (left) met the crown prince after his father’s death

Ms Callamard said there was “no reason why sanctions should not be applied against the crown prince and his personal assets”.

She went to Turkey earlier this year with a team of forensic and legal experts and said she received evidence from Turkish authorities.

She said she obtained access to a recording of the killing and had received information about a “financial package” offered to Mr Khashoggi’s children.

Her report offers gruesome, nearly minute-by-minute accounting of the events surrounding the killing, and cites sounds of a buzzing saw that could have been used to dismember Mr Khashoggi’s body.

Jamal Khashoggi was killed after going into the consulate on 2 October

Mr Khashoggi’s remains have never been found

Ms Callamard said she received no response to her request to travel to Saudi Arabia.

Eleven people are on trial in Saudi Arabia over the murder in largely secret proceedings, and five could face the death penalty.

Ms Callamard named 15 suspects in the case, while the US State Department has publicly identified 16 people for their alleged roles in the killing.

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Polar bear wanders into a city hundreds of miles from its Arctic home | World News

An emaciated polar bear has wandered into a Russian industrial city in Siberia – hundreds of kilometres away from its natural Arctic habitat.

The visibly weak female bear lay despondently on the ground for hours in Norilsk in northern Siberia on Tuesday.

Its feet caked in mud, the bear occasionally rose to desperately sniff around for food on a garbage dump.

The weak bear lay on the ground despondently for hours

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The weak bear lay on the ground despondently for hours

The polar bear is the first to be seen in the city in more than 40 years, according to local environmentalists.

Local wildlife expert Oleg Krashevsky, who filmed the polar bear close up, said it was unclear what had brought the animal to the city – far south of its normal hunting grounds.

The bear desperately searched for food on a garbage dump

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The bear desperately searched for food on a garbage dump

He said the bear had watery eyes and could clearly not see well, and that local officials will now decide whether they can catch the animal and airlift it back to the north.

Emergency officials in the city of Norilsk warned residents about the bear.

The bear occasionally rose to sniff around the Siberian city

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The bear occasionally rose to sniff around the Siberian city

Environmentalists say wild animals are suffering from the shrinking hunting environment and receding ice as the Arctic gets warmer due to global warming, prompting some to venture south in search of food.

Compared with the rest of the world, the Arctic is warming twice as fast.

It is unclear whether the bear will be airlifted back to its natural habitat

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It is unclear whether the bear will be airlifted back to its natural habitat

State wildlife experts are expected to arrive in Norilsk on Wednesday to assess the bear’s condition.

Mr Kravesky said the bear might be too weak to be taken back to its natural habitat.

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