London, Jul 29 (AP/UNB) — Boris Johnson is making his first official visit as British prime minister to Scotland, pledging to boost "the ties that bind our United Kingdom" amid opposition from Scottish leaders to his insistence on pulling Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal.
Johnson will announce Monday a 300 million-pound ($371 million) funding pot to drive economic growth in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her Welsh counterpart, Mark Drakeford, have both said it would be "unconscionable" for the U.K. to leave the EU with no deal in place. Sturgeon is reviewing the timetable for a possible second referendum on Scottish independence from the rest of the U.K.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has also refused to back a no-deal Brexit.
Paris, Jul 28 (AP/UNB) — French President Emmanuel Macron says he will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month, days before hosting a Group of Seven summit with the leaders of rich democracies.
Macron's office said Sunday the meeting with Putin will take place Aug. 19 at the Fort de Bregancon presidential retreat on the Mediterranean Sea.
Macron then heads to the G-7 summit in the French city of Biarritz with U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders from Aug. 24-26. The group kicked Russia out after it annexed Crimea in 2014.
France has sought to mediate in Russia's conflict with Ukraine and Macron has stressed the importance of keeping dialogue open with Moscow. French companies have also been pushing to lift EU sanctions resulting from Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Moscow, Jul 28 (AP/UNB) — Nearly 1,400 people were detained in a violent police crackdown on an opposition protest in Moscow, a Russian monitoring group said Sunday, adding that was the largest number of detentions at a rally in the Russian capital this decade.
OVD-Info, which has monitored police arrests since 2011, said the number of the detentions from Saturday's protest reached 1,373 by early Sunday. The overwhelming majority of people were soon released but 150 remained in custody, OVD-Info and a lawyers' legal aid group said Sunday.
Crackdowns on the anti-government protesters began days before the rally. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested and sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for calling for Saturday's protest against election authorities who barred some opposition candidates from running in the Sept. 8 vote for Moscow city council.
Navalny was unexpectedly hospitalized Sunday with a severe allergy attack, his spokeswoman said.
Kira Yarmysh said Navalny, who did not have any allergies beforehand, was taken from the Moscow jail to a hospital in the morning, arriving with severe facial swelling and red rashes. Hours later, she said Navalny was in a "satisfactory condition."
Russian police violently dispersed thousands of people who thronged the streets of Moscow on Saturday to protest the move by election authorities. Several protesters reported broken limbs and head injuries. Police justified their response by saying that the rally was not sanctioned by authorities.
Along with the arrests of the mostly young demonstrators, several opposition activists who wanted to run for the Moscow City Duma were arrested throughout the city.
Police eventually cordoned off the City Hall and dispersed protesters from the area, but thousands of demonstrators reassembled in several different locations nearby and a new round of arrests began. Russian police beat some protesters to the ground with wide truncheon swings while others tried to push the police away.
Police said the protesters numbered about 3,500 but aerial footage from several locations suggested at least 8,000 people turned out.
Dmitry Gudkov, an opposition figure who was barred from running for city council office in Moscow, was detained Sunday afternoon as he delivered food to some of the Moscow protesters still in jail.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Sunday decried the violent crackdown as "use of disproportionate police force" and the Russian presidential human rights council said it was concerned about the police brutality.
Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed away from Moscow over the weekend.
On Sunday, he led Russia's first major naval parade in years, going aboard one of the vessels in the Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland. The parade included 43 ships and submarines and 4,000 troops.
Paris, July 25 (AP/UNB) — Hot, hotter, hottest! Paris, London and places across Europe are sweltering under all-time high temperatures or near-record heat Thursday as the second heat wave this summer bakes the continent.
Climate scientists warn this could become the new normal in many parts of the world. But temperate Europe — where air conditioning is rare — isn't equipped for the temperatures frying the region this week.
So tourists frolicked in fountains to seek relief, and authorities and volunteers fanned out to help the elderly, sick and homeless hit hardest by the heat. Trains were canceled in Britain and France, and French authorities urged travelers to stay home.
One by one, heat records are being broken across Europe. On Thursday afternoon the Paris area hit 40.6 C (105.1 F,) beating the previous record of 40.4 C (104.8 F) in 1947. Authorities said the temperature was still rising, as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that's trapped between cold stormy systems.
London expects to see 39 C (102 F). And swaths of Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland could face temperatures exceeding 40 C (104 F).
In Belgium, the meteorological institute said the nation saw temperatures rise past the 40 C mark for the first time since records were kept in 1833. The new all-time high now stood at 40.2 C (104.4 F), recorded close to Liege in eastern Belgium's Angleur on Wednesday.
Germany recorded 40.5 degrees (104.9 F) Wednesday, and the German Weather Service is expecting even higher temperatures Thursday.
In Austria, a 2-year-old died of dehydration in the country's Styria region after he climbed into an overheated parked car without his family noticing and fell asleep in it.
The Austrian news agency APA reported Thursday that the boy, who climbed into a car parked at the family's farm on Monday, died at a children's hospital on Wednesday.
In the Netherlands, a government health institute warned of high levels of smog due to ozone in the air in parts of the country.
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment issued a "smog alarm" Thursday for regions including the densely populated cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.
The institute said air quality in the some regions will be "extremely bad" because light winds mean that pollution is not being blown away and sunlight transforms it into ozone. The smog can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and leave people coughing and short of breath.
Across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, some communities painted rail tracks in white hoping the light color would bring down the temperature by a few degrees. In Heiligendamm on the Baltic Sea in eastern Germany, train services were canceled temporarily during last month's heat wave after the tracks were deformed by the heat.
Across London and Paris, authorities and charity workers handed out water and sunscreen to homeless people and opened day centers for them to rest and shower.
"They are in the street all day, under the sun. No air conditioning, no way to protect oneself from the heat, so for some it's really quite complicated," said Ruggero Gatti, an IT worker joining other Red Cross volunteers handing out water bottles, soup and yogurt to the homeless in the Paris suburb of Boulogne.
Tourists clustered around fountains and canals. "It's too hot. In Brazil, where I live, we have the beach but here, since there is no beach, we can enjoy this fountain," said Ederson Lista-Vajes, a Brazilian tourist playing with spurts of water at Trocadero plaza across from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
France is particularly wary after a 2003 heat wave killed nearly 15,000 people, especially the elderly.
Since then the government has introduced a color-coded heat alert system to warn people when temperatures are expected to rise to dangerous levels in their area and trigger government assistance efforts.
The alert system went to its maximum level of red for the first time during last month's heat wave , when France saw its highest-ever recorded temperature of 46 degrees. On Thursday, about one-fifth of French territory was under a red alert, stretching from the English Channel through the Paris region and down to Burgundy.
The national rail authority and Paris public transit system urged passengers to avoid travel Thursday. Messages to "Hydrate yourselves!" came from the radio, television and public message boards.
French Health Minister Agnez Buzyn said that temperatures on Thursday are expected to be 2 degrees higher than in 2003. Some 20 million French are expected to be hit by the heatwave, she said.
Summers are usually mild in much of Europe and few homes have air conditioning. It's not that common in hospitals, stores or restaurants either.
Electric fans are selling fast around Paris — and traditional folding fans seem to be making a comeback, waved by many on the stuffy subway.
In Bavaria's prisons, inmates were getting cold cucumber soup, fruit and yoghurt for lunch and more water than normal, the German news agency dpa reported.
The heat wave is intense but expected to be short, with temperatures dropping Friday and Saturday.
As emissions continue to warm the planet, scientists say there will be more and hotter heat waves, like those increasingly hitting the U.S. though it's too early to know whether this hot spell is linked to man-made climate change.
"There is likely the DNA of climate change in the record-breaking heat that Europe and other parts of the world are experiencing. And it is unfortunately going to continue to worsen," said Marshall Shepherd, professor of meteorology at University of Georgia.
London, Jul 25 (AP/UNB) — Boris Johnson is convening his first Cabinet meeting as Britain's prime minister, pledging to break the impasse on issues that flummoxed predecessor Theresa May.
Johnson has less than 100 days to make good on his promise to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31 after what he called "three years of unfounded self-doubt."
The new Cabinet arrived early at Johnson's Downing Street office — a collection of fresh faces after Johnson culled senior members of May's team. The new line-up includes Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Treasury chief Sajid Javid and House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.
In his first speech as prime minister, Johnson offered a plethora of promises, from more police on the streets to ending a ban on genetically modified crops to faster internet access.