HSBC has announced it will pay $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to US authorities in a settlement over poor money laundering controls, according to the BBC.
The news originally broke in July, when HSBC executives appeared at a US senate hearing following a subcommittee report which highlighted serious issues with the bank’s American operation.
The last couple of weeks have been difficult for the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond. He has been at the centre of a row over legal advice regarding an independent Scotland’s continued membership of the EU.
Scotland is due to vote on independence from the rest of the UK in a planned referendum in the autumn of 2014.
A 10-year extradition battle, regarding 46-year old Asperger’s sufferer, Gary McKinnon, ended yesterday after a sensational intervention by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Between February 1st 2001 and March 19th 2002, McKinnon is alleged to have hacked into 97 US Government computers from his home in north London, including NASA and the Pentagon. According to the Daily Mail, the US Government alleges that the computer expert had accomplished “the biggest military computer hack of all time.”
The French President, Francois Hollande, met with Prime Minister Cameron yesterday and has “reassured” Mr Cameron that British owners of holiday homes in France won’t be subjected to punitive taxes, according to The Telegraph.
Mr Hollande’s leftist party released plans to increase taxes on second homes owned by foreigners in France – tax on rental income was to increase to 35.5% from 20%, and capital gains tax on property sales to 34.5% from 19%.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State, raised concerns last week about a Russian cargo ship, named as the MV Alaed. Security officers believed the vessel was taking Russian-manufactured Mi25 helicopters to Syria. Ms Clinton expressed the fear that such helicopters could be used to attack Syrian citizens.
The ship originally picked up its cargo from the Russian port of Kaliningrad, and was reported to be heading for the Syrian port of Tartous, which is also the site of a Russian naval base.
In April, on the 30th anniversary of hostilities between Britain and Argentina over sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, the Prime Minster, David Cameron, issued a statement saying that Britain remains firmly committed to upholding the rights of the Falkland Islanders to self-determination.
Recently, Argentina has stepped up its protestations over the status of the South Atlantic archipelago, which it knows as the Malvinas, as a self-governing overseas territory of the United Kingdom. (more…)
This morning the United Kingdom Supreme Court gave its verdict in the case concerning the extradition of the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, to Sweden. In its judgment the Court relied on a range of judicial sources – one international document that the Justices gave particular weight to was the Vienna Convention on the Interpretation of Treaties.
A majority of the Supreme Court, five to two, dismissed Assange’s appeal. Assange’s QC, Dinah Rose, said that they may ask the Supreme Court to reopen the case as the parties did not cover the Vienna Convention in their submissions before the Court. (more…)
Jack Straw, former Foreign Secretary in the last Labour Government, may face court action over the illegal rendition of a Libyan dissident in 2004. Rendition is a process whereby a person is handed over from one jurisdiction to another, without proper legal processes being followed.
In this case, the CIA is alleged to have asked for help from the British secret service organisation, MI6, regarding the rendition of Abdel Hakim Belhaj. (more…)
This week the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) upheld a German man’s conviction for conducting an incestuous relationship with his sister. The relationship resulted in the birth of four children, two of whom are handicapped.
Patrick Stuebing, of Leipzig in eastern Germany, was convicted more than once for the crime, eventually being sentenced to a jail term in 2005 by the district court of the city. The sister was not tried for incest as she suffers from a personality disorder. (more…)
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that radical preacher Abu Hamza’s human rights are not at risk if he is extradited to face trial in the United States.
It had been expected by some quarters that the court would rule that the prospect of being sentenced to life in one of America’s tough ‘Super Max’ prisons would be a breach of his human rights. (more…)