Britain

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'Mystery Man' Flies Past Plane at 3K Feet

Pilots say man whizzed by plane over Manchester, England

(Newser) - Pilots flying over England this summer were shocked to see what looked like a man whizzing by the aircraft at about 3,500 feet, the Daily Mail reports via Yahoo . According to Britain's Airprox Board, which investigates such matters, the passenger plane was making a descent to Manchester on... More »

Woman Examines 'Dried Blood' in Nose, Finds Leech

Daniela Liverani apparently picked it up in Vietnam

(Newser) - After a Scottish woman suffered a motorcycle accident during a backpacking trip to Vietnam, she figured the dark thing sticking out of her nose was just dried blood. Instead, it was something even less appealing: a three-inch leech that had been in her nostril for a month, the Daily Mail... More »

After 3 Centuries, Scientists Read Burnt Magna Carta

Copies of document to be brought together for first time ever

(Newser) - Almost three centuries ago, one of the world's most important documents was burnt in a fire. That copy of the Magna Carta was unreadable after the 1731 blaze—until now. Scientists have turned to special imaging techniques to read one of the four existing copies of the 1215 document... More »

'British Weiner' Quits Over Paisley PJs Photo

'I have been a complete fool,' says Brooks Newmark

(Newser) - Britain's Conservative Party kicked off its annual conference with a healthy round of embarrassment: The party's minister for civil society has stepped down amid an Anthony Weiner-like sex scandal, reports the BBC . Brooks Newmark, who is married with five children, resigned from his post after it emerged that... More »

Britain Joins US Coalition Against ISIS

Denmark and Belgium, too

(Newser) - Britain, Belgium, and Denmark today joined the US-led coalition of nations launching airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq. All three are committing warplanes to the cause. European lawmakers flatly described the moves as critical to security on home soil, arguing that facing down terrorists has become a matter... More »

WWII Spies Subjected to 'Agent Fifi' Test

She was thought to be a myth

(Newser) - For British spies during World War II, one of the greatest challenges came from a colleague: one Agent Fifi, a beautiful woman tasked with getting trainee agents to leak their secrets. Fifi was long thought to be an urban legend, but newly opened documents from Britain's National Archives show... More »

Queen: 'Enduring Love of Scotland' Will Unite UK

Leader of Scottish National Party resigns

(Newser) - The queen has officially weighed in on Scotland's rejection of independence —a rarity for her when it comes to current affairs, notes the Telegraph —and she's asking pro-UK Scottish residents and Brits not to gloat. She acknowledged the "strong feelings and contrasting emotions" involved in... More »

Jokesters Erect England-Scotland Border Station

Makers aim to add 'a bit of a joke' to independence debate

(Newser) - The vote for Scottish independence isn't until Thursday, but travel between England and Scotland already requires a passport. That is, if you fall for a joke border control station that a photographer erected with some English and Scottish friends. An official-looking sign on a highway reads "Scottish Border... More »

British PM Woos Scots: 'We Want You to Stay'

David Cameron heads to Scotland to plea for 'No' vote at Sept. 18 referendum

(Newser) - British PM David Cameron dropped everything today to head to Scotland to stem the momentum of the "Yes" campaign for secession. For Alex Salmond, the Scot leading the charge for independence, the move means the Brits are panicked. "If I thought they were coming by bus, I'd... More »

Parents Who Yanked Son From Hospital in UK Arrested

Ashya King, 5, suffers from brain cancer

(Newser) - When Brett and Naghmeh King pulled their 5-year-old son, Ashya , who is suffering from brain cancer, out of a British hospital, international authorities launched a hunt for the family. This weekend, the parents were arrested in Malaga, Spain, CNN reports; their charges may include cruelty. They headed to France with... More »

Man Finds Giant Wasps' Nest in Bed

Swarm took over spare bedroom in British home

(Newser) - A British man visiting his mother discovered her spare bedroom was already in use—by thousands of wasps that had chewed up the mattress and pillows to make a 3-foot-wide nest on the bed. Pest controller John Birkett says a small window in the bedroom had been left open and... More »

UK Embassy Sorry for Celebrating White House Burning

They had sparkler-laden cake made for 200th anniversary

(Newser) - Too soon? It was 200 years ago yesterday that British troops routed an American militia and occupied Washington, DC, for more than 24 hours, setting buildings including the White House and the Capitol alight—and the British embassy in the city wasn't exactly diplomatic about the anniversary. The embassy... More »

Actor Richard Attenborough Dead at 90

Oscar-winner starred in 'Brighton Rock' and 'The Great Escape'

(Newser) - Oscar-winning actor and director Richard Attenborough died today in a London nursing home at the age of 90, his son tells the BBC . Attenborough amassed 74 acting credits over 60 years, starring in acclaimed films like Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, and Miracle on 34th Street, and later the Steven... More »

Rapper Eyed in Beheading of James Foley

UK intelligence said to have found a suspect

(Newser) - British officials say they've identified the ex-pat who beheaded James Foley but won't yet release his name, the Sunday Times reports. Investigators narrowed the case down to four suspects—including a British doctor's brother and an ex-gang member who went to Syria—but UK rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel... More »

UK to Let Driverless Cars Take the Road

Test period could last 3 years

(Newser) - The UK is the latest country to allow driverless cars to hit the highway. The country will start allowing the cars on public roads beginning in January, the BBC reports. California, Florida, and Nevada have already let driverless cars zoom through the streets, as has Japan. Britain will start with... More »

What the New Round of Russia Sanctions Means

And how Putin could retaliate

(Newser) - Amid tensions between Vladimir Putin and the West, Russians have shown little serious concern about the direction their country is headed. But with the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane and increasing sanctions from the US and EU , the mood appears to be shifting, the New York Times reports. Russian... More »

Mysterious Coin Stash Unearthed—After 2K Years

26 Roman and Late Iron Age coins found in Derbyshire

(Newser) - A cave in Britain may have been the perfect hiding place for a stash of coins … because 2,000 years passed before anyone found them. A climber sheltering from the rain happened upon four coins in Dovedale, Derbyshire, reports the Ashbourne News Telegraph , which led to a National Trust... More »

Odd Ditches Made Before Amazon Rainforest Grew

Study: Before it was jungle, it was savannah

(Newser) - Some 3,000 years ago, the Bolivian Amazon didn’t look like a jungle at all—it was more like an African savannah. A new study reveals how the ancient landscape took shape, and sheds new light on the mysterious ditches the early Amazonians built there for purposes unknown. The... More »

Brit Parents Arrested Over Son's Weight

11-year-old was 210 pounds

(Newser) - Suspected of child neglect and cruelty, a pair of British parents were arrested—over concerns about their son's weight. The 11-year-old is just over five feet tall and weighs 210 pounds; his body mass index is 41.8, the New York Times reports, via the Sun. A BMI of... More »

Far-Right Surges in EU Parliament

Key 'Euroskeptic' groups make big gains

(Newser) - Europe's parliamentary elections have resulted in big gains for those opposed to European Union power, including far-right parties in France, the UK, and Greece, the BBC reports. "The people have spoken loud and clear," said the leader of France's National Front, Marine Le Pen. "They... More »

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