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LONDON (Reuters) – London stripped Uber on Friday of its licence to operate from the end of next week in a huge blow to the taxi service and 3.5 million users in one of the world’s wealthiest cities. The capital’s transport authority said the Silicon Valley technology giant was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire licence and it would not be renewed when it expires on Sept. 30. Uber, whose 40,000 drivers in London account for a third of private vehicles hired, said it would contest the decision and regulator Transport for London (TfL) will let it operate until the appeals process is exhausted. ”Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,“ TfL said. ”TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence. Specifically, TfL cited Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, background checks on drivers and software called Greyball that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app. “Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London. “We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.” The loss of the licence comes after a tumultuous few months for Uber, including a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the San Francisco-based start-up that forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick. Uber, which is valued at about $70 billion (£51.66 billion) and whose investors include Goldman Sachs, has faced protests around the world for shaking up long-established taxi markets. The taxi app has also been forced to quit several countries, including Denmark …read more

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LONDON (Reuters) – British police said on Friday they had charged an 18-year-old man with attempted murder in connection with last week’s bomb attack at Parsons Green station in London. The Metropolitan police also charged Ahmed Hassan, 18, of Sunbury, Surrey, southern England, with explosive offences. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court at 1300 GMT on Friday. Reporting by James Davey; editing by Guy FaulconbridgeOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder in connection with the Parsons Green terror attack.Ahmed Hassan, of Sunbury, Surrey, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this afternoon, when he will also face a second charge under the Explosive Substances Act.Three other men, aged 25, 30 and 17, remain in custody.Thirty people were injured last Friday when a bomb partially exploded on a District line Underground train.Many of those had suffered flash burn injuries, while others were hurt in a crush when people ran down a staircase at the station.Two other men who had been arrested in connection with the explosion have been released without charge.Police are continuing to search one property in Surrey and two in Newport.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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LONDON (Reuters) – London stripped Uber on Friday of its licence to operate from the end of September in a huge blow to the taxi app that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities. Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said Uber’s conduct posed risks to public safety and it would not renew its licence when it expires on Sept. 30. Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until the appeal process has finished. “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” TfL said. Uber, which accounts for a third of private hire vehicles on London’s streets, said it would contest the decision. “Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London. “We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.” Uber has been attacked by London’s black cab drivers who say it has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods. The U.S. firm has also faced criticism from unions and lawmakers and been embroiled in legal battles over workers’ rights. An electronic billboard advertising Uber is seen in front of an office block in London, Britain, June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the Silicon Valley start-up that forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick. The app has been forced to quit several countries including Denmark and Hungary and faced regulatory battles in multiple U.S. states and countries around the world. One of Uber’s British competitors in London, Addison Lee, is …read more

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Uber will not be issued a new private hire licence, Transport for London (TfL) has said. TfL concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility which could have potential public safety and security implications, it said. Uber said it would immediately challenge the decision in the courts. In a statement, Uber said: “Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.”It said the decision showed the world that “far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.Latest updates and reactionThere had been growing speculation that the app could be banned from London.Opponents of the firm claim it causes gridlocked roads and does not do enough to regulate its drivers.Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London.Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.” General secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association Steve McNamara said: “The mayor has made the right call not to re-license Uber.”We expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the mayor and TfL, and we will urge the court to uphold this decision. “This immoral company has no place on London’s streets.”Uber has 21 days to appeal.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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LONDON (Reuters) – London’s transport regulator on Friday stripped Uber [UBER.UL] of its license to operate from the end of the month, affecting over 40,000 drivers in a huge blow to the taxi app. “TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” Transport for London said on Friday. The final day of Uber’s license will be on Sep. 30. In London, the firm has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions. Uber has the right to appeal the decision within twenty one days. Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Guy FaulconbridgeOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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LONDON (Reuters) – A home-made bomb which injured 30 when it partially detonated on a packed London train a week ago had the potential to cause much more damage, the head of the city’s police force said on Friday. The bomb engulfed a train carriage in flames at Parsons Green underground station in west London last Friday, in Britain’s fifth major terrorism incident this year. Six men have been arrested in connection with the attack, and four remain in custody. “That was a very very dangerous bomb. It partially detonated, it had a large quantity of explosive, and it was packed with shrapnel. So it could have been so much worse,” Cressida Dick, Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, said in an interview on LBC radio. She said that six militant plots had been foiled over the last several months. Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; Writing by Alistair SmoutOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will meet its financial obligations when it leaves the European Union, transport minister Chris Grayling said on Friday, hours before Prime Minister Theresa May makes a high-stakes speech to reset Brexit talks. May, weakened after losing her Conservative Party’s majority in a June election, is hoping to move talks forward with the EU in a speech in Florence, Italy, on Friday. According to Grayling, the speech will set out the principles of a future relationship. “It’s not about the specific purpose of where we might end up at that point in the negotiations … what she is doing is setting out today the principles of a future relationship, she is talking about how we move the negotiations forward,” Grayling told BBC radio. Asked whether reports that Britain will offer a financial settlement to the EU are correct, Grayling said: “We are a nation that meets its obligations. Of course we absolutely accept that Britain has obligations … but what we are looking to do though, is not simply today to start talking about the nuts and bolts of negotiation.” Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, editing by David MillikenOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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SEOUL/NEW YORK (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb on the Pacific Ocean after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make a “mentally deranged” Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim, who has traded ever-more heightened rhetoric with Trump, did not specify what his response would be. His comments were believed to be the first direct message ever issued by a North Korean leader. However, Kim’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, said North Korea could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale on the Pacific Ocean, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. Ri, who was talking to reporters in New York ahead of a planned address later this week, however also said he did not know Kim’s exact thoughts, according to the report. Japan, the only country ever to suffer an atomic attack, described the threat as “totally unacceptable”. Trump said in his first address to the United Nations on Tuesday he would “totally destroy” North Korea, a country of 26 million people, if it threatened the United States and its allies, and called Kim a “rocket man” on a suicide mission. Kim said the North would consider the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” against the United States and that Trump’s comments had confirmed his own nuclear programme was “the correct path”. Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a programme aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile. “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire,” Kim said in the statement carried by the KCNA state news agency, referring to Trump. “SLEEPWALKING …read more

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A man and a woman have been charged with murder after a badly burned body was discovered in the garden of a south-west London home.Ouissem Medouni, 40, and Sabrina Kouider, 34, both of Pulborough Road, SW18, are accused of the murder of an unknown person.Police and fire crews found the body after being called to Wimbledon Park Road at 18:30 BST on Wednesday.It was too badly burned to work out the person’s gender and age, said police.The pair will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court later. Det Insp Richard Leonard of the Metropolitan Police said previously that detectives were “doing everything we can to identify the deceased”.A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course, said police.Let’s block ads! (Why?) …read more

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