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Liberty welcomes 'pause for thought' on human rights

The director of human rights group Liberty has welcomed a decision not to include plans to scrap the Human Rights Act in the Queen's Speech.

While the Conservative government used the speech to propose a British Bill of Rights, which had been expected to be a substitute for the act, the Human Rights Act was not specifically mentioned.

It is heartening that a Conservative government committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act has at least paused for thought in its first Queen's Speech.

There is a long struggle ahead but time is the friend of freedom.

The more this new Parliament understands the value of the Human Rights Act for all of us in this United Kingdom and our reputation in the world, the more it is likely to understand how dangerous it would be to replace human rights with mere citizens' privileges.

– Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty
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Cocaine worth £1.6m found in cheese lorry

Cocaine was discovered in cheese lorry Credit: Border Force

Border Force officers at the inward freight controls at Dover’s Eastern Docks have seized approximately 40 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value in excess of £1.6 million.

The drugs were discovered on the evening of Friday 22 May, when officers stopped and searched a Lithuanian-registered lorry carrying a load of cheese.

The drugs were then discovered within the bodywork of the vehicle.

The vehicle had arrived at the port on a ferry from Calais.

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Union outrage over Cameron's new strike proposals

Credit: PA

Unions have reacted with outrage to David Cameron's reform of strike laws which will prevent them action going ahead unless 40 per cent of workers agree.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: "It is extraordinary that after more than 100 years of first past the post in public democratic elections in the UK, David Cameron wants to be the first Prime Minister who wants to use a handicapping system solely for union strike ballots.

"Under the new rules, he would not have been elected leader of the Tory party and 270 Tory MPs would have failed to be elected in the general election."

Fifa 'welcomes action to root out wrongdoing '

Fifa says it welcomes "actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football" in its latest statement following the launch of two criminal investigations into the corruption-hit organisation.

Fifa welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football.... We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that Fifa has already taken.

– Fifa

Spanish air traffic controllers to strike for four days in June

Spanish air traffic controllers are to strike over four days in June, a union spokeswoman had said.

Spanish air traffic controllers will strike on four days in June Credit: PA Wire

They will strike on on June 8, 10, 12 and 14 for two hours each morning and two hours each afternoon in industrial action across the country.

The workers are to strike over a dispute on penalties given by airport operator AENA to controllers for a 2010 strike.

Queen's speech draws praise, anger and concern

The Queen's Speech did not go down well with everyone. Credit: PA

The first all-Conservative Queen's Speech for two decades drew praise, anger and concern.

While much of the reaction will focus on the future of the UK's membership of the European Union, human rights and immigration, there were differing responses to issues closer to home.

Unions pledged to fight plans to introduce a threshold in strike ballots, while business leaders welcomed measures to increase the number of jobs and apprenticeships.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "This is a Queen's Speech which entrenches inequality.

"Visits to food banks will increase as benefit cuts bite, the sale of housing association stock will not address the housing crisis and more families will be uprooted due to the bedroom tax."

While Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "The Government's plan to cut housing benefit for 18-21 year-olds could spell disaster for thousands of young people who cannot live with their parents.

"At an age when other young people are leaving home to travel, work or study, growing numbers could be facing homelessness and the terrifying prospect of roughing it on the streets."

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PM: Queen's Speech reveals 'One Nation' plan for UK

Prime Minister David Cameron said his Queen's Speech was designed to promote a 'One Nation' programme to help people in Britain at "every stage of life".

Among the measures announced was increased free childcare, a "seven-day NHS" and economic recovery.

We have a golden opportunity to renew the idea that working people are backed in this country; to renew the promise to those least fortunate that they will have the opportunity for a brighter future; and to renew the ties that bind every part of our United Kingdom.

– David Cameron

Dyke suggests postponing Fifa presidential election

Greg Dyke, the FA chairman, has suggested that Friday's planned Fifa presidential election should be postponed in light of today's "very serious" developments.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke. Credit: PA Wire

Fifa earlier said the election would go ahead as planned despite the arrests of several officials and the launch of a criminal proceedings into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

But Mr Dyke said the developments were "very serious for Fifa and its current leadership" and also made it clear who the FA will be voting for if the election does go ahead.

We should stress this morning's developments are very serious for Fifa and its current leadership.

As one of the associations who nominated Prince Ali it will not surprise you to learn that if the election for president goes ahead The FA will be voting for him.

However, there must be a question mark over whether the election should take place in these circumstances.

Clearly things are changing very quickly and our delegation to the Fifa congress in Zurich, which I am leading, will discuss the position and what we should do about it with our colleagues in Uefa when we meet tomorrow morning.

– Greg Dyke, FA Chairman

Blatter 'not dancing in his office over Fifa arrests'

Sepp Blatter is "not dancing in his his office" following the arrests of senior Fifa executives but is "remaining calm", a spokesman has said.

Sepp Blatter's organisation has been rocked by the latest claims of corruption. Credit: Reuters

Fifa spokesperson Walter de Gregorio stressed that president Sepp Blatter and its secretary general Jérôme Valcke were not among the officials under investigation as part of the probe.

Describing how Mr Blatter was feeling, Mr de Gregorio said: "Well he is not dancing in his office. He is very calm, he is fully co-operative with everything....he’s not a happy man, saying wow wow.”

He also refuted claims that Mr Blatter - who is bidding for a fifth term in office in Friday's presidential election - should step down following the latest scandal.

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