Press release: UK troops touch down in Norway following epic road move


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Hundreds of British Army troops have successfully completed an epic road move to Norway, where they will now begin training with allies ahead of NATO Exercise Trident Juncture.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster:

With the Arctic and Far North becoming increasingly militarised, it is now more important than ever for the UK and our NATO Allies to train across a range of challenging environments.

This exercise will truly test our ability to deter any aggression we may face in an era of intensifying threats.

Over the course of the next 10 days Army personnel will integrate with fellow troops from Denmark and Poland – sharing equipment, drills and personnel to form a multinational, combat-ready brigade.

Once complete British infantry and armoured reconnaissance vehicles, Danish main battle tanks and Polish armoured fighting vehicles will then conduct a week-long live exercise alongside brigades led by Germany and Italy against a fictitious invading enemy in defensive and offensive operations.

In total there will be 2,700 UK Armed Forces personnel as well as six Royal Navy ships, 480 vehicles and Royal Air Force Hawk aircraft.

With some 150 aircraft, 40,000 participants and 10,000 vehicles, Exercise Trident Juncture is the largest collective defence exercise NATO has seen in over a decade.

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A Downing Street spokesperson said:

“The Prime Minister met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore ahead of the ASEM opening ceremony. Foreign Office Minister Mark Field also joined.

“The two leaders began by discussing the desire to deepen bilateral trade ties as well as potential UK involvement in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership - CPTPP.

“They discussed strengthening cooperation between the UK, Singapore and others in Asia to boost shared prosperity and security - including by deepening the UK’s relationship with ASEAN.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s commitment to upholding the rules based international system, including maritime and regional security in South East Asia.”

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The UK Intellectual Property Office is holding an intellectual property roadshow run by Tom Duke, the UK’s IP Attaché to China.

The annual China IP roadshow will run from 1 to 7 November and this year will visit Cardiff, Bristol, Guilford and London.

Based in the British Embassy Beijing, Tom supports hundreds of UK companies each year to protect and enforce IP in China. He will draw on this experience to provide practical advice on a range of ventures in and with China. This includes exporting, manufacturing, investment, collaborative research, technology licensing and creative collaboration.

China IP Roadshow events are open to large and small business, and cover all industry sectors. The events will cover all major aspects of IP: patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and trade secrets. All sessions will be interactive with opportunities to comment, ask questions and network with other participants. 1-2-1 meetings with Tom and IPO staff are available at several events.

The dates and locations for each city are provided below, along with links to further information and registration pages. All events are free of charge.

Thursday 1 November 2018

In partnership with Welsh Government, the China IP Roadshow will begin with an event in Cardiff.


  • time/date: 8am to 10:30am
  • venue: Sophia Gardens
  • title: Succeeding in China: How to Mitigate Intellectual Property Risk
  • suitable for: Companies of all sizes and in all sectors.
  • more information and sign-up details are available.
Friday 2 November 2018

The China IP Roadshow will visit Bristol for an event held in partnership with Enterprise Europe Network South West, Innovate UK, China-Britain Business Council and Department for International Trade.


  • time/date: midday to 2:30pm
  • venue: Leigh Court Business Centre
  • title: Succeeding in China: How to Mitigate Intellectual Property Risk
  • suitable for: Companies of all sizes and in all sectors.
  • more information and sign-up details are available.
Monday 5 November 2018

In partnership with Enterprise M3 and M3 Growth Hub, the China IP Roadshow will be hosting an event at the University of Surrey, Guilford.


  • time/date: 9:30am to midday
  • venue: University of Surrey
  • title: Succeeding in China: How to Mitigate Intellectual Property Risk
  • suitable for: Companies of all sizes, with a particularly relevance for those in high technology sectors
  • more information and sign-up details are available.
Wednesday 7 November 2018

In partnership with the China-Britain Business Council, the China IP Roadshow will be running a practical workshop on managing IP risk in UK-China collaborative research and technology commercialisation.


  • time/date: 2pm to 5:30pm
  • venue: China-Britain Business Council office, Victoria
  • title: IP in UK-China technology projects
  • suitable for: Academic researches and technology transfer offices
  • more information and sign-up details are available.

If you require further information on the 2018 China IP Roadshow please contact Hannah Hunt.

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Today (Friday 19 October), the Home Office launched the latest round of the Hate Crime Community Projects Fund, which encourages community groups to come up with innovative solutions to counter hatred and prejudice.

The boost comes amid Hate Crime Awareness Week and following the government’s publication of the updated Hate Crime Action Plan, which set out new actions to tackle prejudice.

Minister for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams said:

The government is determined to stamp out hate crime and I know the power that local communities have in tackling hatred and prejudice.

That is why I am delighted to be able to launch the third year of the Hate Crime Community Projects Fund. I have seen first-hand how the fund has supported vital initiatives across the country and look forward to the new, innovative ideas to help promote our shared values, protect victims and tackle hate crime.

The Hate Crime Community Projects Fund was one of commitments made by the government in its 2016 action plan, which was refreshed on Tuesday.

In the first 2 years, 16 projects covering all 5 of the monitored hate crime strands - race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability - have been awarded over £560,000 of funding.

Projects that have received funding include:

  • working with young transgender people who encounter abusive narratives online
  • using restorative justice techniques to challenge behaviours and attitudes of young people who had committed hate-related offences in Manchester
  • using British Sign Language to raise awareness of hate crime with deaf and deafened people

On Monday, Baroness Williams visited Globe Primary School in Bethnal Green which has been supported by EqualiTeach, a beneficiary of the fund last year.

EqualiTeach worked with children and teachers from 7 schools in Tower Hamlets to develop films and educational resources on anti-Muslim hate crime as well as strengthen existing systems to help pupils report hate crime and provide support for victims.

Sarah Soyei, Head of Strategy and Development for EqualiTeach, said:

The Hate Crime Community Projects Fund was a vital tool, enabling EqualiTeach to work with young people over a period of 6 months, to empower them to be agents for change in their own schools and to develop free resources which will support teachers from across the country to educate about Islamophobia.

You can find out more about funding for community projects that prevent hate crime.

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Speaking at the seventh edition of the annual Latin American Investment Forum in London today (19 October), the Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan MP, Minister of State for the Americas said:

The UK Government is committed to promoting economic development across Latin America and is proud to be taking a leading role in facilitating that alongside British businesses.

With projects in sectors such as infrastructure, fintech and energy, the UK will continue to work in close partnership with governments throughout the region to strengthen our ties, support our shared economic interests and join forces on vital global issues.
Further information

Media enquiries

For journalists

Email ne[email protected]

Newsdesk 020 7008 3100

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In the week that the UK Government launches its first ever Green Great Britain Week, UK Government in Wales Minister Lord Bourne is heading to Mid-Wales to celebrate the work of institutions and businesses championing the clean growth agenda. As part of his two-day visit, Lord Bourne will also talk to a range of businesses in the region to find out how a Growth Deal for mid-Wales could address their barriers to growth, and to encourage them to assist in its development, stressing the UK Government’s commitment to driving forward the region’s economic future.

Joining thousands of people up and down the UK who are celebrating clean growth, Lord Bourne will visit the IBERS and Innovation campus at Aberystwyth University to learn of their work to convert ground-breaking research into practical solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Highlighting the UK Government’s commitment to clean growth, Lord Bourne will also see how the Centre for Alternative Technology are demonstrating practical solutions for sustainability to visitors from all over the world, including eco-sanitation, woodland management and renewable energy.

UK Government Minister, Lord Bourne said:

In the year that marks the 10th anniversary of the Climate Change Act, there is no better time to build on our success and seize the huge opportunities for cleaner economic growth in the UK.

I welcome the work of IBERS and the Centre for Alternative Technology who are working tirelessly towards the UK’s vision of clean economic growth. Achieving clean growth must be a shared enterprise between UK Government, devolved nations, local authorities, businesses and the British people and that is why today, I urge people all over the country to pledge their commitment to tackling climate change.

During his two-day trip across mid-Wales, Lord Bourne will also meet with key stakeholders across the region to discuss a Growth Deal for mid-Wales. Meeting with Professor Elizabeth Treasure at Aberystwyth University, Lord Bourne will discuss the University’s progress in advancing the region’s economic future through research and innovation, including developments such as the National Spectrum Centre and Precision Agriculture.

Wynnstay, a manufacturer of agricultural supplies, will also welcome Lord Bourne as they celebrate their 100-year anniversary. During his meeting with the newly appointed Chief Executive Gareth Davies, Lord Bourne will consider how the region can overcome growth barriers and secure a growth deal that works for the whole of mid-Wales.

UK Government Minister, Lord Bourne said:

Now more than ever it is imperative that we shift powers away from London and Cardiff to local leaders who are best placed to take decisions that affect their communities. That is why I am committed to working closely with the companies and groups who are devoted to developing a vision for the region’s economic future.

With the launch of the modern Industrial Strategy, the UK Government is working to create the right conditions for regional prosperity, but it is the private sector that must take the necessary risks to drive this vision for economic growth in mid-Wales forward.

With the UK Government already signing a Heads of Terms agreement for City Deals in Cardiff and Swansea and with ongoing negotiations alongside the Welsh Government with local partners regarding a growth deal for North Wales, a successful mid-Wales growth deal would see the whole of Wales benefitting from a UK Government city or growth deal.

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Learn more about the Energy Exports Conference

The visit comes ahead of the Energy Exports Conference in June 2019 which is set to bring key partners together with the aim of accelerating export growth in the sector to key international markets.

The Minister will today meet a range of companies and organisations in the oil and gas industry – including the Oil and Gas Authority and Scottish Development International - to demonstrate DIT commitment to helping the UK oil and gas industry maximise its economic potential. It is estimated that the UK supply chain already delivers a £30 billion turnover, of which 40% is delivered through exports.

At next year’s conference in Aberdeen, organised by trade association the Energy Industries Council, around 20 speakers from major international operators and contractors will present an estimated £100bn worth of project opportunities for UK companies.

This is all part of a shared industry vision – Vision 2035 – which includes the aim to double the UK’s global share of the oil and gas service sector market by 2035. In turn, this will help to add a generation of productive life to the North Sea Basin and maintain the UK oil and gas industry’s position as a significant contributor to the UK economy for decades to come.

Minister of State for the Department for International Trade, Baroness Fairhead, said:

The Oil and Gas industry is a key industry which provides economic growth, jobs and opportunities in companies in the wider supply chain all across Scotland.

I am absolutely delighted that Aberdeen has been chosen to host the inaugural Energy Exports Conference next year. The Department for International Trade will be supporting the conference to ensure it’s a great success.

We continue to stand ready to help companies, large and small, the length and breadth of the UK to export their goods and services and encourage all interested firms to take a look at our Export Strategy to see how we can help.

CEO of the trade body the Energy Industries Council (EIC), Stuart Broadley, said:

The inaugural Energy Exports Conference promises to be the UK’s largest ever export-focussed event in the energy sector. Our aim is to generate significant new incremental export business for UK companies - both for established exporters but also importantly inspiring new exporters.

Uniquely, a number of stakeholders are collaborating to ensure this major event achieves maximum impact - the EIC has agreed to take the lead and we are delighted to have full support from DIT, SDI and the Oil & Gas Authority, as well as Opportunity North East, Oil & Gas UK and UK Export Finance.

The visit comes after the Minister recently launched the UK’s new Export Strategy. The Strategy sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets around the world.

A government-led collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms - the Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.

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This is an event which marks the 45th anniversary of the UK and Vietnam establishing diplomatic relations.

Now in our culture, I’ve been advised by my sleuths in DIT, that means that it’s a Sapphire anniversary, and sapphire indicates wisdom and good fortune.

And so with the theme of this event being Vietnam rising I’m very, very happy to sign up to that.

In fact when I look back, this is a testament to the foresight and wisdom of our foreign ministers at the time, Alec Douglas-Home in our country and Nguyen Duy Trinh.

It’s also testament to those who have worked to develop that relationship, including many of you in the room, as well as the UKABC.

The Cooperation Agreement today [between the UK-ASEAN Business Council and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry] is another step forward, which is important.

And, of course, this is a testament to the leadership of the late President Tran and General Secretary Do – for whom we offer our most sincere condolences.

Opportunities in Vietnam

Because it would have taken very real foresight, back in 1973, to see what we’ve already managed to establish 45 years later, in 2018. In the past few months we’ve had ministerial visits from both sides, culminating in Deputy Prime Minister Pham’s visit this week, but a number of ministers, including myself, had the privilege to visit Vietnam and just see the opportunities there.

It’s also a clear reflection of Vietnam’s status as a respected member of the international system, a member now of the World Trade Organisation for 10 years – and with an upcoming Chairmanship of ASEAN, and a UN Security Council Seat in 2020.

I also know about the economic reforms having been there, and seeing Vietnam take itself up the league of the world’s best places to do business - 23 places in just the last few years.

So today my message is clear: there are very real opportunities, in very discrete areas in Vietnam.

The world is definitely pivoting more towards the Pacific. That is something we should embrace.

And Vietnam in that world is both a beneficiary but also an important contributor. And my belief in trade is that is has to go both ways - both countries need to benefit to make it a success.

Well, this is an economy that is growing - it grew 7% last year.

The World Bank predicts that in 20 years’ time it will be at the upper-end of the world’s middle-income economies – and one with around 100 million people.

And these aren’t just abstract figures, because having been there I can see the real opportunities, right now, for businesses that have the products that will service that market - whether they’re in services or goods.

And just think about that speed of growth. PWC predicts that in 2 years Vietnam will one of the World’s 20 biggest economies. So that’s a market the size – if you want to frame it - of Argentina, Switzerland or Saudi Arabia.

And our trade is already growing. Last year it grew by 10%.

British success in Vietnam

And there are many more opportunities here, because it really does play to areas of our strength.

So for example – the Vietnamese government is planning to get 90% of its population speaking English. If that’s successful, it will end up having more English speakers than Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland combined.

As Vietnam develops, like other economies before it, it will need capital to fuel it, and services will become much more important to its GDP mix.

We as the second-largest exporter of services, with world renowned financial and legal services capabilities, are set to benefit and to help.

And the presence of UK companies in Vietnam is already substantial. Deloitte already has 800 professional employees there – whilst Grant Thornton is that country’s 6th-largest auditor.

And Vietnam is buying ever more high-quality consumer goods – so Diageo, for example, have a booming market there in Scotch Whiskey.

I believe there’s a session later on Vietnam as a ‘connected and innovative nation’. That’s something again the UK can work with. We are leading the way in some research-intensive sectors like healthcare – GlaxoSmithKline employs 1,600 people, and AstraZeneca has a major presence too.

And all of these sectors are ones where we’re looking at the Industrial Strategy, supported by the Export Strategy. That in itself is supported by the science base of the UK.

We have 4 of the world’s top 10 universities, we’re ranked 3rd worldwide for academic citations, and we’re building that strength, as I said, though our Industrial Strategy. We aim to raise our R&D spend to 3% of GDP; we’ll be supporting artificial intelligence as that develops through fellowships, through ‘Data Trusts’, which will seek to minimise the transaction costs for data – the fuel of AI.

And to be an innovation nation you have to be an education nation – it’s people that do that. The people inside British business, universities, institutions can help and are helping every step of the way.

So take schools. The UK is Vietnam’s number 1 choice for foreign curricula, and as I’ve said the Vietnamese government wants to extend English-language skills - so I hope we have some expertise there!

At university, the UK is one of the most popular overseas destinations– in fact 4,000 Vietnamese students came here last year. And in the other direction, the University of Bedfordshire for example recently won £6 million-worth of contracts.

I was lucky enough to visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in July. Firstly, it’s a beautiful country – but, as Ross said, it’s also exhilarating. The growth is very real. And I saw what was happening on the university campuses.

I spoke at the British University in Vietnam’s new 2,500-capacity campus, a beautiful campus committed to build the connections with our country, and in Hanoi I witnessed the signing between the ICAEW – or the chartered accountants of England and Wales – with the Foreign Trade University. So we’re already building those skills, and professional skills are an excellent example of that.

And that’s why it’s important we’re here at his rather beautiful building, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers – a professional body with members across the world.

So Vietnam is a great place for education, for innovation, but having been there I look at some of the key areas that also stand out.

Very significant infrastructure opportunities for exporters; focus on building a healthcare system - and again we can do that; a focus on creative sectors – again that’s a brilliant opportunity.

How the British government can help businesses trade with Vietnam

Please have no mistake - the UK government is standing ready, both through the Industrial Strategy, and with DIT in exports and Overseas Direct Investment, to support you to do more in Vietnam.

We have a dedicated team based in Vietnam to help you navigate local markets and make those connections.

We have the GREAT Campaign - our major cross govt marketing campaign - and that is leading a 6-month campaign of events, which will culminate in the InspireMe festival – which is a 2-day celebration of British culture, music, food, fashion and much more.

We have funding to support businesses wanting to export to Vietnam. We also have development funding in areas such as green finance, future cities, trade facilitation; and up to £2 billion has been set aside to help export financing. That’s available in the Dong, so you can buy and sell British, but pay Vietnamese.

And we’re working ever more closely with the Vietnamese government, to identify any barriers to market access and make it easier for you to trade. Back in June, I know that Vice Minister Vuong and my colleague, Trade Minister Greg Hands, led the 10th UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee – or you may know it as the JETCO – and I believe the Vice Minister will recall they had incredibly useful discussions, on everything from Intellectual Property to Agriculture; from Education to Taxation.

And looking to the future, I believe that the trade between our 2 countries can flow even more than it does now, and that trade and investment both ways can continue to grow.

As many of you will know the EU is in the final stages of agreeing its trade agreement with Vietnam. We have been one of the most supportive Member States for that deal and we continue to support it now, looking to make that a UK-Vietnam Trade Agreement as we leave the EU.

And in July, we announced our 4, priority new Free Trade Agreements, for consultation, after Brexit. And one of those was to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, or – trotting off the tongue easily – “C.P.T.P.P.”, a trade agreement covering a number of countries – including, of course, Vietnam.

The consultation is out there right now. It finishes on October 26th and I would urge any business in this room, if you have particular areas you’d like to focus, or concerns, please feed into that consultation because it would be better if it was informed by you.

We want to take your interests into account, it’s out there for a few more weeks – please submit.

I come from a business background. I’m very clear that it’s you, businesses, that export, invest, not us.

So we at the Department for International Trade are here to help you succeed. We will try to help you play a key part in Vietnam’s future, and I know talking to British businesses that’s what many are equally determined to do too, so I look forward to celebrating a further continuing success, and wish you a really fantastic rest of the day.

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Aimed at local authorities, charities and community groups, the manual provides advice on selecting the right tree for the right place in towns and cities – ensuring the views of local communities are at the heart of decision-making and residents are properly consulted before street trees are felled.

Released during Green GB Week – a week of action dedicated to celebrating clean growth – the toolkit has been designed in recognition of the important role urban trees play in the environment. These include improving health and wellbeing, encouraging people to enjoy the outdoors, absorbing noise and reducing temperatures.

Bringing together knowledge from organisations such as the Forestry Commission, Forest Research and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, the manual provides tips on choosing planting location, tree type and soil to maximise the environmental benefits, as well as highlighting the long term threats to trees from pests, disease and climate change.

Government Tree Champion Sir William Worsley said:

Whether they’re rooted in countryside woodland or in urban cityscapes, trees make our environment more attractive and a healthier place to live and work – which is why expertise in the planting and maintenance of urban trees is vital.

I hope this Urban Tree Manual will help to improve decision-making around the country to make sure our invaluable trees are preserved now - and for future generations.

The toolkit builds on work already underway by local authorities to help trees flourish, featuring case studies such as the planting at The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which focused on choosing climate change resilient trees, and Observatree - a collaborative citizen science project which aims to spot new pest and disease threats to UK trees.

The release of the Urban Tree Manual forms part of the government’s wider work to protect and promote our precious trees, including our commitment to plant one million trees in our towns and cities and eleven million trees nationwide over the course of this parliament.

Protecting and planting more trees is a key part of our ambitious 25-Year Environment Plan, which will ensure we leave this environment in a better state for the next generation.

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Highways England will be taking to the road to show how plans to tackle congestion on the A1 between Scotswood and North Brunton will help improve journey times and safety along the road while boosting the local economy.

Drivers and local residents will have the chance to visit the Highways England exhibition van which will be touring the route, with staff on hand to answer questions about the plans to add an additional lane to a 5 mile stretch of the A1.

Six public information events will be held at locations near to the planned scheme showing its layout, how it will benefit the area and the reasons for the improvements. It is also a good opportunity to provide feedback on the scheme.

Highways England project manager, Charlotte Taylor, said:

This is an exciting scheme that will help improve motorist’s journeys, support economic growth and cut congestion in the Newcastle area.

We look forward to people coming along to our events, finding out more and asking the team any questions they may have.

Further information about the scheme and a video with Charlotte explaining more about the scheme plus exhibition dates can be viewed on the scheme website.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

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Prime Minister Theresa May today held a bilateral meeting with President Moon of South Korea at the Asem summit in Brussels.

The two leaders looked forward to further strengthening ties between the two countries both now and once the UK leaves the European Union.

They agreed to work closely together to transition over the existing trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union. They would then look forward to further improving trade ties between the two countries in the future.

The Prime Minister praised President Moon for the steps he had taken which had led to progress in the Korean peninsula.

The Prime Minister said it was important for DPRK to take concrete steps towards denuclearisation, and pressure should be maintained on DPRK with sanctions.

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Prime Minister Theresa May today held a bilateral meeting with Premier Li of China at the Asem summit in Brussels.

The two leaders began by discussing the Prime Minister’s successful visit to China earlier this year, when she had been joined by a UK trade delegation.

They discussed the opportunity to build further upon that visit, and the golden era in UK-China relations. Premier Li said he looked forward to ushering in a diamond era in the relationship.

The Prime Minister updated Premier Li on the Brexit negotiations. She said she looked forward to further strengthening our economic ties with China, including our trade relationship, in the future.

The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the rules based international system, including the importance of freedom of navigation and maritime security, in line with international law.

On Hong Kong, they agreed on the continued importance of one country, two systems.

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The first hackathon will focus on real-time incident response and take place on 26-27 November 2018.

The second will be a defence logistics hackathon, taking place on 29-30 November 2018.

For these events, we are looking to bring together the best from academia, industry and government in the defence and security arena.

Brief details about the hackathons are as follows:

Real-Time Incident Response Hackathon

Improving the way we investigate incidents through the application of Multimedia Analysis and Artificial Intelligence

Participants will be asked to process large amounts of real-world incident multimedia data and rapidly identify key information for on-site experts - people, places, events, in fact anything that may assist an investigations team. We’re interested in how entities relate to each other, the event timeline and narrative, and near-term predictions. Data will mostly take the form of video which will be varied in quality, source, and format. Some will be live-streamed during the event.

This is a unique opportunity for participants to demonstrate their ability to extract useful information and insights from large multimedia data sources which would help teams to respond to incidents more quickly and effectively. We expect participants to exploit cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence techniques, including Machine Vision, to achieve the best results.

At the end of the second day a final showcase will take place.

Defence Logistics Hackathon

Accelerating Logistics Decision Support through exploiting Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) capabilities

The intent of this hackathon is to demonstrate the ability to analyse and share structured and unstructured multi-source data maintaining its classification and permission based access rules at machine speed. Data sets from the C130J Hercules platform will be provided to enable the development and testing of potential sharing solutions. The longer-term aim will be the development of predictive maintenance tools, and provides evidence based recommendations to optimise inventory checks and extend the life of components.

This event will require programmers and coders at the leading edge of current technology to develop an AI/ML capability that can be accessed, interrogated and translated to provide better informed and timely decision support across national and multinational domains.

This event will provide a great opportunity to demonstrate your ability to solve current Defence Logistic challenges, as well as the opportunity to network with senior decision makers and end users within this area. Following the event you will be invited to submit a fully costed proposal which could lead to securing funding to further develop your product.

Further details about these hackathons and how to register will be provided on the DASA website next week.

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Wilhelmina LT60 is a British registered 35 metre fishing vessel operated by a Dutch company and master, which primarily targets plaice and Dover sole in the North Sea. The court heard that enforcement checks of the vessel’s statutory documentation showed that it had exceeded the permitted 10% margin of tolerance in its fishing logbook on 41 occasions. Six charges were brought before the court and the defendants asked for the other 35 offences to be taken into consideration.

The vessel owner Wilhelmina Beheer B.V. and skipper Jelle Toering both pleaded guilty to all charges and offences.

Wilhelmina Beheer B.V. was fined £3,000 for each offence (£18,000 in total), £2,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170. Jelle Toering was fined £1,295 for each offence, (£7,770 in total), £500 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

A spokesperson for the MMO said:

The outcome of this enforcement action shows that non-compliance with the requirement to submit an accurate electronic logbook will be detected and dealt with appropriately, with the offending company facing fines in appropriate circumstances.

In cases like this the MMO will always take proportionate and appropriate action, including prosecution, to ensure offenders do not benefit from illegal activity and to protect fish stocks for the wider fishing industry and future generations.

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Updated: replaced [email protected] with [email protected]

The UK Civil Service has this week launched the UK’s first degree-level apprenticeship in economics – creating new routes to careers in the Civil Service for young people who would prefer to study for a degree whilst working at the heart of government.

A range of central government departments and agencies including HM Treasury, Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Science (BEIS), Department for Education (DfE) and Department for Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will provide apprenticeship placements through the new programme – which will offer students a starting salary of about £22k in London and in excess of £20k nationally.

The apprenticeship standard on which the programme is based was developed by a group of economist employers that included HM Treasury, the Bank of England as well as a range of consultancies and third sector organisations. The programme will be delivered in partnership with the University of Kent and will be open to candidates with GCSE maths at grade B (6) or above and 96 UCAS points – equivalent to CCC at A-level, MMM for a BTEC Diploma, DD for a BTEC Certificate.

Joint head of the Government Economics Service and Chief Economic Adviser at HM Treasury, Clare Lombardelli said:

“We are delighted to launch this new programme, which we hope will create new opportunities for talented young people from all parts of the communities we serve to consider economist careers in Government.”

Sam Beckett, joint head of the GES and Director General in BEIS said:

“This is an exciting new initiative for the economics profession. I am looking forward to working with the new apprentices who will join us next year - and hope to see other employers launching similar programmes in the months to come.”

Professor Karen Cox, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Kent said:

“We are proud to have been selected to deliver the programme working with colleagues across the Government Economics Service. At Kent we have a long history of delivering undergraduate degree courses in economics to a very high standard.

We are looking forward to working with GES to deliver an apprenticeship programme which provides participants with on and off the job training and support that will prepare them for long and successful economist careers.”

For further information about the Government Economics Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme, email us at [email protected] or visit:

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Gavin Williamson welcomed his counterpart, His Excellency Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, to London. They spoke about the future of the defence relationship, underpinned by the recently agreed partnership on a Joint Typhoon Squadron and Qatar’s acquisition of the aircraft.

Regional security and the furthering of defence collaboration and dialogue across the Gulf, in the face of mutual threats to security and stability, was also discussed.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Our two nations enjoy extremely strong links. From the coalition air campaign headquarters in Qatar, we work together to stamp out the threat from Daesh. We trade together, significantly boosting the British economy, and it is vital that we continue to forge this relationship to ensure the mutual safety of our people.

As part of his visit to the UK, the Qatari Defence Minister also visited BAE Systems sites in Warton and Samlesbury to cut steel, officially marking the start of production on the first Typhoon fighter jets. Qatar’s acquisition of Typhoon will see the first aircraft will be delivered to the Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) in 2022. Qatar’s deal to purchase the Typhoon and Hawk recently achieved contract effectiveness, supporting BAE Systems, its nearly 35,000 employees and the 9,000 companies in its supply chain.

The deal, representing a distinct and tailored package will see the Royal Air Force and QAAF working together in a new Typhoon Joint Squadron. This unique partnership was marked by the visit to the UK by His Highness the Amir of Qatar in July, and his participation in a ceremony marking the reformation of 12 Squadron as the new Joint Squadron.

The joint squadron will initially be based in the UK, comprising of pilots and ground crew, based at RAF Coningsby. This represents a unique initiative, which will allow QAAF to familiarise themselves with the aircraft ahead of delivery. Not since the Battle of Britain has the UK formed a squadron with another nation and this new partnership will help forge lasting bonds between the RAF and their Qatari counterparts.

Qatar is the ninth country to purchase the Typhoon, with the deal sustaining thousands of jobs. The UK is a world-leader in the combat air sector, with a mix of skills and technologies unique in Europe. The sector delivers a turnover of more than £6bn a year and has made up over 80% of defence exports from the UK over the last ten years.

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War Hero
More than 140 apprentices have graduated from 21 diverse schemes such as engineering design, health physics monitoring and business administration.

The graduation ceremony, held at Whitehaven Golf Club, signals an exciting new chapter in their careers as they enter full-time employment with the company.

They will apply their new qualifications, as well as the variety of skills and the valuable experiences that they have picked up during their apprenticeship, to the workplace.

Project Management Apprentice, Andrew Bennett, claimed the top accolade, collecting the Rexel UK Community Award for his contribution to the community during his apprenticeship.

Andrew said:

I’m delighted to pick up this award. I feel very fortunate to have taken part in an excellent apprenticeship with Sellafield Ltd, and wanted to give something back to the community. I’ve therefore given talks in schools about the benefits of apprenticeships, and been involved in recruitment drives including a live radio broadcast to 560 students.

The next step for me is working in infrastructure projects for the IT department at Sellafield.

Some of the other winners were Jodi Hall, Carl Lesley and Jackson Sharpe, who all collected Sellafield Workbook Awards.

The event opened with a range of influential speakers, including the company’s CEO, Paul Foster, former Chief Executive of Gen2, Mike Smith OBE, and Donna Connor, head of training and skills for Sellafield Ltd. They offered motivational advice to the apprentices.

Paul Foster told the young audience:

This is the first phase of your career and there is no limit to what you can achieve. You are the future of the business and the industry.

Copeland MP and Apprenticeship Ambassador Trudy Harrison attended the event, along with Workington MP Sue Hayman. They praised the company’s training programme for demonstrating the outstanding talent and vital skills we can develop in the area.

Trudy Harrison said:

Sellafield Ltd continues to play a crucial role in the recruitment and development of our young people.

Also, as an advocate for diversity in the work place, I’m delighted to hear that once again the company is training an impressive number of female engineers and scientists who I’m sure will have a successful career in the industry.

Sue Hayman said:

It’s important for the future success of the area that we continue to provide opportunities for our young people. Training providers such as Gen2, local universities and colleges, in partnership with Sellafield Ltd and its supply chain are playing a vital part in their development.

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War Hero
Mr Martyn Roper has been appointed Governor of the Cayman Islands in succession to Mr Anwar Choudhury. Mr Roper will take up his appointment in October 2018.


Full name: Martyn Keith Roper

Married to: Elisabeth Melanie Harman

Children: Two

2015 to 2018 Beijing, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission
2010 to 2014 Algiers, Her Majesty’s Ambassador
2007 to 2010 Brasilia, Deputy Head of Mission
2004 to 2006 FCO, Deputy Head, International Organisations Department
2003 FCO, Policy Lead, Global Conflict Prevention Pools, Conflict Issues Group
1999 to 2003 Paris, First Secretary (Economics/Development), UK Delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
1996 to 1998 FCO, Head, Gibraltar Internal Section, Southern European Department
1994 to 1996 FCO, Political Section, UN Department
1991 to 1993 Karachi, Third Secretary (Political)
1990 Kuwait, Vice Consul
1990 Baghdad, Consular Officer
1988 to 1990 Maputo, Information Officer
1986 to 1987 Tehran, Communications Officer
1984 to 1986 FCO, Middle East Department
Further information

Media enquiries

For journalists

Email [email protected]

Newsdesk 020 7008 3100

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War Hero
The Prime Minister spoke with over 130 business leaders today on the progress in Brexit negotiations, following the European Council this week.

First, she recognised the importance of these discussions for businesses, their supply chains and clients. She outlined that the Government’s proposed future relationship with the EU would preserve the UK’s and EU’s frictionless access to each other’s markets for goods, protecting jobs and livelihoods on both sides.

She set out the significant progress that has been made on the Withdrawal Agreement and on our future relationship with the EU. She acknowledged that there were a few significant issues that were still outstanding, but said that the very real sense she had from leaders around the table at the Council was that they wanted to reach a deal as soon as possible this autumn.

Second, the Prime Minister spoke about the Northern Irish backstop, which is intended to guarantee that - in the unlikely event that there is a delay in bringing into effect our future relationship by the end of the implementation period at the end of December 2020 - there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. If required, this would therefore only be necessary for a temporary period to act as a bridge to the future relationship.

The Prime Minister explained that the UK could not accept the EU’s proposal which included an arrangement in which Northern Ireland could be kept in a separate customs territory to the rest of the UK. She advised that our proposal included a UK-wide joint customs territory with the EU for the duration of the backstop, which would protect the integrity of the UK and deliver on the commitment to avoid a hard border with Ireland. She emphasised that both sides wanted to have our future relationship in place by the end of December 2020 so that the backstop never needed to be used, but that the negotiating teams would work intensively on this to find a way forward.

Finally, she urged businesses not to lose sight of the prize – that of a smooth trading relationship with the EU alongside the ability to seek new opportunities and open up new markets with trading partners around the world.

The Prime Minister took questions from businesses and representative bodies (Centrica, EY, Diageo, Enterprise Nation, RBS, Federation of Small Businesses, ITV, Aston Martin, Barratt Developments and Tesco) on topics such as the importance of frictionless trade, the implementation period and opportunities for the future.

A number of businesses thanked the Prime Minister for the opportunity to speak with her directly on the Brexit negotiations.

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War Hero
Thank you Madam President.

Let me begin by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Mali Mahamat Saleh Annadif and all of his staff for their important work, and also for thanking Under-Secretary-General Lacroix for his briefing. We welcome the Secretary-General’s report and perhaps through Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, to thank the bravery and pay tribute to the bravery of those working in MINUSMA in a very challenging environment in which their military and civilian personnel operate. And of course we unequivocally condemn all attacks against MINUSMA personnel.

Madam President, I would like to congratulate President Keita on his re-election and to congratulate the Malian people and their institutions for the relatively peaceful elections despite terrorist attempts to disrupt the process. We also commend the support provided by MINUSMA and SRSG Annadif in bringing all parties together for a peaceful conclusion.

The UK encourages President Keita to redouble efforts to secure a lasting peace and to improve the lives of all Malian people, including those facing increasing insecurity in the central region.

Madam President, I join my colleagues in welcoming the signing of the Comité de suivi de l’Accord this week. The parties who have reconfirmed their commitment to accelerate the implementation of the agreement must now take action and fulfill their commitment to make tangible progress against the 22 March Roadmap. Their credibility is on the line.

Progress must also include the meaningful participation of women in the peace process and we welcome the steps taken by President Keita to ensure the 30 per cent quota that women in elected positions is met, as per Malian law.

Madam President the price of a lack of progress is clear. The humanitarian and security situation continues to deteriorate across Mali, particularly in the central region. 287 civilians have been killed in the last three months, the highest number since MINUSMA deployed. Today 5.2 million people require lifesaving and protection assistance, up from 3.8 million in 2017. So it is more vital than ever that the Malian government and the international community fulfill their humanitarian and security commitments. In that context we welcome the role of the G5 Sahel.

An integrated security plan is needed to address the causes of the humanitarian crisis and civilian casualties. We are concerned about the number of human rights violations in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse. All such violations must be thoroughly investigated in order to bring perpetrators of crimes to account, including those that involve the Malian defence and security forces. This is a global priority for the UK. Yesterday in London we hosted an International Safeguarding Summit as part of our commitment to driving up standards and tackling sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Returning to MINUSMA, we welcome ongoing efforts to focus its mandate on political and security tasks, and we encourage further progress in this regard as we look towards MINUSMA’s six month review in February.

Madam President, the bottom line is that rapid progress is needed by the politicians on the implementation of the agreement. This is the best and only sustainable way to improve the lives of the people of Mali and to improve collective peace and security. Thank you Madam President.

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