TIME ebola

Heathrow Airport Starts Screening for Ebola

Ebola screening to begin at London's Heathrow Airport
Passengers walk at Heathrow Airport in London on Oct. 14, 2014. Andy Rain—EPA

A health official says he expects a "handful" of cases to enter the UK

England’s Heathrow airport began screening passengers for Ebola Tuesday.

Arrivals from at-risk countries in West Africa will be subject to filling out a questionnaire and having their temperature taken before the process gets rolled out to other terminals within Heathrow and then other airports including Gatwick and Eurostar. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that although the UK’s Ebola risk is low, he expects a “handful” of cases to enter the region, the BBC reports.

Health officials said anyone suspected to have Ebola will be taken to a hospital, while those who are asymptomatic but high-risk, having reported prior contact with patients, will receive daily follow-ups.

Journalist Sorious Samura, who traveled back from Monrovia, Liberia, through Brussels and into Heathrow, told The Guardian that he underwent the screening — but noted that it was optional.

“I could have just come throughout without any screening. That is how scary it is,” he said. “They asked for various details, about the symptoms, whether you experienced any of the symptoms, did you experience headaches, vomiting and things like that, and then they did my temperature using the normal equipment that you put in someone’s ear.”

“[The screening] appears not to be a scientific decision but a political one,” Dr. Ron Behrens from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told The Telegraph, noting that it will benefit few but disrupt “large numbers of people.”

Health Secretary Hunt said that approximately 89% of people entering the UK from impacted regions would get checked, since some might take an indirect route in the airport that avoids the screening area. He added, “This government’s first priority is the safety of the British people.”

Read next: Ebola Health Care Workers Face Hard Choices

TIME United Kingdom

Angelina Jolie Made Honorary Dame by Queen Elizabeth II

The honor was bestowed upon Jolie during a private ceremony on Friday

Angelina Jolie was made an honorary dame by Queen Elizabeth II on Friday. The actress was presented with “Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George” for her work fighting against the use of sexual violence as a weapon during periods of war.

The film star has been known for her charity work throughout her career. In June, Jolie hosted a global summit to end sexual violence during conflict in London alongside the British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

TIME Environment

Garlic Is Being Used in the U.K. to Cure Trees of Deadly Diseases

Autumn Colours Begin To Show In The UK
Autumn colors begin to show on trees in Royal Victoria Park in Bath, England, on Oct. 7, 2014 Matt Cardy—Getty Images

The bulbs contain the compound allicin, which can fight bacterial and fungal infections

It might not be great for vampires, but it turns out garlic can be very good for trees.

Trees in the U.K. are being injected with a garlic extract to cure them of deadly diseases, the BBC reports.

“Over the last four years we have treated 60 trees suffering badly with bleeding canker of horse chestnut. All of the trees were cured,” said Jonathan Cocking, an arboreal specialist involved with the development and deployment of the treatment.

“This result has been broadly backed up by 350 trees we have treated all over the country, where we have had a 95% success rate,” Cocking told the BBC.

Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial properties and can fight fungal infections too.

The injection device, which is being deployed in forests in the English Midlands, is made up of a pressurized chamber with eight tubes that inject the allicin solution directly into a tree’s sap system. The needles are positioned to ensure the even spread of allicin all around the tree.

According to the BBC, scaling up this method of treatment is costly and impractical. However, it can be used to save trees of historic or sentimental value.


TIME United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth Awards Michael Bloomberg an Honorary Knighthood

Michael Bloomberg Decorated In  Paris
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg poses prior to be awarded with the Legion d'Honneur by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sept. 16, 2014 in Paris. Chesnot—Getty Images

Hizzoner receives an honor

Queen Elizabeth II has made former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg an “honorary” knight of the British realm, in recognition of his work strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and the U.K.

“As Mayor of New York, as a businessman, and as a philanthropist, Mike Bloomberg has played a key role in forging transatlantic diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties,” said British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott in a statement.

He also credited Bloomberg with helping to create thousands of jobs in the UK by making London the European headquarters of Bloomberg LLP, and noted that the multi-billionaire has committed more than £42.4 million ($67.8 million) of philanthropic contributions in in the U.K.

Bloomberg accepted the honorary title, saying he considers Britain a “second home.”

The former mayor isn’t the first American to receive an honorary knighthood (only British nationals can receive the full honor). His predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, also accepted the honor, as did Steven Spielberg and Bill Gates. Hollywood star Angelina Jolie was made an honorary dame in July.

Sadly, Bloomberg will not get a sword, chain mail, or the handkerchief of a teary damsel. But thanks to him, swords are probably banned in New York City, anyway.

TIME United Kingdom

Photographer ‘Harassing’ Prince George, Royals Say

Jerudong Park Trophy
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George attend the Jerudong Park Trophy at Cirencester Park Polo Club on June 15, 2014 in Cirencester, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images) Mark Cuthbert—UK Press via Getty Images

"The individual may have been placing Prince George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routines for a period of time."

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge began taking legal action against an unnamed photographer they claim is stalking their son Prince George and his nanny, the Kensington Palace office said in a statement Thursday.

According to the announcement, the royal couple has “taken legal steps to ask that an individual ceases harassing and following both Prince George and his nanny as they go about their ordinary daily lives.”

William and Kate are expecting their second child.

According to a royal spokesperson:

An incident last week has prompted Their Royal Highnesses to seek reasonable assurances from the individual about his behaviour. The individual was spotted at a central London Park in the vicinity of Prince George, who was removed from the Park immediately. There is reason to suspect that the individual may have been placing Prince George under surveillance and monitoring his daily routines for a period of time.

The Duke and Duchess understand the particular public role that Prince George will one day inherit but while he is young, he must be permitted to lead as ordinary a life as possible. No parent would tolerate the suspicion of someone pursuing and harassing their child and carer whilst their child is playing in a public park or going about their daily activities

The 1997 death of Princess Diana, William’s mother, occurred after her automobile crashed while trying to escape pursuit by the paparazzi.

TIME conflict

3 More Countries Join the Coalition Against ISIS

Parliament debates military action against ISIS at the House of Commons, London on Sept. 26, 2014.
Parliament debates military action against ISIS at the House of Commons, London on Sept. 26, 2014. PA Wire/Press Association Images/Reuters

British Parliament did not vote on whether to allow strikes in Syria as well

The United Kingdom became the latest country to join the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) on Friday, after the British parliament voted decisively to allow air combat missions to bomb the militant group in Iraq.

“This is going to be a long campaign—weeks and probably months—to push [ISIS] back and to see it defeated in Iraq,” U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said, according to the Guardian.

Belgium and Denmark also joined the growing coalition, which includes France and Australia, along with Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

While British support in Iraq bolsters American efforts, the U.K. has not voted on taking the additional step of joining air strikes against ISIS in Syria, which some leaders argue would be an infringement on its sovereignty. Nonetheless, Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that he supports U.S. strikes there, regardless of whether the U.K. joins.

“[ISIS] needs to be destroyed in Syria as well as Iraq,” he said. “We support the action the U.S. and five Arab states are taking. I believe there is a strong case for us to do more, but I did not want to bring a motion to the House today which I could not get consensus on.”

[The Guardian]

TIME ebola

First Volunteer Receives Ebola Vaccine in U.K. Trial

The volunteer is the first of 60 to participants in one of the first Ebola vaccine safety trials

Ruth Atkins, 48, a communications and and engagement manager in the National Health Service in the U.K. is the first volunteer to be injected with an Ebola vaccine in a safety trial at the University of Oxford. The drug is in development by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The current Ebola outbreak has infected 4,963 people and killed 2,453 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. One of the greatest concerns is that there are currently no vaccines or drugs to fight the disease, largely because researchers say pharmaceutical companies did not have a financial incentive to invest in them before the outbreak.

MORE: A Timeline of the Worst Ebola Outbreak in History

Clinical trials in the U.S., Canada, and in the U.K. are underway on various drugs, the majority of which have never been tested on humans. Though the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the use of experimental drugs during the outbreak, countries will want to know which drugs have the greatest probability of working.

Atkins is the first participant out of 60 volunteers in Oxford’s trial. “I volunteered because the situation in West Africa is so tragic and I thought being part of this vaccination process was something small I could do to hopefully make a huge impact,” said Atkins in a statement. She heard about the trial while listening to one of the developers being interviewed on the radio.

Safety trials with a small number of participants are needed to determine whether a vaccine is effective and safe enough to initiative larger efficacy trials in higher-risk populations. So far, Atkins has reported feeling fine. The drug uses a single Ebola virus protein to generate an immune response in the volunteer. There’s no infectious components involved, so an individual will not get infected with Ebola by participating. GSK is beginning to manufacture about 10,000 doses of the vaccine so that if safety trials are successful, the vaccine can be made immediately available to the WHO.

TIME Scotland

Scotch Whisky Makers Aren’t Warming to the Prospect of Scottish Independence

Distillers fear secession could dampen sales of their beloved spirits

Scotch whisky makers are worried about the vote for Scottish independence on September 18.

The Scotch Whisky Association explained how a vote for independence is concerning because it is currently unclear which currency Scotland will use and what an independent Scotland might mean for access to foreign markets. Currency confusion could lower sales, putting the important industry in a tailspin, along with the rest of the economy.

As the country’s second-largest export, Scotch comprises one fourth of all of Scotland’s food and drink exports. Some 40 bottles are shipped out of the country every second, according to CNN Money. The Scotch Whisky Association also stated that 35,000 people make their living off of Scotch production.


British Leader to Scotland: Don’t ‘Rip Our Family Apart’

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press conference as part of the NATO Summit 2014 at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, Sept. 5 2014.
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a press conference as part of the NATO Summit 2014 at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, Sept. 5 2014. Oliver Hoslet—EPA

Prime Minister tries to rally Scots eight days before referendum on independence

British Prime Minister David Cameron issued an impassioned plea to Scotland late Tuesday, urging its people not to “rip our family apart” by voting for independence from the United Kingdom.

“It’s a momentous decision: there will be no going back,” Cameron wrote in the Daily Mail as the Sept. 18 independence referendum draws near. With British leaders worried by the recent surge in support for independence, Cameron and a pair of political rivals have put aside party differences to make last-minute trips to Scotland to rally the “Better Together” campaign.

“There is a lot that divides us, but there’s one thing on which we agree passionately: the United Kingdom is better together,” Cameron wrote.

He hailed the U.K. as a country that has always been at the forefront of history, and should continue to be so.

“It’s difficult to put into words what our United Kingdom represents,” Cameron wrote. “This is the group of small islands in the North Atlantic that have punched above our weight for centuries—and we’ve done so together.

“The United Kingdom is a precious and special country,” he added. “That is what is at stake. So let no one in Scotland be in any doubt: we desperately want you to stay; we do not want this family of nations to be ripped apart.”


New Royal Baby Already Under Pressure to Keep U.K. From Split

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George of Cambridge as Prince William, Duke of Cambridge looks on at Taronga Zoo on April 20, 2014 in Sydney.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, with their first child Prince George of Cambridge, in Australia, April 2014. Chris Jackson—Getty Images

Pregnancy announcement raises hopes of keeping Scotland part of U.K.

Who would choose to be a royal? It’s tough enough to live your adult life on display—part reality star, part monument—and another thing still to still to find yourself as a baby slapped on the bottom and swaddled in constricting expectations.

Think of the mantle that awaited Prince George of Cambridge at his birth in July 2013: Even in the womb, he was third in line to the throne, facing the daunting prospect of one day reigning as King of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth Realms.

For George’s sibling, the spare rather than the heir, the robes should have been a little looser. But it is the misfortune of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to suffer from a form of acute morning sickness that precipitated the announcement of her pregnancy Monday, just as happened when she was expecting George.

And the accelerated announcement this time around has loaded an extra burden onto the unborn child. This baby is already facing calls to save the union.

On Sept. 18. Scotland votes whether to remain in the U.K. or leave. Opinion polls, for months showing a comfortable lead for unionists, have suddenly tightened, with one recent poll showing a lead for supporters of independence. The prospect of such a rupture is sowing panic in Westminster and Buckingham Palace.

Queen Elizabeth II is said to be distressed at the prospect of a split, despite assurances from Scotland’s First Minister, Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond that an independent Scotland would retain the monarch. The Queen and her advisers know not to take these assurances at face value. After all, stand-alone Scotland might well veer towards Republicanism once it had dealt with more urgent constitutional matters.

Moreover, the Queen and the rest of her family believe in the United Kingdom, and see their own role in it as providing a focal point for national unity. The end of the U.K. would pose existential questions for any thoughtful royal. So the sudden revelation today of another royal baby on the way seemed to point to possible salvation.

The impending arrival of little George last year created media excitement and some real enthusiasm among segments of the British population. Could George’s brother or sister create enough of a feel-good, union-flag-patterned, patriotic buzz to move the polls back away from independence?

That seems unlikely. One reason Scotland’s independence movement should never have been underestimated is because Scots are different from other Brits in many ways, not least in being somewhat more resistant to the charms of royalty for a range of historical reasons.

Poor unborn baby, already entrusted with a mission you’re more than likely not able to carry out. Not until you’ve at least learned to walk.

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