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Afghan Refugees who worked for the UK can stay permanently

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In a recent announcement from the Home Office, Afghan refugees who worked for the British military and the UK government will be able to make the UK their permanent home.

The previous offer to those eligible was a five-year residency, but that has since been extended.

Since 13 August, the UK evacuated upwards of 8,000 people who were all eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

However, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab couldn’t give a “definitive” figure for the number of Afghans that, despite being eligible to seek refuge in the UK, still remained in Afghanistan.

Despite efforts to evacuate as many Afghans as possible from the Taliban’s cruel regime back in Afghanistan, the Labour party insisted that more needed to be done for those left behind, as they were still at high risk.

After the Taliban took back control of the country two decades after they were exiled by the US, over 5.7 million people have been forced to evacuate their homes.

An Afghan man, who was authorised to fly to the UK but was unable to do so because of the commotion, has shared his experience with us.

“I’m currently in hell right now.

“In the past two weeks I’ve moved to 15 safe houses with my family because the Taliban are trying to find me.

“It’s not just me, it’s hundreds of people who’ve worked for the government, the media, the NGOs, human rights defenders – everyone is currently hiding in different places waiting to see when their turn will come.”

For those that have been able to flee the country, the Home Office has announced a plan named Operation Warm Welcome, and are ensuring that Afghans will receive the necessary help to start rebuilding their lives in the UK.

A refugee, whose name is not being used for confidentiality reasons, arrived in Heathrow from Kabul with his wife and six children in July, and spoke up about the challenges he has faced so far.

“We have been living in hostels for quite a while now in larger groups and it’s becoming tougher and tougher, so it’s time for us to move to a proper house… That is the overarching concern we are having, because we can’t have a bank account.” He said.

Boris Johnson has said that the UK owes a massive debt to those in Afghanistan who had worked with the armed forces, and he is “determined that we give them and their families the support they need to rebuild their lives here in the UK.”

“I know this will be an incredibly daunting time, but I hope they will take heart from the wave of support and generosity already expressed by the British public.”

 

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London’s new Elizabeth Line to finally open on May 24

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The long-awaited Elizabeth Line is officially opening on May 24, Transport for London has announced. Just a week before the Queen’s Jubilee.

It will initially operate as three separate railways, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield. The £19bn underground railway will be shut on Sundays until Autumn, when it will connect with central tunnels also.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘I’m delighted that our world-class new Elizabeth line will be opening to passengers later this month, helping build a better London – one which is safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.

‘This is the most significant addition to our transport network in decades, and will revolutionise travel across the capital and the South East – as well as delivering a £42 billion boost to the whole UK economy and hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs.

‘Green public transport is the future and the opening of the Elizabeth line is a landmark moment for our capital and our whole country, particularly in this special Platinum Jubilee year.

‘I’m so proud of this new line and can’t wait for millions of passengers to start riding on the Elizabeth Line from 24 May.’

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Holidu reveals the top 10 British cities

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Credit: Jackmac34

Rated as cultural attractions, Holidu has shared the best cities to visit in Britain 2022.

Fancying a city break? According to the search engine for holiday rentals, these are the best places to explore!

Edinburgh – Average of 4.61/5 stars

Credit: Jackmac34

Portsmouth – Average of 4.61/5 stars

Newcastle – Average of 4.59/5 stars

Credit: Digihanger

York – Average of 4.56/5 stars

Belfast – Average of 4.56/5 stars

Credit: Endamac

Find out more about these destinations here!

Leeds – Average of 4.56/5 stars

Credit: Northern Punkie

London – Average of 4.56/5 stars

Liverpool – Average of 4.52/5 stars

Sunderland – Average of 4.52/5 stars

Coventry – Average of 4.51/5 stars

Credit: Iankelsall1

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Edinburgh Zoo’s Giant Pandas To Stay in Scotland for Another Two Years

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Scotland’s only giant pandas will remain in the country for another two years after China gave permission to extend their stay.

Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo back in 2011 when they were eight, with the hopes they may have a cub.

The pair were loaned to the RZSS charity as part of a 10-year arrangement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, but will now return to China at the end of 2023.

Tian Tian gave birth to a cub in 2007 before she came to Scotland, but efforts to breed from the pair in Edinburgh have proved elusive.

A natural breeding attempt was made in 2012, with artificial insemination used instead each year between 2013 and 2017. Tian Tian was believed to be pregnant in August 2017, but her hormone levels and behaviour later returned to normal. Phantom pregnancies are common among giant pandas.

She was artificially inseminated again in 2019 and April this year, but both were unsuccessful.

Hopefully the pair will produce a cub before they return back to their furever homes in Asia.

Check out the Zoo’s Live Panda Cam here

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