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World News

Crown Abandons Remaining Prestwick Cases

Three peace activists who entered Prestwick Airport as weapons inspectors during the August 2006 war in Lebanon have learned that the Ayr Procurator Fiscal has decided to withdraw the charges, after "further consideration of the evidence".
 
Sylvia Boyes from Yorkshire, Roz Bullen from Edinburgh and Kate Holcombe from Worcestershire were due to face trial at the end of the month accused of breaching the Civil Aviation Act.  Acting on knowledge that the airport was being used in the transport of weapons for use in the invasion of Lebanon, they were inside Prestwick Airport for over 2 hours.  They found the military area, monitored the flights and got up to a cargo plane they suspected was involved in carrying munitions, before they were arrested. Their action was the first of three consecutive nights of organised citizens' inspections at the airport.  Out of the 17 people originally charged the Crown have been able to obtain only two convictions.

UK's Plutonium Stockpile

Britain has stockpiled 100 tonnes of plutonium - enough to make 17,000 nuclear bombs, according to a report by the Royal Society. They warn that the material could be used to make "a crude nuclear bomb", and are calling for its disposal.

Report chairman Professor Geoffrey Boulton said: "The stockpile has grown whilst international nuclear proliferation and terrorist threats have increased. Just over 6kg of plutonium was used in the bomb which devastated Nagasaki and the UK has many thousands of times that amount. We must take measures to ensure that this very dangerous material does not fall into the wrong hands."