On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
55°
Rain
H 71° L 58°
  • cloudy-day
    55°
    Current Conditions
    Rain. H 71° L 58°
  • rain-day
    64°
    Evening
    Rain. H 71° L 58°
  • rain-day
    59°
    Morning
    Rain. H 64° L 52°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

World
Floods become UK election issue as parties spar over funding
Close

Floods become UK election issue as parties spar over funding

Floods become UK election issue as parties spar over funding
Photo Credit: Danny Lawson/PA via AP
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits an optician shop after flooding, in Matlock, north England, Friday Nov. 8, 2019. A woman died after being swept away by surging waters as torrential rain drenched parts of north and central England, swelling rivers, forcing evacuations and disrupting travel for a second day Friday. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

Floods become UK election issue as parties spar over funding

British political leaders swapped blame Saturday over floods that have drenched parts of England as the deluge became an issue in the campaign for the Dec. 12 election.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn visited areas of south Yorkshire in northern England that were soaked by overflowing rivers after as much as 4.4 inches (112 mm) of rain — more than a month's worth — fell in one day. One woman died when she was swept away by floodwaters.

The rain eased Saturday but the Environment Agency said seven severe "danger to life" flood warnings remained in place along the swollen River Don.

Corbyn said the Conservative government had "failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention."

"This is what a climate and environment emergency looks like," he said. "Every year we don't act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the area on Friday, and insisted the government was investing in flood defenses.

"We are seeing more and more serious flooding — perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change," Johnson said. "We need to prepare and we need to be investing in those defenses, and that's what this government is doing."

The prime minister annoyed some locals by saying that the flooding "is not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency."

Johnson pushed for the December election — taking place more than two years early — in the hope of breaking Britain's political impasse over Brexit.

All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs. Johnson says that if voters give the Conservatives a majority he will "get Brexit done" and take the U.K. out of the European Union by the current deadline of Jan. 31.

Labour says it will negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU and then let voters decide between leaving on those terms and remaining in the bloc.

Both big parties are also promising more money for infrastructure, health care and public services.

Both Conservative and Labour campaigns have been rattled by a series of contentious or offensive remarks by candidates, several of whom have resigned.

One prospective Conservative candidate quit the race Thursday over his 2014 comment that women should "keep your knickers on" to avoid being raped.

The party was also accused of watering down a promise to hold an inquiry into anti-Muslim prejudice in Conservative ranks. Johnson said Friday that the probe would be "a general investigation into prejudice of all kinds."

Labour, meanwhile, is facing faced renewed allegations that it has become hostile to Jews under Corbyn, a long-time supporter of the Palestinians. Corbyn has denied it, describing anti-Semitism "a poison and an evil in our society."

Former Labour Cabinet Minister David Blunkett bemoaned the "intolerance and division" in the party

"The behavior of the hard-Left within the Labour Party - the anti-Semitism, the thuggery, the irrational views on security and international issues, and the lack of realization that you have to embrace a big tent of people in order to win - certainly makes me despair," Blunkett wrote in Saturday's edition of the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

In the latest sign that Brexit uncertainty is destabilizing the country, credit rating agency Moody's downgraded Britain's outlook from stable to negative on Friday.

It said Brexit had caused "inertia and, at times, paralysis" that had undermined Britain's institutional strength. Moody's did not lower Britain's Aa2 rating, but said the U.K. economy could be "more susceptible to shocks than previously assumed."

___

Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • Saying it will make the facility so much better, leaders of the Florida Theatre officially launched a capital campaign to complete a $10 million renovation ahead of the 100th anniversary of the downtown landmark.   WOKV first reported about the renovation plans in July, when Mayor Lenny Curry’s budget outline offered up $1 million each of the next five years to match the Florida Theatre Performing Arts Center, Inc, which is the nonprofit that runs the historic venue. Total contribution from both parties combined at $10 million.  INDEPTH: Once in a generation - Florida Theatre looking at $10 million in renovations, upgrades To date, 72 donors have pledged or gifted $2.2 million toward the campaign that quietly began more than two years ago. The Theatre also instituted a $2.50 per ticket fee on all ticket sales that goes to restoration of the facility. That is projected to bring in approximately $1.5 million over the next five years.   “We’re a little over $7 million towards our $10 million goal as of today so we are super excited about all of this”, said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin.  Mayor Lenny Curry reflected on the decades of performances he has attended through the years at the Florida Theatre, and he looks forward to seeing the improvements come to fruition after funding was approved.  “Often times usually in a budget as large as ours some real jewels that are in the budget kind of get lost in the conversation so it’s good to be here today because this really is a jewel and a special nugget in the budget that we just put forward”, Curry said.   Theatre operators want to keep the same feel but install completely new seats. Plans involve better addressing ADA regulations- the seating arrangement now pre-dates those rules, according to Saisselin, so while the venue is in compliance, it is not always an ideal arrangement. Beyond that, there are a few different areas to address, with the auditorium remaining the focus. He says they want to upgrade the sound and lighting systems. Not only will this make for a more enjoyable show for you and the artist or event involved, but he says it could actually save FTPAC some money in the future, because currently, if an artist wants a certain speaker setup, the Florida Theatre may have to rent equipment, as an example. Over 3,000 people attend Florida Theatre every week, or 175,000 per year, according to Saisselin.  The work also includes renovating the bathrooms.  Air conditioning is another item on the list- updating the system so that there’s not a constant need for repairs. The iconic marquee and canopy are also in for some work, although Saisselin says they are not changing the overall look. Digital signs were recently installed at the Florida Theatre as a result of funds from a private donor, but Saisselin says there is still internal wiring work to do on the canopy, along with structural repairs. While the canopy and marquee are not original to 1927, Saisselin says he knows it’s how people recognize the venue, and they want to respect that.
  • Officials have closed all public schools in Roanoke, Virginia, as police search for a former U.S. Marine accused of killing his mother's boyfriend in nearby Franklin County. >> Read more trending news  Sheriff's deputies said Michael Alexander Brown, 22, is wanted on suspicion of shooting and killing Rodney Wilfred Brown, 54, last week at the home his mother and Brown shared in Hardy. Here are the latest updates: dfdf Update 9:30 a.m. EST Nov. 14: Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Michael Alexander Brown, 22. Franklin County sheriff's deputies said Brown is wanted on a charge of second-degree murder after his mother's boyfriend, 54-year-old Rodney Wilfred Brown, was found shot dead last week at his home in Hardy. Deputies said Brown deserted his post last month at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where he served as a combat engineer. Thursday's search was prompted by the discovery of his car on a road in Roanoke, officials said. 'It was unknown where Michael may be headed or where he has been staying since leaving his post,' deputies said Sunday in a news release. 'He has been known to live in the woods and frequent National Parks and National Forests. He is believed to be armed with a high-powered rifle and may have access to other weapons.' Deputies urged anyone with information on Brown's whereabouts to contact authorities at 540-483-6662. Update 8:17 a.m. EST Nov. 14: According to WSET, Roanoke police believe Michael Alexander Brown, who is wanted on a murder charge, was 'in the Roanoke area' and may be armed. According to NBC News, Brown, 22, is facing a second-degree murder charge in the Saturday shooting death of 54-year-old Rodney Brown. Police said Michael Brown, who had been a combat engineer at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune before he deserted last month, 'is most likely on foot and possibly looking for transportation,' WSET reported. The suspect, who is white with brown hair and blue eyes, stands 6 feet tall and weighs 145 pounds, WDBJ reported.  Original report: Police in Virginia are 'actively investigating a situation' near a Roanoke's Patrick Henry High School, authorities said early Thursday. As a result, all of the district's public schools are closed, WFXR and WDBJ are reporting. Please return for updates.
  • There's an urgent search underway for a Georgia mother last seen after leaving a college football game in Athens. >> Read more trending news  The Athens-Clarke County Police Department said Linda Christine Tryon, 42, has been missing since Saturday, Nov. 9.  Tryon was last seen in the downtown Athens area during the University of Georgia vs. University of Missouri football game.  According to friends, Tryon left the game after the first quarter and went downtown to a bar. 'This is completely out of character,' a friend of Tryon told WSB-TV. If anyone has any information about her whereabouts, they are urged to call 706-613-3345.
  • The state fire marshal is investigating the source and cause of a massive fire at the old Thunderbird Motor Hotel property on the Arlington Expressway. Wednesday’s fire created a powerful orange glow that could be seen for miles.  Thunderbird was once a popular hangout in the 60’s and 70’s.  No one was injured in the fire.  VIDEO: Fire destroys Arlington building In January the Jacksonville Daily Record reported a South Florida ownership group announced plans to redevelop the 18-acre property into apartments, hotels and retail including a restaurant. 
  • Milder air is returning after a cold Wednesday in NE Florida. But the next weather story may have big impacts on the Friday rush to work.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we’ll see thickening clouds today with scattered showers developing.  Expect a few rumbles of thunder at times late in the afternoon and evening.  Mike says the best opportunity for rain is 6pm today - 6am on Friday, and there will be times of heavy rain. Highs will be in the upper 60’s to near 70 degrees, so up to 10 degrees warmer than Wednesday.  Showers will linger through the early morning hours Friday, and we’ll be cloudy, damp and breezy to end the week.   The weekend will start off with showers closer to the coast and breezy onshore winds. Showers will gradually end through the afternoon. Sunday will be dry with highs in the lower 60’s.

The Latest News Videos