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Mohammed Abdulkadir Osman jailed for eight years for stabbing British soldier to death during fight at Ayia Napa nightclub A Manchester man has been jailed for eight years for the manslaughter of a British soldier in Cyprus, the Ministry of Defence says. David Lee Collins, 19, was stabbed to death after a fight broke out in a nightclub in the popular resort of Ayia Napa last November
• Suicide rate of veterans similar to that of general population • Vets more healthy than population as a whole • Health care and protecting soldiers increase cost of conflict • Questions over role of army in future conflicts The claim, often repeated in the media and by veterans’ groups, that more Falklands vets had killed themselves than died fighting in the actual conflict, has been roundly rejected by a study especially commissioned by the Ministry of Defence. For years there have been reports that the suicide toll of Falklands vets exceeded the 255 who were killed in action during the conflict thirty years ago. The MoD statistical study, released on Tuesday, concludes that the risk of dying as a result of suicide for the Falklands vets was no different from the general population of the UK
Up to 3,500 troops’ time will be extended by nearly half to ensure smooth handover to Afghan forces next year, say commanders Up to 3,500 British troops will have their tours in Helmand province extended by nearly half as part of the UK’s plans to hand over security to Afghan forces and end all combat operations next year, ministers will announce on Tuesday.
Report warns of problems with Joint Strike Fighter and exposes costs of MoD U-turns The hi-tech jets that will be flown from the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers cannot land on the ships in “hot, humid and low pressure weather conditions”, a report warns today. The version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) that has been bought for the £5.5bn carriers is still in development but currently cannot land vertically – as its predecessor the Harrier jump jet could – in warm climates without jettisoning heavy payloads, the National Audit Office says.
Queen’s speech mentions moves to ‘improve the way this country procures defence equipment’ and boost reserve forces The Queen’s speech mentions two important forthcoming pieces of legislation in defence regarding proposals that are getting more controversial the longer they are scrutinised. The first involves plans to part-privatise the agency within the Ministry of Defence that deals with the buying, supplying and repairing of all military equipment
MPs have in the past asked in the Commons whether Geidt – now the Queen’s private secretary – was a member of MI6 When the Queen turned around to reveal herself as James Bond’s spymaster in a skit for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, jaws dropped in living rooms around the country at the audacity and humour. But for those that know Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s highly trusted private secretary who has been credited with her deft presentation in recent years, it was more a case of eyebrows raised. Geidt, 63, now in his sixth year by the Queen’s side at Buckingham Palace, has a past that includes suggestions of involvement in and around the secret services.
Queen’s private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt won high court libel action against John Pilger and Central TV in 1991 The senior royal official tasked with handling the creation of a royal charter to regulate the press is a former military intelligence officer who successfully sued an investigative journalist who had sought to question his activities in Cambodia in the 1980s.