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Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.K. Was Locked Out of London Embassy

LONDON — Myanmar’s ambassador to Britain, Kyaw Zwar Minn, was locked out of his own embassy on Wednesday, apparently in retaliation for criticizing the country’s military, which seized power in February and has since launched a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

In a statement, Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said that it was “seeking further information” following the episode, which drew a small crowd of protesters outside the Myanmar Embassy in London.

“I have been locked out,” the ambassador told the Reuters news agency, calling the actions of diplomatic colleagues who prevented him from entering the building as a “kind of coup in the middle of London.”

Diplomatic sources confirmed that he had been excluded from the embassy and British media reports suggested that the ambassador’s deputy, Chit Win, had taken charge of the building with the help of a military attaché.

no longer represented the country.

On Wednesday, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that a protest had taken place outside the Myanmar Embassy and that officers were on the scene to keep order, but said that no arrests had been made.

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Myanmar Envoy Who Critiqued Coup Is Locked Out of London Embassy

LONDON — Myanmar’s ambassador to Britain, Kyaw Zwar Minn, was locked out of his own embassy on Wednesday, apparently in retaliation for criticizing the country’s military, which seized power in February and has since launched a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

In a statement, Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said that it was a “seeking further information” following the episode, which drew a small crowd of protesters outside the Myanmar Embassy in London.

“I have been locked out,” the ambassador told the Reuters news agency, calling the actions of diplomatic colleagues who prevented him from entering the building as a “kind of coup in the middle of London.”

Diplomatic sources confirmed that he had been excluded from the embassy and British media reports suggested that the ambassador’s deputy, Chit Win, had taken charge of the building with the help of a military attaché.

no longer represented the country.

On Wednesday, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that a protest had taken place outside the Myanmar Embassy and that officers were on the scene to keep order, but said that no arrests had been made.

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Thousands Protest Against Policing Bill in Britain, With Clashes in London

LONDON — Thousands of people protested Saturday in several cities across England and Wales against a sweeping crime and policing bill, with some in London clashing with the police in scenes that may further fuel a raging national debate over law enforcement tactics in Britain.

In London, protesters peacefully marched from Hyde Park in central London to Parliament Square, but the gathering gave way to scuffles with officers in the evening, and 26 demonstrators were detained, the police said. Ten officers also suffered light injuries, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Saturday night, adding that the number of arrests would likely increase.

Protesters also marched in Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and many other cities on Saturday, the latest events in what have become known as “Kill the Bill” demonstrations. Critics of the bill say it would hinder the right to protest and constitute an attack on democracy.

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill are provisions allowing the police to bar unauthorized encampments and detain protesters if gatherings are deemed a “public nuisance.” The new legislation, pending in Parliament, could also impose noise limits and set start and finish times on demonstrations.

increasingly tense environment between the police and demonstrators across Europe. Over the past year, protesters have clashed with the police during Black Lives Matter protests, anti-lockdown rallies and, in countries like France, against similar security laws.

Human rights groups have warned against rising police disruption of such protests and have cited the arbitrary detention of protesters in countries like France, Croatia and Bulgaria as worrying trends.

“No E.U. country is immune to threats to democracy, and more concrete efforts are badly needed to revert worrying trends,” the Berlin-based Civil Liberties Union for Europe said in a report published last month.

In England and Wales, the new policing bill was thrust into the national spotlight last month after the police broke up a peaceful vigil for Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was murdered after disappearing in south London on March 3.

thousands showed up anyway. Police forces sought to dislodge the protesters, pinning some women on the ground in scenes that shocked the public and drew widespread criticism, including from London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

An official inquiry made public this past week determined that the officers had acted appropriately.

“After reviewing a huge body of evidence — rather than a snapshot on social media — we found that there are some things the Met could have done better,” the leader of the inspection team, Matt Parr, said of the Metropolitan Police.

“But we saw nothing to suggest police officers acted in anything but a measured and proportionate way in challenging circumstances.”

The clashes on Saturday may add to the ongoing debate about excessive force used by the country’s police, which in London have been shaken by several recent controversies. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick acknowledged last year that her force was “not free from racism and discrimination,” and Mr. Khan has vowed to make the police more diverse to better represent London’s population.

wrote on Twitter after he spoke at the gathering.

shouted expletives and clashed with police forces as they tried to disperse them.

Commander Ade Adelekan said in a statement Saturday night that a majority of demonstrators had adhered to social distancing rules and left when asked to by the police. But officers arrested protesters, he added, after a minority refused to comply with orders.

“We remain in the middle of a global pandemic and we have made great progress in controlling the spread of the virus,” Mr. Adelekan said. “We will not allow the selfish actions of a small number of people to put Londoners progress in jeopardy.”

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150,000 Painted Hearts, Each for a Life Lost to Covid-19 in Britain

LONDON — Paula Smith couldn’t hold back her tears as she faced a sea of hand-painted red hearts covering a wall along the River Thames, each unique, each representing someone who died of Covid-19 in Britain.

With the tears welling in her eyes, Ms. Smith got back to work painting dozens more hearts on the memorial wall as passers-by stopped to watch. One heart was larger than the others, and on it she wrote in black letters: “Frank Stevens 1941–2020” — a tribute to her 78-year-old father, who died last April.

“Look at how many people we’ve lost,” said Ms. Smith, 49, who was wearing a vest that read The National Covid Memorial Wall, as she took a step back to look at her work, sobbing behind her protective mask. “We keep talking about numbers, but each heart is a person.”

As European countries crossed the one-year anniversary of the first coronavirus deaths and lockdown restrictions in recent weeks, memorials have sprung up across the continent to pay tribute to those lost to Covid-19.

studied how people have paid tribute to those lost to Covid-19.

Mr. Johnson has promised a public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, and opposition politicians have called for it to start as soon as lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted in coming weeks. But Mr. Johnson has refused to set a date.

At the memorial, several volunteers expressed anger at the government’s response to the pandemic. Ms. Rumball, who lost her grandmother, said she had felt ignored by Mr. Johnson’s government. Her mother painted hearts next to her in silence.

Ms. Smith said too many mistakes had been made, and that she had felt let down by the National Health Service, whose workers have often been lauded by many in the public and the media as heroes. “No one was a hero to my dad,” she said.

Britain is slowly emerging from a monthslong lockdown and Mr. Johnson has promised a “great summer” ahead. Outdoor sports resumed this week, and as groups of six are now allowed to gather outside, crowds have flocked to parks in London to bask in the sun.

Numbers of new infections and deaths have plummeted in recent weeks, raising hopes that some return to normalcy would come soon. With more than 30.5 million people having received a first dose of the vaccine — 45 percent of the country’s population — Britain has rolled out one of the fastest vaccination campaigns in the world.

Yet health authorities have warned that the third wave of coronavirus infections that has swept through continental Europe may also reach Britain.

And bereaved families said returning to normal would be impossible.

“For those of us who lost someone during the first wave, last spring, we’re reliving everything now,” said Ms. Goodman. “Last night I couldn’t sleep because exactly a year ago I learned that my father had Covid, and he died days later, so looking forward to going back to normal is so difficult for us.”

With the pandemic still raging, the hand-painted hearts opposite Parliament may continue spreading for weeks, even if at a slower pace. Still, Mr. Fowler said he hoped this would stop soon.

“When this is done, please, no more hearts,” he said.

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Police Response at Sarah Everard Vigil Was Appropriate, Investigators Say

It added that “public confidence in the Metropolitan Police suffered as a result of the vigil,” and noted the effect of the images of the officers arresting women.

“A more conciliatory response after the event might have served the Met’s interests better,” investigators said. One line in the report was particularly critical of the “chorus of those condemning the Metropolitan Police, and calling for the resignation of the commissioner, within hours of the arrests,” which it called unwarranted.

It said that while “a certain degree of uninformed commentary, particularly on social media, is inevitable, in this case some of the leading voices were those in positions of some responsibility,” appearing to take aim at politicians, some of whom had called for the leader of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, to step down.

The reaction to the investigation, commissioned by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and the Home Office, the government ministry that oversees policing, has been mixed.

Mr. Khan, who previously said he was “surprised and angry” at the police response, said that he accepted the report, in a statement to The Mirror.

But, he added, “It is clear that trust and confidence of women and girls in the police and criminal justice system is far from adequate.”

Others were more critical. Bell Ribeiro-Addy, a lawmaker from the opposition Labour Party who represents a district around the site of the vigil, said she would welcome further reviews because the reportwill offer little reassurance to my constituents” and others who saw “video footage of the disgraceful scenes.”

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Sarah Everard Death Set Off a Movement, but for Friends the Grief Is Personal

LONDON — Sarah Everard, like so many others, had a difficult year in 2020. A long-term relationship fell apart, and she lost her job when the company she worked for hit the rocks.

Still, she had stayed positive and active, throwing herself into online exercise classes and remaining a steadfast supporter to friends struggling through an equally arduous time. Lately, those friends said, things had been looking up, and she was eagerly anticipating post-pandemic life.

She was seeing someone new, and she was eager to travel again, to see family in York in northern England and to reconnect with friends. She had just started a new job.

So when Ms. Everard didn’t come home on March 3, a Wednesday night, they knew something was wrong. She had made a phone call to her new boyfriend as she walked from a friend’s house, and then she vanished. It was 9:30 p.m.

became a rallying cry for a broad movement to combat pervasive, longstanding violence against women in Britain — a symbol of all those of who have been attacked, so many of whose cases have gone largely unnoticed.

Amid the national attention, her friends and family have been left to privately mourn a woman, just 33, who had been taken far too soon. They described someone of warmth and empathy, always ready to listen to a friend’s troubles and offer support, a woman who also did not fully appreciate just how smart she was.

“She was sunshine and light, and made you feel warm and good and safe,” said Holly Morgan, who met Ms. Everard through work in London years ago. “I feel angry about it as well, but my main anger is that it happened to her.”

Credit…Metropolitan Police, via Associated Press

The news of Ms. Everard’s disappearance spread quickly online, first among friends and family — a network that stretched from her hometown near York to a web of friends from her college years and colleagues in London. They collectively worried about her, amplifying calls for information. Many desperately puzzled over how this could be happening to their Sarah.

wrote in a post last week, on International Women’s Day.

Then, as the news came that a police officer had been arrested in her death, the messages turned to memorials, and her story grew from personal pain to national reckoning. As flowers pile up at a bandstand in Clapham Common in south London, near where she disappeared, and protesters silently raise fists outside government buildings in remembrance of Ms. Everard, those closest to her are still trying to make sense of things.

For many, their friend’s transformation into a national symbol has complicated their own raw feelings of grief.

“In the uproar of what Sarah’s death is being taken to represent,” as one friend, India Rose, described it, she had struggled to find words to pay proper tribute to a woman she knew as “open, honest,” and “unflinching in her ability to listen and empathize.”

“We shared a lot, and I was never in any doubt of her discretion or sincerity in her support and kindness,” Ms. Rose said on Facebook.

where the staff remembered “how lovely she was to teach,” in a tribute posted over the weekend. Steve Lewis, the school’s head teacher, said her family and friends were a valued part of the community, and described Ms. Everard as bright, vibrant and caring.

“Her joy, intelligence and positive spirit shone within the school,” he said in a statement.

After graduating in 2005, Ms. Everard attended Durham University, where she studied geography. In a statement, Stuart Corbridge, the vice chancellor, said the community was devastated. Ms. Everard was a “popular and lively” student who retained a large group of friends after her graduation in 2008, he said.

spoke to the BBC when she first went missing, describing her as an “exceptional friend, dropping everything to be there to support her friends, whenever they need her.”

In a news release for a sports event she worked on in 2019, Ms. Everard said her organization was “determined to find as many opportunities during the event to tell the fantastic stories of pioneering women over the last century.”

On Ms. Everard’s Facebook page, photos offer glimpses of faraway travels and of London, the city she called home in recent years. In one picture were the tattered and windswept prayer flags of the Himalayas. In another was the unmistakable London skyline, the River Thames glistening in sunset. Images from an unfinished life.

She was an introvert who could still draw others close because of her rare skill for listening, but she could also be silly and irreverent, friends said. She was curious, active and adventurous, but also humble and private.

“There are those moments where it’s like love at first sight, but with a friend,” Ms. Morgan said of the first time she met Ms. Everard. “You meet a fellow woman and go, ‘I love you, and I don’t know you yet properly, but I know that I’m going to love you. And it was one of those things.”

described her on Facebook as a “smart, talented marketer” who got along with even the most difficult people she encountered.

“Sometimes you meet a person with a beautiful soul and it shines through,” she wrote.

Another former co-worker, Peter McCormack, shared a photo of a night out at an 1980s themed party with Ms. Everard. “Crap at karaoke, brilliant at everything else,” he wrote in the Facebook post.

“Our clients loved her, the team loved her, everyone loved Sarah,” he wrote. “For that moment she came into our lives, she made it better.”

Ms. Morgan said that it has been hard to comprehend the national uproar her friend’s death has caused, but the immediate outpouring of love had been heartwarming.

“Everyone has a Sarah in their life,” she said, describing the magnetism of women who are smart, determined and humble. “That’s why there’s been such an ongoing tide of pain and rage, because other people feel like they knew her, without knowing her at all.”

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Prince Philip Leaves London Hospital

LONDON — Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, left a London hospital on Tuesday, according to Buckingham Palace, a month after he was initially hospitalized and later treated for a heart problem.

Prince Philip was taken from Windsor Castle, a royal residence about 20 miles west of central London, on Feb. 16 after feeling ill and was moved to King Edward VII’s Hospital in the British capital.

He was then transferred to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, also in London, to undergo surgery this month for a pre-existing heart condition, and was later moved back to King Edward VII’s, where he was discharged on Tuesday.

The palace has not disclosed the exact reason he was first taken to the hospital, retaining a practice of remaining vague about the health of the queen and her husband.

received Covid-19 vaccines in January, and last month, the queen encouraged people to get vaccinated. “Once you’ve had the vaccine, you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected,” she said in a public call with health officials.

Prince Charles, the couple’s eldest son and the heir to the throne, tested positive for the virus last year, as did Prince William, their grandson.

Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public life in 2017 and turns 100 in June. He has been admitted to the hospital several times in recent years, including for an infection in 2012, for abdominal surgery in 2013 and for a hip replacement in 2018. He also received treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December 2011.

Buckingham Palace said that Prince Philip had returned to Windsor Castle after his discharge on Tuesday.

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U.K. Policing Bill Examined After Sarah Everard Vigil

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson is meeting with law enforcement officials on Monday after the London police drew widespread criticism for the handling of a vigil on Saturday after the killing of a 33-year-old woman. The fallout comes as a proposed police bill that would grant more powers to control protests in Britain is set to be debated in Parliament this week and faces renewed scrutiny from opposition lawmakers and rights groups.

An investigation is getting underway into the policing of a vigil in South London on Saturday night for Sarah Everard, 33, whose killing touched off a national discussion over misogyny and violence. The vigil had been declared unlawful because of coronavirus restrictions, a move denounced by rights groups, and officers from the Metropolitan Police, the main London force, clashed with some attendees.

Mr. Johnson was scheduled to meet on Monday with ministers, senior police officers and prosecutors to discuss steps to tighten safety on streets for women and girls.

“Like everyone who saw it, I was deeply concerned about the footage from Clapham Common on Saturday night,” Mr. Johnson said, referring to the part of South London where Ms. Everard disappeared and where the vigil was held.

said on Sunday that a review would be good for “public confidence,” but resisted calls from some for her resignation and defended her officers, citing concerns over the coronavirus.

“Unlawful gatherings are unlawful gatherings,” she said. “Officers have to take action if people are putting themselves massively at risk.”

David Lammy, a Labour lawmaker who is the party’s justice spokesman, adding that the bill was “a mess, which could lead to lead to harsher penalties for damaging a statue than for attacking a woman.”

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Sarah Everard Vigil Becomes Large Rally

LONDON — Thousands of people gathered in south London on Saturday for a vigil in tribute to Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old marketing executive whose killing has touched off a national reckoning over violence against women, despite police warnings that the event would be unlawful.

As darkness fell, a growing crowd chanted “Shame on you!” and “How many more!” In what became a rally against gender violence, some clapped their hands and others held tea lights or signs that read “End Violence Against Women” and “She Was Only Walking Home.”

The event, in Clapham Common, near where Ms. Everard was last seen on March 3 on her way back from a friend’s house, had drawn small groups at first, with people gathering in silence around a memorial where flowers had been laid. Earlier, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was among those who placed flowers at the memorial.

Several women were arrested at the event and handcuffed by the police, according to videos shared on social media. Other protesters, some unmasked, engaged in tense faceoffs with the police.

plan to tackle violence against women and girls later this year. Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday that a call for testimony about harassment, which had received 15,000 contributions, would be extended for two weeks.

Lawmakers are also set to debate a bill on domestic abuse next week, with growing momentum across party lines to include an amendment treating misogyny as a hate crime.

Several lawmakers had supported the vigil’s going forward, despite the restrictions.

“Even in a pandemic a small, responsible, risk-assessed vigil could surely be accommodated?” Joanna Cherry, a lawmaker for the Scottish National Party, said on Twitter. “Women’s fear of the hate & violence against us needs expression.”

As an alternative to the vigil, organizers urged people to hold a light on their doorstep at 9.30 p.m. local time. Several officials, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said they would light a candle for Ms. Everard.

But the event in South London eventually turned into a large gathering, echoing an overall sentiment that flooded social media throughout the week: that women had had enough.

In a statement published hours before the rally took place, the organizers of Reclaim These Streets said, “We are clear that women’s voices will not be silenced, now or ever.”

Nailah Morgan and Christina Kelso contributed reporting from New York.

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