Posted onDecember 9, 2015bysonymobi|Comments Off on Russia says it hit Islamic State with submarine-launched missile for initial time
MOSCOW Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated on Tuesday that Russia had for the initial time struck Islamic State targets in Syria with missiles fired from a submarine in the Mediterranean.
“The targets have been two large terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa,” Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin in a televised meeting, adding that the Calibre missiles had been fired from the submarine Rostov-on-Don.
“We can say with total self-confidence that relatively significant harm was accomplished to weapons stores and a factory for preparing mines and, naturally, oil infrastructure.”
Shoigu mentioned Russia had informed Israel and the United States in advance of its program to launch missiles from a submarine.
He mentioned that, over the previous three days, Russia’s air force had flown far more than 300 sorties more than Syria and struck more than 600 targets of numerous varieties.
Russian bombers flying over Syria had been being accompanied by fighter jets, as Putin had ordered, he added.
Russia started intervening straight in Syria’s civil war at the end of September with air strikes in assistance of its ally, President Bashar al-Assad.
But the intervention has had unintended consequences, notably when Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it mentioned had strayed into Turkish airspace, an allegation that Russia denies.
Shoigu presented the flight recorder of the downed jet to Putin at the meeting.
Putin thanked Russian particular services and Syrian government troops for recovering it, and mentioned it would allow specialists to determine exactly where exactly the Russian plane was located when it was hit. He mentioned it need to be opened only in the presence of international professionals, “to cautiously document every thing”.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Anton Zverev Editing by Kevin Liffey)
LONDON British bombers produced their second round of strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria late on Friday, again hitting oil fields, British defense minister Michael Fallon stated on Saturday.
“Final evening we saw the Typhoons in action for the very first time, successfully hitting an oil field, oil well heads in eastern Syria out in the Omar field,” Fallon told Sky News.
British lawmakers authorized the bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria on Thursday. Hours right after that approval, British bombers struck the oilfields that the government says are getting employed to fund attacks on the West.
The Typhoon fighter bombers had only arrived at Britain’s airbase in Akrotiri, Cyprus on Thursday, bolstering its strike force of Tornado warplanes.
Fallon was speaking during a visit to the British airbase in Cyprus.
(Reporting by James Davey Editing by Tom Heneghan)
Posted onDecember 4, 2015bysonymobi|Comments Off on Japan defense budget probably to best 5 trillion yen for initial time
TOKYO Japan’s defense budget for the next fiscal year is likely to top 5 trillion yen ($ 40 billion) for the first time, government sources said, as the military prepares for an expanded role under new security legislation.
The budget for the 12 months from April 2016 will include funding for a controversial U.S. military base to replace the U.S. Marine Corps’s Futenma air base on the southern island of Okinawa, host to the bulk of U.S. military forces in Japan.
The 2016/17 budget is expected to be finalised by the cabinet on Dec. 24.
The defense ministry in August requested a budget of 5.09 trillion which would include spending to fortify a far-flung island chain in the East China Sea, close to territory also claimed by Beijing.
The Nikkei business daily said on Friday that the figure would be shaved to 5.04 trillion yen, up from 4.98 trillion this fiscal year and the fourth consecutive rise since Prime Minister Shinto Abe took office in December 2012 and ended the decline in defense spending.
A weakened yen, however, means extra spending would not necessarily boost Tokyo’s ability to buy high-tech weaponry, much of which comes from the United States.
Parliament in September enacted hotly contested legislation that would allow Japan’s military to fight overseas for the first time since its defeat in World War Two in defense of a friendly country that came under attack.
Faced with China’s increasing military assertiveness, Japan has been shifting from defending its northern regions from a diminished Russian threat to deploying a lighter, more mobile force in the East China Sea and Western Pacific.
Japan administers a chain of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea called the Senkaku by Tokyo and the Diaoyu by Beijing, which also claims ownership of the islets.
The 2016/27 budget will include additional funding for the planned move of Futenma air base to a less crowded part of Okinawa, the Nikkei said.
Japan’s central government is locked in a court battle with Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga over the plan after Onaga revoked a permit for landfill work needed for the new base.
The United States and Japan agreed in 1996 to close Futenma and move its functions elsewhere on the island, but relocation stalled due to opposition from Okinawa residents worried about noise, pollution and crime and resentful of what they see as an unfair burden for the allies’ security pact.
(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Writing by Linda Sieg; Editing by Eric Meijer)
Chris Froome insists his “benefits will stand the test of time” after releasing physiological information in an try to answer these who doubt he twice won the Tour de France as a clean rider.
Esquire has published three sets of data on the web, with a full story in the next edition of the magazine on Monday.
The very first set is from 2007, the second from this year’s Tour and the third from August’s independent tests.
“Hopefully, it is going to satisfy some of the queries asked,” stated Froome.
“I know what I’ve done to get right here. I am the only a single who can genuinely [know] one hundred% that I’m clean.
“I haven’t broken the rules. I haven’t cheated. I have not taken any secret substance that isn’t identified of however.
“I know my outcomes will stand the test of time, that ten, 15 years down the line folks won’t say, ‘Ah, so that was his secret’. There is not a secret.”
The information from 2007 was collected by the sport’s planet governing body, the International Cycling Union, throughout the Kenyan-born rider’s stint at the World Cycling Centre, a programme for talented athletes from creating cycling nations.
The UCI blood information is incomplete by today’s requirements, as it predates the introduction of the biological passport in 2009.
Two essential tests at that point – his VO2 Max and threshold energy – indicate the sort of rider who could win 1 of cycling’s largest races, provided he lost weight to boost his climbing ability.
That is also the picture painted by the tests Froome underwent at the GSK High Performance Lab in London in August.
On that occasion his VO2 Max, which is the peak amount of oxygen an athlete can use, was 84.six (ml/kg/min) – readjusted for his Tour weight, that it is 88.2, a quantity that supports the energy data Team Sky released in July from his superb victory on stage ten at this year’s Tour.
That “data dump” was an try by Froome’s team to defuse what was becoming a toxic atmosphere at the race.
GSK HLP’s senior scientist Dr Phillip Bell described Froome’s VO2 Max values as getting “close to what we believe are the upper limits for humans”.
As well as his independent testing results, Froome has also given Esquire biological passport blood tests from 13 July, the day prior to that 10th stage win, and 20 August.
The initial sample shows Froome’s haemoglobin level (the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen) was 15.three grams per litre, with .72% of his red blood cells being immature cells known as reticulocytes (produced by bone marrow in response to the body’s wants).
This produces an OFF-score, an equation used in anti-doping to indicate attainable blood manipulation, of 102.1.
The second sample show haemoglobin of 15.3, with a reticulocyte count of .96%, and an OFF-score of 94.21.
On their own, there is practically nothing about these scores that reveals something untoward but, as British athletics star Paula Radcliffe has not too long ago discovered, they only give a snapshot of what is happening at a particular moment and definitive proof that somebody is clean calls for a lot more data, recorded more than time.
That, nonetheless, is some thing that very couple of athletes have been willing or capable to make.
Froome’s former Team Sky group-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins told BBC Radio five reside on Thursday that the Briton faced an virtually not possible job in attempting to convince everybody he is clean.
“I do not feel [releasing his information] is going to adjust perceptions or what folks feel but at the same time that is what men and women have referred to as for and he’s carried out it,” stated Wiggins, who has also had to deal with speculation about his successes on the road – speculation he has dismissed.
“Hats off to him for undertaking it and I’m confident it’s not going to be some thing that [he and Team Sky] are going to live and die by.
“I never consider it is going to change anything but it’s a modest step maybe.”
Froome 1st announced his intention to release the outcomes of independent physiological testing throughout this year’s Tour.
As in 2013, his first victory, he was subjected to intense media scrutiny over the veracity of his performances, which spilled more than into some deeply unpleasant scenes on the roadside.
His team-mate and close buddy Richie Porte was punched by a fan for the duration of 1 stage, Group Sky’s vehicles have been regularly pelted with drinks and rubbish by spectators and Froome himself was spat at and had urine thrown at him on one particular particularly ugly day.
Froome told Esquire that the accusations of doping did bother him – “it really is challenging not to get angry” – but denied they detracted from his joy at becoming the 1st British rider to win a second Tour title.
“Absolutely nothing is going to taint that for me,” he mentioned.
“All that stuff, it was an added challenge and did make it tougher, but in a way it feels like an even greater achievement.”
Provided what is known now about the sport’s current history of endemic doping, Froome added that he understands why a lot of cycling fans are so sceptical and accepts that “inquiries do need to have to be asked”.
“As extended as the concerns are fair, I am satisfied to answer them,” he stated.
The benefits of his testing at GSK HPL are expected to be published in an unspecified scientific journal at a later date and Froome is also believed to be open to the concept of further testing in the future.
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Mike Phillips, Wales’ most-capped scrum-half, has announced his retirement from international rugby.
The 33-year-old Racing 92 player has appeared in 99 Tests – 94 for Wales and five for the British and Irish Lions.
He scored nine tries for his country and was a key member of the teams that won the Six Nations title in 2013 and Grand Slams in 2008 and 2012.
“This is a chance for me to bring this chapter of my life to a close,” said Phillips in a statement.
“Playing for Wales has been such a huge part of my adult life and this is a chance for me to say thank you to everyone from family and friends, the coaches and management of the Welsh Rugby Union, all of the great players that I have been fortunate enough to play with and against and of course the fantastic Welsh fans for their great support.
“It was always a dream of mine to play for Wales, it meant everything to me and it’s an amazing feeling to represent your country. For me it was a privilege.”
Phillips’ last match for Wales was the 35-21 defeat by Ireland in a World Cup warm-up match on 8 August this year.
He was initially left out of coach Warren Gatland’s squad for the tournament, but recalled as cover for the injured Rhys Webb before the opening game against Uruguay.
However, he was not included in the match-day squads for any of Wales’ World Cup games.
Having spent the early part of his international career as understudy to Dwayne Peel after making his debut against Romania in 2003, Phillips became Gatland’s go-to scrum-half after his appointment as Wales coach in 2007 until the autumn internationals in 2014.
The 6ft scrum-half could not have made a bigger impression in his first game under the New Zealander, scoring a try as Wales beat England 26-19 to end a 20-year losing streak at Twickenham.
Phillips regularly produced big performances in important matches for Wales, notably the quarter-final and semi-final of the 2011 World Cup, and the 31-30 defeat by South Africa in June 2014.
By the time of the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa, Phillips was the number one scrum-half in the home nations and played in all three Tests against the Springboks.
And when Gatland was named coach for the 2013 Lions tour to Australia, he put his faith in Phillips – selecting him in the first and third Tests as the Lions won the series 2-1.
Phillips’ career off the field was not without controversy. He was temporarily suspended from the national squad in 2011 following a late-night altercation with a doorman in Cardiff, but re-instated in time for that year’s World Cup.
His position as first choice with Wales ended during the 2014 autumn internationals when he was displaced by Webb.
And by the time the squad was named for the 2015 World Cup, Phillips had been relegated to fourth-choice number nine behind Webb, Gareth Davies and Lloyd Williams.
But his place in the hall of fame of Welsh half-backs is assured, and he stands eighth in the all-time list of Wales’ most-capped players.
Phillips has a contract with Racing 92 until the end of this season, but has indicated he wants to extend his time in Paris.
Mike Phillips’ story will be portrayed in a documentary film – The Real Mike Phillips – to be shown on BBC One Wales on Monday, 7 December 21:00 GMT
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Andy Murray says talking to the Lawn Tennis Association about the future of British tennis is a waste of his time.
The globe number two inspired Great Britain to win the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years with victory over Belgium in Ghent over the weekend.
Captain Leon Smith urged the LTA to use that triumph to inspire future players, but Murray, 28, stated he “did not know where the next generation are”.
“Nothing ever gets completed and I never like wasting my time,” he said.
The Scot added he has not discussed the lack of young British players competing in Grand Slams with LTA chief executive Michael Downey.
“I do not speak to any of the individuals who are in a high-up position about that,” Murray revealed. “I have not actually spoken to them about something.
“It is concerning not to have any juniors in the grand slams due to the fact that is anything we were constantly extremely good at. It is not ideal.”
Downey earlier mentioned Britain’s Davis Cup win was a “specific, emotional moment” that could drive interest in the sport.
Just before the final in Ghent, Murray was criticised by former Wonderful Britain Davis Cup captain David Lloyd for not putting enough back into the game.
“I’d rather concentrate on my own stuff and when I’ve finished playing, I’ll have a lot more time to try and help or give back to the game,” Murray added.
“Just now, I’ve just got to concentrate on trying to win as much as possible.”
‘There are no individuals there’
Murray stated a single of his main frustrations was a lack of players to practise with whenever he is in the UK.
Soon after returning from the Shanghai Masters in October, Murray stated he arrived at the National Instruction Centre in London to uncover no other players present.
“I was there on a Monday at about 3pm and then on Tuesday, at the same time,” he mentioned.
“There was not one person making use of any of the indoor courts and not one particular person in the gym. I took photos of it due to the fact the location expense like £40m and there are no individuals.”
‘Judy can’t hold undertaking it on her own’
Prior to Murray’s comments, Smith said the LTA required to rapidly develop a long-term strategy to capitalise on his team’s victory.
Smith also praised Judy Murray’s tennis programmes but mentioned the mother of British number a single Andy and doubles specialist Jamie “demands a lot of aid”.
“She cannot maintain performing it on her personal,” he added.
Murray leads the LTA’s Miss-Hits programme – an introductory course for girls aged in between five and eight – and a Scottish-primarily based scheme, Tennis on the Road.
Smith, who became Davis Cup captain five years ago with the group a play-off away from relegation to the event’s lowest tier, added: “At the finish of the day, we all care about British tennis a lot.
“What we want to see is more people playing, so there must be a bigger talent pool in years to come.
“It truly is an crucial time to get approaches rolled out as speedily as achievable, not only to get individuals on the court but to maintain them on the court. We require to offer them very good clubs and good coaches that turn up in all weather and bang out fantastic sessions. Let’s hope it has a positive influence, since it should do.”
The LTA was criticised for failing to capitalise on Murray’s Wimbledon victory in 2013 with participation levels falling in the aftermath.
But LTA chief Downey said the coverage designed by Britain’s effective weekend in Belgium should assist “encourage participation”.
In the most current figures released by Sport England, for the six months up to March 2015, tennis participation was up.
I had a split second to come to terms with winning the Davis Cup just before I was mobbed by my group-mates.
A single of the specific things about this competition is you get to celebrate with your group-mates straight away, whereas after any other win you never get to see them till perhaps an hour soon after the match has finished.
On Sunday it was immediate, and I felt the full force of the team!
It’s not the initial time, it happened to me when at college soon after I scored a purpose and everyone then jumped on best of me, so it brought back a couple of memories.
I in fact get claustrophobic, so it was fine at the beginning when Leon got to me and then a couple of other people but when there were a couple of far more and I couldn’t move, I began to panic and shouted to all of them “get off!”
‘We should make the most of this’
The subsequent couple of days will be significantly far more enjoyable than after my two Grand Slam wins, for confident.
I regret maybe not celebrating as considerably as I ought to have accomplished after some of my other wins, since now I know how significantly work goes into attaining them. You never know when the subsequent one may well come – it may in no way – so we should make the most it.
That’s why we spent an hour and a half on court soon after the match taking selfies and chatting with the supporters. I never really have numerous personal images to be truthful, but hopefully it produced the day that bit more special for those who travelled more than to Belgium.
It did take its toll on me a bit though – I could barely stand up at the finish of it! By the time I got back to the locker area, I consider everybody had enjoyed a handful of glasses of champagne but I jumped in an ice bath instantly. I’d began to stiffen up from not obtaining to cool down, stretch or go through my regular routine following matches. Standing about in wet clothes is not very good for you.
I do now make sure that I devote the time soon after wins like this with the men and women that I want to devote time with. Right now I want to commit my time with the rest of the group, and also my family and close friends.
There are plenty of characters right here and it will be excellent over the subsequent day or two to appreciate some celebrations. I would imagine Dan Evans is the most experienced on our group in that respect.
‘I try to stay away from eye make contact with with Jamie’
To play and win a Davis Cup final with your brother is great, I’m truly proud of him, and it might never happen once more, so it’s anything else to savour.
What he was undertaking standing in my line of vision during Sunday’s match even though, I have no idea!
I just saw him standing in the entrance at the corner of the court at one particular point and located it far more off-putting because it was my brother, rather than an individual I never know. I normally attempt to keep away from eye make contact with with him altogether during matches.
Some players may possibly locate it beneficial to look over at their family members but when they’re right there, you see when they’re stressed or nervous or pumped, and due to the fact you know them, you know what their expressions mean.
I’d just rather Jamie wasn’t in my eye-line at that moment, so I let him know!
‘Davis Cup can be a springboard’
Winning the Davis Cup is a large victory for every person in the group, but from a individual point of view I don’t see it so a lot like ticking off another massive title from a list.
There are naturally still two Grand Slams I haven’t won, and the Australian Open is a tournament I would really like to win because I’ve been close there so frequently, reaching the final four occasions.
And had I got by way of the fifth set of my semi-final with Novak Djokovic, I would have had an opportunity to win the French Open, so I’m not that far off on the clay.
Hopefully I can use this Davis Cup win as a springboard for next year, to take on the attitude I had in every single point and possibly get my first Aussie Open in January.
The Davis Cup has been remarkable this year, and I would like to thank all these that have followed us. It really is been an incredible journey and we could not have carried out it without you. Now for some rest prior to I start off coaching for the new season in a week or so…
Andy Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery. You can follow Murray on Twitter,Facebook and Instagram.
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Posted onNovember 29, 2015bysonymobi|Comments Off on CORRECTED-Facebook tends to make paid time off for child leave a international benefit
(Corrects paragraph 3 to add terms for some non-U.S. personnel)
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 27 Much less than a week after Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he would take two months of paternity leave, the social media firm announced it is extending its parental leave policy to complete-time personnel outside the United States.
The policy, which supplies 4 months of paid time off, will be supplied to all new parents regardless of gender or location, beginning Jan. 1. Staff may take leave at any point up to a year after the birth of their youngster, Lori Matloff Goler, the company’s head of human resources, mentioned in a Facebook post late Wednesday.
Facebook at present offers 4 months of paid parental leave to U.S.-based complete-time workers. Outdoors the United States, Facebook now delivers a minimum of 4 months of paid leave to full-time workers who are new mothers and principal caregivers. Fathers and non-principal caregivers outside the United States get 4 weeks of paid leave.
“We want to be there for our individuals at all stages of life, and in certain we strive to be a leading location to function for families,” she added. “An important part of this is providing paid parental or ‘baby’ leave.”
Goler stated the new policy will mostly help new fathers and workers in identical-sex relationships outdoors the United States, noting that it will not alter maternity leave currently offered to personnel worldwide.
Zuckerberg final week stated he would take two months off after his daughter’s birth. Zuckerberg announced in July that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, had been expecting a baby girl they have not said when the infant is due.
His announcement was seen in Silicon Valley as a sturdy endorsement from a higher-technologies sector top executive on the value of family members time.
Technology businesses in Silicon Valley have been rushing to extend parental leave allowances and other rewards to help recruit and retain personnel.
Several higher-tech workers, even so, do not take advantage of such benefits for worry of falling behind at operate or missing out on promotions. (Reporting by Jim Christie Editing by Stephen R. Trousdale and Leslie Adler)
Posted onNovember 28, 2015bysonymobi|Comments Off on Facebook tends to make paid time off for infant leave a international benefit
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 27 Less than a week after Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg stated he would take two months of paternity leave, the social media firm announced it is extending its parental leave policy to complete-time staff outside the United States.
The policy, which gives 4 months of paid time off, will be offered to all new parents regardless of gender or place, starting Jan. 1. Staff could take leave at any point up to a year after the birth of their kid, Lori Matloff Goler, the company’s head of human resources, stated in a Facebook post late Wednesday.
Facebook at present gives only U.S.-based workers up to four months of paid leave.
“We want to be there for our individuals at all stages of life, and in certain we strive to be a top spot to operate for households,” she added. “An essential element of this is supplying paid parental or ‘baby’ leave.”
Goler mentioned the new policy will primarily help new fathers and staff in exact same-sex relationships outdoors the United States, noting that it will not modify maternity leave already obtainable to employees worldwide.
Zuckerberg final week mentioned he would take two months off soon after his daughter’s birth. Zuckerberg announced in July that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have been expecting a baby girl they have not mentioned when the infant is due.
His announcement was noticed in Silicon Valley as a powerful endorsement from a higher-technologies industry prime executive on the significance of family members time.
Technology firms in Silicon Valley have been rushing to extend parental leave allowances and other rewards to help recruit and retain employees.
A lot of high-tech workers, nonetheless, do not take advantage of such rewards for fear of falling behind at function or missing out on promotions. (Reporting by Jim Christie Editing by Stephen R. Trousdale and Leslie Adler)
LONDON Prime Minister David Cameron mentioned on Thursday it was time to join air strikes against Islamic State in Syria since Britain can’t “subcontract its safety to other nations”.
Many Britons are wary of getting into into another war in the Middle East soon after Western intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya failed to bring stability to the area and some think led to the rise of militants groups such as Islamic State.
But soon after Islamic State claimed responsibility for killing 130 men and women in Paris, some members of parliament who were reluctant to launch additional military action in the Middle East now really feel it is necessary to defend Britain from such attacks.
Cameron lost a vote on air strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in 2013 and have to persuade some wary members of his own Conservative Party and in the opposition Labour Celebration to back him if he is to win parliament’s support for military action.
After setting out his case for action, Cameron appeared to have persuaded at least two of 30 celebration “rebels” who voted against him in 2013, but other opposition lawmakers mentioned he had but to answer concerns about how the bombing would accomplish peace.
“We do not have the luxury of getting capable to wait until the Syrian conflict is resolved before tackling ISIL (Islamic State),” Cameron wrote in a response to the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which had mentioned a policy to extend air strikes was “incoherent” with no a technique to defeat the militants.
“It is wrong for the United Kingdom to sub-contract its security to other nations, and to expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the burdens and the risks of striking ISIL in Syria to stop terrorism here in Britain,” he added.
He said in the 24-web page response that the campaign against Islamic State was entering a new phase, focusing on command and control, provide lines and economic support – some thing that suited Britain’s capabilities.
Fearful of losing standing on the planet stage, Cameron stated Britain need to respond to requests from allies, which includes the United States, but mentioned he would not place a vote to parliament unless there was a majority backing action.
He said he did not want to hand Islamic State a “propaganda coup” by losing a vote.
The government has not set a timetable for any vote but Cameron said earlier this week parliament would be in a position to consider his case more than the weekend, prompting many to count on he could push for a vote as early as subsequent week.
Cameron told some lawmakers, who worry joining the air strikes more than Syria would make Britain much more of a target, that with the threat to the nation already as higher as it could be, the only way of minimizing it would be to “degrade” Islamic State.
British politicians are keenly conscious of public opinion more than regardless of whether the launch air strikes on Syria. A poll by YouGov this week stated 59 percent of men and women would approve of such strikes, compared with 58 % a week earlier.
Right after Cameron’s statement, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Crispin Blunt, stated he now believed parliament should assistance the prime minister’s judgment “that the United Kingdom ought to play a complete function in the coalition”. An additional Conservative lawmaker, Sarah Wollaston, stated she had changed her mind and was now in favor of air strikes.
But other people, in Labour and the Scottish National Party, have been much less convinced, saying the prime minister had however to present a clear peace strategy for Syria right after the military campaign. Others feared that air strikes would pave the way for sending in ground troops, which Cameron denied.
Cameron is hoping to find some help among Labour lawmakers, who are deeply split over their new leader Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-war stance.
Breaking with a British political tradition of using a “celebration whip” to keep parliamentary discipline, Corbyn’s finance spokesman mentioned Labour was taking into consideration enabling its lawmakers to vote as they wish.
“In these sort of issues of conscience it is far better to permit MPs to make their own minds up,” John McDonnell told BBC television.
(Extra reporting by James Davey and William James editing by Giles Elgood)