Madeleine McCann case: Two callers name man in new UK police sketches
Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, has said he will stay away from the meeting. British officials have defended Cameron’s decision to attend as “the right thing”. “[The] government strongly supports [the] Commonwealth, and firmly believes it can continue to be a force for good around the world, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights. But we must be willing to push our fellow members when we do not think their actions reflect the firm values which we all espouse,” an FCO spokesperson said. Officials said Cameron would not hold back in Colombo and would deliver a tough message to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, now in his eighth year in power. Sri Lankan officials have welcomed Cameron’s decision to attend. “Public criticism doesn’t help anyone and plays into the hands of extremists forces. These issues are much better raised bilaterally,” one senior official told the Guardian this week. Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have accused Cameron of being naive. The principal charge made in the MPs’ report is that a timid and inconsistent approach has given the government no option but to attend the meeting in Colombo despite widespread reservations in Whitehall and elsewhere. The report notes that during discussions at the 2009 Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Port of Spain about venues for future meetings, the Foreign Office opposed a proposal that Sri Lanka might host the 2011 meeting on human rights grounds “but did not obstruct a proposal that it might do so in 2013; nor did it insist that Sri Lanka’s right to host in 2013 should be conditional on improvements in human rights.” Last year the committee, staffed by backbench MPs from all parties, recommended that Cameron “should publicly state his unwillingness to attend [the 2013 meeting] unless he receives convincing and independently verified evidence of substantial and sustainable improvements in human and political rights in Sri Lanka .” “There is scant evidence of progress in political and human rights in Sri Lanka,” the new report notes. The Foreign Office’s 2012 human rights and democracy report lists Sri Lanka as one of 27 countries of concern. Others include Afghanistan, China, Zimbabwe, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Russia and Belarus.
The IPA Bellwether report said a net balance of 12.3 percent of companies registered an increase in budgets in the third quarter, against 7.3 percent in the second quarter, the biggest upward-revision of spending since the survey began at the start of 2000. The numbers add to recent signs of improving business confidence in Britain and improved macro-economic data. They also chime with comments from the industry, with WPP (WPP.L), the world’s largest advertising agency, having in August slightly raised its 2013 forecast due to rising revenue. Britain’s economy grew by 0.8 percent the third quarter, helped by a rise in industrial output, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said last week. “This latest Bellwether report indicates companies are beginning to move forward, away from recession and that the UK economy is on the rise again,” said IPA Director General Paul Bainsfair. “This optimism will send a continued upbeat message to the advertising industry and wider economy,” he added. The survey found companies were dedicating more of their marketing spend to the Internet, with a net balance of 11.7 percent choosing to boost their coverage online. Main media advertising also saw a second successive period of growth, its strongest rise since Q3 2010, however budgets for public relations, events and direct marketing all saw net reductions. The IPA Bellwether report was drawn up from a survey of 300 companies based in Britain. (Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by David Evans) Tweet this
He was seen carrying a blond child, who might have been in pajamas and who was estimated to be 3 to 4 years old, around the time Madeleine disappeared, police had said. The sketches are based on descriptions from separate witnesses, investigators said. Since the program aired, British police said they have received more than 300 phoned tips and 170 e-mailed ones. “We will now take the time to follow up these lines of enquiry,” Redwood said. Police target 38 ‘people of interest’ in Madeleine McCann’s ’07 disappearance The latest revelation is critical in reconstructing what exactly happened more than six years ago on the night of May 3, 2007,when McCann disappeared from her family’s villa while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. The girl was just days shy of her fourth birthday. Computer-generated sketch Computer-generated sketch Computer-generated sketch Neither her parents nor the detectives investigating her case have given up on one day finding the little girl from Leicestershire, England. “There may be an entirely innocent explanation of this man, but we need to establish who he is to assist with our inquiries,” Redwood said earlier. Additionally, investigators believe they have a better understanding of when Madeleine may have been abducted, Redwood added. “The timeline we have now established has given new significance to sightings and movements of people in and around Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.” John Walsh: Madeleine McCann could be alive Police announced in July that they have identified 38 “people of interest” in connection with the case. Twelve of them are UK nationals who police say they think were in Portugal at the time the girl went missing.