Al Jazeera

Spy chiefs hit out at media over Snowden leaks

London, United Kingdom – An unprecedented public appearance by British spy chiefs to face questioning over the conduct of their organisations following revelations about UK complicity in mass internet surveillance has been lambasted by civil liberties and privacy campaigners.

[www.ukparliament.org]

Andrew Parker, John Sawers and Iain Lobban were appearing together publicly for the first time. [www.ukparliament.org]

Thursday’s televised session of the intelligence and security committee, the parliamentary panel that oversees the activities of the British secret services, was hailed by Malcolm Rifkind, the committee’s chairman, as “a very significant step forward in the transparency of our intelligence agencies”.

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Al Jazeera

London targets growing Islamic finance market

London, UK – Britain is set to the become the first non-Muslim nation to raise money by issuing a government bond-style “Sukuk” compliant with Sharia law as part of a bid to transform London into a global capital of the Islamic finance industry.

London Mayor Boris Johnson addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum. [Getty Images for 9th World Islam]

London Mayor Boris Johnson addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum. [Getty Images for 9th World Islam]

David Cameron, the British prime minister, unveiled the scheme along with plans to launch an Islamic market index at the London Stock Exchange as the British capital this week played host to the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), an annual gathering of political leaders, chief executives and delegations from across the Muslim world.

“Already London is the biggest centre of Islamic finance outside the Islamic world, but today our ambition is to go further still,” Cameron told the event. “I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”

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