9-year-old chess prodigy wins fight to stay in Britain

UK child prodigy Shreyas Royal and the numerous trophies he has won. (Courtesy of Facebook)
Updated 11 August 2018
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9-year-old chess prodigy wins fight to stay in Britain

  • Shreyas Royal, who came to Britain with his family when he was 3, has competed internationally
  • The English Chess Federation and two lawmakers had appealed to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to let the family stay

LONDON: A 9-year-old India-born chess prodigy whose fight to stay in Britain drew international attention can remain in the country, the UK government said Friday.
Shreyas Royal, who came to Britain with his family when he was 3, has competed internationally and came fourth in the World Cadets competition in Brazil last year. But his family faced having to leave the UK when his father’s work visa expires next month.
The English Chess Federation and two lawmakers had appealed to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to let the family stay, saying Shreyas was the UK’s greatest chess talent in a generation and had lived in the country most of his life.
Javid said Friday that “after carefully reviewing the evidence, I have taken the personal decision to allow Shreyas and his family to stay in the UK“
“We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly talented individuals from across the globe,” he said.
London’s Battersea Chess Club, where Shreyas plays, thanked supporters and said the young chess player had “a big future ahead of him on the world stage, hopefully representing England.”
Immigration is a divisive issue in Britain, and reducing the number of newcomers was a major factor for many voters who in 2016 backed leaving the European Union. The Conservative government says it wants Britain to remain open to global talent, but has tightened policies in recent years in a bid to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigration.
Critics say many legal immigrants have suffered as a result of excessive bureaucracy and harsh decisions. Earlier this year it was revealed that hundreds of legal long-term residents from the Caribbean had been refused medical care or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to prove their right to remain in the UK
Javid, who was appointed in April after the migration scandal felled his predecessor, has said the term hostile environment “does not represent our values as a country.”


Couple awarded $1 million in voyeurism lawsuit

Updated 18 August 2018
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Couple awarded $1 million in voyeurism lawsuit

BELLINGHAM, Washington: A judge has awarded a Washington couple $1 million in damages after they sued a former lifeguard and city employee who admitted to videotaping women while they used a staff changing area at an aquatic center.
The Bellingham Herald reports the woman in the lawsuit said the video voyeurism caused her mental anguish, altered her marriage, lifestyle and diminished her love for swimming due to the anxiety she feels when changing into a swimsuit.
The woman and her husband filed a lawsuit against the city of Bellingham and the suspect. Bellingham is 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Seattle.
On Tuesday, Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis awarded $750,000 to the woman and $250,000 to her husband, more than their lawyer asked for.
The court dismissed her claims against the city in March.