Activists claim victory as transport company cuts ties with Leicester-based drone factory

Plus: Ratby gas outage, DMU Pride and SEND travel support cuts.

Activists claim victory as transport company cuts ties with Leicester-based drone factory
Kuehne+Nagel offices graffitied with the words 'For Shireen', in reference to Shireen Abu Aqleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who was killed by Israeli police in 2022.

In focus

Activists claim victory as transport company cuts ties with Leicester-based drone factory

by Rhys Everquill

In an email to activists, transportation giants Kuehne+Nagel declared they have ended all ties with UAV Tactical Systems and will not be working with them again in the future.

Activists have previously accused UAV Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of Israel-based international arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, of making drone parts and shipping them out to Israel, where they are then used in bombing campaigns against Palestinians. The company is based at Meridian Business Park in Braunstone.

The decision comes after an extensive protest campaign, which first involved activists from Palestine Action breaking into the Kuehne+Nagel's Leicester offices, smashing windows and spray painting the inside of the building on 12 May 2023.

Activists were initially informed of the logistics and transportation company's long-standing contract with Elbit by a whistleblower. The group also claim Kuehne+Nagel lorries were spotted entering and leaving UAV Tactical Systems factory in Leicester.

The move came after website hosts for Elbit's Leicester factory also severed their ties with the company.

A Palestine Action spokesperson said:

"All companies associated with Israeli weapons makers Elbit Systems must follow suit and end their links with Israel's genocide of the Palestinian people. Palestine Action will continue to target all those who facilitate the production of Elbit's weaponry, which is 'battle-tested' on the Palestinian people. In solidarity with Palestine, we will not stop until Elbit ceases to exist".

Kuehne+Nagel has been contacted for comment regarding their decision.

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Weather forecast

by Phil Morrish

🌥️ Monday, 5 February: A mild start, with a mixture of clouds and sunshine. Temperatures will rise in the afternoon. Winds are looking strong, up to 30mph. It will be a dry night. Min: 8C | Max: 13C

🌧️ Tuesday, 6 February: Another mild start, but the day will be rather cloudy. Rain will arrive late afternoon, and wind will pick up to 40mph. A cooler night. Min: 8C | Max: 11

🌧️ Wednesday, 7 February: A brighter but colder start. It will get warmer as the day goes on. Still, the afternoon will be dominated by thick clouds and rain arriving in the early evening. Min: 4C | Max: 7C 

🌧️ Thursday, 8 February: A wet day with heavy rain that could turn wintery later. Expect more rain in the evening. Min: 5C | Max: 6C 

🌧️ Friday, 9 February: Another wet start, but looking brighter in the afternoon. The wind will pick back up at 30mph, but it will be generally cool throughout the day. A few wintery showers are possible. Min: 4C | Max: 5C 

🌧️ ❄️ Weekend, 10-11 February: The weekend will be cold with possible winter showers. A mild wind at 25mph will be present throughout the day. Temperatures will dip into the negatives during the nights. Min: -1C | Max: 4C 

In the news

by Rhys Everquill

  • Ratby gas outage: Thousands of people are still without gas in Ratby and Kirby Muxloe as Cadent continue to pump water from the gas network. There are currently around 200 engineers, support workers and volunteers on site. Work is likely to continue until the end of the week. Read more
  • Police and Crime Commissioner: The 2024-25 budget for policing in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has been agreed at £243.15m, a 4.76% increase in money raised from council tax. According to the PCC's own survey, 58% of local respondents agreed with the increase. Read more
  • Happy Birthday DMU Pride: The 10th DMU Pride festival has been launched on campus to mark the start of a month of celebrations showcasing the university's support and unity with the LGBTQ+ community. Read more
  • Paper Tiger: The iconic party supply shop on Cank Street, which has been open for over 50 years, closed its doors for the last time last week. Paper Tiger first opened in 1970. The owners cited a 'really tough' few years of trading as the reason for closing. Read more
  • SEND travel support: Travel support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities will be axed at the end of the current academic year, after the council sent a letter to parents. Read more
  • Plastic barrier: Leicestershire County Council has approved a 'plastic barrier' in Watermead Park, near Thurmaston. UOcean, the project behind the barrier, will regularly remove plastic from the River Soar. Volunteers have already pulled 10,000 kilos of rubbish out of the River Soar by hand in the last three years. Read more
  • Leicester's hospitals: We'd like to hear from NHS workers about the situation in Leicester's hospitals, particularly Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI). Read more
Callout: Share your experience on what it’s like to work in Leicester’s hospitals
We’d like to hear from NHS workers about the situation in Leicester’s hospitals, particularly Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI).

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

Pop down to The Little Theatre to enjoy this performance adapted from the 1970s TV series, performed by the Leicester Drama Society. Matinee and evening performances are available. Tickets from £15.

The iconic festival returns to Leicester! Comedians will be performing at various venues throughout the city during February.

Celebrate Pride by visiting the Leicester Gallery at DMU to look at fabulous artwork by Andrew Logan. Open 9am-5pm.

Celebrations for Lunar New Year are taking place throughout the city. 2024 is the year of the dragon!

Fancy an unusual Valentine's date for you and your beau? Enjoy an evening at the National Space Centre, including a 5-course meal. A package for two costs £150.

Leicester Museum & Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition full of fantastic graffiti art presented by Graffwerk and MBD.

On the market

by Rhys Everquill

This fully modernised apartment in Stoneleigh Manor in Stoneygate is truly a unique and affordable property. Stoneleigh Manor is a private building of 20 apartments run by a newly formed residents' association for owners, with a community of residents onsite that meet regularly. The current length of lease remaining is 87 Years, which may be too low for some. Still, the apartment boasts a newly fitted kitchen, new bathroom, new heating and ventilation, loft insulation, and upgraded electrics.

Price: £139,500

Check out this 1 bedroom flat for sale on Rightmove
1 bedroom flat for sale in Stoneygate Road, Stoneygate, Leicester, LE2 for £139,500. Marketed by Quicklister, Nationwide

Food and drink

by David Landwehr

Photo of a market stall in Leicester

Something a little different this week. Over the weekend, I used one of my favourite things about Leicester's city centre: the market. Leicester's market offers some of the freshest produce and protein at very reasonable prices. The market is filled with independent traders selling tonnes of local produce. I got some fresh rabbit and vegetables for a stew that did not disappoint.

Price: £10.98

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • Men's rugby: England came from behind to beat Italy in their Six Nations match in Rome on 4 February. Leicester Tigers have three players on the England squad. Read more
  • Men's football: Leicester again shows why they are top of the EFL Championship after delivering an almighty spanking to Stoke City, winning 5-0. Read more
  • Cricket: Leicestershire CCC has signed Aussie international Will Pucovski in preparation for the 2024 season. The cricket player has scored 2,197 runs in 34 matches with six centuries. Read more


by Megan Lupton

 De Beaumont cinquefoil on a map of Leicestershire and Rutland

A local emblem, The De Beaumont cinquefoil, has been associated with Leicestershire county since 1784 when it featured in A New Map Of The Counties Of Leicester And Rutland Drawn From The Latest Authorities by Thomas Conder.

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