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A makeshift memorial on a bench during a London vigil for Sarah Everard in the United Kingdom. Photo: David Cliff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The suspected abduction and murder of a 33-year-old London woman has spurred a cascade of concern over women's safety and an outpouring of grief from the British public.

The latest: Thousands of people gathered at south London's Clapham Common Saturday for a vigil for Sarah Everard, which police called unlawful. Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that she's asked for a "full report" from police after seeing "upsetting" images taken as officers made arrests.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he's "urgently seeking an explanation" from the Metropolitan Police commissioner, amid accusations that male officers were "grabbing and manhandling" women during arrests, per the Evening Standard.
  • "The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I've seen it's clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate," added Khan, who along with Patel oversees London's police force.

Of note: Wayne Couzens, a London police officer, made his first appearance in court on Saturday morning following his Tuesday arrest for the suspected abduction and murder of Everard, who disappeared on March 3, according to the Metropolitan Police. He was charged Friday.

  • Police confirmed that a body found hidden southeast of the capital was Everand's, and have said the investigation remains ongoing.

What they're saying: Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said in a statement that police arrested four people during Saturday evening's vigil for public order offenses and for "breaches of the Health Protection Regulations."

  • She said police "absolutely did not want to be in a position where enforcement action was necessary" and that they acted out of safety concerns.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Everard's death has "dismayed Britain and revived a painful question: Why are women too often not safe on the streets?" AP notes. Her fate is "all the more shocking" because the suspect charged Friday over her death is an officer "whose job was protecting politicians and diplomats," AP added.

  • Her killing has sparked outcry across the U.K. and beyond, with women and girls sharing their experiences and fears about personal safety on social media and other mediums.
  • Everard's disappearance has shone a light on "a double standard that exists: Women are expected to adapt their behavior to reduce personal risk, which in turn fuels a 'victim-blaming culture' and detracts attention from male actions," NBC News writes.

For the record: Member of Parliament Jess Phillips this week read the names of 118 women aloud who were murdered last year.

By the numbers: The United Nations in 2019 reported that 71% of women in the U.K. said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment in public, with the number rising to 86% for women between the ages of 18 and 24.

  • Centre of London, a U.K. think-tank, noted in 2019 that "women were nearly twice as likely as men to mention personal safety as a barrier to walking and using public transport."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Patel, Khan and police.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

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