With opinion polls on Thursday’s Scottish independence vote too close to call, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain faces the risk this week of becoming the leader who presided over the breakup of the United Kingdom. And that is only one of his immediate problems. After the release on Saturday of a video showing the beheading by Islamic radicals of a British hostage, David Cawthorne Haines, Mr. Cameron led a meeting on Sunday of his emergency response committee, including his top military and security officials. Another British hostage, Alan Henning, has been named by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as the next to die. Mr. Henning, believed to be in his 40s, is an aid worker from Manchester who was kidnapped last December near Idlib, Syria, with other aid workers, some of whom were Muslim and were interrogated and released, according to Tam Hussein, a freelance journalist working with Channel 4 television.
The combination of the issues has put considerable pressure on Mr. Cameron, raised questions about the fate of his government and left him scrambling to address two divergent challenges simultaneously.
After the meeting on Sunday, Mr. Cameron said Britain would fight ISIS with Western and regional allies “in a calm, deliberate way, but with an iron determination.” And while Britain is part of a coalition against ISIS being formed by Washington, it has not joined the United States in airstrikes. The country has so far limited its involvement to supplying military equipment and ammunition to Kurdish soldiers defending their territory against the radical group.
Full Article: Cameron Under Pressure as Scotland Vote Nears – NYTimes.com.