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Showing posts from June, 2012

Chinese Space Flight

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Three Chinese astronauts have undocked their spacecraft from an orbiting robotic module and are preparing to return to Earth on Thursday night.

China's Shenzhou 9 vehicle separated from the Tiangong 1space lab Wednesday evening, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. The mission's three taikonauts, as Chinese astronauts are known, returned to Shenzhou 9 to begin the maneuver at 6 p.m. ET (6 a.m. Thursday Beijing time).

Source : Microsoft News (MSN)

Barclays and Libor Fixing

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Calls today came for the resignation of Bob Diamond the boss of Barclays Bank after the bank has been found to have adjusted the  inter-bank lending rate - known as the The Libor rate (the average interest rate that leading banks in London charge when lending to other banks) to it's own favour.

David Cameron says Barclays has "serious questions to answer" over Libor fixing and George Osborne describes the scandal as a "shocking indictment" of the banks amid calls for the bank's chief executive Bob Diamond to resign.

George Osborne on Thursday threatened tougher sanctions for banks after Barclays was hit with a record fine for trying to manipulate a benchmark interest rate. Shares in Barclays fell more than 15 per cent at one stage, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC also down sharply.

Ed Miliband the labour leader has called for a criminal investigation to take place into the Barclays Bank rate fixing but it appears Barclays are not th…

75 years of the 999 Emergency Number

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Seventy five years ago this weekend the first ever emergency number system anywhere in the world came into being in London with the introduction of the 999 call - marking a sea-change in the way the public communicated with the Metropolitan Police.

The MPS will be marking the anniversary by launching its first ever live twitter feed from one of its three central communications complexes (CCC) where 'first contact' operators answer tens of thousands of emergency calls every week.


For twelve hours on Friday 29 June, the public will be able to get an understanding into the huge variety of calls operators deal with on a daily basis - and gain insight into the pressures faced by staff as they have to make minute by minute decisions in the most difficult of circumstances.

In other events to mark the anniversary, a special commemorative section has been set up on the Met's Facebook page featuring video interviews with 999 operators, a wide range of photos, illustrations and facts an…

Amnesty - It Starts With a Letter

Amnesty International was started in 1961 by a lawyer called Peter Benenson who had heard of the arrest of two Portuguese students imprisoned for raising a toast to freedom.

It has grown to an international movement - and it all started with putting a pen to paper to help another human being gain their human rights (as provided in Universal Declaration of Human Rights created after the World War II).

On a personal note - I learnt the art of writing a letter and have been privileged to write to many Presidents, Heads of Government, and Judicial authorities and strongly urge any person to enjoy the wonderful experience of doing so by joining this important organisation.

As Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP, says in this documentary - "If people do nothing, nothing will happen!"
Below is it's history. Go to Amnesty
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/Bn04cBOYz7g?&w=300&h=250]

Courtesy: BBC Four/Amnesty International/AP/ITV
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Prisoner writes to Amnesty International (asiap…

George V - The Hard King

A two-part portrait of Elizabeth II's grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, which examines the lasting legacy of the couple who rescued the monarchy from potential disaster, and whose influence persists to this day.

Episode one focuses on King George V. George could not have been a more unlikely moderniser. Born and brought up in the Victorian age he was conservative to his fingertips. Yet in the face of unstoppable social change after the First World War he turned out to be a remarkable innovator, creating the House of Windsor, embracing democratic reform, and reinventing many of the royal traditions that we know today. When he celebrated his silver jubilee in 1935 the monarchy was more popular than ever.

But as a parent King George V was far less successful - he bullied his children and alienated his eldest son and heir, Prince Edward. As one courtier remarked at the time, 'the royal family are like ducks, they sit on their children'. By contrast, King George had a l…

Assange Requests Ecuadorian Asylum

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Julian Assange has formally requested asylum in Ecuador in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces an investigation for rape and sexual molestation.

Assange, the bombastic founder of Wikileaks, fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Tuesday. He had been under house arrest in England while awaiting the outcome of an appeal of his extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors wish to question Assange.

Assange had appealed his extradition to the European Court of Justice after losing on appeal in the Supreme Court of England, but the European Court had not yet decided whether to take up the appeal. Assange is supposed to be extradited to Stockholm by June 28.

Swedish prosecutors wish to interview Assange about two cases of alleged rape and sexual molestation, in which Assange allegedly refused to wear a condom as requested by his partners, and hid the fact until they were done with intercourse. Assange has claimed he is innocent of all charges, and that the case is nothing but …

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Royal Flotilla

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Among the highlights of the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations this weekend was the grand river pageant on the river Thames.

Over 1,000 gaily decorated private boats were present on the Thames, creating a seven-mile flotilla. The pre-event buzz and thousands of visitors flocked to the banks - including the Thames Embankment to view the spectacular event.

The cost of the River Pageant said to run to approximately £12 million, plus £2 million in VAT. And although television historian David Starkey described the flotilla as “lunacy”, and warns that the queen may not favour exuberant celebrations, but it's unlikely such criticism is likely to have much effect on those out today watching the Thames Diamond Jubilee Flotilla. Yesterday the Queen was in Ascot.

In London it's estimated 3000 plus street parties took place with many more across the South of England and also in the North. The Bank holiday will conclude on Tuesday.


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