December 1, 2010 1 Comment
January 12, 2010 Leave a comment
Hundreds of public sector workers who claim their lives have been wrecked by vaccines say the Government has abandoned them. Read more of this post
June 10, 2009 Leave a comment
Black church, community and civic leaders in Britain are outraged over the British Home Office preservation of genetic profiles of innocent African Caribbean persons, which are currently held on that country’s national criminal DNA database.
This is in flagrant violation of the European Court on Human Rights, which ruled in December 2008 that the Home Office’s current practice of retaining the genetic profiles of innocent citizens contravenes the Human Rights Act.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK Government was acting unlawfully by retaining the DNA profiles, samples and fingerprints of innocent people indefinitely. Read more of this post
March 11, 2009 Leave a comment
A silent $1 trillion “Run on Britain” by foreign investors was revealed yesterday (6th March) in the latest statistical releases from the Bank of England.
The external liabilities of banks operating in the UK – that is monies held in the UK on behalf of foreign investors – fell by $1 trillion (£700bn) between the spring and the end of 2008, representing a huge loss of funds and of confidence in the City of London.
Some $597.5bn was lost to the banks in the last quarter of last year alone, after a modest positive inflow in the summer, but a massive $682.5bn haemorrhaged in the second quarter of 2008 – a record. About 15 per cent of the monies held by foreigners in the UK were withdrawn over the period, leaving about $6 trillion. This is by far the largest withdrawal of foreign funds from the UK in recent decades – about 10 times what might flow out during a “normal” quarter.
The revelation will fuel fears that the UK’s reputation as a safe place to hold funds is being fatally comp-romised by the acute crisis in the banking system and a general trend to financial protectionism internat- ionally. This week, Lloyds became the latest bank to approach the Government for more assistance. A deal was agreed last night for the Government to insure about £260bn of assets in return for a stake of up to 75 per cent in the bank. The slide in sterling – it has shed a quarter of its value since mid-2007 – has been both cause and effect of the run on London, seemingly becoming a self-fulfilling phenomenon. The danger is that the heavy depreciation of the pound could become a rout if confidence completely evaporates.
Colin Ellis, an economist at Daiwa Securities, commented: “The outflow of overseas banks’ UK holdings is not surprising – indeed foreign investors in general will still be smarting from the sharp fall in the exchange rate last year, as many UK liabilities are priced in sterling terms. That raises the question of what could possibly tempt overseas investors to return to the UK. Further heavy outflows of funds are probably a given.”
The Bank of England said that there had been a large fall in deposits from the United States, Switzerland, offshore centres such as Jersey and the Cayman Islands, and from Russia.
January 28, 2009 Leave a comment
Gordon Brown today (27/01/09) said that he had warned of the current global financial crisis ten years ago – and that the current crisis is the birth pangs of a ‘new global order’.
The Prime Minister claimed that he had called for a stronger regulatory framework in the wake of the Asian money markets collapse in 1999.
But Mr Brown’s speech came as two new opinion polls show that Labour is losing the battle to convince voters that its anti-recession measures are working. His comments also came on the day that it emerged 75,000 jobs had been lost across the world in a single day, with more than 8,000 of them in Britain.
‘As I said in Harvard ten years ago, we need an early warning system so that international financial flows are properly monitored,’ Mr Brown said in a speech yesterday.
‘We must create a framework for the international governance that we currently lack. We must consider at a global level the regulatory deficit. For a decade I have said that the current patchwork arrangement is inadequate.’
The Prime Minister insisted the recession was just the ‘difficult birth pangs of a new global order’. Mr Brown warned that countries must see the financial crisis as the chance to forge a new financial system.
Setting the scene for April’s G20 talks in London, Mr Brown said: ‘If what happens to a bank in one country can within minutes have devastating effects for banks on a different continent, then only a truly international response of policy and governance can be effective.’
He said current ‘threats and challenges’ to the world economy should be seen as ‘the difficult birth pangs of a new global order’.
‘Our task now is nothing less than making the transition to a new internationalism with the benefits of an expanding global economy, not muddling through as pessimists, but making the necessary adjustment to a better future and setting new rules for this new global order’, he said.
January 24, 2009 Leave a comment
A British man who murdered his wife after becoming enraged when she changed her relationship status on Facebook to “single” has been jailed for at least 18 years. Edward Richardson, 41, stabbed wife Sarah, 26, to death in a “frenzied and brutal” attack at her parents’ home in Biddulph, central England, in May.
The couple had been living apart since the previous month, said Fiona Cortese, a spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service. “Richardson became enraged when Sarah changed her marital status on Facebook to single and decided to go and see her as she was not responding to his [text] messages,” Ms Cortese said. “He gained entry by breaking the front door window and made his way into the property. “He found Sarah in her bedroom and subjected her to a frenzied and brutal attack with a knife and then attempted to take his own life.” Sarah Richardson’s parents, Beryl and Alan Boote, said they were left devastated by her murder after the verdict on Thursday. “We hope that Richardson will be an old man before he’s ever allowed out of prison,” they said
December 2, 2008 Leave a comment
Haiti is ‘named the Caribbean country among 27 weak states that pose a threat to Britain’s national security as they could provide bases for terrorist training camps and raise funds undetected. It said that terrorists who raise funds in these states could then coordinate an attack on Britain.’
November 19, 2008 Leave a comment
Police raids on several hundred buildings in the United Kingdom have recovered dozens of sex trafficking victims, mostly from East and South-East Asia, and led to legal charges against dozens of suspects, according to a United Nations report released today [18/11/08].
The largest ever police operation to target sex trafficking in the UK recovered some 167 women and girls forced to work in the sex industry, including 13 children – the youngest just 15 years old.
The UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) reported that 528 suspects were arrested during the investigation, code-named Operation Pentameter 2 (UKP2), after UK police raided 157 massage parlours and saunas, and 582 residential premises across the country.
Within a month after the arrests were made, more than 80 individuals were charged for a variety of offences and a number of others remain on bail while investigations continue, said the UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) report.
The UNIAP report also noted that the bulk of criminal activity of trafficking for sexual exploitation into the UK originates in South-East Asia, where victims are controlled by debt bondage. Most of the other victims came from Eastern Europe and were coerced into the sex industry through violence.
The operation attacked suspects’ finances and assets as a strategy to cause maximum disruption to their criminal activities. Through UKP2 investigations over £500,000 (about $750,000) in cash has been seized and more than £3 million in further assets was initially restrained pending further investigation, but this figure may increase.
UNIAP was established to facilitate a stronger and more [ coordinated response to human trafficking, in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), comprising Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Source: UN news
November 13, 2008 Leave a comment
Had Prime Minister David Thompson not contested the St. John bye-election in 1987 he most likely would have joined the world of academia at none other than Oxford University in London.
As part of his introductory remarks while delivering a lecture at the world famous Oxford Union recently, Mr. Thompson
recalled how he was accepted by Oxford to pursue post-graduate studies in politics, Philosophy and Economics. However, his life and career fortunes changed, following the sudden death in June that year of former Prime Minister, the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow.
“I opted to contest the seat he had represented and won it, thereby starting my parliamentary career. My dream of
studying at Oxford was deferred,” Thompson quipped.
Speaking in the presence of several members of the Barbados Diaspora, who journeyed to Oxford for the occasion, the Prime Minister recalled that throughout the vagaries of his political career, he visited Oxford on several occasions and roamed its beautiful gardens “ruminating on whether I had made the right decision”.
“Today, 20 years later, I visit Oxford as Prime Minister of a very small island state which, it is said, punches above its weight and class. Barbados is the number one developing country on the United Nations Human Development Index,” Mr. Thompson added.
He said it was a privilege and an honour to have been invited to address the Oxford Union. “I must tell you, though, that I am neither the first Barbadian to address this Union, nor in the context of your history, am I the first to have made contact with the Oxford Union. “Those distinctions belong to the late Sir James Cameron Tudor who was the first non-white President of the Union. He later distinguished himself while serving for many years as a Member of Parliament and a Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados as the time of our Independence”.
Mr. Thompson went on to pay glowing tribute to the life and works of Sir James, pointing out that “anyone who has heard Sir James holding forth
on a political platform or during meetings of Parliament and even in ordinary discourses can easily appreciate the origin of his legendary eloquence and formidable debating skills”.
The Prime Minister said “the stock and trade” of the Oxford Union, debating, was a wholesome activity. He congratulated the current leadership of the Union for going to great lengths to preserve “this sadly depreciated skill”. “Debating requires preparation of an intellectual and personal nature, developing public speaking skills and self confidence”.
He said, however, its greatest benefit was to facilitate an exchange of views. “The absence of such exchanges breeds ignorance, suspicion and misunderstanding and is the source of many of the world’s most pressing problems,” the Prime Minister said.
Source: Barbados Advocate
October 9, 2008 1 Comment
THE world’s major central banks last night [together for the first time in history] followed the Reserve Bank of Australia and cut interest rates in a co-ordinated effort to ease pressure on a still gridlocked global financial system.
Rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve, Bank of England and central banks in China, Europe, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland followed a $1.23 trillion rescue package in Britain which included the part-nationalisation of England’s eight biggest banks.
Within hours of the British bailout being announced, the Bank of England cut official interest rates by 0.5 of a percentage point to 4.5 per cent as part of the co-ordinated global effort. The US Fed reduced its key rate from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said co-ordinated action was the only way to confront an “unprecedented financial storm”.
The move was designed to restore confidence and limit the spread of the crisis from financial markets to the real economy. The IMF yesterday cut its forecast for world growth next year to 3per cent, with growth of close to zero in industrialised countries. It warned it could fall much further, but it expects developing countries to maintain reasonable growth levels.
Cutting interest rates can stimulate economic growth and help restore confidence to markets. But doing so may undermine a currency as investors look for better returns elsewhere. The U.S. rate is now the second-lowest among the majors, higher only than Japan.
In other New York trading, the dollar fell to 1.1041 Canadian dollars from 1.1058, and slipped to 1.1340 Swiss francs from 1.1378.
Source - Australia Press Reports
July 4, 2008 Leave a comment
Source – Wikipedia
Concern over the possible role of speculators in driving record crude oil prices has prompted the House of Commons’ Treasury select committee to hold its first hearing into regulation of London’s oil markets, John McFall, the committee’s chairman, said on Thursday.
The development is a sign that the intense political pressure to address – or, at least, be seen to address – the causes of high oil prices are emerging in Britain after initially appearing in the US. In recent weeks, Congress has held multiple hearings on the issue.
The US House of Representatives last week passed by a big margin legislation requiring the US futures and commodities watchdog, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to “utilise all its authority, including emergency powers, to take steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures markets”.
Mr McFall, a Labour MP for West Dumbartonshire, said that the two US presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, as well as independent senator Joseph Lieberman, all had expressed concern about the role of speculation in oil markets.
He said he planned to hold a hearing into the issue – set for July 15.
Mr McFall told a meeting of the UK’s parliamentary liaison committee: “There is a real problem here. We really need to some action because it’s reported there is $260bn of speculative money in the oil futures market.”
June 6, 2008 Leave a comment
An interfaith television game show, believed to be the first in Britain, in which Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh contestants compete against one another for cash prizes is to be broadcast weekly from the London studios of the Islam Channel from mid-June. Read more of this post
June 3, 2008 3 Comments
A proposed Iraqi-American security agreement will include permanent American bases in the country, and the right for the United States to strike, from within Iraqi territory, any country it considers a threat to its national security, Gulf News has learned.
Senior Iraqi military sources have told Gulf News that the long-term controversial agreement is likely to include three major items.
Under the agreement, Iraqi security institutions such as Defence, Interior and National Security ministries, as well as armament contracts, will be under American supervision for ten years.
The agreement is also likely to give American forces permanent military bases in the country, as well as the right to move against any country considered to be a threat against world stability or acting against Iraqi or American interests. Read more of this post
May 7, 2008 1 Comment
Prince William is to fight in the war against South American drug cartels.
The Household Cavalry officer will join Royal Navy patrols to catch cocaine smugglers in the Caribbean.
Both Clarence House and Armed Forces chiefs want William, 25, to gain experience as an officer in all three services and he will soon complete his four-month stint with the RAF. A senior military source said last night: “Everyone agrees he needs operational experience and to feel he is playing a vital role.
“As a possible future King it is essential for everyone in the Armed Forces to see he is doing his bit.”But there are security issues with him going to Iraq or Afghanistan as he is a massive al-Qaeda target. The Caribbean on a Royal Navy warship is an ideal tour as it has operational potential and it works diplomatically.
“Local island governors will be very pleased to see a royal visiting them.”
The Royal Navy said: “We do not routinely comment on the details of the operational deployments of either our units or our personnel.”
Source – Mirror.co.uk