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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Sex is a multibillion-dollar industry in Spain, with colorfully lit brothels staffed mainly by poor immigrant women from Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe lining highways throughout the country

Posted On 21:33 by El NACHO 0 comments

Pimps Arrested in Spain for 'Barcoding' Women

Police in Spain arrested 22 alleged pimps who purportedly tattooed women with bar codes as a sign of ownership and used violence to force them into prostitution.  Police are calling the gang the "bar code pimps." Officers freed one 19-year-old woman who had been beaten, held against her will and tattooed with a bar code and an amount of money — €2,000 ($2,650) — which investigators believe was the debt the gang wished to extort before releasing her. The woman had also been whipped, chained to a radiator and had her hair and eyebrows shaved off, according to an Interior Ministry statement.All those arrested were of Romanian nationality and had forced the women to hand over part of their earnings, the statement said. The women were tattooed on their wrists if they tried to escape, the statement said. Police also seized guns and ammunition. It was not immediately clear when the raids took place. Police seized €140,000 ($185,388) in cash, which had been hidden in a false ceiling, a large amount of gold jewelry and five vehicles, three of which were described as luxury cars. The gang was made up of two separate groups, referred to as "clans" in the statement, each dedicated to controlling prostitution along fixed stretches of a street in downtown Madrid. One of the alleged ringleaders who was identified only by the initials "I.T." is wanted by authorities in Romania for crimes linked to prostitution, the statement said. The women were controlled at all times to ensure "money was taken off them immediately," the statement said.   Sex is a multibillion-dollar industry in Spain, with colorfully lit brothels staffed mainly by poor immigrant women from Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe lining highways throughout the country. Prostitution falls in legal limbo: it is not regulated, although pimping is a crime. The northeastern city of Barcelona plans to introduce regional legislation in coming weeks banning prostitution on urban streets.


Russian banker shot six times had testified over murder plot

Posted On 07:36 by El NACHO 0 comments


The banker was left for dead by a lone gunman as he returned to his home in Canary Wharf on Tuesday evening. Scotland Yard detectives are investigating the attempted assassination, which Mr Gorbuntsov’s lawyer believes was a retaliation attack after the banker gave evidence in a 2009 attempted murder case. Mr Gorbuntsov, who fled to London because of his fear of reprisals, had recently submitted new evidence to Russian police about the attempted murder of Alexander Antonov, another Russian banker. The case was closed three years ago when three Chechen men were jailed for attempted murder. But police have never discovered who organised the attempted hit. Officers re-opened the case on March 2 this year after Mr Gorbuntsov submitted his new testimony.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Russian banker shooting: 'It looks like a contract hit'

Posted On 23:37 by El NACHO 0 comments


A former Russian banker is in a critical condition in hospital after he was shot several times in east London. German Gorbuntsov was shot by a man armed with a sub-machine gun as he entered a block of flats in Byng Street, Isle of Dogs, on Tuesday. Aleksander Nekrassov, a former Kremlin advisor, told the BBC that Mr Gorbuntsov was a "key witness" in the case of a murder attempt on another Russian banker, Alexander Antonov, in Moscow in 2009. He said: "It looks like a contract hit to be honest because a sub-machine gun is not really a weapon that would be used by some amateur"


Painkiller warning as pack contains higher dose than label says

Posted On 16:32 by El NACHO 0 comments


39,000 packs of co-codamol, which contains both paracetamol and codeine, contain higher dose tablets than is stated on the label, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said. Some of the 8mg/500mg packs actually contain 30mg/500mg tablets in the blister strips inside. The two can be told apart by markings on the side of the tablets. The 8mg/500mg tablet has the marking

on one side only. The 30mg/500mg tablet has CCD30 on one side and CP on the other. An overdose of co-codamol is serious and patients should not take more than one or two tablets every four to six hours and no more than four doses in 24-hours.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Brookside's Brian Regan jailed for Bahman Faraji murder lies

Posted On 14:55 by El NACHO 0 comments


Ex-Brookside actor Brian Regan has been jailed for lying about his part in a gangland killing. Regan's sentence can be revealed following the conviction of Jason Gabbana, 29, for ordering the murder of a nightclub doorman in Liverpool. Bahman Faraji, 44, was shot dead at close range outside the Belgrave public house in Aigburth in February 2011. Regan, 54, who played Terry Sullivan in the soap, was jailed on 25 January for four years and 10 months. Gabbana, of Score Lane in Childwall, was found guilty of murder at Liverpool Crown Court. Mr Faraji was accused by Gabbana's defence of drug dealing and running an illegal protection racket. Snorting cocaine Regan, St Marys Road, Garston, Liverpool, was cleared of murder but convicted of perverting the course of justice after it emerged he lied to police when he was first arrested, telling them he was with his partner Christine Lines at the time of the murder. Bahman Faraji was shot as he left a pub In fact he was snorting cocaine in a car as father-of-one Mr Faraji was shot dead yards away at close range on the evening of 24 February 2011. Regan admitted driving gunman Edward Heffey to and from the hit but told the jury he did not know his passenger was carrying a sawn-off shotgun and was planning to kill Mr Faraji. Regan also disposed of a pair of gloves he wore on the night. The sentence, following a trial which ended in January, could not be reported until the conclusion of the Gabbana case. Gabbana was convicted of murder by an 11 to one majority. Heffey, 40, of Beloe Street, Dingle, Liverpool, and Simon Smart, 32, of Kylemore Way, Halewood, Liverpool, who police said set up the killing, were also convicted of murder at Liverpool Crown Court. Regan's best friend Lee Dodson, 42, of Logfield Drive, Garston, Liverpool was cleared of murder. The trial heard Regan was hooked on cocaine and began dealing it to fund his habit as his showbiz career declined. Courtroom fracas After he admitted driving the gunman, the court ordered security to be stepped up around Regan and security guards sat between him and the rest of the defendants. He was also designated a "vulnerable prisoner" and held in an isolation wing in jail. When Heffey's guilty verdict was delivered, a woman and a young man in the public gallery angrily interrupted proceedings and had to be bundled out by police. Heffey appeared to lunge towards Regan in the dock and was swiftly taken down to the cells by security officers. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on Regan's girlfriend Christine Lines, 48, also of St Mary's Road, Liverpool, who was accused of perverting the course of justice by helping the ex-actor dispose of the gloves. The matter was ordered to lie on file and she will not face a retrial. Mother-of-one Lines admitted permitting or suffering her premises to be used in the supply of cocaine and was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, with a 12-month supervision requirement. Gabbana, Smart and Heffey will be sentenced either Friday or Monday, Mrs Justice Davies said.


Liver deaths at all-time high

Posted On 12:27 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

Liver disease is killing more people than ever before in England, especially in deprived areas, shows a report out today. Deaths from liver disease: implications for end of life care in England, the first national report into the problem, finds that between 2001 and 2009, deaths from liver disease rose by 25% – and that more than a third of these were from alcohol-related liver disease. In England in 2001, 9321 people died from liver disease, but by 2009 this had risen to 11,575; at the same time, deaths from other major causes fell. The report, from the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network, also showed that liver disease was a disproportionate killer of younger people, accounting for one in ten of all deaths in people in their 40s. Death from liver disease, especially alcohol-related, was much more common in men than in women – 60% of all deaths from liver disease occurred in men. Alcohol-related liver disease was responsible for 41% of deaths from liver deaths in men, and 30% of liver disease deaths in women. The most economically deprived areas of England were the most likely to have high levels of death from alcohol-related liver disease, where it accounted for 44% of all liver disease deaths, compared with 28% in the least deprived areas. Mortality also varied between regions: it was highest in North West, North East and London, and lowest in East of England, South West and South East. Professor Martin Lombard, national clinical director for liver disease, said: “The key drivers for increasing numbers of deaths from liver disease are all preventable, such as alcohol, obesity, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. We must focus our efforts and tackle this problem sooner rather than later.” Professor Julia Verne, lead author of the report and clinical lead for the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network, said: “It is crucial that commissioners and providers of health and social care services know the prevalence of liver disease in their local areas, so that more people can receive the care they need to allow them to die in the place of their choosing.”


Arrests over child prostitution network selling girls as young as 11

Posted On 12:05 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

The suspects were held this morning as part of a child exploitation investigation into the cases of 24 girls aged between 11 and 16 in Oxford. The men - aged between 21 and 37 - are now being questioned on suspicion of a string of offences including causing the prostitution of young girls, trafficking, grooming and rape. They are being held in custody at an undisclosed police station. The alleged offending is believed to span more than a six-year period. Detective Superintendent Rob Mason, of Thames Valley Police, said: ''We believe we have uncovered an organised crime group who have been running a business of selling young girls for sex.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A Nation 'Addicted' To Statins...

Posted On 18:04 by El NACHO 0 comments


Dear Reader,

In the UK alone, more than 7 million people are taking cholesterol-lowering statins. This is extremely worrying when you consider the damage these over-prescribed drugs can inflict, with side effects ranging from liver dysfunction and acute renal failure to fatigue and extreme muscle weakness (myopathy).

Slowly tearing us apart

Even more concerning are the side effects that crop up after long-term use, which are often not linked to statins. For example, one study monitored the symptoms of 40 asthma patients for a year. 20 of these patients started statins at the outset of the study, while the remaining 20 did not.

The results showed that those patients on statins used their rescue inhaler medications 72 per cent more often than they had at the start of the study, compared to a 9 per cent increase in those who were not taking statins. The researchers also reported that patients taking statins had to get up more frequently at night because of their asthma and also had worse symptoms during the day...

Worsening asthma symptoms is just the beginning. More recent research has linked statins with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Still, doctors are very quick to reach for their prescription pads and push these drugs. There appears to be an unofficial (but widely practiced) 'statins for all' approach... especially if you are aged 50 and over.

Luckily, some mainstreamers are slowly catching on to what we've been saying for nearly a decade. In 2011, research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine drew attention to the fact that there is inadequate medical data available that proves the benefits of statins, and that many studies fail to acknowledge the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins.

The fact remains (and your doctor may still deny this) that in total, statins cause serious damage in about 4.4 per cent of those taking them, in comparison to the 2.7 per cent statin users benefiting from them... and it looks as if this message is finally getting through to medical authorities.

A case in point is simvastatin or Zocor. After being on the market for almost 3 decades and causing havoc and distress with its horrendous side effects, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally issued a warning about the use of this drug... saying that even the approved dosage can harm or even kill you!

Yep! Kill you!

All well and good

It's all fair and well and good that the FDA flagged this warning, but what's the point if doctors continue to prescribe these drugs left, right and centre?

Professor Sarah Harper, director of Oxford University's institute of population ageing, recently said that the UK's "love affair" with prescription medicine, shows how people choose to pop pills rather than follow a healthy lifestyle.

She cited the widespread use of statin drugs to 'help' protect against heart disease and lower cholesterol, instead of eating healthily, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and taking regular exercise.

By all means, I applaud Prof Harper for pushing the message that living a healthy life plays a big part in preventing disease, but why blame patients for being a bunch of pill poppers when doctors hand out drugs with reckless abandon... and recommend taking preventative drugs to ever younger age groups. So in fact, the white coats should be labelled as Big Pharma's drug pushers, because they're part of the problem... especially considering that so many people put their entire trust in their doctor and would never dream of questioning their advice. Most people take what they say as gospel.

Then there's the media, inundating Joe Public with inflammatory headlines like: 'Statins could help fight breast cancer' or 'Statins can prevent infections like pneumonia'... Not to mention their reporting on botch studies showing the 'unintended benefits' of statins, like their potential to prevent pneumonia, combat diabetes, reduce the risk of oesophageal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer — all of these so-called benefits are of course not yet proven, and highly unlikely. Still, they reach the front pages!

So, yes we might have turned into a pill popping public, but it's the mainstream and the media that have created this monster all with the help and backing of the puppet master: Big Pharma. Because as you and I know all too well, it's all about the money. 


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Second arrest after man killed at Herbie Hide's home

Posted On 17:39 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

A second person has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a man at the Norwich home of former boxing world heavyweight champion Herbie Hide. Tafadzwa Kahn, 25, of St Giles Street, Norwich, died from a stab wound at the house in Long Lane, Bawburgh, on Sunday morning. An 18-year-old man from the Norwich area was arrested on Tuesday. The first person arrested, a 16-year-old boy, remains in custody in Wymondham Police Investigation Centre. Detectives said the stabbing followed an argument at a party in the house. 'High visibility patrols' The property remains sealed while a forensic examination is carried out. Police said they would continue to provide high visibility reassurance patrols in the area. More than 100 people were at the party at the time of the stabbing. Police said earlier they were "fairly certain" Mr Hide was not on the premises at the time of the stabbing. Mr Hide told the BBC on Monday: "The reality of this right now is a man is dead. Imagine this - a lady was told her son has gone. Imagine that." A spokesman said a post-mortem examination found the cause of death was a stab wound to the body. Mr Hide and his family have relocated while investigations at the house continue. Mr Hide won the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) heavyweight title for the first time in 1994, beating American Michael Bentt, but lost it to another American, Riddick Bowe, the following year. He regained the title in 1997 and made two successful defences before losing to Vitali Klitschko in 1999.


Azhar Ahmed to stand trial over Facebook post about dead soldiers

Posted On 17:34 by El NACHO 0 comments


Azhar Ahmed, 19, appeared at Dewsbury magistrates' court charged under the Communications Act 2003 with sending a message that was grossly offensive on March 8. In court a racially-aggravated public order charge was withdrawn, but Mr Ahmed, from Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, denied the new charge. Police and demonstrators outside Dewsbury Magistrates Court (Picture: PA) He has been bailed and is due to stand trial at Huddersfield magistrates' court on July 3. There was a large police presence outside court as 50 far-right protesters staged noisy demonstrations when he arrived and left. Mr Ahmed's court appearance came as the bodies of the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan on March 6 were repatriated to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Demonstrators shouted when Azhar Ahmed arrived and left court (Picture: PA) They died when their Warrior vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Lashkar Gah in the deadliest single attack on British forces since 2001. Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was killed alongside Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.


Harry Potter Star Jamie Waylett Jailed For Two Years For Violent Disorder In London Riots

Posted On 17:28 by El NACHO 0 comments


Actor Jamie Waylett, who starred in the Harry Potter films, has been jailed for two years for being part of a violent mob during last summer's London riots. The 22-year-old, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe in six of the films, was found guilty of violent disorder by a jury at London's Wood Green Crown Court. The actor, who had already admitted swigging from a stolen bottle of Champagne during the rioting, was cleared of intending to destroy or damage property with a petrol bomb he was pictured holding. He already has a previous conviction for cannabis possession. Waylett of Hillfield Road, northwest London, was with a gang of at least four people who went into Chalk Farm on August 8, the third night of violence in the capital. He was captured on CCTV at various points during the evening, often with his hood over his head. Buildings on fire in Tottenham during the riots Judge Simon Carr sentenced the actor to two years for violent disorder and 12 months for handling stolen goods, to run concurrently. Jailing him, the judge said: "A considerable amount has been said about what happened over those few days. Anyone watching the footage in this case can only imagine the mayhem that took place on the streets. "You chose to go out on to the streets on what was the third day of the violence. "You were pictured on a number of occasions with a bottle full of petrol with a rag as a wick. "I accept entirely the jury's verdict that you did not throw or have any intention of throwing it, but merely being in possession of it would have been terrifying to anyone who saw you." Waylett will be eligible for parole after serving a year in jail. The star, who had a shaved head and a goatee beard, wore a white shirt with an open collar and a dark suit to hear the sentencing. He nodded to the public gallery as he was led down to the cells.


Monday, 19 March 2012

At least four people, including three children, were killed, when a man on a scooter opened fire outside a Jewish school in Toulouse in southwestern France

Posted On 10:55 by El NACHO 0 comments


At least four people, including three children, were killed, when a man on a scooter opened fire outside a Jewish school in Toulouse in southwestern France on Monday, officials said. The attack also left several injured, two of them seriously, and followed the killing of three soldiers in two separate shootings in the same region last week by a man who escaped on a scooter. BFM TV news channel said that the gun used in the attack at the Ozar Hatorah school was of the same calibre as that used in the soldiers’ shootings, but a spokesman for the interior ministry could not immediately confirm this. President Nicolas Sarkozy cancelled other appointments and was on his way to Toulouse on Monday morning, accompanied by Education Minister Luc Chatel and the president of the CRIF French Jewish association, Richard Prasquier. “I saw two people dead in front of the school, an adult and a child … Inside, it was a vision of horror, the bodies of two small children,” a distraught father whose child attends the school told RTL radio. “I did not find my son, apparently he fled when he saw what happened. How can they attack something as sacred as a school, attack children only sixty centimetres tall?” Several other people were injured, two of them seriously. A rabbi at the school, identified as Rahamim Sabag, told Israel’s channel two television that the dead were a 30-year old rabbi who taught at the school, the rabbi’s five-year-old son and two eight-year old children, one of them the daughter of the school’s principal. A spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, Yigal Palmor, expressed outrage at the killings: “We are following with great shock reports coming from Toulouse and we trust the French authorities will solve this crime and bring those responsible to justice.” A spokesman for the interior ministry said that security was being tightened at all Jewish schools in the country. About 50 investigators are already looking into the killings of two soldiers on Thursday in the town of Montauban, close to Toulouse, as they tried to withdraw money from a cash machine close to the barracks of the 17th parachute regiment. A third soldier was killed the previous weekend in Toulouse. Investigators had already confirmed on Friday that the same weapon had been used in both incidents.


Spain's Unicaja, Caja Espana savings banks merge

Posted On 07:05 by El NACHO 0 comments


Spanish regional savings banks Unicaja and Caja Espana have merged following the government's recent requirement that banks raise substantially their provisions set aside to cover toxic real estate exposure. The merger, in which Banco Caja Espana-Duero (Banco Ceiss) is effectively absorbed into Unicaja Banco, creates a group with approximately (EURO)80 billion ($104.9 billion) in total assets and a turnover of (EURO)120 billion ($157.4 billion), according to a joint statement released late Friday. The deal must first receive Finance Ministry and central bank approval and would require (EURO)850 million ($1114.86 million) of state aid, which is added to (EURO)525 million ($688.59 million) already injected into Caja Espana in 2010 by the Bank of Spain's restructuring fund (FROB).


German taxpayer would be obliged to subsidise the wages of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Posted On 06:57 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

When faced with the prospect of the Spanish government waiving the collective €752m debt the nation's football clubs owe to the country's tax authorities, the reaction in Europe last week was one of outrage. The German tabloid Bild even asked how long the German taxpayer would be obliged to subsidise the wages of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. What they meant was that while the European Union members bailed out the Spanish economy, successful Spanish clubs were failing to meet their own tax obligations. Strictly speaking, Real Madrid have no tax debt among the €170m debt that the club carry, but Barcelona owe €48m of their overall €364m debt to the Spanish taxman. Uli Hoeness, the outspoken president of Bayern Munich, got to the point rather more quickly when asked about the proposal to excuse Spanish clubs their tax debt. "This is unthinkable," he said. "We pay them hundreds of millions to get them out the shit and then the clubs don't pay their debts." It is a uniquely modern European dilemma, encompassing EU bail-out funds and the competitiveness of the continent's respective leading clubs, all of which ultimately adds another fiendishly complex element to the concept of Financial Fair Play, as proposed by Uefa president Michel Platini. It is further proof that while Spanish football is undoubtedly top dog in Europe, with five teams in the quarter-finals of the two Uefa competitions, it is not without problems. As The Independent's Pete Jenson reported in these pages on Saturday, a government report in Spain last week disclosed that the equivalent of £625m is owed by Spanish clubs to the country's public purse, with £353m of that due from 14 of the 20 clubs in the top division. This is not money owed to banks, investors or owners. It is owed to the Spanish people. On a sporting level it is "financial doping" at its very worse. On a social level it is nothing short of a disgrace in a country where youth unemployment currently runs at 50 per cent. Not all top Spanish clubs are culpable and it was reassuring to read in the breakdown of club debt by AS newspaper that Athletic Bilbao, the team of largely home-grown Basque stars who left English football spellbound with their schooling of Manchester United last week, do not owe the taxman a cent. So too Real Sociedad, Getafe, Villarreal and Sporting Gijon. On the other hand, Atletico Madrid, currently eighth in La Liga and drawn against Hannover 96 in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, owe the Spanish public purse €155m (£128m), more than any other club. The money from the €50m sale of Sergio Aguero to Manchester City last summer went straight to the tax authorities. Valencia, who play AZ Alkmaar in the same stage of the competition, owe €6m in unpaid tax. When Hoeness expressed German football's bitterness that their government is, indirectly, subsidising the success of Spanish clubs it is the likes of Hannover he was talking about. Atletico's big signing was Falcao from Porto last summer, a £33m signing financed by third-party ownership deals. Hannover bought Mame Biram Diouf from Manchester United. Enough said. No one would pretend that British football is the perfect financial model, especially given Rangers' and Portsmouth's debts to HMRC. Even the Germans have had their problems with Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. But unpaid taxes at a time when public services are being cut and jobs lost are particularly repugnant. Real Betis, Real Zaragoza, Racing Santander, Levante and Mallorca (denied a place in last season's Europa League because of their finances) owe a total of €118m to the Spanish tax authorities between them. There are also suggestions that unpaid social security contributions by some Spanish clubs rival those eye-watering figures for unpaid tax. In the past, Spanish football has been protected by the assumption that punishing badly-run clubs would cause such a backlash against government by voters that it would not be politically expedient. There is no points penalty in Spain for going into the equivalent of financial administration as there is in England. But attitudes are changing. The governing political group Partido Popular has described the situation as "intolerable". The government was forced to disclose the figures of unpaid tax because of an official request by Caridad Garcia of the Izquierda Unida (IU) party. A spokesman for IU, José Luis Centella, made the connection last week between the financial hardship felt by the Spanish people and the clubs' failure to pay. "This is bad news for all the people who have lost homes and suffered from the cutbacks while there is this tremendous generosity towards football." Wisely, the Spanish sports minister Miguel Cardenal announced last week that the government had dropped any consideration of giving football clubs a clean slate on their tax debts. There has even been a call from the centre-left party PSOE to ban clubs with tax debts from competing in the league, a rule that, already in place in Italian football, would change the face of La Liga overnight. Were the Spanish tax authorities to call in their debts tomorrow, Barcelona would surely be able to find, or borrow, the €48m they owe. Atletico, on the other hand, would find themselves in the kind of dire situation currently enveloping Rangers. There is a lesson for English football that in the risky game of investment and borrowing that most clubs enter as they attempt to fulfil the ambitions of supporters and owners, there are certain obligations that are non-negotiable. Football clubs command such loyalty and affection that they are too often cut slack, but, as the situation in Spain is starting to show, there is always a limit. Ridicule of Richards the last straw Down the years, Sir Dave Richards has given every appearance of being invulnerable to criticism or error of judgement. He has survived adversaries in the Football Association such as Lord Triesman and Ian Watmore in recent years. The financial problems of Sheffield Wednesday, where he was chairman, do not seem to have had an impact on his reputation. He walked out on the 2018 World Cup bid in a huff and it all blew over. Which makes it all the more incredible that an ornamental fountain, and a slightly unhinged but largely irrelevant speech on football, should prove his undoing. It just goes to shows that a divisive figure in football administration can survive a great deal but once their mistakes start to make people laugh – it's over. Will City seize their chance to get Mourinho? When Manchester City meet Chelsea on Wednesday, the shadow of one man falls over both clubs. Jose Mourinho is the last card that the most ambitious football club owners can play. If all else fails, then give Mourinho the job and if that does not bring success then you really are out of options. In Spain, the mood is that Mourinho may stay at Real Madrid in the penultimate year of his contract next season or he may go back to England if the right job presents itself. Is that Chelsea or could it be City? If Roberto Mancini fails to win the title this season and Mourinho is willing to come then it places an idea in the heads of City's owners. It is not as if he is available every summer.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Police plans to fire rubber bullets in London

Posted On 02:54 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

Scotland Yard authorised the deployment of rubber bullets ready for use on the streets of London 22 times in the past two years, The Independent can reveal. The figure suggests the Metropolitan Police had considered ordering its officers to open fire during public disorder incidents far more frequently than previously thought. The Yard yesterday refused to say on what dates and during which situations it ordered some of the nearly 3,000 baton rounds it possesses to be distributed to firearms teams. It said the release of such information could endanger future policing operations. The revelation that the Met authorised the distribution of the non-lethal rounds on average almost once a month in 2010 and 2011 follows the disclosure earlier this week that senior officers wanted to fire rubber bullets at rioters in south London last summer – but firearms specialists could not reach the trouble spots in time. The Met has now promised to make "more agile use" of the weapons. Although they have been used in Northern Ireland for many years, baton rounds have never been fired on the British mainland. Even in the extreme circumstances of last August's riots their use would have been seen as a significant escalation in police tactics and a move away from Britain's consensual policing model. The figures, obtained by the Liberal Democrat peer Dee Doocey, are an indication of an increasingly muscular response to what police believe is the increased threat to officers and the public from gangs or individuals bent on violent disorder. But campaigners argue that the use of non-lethal firearms in crowd control has no place in policing on the British mainland. The Yard was criticised last year when it released a statement saying that baton rounds – referred to by police as attenuating energy projectiles (AEPs) – might be deployed if extreme disorder occurred during a protest in London against tuition fees. In a written answer to a question last month from Baroness Doocey, the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, confirmed on behalf of the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, that the force had "authorised the movement" of rubber bullets 22 times in 2010 and 2011. But he said details of the incidents would only be given under conditions of secrecy because, if made public, they could compromise future operations. Lady Doocey, a member of the Greater London Authority and the Metropolitan Police Authority until it was replaced with a new body in January, said the disclosure of the precise dates was in the public interest. She told The Independent: "I have long believed rubber bullets have no role in policing demonstrations in London. This secrecy over their potential use merely confirms that view. It is simply wrong for the Met to be silent when on so many occasions the use of rubber bullets was being considered." Rubber bullets are designed to offer a non-lethal alternative to conventional firearms and police argue modern AEPs pose less threat of serious injury. Between 2006 and October 2011, the Met Police bought 2,700 AEP rounds. It said it could not produce figures for baton round deployments in previous years, adding that it followed strict guidelines designed to protect life and prevent serious injury. Opinion about rubber bullets remains divided within police ranks. A Met Police review of last summer's riots revealed officers dealing with violence in Enfield and Brixton decided against deploying the weapons because they believed it would escalate the confrontation. During the rioting, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said he did not consider the deployment of rubber bullets in London to be sensible in "any way, shape or form".


Thursday, 15 March 2012

The former chief reporter of the News of the World was arrested yesterday by police investigating the phone hacking scandal, on suspicion of intimidating a witness.

Posted On 02:18 by El NACHO 0 comments

Neville Thurlbeck, 50, who was also news editor on the defunct Sunday tabloid, was detained by appointment at a central London police station by officers from Operation Weeting a day after his former editor, Rebekah Brooks, was arrested with five others on suspicion of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. He was later released on bail. Yesterday's arrest came as James Murdoch used a letter to the House of Commons media select committee to distance himself once more from any wrongdoing inside News International (NI). He blamed two former trusted lieutenants, Colin Myler and Tom Crone, claiming there were "inconsistencies" in their evidence to MPs. Mr Thurlbeck has been a central figure in the unfolding phone-hacking saga since being named in the so-called "for Neville" email. This showed voicemail interception went beyond a single "rogue" reporter at the NOTW. He was arrested last year on suspicion of conspiring to hack phones and eavesdropping voicemail messages. During recent months, he has adopted a higher media profile, with broadcast appearances and the launch of a blog commenting on developments in the crisis enveloping NI. In a blog entry last week, Mr Thurlbeck revealed how Will Lewis, a key member of News Corp's Management and Standards Committee, which has been marshalling millions of internal NI emails to Scotland Yard, had hired a private security company to provide security at his home. Mr Thurlbeck published the name of the security company, noting that it had spent several hours at Mr Lewis's home, and gave the name of the street where the NI executive lives. In a subsequent blog, Mr Thurlbeck, who is suing his former employer for unfair dismissal, said his story had prompted approaches from lawyers and a public relations company representing Mr Lewis, asking for the removal of his posting. He claimed it was suggested to him that the details he had provided about the security company "somehow implied I had put [Mr Lewis's] home under surveillance. Bonkers!". He added: "I accepted their point that printing the name of his street was distressing to his family and took this down immediately as I have absolutely no wish to do this. Although I have not been asked to do so, I would like to apologise to Mrs Lewis for any distress." A spokesman for the Management and Standards Committee declined to comment last night on Mr Thurlbeck's arrest. Meanwhile Mr Murdoch has sought to influence the parliamentary report into phone hacking, which is expected to be published before the Easter recess, by telling the committee that he did not mislead them, that he never tried to hide wrongdoing at the NOTW, and that when he did ask questions about what was going on, he was given "false assurances" by senior executives at Wapping. In a personal letter to John Whittingdale, chair of the media select committee, the former executive chairman of NI initially takes responsibility "for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier". However, the limited apologetic tone of his seven page letter, in which he accepts that it "would have been better if I had asked more questions", also contains evidence of anger directed at former trusted lieutenants inside NI. He says he relied too much on people who assured him that investigations had been carried out and who claimed that further inquiries were unnecessary. The former NOTW editor, Colin Myler, and News Group Newspaper's former legal manager, Tom Crone, are named repeatedly and described as offering "inconsistencies" to Parliament, while Mr Murdoch says his own evidence "has always been consistent". The letter states: "The truth is that incomplete answers and what now appears to be false assurances were given to the questions that I asked." In summaries of earlier evidence to the committee, he says he was "never intimately involved with the workings of the NOTW"; and on key meetings that discussed how senior executives were dealing with the emerging hacking culture, he says: "I was given a narrower set of facts than I should have been given..." He also says that if "Messrs Crone and Myler" had given him the highly critical private opinion offered in 2008 by NI's leading counsel, Michael Silverleaf QC, which described "widespread wrongdoing", then he would have "acted differently". He ends his letter by repeating that he neither knew about, nor attempted to hide, wrongdoing, and tells MPs: "The evidence does not support any other conclusion." James Murdoch: What he wrote "I take my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing earlier. However, I have not misled Parliament. I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing. I do not believe the evidence before you supports any other conclusion..." "It has been said I did not ask enough questions. However, the truth is that incomplete answers and what now appears to be false assurances were given to the questions that I asked."


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

James Murdoch pleads innocence ahead of committee report

Posted On 23:22 by El NACHO 0 comments

James Murdoch has written to an influential parliamentary committee, investigating a phone hacking scandal at his company, to apologise and restate his innocence ahead of a potentially damaging report that could determine his future in Britain. The 39-year-old son of Rupert wrote to the committee to accept responsibility for failing to uncover the criminal behaviour, which has damaged the reputation of the News Corp media empire, British politicians and police. At stake is his role as chairman of British pay-TV group BSkyB and potentially his future at News Corp, where he had for years been marked out as the heir apparent to his father Rupert as chief executive.   "I did not know about, nor did I try to hide, wrongdoing," he said in the letter published by the committee on Wednesday. "Whilst I accept my share of responsibility for not uncovering wrongdoing sooner, I did not mislead parliament and the evidence does not support any other conclusion." Analysts and some shareholders believe Murdoch would struggle to remain at BSkyB if he is singled out for particular criticism as it could impact his ability to negotiate with the government and regulators on behalf of one of Britain's most powerful media firms. The all-party committee summoned James and his father Rupert to a hearing at the height of the scandal last July, for a three-hour often testy grilling that was watched live by millions on television in both Britain and the United States. Just four months later, the younger Murdoch had to return to answer further detailed questions over what he knew and when after two former colleagues publicly contradicted his evidence. News Corp's British newspaper arm News International had long argued that the hacking of voicemails to generate stories was the work of a single rogue reporter and private investigator who had already gone to jail for the crime. But as more people came forward to accuse the company of hacking their phones, that defence crumbled and attention turned to those at the top of the company and it was asked why they had not pushed further to discover the truth. "Clearly, with the benefit of hindsight, I acknowledge that wrongdoing should have been uncovered earlier," Murdoch said in his letter. The parliamentary committee had originally planned to publish its report before Christmas but due to the sensitivity of the material it is having to write the document by committee and is now aiming for the Easter holiday in April.


British man, wife killed at Thai resort

Posted On 17:11 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

POLICE say a British man and his Thai wife have been robbed and beaten to death at a seaside resort south of Bangkok. Police Major General Wichean Tantawiriya says three Thai men - a security guard and chef at the resort and their friend - were arrested today and had confessed to killing the couple and taking a mobile phone and 5000 baht ($155). Wichean says the bodies of Michael Raymond, 68, and Suchada Bowkamdee, 52, were discovered yesterday in their bungalow at the Jack Beach Resort in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, 350km south of Bangkok. He says they had checked in a day earlier. Wichean says two of the three suspects were addicted to methamphetamine, a stimulant, and needed money to buy drugs.


Goldman Sachs director quits 'morally bankrupt' Wall Street bank

Posted On 16:02 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

A Goldman Sachs director in London has resigned after publishing a devastating open letter accusing senior staff of being "morally bankrupt" and bent on extracting maximum fees from clients by offloading unsuitable investment products. Greg Smith, who has left his post as executive director of the firm's equity derivatives business in Europe, claimed that chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn have "lost hold of the firm's culture on their watch". He added that "this decline in the firm's moral fibre represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival".. Smith's charges, which were swiftly denied by the bank, were published in Wednesday's New York Times and raised questions about the firm's relationship with existing clients, whom Smith claimed were referred to as "muppets". Lord Oakeshott, the Liberal Democrat peer and his party's former Treasury spokesman in the Lords, said the matter raised questions about any relationship between the UK government and Goldman. Smith, who joined Goldman as a summer intern and worked at the firm for 12 years, first in New York and then in London, claimed managing directors made their remarks about "muppets" in internal email. "I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It's purely about how we can make the most possible money off them." Selected as one of 10 people, out of a firm of 30,000, to appear in a Goldman recruiting video which is played on college campuses around the world, Smith has hired and mentored new recruits and managed a summer intern programme for the bank. "I knew it was time to leave when I realised I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work," he wrote. He said junior analysts are absorbing a culture in which the most important question is "how much money did we make off the client?", and that hearing talk of "muppets," "ripping eyeballs out" and "getting paid" will not turn them into "model citizens". "Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an axe murderer) you will be promoted to a position of influence." In response, Goldman Sachs denied that Smith was giving an accurate view of life at the company. "We disagree with the views expressed, which we don't think reflect the way we run our business. In our view, we will only be successful if our clients are successful. This fundamental truth lies at the heart of how we conduct ourselves," the bank said. Fast-track to promotion Smith claims to have advised the five largest US asset managers, Middle East and Asian sovereign wealth funds, and the world's two largest hedge funds. His letter did not name them, but Bloomberg ranks Man Group and Bridgewater Associates as the biggest hedge funds. The LibDem peer Oakeshott said: "We know in the City that Goldmans help themselves before their clients. Now here's the proof. Greg Smith says you get promoted there if you make enough money for the firm and you are not an axe murderer - and the people of Greece and the rest of the eurozone are paying the price after Goldmans cooked their books and Greece joined the euro at an unsustainably high exchange rate. Until this culture is stamped out, Goldmans are not fit and proper to receive a penny of British taxpayers' money or advise our government in any way." Goldman is among the gilt-edged market makers which help to facilitate trading in UK government bonds. Smith claims the fast-track to a Goldman promotion involves persuading clients to invest in stocks or other products "that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit"; getting clients to trade "whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman" – referred to internally as "hunting elephants" and securing a job trading "any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym". Goldman has lost the "secret sauce" that allowed it to endure for 143 years and is at risk of losing its clients' trust, wrote Smith: "Goldman Sachs is one of the world's largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act in this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for."


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Rebekah Brooks and husband arrested in phone hacking inquiry

Posted On 11:13 by El NACHO 0 comments

REBEKAH Brooks and her racehorse trainer husband are among six suspects arrested today by detectives investigating allegations of phone hacking at News International. The former News International chief executive and Charlie Brooks were arrested at their Oxfordshire home on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, sources said. Police are searching several addresses after dawn raids also took place in London, Hampshire and Hertfordshire, Scotland Yard said. Ms Brooks, a former editor of The Sun, had been on bail after being questioned by detectives last summer on suspicion of phone hacking and corruption. Today’s arrest comes after her lawyer, Stephen Parkinson, said evidence given by Sue Akers at the Leveson Inquiry had brought “much prejudicial material” into the public domain.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Rioter who attacked Malaysian student jailed for seven years

Posted On 08:38 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

Beau Isagba, now 18, was last month found guilty of the attack, which has become a symbol of the riots after a video of the student's ordeal was by millions around the world on YouTube. Isagba punched 20-year-old Mr Rossli before stealing his bicycle. As the victim slumped bleeding to the pavement, clutching his jaw, a gang posing as "Good Samaritans" then rifled through his rucksack before fleeing. On Friday a judge sentenced Isgaba to a total of 84 months for the attack and other convictions including carrying a blade and cannabis possession. While sentencing him, the judge said Isgaba represented the "worst aspects" of society. Jailing him at Wood Green Crown Court in north London, Judge Witold Pawlak said: "You represent the worst aspects. On the 8th of August you behaved like a thug, and without any compassion.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Stalking to become a crime for 1st time with offenders facing up to 5 years in jail

Posted On 14:42 by El NACHO 0 comments


Stalking is to become a crime for the first time, with offenders facing jail for up to five years and unlimited fines. After decades of debate, David Cameron will announce today that the Government is to change the law to protect tens of thousands of victims let down by the system. Currently, police must wait until  suspects commit another crime – such as harassment or breaching a restraining order – before they act. Scroll down for video Beauty consultant Clare Bernal, 22, was shot dead in Harvey Nichols by her former boyfriend Slovakian Michael Pech, 30, who she had dated for just two weeks. Pech on bail was awaiting sentence for breaching a restraining order and harassment of Clare when he shot her four times before turning the gun on himself As a result, only 2 per cent of stalkers are jailed, with the maximum sentence being six months if pursued under the Protection from Harassment Act. Mr Cameron will unveil plans to reform the law at Downing Street alongside Tricia Bernal, whose daughter Clare was shot dead by her former boyfriend in a Harvey Nichols store in Knightsbridge.     Also at No 10 today will be Claire Waxman, who was subjected to an eight-year campaign of harassment by Elliot Fogel. The former Sky Sports news producer stalked his ex-classmate for nearly a decade, Googling her name 40,000 times in a year and posing as a prospective parent at her child’s nursery. He was finally jailed for two years after breaching a restraining order. Tricia Bernal, pictured with her daughter Clare who was shot dead by Pech on September 13, 2005, will appear alongside David Cameron when he announces changes to the law today Mr Cameron will say today: ‘Stalking is an abhorrent crime. It makes life a living hell for the victims – breaking up relationships, forcing the victims to move house, making them feel they are being watched 24 hours of the day. ‘That is why we are criminalising stalking, to make sure justice is done, protect the victims and show that stalking is a crime.’ A Downing Street source added: ‘Stalking will carry a sentence of six months and stalking with violence a maximum of five years.’ Cross-party MPs who examined the existing law concluded it was not fit for purpose. Even stalkers  who had broken into victims’ homes or threatened to kill them escaped with community punishments and suspended sentences. The British Crime Survey suggests 120,000 people are stalked a year, with many claiming their concerns are not taken seriously by the authorities.   Some stalkers who continually flout restraining orders go on to murder their victims, according  to probation officers’ union Napo. CLARE BERNAL WAS SHOT FOUR TIMES BY HER  STALKER Beauty consultant Clare Bernal, 22, was shot dead by a stalker she briefly dated while working at the Knightsbridge Harvey Nichols store. Clare dated 30-year-old Slovakian Michael Pech, a former security guard at the department store, for just three weeks. But after they broke up Pech started following her, pestering her with phone calls, standing outside her house and bombarding her with text messages. Her mother Tricia Bernal has told how Clare felt she had no where to turn, couldn't sleep at night and became physical exhausted from the constant harassment.    He was arrested for breaking a restraining order and found guilty of harassment but while awaiting sentence he went to Slovakia and bought a gun. On September 13, 2005, just as Harvey Nichols was due to close, he walked up behind Clare and shot her four times in the head before turning the gun on himself. Mrs Bernal, from Tunbridge Wells, last night welcomed moves to strengthen laws against stalkers to prevent anyone suffering the way her daughter did.


Police divers search for head and limbs of Gemma McCluskie

Posted On 13:26 by El NACHO 0 comments


Frogmen from Scotland Yard's Marine Support Unit are in Regent's Canal in Hackney, east London, where the torso was found this week. Ms McCluskie's brother Tony is thought to have been arrested yesterday at his home in Bethnal Green, east London, where he lives with his mother and where his sister disappeared from last week. His mobile phone number was among those that appeared on a missing person's poster he himself helped circulate around the local area when Ms McCluskie disappeared. The limbless corpse was dragged from Regent's Canal by the Metropolitan police, with sources indicating it had been identified as 29-year-old Ms McCluskie. Relatives and former co-stars were said to be 'fearing the worst' while awaiting official results of forensic tests. Police sources said the unclothed body's arms, legs and head had been hacked off before it was found floating in the waterway. 'At this early stage officers believe they know the identity of the victim but must await further forensic tests before formal identification can take place,' a Met spokeswoman said. 'Police were initially contacted by a member of the public who had noticed something suspicious floating in the water. The torso was recovered by divers from the Met's Marine Support Unit (MSU) and additional searches are due to be carried out in the water.' The actress, who played Kerry Skinner for 30 episodes in 2001, had been missing since March 1, sparking a frantic search. Past and present cast members on the flagship BBC1 soap including Martine McCutcheon, Brooke Kinsella and Natalie Cassidy had appealed for information about the actress via Twitter and other social networking websites. Brooke Ms Kinsella tweeted: 'Please get in touch if you have seen her.' Ms McCluskie's brother Danny said her family was 'going out of our mind with worry' after she disappeared from her home in Bethnal Green last week. 'Her phone has been switched off since Thursday afternoon,' he said. 'We've not heard from her.' More than 100 people helped carry out a search for Ms McCluskie, with posters being put in shops and pubs while leaflets were handed out. A statement from Scotland Yard issued after the body was found said: 'A body was found in Regents Canal near Broadway Market in East London at 2.40pm. 'Enquiries are underway to establish the identity of the deceased. A post-mortem will be scheduled to ascertain the cause of death. 'Pending that post-mortem we will be treating the death as unexplained.'


The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb that killed six British soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan

Posted On 13:17 by El NACHO 0 comments

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the roadside bomb that killed six British soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan, saying they were "very proud of it".

The Ministry of Defence has named six soldiers killed in the biggest single loss of life in Afghanistan, including three from the same town.
Image 1 of 4
From top left: Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley and Private Anthony Frampton. From bottom left: Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade and Private Daniel Wilford Photo: MOD

Sources had already indicated the device that killed the six men – five of whom were under the age of 22 – was not a legacy bomb but one planted "recently".

They were named today as Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19, and Pte Daniel Wade, 20, Cpl Jake Hartley, 20, Pte Anthony Frampton, 20, and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21.

In a statement on their website, the Taliban said: "Mujahedeen (holy warriors) of the Islamic emirate have reported that a landmine of mujahedeen blew apart a tank of British invading forces in Greshk district.

"All the invaders on board were incinerated."

One told the BBC the insurgents were "very proud" of the attack.


Biggest solar storm in years races toward Earth

Posted On 08:54 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

The largest solar storm in five years was due to arrive on Earth early Thursday, promising to shake the globe's magnetic field while expanding the Northern Lights. The storm started with a massive solar flare earlier in the week and grew as it raced outward from the sun, expanding like a giant soap bubble, scientists said. When it strikes, the particles will be moving at 4 million mph. "It's hitting us right in the nose," said Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. The massive cloud of charged particles could disrupt utility grids, airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services, especially in northern areas. But the same blast could also paint colorful auroras farther from the poles than normal. Astronomers say the sun has been relatively quiet for some time. And this storm, while strong, may seem fiercer because Earth has been lulled by several years of weak solar activity. The storm is part of the sun's normal 11-year cycle, which is supposed to reach peak storminess next year. Solar storms don't harm people, but they do disrupt technology. And during the last peak around 2002, experts learned that GPS was vulnerable to solar outbursts. Because new technology has flourished since then, scientists could discover that some new systems are also at risk, said Jeffrey Hughes, director of the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling at Boston University. A decade ago, this type of solar storm happened a couple of times a year, Hughes said. "This is a good-size event, but not the extreme type," said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator for the federal government's Space Weather Prediction Center. The sun erupted Tuesday evening, and the most noticeable effects should arrive here between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. EST Thursday, according to forecasters at the space weather center. The effects could linger through Friday morning. Center forecaster Rob Steenburgh said that as of 2:30 a.m. EST Thursday, there were no noticeable effects on Earth. But he said there were some indications from a satellite, which registered a slight rise in low energy particles. The region of the sun that erupted can still send more blasts our way, Kunches said. He said another set of active sunspots is ready to aim at Earth right after this. "This is a big sun spot group, particularly nasty," NASA solar physicist David Hathaway said. "Things are really twisted up and mixed up. It keeps flaring." Storms like this start with sun spots, Hathaway said. Then comes an initial solar flare of subatomic particles that resemble a filament coming out of the sun. That part already hit Earth only minutes after the initial burst, bringing radio and radiation disturbances. After that comes the coronal mass ejection, which looks like a growing bubble and takes a couple days to reach Earth. It's that ejection that could cause magnetic disruptions Thursday. "It could give us a bit of a jolt," NASA solar physicist Alex Young said. The storm follows an earlier, weaker solar eruption that happened Sunday, Kunches said. For North America, the good part of a solar storm — the one that creates more noticeable auroras or Northern Lights — will peak Thursday evening. Auroras could dip as far south as the Great Lakes states or lower, Kunches said, but a full moon will make them harder to see. Auroras are "probably the treat we get when the sun erupts," Kunches said. Still, the potential for problems is widespread. Solar storms have three ways they can disrupt technology on Earth: with magnetic, radio and radiation emissions. This is an unusual situation, when all three types of solar storm disruptions are likely to be strong, Kunches said. That makes it the strongest overall since December 2006. That means "a whole host of things" could follow, he said. North American utilities are monitoring for abnormalities on their grids and have contingency plans, said Kimberly Mielcarek, spokeswoman for the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, a consortium of electricity grid operators. In 1989, a strong solar storm knocked out the power grid in Quebec, causing 6 million people to lose power. Solar storms can also make global positioning systems less accurate and cause GPS outages. The storm could trigger communication problems and additional radiation around the north and south poles — a risk that will probably force airlines to reroute flights. Some already have done so, Kunches said. Satellites could be affected, too. NASA spokesman Rob Navias said the space agency isn't taking any extra precautions to protect astronauts on the International Space Station from added radiation.


The shooting of three IRA members by the SAS in March 1988 is linked to a major review commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron

Posted On 07:34 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

The shooting of three IRA members by the SAS in March 1988 is linked to a major review commissioned by the Prime Minister David Cameron, it has emerged. Sir Desmond de Silva , PC,QC, a member of the Gibraltar Bar, was asked by the Prime Minister to chair a Review into the assassination of a well-known Belfast lawyer - Patrick Finucane, in 1989. As this case has had attached to it allegations of state collusion in the murder Sir Desmond’s Review will involve an examination of the activities of the intelligence services, the police and the army in Northern Ireland at the time. In order to properly discharge the work of this Review, Her Majesty appointed him a member of Her Privy Council. A Gibraltar connection springs from the SAS shootings of IRA operatives on the Rock. Mairead Farrell, who was one of the IRA operatives who was shot dead in Gibraltar, was engaged to be married to Seamus Finucane the brother of Patrick, whose own killing allegedly by agents of the state, Sir Desmond is currently investigating. It is understood that once the Review is complete and his Report is presented to Parliament Sir Desmond will return to his busy practice in London and abroad. Although he has been involved with the prosecution of some very high profile cases he is, perhaps, best known as a hugely successful defence QC who has, in Gibraltar alone, defended in many contested cases before the Supreme Court. On the October 12 2011 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland appointed Sir Desmond de Silva QC to carry out an independent review into state involvement in the murder of Pat Finucane in 1989. Sir Desmond de Silva is determined to expose the truth about this “appalling” murder. “I know from my work internationally over many years that it is only when the truth is fully exposed that communities can put the trauma of conflict behind them to secure a lasting peace. Naturally, I will be applying the key principles of independence, thoroughness and impartiality in carrying out my work. The Government may have set my remit but it is now for me to take the task forward independently. There have been suggestions that this Review is not capable of hearing from individuals who may have information that could assist me in my work. This is not the case; I will certainly wish to see such individuals.” Sir Desmond asked any who may be able to assist to come forward and contact the Review at any stage to provide information or make representations. BBC reported that when they met last October 2011, the family of Pat Finucane cut short a meeting with Mr Cameron after the Prime Minister failed to order an inquiry into the killing. His family have long campaigned for an independent public inquiry. Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine told reporters she felt so angry she could hardly speak. Mr Finucane’s family said they were “insulted” at the proposal for a review of the case and said they would continue their campaign for an independent public inquiry and would not participate in the review. Sir Desmond has written to the family asking them to contribute to the review.


Britain's biggest ever Ponzi scheme Kautilya Pruthi faces 14 years in jail

Posted On 07:25 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

Kautilya Pruthi, 41, swindled investors out of £38m under a scheme that resulted in massive contractual losses. Among the 800 victims were former England cricketer and Strictly Come Dancing star Darren Gough and Unchained Melody singer Jerome Flynn, who are rumoured to have lost as much as £1m each. Pruthi blew £10m in three years renting luxury homes across the South East, buying Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Jaguars, while lavishing more than £370,000 on his lovers. He confessed to fleecing investors in January and John Anderson, 46, and Kenneth Peacock, 43, were convicted of carrying on an unauthorised regulated activity earlier this week. Anderson and Peacock were cleared of a charge of recklessly making misleading false or deceptive promises.


Six dead UK soldiers set to be named

Posted On 07:10 by El NACHO 0 comments


Six British soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan by a Taliban bomb are to be named by the Ministry of Defence later. Five from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and one from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment died while on patrol on Tuesday. It is the biggest single loss of UK life in Afghanistan since 2006. Meanwhile, head of the Armed Forces General Sir David Richards has told the Times the UK will "hold its nerve" in Afghanistan. He said the British military strategy would remain unchanged, with service personnel set to continue combat operations in the region until the end of 2014. The deaths took the number of British military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 to 404. More information has emerged about Wednesday's incident. 'Powerful bomb' Senior army and intelligence officials in Helmand province told the BBC: "It was a joint Afghan National Army and British patrol from 215 Core of ANA - there was a distance between our vehicles. "It was a powerful bomb which had been planted recently. This area close to Kandahar's Maywand district is a major Taliban criss-crossing terrain - the Taliban fighters have been moving from this area from Kandahar's Panjwai to Maywand and than to Helmand province - they also would go from Helmand into Kandahar province.'' An Afghan intelligence official with the country's spy agency, the National Directorate of Security, told the BBC: "The patrols in this area were meant to deny and deprive the Taliban from movement from Kandahar into Helmand and from Helmand into Kandahar. "They knew that for quite some time that there was an increase in Taliban presence in the area, they had been active and present in the area and had been planting roadside bombs." General Richards said the progress made since entering the country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was "truly impressive". He said: "As progress continues the work of our servicemen and women will draw down but our efforts will endure. "Sadly, as we hold that course it is likely that others will lose loved ones." Some of the soldiers' colleagues spoke to the BBC last month of their fears about being posted to Afghanistan. He added that he and his troops do not "underestimate the dangers" faced in Afghanistan, but understood "the importance of the mission with which we are charged". "We will hold our nerve," he said. His comments echoed sentiments expressed by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond who said the timetable for withdrawal remained on track despite this "cowardly attack". "This will not shake our resolve to see through the mission - I believe we owe that to all the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives and put themselves at risk over the last few years," he told the BBC. The dead soldiers have now been returned to Camp Bastion in Helmand. Prime Minister David Cameron said the deaths marked a "desperately sad day for our country". "Every death and every injury reminds us of the human cost paid by our armed forces to keep our country safe," he said, at the start of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday. In a statement, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the six soldiers were on a security patrol in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle when it was caught in an explosion in Kandahar province.. The BBC understands that the area was sparsely populated and particularly unstable, with insurgents known to have planted roadside bombs there. BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said the six soldiers had been in the country for less than a month. Most of the 9,500 UK troops in Afghanistan are expected to be withdrawn by the end of 2014, when 13 years of combat operations in the country are set to cease.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Earth braces for biggest space storm in five years

Posted On 23:46 by El NACHO 0 comments


A pair of scorching explosions on the Sun's surface is sparking the biggest radiation and geomagnetic storm the Earth has experienced in five years, space weather experts said Wednesday. The storm, expected to hit Earth early Thursday US time and last through Friday, may disrupt power grids, GPS systems and satellites, and has already forced some airlines to change their routes around the polar regions. In addition to possibly garbling some of Earthlings' most prized gadgets, the event will likely give nighttime viewers in parts of Central Asia a prime look at the aurora borealis, or northern lights, on Thursday night. "Space weather has gotten very interesting over the past 24 hours," said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The fuss began late Sunday at an active region on the Sun known as 1429, with a big solar flare that was associated with a burst of solar wind and plasma known as a coronal mass ejection that hurtled in Earth's direction at some four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour).


Tributes paid to six soldiers killed in explosion in Afghanistan

Posted On 23:25 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

The five members of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment died along with a sixth soldier from the 1st Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster’s Regiment in Lashkar Gah in Helmand province on Tuesday night. Tearful tributes were paid to the five at their barracks in Warminster, Wiltshire, while prayers were being said at a church service in the town. A candle lit when 90 members of the battalion left for their tour of duty on Valentine’s Day was burning bright outside this evening. Flowers for the fallen: A soldier pays his respects in Warminster (Picture: PA) The rest of the troops will leave next month and the candle will not be extinguished until they are all home safely in November. Three-year-old Olivia-Mai McLaughlin, whose father, John, begins his tour next month, was among those who laid flowers at the barracks. Her mother, Stacey, 21, sobbed as she said: ‘They are true heroes. This loss will be felt badly by all the soldiers out there and the families back home. I just hope John comes back home safely when he goes out there.’ The men were carrying out a routine patrol when their Warrior personnel carrier was hit by the blast. Their bodies and the damaged Warrior were being recovered today. Brig Patrick Sanders, commander of Task Force Helmand, described the incident as ‘a one-off’ against the trend of improved security in the region. The deaths means 404 British servicemen and women have now died in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.


Anti-gang campaigner killed in 'gang brawl' in Cambridge

Posted On 23:24 by El NACHO 0 comments

 

An anti-gang campaigner who abandoned London to escape urban violence was stabbed to death in a suspected gang brawl in Cambridge. Father-of-three Kyjah Brown, 26, volunteered to help youngsters in his new hometown escape knife crime, but was killed after being caught up in the fight on Saturday. Mr Brown, who left Brixton, South London, for a more 'peaceful life' was enjoying a night out with two friends in Cambridge when he was attacked and left to die by the side of the road. The DJ and rapper’s two friends were rushed to hospital with serious injuries and have since been helping police with their inquiries. Friends hailed him as an 'inspiration' to youngsters seeking to avoid gang violence. Della Spencer, Cambridgeshire County Council’s black community support, said Mr Brown was known for his work helping youngsters to turn their backs on crime through music and sport. She said: 'I know he moved from London to escape knife crime and the violence and moved to Cambridge for a peaceful life.


limbless corpse was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London yesterday by the Metropolitan police, with sources indicating it has been identified as 29-year-old Ms McCluskie.

Posted On 23:21 by El NACHO 0 comments


Gemma McCluskie Gemma McCluskie had been missing since March 1 (Picture: Scotland Yard)

The limbless corpse was dragged from Regent's Canal in east London yesterday by the Metropolitan police, with sources indicating it has been identified as 29-year-old Ms McCluskie.

Relatives and former co-stars were said to be 'fearing the worst' while awaiting official results of forensic tests.

The actress, who played Kerry Skinner for 30 episodes in 2001, has been missing since March 1, sparking a frantic search.

Past and present cast members on the flagship BBC1 soap including Martine McCutcheon, Brooke Kinsella and Natalie Cassidy had appealed for information about the actress via Twitter and other social networking websites.

Gemma McCluskiePast and present EastEnders stars helped join the search for Gemma McCluskie (Picture: Metropolitan police)

Brooke Ms Kinsella tweeted: 'Please get in touch if you have seen her.'

Ms McCluskie's brother Danny said her family was 'going out of our mind with worry' after she disappeared from her home in Bethnal Green last week.

'Her phone has been switched off since Thursday afternoon,' he said. 'We've not heard from her.'

More than 100 people helped carry out a search for Ms McCluskie, with posters being put in shops and pubs while leaflets were handed out.

A statement from the Metropolitan police issued after the body was found yesterday said: 'A body was found in Regents Canal near Broadway Market in East London at 2:40pm.

'Enquiries are underway to establish the identity of the deceased. A post-mortem will be scheduled to ascertain the cause of death.

'Pending that post-mortem we will be treating the death as unexplained.'





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