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Stop The War


Israel and Palestine are fighting again. 17 people have died and already Israel are calling for 30,000 army reserves. Palastine attacked due to an attack on a Hamas leader.

The world is asking them to STOP NOW

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Sandy hits New York


This is how Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of America.

 

 

 

Skydive from Space


This is film footage of Felix Baumgartner breaking the record for the highest skydive ever – from the edge of the earth’s atmosphere  in  space. The Free Fall  from 39km hit 525 miles per hour (MPH) just under the speed of sound, and was sponsored by Red Bull. He was guided down by the technical expertise of staff from the  Roswell Space Center in Arizona.

Knowing (2009)


This a marvelous film I’ve recently seen on television it’s them centers on a set of numbers that are put into a time capsule by a girl only to be discovered by the son of a astrophysicist and is a set of dates and times and locations of disasters that have taken place in the 50 years and three undiscovered ones left to take place.

The film stars Nicholas Cage and the film here in its entirety.

BBC 3 – It Could Happen Here!


Stacey Dooley has been examining Europe‘s hardest hit countries in her new series .  This very caring an understanding journalist has produced a thought-provoking documentary series and it was so painful tonight to see the young people in Japan suffering from our worldwide recession.

Personally my belief is that the If the world economy‘s decline has been the product of the banking industries non-regulation and over-specularising on assets – toxic sub-prime mortgages and investments that completely crippled the US financial market and loans and investment on future returns that never were – in short a complete future investment catastrophe – banks were proving loans for the future based on a boom that was short-lived. The collapse of Lehman brothers was just the start of a horrible web of greed to show a ‘Alice in wonderland’ boost in banking profits.

Investment banks and hedge fund managers were delighting themselves in complete illusion while no regulation existed. They should hang their heard in shame everytime someoner in Japan or Greece takes their own life.

But at least Bob Diamond of Barclay’s‘s has secured his £2 million handshake from Barclay’s before he left the trough.

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Angola 3 Documentary


Amnesty International UK will host a free screening of the acclaimed documentary about the notorious case of the “Angola 3” on Tuesday 10 July.

The 2010 film – In the Land of the Free, with narration by Samuel L Jackson – tells the story of how three men – Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King – were placed in solitary confinement at Louisiana State Penitentiary (known as Angola prison) in the USA in 1972.

Wallace and Woodfox – who were convicted of the murder of prison guard Brent Miller, a crime they have vigorously denied – have now spent the last 40 years in solitary. King, who was convicted of a different crime, spent 29 years in solitary confinement at Angola until his release in 2001. He will appear on a panel with the film’s director to discuss the case after the film screening.

Amnesty is currently calling on the Louisiana authorities to remove Wallace and Woodfox from solitary confinement, and is challenging the authorities’ contention that the pair remain a threat to prison employees and others (see http://amn.st/MQcp2U). Meanwhile, Woodfox’s lawyers are pursuing a claim of racial discrimination in jury selection at his 1998 retrial. This could see his conviction overturned (for the third time) and lead to his release.

Source: Amnesty  See also Angola 3 Film

Hawking placed $100 dollar bet


Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking said Wednesday the Nobel Prize should be given to Peter Higgs, the man who gave his name to the Higgs boson particle. Former Cambridge University professor Hawking also joked that the discovery had actually cost him $100 in a bet.

In an interview with the BBC Wednesday, Hawking, who has motor neurone disease, said: “This is an important result and should earn Peter Higgs the Nobel Prize. “But it is a pity in a way because the great advances in physics have come from experiments that gave results we didn’t expect.

“For this reason I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn’t be found. It seems I have just lost $100.” After half a century of research, physicists announced at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) Wednesday they had found a new sub-atomic particle consistent with the elusive Higgs boson which is believed to confer mass.

Hawking said the discovery was of major importance. “If the decay and other interactions of this particle are as we expect, it will be strong evidence for the so-called standard model of particle physics, the theory that expains all our experiments so far,” Hawking said.

ORG : Current Report on Mali


ORG’s April and May Global Monthly Security Briefings covered the current status of the al-Qaeda movement, and a loosely related development, the growth of the radical Boko Haram Islamist group in northern Nigeria. Since those briefings, there have been further developments. One issue of current concern relates to recent events in the West African state of Mali. Paul Rogers discusses the current security situation in Mali its context and assesses the implications of a possible foreign military intervention.

Read more

Source : Oxford Research Group

Chinese Space Flight


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

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

Source : Microsoft News (MSN)

Barclays and Libor Fixing


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

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

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

Ed Miliband the labour leader has called for a criminal investigation to take place into the Barclays Bank rate fixing but it appears Barclays are not the only high profile bank that may be affected as many other high street banks may be guilty of irregular practice – including Lloyds Bank and HSBC

The FSA have said they are unable to take legal action against Barclays due their lack of power in dealing with this sort of action in terms of mortgage lending interest powers when they were formulated.

The coalition is already reforming the regulatory regime and dismantling the regulator, the Financial Services Authority.

Mr Osbourne dubbing the period from 2005 to 2007 “the age of irresponsibility”, he attacked the previous Labour government saying it was “literally clueless” when Barclays was manipulating Libor.

 

75 years of the 999 Emergency Number


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

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

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

In other events to mark the anniversary, a special commemorative section has been set up on the Met’s Facebook page featuring video interviews with 999 operators, a wide range of photos, illustrations and facts and figures relating to the history of the service.

The site and a special new display of historical artefacts dating back to 1829, documents and photos relating to emergency communication chart the significant developments in the service between 1937, when a handful of officers used counters on large table maps to denote police cars and messages were transmitted by morse code, and the present day’s sophisticated high-tech command centres.

Metcall, Metropolitan Police, London, England

Metcall, Metropolitan Police, London, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the early days of the 1930s just 24 staff in the old Victoria Embankment headquarters of Scotland Yard dealt with a couple of hundred calls a day. Contrast this with 2012, when we have three centralised communications complexes (CCC) in Bow, Hendon and Lambeth, employing over 2,000 workers dealing with an average of 14,000 calls a day.

The system has been upgraded and redesigned numerous times over the past seven decades, leading to the sophisticated multi-screen automated service in use today that prioritises 999 and non-emergency 101 calls using interactive satellite mapping as well as access to translators in 170 languages and special text phone numbers for the deaf.

Source: Metropolitan Police and the Met’s Facebook Page.

Amnesty – It Starts With a Letter


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

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

On a personal note – I learned to letter write a lot by this organization and have been privileged to write to many people to call for the release or fair trial of other people and  urge any person to enjoy the wonderful experience of also having the opportunity to do so by joining their local group.

Manchester, where I’m currently living meets every second Wednesday of the month at Cross Street Unitarian Church.

As Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP, says in this documentary – “If people do nothing, nothing will happen!”

Below is it’s history. Go to Amnesty

Courtesy: BBC Four/Amnesty International/AP/ITV

 

George V – The Hard King


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

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

But as a parent King George V was far less successful – he bullied his children and alienated his eldest son and heir, Prince Edward. As one courtier remarked at the time, ‘the royal family are like ducks, they sit on their children’. By contrast, King George had a loving relationship with his granddaughter, and much of Queen Elizabeth’s style and commitment to duty can be traced back to this early influence.

Part2 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaWkkpgviWo

Courtesy : BBC Four and Producers

Assange Requests Ecuadorian Asylum


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

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

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

Swedish prosecutors wish to interview Assange about two cases of alleged rape and sexual molestation, in which Assange allegedly refused to wear a condom as requested by his partners, and hid the fact until they were done with intercourse. Assange has claimed he is innocent of all charges, and that the case is nothing but a smear campaign orchestrated by the Pentagon.  Assange has also complained of Sweden’s tough anti-rape laws, calling the Scandinavian country the “Saudi Arabia of feminism.”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/assange-requests-asylum-in-ecuador.html#ixzz1yL6xiJV9

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Royal Flotilla


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

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

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

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

Video : Associated Press

Indonesia Greenpeace and KFC & Facebook and Greenpeace Victory


On the 15th December 2011 last year and following a two-year campaign of mobilising, agitating and negotiating to green Facebook, the internet giant announced its goal to run on clean, renewable energy. More than 700,000 people from all over the world joined to make this possible! Facebook’s message to energy producers is clear: invest now in renewable energy, and move away from coal power.

In addition, Greenpeace and Facebook will collaborate in the promotion renewable energy and encourage major utilities to develop renewable energy sources (pdf).

The following Greenpeace campaign video from Youtube was part of the campaign that saw Facebook take up the initiative.

Now Greenpeace is calling for the giant food company KFC to stop using Indonesia’s rainforests in its paper/cardboard products including its packaging and napkins. Greenpeace is concerned that the increase of the giant will deplete more of Indonesia’s precious rainforests if the company continues to source from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). It also believes that Tiger population will suffer as a result of the increased de-forestation of Indonesia.

The photos below show how Greenpeace Indonesian activist in a protest in one of the destroyed Indonesian forests.

Red Cross Urgent Syrian Appeal


In the past few days the Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, along with two mobile health units and six doctors, have treated dozens of people in the Syrian town of Houla, where more than 100 people were killed last week.

As well as food parcels, they have distributed hygiene kits, kitchen sets and blankets to families who have fled their homes due to the ongoing fighting.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is still the only organisation able to access many of the affected areas in Syria.

Olympic Torch Arrives in Britain


This is a picture of Ben Ainslie the triple Olympic gold medalist who received the Olympic flame carried in a lantern to Lands End by the Royal Navy. He was the first of the 1000 torch bearers to carry the torch in its 8,000 mile relay across Britain and should arrive in London to open the 2012 London Olympics in 70 days time.

The BBC and ITV News teams both filmed the event and the BBC also filmed what looked like a security incident where torch bearer security prevented a member of the public who tried running next to the torch bearer.

It is due to be carried through Cornwall and into Devon, where it’s expected to reach Plymouth Hoe tonight.

The relay torch bearers both young and old, are members of the public chosen for their achievements and community activity with each torch-bearer running  300m with the torch before passing the olympic flame to another bearer’s torch.

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Murdoch Unfit for Business


Rupert Murdoch has been branded “not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company” UK Law makers said today and that he was ultimately responsible for the illegal phone hacking that has left his media empire in disarray and shown to have colluded with various parts of the establishment in Britain including the police and politicians.

They said the Mr Murdoch, the News Corp chairman, lacked credibility and that his son James Murdoch  appeared incompetent; and the company was guilty of “willful blindness” towards its staff at the News of the World tabloid.

The cross-party parliamentary committee, which approved the report by a majority of six to four, also scolded News Corp’s British newspaper arm for misleading parliament during its five-year investigation into the hacking of the phones of celebrities, murder victims, politicians and soldiers.

The Parliamentary Report published by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee entitled “News International & Phone Hacking.” that was published only today. This parliamentary file is also to be found in the Cicero Lounge File Area.

Court orders Pirate Bay Block


A UK court has ordered the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to block the Pirate Bay website for copyright violations, using technology initially  intended to block illegal pornography sites.

Pirate Bay is a torrent search engine that allows users peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing links to files and although in the past it allowed users to download  copyright material such as films, music and programs. It also though provided quite legitimate file sharing of users own produced files.

The site itself does not host or have copyright file content so a ban would mean that those sharing legitimate files through torrents would no longer be able to in the UK audience due to a Internet ISP ban of the Pirate Bay torrent search engine in the UK – another example of growing online censorship.

Could a Ban work though?

A simple ban is unlikely to work due to the fact that the site could be copied or re-hosted elsewhere – just as when WikiLeaks was ‘mirrored’ elsewhere when it faced it’s ban by ISPs through US Government pressure; however anonymizing software could bypass simple a ISP block.

The only effective way to block such torrent search engines such as Pirate Bay would require software that would inspect internet traffic – “deep packet inspection” that also blocked the anonymizing software.

Such a task the James Ball commenting in the Guardian newspaper “would require apparatus as sophisticated as the great firewall of China.”

Sky News

Professor Green “Living in Poverty” BBC documentary

Scotland Yard

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