Archive for the ‘ENGLAND’ Category

Helicopter Crash In South London

January 16, 2013

Huffington Post
Robert Barr

LONDON — Police say two people were killed when a helicopter crashed Wednesday during rush hour in central London after apparently hitting a construction crane on top of a building.

Two people were taken to a nearby hospital with “minor injuries,” London Ambulance Service said.

The helicopter crashed just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and the British spy agency MI6.

Video on Sky News showed wreckage burning in a street, and a large plume of black smoke rose in the area. The video from the crash scene showed a line of flaming fuel and debris.

Witness reports that the helicopter hit a crane atop a 50-story residential building, the St. George Wharf Tower, were not immediately confirmed.

The Ministry of Defense said it was not a military helicopter, and a British security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the press said the incident was not terror-related.

London Fire Brigade said it was called at 8 a.m. to a report of a crash on Wandsworth Road on the south bank of the Thames.

“There was a flash and the helicopter plunged to the ground. It exploded and you can imagine the smoke coming out of it,” Paul Ferguson, an office worker near the scene, told BBC News.

“The top of the crane was actually obscured by fog so I didn’t see the impact,” Michael Gavin told the BBC. “But I heard a bang and saw the body of the helicopter falling to the ground along with pieces of the crane and then a large plume of smoke afterwards.”

Erin Rogers, who was waiting at a bus stop near Vauxhall Station, said she “heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor.”

“Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on going, `What was that?'”

Police said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane.

Early reports indicated the crane was at St. George’s Wharf, a high rise apartment complex with apartments that offer sweeping river and city views.

The area, roughly 10 blocks from the major Waterloo train and Underground station, is extremely congested during the morning rush hour. Many commuters arrive at the main line stations from London’s southern suburbs and transfer to buses or trains there.

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LEGAL UPDATE: British Prosecutors Clarify Offensive Online Posts Law

December 19, 2012

BBC
Dec 19, 2012

New guidelines could see fewer people being charged in England and Wales for offensive messages on social networks.

The Director of Public Prosecutions said people should face a trial only if their comments on Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere go beyond being offensive.

He said the guidance combats threats and internet trolls without having a “chilling effect” on free speech.

The guidance means some people could avoid trial if they are sorry for criminal comments posted while drunk.

The guidance comes after a string of controversial cases, including the prosecution of a man who tweeted a joke threatening to blow up an airport.

Case law

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had now dealt with more than 50 cases relating to potentially criminal comments posted online – but there was so far very little case law set by senior judges to guide which trials should go ahead.

“These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law”

Keir StarmerDirector of Public Prosecutions

He said the interim guidelines, which come into force immediately, clarified which kinds of cases should be prosecuted and which would go ahead only after a rigorous assessment whether it was in the public interest to prosecute.

“The scale of the problem that we are trying to confront should not be underestimated. There are millions of messages sent by social media every day and if only a small percentage of those millions are deemed to be offensive then there is the potential for very many cases coming before our courts,” Mr Starmer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The guidance says that if someone posts a message online that clearly amounts to a credible threat of violence, specifically targets an individual or individuals, or breaches a court order designed to protect someone, then the person behind the message should face prosecution.

People who receive malicious messages and pass them on, such as by retweeting, could also fall foul of the law.

However, online posts that are merely “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false” would face a much tougher test before the individual could be charged under laws designed to prevent malicious communications.

Mr Starmer said that many suspects in this last category would be unlikely to be prosecuted because it would not be in the public interest to take them to court.

This could include posts made by drunk people who, on sobering up, take swift action to delete the communication because they are genuinely sorry for the offence or harm they caused.

Individuals who post messages as part of a separate crime, such as a plan to import drugs, would face prosecution for that offence, as is currently the case…

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UK Police Launch Mugshots Database to Catch Criminals Who Move Around The Country

November 12, 2012

The Independent

Detectives say face-matching technology is a ‘game changer’, but doubts remain on what data should be held

The photographs of millions of people are being put on a national police database for the first time next year to try to stop criminals escaping detection simply by moving around the country.

From March detectives will be able to compare suspects’ images with an estimated 16 million mugshots of people taken into police custody, using Facebook-style photo technology that has never before been available to forces on a nationwide system.

However, campaigners raised concerns yesterday about breaches of civil liberties, with the pictures of people not convicted of any offence being held on the system, and police tactics changing to make use of the new photographic resource.

The system is an extension of the police national database (PND), which was established in 2011 following recommendations by a judge, prompted by the failure of intelligence sharing over the 2002 Soham murders.

Mike Barton, the Chief Constable of Durham Police and the lead on intelligence matters for the Association of Chief Police Officers, explained that with many of the 43 police forces in England and Wales using incompatible technology, police could currently compare photographs of suspects only with ones held in their own files. “This is a game changer,” he said. “A criminal from Cornwall might get away with it in Newcastle because they don’t know about him. We’re closing that door.”

The PND currently holds information on millions of people who have been convicted, cautioned or arrested, as well as driving licence holders and others not suspected or convicted of crimes. Discussions are continuing about what photographs can be kept on the database, following successful court challenges by people who have argued that their images should not be retained by the authorities.

National police guidelines introduced in 2010 say that information held on an individual “must not be excessive and must be proportionate to the risk they pose to the community”. Mr Barton said the Information Commissioner, the European Court of Human Rights and domestic court cases had all thrown up different views. “If we have to change our rules of engagement then we will,” he said.

Campaigners maintained that only those who have been convicted, or on a judge’s ruling, should have their pictures on the database.

Nick Pickles, the director of Big Brother Watch, said: “For the police to make themselves judge and jury when deciding what information they should be holding is a flagrant abuse of due process and a serious threat to people’s civil liberties,”

The technology is not currently good enough to match images retrieved from CCTV cameras with the database. Mr Barton said it would need a clear full-face shot for the computer to produce a list of possible matches.

He said it could be used, for example, if police were trying to identify photos seized during a raid on a passport forgery factory. Police were trying to get “ahead of the curve”, he said, and to capitalise on advances in technology.

National approach: The lesson of Soham

The police national database was the key recommendation from the Bichard inquiry following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.

After the murders it was found that their killer, Ian Huntley, had come to the attention of Humberside Police over eight separate sexual offences from 1995 to 1999. This information did not emerge during the vetting check on Huntley when he moved to Cambridgeshire and was appointed caretaker at Soham Village College in 2001.

Anger at the Privatisation of British Healthcare

October 11, 2012

If you were describing a country in which state assets are sold off to private investors who have close economic ties with the government then many people would think you’d be talking about a country in the post-Soviet era.

That’s the charge health campaigners are levelling against private investors in Britain who are increasingly running hospitals. Al Jazeera’s London correspondent Laurence Lee has the latest in our “Selling off Britain” series…

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GMO’s linked to aborted animals, Schmallenberg, while climate changers peddle new equine fears

March 2, 2012

Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
March 2, 2012

This week has seen one of the more shocking reports to emerge so far this year, the discovery of an unexplained bio-plague which is causing birth defects in record numbers in sheep and cattle stocks throughout English farms and in parts of the continent, believed to be linked to the Schmallenberg virus.

The Independent newspaper’s environmental beat writer Michael McCarthy wrote a piece on this topic today, attempting to combine recent animal diseases in Europe to climate change. He grabbed the opportunity to patch together what are clearly two very separate real issues, and bind them with one theoretical one: the Schmallenberg virus in sheep, African horse sickness – and ‘European warming caused by climate change’.

The problem with McCarthy’s article is that the first two are real, but the last one is pure speculation – and out of pure convenience, he’s combined all three as if they one issue. There goes our mainstram media, raising the climate change alarm:

“But scientists are warning that they may be only the first of a considerable number of new infections, including some affecting humans, which are being helped to spread north through Europe by the warming climate.”

Unfortunately, this tired practice of cheap conflation will not benefit humanity any longer.

It is yet another instance where the mainstream media is falling head over heals for climate change, while a very real environmental crisis – the ongoing infusion of GMOs into our now contaminated global food supply chain – is allowed to run completely out of control. And what are the consequences of this?

This is not the first livestock crisis to hit Europe. In the 1990′s we saw CJD, or ‘Mad Cow’ disease take numerous human lives, and more famously, Britain’s catatrophic outbreak of foot and mouth disease, a plague which was originally believed to have been caused by a natural – both ravaged herds and cost the agriculture industry and the state billions by the final tally. Foot and Mouth was eventually reported to have originated in a UK bio lab and released (intentionally, or unintentionally, has yet to be proven) into the ecosystem – a highly unnatural event. Based on this past findings of man-made pathogens, it only stands to reason that the current Schmallenberg outbreak may be the result of an unintended contamination between livestock herds and madmade industrial substances.

Infowars interviewed  GMO expert Jeffery Smith recently, where he revealed that, in fact, new discoveries on how GMOs could be ruining the internal organs and digestive tracts of livestock are coming out as we speak. He highlighted cases of aborted fetal tissue caused by a new organism only visible under an electron microscope. A study was done to determine the cause of the aborted animal fetuses and showed how when animal feed was treated with Monsanto Corp’s ‘Round-up’ chemical, there were high concentrations of this new, undiscovered deadly organism.

Jeffrey M. Smith Exposes Mystery Virus Triggering Aborted Fetuses: The Alex Jones Show, February 23, 2012

This organism was then taken to a preganant chicken where it killed the fetus within 24 to 48 hrs. It looks and acts like fungus, and is found to have caused spontaneous abortions in animals. One year ago, Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, warned the USDA of a wild spread infertility amongst livestock due to this new GMO ‘Round-up Ready’ pathogen and declared this as nothing less than “an emergency”. 

USDA has allowed Monsanto to perform its own GMO studies, and no studies conducted on humans, the population at large has exposed itself to a potential threat whereby not only is the damage done to the our human and livestock DNA is permanent, but the cost in lives and money is almost incalulable.
 
Could the recent  Schmallenberg sheep and cow crisis in the UK be somehow linked to a possible GMO-related pathogen in our food supply chain? If it is even remotely possible, one would sincerely hope that every green journalist on staff at the Independent, Guardian, Times of London, Washington Post and the New York Times – would be looking into this and related stories right this moment.

Or they could just continue to connect every natural eco or weather event… to climate change.

Scandal after scandal has hit the UN’s elite IPCC Climate Change clique, discrediting their so-called science, that same science which we were all told was ‘certain’. Since then, the public have since  realized how this scam was constructed and how truly massive it is… including Al Gore and ’scientific concensus’ members’ ties to the global Carbon Exchanges markets. Knowing this, many in the climate camp could no longer support those old computer-modelled global warming theories. It will go down in history as one of the biggest (and most lucrative) lies ever sold.

‘Green’ journalism, or more specifically – climatist journalism, has long since infected most corporate compartments of the mainline media, exhibiting an irresistible tendency to combine any emerging crisis in nature with the liberal popular mythology of global warming and climate change. Since 2005, aplocalyptic antecdotes of rising seas and computer-modeled projections of nonexistent warming have colored the green press keeping environmental activists and scientists busy chasing a phantom menace.

Proponents of the climatist ‘precautionary principle’ should beware, because there is a very dear price that humanity may be paying as a result of this flamboyant period of mythology ushered in by the likes of the UN’s IPCC clique, Al Gore, Michael Mann and James Hansen. With all the time, talent, and hundreds of billions already wasted on trying to monetize CO2 and pushing various global warming theories, real envirnomental (and actual apocolyptic events) have been allowed to ravage the ecosystem unchecked – specifically, we are talking about Monsanto’s GMO food empire, and a very, very unregulated international nuclear power industry. In the case of GMOs, it may even be too late to undo the damage.

It’s time for the public to think seriously about what would happen if the present unregulated GMO industry were to damage not only our human food supply, but our human DNA itself.

Currently, we are the guinea pigs in this global experiment.

RIOTS ARE BRITAIN’S “SOCIAL 911”

August 11, 2011

The British Prime Minister has vowed that rioters will pay for what they’ve done, as he addressed Parliament in the wake of clashes that engulfed the country. What started as a peaceful protest against police shooting a man in North London quickly grew into scenes of bedlam. London-based political analyst Sukrat Chandan believes the core of the problem is the lost generation of youth.

VISIT RT FOR MORE COVERAGE

INSURANCE GIANTS WILL USE TAXPAYERS TO BAILOUT COST FROM UK RIOTS

August 11, 2011

After the smoke clears, elites will receive windfall profits from the UK riots

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
August 11, 2011

Following any disaster, be it man-made, or ‘Act of God’, there will be many losers, but there will also be some big winners. Some people might be surprised by who is who in this story.

First, let’s look at the losers. This past week, a series of riots ravaged London and other parts of the UK. Costs to businesses is estimated so far at GBP £100 million.

The cost to the state will be even higher because of police and law enforcement overtime bills, fire services, equipment, clean-up and repair- not to mention court costs for the 1,000 or so arrests already made. And that’s not all, as we will show you in a minute.

In a time of austerity, this past week’s events will put even further strain on the public purse. Communities will also lose much- loss of confidence, loss of commerce, income and the illusion of safety.

So who are the winners? One question one should always ask after any tragedy or event is “Qui bono?”, translated in latin it means, “who benefits” ?

Surprisingly, first in the line of winners will be… the insurance companies. Received wisdom would normally have it the other way around, but in today’s world where financial institutions make their profits private, and their losses public, it appears that once again, elites will receive a profit windfall from the state.

Grahame Trudgill, head of corporate affairs for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), has announced that insurance companies have the right to reclaim any money they have paid out, under the Riot Damages Act of 1886. What this essentially means is that due to the UK Riots, Britain’s police forces will face a bill for potentially hundreds of millions of pounds from the City’s insurance syndicates, because business policy holders’ properties were damaged in the rioting because the “police effectively failed to keep law and order”.

Yes you heard that right. We will be covering their costs.

WHO PAYS THE BILL: Insurance companies will be recouping their losses from the State (PHOTO: REUTERS/ Dylan Martinez)

In recent years financial institutions like the insurance giants have found a new ready source of almost unlimited cash that enables them to maintain their precious bottom lines- governments.

Bailouts for insurance companies are now so commonplace in 21st century societies that they are accepted as legitimate. They offer a ‘no risk’ scenario for corporations.

In the past, massive payouts meant shortfalls in insurance company profits, and this was understandably bad for City of London business. Large disasters could bankrupt insurance companies, and in many cases around the world, this means that there would be no compensation for large-scale disaster victims, even if they were paying their premiums. The same could be the case with regards to financial collapses and domestic unrest.

So who underwrites the underwriters? Behind those insurance companies you will find the underwriters, or in City nomenclature, they are simply referred to as “the names”, and they are the men who, to a greater or lesser extent, run the country, and the world. And ‘the names’ never lose money. The corporation may collapse, or be restructured, but the names can never be put at risk. And here we are in the 21st century where insurance giants, like their banking cousins, have discovered in recent years that they can lean on the state, apply pressure on elected representatives who depend on their patronage, and secure cash for their coffers.

In the case of the London and UK riots, you can expect that any businesses located in new “risky zones” like Brixton, Clapham, Tottenham, Lewisham, Enfield, Birmingham or Manchester, will be expected to pay high premiums for insuring their business.

So following this particular man-made disaster- known as mass rioting and vandalism, insurance companies can demand higher premiums, and be compensated from the state- penny for penny, for any claims they have had to pay out. It’s a brilliant business, and business has never been better.

TREND: OTHER INSURANCE BAILOUTS

On a wider scope, companies like AIG have done the same following the financial collapse, cashing in on the ‘no risk’ bets made insuring ridiculous Banking and financial products which they knew were certain to fail. After the collapse, they could simply turn to the government and demand large sums of money, money that would simply put governments further into debt with the very large Banks who were pedaling  those same dodgy financial products.

Recently in the US, we saw a similar bailout take place when the Federal government decided to mandate health insurance for every American citizen. After all was said and done, this move guaranteed higher premiums per head for the insurance giants because the government would pay that price. Profits were secure. No wonder it was the insurance industry who wrote Obama’s health care reform bill, and not elected representatives.

OTHER RIOT WINNERS

As a result of the riots, PM David Cameron has predictably drafted up a tough new diet for the public which will include increase police powers of stop and search, surveillance, and rules of engagement. Use of the military on the streets in future is not off the table either. Curfews can now be imposed. We are nearly there, arriving at a full-blown police state.

Based on recent history, Conservative leaders in the UK have always benefited from being tough, meeting public strife with end of a brutal state truncheon. Cameron is no different, and predicably he has taken this route.

Local governments, AKA Councils, will also join in on the opportunity, increasing local taxes, imposing increased security requirements for businesses, and possibly require stricter review of insurance policies that businesses will need to operate.

Police budgets that were on the chopping block only weeks ago will most likely be secured and in some cases expanded. Salaries for the top positions will also go up, as part of the high stakes police state game where fear is the number one motivator, and number one driver of budget spending.

Quietly waiting in the wings are also the private Security firms. The private security business has grown massively since 2001, we have seen this all over the world, most notably in the US and in Europe. Where state budgets are cut for public law enforcement, expect off-budget expenses to be spent with the security industrial complex. Its main sales tool is also fear. These include, guards, CCTV technology, computer software systems, transport, logistics and possible detention. The value of these contracts in the UK alone numbers in the billions of pounds. After the riots, they are the winners.

There is a disturbing dance which has been taking place all over the UK, a dance between a cluster of groups. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, very much a financially beneficial one too. In a word, it is called extortion, and it is contributing to bringing many businesses and local communities to their knees. 

Its wheels are normally greased with brown envelopes and fueled by fear and intimidation. It’s ménage à trois, or in this case it’s a ménage à cinq, between local government, police, security firms, criminal gangs, and behind the curtains quietly sit the insurance syndicates. Each perform a role, most are parasitic relationships, each pay each other under the table, each profit from each other, and each will always ensure the existence of the other.

Failure to address this corruption means that in the event of a future trend of mass social unrest, when the dust clears, the same players will move in the take more wealth and prosperity away from businesses and communities.

The winners and losers… here we go again. When will it end? It will end when the public learn to realise and understand the architecture of the system that lords over them.

The rioters scored an own-goal of course, when they decided to hit chicken shops, shoe stores and cheap electronics vendors. A wasted effort by all accounts. If only those thousands of teenaged rioters and looters knew how their establishment was actually structured, maybe they would have choosen a target that had real revolutionary value.

It will end when communities realise that their family and neighborhood relationships ultimately mean much more, and are more valuable, than their relationships with the state and the corporations who effectively run it.