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London News Headlines from August 2004
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Ending to Carnival Anniversary
Notting Hill Carnival's lower crime rate suffers after a late
breezy Notting Hill Carnival ended tragically on Monday, when
a man was shot on Hazel Road in Kensal Green, around ten at night.
have yet to determine whether the shooting was Carnival related,
although witnesses say revellers were playing music on a nearby
makeshift sound station until the time of the shooting.
man, whose name has not been released, died later that night
shooting was a surprising end to a weekend generally without
incident. An estimated one million weaved their way through Carnival
on Sunday and Monday, tackling crowds to hear Steelbands, static
sound systems and over 70 mobile mas bands perform alongside
about 50,000 participants, said Carnival representative Rebecca
Mullard, Chairman of lead organisers, London Notting Hill Carnival
Ltd, in a comment late Monday afternoon, considered Carnival
an overall success.
a year of hard work from hundreds of community groups, I am overawed
to see so many nationalities with smiles on their faces,"
crime at Carnival was lower than last year by about 30%, according
to the Metropolitan Police.
and Kids leave Thatcher to Face the Music
Sir Mark stays alone in South Africa under coup charges
MARK THATCHER'S wife and children have arrived in London from
South Africa, leaving the son of the former Prime Minister to
face alone charges that he helped organise a coup in Equatorial
is thought Diane Thatcher will meet her mother-in-law during
her visit to this country but is then expected to fly to the
US where her and Sir Mark's children are due to go to school.
Mark says he is innocent of the charges which relate to the financing
of a coup attempt on the oil rich west African country. His friend
Simon Mann was convicted of procuring weapons illegally by a
court in Zimbabwe.
Alleges Archer Involvement in Coup Finance
Archer denies he helped buck up cash for the coup attempt in
Equatorial Guinea, but a list with his initials alleges otherwise.
AND SHAMED Lord JH Archer, the Tory politician jailed for perjury
and perverting the court of justice in 2001, is back in question
after Mark Thatcher's public arrest for financing a coup in Equatorial
Guinea. A list of financers currently being detained by officials
allegedly includes the initials of JH Archer.
disgraced Tory denies all involvement, although James Kershaw,
the former associate of Thatcher's close friend Simon Mann, is
preparing to use the list as part of Thatcher's prosecution.
Also included in the list are business mogul Ely Calil, millionaire
David Hart, and Greg Wales, a friend of Thatcher.
was released last year after serving half his four year sentence
for a 2001 perjury case, in which he was found guilty of lying
and cheating during a 1987 libel suit against the Daily Star.
Thatcher posted a 165,000 UKP bail and is currently under house
arrest in wait for his trial. He faces 15 years if found guilty.
Away Day for OAPs
Council sends Notting Hill pensioners to Bognor to escape bank
OLD FOLK in the Notting Hill area are to be shipped out for the
bank holiday weekend to escape from the excesses of this year's
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is footing the UKP13,000
bill for the group to relax in the bingo-friendly environment
of Bognor Regis's Butlins.
are so many strangers in this area during carnival and it's so
noisy with the sound systems that the whole house shakes. It's
quite stressful" said Notting Hill resident Alice Marshall,
it first started it was just one lorry taking the children around
but now it has got so big."
Hails Environmental Gains
But more needs to be done to guarantee Londoners clean air says
KEN LIVINGSTONE says a new report shows gains are being made
to the capital's environmental well-being.
Environmental Report 2004, published yesterday by Transport for
London (TfL) claimed success in reducing the environmental impact
of the capital's transport network.
many Londoners, I can remember the dreadful 'pea-souper' smogs
in the 1950s. These are now, thankfully, a thing of the past
but we are still a long way from guaranteeing Londoners the clean
air they have every right to expect" the Mayor said.
for London is leading a wide-ranging programme to improve matters.
Two of the highlights are replacing all the older buses and making
London a Low Emission Zone. But it's not just cleaner air. Using
'green' electricity and installing solar panels all help to improve
our environment. The land on either side of many Underground
lines also help to protect London's wildlife."
environmental improvements claimed by TfL span Londons
extensive transport network including London Underground, buses
and street management.
at LondonNet we're particularly excited by the new Vauxhall Cross
interchange station. It incorporates the latest design in solar
power to provide the station with 30 per cent of its annual energy
use. More importantly the futuristic contraption looks like it's
landed direct from outer space.
has made great in-roads in increasing the viability and attractiveness
of cleaner modes of transport" Barry Broe, TfL Director
of Transport Planning and Policy, said.
the same time we have cleaned up our own vehicles. But we're
not complacent, so we've set ourselves challenging targets and
are moving forward with a programme of improvements to reduce
pollution, energy use, waste, noise and improve recycling and
London's natural and built environment.
Fountain Floors Spaniard
Tourist hospitalised by troubled memorial
SPANIARD has become the latest victim of the troubled Diana Memorial
Fountain in London's Hyde Park.
woman, understood to be in her forties, was taken to hospital
after slipping on mud at the memorial on Saturday. It seems that
heavy rain had raised the water level of the circular installation
causing the excess to spill over to the surrounding ground.
accident came just a day after the structure was re-opened to
the public having been shut down due to safety fears a month
earlier. Officials had claimed that subtle changes to the fountain's
surface, new warning signs and a pair of attendant park officers
would ensure that the memorial would be safer for visitors in
UKP3.6million fountain, by Kathryn Gustafson, was designed to
be an interactive experience, with visitors encouraged to bathe
their feet. But unless a safer system of operation can be put
in place very soon, these lofty aims could be dashed as the fountain
is turned into a strictly 'hands-off' memorial.
is Full of Crap
Snap downpours force sewage into Thames
THAMES has been cleaned up in recent years with many dangerous
pollutants now a thing of the past, but this summer's sudden
bursts of rain have caused thousands of tonnes of untreated sewage
to flow into the river.
This week over 500,000 tonnes of the stuff has arrived in the
Thames after first flooding at the River Lea's Abbey Mills pumping
station in east
It the second time in a month the Thames has been affected in
this way and it seems the problem is not likely to be flushed
away any time soon.
"Londoners can expect the problem of sewage in the River
Thames to be an ongoing health, amenity and environmental problem,"
said a spokesperson for the Environment Agency.
Londoners who are fish have the most to complain about as a rise
in sewage levels reduces the Thames's oxygen quotient, causing
Rack Makes Them Bigger
Madonna's bust receives increased spiritual guidance
from old-school machine
her continued quest for strange exercise and health methodology, Madonna's
latest project brings her a step closer to medieval torture,
via the Gyrotonic Expansion System. According to the
Daily Star, the machine has not only toned her muscles; it has
also increased her bust size.
'Rack', as it is known, is a wooden structure attached by pulleys
and wires that was developed in the 80's by ballet dancer Juliu
Horvath in order to combine 'spiritual awareness' with dance-appropriate
ninety minute sessions at a studio in St. John's Wood have likely
been to keep her in shape for her ongoing Reinvention tour, which
hit Earl's Court last night. The trail of shows will continue
on Sunday and Monday at Wembley Arena, with tickets for those
and added shows at Wembley Arena on the 25th and 26th still available.
@ Wembley Arena
- tickets for 22, 23, 25 and 26 August available - click
Toe for Tarmac
Performance artist Mark McGowan's toe will drag a bus around
seven miles of London, all for the glory of the roads.
response to Mayor Ken Livingstone's announcement of planned west
London congestion charges, McGowan wanted to do something that
illustrated his distaste. In true McGowan taste, his ideas involved
a bus, a road, and a body part. He told the BBC, "This project
is a protest against the excessive use of bus lanes and against
mayor Ken Livingstone's ridiculous traffic strategy."
will pull the bus along Camberwell on Wednesday, with a driver
seated in case of an emergency or large hill.
is his third highly publicized stunt, following a 12-day bath
in baked beans to celebrate English cuisine and a seven-mile
journey to Number 10 Downing Street, pushing a monkey nut with
his nose, to demonstrate against inflated student debt. The monkey-nut
feat also took him 12 days.
has had a long history of performance art, however, involving
people from Peckham and Camberwell. His hope is that his art
helps in "tackling serious issues from a humorous point
With Ten People is Normal for Single Brits
UK tops poll for promiscuity; comes bottom for in-marriage
people sleep around more than others when single but bother with
sex less when they're married, according to a just-published
per cent of over 2,000 Britons surveyed by New York-based RSCG
Worldwide reckoned it was normal for people to have at least
10 sexual partners during their single years. In contrast, only
50 per cent of Germans, 49 per cent of Americans, 30 per cent
of French and 17 per cent of Chinese agreed with the ten or more
as normal level.
it could be the Chinese and the others save their passion for
the marital bed. 82 per cent of Chinese surveyed said they had
a right to sex when married, compared to only 63 per cent of
British people. The French
logged in at 80 per cent, Americans 76 per cent and Germans at
78 on this question.
Royal Genes to Clinch Victory
Blood line boost for US Presidential candidate
PRESIDENTIAL hopeful John Kerry is related to the Queen, a blood
that is predicted to ensure his victory in the November election.
of the fact every candidate with the most royal genes has always
won the November election, the coming one - based on 42 previous
presidents - will go to John Kerry," said Harold Brooks-Baker
of Brooks Peerage, which conducted research into the matter.
isn't just more royal than President Bush, he is the most royal
US candidate in history. "Every maternal blood line of Kerry
makes him more royal than any previous US president," said
Democrat is a distant cousin of the present Queen and can also
trace a separate maternal line back to Henry II.
Star' Cops Face the Chop
On duty Soho duo alleged to have had sex with actresses
London policemen caught on film having sex with porn stars could
be booted out of the force within weeks.
is too early to comment on what discipline they could face,"
said a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police. "If the
facts are simple and clear, that may be finished in a matter
of those facts appear to be that the two constables, aged 30
and 34, somehow found themselves inside a van, parked in Soho,
which was the setting for a porn film. The pair were on duty
at the time.
two officers allegedly let the porn actresses play with their
helmets and handcuffs before taking part in what has been termed
a 'sex act'.
never thought serving officers could act like that, and in front
of us all as well," said Marino Franchi, the film's director.
"They just decided to have their very own private porn movie
while on the job."
Pays Blair to Talk
Cherie joins lucrative speaker circuit
BLAIR is being hired out for after-dinner speaking gigs when
she visits the US this October.
wife of the British Prime Minister can expect to land tens of
thousands of dollars per speech after being signed up by the
Harry Walker Agency, a New York firm that also handles the speaking
careers of Bono out of U2, Bill Clinton and Henry Kissenger.
know Cherie Blair would be a great success at your next event,
so please contact me today for more information about her lecture
topics," says the blurb advertising the PM's wife's wares.
It is not known if those topics include crystal gazing and other
New Age beliefs thought to be held by Cherie Blair.
herself has tried to play down the looming money-making opportunity.
"She is in the US in October," said a spokesperson
for Matrix, her London legal chambers. "She has accepted
an invitation from this agency to speak while she is in the US."
West With C-Charge
Survey findings over-ridden by Mayor
congestion charge zone is to be widened westwards from central
London into Kensington and Chelsea, after Ken Livingstone decided
to brush aside the results of a consultation process.
Londoners were asked what they thought of the plan. 66 per cent
of those living in the proposed new zone said they were against
its extension, a figure that fell only slightly, to 62 per cent,
of Londoners overall.
Livingstone was unmoved by the findings. "The proposal to
extend the zone is clearly controversial," he said. "Consultations
however tend to draw responses primarily from those opposed to
whatever is being consulted upon."
boundaries of the new zone would be Kensal Green Cemetery in
the north, Shepherd's Bush to the west and Chelsea Embankment
to the south. It is unlikely to be up and running much before
Big Tent is Born Again
Fridays big-tent calypso revival sanctifies Notting Hill
rhythm and rhyme.
calypso performers grace the stage this Friday to rev-up energy
for the bank holiday weekend's Notting Hill Carnival.
performance, which is the third in a series of pre-Notting Hill
revelry, will feature British and Trinidad and Tobago Maestro
Calypsonians, including The Explainer, Soca Elvis, Cyclops, and
the ten-year-old Calypsonian whiz, Sheynenne Hazell. More than
just shaking what their mamma's gave them, the tent event will
also be recorded by Kenny Phillips of calypso studio KMP Music
lab, for release on the following Friday.
year marks the 40th anniversary of the official Notting Hill
Carnival, although similar festivities have occurred since the
influx of immigrants to London from the West Indies, particularly
within the Trinidadian community. Carnival representative Natalie
Still considers the carnival more than just a passionate few
days in extravagant costumes; it is also a place that champions
artistic collaboration, ingenuity and self-expression.
continues to be a celebration of artistic excellence, featuring
different sounds and genres of music born over the years,"
she said, "The Notting Hill Carnival has been a platform
for an array of musical styles; each playing an integral part
in creating the soundtrack to Carnival."
Friday tent events lead up to the Calypso Monarch competition,
on the 26th, which will conclude with a spanking new Calypso
Monarch for the weekend's rowdy carnival.
With Kids Need Not Apply
- Jobcentre tells City worker to drop reference to child from
WOMAN looking for work in The City was told by government advisers
to delete mention of her daughter from her CV.
[the advisers at a Jobcentre] told me something that shocked
me, which I still cannot get over," said Diane Winship,
a 35 year-old financial controller from the Isle of Dogs.
was to delete the line that I had a child on my CV as it could
be a cause of not getting work. This really upset me. I am so
proud of my daughter and yet she could be stopping me from getting
work so I have now deleted her existence from my CV."
Jobcentre advice came after Winship had applied for six City
jobs and failed to get so much as an interview for any of them.
Three prospective employers didn't bother to reply.
is currently on Jobseeker's Allowance. She is in dispute with
her previous employer, American fund management company Goldenberg,
Hehmeyer and Co, over the terms of her return to work after maternity
story comes in the wake of many tales of employers avoiding taking
on women of child-bearing age and the comments last month of
one UKIP Euro MP who said women should concentrate their efforts
on cleaning behind the fridge rather than finding work.
Give to Beggars, Say Councils
- 'Cruel to be Kind' campaign highlights problems of drink and
are being told not to give money to street beggars in a campaign
launched today by two central London authorities.
Camden and Westminster councils have teamed up to advise, via
a 'Cruel to be Kind' poster campaign, against donating money
to individual beggars on the grounds they are likely to use the
cash for drink and drugs.
"People need to know that the money they casually give to
a beggar may buy the fix that kills them," said Kit Malthouse,
deputy leader of Westminster City Council. "In my view giving
to beggars is actually a very cruel thing to do."
State Goes Underground
- Immigration Officers trawl Tube for foreign accents
GOVERNMENT has defended it's police-state-type tacti cs after
criticism following revelations that Immigration Officers are
asking non-white Londoners, more or less randomly, to show their
Government has made it clear it will take a robust stance against
those who abuse UK laws," said a Home Office spokesperson.
"We will prosecute and will seek to remove those who have
no legal basis of stay in the UK."
Such a banal statement fails to deal with the specifics of new
reports which have uncovered a previously secret scheme by which
Immigration Officers are stopping Tube travellers on the basis
of vague suspicions as to their nationality.
you hear someone speaking non-European language we approach them
and ask 'do you mind if I ask you what nationality you are?',"
explained one Immigration Officer. "We ask the police to
assist and demand identification."
group Liberty slammed the practise as worthy of a police state.
people and checking their papers is what we used to associate
with the old communist states," said the group's Barry Hugill.
use of Immigration Officers in this way is seen by many as a
sneaky method of getting round the burdens of a openly, democratically
controlled police force, which would officially not be allowed
to conduct such speculative operations.
Music Festival in Full Swing
- A packed programme for the Proms this weekend
are spoilt for choice over the weekend, starting with a double
programme on Friday night. This years themes focus on the Orient
with "East/West", "Back to Bohemia" in celebration
of Dvorak's anniversary and a tribute to home grown talent with
"England at the Crossroads".
East/West theme lies at the heart of Ravel's Sheherazade performed
tonight (Prom 29) by the BBC Orchestra of Wales. Originally intended
as an opera, Ravel never finished the work, but the overture
that remains was inspired by Arabian Nights, full of influences
from the Orient.
30 takes the late night slot with Sir Harrison Birtwhistle's
Theseus Game. Latin mass, early music and Greek myths bind the
piece, which enlists the aid of two conductors.
weekend finally rounds up with a Bohemian feel featuring Smetana's
Bohemian Woods and Fields on Saturday (Prom 31) followed on Sunday
by Janacek's Sinfonietta and Dvorak's The Spectre's Bride (Prom
32). Prommers can expect to stand in the stalls from 4 UKP, queues
Film Festival Kicks Off
- 8th staging of free movie spectacular
films from around the world are on offer as another Portobello
Film Festival gets underway.
Running from the 6th to the 22nd of August, the festival has
been going for eight years and has grown considerably from its
early days. There are over 600 films on show, from blockbusters
in the open air to independent shorts.
Highlights include the Meanwhile Gardens megascreen which will
show blockbusters and kids films, Cinematic Orchestra's new soundtrack
to legendary early-Soviet film Man With a Movie camera and a
new movie about director Derek Jarman.
More info at http://www.portobellofilmfestival.com/
- Five people were hit by lightning yesterday as thunderstorms
boy was killed and four teenage girls were injured yesterday,
as they were caught outside during particularly violent moments
of the thunderstorm that caused traffic delays, tube closures,
and flash flooding all over Britain.
Joseph Wharton was struck by lightning while camping in his friend's
West Midland's back garden, as reported by The Metro. His body
was found in the morning and paramedics were called, but Wharton
was pronounced dead at hospital.
say three of the four girls were lifted into the air from the
force of the lightning that struck Hyde Park yesterday afternoon.
While one girl was treated only for shock, two of the girls were
treated overnight in hospital for minor burns. The fourth girl
is being treated for critical injuries, after having stopped
breathing before paramedics arrived.
storm's flash flooding also caused Underground closures of the
Piccadilly, Central, District and Metropolitan lines, as well
as individual tube stations and roads.
rain is expected today and the rest of the week, with thunderstorms
predicted for Saturday.
Air Falls on London
- French musical feast for the South Bank
HEROES and Villains festival continues on the South Bank tonight
with one the season's highlights as Air turn up at the Royal
Electronica and jazz-funk vie with classical and rock for the
musical attention of France's most innovative and internationally
Also this week under the Heroes and Villains banner go Lee Hazlewood
with Morcheeba on Wednesday and then Badly Drawn Boy to close
the whole thing on Friday and Saturday.
there is heat, there is smog
- High levels of air pollution forecasted for London this week
means that many people with breathing difficulties will be spending
their sunny afternoons inside.
this week's temperatures predicted to edge the 30's, Department
for Environment Food and Rural affairs officials have reminded
sun-bathing Londoners that heat causes smog, and where there
is smog, many people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses
to the Defra website, most smog is a product of vehicle emissions,
fuel from the heating and cooling of buildings, and vapour from
industrial plants that, when heated on a hot summer day, produces
a foggy-like cloud that hovers over urban areas.
this summer has produced less smog than last summer, the threats
are still the same: The Liberal Democrats say smog will cause
nearly 100,000 deaths over the next 20 years, at its current
are a huge "hidden killer." We must stop choking our
cities and ourselves,' said MP Norman Baker, secretary of Liberal
Democrat Shadow Environment.
we bask in this heatwave, we must remember that summer ozone
levels are a serious health risk,' he said.
affected by the smog are suggested to stay indoors during the
afternoons, and avoid travelling in a car. Predicted storms later
this week might also ease sufferers, although not their heat-basking
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