LondonNet News Headlines
London News Headlines from October 2004
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Year Old Arrested In Connection With Abduction
- The strange abduction of a five-year-old on Tuesday grows more
bizarre with the arrest of a minor.
TWELVE-year-old girl has been arrested in connection with the
abduction of a five-year-old, who went missing in a London shopping
centre on Tuesday.
child was separated from her mother in Riverdale shopping centre,
according to the BBC, where police believe she was approached
by a someone claiming to help her find her mother. Instead, the
two boarded the bus to the Waterfront swimming baths, then to
a park in Charlton, where the girl fell in a pond.
was then directed to change into clean clothes at a shop in Woolwich,
where the abductor left her. The shop's staff called police after
noticing the soaking child outside the store.
used evidence on CCTV cameras across London to track the pair's
Inspector Nathan Briant, the investigating officer in the case,
said he did not know why the woman would have done this.
"She might need help herself," he said.
Top Cop Named
- Ian Blair to replace John Stevens as Met Police Commissioner
FORMER Chief Constable Ian Blair has been named as the next Metropolitan
(no relation to Prime Minister Tony), 51, was pipped to the same
post by incumbent Commissioner Sir John Stevens back in 1999.
He has acted as Stevens's deputy since 2000.
to his Oxford education and progressive attitude to the MacPherson
report and other police reforms, the new Yard boss has garnered
a reputation as the 'thinking man's cop'.
while Blair has rallied against the 'barrack room' behaviour
of some fellow cops, which he says foster racist and sexist attitudes,
he himself ran into trouble in 2002 for saying that most muggers
were black. That statistically ill-informed comment generated
a terse response from the National Black Police Association who
said his comments could deter black recruits.
of Blair's major challenges will be marshalling the capital's
30,000 police officers to face the threat of international terrorism.
The immediacy of which was summed up by outgoing Commissioner
Stevens when he said it was more a matter of 'when not if' in
terms of the prospect of a major attack.
Gets The Bullet
- 140mph Hitachi trains promised for Stratford and Kent services
SUFFERING commuters in Kent and East London are to get super-fast
trains by 2009 the government said today.
Secretary Alistair Darling confirmed that Hitachi, the Japanese
firm behind the Far East country's record breaking Bullet trains,
has been named as preferred bidder for the UKP300 million project.
of the six-carriage 140mph trains will be used on the route from
the new Eurotunnel terminus at St Pancras to Stratford in East
London and on to Gravesend, the Medway towns, Sittingbourne,
Folkestone, Canterbury and Ramsgate. Journey time to Ashford
in East Kent could be reduced by forty minutes.
move is being lauded as further evidence of London's forward
planning for hosting the Olympic Games in 2012. The games would
be centred around Stratford from where the Hitachi trains could
reach St Pancras in less than eight minutes.
announcement comes just a month after Virgin introduced 125mph
Pendolino tilting trains to its routes from London to the North
West slashing journey times to Manchester and beyond.
Battle for Groceries
- In another quest for business, Tesco boasts its post-grocery
lugging your roast on the bus. Yesterday marked the start of
latest scheme in the war of supermarkets: free taxi rides.
mega-chain will provide shoppers with free rides home in Zones
1 and 2, Monday through Friday, between 11am and 7pm, and can
be hailed or booked from the store. Shoppers just have to furnish
that day's Tesco reciept.
twenty branded taxis of the Tesco Taxi Service are on the road
in collaboration with Radio Taxis, one of London's biggest cab
Tesco Taxi Service is a first from a UK retailer and is another
way of making life easier for our London customers," said
a Tesco spokesperson.
The programme is on a four-week trial period, with other supermarket
chains likely to spawn off other antics.
9 3/4 Best London Movie Moment
- Harry Potter's train stop and a speedboat chase on the Thames
outweigh the smorgasbord of London's film repertoire
A POLL to mark the start of the 48th London Film Festival, London's
top movie moment is not a royal one, but a speedboat chase in
The World is Not Enough.
chase scene, with Pierce Brosnan zooming down the Thames in a
Bond-style speedboat, was voted top by one in five voters, from
a poll taken by the London Underground.
up in the poll include Bridget Jones' snog in the snow, with
scantily clad Renee Zellweger fumbling after Colin Firth in the
middle of a snowstorm, and Mary Poppins feeding the birds.
idea for the poll came about because of the frequent movie-related
questions asked of Underground staff by passengers.
A poll of fictional London places, however, took the biggest
margin in votes. One in three polled overwhelmingly nominated
Platform 9 3/4 -- the
fictional train platform in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
-- with the fake Notting Hill bookshop owned by Hugh Grant cornering
9.5% of the votes.
"London Film Festival is one of the highlights of the year
for movie lovers in the capital, " said London Underground
spokesperson Elizabeth Norris. "We hope that the results
from our poll will encourage people to make the most of their
city and explore all the world famous movie icons the capital
has on offer."
Flies Out the Door
- Exclusive shop is cleaned out by watch thieves
worth UKP3 million has been snatched from one of London's most
exclusive stores - on the night the store launched a new range
of pricey watches.
was a very professional job," said Neil Duckworth, owner
of The Watch Gallery in Chelsea. "We had just had an event
where we invited guests to view our new collection of Lange and
Sohne watches. After we closed the shop someone revisited us."
burglars provided precious few clues for police, though a tiny
camera was found in the shop which might suggest the thieves
were scanning the premises to check the coast was clear before
pulling off the heist.
don't know whether they had hidden inside when we locked up,
or whether they had some other means of access," said Duckworth.
"They knew how to get into the safe, and cleaned us out;
we have almost nothing left now."
German made Lange and Sohne watches are considered among the
most desirable on the planet and are available at only one other
shop in the UK. They range in price from UKP6,000 to UKP100,000.
Goes Shopping for Shops
- More shops needed to feed a growing city, says the GLA
shopping centres could be on the way for central and south London
after a report for the Greater London Authority came the conclusion
that London is soon to be short on shops.
can't keep on increasing the West End forever," said Dr
Neil Blake of Experian, the consultants who complied the GLA's
report. "But there are under-developed high streets and
neighbourhood centres which could be developed."
basis of the shortage of retail space is that London's population
is predicted to rise by at least a million over the next decade.
That, plus increased spending power from those already here,
is likely to mean more shopping trips and therefore the need
for more shops.
report is now likely to be used as evidence for GLA planning
decisions, which can be expected to be favourable to retail developments.
Film Festival Kicks Off
- Mike Leigh's latest is first up in movie parade
day one of the 48th London Film Festival. One of the festival's
big films, Mike Leigh's Vera Drake, kicks off the cinematic celebration
this evening in a full-on premiere at the Odeon on Leicester
Drake is the beautifully observed story of an abortionist to
in 1950s London and has already received rave reviews.
today, the festival branches out for the first time in its history
to Trafalgar Square where free short films will be on view on
a giant, inflatable screen. The shorts run from 6pm until 9pm
this evening and then for two days after at the same times.
on the London Film festival, including LondonNet's other festival
picks, can be found at:
Guide to the 2004 LFF
Admits: London is Number One
- EU stats put us top of pan-continental league table
is the top dog of european capitals, according to statistics
produced by the EU.
researched figures from 2001, a census year for many European
countries, to find London is well ahead of others across a range
isn't everything, but there's no denying it says something about
a city's status and London's population, at 7.2 million, dwarfs
its rivals. Berlin has 3.4 million, Madrid 3 million and Paris
is also the richest, has the most theatres, the highest proportion
of green space and the lowest mortality rate through heart disease.
on crime, long considered by Londoners themselves as an Achilles
heal, London was far from the worst, recording less than half
the number of offences as Berlin and Paris.
Parade for an Olympic City
- Star athletes and fans to boost London's bid
of a hundred thousand people are expected to line the streets
of central London today to cheer on Britain's Olympic heroes.
parade is to feature nearly a hundred Olympic and Paralympic
athletes, including double track gold medal star Kelly Holmes,
the victorious men's 4x100 relay team and cycling time trialist
winner Chris Hoy.
parade starts at 1.30pm from Piccadilly, moving through Haymarket
and Pall Mall before arriving at Trafalgar Square at around 3.30pm.
As well as a celebration of 2004 Olympic achievements, the parade
is a chance to beef up London's bid for the 2012 games.
provides both the British public and British sport a unique opportunity
to celebrate all that is great about Olympic and Paralympic sport,"
said Simon Clegg, CEO of the British Olympic Association.
it comes at a crucial time in the bidding process for the 2012
for Debate Draws Thousands to London
- Anti-war march to top off meeting-filled weekend
BIG anti-war march is planned as the parting shot of this weekend's
European Social Forum, held in London for the first time.
expect tens of thousands of activists from across Europe to converge
on London to discuss a wide variety of political topics, grouped
loosely under the triple heading of war, racism and corporate
power. The Forum will include meetings, music and films at venues
mayor Ken Livingstone has come under fire for providing public
money for the event, but sees it as an important boost to the
a major international city, London has a direct interest in all
these issues," said Livingstone.
hope that the thousands of visitors to our city will return home
after the weekend with a warm place in their hearts for London."
here for more information
Freeze On the Way
- Weather experts predict long, cold, winter
out of the country between the 22nd and 27th of November. That's
the advice implied in a stark weather warning from leading weather
end of November is just the worst in a series of cold snaps predicted
by Metcheck, who forecast correctly the recent summer of rain.
are confident that we will see a higher than average frequency
of northerly weather types," said Metcheck's Andrew Bond.
"That will bring not
just colder weather but a more frequent snowfall than we have
experienced in recent years."
first of the cold snaps is forecast to arrive soon. "The
cold snap next week is nature giving us a taste of what is to
come in the next few months," said Bond, who expects London
to be affected by severely cold winds.
Faces Cheat Accusations
- Ex-teacher brings case to court today
HARRY could lose his place at Sandhurst if allegations he cheated
in his A-levels are proven correct.
army officer training college requires its students to have passed
at least two A-levels and the prince has exactly that, including
the art A-level that is currently the source of dispute.
denies that he received disallowed help from teacher Sarah Forsyth
for the art exam, while she says she was asked to beef up Harry's
course work with the use of correct technical terminology.
on the dispute could be revealed today as Forsyth is bringing
a case of unfair dismissal against Eton College, the school Harry
Welcome at Buckingham Palace
- Electric fence installed to block Batman return
shocks will greet intruders to Buckingham Palace thanks to a
new security fence that has been erected around the walls of
the famous Royal residence.
fence comes in the wake of last month's Fathers4Justice publicity
stunt when a man dressed as Batman scaled the palace's walls
and remained in a highly visible position on the front of the
palace for five hours.
Queen was reported to have been "irritated" by the
stunt, but has been warned that she and her family would do well
not to rely totally on measures such as the fence for their protection.
needs to be a radical change in the way the royal family think
about security," said a police spokesperson.
new fence does not deliver lethal levels of electricity, but
does emit enough sparks temporarily to disable intruders, time
enough for police to effect an arrest. Stray cats had also better
Wins Good Food Award
- But London not be-all-and-end-all, say judges
RAMSAY'S restaurant in Chelsea came top in the Good Food Guide
annual awards, announced today, but London was warned it now
has serious competition from the rest of the country.
who thinks London is the be-all-and-end-all needs to expand their
horizons," said Andrew Turvil, Good Food Guide editor.
capital is not about to lose its position at the culinary vanguard,
but it is great to see such good things happening all over the
sometimes in unexpected locations."
from Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and Devon were all in the
upper reaches of the Good Food Guide's best-of-Britain 2004 list.
Nevertheless, apart from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London was
well represented in the awards, with The Capital, Pied-a-Terre
and Tom Aikens all appearing in the top ten.
to impress the judges included The Fat Duck and The Waterside
Inn, both in Bray, Berkshire, just a short trip from London.
Back University Appeal
- UCL aims for UKP300 million to fund research
and comedian Ricky Gervais have backed a huge fund-raising campaign
by University College London (UCL).
Comedian Gervais and the soft-rock band have past links with
the University, which leads the world in a number of fields and
which was named Britain's best - ahead of Oxford and Cambridge
- in a recent Sunday Times survey.
UCL hope to raise UKP300 million, a figure it says is the biggest
ever in British university history. Among the projects it plans
to fund are an ear
research institute, a spinal repair unit and a museum featuring
works by artists such as Constable, Rembrandt and Turner.
campaign will enable UCL, a real British success story, to enjoy
the kind of resources to enable us to compete with the world's
very best academic institutions," said UCL provost Professor
Show Needs New Members
- London auditions for genital gymnasts
dicks, pricks and willies are all invited to an audition tomorrow,
the 6th of October, for a role in a famous touring party.
Puppetry of the Penis has played to startled audiences around
the world and now needs new members for its next international
Requirements for the job include an uncanny ability to bend and
stretch pieces of the male anatomy not usually associated with
want a flexible working attitude," said a spokesperson for
of the Penis is an equal opportunity employer and will audition
both circumcised and uncircumcised genital origami hopefuls."
will be held at the Apollo theatre. Contact [email protected]
or click here
for more details.
Drivers are the Worst
- Survey blames driver-stress for poor road record
and lengthy journeys make London drivers the worst in the country,
according to a new survey from car insurance company Privilege.
"Factors such as the time drivers take in completing a journey,
where they live and the volume of motorists on the road, all
have a direct affect on how safely they drive," said Ian
Parker, director of Privilege.
Such stress-inducing conditions
encourage bad road behaviour, including undertaking and breaking
red lights, two areas in which London leads the rest of Britain.
London's men are even worse
than London's women, according the the survey of 1,500 motorists,
while women in Scotland are the best mannered of all. No link
at all, but Privilege Insurance was launched by the Royal Bank
is Sexiest Movie Star of All Time
- London teenager beats screen legends in poll
Keira Knightley is the sexiest actor in the movie history, according
to readers of top film magazine Empire.
Nineteen year-old Knightley forced Angelina Jolie into second
spot with Orlando Bloom into third as the top male. Legendary
stars such as Marilyn Monroe, who polled 6th, and Brigitte Bardot,
20th, were left trailing the modern crop of cinema beauties.
Bend it Like Beckham, in
which she played a young footballer, earned Knightley a huge
amount of attention, but, aged only 14, she had actually played
a key part in Star Wars: the Phantom Menace a few years earlier
as Sabe, the double of the Queen.
Since then, Knightley, who
grew up in Teddington, has starred in Pirates of the Caribbean
and King Arthur. Among her next projects are Pride and Prejudice
and possibly a sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean.
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