Tag Archives | Britain

Footage Released Showing British Military’s 1952 Biological Warfare Experiments On Monkeys

The horrific testing, conducted in secret and dubbed Operation Cauldron, took place offshore on a ship near the Isle of Lewis. Over the course of several months, dozens of terrified monkeys and thousands of guinea pigs were subjected to "germ bombs" containing bubonic plague and other deadly diseases, with many of the animals dying after a few days. The project was part of the U.K. military's effort to develop biological weapons that could be used on real people in a potental war against the Soviets. Needless to say, the Ministry of Defence was reluctant to release the incredibly disturbing 47-minute film documenting the experiments:
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Activists Present Corporate Tax Avoidance Award At Retirement Banquet

Dave Hartnett is the former top official at the HMRC, the branch of the U.K. government that handles tax collection. His tenure has been marked by controversy over deals in which corporations such as Goldman Sachs and Vodafone may have been let off the hook for billions in unpaid back taxes. Thanks to a group of protesters called WeAreTheIntruders, events at the black tie dinner celebrating Hartnett's service to the nation took an unexpected turn towards the surreal, culminating in a livid official's threatening to release the hounds on the surprise attendees:
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British Home Pelted By Rain Of Tiny Yellow Plastic Balls

The BBC reports the latest in mysterious, slightly apocalyptic weather patterns:

A husband and wife have been left puzzled after hundreds of tiny yellow plastic balls rained in their garden.

Dylis Scott and her husband Tony were in their garage on Monica Road, Leicester, on Sunday when the balls fell from the sky during a storm. Mrs Scott said they started hitting the car and garage door and “shooting at me. I looked outside and all over the lawn were all these yellow balls. And it was absolutely pelting down”.

The Met Office said it was possible for weather systems to lift things such as dust and deposit them many miles away. In January it was reported that 3cm diameter blue balls came raining down during a hailstorm in Bournemouth, Dorset. Theories on what the balls could have been included crystals used in floral displays or ammunition for a toy gun.

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Court Bans BBC From Broadcasting Film About U.K. Riots

Reminiscent of Chinese authorities’ attitudes towards attempts to shed light on Tiananmen Square. The Guardian reports:

The ruling from a judge prevented the docu-drama, which had been due to be broadcast at 9pm on Monday, from being broadcast “by any media until further order”. The channel’s executives were forced to pull the film, which is based on the testimony of interviews conducted for the Guardian and London School of Economics research into the disorder.

For legal reasons, the Guardian cannot name the judge who made the ruling, the court in which he is sitting or the case he is presiding over. However, it is understood that lawyers for the BBC strongly object to his ruling, the nature of which is believed to be highly unusual.

The script from the programme, written by the award-winning playwright Alecky Blythe, was produced from verbatim transcripts of interviews conducted as part of the Reading the Riots study, which conducted confidential interviews with 270 rioters.

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Hundreds Of Olympic ‘Branding Police’ Begin Patrolling Britain Today

The previously discussed purple-uniformed brand police have hit the streets, and will fine or jail those who violate the specially-legislated “rights” of companies which are official Olympic sponsors. The Independent writes:

Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors’ multimillion-pound marketing deals. Wearing purple caps and tops… checking firms to ensure they are not staging “ambush marketing” or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and BP.

[Drinking establishments] have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event. At the 40 Olympics venues, 800 retailers have been banned from serving chips to avoid infringing fast-food rights secured by McDonald’s.

Marina Palomba, for the McCann Worldgroup agency in London, described the rules as “the most draconian law in advance of an Olympic Games ever”.

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8,500-Year-Old Lost Civilization Doggerland Discovered At Bottom Of North Sea

Millennia ago, it was the heart of the continent, until sea levels rose, giving us the Europe we know today. A preview of how New York City will be spoken of when it is newly uncovered ten thousand years from now. The Daily Mail reports:

‘Britain’s Atlantis’ – a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea – has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews. Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC.

Divers from oil companies have found remains of a ‘drowned world’ with a population of tens of thousands – which might once have been the ‘real heartland’ of Europe. A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies – and revealed the full extent of a ‘lost land’ once roamed by mammoths.

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Mother Convicted Of Enslaving Her Children After Falling Under Fortune Teller’s Spell

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Photo: Nrico (CC)

The few psychics I’ve visited here in New York have had disappointingly limited abilities, but this one seems pretty impressive. The Telegraph reports:

Within weeks of the meeting, Linda Clappison started locking her son and daughter, then aged 10 and six, in their rooms and assaulting them.

She fed them only sandwiches and took the light bulbs, toys and all mattresses and bedding from their rooms, leaving them needing hospital treatment for frostbite. Clappison, 46, of Keyingham Marsh, East Yorkshire, was found guilty of two child cruelty charges at Hull Crown Court last month.

She was jailed for 18 months concurrently or each charge. Judge Michael Mettyear, the Recorder of Hull, described the case as “tragic’’. He also praised the children, who gave evidence against their mother. The trial heard that the mother of four forced her two youngest children to work for gipsies as slaves after falling under the spell of a fortune teller.

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Kellogg Brown & Root May Become Part Of Police Forces In Britain

Guantanamo_captives_in_January_2002In areas of the U.K., policing is being partially privatized for the first time ever, and Texas-based former Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root is on the short list of candidate companies, the Guardian reports. Does the public really want the kind of experience KBR brings?

A US Pentagon contractor that was involved in building Guantánamo Bay is on a shortlist of private consortiums bidding for a £1.5bn contract to run key policing services in the West Midlands and Surrey.

The Texas-based Kellogg Brown & Root, which was sold off by the controversial Halliburton corporation in 2007, is part of a consortium which has made it to the final shortlist for a contract that will see large-scale involvement of the private sector in British policing for the first time.

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