Via ITN News:
Via ITN News:
It’s looking likely that Julian Assange is on his way to Sweden. Report from AP via Google News:
Britain’s Supreme Court has endorsed the extradition of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange to Sweden, bringing the secret-spilling Internet activist a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.
But a question mark hung over the decision after Assange’s lawyer made the highly unusual suggestion that she would try to reopen the case, raising the prospect of more legal wrangling.
Assange, 40, has spent the better part of two years fighting attempts to send him to the Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crime allegations. He has yet to be charged.
The U.K. side of that struggle came to an uncertain end Wednesday, with the nation’s highest court ruling 5-2 that the warrant seeking his arrest was properly issued — and Assange’s lawyer saying she might contest the ruling.
Reports Gavin Thomas for BBC News:
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed a device which can be used as a “sonic weapon” will be deployed in London during the Olympics.
The American-made Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) can be used to send verbal warnings over a long distance or emit a beam of pain-inducing tones.
The equipment was spotted fixed to a landing craft on the Thames at Westminster this week.
An MoD spokesman said it would be used “primarily in the loud hailer mode”.
Royal Marines operating in patrol craft from HMS Ocean are also heavily armed with conventional firearms.
Caspar Melville writes at New Humanist:
A press release reaches us from Premier Christian Radio with the headline “UK’s belief that God created the Universe at an all-time low”. It reports the findings of a study conducted by ComRes for PCR (2054 were polled online across the UK in April), ahead of the conference, called “Unbelievable 2012″, PCR are holding in London on May 26 at which “academics and scientists” from the US and UK will be arguing that contemporary cosmology indicates that God created the world.
The headline findings of the survey are that only 26% believe that God created the world, 41% said they didn’t believe this and 23% didn’t know or didn’t want to say. In what the press release describes as a “strange twist” fully 25% of those who identified as “Christian” did not believe that God was the cause of the Universe.
So, why would a Christian outfit be trumpeting numbers which show that the idea of a God-created universe is is decline, even amongst their own gang?
More 2012 Olympics dystopianism as a dense East London neighborhood will be turned into a military base, in the name of pole-vaulting. Robert Booth writes in the Guardian:
The Bow Quarter complex of more than 700 apartments is the first of a handful of housing developments close to the Olympic Park chosen by military planners to host high velocity rockets aimed at preventing an airborne terrorist attack on this summer’s Games.
Ministry of Defence officials will this week inform a number of other residents that their homes have been selected to become part of London’s military lockdown. The missile units will be installed and armed with dummy rockets in time for a national Olympic security exercise starting on Wednesday. The test of the government’s £1bn security plans will see RAF Typhoon fast jets and military helicopters operating above London and the home counties.
“It is rather surreal,” said Nathan Lewis, a software developer who lives in the block beneath where the weapons will be located.
Rupert Murdoch is “not a fit person” to exercise stewardship of a major international company, a committee of MPs has concluded, in a report highly critical of the mogul and his son James’s role in the News of the World phone-hacking affair.
The Commons culture, media and sport select committee also concluded that James Murdoch showed “wilful ignorance” of the extent of phone hacking during 2009 and 2010 – in a highly charged document that saw MPs split on party lines as regards the two Murdochs.
Labour MPs and the sole Liberal Democrat on the committee, Adrian Sanders, voted together in a bloc of six against the five Conservatives to insert the criticisms of Rupert Murdoch and toughen up the remarks about his son James.
What is it with British spies and weird sex scandals that lead to their downfall? Not that the case of Gareth Williams has yet proven to be such, but that’s the tabloid speculation. This account via the Telegraph:
The maths prodigy was living alone in Cheltenham at the time and had to call for help in the middle of the night to be set free.
His landlady and landlord, who lived below him heard his yells and were met with the “shocking” scene, Westminster Coroners’ Court heard.
It is the first time the incident has been revealed and emerged in a written statement from landlady Jennifer Elliot at the inquest in to Mr Williams, who was found dead in a sports bag in the bath at his London flat in 2010.
The death sparked widespread conspiracy theories including suggestions he had been involved in some kind of sex game that went tragically wrong.
From the archives of British Pathé, a look at Burgess Hill, a one-of-a-kind British boarding school in which nothing was forbidden and students were “allowed to find out for themselves whether conventions are good or bad.” In other words, plenty of cigarette smoking, mod styles, R&B dancing, abstract painting, and motorbike races. Based on the revolutionary idea that kids should be happy:
Burgess Hill was a progressive boarding school in Hertfordshire, England in the 1960s. Run by a Cambridge graduate, it allowed the kids to do what ever they liked! We can’t quite work out whether this is the best or worst school in the world. Would actually be interesting to know what became of these kids.
Reports Jasper Copping in the Telegraph:
The American was voted the winner in a contest run by the National Army Museum to identify the country’s most outstanding military opponent.
He was one of a shortlist of five leaders who topped a public poll and on Saturday was selected as the ultimate winner by an audience of around 70 guests at a special event at the museum, in Chelsea, west London.
In second place was Michael Collins, the Irish leader, ahead of Napoleon Bonaparte, Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. At the event, each contender had their case made by a historian giving a 40 minute presentation. The audience, who had paid to attend the day, then voted in a secret ballot after all five presentations had been made.
Dr Stephen Brumwell, who had championed Washington, said: “As British officers conceded, he was a worthy opponent.”
Via the Northern Echo:
A Labour politician has stunned his town council colleagues by claiming his “real mother” is a 9ft green alien with eight fingers.
Councillor Simon Parkes, who was elected to represent Stakesby ward on Whitby Town Council last month, said although he has had hundreds of close encounters with extra-terrestrials, it will not interfere with his mission to help residents at the seaside resort.
Speaking on YouTube, Coun Parkes said he first saw an alien at the age of eight months, when “a traditional kite-shaped face”, with huge eyes, tiny nostrils and a thin mouth appeared over his cot.
He said: “Two green stick things came in. I was aware of some movement over my head. I thought, ‘they’re not mummy’s hands, mummy’s hands are pink’.”