London

Photo Of The Day

© Andre Camara – The bomb damaged area of the City of London, after two blasts ripped through the buildings in the area, April 24, 1993.

© Andre Camara – The bomb damaged area of the City of London, after two blasts ripped through the buildings in the area, April 24, 1993.

1993: IRA bomb devastates City of London

A massive bomb ripped through the heart of the City of London, killing one and injuring more than 40. The explosion shook buildings and shattered hundreds of windows, sending glass showering down into the streets below. A mediaeval church, St Ethelburga’s, collapsed; another church and Liverpool Street underground station were also wrecked. The cost of repairing the damage was estimated at more than £1bn.

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Someone else who is desperate need of a bit of rendition

Julian Assange has lost his appeal in Sweden.

Time he was sent packing like his fat German friend.

Sweden’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange against his arrest warrant for alleged rape and sexual assault.

Sweden issued the arrest warrant in 2010 following allegations from two Swedish women, one who claimed rape and another who alleged sexual assault.

The Australian has been ensconced in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to the Scandinavian country.

“The Supreme Court notes that investigators have begun efforts to question Julian Assange in London. The Supreme Court finds no reason to lift the arrest warrant,” it said in a statement.

Swedish prosecutors offered in March to question Assange in London, dropping their previous demand that he come to Sweden to answer to the allegations, making a significant U-turn in the case that has been deadlocked for nearly five years.   Read more »

Photo Of The Day

IMAGE: PETRA NIEMEIER - K & K/REDFERNS / GETTY IMAGES

IMAGE: PETRA NIEMEIER – K & K/REDFERNS / GETTY IMAGES

Hanging out with Hendrix

Jimi Cooking Up A Storm

 34 Montagu Square, in Marylebone, London, is a part of music history. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr leased the ground-floor and basement apartment in the mid-1960s, and Paul McCartney created several Beatles demos there in 1965, including “I’m Looking Through You” from the album Revolver.

Hendrix also lived in the apartment, subletting it from Ringo beginning in December 1966. He lived with his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, and also with his manager, Chas Chandler, and his girlfriend, Lotta Null. The monthly rent was £30.

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Photo Of The Day

Immigration poster

New Zealand was not known to Europeans until 1642. Over 150 years later, settlers started to arrive from England, Scotland, and Ireland. The journey was long, arduous, and uncomfortable, but they came in the hope of a better life.

In the 1850s Auckland province offered 40 acres (16 hectares) for any immigrant to the province who was likely to become a ‘useful colonist’, plus another 20 acres (8 hectares) for any child aged five to 18. Such immigration advertising helped to establish the idea that New Zealand was a pastoral paradise where there was abundant fertile land for farming.

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Face of the day

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Mohammed Emwazi AKA Jihadi John

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about ‘Jihadi John’, the world’s most wanted man, is just how ordinary he actually is.

‘Jihadi John’ – the barbaric executioner of Western hostages held in Syria – has been unmasked as a computer studies graduate who grew up in a leafy and affluent suburb of west London.

His real name is Mohammed Emwazi, the eldest of six children, who took pride in his appearance, wore nice clothes, and appears – on the face of it at least – to have been a diligent student. He doesn’t even have a criminal record.

Nevertheless over the course of six years following his graduation, Emwazi undertook a journey that transformed him from benign teenager to the most demonic of killers, a blood-thirsty murderer who beheaded hostages, including Britons David Haines and Alan Henning, broadcast to the world in propaganda videos for the Islamic State.

Read in full: Jihadi John: From ordinary schoolboy to world’s most wanted man

-http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Explaining is losing: Len Brown goes on the front foot

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the council’s overseas postings are all about economic growth and jobs in the city, and despite criticism, there will be more.

It was revealed at the weekend that Auckland Council has sent one of its staff to London at a cost of $230,000 a year, after his English-born wife became homesick. Another of its staff was sent to San Francisco.

“It’s all about jobs for us – investment in our city, visitors to our city and country, and economic jobs and benefits,” Mr Brown said on Firstline this morning.

Mr Brown did not know about the London posting before it happened, but with 8500 people employed by the council, he can’t be expected to know everything.

“The person directly responsible for this is our chief executive officer, and then the chief executive officers like Brett O’Riley for our council companies like ATEED [Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development]. So of course I would not know about everyone who’s employed and where they’re employed, but what I will say is I totally back Brett and his leadership.”

Asked if the position in London would have been created had the employee’s wife been from a country with fewer economic ties to New Zealand – such as Latvia – Mr Brown said he was “not going to get into the details of it”.

So he did know about the San Francisco “council ambassador”, but not about the London one?  Yeah, right.  That makes total sense.   Read more »

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Another Auckland Council trougher living life on the large overseas

Auckland Council is out of control.

Over the weekend it was revealed that one trougher from ATEED is living life on the large at ratepayers expense in London.

Len Brown professed no knowledge of the arrangements but backed it.

Now we know why…he probably did know, and also knew of another trougher living life on the large, this time in San Francisco…and there are plans for another in China.

Aucklanders have their own woman in San Francisco to go with their own man in London.

Pam Ford, of Auckland Council’s economic development arm, has been based in San Francisco since March last year.

On Saturday, the Herald revealed that Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had created a contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

His English-born wife was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.   Read more »

Auckland City staff paid to live in London

This is hard to fathom.  Auckland ratepayers are forking out $230,000 a year for one of Auckland Council’s employees and his family to live in London so he can work there.

Since when do councils effectively need ambassadors in other countries?

Aucklanders now have their very own man in London, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

Auckland Council’s economic development arm has created a special contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, who has moved his family to England.

His English-born wife, Kate, was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.

The Jenkins have set up home with their two children outside London in the village of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire.

As well as paying about $196,000 for a 12-month contract, ratepayers are picking up Mr Jenkins’ work expenses and office costs at New Zealand Tourism’s headquarters in New Zealand House near Trafalgar Square.

Ratepayers have paid an administration fee of about $15,000 for his contract and contributed $19,841 to the family’s relocation costs.

That’s very hard to justify when you’re talking about spending public money.  Mind you, the council tried to save it by not giving any to the Helicopter Rescue Trust.   At least their priorities are right…   Read more »

Face of the day

 

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cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a team to investigate today’s face of the day, cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh. Despite being censored by his own Editors and being imprisoned in the past by Israel for five months because of  contact with a hostile organisation  in 2013 he still does not agree with freedom of expression. He argues that a cartoonist should not harm any religion.

He was against the re-publication by Western newspapers of Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of Mohammed. “Republishing them reactivates hatred and hostility. It’s provoking more hatred in the society, based on religion.”

Ironically however it was Sabaaneh’s cartoon of Mohammed that got him suspended from his job and under investigation.

He tells Ben Lynfield in Ramallah that he just wanted to make people think

sabaaneh

It was meant to be a favourable image, designed to counter negative stereotypes of Islam in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

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London Waitangi Pub Crawl team ready to go

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