LONDON (Reuters) – Former BBC Director General Mark Thompson, now chief executive of the New York Times Company, on Monday defended large severance payments to senior BBC bosses that he said had ultimately helped the publicly funded broadcaster cut costs.
British lawmakers are trying to understand why Thompson sanctioned payments at least 1.4 million pounds ($2.19 million) beyond contractual obligations to senior BBC managers during the last three years of his 2004-2012 watch.
LONDON (Reuters) – The BBC’s former director general Mark Thompson has accused the head of its governing body of misleading Britain’s parliament about huge pay-offs to senior executives, in an escalating spat that has put the two men’s reputations on the line.
Thompson, who quit the British broadcaster last year to become chief executive of the New York Times, is under fire over payments of 25 million pounds ($40 million) made to 150 departing BBC staff between 2009 to 2012.
Britain’s new chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who has vowed to remain traditional by barring women rabbis and same-sex marriage, was sworn in on Sunday to face the challenge of uniting the nation’s polarized Jewish community.
LONDON (Reuters) – Wealthy homeowners in some of London’s most affluent neighborhoods are racing to build luxury basements with swimming pools and wine cellars before new rules limiting underground developments come into force.
Over the past decade a growing number of property owners unable to build up or out in tight London streets have opted to dig down, bypassing rules governing above-ground work and encouraged by technological advances in building basements.
LONDON (Reuters) – With a year until Scotland’s referendum on independence, enough voters are “don’t knows” to swing the vote and only one in four are certain to vote for separating from Britain, according to an opinion poll on Wednesday.
The survey follows a flurry of warnings from British government figures this year on the potential negative economic impact of independence. Finance minister George Osborne said this week it would make Scotland four percent poorer over the next 30 years and over-dependent on volatile tax receipts from the oil and gas industry.
LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Oil exploration at a site in
rural England that sparked anti-fracking protests two weeks ago
will be put on hold later this month and reconsidered next year
with the freeze hailed a “cautious victory” by campaigners.
Shale gas driller Cuadrilla Resources on Tuesday withdrew an
application to extend drilling and horizontal well testing at a
site near Balcombe village in West Sussex beyond Sept. 28 when
its current permit expires and said it would submit new plans.
LONDON (Reuters) – A new London skyscraper that reflects sunlight at an intensity capable of melting parts of a car became the latest attraction in the city’s financial district on Tuesday as the developers promised to find a quick fix.
The glass-clad tower, dubbed the Walkie Talkie for its distinctive flared shape, was blamed this week for warping the wing mirror, panels and badge on a Jaguar car parked on the street below the 37-storey building that is under construction.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s new chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, who has vowed to remain traditional by barring women rabbis and same-sex marriage, was sworn in on Sunday to face the challenge of uniting the nation’s polarized Jewish community.
About 1,400 guests, including Britain’s heir apparent Prince Charles, attended a ceremony at a north London synagogue as Mirvis replaced the respected Jonathan Sacks after 22 years as the leading spokesman for British Jews.
LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – A British safety group on
Thursday ended a six-day suspension of flights by Super Puma
helicopters in the North Sea, imposed after four oil rig
contractors were killed in a crash last week.
Although the cause of last Friday’s fatal accident near
Scotland’s Shetland Islands remains unknown, the Helicopter
Safety Steering Group (HSSG) said there was no evidence to
continue a suspension on flights put in place on Saturday.
LONDON (Reuters) – Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was charged with 13 child sex offences on Thursday as part of an investigation by British police into child abuse that has led to the arrest of more than a dozen aging celebrities.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Harris, 83, faced nine counts of indecent assault related to two girls aged under 16 in the 1980s, and four offences of making indecent images of a child last year.