Michael's Feed
Jul 1, 2015

Sotheby’s sees record London contemporary art sale despite Bacon failure

LONDON (Reuters) – Andy Warhol’s “One Dollar”, the first in his dollar bill series, fetched 20.9 million pounds ($32.4 million) at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, the top-seller in what the auction house said was its highest ever total sales for an auction of contemporary art in London.

However, the auction’s star attraction, Francis Bacon’s “Study for a Pope I”, which had been estimated at 25 to 35 million pounds, went unsold after bids failed to reach the reserve price.

Jun 24, 2015

Queen Elizabeth might have to leave crumbling Buckingham Palace

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth might have to move out of Buckingham Palace for an extended period under plans being considered to allow builders to carry out millions of pounds of repairs to the crumbling building.

The 300-year-old palace needs about 150 million pounds ($240 million) worth of work to fix the roofs and replace old wiring, ancient decorating and dated plumbing, a royal source said on Wednesday.

Jun 23, 2015

Pakistani cleric launches anti-ISIS curriculum in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – A prominent Pakistani Islamic cleric launched a “counter-terrorism” curriculum in London on Tuesday, to rebut the message of militant groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) and stop young people becoming radicalized and heading to Syria.

Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, a politician, scholar and fiery orator, said he wanted his 900-page curriculum, containing theological and ideological arguments to undermine extremists, to be taught not just at mosques and Islamic institutions but at schools across Britain.

Jun 22, 2015

European police team to take on IS social media propaganda

LONDON (Reuters) – A Europe-wide police unit is to be set up next month with the aim of shutting down social media accounts used by key Islamic State (IS) militants to spread propaganda and recruit foreigners to their cause, Europol said on Monday.

The small police team will scour the internet and try to take down accounts of IS ringleaders within hours of being detected, in a bid to dent a propaganda machine which is reckoned to send out about 100,000 tweets a day.

Jun 19, 2015

English city stunned by family’s flight to join Islamic State

BRADFORD, England (Reuters) – Zahoor Ahmed shakes his head in disbelief as he surveys the back of a terraced house belonging to the family of the three Dawood sisters, believed to have traveled to Syria to join Islamic State militants and brought their nine children with them.

“Why would you go to Syria? I don’t understand it,” said Ahmed, 52, wearing traditional Muslim attire as he surveyed the unremarkable street in the northern English city of Bradford, where he said he had never encountered extremism.

Jun 12, 2015

British royals return to Runnymede, where Magna Carta sealed 800 years ago

LONDON (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth will return on Monday to the setting where 800 years ago one of her predecessors accepted the Magna Carta, the English document that put limits on the power of the crown for the first time and laid the foundation for modern freedoms.

The Magna Carta, Latin for “Great Charter”, was ratified by King John of England in June 1215, at Runnymede, about 20 miles west of London, after an uprising by his barons. It established certain rights of the English people and placed the monarch under the rule of law.

Jun 11, 2015

UK terrorism law watchdog calls for major surveillance overhaul

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s terrorism law watchdog said on Thursday the legal framework underpinning security services’ ability to spy on the public’s communications was fragmented, undemocratic and “in the long run intolerable.”

David Anderson, Britain’s independent reviewer of anti-terrorism laws, said the framework overseeing the interception of emails, phone calls and online activity by police and spies needed a major overhaul, and that the government needed to spell out why the authorities were pressing for even more powers.

Jun 10, 2015

Family of Brazilian shot dead by UK police take case to European court

LONDON (Reuters) – The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian electrician shot dead 10 years ago by London police who thought he was a suicide bomber, will launch a bid at a European Court on Wednesday to demand the officers involved face criminal action.

De Menezes was shot seven times in the head by specialist firearms officers as he boarded an underground train at Stockwell station in south London on July 22, 2005.

Jun 7, 2015

Obama says stay, but some Cameron MPs prepare to back UK exit from EU

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 50 lawmakers in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party launched a campaign to back Britain’s exit from the EU unless he can get it to adopt radical reforms, even as U.S. President Barack Obama argued in favor of staying.

Cameron, riding high after a surprise outright victory in last month’s parliamentary election, wants to claw back powers from the European Union before holding a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether Britain should stay or leave.

Jun 7, 2015

More than 50 lawmakers from UK PM Cameron’s party ready to join EU exit campaign

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron has been challenged by a group of over 50 lawmakers from his Conservative Party who are prepared to join a campaign backing Britain’s exit from the European Union unless he achieves radical changes in the bloc.

The lawmakers on Sunday launched a new political group called Conservatives for Britain (CfB), which will support Cameron’s bid for reform while urging an end to EU membership unless significant changes are achieved.