Stephen's Feed
Aug 1, 2011

Tech firm says News International deleted emails

LONDON (Reuters) – A technology firm has told British legislators it was aware of the deletion of hundreds of thousands of emails at the request of News Corp unit News International between April 2010 and last month, parliamentarian Keith Vaz said on Monday.

The revelation came in a letter by the firm, HCL, to the Home Affairs Select Committee, of which Vaz is chairman.

Jul 27, 2011

New pressure on Gaddafi on foreign and rebel front

BENGHAZI/LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Pressure increased on
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday as the rebels
opposing him won diplomatic recognition from Britain and their
leadership withdrew an offer for him to stay in Libya if he gave
up power.

Britain, one of the main foreign players in the campaign to
oust Gaddafi, also expelled his diplomats from London and
invited the rebel National Transtional Council to replace them.

Jul 27, 2011

Britain recognizes Libyan rebels, frees assets

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Wednesday recognized the Libyan rebel movement as the country’s legitimate government and swiftly unblocked 91 million pounds in frozen assets.

It also invited the opposition to replace diplomats of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in London, who have been expelled.

Aug 18, 2010

“Cougar” trend of women chasing younger men a myth: study

By Stephen Addison

LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Madonna and Demi Moore may be fuelling talk of a growing trend for older women on the prowl for younger men but a study on Wednesday said the phenomenon of the “cougar” is a myth, confined to the world of celebrities.

The study of online dating, by the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), found men and women are still rather traditional when it comes to searching for their ideal partner.

Nov 24, 2009
via UK News

Will the Chilcot Iraq inquiry achieve anything?


Few investigations can have begun with lower expectations than the Chilcot inquiry into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war.Critics have been withering:– the Chairman Sir John Chilcot, a former Whitehall mandarin, has strong links to the establishment and is unlikely to rock the boat, they say.– there are no senior legal figures on the panel capable of addressing the key issue of whether the invasion of Iraq was legal. None of the panel members has spoken out against the war.– there is no political pressure for a radical result because the Tories voted for the invasion and the last thing they want is to let the inquiry rock the boat ahead of their expected general election victory in the Summer.– the scope of the inquiry is too broad, possibly leading to insufficient detailed inquiries into complex issues.But Chilcot has denied that his report will be a whitewash, there is clearly a widespread public desire to have all the lingering questions answered and the government has granted immunity from disciplinary action to serving officials and military personnel giving evidence to encourage them to give frank evidence.Do you expect to learn anything new from the inquiry?

Nov 4, 2009
via UK News

Drawing the line against the Taliban


Fight them there or fight them here?Former Foreign Office minister Kim Howells poses the question in the Guardian in a piece made grimly relevant by Wednesday’s shooting dead of  five British soldiers by an Afghan policeman.Howells says troops should be brought back from Afghanistan and that the billions of pounds saved should be used to beef up homeland security in Britain – drawing the front line against al Qaeda around the UK rather than thousands of miles away in Helmand province.He accepts that such an approach would result in “more intrusive surveillance in certain communities,” a tacit acknowledgment that Britain’s Muslims would be subject to greater scrutiny by police and intelligence services.His “Fortress Britain” theory takes into account indications that a growing number of experts feel the war against the Al Qaeda’s supporters the Taliban in Afghanistan is unwinnable.It also makes the point that not all Al Qaeda training camps are in Afghanistan anyway.Howells is Gordon Brown’s intelligence and security watchdog and his theory goes counter to the prevailing wisdom in Washington and London, both of which are preparing to send more troops to Afghanistan.Do you agree with him?

Oct 27, 2009
via UK News

Is Blair the man for the EU job?


Once he was regarded as an obvious front-runner for the job of EU president, then it was pointed out that it was unlikely anyone would be chosen from a country that is not in the eurozone, not in the Schengen border-free area and which has an exemption to the bloc’s charter of fundamental rights.Ah, but if you don’t choose someone with proven political clout to fight Europe’s corner, a G2 of China and the United States will have things all their own way soon, declared Foreign Secretary David Miliband over the weekend.You need someone with a high profile who will stop the traffic in world capitals, he added.Oh no, we don’t, several EU countries say. We want someone with a lower profile who will be better able to secure consensus among members states than Tony Blair.Other detrators say they don’t want Blair because he backed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Conservatives in Britain have said that appointing him would be viewed by an incoming Tory government as a virtual act of war and that he runs the risk of being almost immediately thrust into controversy as the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war begins.The actual decision is likely to be made at a summit next month. Meanwhile Blair himself seems to be standing on the sidelines, so much so that some of his supporters are urging him to launch a more dynamic campaign.Do you believe Blair’s the man for the job?