By Toby Melville
After a wet and windy December, in January it rained. And rained. And rained. And it kept on raining. Pretty much for the whole month in southern parts of Britain.
February was no better, bringing heavy storms and high winds. The extreme weather claimed a handful of lives, and flooded thousands of homes.
WINDSOR, England (Reuters) – A British coroner said on Thursday he could not be sure if exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky killed himself at his former wife’s British home or was the victim of foul play.
Berezovsky, a sworn enemy of President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in March last year with a scarf tied around his neck in the bathroom of a luxury mansion in Ascot, an affluent English town near Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle, west of London.
CLEY NEXT THE SEA, England, Jan 8 (Reuters) – British police
said on Wednesday they would be working with the U.S. Air Force
and others to find out why a U.S. military helicopter crashed on
the coast of eastern England, killing all four crew on board.
Wreckage included munitions was spread over a wide area of
the crash site in difficult terrain.
By Toby Melville
“Moon, Daddy!” exclaimed my two year old daughter excitedly from the rear seat as I drove her back home from a day with the childminder. “Where’s the moon?” I inquired as I concentrated on navigating through the evening rush hour on the busy roads of west London. “Over there: moon!” she repeated.
I knew it was a full and so-called Harvest Moon that night. I had a 500mm lens and decent enough 2 x converter in the trunk of the car as the every-ready back up emergency news set up. But the afternoon had been grotty and drizzly so not for the first time I had pretty much abandoned ideas for ‘full moon’ shots for another month.
By Toby Melville
After two weeks of rainy, cold and windy tennis, somehow kept on schedule courtesy of early starts, late finishes and a much used Centre Court roof, the traditional tournament highlight of the Men’s Singles Final took place on Sunday.
For the first time in 75 years a Briton would contest the match. The only obstacle in Scot Andy Murray’s path to glory was the huge boulder in the shape of sixteen grand slam winner and six time Wimbledon victor, Switzerland’s Roger Federer.
By Toby Melville
The United Kingdom, London in particular, is cranking up the momentum with just over two months to go until the 2012 Summer Olympics begin. In the last few months myriads of sporting, political and business photocalls have taken place around the gleaming and glittering new venues in east London with many test events being held therein.
The last time London hosted the Olympics was in 1948, three years after the Second World War and because of that global conflict, it was the first Olympics in 12 years, since Berlin in 1936. The competition was labelled the Austerity Games, because of the post-war rationing and the economic climate of the time. With the 2012 Games also set against a backdrop of global financial and economic crisis, comparisons with the previous time London played host are easy to make.
Last night the great Behemoth that is the Harry Potter franchise machine rolled into town for the world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2″: the eighth and final film installment from JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful book series about the adventures of a boy wizard.
A swathe of central London seemed to be shut down for the launch. Thousands of young fans had camped out for up to five days in Trafalgar Square waiting to glimpse their screen idols, and a red carpet measuring some 1.2 kilometers (0.7 miles) – reputedly the longest in the world – underlining the scale of this publicity spectacular. Despite having shot more film premieres than eaten bags of popcorn at the cinema, I still have to admit to being wowed by the scale and choreography of this event.
The dust settles in London as scaffolding, media platforms and gantries are dismantled and the world’s news organizations pack up and leave town. Their job complete with hundreds of news programs run, and countless special supplements and newspaper and magazine fronts globally filled with memorable photographs from the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29th.
I was one of the Reuters photographers assigned to an official spot and ringside view: outside of Westminster Abbey as the happy couple emerged immediately after the actual ceremony. Light cloud gave good even light and an unfettered view meant after months of team preparation and logistical headaches, me and my colleagues/rivals in our spot got the right frames transmitted in speedy time for that part of the day and the Palace got the images of record they wanted.
ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) – Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton returned to the university where they met and fell in love on Friday with an official visit to St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland.
It was at the picturesque university that they got to know each other in 2001 as undergraduates studying art history. They went on to share a house on the outskirts of town, and their romance blossomed.
NOTTINGHAM/BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) – An ally of former prime minister Gordon Brown joined the race on Wednesday to lead the Labour party after it lost power for the first time since 1997.
The party is searching for a new leader to succeed Brown, who resigned earlier this month after an election defeat. A Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance now governs Britain, the first coalition since World War Two.