UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Photographers' Blog:

NFL touchdown in London

By Suzanne Plunkett

British sports fans are a serious bunch. When it comes to football (they never call it soccer), many would rather lose their home than miss their team score a winning goal. Club allegiance is often demonstrated with tribal passion - influencing tattoos, clothing and even choice of marital partners.

When American football makes a rare appearance in London, it's somewhat of a surprise to see the seriousness of the sport replaced with a more frivolous obsession: cheerleaders.

That's not to say British fans have no interest in the sport. When the Chicago Bears took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a showcase game at Wembley Stadium in October, I spoke to plenty of Brits among the American expats paying homage to their national sport. Many professed as much fanaticism as the American supporters who had traveled from the States specifically to see their team.

But as a photographer who had covered both kinds of football matches on either side of the Atlantic and grown to love both sports, it's hard to ignore a few major differences in the fan experience.

from FaithWorld:

Faith overtones heard in Occupy protests but many religious leaders wary

(A banner outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London October 31, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett)

Religions condemn greed. The "Occupy Wall Street" protests around the world condemn greed. So theoretically, religious leaders should find common ground with the rallies denouncing the inequalities of capitalism.

from Left field:

Federer at his sublime best in Paris

By Greg Rusedski

The Paris Masters was going to determine who was going to be the last players to qualify for the ATP world finals in London. The last few places were up for grabs and all the players that were in pole position ended up qualifying. The top eight for the field ended up being Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish.

The other story of the week concerned Djokovic and whether he would play after shoulder problems in Basel. If he didn't play he would have missed his commitments for the master series events and it would have cost him over 1 million pounds in bonus pool money. He did play!

from FaithWorld:

Church of England regions for women bishops to break “stained glass ceiling”

(An English village church in Ault Hucknall, Derbyshire, 11 September 2009/Trevor Rickard)

The Church of England's dioceses, or regions, have voted in favour of consecrating female bishops, campaigners said on Sunday, clearing one hurdle in a long legislative battle to let women break through the "stained glass ceiling."

from Breakingviews:

Music gods again divert EMI’s destiny

By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The music gods have meddled again with EMI’s destiny. In the minds of financiers and industry wags, the union of the British music group - home to the Beatles and the Beastie Boys - with U.S. rival Warner Music was just a matter of time. But the star-crossed match has been knocked off course again by the sale of EMI’s two divisions to Sony and Vivendi’s Universal Music.

from FaithWorld:

London City workers criticize pay gaps, declining ethics – St Paul’s poll

(A placard is balanced on a statue outside St Paul's Cathedral in central London November 6, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett)

Most London City workers believe there is too great a gap between rich and poor in Britain and that traders, company bosses and stockbrokers are paid too much, a survey by a think-tank linked to St Paul's cathedral said on Monday.

from FaithWorld:

Former top London banker sees moral disaster in market economy

(Former Lazard International Chairman Ken Costa listens during a Future of Finance Initiative conference in Horsham, southern England, December 8, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

A former top London banker, weighing into a protest movement in Britain against abuses and excesses of modern capitalism, said on Sunday the market economy had lost "its moral foundations with disastrous consequences."

from FaithWorld:

Ireland to shut Vatican embassy in financial crisis cost overhaul

Ireland will close its embassy to the Vatican, one of the Catholic country's oldest missions, as part of a cost-cutting programme prompted by the country's EU-IMF bailout.

Relations between the Irish government and the Vatican, once traditional allies, are at an all-time low over the Church's handling of sex abuse cases. But Eamon Gilmore, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, denied the embassy closure was linked.

from Felix Salmon:

Europe’s doomed fate

This is beginning to feel like 2008, complete with all the rumor and chaos and volatility we saw back then. MF Global is a bit like those Bear Stearns hedge funds which went bust -- an isolated datapoint in one respect, but ominous in many others. And right now the best case scenario is that Greece ends up being Bear Stearns, rescued by an international community petrified of what might happen in the event of a chaotic collapse.

But Greece being Greece, of course, a chaotic collapse has to be pretty much an inevitability at some point.

from Breakingviews:

Becalmed UK in danger of double dip

By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK economy looks dangerously becalmed. While GDP did increase a good-looking 0.5 percent in the third quarter, the number was flattered by a catch up from a royal wedding-distracted spring. Besides, there has only been a 0.5 percent rise over the full year. And now a euro zone storm is brewing. That Tuesday's UK manufacturing survey for October dropped to the lowest level for over two years is no coincidence -- but is alarming.

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