April 27, 2009
Taking a fortnight’s holiday, back on the eleventh of May.
April 25, 2009
British National Party (BNP) chairman Nick Griffin has defended a party leaflet which says that black Britons and Asian Britons “do not exist”.
The BNP’s “Language and Concepts Discipline Manual” says the term used should be “racial foreigners”.
In a BBC interview, Mr Griffin said to call such people British was a sort of “bloodless genocide” because it denied indigenous people their own identity.
Mr Griffin is standing in the European Parliament elections in June…
The manual describes the BNP’s “ultimate aim” as the “lawful, humane and voluntary repatriation of the resident foreigners of the UK”.
- BBC News
April 24, 2009
A bus driver is to be recognised for teaching his Eastern European colleagues at First Glasgow bus company how to understand Glaswegian slang.
James Lillis, 55, will receive the 4th annual Helen Dowie award for Lifelong Learning at the STUC conference in Perth on Wednesday.
Mr Lillis, who has driven buses in the city for 30 years, runs the workplace learning centre at his depot.
He started teaching “Glaswegian” at the centre after learning basic Polish.
One in 10 drivers working for First Glasgow, the city’s main bus operator, come from outside the UK. The majority of the foreign drivers come from Poland, with Slovak, Hungarian, Lithuanian and Czech drivers also employed.
- BBC News
April 23, 2009
Alistair Darling has said the UK will have to borrow a record £175bn as he admitted the economy faces its worst year since the Second World War. The package would steer the UK through to recovery, he said.
The Tories said the economy was in an “utter mess”. Leader David Cameron said not enough had been done to get spending under control and “Britain simply cannot afford another five years of Labour”.
Total government debt will double to 79% of GDP by 2013 – the highest level since the Second World War. The annual budget deficit will rise sharply to £175bn for the next two years.
The Budget received a cool reception in the City with the pound down – and the Confederation of British Industry said it did not set out a “credible and rigorous” path to recovery.
Full coverage and analysis of the budget is available through BBC News
April 22, 2009
PETROL is believed to have been introduced into the bilges of an asylum-seeker boat minutes before it exploded last Thursday, killing five of those on board.
As Kevin Rudd and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono promised closer co-operation to stamp out people-smuggling yesterday, senior government sources told The Australian a strong build-up of petrol vapours was emerging as the likely cause of the fatal blast…
Yesterday, senior government sources told The Australian a naval boarding party aboard the doomed vessel, dubbed Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel 36, reported an “agitation” or disturbance on the boat about five minutes before the explosion occurred.
The report is consistent with a statement on Friday by the commanding officer of HMAS Albany, Lieutenant Commander Barry Learoyd, that naval personnel on the vessel had relayed a “high-threat” call five to six minutes after they boarded the boat. It is understood the smell of petrol vapour was detected by those on board.
The Defence Department last night released a 20-second video showing the burning vessel with a navy boat assisting asylum seekers who had been blown into the water. The navy rigid inflatable boat passes around the side of the boat and one of its crew appears to lean over the edge, apparently attempting to haul one of the passengers aboard…
Dozens of injured are now being treated in hospitals in Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. Burns surgeon Michael Muller said the nature of the burns suffered by those on board – so-called “flash burns” – were further indications petrol was the main source of the explosion.
A senior government source said investigators believed petrol was introduced into the boat’s bilges, rather than the deck, as has been widely reported. The bilges are a boat’s lowest compartment situated below the deck, an ideal place for a vapour cloud to form.
“It seems pretty clear it was a petrol explosion,” the source said.
“We believe it was a closed-deck, in-board explosion, possibly deliberate.”
April 21, 2009
First Minister Alex Salmond has written to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urging her to reverse an immigration tribunal decision.
Swarthick Salins has been told he will be deported with his family because his savings were £78 less than the £800 specified by Home Office rules.
Mr Salins, a 37-year-old Indian, has lived in Scotland for nine years and his three children were born in the UK.
Mr Salmond said the decision was “overly harsh”.
- BBC News
April 20, 2009
A German football club will refund the tickets of 600 fans in an unusual apology for a “pitiful performance” that ended in a 4-0 loss at Schalke.
Energie Cottbus supporters travelled some 610km (380 miles) to Gelsenkirchen on Friday only to see their team suffer the sixth loss in seven games. The club made the offer in a web statement headed “Sorry, Energie Fans!”.
Cottbus are second from bottom of the Bundesliga table and in danger of being relegated at the end of the season.
- BBC News
April 19, 2009
The economy is no longer in free fall and a recovery next spring is likely, a renowned economic think tank has said.
Stabilising markets and the easing of credit conditions may well mean that the worst of the recession is over, the Ernst & Young Item Club said. It is forecasting the economy to shrink by 3.5% this year and by 0.1% in 2010.
However, it also said that the backdrop to Wednesday’s Budget is “bleak” and warned that the chancellor has “limited options” in his spending plans.
In the Budget, Alistair Darling is expected to predict economic contraction of about 3% of GDP this year – up from his earlier forecast in November of between 0.75% to 1.25%.
- BBC News
April 18, 2009
Where’s Samuel L Jackson when you need him?
An Australian airliner was grounded after four baby pythons escaped from their container in the aircraft’s hold.
The snakes, just six inches long, were among 12 Stimson’s pythons being flown from Alice Springs to Melbourne.
At first it was thought the reptiles may have been eaten by the other snakes, but this was discounted after they were weighed on landing.
Passengers were transferred to other aircraft. The jet was fumigated but the snakes’ bodies are yet to be found.
“They’re not endangered so a decision was made to fumigate…if these snakes turn up they will be very much dead snakes,” David Epstein of Qantas said.
- BBC News
April 17, 2009
Eight police officers serving with Scotland’s largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged.
Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies.
The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane’s Police Review.
Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers…
A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police confirmed: “At the time of the request, 10 (eight police officers and two police staff) had recorded their religion as Jedi.”
She added that the force monitored “six strands of diversity” – age, disability, gender, race religion and belief, and sexual orientation.
- BBC News