Thursday, February 28, 2008

Outcry as Muslim extremist is allowed to tour Britain to 'promote violence'

By MATTHEW HICKLEY - Last updated at 08:15am on 28th February 2008

The Home Secretary came under fire last night for allowing a radical Lebanese propagandist with links to the extremist group Hezbollah to enter Britain for a national speaking tour.
The Conservatives urged Jacqui Smith to ban Ibrahim Moussawi from the UK, warning that he was "likely to foment extremism or promote violence". hickley&in_name=on&in_order_by=relevance+date

Inside job: Police hunt mole who guided green protesters onto roof of the Commons

By MICHAEL SEAMARK - Last updated at 21:45pm on 27th February 2008

Lobbing paper aeroplanes into the sky, five protesters perched on top of the Houses of Parliament yesterday in another embarrassing breach of Westminster security.
They spent almost three hours on the roof demonstrating against Heathrow airport expansion plans before being arrested and led off to be questioned by police.

House sales down by a fifth

From Times Online February 28, 2008 Grainne Gilmore, Economics Correspondent

The number of houses sold in November last year fell by 22 per cent compared with November 2006.
Figures from the Land Registry show that 90,581 properties were sold last November, down from 115,873 in the previous year.
This is the lowest level of house sales since February last year, a month when sales are typically lower.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Greenpeace activists scale plane at Heathrow

By David Millward, Transport Editor Last Updated: 3:36am GMT 26/02/2008

An investigation is underway after Greenpeace activists clambered onto a British Airways Boeing 777 at Heathrow.
Four climate change protesters wrapped a banner around the tailfin protesting at plans to build a third runway at the airport.

Bomb chemicals 'can be smuggled on airplane'

By David Millward Transport Editor Last Updated: 3:37am GMT 26/02/2008

Terrorists could smuggle the components needed to make a bomb on to a plane in Britain despite restrictions on taking liquids on board, it was claimed.
A television documentary team said it had made a bomb by mixing a series of odourless and colourless chemicals that could be brought into an aircraft by passengers.

'Osama bin London' guilty over terror camps

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent Last Updated: 3:00pm GMT 26/02/2008

An Islamic leader who called himself "Osama Bin London" and recruited and groomed the July 21 bombers has been found guilty of urging his followers to kill non-believers, it can be revealed today.
Street preacher Mohammed Hamid told young Muslims the 52 deaths in the July 7 attacks on London were "not even breakfast to me" as he urged them to prepare for jihad [holy war].

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Michael Martin in new MPs expenses row

By Patrick Hennessy Last Updated: 10:56am GMT 24/02/2008

The beleaguered Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, has suffered a fresh blow as it emerged that his officials deceived the public over his wife's expenses.
The revelation came to light following the resignation of Mike Granatt as Mr Martin's spokesman.

Record numbers of Army recruits drop out

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 2:05am GMT 24/02/2008

A third of Army recruits are dropping out of basic infantry training, new Government figures show.
More than one in three soldiers who sign up to serve in the infantry are quitting before the end of the tough 24-week training course or else fail to meet the minimum standard required by the Army.
The figures, which show the number of recruits who drop out rising sharply over the past four years, have emerged only days after a Ministry of Defence report revealed that the Armed Forces are now more than 5,000 men and women under strength.

Over 1.2 million older people living in isolation

By Richard Gray Last Updated: 2:51am GMT 24/02/2008

More than 1.2 million elderly people are living isolated and lonely lives, according to a new report that calls on the Government to find new ways of "re-connecting" older people to their communities.
The report, by the charity Counsel and Care, which offers support and advice for the elderly, blames the problem on growing fragmentation of families, age discrimination and a decline in support services.

Drink sends 1,000 children a year to hospital

By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent Last Updated: 2:05am GMT 24/02/2008

More than 1,000 children under the age of 14 are being admitted to hospital every year as a result of binge drinking, new figures show.
Experts said that the alarming figures showed a "time bomb" facing the country, warning that patients as young as 20 are being diagnosed with irreversible liver damage.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spending cuts 'will put national security at risk'

By Andrew Porter and Thomas Harding Last Updated: 12:51am GMT 21/02/2008

Fears have been raised that national security is being put at risk by major reductions in defence spending.
Industry chiefs also warned that economic stability and manufacturing jobs would be jeopardised if military projects are cut.
Their statement comes as defence chiefs and top civil servants today attend a key meeting of the Defence Management Board that will make decisions on the £31 billion defence budget.

Death threat sent to Chelsea manager

By Graham Tibbetts Last Updated: 1:21am GMT 21/02/2008

The manager of Chelsea football club has been the target of an anti-Semitic death threat, police said yesterday.
Avram Grant, 52, was sent a package containing a mysterious white powder. Enclosed was a letter claiming the powder was lethal. It read: "You are a back-stabbing Jewish b******. When you open this letter you will die a very slow and painful death."

Biggest brain drain from UK in 50 years

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 4:06am GMT 21/02/2008

Britain is experiencing the worst "brain drain" of any country as highly qualified professionals settle abroad, an authoritative international study showed yesterday.
Over a quarter of qualified professionals who have moved abroad had health or education qualifications
There are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates, say the researchers.

British Gas profits pits CBI against consumers

By Richard Alleyne Last Updated: 2:39pm GMT 21/02/2008

Britain's biggest business lobby has taken the unusual step today of defending the five-fold increase in profits at British Gas against a wave of anger from consumer groups.
Profits at British Gas, which is owned by Centrica, jumped to £571m last year from £95m in 2006.
But the bonanza for shareholders is unlikely to lead to a drop in domestic prices the company said, because of soaring and volatile wholesale energy costs. It warned that millions of homeowners face higher energy bills for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Water customers face price hike

By Stephen Adams Last Updated: 4:15pm GMT 19/02/2008

Water bills across England and Wales are set to soar by up to 10 per cent from April - adding up to £30 on the annual bill, it has emerged.
Average bills are due to rise by 7.5 per cent, meaning the typical demand will rise by £23.40 to £335.40, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).

More protection for troops, says Iraq coroner

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 6:08pm GMT 19/02/2008

A coroner is to demand better protection for soldiers from the Government, after an inquest heard how a close friend of Prince William was among four troops killed when the underside of their armoured vehicle was destroyed by a bomb.
David Masters said he would urgently seek to find out what further steps can be taken to improve protection to the undercarriage of Warriors.

Northern Rock deal could cost us each £3,500

By Andrew Porter, Robert Winnett and Edmund Conway Last Updated: 12:31pm GMT

The cost of the Northern Rock crisis has reached the equivalent of £3,500 for every taxpayer as experts warned that the nationalisation rescue of the bank was bound to fail.
Taxpayers' exposure to the beleaguered bank has doubled since the beginning of the year and now stands at about £110 billion - more than the annual budget of the NHS and the equivalent of 27p on the basic rate of income tax.

Iraq dossier 'based on spin doctors arguments'

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 1:43am GMT 19/02/2008

The "dodgy dossier" on Iraq which the Government claimed gave the intelligence agencies' case for war bore a striking resemblance to a draft by a Government spin doctor, it emerged on Monday.
The public was finally allowed to compare the two documents more than six years after they were drawn up after the release of a draft by John Williams, a former Foreign Office press officer.
Opposition politicians said the report proved that the case for war had been based on the arguments and rhetoric of spin doctors rather than an impartial analysis by intelligence experts.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Livingstone calls in police over sleaze claims

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent Last Updated: 1:48am GMT 16/02/2008

Ken Livingstone has admitted that sleaze allegations are damaging his prospects of re-election as London mayor after calling police in to investigate a close adviser.
Scotland Yard yesterday confirmed that they would launch an inquiry after the suspension of the mayor's race adviser, Lee Jasper, from his job at the London Assembly amid fraud claims.

Britain 'a soft touch for terrorists'

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 2:02pm GMT 15/02/2008

Britain has become a "soft touch" for home grown terrorists because ministers have failed to tackle immigrant communities that refuse to integrate, warns a report released today.
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a body of the country's leading military and diplomatic figures, says the loss of British values and national identity caused by "flabby and bogus" Government thinking has made the country vulnerable to attack from Islamic extremists. MI5 estimates that there are currently about 2,000 active terror supporters in Britain.

Man guilty over Muslim soldier beheading plot

By Duncan Gardham Security correspondent Last Updated: 1:57am GMT 16/02/2008

A teaching assistant has been found guilty of helping a terrorist who was plotting the kidnap and execution of a British Muslim soldier. Zahoor Iqbal helped send supplies to terrorists in Afghanistan.
Zahoor Iqbal, 30, a Labour Party member and secondary school "achievement mentor" was found guilty of helping Parviz Khan to run money and equipment to terrorists in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

National debt costs as much as Armed Forces

By Toby Helm, Public Policy Editor
Last Updated: 7:27am GMT 13/02/2008

Interest payments on the national debt are costing British taxpayers almost as much as the entire defence budget, according to Treasury figures.
The statistics illustrate the effect of the Government's high public spending and borrowing policies - and will further undermine its reputation for financial prudence.
The amount of taxpayers' money being spent on debt interest stands at more than £31 billion a year. Defence expenditure is £32 billion.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Non-dom plan 'to cost Alistair Darling £2bn'

By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:35am GMT 11/02/2008

Alistair Darling's tax crackdown on Britain's non-domiciled residents will end up costing the Treasury more than twice the sum the Chancellor expects it to raise, a new study has calculated.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Archbishop Williams Disavowed by Anglicans

By Patrick Sawer, Last Updated: 1:15am GMT 10/02/2008

The great majority of the general synod of the Church of England thinks that Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has made a serious mistake in calling for Shari’a law to be incorporated into the British legal system. The Archbishop has also been criticized by several members of Parliament who have think he should resign from his post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Jack Straw knew of MP's terror meetings

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 7:01pm GMT 05/02/2008

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, knew two months ago that the MP at the centre of the bugging row had held meetings with a terrorist suspect.
Mr Straw was facing calls to explain himself after he revealed that he had been told in December that Sadiq Khan had been meeting Babar Ahmad at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes in December.

Questions over team investigating sleaze

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 1:13am GMT 06/02/2008

A committee set up to review MPs' perks and expenses is dominated by establishment figures who oppose public scrutiny of their financial affairs or are tainted by allegations of "sleaze", it has been disclosed.

Government to fine parents of drinkers

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor Last Updated: 1:13am GMT 06/02/2008

Parents who allow their children to drink alcohol in public may be fined £1,000 or forced to do community work under plans to be announced by the Home Secretary on Wednesday.
Jacqui Smith is expected to unveil proposals for new "parenting contracts" that could be served on those whose under-age children are caught drinking.

Prince Andrew angers Palace with US attack

By Andrew Pierce Last Updated: 2:44am GMT 06/02/2008

The Duke of York has angered the Queen and senior politicians with his extraordinary attack on the White House on the eve of his trade mission to the United States.
Downing Street and the Foreign Office were also dismayed by the timing of his comments so close to the Super Tuesday primaries.
The duke's criticism, in a newspaper interview, of President Bush's post-war strategy for Iraq demolished the protocol that members of the Royal Family refrain from public comment on sensitive international and political issues.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Hundreds of drivers rescued in snow blizzards

By Gary Cleland and Nigel Bunyan Last Updated: 3:22am GMT 02/02/2008

Hundreds of motorists have had to be rescued from snowbound roads as blizzards brought chaos.
As many as 150 cars, as well as a bus containing 45 pensioners, were stranded in freezing conditions on the impassable A66 between Durham and Cumbria.;jsessionid=AL51KNFTTYHI3QFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/02/nweather102.xml

Death threats to the 'no-go' bishop

By Gary Cleland Last Updated: 3:18am GMT 02/02/2008

The Bishop of Rochester has been forced to take added security measures after he received death threats for suggesting that parts of Britain had become "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.
Threatening phone calls were made to the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali after he wrote that non-Muslims faced physical attack if they entered some Muslim-dominated enclaves.;jsessionid=AL51KNFTTYHI3QFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/02/nbishop102.xml

Religions collide under the dreaming spires

By Nick Britten Last Updated: 3:18am GMT 02/02/2008

From the burning of the Oxford Martyrs in 1555 to the revolutionary Oxford Movement in 1833, the university city has long been the scene of religious conflict.
But a very modern battle of faiths is brewing amid the ancient dreaming spires, which could result in the Islamic call to prayer being broadcast over one of the nation's earliest and most important seats of Christian theology.;jsessionid=AL51KNFTTYHI3QFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/02/nmosque102.xml

1.9m on benefit 'should go back to work'

By Alice Thomson, and Rachel Sylvester Last Updated: 3:22am GMT 02/02/2008

Up to two thirds of people claiming incapacity benefit are not entitled to the state handout, the Government's new welfare adviser warns today.
David Freud, an investment banker hired by James Purnell, the new Work and Pensions Secretary, said the disability tests used to award state aid were "ludicrous" and could be costing billions of pounds.;jsessionid=ARIBW5WA5EMEHQFIQMGCFGGAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2008/02/02/nbenefit102.xml