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Showing posts from May 1, 2013

Every Royal Mail staff member to get £1,500 share windfall

Every postal worker in Britain will be given around £1,500 of shares in Royal Mail when it floats on the stock market, the Business Minister will say today. It will be the largest employee share scheme for 25 years with around 140,000 workers from postmen to local delivery office managers expected to scoop a windfall. In his first speech on the controversial privatisation of the country’s postal service, Michael Fallon will today pledge to make the share handout ‘as attractive as possible.’ He is keen the share handout is structured in a way that all postal workers benefit, rather than just allowing the executives to walk away with millions. But he will warn the militant postal union, the Communication Workers Union, that they must ‘engage’ with the Government - or the deal could be scuppered. The CWU is bitterly opposed to the privatisation of Royal Mail, a deal which it fears will lead to price rises, pay cuts and the destruction of the service. In a protest against the privatisatio

You can't bash a burglar after all: Government's tough rhetoric branded a farce as it's revealed

New laws giving householders the right to fight back against burglars were condemned as a ‘farce’ last night after it emerged they are riddled with loopholes. The Government had promised to let people use maximum force when confronted by intruders, after an outcry at cases where victims were arrested for defending their homes and businesses. Justice Minister Chris Grayling told last year’s Tory Party conference: ‘Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self-defence are crime victims and should be treated that way.’ Promises: Justice Minister Chris Grayling vowed to beef up protection But today it can be revealed that the new defence of ‘disproportionate force’ – which became law this week – will not apply in many cases. Official guidance sent to judges, prosecutors and police shows: Homeowners cannot rely on the new defence if they find an intruder in their garden or chase them outside – the fight must take place indoors. Shopkeepers can only get away with disproportiona

Now we CAN bash a burglar... but not in our gardens: Law to allow

A new law has finally come into force giving householders the right to ‘bash a burglar’...but not if they are stealing from your garden shed. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling won huge plaudits last year by announcing people would be able to use ‘disproportionate’ force to protect themselves from housebreakers. But it yesterday emerged the new rules contain a string of exemptions. For instance, in guidance sent to prosecutors, officials say that homeowners cannot rely on the new defence if they find an intruder in their garden, such as stealing a lawn mower or ornament. Nor will they be protected if they chase the burglar outside. The fight must take place indoors. Mr Grayling defended the new law, saying it ‘does exactly what it says on the tin.’ He added: ‘It provides householders with proper protection if they are confronted by a violent or threatening burglar. ‘It was never intended and never promised to allow you to shoot dead someone stealing the lawn mower from your garden shed.

Accept Press plan for new watchdog, MP tells Cameron

A senior Conservative MP has urged David Cameron to accept the newspaper industry’s proposal for a tough new Press watchdog. John Whittingdale, chairman of the influential Commons culture select committee, said the Royal Charter idea put forward by the Press would protect the public from rogue journalists. He called on the Prime Minister to ‘grab’ the proposal ‘with both hands’. Britain’s newspapers, including the Daily Mail, came up with their own proposals for an independent regulator after rejecting a plan drawn up by politicians and the Hacked Off lobby group. After reading the small print of the newspapers’ plan, Mr Whittingdale told the Sun on Sunday: ‘I could almost sign up to this tomorrow.’ The new Press-backed watchdog will have the power to impose fines of up to £1million and demand up-front corrections. But crucially, the scheme will prohibit interference by politicians and protects the freedom of the Press. Mr Whittingdale said: ‘If you are in public life, you have to acc

NFL punter Chris Kluwe who has spoken out in favor of gay marriage

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has repeatedly spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage, says he now worries that his career with the team may be on the line. On Sunday, Kluwe said he is starting to sense that rumors surrounding whether or not he will be released from the team will soon become ‘distractions.’ ‘It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut,’ Kluwe told NBC’s Pro Football Talk via text message. Outspoken: Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, has repeatedly spoken out in favour of same-sex marriage, says he now worries that his career with the team may be on the line Pro gay marriage: Kluwe has repeatedly spoken out on the topic over the past year while addressing the question of whether the NFL is ready for an openly gay football player Kluwe, along with former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, hired a lawyer earlier

Why are NHS chiefs on more than me? Cameron launches fresh assault on public sector pay

David Cameron has launched a fresh assault on public sector pay - saying he was ‘surprised’ at the number of senior staff who earn more than him. He said he did not think it was fair that chief executives in local councils and the NHS should have a higher salary than the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. State salaries had been allowed to drift ‘up and up and up’ over recent years without any thought to whether such high rates were necessary to attract the best candidates. The Prime Minister earns £142,500 and it is believed that more than 300 staff employed by local councils take home more than him. Thousands more in the public sector, from NHS managers to doctors and BBC staff, also earn more. Mr Cameron also attacked ‘golden handshakes’ and generous early retirement deals which are often offered to departing highly-paid staff in the public sector. He made the comments at one a PM Direct question and answer sessions in Carlisle on Friday. When asked whether he thought it was fair t

Winning Super Bowl wide receiver Torrey Smith interns with Maryland

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith has taken up an internship with a local member of Congress fresh off of his team’s Super Bowl victory in early February. Smith spent this month helping out Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who advocates 'world-class education', affordable healthcare and liveable wages for regular workers. The Ravens wide receiver has done an ‘outstanding job,’ Representative Cummings said yesterday. Enlarge Off-season opportunity: Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith took up an internship with a member of Congress fresh off of his team's Super Bowl victory last month Something different: Smith has spent most of March helping Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who said the wide receiver did an 'outstanding job' ‘It was a pleasure having Torrey Smith intern with us, and I was glad that I could offer him the opportunity,’ the congressman said in a written statement. 'Torrey was eager to

NBA guard received death threats from opposing teams' ball boy

Police are investigating after a ball boy for the Oklahoma City Thunder tweeted death threats to Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley. Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook was hurt when Beverley tried for a steal in the second quarter of Game 2 last Wednesday and ran into his knee. Westbrook had knee surgery Saturday and is out for the season. The tweets were deleted as of Saturday night, but the Houston Chronicle reported a tweet from the handle @MitchellBrwn said: 'Patrick Beverly (sic), I'm coming to kill you.' He later sent another one with Beverley's Twitter name, saying: '(@pavbev21 I'm coming to kill you.' He later apologized in one tweet and then said he was hacked in another post. The account has since been taken down. Oklahoma City police Captain Dexter Nelson tells The Associated Press that their department is working with the Houston police and the NBA to investigate the threats. The Thunder says in a statement that they 'do not condone h

Woman shoots husband dead as he tried to give her gun safety lesson as their two young children slept upstairs

A woman has been arrested after she shot and killed her husband as he gave her a gun safety lesson in their home outside Philadelphia. Michele Wanko, 42, told police that she and William Wanko, 42, had been 'casually drinking' vodka and lemonade for more than six hours when Mr Wanko took her into the basement to show her how to use his guns about 4am on Saturday. Their two young sons, age 2 and 5, were sleeping upstairs when Mrs Wanko racked the slide on a semi-automatic pistol and shot her husband in the chest, police say. 'I can't believe you shot me!' Mr Wanko said before he collapsed, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mrs Wanko was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter after her husband died at a nearby hospital. She was released on bail Saturday night. Police said it appears the shooting was accidental. 'Why, after six-and-a-half hours of drinking, would you go down and handle a gun, especially with someone who never shot a weapon before?&#

Teen mother confesses to throwing newborn baby down garbage chute

A teen mother has been arrested after throwing her stillborn baby down a garbage chute. Ariel Devonish-Francis, 19, who lives in the Bronx in New York was charged with unlawful disposal of a cadaver. The city medical examiner completed an autopsy on Sunday and determined the baby was stillborn. The woman confessed to doctors at the Einstein Hospital that she had given birth, put the infant in a bag and then down the chute, as reported by the New York Post Shocking: A 19-year-old mother confessed to giving birth and then throwing her baby down a garbage chute at this address in the Bronx Gruesome: The teenager told doctors at the Einstein hospital who then told police who found a fetus in the basement When police were informed by the medical staff they searched the property at West Farms Road and made the gruesome discovery of a fetus in the basement. Devonish-Francis went to Albert Einstein University Hospital after the miscarriage in her home on Saturday. She delivered the dea

The consultant who introduced check-in baggage fees

Do you grumble every time you have to fork out more and more dollars for every checked bag at the airport? If so, you now know who is to blame. John Thomas, 54, of Needham, Massachusetts, is the airline consultant who introduced the charges to North America in 2008. He now uses a private jet or takes carry-on bags. Thomas explained his reasons to the Boston Globe. And some experts believe the fees kept several airline carriers in business at a difficult time for the industry. Expensive annoyance: Baggage fees were introduced in North America in 2008 and they show no sign of going away Instigator: John Thomas is the consultant who introduced the charges that are credited with keeping some carriers in business Jay Sorensen, president of a travel consulting called IdeaWorksCompany told the Boston Globe that the fees created a 'tsunami of money.' 'I would credit bag fees with saving the industry that year,' Sorensen added. Thomas, originally from Australia, works fo

Pentagon identifies four U.S. airmen killed in reconnaissance plane crash

The four NATO soldiers killed Saturday when a surveillance aircraft crashed in southern Afghanistan have been identified by the Pentagon as U.S. airmen. Military officials say the crash of the MC-12 Liberty turboprop plane, which was outfitted with sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, was not related to Taliban violence. The police chief in Zabul province, Rogh Lewanai, told Reuters on Saturday that bad weather caused the plane to crash in the district of Shahjoi. Tragedy: Captain Brandon Cyr, 28, of Woodbridge, Virginia; Captain Reid Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii, were both killed when their MC-12 surveillance plane went down Mourned: Staff Sergeant Daniel Fannin, 30, of Morehead, Kentucky, was also among the dead airmen The Pentagon said on Sunday the crash of the MC-12 was under investigation. Zabul, wedged between Kandahar and Ghazni, has seen much violence in recent weeks, including a suicide bomb attack in early April that killed a

Inside the eerie Lower Manhattan subway station that is STILL

A once pristine $500 million subway station in Lower Manhattan remains completely devastated after it was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. The South Ferry terminal, which opened in 2009 equipped with a large concourse filled with public art installations and polished white walls, is now in need of an estimated $600 million rehabilitation, NBC News reports. ‘It’s a complete gut job,’ MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told the New York-based news channel. ‘Every component of the station needs to be replaced.’ Ghost station: The once pristine $500 million South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan remains completely devastated after it was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy In need of a fix: The South Ferry terminal, which opened in 2009 equipped with a large concourse filled with public art installations and polished white walls, is now in need of an estimated $600 million rehabilitation First steps: The dozens of workers at the station are just getting started on South Ferry¿s rehabilitation b

Mother of Boston bombers says she found 'deeper spirituality'

In photos of her as a younger woman, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva wears a low-cut blouse and has her hair teased like a 1980s rock star. After she arrived in the U.S. from Russia in 2002, she went to beauty school and did facials at a suburban day spa. But in recent years, people noticed a change. She began wearing a hijab and cited conspiracy theories about 9/11 being a plot against Muslims. Now known as the angry and grieving mother of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tsarnaeva is drawing increased attention after federal officials say Russian authorities intercepted her phone calls, including one in which she vaguely discussed jihad with her elder son. Changed woman: Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, seen here in a photo from the 1980s, dresses very much like a Westerner. In recent years, she started wearing a hijab and sprouting conspiracy theories about 9/11 In another, she was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, U.S. officials sai

Mother of Boston bombing suspects should be quizzed if she sets foot in the U.S

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said that he believes the mother of the Boston bombing suspects played a major role in their radicalization and that they received terror training before carrying out their attack. Representative Michael McCaul told Fox News Sunday that he thinks Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, the mother of the Tsarnaev brothers, played 'a very strong role' in her sons' radicalization process. He added that if Tsarnaeva were to return to the United States from Russia, she’d be held for questioning. McCaul claimed that the complexity of the weapons and the way the suspects handled the pressure-cooker bombs show that they received help before the incident. Influence: Michael McCaul said that he thinks that Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, mother of the bombing suspects, played 'a very strong role' in her sons' radicalization process Speaking of Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, he said: 'I think she played a very strong role in his radicalization process.