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RISE IN MEN REPORTING
Abu Hamza's son locked up over embassy protest
London Bangla: A son of jailed radical cleric Abu Hamza, from west London, has been sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders institution, police said.Yasser Kamel, 20, of Aldbourne Road, Shepherd's Bush, had previously admitted violent disorder in Kensington High Street on January 10 ...Cont’d on Page 07
Emdad Rahman: An increasing number of men are being forced into marriage, a government body revealed. The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) says it received more than 220
emails and calls to its helpline last year about suspected forced marriages involving male victims -up 65 percent from 134 in 2008. And the figures may be just the tip of the iceberg, experts
UK ‘to lose 600,000 public sector jobs in six years’ London Bangla: More than 600,000 public sector jobs will be lost by 2016 as ministers wield the state spending axe, it was confirmed last night. The analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the independent
body set up by the Treasury, suggests only 4.92 million people will work in the public sector in 2015-16, compared to 5.53 million today – a fall of 610,000. A separate study by trade union Unison said Wales ...Cont’d on Page 07
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02-08 July 2010
UK N E W S
Blair named as Woman body find as man hit by train Liberty Medal winner Tony Blair has been named by the US's National Constitution Centre as the winner of its prestigious Liberty Medal for 2010. The former prime minister will receive his gong - awarded for "his steadfast commitment to conflict resolution" - from the Centre's chairman Bill Clinton on September 13 in Philadelphia. Previous recipients of the medal include Nelson Mandela, who won jointly with his predecessor as South African president FW
de Klerk in 1993, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, US presidents Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton, U2 singer Bono and film-maker Steven Spielberg. Announcing the award, which comes with 100,000 US dollars in prize money, the Centre cited Mr Blair's role in advancing peace in Northern Ireland, his work as an international envoy in the Middle East, his involvement in initiatives to improve governance in Africa and tackle climate change, and the work of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Mr Clinton said: "It was a privilege to work with my friend Tony Blair to help end 30 years of sectarian violence and broker a lasting peace in Northern Ireland, to stop the killing in and mass exodus from Kosovo, and to develop policies that would improve living conditions for
people in both our countries. "Now, as a private citizen, Tony continues to demonstrate the same leadership, dedication and creativity in promoting economic opportunity in the Middle East and the resolution of conflicts rooted in religion around the world, and is building the capacity of developing nations to govern honestly and effectively." Thanking the Centre, Mr Blair said: "Freedom, liberty and justice are the values by which this medal is struck. "Freedom, liberty and justice are the values which I try to apply to my work on governance in Africa and on preparing the Palestinians for statehood. "They are the values which drive the work of my faith foundation as we try to show that people of different faiths can live together constructively in peace and harmony."
Mayor sorry for trouser malfunction A lord mayor has apologised after his trousers fell down during a visit to a local library. Colin Hall, Lord Mayor of Leicester, suffered the mishap on a visit to Southfields library in Leicester. Mr Hall was a guest at a Summer Showcase organised by Global Education Leicester/Shire, a network which works with teachers and education institutions to promote greater understanding of global perspectives, a city coun-
cil spokesman confirmed. He said Mr Hall offered his "deepest apologies" for anyone who might have been offended
when his trousers came loose and fell down at the event. The spokesman said: "The Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor Colin Hall, attended a function at a local library yesterday where he suffered an unfortunate problem with his trousers. "He was not wearing a belt and the trousers came loose and fell. "The Lord Mayor has offered his deepest apologies to those attending the event for any offence caused by the accident."
Police officers spend too much time on paperwork, and not enough on the beat Police in England and Wales are "buried under" 6,497 pages of guidance on new legislation and risks to avoid, according to the Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O'Connor. In a speech later, he will say that officers are being told how to ride bicycles and police cricket matches. The number out on the beat is also falling as more are given specialist roles like counter-terrorism. The government has vowed to cut bureaucracy to free up officers. 'Social care issues' Sir Denis will tell the Association of Chief Police Officers' annual conference on Thursday that the service is "creaking under the weight of its own massive, well-intended bureaucracy", and as the "mountain" of guidance has grown, the number of officers requiring specialist knowledge has also risen. "In the last four years there has been a 30.9% increase in officers covering national functions such as counter-terrorism, an 8.8% rise in investigators and a 2.4% fall in the number of uniform officers policing our communities, equating to around 1,400 officers," he will say. "This fall has been masked by the introduction of police community support officers." Police cannot exhaustively offset particular risks to particular individuals Sir Denis O'Connor Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis will also warn that the proliferation of guidance is a symptom of an overly-cautious
approach to policing. Officers are "spending significant amounts of time managing social care issues - just in case", he will say, citing instances of police escorting drunk people home and intervening in domestic disputes between parents and their children. "The key point is this: Police cannot exhaustively offset particular risks to particular individuals without reducing the resources to provide general safety for all of us," he will say. "The British model of policing is built around the presence of bobbies on the beat, preventing crime. The more policy aimed at eliminating all possible risks, the less time officers are available to those who need them." 'No targets' Sir Denis will say that a moratorium on any new guidance is vital. He will also call for a shift in policing principles. At present, guidance states that officers must "take all reasonable action to keep risk to a minimum" he wants that to be relaxed to the "most probable" risks they "can reasonably be expected to deal with". Earlier this week, Home Secretary Theresa May told the conference she wanted to help police get back to basics. "Targets don't fight crime, targets hinder the fight against crime," she said. "In scrapping the confidence target and the policing pledge, I couldn't be any clearer about your mission: it isn't a 30-point plan, it is to cut crime, no more and no less."
Post-mortem examinations on the bodies of a man hit by a train and a woman found stabbed to death in a suspected murder-suicide will take place on Thursday. An ambulance was called to a quiet residential street in Woodley, Berkshire, just before 1.50pm on Wednesday but it was too late to save the woman. Less than 10 minutes after her body was discovered, paramedics attended Twyford Railway Station, four miles away, where the man was found dead. The semi-detached house in Malone Road, opposite a children's play area, remained cordoned off on Wednesday night. All the windows at the front of the house were open, with trophies visible in an upstairs room. Neighbours said a couple and their daughter, thought to attend a local secondary school, had
lived in the house for several years. Thames Valley Police confirmed the body found at the house was that of an adult female. They are treating both deaths as unexplained and have not yet confirmed if they are linked. A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We had a call at 13.47 to an incident in Malone Road, Woodley. It was reported to us as a female with stab wounds. We got there at 13.50. We did not treat or convey. She was beyond help. "When we arrived at the scene and saw the patient we informed police. "At 13.57 there was another incident, where a male had been hit by a train at Twyford. We were on the scene at 13.59." Thames Valley Police said they were not searching for anyone else in connection with the deaths and the pair have yet to be formally identified.
02-08 July 2010
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02 - 08 July 2010
Council league tables scrapped
Town halls have been informed that council league tables have been formally scrapped by the new Government. Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles wrote to council leaders informing them he had called an end to Comprehensive Area Assessments (CAA). Acting on a coalition pledge to remove the "bureaucratic levers of the past", he has instructed the local government watchdogs to end the controversial reporting process. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said independent research suggested it would save councils on average £1.8 million each. It is also expected to save the Audit Commission £10 million a year. In place of the inspections regime, Mr Pickles wants increased transparency by authorities to ensure that standards are maintained as "armchair auditors" hold council chiefs to account. The CAA was conducted by the Audit Commission in co-ordination with Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, HM Inspectorate of Probation, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and HM Inspectorate of Prisons. The DCLG said that the watchdogs' powers to conduct inspections at their own discretion, in particular in cases of failing authorities, would not be affected. Mr Pickles said: "Today I have instructed town hall watchdogs to stop tying the hands of council workers with unnecessary red tape and paperwork. "It is much more important for the public to know what their councils are doing than having thousands of hush-hush, unseen papers being sent back and forth between Whitehall bureaucrats and the town hall. We are already pushing power as far away from Whitehall as we can and calling on councils to throw open their books to create much more cost effective and efficient local public services."
Local government cuts will 'hammer' poorer areas The government's proposals to reduce local government funding will "hammer the poor", shadow communities and local government secretary John Denham has warned. Opening a Commons debate on 29 June 2010, Mr Denham said some of the poorest areas would see their spending cut by the highest amounts. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was absent from the chamber attending a cabinet meeting in Bradford, but Mr Denham said he was "disappointed" Mr Pickles "has not bothered to turn up to this debate". He added: "The truth is of course that he is too scared to be here. Too scared to explain the series of blunders he has already made over these cuts." Former local government secretary Mr Denham said Salford loses "twice as much" as its more affluent neighbouring authority Trafford. In London, Newham "the sixth most deprived borough in the country" loses £4.6m but Richmond loses less than £1m, he told MPs. But Communities and Local Government Minister Grant Shapps rejected the opposition's charges and accused Labour of leaving the coalition a "toxic legacy of debt" under their "scorched earth policy". He said: "We need to tighten our belts and it's right to expect local authorities to play their part in that process." The change in government offered the chance to decentralise power and put local people "back in the driving seat", he said.
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Freedom Now! Aashish Khan to play one-off charity concert in London on July 9th The eminent Indian musician Aashish Khan will play an exclusive concert at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in West Kensington, London, on Friday July 9 at 7pm. Aashish Khan is among the top handful of India’s greatest living sarode players and is a recipient of Government of India's highest honour in performing arts, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He will only play one concert in London and will be supported by several other internationally renowned artists on the tabla, sarangi and sitar. This rare opportunity to see the Grammy award nominated artist has been organised by Sarah Wraight from Harberton Road in Archway, Camden, to raise funds and awareness for a grass-roots charity which supports women and children affected by sexual exploitation, forced prostitution and trafficking in India. The charity, called Guria, has been close to Sarah’s heart since she returned from six weeks volunteering in Varanasi, India, last summer.
“It was a life-changing experience”, she said. “I got to know everyone who was involved with the charity, and saw first-hand the amazing work that they do.” Sarah, who works for a consultancy in the charity sector, spent time working at education centres in India that were set up by Guria. The charity also provides food, shelter, medical help and legal advice to the women and children they support. “As soon as I returned to England, I knew I had to do
whatever I could to help”, Sarah said. “As little as £5 will pay for a child’s attendance to Guria’s education centres for one month, but more than anything I hope the concert will help to raise awareness of the cause, which doesn’t get much attention.” Tickets are £15 each, available on 0207 381 3086 with 100% of the profits going to Guria. For more information visit the charity’s website at www.guria-uk.org or contact email@example.com
02 - 08 July 2010
Bangladesh police arrest top political leaders Bangladeshi police Tuesday arrested three of the top leaders of Bangladesh's largest Islamic party on the rarely-used charge of "offending religious sentiment" in the Muslim-majority nation. Motiur Rahman Nizami, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami party, his deputy Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and top preacher Delwar Hossain Saydee were arrested in the capital Dhaka, city police chief A.K.M. Shahidul Haque said. "They were detained after the court issued arrest warrants against them for hurting the religious sentiment of the people," Haque told AFP. The Jamaat leaders have been charged after they claimed Nizami's alleged persecution at the hands of the ruling Awami League was akin to the suffering of the Prophet Mohammed, he said. The three leaders had been summoned to appear at a Dhaka court on Tuesday but ignored the order, which lead to an arrest warrant being issued, he said. Jamaat-e-Islami has been the country's largest Islamic party since it was allowed to operate and contest in elections in late 1970s. It was a part of the Islamist-allied government led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 2001-6. Since winning a landslide in December 2008, the government has cracked down on Islamist groups, with the head of banned
Islamic outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir being arrested April on charges of instigating militancy and running a banned group. Police say Hizb-ut Tahrir is still
actively trying to destabilise the government and plot attacks. Jamaat's top leaders have also been accused of war crimes by private groups investigating Bangladesh's
Children beaten by Bangladeshi police as they join garment workers' strikes A Bangladeshi policeman appears to be about to hit a child during clashes with garment workers in Dhaka. Photograph: Munir Uz Zaman/AFP/Getty Images Police in Bangladesh using bamboo staves, teargas and water cannon fought with textile workers demanding back pay and an immediate rise in monthly wages on the streets of Dhaka today. Witnesses said at least 30 people, mainly workers producing garments for global brands, were injured. Pictures showed children apparently being beaten. Ten policemen were also hurt. Although there has been violence for several weeks, today saw workers erecting barricades, pelting police with stones and attacking cars. Police described the fighting as the worst yet seen. Children under the age of 14 are banned by law from working, but campaigners say many can still be found in the sprawling factories. Hundreds of teenagers took part in running battles with police today. Local reporters and union officials said a row between workers and a manager at one factory led to a fight which then sparked general disorder. By nightfall, order had been restored. "The situation is calm. The problem has been solved," said Mohibul Haque, Dhaka's deputy police commissioner. Many of the rioting workers are employed by plants which make ready-to-wear garments for sale in western high street stores. "We worked for them," shouted one striking worker. "They are doing business and making money, but not paying us." An estimated three million workers, mostly women, are employed in the Bangladeshi garments industry. The lower paid workers earn a minimum monthly salary of 1,660 taka, equivalent to less than ÂŁ18. They have demanded an increase to 5,000 taka. Owners said last week they could pay no more than 3,000 taka a month. "With inflation, many workers simply do not receive a living wage," said Khorshed Alam, a political sci-
entist and executive director of the Alternative Movement for Resources and Freedom Society in Dhaka. "They know that the next chance they will get to force a pay rise may be in four or five years." The garment industry accounts for more than 80% of impoverished Bangladesh's ÂŁ10bn annual export earnings, according to commerce ministry data. The minimum wage, which is set by the government, was introduced in 1994 but remained unchanged despite soaring food prices until 2006. The result of the latest talks on the wage is due to be announced at the end of July. Until then, analysts expect the violence to continue. "This generation of garment workers is much more literate and politically aware than their predecessors," said Alam. "They have grown up in the slums not the villages and know that they need to be united and to demonstrate in the streets to realise their aims." A global report released last week by the International Trade Union Confederation in Vienna said Bangladeshi garment workers were the "world's most poorly paid" and that their exploitation was "on the rise". The report cited a survey released last month by the Bangladesh Factory Inspection Department which showed that almost 15% of employers did not pay their workers on time between January and May. Many other factory owners did not pay overtime, while several continued to pay less than the government's minimum wage. The garment industry accounts for about 40% of Bangladesh's total industrial workforce. Campaigners say wages have been cut by 20 to 30% recently in a country where almost half the population is already living below the poverty line. Low levels of unionisation and organisation have meant protests that are chaotic but difficult for the police to predict or break up. Raids by protesters on well-known factories are frequent occurrences. Owners have hired their own gangs to protect their production lines.
liberation war of 1971, including the killing of dozens of intellectuals during the nine-month war against Pakistan. Jamaat leaders deny the allegations.
Climate change threatens to slash Bangladesh rice crop, report warns DHAKA, Bangladesh (AlertNet) - Without adequate intervention, rice production in Bangladesh could see a dramatic decline by 2050 due to the impacts of climate change, even as population is projected to continue rising, researchers say. "Bangladesh faces formidable challenges to feed its population in the future," note the authors of a new report on adapting Bangladesh's agriculture to climate change. And the problems may extend well beyond the densely populated, low-lying South Asian nation. "The present climatic variability is taking its toll in a lot in countries where temperatures are high," said M. Asaduzzaman, research director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and one of the authors of the study, titled, "Investment in Agriculture for Higher Growth, Productivity and Adaptation to Climate Change". Rising temperatures, salt intrusion into agricultural fields, drought and other climate-related issues are threatening rice production, he said, and the problems may lead to falling rice harvests in other Asian nations as well, including India and Indonesia, and in some African countries. Among the worst-hit areas in Bangladesh is the southern Khulna region, at the Bay of Bengal, which is suffering increasing sea water intrusion into fields due to sea level rise. But Bangladesh's higher northern region also is suffering worsening drought, Asaduzzaman said.
02 - 08 July 2010
Russia sought long-term gains from US spy cell: expert
Russia was happy to wait patiently for long-term rewards while its sleeper cell of US spies garnered a string of high-profile connections, a former CIA agent told AFP on Wednesday. Among the 11 suspected Russian agents, one was a columnist for over 20 years with the Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa in New York, and another ran a consultancy using connections he made while at Harvard University. "It is a kind of intelligence operation that you put in place not for today or tomorrow, but for years and years of operational activity," former CIA agent Bruce Riedel said. "Most intelligence services rely primarily on intelligence officers who have diplomatic immunity -this is more characteristic of a Russian and Communist system than Western intelligence."
For one of the accused who used the false identity of a dead Canadian infant, Donald Heathfield, Harvard was a base he used to cultivate ties, said The New York Times. In his masters degree program on public administration in 2000, one of his classmates was Felipe Calderon, the future Mexican president. Another classmate of Heathfield's, Mark Podlasly, told the newspaper how the future accused-spy kept in close contact with many of his peers after graduation. "He kept in touch with almost all of our international classmates," he told the Times. "In Singapore, in Jakarta -- he knew what everyone was doing. If you wanted to know where anybody was at, Don would know." Another suspect, 28-year-old Russian Anna Chapman, ran her own lucrative real estate agency, valued at some two million dollars, and the attractive red-head was able to mingle seamlessly in Manhattan's high society. The moves were "extremely typical of the KGB, which is not surprising because the KGB is still there and now it runs Russia," Riedel told AFP, alluding to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin being a former KGB agent. "All this has the hallmark of the KGB, to have penetration agents who basically merge in a country for years then befriend with the people from which they get the information." Prosecutors noted the agents were sent to the United States and instructed to lie low for years. "Your education, bank accounts, car, house... all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e., to search and develop ties in policymaking circles in US and send (intelligence)," said prosecutors. Little is known, however, about secret information -- if any -- the spy network was able to produce over the years. None of the suspects so far have been charged with espionage, apparently never being able to transmit classified information to Moscow.
Hurricane Alex makes landfall in Mexico
Hurricane Alex made landfall in northeastern Mexico as a Category Two storm, lashing residents of the Mexican Gulf coast and south Texas with heavy rains and winds. The first Atlantic hurricane of the 2010 season roared ashore at about 0200 GMT, thrashing the Mexican coast with its eye located some 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of La Pesca, Mexico and 110 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center. Hurricane Alex rose one notch on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale Wednesday as it churned across the warm waters of the Gulf, the Miamibased center said, after Mexico evacuated 17,000 people from fishing towns south of the US border in the state of Tamaulipas. Alex has already disrupted oil clean-up operations off the coast of Louisiana, and US President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Texas late Tuesday. Giant waves and strong winds were expected as Alex gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico. It hit the coast with sustained winds of 105 miles (169 kilometers) per hour, according to the latest NHC report. Obama requested federal aid for relief operations after a hurricane warning was issued for southeast Texas and northeast Mexico. Texas Governor Rick Perry issued his own state disaster proclamation for 19 counties. Mexican authorities have already reported one storm-related death, but could consider themselves fortunate in that the storm slammed into the coast in an area with a relatively small population.
They evacuated all 2,000 inhabitants of the fishing town of La Carbonera, close to the storm's center, with Mexico's national meteorological service SMN warning of "intense and torrential rains." Homes in La Carbonera, made largely out of wood and located near the shoreline, are particularly vulnerable to the strong winds and a major tide surge that was forecast to accompany the hurricane. In Matamoros, across from Brownsville, the edge of the storm brought heavy rains which flooded streets. Alex was forecast to weaken as it tracks inland in Mexico Thursday, eventually dissipating in one to two days, but it was still packing a punch, the NHC reported. The storm was well southwest of the area worst hit by the massive BP oil spill -- the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida -though its strong winds have already caused problems for the clean-up effort. Despite its distance from the spill, Alex's severe winds have churned up waves that halted some clean-up operations and pushed more of the huge slick onto fragile shorelines. The NHC has warned that heavy rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, and that ocean water could penetrate inland for several miles. Tornadoes were possible over southern Texas late Wednesday, the NHC added. Alex is the first Atlantic hurricane to form this early, in June, since 1995, according to the NHC. Alex has already killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador over the weekend.
May to consult with business groups on UK immigration cap The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has responded to concerns from UK businesses about the planned cap on non-EU immigration, and has agreed a consultation period. She will now hold a 12-week period of consultation, during which business groups and companies will help her to devise the best way to put a limit on the number of UK work visas issued. At the same time there is expected to be a second independent examination by the Migration Advisory Committee. This is intended to help create a clearer picture of the economic impact of a limit on the number of people coming in to work in the UK from outside the EU. The decision was made in response to concerns by business groups. They claim that a cap may damage the UK’s reputation as a commercial centre for trading partners such as China, Brazil and India. A cap would, after all, make it much harder for businesses with interests in the UK to transfer staff over to work in the UK. The news of the consultation has been widely welcomed. Lady Jo Valentine, the chief of London First, which represents London’s large companies, said, "I hope this means they take a more nuanced approach.” She continued, "Our biggest concern is the UK being seen to be open for business. The rhetoric is as important as anything."
RISE IN MEN
believe, with many more cases unreported. Because the problem is more common among women, the plight of men forced into marriage often goes unheard, ministers said. With the summer holidays approaching, traditionally a time when incidents increase, the FMU is warning professionals who work with young people to be alert and act on any concerns they may have. While the majority of victims are women, men may be forced into marriage for a variety of reasons, some of which relate to family commitments and expectations, securing visas or the desire to control behaviour and protect a family’s reputation. The FMU has already received over 80 reports of men being forced into marriage so far this year and has seen a number of cases linked to sexuality. Male and female victims of forced marriage, or others acting on their behalf, can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order. An order can be used to prevent someone being forced into marriage or to protect a person where a marriage has already taken place. People can be arrested if they do not comply with the orders. Since coming into force in November 2008, over 150 orders have been taken out. Jeremy Browne, Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister for Consular Policy, said: “Although this continues to be an issue affecting both men and women, people often don’t realise that men can be victims of forced marriage too. 14% of the cases handled by the Forced Marriage Unit last year involved men and it’s a problem we are determined to raise awareness about and help communities to address. “Boys and men who are forced into marriage find it harder to ask for help than women, but we are urging males affected by forced marriage to speak out and seek the help that is available to
them. “Of course women make up the majority of forced marriage victims and over 1,400 reports of women facing this abuse were dealt with by the Unit last year. Any professionals working with young people who suspect that a forced marriage could take place should contact the Forced Marriage Unit for advice.” Men may be forced into marriage for a variety of reasons, including to secure visas, control behaviour, or protect a family’s reputation, according to the FMU -- a joint initiative between the FCO and Home Office. The FMU has received more than 80 reports of men being forced into marriage so far this year, most commonly aged between 15 and 24. The majority of victims are still women, however, with more than 1,400 female cases dealt with by the unit last year. Professionals who work with young people are being urged to be alert to the problem over the summer, when the number of cases traditionally rises, as families use the long holidays to coerce youngsters into marrying abroad. Victims of forced marriage, or others acting on their behalf, can apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order and failure to comply with an order is an arrestable offence. More than 150 orders have been taken out since they came into force in November 2008. Guidelines on forced marriages published last year by the FMU define a forced marriage as one conducted under duresss, including physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional pressure. They stress that a forced marriage is not the same as an arranged marriage. The majority of cases of forced marriage reported in the UK involve South Asian families but there have been cases involving families from East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the FMU report stated. Where the victim is sent abroad to marry, the unit works with foreign embassies to rescue them. Its public helpline provides confidential advice and support to victims, and practitioners handling cases of forced marriage. If you are worried you might be forced into marriage or are worried about a friend or relative you can call the Forced Marriage Unit in confidence on 0207 008 0151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Abu Hamza's son
last year, Scotland Yard said. The offence related to a protest outside the Israeli Embassy over Israel's policy on Gaza. The judge at Isleworth Crown Court, in west London, recommended on Wednesday that Kamel serve six months in custody and spend the other six months on licence, a Yard spokesman said. Abu Hamza, 52, was jailed for seven years in February 2006 for inciting murder and stirring up racial hatred. The Egyptian national is in prison as he attempts to fight extradition to the US on terror charges at the European Court of Human Rights.
UK ‘ to lose 600,000
faced 20,000 job losses in local government alone as a result of cuts in government spending. The slew of figures prompted a political row over whether pre-election Labour spending plans would have resulted in similar job losses. The OBR data claimed Labour’s Budget would have cut public sector employment to 5.07 million in 2014-15, while the revised Conservative-Lib Dem Budget would see the figure fall to 5.04 million in the same year – the likely date of the next general election. Total employment, including private sector jobs, would also be slightly higher in 2014-15 under the Labour plans, the OBR said. In the Commons yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron insisted unemployment would fall over the course of the Parliament. According to the OBR the Government’s pay freeze on those earning over £21,000 in the next two financial years would help slow the slew of posts in the short-term, a fact seized upon by Mr Cameron.
02 - 08 July 2010
He said: “There are going to be more people in work. Like every Labour Government, they left us with unemployment rising and we will be, at the end of this Parliament, with unemployment falling.” The OBR rushed out its calculations a day early after leaked figures appeared to show the Treasury expected unemployment to rise by 1.3 million because of the austerity measures. Details of the cuts in government expenditure – which ministers insist are inevitable due to the size of the Budget deficit – are due to be announced in a spending review this autumn. The Assembly Government, which has enjoyed generous year-on-year increases since devolution, is facing a cut of up to £2bn over the next four years. Earlier this week it emerged one local authority, Neath Port Talbot, was considering making its entire 7,000-strong workforce redundant and reemploying them on different terms and conditions. The council and unions have been involved in protracted negotiations in a bid to save £24m by 2014. Unison said that if government plans for an average 25% in departmental spending were applied to Welsh local government, £404m of investment would be lost and 20,000 jobs would go. The union’s head of local government affairs, Dominic MacAskill, said: “It is quite clear that we are at a crossroads between maintaining the welfare state and moving towards full marketisation of society, where we know the price of everything but the value of nothing. “If the Con-Dems continue on this path of cutting budgets without any thought for the future, we will soon be facing the ruin of frontline services in Wales – the aftershocks of which would be felt for generations to come. “Our analysis clearly shows that each job lost is not just a loss to that individual, but is a loss to the entire Welsh economy. We need only look as far back as the pit closure programme of the 1980s to assess the damage that such job losses can have upon local communities in Wales.” The 1.3 million job loss figure was reported in The Guardian, which claimed to have seen an internal Treasury document setting out projections for future employment and unemployment. The Guardian said the figures it obtained suggested as many as 140,000 private sector jobs could be lost in each of the next five years as well as 120,000 public workers. Treasury sources said the leaked document was genuine, but was a draft produced before the election, and that the private sector job projections were incorrect. Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain said the total number of job losses in Wales as a result of the Budget could be as high as 50,000. He said: “The real scandal of the Budget is that the poorest will be hit the worst. “This Budget increases the danger of a doubledip recession. A double-dip recession that could take Wales back to the dark misery of the 1980s and 1990s, when whole generations of young and old were condemned to suffer.” Jonathan Edwards, the Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said: “Economists, politicians and the general public all need to know that there is something at No 11 Downing Street other than an obsession with making cuts. “There is still time for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to sit down and re-think the hugely damaging effects of these cuts upon public services and jobs that they are suggesting and get back in tune with the real economy. “I hope that they rip up their plans and re-think what they are doing.” Downing Street acknowledged that, while the OBR forecasts showed overall employment rising, public sector jobs would be cut. “You cannot continue funding jobs in the public sector on the back of a budget deficit because they are not sustainable jobs,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said. “In order to see employment and growth in the longer term, you need to tackle the deficit. “We want to see a re-balancing from the public to the private sector, both in terms of their share of national output and their share of employment.”
02 - 08 July 2010
Tower Hamlets Mayoral race 2010 Interview with Sirajul Islam Tower Hamlets Councillor and ex Tower hamlets deputy leader arrived in the UK as a five year old with his parents in 1972.
I have worked in local government and the NHS in various senior capacities for the past 25 years. I worked for Barts and The London NHS Trust as a Community Relations and Communications Manager for 11 years.
He lived in Spelman Street as a child, as well as Mile End and Wapping, attending, St Paul's Primary School in Wapping and Malmesbury Primary School in Bow. The Capital of Culture lured the future politician and as a teenager Islam relocated to the magical city of Liverpool. “I lived with my cousin and finished my secondary education there before moving back to Tower Hamlets in early 1980's,” he told London Bangla. Islam is a grassroots politician hailing from a Labour supporting family. He said; “I have been a Councillor since 2001 after winning a by election in the Holy Trinity Ward. “As an elected representative I have served as Cabinet member for Social Services (2002/05), Deputy Leader of the Council (2006/09), Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (2009/10) and currently Lead Member for Regeneration and Employment.” As a member of Tower Hamlets Council, Islam has made significant contributions to the Council in various capacities and they include transforming the social services department from a one star to a top performing three star department within three years. More significantly he added, “in addition I was able to recover a £2.5 deficit and achieve a balanced budget.”
opportunity I want to work with all our elected representatives, with our communities and partners to channel their energies, ideas and innovation to cement Tower Hamlets position as one of the best places to live and work.”
Islam also extensively contributing towards the delivery of the award winning Sonali Gardens Day centre and extra care sheltered accommodation for Bangladeshi elders.
Labours vision for Tower hamlets, as well as any other party lies in the ability to harness talent and the rich mix of cultures for the common benefit. Islam said; “I have worked in the area of community development in the borough in a paid and unpaid capacity for almost 25 years, and have broad support amongst many different communities and faiths.
With a vital role as deputy leader of the council, Islam was well placed to strongly deliver further initiatives for the borough; “as Deputy Leader I led and delivered the innovative Burial subsidy Scheme and was instrumental in refreshing the Council's Workforce to Reflect the Community Strategy.” Islam was also responsible for overseeing the establishment of Tower Hamlets Homes, an ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation), and not-for-profit company, whose sole purpose is to deliver high quality housing services for residents living in 22,000 Tower Hamlets Council homes. Tower Hamlets Homes also manages tenancies and leases on behalf of the Council. Islam holds a number of external positions, including Accredited Peer for the I&DeA, a Board Member, Olympic Lottery Distributor (Ministerial Appointment), and a former board
“I have a track-record of bringing diverse communities together, helping to break down barriers, creating cohesive communities working together to get things done in our area.
Councillor Sirajul Islam member of the Local Government Association's Regeneration and Transport Board. He adds; “I have worked in local government and the NHS in various senior capacities for the past 25 years. I worked for Barts and The London NHS Trust as a Community Relations and Communications Manager for 11 years. Councillor Islam is on the three strong Labour shortlist,, along with Councillor
Shiria Khatun and John Biggs. He hopes to use his vast experience of local issues, along with his proven track record in local politics to help local people and engage the community in politics, and to give them a voice. “As the first elected Mayor I want to set standards for others to follow. I believe I can work across and represent all our different diverse communities. Tower Hamlets is one community of many communities and we are proud of our
diversity. We have a hard working community, a conscious and resilient community who keep us on our toes. “This resilience and energy is embedded into all our elected representatives. Our politicians and community members do not sit back and relax, because we are doing well but they want the Council to achieve more. “I am an energetic Councillor brimming with positive ideas. If given the
“My approach is inclusive and I want to replicate that approach across the borough. We need to re-engage with people and communities, setting out exactly what Labour will do for them in Tower Hamlets over the next few years. “I strongly believe I have the leadership skills to represent all sections of the community and become a 'Mayor for all'. I have a strong belief in fairness, equality and justice. These are my guiding principles. “
02 - 08 July 2010
H E A L T H
Self-Help Tips for Pain Preventing hay fever
Whether your pain has just come on or you’ve lived with it for years, these tried-and-tested selfhelp steps can bring you relief. 1. Get some gentle exercise. Simple, everyday activity like walking, swimming, gardening and dancing can ease some of the pain directly by blocking pain signals to the brain. Activity also helps to stretch stiff and tense muscles, ligaments and joints, which can lessen pain. In the long term, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any increase in pain. Also, if you avoid exercise completely, the lack of activity could lead to other problems like stiff joints, weight gain, heart disease, osteoporosis, poor balance and falls. 2. Breathe right. Concentrating on your breathing when you’re in pain can help. This will help you to feel more in control of the
situation and will keep you relaxed and prevent any muscle tension or anxiety from worsening your pain. 3. Stay positive. Pain can make you tired, anxious, depressed and grumpy. This can make the pain even worse, making you fall into a downward spiral. Be more kind to yourself. Living with pain isn’t easy. Some people find it useful to seek help from a counsellor, psychologist or hypnotherapist to discover how to deal with their emotions in relation to their pain. 4. Distract yourself. Shift your attention onto something else so the pain isn’t the only thing on your mind. Get stuck into an activity that you enjoy or find stimulating. Many hobbies, like photography, sewing or knitting, are possible even when your mobility is restricted. 5. Share your story. It can help to
talk to someone else who has experienced similar pain themselves and understands what you’re going through. 6. Get some sleep. Sleep deprivation can worsen pain. Go to bed at the same time each evening, and get up at a regular time in the morning and avoid taking naps in the day. If sleep problems persist, see your GP. 7. Take a course. The Expert Patients Programme (EPP) is a free NHS-based training programme for people who live with long-term chronic conditions such as arthritis to develop new skills to manage their condition (and any related pain) better on a day-to-day basis. 8. Socialise. Don’t let pain mean that you lose contact with people. Keeping in touch with friends and family is good for your health and can help you feel much better. Aim to talk about anything other than your pain, even if other people want to talk about it. 9. Relax. Practising relaxation techniques regularly can help to reduce persistent pain. There are many types of relaxation techniques, varying from breathing exercises to types of meditation. Ask your GP for advice in the first instance.
"The main triggers of hay fever are tree and grass pollen,” says Lindsey. “The pollen count is always higher when it’s a nice, bright, sunny day.” Don’t mow your lawn: If grass makes you sneeze, get someone else to mow your lawn. “It sounds obvious, but many people don’t think of this,” says Lindsey. If you react to grass and you spend time on the lawn, you'll get symptoms. Create a barrier: Smear Vaseline inside your nostrils. “This acts as a filter for the pollen,” says Lindsey. Time it right: Don’t sit outside between 4pm and 7pm or in the early morning, as the pollen count is highest at these times. “If you go out, or need to hang out the washing, do it after 10.30am and before 3.30pm,” says Lindsey. Shut the windows: Don’t sleep or drive with the windows open, as this will allow pollen to come in. Damp dust regularly: Dusting with a wet cloth, rather than a dry one, will collect the dust and stop any pollen from being spread around. Wash your hair: “Pollen is sticky and may be in your hair,” says Lindsey. “It can then transfer to your pillow when you go to bed, and will affect you during the night.” If you’ve been out in the evening, wash your hair at bed time, as clean hair can help you
sleep better. Vacuum: “Pollen can live in carpet for up to three months,” explains Lindsey, so get vacuuming. Think about your medication: Talk to your GP or pharmacist about any treatment you’re taking for hay fever as it might be worth trying a new treatment. “The same antihistamine [antiallergy treatment] doesn’t always work for someone year after year,” Lindsey says. “Try something different, such as a nasal spray or a new antihistamine.” You can take early steps to avoid symptoms of hay fever before they start. “Most people wait until symptoms start before they take treatment, but you really need to start at least two weeks before, so that the antihistamine is already in your system when pollen triggers your hay fever,” says Lindsey. Look back at previous years to work out what time of year your hay fever usually starts, and try
to identify what triggers your hay fever. For example, grass pollen is in the air from May until July or August, so you could start taking antihistamine in April. Find out more about the pollen count. You can also talk to your GP or call the Allergy UK helpline for more information. Don’t ignore hay fever Hay fever can make everyday life uncomfortable and tiring, with sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and an itchy throat. However, there are treatments available and symptoms can get better. Hay fever can also increase your risk of asthma. “There is a definite link between hay fever and asthma,” says Lindsey. “If you get hay fever, you’re more likely to get asthma so it’s important to take hay fever seriously and try to treat the symptoms.” Allergy UK helpline: 01322 619898 http://www.nhs.uk/
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Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro Review Reviewed by: Luke Westaway Reviewed on: 30 June 2010
The Sony Ericsson Vivaz wanted to win our hearts with its 720p video-capture abilities and touchscreen loveliness. Unfortunately it was rubbish, with some horrible build quality and a deeply confusing menu system. The Vivaz Pro adds a pull-out Qwerty keyboard to the mix, but at £340 SIM-free, is that enough to win our hearts? In a word, no. In 800 or so words... Cowboy builders Getting hold of the Vivaz Pro, it's clear Sony Ericsson hasn't done anything to fix the Vivaz' truly shonky build quality. We're no strangers to slightly wobbly tech, and to we're willing to forgive the odd bit of bendy plastic or stiff button, but it's a rare and awful moment when we pick up a mobile that actually screams 'cheap' from the moment we hold it in our hands. The whole phone audibly creaks inside its flimsy plastic casing, and every single button is stiff and unresponsive. Holding it feels like cradling the ancient fossil of a mobile phone -- we'd stuffed it in a Jiffy bag and posted it to the Natural History Museum before we realised our mistake. The keyboard is easy to type on thanks to the well spaced keys, but it's as wobbly as a blancmange Adding a full keyboard only provides this phone with more opportunity to be made of rubbish. Sliding the keyboard out feels like opening a rusty gate, and the hinge itself is so loose that the keyboard regularly slid out all wonky-like. Applying just a little pressure to the handset while you slide will cause the front-panel to catch on the keyboard's individual keys, which we imagine will
cause some serious damage before too long. Broken-backed and bone-headed The design isn't about to win any awards either, although this phone is fairly slim considering it's concealing a full keyboard. The Vivaz Pro has a distinctive rounded back, which unfortunately means the phone spends most of its time resting on the 5.1-megapixel camera, which isn't very well protected. We can foresee a cracked lens if you should be so unfortunate as to ever sit on your phone, or drop something on top of it. Our model came in a grim greeny-grey-black shade, though a slightly cleaner looking white version is also available. As far as buttons go, you'll find three central command keys beneath the screen, dedicated buttons on the side of the phone for both camera and camcorder, volume keys, and - bizarrely -- a lock/unlock key positioned on the back of the phone, just above the camera. If you're looking at the front of the phone you won't be able to see that button, which made actually finding the darn thing tricky at the best of times. The display is curiously placed very low down on the front of the phone. It's too close to the three function buttons for our liking, and leaves a conspicuous bare spot above the screen itself. Presumably this is to give the huge Sony Ericsson logo room to breathe, but the result is that the phone looks like it has a massive great forehead. Baffle me once The Vivaz Pro sports an 81mm (3.2-inch) TFT touchscreen. It's the resistive type, which means you'll have to actually apply pressure to the screen for it to register your touch. This is ironic, because after just a few minutes of using the Vivaz Pro's operating system, applying pressure is exactly what
you'll want to do. The Symbian interface is just... baffling. There are a few home screens, with photo-browsing, a Twitter client and a shortcut to add a contact. Hitting the central key will bring up the menu. And that's about it. Sony has added its own skin to the Symbian OS, and we can't really say it's paid off -- just like the previous Vivaz, menu navigation is sluggish and drab. It's simple, we'll give it that. But there's little to no customisation apparent, and finding what it is you're after is tricky indeed. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the way the menus have been ordered, and it gives us the distinct impression of a rush job. We've seen similarly weak and unintuitive interfaces, but usually on mobiles hundreds of pounds cheaper than this one. When you pop out the Qwerty keyboard, the screen flips round to cater to the new orientation, but it often flickers, and doesn't adjust very quickly or smoothly. A rather pretty flowing ribbon across the home screen changes direction as the phone is rotated. This tells us there's a gyroscopic sensor hidden somewhere in the Vivaz Pro's depths, so why this couldn't have been used to make switching from portrait to landscape mode a little more fluid, we're not sure. Keyboard and camera comeback Now this we like. We see plenty of Qwerty keyboards, and not all of them are -- how to put this delicately? -- usable. This one is, however. The keys themselves are well spaced out, with the gaps helping to eliminate mistakes while typing at speed. It made tapping out texts very comfortable, and is vastly preferable to wrangling with the somewhat unresponsive on-screen keypad. Now we come to real selling point -- the Vivaz Pro shoots 720p video. But how does it actually handle? Recorded video certainly looks good, and while we've seen more colourful footage from the likes of a mini camcorder, it's pretty decent. If you want to do anything with the footage you've taken, you'll still have to grapple with the thoroughly awkward interface, however. The camera has a 5.1-megapixel sensor, which is slightly disappointing considering the earlier Vivaz featured an 8.1-megapixel snapper, but in all honesty makes very little difference with such a small sensor. Pictures taken with the Vivaz Pro still look decent mind, and we're happy to see an LED
photo light, auto-focus, 4x digital zoom, face detection and geo-tagging all present and correct. Bits and bobs Connectivity is pretty comprehensive, with both 3G and Wi-Fi onboard. At over £300 though, that's no more than we'd expect. Call quality is perfectly reasonable, and although they're just as sticky and stubborn as every other hardware button on this phone, the volume keys on the side will give you a little more control during calls. As for battery life, expect the Vivaz Pro to last you a few days at most, and less if you're consuming gallons of data or using the camcorder all the time. Conclusion A rubbish interface and truly shocking build quality make the Vivaz Pro hard to recommend. We like the Qwerty keyboard, which does give it an edge over its touchscreen-only predecessor, and the 720p camcorder works well, shooting good quality footage. This phone's flaws invariably drag down the few smart features though, and for £340, we'd expect a significantly higher level of quality. If you Vivaz Pro leaves you cold, why not check out the Nokia N86, which features an 8-megapixel camera and Wi-Fi? It's a year old now, but we liked it then, and you'll likely find it going cheaper these days. The Vivaz Pro is available for around £25 per month on a 24-month contract.
Review:`Lego Harry Potter' casts a spell There isn't a pop-culture franchise better suited for video games than the Harry Potter epic. It has magic, combat and a vast imaginary world to explore. It has appealing heroes, dastardly villains and awesome monsters. It even has its own sport, Quidditch, which should be a blast to play in virtual space. So far, though, the Electronic Arts-published games that have accompanied each of the Potter movies have been disappointingly earthbound. That's partly because they've been so tightly restricted to the plotlines of the films; game designers are never at their best when they're just trying to duplicate another medium. The U.K. studio Traveller's Tales has managed to escape that rut with its Lego video games, starting with 2005's "Lego Star Wars." Recasting icons like Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Batman as cute Lego figures has given the studio license to mess with their respective canons, making the resulting games lighter, more nimble and funnier than official tieins. "Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4" (Warner Bros., for Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, Nintendo's Wii, $49.99) brings that silliness to the first half of J.K. Rowling's saga. It begins with Hagrid delivering baby Harry (whose trademark glasses are already painted on) to his Muggle relatives. Fast-forward 10 years and Harry is ready for Hogwarts. The wizardry school is the game's primary setting, and it feels like a character all on its own. It's crammed to the rafters with secret rooms, haunted objects and hundreds of spell-casting targets. You
can zap most objects to earn "studs" (currency in the Lego universe), but you're also rewarded if you use your magic wand to clean up messes or reassemble broken devices. On most levels, you control Harry or one of his closest pals, Ron or Hermione. Each has a special device — Harry's invisibility cloak, Ron's pet rat or Hermione's spellbook — so you need to switch among them to solve some puzzles. However, since "Lego Harry Potter" is designed for cooperative play, it's much more fun to explore Hogwarts with a companion. Indeed, if you haven't read all the books, it really helps to take this journey with someone who has. For one thing, your friend will be able to explain what all the exotically named spells you acquire actually do. And as entertaining as the game's animated cut scenes are, they don't explain the plot very well; someone who's familiar with the tale will enjoy the gags much more. There's a wide variety of things to do in "Lego Harry Potter," but it doesn't do everything right. Quidditch matches are particularly disappointing; instead of controlling Harry on his broom, you control Ron and Hermione as they create havoc in the grandstands. There are also some technical problems, like inaccurate spell targeting and uncooperative artificial intelligence, that make some levels more difficult than they should be. But those are minor issues in a game that's certain to please acolytes of The Boy Who Lived. I'm not a big fan — but even I was won over by the Traveller's Tales' witty, enthusiastic interpretation of Harry's world. Three stars out of four.
02 - 08 July 2010
Brooke Kinsella to help Twilight: Eclipse Government Tackle reviews round-up Knife Crime
Former Eastenders actress and anti-knife campaigner Kinsella speaks at The Oasis Actress Brooke Kinsella is to head up a fact-finding mission into the work of schemes designed to stop young people carrying and using knives, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced. The former EastEnders star, whose brother Ben was murdered two years ago this week, has been asked by the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister to assess the effectiveness of current work designed to keep young people away from violent crime. She will visit projects across the country that work to stop young people from getting pulled into a world of violence - in particular schemes trying to stop teenagers carrying and using knives. Her findings, including details of the types of project she thinks are making the biggest difference, will be presented to the Home Secretary
later this year to help shape the Government's work in tackling knife crime and serious violence among young people. Home Secretary Theresa May said: "The tragic loss of life we've seen on our streets, like the death of Ben Kinsella, is unacceptable and we need to help young people stay safe by ensuring they know the dangers of carrying and using knives. "We want Brooke to take a look at projects currently working to stop knife crime, to meet with young people on these courses and tell us which schemes are really making an impact." Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I am so pleased that Brooke is helping the Government to tackle knife crime. She knows how violence can shatter people's lives - but she also believes it doesn't have to be this way. Young people don't have to get sucked into violent, hopeless lives. Communities don't have to be places of anger and fear. Families like hers don't have to suffer so cruelly and needlessly. "Brooke brings passion and insight to this role and I look forward to working with her in a determined, unremitting fight-back against youth violence." Brooke will start visiting projects across the country from next month; sitting in on education sessions, meeting mentors and speaking with young people on the courses. Brooke Kinsella said: "Most young people are hard working and law abiding, but those who carry knives need to know its wrong and the horrible consequences of their actions. "It is important young people can live without fear of attack. Which is why I support positive activities that encourage young people not to carry knives, as well as the use of tough punishments when they do. "I'm pleased the Home Secretary has asked me to do this work because I want to make sure youngsters across the country are getting the best help available - in the hope it helps stop other families going through what we did." The work Brooke is undertaking will be fed into a report for the Home Secretary which will be used to help develop the Government's approach to tackling knife crime and youth violence.
Mullah Nasrudin A rich farmer had been trying desperately to marry off his daughters. One day he met Mulla Nasrudin. "I have several daughters," the farmer told the Mulla. "I would like to see them comfortably fixed. And I will say this, they won't go to their husbands without a little bit in the bank, either. The youngest one is twenty-three and she will take Rupees 25,000 with her. The next one is thirtytwo, and she will take Rupees 50,000 with her. Another is forty-three and she will take Rupees 75,000 with her." "That's interesting," said Nasrudin. "I was just wondering if you have one about fifty years old." Mulla Nasrudin's family was upset because the girl he was planning to marry was an atheist. "We'll not have you marrying an atheist," his mother said. "What can I do? I love her," the young Nasrudin said. "Well," said his mother, "if she loves you, she will do anything you ask. You should talk religion to her. If you are persistent, you can win her over." Several weeks went by, then one morning at breakfast the young Mulla seemed absolutely brokenhearted. "What's the matter?" his mother asked. "I thought you were making such good progress in your talks about religion to your young girlfriend." "THAT'S THE TROUBLE," said Nasrudin. I OVER DID IT. LAST NIGHT SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS SO CONVINCED THAT SHE IS GOING TO STUDY TO BE A NUN." The young lady's hopes had been high for two years while Mulla Nasrudin
remained silent on the question of marriage. Then one evening he said to her, "I had a most unusual dream last night. I dreamed that I asked to marry you. I wonder what that means." "THAT MEANS," said his girlfriend, "THAT YOU HAVE MORE SENSE ASLEEP THAN YOU HAVE AWAKE." Mulla Nasrudin had been calling on his girlfriend for over a year. One evening the girl's father stopped him as he was leaving and asked, "Look here, young man, you have been seeing my daughter for a year now, and I would like to know whether your intentions are honorable or dishonorable?" Nasrudin's face lit up. "DO YOU MEAN TO SAY, SIR," he said, "THAT I HAVE A CHOICE?" Mulla Nasrudin's mother, worrying about her son's safety, said to him: "Didn't I say you should not let that girl come over to your room last night? You know how things like that worry me." "But I didn't invite her to my room," said Nasrudin. "I went over to her room. NOW YOU CAN LET HER MOTHER DO THE WORRYING.”
About three things the Twilight producers were absolutely positive. First, Twilight was a vampire tale. Second, there was a part of it that thirsted for teenage blood. And third, adolescent girls were unconditionally and irrevocably in love with it. Indeed, American booksellers have hailed the author of the saga, which runs through four novels, as the new J. K. Rowling — Stephenie Meyer’s first instalment selling more than five million copies in the US alone, and thereby helping to fill the void left by the departed Boy Who Lived. The fact that the film version arrives Stateside in what has become the pre-Christmas ‘Potter slot’ will only boost the comparisons. In contrast to the wizardry franchise, however, the director here manages to improve on the film’s papery progenitor. While a succession of helmers have struggled to condense Rowling’s everexpanding tomes into a digestible screen serving, Catherine Hardwicke hits top gear from the outset, rattling through the early exposition and never once allowing the painful teen brooding that floods Meyer’s book to overflow into insipidness. Meyer is a devout Mormon, her tale a metaphor for carnal abstinence, allowing young girls to splash around in a pool of obsessive love without having to swim in the turbulent waters of scary teenage sex. The author, who had final cut, thought Hardwicke’s first cut a little too steamy, hence the interaction between Bella and Edward becomes even more intimate, Hardwicke employing close-ups and avoiding the exposed flesh captured by the wider lenses. The director, of course, understands the teen audience — consider Thirteen or Lords Of Dogtown — and she conjures one of the most beautiful films of the year. Former Potterer Robert Pattinson (Cedric in Goblet Of Fire and Order Of The Phoenix) is staggeringly handsome, as are the rest of his vampire brethren. The backdrop, meanwhile, the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, is truly breathtaking, Hardwicke sending her stars hurtling up towering trees and sinking into deep moss.
The lead performance too is strong, Panic Room and Into The Wild star Kristen Stewart consistently excellent. She is the vehicle through which audiences are carried on their journey, and her keen intelligence prompts a mature performance. Bella is both vulnerable and strong, a three-time damsel in distress, requiring Edward’s white-faced knight to save her, and yet courageous enough to surrender to danger and send an immortal bloodsucker into a frenzy of desire. Said bloodsucker Pattinson struggles at times — it’s a demanding first lead role, requiring him to project a perennial restrained desire. He settles down eventually, but not before he’s treated us to a series of hard-faced pouts. Despite the presence of vampires, Twilight is a romance, not a horror, and anyone hoping to sink their teeth into a juicy gorefest will be disappointed. There is action, of course, ignited by the arrival of a trio of wandering neck-biters (who, needless to say, are impossibly good-looking) that feed on the locals and lust after Bella’s blood, leading to a showdown in a be-mirrored ballet studio. Hardwicke sensibly introduces these rogues early. And yet, while she does have action credentials (working on Three Kings before shooting Dogtown), the sequences are occasionally predictable, the wire-work sometimes obvious. She also struggles with the depiction of vampires in direct sunlight. Meyer’s saga was prompted by a dream, in which she saw Bella and Edward lying in the forest, sunlight twinkling on the vampire’s exposed flesh. In truth, Hardwicke would have liked to exorcise the scene, but it’s too important to the author. She turned to ILM, although despite their best efforts, Edward’s spangled skin looks a little odd. Verdict A sometimes girlie swirl of obsession that will delight fans, this faithful adaptation is after teenage blood, and will most likely hit a box office artery. Twilight is showing at Dagenham Vue Dagenham Leisure Park, Cook Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM9 6UQ
02 - 08 July 2010
FA board members back Fabio Capello Football Association board member Phil Gartside has come out in support of Fabio Capello and says he expects the England manager to keep his job. The FA is considering whether to sack Capello, 64, after England exited the World Cup after losing 4-1 to Germany. But Gartside told BBC Sports News correspondent Dan Roan: "We've got the best man for the job." The Bolton chairman said he had spoken to two other members of the FA's 11-strong board who also backed Capello. FA bosses have told their Italian coach, who has two years to run on his contract, that he will have to wait another two weeks to find out if he has a future as England boss. His fate will be decided by Club England chairman Sir David Richards and managing director Adrian Bevington, whose decision will need to be rubber-stamped by the full FA board, which next meets on July 15. David Bond said the signs were that Richards was also supportive of Capello remaining in his post. Capello, who earns a reported £6m a year, has been widely blamed for England's failure to make an impact at South Africa 2010.
The England team arrived back at Heathrow airport on Tuesday after a disappointing campaign in which they drew with the United States and Algeria, struggled to beat Slovenia 1-0 before suffering their biggest ever World Cup defeat at the hands of Germany in the last 16 round. But Gartside said: "It's not his fault. He's done a good job, he needs to get on with it. I hope he stays and I think he will stay. "It's not about the money. We have to be strong. It's not the fans who have an issue, it's the press." Capello told a news conference on Monday he wanted to stay in the post and oversee the qualification campaign for the 2012 European championships. The Italian was also backed by two other FA board members contacted by BBC Sport, although Gartside was the only figure to go on the record about his support for Capello. "In putting his head above the parapet, it signifies the beginning of a campaign to keep Capello, but there may be other members who do not share his view," said Roan.
Roy Hodgson named new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has been named Liverpool's new manager after signing a three-year contract with the Anfield club. Hodgson will oversee the club's first day of preseason training on Thursday before being unveiled to the media. "This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on Britain's most successful football club," Hodgson told the club's website. The 62-year-old joins from Fulham, where he took charge in December 2007 and guided to the Europa Cup final. Hodgson succeeds Rafael Benitez, who left Liverpool by mutual consent at the start of June and is now manager of European champions Inter Milan. The BBC understands Fulham hope to have a successor in place for their pre-season training camp in mid-July. Hodgson had two spells at the San Siro as Inter boss, one of 12 clubs he has taken charge of in six countries in a 34-year management career, as well as three national teams. And captain Steven Gerrard believes Hodgson's extensive experience in Europe make him the "right man for Liverpool". "I think it's been worth the wait and I'm sure he's just keen now to get on with it and start to quickly put in place his plans for the new season," said the 30-year-old. One of Hodgson's first priorities is securing the futures of Gerrard, star striker Fernando Torres and midfielder Javier Mascherano. All three players, who have been linked with bigmoney moves away from Anfield, are vital to Liverpool's hopes of resuscitating their Champions League ambitions having missed out on a place in next season's competition after finishing seventh in the Premier League. "I don't think there's anybody here at the club who would welcome losing them," said Hodgson. "Certainly the fans wouldn't welcome losing them and us as a club I'm sure will do everything we can to make certain they stay with us. "I'll be trying to persuade them that this is the place
to be. I'll ask them to give me a chance to work with you and give us a chance to improve on last season. "They're all disappointed, I'm sure, after last season's results and I'll be doing my level best. It would be foolish to give guarantees that it's going to happen because I can't speak for the players themselves, but I'll be doing my best to keep them." Hodgson's exploits with Fulham last season, which included wins over Juventus and Wolfsburg en route to a 2-1 Europa Cup final defeat by Atletico Madrid in Hamburg, earned him the League Managers' Association manager of the year award in May. In his first full season he took Fulham to seventh in the Premier League, their highest finish and a place in the Europa League. Liverpool moved quickly after Hodgson was linked with the England managerial job after the team's World Cup failure. Hodgson has extensive domestic and international managerial experience across Europe, including spells in charge of Blackburn Rovers and
Switzerland, who he guided to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup. Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic and former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes had all been linked with the Liverpool post. But it is thought that Hodgson was always the club's preferred candidate. His departure is a bitter blow for Fulham, with whom Hodgson signed a 12-month rolling contract in December last year. Hodgson arrived at Craven Cottage in December 2007 after the sacking of Lawrie Sanchez, guiding the club clear of relegation in his first season back in the Premier League. He then forged a competitive unit with astute signings like Norway defender Brede Hangeland, Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Hungary midfielder Zoltan Gera. "The club would like to wish Roy the very best for the future and thanks him for all that was achieved
during his tenure," read a club statement. "(Assistant manager) Ray Lewington will take temporary charge of team matters, until a successor is announced in due course." HODGSON'S MANAGERIAL CAREER 1976-1980 Halmstad (Swe) 1982 Bristol City 1983-1985 Örebro (Swe) 1985-1990 Malmö FF (Swe) 1990-1992 Neuchâtel (Swi) 1992-1995 Switzerland 1995-1997 Inter Milan (Ita) 1997-1998 Blackburn Rovers 1999 Inter Milan (Ita) 1999-2000 Grasshopper (Swi) 2000-2001 Copenhagen (Den) 2001 Udinese (Ita) 2002-2004 United Arab Emirates 2004-2005 Viking (Nor) 2006-2007 Finland 2007-2010 Fulham 2010 - Liverpool Liverpool are currently £351m in debt and were put up for sale by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett in April. The American pair's ownership of the Reds has been a long-running source of discontent for many fans, who are unhappy with the way the club is being run, and there have been regular protests and public disputes. However, Hodgson has been promised funds to bring in new players if any players leave Anfield in the coming weeks. "One thing they made clear to me is we have to work within whatever restraints are in place at the club, but they've also made clear that if we were unfortunate to lose somebody then that money would be made available," he added. "I'm hoping that won't be the case because I don't want to lose anybody, but we haven't gone much further than that. "I'm sure that during the course of the day, when I've spoken to the players, there will be meetings and discussions along those avenues as well."
02 - 08 July 2010
IGNORANCE EXPOSED BY SOCIETY TO THE FORTUITOUS?
The storm surrounding the establishment of an abortion hotline in Pakistan this week by dynamic women empowerment support groups, speculates the topic once again on abortions; morality or a necessity?
How close is this needed amongst our diverse communities in East London? Young girls from twelve attend health clinics, seeking advice desperately which lacks at home and schools only to be bombarded with new found information, awareness of contraception, sexual relationships and protection on safeguarding from an unplanned pregnancy. However Bangladeshi women and parents will scarcely usher the word within confined homes; frowned upon from the men debating in mosques and community centres; the awarded advocates for community issues carelessly avoid it due to the sheer public outcry; only prolongs ignorance for our women.
Young women firstly hear escalated words through hidden clinics clutch up these services and information sessions; projects successes in Tower Hamlets have proven Bangladeshi women are utilising them warmly. Sexual reproduction health specialists working with women despite the controversy and the reluctance from funders these women will not encouragingly take up services. This is not about naming and shaming victims who find themselves caught into a situation rather than supporting these women to make decisions that impact future sexual relationships, lives and their families. Parents secretly terminate and support illegal abortions abroad than openly address the issue with sexual health clinics and GP’s due to fear of community reprisals in the UK. If women have choices and feel they are listened to without society being judgemental, this could help them avoid repeat conceptions.
The basic family planning for new migrant women also lack sexual education and cultural ties amongst younger generations because it is not openly discussed, some men ought to take up learning to support partners by not isolating them is also required.
women had the bold idea to make it happen.
Let us not alienate the masses but begin to educate them as a starting point; our Bangladeshi women need to take control of their lives and responsibilities that come along with this; practical parenting, early signs of sexual activity amongst daughters; enhancing their awareness on sexual health and well being by provision of information on the implications and serious interventions to formal abortion processes. There are charities which support women offering abortion advice like the British Pregnancy Advisory Service always are there to assist. In a progressive society this can only protect young women from harm. There were total number 1506 abortions accounted from Tower Hamlets health care region in 2009 with a demographic population and our community hub, we can assume some were from our community.
The problem is not the abortion services; it’s mobilizing services for women like projects in Tower Hamlets, proved the salient point no matter where you are; in the developed world or undeveloped, sexual health information should be readily available for women to make their rightful choices and be aware of repercussions to their emotional health and well being.
If anything, the Pakistan abortion hotline alerted a contentious issue to the narrow minded, political convoys who side the male genes belittling them to grasp the purpose of saving women, preventing risks of infectious diseases and clamping down on illegal back street abortions. The issue only awakened the dead because these powerful Asian SKT 03/39-
Let us not feed into the hands of the particular faith groups on abortions on moral grounds and religious views.
For further information contact Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust NHS, family planning and contraception drop in centres or the women and young people’s service. Parveen Hassan is Chair of West Midlands Regional Women’s Issues Group for new migrant women, refugees and asylum seekers (West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership). She is Director of Birmingham Community Integration Partnership Director of Muslim Women Network UK Disclaimer the views are personal to the author and not representing the views of the Directorships she holds.
02 - 08 July 2010
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