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\’ElBaradei arrives at Cairo\’s Tahrir Square\’

In Media Dailies on January 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm

\’ElBaradei arrives at Cairo\’s Tahrir Square\’.

Live: Egypt unrest day six

TV coverage from the BBC as unrest continues in Egypt 

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Live BBC TV coverage of events in Egypt

LIVE UPDATES (all times GMT)

Live coverage of the sixth day of anti-government protests in Egypt, as thousands of demonstrators return to the streets nationwide. This page updates automatically, there is no need to refresh.

Updating
1732 A new turn in the protests, perhaps: police and security forces are expected to return to the streets tomorrow. The army has been the dominant presence throughout Sunday.
1717 A former US ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, Martin Indyk, tells the BBC that successive US administrations have tried to warn Hosni Mubarak to take account of the wishes of his people, and says that Barack Obama’s White House now appears to have no choice but to side with the Egyptian people.
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1711 As befits a man at the heart of a protest movement made popular by social media, Mohamed ElBaradei has tweeted a message to Egyptians : “We shall continue to exercise our right of peaceful demonstration and restore our freedom & dignity. Regime violence will backfire badly”.
Read more of Mohamed ElBaradei’s tweets.

1703 More detail on Mr ElBaradei’s speech to protesters, via Reuters once more: “You have taken back your rights and what we have begun cannot go back. We have one main demand – the end of he regime and the beginning of a new stage, a new Egypt. I bow to the people of Egypt in respect. I ask of you patience, change is coming in the next few days.”
1657 Just days into a return to his homeland, it appears that Mr ElBaradei – former head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA – is seeking a key role in the protests. But the Nobel Peace Prize winner is not widely seen as a popular figurehead – and is not generally famed for his public speaking.
1653 Widespread reports that Mohamed ElBaradei is now in Tahrir Square, with Reuters reporting he has begun to speak. “What we have begun cannot go back,” he is quoted as saying.
1638 As we await confirmation of Mr ElBaradei’s arrival, we’ve put together a gallery of some of the best photographs from another dramatic day on the streets of Egypt.
1630 It’s 1830 now in Egypt, two and a half hours into the latest curfew, and darkness has fallen quickly on the protesting crowds. If Mr Elbaradei is going to address Cairo’s protesters it will be a street-lit stump speech.
1628 Reports of Mr ElBaradei’s arrival are now firming up, with al-Jazeera TV also placing him in Tahrir Square.
1623 Mohamed ElBaradei update: Reuters news agency now reports that he has arrived in Tahrir Square to join protesters.
1620 In Alexandria, the BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson reports that people are becoming nervous about how things are playing out. Residents are worried about looting and about the availability of supplies, he says. There is also a sense that the government is now dealing with events in a different way, and that the crowds are concerned about the prospect of getting hurt if they stay out long beyond the curfew.
1600 Meanwhile, in a contrast to to the scenes of protesters and fighter jets that have dominated foreign media coverage, Egyptian state TV has been broadcasting images of Defence Minsiter Mohammad Hussein Tantawi inspecting the army units securing downtown Cairo.
1558 Much is now expected of Mohamed ElBaradei from some of the protesters. A BBC Arabic correspondent, Assad el-Sawy, is now reporting that Mr ElBaradei is on his way to Liberation Square, where he is scheduled to address the protesters.
1551 There have been a lot of strands to the story as the day has developed. We’ve now got a full account of Hillary Clinton’s comments on the need for “an orderly transition” in Egypt .
1547 The full UK travel advice can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website .
1546 On the issue of travel, it’s worth reiterating that the official UK advice is for Britons to avoid all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez – but there is no specific warning for tourists currently in the Red Sea region of the country.
1533 Mr Hague added his voice to calls for a transition to democracy in Egypt, urging free and fair elections, but adding: “It is not for us to choose the president of a country.”
1531 Foreign Secretary William Hague tells the BBC the UK will do everything it can to get Britons who want to leave Egypt out of the country.
1526 Reuters has a full quote from Mr ElBaradei: “It is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today,” he told CNN. “He needs to leave today… to be followed by a smooth transition [to] a national unity government to be followed by all the measures set in place for a free and fair election.”
1512 And more from the Nobel peace laureate: he has reportedly told CNN that President Mubarak must leave the country “today” to make way for a unity government.
1507 A new comment from opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei, reported by the AFP news agency: The US is “losing credibility by the day” by support the Mubarak regime, the former UN nuclear chief says.

1505 After footage of damaged antiquities was shown on al-Jazeera TV, Egyptologist Margaret Maitland, writing on The Eloquent Peasant blog , says she has been studying the evidence: “I’ve managed to identify a number of the objects shown damaged in the al-Jazeera footage, including statues of Tutankhamun and the mummies of his great-grandparents.”

1452 Dramatic evidence of the passion on the streets of Cairo from crowds around the BBC’s Lyse Doucet a little earlier today. 

BBC correspondent with protesters in Cairo 

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The BBC’s Lyse Doucet on the ground with Egypt protesters

1450 In Tahrir Square, the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen notes that the tanks and fighter jets massed in front of the protesters were supplied to the Mubarak government by the US – something unlikely to endear the US to those taking to the streets, especially if Washington does not come out and openly oppose the president.
1442 Concern appears to be spreading into the world of business. Reuters reports that oil giant Shell is preparing to pull international staff and their families out of Egypt on Sunday.
1440 The new Secretary of Organisation of the National Democratic Party, Maged al-Sharbini, says Egypt’s new cabinet will be announced in a few hours, BBC Arabic reports. More coverage from BBC Arabic .
1435 There is still passion and intensity among the crowds in Cairo, the BBC’s Kevin Connolly reports from Tahrir Square, although he estimates the numbers are down slightly on recent days. The main demand remains for Hosni Mubarak to go and for an end to the Mubarak years.
1431 More from Hillary Clinton, who has done the rounds of US Sunday talk shows. “We want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate concerns addressed,” she told ABC.
1424 Back in Cairo, al-Jazeera TV reports that protesters have painted a “Down with Mubarak” slogan in the midst of Tahrir Square.
1419 The full quote from Mrs Clinton to Fox News, reported by Reuters: “We want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought-out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government.”
1417 In what appear to be some of the strongest US comments yet on the situation in Egypt, Mrs Clinton has also called for “an orderly transition”, according to reports.
1411 As yet, Mrs Clinton tell US network ABC, there has been “no discussion” about cutting off aid to Egypt, stressing that Egypt’s rulers need to refrain from violence against protesters.
1407 Meanwhile, in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spoken of her concern over events in Egypt. According to extracts of interviews given to US TV networks on Sunday, Mr Mubarak’s reforms are the “bare beginning” of a much-needed list of reform.
1401 Reporters and eyewitnesses are describing the arrival of the fighters jets above Tahrir Square. The buzzing of the jets is incredibly loud, those nearby report.
1354 There are reports of renewed military activity in central Cairo: two Egyptian jets are repeatedly buzzing Tahrir Square, a helicopter is hovering nearby and a column of tanks has arrived, the BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reports.
1350 Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif tells the BBC from Cairo that it is “in the interests of the country” that President Hosni Mubarak leaves, and says the country’s mobile phone operators are “doing democracy a disservice” by agreeing to limit or block service.
1345 AhmedAlaa_SJ tweets: “Protesters say they will not move from Tahrir Square. They are asking the army to go arrest #Mubarak! #jan25 #egypt #cairo” 

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1332 Human Rights Watch says that looting is becoming a real problem in Alexandria. Peter Bouckaert, the organisation’s emergencies director, tells the BBC World Service Newshour programme that some of it was a deliberate attempt by the authorities to frighten people: “Some of [the looters] are criminals who’ve been released from the prisons and we have confirmed reports that some of the looters are actually undercover policemen. So we’re not quite sure how much of this is spontaneous and how much of it is an organised attempt by the government to create instability now.”
1320 BBC Arabic correspondent in Cairo Khaled Ezzelarab reports that protestors in Tahrir Square have said they intend to carry march with the coffins of victims of the violence to the presidential palace on Monday if he does not step down.
1300 The US State Department advises nationals to avoid travel to Egypt and authorises the departure from Egypt of embassy families and non-essential personnel.
1245 Egyptian state TV broadcasts footage of dozens of prisoners escaping and being recaptured by the army. The prisoners are shown seated on the floor, many of them with their hands tied behind their backs. The newsreader also announces that the army has arrested 450 rioters in different parts of the country. The station also shows footage of confiscated rifles, AK-47 assault rifles, Molotov cocktails, ammunition, and knives, which the announcer says were to be used by “criminals to terrorise the public”.
1230 

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Dan Nolan of al-Jazeera tweets: “Packing our equipment. We have been kicked out of office. Jazeera only network being shut down according to these guys #Jan25 #Egypt”

1206 A coalition of opposition groups issue a statement asking Mohamed ElBaradei to form a transitional government. They call on the Nobel Laureate “during this transitional stage, to act in the internal and external affairs of the nation, and to form a temporary government… and to dissolve parliament and draft a new constitution which enables the Egyptian people to freely choose its representatives in parliament and elect a legitimate president.” The statement was signed by the 6 April Movement, the We are all Khalid Said Movement, the National Assembly for Change and the 25 January Movement.
1157 Al-Jazeera’s broadcasts via an Egyptian satellite have been halted. The Egyptian government had earlier ordered the Arabic TV channel, which has been showing blanket coverage of the protests, to shut down its operations in the country.
1154 Jack Shenker and Peter Beaumont in Cairo for The Guardian, describe the scene at a mosque that has become a hospital: “This place of worship is little more than a partially-roofed narrow passage between two tall buildings; now it has been transformed into a makeshift hospital, with blood soaking through the prayer mats.”
1150 Egyptian state-owned Nile TV shows video of President Mubarak meeting top military commanders. By his side were Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Defence Minister Tantawi. The channel said the meeting took place in the “centre for military operations” to “follow up the armed forces’ operations to control the security situation”.
1145 Egypt’s banks and stock exchange are to stay closed on Monday for a second day, the Central Bank announces. Stock exchanges in the Gulf drop sharply after opening on Sunday.
1116 The BBC’s Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says there is deep concern behind the scenes in Israel. “One former ambassador said ministers were desperately running between meetings to form a future plan. One concern is the country’s border with Gaza and Egypt’s ability to maintain security along that border.”
1107 The BBC’s Kevin Connolly, in Cairo, says the army is playing an ambiguous role and does not seem to have clear orders, certainly not the crucial order to enforce the curfew. “There is a very febrile atmosphere – there is real fear, on the streets, that stories of prisoners being released and looters roaming the streets are being circulated to sap the will of protesters.”
1100 The BBC’s Lyse Doucet 

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tweets: “Army now checking everyone entering Tahrir Square. Long queues forming ..very orderly #Jan25”.

1058 In Cairo one protester tells Reuters news agency that most of those doing the looting are policemen. “We are protecting the country,” Medhat Shaker says. “We arrested a police officer and group of policemen looting and the majority of looters are policemen, and you can ask the military troops if you do not believe me.”
Jeremy Bowen in Cairo 


 

 

‘Jeremy Bowen: Vacuum of authority in Cairo’

1055 Majda72 tweets: “Protests have begun in Alexandria, chants are “No to Mubarak, no to Suleiman”#jan25 #egypt”.

1040 Monasosh tweets: “Call from friend in Tahrir Square. Army is now blocking all entrances to it gradually gaining more power to control in/out flow of people #Jan25”

1032: The BBC’s Rami Ruhayem, of the BBC’s Arabic Service says: “We’re getting reports of preparations for a large demonstration in Mahalla al Kubra, an industrial city north of Egypt. The city is home to many textile and gas factories. There was rioting last night near some of the factories, and reports of army reinforcements arriving at one of the main textile factories.
1023: The US embassy in Cairo says the state department is making arrangements for US citizens who wish to leave to be flown to Europe.
1020: Maajid Nawaz of the Arabic thinktank the Quilliam Foundation tells BBC World that the protests will not end until the president leaves.
1012: Turkey is sending two Turkish Airlines planes to Egypt to evacuate Turkish citizens, according to the country’s state-run Anatolian news agency.
1006: Arabic broadcaster Al-Jazeera says that Egyptian authorities have ordered the closure of its offices in Cairo and elsewhere. Al-Jazeera denounced the move which it said was aimed at “censoring and silencing the voices of the Egyptian people”.
1003: The US embassy in Cairo is reported to have advised American citizens living in the country to consider leaving.
1000: The Egyptian army is reported to be guarding the deserted interior ministry headquarters in the centre of the capital, Cairo, after protesters attempted to force entry into the building last night, Reuters reports. All officials have been evacuated and two armoured lorries and a tank are on guard outside.
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Ambulance workers ‘refused to take dying student to hospital’

In Media Dailies on January 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:46 PM on 26th January 2011

Two ambulance workers have been removed from frontline duties after complaints that they refused to take a dying student to hospital.

Sarah Mulega, 21, was discovered collapsed in her bedroom in Barking, Essex, by her landlady, Chinwe Moneke, who called for an ambulance.

Miss Mulega suffered from sickle cell anaemia, a genetic blood condition – where some of the red blood cells are misshaped and can restrict blood flow causing painful episodes called crisis, which can be deadly.

Sarah Mulega's cause of death has not yet been establishedCollapsed: Sarah Mulega’s cause of death has not yet been established

But when paramedics arrived more than half an hour later they allegedly refused to take the dying student to hospital because she had soiled herself. She died just hours later.

Two members of London Ambulance Service have been taken away from frontline duties while the allegations are investigated.

Miss Mulega’s cousin, Thomas Chisanga, 33, said: ‘The people who were there to help her let her down in the last hour.

 

‘We simply don’t want it to happen to anyone else.

‘It’s so painful. I have so much anger towards them.’

The 21-year-old worked part time as a carer to support herself while she studied business management.

Her landlady said she discovered Miss Mulega collapsed in her bedroom on January 9 and rang for an ambulance at about 4.15pm.

She said she made a second call at about 4.30pm to say her condition was getting worse and a third call at 4.45pm to say she thought her tenant was having a sickle cell crisis.

An ambulance arrived at the home in Barking at about 4.50pm and Ms Moneke claims the ambulance workers refused to take her to hospital.

She said: ‘They did not check Sarah’s temperature nor heartbeat. In fact they did not touch her at all.’

The stunned landlady said she heard one of the paramedics tell the dying student ‘If you want to be taken to hospital, then get up so we can take you’.

She believes the medics refused to touch the dying student because she had soiled herself.

The landlady said she cleaned her up until Miss Mulega’s sister arrived and by then the student was unresponsive so she called a second ambulance.

She added: ‘We were panicking and crying.’

A second ambulance came to the house and took Miss Mulega to hospital but she died there later the same evening.

An inquest has opened into her death but a cause of death has not yet been established.

A spokesman for London Ambulance Service said: ‘We are looking into what happened and have received a complaint about the incident.

‘In the meantime the first two members of staff who attended have been taken off frontline duties pending the outcome of this investigation.

‘We would like to offer our condolences to the patient’s family and we wills hare the findings of our investigation with them as soon as we can.’

 

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In Media Dailies on November 27, 2010 at 1:27 pm

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500,000 public sector jobs to go: Danny Alexander lets the cat out of the bag on spending cuts

In Media Dailies on November 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm
  • David Cameron and Danny Alexander snapped with secret drafts
  • 1 in 10 public sector jobs to go as government gambles on private recovery
  • Speculation mounts of deliberate ‘leaks’ by government ministers

The coalition expects 500,000 public sector jobs to be lost as a result of the drastic spending cuts, it was revealed today.

Danny Alexander let slip the forecast when he was spotted driving into the Treasury with an open copy of the Comprehensive Spending Review on his lap.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury – who has been nicknamed Beaker after the Muppets character – was reading the document, which was caught on camera by waiting photographers.

Danny Alexander with the Comprehensive Spending Review Some light reading: Danny Alexander with the Comprehensive Spending Review arriving at the Treasury today

CSR Drastic action: The CSR sets out cuts across Whitehall as the coalition battles to save money

It laid out details about the likely effect of spending cuts on the public sector as well as the coalition’s plans to pour billions into tackling climate change.

At the same time, the Prime Minister was photographed today holding a draft of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

WHAT DANNY ALEXANDER’S DRAFT SAID ABOUT PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS

Cameron

  • The overall value of the public sector reward package … has remained generous in recent years
  • Action on pay will help to reduce job losses
  • Actions Govt is taking will facilitate a movement of jobs from the public sector to the private sector
  • In the second quarter of 2010, both private sector and total employment experienced their largest increases on record
  • However, the OBR’s Budget forecast was for a reduction in public sector workforce numbers of 490,000 by 2014-2015
  • It will be for each public sector employer to determine the workforce implications of spending settlements in their areas

While figures in Mr Cameron’s documents appeared to show the defence budget was to be cut by 6 per cent, the Prime Minister confirmed to the Commons this afternoon that the department’s cuts will be 8 per cent.

The fact that both were photographed on the same day has sparked speculation that the papers were deliberately ‘leaked’ to soften the blow ahead of the official announcements.

Mr Alexander’s copy of The Comprehensive Spending Review laid out details about the likely effect of spending cuts on the public sector as well as the coalition’s plans to pour billions into tackling climate change.

The document stresses that tackling the deficit now is ‘unavoidable’ and will ultimately benefit the public and private sectors.

It warns it will ‘inevitably impact’ on workers because the paybill in Whitehall accounts for such a huge proportion of departmental spending.

Action on pay – a freeze for the lowest paid is already in place – will help reduce job losses, the papers say.

But they make clear that the Government has adopted the Office for Budget Responsibility‘s forecast that 490,000 jobs in the public sector will go by 2014/15.

Each public sector employer will have to ‘determine the workforce implications of spending settlements’, the document says.

It adds: ‘Government will do everything they can to mitigate the impact of redundancies’.

This will be done by creating conditions for private sector growth, encouraging pay restraint and reduced hours and supporting employees facing redundancy.

WHAT IS THE OBR?

The Office for Budget Responsibility was formed in May 2010 to independently assess the state of public finances and issue economic forecasts.

It was originally chaired by fiscal expert Sir Alan Budd – but he quit in July, with Labour peers suggesting he had fallen out with ministers over the degree of independence given to the OBR.

On climate change, which was on the opposite page of the document held by Mr Alexander, the coalition pledges to ‘lead efforts to secure ambitious global action’.

It pledges that the UK will contribute £2.9billion in international climate finance and sets out plans to focus on developing wind power to help reach environmental goals.

Mr Alexander, 38, is the latest minister to be caught out by photographers carrying documents in Whitehall.

He was promoted from Scotland Secretary to the Treasury within weeks of the coalition taking power after fellow Lib Dem David Laws was forced to quit by revelations about his expenses claims.

Just five years ago, he was a press officer for the Cairngorms National Park but he was a key figure in the negotiations with the Tories after the election.

Mr Alexander has no experience of finance and has been compared to Beaker, the Muppet Show’s hapless laboratory assistant.

David Cameron was also spotted with a copy of his statement about the defence review today, which showed the MoD faces cuts of 8 per cent.

David Cameron leaving No10 today with a copy of his speech on defence cuts Revealing: David Cameron leaving No10 today with a copy of his speech on defence cuts appearing to show the budget could be slashed by 6% – but Mr Cameron later confirmed cuts of 8%

WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

Danny Alexander is far from the first public figure to let slip information by being less than careful as they carry documents around Whitehall.

Housing Minister Caroline Flint (below left) revealed forecasts of a 10 per cent plunge in property prices in Downing Street in May 2008.

In 2009, Met Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick (below right) had to quit after displaying secret notes that led to a suspected Al-Qaeda operation being brought forward.

Caroline Flint
Bob Quick

Blunders: Caroline Flint showing off notes in Downing Street and (right) counter-terror officer Bob Quick

Reprinted from The Daily Mail

Jamaica: State of emergency in Kingston

In Media Dailies on November 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 24, 2010 7:22 a.m.
Supporters of an alleged drug lord blockaded Kingston neighborhoods.
Supporters of an alleged drug lord blockaded Kingston neighborhoods.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Gang members had blocked off a miles-long area of Jamaica’s capital city
  • Standoff revolves around U.S. attempts to extradite suspected drug kingpin
  • Coke was charged last year, accused of leading international crime syndicate
  • Violence, blockades prompt emergency meeting of Jamaican president’s Cabinet
RELATED TOPICS

Kingston, Jamaica (CNN) — Jamaican authorities declared a state of emergency in Kingston after gang members supportive of an alleged drug lord wanted by the United States attacked police stations and blockaded a large swath of the city.

Two police stations were evacuated after being hit with Molotov cocktails, while the status of a third was unclear.

Gang members blocked off a miles-long area of Jamaica’s capital city — mostly in West Kingston — using vehicles, sandbags, barbed wire and anything else they could find.

Are you there? Send us your stories, images

The standoff revolves around attempts by the United States to extradite suspected drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Last year he was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and with conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms in U.S. federal court.

On Friday, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said citizens should “allow the courts to deal with the extradition matter,” the state-run Jamaica Information service reported.

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, Golding announced an emergency meeting of his cabinet in response to the violence and blockades, the Jamaica Information Service said.

The state of emergency extended to St. Andrew, an area near Kingston, according to the Jamaica Information Service.

The U.S. State Department is “monitoring the situation closely,” a spokesman said Sunday evening.

Coke was charged in August by the attorney’s office in New York, which accused him of leading an international criminal syndicate known as the “Shower Posse.”

“At Coke’s direction and under his protection, members of his criminal organization sell marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area and elsewhere, and send the narcotics proceeds back to Coke and his co-conspirators,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said in a release accompanying the charges.

“Coke and his co-conspirators also arm their organization with illegally trafficked firearms,” the DEA said in a statement at the time.

Coke is on the Justice Department’s list of Consolidated Priority Organization Targets, which the department says “includes the world’s most dangerous narcotics kingpins.”

The State Department issued a travel alert for Jamaica on Friday, saying that the “possibility exists for violence and/or civil unrest in the greater Kingston metropolitan area.”

“If the situation ignites, there is a possibility of severe disruptions of movement within Kingston, including blocking of access roads to the Norman Manley International Airport,” the alert said.

Journalist Kirk Abrahams contributed to this report.

To cruise or not to cruise?

In Media Dailies on November 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

By Robert Reid, Special to CNN
November 16, 2010 8:26 a.m. EST
tzleft.robert.reid.courtesy.jpg
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Travel editor Robert Reid says some are likely leery of cruises after Carnival Splendor debacle
  • He says “real” travelers eschew cruises but people flocked to them after 9/11 especially
  • If you’re nervous about cruises, there are train trips and barge tours that give cruise experience
  • Reid: Cruises provide unusual access to open sea, and odds of Splendor-type disaster slim

Editor’s note: Robert Reid is the U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet and host of the 76-Second Travel Show.

New York (CNN) — Now that the 4,500 people stranded last week on the Carnival Splendor are safe and sound in San Diego, California, some vital questions need to be answered. Were the passengers cared for properly? Will any use the free cruise vouchers Carnival offered? And, most importantly, did they or did they not eat any of that Spam?

Another big one is whether anyone should bother taking a cruise in the first place. Already, cruises tend to be smeared by the “real” travel community as floating malls, Vegas on water, with structured camplike activities, dodgy food and, as writer David Foster Wallace called it, “1,500 professional smiles” from people “who clearly dislike you.”

But by all indications, people do have fun on cruises, and they are a committed lot. Particularly Americans. Of the 13.4 million worldwide travelers who set off on a “Love Boat” experience last year, says the Cruise Lines International Association, 70 percent are Americans. And the number rises every year.

The Titanic aside, cruise ships have an impressive safety record — especially when one considers that annual cruise bookings have risen by more than 1 million since 9/11. The fire that stalled the Carnival fun can pretty much be chalked up to a freak occurrence, not likely to be repeated if you’re planning a trip by big boat.

The people who do this usually defend their vacation choice with a handful of reasons. “You only have to unpack and pack once” goes one argument. “They’re hassle free.” “You don’t have to worry about planning anything.” “They’re relaxing.” And the biggest, “The value. They’re cheap and you know what your total cost will be.”

(Of course, a cruise’s final bill is much more than advertised. Onboard expenses are where cruises make their profit. Liquor is rarely included, same with offshore excursions, souvenirs, the casino and tips for the woefully underpaid staff, which can quickly reach $125 total. If you find a Mayan Riviera cruise in Mexico for $300, expect to pay $200, at least, in extras, not including transport to get to the pier.)

To be sure, there are sound reasons to get on board, and the most travel-oriented one is probably the best: People like that they get to see different places: “You fall asleep in Jamaica and wake up at Grand Cayman” (the catch being you only have a few hours and, usually, can only see what a tour offers).

But there are other kinds of travel that achieve this effect, and for those put off on cruises for the moment, they are worth considering.

One alternative that floats is spending a week aboard a barge. Burgundy in France has a network of canals and rivers that total nearly 800 miles. (Renting a barge can run about 300 to 400 euros a day). In the U.S., you can rent family-size barges to ride along the 365-mile Erie Canal system between Albany and Buffalo, New York, and stop into canal-side historic towns at your own leisure (from $350 a day for a week from rental companies such as CanalCruises.com). It’s your boat for the trip — plus you get the added thrill of driving it yourself.

Another cruise-alternative is the train. But you needn’t hop on and off across Europe with a Eurail pass or the U.S. with an Amtrak pass; some trains offer built-in vacation packages. Though not as roomy as a boat, trains can be as social as cruises.

Whether you go on escorted trips — like Amtrak’s six-night, all-catered Glacier Park Discovery between Chicago, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington (from $3,250), or the luxury version of the Trans-Siberian, the Golden Eagle’s 15-day trip from Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia, ($8,000) — or go alone, there are many mix-and-mingle opportunities in observatory decks or while sharing a table in the dining car. And the views often beat a cross-country trip by car — with no billboards cluttering the passing landscape.

Canada’s VIA Rail has North America’s prettiest excursions, with multiday trips crossing the Rockies between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Jasper, Alberta. Costlier is the classic art-deco Venice Simplon-Orient-Express; an overnighter from London, England, to Venice, Italy, is more than $3,000. But it sure is nice.

If you still have a yen for the big boat, it’s understandable. Cruises do have their own distinctions. Like the sea itself. Taking my first cruise shortly after 9/11, I realized it was the only time I’d been at sea. I skipped the “fire gaucho” shows and limited my visits to the unlimited ice cream bar to the bare minimum, but the sea I liked and stared out endlessly — a rolling gray mass that looked like the surface of another planet.

And even for travel purists, it’s hard to deny that people do seem to have a great time on these things. Like the commercials attest, people do look and act younger once they get out there. Maybe it’s because it feels like an “adult camp” — a throwback-type of travel, on water not airways, where there’s no need for clocks, just a focus on magic shows, the dessert bar and dance floor.

No, taking a cruise isn’t ever going to let you get an authentic experience of a place, as compared to finding a posada or bed and breakfast in Puerto Vallarta or Cartagena for a week would.

But then again neither does a weeklong stay at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where you can find all the “professional smiles” you can handle.

In the end, I guess there are two types of travelers: those who like cruises, and those who hate them. If you like them, go. That random incident aboard the Splendor shouldn’t change a thing.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert Reid.

In Media Dailies on November 10, 2010 at 10:59 am
Video camera in action.

Image via Wikipedia

The ‘poop snoopers’: Angry father-of-two sets up secret cameras to catch dog owners who don’t clean up their mess

By Jo Riley

 

A team of private detectives is working with a city council to catch dog walkers who let their pets foul the pavements.

The pooper snoopers are using high tech surveillance tactics to capture culprits who fail to bin their pets’ mess.

They have hidden tiny video cameras the size of thumbnails in trees and drink cans at popular dog-walking sites across Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in a bid to catch the offenders.

 

A private detective sets up a larger woodland camera on a route regularly used by dog walkers

The new Community Dog Fouling Initiative has been set up by father-of-two Mark Halstead, 35, who runs Black Cat Investigations.

He plans to present any damning evidence gathered by his team to the council’s environmental health department and offenders could be fined up to £1,000.

‘I have two young children and I’m fed up with taking them to the local park and telling them to keep off the grass in case they step in dog mess,’ he said.

‘We love going to the park to feed the ducks or for walks in the wood but the children have to constantly watch where they are walking and I’m always having to clean poo off their shoes or the pushchair.

‘I care about the children in our community and I decided something needed to be done. It’s not only foul but it’s a health hazard too.’

 

Investigators armed with cameras target dog walkers who previously have been caught on the hidden devices allowing their dogs to foul paths

Mr Halstead started Black Cat seven years ago to investigate matrimonial matters and he has a team of 12 investigators.

But he realised the technology they use to catch cheating partners could prove effective in clamping down on irresponsible dog walkers.

‘I came up with the idea after seeing a neighbour leaving bags of poo in the gutter just a few metres away from a bin,’ he said.

‘She has two dogs and she was walking them three times a day so she was leaving up to six bags a day on the street.

 

One of the tiny camera devices that are hidden inside trees and drink cans to spy on dog walkers and their pets

‘Children walk along that street to school and they were opening the bags to see what was inside. It was horrible.

‘I learned the times she was taking the dogs for a walk and set up an operation with two local agents.  Within hours they had captured her on film and we can now present this as court evidence to Milton Keynes Council.’

Mr Halstead and his team have already placed 15 high resolution video cameras, each costing £200, at problem dog fouling areas in Milton Keynes.

Footage from the mini cameras is streamed onto a server on the internet which the detectives can then access remotely.

‘We can sit in our office and log on to the camera and download the footage to see what is happening,’ he said. ‘If we see someone who is blatantly letting their dog foul on a pavement we will then need to identify the person and link them to a property.

Dog walkers tend to be habitual in the routes they take so we would get an agent to follow them home, then give the footage to the council and encourage them to prosecute.’

Mr Halstead, who lives near the centre of Milton Keynes, also wants members of the public to become volunteer investigators and help with the work.

‘People can snap a photo of someone they see letting their dog poo on the pavement then send it to us, or they can assist with our surveillance,’ he said.

‘If anyone knows of a persistent offender they can supply us with details.

‘We also hope local companies will sponsor the equipment so we can install more cameras.’

The council is authorised by the Government to gather evidence of dog-fouling under the Dog Act legislation. In the past three years it has taken action against 13 people.

‘We have already had a lot of support from people, including many dog walkers who are fed up with their dogs running through dog poo,’ Mr Halstead added.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328085/Man-sets-secret-cameras-catch-dog-owners-dont-clean-poop.html#ixzz14sMG7liR

 

1984

In Media Dailies on November 9, 2010 at 12:45 am

We’re going after all your bank details:

Ministers demand earnings figures in crackdown on welfare fraud

By Daily Mail Reporter

Ministers are seeking access to the bank details of virtually everyone in the country to crack down on the £5billion lost to fraud and error in the welfare system each year.

The Government is to change the law to require the banks and private companies to hand over details of earnings by millions on out-of-work benefits and tax credits.

The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years.

Access all areas: The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years
Access all areas: The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years

The move is likely to raise concerns about both privacy and data security, but
Whitehall sources insisted last night that all the information involved is already supposed to be passed to the Government.

One said: ‘About 94 per cent of employees and 97 per cent of benefit recipients get their earnings or benefits through the banking system – it contains all the data we need.

‘This does not involve us receiving new information, but it does involve us getting it in a more timely manner and in a way that is easier to use in reducing fraud and error.

‘It will catch out people who are not reporting a change in their circumstances, and make it easier to identify people who are saying different things to HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to maximise their tax credits and benefits.’

The scheme, due to be phased in during the next three years, will involve a ‘massive data-matching exercise’ to cross-check payments made to benefit recipients against their declared earnings.

HMRC already receives details on earnings from companies on an annual basis through the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system.

Meanwhile, the DWP holds information on payments made and declared earnings of all benefit recipients.

But there is currently no system to link the two. Under the new proposals, the banks will be ordered to allow officials access to details of payments made through the banking system.

Employers will also be required to hand over payroll details each month, rather than on an annual basis.

Much of the error in the benefits system relates to the time lag in officials receiving information about changes in a person’s circumstances, such as a new job, extra overtime or a new partner.

In many cases overpayments of tax credits and benefits continue to rack up for months, resulting in huge sums which can never be recovered.

At least six million people have recently been told they have paid the wrong amount of tax because of errors in the existing system, and the final figure could be as high as 15million.

A Government source said: ‘Having information on a monthly basis will allow HMRC to keep track of what is going on with people’s earnings and allow it to adjust tax codes more quickly.’

Whitehall’s monthly audit

More transparent: Danny Alexander said plants to improve accountability in Whitehall represented a 'quiet revolution'
More transparent: Danny Alexander said plants to improve accountability in Whitehall represented a ‘quiet revolution’

Whitehall departments will be forced to publish month by month plans of their activity to improve accountability, the Prime Minister will say today.

David Cameron will unveil plans for a ‘power shift’ designed to make Government more transparent.

He will present it as an alternative to Labour’s target culture, which he argues encouraged short-term thinking and distorted priorities.

Ministers who fail to deliver agreed reforms and savings will be required to write a public letter to Mr Cameron explaining the poor performance.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said the proposals represented a ‘quiet revolution’ in the way government works.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327623/Ministers-demand-earnings-figures-crackdown-welfare-fraud.html#ixzz14k1Xbs4Y

Amanda Knox will face slander trial over claim police beat her up while quizzing her over Meredith murder

By Nick Pisa

Sullen: U.S. student Amanda Knox is escorted by police officers into court in Perugia today to discover that she faces further proceedings for slandering police officers during her murder trialSullen: U.S. student Amanda Knox is escorted by police officers into court in Perugia today to discover that she faces further proceedings for slandering police officers during her murder trial

Amanda Knox was today ordered to stand trial on slander charges for claiming she was beaten by police when questioned in 2007 about her flatmate’s murder.

The 23-year-old American maintains she was trying to defend herself and did not mean to slander anybody, her lawyers said.

Knox had claimed she was beaten by police during questioning over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher three years ago.

Police have denied misconduct and filed charges saying Knox’s comments were slanderous.

Knox made the allegations in June 2009 during her trial and they had earlier been repeated by her parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas who are also facing a similar charge after giving a newspaper interview.

The slander charge came about as in the murder trial Knox recalled her police questioning and said: ‘One shouted, “You don’t remember?” then a policewoman behind me hit me across the back of the head. I turned towards her and she did it again.

‘They were only decent with me when I made my statement. They wanted a name, but I couldn’t give them one.’

Under Italian law slander is punishable with a fine and or a prison sentence of between two and six years.

The judge, Claudia Matteini, issued the indictment ruling after a behind-closed-doors hearing in Perugia.

During the hearing, which she attended in a blue top and trousers, she stood up and spoke to the court.

Facing the music: Knox is flanked by police officers today. She claimed she was only trying to defend herself when she made the claimsFacing the music: Knox is flanked by police officers today. She claimed she was only trying to defend herself when she made the claims

 

 

She said: ‘I didn’t mean to offend or slander anybody. I reiterate, I was only trying to defend myself. I was exercising a right.’

Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova had argued that the case should be thrown out but judge said there was enough evidence to send Knox to trial for slandering a total of seven officers.

Knox is serving a 26-year prison term after she was convicted of murder and sexual assault in December.

She has denied murdering 21-year-old Kercher and her appeal is due to to begin on November 24.

Different look: Amanda Knox during her murder trial back in February 2009Different look: Amanda Knox during her murder trial back in February 2009

Her father, Curt Knox, told The Early Show on the U.S. cable channel CBS today that ‘this is going to be her chance once again to have that wrongful conviction overturned’.

Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said Knox was ‘very sad and worried’ but also ready to face the appeals trial.

Victim: English student Meredith Kercher, who was murdered by American Amanda Knox and her italian boyfriend Raffaele SollecitoVictim: English student Meredith Kercher, who was murdered by American Amanda Knox and her italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito

Knox’s ex-boyfriend and co-defendant at the murder trial, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted and sentenced to a 25-year jail term.

A third person, Ivorian Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted of murder in separate proceedings and sentenced to 30 years in prison, which was cut to 16 years on appeal.

All three have maintained their innocence.

The murder is set to be the subject of two films – the first starring Heroes star Hayden Pannettiere as Knox has already started filming while British actor Colin Firth is also set to make a film starring as an investigative reporter.

Earlier this month to mark the third anniversary of her death the Kercher family issued a statement in which they paid tribute to Meredith and described how they “missed her more than ever”.

In a statement released by Francesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s Italian lawyer, they said: “Meredith is missed more than ever and although three years have passed it is difficult to understand the why of what happened.

‘We can only hope that very quicjy a line will be drawn under all this and we can go forward and concentrate exclusively on Meredith’s memory.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327792/Amanda-Knox-faces-slander-trial-claim-police-hit-questioning.html#ixzz14k4I8dOD

In Media Dailies on October 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Two of the BBC’s most high-profile presenters, Evan Davis and Sarah Montague, enraged colleagues yesterday by defying the strike that has brought chaos to its news schedules.

They ignored a 48-hour journalists’ walkout to present Radio 4’s flagship Today programme.

It is understood that they managed to avoid crossing a picket line by arriving at 3.30am – before striking colleagues had arrived.

Their decision was a boon to BBC management trying to ensure major news programmes remained on air, but has been described as a kick in the teeth to colleagues striking over changes to their pension scheme.

Evan Davis
Sarah Montague

‘Kick in the teeth’: Evan Davis and Sarah Montague’s decision to break the picket line has ‘mortified’ striking BBC journalists

Davis, who also presents Dragons’ Den on BBC2, and Montague, a former stockbroker, even referred to the impact of the National Union of Journalists’ strike while they were on air.

The BBC was severely embarrassed on Friday when it had to pull the show and replace it with repeated programmes. According to the Radio Times, Montague had been scheduled to present that edition with John Humphrys.

Senior broadcast sources have told The Mail on Sunday that Montague told bosses on Friday that she would turn up for work on Saturday on condition that she did not have to present the programme on her own.

Davis subsequently agreed to join her in the studio at Television Centre in West London, where the programme is normally made.

It is not known if either of the presenters is a member of the NUJ or whether other newsroom staff agreed to join them.

‘They’re laughing as BBC colleagues face pension cuts’

Davis last night refused to talk to The Mail on Sunday about his decision to defy the strike. The presenter – who also turned up for work during a strike at the BBC in 2005 –said it was ‘above his pay grade’ to talk about such things.

By the time the presenters left the studio shortly after 9am a full picket line had been assembled.

Striking journalists are mortified by the duo’s decision to go ahead, fearing their actions will undermine support for further stoppages planned for later this month.

One journalist, who asked not to be named said they were shocked and saddened by the decision to go ahead with the programme.

‘I think most people had assumed that the programme would not go ahead. People are absolutely gutted and very disappointed. The success of the Today programme rests on its presenters and the fact that the BBC was able to get such big names in today is bad news for the strike.

‘If the BBC can get a perfectly acceptable edition of Today on air, then it’s not a high-profile strike.

‘People will be wondering whether they should take part in further strikes and lose out on pay in the run-up to Christmas.’

BBC picket line‘Shocked and saddened’: Striking journalists fear the presenters’ actions will undermine support for further stoppages later this month

Ian Pollock, the chairman of the London branch of the NUJ, said: ‘I think them turning up like this is a very poor show. What did they think they were doing?

‘When their colleagues are out here in the cold and are going to have a huge cut in their pensions, there they are laughing and joking away on the radio this morning.

‘We face huge cuts of millions of pounds and they seem to be carrying on as if nothing is happening.’

The  show got off to a shaky start when Montague told listeners it was 6am – when in fact it was 7am. Davis had to correct her.

The programme also featured contributions from John Humphrys who has spent the last two weeks reporting from China. However, he did not have to defy the strike as the segment broadcast yesterday was a pre-recorded item.

He declined to comment last night. ‘I only got back from China last night and I haven’t even heard the item,’ he told The Mail on Sunday.

One member of the BBC newsroom, who asked not to be named, wondered if Davis, 48, and Montague, 44, would be able to look fellow journalists in the eye once the strike was over. ‘It’s very disappointing that people who are colleagues are refusing to show solidarity. This will have a real impact for all those involved.

‘While both Evan and Sarah are probably on freelance contracts and much better paid than most union members, they still have to work with union members. It is all about the team and they are certainly not acting as one.’

BBC picket lineDisappointed: By the time the presenters left the studio shortly after 9am a full picket line had been assembled

Justin Webb, another of the presenters on the Today programme, said he was not a member of the union and would turn up for work if he was scheduled to appear.

He confirmed, however, that he would not agree to replace colleagues who were on strike.

He said: ‘I am not in the union. I am not on strike. I have enormous  sympathy for my colleagues who feel upset about the pension issue. I am a member of the pension scheme myself so I will take a hit along with everyone else. But if I am on the rota, I will work.’ Fellow presenter James Naughtie is believed to be more sympathetic to the strikers.

He has spent the last few days reporting for the programme in the United States and was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The 48-hour strike caused widespread disruptions to programmes on Friday, but yesterday it was a more mixed picture.

BBC1’s Breakfast programme was presented as planned by Charlie Stayt.

But co-host Louise Minchin failed to appear and was replaced by a stand in, Anne Davies from East Midlands Today.

Some Radio 5 Live programmes were cancelled and the ten-minute news bulletin on Radio 4 at 1pm was cut to just three minutes.

The popular From Our Own Correspondent, which has been running on Radio 4 for 55 years and is presented by veteran correspondent Kate Adie, was replaced by an edition of foreign affairs programme Crossing Continents.

The strike also forced the Corporation to drop its regional and local news bulletins on BBC1.

A BBC spokesman said yesterday: ‘We are doing everything we can to deliver programmes and services to our audiences.

‘However, we anticipate some disruption to the schedule and we apologise for this.’

 

 

The Angola Three
38 years ago, deep in rural Louisiana, three young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000 acre former slave plantation called Angola.Peaceful, non-violent protest in the form of hunger and work strikes organized by inmates caught the attention of Louisiana’s elected leaders and local media in the early 1970s. They soon called for investigations into a host of unconstitutional and extraordinarily inhumane practices commonplace in what was then the “bloodiest prison in the South.” Eager to put an end to outside scrutiny, prison officials began punishing inmates they saw as troublemakers. 

At the height of this unprecedented institutional chaos, Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King were charged with murders they did not commit and thrown into 6×9 foot solitary cells.

Robert was released in 2001, but Herman and Albert remain in solitary, continuing to fight for their freedom.

Despite a number of reforms achieved in the mid-70s, many officials repeatedly ignore both evidence of misconduct, and of innocence.

The State’s case is riddled with inconsistencies, obfuscations, and missteps. A bloody print at the murder scene does not match Herman, Albert or anyone charged with the crime and was never compared with the limited number of other prisoners who had access to the dormitory on the day of the murder.

Potentially exculpatory DNA evidence has been “lost” by prison officials—including fingernail scrapings from the victim and barely visible “specks” of blood on clothing alleged to have been worn by Albert.

Both Herman and Albert had multiple alibi witnesses with nothing to gain who testified they were far away from the scene when the murder occurred.

In contrast, several State witnesses lied under oath about rewards for their testimony. The prosecution’s star witness Hezekiah Brown told the jury: “Nobody promised me nothing.” But new evidence shows Hezekiah, a convicted serial rapist serving life, agreed to testify only in exchange for a pardon, a weekly carton of cigarettes, TV, birthday cakes, and other luxuries.

Hezekiah was one you could put words in his mouth,” the Warden reminisced chillingly in an interview about the case years later.

Even the widow of the victim after reviewing the evidence believes Herman and Albert’s trials were unfair, has grave doubts about their guilt, and is calling upon officials to find the real killer.

In fact, Albert’s conviction has now been overturned twice by judges citing racial discrimination, prosecutorial misconduct, inadequate defense, and suppression of exculpatory evidence.

Sadly however, AEDPA-gutted habeas protections that limit federal power recently allowed the U.S. Court of Appeals to defer judgment to Louisiana, where seemingly vengeful prosecutors insist Albert is “the most dangerous person on the planet.”

In spite of this setback, the validity of Albert’s conviction is again under review due to apparent discrimination in the selection of a grand jury foreperson, an injustice that may finally set Albert free.

Although a State Judicial Commissioner similarly recommended reversing Herman’s conviction based on new, compelling evidence exposing prosecutorial misconduct and constitutional violations, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied his appeal without comment.

Undeterred, Herman has now turned to the Federal Courts to prove his innocence and win his freedom.

Meanwhile, Louisiana prison officials stubbornly refuse to release them from solitary because “there’s been no rehabilitation” from “practicing Black Pantherism.”

Nearly a decade ago Herman, Albert and Robert filed a civil lawsuit challenging the inhumane and increasingly pervasive practice of long-term solitary confinement. Magistrate Judge Dalby describes their almost four decades of solitary as “durations so far beyond the pale” she could not find “anything even remotely comparable in the annals of American jurisprudence.” The case, expected to go to trial in 2011, will detail unconstitutionally cruel and unusual treatment and systematic due process violations at the hands of Louisiana officials.

We believe that only by openly examining the failures and inequities of the criminal justice system in America can we restore integrity to that system.

We must not wait.
We can make a difference.

As the A3 did years before, now is the time to challenge injustice and demand that the innocent and wrongfully incarcerated be freed.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYHe53oC%5D

The Angola Three

Gay-Saudi-Prince-found-guilty-of-murdering-servant

In Media Dailies on October 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/844476-gay-saudi-prince-found-guilty-of-murdering-servant.

In Media Dailies on October 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm

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Britons suspected of plotting European terror attack

In Media Dailies on October 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Britons suspected of plotting European terror attack | Metro.co.uk.

Fatal hit-and-run victim was dragged for a mile

In Media Dailies on October 1, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Fatal hit-and-run victim was dragged for a mile | Metro.co.uk.

Paris Hilton and boyfriend in ‘hit and run’ with photographer

In Media Dailies on October 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Paris Hilton and boyfriend in ‘hit and run’ with photographer | Metro.co.uk.

Ronni Scotts

In Being In The Moment, Business, Daily Meditations, Media Dailies, Music For Pleasure, Prime Time News, Readers Choice, The Flying Muse, The Master Class, The Vitriolic Potical Corner, This Day In History, To Deal or Not on September 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm


Ronnie Scott (originally Ronald Schatt) was born in Aldgate, east London, into a family of Russian Jewish descent on his father’s side, and Portuguese antecedents on his mother’s.[1] Scott began playing in small jazz clubs at the age of sixteen. he toured with Johnny Claes, the trumpeter, from 1944 to 1945, and with Ted Heath in 1946, as well as working with Ambrose, Cab Kaye, and Tito Burns. He was involved in the short-lived musicians’ co-operative Club Eleven band and club (1948–1950), with Johnny Dankworth and others, and was a member of the generation of British musicians who worked on the Cunard liner Queen Mary (intermittently 1946–c. 1950) in order to visit New York and hear the new music directly. Scott was among the earliest British musicians to be influenced in his playing style by Charlie Parker and other bebop musicians.

In 1952 Scott joined Jack Parnell‘s orchestra, then led his own nine-piece group and quintet featuring among others, Pete King, with whom he would later open his jazz club, Victor Feldman, Hank Shaw and Phil Seamen from 1953 to 1956. He co-led The Jazz Couriers with Tubby Hayes from 1957 to 1959, and was leader of a quartet including Stan Tracey (1960–1967).

During this period he also did occasional session work; his best-known work here is the solo on The Beatles‘ “Lady Madonna“. He was said to be upset at the amount of his saxophone that made the final cut on the original record. In subsequent recordings Paul McCartney restored greater sections into the song.

From 1967–69, Scott was a member of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band which toured Europe extensively and which also featured fellow tenor players Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, at the same time running his own octet including John Surman and Kenny Wheeler (1968–1969), and a trio with Mike Carr on keyboards and Bobby Gien on drums (1971–1975). He then went on to lead various groups, most of which included John Critchinson on keyboards and Martin Drew on drums.

Ronnie Scott’s playing was much admired on both sides of the Atlantic. Charles Mingus said of him in 1961: “Of the white boys, Ronnie Scott gets closer to the negro blues feeling, the way Zoot Sims does.”[2] Despite his central position in the British jazz scene, Scott recorded infrequently during the last few decades of his career. He suffered periods of depression and, while recovering slowly from surgery for tooth implants, died at age 69 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates prescribed by his dentist.[3]

He was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium.

The author Joel Lane is Scott’s nephew.

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 47 Frith Street, Soho, London.

Main article: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Scott is perhaps best remembered for co-founding, with former tenor sax player Pete King, the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, which opened on 30 October 1959 in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in London’s Soho district, with the debut of a young alto sax player named Peter King (no relation), before later moving to a larger venue nearby at 47 Frith Street in 1965. The original venue continued in operation as the “Old Place” until the lease ran out in 1967, and was used for performances by the up and coming generation of domestic musicians.

Scott regularly acted as the club’s genial Master of Ceremonies, and was (in)famous for his repertoire of jokes, asides and one-liners. A typical introduction might go: “Our next guest is one of the finest musicians in the country. In the city, he’s crap”.

After Scott’s death, King continued to run the club for a further nine years, before selling the club to theatre impresario Sally Greene in June 2005.

Selected band line-ups

As well as participating in name orchestras, Scott led or co-led numerous bands featuring some of Britain’s most prominent jazz musicians of the day.

Alan Dean’s Beboppers

1949

Ronnie Scott (ts), Johnny Dankworth (as), Hank Shaw (tp), Tommy Pollard (p), Pete Chilver (g), Joe Muddel (b), Laurie Morgan (d), Alan Dean (vocal).

Ronnie Scott Orchestra

– 1954, 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Derek Humble (as), Pete King (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Ken Wray (tb), Benny Green (bs), Victor Feldman (p), Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet

– 1955

Ronnie Scott (ts), Hank Shaw (tp), Victor Feldman (p), Sammy Stokes/Lennie Bush (b), Phil Seamen (d).

Ronnie Scott Big Band

– 1955

Ronnie Scott, Pete King, (ts), Joe Harriott, Doug Robinson (as), Benny Green (bs), Stan Palmer, Hank Shaw, Dave Usden, Jimmy Watson, (tp) Jack Botterill, Robin Kaye, Mac Minshull, Ken Wray (tb), Norman Stenfalt (p), Eric Peter (b), Phil Seamen (d).

The Jazz Couriers

Ronnie Scott (ts), Tubby Hayes (ts, vib), Terry Shannon (p), Phil Bates (b), Bill Eyden (d).

(On 7 April 1957, The Jazz Couriers co-led by Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, debuted at the new Flamingo Club in Wardour Street, Soho. The group lasted until 30 August 1959).

Ronnie Scott Quartet

(1964)

Ronnie Scott (ts), Stan Tracey (p), Malcolm Cecil (b), Jackie Dougan (d).

Ronnie Scott Quintet

(1990)

Dick Pearce (tp), Ronnie Scott (ts), John Critchinson (p), Ron Mathewson (b), Martin Drew (d).

Selected discography

  • 1948: Boppin’ at Esquire (indigo)
  • 1958: The Couriers of Jazz! (Carlton/Fresh Sounds)
  • 1965: The Night Is Scott and You’re So Swingable (Redial)
  • 1965: When I Want Your Opinion, I’ll Give it to You (Jazz House)
  • 1969: Live at Ronnie Scott’s (Columbia)
  • 1977: Serious Gold (Pye)
  • 1990: Never Pat a Burning Dog (Jazz House)
  • 1997: If I Want Your Opinion (Jazz House)
  • 1997: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Jazz House)
  • 2000: Boppin’ at Esquire (Indigo)
  • 2002: Ronnie Scott Live at the Jazz Club (Time Music)

See also

References

  • Clarke, Donald (Ed.). The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Viking, 1989.
  • Kernfeld, Barry Dean (Ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Macmillan Press, 1988.
  • Kington, Miles; Gelly, Dave. The Giants of Jazz, Schirmer Books, 1986.
  • Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd edition, Macmillan, 1998.
  • Ruppli, Michel; Novitsky, Ed. The Mercury Labels. A discography, Vol. V., Record and Artist Indexes, Greenwood Press, 1993.
  1. ^ The Man Behind The Club (Retrieved March 10, 2010)
  2. ^ “Ronnie Scott”, Brian Priestley, in Carr et al.
  3. ^ Jazz and death: medical profiles of jazz greats By Frederick J. Spencer. University Press of Mississippi. Page 2010
This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (January 2010)

[Reprinted from Wikipedia]

Vocalist – General, Vocalist – Bass, Vocalist – Baritone, Vocalist – Tenor, Vocalist – Soprano, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Other Percussion, Violin, Trumpet, Saxophone, Keyboard, Piano, Background Singer, Harmonica, Flute, Other, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AfObIgI%5D

John Francis Anthony Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987), better known as Jaco Pastorius, was an American jazz musician and composer widely acknowledged for his skills as an electric bass player.
His playing style was noteworthy for containing intricate solos in the higher register. His innovations also included the use of harmonics and the “singing” quality of his melodies on fretless bass. Pastorius suffered from mental illness including a Substance-related disorder, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982. He died in 1987 at age 35 following a violent altercation at a Fort Lauderdale drinking establishment.
Pastorius was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1988, one of only four bassists to be so honored (and the only electric bass guitarist). He is regarded as one of the most influential bass players of all time.

Listen Now…

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