"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Sunday Round-up

The latest news on Bill Shaw  He's in solitary confinement for 23hrs a day to protect him from attack by jailed Taliban fighters in the same prison.  [There's a permanent link to appeal page in the sidebar]. *
Overseas aid missing targets  The [DfID] has admitted to inaccuracies in many of the self-assessments of its initiatives – suggesting that the true proportion of failing projects could be as high as one-third. 
ICTs: The immigration loophole  Around 20,000 employers are registered to bring 'skilled' migrant workers into Britain on so-called "Tier 2" visas including  Chelsea FC, Conservative Campaign Headquarters & hundreds of Thai restaurants, Indian takeaways and kebab shops.
Labour's pre-election cover up on immigration  80-page report was presented to ministers six weeks before the start of the general election campaign but sat on.
40% cuts: a doomsday scenario  A Treasury spokesman said: ‘Mr Alexander has asked Ministers to provide a range of outcomes and draw up illustrative plans so we can see precisely what the effect of different spending reductions would be.  The idea is to say, “If you cut by a) 25%, what would it mean, and if you cut by b) 40%  what would it mean?”
The cost of Blair's protection  Total spending on Royal and diplomatic protection squad expenses has reached more than £1.5 million so far this year, with officers claiming for everything from luxury hotels to petty items such as Percy Pig sweets and chocolate chip cookies.
MPs' expenses: the scandal that won't go away  Instead of receipts, he [Frank Cook] submitted a credit card bill that showed that the items were bought in the United States... Five weeks later, the MP submitted a second claim on his parliamentary expenses for the same items... claimed council tax at his main home on Teesside on his office expenses — a breach of the rules — even though he was already claiming council tax at his London home on his ACA.
Bercow's sacked secretary costs taxpayers £100k  Bercow is understood to want a new chief executive-style head of his private office who will be responsible for public relations and management skills.
Merger of police forces on the cards again  The final report of the government's "anti-red-tape tsar", Jan Berry, recommends that the 43 forces in England and Wales could be merged into 20 as part of the biggest shake-up of the service in half a century
Bystander accidentally tasered in hostage situation  A team of ten armed police, including a sniper and officers from British Transport Police, were called to the scene at just after 7am yesterday after reports that a man was waving a knife on the packed DLR train.
Legalised theft: bin fines  As well as fines, local authorities have issued 24,914 official Statutory Notices last year threatening householders with fines. A further 45,010 warning letters were also sent out pointing out breaches in bin and recycling rules.
Children's drawings analysed for 'satisfaction'  Nurseries evaluated by toddlers' drawings under the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment as they are 'the main users and beneficiaries'.
School turns off wind turbine after bird deaths  The headteacher was forced to come into school early to clear up the bodies before his young pupils spotted them.
Corruption undermining attempts to stop logging  Documents... show that a revolutionary scheme backed by the World Bank to pay poor countries billions of dollars a year to stop felling trees is actually leading to corruption and possibly more logging.
China buys lease on Greek port of Piraeus  China's state-owned shipping giant, Cosco, last month took control of Pier Two in a £2.8 billion deal to lease the pier for the next 35 years.

Good news: Brain chips for paralysed patients
Quirky news: English Zoo inmates stage own remake of 'Madagascar'
Mean-spirited news:  Brown's image consultant has a book to sell

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