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How long could my summer holiday flight be delayed?

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 11, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
Oli Scarff

Image caption

Passengers leaving Gatwick have suffered the longest average delays, the research found.

Air passengers leaving Gatwick have suffered the longest average delays during summer getaways from major UK airports, BBC analysis reveals.

Those travelling to and from the UK on EasyJet flights have waited the longest among the 10 busiest airlines.

Figures collected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) during the last two summers reveal the typical delays.

All flyers using EasyJet had an average delay of 24 minutes, and those leaving from Gatwick waited 27 minutes.

Both said they appeared at the top of the delay list partly as a result of having among the biggest number of flights.

Performance

The analysis, by the BBC’s data journalism team, is based on the last two years of CAA data for all flights from or to UK airports during June to August.

Below, you can enter your UK departure city, and your destination, to find average delays for the airlines serving this route in the last two summers.

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EasyJet has the longest average delay at 24 minutes when taking all summer flights into consideration, whether delayed or not, for the busiest airlines in June to August for the last two years. Aer Lingus delays were half that length, at 12 minutes.

This chart shows the average delay per journey for the 10 airlines with the greatest number of flights from or to the UK over the last two summers.

Past performance will not necessarily be repeated during this and future summers.

An EasyJet spokeswoman said: “EasyJet operates the largest number of flights of any UK airline, flying over 78 million passengers per year. In 2017, EasyJet will operate 33% more flights than in 2011, with less than 0.8% delayed by more than three hours.

“In fact, despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of air traffic control strikes, over the last year, EasyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than three hours.

“We work hard to minimise disruption and fully comply with all relevant regulations.”

Airports

While Gatwick had the longest average delay per outbound flight, the data reveals that travellers were less likely to experience departure delays at smaller UK airports.

Sorry, your browser cannot display this map

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said it had more flights to Europe than any other UK airport, and was impacted disproportionately by events on the continent. He said the airport was calling on UK and European authorities to accelerate plans to increase the efficiency of UK and European airspace.

“We recognise the inconvenience that delays cause to our passengers, and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent them from occurring,” he said.

“We operate the world’s busiest and most efficient single runway airport, but, over recent years, Gatwick has been disproportionately affected by issues beyond our control.

“These include repeated strike action by French, Greek, Spanish and Italian air traffic controllers and airport employees, prolonged bad weather, and heavily congested airspace above parts of Europe and London.

“Gatwick has made it a priority to address punctuality and, in partnership with our airlines and ground handlers, we are already seeing the benefits of a new wide range of measures that have been implemented to improve punctuality.”

Travellers flying from the EU or on European airlines do have a right to compensation. This means:

  • If your flight departed the European Union or was with a European airline, you might have rights under EU law to claim if the delay or cancellation was within the airline’s control
  • If your flight’s delayed for two or more hours the airline must offer food and drink, access to phone calls and emails, and accommodation if you’re delayed overnight – including transfers between the airport and the hotel
  • If you arrive more than three hours late in a journey of less than 1,500km (932 miles) you are entitled to 250 euros (£225) in compensation from the airline
  • If you arrive more than three hours late in a journey spanning more than 1,500km, but within the EU, you can get 400 euros in compensation from the carrier
  • Journeys to non-EU destinations more than 3,000km away that arrive between three and four hours late put you in line for 300 euros in airline payouts, while delays longer than four hours to these destinations are due 600 euros in compensation

Alex Neill, from the consumer organisation, Which?, said airlines should offer compensation, rather than wait for customers to come to them: “If you’re unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation could be available and people should claim what they’re entitled to.

“We want to see airlines introduce automatic compensation where possible so that passengers can quickly and simply receive the money they are owed.”

Methodology

All data used on this page is compiled and made available by the Civil Aviation Authority, which publishes aggregated statistics on punctuality for all flights taking off or landing at major UK airports.

The BBC has combined the CAA’s data for June, July and August of 2015 and 2016 and used this to calculate the average (i.e. mean) delay per flight across these months for all routes listed in the data.

Routes with fewer than 50 flights over this period were excluded, as were airlines that registered no flight data for the summer months of 2016 (even if they had been active in 2015). Chartered flights were not distinguished from scheduled flights in the calculations for airlines that fly both categories on the same route.

The data for outbound delays is based on the time the aeroplane takes off from the UK runway, and the data for return delays is based on the time the aeroplane arrives back on the UK runway.

Flights that take off or land early are recorded as having a delay of zero minutes.

Produced by Ryan Watts, Ed Lowther, Nassos Stylianou, Ransome Mpini, Daniel Dunford, Gerry Fletcher, Becky Rush, Joe Reed, and Kevin Peachey.


Have you experienced delays flying to or from UK airports? E-mail us at

You can also contact us in the following ways:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40831970

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North Korea: US diplomacy is gaining results, says Mattis

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 11, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

James Mattis said the ‘tragedy of war’ was well known

US Defence Secretary James Mattis has said America still hopes to solve the North Korea crisis using diplomacy.

After days of fiery rhetoric from both the US and North Korea, Mr Mattis said war would be “catastrophic” and that diplomacy was gaining results.

Pyongyang on Thursday announced it was finalising a plan to fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam.

Earlier, President Donald Trump said North Korea should be “very, very nervous” if it acted against the US.

He said the regime would be in trouble “like few nations have ever been” if they do not “get their act together”.

Tensions have escalated rapidly in recent weeks after North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

It was further angered by a subsequent UN decision to increase economic sanctions against it.

Media captionGuam beachgoers unfazed by North Korea threats

North Korea has said it will finalise a plan in days to fire medium-to-long-range rockets towards Guam, the small Pacific island where US strategic bombers are based, along with more than 160,000 US citizens.

There has been no indication that any attack on the Pacific island is imminent.

  • Who said it: Trump or Kim?
  • Trump’s long nuclear obsession
  • The North Korea crisis in 300 words

Mr Mattis, speaking in California late on Thursday, said it was his job as defence secretary to be ready for conflict.

But he said the diplomatic effort, under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, “has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results”.

“The tragedy of war is well enough known,” he said. “It doesn’t need another characterisation beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic.”

When asked about US military plans for a potential conflict, Mr Mattis said the country was ready, but “I don’t tell the enemy in advance what I’m going to do”.

  • N Korea: The possible solutions
  • Australia ‘would aid’ US over N Korea

Speaking on Thursday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr Trump suggested his own statements on North Korea – where he threatened them with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” – had not been tough enough.

Media captionTrump says his earlier warning to North Korea “wasn’t tough enough”

He also railed against previous US administrations for being too weak on North Korea and again chided the North’s closest ally, China, saying it could do “a lot more”.

He said: “I will tell you this, if North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us they can be very, very nervous.

“I’ll tell you why… because things will happen to them like they never thought possible.

“I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they’re gonna be in trouble like few nations have ever been.”

Media captionThe BBC’s Robin Brant asks those in the South Korean capital, Seoul: “Are you scared?”

However, he added that the US would always consider negotiations.

Also on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his nation would be prepared to join a conflict against North Korea if the United States came under attack.

Australia would honour its commitment under the 1951 Anzus Treaty, he said, “as America would come to our aid if we were attacked”.

  • US stocks slide on North Korea fears
  • Can the US defend itself?

What is the Anzus Treaty?

  • It is a security agreement signed by Australia, New Zealand and the US in 1951.
  • The treaty is designed to act as a deterrent against aggression from other nations.
  • Under the agreement, signatories are compelled to “consult” and “act to meet the common danger” if one is attacked.
  • However, experts have said its precise application could be open to interpretation.
  • Australia has invoked the treaty just once, in 2001, when it joined US troops in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
  • The US and New Zealand suspended obligations to each other in the 1980s.

Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40896236

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Facebook introduces new video service

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 10, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
Getty Images

Social media giant Facebook has made a move into dedicated video, pitting it against YouTube and TV networks.

Users will soon see a new Watch tab that will offer a range of shows, some of which have been funded by the social network

Watch will be personalised so that users can discover new shows, based on what their friends are watching.

Viewers will also be able to see comments and connect with friends and dedicated groups for shows.

“Watching a show doesn’t have to be passive,” said the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post.

“It can be a chance to share an experience and bring people together who care about the same things.”

Video has been available on Facebook for some time, but until now, it has mostly been dominated by amateur clips or short segments from news organisations.

The world’s largest social network added a video tab last year, and has hinted for some time that it might make the move to producing original content.

Watch could open up new revenue potential for both Facebook and programme makers, while users can expect to see targeted advertising before and during the shows.

Crowded market

Facebook is entering an increasingly complex and crowded market, and will face competition from traditional TV networks as well as other online services like YouTube and Netflix.

Disney yesterday announced that from 2019, it will scrap its existing deal with Netflix and create its own direct-to-consumer streaming-video services.

It will also set up a sports-themed ESPN streaming service next year.

Facebook already has content lined up, including Major League Baseball, Women’s basketball, parenting shows and a safari show from National Geographic.

According to Reuters news agency, it has also inked deals with millennial-oriented media groups Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to produce shows.

Watch will have a limited release in the US before it is rolled out more broadly.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40883588

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Operation Sanctuary: Police defend payment to informant

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 10, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
Northumbria Police

Image caption

Left to right, row by row, starting top left: Eisa Mousavi, Mohammed Ali, Nashir Uddin, Monjur Choudhury, Taherul Alam, Habibur Rahim, Badrul Hussain, Carolann Gallon, Saiful Islam, AbdulHamid Minoyee, Prabhat Nelli, Abdul Sabe, Jahanger Zaman, Nadeem Aslam, Mohammed Azram, Yassar Hussain, Redwan Siddquee, Mohibur Rahman

Northumbria’s chief constable has firmly rejected claims that paying a child rapist to help secure convictions of sexual exploitation may have placed some victims at greater risk.

Steve Ashman said the man’s information led to the conviction of 17 men and a woman for abusing girls in Newcastle.

The informant was paid £10,000, and headlines have focused on criticism of that, rather than on the case.

The paedophile had himself served a prison sentence for rape.

The last of four trials, spread across two years, ended on Wednesday and in total 18 people, mostly of Asian backgrounds, were convicted of sexual exploitation and drugs offences.

Most of them were men from Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Indian backgrounds.

The court heard how vulnerable girls and women were abused at parties or “sessions” in Newcastle.

Northumbria Police asked a previously convicted child rapist if he could get them more information about the parties.

The NSPCC said that using him in this way was a decision that “crossed the line”.

Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said: “Personally, I can’t envisage circumstances where I would have authorised payment to someone convicted of rape.

“I can’t imagine how you could have control mechanisms in place with an informant of that type that you were going to task that would give reassurance that they still didn’t represent a risk to young and vulnerable women.”

But Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Steve Ashman rejected suggestions that the informant was encouraged to go to the parties in order to report back to them.

In fact, Mr Ashman said the informant was specifically told he would be arrested if he attended the parties himself.

He said: “In this specific instance, we used an informant in very controlled circumstances.

“The recruitment and registering of any informant is carefully risk assessed against what are the potential gains we can get from using that individual.”

The defendants were convicted of abusing girls who were plied with alcohol and drugs before being forced to have sex.

A court heard that the vulnerable victims, some as young as 14, were exploited by a “cynical organisation”.

Over the course of the four trials, 20 young women gave evidence covering a period from 2011 to 2014.


The 18 defendants and their convictions

  • Mohammed Azram, 35 of Croydon Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, sexual assault, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Jahanghir Zaman, 43 of Hadrian Road, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, rape, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Nashir Uddin, 35 of Joan Street, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Saiful Islam, 34 of Strathmore Crescent, convicted of rape. Jailed for 10 years
  • Mohammed Hassan Ali, 33 of Bentinck Street, convicted of sexual activity with a child, supplying drugs to a victim. Jailed for seven years
  • Yasser Hussain, 27 of Canning Street, convicted of beating, possession of drugs. Jailed for two years
  • Abdul Sabe, 40 of Dean House, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, drugs offences
  • Habibur Rahim, 34 of Kenilworth Road, convicted of causing or inciting prostitution, drugs, sexual assault, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation
  • Badrul Hussain, 37 of Drybeck Court, convicted of drug offences
  • Mohibur Rahman, 44 of Northcote Street, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Abdulhamid Minoyee, 33 of Gainsborough Grove, convicted of rape, sexual assault, supply of drugs
  • Carolann Gallon, 22 of Hareside Court, pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking
  • Monjour Choudhury, 33 of Phillip Place, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Prabhat Nelli, 33 of Sidney Grove, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Eisa Mousavi, 41 of Todds Nook, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, rape, supplying drugs to a victim
  • Taherul Alam, 32 of Normanton Terrace, convicted of conspiracy to incite prostitution, supplying drugs to a victim, attempted sexual assault
  • Nadeem Aslam, 43 of Belle Grove West, convicted of supplying drugs to victims
  • Redwan Siddquee, 32 of West Road, pleaded guilty to causing or inciting prostitution, supply or offering to supply a class B

The police investigation, Operation Sanctuary, is continuing.

There have been about 100 convictions so far.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40883507

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North Korea Guam missile strike plan ‘ready by mid-August’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 10, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

US military bases cover about a quarter of the island of Guam

North Korea says its plan to fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam will soon be ready, as a war of words with Washington intensifies.

State media said Hwasong-12 rockets would pass over Japan and land in the sea about 30km (17 miles) from Guam, if the plan was approved by Kim Jong-un.

It denounced Donald Trump’s warnings of “fire and fury” and said the US leader was “bereft of reason”.

The US has warned the North its actions could mean the “end of its regime”.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Pyongyang would be “grossly overmatched” in any war against the US and its allies.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, who is in Guam, says there is a sense that the North Korean threat is rhetorical, as most people feel that if they really did strike with missiles it would be suicidal for the North Korean regime.

  • Reality Check: Are Trump’s N Korea assumptions right?
  • Should you worry about war?

The North first announced on Wednesday that it was drawing up plans for a missile strike against Guam, a Pacific island which is home to US military bases, strategic bombers and about 163,000 people.

A later statement carried by state media said the military would “finally complete the plan” by mid-August and report it to leader Kim Jong-un for his approval.

“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People's Army] will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi [Kochi] Prefectures of Japan,” state news agency KCNA said, quoting army chief General Kim Rak Gyom.

“They will fly 3,356.7km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30-40km away from Guam.”

The Hwasong missiles are North Korea’s domestically produced medium and long-range weapons.

  • Read more about North Korea’s missile programme

The governor of Guam addressed the North’s new statement on Thursday, telling Reuters news agency that North Korea usually likes to be unpredictable and has fired surprise missiles in the past.

“They’re now telegraphing their punch, which means they don’t want to have any misunderstandings. I think that’s a position of fear,” said Governor Eddie Calvo.

Media captionNorth Koreans rally to denounce ‘gangster’ US

North Korean state media also said President Trump’s remarks on Tuesday that the North risked “fire and fury” for threatening the US were “a load of nonsense”.

“Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him,” it added.

  • The North Korea crisis in 300 words
  • Residents of Guam feel ‘caught in the crossfire’

Amid escalating rhetoric, Mr Mattis issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday calling on Pyongyang to halt its arms programme.

“The DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said.

  • What damage could N Korea do without nuclear weapons?
  • Pyongyang releases Canadian pastor
  • N Korea hides anti-US message in cartoon

“While our state department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”

Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump

Mr Trump boasted about America’s atomic arsenal earlier on Wednesday.

Tweeting from New Jersey where he is on holiday, the president said the US nuclear stockpile was “more powerful than ever before”.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sought to reassure Americans that North Korea does not pose an imminent threat.

Speaking in Guam, where he was making a scheduled visit, he said he was hopeful a global “pressure campaign” involving Russia and China could lead to new dialogue with Pyongyang “about a different future”.

Media captionPresident Trump threatened a response “like the world has never seen”

Mr Tillerson said the situation had not dramatically changed over the past few days, and that Americans “should sleep well at night”.

South Korea’s military has said it has not seen any unusual action in the North that might indicate a provocation.

China has urged calm, describing the situation as “complex and sensitive”.

Despite rounds of UN sanctions, Pyongyang carried out two nuclear tests last year and two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.

Various reports recently have suggested the North has now achieved its goal of making a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles.

But this remains unconfirmed, and most analysts doubt the country would launch a pre-emptive attack on the US.


The tiny but important island of Guam

  • The 541sq km (209 sq miles) volcanic and coral island in the Pacific between the Philippines and Hawaii.
  • It is a “non-incorporated” US territory, with a population of about 163,000.
  • That means people born in Guam are US citizens, have an elected governor and House Representative, but cannot vote for a president in US national elections.
  • US military bases cover about a quarter of the island. About 6,000 personnel are based there and there are plans to move in thousands more.
  • It was a key US base in World War Two, and remains a vital staging post for US operations, giving access to potential flashpoints like the South China Sea, the Koreas and the Taiwan Straits.
  • Guam profile from BBC Monitoring
  • ‘Caught in the cross fire’ – What’s the mood on Guam right now?

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40883372

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Darling: ‘Alarm bells ringing’ for UK economy

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 9, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Alistair Darling became chancellor in June 2007, two months before the start of the financial crisis

Regulators must remain “very very” vigilant about the risks to the economy, former chancellor Lord Darling has told the BBC – 10 years on from the start of the financial crisis.

He said a rising level of consumer debt in the economy was a growing concern.

Lord Darling was speaking on the 10th anniversary of the 2007 crash, which led to the government spending billions of pounds rescuing major banks.

He said the financial system was now safer but warned of “complacency”.

“The lesson from 10 years ago is that something that can start as apparently a small ripple in the water can become mountainous seas very quickly,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme.

The Labour peer said that over the last seven or eight years the economy had grown with “the odd stutter”.

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Getty Images

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RBS was ‘haemorrhaging money’ and close to total collapse, said Mr Darling

However, he said he was concerned it was now starting to slow down again and that Brexit was causing “massive uncertainty”.

This, coupled with rising levels of consumer debt, should “raise alarm bells” for an economy so dependent on consumer spending, he said.

“When interest rates go up, and they will go up, if not this year then certainly next year, and suddenly people find they are going to be paying more in their monthly payments, that’s when you need to watch out.”

War stories

Lord Darling – or Alistair Darling as he was then known – became chancellor of the exchequer in June 2007, two months before French bank BNP Paribas famously shut down several investment funds citing problems in the US securities market.

This is widely viewed as the start of the financial crisis, and the former chancellor recalled: “As in every other treasury in the world, problems in the financial industry simply had not surfaced.”

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Getty Images

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The government was forced to nationalise Northern Rock

Over the next few years the government was forced to step in as global financial markets seized up and banks stopped lending to each other.

It nationalised some lenders and provided tens of billions of taxpayers’ money to prop up banks such as RBS that otherwise would have collapsed.

“In the early stages it looked that there was just a problem with [the bank] Northern Rock,” Lord Darling said.

“However, it became clear as we went through August of 2007 that more and more banks were becoming reluctant to lend to each other – which was extraordinary at that time – and that there was a more deep-seated problem.”

‘Haemorrhaging money’

“Probably the most scary moment” of the crisis, he said, was the run on RBS by its corporate customers in October 2008.

“I had to go to one of these meetings of European finance ministers, and I was asked to come out and take a call from the then chairman of RBS [Tom McKillop] who said the bank was haemorrhaging money,” Mr Darling said.

“Remember this was not only the biggest in the world, it was about the same size as the entire UK economy.

“I said to him, how long can you last? And what he said to me shook me to the core. He said, ‘well we’re going to run out of money in the early afternoon’.”

‘Risk of complacency’

If the government hadn’t intervened quickly, Lord Darling said, “there would have been blind panic throughout the entire banking system, not just in the UK but around the world”.

He said banks today were much better capitalised than in 2007 and regulators “more sharp and ready to intervene”.

But he warned the next crisis was likely to come from “somewhere unexpected and from causes that haven’t yet been identified”.

“The biggest danger is complacency. And of course in a few years’ time when institutional memories start to fade, and the people around have all gone and retired, then that’s where the risk occurs.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40869363

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Country star Glen Campbell dies at 81

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 9, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Reuters

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Glen Campbell performs in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2012

Rhinestone Cowboy singer Glen Campbell has died at the age of 81 after “a long and courageous battle” with Alzheimer’s disease, his family said.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather,” their statement said.

The legendary guitarist announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011.

A self-taught prodigy, he rose from a poor rural childhood to release over 70 albums and sell 45 million records.

  • Obituary: Glen Campbell
  • Glen Campbell’s long goodbye
Media captionGlen and Kim Campbell: ‘We want to enjoy life’

He was credited with paving the way for other country crossover artists such as Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Dolly Parton was among many stars who paid tribute to Campbell, describing him as “one of the greatest voices of all time”.

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said he was “very broken up” by Campbell’s death.

“An incredible musician and an even better person,” Wilson tweeted.

Singer Brad Paisley praised Campbell “for the artistry, grace class you brought to country music”.

“You were a shining light in so many ways,” he tweeted

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End of Twitter post by @SherylCrow

The son of a sharecropper, Glen Travis Campbell was born in Arkansas on 22 April 1936, the seventh of 12 children.

His first guitar cost $7 and he taught himself to play.

Campbell made his name in the music business as one of the top session guitarists in Los Angeles, and helped hone producer Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound technique.

He toured for three months in 1965 with the Beach Boys, filling in for singer Brian Wilson after he suffered a breakdown.

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Reuters

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Glen Campbell with his wife Kim (L) and daughter Ashley in Los Angeles in 2012

Campbell played on hundreds of tracks including Daydream Believer by The Monkees, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling by The Righteous Brothers, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra and Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley.

But Campbell always wanted to make it under his own name.

After a string of flops, in 1967 he finally found his distinctive country pop sound with hits like Gentle On My Mind and By the Time I Get to Phoenix.

Wichita Lineman went to No 1 in the US, won a Grammy and became much requested by US soldiers fighting in Vietnam.

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Campbell backstage at the BBC’s Top of the Pops in 1970

By the end of the 1960s, Campbell was the fastest rising star in American pop with his own TV show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

He also picked up a starring role alongside John Wayne in the original version of True Grit.

The peak of Glen Campbell’s career was in 1975 when he topped the charts around the world with Rhinestone Cowboy.

Despite another smash hit in 1977 – Southern Nights – his private life was in turmoil.

Divorce, drink and drugs saw the clean-cut all-American hero fall from grace.

A tempestuous relationship with 21-year-old country star Tanya Tucker was front-page news.

Despite a relapse in 2003, when he was arrested for drunk-driving and his police mug shot was shown around the world, the last two decades had been more settled.

He remarried, started a new family and renewed his Christian faith, while a new generation discovered his music.

“I got down on my knees and prayed. And, eventually, I got rid of those demons,” he said in an interview.

Like his friend Johnny Cash, Campbell released acclaimed new albums with younger musicians, covering songs by contemporary artists like U2 and The Foo Fighters.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40870474

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North Korea says considering missile strike on Guam

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 9, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Reuters

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The Pacific island of Guam is home to the US Air Force’s Andersen air base

North Korea has said it is considering carrying out missile strikes on the US Pacific territory of Guam.

The report in state media, quoting an earlier military statement, came hours after President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury”.

The North’s official news agency said it was considering a plan to fire medium-to-long-range rockets at Guam, where US strategic bombers are based.

The exchanges marks a sharp rise in rhetoric between the two countries.

  • The North Korea crisis in 300 words
  • Analysis: Where do we go after ‘fire and fury’?

The UN recently approved further economic sanctions on North Korea, which Pyongyang said were a “violent violation of our sovereignty”, warning the US would “pay a price”.

Media captionPresident Trump threatened a response ‘like the world has never seen’

‘Met with fire and fury’

On Wednesday, the official KCNA news agency said North Korea was “carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam” using its domestically made medium-to-long-range Hwasong-12 missiles.

  • Can the US defend itself against North Korea?
  • N Korea: The possible solutions

The statement reported a military statement issued on Tuesday, which probably came in response to US military drills in Guam.

But it is the latest stage in a heating up of rhetoric between the US and North Korea.

Pyongyang, which has tested nuclear devices five times, tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in July, claiming it now had the ability to hit the mainland US.

On Tuesday, media reports in the US claimed the North had achieved its goal of making a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles.

Media captionNorth Korea’s second intercontinental missile launched last month was “seen from Japan”

While not confirmed, this was seen as one of the last obstacles to North Korea being a fully nuclear armed state.

A report in the Washington Post, citing US intelligence officials, suggested North Korea is developing nuclear weapons capable of hitting the US at a much faster rate than expected.

A Japanese government defence white paper also said the weapons programme had “advanced considerably” and that North Korea possibly now had nuclear weapons.

In response, President Trump warned North Korea to stop threatening the US, saying they would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

However veteran US Senator John McCain was sceptical about Mr Trump’s statement, saying he was “not sure that President Trump is ready to act”.

Analysis: Words with consequences?

Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington:

Donald Trump said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “has been very threatful, beyond a normal statement”. So he responded with language that goes well beyond a normal statement for any US president.

Perhaps Mr Trump believes that no hyperbolic threats should go unmatched or that apocalyptic warnings are the only ones the North Korean leadership will understand. Perhaps he – intentionally or not – is pursuing a Nixonian “madman” style foreign policy, where adversaries will tread lightly to avoid triggering the wrath of an unpredictable US commander-in-chief.

When the leader of the world’s greatest superpower, the only nation ever to have used nuclear weapons on an enemy, talks of unprecedented “fire and fury”, however, those words have consequences.

During his presidential campaign Mr Trump criticised his predecessor Barack Obama for not enforcing a red line against Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Now President Trump has drawn a fiery bright line of his own with North Korea – one that could commit the US to a perilous course of action if his words go unheeded.

North Korea had reacted angrily after the fresh sanctions were announced on Saturday by the UN, in an attempt to pressure it into giving up its nuclear ambitions.

The sanctions aim to reduce North Korea’s export revenues by a third.

KCNA said North Korea would retaliate and make “the US pay a price” for drafting the new measures.

It called the sanctions a “violent violation of our sovereignty”, the news agency said.

China, which is Pyongyang’s closest ally, has said it is “100%” committed to enforcing the latest round of sanctions.

Russia and China have previously differed with others on how to handle Pyongyang, but in recent months have joined calls for North Korea to stop its missile tests – while also urging the US and South Korea to halt military drills, and withdraw an anti-missile system from the South.


The tiny but important island of Guam

  • The 541 sq km (209 sq miles) volcanic and coral island in the Pacific between the Philippines and Hawaii.
  • It is an “unorganised, unincorporated” US territory, with a population of about 163,000.
  • US military bases cover about a quarter of the island. About 6,000 personnel are based there and there are plans to move in thousands more.
  • It is a vital staging post for US operations, giving access to potential flashpoints like the South China Sea, the Koreas and the Taiwan Straits.

Guam profile from BBC Monitoring


Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40871416

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South Africa MPs to vote in secret on Zuma no-confidence motion

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 8, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

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Reuters

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President Jacob Zuma has been under pressure after sacking widely respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in March

South African MPs will vote in secret on a motion of no-confidence in President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, the parliament’s speaker has announced.

Baleka Mbete made the ruling after opposition parties took the case to the Constitutional Court.

They believe that in a secret ballot, MPs from the governing African National Congress (ANC) would be more likely to vote against the president.

Mr Zuma has survived several previous votes of no-confidence.

Africa Live: Updates on this and other African news stories

Jacob Zuma: The great survivor

The ANC has governed South Africa since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, and has a huge majority in parliament.

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EPA

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Protesters gathered near parliament before the speaker announced her decision

Ms Mbete’s decision took many by surprise and injects a new element of uncertainty into the proceedings against the president, reports the BBC’s Nomsa Maseko in Cape Town.

The question now is whether enough ANC MPs are prepared to make a stand against the president, she adds.


Toxic debate

Milton Nkosi, BBC News, Cape Town

The decision taken by speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete means that South Africa could have a new president by Tuesday afternoon, albeit on a temporary basis.

According to the constitution, she would take over for 30 days if President Jacob Zuma is voted out of power.

The whole country has gone into millions of frantic mini-huddles talking about what the future holds.

The general view is that the level of toxicity within the governing African National Congress is so bad that nobody knows for sure if President Jacob Zuma will survive this one.

He has survived seven previous motions of no-confidence.

Suddenly all of us have turned into political analysts and more importantly pseudo-mathematicians, trying to calculate the number of ANC MPs who are likely to vote against their party line, or as they say here, according to their “conscience”.

If President Zuma is voted out power on Tuesday, he would no longer be national president but would remain ANC leader, retaining considerable influence over his replacement.


At least 50 out of the ANC’s 249 MPs would need to vote against the president in order for the no-confidence motion to pass.

‘Political ploy’

ANC MP Makhosi Khoza received death threats last month after she said she would vote against the president, and branded him “a disgrace”.

Opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told journalists that now with the secret ballot, the ANC MPs “have no excuse”.

Media captionMakhosi Khoza received death threats after criticising President Jacob Zuma

In a statement, it added that the ANC will vote against the motion and not back the attempt to “collapse our democratically elected government”.

The ANC has described the no-confidence motion as a “political ploy” designed to remove the government “outside of general elections”.

This latest attempt to unseat Mr Zuma came after he fired his widely respected Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and other ministers in a major cabinet reshuffle in March, sparking nationwide protests.

The president has also faced allegations of corruption and accusations that he has become too close to the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of trying to influence political decisions, including the sacking of Mr Gordhan.

Mr Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Zuma is due to step down as ANC leader in December. Several candidates are vying to succeed him as party leader, with the winner standing a strong chance of becoming South Africa’s next president after elections in 2019.

The current favourites are deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Mr Zuma’s former wife, and favoured candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Cyril Ramaphosa – the man who wants to make South Africa great

Zuma’s ex-wife bids to succeed him

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-40850429

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UK South Asian women ‘hiding cancer because of stigma’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on August 8, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media caption‘I kept my chemotherapy a secret’

A number of UK women from South Asian backgrounds who have cancer hide it because of a perceived stigma about the disease, the BBC has learned.

One woman chose to “suffer on [her] own” through chemotherapy for fear of her family’s reaction, and questioned whether God was punishing her.

Experts said others were seeking help too late, causing preventable deaths.

In one case a woman sought treatment only when her breast was rotten. She later died as the cancer had spread.

‘Very dark days’

Pravina Patel, who told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme about her own experience, stumbled upon a lump in her breast when she was 36.

She grew up in a strict Indian community where even talking about the disease was considered shameful. When she was diagnosed, she decided to hide it.

“I just thought if people hear the fact that I’ve got cancer, they’re going to think it’s a death sentence,” she said.

She remembered worrying that people would say she had lived a “bad life” and God was punishing her for it.

Ms Patel continued to keep the disease a secret when seeking treatment, saying she felt “extremely lonely” during chemotherapy.

“I was going through chemo sessions on my own… I had some very dark days,” she explained.

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Researcher Pooja Saini says some women are afraid having cancer “might affect their children because no one would want to marry them”

Pooja Saini, the lead researcher at CLAHRC North-West Coast, a research arm of the NHS that looks into health inequalities, said her own review into the issue “really surprised” her.

“Some women went to the extent of not even having treatment because, if they went, people would know as they’d lose their hair,” she explained.

She added others “feared it might affect their children because no-one would want to marry them”.

It is difficult to say how widespread the problem was, because little information has been collected on ethnicity and mortality.

But in 2014, research from Bridgewater NHS found Asian women between 15 and 64 years old had a significantly reduced survival rate for breast cancer of three years.

Ms Saini said her research suggests the influence of men in the family and elders in the wider community may be contributing to the issue.

“If they didn’t think women should go for screening, then they didn’t go,” she said.

Cultural expectations

The stigma surrounding cancer in South Asian communities spans different forms of the disease.

Ms Patel said there was a reluctance for women to go for a smear test because they did not want to be “defiled” or be considered “no longer pure”.

She has now completed her chemotherapy and is in remission.

Ms Patel and her husband got divorced during her treatment – something she says was partly because of cultural expectations about how a wife should be.

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Madhu Agarwal says many South Asian women are seeking help too late

Some experts are concerned that women are suffering unnecessarily.

South Asian women are more likely to be from poor, deprived backgrounds, meaning their levels of awareness of cancer are likely to be lower.

National screening statistics show people from ethnic minority communities do not go for screening as much as their white counterparts.

Madhu Agarwal, a cancer support manager who has worked in the field of cancer for more than 30 years, fears this is leading to South Asian women dying unnecessarily.

“Because of the ignorance of not presenting early, not examining the breasts… the disease has already spread [when they do seek help] and it’s very difficult to manage it with treatment.

“Then the mortality is high, so there is a stigma attached – that when you get cancer you’re going to die.”

She said one of her patients had come for treatment so late that her breast was “fungating” and “rotten”.

She recalled: “It was smelling so much that you couldn’t even sit next to it.”

The woman – who had young children – died because the cancer had by then spread to other parts of her body, Ms Agarwal explained.

Image caption

Samina Hussain says one of her family told her to wear the hijab to hide her cancer

The Victoria Derbyshire programme has heard several other accounts of the effects the stigma surrounding cancer can have.

Samina Hussain said one of her family told her to wear hijab to hide her cancer, saying “you can cover this up now”.

Iyna Butt said her aunt refused chemotherapy as she felt “God had given [cancer] to her”.

‘Help save women’

Ms Saini is now calling for more data on screening uptake by ethnicity to be recorded, so findings can be used to provide more tailored support to communities.

Public Health England’s screening director Anne Mackie said when Ms Saini’s research is published it will look to implement its suggestions.

“We’ve got every reason to believe that will help save women from [South] Asian backgrounds’ lives as well as others from deprived backgrounds,” she said.

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-40802527

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