2009年12月29日 星期二

Statement update on attempted act of terrorism on Northwest Airlines Flight 253

Statement update on attempted act of terrorism on Northwest Airlines Flight 253

26 December 2009

UCL portico

Regarding the attempted act of terrorism on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, has issued the following statement:

”Based on information now in the public domain, we have good reason to believe that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, now detained in the USA, is a former UCL student who studied Engineering with Business Finance and graduated in 2008. UCL is deeply saddened by these events. This is a university founded on equality and religious tolerance, and strongly committed today to respect for human rights. We are cooperating fully with the authorities in their further investigations.“

Updated: 18.00, 27 December

In addition, UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering have issued this statement:

"Given the intense media interest surrounding Mr Umar Abdulmutallab, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, UCL, can confirm that a person of this name and description attended the Department as a full time student between 2005 and 2008, and studied for an undergraduate degree in Engineering with Business Finance. The Department's association with him ended in June 2008 after he successfully graduated.

"The Department in common with UCL admits students solely on the basis of their academic abilities without regard to a person's political, racial or religious background. During his time on the course Mr Abdulmutallab never gave his tutors any cause for concern, and was a well mannered, quietly spoken, polite and able young man. We are deeply shocked by the recent news concerning Mr Abdulmutallab.

"The Department is currently cooperating with the authorities in their investigations, and as such cannot issue any further information covering Mr Abdulmutallab's period at UCL."

Updated: 19.00, 28 December

美炸機案 嫌犯母校震驚 英政府調查 【12/29 10:15】


倫敦大學學院(University College London,UCL)昨天發表聲明指出,阿布杜穆塔拉布(Umar FaroukAbdulmutallab)2005到去年在UCL攻讀機械工程,在校期間是一名「溫文有禮,講話輕聲細語,而且有能力的學生」,對於他的 涉入炸機案,教職員都感到「十分震驚」。

UCL 機械工程系發表聲明指出,「機械工程系可以證實,阿布杜穆塔拉布2005到去年在本系就讀大學部,同時修習企業財務課程,去年他成功結束所有的課程畢業」。

聲明說,UCL 與機械工程系不過問學生的政治、種族或宗教背景,只考慮學生的學術能力,「阿布杜穆塔拉布就讀期間從未帶給授課老師任何的麻煩,而且是溫文有禮,講話輕聲細語,功課佳的年輕人」。

對於炸機未遂案爆發後,媒體密集的報導,UCL 教職員都感到極為震驚;機械工程系目前正與政府密切合作進行調查。


Options to end hospital parking charges

Options to end hospital parking charges

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Andy Burnham: ''There is scope to develop a fairer approach to hospital car parking''

Andy Burnham has outlined proposals to phase out hospital parking charges for in-patients and some out-patients which he says have caused "great resentment".

The health secretary pledged a "fairer" system for relatives and friends of people admitted to hospital in England.

He is looking at whether to abolish fees for all in-patients' visitors - or just those admitted for a long stay.

For out-patients he will look at free parking, or a cap on charges, for those who need to make regular appointments.

Parking is already free at most hospitals in Scotland and Wales and for certain priority groups of patients in Northern Ireland.

'Frankly confusing'

Mr Burnham announced in September he wanted to phase out over three years charges at hospitals in England for patients who are admitted.

But the eight-week consultation - which runs until 23 February - will also look at charges for out-patients who have to make regular appointments - like cancer patients with regular chemotherapy sessions.

Hospital car park (library photo)
Policies on hospital car parking charging policy differ across the UK

Mr Burnham told the BBC: "I think the time has come for a fairer, more consistent approach to parking across the NHS. Frankly I think it's confusing at present, there are a wide variety of parking schemes."

He added it had "caused great resentment" but the government had to ensure that the costs of running secure car parks were covered.

NHS trusts have argued that some parking charges are necessary to ensure health funds are not diverted towards managing and maintaining car parks.

'Unnecessary tax'

Mr Burnham said: "We want to have the consultation so we get the balance right, that we don't ask the NHS to do something at a time when there is pressure on its finances that it can't afford. But I believe what we're proposing is affordable."

When Mr Burnham announced plans to phase out charges for in-patients in September, Macmillan Cancer Support raised concerns that it would not apply to people with cancer having treatment as out-patients.

If the NHS cannot afford free parking for all patients, then at least more concessions should be made for long-term sufferers
Edmund King
AA president

The charity's head of campaigns, Mike Hobday, told the BBC on Tuesday: "Macmillan is really pleased that this consultation could mean free parking for cancer patients who have to go to hospital on average 53 times during the course of their treatment.

"What we need of course is for all political parties to commit to abolishing this unnecessary tax."

The average charge per hour for hospital car parks in England in 2008/9 was £1.09.

AA president Edmund King said: "Of course we need to manage parking spaces in hospitals, particularly in urban areas. However, for cancer sufferers undergoing chemotherapy and for other people who must attend on a day-patient basis, the costs soon add up.

"Also, due to the risk of infection, many patients are unable to use public transport. If the NHS cannot afford free parking for all patients, then at least more concessions should be made for long-term sufferers."

2009年12月22日 星期二



Topsy-Turvy Christmas Foolery

Topsy-Turvy Christmas Foolery

Mark McNulty

Heyyy: Henry Winkler is Captain Hook in a “Peter Pan” pantomime in Liverpool, England. These musical comedies are a Christmas tradition dating to 1607. More Photos >

Published: December 21, 2009

LIVERPOOL, England — Yes, it is the Fonz. Yes, he is wearing a Puss ’n Boots hat and a frock coat that Louis XIV would have been proud to call his own. Yes, he is glaring at the audience and hissing, “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to come down and poison your ice cream.”

Even more interestingly, he is doing it of his own free will.

To the untrained observer, Henry Winkler’s appearance as the villainous Captain Hook in a pantomime of “Peter Pan” here might seem to be a dismaying comedown — akin to, say, Leonard Nimoy’s appearing in a production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in Buffalo.

But that would be a complete misreading of the situation.

Pantomimes — recastings of old children’s stories with vaudeville, audience participation, puns, singing and cross-dressing — are an honorable, even essential, part of the British Christmas season. Meant to appeal to all ages, they are enduringly popular, flamboyantly silly and, if done well, hugely lucrative. They often feature big stars.

In 2004 and 2005 the great Shakespearean actor Ian McKellen slapped on a frilly dress and a trowelful of makeup to play the Widow Twanky in “Aladdin.” (Most pantomimes feature a man in drag, a character known generically as the dame.) In 2007 Stephen Fry wrote a double-entendre-laden pantomime of “Cinderella” at the Old Vic, and a year earlier the provocative playwright Mark Ravenhill revised the classic pantomime “Dick Whittington and His Cat” for the Barbican.

Occasionally, American actors appear, lured by the prospect of a big paycheck and the comforting thought that if they make fools of themselves, nobody back home will know. In recent years Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rooney and Patrick Duffy have all played Baron Hardup in productions of “Cinderella.” This year Pamela Anderson, sparsely clad as always, is performing as the genie in “Aladdin” in London.

Mr. Winkler is a perennial. This is his fourth year as Captain Hook, after productions in Woking, Wimbledon and Milton Keynes.

“This is ‘Peter Pan’ bent to the left,” he said. “There’s dancing, there’s singing, there’s sword fighting — every single thing I learned at Yale in the drama school I’m applying here.” The way the children in the audience boo at him; the way they yell, “He’s behind you!” when the ticking crocodile appears; the way they clap to demonstrate their belief in fairies and restore Tinkerbell to life — he revels in it all.

Mr. Winkler, 64 and soft-spoken, was chatting in his dressing room at the 2,381-seat Empire Theater the other day after a sold-out evening performance. (He is doing two shows a day, six days a week, through Jan. 3.) He was wearing civilian corduroys. His fake hook was neatly stowed; his long black wig was next door, being recurled.

When he was first asked to be in a pantomime, Mr. Winkler said, he had no idea what the producers were talking about.

“They called me and said, ‘Listen, it’s a pantomime; you don’t know what it is, and there’s no way to explain it,’ ” he said. “ ‘You’ll play Captain Hook.’ ”

He had a moment of doubt. “I thought to myself, ‘Well, I don’t know if the English actors would accept an American,’ ” he recalled. “ ‘I don’t know whether they’d allow me to take part in this tradition they’ve had since 1607.’ So the easy way would have been to say no, and then I could sit at home. And then I thought, ‘You know, you have got to take a shot at it.’ ”

What he found, he said, was that “warmth and respect, kindness and professionalism are international.” Also, he likes his band of dancing pirates and enjoys thinking up new insults with which to establish his dastardliness. In its review, The Liverpool Daily Post praised his “swashbuckling energy” and called him a “wonderfully hammed-up pantomime villain.”

Mr. Winkler is hugely famous here; “Happy Days,” it turns out, was as big a deal in Britain as it was in the United States. People stop him in the street. “Mostly, they just want hugs,” he said. Once a busful of Liverpool commuters drove past, all waving at him. The Liverpool Echo chronicles sightings around town in a “Winkler Watch” column.

It is not as if he needed the work. Mr. Winkler appears regularly in movies and on television, most memorably in recent years as Barry Zuckerkorn in the television series “Arrested Development.” He is also the co-author of the Hank Zipzer series, about an underachieving fourth grader, which has sold about three million copies, he said.

“Happy Days” ended its first run 25 years ago, but wherever Mr. Winkler goes, the Fonz goes too. That leather-jacketed rebel was the show’s best-known character. “He is the foundation of the rest of my life,” Mr. Winkler said.

Pantomimes reflect a strange paradox of the British national character: that people can be at once so uptight and so gleefully, childishly uninhibited. Amid all the mayhem, “Peter Pan” is full of topical references to things like the recession and the television talent show “The X Factor.” For audience members of a certain era, there are also quicksilver allusions to “Happy Days.” In one scene Captain Hook shifts his weight back, turns his palms up and intones, “Heyyy” — still the essence of cool after all these years.

After the interview, Mr. Winkler signed autographs for a clutch of fans shivering by the stage door. Then he climbed into a car and was whisked away, ready to return 13 hours later.

“Are we doing ‘Macbeth’?” he asked rhetorically. “No, but we’re doing a wonderful, joyous production of ‘Peter Pan.’ I cannot imagine that you could have more fun than doing this.”

2009年12月21日 星期一

Brown to face three televised election debates

Brown to face three televised election debates

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
Previous attempts to get leaders to do a TV debate have failed

The UK looks set to have its first ever televised leader election debates after a deal was struck between the three big parties and the main broadcasters.

Labour's Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg have agreed to go head-to-head in a series of three debates.

The first will be on ITV, the second on Sky and the third on the BBC.

There will also be separate debates involving the main parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Earlier the SNP and Plaid Cymru said they should be allowed to take part in the main debates.

Live presidential debates in the US and other countries have provided many of the key moments of election campaigns and are seen as having raised voters' interest.


But in the UK, despite many calls for such debates to be held, there has never been agreement reached between leaders and with broadcasters.

These debates will be an opportunity to start re-engaging people with politics
Nick Clegg

The programmes will be broadcast in peak time during the General Election campaign and will be between 85 and 90 minutes long in front of a selected audience.

ITV's Alastair Stewart will host the first, Sky's Adam Boulton the second and the BBC's David Dimbleby will host the third debate.

The format will be the same for each, although about half of each debate will be themed.

There will be separate debates held in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland among all the main parties, which will be broadcast on BBC Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and across the UK on the BBC News Channel.

And following the prime ministerial debates, all political parties which have significant levels of support at a national level will be offered opportunities across BBC output to respond to the issues raised in the debate.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the Daily Mirror: "I relish the opportunity provided by these debates to discuss the big choices the country faces.

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"Choices like whether we lock in the recovery or whether we choke it off; whether we protect the NHS, schools and police or whether we put them at risk to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy few."

Speaking at a public meeting, Conservative leader David Cameron said: "I have always believed in live television debates.

"I think they can help enliven our democracy, I think they will help answer people's questions, I think they will crystallise the debate about the change this country needs."

'Vigorous debate'

Liberal Democrat leader Mr Clegg said he was "delighted".

"After a terrible year for politicians because of the expenses scandals, these debates will be an opportunity to start re-engaging people with politics... I hope an open, honest and vigorous debate will encourage more people to have their say at the ballot box."

The election is widely expected to be held on Thursday 6 May although there has been speculation that it could be called for 25 March instead.

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Cameron 'delighted' about TV debate

Ric Bailey, the BBC's chief adviser on politics, said a lot of work had been done to get agreement and there was still some way to go on the detail.

He added: "I think it is quite significant in the sense that it's never happened before and all three of the biggest parties in the UK have agreed to do it."

Discussions will resume in the new year to finalise detailed arrangements for the debates.

Opposition leaders regularly call for TV debates in the run-up to general elections but while they are commonplace in the US, they have not been held in Britain.

Tony Blair refused to take part in one when he was prime minister and Mr Brown has previously argued that the situation is different in the US, where presidents are directly elected.

'Completely undemocratic'

British prime ministers have argued that they are questioned regularly, at prime minister's questions and in statements to the Commons.

Critics also say such debates overly personalise a UK election campaign, where people vote for a local MP rather than directly for a leader.

There have also been questions about whether the debates should be a head-to-head between the leaders of the two largest parties or whether the Lib Dem leader should also be included.

Earlier, before the announcement was made that debates would be made available to other parties, the SNP and Plaid Cymru said they should be allowed to take part in the main debates.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond said he would be seeking "guarantees of inclusion from the broadcasters, given their inescapable duty to ensure fairness and impartiality in election-related coverage in Scotland.

"It is entirely unacceptable to Scotland as well as to the SNP for the broadcasters to exclude the party that forms the government of Scotland - and indeed is now leading in Westminster election polls," he said.

And Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd said it was "completely undemocratic" as it would give the main parties an unfair advantage. He said he would complain to the Electoral Commission.

"Both Plaid Cymru and the SNP are in government in the respective devolved administrations and it is an insult that such important political voices are to be left out of such a historic event," he said.

2009年12月19日 星期六

At Home in Georgian England By Amanda Vickery

Bed, Bath and Beyond

Published: December 16, 2009

“He allows me not the prviliedg to place a Table or Stool but where he Fancies,” Lady Sarah Cowper complained about her husband, Sir William Cowper, in 1706. He treated her, she insisted, “as a Concubine not as a Wife,” by refusing to allow her to pick out wallpaper or decorate the drawing room. This was more than just a dispute about interior decoration. Though bound by their husbands’ authority, 18th-century women were expected to be the domestic managers of their family’s affairs. By not consulting his wife in these matters, Cowper revealed himself to be an “absolute tyrant.”

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Engraving, British Museum; from “Behind Closed Doors”

“The Comforts of Matrimony — A Smoky House and Scolding Wife,” 1790.


At Home in Georgian England

By Amanda Vickery

Illustrated. 382 pp. Yale University Press. $45

The pages of “Behind Closed Doors” are filled with such squabbles. Amanda Vickery, a reader in history at Royal Holloway, University of London, finds them in fashionably decorated Yorkshire mansions and dirty London lodgings, in downstairs kitchens and gilded parlors and gloomy garret rooms. She opens resolutely shut doors and peeps into the private lives of servants, aristocrats and the “polite and middling sorts” — merchants, clergy members, doctors and lawyers. “Behind Closed Doors” examines what privacy meant in 18th-century Britain and how people negotiated both their domestic space and their domestic relationships.

Vickery’s greatest achievement is to upend the notion that the home was divided into separate spheres in which men were responsible for brick and stone while women ruled over domestic life. Instead, Vickery brilliantly shows that these boundaries were fluid and mutable. Lady Sarah Cowper’s husband meddled with the curtains in the drawing room, and Jonathan Swift was smitten with porcelain, claiming to “love it mightily,” while James Hewitt, the mayor of Coventry, spent happy hours matching wall colors to patterned curtains and upholstery fabrics.

There is a plethora of studies about male patronage of architecture and the decorative arts in the Georgian period, but it may come as a surprise that bachelors, husbands, widowers and brothers had such obsessions with the home front. “Those who are incapable of relishing domestic happiness can never be really happy at all,” one husband declared after more than 30 years of marriage.

An entire chapter is devoted to bachelors who, instead of parading around town as frivolous dandies — as they have been portrayed in the past — often longed for marriage. Many despised their makeshift accommodations and take-away meals (by 1700, the commercial provision of food employed more people than most other sectors), as well as crowded taverns and a maid who might take “my sheets to her own use.” When comparing bachelorhood to marriage, Dudley Ryder, the son of a linen draper, decided he wanted a “constant companion” who would be “always ready to soothe me, take care of me.” Marriage, Vickery writes, “announced and confirmed men’s adulthood” and marked the beginning of a well-managed domestic life. Just because men didn’t fill their diaries with their notion of “homeliness” doesn’t mean they weren’t interested in it, nor does it deter Vickery from trying to find out the details. Few writers have such a talent for transforming the driest historical source into a gripping narrative, for teasing stories from account books, inventories, ledgers and pattern books.

Some of her most fascinating sources are the records of the Old Bailey, the main criminal court in London. During proceedings dealing with theft, witnesses often gave descriptions of their valuables and the places of safekeeping within the home. These records allow Vickery to chart the fraught and difficult negotiations that were necessary to secure at least some bit of privacy behind the uniform facade of the terraced 18th-century house. Since a maid didn’t have her own room, she might have only a small wooden box in which to lock her few belongings; a lodger might put his coins in the hollow leg of his bed to hide it from his preying landlady. Others protected their private property in secret drawers and boxes, or behind the wainscot. Such “personal receptacles,” Vickery writes, “stood proxy for individuality.” This battle over the frontiers of privacy wasn’t confined to servants and lodgers. Wealthy aristocratic women often had closets that functioned as private sanctuaries into which no one — not even their husbands — would intrude. “Behind Closed Doors” carefully describes how servants, married women, spinsters and widows struggled for a space they could call their own.

According to Vickery, these negotiations are at the core of domestic life in Georgian England and became part of “setting up home” — sometimes even before marriage. Mary Martin, the fiancée of a colonel, asserted her role as future wife and domestic manager when she oversaw the refurbishment of his London house. When her fiancé’s decorator painted a room in a shade of white that wasn’t quite what she had envisaged, she flew into a rage and “frighten’d him out of his Wits.”

What went on behind closed doors after her wedding (and most others) has been difficult to ascertain, but Vickery found three rare sets of matching account books for husbands and wives. (One was in my possession, for which I’m thanked in her acknowledgments.) The picture that emerges from the “His and Hers” chapter is that of efficient wives responsible for child-related expenses — schooling, dancing masters, clothes — as well as groceries, the husband’s personal linen, laundry and servants’ wages. Unsurprisingly, the husbands dealt with expenses related to their estates, loans and stables, but also bought most luxury goods. In one of the three examples, most of the family’s money flowed through the wife’s account book, with the husband receiving a ­rather enormous “allowance.” Though women have often been accused of ­“fetishistic self-indulgence,” these ­account books reveal husbands who bought “dandyish” waistcoats and women who didn’t indulge in new gowns.

“Behind Closed Doors” also leads the reader into the rooms of spinsters and widows, an important inclusion, since in 1700 the average marriage lasted only 10 years. Of the two, spinsters were worse off, often at the mercy of brothers or fathers. Their lives, Vickery writes, could be “one long tour of kin,” while widows (if they were wealthy) frequently enjoyed greater freedom than during their marriages. Martha Dodson, the widow of the high sheriff of Berkshire, for example, was clearly having fun, constantly redecorating her house even when she was in her late 70s.

“Interiors do not easily offer up their secrets,” Vickery writes but then succeeds in getting them to do just that. The blue and yellow wallpaper the depressed spinster Gertrude Savile bought in 1739 illustrates that she was very much in tune with the latest fashion, while her disapproval of the “debauchery in London” was embroidered into her chairs — on which she had copied images from Hogarth’s famous series “Harlot’s Progress.” At the same time, her lack of teapots and other china bears witness to her social isolation and “dread of company.”

If until now the Georgian home has been like a monochrome engraving, Vickery has made it three dimensional and vibrantly colored. “Behind Closed Doors” demonstrates that rigorous academic work can also be nosy, gossipy and utterly engaging.

Andrea Wulf is the author of “The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession.”

Eurostar train stuck between Paris and London

Eurostar train stuck between Paris and London

Location of Ebbsfleet on the Channel Tunnel link

A special Eurostar service from Paris which became stranded near Ebbsfleet in Kent on Saturday night has finally arrived at London's St Pancras station.

Passengers said there was no heating and lighting, and food ran out.

Earlier, five trains were stuck in the Channel Tunnel, trapping more than 2,000 people for up to 16 hours.

Eurostar said special trains had been laid on on Saturday night to transport as many passengers as possible between London and Paris and Brussels.

'Really uncomfortable'

Eurostar said the train initially broke down soon after leaving the tunnel.

A second train was sent to pull it to London but was unable to climb a steep incline at Thurrock viaduct.

The trains returned to Ebbsfleet where the passengers were taken off the first train and transferred to the rescue train which went on to London alone.

Passenger Natasha Seal-Jones, from Belper, Derbyshire, told the BBC News website: "It was really cold on the train at the beginning then it started to get really hot. It was really uncomfortable.

"There was no food available whatsoever, and hardly any drinks. When we asked questions we weren't getting any response."

Two special Eurostar services ran on Saturday, one from Paris to London and another the other way.

The trains that became stuck in the tunnel suffered electrical failure due to freezing conditions.

Police appeal

Eurostar ran a limited service but later cancelled three of the four trains due to leave London on Saturday and scrapped all services for Sunday.

It said the cancellations were made due to ongoing concerns with the weather.

Some test trains will run on Sunday but will not carry passengers.

A Eurostar spokesman said: When you have severe cold and snow even if you are operating within speed restrictions, which we were yesterday afternoon and evening, you do get a build-up of snow under and around the train and when you enter the tunnel you get water and at the end of the day these are electric trains."

Nirj Deva, Conservative MEP for the South East of England, has called on Eurostar chief executive Richard Brown to stand down.

Mr Deva said: "I have been watching the reports of Eurostar's astonishing incompetence throughout the day, and first of all, I must express a certain solidarity and sincere sympathy with the unfortunate travellers who were left for up to over 15 hours without water or food. I share their outrage 100%," said Mr Deva.

"This is simply disgusting. Under EU law, livestock such as cattle, pigs, sheep or horses aren't allowed to travel without access to water for more than eight hours. We don't even treat animals like Eurostar treats its customers."

Meanwhile, police have urged motorists to stay away from major routes around Dover and Folkestone unless their journey is essential.

Continued delays are expected on the M20 and other routes because of the tunnel problems and severe weather preventing ferries disembarking at Calais.

Flights were disrupted after heavy snow in parts of the UK and Europe.

Airline Easyjet is expecting more disruption on Sunday, with further snowfall predicted.

The Port of Calais was closed to freight traffic, and there were delays for motorists heading to Dover and Folkestone.

An intensive ferry service will run from Dover to Dunkirk, Boulogne and Calais through the night to try to clear the backlog of traffic. A severe weather warning is in place for Northern Ireland for Sunday, and northern England and south-west Scotland are also expected to be affected by snow.

UK sees sharp increase in measles

Inside Europe | 19.12.2009 | 22:05

UK sees sharp increase in measles

Yet there are still those who refuse to have them, or to let their children be inoculated - out of fear of side effects. Now the UK is seeing a sharp increase in children falling ill with measles, following a health scare surrounding the vaccine which protects against the disease - the MMR vaccine.

Report: Lars Bevanger, London


  • 同車旅客驚悉與英女王同車。(圖:互聯網)






2009年12月16日 星期三

Susan Boyle tops most popular YouTube videos of 2009

Susan Boyle tops most popular YouTube videos of 2009

Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle's album became the best-selling debut in UK chart history

Britain's Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle was the star of the most popular video of 2009 on video site YouTube.

The Scottish singer's surprising rendition of I Dreamed A Dream on the show has been watched by more than 120 million viewers worldwide.

The moment had more views than the next three most-watched videos combined.

In second place, with more than 37 million views, was a video featuring a disorientated seven-year-old boy recovering from dental work.

David After Dentist was posted by the child's father after his son had surgery to remove a tooth in 2008.

1. Susan Boyle (120m+ views)
2. David After Dentist (37m+ views)
4. New Moon movie trailer (31m+ views)
5. Evian Roller Babies (27m+ views)

Within a week the video had amassed more than five million views and had become a viral hit.

The video shows the child in the back of the car telling his father that he "feels funny".

"Is this real life?" he asks.

The video has a huge following with fans producing t-shirts and stickers featuring the child star. David's Father, David Davore, has also been asked to speak at events.

Third place went to JK Wedding Entrance Dance, which showed an convoluted dance routine featuring members of their entourage just before their wedding.

It attracted 33 million views and attention from Sony, which owned the rights to the Chris Brow song that provided the soundtrack to the video.

The firm placed a link next to the video allowing people to buy the song and also shared profits from sales of advertisements on the site.

1. Evian Roller Babies (13.7m+ views)
2. Extreme sheep LED (10.6m+ views)
3. YouTube Street Fighter (6.6m+ views)
5. Simon's cat 'fly guy' (4.6m+ views)

In the UK, the most popular video was a commercial for Evian water featuring roller skating babies.

Other popular videos in the UK include an advert for Samsung and showing a farmer creating artwork on a Welsh hillside by using his dogs to round-up sheep, wearing LED-covered vests, into specific patterns.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, serves up around a billion videos every week.

It makes money through selling advertising around the videos, most of which are uploaded by users.

However, the site now also offers short videos form intentional broadcasters as well as full-length TV programmes from the UK's Channel 4 and Channel 5.

The firm has also reportedly been in talks with movie studios to licence content and has discussed the possibility of starting a subscription or movie rental service.

It is the first time YouTube has released a list of its most popular videos.

2009年12月5日 星期六

Queen issues warning over paparazzi photos


Page last updated at 02:48 GMT, Sunday, 6 December 2009

Queen issues warning over paparazzi photos
A zoom lens
The royal family says it has a right to privacy in everyday private activities

The Queen has issued a strong warning to newspapers not to publish paparazzi pictures of the Royal Family.

Her lawyers have reminded papers of privacy obligations under their own code of practice amid anger about intrusions into their lives.

Photographers will be monitored on public roads around the Sandringham estate in Norfolk this Christmas.

Prince Charles' spokesman said the Royal Family had a right to privacy during "everyday private activities".

The Prince of Wales' spokesman Paddy Harverson said: "Members of the Royal Family feel they have a right to privacy when they are going about everyday, private activities.

"They recognise there is a public interest in them and what they do, but they do not think this extends to photographing the private activities of them and their friends."

This is very much a warning shot across the bows
BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt

In the past freelance photographers have spent many hours touring Sandringham to try and "snatch" pictures of the family on the estate.

Prince William has expressed concern after he and Kate Middleton were "aggressively" pursued by the paparazzi in 2007.

And some still blame the paparazzi for their role in the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a Paris car crash a decade earlier.

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said legal action, possibly on the grounds of harassment, was a long way off but could be taken if the royal appeals are ignored.

He said: "This is very much a warning shot across the bows. After years of turning a blind eye, senior royals have decided to take a more robust approach to what they see as unjustified intrusion."

breaking with Britain

Coinciding with St Andrew’s Day, the Scottish National Party this week announced plans for a referendum on independence from the rest of Britain.

The party has long made breaking with Britain the focus of its political agenda, but even after winning control of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 2007, it has so far lacked the votes needed to make its plan for a referendum a reality. Now though, Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP has launched a white paper setting out the case for a referendum on independence. Earlier, Rob Turner spoke to Professor Christopher Harvie, an SNP member of the Scottish parliament, and asked him if Scots were ready and willing to press for independence?

2009年11月30日 星期一


創會350年 英皇家學會線上回顧科學史
20091130 14:27:37 小型字 中型字 大型字

(中央社倫敦30日綜合外電報導)英國「倫敦皇家學會」(Royal Society)今天表示,將首度於線上展出珍藏的歷史手稿,部分手稿出自牛頓(Sir Isaac Newton)、富蘭克林(Benjamin Franklin)及其他具開創性發現的科學家之手。

「倫敦皇家學會」是世界上歷史最悠久的科學機構,它將於網站上展出數世紀以來刊載於旗下刊物「英國皇家學會會報」(Philosophical Transactions)的著名文獻,作為350週年慶祝活動之一。

這些文獻包括1666年人類進行首次輸血的血腥紀錄,以及一份1770年代資料,證明莫札特(WolfgangAmadeus Mozart)的確是音樂神童,近期文獻則包括英國科學家霍金(Stephen Hawking)黑洞理論的早期著作。


皇家學會會長芮斯(Lord Martin Rees)表示:「網站上刊登的科學文獻,代表了科學家數世紀來持續不懈的探索,其中許多人也是皇家學會會員,他們測試並建立人類對自身及宇宙方面的認知。」



史東(Edward Stone)於1763年發現柳樹皮對發燒的治療功效,紀錄了水楊酸的發現,並促成目前世界最常使用的藥物─阿斯匹林的誕生。

會報中還紀錄了庫克船長(Captain James Cook)在1776年,遠早於營養學發展的年代,如何以酸菜、檸檬和麥芽治療水手的壞血病。

科學家巴林頓(Danies Barrington)同時也是名懷疑主義者,他在莫札特造訪倫敦時,想測試當時8歲的莫札特是否如傳聞般是位天才。巴林頓的紀錄顯示,這名音樂家雖然像普通男孩一樣愛玩、心思不集中,不過也同時展現了過人的天賦。





2009年11月29日 星期日

Alton Towers/ London Eye

Wikipedia article "Alton Towers".




不 僅如此,市場還擔心,隨著迪拜債務危機的蔓延,那些由迪拜控制的企業里數千名英國員工將面臨著十分殘酷的現實。英國最大的主題公園奧爾頓塔(Alton Towers)、倫敦眼(London Eye)、英國鐵行(P&O)、Travelodge連鎖旅館以及倫敦證券交易所集團公司(London Stock Exchange Group PLC,簡稱倫敦證交所)里都是迪拜投資的對象。

據悉,迪拜在英國市場上的投資至 少在59億英鎊以上。而英國在迪拜市場上的投資有將近46億英鎊。就連英國著名廚師戈登拉姆塞(Gordon Ramsay)以及加里·羅德斯(Gary Rhodes)都在此次迪拜債務危機中損失慘重,而英國著名足球明星大衛貝克漢姆也在迪拜擁有房產。為了緩解因迪拜危機而引發英國市場上對明年出現雙底經 濟衰退(double-dip recession)的恐懼,英國首相布朗也立即在27日發表講話,以期穩定市場信心。布朗表示:「如果這局域性的問題,那麽事件很快就會平息,而我堅 信,此次迪拜的債務危機就是這種性質。」


雖 然有投資者擔心迪拜政府無力還債有可能會引發多米諾骨牌效應,拖累尚未站穩復蘇腳步的全球經濟。但也有分析師認為,同為阿聯酋聯邦成員的阿布達比不會見死 不救,讓迪拜鬧出自2001年阿根廷違約以來,全球最大主權基金違約事件。不過這種不確定性仍上市場上的投資者慌亂不已,近兩日全球股市完全籠罩在恐慌的 陰影中。

分析師認為,英國是此次危機中受害最嚴重的國家,國際結算銀行(Bank for International Settlements)的數據顯示,英國銀行阿聯酋的貸款總額達到了300億英鎊,其中絕大部分都投資於迪拜。相對而言,美國以及法國的銀行對其債權低 於70億英鎊。摩根大通的數據顯示,蘇格蘭皇家銀行集團是迪拜世界最大的債權人,而匯豐控股( HSBC Holdings Plc )擁有在阿拉伯聯合酋長國(United Arab Emirates)的最大的債權風險。福克斯銀行分析師戴維·威廉姆斯(David Williams)表示:「市場對暴露於迪拜危機所帶來的風險敞口是非常緊張的,蘇格蘭皇家銀行的名字已經與此關聯成為迪拜的債權人和帳簿管理人,人們擔 心它會產生新一輪的損失,迪拜是推動目前一切的市場催化劑。」


2009年11月26日 星期四

Banks 'must reveal £1m earners'

Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life

Banks 'must reveal £1m earners'

Banks 'should disclose number of workers earning £1m'

Canary Wharf skyline
The Walker Review was commissioned in February

The UK's banks should be forced to publicly disclose the number of their employees who earn more than £1m per year, a report has concluded.

That is one of the main findings of the government-commissioned Walker Review into the corporate governance of banks.

Sir David Walker, who led the report, also said non-executive directors needed more power to monitor banks' risk taking and pay deals.

The government said it would now move to implement Sir David's proposals.

Specifically, it is to include his call for banks to have to disclose how many staff earn more than £1m in its Financial Services Bill.


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This Bill is also planning to give the City watchdog - the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - the power to curb any pay deals in the banking sector that it finds to be excessive.

And under new FSA rules coming into force on 1 January, banks will have to limit the minimum bonus deals of senior staff to just one year.

These new guidelines will also call on banks to claw back a person's bonuses in the result of poor performance.

In addition the new FSA guidelines say senior executives should have between 40% and 60% of their bonus payments deferred over three years, with at least 50% paid in shares.

'Blocking powers'

The Walker Review was commissioned by the government in February following the crisis in the UK and global banking sector, much of which was blamed on excessive risk taking and bonus payments.

The fundamental change needed is to make the boardroom a more challenging environment than it has often been in the past
Sir David Walker

The review also calls for:

• A bank's remuneration committee should have direct responsibility for the pay of all high-paid employees

• Board-level risk committees chaired by a non-executive. (Non-executive directors are appointed from outside a company to sit on its board and scrutinise its performance)

• Risk committees to have power to scrutinise and if necessary block big transactions

• Chairman of remuneration committee to face re-election if annual report gets less than 75% approval

• Non-executive directors to spend up to 50% more time on the job

• Chairman of the board to face annual re-election

• Institutional investors to be more active in monitoring the banks.

David Cumming, head of UK equities at Standard Life Investments - which controls £150bn worth of investments - said he accepted the criticism that shareholders may not have exerted enough control in corporate governance.

"Most institutions didn't do enough to intervene, particularly in terms of the banks, but I think one of the assumptions here is that we're going to get it right as well," he said.

"If you go back to 2006-2007, a lot of shareholders were pushing financial institutions and other companies to take on a lot of debt and go for it, so I think engagement is a good thing but we can't assume that it will solve everything."

'Tough questions'

In his report, Sir David said: "The fundamental change needed is to make the boardroom a more challenging environment than it has often been in the past.

"This requires non-executives able to devote sufficient time to the role in order to assess risk and ask tough questions about strategy."

Chancellor Alistair Darling said Sir David's proposals were "the blueprint for how banks must be run in the future".

CBI director general Richard Lambert said he welcomed the report's recommendations.

"Sir David Walker has set out a sensible package of proposals that can strengthen the role of boards in identifying and managing risk," he said.

"In particular, we welcome the emphasis on ensuring balanced boards which are also equipped with the right skills, and on ensuring investors are active and engaged in scrutinising business strategy."

City law firm CMS Cameron McKenna said it was likely that many of the Walker Review's recommendations would be added to the FSA's rules.

2009年11月25日 星期三

Muscular Christianity

另外一種說法 是由 Dr. Arnold所強調

Muscular Christianity is a term for a movement during the Victorian era which stressed the need for energetic Christian activism in combination with an ideal of vigorous masculinity. It was most associated with the English writers Charles Kingsley and Thomas Hughes, though the name was bestowed by others.

Kingsley and Hughes promoted physical strength and health (at least for men) as well as an active pursuit of Christian ideals in personal life and politics.

The term has also been applied to later movements that combine physical and Christian spiritual development.



2009年11月24日 星期二

Cash crisis LMU criticised

Welcome to London Metropolitan University - Homepage

Cash crisis university criticised

There have been a series of protests outside the university

A financial mismanagement report on a London university has found board members were aware unfair funding claims were made for the institution.

London Metropolitan University (LMU) was ordered to repay £36.5m after issuing false data on student numbers.

A draft report into the crisis, seen by the Press Association, finds the board knew it was using a wrong definition to calculate student levels.

LMU said it would learn "important lessons" from the report.

The problem arose because the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE ) only provides universities with money for a student who sits all their exams at the end of the year.

I fail to see how the board of governors can remain in post after such a damning report
Sally Hunt, University and College Union

LMU admitted it counted students as having completed the period if they moved into the next year, regardless of whether they had sat all exams.

Under the LMU's definition, just 3% of students failed to complete the year. Under the real definition the non-completion rate was 30%.

The payback order threw London's biggest university - with 34,000 students - into financial crisis.

Lecturers worried about redundancy during the fallout have staged several strikes.

Now the inquiry, led by Sir David Melville, lays blame for the fiasco squarely at the door of former vice-chancellor Brian Roper and his board.

"The unique level of the LMU clawback is attributable to a combination of ignoring the HEFCE definition and a failure to address very high levels of incomplete modules and student drop-out," the report said.

'Renewed focus'

"It must be the case that the board of governors and the audit committee should take their share of corporate responsibility for a failure of this magnitude."

An LMU spokesman said: "We are confident the appointment of a new vice-chancellor, subsequent action taken by the board and the university's new strategic plan will allow London Met to renew our focus on students and their education."

University and College Union general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "I fail to see how the board of governors can remain in post after such a damning report.

"Sir David Melville's report completely vindicates everything the union has been saying yet, whilst it might be nice to be right, it is no comfort in these extraordinary circumstances."

倫敦城市大學 騙4.6億資助

http://paper.wenweipo.com [2009-11-24]



 調查報告此前指出,倫敦城市大學虛報資助幾千名學生,又未能為學生留下記錄,以確保他們在學年結束 前參與考試,但卻繼續根據人為的低離校率申請政府資助,騙取高於實際學生人數的所需的資助。報告指,該大學似乎沒有考慮Hefce的統計數字和發現,又沒 有正視Hefce的詳細報告結論。

 倫敦城市大學承認,不管學生是否參與所有考試,只要學生升讀下一個學年,就代表他們完成了該學 期,根據該大學這個標準,只有3%學生未能完成一個學年,但如果根據實際的情況,則有高達30%學生未能完成一個學年。該大學表示會汲取教訓,當 Hefce的報告有定案後,董事會將於下月開會研究。




 Hefce的執行總長朗蘭斯在信中表示,委員會很難對倫敦城市大學的管理有信心,根據該大學以往的經驗,該大學未能保障公帑適當運用,因此董事會成員和高級職員要考慮他們的職位,並撤換管理層,才可望恢復對該大學的信心。 ■《獨立報》/《泰晤士報》/英國廣播公司

2009年11月23日 星期一

Charles Dickens

Historic Figures (BBC)

Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)

Illustration of Charles Dickens Illustration of Charles Dickens © Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classic English literature. He was the quintessential Victorian author. His epic stories, vivid characters and exhaustive depiction of contemporary life are unforgettable.

His own story is one of rags to riches. He was born in Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. The good fortune of being sent to school at the age of nine was short-lived because his father, inspiration for the character of Mr Micawber in 'David Copperfield', was imprisoned for bad debt. The entire family, apart from Charles, were sent to Marshalsea along with their patriarch. Charles was sent to work in Warren's blacking factory and endured appalling conditions as well as loneliness and despair. After three years he was returned to school, but the experience was never forgotten and became fictionalised in two of his better-known novels 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations'.

Like many others, he began his literary career as a journalist. His own father became a reporter and Charles began with the journals 'The Mirror of Parliament' and 'The True Sun'. Then in 1833 he became parliamentary journalist for The Morning Chronicle. With new contacts in the press he was able to publish a series of sketches under the pseudonym 'Boz'. In April 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of George Hogarth who edited 'Sketches by Boz'. Within the same month came the publication of the highly successful 'Pickwick Papers', and from that point on there was no looking back for Dickens.

As well as a huge list of novels he published autobiography, edited weekly periodicals including 'Household Words' and 'All Year Round', wrote travel books and administered charitable organisations. He was also a theatre enthusiast, wrote plays and performed before Queen Victoria in 1851. His energy was inexhaustible and he spent much time abroad - for example lecturing against slavery in the United States and touring Italy with companions Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins, a contemporary writer who inspired Dickens' final unfinished novel 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'.

He was estranged from his wife in 1858 after the birth of their ten children, but maintained relations with his mistress, the actress Ellen Ternan. He died of a stroke in 1870. He is buried at Westminster Abbey.

after flooding

Twenty-five soldiers, from 39 Regiment the Royal Artillery, had been sent to flood-hit areas to assist the emergency services, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said.

According to Chief Constable Craig Mackey, of Cumbria Police, it could take years for Cumbria to recover from the damage.

He said: "We will be working with our communities for weeks, months, and in some cases years to come.

"The particular issue which made this so different is the damage to infrastructures.

"It is highly unusual to see that level of damage to infrastructures and clearly means that this next phase that we are moving into as a county is going to take a considerable amount of time."

'Very frightened'

Jill Stannard, the chief executive of Cumbria County Council - who only took up her post last Thursday - said the damage from the floods had run into "tens of millions of pounds" after more then 1,300 homes were flooded by record daily rainfall last Thursday and Friday.

She said she had been in talks with central government departments over the weekend to seek financial support to deal with the aftermath.

Ms Stannard told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the authorities were trying to establish the whereabouts of "less than 50" people who remain unaccounted for, although she stressed that many of these may have gone to stay with relatives and friends outside the area.

She acknowledged that many local people were "very frightened" about access to healthcare, but urged them to listen to official advice transmitted by the media rather than giving credence to rumours about the situation.

Anyone calling their GP will be able to get through, and the authorities are able to deliver prescriptions to everyone in Cumbria, she said.

"We are confident we can reach everyone," she said. "We have been reaching people over the weekend. People get very frightened - totally understandably because this is very traumatic.

"It is important that people listen to advice through the media and don't listen to rumour and gossip."

2009年11月22日 星期日

Henry V, English hero

This page lists all recordings of A.M.D.G. (Ad majorem Dei gloriam, 'To the greater glory of God'), by Benjamin Britten (1913-77) on CD. Generally, more recent CDs are listed first, but with priority given to items that are in stock.

Henry V, English hero

Ad majorem Dei gloriam

Nov 19th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Illustration by Daniel Pudles

1415: Henry V’s Year of Glory. By Ian Mortimer. Bodley Head; 640 pages; £20. Buy from Amazon.co.uk

WHAT Shakespeare does for a monarch, it is very hard to undo. Richard III, though softened and cleaned up by assiduous researchers, still limps murderously through the public imagination. And Henry V, even soberly revisited, never quite loses that stirring flap of standards, or the thwack of the Dauphin’s tennis balls deep into the hazard.

Ian Mortimer, who has galloped with panache through the English monarchs from Edward II onwards, promises a different Henry: a king set “on the path to his own self-destruction and the negation of his humanity”. He thinks 1415 marks the crucial moment on that path: the year when Henry, pretending to want peace with France, in fact slowly mobilised the whole of England for war. His last letter to the king of France, on July 28th, just before the invasion, threatened “a deluge of human blood”. He delivered.

This was also a year when rebels were stirring in the kingdom and when religious dissidents, from the Lollards at home to Jan Hus abroad, claimed their own way to salvation. Absolutism and divine right were under attack. The king, who exemplified both, leapt to their defence. Mr Mortimer’s Henry—rigid, unsmiling, religious and obsessive as the year begins—ends it as “a militant Catholic fundamentalist”.

The device of putting just one year under the microscope is a bold one in the medieval context. Medieval sources are scanty. Virtually no royal accounts survive for 1415, and almost no private letters. Mr Mortimer nonetheless luxuriates in what he has: grants to chantries and hospitals, rewards for service, reports from ambassadors, requests for provisioning (all those thousands of longbows, arrows, barrels of beer, sides of beef) and the ceaseless pawning of a large part of Henry’s treasure to pay for his whim of a war. Day by day, the reader is in the thick of things.

The effect of this is new and unexpected, in several ways. The drama of the year is heightened, as the drumbeat of the days rolls towards Agincourt. The religiosity of the age is emphasised, as the saints’ days and the natural rituals of the year gain new prominence in the narrative. Medieval bureaucracy, with its constant duplicating, petitioning and delaying, sometimes threatens to bury the reader. The personalities emerge sharper, firmer and more duplicitous.

And what of Henry? Shakespeare’s image of the king has certainly been altered—but to workaholic, rather than villain. Here was a man who saw personally to everything, whether a petition from a gunner, or the proper painting of antelopes on his flagship, the Trinity Royal, or the ordering of horseshoe nails. He thought of nothing but ruling England, for God. The three most memorable images in this book, among many, are of the king asleep, in his grand bed, chastely alone; sitting on his cushion in his great chamber, listening to his subjects’ problems; and scribbling, at the end of his will, the plea of a man who has taken on far too much: “Jesu Mercy and Gremercy Ladie Marie help.”

divorce party


A divorce party 離婚趴 is a ceremony that celebrates the end of a marriage or civil union. Types of divorce parties vary greatly, and can involve either one or both members of the separating couple. Divorce parties have been called the final frontier in the wedding industry complex, and often involve a toast that emphasizes the couple beginning new chapters in their lives.

2009年11月21日 星期六

Tamiflu-resistant swine flu spreads 'between patients'

H1N1疑變種 英國出現抗藥性人傳人首例 【10:37】


媒體報導,英國威爾斯衛生當局指出,當地一家醫院發現5名對克流感有抗藥性的H1N1病患,其中3人似乎是在醫院內感染,目前全球關於抗克流感病例的通報 將近60例,但沒有人傳人的文件紀錄,目前英國當局正在積極調查這起可能是全球首度出現的「抗藥性人傳人」N1N1病源,以確認是否出現新的變種病毒。


Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Tamiflu-resistant swine flu spreads 'between patients'

By Fergus Walsh
Health correspondent, BBC News

Tamiflu is used to treat swine flu

Health officials say a Tamiflu-resistant strain of swine flu has spread between hospital patients.

Five patients on a unit treating people with severe underlying health conditions at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, were infected.

Three appear to have acquired the infection in hospital.

They are thought to be the first confirmed cases of person-to-person transmission of a Tamiflu-resistant strain in the world.

There have been several dozen reports around the world of people developing resistance to Tamiflu while taking the drug - but they have not passed on the strain to others.

Just one possible cases of person-to-person transmission of a resistant strain has been recorded - between two people at a US summer camp - and this has never been confirmed.

Two of the University Hospital Wales patients have recovered and have been discharged from hospital, one is in critical care and two are being treated on the ward.

The health officials stressed there was no risk to anyone else.

They said tests were being carried out to confirm exactly what happened.

The UK has bought enough doses of Tamiflu, which can shorten the duration of swine flu and reduce the risk of complications, for half the population.

Serious concern

So any spread of a Tamiflu-resistant strain of the illness is a serious public health concern.

The H1N1 virus has been remarkably stable since it emerged in April, but virologists had been half expecting new resistant strains to emerge.

Dr Roland Salmon, director of the National Public Health Service for Wale's Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, said: "The emergence of influenza A viruses that are resistant to Tamiflu is not unexpected in patients with serious underlying conditions and suppressed immune systems, who still test positive for the virus despite treatment.

"In this case, the resistant strain of swine flu does not appear to be any more severe than the swine flu virus that has been circulating since April."

Dr Tony Jewell, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said: "We know that people with suppressed immune systems are more susceptible to the swine flu virus, which is why they are a priority group under the first phase of the vaccination programme in Wales which is progressing at pace.

"We have stringent processes in place for monitoring for antiviral resistance in the UK so that we can spot resistance early and the causes can be investigated and the cases managed.

"Identifying these cases shows that our systems are working so patients should be reassured.

"Treatment with Tamiflu is still appropriate for swine flu and people should continue to take Tamiflu when they are prescribed it.

"It's also important that good hygiene practices are followed to further prevent the spread of the virus."

Professor Peter Openshaw, a respiratory physician at Imperial College London, said of the spread: "It's not surprising that this has happened, indeed it has always been anticipated".

Dr Ronald Cutler, deputy director of biomedical science at Queen Mary, University of London, said: "Shortening the time taken to produce new vaccines and improving the methods to control and treat the disease while vaccines are being made would be a way forward".

On Thursday it was announced that more than three million healthy children under five across the UK will be offered the swine flu jab.

Figures released on Thursday showed an estimated 53,000 new cases of swine flu in England in the last week, down from 64,000 in the week before.

In Scotland, the figure was 21,200, down from about 21,500 in the previous seven days.

The rate of flu-like illnesses diagnosed by GPs in Wales dropped to 36 cases for every 100,000 people from 65.8 the previous week.

2009年11月19日 星期四


Boots Plans a Beautiful Future
Italian entrepreneur Stefano Pessina wants to transform British pharmacy chain Boots into a global health-and-beauty behemoth with two tools: big acquisitions and a small, white bottle of anti-wrinkle cream.