2015年6月30日 星期二

Major counter-terrorism exercise in London

  • 3 hours ago
  • From the sectionUK
A terrorism training exercise in 2012
Training at Tube station: 2012 saw the last major exercise
Police officers, soldiers, emergency services and intelligence officials are taking part in London's largest counter-terrorism exercise to date.
The simulation of a terrorist attack has been six months in the planning.
The exercise - codenamed Strong Tower - involves 1,000 police officers at locations across the capital until Wednesday afternoon.
It comes days after 38 people were killed by a gunman in Tunisia, the majority of them British holidaymakers.
The Metropolitan Police says this week's exercise in London is not based on any specific intelligence and is part of a long-term strategy of planning and preparing for all possible types of terrorist attack.
Scotland Yard began planning the two-day event in January and only a dozen people know the full script to ensure that the officers and other services taking part face the maximum challenge.
Senior officers say that while much of the exercise will be hidden from view, there may be occasions when the public hear loud noises or see areas being cordoned off. Scotland Yard will be posting updates about the exercise to Twitter, using the hashtag #999exercise.


Fire and rescue teams: Legal duty alongside police to prepare for civil emergencies
By Dominic Casciani, BBC home affairs correspondent
Although the nature of this "live play" exercise sounds similar to the attack in Tunisia, this event has been six months in the planning and is part of a regular programme.
The officers who came on shift this morning knew they were taking part in an exercise - but nothing about what they would be facing. Not even the "gold commander", the senior officer making the big decisions in the operations room, will know what's going to happen.
The exercise is influenced by what happened during two incidents: the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris and the cafe siege in Sydney.
Scotland Yard stresses that whatever happens during this exercise, it doesn't mean they have specific intelligence that such an event could occur. But they do want to ensure they have planned for every conceivable type of incident in case it should ever come to pass.

'Extreme end'

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Maxine de Brunner, the exercise's director, said the aim was to test and challenge police and other agencies in an ambitious multi-site marauding terrorist attack.
"This exercise will be an on-going fast-paced terrorist situation and we will explore how we as London's agencies respond," said DAC de Brunner.
"The exercise is at the extreme end of what might happen. We're doing this so that if the very worst happens we are prepared to do our very best. It's only through carrying out thorough exercises and challenging out assumptions can we be confident in dealing with different scenarios.
"We have not put together an exercise of this magnitude before - officers will not have come across anything like this before.
"It is about making sure we have the capability and skills for anything that terrorists could throw at us."
Emergency services are under a legal duty to test their preparedness for all manner of crises from terrorism attacks to flooding.
Many counter-terrorism training exercises take place out of view around the country and the last comparable exercise of this nature was in London was in 2012.
In that exercise, the Metropolitan Police and others tested how they would respond to an attack on the London Underground involving a possible radiological or chemical device.
While Tuesday and Wednesday's exercise is likely to involve comparable numbers of people, it has been designed to stretch them much further by moving the incident around the city - although nobody other than the directors know exactly what is going to happen.
The agencies involved in the operation include the police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service, Transport For London, the NHS and a string of government departments who will face tests of their decision-making and crisis-management skills.

The simulation of a terrorist attack has been six months in the planning

The unknown revolutionary, William Tell: nudity and rape scene greeted with boos at Royal Opera House

The unknown revolutionary, William Tell: nudity and rape scene greeted with boos at Royal Opera House

“How burdensome is life! We no longer have a fatherland!” William Tell may be better known as a skilled archer than as a poetic revolutionary, but he is also one of the millions whose cry of anguish at separation from their home has echoed through the centuries. Rossini’s opera about the Swiss bowman is returning to the Royal Opera House in London after a 23-year hiatus http://econ.st/1HsK6Xq

Rossini’s “William Tell” shows that revolution can work well on the opera stage

The opening night performance of a new production of "William Tell" at London's Royal Opera House was marked by loud and prolonged booing over a rape scene.
Music critics – largely on the side of the booers – described audience...

"The officers force champagne down the woman’s throat, molest her with a gun and, in the scene that caused the most commotion, strip her and force her to lie on top of the banquet table."

Audience uproar at opening night for London staging of Rossini’s...

2015年6月29日 星期一

The Road Not Taken:How Britain Narrowly Missed a Revolution, 1381-1926


英國歷史學家、皇家歷史學會院士法蘭克·麥克林恩(Frank McLynn)所著的《不尋此徑:英國如何錯過了革命之路,1381-1926》( The Road Not Taken:How Britain Narrowly Missed a Revolution, 1381-1926)就此問題提供了精彩的分析。書於2013年一經出版,便受到《星期日泰晤士報》、《獨立報》 和《觀察者》的高度評價。麥克林恩指出,英國歷史上其實發生過多次由下至上的大型革命,但都沒有對皇權和社會結構起到顛覆性震撼。
麥克林恩選取了14世紀到20世紀600多年間英國歷史上七起反對統治階層的革命事件,包括1381年的瓦特·泰勒(Wat Tyler)農民起義、1450年傑克·凱德(Jack Cade)起義反對亨利六世、亨利八世時期的求恩巡禮事件(Pilgrimage of Grace)、1688年光榮革命、隨後出現的詹姆士黨人、19世紀憲章運動到1926年的英國工人總罷工。
麥克林恩鋪陳細述再分析每一個案例,試圖說明它們在歷史語境及社會動因上的紛雜性,而非共性。譬如1381年農民起義的名稱有誤導性,因為手工藝者、生意人、城市作業者在這場起義中起到相當大的作用;它被認為是英國歷史上第一場反對封建統治的大規模運動,編年史家Jean Frosissart甚至將它比作路西法試圖對抗上帝,並將動機歸為「底層階級對上層的嫉妒」。這場運動有歐洲黑死病、英法百年戰爭、以及1381年的人頭稅等社會誘因,而詹姆士黨人則在相對平和的時代中發生,當時的人口、經濟、政治局勢都出於穩定狀態。
Pilgrimage of Grace
1901年丘吉爾對下議院的講話則更為直接:「任何歐洲國家都需要供養一支昂貴的軍隊來抵抗入侵,而我們被地形眷顧,有幸生活在這個島嶼上愉快生活,將財力完全投入到艦隊中去。」 20世紀的歐洲都沒有逃脫外部壓力而導致的分裂和戰爭,比如德國一分為二,義大利被占領,西班牙在拿破侖時期被入侵,俄羅斯也分別被拿破侖和希特勒的軍隊打敗過。外部戰爭並不是發生內部革命的必要條件,但通常是一個重要的因素。戰爭會進一步引發潛在的經濟問題,激化社會矛盾,甚至對民族有致命的摧毀性。
這段話雖然有無法粉飾的虛情假意,但也表明君主、及後來聯合議會所代表的統治階層在不動用軍事武力情況下的政治角力中的戰略。20世紀初英國工會罷工時,英國哲學家羅素給法國哲學家、循道會復興理論的提出者埃利·阿萊維 (Élie Halévy)寫通道:「我希望上議院會能拒絕勞資糾紛法案,這樣或許能將工會就此鏟除。但我感到上議院太明白一個道理:如果對勞工階層過度反對,只會加深社會矛盾。」
Élie Halévy
從歷史性來看,英國的社會改革恰好掐準了時間:英國的內戰、工業革命和資本主義改革都相對要比其他國家早一些,也因此在世界無產階級思潮興起之前就已經轉化了社會矛盾。1640年的英國內戰建立了一個有辨證性的體制,「立憲君主」(constitutional monarch)與「主權議會」(sovereign parliament)分化並在一定程度上架空了王權,使得「統治階層」不再是單一的對象,人民也在體制建設中有一定位置。
The Condition of the Working Class in England
當然,我們只能提供對歷史的某一種假說罷了;好比《星期日泰晤士報》的評價說麥克林恩的觀點過於武斷(“highly opinionated”)。歷史作為對已發事件的回顧性研究,多少有事後諸葛的優勢和局限;大革命是否是社會發展的必經之路,也沒有先定性。而我們也只能暫時承認,由於種種原因,英國呈現出這樣一種維護傳統的思維和未經革命的社會史。
革命意味著未知的可能性,這對英國來說是陌生的;正如英國工黨政治家、1934年諾貝爾和平獎得主阿瑟·亨德森(Arthur Henderson)所言:「革命是凶兆的語言。它所蘊含的圖景是巷尾堆砌著街壘,下水溝流著鮮血。任何有責任心的人都會想到這個詞匯所帶來的恐慌和災難……因此,我們必須堅持通過憲政來進行有秩序的社會改革,以避免被迫進行那樣一種抉擇。」

Rush Hour Crush

Rush-hour crush,是英國小報Metro 〈類似台灣爽報,每天早晨在各捷運站入口發送〉每日刊登的一個小專欄。內容由每天在尖峰時段搭地鐵的乘客提供,講白一點,就是一個搭訕的專欄。

Glastonbury Festival 2015


After the Dalai Lama joined Patti Smith onstage at the Glastonbury music festival, the rock legend led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to the Tibetan Buddhist leader.Sinosphere

Glastonbury Festival

Genre Rock, pop, world music, alternative rock,indie rock, electronic music, trip hop, reggae,folk, hip hop, dance, heavy metal
Dates The last weekend in June


Church of St John the Baptist, Pilton

Pilton shown within Somerset

英國碰到Uber.....Uber drivers could be made to pass language and geography tests


Up to 5,000 black-cab drivers blockaded London’s city centre in a protest against Uber last year. They argue that Uber is an unlicensed tax service whose drivers lack “the knowledge” – the gruelling test on London’s streets taken by aspiring cabbies. Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, was abused by a cab driver over Uber operating in the city this month. Johnson said this week it was not fair that black-cab drivers had to spend four years acquiring the knowledge and suggested Uber drivers could be made to pass language and geography tests.

倫敦擬要求Uber 司機完成嚴格的士從業員考試
倫敦的士向來以嚴格聞名,司機要通過極其嚴苛的考核,包括測試對地理環境的認識,合格後才可以駕駛的士載客。Johnson 認為Uber 司機毋須考牌就能 ...

2015年6月27日 星期六

Leicester is in the midst of a comeback, led by a new generation of people

During its industrial heyday, “Leicester clothes the world” was the proud boast of this East Midlands city. The once-giant textile and garment industry, however, is mostly gone, a victim of Asian competition. This knocked the stuffing out of the city. But now Leicester is in the midst of a comeback, led by a new generation of people http://econ.st/1J8PxrT

Britain's gay marriages

When gay marriage was introduced in Britain last year, some conservatives predicted that, because gay couples could already form civil partnerships, there would be "no great demand" for marriage. It turns out they were wrong. In Brighton, same-sex marriage is nearly four times as popular as civil partnership. So far this year Islington has performed 137 gay weddings and only 24 partnerships.http://econ.st/1J7VhlQ

A RAINBOW parade will whirl through London on June 27th to mark Pride, a weeklong gay jamboree. Britain’s “LGBTQ+ community”, the term used by the march’s...

2015年6月24日 星期三

法國加萊 Calais罷工,移民要偷渡到英國 "Get to England or die trying".

"Get to England or die trying". The great risks migrants take in the hope of reaching the UK are revealed in this film from December 2014.
Today, David Cameron moved to ease tensions with France over the migrant crisis, calling for an end to the finger-pointing over who is to blame and signalling that Britain is prepared to contribute more resources if necessary. Full story: http://gu.com/p/4a4b7/fb

Scenes of hundreds of migrants in Calais trying to board lorries to the UK...


2015年06月23日 18:50 PM



去年,國有的中國航空工業集團(Avic)下屬的北京航空製造工程研究所(Bamtri,以下簡稱:中航工業製造所)被美國商務部列入一個觀察名單,因涉嫌與中國公民李方偉(另一個名字為卡爾•李(Karl Lee))所有的公司做交易,李方偉因涉嫌向伊朗出售導彈技術被美國通緝。
倫敦帝國理工學院(Imperial College)和伯明翰大學(Birmingham University)是很多與中國航空工業集團和中航工業製造所簽署研究協議的西方機構和公司中的兩家,協議內容涵蓋多種航空技術,主要是更輕更結實材料的開發。伯明翰大學的研究計劃與空客(Airbus)和歐洲宇航防務集團(EADS)等西方航空公司合作進行,在中航工業製造所被納入美國觀察名單之前,該計劃就結束了。




目前沒有證據表明,這兩所大學中的任何一所提供的技術被出售給了伊朗,或者它們提供過軍事敏感材料或技術,但專註於核擴散問題的倫敦國王學院(King College London)研究所Project Alpha的一項研究稱,幾乎沒有切實的方法阻止技術泄露。

過去,美國和英國專家一直批評中國在對伊朗不擴散製裁的問題上執行不力,伊朗是聯合國(UN)幾個武器控制條約的締約國,但不是導彈技術控制制度(Missile Technology Control Regime)的簽字國,後者由34個西方國家簽署。
美國沒有就中航工業製造所為何會在2014年4月被列入美國商務部實體管制名單(Entity List)作出詳細解釋,根據美國的一份聲明,被列入名單的“原因是曾通過中國擴散人李方偉向伊朗彈道導彈計劃供應過武器”。

2015年6月23日 星期二

UK political parties rented fake supporters during the general election

'Rent A Crowd' mingled at events to 'beef up' attendances

Burberry Opens First Café in London

  • Burberry Opens First Café in London | - WWD

    Jun 14, 2015 - Named after Burberry's founder, Thomas Burberry, the café sits in a new split-level space at the corner of the extended Regent Street store,  ...
  • Thomas's, Burberry, London - FT.com

    www.ft.com › Management
    Jun 15, 2015 - Thomas Burberry cafe London. Where 121, Regent Street WiFi Yes Plug sockets Yes Espresso £4. Open 10am-9pm ; noon-5pm (Sun)

  • BURBERRY倫敦旗艦店開咖啡店 精品氛圍吃薯條好愜意

    全球第一間BURBERRY咖啡館以品牌創立人Tomas Burberry為名,就叫做「THOMAS’S」,與旗艦店營業時間同步,提供下午茶到龍蝦、炸魚薯條等英國傳統餐點,目前為全球第1也是唯一的一間。

    2015年6月22日 星期一

    The prime minister suggests tax credits are next for the chop

    1. an additional or extra amount or payment that restores something to the level that is required.
      "they will miss out on hundreds of pounds worth of pension top-ups"
      • a quantity of a drink that refills a partly full glass or cup.
        "he headed back to the bar for a top-up"

    He held on to power in last month’s general election following an economics-heavy campaign in which he promised to swipe an additional £12 billion ($19 billion) from Britain’s welfare budget. On June 22nd David Cameron, the prime minister, showed he meant business. There were no great surprises about how those cuts would be achieved in his speech at a school in Runcorn in Cheshire. Mr Cameron’s speech seemed indeed to indicate that tax credits—top-ups for low earners—were next for the chop http://econ.st/1N213pU

    The prime minister suggests tax credits are next for the chop