Archive for the ‘UK News’ Category

Latest video shows police beating riot suspects

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

The video filming police officers beating the riot looters was uploaded on YouTube yesterday. BBC had claimed that the beating was taking place on Jutland Street, near Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.

The exact time and the location of the event cannot be verified. But it can been seen clearly in the footage that running police officers knocking down teenager looters.

Some people are for the police and one  netizen Essaiel say that the police “should hit them more.”

Another netizen named blueray1969 says that: “Hooray – about bloody time. More of this please – it’s what we pay our taxes for – law and order – not scumbags cycling round on stolen bikes.”

However, other people are confused with the video. One of them, named GrimPixels says that: “I do think myself that they should be more aggressive and use live rounds depending on how hardcore the riot is but I don’t know the story behind these teenagers riding bikes?

“It just looks like there are some teens riding their bikes and the cops had a bad day so they destroyed them? lol. Could the poster or someone tell me why these teens were attacked in specific?”

In brief, most of the comments are for the police. It is obvious that people are angry about the riots that disturb their normal lives and make the country full of anxiety.

Early on the BBC News, David Cameron says the looters are making the society sick. The police will have every source if they need. He mentions that: “Every effort will be made to bring the looters to justice.”

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

London riots

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The chaos in London city and around greater London has caused trouble to the capital frightened citizens, thousands of foreign tourists and on-edge policemen. The police force is doing whatever they can to ensure the streets back to order. However, the situation is not yet that optimistic.

(by the Guardian)

Facts and timeline

On 4th, August, last Thursday, Mark Duggan was shot dead at Ferry Lane in the Tottenham area.  This is believed to be the primacord of the city-scale riot.

McDonald's on Lewisham High Street was smashed

McDonald's on Lewisham High Street was smashed

At Saturday night, various areas in Tottenham, Tottenham Hale and Wood Green had suffered from mass disorder including protesters smashing shop windows, setting houses and vehicles on fire.

At Sunday night, the riots spread to inner city Chingford Mount, Enfield, Islington and Oxford Circus. Many places including China Town had power-cut during the night time.

On Monday, southern London such as Lewisham and Bromley responded to the riots and the police said there were people using Blackberry messenger to assemble unrest.

Today, the forth day of the Chaos, sister cities including Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol had confirmed the spreading riots.

Where does the anger come from?

The 29-year-old  Mark Duggan was killed in an operation carried out by London Metropolitan Police. The official report says after ignoring officer’s warning, the anxious man shot at least twice (with illegal firearm) and the force have to return fire (with Heckler and Koch MP5). Followed investigation shows there is one bullet which is shot by Mark Duggan, has stuck in the police’s radio.

Horseback Police's patrolling on Lewisham High Street, 9th August

Horseback Police's patrolling on Lewisham High Street, 9th August

Mark’s resist to arrest and attack to the police have in the end cause his life. But the question is: why have 300 people gathered outside Tottenham Police Station and required “justice”?

For one reason, obviously, the diseased is a coloured race (Angola Caribbean) and only because of this, the crowd has the wrath towards the  ‘discrimination’ in centuries. The Angola Caribbean people have long been in Britain and settled as the natives for ages. But from a historical point of view, they have been treated as slaves and lower-class. The discontented feeling has been rooted since then.

However, the grand cause as the whole background is that the Britain’s  economy has been declining, causing mass unemployment and civil disappointment. Early this year, massive cuts have been claimed towards teachers, social workers, policemen, armed force and governmental employees. Not to mention thousands of companies discharge their workers to reduce expenses.

The British Angola Caribbeans, living in a comparatively poorer situation, have suffered more trouble than the others. All these factors make those people increasingly lose faith in the government and become more unsatisfied with the society.

Boris’s coming

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, has to fly back to the city from his holiday. He has gone to Clapham Junction today (9th, August) to ease the public anger.

He thanks the crowd for coming to the meet and says “this is the real spirit of London”.

“I want to say to all of those who own a shop or runs a business here that I am very sorry. I am… for the loss or damage you have suffered.

I also want to say to those who have been suffered the stealing that they will be apprehended. ”

The mayor says those responsible for the violence will “face punishment they will bitterly, bitterly regret”.

However, after rejecting “economic or social justifications” for the violence, he turned around and walked away.

100 days to the Olympics

The riot raises a big question mark as the city has just welcomed the 100-day-counting-down of the 2012 Olympics Games.

Fire Brigade extinguished a fire on New Cross Road, 8th August.

Fire Brigade extinguished a fire on New Cross Road, 8th August.

By now more than 16,000 police officers have been deployed on London’s streets as Boris guaranteed that “a huge number of police” will protect the citizens.

The local police force have been enforced from 30 forces including Horseback Police and Motorcycle Police. It is reported that some 111 Met police have suffered serious head and eye wounds, cuts and fractured bones in the riots. Five police dogs have also been hurt.

The police has arrested 563 rioters and among them 105 have been charged.

However, it can be clearly seen that London Metropolitan Police, Fire Brigade and Medical Service are acting very fast towards the occuring events, which at least gives people some comfort and confidence in authority’s ability to deal with thunderbolts.

Editor’s words

The long repressed crowds erupts when the black powder is  ignited. After all, the society has the right to show the emotion and discomfort to the government. However, a more reasonable and responsible approach is needed. It is still in doubts that once this fire is extinguished, is it going to be a matter of time for another fire to be lit?

The BBC and Sky TV have offered live coverage of the riots both from the ground camera crews and the helicopter crews. This gives the people the real understanding of the situation and makes the event transparent. Apart from the riot itself, the media acts responsibly and the real meaning of ‘news’ is achieved.

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

True farce: President of CSSA-Cambridge reappoints herself next President

July 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Early last week, various news media reported the story of the turn-out of the 28th election of Chinese Students and Scholars Associations (CSSA) Cambridge. However a number of senior crews claimed that they were unaware of the election and it was Feifan Chang’s (27th President) own idea to reappointed herself the next President.

CSSA-Cambridge Words from Feifan Chang, the 27th President

CSSA-Cambridge Words from Feifan Chang, the 27th President

Reappointment Scandle

The report of the ’28th election’ turn-out appears on various media, saying that CSSA-Cambridge committee crews and a number of honoured scholars and guests, including Hong Li from the Education Section of the Chinese UK Embassy, attend the meeting.

The next few days, a claiming letter appears on the Internet and soon becomes a hot-topic among the Chinese Community in and around Cambridge.

The letters says that senior team of the CSSA-Cambridge, including Vice-Presidents and Chiefs of Divisions did not know the ’28th election’, not to mention Chang’s reappointment of herself as ’28th President’.

They claim that Chang has staged the ‘election’ and fooled all the members of CSSA and the Chinese UK Embassy and the media.

After the meeting, the common e-mail access of CSSA-Cambridge is controlled and the c0-account names are deliberately deleted.

In the letter they also urge people who attend the meeting stand out and say the truth bravely.

Shocked Committee

Tongyun Li, the Vice President of CSSA-Cambridge writes on the Internet that he is so disappointed in Chang’s dishonest behave and cheating. He says Chang’s deceive has caused damage to the CSSA-Cambridge and all the students who have trusted the association.

Feng Mao, also the Vice President of CSSA-Cambridge, says he is totally shocked when he is informed about the ‘election’ and the signature of CSSA-Cambridge Committee.

The Chief of Sports Divison, Tianxin Lv, says Chang’s ‘election’ is against the Constitution of CSSA-Cambridge, especially the clause regarding the election time (section 16, clause 2), and election process (section 16, clause 1), and the nominate (section 16, clause 4). He also asks people to stand out for justice.

‘Official’ reaction

An official letter from the association says the 28th committee is ready to help all the students. It also says that it is a pity that if any members of the 27th committee can not stay for the 28th term.

In the list of committee members, a larger number of 27th committee has disappeared.

It is said they among those who have been appointed in the 28th committee list, some are even unaware of  the nomination.

Editor’s words

This generation is different. Born in the wave of Open-up and  the invasion of technology and global communication, they have very unique characteristics compared to the overseas years ago.

They share the prosperity of the mother-land and are nourished by the western culture. With the giant flood of Mammonist and the affections in the power and politics, it is easy to follow the crowd and to repeat what others say.

However, the pursuit towards power and wealth has nor been changed. On the other hand, it becomes the most obvious and vital factor.

In this case, it is not hard to assume that being the President of the CSSA-Cambridge will undoubtedly bring certain advantages to the person. Namely get acquainted with Chinese UK Embassy, which will help the person gain numerous political leverage, and the chance to be endorsed by celebrities and A-Level businessmen. Maybe just like Wendi Deng to Rupert Murdoch.

It is just like shifting to the Micro-landscape function in a Canon EOS 60D camera. The ‘election’ and the intention, the story behind is just a micro-picture of the dark side of how the Chinese works. But, under this circumstance and at this stage?

It is Cambridge, a new place for everything. It can be seen that those vulgar and secular behaviour, which shall vanish in this new country as a start, have conversely rooted firmly and steadily, with no doubts.

It can be seen as a very convincing case of the success in the field of economy development and the aggressive purchasing power of the mother-land. Nevertheless, considering the whole picture and having a deep thought, is it really a success? 

notes: Feifan Chang is the MPhil in Politics, University of Cambridge.

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

Teachers strike for pension: nationwide walkout

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have announced a nationwide walkout today to fight for their pensions.

Save-Our-Pensions, NUT © RIGHTTOWORK

Save-Our-Pensions, NUT © RIGHTTOWORK

It is said that the walkout would affect thousands of schools and universities in England and Wales.

The NUT has launched a campaign to drum up support for voting ‘yes’ in the ballot for strike against the government’s plans to cut the pension.

They asked the teachers to “vote ‘yes’ to change the government’s mind before it imposes these unnecessary changes to our pensions”.

1/4 schools closed in 2008 during teachers’ strike

Up to 200,000 NUT members carried out a one-day stoppage in protest at a below-inflation pay rise in the summer of 2008.

The strike caused nearly 5,000 schools’ closure and brought a ‘chaos’ in 21 years in Britain’s history.

This year’s strike may not has the same effect as 2008’s as a lot of schools and universities are about to enter the summer vacation. But it is not the first strike in education sector apart from the tuition fee protest this year. Some members of NUT has carried out a one-day stoppage in the spring academic year.

The teachers’ walkout comes as a part of the strike by public sector workers’ efforts towards pensions in industrial action. It is estimated that up to 750,000 public workers will hold a coordinated strike later this month.

Categories: UK News Tags: , , ,

Mobile phone database map shows real-time signal coverage

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

OpenSignalMaps reveals a new Internet service to show the real-time mobile phone signal coverage based on the Google Map.

Sheffield mobile phone tower map

Sheffield mobile phone tower map

The map shows that in Sheffield the Orange UK has 48 tower stations, while Vodafone UK has 19, T-Mobile has 27, Three has 4 and O2-UK has only 2.

Both Orange UK and T-mobile have their most towers in S10, S3 and S1 areas. However, Vodafone UK locates its most towers in S10 and S1. Whereas Three put its most towers in S3.

The map function is free and available for every Internet surfers and mobile phone users who have an Android phone.

According to OpenSignalMaps, the comprehensive database includes mobile phone towers, signal strength readings and Wi-Fi access. The data is collected via an application which is installed by the phone users. After the users having downloaded the application and installed it in the mobile phone, the date will be stripped of any identifying information and uploaded to the servers.

Sheffield mobile phone signal heat map

Sheffield mobile phone signal heat map

The company also said that the data was “completely anonymous” and they “do not track person details such as name, e-mail, passwords, etc.” But the user’s phone model will be identified and recorded.

iPhone and Blackberry applications will be available

The company is working on the iOS software which will allow iPhone users benefit from the service in the future. It also said the Blackberry application was under consideration. However, for the vast Nokia users, the company has not formally declared any plans regarding to Symbian application.

Labour wins Sheffield

May 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Labour wins over Liberal Democrats and Conservative and gains control of the Sheffield City Council according to the recent result of the election.

The party gained nine seats and now has 49 seats in the 84-seat council chamber.  Compared to 2010 election, when Labour has 39 seats and the Lib Dem has 42, the shift seems to be not very dramatic.

Paul Blomfield, who is a Sheffield Central MP, described Labour’s victory as a landslide.

It is believed that the party’s victory has much influence on the policy-making of the next term in the city. The blames to Lib Dem’s lose comes to the party’s leader, Nick Clegg, who is also the Sheffield Hallam MP.

Labour pointed to Clegg’s U-turn on tuition fees and support for the government’s austerity measures as the reason for his dramatic reversal of fortunes.

AV loses

The preliminary date shows that more than 9.8 million voters choose to keep the current FPTP. The number has been over 50 per cent of total counts though the counting is being processed.

It is another heavy loss for the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg after his party has lost Sheffield city.

Lib Dem minister Chris Huhne told BBC News: “The rejection has been overwhelming and we accept that.” Labour’s Lord Reid, who backed the No campaign, said the decisive result “should put electoral reform off the agenda”.

*Also see Labour seizes control of Sheffield City Council by JUS NEWS.

*Map shows election result by students from the University of Sheffield.

Categories: UK News Tags: , ,

Labour’s split on AV

May 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Ed Miliband supports AV. He thinks it is fairer than FPTP and good for democracy and accountability. But more than 100 Labour MPs saying they oppose it.

(Video Credit: Angelina He)

Politicians in South Yorkshire such as Caroline Flint (Shadow local government and communities secretary) and Angela Smith (Penistone MP) are against AV.

The Sheffield MP Clive Betts who supports local transportation and social care is also against the change to AV. The General Election in 2010 shows that he gains just under 50 per cent support overall. But he could still win even if he loses 52 per cent.  When using AV system, he has to reach out to other groups for support to secure the seat because the 2 per cent margin may be swiped out.

The big picture is AV vote won’t split coalition government. Clegg and Cameron both admit it.

When asked about the split over AV in the party, Ed Miliband thought the national interest and the party interest were the major reasons for it. It is what party people would like to lead the country and if the party could fulfill the promise (e.g. NHS, tuition fees, VAT) that count. But sometimes for the Labour politicians it is about whom to sit with, Nick Clegg or someone else. The belief in the AV system itself varies in the Labour too. Some politicians still believe one people one vote is fairer and the current system has historically reflected the will of the public. And the country has been doing well using FPTP.

“AV would change the political culture”

Ed Miliband said AV would change the political culture. The most important reason is MPs will have to work harder to gain the votes.

He also mentioned that politicians would need to reach out to each other rather than present the hatred. Meanwhile there wouldn’t be any dilemma “voting with your heart or head” any more. Parties, no matter big or small, would have more equal chances to gain the votes. These together would make a more positive political culture.

In fact, AV is the method used for Labour and Lib Dem leadership elections. Many US mayoral and district internal elections also use it. Whether or not AV will win over, it “should be the beginning of the journey, not the end” said Ed Miliband.

Also support: Harriet Harman (Labour Party deputy leader), Ed Balls (Shadow chancellor), Tessa Jowell (Shadow minister for the Olympics), Carwyn Jones (Welsh first minister), Alan Johnson (former Home secretary) and Lord Kinnock (former Labour Party leader).

Against: Lord Prescott (former Deputy prime minister), John Healey (shadow health secretary) and Margaret Beckett (Labour Party leader, President of the ‘NO to AV’ campaign).