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Posts Tagged ‘London’

London’s Loss? Why Hosting the Olympics Is Bad Business

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 26, 2012

Jae Hong / AP

London has plans for the Olympic Stadium once the Games are over. But many cities fail to figure out what to do with massive venues after the world’s athletes leave.

On Oct. 2, 2009, the entire country of Brazil threw a party. After a bidding process that lasted more than two years, the International Olympic Committee announced that Rio de Janeiro had won the right to hold the 2016 Summer Olympics, beating out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo. As Brazil’s Olympic representatives celebrated in Copenhagen, crowds in Rio danced and hugged and shot confetti into the air.

But if Brazilians took a look at the financial troubles that Olympic Games almost always get their host cities into, they wouldn’t have celebrated. In fact, they would’ve been smarter not to have competed to host the Games at all.

(MORE: Welcome to London 2012: We Apologize for the Delays in Your Journey) Read the rest of this entry »

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Diamond Jubilee: Queen’s Celebration Spurs Massive Security Operation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

Scotland Yard is preparing the biggest-ever royal-security operation for the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla. On Sunday, more than 13,000 police and security officials will line the Thames in London

On Sunday, as Queen Elizabeth II and members of the extended royal family cruise through London as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, security forces will have their eyes on Her Majesty. Given the menace of terrorism, they’ll also be watching the water, the crowds and the sky. Explosives set on bridges could detonate as boats pass underneath. Snipers lurking in tall buildings could fire into the throngs of well wishers along the 11-km route. Hijacked airplanes could crash directly into the river. “A security coordinator is appointed to look at such issues, to take necessary precautions and to advise those in charge,” says Dai Davies, the former head of Scotland Yard’s Royal Protection Unit. “But the truth is that for a journey of this kind and this length, it’s impossible to have total security.”

With the Queen and around 50 members of the extended royal family all gathering in one place, the stakes are higher than ever. As such the London police, Scotland Yard and MI5 — Britain’s counterintelligence unit — have been considering a slew of ugly scenarios as they prepare for this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee, the biggest royal-security operation ever staged in the U.K. Agencies have digitally mapped key locations from the air to identify weak spots, like rooftops, and intelligence units have tuned in to phone conversations and monitored the Internet for chatter of potential Diamond Jubilee terror. On the day itself, more than 6,000 officers will line the route — some dressed in plain clothes and embedded with the crowds. And another 7,000 stewards will help with general crowd control. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Inter-Faith Understanding Is More Important Than Ever in Leadership

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 14, 2012

By Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Britain

The Alpha Leadership conference taking place today in London is a reminder that despite all the negative news about religion, a different face of faith is visible and real the world over. The Alpha course on leadership, which was begun under Nicky Gumbel of the Holy Trinity Church in London, has been taken by 18 million people world-wide and is all about spreading a gospel of compassion and service to others. A similar message is given out from the remarkable Rick Warren’s church in Southern California where his congregation now numbers in excess of 100,000 people and his global reach extends to every nation on earth.

But such work is not confined to the Christian religion. There are extraordinary Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist organisations that do great work and show selfless sacrifice in some of the poorest and most forgotten parts of the world. 40% of the healthcare in Africa is delivered by Faith groups, notably the Catholic Church.

When we began the Tony Blair Faith Foundation four years ago, there was a lot of scepticism as to whether there really was any interest in inter-faith understanding. Weren’t religion and religious people bound to be introspective and uninterested in the faith of others? Today we are active in 20 countries, thousands of people take part in our programmes and we have volunteers in over 140 nations. The truth is that the numbers of people who have Faith is growing, such growth is not at all limited to the developing world and it is simply impossible to comprehend politics in certain parts of the world – e.g. the Middle East – without comprehending the importance of Faith.

However, the exclusivist and sometimes hostile face of Faith cannot either be denied. There is a struggle in the world of Faith that reflects the broader struggle within society. This is a struggle between the open-minded and the closed-minded. I am a Christian and will remain so. This means that there are certain beliefs I hold dear. But I can, without reducing my Christian commitment, surely accept that someone else, brought up in a different tradition, holds a different set of beliefs, holds them as strongly as I hold mine, and I can respect that person and his/her right to believe as he/she does. In an era of globalisation, in which we are far more likely to share society together because society is becoming more diverse and the internet is creating a more global sense of community, the existence of such respect and mutual understanding becomes essential. Read the rest of this entry »

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London 2012: More Locations For Olympics Missiles Revealed By MoD

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2012

Olympics Missiles

The MoD say the missiles will be tested prior to a final decision being made

Surface-to-air missiles could be deployed at six sites across London during the Olympics, the Ministry of Defence said on Monday.

The Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets and the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, both in east London, have been identified as potential sites.

Blackheath Common and Oxleas Wood, both in south east London, plus William Girling Reservoir in the Lea Valley Reservoir Chain in Enfield and Barn Hill at Netherhouse Farm in Epping Forest are other possible sites.

No final decision has been made about this potential deployment but it does form part of Olympic Guardian, a major exercise in which security preparations are being tested this week.

A wide range of actions and capabilities are set to be tested over 2-10 May, in Weymouth, London and on the Thames. A number of the Royal Navy’s Lynx helicopters as well as the HMS Ocean, will be involved, in addition to RAF jets, Navy air assault troops, and Territorial Army units. Read the rest of this entry »

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Olympics Missiles Plan For Block Of Flats Criticised By Residents

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 29, 2012

PA/The Huffington Post

Olympics Missiles Flats Bow London

The Army is to station soldiers and high velocity surface-to-air missiles on top of a block of residential flats to ward off any airborne terror threats during the Olympics.

Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow, east London, have received a leaflet warning them that a team of 10 soldiers and police will be stationed at the building – home to 700 people – for the duration of the Games.

Late last year Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed to MPs that he was contemplating installing missile defences for the Olympics.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) leaflet says the missiles will only be fired as a last resort, said resident Brian Whelan, a journalist.

He said: “They are going to have a test run next week, putting high velocity missiles on the roof just above our apartment and on the back of it they’re stationing police and military in the tower of the building for two months.

“It’s a private, gated community with an old watch tower which is now a lift shaft.

“We have an MoD leaflet saying the building is the only suitable place in the area.

“It says there will be 10 officers plus police present 24/7. Read the rest of this entry »

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Camila Batmanghelidjh: I’ve Seen Kids So Malnourished They’ve Lost Their Teeth

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2012

Camila Batmanghelidjh

Camila Batmanghelidjh isn’t angry that children are starving in London. She’s lethal.

“It makes me determined to do something about it,” she tells The Huffington Post UK. “Anger is waiting for someone else to do something. I tend to just become lethal, decide that something needs to be done and do it.”

The 49-year-old colourful charity boss is armed with statistics, and barbs at the government who she claims listen but “ultimately, they don’t care.”

Every day, she says, children in London are going without food as poverty in the capital increases. She’s seen children who are so malnourished they lose teeth, children so hungry who draw pictures of food and eat them, who scrimp and scrape to get their main meal of the day.

Her charity Kids Company are currently helping 2,000 children who otherwise would go without their main meal of the day, with around 70 new cases coming in for help each week. “I raise the alarm all the time in relation to government and these children,” Batmanghelidjh says. “They are very cordial but ultimately, really, they don’t care because these kids don’t vote.”

Is she saying David Cameron doesn’t care about starving children? “It’s not within his visceral experience. He doesn’t see it. When you are in Downing Street it’s very hard to get close to the experience of a child who literally has no food or is sitting in the dark, or… It’s not just his [background] I think often the political classes are not close to the experience of children surviving their childhood. It’s because of that that they make mindless decisions.” Read the rest of this entry »

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London 2012: Mock Olympic Terror Attack Staged At Disused Tube Station

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 22, 2012

A mocked-up terror attack on the London Underground is being staged today as part of a massive exercise to test security for the 2012 Games.

The exercise is to test the response to a terrorist incident on the London Underground network during the Olympics.

Some 2,500 people – spanning everyone from constable to Cobra, the top level government committee which sits during national emergencies and crisis, are being put through their paces by the two-day test.

The disused Aldwych station, a stone’s throw from central London’s Royal Courts of Justice, will be the scene of the live test.

Much of the action is taking place behind closed doors.

The test is being staged as if it is August 8 and 9 – two busy days during the Olympics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Personality: Prabal Gurung

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 12, 2012

Prabal Gurung launched his first collection under his own name during New York Fashion Week in February 2009 at the FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea. For Fall 2010, he staged his first runway show in the Tents at Bryant Park. Gurung’s designs have been worn by Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, Zoe Saldana and Oprah Winfrey. Gurung resides in New York City.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Elite Olympic Security Forces Stage Tests On River Thames

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 19, 2012

Elite British security teams have taken to the River Thames as part of a massive security rehearsal to foil terror disaster at the Olympics.

Scotland Yard and the Royal Marines had joined forces on Thursday afternoon for a string of “familiarisation exercises” to avoid catastrophe in London this summer.

The Metropolitan Police’s Marine Policing Unit and army members will gave a rare glimpse of Britain’s top secret security plan as they took to the water.

The drills “[were] designed to make sure that everyone has the same level of knowledge about how the river operates and how our tactics work together,” police said.

Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, head of the force’s security operation for the Games, said: “All of our planning is designed to mitigate against potential risks during the summer of 2012, and this is an example of where we will be using specialist military capability to support us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jason Hawkes’ Amazing Aerial Photography (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 14, 2012

Ever wondered what your house looks like from a bird’s-eye view? What about a home in Menorca or an ultra-modern neighborhood in Hong Kong? Jason Hawkes is a London-based photographer who has specialized in aerial photography since 1991. His latest portfolio showcases incredible photos of neighborhood patterns around the world.

“Looking down on the towns, cities, villages and seeing the patterns of the housing is something that always amazes me. Its often as if some town planner has sat down and thought now what I really must achieve is create a pattern that can only be seen from above,” Hawkes writes on his website.

He explains to the Daily Mail that the photos were taken on shoots for another project. “Homes in the UK tend to all be very low rise — typically just two stories and all with some kind of garden, big or small. But I just love the very abstract nature of the apartment blocks in Hong Kong,” he said.

Take a look at some of Hawkes’ amazing shots in the slideshow below.

 Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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New Year’s Eve: The World Welcomes 2012 (PICTURES)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 31, 2011

People around the world are celebrating the start of the New Year, bidding farewell to 2011 and welcoming the start of 2012.

In Australia, more than a million people crowded along the shores of Sydney’s harbor, to watch a midnight fireworks extravaganza over Harbour Bridge.

Sydney’s firework display is often one of the world’s most iconic celebrations. This years display was created to remind Australians that although 2011 has been tough there are better times ahead, with some of the fireworks designed to explode in the shape of a cloud, because “every cloud has a sliver lining”.

An hour earlier in New Zealand, thousands of Kiwis took to the streets of Auckland to watch the firework display centered around the city’s Sky Tower.

However the capital Wellington was was hit by torrential rain and thunderstorms which forced the cancellation of firework displays.

The first country to welcome 2012 was the Pacific island of Samoa. Revelers on the island nation cheered with extra excitement this year as, having changed their time zone, they became the first rather than the last to great the New Year.

The move is aimed at strengthening trade ties with Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

When the clock stuck midnight on 29 December, Samoa skipped 30 December and moved straight to New Years Eve, 31 December.

For more:

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London To Host 2017 World Athletics Championships

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 11, 2011

London has been selected as the host of the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

The UK capital beat a rival bid by the Qatari city of Doha by 16 votes to 10.

The decision means that the £500m Olympic Stadium in Stratford will keep its athletics track until the world championships.

Announced at the Fairmont Hotel in Monaco, the decision was the result of a vote by the 27 members of the International Association of Athletics Federations council.

London’s presentation featured contributions from Sports and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, London mayor Boris Johnson, former Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis and world junior champion Jodie Williams.

Williams, 18, could be at her peak in 2017 and revealed her “ultimate dream” is to compete for a senior world title on home soil.

Speaking from Monaco, Lord Sebastian Coe thanked staff members, the media and Mayor of London Boris Johnson for their support. “We will not let you down,” he said.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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‘It’s a Revolt!’ Students march in London

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011

Thousands expected at student march in London.

Students took to the streets of London en masse on Wednesday to fight government funding cuts and a massive hike in tuition fees. But rubber bullets and police intimidation threaten to turn the demonstration into a bloody affair.

Gathering at the University of London in the center of the capital around noon, 10,000 people are expected to take part in the march against the privatization of education and other attacks on the welfare state.

Having been criticized for their mishandling of previous protests, the police announced they would be out in force.  With 4,000 officers being deployed, the run-up to the march has been fraught with tension.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has authorized the firing of rubber bullets if things get out of hand.  In a further move to intimidate demonstrators, police sent dozens of letters to anti-cuts activists warning them of dire consequences if they attend the march.

As marchers are later expected to meet up with Occupy London protestors camping out at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, fears are widespread that heavy-handed police tactics could turn the peaceful protest violent.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Vote Sarina Maskey for Miss International 2011

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 4, 2011

Sarina Maskey, Second runner up of Miss Nepal 2011 is representing Nepal in Miss International 2011 that is being held November 6, 2011 at the Sichuan Opera Theatre, in Chengdu, China. Miss International 2011 is the 51st edition of the Miss International pageant.

Sarina Maskey in Miss International 2011 Vote Sarina Maskey for Miss International 2011

You can support Sarina in the popular beauty pageant by casting your vote and making her win title of Miss Internet. Go to this link on the official website of Miss International beauty pageant and click on this button  to register your vote. You can vote till November 6, 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter’s First Frost Marks Start Of Difficult Choices For London’s Poorest Families

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 20, 2011

Why suddenly lots of problems in UK? Lots of companies and shops closing down everyday, job cut, unemployme­nt increase, price rise. How people cope?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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