» Listings for May 2011
Posted on 10:39am Tuesday 31st May 2011
Canada’s economy growth 3.9 % - 30.05.11
Canada’s economy grew at an annualised rate of 39 %, official data revealed yesterday. Growth in the final three months of last year was revised down to a year-on-year rate of 3.1%, from 3.3%.
Meanwhile, current account deficit narrowed in the first quarter on strong exports of energy products to the United States.
The deficit shrank to CDN $8.9 bn ( £5.4bn) from CDN $ 10.3bn in the previous quarter.
Posted on 4:28pm Monday 30th May 2011
Activists protesting against proposed NHS cuts occupied high street banks across the country yesterday dressed in bandages and fake blood.
Members of UK Uncut targeted Natwest, Barclays and HSBC to complain about “making people , not the broken banking system, pay for the economic crisis.”
Posted on 4:00pm Sunday 29th May 2011
”Godfather of rap”dies at 62
Gil Scott – Heron, known as “the godfather of rap”, has died in New York aged 62.
His most famous song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised””, was first released in 1970 when he was only 20.
He influenced generations of rappers including Kanye West, whose latest album contains a long excert from Acott – Heron’s ”Who Will Survive in America”?
He was a novelist ,at age 19, with the publication of “”The Vulture”, a murder mystery.
He also published a volume of poetry. No cause of death was given but he was known to be HIV positive and had struggled with drug addiction through much of his life.
Posted on 3:08pm Saturday 28th May 2011
China admits cyberwarfare elite unit
China today admitted for the first time the existence of a super – elite unit of cyberwarriors – a team supposedly trained to protect the People’s Liberation Army from outside assault on its networks.
The revelation of the 30 – strong crack unit, known as the “Blue Army”, will confirm the worst fears of governments across the globe.
Posted on 4:24pm Friday 27th May 2011
Volcano is “spewing glass” over Scotland
Photographs of volcanic glass particles that fell on Scotland and are thought to have come from Iceland were released yesterday.
The images of the fragments, discovered on a car windscreen in Aberdeen, were taken using an electron microscope.
Scientists said it was “highly likely” the tiny particles – the largest of which is 0.03mm wide - came from the Grimsvotn volcano, which began erupting on Saturday.
Samples found in Lerwick matched the particles taken from the car.
The ash cloud led to travel misery for air passengers this week when it caused flights to be cancelled.
Posted on 9:41am Thursday 26th May 2011
Human balloon – lorry driver – New Zealand
A New Zealand lorry driver “blow up like a balloon” when he fell on a compressed air hose that forced air into his body.
The lorry driver slipped and fell, breaking a compressed air hose off an air reservoir that powered the lorry’s brakes.
The brass fitting pierced his left buttock and started pumping air into him. The air rushed into his body and it felt like it was going to explode from his foot.
He was blowing up like a football. He had no choice but to just lie there, blowing up like a balloon.
His workmates heard his screams and ran to him, releasing a safety valve to stop the flow of air.
The lorry driver was taken to hospital with massive swelling and fluid in one lung. Doctors said the air had separated fat from muscle in his body but had not entered the bloodstream.
The lorry driver said his skin felt like a pork roast, crackling on the outside but soft underneath.
Posted on 2:20pm Wednesday 25th May 2011
Google to reveal phone payments
Google will take the wraps off a mobile phone payment system tomorrow that lets consumers pay at checkouts with phones instead of cards, hoping to beat Visa and others to the punch.
The Internet search and advertising leader will work with MasterCard, the world’s second – largest credit and debit processing network, to launch the system.
It has now signed up retail partners, Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters and Subway.
Posted on 12:56pm Tuesday 24th May 2011
US Insurers face $10 billion Losses
Devastating tornadoes, floods, earth-quakes overseas and a busier – than – usual hurricane scene have US insurance companies bracing for record loses in 2011.
Insurers could suffer as much as $10 bn (£6.2 bn) from weather related losses in the US in 2011, which is up from the average of $2bn to $4bn.
On top of the potential US losses, insurers are also reeling from disasters overseas including large earth –quakes across the Pacific Rim.
Obama arrives early in UK
US President Barak Obama flew to the UK from Ireland ahead of schedule last night as worries over ash from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano spreading to UK airspace forced an early departure.
Obama had planned to stay in Ireland overnight after visiting both Dublin and the small village of Moneygall, where one his ancestors lived before moving to the US.
Obama’s visit to Europe is expected to last a week, with stops scheduled in the UK, France and Poland.
Posted on 12:40pm Monday 23rd May 2011
Landlords hit as retailers shut up shops
Landlords are being squeezed as struggling retailers abandon high streets that are losing out in the battle against malls.
As cash – strapped consumers rein in their spending the face of the UK’s high streets are changing with major chains closing hundreds of stores.
As much as 14.5 % of the UK’s high street retail space is now vacant with landlords saddled with bills for empty premises.
The number of retail leases granted in 2002 – 2004 was 11,205 but plunged to 5,162 by 2009 to 2010.
Some companies are paying its landlords a reduced lease level under a “company voluntary agreement” which have saved retailers from the clutches of administration.
Landlords are being hit in the pocket as they not only lost out on rents but were forking out for business rates on empty premises.
The closures are hitting landlords on the high street hard. Malls in London are doing well because they are seen as so-called “destination” shopping places where everything is under one roof.
High streets need to find their way again and the government obviously realizes this. Landlords are offering shorter leases to retailers, with four and a half years the average.
Posted on 10:28am Sunday 22nd May 2011
United Kingdom House of Commons Security Fears as Thieves Raid Offices of Members of Parliament
Security in the mother of all legislatures is not as good as it could be.
A House of Commons security row has erupted before the State visit of United States President Obama.
In the latest beach, the high profile Chairman of the Home Affaires Select Committee, returned to his office to find his researcher’s computer had been stolen. Thieves strolled into his private office while he was at a Commons reception, even though it is in a corridor reserved for senior Members of Parliament.
The Member of Parliament in the next door office lost a laptop at the same time and had previously had his passport stolen from his desk. However, there were no video cameras in the area to record the person who might have been responsible.
One Member of Parliament was of the opinion that if thieves can take away a laptop without any person noticing, they could also plant a package.
The Commons is protected by airport-style security screening at all entrances. However, there have been a series of lapses where protesters have got in.