lunes, 31 de enero de 2011

English student applications drop - BBC News

The number of English applicants to Scottish universities has slumped by nearly 15% in a year, new figures show.

The Ucas statistics also revealed a 6% increase in demand from Scots students and a 20% rise in EU students.

The fall raises further doubts that the Scottish government can plug a funding gap by charging substantial fees to students from the rest of UK.

The government said the figures did not give a full picture as some students do not apply through Ucas.

A spokesman said: "The final, and more complete, picture will not be known for some time yet.

"We will be working closely with the Scottish Funding Council, Ucas and the sector to monitor demand."

Scottish students studying at home currently pay no tuition fees, while other UK students currently at Scottish universities pay about £1,900 per year.

The Scottish government aims to implement changes to this system in 2012, in line with reforms in England which could see tuition fees go up to £9,000 a year.

It has published a Green Paper, laying out six possible options for funding;

  • The state retaining primary responsibility for funding
  • The state retaining primary responsibility for funding, but with a form of graduate contribution
  • Increasing income from students coming to Scotland from other parts of the UK
  • Increasing donations and "philanthropic giving"
  • Increasing investment from Scottish businesses in higher education
  • Making more efficiency savings in the sector

University principals in Scotland have already suggested income from other UK students would be unlikely to generate enough money to allow them to keep up with better funded institutions in England and beyond.

This argument is given credence by the drop in students from England - 26,000 in 2011, compared to more than 30,000 in 2010 - and a 7.5% reduction in Welsh students in the same period.

However, applicants from Northern Ireland rose by more than 8% to 6,000, and demand from EU and non-EU students also increased at the same time.

European law means the Scottish government is obliged to pay the fees of students living in non-UK EU countries.

Gladys Bulinya, Kenyan Mother, 'Cursed' With Six Sets Of Twins - Huffington Post

Even the best mothers admit to struggling with their children every now and then, but Gladys Bulinya could likely put many of them to shame with her staggering brood.

As the BBC is reporting, the Kenyan mom has borne a whopping 12 children -- six sets of non-identical twins born between 1993 and last year. But the 35-year-old Bulinya, who lives alone with 10 of her 12 children -- six girls and four boys -- in a one-roomed grass-thatched house in the village of Nzoia, says her situation is intensified by a local belief that twins are cursed by a divine jinx.

After being abandoned by her husband last year and disowned by her relatives, Bulinya recently agreed to undergo sterilization, despite the procedure being against her religion, as she could not cope with more children. "I am a Catholic," she told the BBC. "When I made the decision, I asked for God's forgiveness and I am sure God understands and will forgive me for doing that."

When Bulinya gave birth to her first set of twins in 1993, her own family ordered her to leave the babies at the hospital for adoption, as the Bukusu people, to which her family belongs, believe that unless one twin in a set dies, it means certain death for one or both parents. Luckily, Ms Bulinya says, when her boyfriend's father (who is from a different ethnic group, the Kalenjin) learned his sons had been abandoned, he took them in and has cared for them ever since. She met her now 17-year-old sons two years ago.

Though Bulinya has been married twice, both husbands abandoned her shortly after she bore more twins. And even local benefactors are critical of her situation. "The lady should have undergone sterilization after discovering that men were using and dumping her," Margaret Khanyunya, director of St. Iddah Academy where one of the children is attending school, told the BBC.

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Ferrari, Sauber and a Pair of Lotuses Unveil Formula One Cars - New York Times (blog)

On the eve of the 2011 Formula One racing season, four teams have issued gleaming letters of intent.

The Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa pulled the silk from their team's new F150 racer at a press event last Friday, held at Ferrari's Maranello, Italy, headquarters. Meanwhile, at the Circuit Ricardo Tomo racetrack in Valencia, Spain, the 2011 hopefuls Lotus Renault GP and Sauber also showed their new machines. And Team Lotus, still smarting after Renault withdrew its support late last year to forge a new partnership with Group Lotus — which comprises Lotus Cars, the sports-car manufacturer based in Hethel, England — took to the Internet to unveil its car to team-newsletter subscribers.

Team Lotus' action followed Group Lotus and Renault's announcement in December that the two entities would form a new Formula One alliance, called Lotus Renault GP. The alliance showed its racer, the R31, at the Valencia track wearing the classic Lotus black and gold livery, with the drivers Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov in attendance. On Monday, Group Lotus also announced the signing of a third driver, Bruno Senna, who is the nephew of Ayrton Senna, the three-time Formula One world champion.

Having competed in 2010 as Lotus Racing, Team Lotus will be in court on March 21 to defend its use of the Lotus name in Formula One. The car it unveiled via e-newsletter last weekend, the T128, still bore the traditional Lotus green emblem, appended to read "Team Lotus," but the running gear is almost entirely new, according to the team. The drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen return from their 2010 campaign, during which the teammates threatened the big four — Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull — but did not score race points.

With the new cars, engineers have further honed their application of kinetic energy recovery systems, where at the touch of a button a driver can use kinetic energy generated during braking.Ferrari's F150, whose name pays homage to the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, can dial in 82 additional horsepower from its kinetic energy setup.

Ferrari hopes to avenge its 2010 season-closer loss, during which a Red Bull driver, Sebastian Vettel, claimed the overall season title following questionable directions from Ferrari's pit bosses that might have cost Mr. Alonso the honor.

The Formula One season kicks off in Bahrain on March 13.

Superman Grows An Accent: Meet the New British Clark Kent - TIME

The new Superman, Henry Cavill

The new Superman, Henry Cavill

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images

You'll believe an outsider can be cast.
Director Zack Snyder has decided that the British actor Henry Cavill is going up, up and away. Cavill will play Superman (and Clark Kent, of course) is Snyder's as yet untitled reboot to 2006's Superman Returns, which means that Brandon Routh won't be reprising his role as the Man of Steel. Zynder said Cavill is, "the perfect choice to don the cape and 'S' shield."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, he beat out fellow Brit Matthew Goode, White Collar star Matthew Bomer, True Blood's Joe Manganiello and The Social Network's Armie Hammer to land the part.

(More on See pictures of superheroes flying.)

While Cavill is probably best known for starring in Showtime's The Tudors, his near misses in famous franchises are far more worthy of discussion. It's a case of third time lucky for the 27-year-old, who was in the running for Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (which went to Christian Bale), was passed over for James Bond in favor of Daniel Craig and lost out to Routh in the last Superman flick (many believe the part was his until original director McG left the project, replaced by Bryan Singer). It's also been reported that he was in the frame for Edward Cullen in Twilight and considered for Cedric in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which explains why Empire magazine labeled him the "most unlucky man in Hollywood."

(More on The top 10 movies of 2010.)

But that luck has turned and film fans should be able to assess his acting chops when the movie is released in December 2012. It represents quite the coup for Britain as it now means that actors from those shores are playing Batman, Superman (indeed, Jersey-born Cavill is the first foreigner to play the role) and, thanks to Andrew Garfield, Spider-Man as well (and before you write in to complain, yes, Garfield was born in the U.S. but he's also a British citizen). And so long as they don't lapse into Cockney, your enjoyment shouldn't be affected.

Liverpool agree record fee to sign Newcastle's Carroll - Reuters

LONDON | Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:40pm EST

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool have had a British transfer record offer accepted by Newcastle United for striker Andy Carroll, the Premier League club said as the closure of the transfer window loomed Monday.

Newcastle, who had turned down two offers for the 22-year-old on deadline day, caved in when Carroll handed in a transfer request which they "reluctantly" accepted.

"Liverpool FC confirmed this afternoon that Newcastle United had accepted a club record offer for the transfer of Andy Carroll," a statement on Liverpool's website said.

"The club have been given permission by Newcastle to discuss personal terms with the player, who will now travel to Liverpool for a medical."

Reports put the fee at 35 million pounds, plus add-ons, which would make him comfortably the most expensive signing by a British club, eclipsing the fee Manchester City paid Real Madrid for Robinho and Manchester United paid Tottenham Hotspur for Dimitar Berbatov.

Carroll's move to Liverpool, who have also signed Uruguay's Luis Suarez from Ajax as new manager Kenny Dalglish re-models his squad, would appear to pave the way for Fernando Torres to complete his switch to Chelsea.

Spain's Torres was expected to join the west London club for a fee that could reach 50 million pounds, according to reports, although Liverpool were tight-lipped on any deal.

The powerful Carroll, born in the Newcastle heartland of Gateshead, made his first-team debut in 2006 and has developed into one of the Premier League's most feared frontmen, netting 11 times in the league this season.

His muscular game, touch and finishing ability earned him a call-up to Fabio Capello's England squad in November when he made his international debut against France.

Carroll's departure would be a huge blow to Newcastle and their fans who have given the pony-tailed "No.9" cult hero status after his 19 goals last season helped Newcastle regain their place in the Premier League.

"The 22-year-old England international has this afternoon handed in a transfer request, which has been reluctantly accepted by the club, and Carroll is currently with Liverpool over a move to Anfield," a Newcastle statement said.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

BlackBerry deadline expires with no action - Livemint

New Delhi: The expiry of the 31 January deadline by which the government was to gain lawful access to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) passed without any action being taken by the home ministry and department of telecommunications (DoT).

Canada-based Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, had been given time till Monday to provide access to BES, which facilitates the exchange of secure, encrypted corporate email, and set up a server in India. According to senior officials in both the home ministry and DoT, the matter was still under consideration. A final decision may take a fortnight or even a month.

"We are still waiting for the DoT decision," said a senior home ministry official on condition of anonymity. A senior DoT official, who too did not want to be named, said: "DoT has not yet completed the testing of a solution that was proposed by RIM."

RIM has been saying that it can't access BES data and that the government would have to ask enterprises for this.

"We cannot provide a BES solution because under the model, neither are we in possession of keys nor is the operator," Robert E. Crow, RIM vice-president (industry, government and university relations), said last week in an interview to Mint. He also said RIM was not facing any deadline from the home ministry to provide access to BES-based communications and it had no plans to set up a server in India.

But the home ministry maintains that 31 January was the deadline for BES and that it is mandatory for RIM and other similar service providers, including Nokia, Google and Skype, to establish servers in India.

Home minister P. Chidambaram on Monday indicated that a decision was imminent.

"I think a decision will be taken today by the ministry of home affairs and the telecom ministry. I am not yet been briefed on the development in the last few days," he said. "They have given us a solution to the Messenger service, we will insist that they give us the solution for the Enterprise server too."

According to the home ministry, any decision to ban BES would depend on three aspects —whether RIM has the encryption keys, the economic and administrative viability of the offer made by the company and how the solution would affect its profitability in India.

India is insisting on getting access to all encrypted email services available in the country, including BlackBerry, Google and Skype as it fears that terrorists may misuse the technology.

On Monday, Pakistan called on mobile phone operators to stop BlackBerry services to foreign missions amid security concerns, industry sources said, Reuters reported.

Reuters contributed to this story.

'Scorned mum started house fire' - The Sun

A MUM killed two of her children after setting fire to her house to create a "drama" when she found out her partner was cheating, a court has heard.

Fiona Adams, 23, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Niamh, five, and two-year-old Cayden, who died in last April's late-night blaze.

She escaped from the house by jumping from an upstairs window with her eight-month-old son, Kiernan.

Prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC told jurors that Adams sought attention from her partner James Maynard, the children's father, after their relationship broke down.

He added she was "in an unhappy situation".

Mr Spencer said: "No decent human being could fail to have sympathy with her predicament.

"There were many ways with which she could have dealt with things. What she chose to do was to create a drama around herself and her children, and that drama culminated in her setting fire to her own home.

"The result of which was the fire took a rapid and devastating hold.

"She and her youngest child were spared, but with serious injuries. But her two eldest children died in the fire."

He said Adams, who wore a T-shirt in court that revealed burn scars on her neck, had also threatened suicide.

She found out 28-year-old Mr Maynard had cheated on her several times, the first being shortly after the birth of their first child.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that despite their troubled relationship, the couple went on to have Cayden in September 2007.

However, they split up in May 2008 after Adams, of Buxton, Derbys, found out more details about Mr Maynard's relationship with the other woman.


Adams, who also denies causing grievous bodily harm and arson with intent, reconciled with Mr Maynard at some point in late 2008 and gave birth to Kiernan in August 2009, Mr Spencer said.

The court heard she told a friend over Facebook that she had "tried to split up with him once or twice but went completely off the rails so ended up back with him".

Mr Spencer also read the court text messages between Adams and Mr Maynard, who was repeatedly late home from his job waiting tables and bartending at a hotel.

She would send him numerous messages asking when he would be home or why he was late and would often get a non-committal reply, or none at all.

The trial continues.

British climber who survived 300-metre fall plans to scale Everest - The Canadian Press

LONDON — A climber who plunged 300 metres from one of Britain's highest mountains — and walked away — is promising to climb Mount Everest later this year.

Adam Potter, of Glasgow, went home Monday, just days after he slipped on an icy patch off the summit of the 1,093-metre Sgurr Choinnich Mor in Scotland.

The 35-year-old tumbled down the steep slopes Saturday, flying off cliffs. Rescuers found tattered bits of his clothing and equipment on outcrops stretching from the top to the bottom of the mountain.

Astonished rescuers found Potter standing up reading a map when they arrived. Convinced he was not the victim, they flew to the summit where Potter's fellow hikers were waiting.

"But my mates pointed downhill ... and that's when they realized I was the actual casualty, even though I was up and moving around," he said.

Though he had broken his back in three places, Potter is still able to walk and was discharged from a Glasgow hospital Monday.

Royal navy Lt. Tim Barker, who was on the search and rescue helicopter, said the crew was convinced at first that Potter was not the victim.

"We honestly thought it couldn't have been him, as he was on his feet, reading a map. Above him was a series of three high craggy outcrops," Barker said. "It seemed impossible. So we retraced our path back up the mountain and, sure enough, there were bits of his kit in a vertical line all the way up where he had obviously lost them during the fall. It was quite incredible."

Potter had been climbing in the Scottish Highlands with his three friends and his dog in preparation for an Everest trek later this year. He had just reached the summit, when he lost his footing and fell down the extremely steep and craggy eastern slope of the mountain.

"I tried to slow myself down using my pole, but when I went over the last cliff, I thought I was done for. I felt I wouldn't make it out of this alive," he said.

Potter thinks he was knocked unconscious when he landed, but woke up and started collecting his scattered equipment. He said he was trying to orient himself with his map when the search and rescue helicopter arrived.

His survival was "purely a matter of luck," said David Gibson of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland.

"I don't know how he managed to survive, because there has been a case where somebody had fallen just 30 feet (nine metres) in that area and died," Gibson said.

It's unlikely the snow broke his fall, said mountain safety adviser Heather Morning.

"The snow levels were quite high and they've been around for a couple of weeks and hardened around the craggy outcrops," Morning said. "There were several incidents last winter when people fell really long distances, but their falls had been cushioned by the soft snow.

"With him (Potter), there really is no rhyme or reason (for his survival) with the conditions being what they were."

Not that the accident has made Potter scared of heights.

He is determined to stick to his plan to scale Everest just two months after his fall, even though his doctors have told him to rest.

"It's a big expedition and I'll be more cautious," he said. "But nothing will stop me from going."

Ed Miliband admits he was square as a youth but sidesteps 'Cleggover' question - The Guardian

Labour leader Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was 'a bit square' as a youth and never dabbled in drink or drugs. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod

Ed Miliband has described himself as a "bit square" in his youth and reveals that he may have been "hit a few times" at the tough secondary school that he attended as a youngster.

But despite a smattering of revelations about his personal life, the Labour leader flatly refused to be drawn on the "Cleggover" question in an interview with Piers Morgan for GQ magazine.

Speaking in this month's issue, due out on Thursday, Miliband said he would "not boast about his sexual prowess" and refused to say how old he was when he lost his virginity, avoiding the pitfall of Nick Clegg, who in the same magazine in 2008 was pressed to admit that he had slept with as many as 30 women and considered himself a competent lover.

Pressed on his own track record in the field of romance, Miliband said, "that's the Cleggover question", in reference to the fuss that followed the revelations of the Liberal Democrat leader, now deputy prime minister. "I'm certainly not going to get into that," said Miliband. "I think that would be a big mistake."

The Labour leader only went as far as saying that the three famous women he would take to a desert island were Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher, actor Rachel Weisz and Hollywood A-lister Scarlett Johansson.

On his relationship with his partner, Justine Thornton, Miliband said he would not be getting married for political expediency.

Miliband has been criticised by traditionalists for failing to marry Thornton, a 40-year-old Cambridge-educated barrister, with whom he has two sons.

In the interview with Morgan, conducted on the day he returned from paternity leave last November, Miliband insisted that Thornton was not yet his wife, before reportedly quipping: "Thank God for that, probably."

The couple live in a £1.6m house owned by Thornton.

Asked for his views on marriage during the interview, Miliband made clear that pressure – political or otherwise – on him to tie the knot was counterproductive.

"It's a good institution and part of having stable families, but there are also people in unmarried relationships with stable families. I don't think politicians should order people to get married," he said.

He stressed that he intended to marry, but added: "But the more people who challenge me on it from a political standpoint, the more resistant I will become.

"We'll get married because we want to get married and love each other very much, no other reason."

On his relationship with his older brother, David, Miliband said that going up against his elder sibling in the Labour leadership election was the "hardest thing I've done in my life".

"I had mixed feelings when I won. But this thing you keep saying about it being his lifelong dream is nonsense, he didn't sit there at 14 thinking, 'I'm going to be leader of the Labour party'. I was surprised when I even made it into the cabinet."

Miliband admitted his father, Ralph, a Marxist who settled in Britain after emigrating as a refugee from Belgium, "wouldn't have liked New Labour very much".

Describing his father's death as "the saddest moment of my life", Miliband said his father's vulnerable health, which saw him having a heart attack when Miliband was just three years old, was one of the reasons he wasn't "so rebellious a kid".

He neither took drugs at Oxford University nor did he partake in underage drinking, and his only brush with the police was when he was slapped with a speeding offence.

"I was a bit square," he said.

On the playground beatings, Miliband said that he remembers the names of the boys who hit him, but would not divulge who they were.

And asked about his chosen talent if he were to appear on Britain's Got Talent, on which Morgan was once a judge, Miliband could only offer that he "used to be good at the Rubik's Cube".

Why is it wrong to protect gay children? - Independent

I am exhausted. I have spent all week trying to brainwash small children into being gay, by relentlessly inserting homosexuality into their maths, geography and science lessons. Their little eyes widened when the gay algebra lesson started, but it worked: their concept of "normal sexual behaviour" has been successfully destroyed. It's all part of the program brilliantly co-ordinated by the Homintern to imposed The Gay Agenda on Every Aspect of British Life.

That, at least, is what you would believe if you had read some of Britain's best-selling newspapers this week, or listened to some prominent Tory politicians. The headlines were filled with fury. The Conservative MP Richard Drax said gays were trying to impose "questionable sexual standards" on kids, while the Daily Mail said we were mounting a massive "abuse of childhood."

Here's what is actually happening. A detailed study by the Schools Health Education Unit found that in Britain today, 70 percent of gay children get bullied, 41 percent get beaten up, and 17 percent get told at some point in their childhood that they are going to be killed.

I'll tell you the story of just one of them. Jonathan Reynolds was a 15-year old boy from Bridgend in South Wales who was accused – accurately or not, we'll never know – of being gay. He was yelled at for being a "faggot" and a "poof". So one day, he sat a GSCE exam – later graded as an A - and went to the train tracks near his school and lay on them. He texted his sister: "Tell everyone that this is for anybody who eva said anything bad about me, see I do have feelings too. Blame the people who were horrible and injust to me, see I do have feeling too. Blame the people who were horrible and injust to me. This is because of them, I am human just like them. None of you blame yourself, mum, dad, Sam and the rest of the family. This is not because of you." And then the train killed him.

I guess nobody told Jonathan Reynolds that, as the columnist Melanie Phillips put it, "just about everything in Britain is now run according to the gay agenda." The great Gay Conquest didn't make it from her imagination to his playground, or any playground in Britain. Gay kids are six times more likely to commit suicide than their straight siblings. Every week, I get emails from despairing gay kids who describe being thrown against lockers, scorned by their teachers if they complain, and – in some faith schools – told they will burn in Hell. Every day they have to brave playgrounds where the worst insult you can apply is to call something "gay". They feel totally lost. This could have been your child, or my child, or Melanie Phillips' child.

Is it "political correctness" and "McCarthyism" to try to ensure these kids can feel safe in their own schools – or is it basic decency? A few very mild proposals were made this week for how to change the attitudes behind this. They came from an excellent organization called Schools Out, which is run with a small grant from the tax-payer. They gave out a voluntary information pack in which they suggested that, to mark LGBT History Month, teachers acknowledge the existence of gay people in their lessons. They could teach in history about how Alan Turing played a vital role in saving the world from the Nazis and paved the way for the invention of the computer, only to be hounded to death for being gay. They could learn in science that homosexuality occurs in hundreds of species of animals. They could – yes! – maybe even look in maths lessons at the census data, figuring out how prevalent gay people are.

We know that these lessons work in making gay kids much safer. The Schools Health Education Unit found that homophobic violence was dramatically lower in schools that taught about homosexuality. Good schools like Stoke Newington Secondary that followed this program were assessed to have "virtually eliminated homophobic bullying." That has a very powerful educational purpose: when gay kids feel safe, they can learn.

Yet these pragmatic policies to make kids safe were presented as a wicked plot to endanger children. We can't stop the endemic intimidation and violence if every time there is a policy to do it, it is grossly distorted and demonized in this way. The critics even whispered that gays want to "impose" sexuality on kids – with hints of the ugliest and oldest lie about gay men, that they are paedophiles.

Yet in one strange way, the current backlash is reassuring. When I was a kid in the 1980s, these sentiments were so widespread that a law – Section 28 – was passed to resolve them, and the cowed critics were derided as "the loony left." Today, the opinion polls show 80 percent of the British people support gay marriage, and the people offering these views are regarded as the loons. It's worth pausing and saying to all the people who have been open to persuasion and have changed their minds on this question: thank you. It's incredibly moving to see how many heterosexual people have rallied to the defence of gay people, and it's a reminder that we will never go back now.

But this anti-equality shouting still has an effect. It stops many schools from pursuing sensible policies that would save kids like Jonathan Reynolds, for fear of being accused of "political correctness gone mad" – so it's important to answer the arguments now.

These critics don't appear to understand what homosexuality actually is. In every human society that has ever existed, and ever will, some 3 to 10 percent of the population has wanted to have sex with their own gender. This is a fixed and unchangeable reality. The only choice is whether you are pointlessly cruel to them, or accept their harmless difference. Homosexuality is "normal sexual behaviour": it occurs wherever human societies exist. It is not engaged in by a majority, but using that logic, Jews and Muslims are "abnormal" in Britain too – an ugly and foolish claim.

Informing children about these facts can't make them gay. Nothing can. You can no more teach a child homosexuality than you can teach them left-handedness. Oddly, the homophobes seem to understand this about their own sexuality, but not about other people's. I once asked Michael Howard, the architect of Section 28, if he would be gay now if he had been taught to be as a child. He moved very anxiously in his seat and mumbled something incoherent.

In order to justify their desire to discriminate against gay people, the few remaining homophobes have concocted a scenario where they are The Real Victims. They can say what they want, set up churches or mosques that preach what they want, and turn away gay people from their homes every day of the week if they so desire – and I would defend every one of those rights to the last ditch. There is only one thing they can't do. They can't choose to offer a service to the general public, and then turn people away on the basis of race or sexuality. They can't put up de facto signs saying 'No blacks, no Irish, no gays' at their B&B.

This isn't a form of prejudice – it is a way of preventing prejudice. Nobody will ever force you to work in a registry office or open a B&B, but if you choose to, you can't reject the gay couples and expect to remain in post. (In one case where this happened, they offered her a job in the office instead, but she chose to be a bizarre cause clbre of prejudice instead.) Services for the general public have to be available without contamination by bigotry. It's a simple principle. Don't demand the right to spit in the face of gay people, and claim you're being picked on when you're asked to stop.

Yes, I know your religious texts mandate bigotry against gay people. They also mandate slavery and stoning adulterers, and they laud a God who feeds small children to bears (see II Kings ii, 23-24). As secular morality has evolved, you have managed to overcome those beliefs. Here's another that has to catch up. If you are really going to defend Biblical or Koranic literalism, you'll end up as Stephen Green, head of the tiny Christian Voice sect, who argues that there is biblical authority for the legalisation of rape by husbands. So febrile is the atmosphere in Uganda that David Kato, the incredibly brave campaigner for gay equality, was just lynched as part of the hate-wave.

When people say that a "deeply held religious conviction" should enable you to break anti-discrimination laws and treat gay people as second class citizens, I reply – what about the Mormons? Until 1975, they believed black people did not have souls. (They only changed their minds when the Supreme Court ruled it illegal, and God conveniently appeared to say they did have souls after all.) Should they have been allowed to run adoption agencies that refused to give babies to black people, because of their "deeply held religious conviction"?

But there is an even lower point in the homophobes' rhetorical arsenal. Being subjected to bullying and violence as children and teenagers makes gay people unusually vulnerable to depression and despair. The homophobes then use that depression and despair to claim that homosexuality is inherently a miserable state – and we shouldn't do anything that might "encourage" it. They create misery, and then use it as a pretext to create even more misery.

Yet Melanie Phillips, Richard Drax and the last raging band of homophobes are right about one thing. There is a "Gay Agenda." They are only wrong about its contents. It has one item on the list, and one item only: to ensure that gay people are treated exactly the same as everybody else. That's it. That's all. That's the sum total of our ambitions. To get there we may – yes – have to mention the existence of gay people in schools. It is the only way to save kids like Jonathan Reynolds, and make sure everyone knows – as he said in his final text, before the train hit – "I am human just like them."


As a side-note, it's especially galling to be accused of endangering children by Melanie Phillips, the journalist in Britain who has done more to recklessly endanger children than any other I can think of. She was the leading journalistic champion of the false claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism. She refused to listen to the overwhelming scientific consensus and instead promoted the claims of a fraudster called Andrew Wakefield. After she played a key role in spreading and popularizing his claims, the rate of children being vaccinated plummeted, and several have died.

Even after the British Medical Journal concluded that Wakefield staged an "elaborate fraud", she has refused to apologise. I'd say persuading parents not to give their kids a life-saving vaccine based on the claims of a charlatan was a bigger "abuse of childhood" than teaching them that gay people exist, wouldn't you?

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Extraterrestrials now live among us in China and in U.S.A., newspapers report -

A Canadian newspaper is reporting that Sun Shili, a retired foreign ministry official, states Extraterrestrials are living among us.

An extraterrestrial from Tau Ceti living in the U.S.A.

The China ET report is corroborative of this reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre's 4-part ExopoliticsTV interview and series with Jerry Wills, an apparent extraterrestrial from Tau Ceti who resides in the United States.

Jerry Wills is an accomplished healer, explorer, and musician with the band UFAUX who recently participated in a world webcast in which Mr. Wills discussed his identity as an extraterrestrial from the Tau Ceti star system (12 light years from Earth) left here as an infant as part of a project of the Council of Worlds for the betterment of Earth.  

In a 4-part ExopoliticsTV interview with Alfred Lambremont Webre, Mr. Wills, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, talks about how he was adopted by a human family, how he dealt with his unusual abilities growing up, how he was visited regularly by an extraterrestrial delegation that briefed him on his extraterrestrial identity and his mission, how during these visits he was told to watch for specific signs during the 18-year period preceding 2012 as to whether the earth and the human population would veer toward peace or war, and how these visits stopped on the day of September 11, 2001, Mr. Wills' birthday and the date a regularly scheduled visit was of the extraterrestrial delegation to occur. 

In conversation with Alfred Lambremont Webre, Mr. Wills speaks about the 2012-13 catastrophic timeline and the 2012-13 positive timeline and what this means to all of us.

Watch Part 1 of ExopoliticsTV interview with Jerry Wills and Alfred Lambremont Webre readers can watch Part 1 of the 4-part interview with Jerry Wills and Alfred Lambremont Webre above in this article or by clicking the URL below: article on Jerry Wills:

Canadian Newspaper report on Sun Shili (verbatim)

The Canadian Newspaper reports as follows:

Ex-China Foreign Ministry Official says Extraterrestrials live among us

by Paul Chen

[Introduction omitted]

Sun's first close encounter occurred in 1971, when he was sent to the remote countryside during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76) to perform the grueling task of rice planting. One day while toiling in the field, his attention was diverted to a bright object in the sky, which rose and fell repeatedly.

At first, Sun assumed the spectacle was some sort of Cold War intelligence monitoring device - a reasonable deduction considering the times - however years later, after reading foreign materials on UFO sightings, he knew he had experienced a close encounter.  

As the alien spacecraft reached the highest point of the building, it suddenly showed seven white lights evenly displaced around the outer edge of the craft. Reference:

And Sun is not the only expert in the country taking these sightings seriously. According to the highly accredited Shen Shituan, an actual rocket scientist, president of Beijing Aerospace University and honourary director of the government-supported China UFO Research Association, every report of an alien encounter is worth investigating.

''Some of these sightings are real, some are fake and with others it's unclear,'' said Shen Shituan, a real rocket scientist, president of Beijing Aerospace University and honorary director of the China UFO Research Association. ''All these phenomena are worth researching.''

Research [ethically-based] into UFO's could help spur new forms of high-speed travel, unlimited sources of non-polluting and non-fossil fuel based energy and faster-growing crops, claims Sun Shili, president of a government-approved UFO Research Association (membership 50,000).

These lights dimmed quickly as one large light lighted up and surrounded the craft before it abruptly disappeared. Reference:

Shen Shituan does not readily dismiss UFO/ET reports like his counterparts in Western scientific communities, including the claims of one worker that aliens entered his Beijing home while his wife and child were present, and whisked him 265 kilometres east and back in only a few hours.

The best-known alien abduction story in China is the case of Meng Zhao Guo, a young tree farmer, from Wuchang, near Harbin in Heilongjiang province.

In June 1994 Zhao Guo and two other farm workers, working at Red Flag logging camp saw something unusual on nearby Mount Pheonix.

The complex and bizarre encounter that followed involved Meng being hit by a beam of light, as well as allegedly experiencing an abduction and a sexual encounter with a female alien.  

Meng Zhaoguo

Meng Zhaoguo, a rural worker from northeast Wuchang city, explains he was 29 when he broke his marital vows for the first and only time -- with an extraterrestrial of unusually robust build.

"She was 10 feet [3.03 metres] tall and had six fingers, but otherwise she looked completely like a human,'' he says. "I told my wife all about it afterwards. She wasn't too angry.''

During September 2003 Zhang Jingping, a Beijing-based UFO researcher, had psychologists and police technicians subject Zhao Guo to hypnosis and a lie detector test in Beijing. Zhang indicated the test results proved the abductee was telling the truth.

He also indicated that doctors had indicated that Zhao Guo's scars "could not possibly have been caused by common injuries or surgery." Meng Zhao Guo, a humble farmer with only 5 year's schooling, also indicated that he had never heard of UFOs or UFOlogists until after his experience had been reported.

In China Bill Chalker, an Australia UFO scientist, was able to have extensive discussions with Professor Chen Gongfu, the principal researcher of the Meng Zhao Guo case. He has asked me to assist in getting his research translated and available to western audiences. We are well underway to achieving that goal.

Research on Cao Gong's contact with ETs

In December 1999 Cao Gong, a middle-aged man from Beijing, indicated to Bill Chalker, that he had been abducted by aliens and flown to Qinhuangdao in their UFO. "They looked like humans but had large hands and were very pale, " Cao said. He said he had also met a Chinese girl in the flying saucer. Zhang Jingping's research investigation began in April 2000. The first step was hypnosis. Zhang invited a famous psychologist from Suzhou and asked him to conduct hypnosis on Cao in helping him to remember the whole incident. Then he brought Cao to the Beijing Bureau of Public Security and gave him a lie detection test. "He passed the test," says Zhang. According to Cao, who is the principal of a private school in Fangshan District, he met a Chinese girl in the flying saucer, who looked around 13 years old. "The aliens cured her disease in the flying saucer," he claimed. In order to find the girl, Zhang brought Cao to the Tangshan Bureau of Public security in July 2000. "The policemen made up a computer image photo-fit of the girl's face according to Cao's description," says Zhang.

In November 2002, Zhang led a group of students from Beihang University and set out on a trip to Qinhuangdao, in search of the mysterious girl.

"There was only a narrow glimmer of hope of finding the girl with only a computer image of her," says Zhang. They arrived in Qinglong County to the north of Qinhuangdao, and began their blind search among the county's 400,000 population. "Amazingly, we found a clue on the second day of our search. An old man in the county recognized the girl in our picture," says Zhang. They found the girl soon after that. She was 15 years old. Zhang brought her back to Beijing to meet Cao Gong. She was identified by Cao as the girl he had seen in the UFO. Zhang has now spent three years investigating this case. "This case is fascinating and I was fortunate that while in China I was able to discuss the case in detail with Zhang Jingping and other researchers, and also talk to Cao Gong himself.

Fortunately in Beijing, Bill Chalker secured the services of Irene, an excellent translator, guide, and interpreter. Mr. Chalker and Irene have been working on a detailed translation of the case.

Over 400 members of Dalian's UFO Society have college degrees

In Dalian's UFO Society, 90 per cent of the 400 members have college degrees. "It's exciting for us to use science to decipher UFO sightings," said Zhou Xiaoqiang, secretary-general of the Beijing UFO Society.

While few Chinese claim to have managed to get quite as intimate with an extraterrestrial as Meng, a growing number of people in China believe in unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.

In fact, officially registered UFO associations in China have about 50,000 members, but some estimate the actual number of Chinese interested in the subject is probably in the tens of millions.

China has a bimonthly magazine -- circulation 400,000 - devoted to UFO research. The conservative state-run media also report UFO sightings on a regular basis, in contrast with Western government organization that, as a policy, denies verifiable human contact with Extraterrestrial. UFO buffs in China claim support from eminent scientists and liaisons with the secretive military, giving their work full scientific respectability.

"If something flies over [ET spacecraft], there's a very good reason for trying to understand why they're here, why they come to us, what is their relationship between us and them," he says.

Wong is the Chairman of Hong Kong's thriving UFO club -- exploring "unidentified flying objects" or, to the uninitiated, "flying saucers."

The club meets once a month to explore otherworldly topics like "E.T. Civilization" and alien philosophies.

"In order to understand UFO phenomena, we need to have a broad understanding of different disciplines," says Albert So, university professor and Hong Kong UFO club member, "including mathematics, physics, history, philosophy, even some sort of paranormal activities and all that." 

[End of article omitted]

Full text of article:

China TV Xinhua News Report Shows Chinese Communist Party is Gaming ET Disclosure

A recent China TV Xinhua News Report shows that the Chinese Communist Party (which controls Xinhua) may be gaming a subtle dialogue about Extraterrestrial disclosure in its TV news reports on the subject (See: Chinese National TV reporting impending UFO/ET disclosure by Obama government.

Translation and analysis of the Xinhua TV news report on the Project Camelot demonstrates that there is a great deal of subtle information and communication going on in the Xinhua TV news item. Xinhua is most plausibly serving as part of the dialectic of ET disclosure strategy by forces within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

This Project Camelot forum analysis reinforces the accuracy of the article.  The Project Camelot forum analysis of the Xinhua TV newscast states:

"Actually, I noticed this 'News' 2 weeks ago. It's the same kind of shocking as my post on the People Daily report about 'Aliens'.  The original source is here:

The main content of what the TV news anchor say in Chinese is:" UFO????AllNewsWeb????????"????????"?DARPA?????????????????????????????????????????????3????????????????????"

"Translation: 'An UFO gossip website name AllNewsWeb claim: US Defense Advanced Research Program Department (DARPA) had admitted: there will be a speech, in which, without script, President Obama will confess that: ETs might try to contact human, within 3 years, governments of earth will admit that human had contact with ETs.'

"You see, how many 'probable' words they used? And the TV channel is a local TV channel; Xinhua news just quoted that as an entertainment style report. The appearance of the content itself is worthless and boring.

"But the background of the context is important: XinHua news is the most important official Info & Intelligence Agency under direct controlled by the Top of [Chinese Communist Party] CCP. It doesn't own a newspaper or TV channel per se, the website is its only public channel, but everything reported in/out China is under and through its control, so, you see, it never say something meaningless or far out.

"And one more thing to add: its reports about Aliens or dooms day debate stuff are increasing rapidly in the last 6 months. So you can bet on more things will come from it.

"My thought is: Xinhua news Agency information leak tactic: Borrow others' mouth and others' words to say what they really want to prepare you [for].  That creates plausible confirm and deny abilities, when things finally come out, either way, they win----two birds with one stone. That's the way they usually do." 

How to evaluate ET disclosure among the People's Republic of China, USA, Russia, and the UK

1. It seems most plausible that the major space powers (USA, Russia, China, U.K.) have a vested interest, including their covert coordination with specific Grey ET human abduction program, so that these powers will not perform an authoritative disclosure by their Head of State on their own.  It may take a combined action by ethical extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations, in conjunction with public political pressure and rising multi-dimensional consciousness to drive a public ET disclosure.  In the interim, there is some possibility that terrestrial power structures may attempt a false flag ET invasion or landing for the purpose of implementing a dictatorial "New World Order".  Whether this is successful or not will depend on popular discernment and democratic resistance.


2.  Intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations - The evidence of Jerry Wills regarding an apparent Council of Worlds project that has seeded ethical human extraterrestrials among our human society; the evidence of Stanley A. Fulham and the former NATO-Spanish intelligence officer who also speak of an extraterrestrial council provide a prima facie case that ethical extraterrestrial civilizations are carrying out positive, helpful interventions in human society aimed at our successful evolution toward a positive fuman future, independent of an ET disclosure actions of the matrix of human governments.  At the core of the extraterrestrial interventions appears a desire to motivate humans to act in concert harmoniously for the benefit of the planet, its ecology, biosphere and population.



Jeremy Bamber: 'I will feel hope again' - audio - The Guardian

  • Jeremy Bamber

    Jeremy Bamber faces a new day of judgment 26 years after being jailed for murder

    Sentenced to die in prison for shooting five members of his family in an Essex farmhouse, Jeremy Bamber has always insisted he is innocent. Tomorrow, three legal experts will rule if newly released police files mean the case should go to appeal

  • domingo, 30 de enero de 2011

    'I slipped and fell 1000ft, but lived' - BBC News

    Manchester United Will Host Non-League Crawley in Cup; Arsenal at Orient - Bloomberg

    Non-league Crawley Town will travel to record 11-time champion Manchester United in the fifth round of English soccer's F.A. Cup. Arsenal is away to third-tier London team Leyton Orient.

    Crawley is the first team outside England's top four divisions to reach the last 16 since Kidderminster in 1994. The Sussex team is currently second in the Blue Square Bet Premier League, the fifth level of English soccer. It's already knocked out league teams Swindon, Derby and Torquay.

    Crawley coach Steve Evans told Sky Sports it was a "surreal moment" to be drawn against Premier League leader United on live television today.

    "The only non-league club capable of beating Manchester United is Crawley Town as we stand today -- miracles do happen," Evans said. "This is going to be the biggest day in our lives."

    F.A. Cup holder Chelsea, should it beat Everton in a replay, will host Reading. The only guaranteed all-Premier League match sees Fulham or Tottenham, who play today, against Bolton or Wigan. Matches are to be played on the Feb. 19/20 weekend.

    Fifth-round draw:

          West Ham                 vs   Burnley      Notts Co. or Man City    vs   Aston Villa      Stoke City               vs   Brighton      Birmingham City          vs   Sheffield Wednesday      Leyton Orient            vs   Arsenal      Everton or Chelsea       vs   Reading      Manchester United        vs   Crawley Town      Fulham or Tottenham      vs   Bolton or Wigan 

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

    Synthetic micro-beads could create emissions-free, $1.50 per gallon gasoline - Mobile Magazine

    Imagine gasoline that costs only $1.50 per gallon, releases no carbon emissions and works in any and every existing gasoline engine without modification. That's exactly what UK-based Cella Energy has been working on for four years during a top-secret programme – and they're now announcing the achievement.

    The synthetic, hydrogen-based fuel uses high-energy materials encapsulated by a nano-structuring method called "coaxial electrospraying," making them safer and more stable than regular gasoline.

    "The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles", said Stephen Voller, CEO of Cella Energy. He says that early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.

    The breakthrough could mean a cleaner future for transportation industries and those that depend on it; the uncoupling of inflation and commodity pricing from volatile oil rates and an end to oil dependency.

    The team, working from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, hasn't announced an exact timeline for the fuel's commercial availability, but the fact that they've come this far already is due cause for excitement.

    [Next Big Future, GizMag]

    Kenny Dalglish has no problem with Stoke City's direct football and insists ... -

    Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is adamant he has no issue with the way Stoke City play football and believes their opponents are the ones who have to deal with it, with the Midlands side travelling to Anfield for a Premier League fixture on Wednesday.

    Stoke have been one of the toughest sides this season in the league and lie in 10th position, and comprehensively beat Liverpool in the reverse fixture at the Britannia Stadium earlier this season – one of the first evenings in which the travelling Kop called for the return of Dalglish during the dismal tenure of Roy Hodgson.

    The Scot admits that he may need to adjust the Reds' defensive line to reduce the threat from set-pieces, but refused to criticise the Potters' direct approach to football.

    He told the club's official website: "I've always had to adapt to facing different styles as a manager. In my first time at Liverpool we had to play the likes of Millwall, who had Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino and played a very direct game, or Wimbledon, who were led by John Fashanu.

    "There is no definitive way of playing football. Stoke have as much right to turn round and say that Liverpool's principles or Manchester United's principles are wrong as the other way round.
    Stoke play to their strengths and we should all get on with it.

    "Whether it's Arsenal's passing style or Stoke's long throw, you have to try to deal with it and
    combat it.

    "And let's credit Tony Pulis with doing a good job at Stoke.

    "It's common sense for a manager to select a style that suits his players."

    Blow for Arsenal as Wenger reveals crocked Nasri is set to miss Barcelona clash - Daily Mail

    By Philip Duncan Last updated at 3:43 PM on 30th January 2011

    Samir Nasri is set to miss the first leg of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Barcelona with a hamstring injury.

    The star midfielder pulled up clutching the top of his left leg after 32 minutes of the 2-1 victory over Huddersfield in the FA Cup, and was immediately replaced by Tomas Rosicky.

    Down and out: an injured Nasri winces after pulling up in the first half

    Down and out: an injured Nasri winces after pulling up in the first half

    Arsene Wenger revealed after the game that he wanted to rest the in-form Frenchman, but was forced to start with him from the beginning after Rosicky failed to recover from illness.

    Agony: Nasri grabs his left hamstring

    Agony: Nasri grabs his left hamstring

    'Nasri looks to have a serious hamstring injury,' Wenger said. 'Usually it is three weeks, we have to see if it a Grade One because that can be two [weeks].

    'I have regrets, because the plan was first to play Rosicky but he was still too weak because he was sick.

    'So I took the gamble on Nasri and it back-fired but he could have come on and because it was after 25 or 30 minutes it could have happened as well if he comes on.

    'It is difficult to predict but of course we are at the stage of the season that we play so many games that to lose bodies is very difficult for us.

    'It is a big blow, how big I do not know because the results in the future will tell, but it is a big blow. 'Put three weeks to today's game and you will know [if he misses the Barcelona game]. I think yes'

    German rail crash kills at least 10 - The Guardian

    German rescuers check a derailed commuter train that collided with a cargo train
    Rescuers at the scene of the crash between a commuter train and a freight train near Hordorf in eastern Germany. Photograph: Peter Foerster/EPA

    At least 10 people were killed and dozens injured in a head-on train crash in eastern Germany last night.

    Police fear the death toll could rise following the collision between a commuter train and a freight train near the village of Hordorf, close to Saxony-Anhalt's state capital Magdeburg. Around 40 people were injured, some seriously, according to police reports.

    The Harz Elbe Express was on its way from Magdeburg to Halberstadt when the accident happened. A spokesman for the privately-owned rail company Hex said that the train's driver and conductor were among the dead.

    The accident happened just before 10.30pm local time when the commuter train, travelling on a single track at around 60mph, hit the cargo train, which was going at around 50mph. A police spokesman said the trains were travelling so fast that the passengers in the front carriage would have been killed instantly.

    Rescue operations were still under way this morning, and investigators have not yet identified the cause of the collision, regional police spokesman Frank Kuessner said. "Rescue operations are still ongoing. The death toll may well rise further," he said. Almost 200 police and rescue workers were at the crash site, he added.

    The management of the operating company Hex was "shocked" about the accident, said a spokesman. The route between Magdeburg and Halberstadt is single track, said Hex. Engineering work was due to take place on the line last night, according to information on the firm's website.

    The crash site was a scene of devastation this morning. Crumpled carriages from the derailed passenger train lay on their side on the frost-covered ground. The freight train, which was several hundred metres long, was still on the track.

    Last night, corpses were laid out in front of the trains, covered under blankets. So far, just two of the dead have been identified, according reports. The severe injuries sustained by the other eight are making identification difficult, according to an investigator.

    Thick fog last night hampered the rescue effort and prevented a helicopter taking the injured to hospital. "It is a difficult operation, " said fire services manager Bernd Delecke.

    Saxony-Anhalt's deputy interior minister Ruediger Erben, who rushed to the scene late Saturday, said the trains must have crashed head-on at high speed, German news agency DAPD reported.

    The noise of the collision was heard in Oschersleben village, four miles from the crash site.

    It is the most devastating rail crash in Germany for years. In September 2006, a test train crashed into a workshop in Lathen, Lower Saxony, killing 23 people and injuring 11 others. The biggest railway disaster in Germany since the second world war was in June 1998, when a fast train travelling from Munich to Hamburg derailed in Lower Saxony, killing 101 people on board.

    Thousands with irregular heartbeat 'unaware of stroke risk' - Daily Mail

    By Jenny Hope
    Last updated at 4:53 PM on 28th January 2011

    Thousands of people are unaware they are at high risk of suffering a stroke because they have an irregular heartbeat.

    Two out of three people do not know the warning signs of shortness of breath and palpitations, according to a new survey.

    Experts estimate that more than 4,000 strokes a year could be prevented by better awareness among the general public and doctors of the heart condition atrial fibrillation (AF).

    Thousands are unaware they are at high risk of a stroke because they have an irregular heartbeat

    Warning: Thousands are unaware they are at high risk of a stroke because they have an irregular heartbeat

    It is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 750,000 Britons and is a leading cause of stroke.

    In AF the upper chambers of the heart are out of rhythm and beat much faster than normal, which allows blood to pool and generate tiny blood clots which can trigger a stroke.

    In a survey of over 1,000 members of the public and 1,000 GPs, two out of three people were unable to identify the symptoms of AF as a possible warning sign of a future stroke. 

    Four out of five family doctors confirmed that problems existed with the diagnosis, treatment and management of AF, said findings from the survey conducted for The Stroke Association by Ipsos MORI.

    Over a third of GPs questioned (39 per cent) said a lack of public awareness of the condition was a significant issue, but half were worried about prescribing anticoagulant drugs such as Warfarin which are used to treat patients with AF. 

    Although 76 per cent of GPs recognised stroke was a major consequence of atrial fibrillation, only 40 per cent said they would treat patients with Warfarin.

    The most common symptom of atrial fibrillation is a fast and irregular heartbeat, usually over 140 beats a minute.  However, other symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, light headedness, fainting or fatigue.

    Professor Gregory Y H Lip, expert on stroke prevention in AF and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Birmingham said 'We could prevent around four and a half thousand people from having a devastating stroke every year if more people had greater awareness of AF and sought out the appropriate treatment from a medical professional.

    'AF is the most common heart rhythm disorder, and all of us have a 1 in 4 lifetime risk of developing it.

    'Whilst many patients with AF don't have any symptoms, key signs to look out for include your heart beating irregularly and very fast, for example, 140 times a minute.  This may cause shortness of breath and palpitations. 

    'You can check your own heart rate and rhythm by feeling your pulse in your neck or wrist.   If your pulse is irregular and/or considerably above the norm when you are resting, you should seek advice from your GP.'

    It is thought that Warfarin is used by more than 500,000 patients, for short-term prevention and treatment of blood clots as well as long-term prevention of strokes in AF patients.

    But the Stroke Association says it is under-used by people who could benefit because of the close monitoring needed to ensure it is safe and effective.

    Steve Benveniste, campaigns officer at The Stroke Association said 'Atrial fibrillation is a major risk factor for stroke.  It accounts for 14 per cent of all strokes and 12,500 strokes a year are thought to be directly linked to the condition. 

    'The majority of people recognise factors such as smoking and high blood pressure as risk factors for stroke, yet, as this research highlights public awareness of AF as a risk factor is incredibly low. 

    'Many people may not recognise the symptoms of AF as a serious health problem, resulting in them not being diagnosed and leaving them at risk of stroke.'

    Cracks in establishment as protests gain steam in Egypt - The Hindu

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    Cracks in establishment as protests gain steam in Egypt

    Atul Aneja

    Opposition groups want ElBaradei to form transitional government

    DUBAI: Egyptian protesters have responded defiantly to a new wave of intimidation adopted by the Hosni Mubarak government, by mobilising in their thousands on Sunday at Cairo's Tahrir Square, and other parts of the country, including Alexandria and Suez.

    By appointing a new Cabinet of established hardliners, including Ahmed Shafiq a former air force chief, and Omar Suleiman, the long serving intelligence head as Vice-President, Mr. Mubarak, the Egyptian President, on Saturday conveyed to the protesters that he was in no mood to relent.

    But cracks in the establishment appeared to be widening on Sunday as local media is reporting that Mohamed Tantawi, Minister of Defence, has joined protesters at Tahrir Square. Mr. Tantawi is also Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces. Hundreds of judges had earlier linked up with protesters at Tahrir Square in seeking Mr. Mubarak's resignation.

    Later on Sunday, national opposition groups have proposed that reformist leader Mohamed ElBaradei form a transitional government, a statement issued by the Democratic Front Party said.

    The statement added that after Mr. Mubarak's imminent departure, Mr. ElBaradei should head efforts to negotiate the next steps, such as devising an economic and social reforms policy, release of all detainees, and the lifting the 30-year emergency.

    In efforts to unnerve the protesters, two F16s fighter jets nosily swooped low over Tahrir Square, but the people assembled did not disperse.

    Meanwhile, organised looting, targeting residential colonies and repositories of Egyptian antiquity, has been violently unleashed among the ordinary citizenry. The Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm quoted opposition leader Ayman Nour, of the Ghad Party, as saying that his fellow party members had caught some of the hooligans, bearing Interior Ministry Identity cards on them.

    The Egyptian Museum in Cairo's city centre was vandalised on Friday night by nine convicts. The prisoners tried to steal two mummies, but left them behind when they broke into pieces."

    The regime is trying to project the worst image possible to make it clear to the people that they have only one of two alternatives: the existing order or chaos," Mr. Nour said.

    Analysts say that support to lumpens is a well established tactic to divide the working poor and its supporters in the middle classes and the intelligentsia during an uprising.

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    Even in defeat, Murray unites the proud folk of Dunblane - Daily Mail

    By Paul Forsyth
    Last updated at 5:44 PM on 30th January 2011

    Not for the first time in recent years, the Dunblane Hotel emptied pretty sharpish when Andy Murray's dream was shattered. 

    In the street outside, film crews packed away their equipment, tartan-bunneted punters sloped off home for lunch and the banner draped above the entrance had a forlorn look about it.

    'It's your time Andy,' it read. 'Just do it for us.'

    Loud and proud: The Dunblane Hotel was packed full of passionate fans

    Loud and proud: The Dunblane Hotel was packed full of passionate fans

    It wasn't, and he didn't,  but they will not be holding it against him. A  6-4, 6-2, 6-3 defeat by Novak Djokovic in the final of the  Australian Open probably felt like the end of the world for Murray, but 10,500 miles away,  in the Perthshire town where he grew up,  they retained a sense of perspective. 

    When Djokovic closed out the match, a few of the customers stood  at the bar, applauding Murray's efforts. By whose standards had he failed? Callum Lord, kitted out in hat, scarf and  trousers of matching tartan, was at school with Murray, and stressed that the British No 1 had disappointed nobody in his hometown. 

    'I just hope he doesn't feel that he has let anyone down.  We are all proud of him.  He shouldn't be disappointed with himself. He is still the pride of British tennis. He is a great player, world class, so it's only a matter of time. He will do it for us one day.'

    At which point a microphone was poked in his face, and it was suggested that the same had been said of Tim Henman, that  after three defeats in the  final of a grand-slam event, there were shades of the Englishman about Murray.

    Gripping viewing: The eyes were glued to the big screens during Murray's match

    Gripping viewing: The eyes were glued to the big screens during Murray's match

    'I think that's ridiculous,' said Lord. Tim Henman was a good guy, but he didn't get to as many finals as Andy has.  Andy has already surpassed that at a young age.'

    It wasn't the first time Dunblane had prepared for a party, and it probably won't be the last. Just like a year ago, when Murray lost to Federer in the Melbourne final, the Dunblane Hotel was granted a special licence to open its doors at eight in the morning. 

    There were flags everywhere,  messages of good luck and bacon rolls for the customers who turned up wearing  everything from kilts and Jimmy hats to blue morph suits. 

    By 8.30, the beer was flowing, and the insults flying. 'Poor man's Montenegro,'  shouted one at the television screen, as a tight first set unfolded,  ut it wasn't long before Murray's Serbian opponent was silencing the throng.

    When the Scot all but disintegrated in the second set, the crowd began to thin out, and those who remained  assumed an air of resignation.

    'He certainly puts you through the wringer,' said Tom McLean, the landlord. 'I really did have high hopes this year. With [Rafael] Nadal and [Roger] Federer out, I thought  he had a good chance, but Djokovic is playing inspired  tennis.  I feel quite deflated, I have to say.'

    All over for another year: Fans head home after watching their hero falter

    All over for another year: Fans head home after watching their hero falter

    McLean's wife, Emily, was soon conceding that the champagne would once again have to remain on ice.  Maybe it was as well that Andy's father, Willie, and his grandparents, Roy and Shirley Erskine, had decided to watch it at home. 

    Maybe, she said,  they were better not to be reminded of the expectation, local and international, that remained unfulfilled.

    'You just feel for Andy sometimes,' she explained. Some of the pressure... it gets to him. If he was from another country, and there were two or three other players  from that country, he wouldn't have all this to deal with.'

    Maybe that was why they adopted a low-key approach across the road at the Dunblane Centre, a public facility built by funds raised in the aftermath of the 1996 massacre at Dunblane Primary School.  Although children were invited to watch the match on big screens, national journalists were refused entry, and  the attendance  was relatively small. 

    The people of Dunblane are desperate for their favourite son to  win a grand-slam event,  but they are not demanding it.  Andre Agassi lost three grand-slam finals before winning one,  so there is time yet for the 23-year-old Scot. 

    Emily McLean said that, if Murray achieves nothing else in his career, he will still have transformed the image of a town that for so long was synonymous with tragedy.

    UK officials step up Egypt advice - BBC News

    Foreign Secretary William Hague: "We keep our travel advice under careful and constant review"

    British nationals in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez are being told to leave if it is safe for them to do so, following days of violent protests across Egypt.

    But despite upgrading its advice, the Foreign Office (FCO) is not currently organising a formal evacuation.

    Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "very concerned" by the large number of Britons trying to leave at Cairo airport.

    Most of the 20,000 UK tourists in Egypt are in Red Sea resorts considered safe.

    Mr Hague said that although flights were coming in and out of Cairo airport, there was a lack of staff there which meant it was not functioning properly.

    He said the welfare of British nationals was his top priority and that he had sent extra consular staff to the airport.

    The British Ambassador to Egypt, Dominic Asquith, said: "There are a lot of challenges at the airport in Cairo. That's why we've got the team up there trying to help. There are flights going in and out but it is not orderly."

    Several flights to Britain have been cancelled, people are unable to use the internet to book, and schedules have been affected by the curfew imposed in the city.

    The UK Foreign Office is warning against all non-essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez, and say that anyone "without a pressing need" to be in those cities, excluding Luxor, should leave if it is safe for them to do so.

    FCO minister Alistair Burt told the BBC: "We do want people to take the opportunity if they are able to leave... but as yet the situation has not reached the stage where we would necessarily be considering chartering planes and getting larger numbers out."

    In line with that advice, the FCO says arrangements are being made for the spouses and children of British embassy staff in Cairo to leave the country on ordinary commercial flights.

    Mr Hague also warned that Egypt could fall into the hands of extremists unless there were peaceful reforms.

    He told the BBC: "It's to avert those risks and meet the legitimate grievances and aspirations of the Egyptian people that we are urging the Egyptian authorities... to create a more broadly-based government."

    He said reforms should be "real and visible" and elections "free and fair".

    The US embassy in Cairo is telling Americans to consider leaving the country as soon as possible and will begin evacuation flights on Monday.

    In Cairo, demonstrators are back on the streets for a sixth day, demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

    The FCO said Britons should adhere to a nationwide curfew imposed between 1600 and 0800 local time, and stay indoors if they are in an area that has experienced demonstrations.

    Rosemary Turberville, who is from London and staying in a suburb of Cairo, told the BBC: "The gunshots were evident last night... but in my particular area [now], it's pretty tranquil.

    "I'm on the 10th floor. I can see people wandering about, some people with bags of shopping, so there may be a shop open down there, but I have plenty of supplies so I don't see the point in risking going outside."

    Alex Belfield, a presenter with BBC Leeds who is on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh, said tourists at his hotel had been told they could not leave the building for at least 24 hours.

    'Democratic legitimacy'

    "This whole thing seemed a million miles away yesterday, but last night... when we got back [from dinner] the whole atmosphere had changed.

    "The barricades had gone up at the front of the hotel... and there are 14 security guards in total, making it very clear we were not able to leave."

    But Sean Tipton, from travel body Abta, said the introduction of tight security measures was not being reported by other customers in Sharm El Sheikh and the resort was "almost totally unaffected".

    Mr Tipton said UK tourists required to travel to Luxor, which is a popular start and end point for Nile cruises, were "being taken to the cruise very quickly and got out of the place very quickly".

    Mr Burt also said the FCO had "absolutely no reports of anything untoward happening in Sharm El Sheikh or any of the other resorts", but some hotels appeared to be "taking their own precautions".

    In other travel news:

    • British Midland International (BMI) said it would operate flights between Heathrow and Cairo on Monday but would change the times to operate outside the curfew. Its flights to Cairo were cancelled on Sunday
    • Tour operator Thomson has cancelled departures to Aswan - a city on the Nile in southern Egypt - and Luxor until further notice, but the company will send its planes out empty to bring home holidaymakers due to leave
    • British Airways and Egyptair have altered their schedules
    • Easyjet's services to Luxor are operating, but passengers have been told they can rebook for a later date
    • Some travel companies have cancelled excursions from Red Sea resorts to Cairo and ancient Egyptian sites in Giza and Luxor
    • The Independent's travel editor, Simon Calder, said package holidays from the UK to Red Sea resorts were going ahead as normal, and tour operators had no liability to anybody who decided not to go.

    Are you a tourist in Egypt? Or have you been affected by the protests? You can send us your stories and pictures using the form below:

    Send your pictures and videos to or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7725 100 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

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