martes, 21 de mayo de 2013

Father faces child death charges in France - BBC News

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Top Questions For Yahoo About Its Tumblr Acquisition - Forbes

A global research and advisory firm, Forrester serves professionals who face progressively complex business and technology decisions every day. Through proprietary research, consumer and business data, custom consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs, we help them understand, strategize, and act upon opportunities brought by change. We guide leaders in IT, marketing and strategy, and the technology industry through independent fact-based insight, ensuring their business success today and tomorrow.

Sportsday - football transfer latest and breaking sports newsLive - BBC Sport (blog)

The Premier League campaign might have finished but we want to know your team of the season.

Connor Smith: De Gea, Zabaleta, Ferdinand, Vertonghen, Baines, Mata, Fellaini, Cazorla, Bale, Suarez, Van Persie.

Phil Hardware: Guzan, Zabaleta, Ferdinand, Vertonghen, Baines, Mata, Carrick, Cazorla, Bale, Van Persie, Benteke.

Jamie Roberts: Lloris, Zabaleta, Vertonghen, Luiz, Ivanovic, Bale, Mata, Oscar, Suarez, Van Persie, Benteke.

Keep your teams coming on Twitter using the hashtag #teamoftheseason

lunes, 20 de mayo de 2013

Midwest braces for more tornadoes after two deaths in Oklahoma - San Jose Mercury News

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Midwest braces for more tornadoes after two deaths in Oklahoma
San Jose Mercury News
SHAWNEE, Okla. -- When Lindsay Carter heard on the radio that a violent storm was approaching her rural Oklahoma neighborhood, she gathered her belongings and fled.

and more »

British business leaders make 'overwhelming' EU argument - Deutsche Welle

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British business leaders make 'overwhelming' EU argument
Deutsche Welle
Some of the UK's best-known executives have written that "the economic case to stay in the EU is overwhelming" in an open letter, while Prime Minister David Cameron walks an EU tightrope placed by his own Conservatives.

and more »

Police search office of Nigel Evans in Commons - Financial Times

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Police search office of Nigel Evans in Commons
Financial Times
Police have searched the Commons office of the Tory MP and deputy speaker Nigel Evans in relation to "a serious arrestable offence", after gaining the consent of Speaker John Bercow.

and more »

Sony offers first glimpse of PlayStation 4 in teaser video -

21 minutes ago

Sony has promised that it is going to give PlayStation fans a full picture of its upcoming next-generation gaming console, the PlayStation 4, at the company's E3 press briefing June 10. But not wanting to miss out on any of the next-gen console festivities this week, the Japanese tech giant released the most teasing of teaser videos to offer a fleeting glimpse at its new hardware.

At just 39 seconds, the video shows the camera slowly honing in on a blurry image of a black box amidst flashes to close-ups of the console and related hardware such as the new DualShock 4 controller and the PlayStation Eye camera.

Presumably, this is the same black box that was suspiciously absent from the PlayStation 4's official unveiling last February in New York City. Whether or not Sony is poking fun at itself for announcing new hardware without showing any actual hardware, the new teaser is a less-than-subtle jab at Microsoft, which is planning to unveil its competing Xbox console at a special event Tuesday.

But honestly: we don't want one video game console hogging the spotlight for too long, do we? Watch the full video below.

PlayStation 4 Teaser Video

Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at:

Jennifer Lawrence wows at Cannes Film Festival 2013 - Irish Independent

Ex-Nokia staff launches smartphone to rival big players - Times of India

HELSINKI: A group of ex-Nokia employees who quit over the company's decision to abandon the planned MeeGo operating system in favour of Windows presented their own smartphone on Monday, hoping to rival the sector's giants.

The Jolla smartphone, which is entirely intuitive and has no buttons, is "a strong candidate" on the mid- to high-range market, the Helsinki-based company said.

The model, which is so far just called Jolla, has a 4.5-inch touch screen and features two different-coloured halves that together make up the phone.

It is to go on sale in the fourth quarter, retailing for 399 euros ($513).

The company is profiling itself as a "different" manufacturer, and runs on its own operating system called Sailfish OS, a successor to MeeGo and which is compatible with some Android applications.

The company is offering Sailfish products to retailer and operator partners for the medium-price range.

According to Marc Dillon, head of Sailfish development, existing operating systems "do not really support a great deal of flexibility. One (iOS) is completely closed and one (Android) pushes its own services pretty heavily."

"I see that Sailfish will be used on lots of different devices from other manufacturers as well. We have a constant stream of interest," he told AFP.

Dillon said he would be "very happy with one million sold devices in one year."

Jolla hopes to take on markets in China, Europe and North Africa, but not the United States.

Mikael Rautanen, an analyst at equity research company Inderes, deemed the new phone's technical qualities as average but said Jolla's innovative strategy and moderate pricing may appeal to the public.

"If Jolla manages to sell two million phones in the year following the launch, then we can talk about success," he said.

Smartphone operating systems are dominated by Google's Android and Apple's iOS. Jolla's Sailfish, like Microsoft's Windows and Mozilla's Firefox, are trying to break their dominance on the market.

Nordea bank analyst Sami Sarkamies was pessimistic about Jolla's chances of making it big as a smartphone maker.

However, "the platform (operating system) that they're developing has a lot more potential," he said.

Jolla has already signed two distribution deals, with the largest smartphone retailer in China, D Phone, and the Finnish operator DNA.

The Sailfish OS will also run on tablets.

Jolla, which counts four former Nokia engineers and directors among its five founders, was started in 2011 and now has some 70 employees.

Best Dressed at the Billboard Music Awards - E! Online

There was a lot of skin, sequins and even some side butt at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. But the biggest trend from last night's red carpet? Zuhair Murad.

The designer was worn by three A-listers and each look landed in our best-dressed list. Jennifer Lopez—a longtime fan of the designer—went with a golden gown with plunging neckline. Taylor Swift wore a sparkling blue mini that showed off her mile-long legs and Emmy Rossum rocked a sequin-free black gown with polka dot panels.

NEWS: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez kiss backstage

Another big trend? Style makeunders. Specifically from outrageous performers Nicki Minaji and Ke$ha. Both chose more toned-down frocks—though Ke$ha's Givenchy LBD did have an attention-grabbing split right at her hip. There were tons more sophisticated looks from Hayden Panettiere, Kimberly Perry and more.

NEWS: Taylor Swift parties with Selena

Click through our best dressed gallery to see who made it to the red carpet winner's circle.

PHOTOS: Best dressed at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards

Real Madrid expected to announce Mourinho's departure - Irish Times

Real Madrid have called a press conference for this evening amid growing speculation over the future of coach Jose Mourinho.

Madrid president Florentino Perez will speak to the media at 7pm Irish time at the club's Bernabeu stadium, the Spanish giants have announced in a statement on their website.

Madrid have not given any details regarding the subject of the press conference but the future of Mourinho has dominated Spanish media since Real's Copa del Rey final loss to Atletico Madrid on Friday night.

Mourinho, who last summer signed a contract extension with Madrid tying him to the club until 2016, has been closely linked with a move back to former club Chelsea.

The 50-year-old Portuguese has helped Madrid claim three trophies during his three years at the Bernabeu, winning the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercopa. However, they failed to defend their league title this season, surrendering it to arch rivals Barcelona, and suffered further disappointment with their cup final defeat to Atletico — their first loss to their neighbours in 14 years.

During Mourinho's tenure, Madrid also suffered three successive semi-final exits in the Champions League — a competition the club have been desperate to win since their ninth and last triumph in 2002.

According to reports in Spain, the press conference could also see Perez confirm details about this summer's presidential elections at the club as well as possibly talking about the coaching situation.

Carlo Ancelotti has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Mourinho should the former Inter Milan and Porto boss leave Madrid. Ancelotti, another former Chelsea manager, last night told Paris St Germain he wanted to leave the newly-crowned Ligue 1 champions. However, he still has a year on his contract at the Parc des Princes and the French club's owners look unlikely to let the Italian go without a fight.

Club president Nasser Al Khelaifi told "Yes, we had discussions, he asked to depart for Real Madrid. I said it is not possible because he has a contract for one year more, so that is our decision. It is his problem, it is not our problem. We have offered him another year more on his contract as well as the one he has.

"When you have a contract, everyone is normally obliged to honour that."

Ancelotti said at last night's Ligue 1 awards evening: "Real is a possibility but I have a year left on my contract. It is the club who will decide. We have to decide together. My decision is to leave the club. It is not easy because I have had a very good relationship with everyone.

"It is not the time to explain the reason why I wish to leave the club, and perhaps I will never explain it."

Kerry to Mideast to Advance Struggling Syria Plan - TIME

(WASHINGTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry headed back to the Middle East on Monday to press his case for peace talks between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad's regime amid increasing signs the new U.S. strategy to halt the war is being undermined by Russia.

Kerry will first have discussions with the sultan of Oman. He then goes to Jordan to gather with 10 of America's closest European and Arab partners to discuss how to advance a political transition and end more than two years of bloodshed in Syria, before traveling on to Israel.

For the Syria negotiations to succeed, the Obama administration is banking on Russia's help.

(PHOTOS: Chaos and Killing in Syria: Photos of a Slow-Motion Civil War)

The U.S. and Russia have wrangled repeatedly while more than 70,000 Syrians have died, but they now say they're working together to start direct talks between Syria's government and the opposition in Geneva next month. Washington demands Assad's ouster, while Russia continues to provide the Syrian leader with military aid and diplomatic cover, but President Barack Obama this week said the meeting "may yield results."

The optimism echoes the message of Kerry, who during his Moscow visit earlier this month declared that the old Cold War foes, by rejuvenating Syrian peace hopes, were demonstrating how they "can accomplish great things together when the world needs it."

For all the heady talk of cooperation, however, Russia has continued to rebuff American demands that it cut off military support for Assad.

Moscow is preparing to give Syria state-of-the-art ground-to-air missile systems, Israeli officials say. It is beefing up its naval presence near its base in northwestern Syria, reports suggest. And, in the latest revelation, U.S. officials say Russia has provided the Assad regime with anti-ship cruise missiles.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the transfer of the advanced anti-ship missiles is "an unfortunate decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering."

On the diplomatic front, the situation isn't much better. There, Russia has repeatedly blocked a proposal for an expanded Security Council trip to Turkey and Lebanon to study Syria's refugee crisis, according to U.N. diplomats.

The continued friction between Moscow on the one hand and Washington and its partners on the other comes as the Obama administration is evaluating a range of options, including military ones, to break the stalemate in Syria's civil war and respond to evidence that Assad's forces used small amounts of chemical weapons in two attacks in March. Obama previously declared chemical weapons use his "red line" for a more forceful American intervention, though Kerry and other U.S. officials have since suggested that no such step would be taken while the new peace push still has hope.

Russia's missiles support significantly boosts Syria's capability to target manned planes, drones and incoming missiles after its systems were easily circumvented in 2007 when Israeli jets bombed a suspected nuclear reactor site along the Euphrates River in northeastern Syria. Apparently successful Israeli strikes in recent weeks on weapons convoys to Hezbollah show the Syrian defenses are still far from impregnable, but the new weaponry adds further considerations as the United States tries to change Assad's calculation that he can prevail in Syria's civil war.

While more and better anti-missile systems wouldn't immediately change the fight between Syria's government and armed opposition, they would make it more dangerous for the U.S. and other governments to try to enforce a no-fly zone in the country or otherwise intervening militarily. And with Washington mulling over the options, the war continues. The refugee toll has topped 1.5 million people and much of the country has slipped into lawlessness.

Kerry's weeklong trip will also see him try to advance his two-month effort to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The secretary has convinced the Arab world to help by sweetening its deal of universal recognition for the Jewish state if it pulls out of most of the territory in east Jerusalem and the West Bank that it conquered in the 1967 Mideast war. But he has struggled to gain any public concession from Israel, which was accused of taking steps last week to legalize four unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank. The Palestinians see that land as part of its future state.

Kerry also will travel to Ethiopia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the precursor to today's African Union.

'Jihadist files' in Qatada home - Belfast Telegraph

Radical cleric Abu Qatada must remain behind bars until he leaves Britain after an immigration judge heard "jihadist files" were found on digital devices in his home.

Refusing the terror suspect bail, Mr Justice Irwin said a recent pledge by Qatada to voluntarily return to Jordan did not stop him from being a major flight risk. Qatada was locked up in Belmarsh prison in March after breaching a bail condition which restricts use of mobile phones and other communications devices.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) heard that a USB stick understood to belong to Qatada's oldest son contained videos made by the "media wing of al Qaida".

Handing down his ruling, Mr Justice Irwin said: "A serious matter relating to the breaches of bail was revealed during the hearing. In his witness statement, the appellant assured the commission that nothing would be found on any of these items other than school work or other innocent material. This assurance has proved untrue. Significant jihadist material has been found on a USB stick seized."

Earlier this month, it emerged the controversial preacher is willing to return to the Middle East when a treaty between the UK and Jordan is ratified by both countries. The agreement, unveiled by Home Secretary Theresa May last month, aims to allay fears that evidence extracted through torture will be used against Qatada at a retrial.

Qatada's lawyer Daniel Friedman QC told the hearing that the treaty also "raises his prospects of acquittal in relation to what we say are tainted charges". Mr Friedman argued that Qatada was a "proud and dignified man" who "has been deprived of his liberty more than any other non-convicted person in British history". Mr Friedman added: "He wants to spend time with his family to prepare to leave the country in a manner that safeguards the dignity and security of all involved." Qatada admitted breaching bail conditions which prevent him from turning on mobile phones and possessing other communication devices at his taxpayer-funded home in London. Mr Friedman said Qatada accepts that six mobile phones belonging to his wife and his children could have been on but doubts they were on. He added: "He didn't use them and didn't want to use them."

Robin Tam QC, who represents the Home Office, said £5,000 in cash was also found during the search of Qatada's property, although this was not a breach of bail. Mr Tam said Siac itself had once described Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, as a "truly dangerous individual" and there was "no reason to believe that's no longer true". Mr Tam said the family were not taking the bail order "seriously" and denied that items found in the house were "innocent". The barrister also revealed a USB stick found in Qatada's older son's room contained school work but also "jihadist files" including references to al Qaida. With regards to the treaty, Mr Tam said the "parliamentary process will be completed within weeks". He went on: "At this time, Mr Othman definitively accepts he has lost his fight against deportation."

The Government has been trying to deport Qatada to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999, for around eight years. At an earlier Siac hearing, Qatada's lawyer Edward Fitzgerald QC said his vow to return removed any risk that he would abscond if released on bail.

A total of 17 mobile phones, three USB sticks, one SD card, five digital media devices and 55 recordable CDs or DVDs were found. Mr Justice Irwin said: "This appellant has in the past fled in order to avoid a court order, equipping himself with a false passport. He is highly intelligent, has a range of sympathetic and supportive contacts, and his risk to national security is undiminished. We reject the submission that he can, even now, be relied on to comply with his legal obligations and not to attempt to abscond."

Qatada is also being investigated by Scotland Yard over suspected extremist material found during the search of his home. The Metropolitan Police passed on the material to Danish authorities to reportedly investigate a connection with a controversial Islamic publisher. Copenhagen police said they had subsequently arrested a man, who is understood to be Said Mansour, a Moroccan-born Dane who was jailed for three-and-a-half years in 2007 for promoting terrorism. Copenhagen's chief prosecutor Dorit Borgaard confirmed that the case concerns alleged encouragement of acts of terrorism.

Police identify Beersheba bank shooting victims - Jerusalem Post

Four people were killed in a shootout at a branch of Bank Hapoalim on Jabotinsky Street in Beersheba on Monday afternoon.

Police declassified the names of the victims, identifying them as bank manager Avner Cohen, his deputy Meir Zitun and Anat Even-Haim, a client, a few hours after the incident.

Idan Schnitzer, a Beersheba resident, aged 22, was later identified as the fourth victim. After the rampage the assailant ended his own life.

Channel 2 reported on Monday that the name of the suspect in the shooting was Itamar Alon.  

Alon was in debt to the bank and had recently reached an agreement with it to return his debt in monthly installments of 500 shekels a month, Channel 2 reported.  

Police are probing the possibility that the perpetrator went into the Beersheba bank with the intent to murder, contradicting initial reports of an attempted robbery.

An initial investigation into the murder of four people at a Hapoalim Bank branch on Monday revealed that the perpetrator, a Jewish resident of the city and former border police guard, was out for revenge after the bank did not agree to extend his credit line to cover his mortgage. 

The assailant returned to the bank after the dispute, armed with a gun, and shot two bank employees. During the commotion, another two bystanders were shot, and the suspect took a hostage.

He later barricaded himself with a hostage, who was released alive after an hour, and then shot and killed himself.

A hospital spokesman said at least five people were injured, and four suffered from shock.

One of the injured men was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center to undergo surgery.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the families of those killed, labeling the incident a huge tragedy.

"I can't remember events like this - at least not in recent years. We can't let a terror attack like this happen again," he said.

"Something like this is so disgusting, we cannot just let it pass," said head of Yisrael Beytenu Avigdor Liberman, adding that fighting crime is like fighting terror.

"We have to reach the right conclusions so these events don't happen again," Liberman said.

Police arrived to the scene about 15 minutes after shots had been heard coming from the bank, a witness told Channel 2.

Channel 2 reported security forces there had tried to determine how many people were inside the bank, and whether there were other robbers present inside the building.

According to witnesses inside the bank, two men entered the premise yelling "this is a robbery". One of the robbers then grabbed a bank clerk and took her to the bathroom where she remained until she was released, Army Radio reported.

One survivor of bank shooting says Beduin man laid on top of him, shielded him with his body while he played dead.

Authorities tried to negotiate with the robbers to release the hostage, during which time one reportedly shot himself.

According to Army Radio, police had arrested a second suspect.

There were contradicting reports that one robber was a Jewish resident of Beersheba while other reports alleged that assailants were residents of the Beduin city of Rahat.

Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) in a written statement on Monday, labeled as racist the automatic blame that the Israeli media attributed to an Arab in the shooting.

"The Israeli media's automatic blame of Arabs in Rahat to the horrible killing in Beersheba is stereotypical racism of an element that hoped that the murderer would be an Arab which broadcast a malicious false accusation that demands an immediate apology," Tibi wrote.

"These actions strengthen hatred of Arabs which is not the media's role," the Knesset member added.

Residents of the Beduin city of Rahat in the Negev reacted with anger to false reports in the Israeli media attributing the mass murder to two residents of the city, and are asking for a public apology, Rahat Mayor Faiz Abu-Seheban said Monday.

"There is a lot of anger in the city because they blamed the city of Rahat and its residents for this despicable act that we condemn unequivocally."

Abu-Seheban said he sent a letter to Channel 2 and Channel 10 on Monday evening demanding they issue a public apology for the report, but said he has not received a reply. He said if they don't get an apology they will take steps of their own choosing, including possibly a one-hour strike in the city's public school system.

"The Israeli media is always full of stereotypes against the Beduin community, when all we want is to live as good neighbors here on our land."

Police investigation of the attack was ongoing on Monday. It marks third murder/suicide in Israel involving a current or former Border Police officer since last October

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

Gay marriage vote: live -

He says the language of some of the amendments comes too close to Section 28.

18.38 The Telegraph's Deputy Political Editor, James Kirkup, comments in his Evening Briefing (coming soon to Telegraph Politics) that:

In the end, all that counts in politics is what voters think. That simple truth should inform any lesson drawn from parliamentary manoeuvrings or other Westminster shenanigans.

Bear that in mind when you hear the inevitable claims that David Cameron has been humiliated by having to rely on Labour votes to avert defeat over gay marriage, meaning the Prime Minister is weakened and embarrassed. That assessment may well be correct, but probably only for MPs and others in the Westminster village who follow the detail of parliamentary proceedings and political powerplay.

For people outside the bubble, I suspect the key point will be this: David Cameron wants to let gay people get married and now Ed Miliband is saying he does too. (Nick Clegg also, but anyone who pays attention will surely have assumed that anyway.)

So will today's events change anyone's mind about the issue? I doubt it.

18.30 Sir Tony Baldry (Con) says the Government must allow for the protection of the "religious character" in faith schools. If it goes ahead, it must work.

18.26 Jim Shannon (DUP, Shannon) says the gay marriage Bill could lead to a "chilling effect on free speech".

18.16 Simon Hughes (Lib Dem, Bermondsey and Old Southwark) says "there is still some nervousness that the safeguards [for faith schools] are not sufficient". The Church of England and the Catholic Church are concerned, he adds, over the teaching of gay marriage. He would like reassurance on the issue of guidance for schools from the Government and is sympathetic to the amendments.

18.12 Ed Miliband is using Twitter Obama-style this evening to promote his party's line on gay marriage. Some might see it as an attempt to highlight Tory division over the Bill.

18.07 Nick Herbert points out that, since second reading of this Bill, New Zealand and France have passed legislation for same-sex marriage. "Attitudes are changing fast" across the world, he says.

17.58 Nick Herbert, the former Home Office minister, (Con, Arundel and South Downs), says the Bill protects churches from conducting gay marriages and the churches are content with those protections. Mr Herbert has been in a civil partnership since 2009. He says the law has been wrongly applied to prevent the expression of "forthright views" but this has been wrong.

The Government should explain what the proper balance is; teachers will be under a duty to explain the law of the land but they will be able to "exercise their conscience" and say that they believe it is wrong. But, were teachers to discuss the issue in a "hateful" way that was "upsetting" to children they should be stopped. That is potentially a matter of good teaching as much as a matter for the law. The rules should be clarified.

Edward Leigh welcomes the intervention, but says if that is the case why does Herbert not back the conscience clause for teachers.

Herbert: "Registrars should not be able to discriminate against people who are gay. They are delivering a public service."

17.49 Catherine McKinnell (Labour, Newcastle Upon Tyne North) says she has thought long and hard about speaking today. She comes from a large Catholic family - she's one of eight children - who "prayed together and stayed together". But her older brother came out as gay, which influenced her perspective. Now she believes a "broad and balanced approach", with full awareness of religious teaching, is healthy for children learning about marriage. She will be supporting this legislation, but seeks clarification that there is protection for those teaching the Christian view of marriage in schools. But she is, overall, reassured that this bill does provide for the religious to practice and preach their faith.

17.45 BREAKING: Lib Dem MPs will be "strongly encouraged" to vote with the Labour amendment to save the gay marriage bill. A source said: "The overriding objective of the Liberal Democrats is to ensure that equal marriage becomes law.

"While tonight's votes are free votes, Liberal Democrat MPs will be strongly encouraged to vote in the way that ensures the progress of the Bill is not jeopardised.

"That means our MPs will be strongly encouraged to support Labour's amendment to the proposed consultation and then to oppose Tim Loughton's amendment on mixed-sex couples civil partnerships.

Earlier Nick Clegg said he supported the principle of civil partnerships for heterosexuals but did not want to do anything that would derail the gay marriage bill, saying it had been "hijacked" by opponents.

17.40 Sir Gerald Howarth says there is "complete confusion" over what happens to teachers who refuse to teach about the new definition of marriage - including Muslim teachers. He suspects the Government is content to "leave it to the courts" to decide what should happen, including the ECHR.

Sir Gerald is a church warden at Aldershot Barracks. He says the fears over what happens to Chaplains in the NHS and the Army. What happens if a same sex couple wants to be married at the Royal Garrison Church, he asks, or a military Roman Catholic Cathedral Church. These are religious institutions but funded by the State. What if the choristers and organists don't want to take part, he asks - will they be subject to legal action as public employees?

17.30 David Lammy (Lab, Tottenham) says his father, an immigrant, encountered the attitude and the sign of "no blacks, no dogs, no Irish". That attitude was made illegal by the Commons under race equality legislation. If gay marriage is legalised, Lammy says, then it cannot be allowed for teachers to propagate an alternative view.

Lammy says for 20 years during the slavery debates, Christian MPs argued that the right to keep humans as property was a matter of conscience. They were wrong and the battle for gay marriage is a "noble fight", he says.

Sir Gerald Howarth says Lammy is being "emotive". People feel "intimidated" if they speak against gay marriage. Richard Drax (Con, South Dorset) says Lammy is advocating a "direct attack on free speech."

There's an angry reaction on Twitter to Sir Gerald referring to the "aggressive homosexual community". Wes Streeting, a Labour councillor, says gay men were assaulted in South London yesterday.

17.20 Edward Leigh cites the case of Adrian Smith, a housing trust worker who was demoted and lost 40 per cent of his salary for saying on Facebook that gay marriage is an "equality too far". He won a ruling of breach of contract at the High Court, but he remained without a job and received only £100 for "expressing a very moderate point of view," says Leigh.

The Government is legislating in an atmosphere "so coloured by political correctness" that people like Smith "are treated like villains". The culture of "loony left councils has become embedded in high places," he claims. Those with traditional views are marginalised and dismissed as bigots - and vote for minority parties, says Leigh. For these people marriage is the most important thing in their lives, and they have a right to feel comfortable for expressing their views, Leigh says. He adds calling people "swivel eyed" - the jibe directed at Tory footsoldiers by a Cameron ally - breaches disability rights.

"I don't think he's swivel-eyed, just myopic," says George Howarth (Lab, Knowsley).

But Leigh says: "We are about to create a whole new generation of victims." For people like Smith ministerial assurances are of no help - people who dislike gay marriage "need legal protection against the bullies".

17.00 Stephen Doughty (Labour, Cardiff South and Penarth) says he hopes the joy seen in New Zealand when gay marriage laws were passed there will be replicated in Parliament tonight. "Maybe not the singing."

Edward Leigh (Con, Gainsborough) stands up. "Sing us a love song!" shouts one MP.

Leigh says the Church of England fears the protections for Churches are "not durable" beyond the assurances of ministers. Julian Brazier (Con, Canterbury) says in immigration cases judges have made clear that the views of ministers carry little weight if judges think rules breach human rights legislation.

Leigh says the proposed workplace conscience amendments, allowing registrars and teachers to opt out from advocating gay marriage, do not amount to a licence to be "beastly to gay people".

The House becomes sidetracked. Julian Huppert and others ask Leigh if he believes teachers should be allowed to teach Creationism. William McCrea (DUP, South Antrim) says "many scientists" believe in Creationism.

16.55 Burrowes says the Tory party has shown it is in touch with the public on gay marriage by being divided on it.

He says in Cambridge last week members of the public asked the police "to jail" a street preacher for speaking against gay marriage. He wasn't arrested, but Burrowes fears the "chilling effect" of gay marriage could "criminalise people for exercising their view and preaching traditional marriage".

Edward Leigh says people are having to "self-censor" their views on homosexuality. "There is a chill wind blowing out there for those who uphold traditional marriage," says David Burrowes, in agreement.

Stephen Williams (Lib Dem, Bristol West) says Loughton's abortion surgeon analogy is not valid. Surgeons perform a wide range of jobs, with abortion being a small part of their work. Registrars, by contrast, only perform marriages.

16.45 David Burrowes (Con, Enfield Southgate) is moving the amendment. He says the amendments to the bill - opt-outs for registrars - will protect those with "sincerely held religious belief". Such protections are in place in the Netherlands to protect marriage registrars. Without such protections, the Bill will become an "unfair dismissal bill".

Tim Loughton (Con, East Worthing and Shoreham) says that a Catholic surgeon is allowed to opt out of abortion but a Catholic registrar might not be able to opt out of conducting gay marriages. "Where's the fairness in that?"

Burrowes is unwilling to take questions from Labour. They will be whipped and unable to exercise their consciences, he says, and what's the point in answering them, he asks.

16.35 Stephen Doughty (Lab, Cardiff), says the Bill has been scrutinised repeatedly; he urges opponents to read the transcripts.

Sir Gerald Howarth (Con, Aldershot), says gay marriage was not in any manifesto. It's being "railroaded through the House". There is time in the Parliamentary schedule to give it more scrutiny. The Commitee stage should have place on the floor of the house, he says. The Bill strikes at the "profound beliefs" of MPs on both sides of the House and all amendments should be subject to a free vote, not just the third reading, he says.

16.32 Peter Bone (Con, Wellingborough) says the Bill is being rushed through without proper scrutiny as a procedural motion. "It is going to be a joke," he says. But Julian Huppert (Lib Dem, Cambridge) says two days of debate is quite sufficient.

16.30 On to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

16.29 Tim Loughton is on his feet. He says the fall of Assad should not be an end in itself. An important issue. But the question many in the House want him to answer is whether he will support the Labour amendment - or does he remain set on wrecking Cameron's gay marriage bill.

16.15 BREAKING The Government is likely to accept Labour's amendment.

The Prime Minister's spokesman has signalled there will be a concession on gay marriage and civil partnerships, Rowena Mason reports. The Government is likely to accept Labour's amendment proposing an immediate consultation on civil partnerships for all. He did not say so explicitly but tried to claim that Labour's amendment and the Government's position are "entirely consistent".

16.00 Some blogs: Dan Hodges says Ed Miliband's lifetime to Cameron is good politics - and the right thing to do.

And Cathy Newman says David Cameron and his party are suffering a seven year itch. The wrecking amendment is a rather more subtle attack on Cameron's leadership than all-out war over Europe.

15.55 The debate on gay marriage has been delayed as William Hague gives a statement on Syria. The Foreign Secretary has said Britain may arm rebel forces if the regime does not negotiate seriously at the Geneva peace talks as "no options are off the table." The Speaker has asked that questions are kept short so debate can move onto gay marriage in due course.

15.45 Tim Loughton, the former Children's Minister behind today's amendment, blogged about his motives before the weekend. He said he backed Civil Partnerships but feels marriage as a religious institution can only be between men and women and for the raising of children. He adds: "What has particularly annoyed me in this whole debate, is the tendency for certain elements of the lobby in favour of gay marriage, instantly to caricature anyone who is against, as homophobic. That is grossly unfair, misleading and does nothing to promote their case."

15.28 Ed Miliband has echoed Cooper: Labour will not give in to the temptation to serve Cameron a Commons defeat at the cost of gay marriage. But he will use the vote to show how Cameron is unable "to control his party."

15.05 The developments so far today:

Overnight it emerged Tim Loughton, the former Minister, had tabled a wrecking amended to the same-sex marriage bill. The amendment, to be voted on tonight as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill returns to the Commons, would see civil partnerships opened up to heterosexual couples. That, the Treasury say, would cost the country £4bn in pension rights. It would potentially mean the bid to legalise gay marriage would be shelved until after the next election.

This morning Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, admitted the amendment could be backed by as many 150 Tory backbenchers and it would mean a "significant delay" to gay marriage plans.

Later, the Archbishop of Canterbury said he opposed the Loughton amendment - even though, like Loughton, he opposes gay marriage - because it would create "further confusion" over the role of marriage in society. "We remain unconvinced that the introduction of such an option would satisfy a genuine and widespread public need, other than for those who pursue 'equality' as an abstract concept," a briefing said.

At a briefing of lobby journalists today, it was announced the Prime Minister will vote against the amendment and warned it will present "significant challenges". Mr Cameron's official spokesman said he agreed with Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, who said this morning that the amendment could create "significant challenges".

Meanwhile, Nick Clegg said he would also oppose the amendment. He supports the principle of civil partnerships for all but said it risked becoming "hijacked by those whose ulterior motive is actually to discredit or to derail the legislation."

A survey of a quarter of all MPs (159 were polled) found 73 per cent were in favour of the reform being proposed by Tim Loughton. Mr Cameron's gay marriage plans appeared in serious peril.

Then, at one o'clock, Labour threw the PM a lifeline. Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, told the World at One that Labour is tabling its own amendment to the legislation calling for an immediate consultation on extending civil partnerships.

Miss Cooper said Labour's amendment would establish "an immediate consultation on opposite sex civil partnerships" rather than in five years as proposed by the Government. Labour MPs, contrary to speculation, will be asked to support the Government in order to save Mr Cameron's marriage Bill. Miss Cooper said Labour would not be "sucked into the vortex of Tory infighting." She added: "We know that David Cameron's leadership is now too weak to be able to be able to push this through or to get support on his own benches."

The debate is due to get underway within the hour. Expect a division some time after 10pm.

15.00 Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of this evening's vote on the Government's gay marriage plans.

For more political news visit

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sábado, 4 de mayo de 2013

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Mitchell to meet police officers - WalesOnline

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Iran calls on UN to prevent acts of sabotage at nuclear facilities - Tehran Times


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viernes, 3 de mayo de 2013

Egypt's next president will face the same old problems - Tehran Times


Spain's misery to get worse despite $125b EU lifeline to save banks: PM - Tehran Times


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Olympic Organizers Respond to Public Complaints of Empty Seats - Voice of America

The Royal Wedding - Channel News Asia


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