Posts Tagged ‘UK’
The first same-sex weddings in England and Wales will be able to take place from 29 March 2014, Equalities Minister Maria Miller says.
Initially it was thought the first marriages would not take place until next summer…
The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships all backed the proposals. [Try that one in Congress]
MPs approved the principle of same-sex marriage despite opposition from many Conservatives, which caused tensions in the party. Most Lib Dem and Labour MPs supported the move…
Ms Miller said: “Marriage is one of our most important institutions, and from 29 March 2014 it will be open to everyone, irrespective of whether they fall in love with someone of the same sex or opposite sex.”
She said it was “just another step in the evolution of marriage“.
And she said she was “working hard” to ensure that couples who wanted to convert civil partnerships into marriages – and married people wanting to change their legal gender while remaining married – would be able to do so before the end of next year.
From June, people will also be able to take part in same-sex weddings in some British consulates and armed forces bases overseas or in military chapels.
Going to be lots of happy couples in the UK starting with the end of March. No, that doesn’t include the opposition who, of course, don’t believe in everyone having a right to fall in love and enjoy the rights of citizenship.
So what? On sum, I’m confident the increase in happy folks outweighs unhappy homophobes.
Bird ringers, aided by the British Trust for Ornithology, this month are recording hirundines and other migratory birds, like this chiﬀ chaﬀ, seen ﬂying over a private reserve in Rye, East Sussex.
What lovely transparency to this bird’s wings. Stunning.
From the Guardian Eyewitness series.
A cloud partially covers the tip of the Rock of the British territory of Gibraltar at sunrise from La Atunara port before Spanish fishermen sail in their fishing boats with their relatives to take part in a protest at an area of the sea where an artificial reef was built by Gibraltar using concrete blocks, in Algeciras bay, La Linea de la Concepcion in southern Spain…
For just over an hour some 30 fishing boats circled where 70 3-tonne concrete blocks were dropped in July to form a reef that Spain said was not legal and prompted the government to ramp up border checks with the British overseas territory.
Nothing more impenetrable than overseas territories leftover from the bloody British Empire. In many cases the resident population is almost wholly composed of the descendants of settlers; so, even democracy does nothing to settle history’s score.
Obvious terror threat – to political pimps
British authorities used anti-terrorism powers to detain the partner of a journalist with close links to Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor, as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on Sunday.
The 28-year-old David Miranda, a Brazilian citizen and partner of U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald who writes for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, was questioned for nine hours, before being released without charge, a report on the Guardian website said.
Rio de Janeiro-based Greenwald has interviewed Snowden, wanted by U.S. authorities after leaking confidential data, and used 15,000 to 20,000 documents Snowden passed to him to reveal details of the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance methods.
Snowden is now in Russia, where he has been granted a year’s asylum but the U.S. Obama administration has vigorously pursued ways to bring him back to the United States to face espionage charges.
A spokesman for the British Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that a 28-year-old male had been detained at Heathrow airport under schedule seven of the 2000 Terrorism Act earlier in the day.
Britain’s ‘schedule seven’ law gives border officials the right to question someone “to determine if that individual is a person concerned in the commission, preparation or execution of acts of terrorism…”
The Brazilian government complained about the detention of Miranda at Heathrow for nine hours incommunicado under Britain´s anti-terrorism laws.
“This measure has no justification since it involves an individual against whom there are no charges that can warrant the use of this legislation,” the Brazilian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The 51st state flunkies prance about doing the bidding of their true royal master in the White House. They use one of their patent leather laws to assign legality to illegitimate laws and practices. Just as they have been instructed by examples from both Republican and Democrat politicians in the White House one time or another.
Frankly, they are all corrupt and so history will judge them.
She can smile about it, now
A British woman returned from a holiday in Peru hearing scratching noises inside her head to be told she was being attacked by flesh-eating maggots living inside her ear.
Rochelle Harris, 27, said she remembered dislodging a fly from her ear while in Peru but thought nothing more of it until she started getting headaches and pains down one side of her face and woke up in Britain one morning with liquid on her pillow.
Thinking she had a routine ear infection caused by a mosquito bite, she sought medical treatment at the Royal Derby Hospital in northern England, where a consultant noticed maggots in a small hole in her ear-canal.
“I was very scared. Were they in my brain?” said Harris, recounting her ordeal in a new Discovery Channel documentary…
Doctors tried first to flush the maggots out of the ear using olive oil.
“It was the longest few hours that I have ever had to wait… I could still feel them and hear them and knowing what those scratching sounds were, and knowing what that wriggling feeling was, that just made it all the worse,” she said.
When flushing the maggots out failed, the medics resorted to surgery and found a “writhing mass of maggots” within her ear, raising concern they could eat into her brain.
The surgery removed a family of eight maggots. Analysis found that a New World Army Screw Worm fly had laid eggs inside Harris’s ear.
Same-sex couples will be able to get married in England and Wales after new measures became law.
The government’s controversial legislation on the issue received Royal Assent on Wednesday.
The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaderships all backed the proposals, which were finally approved by MPs and peers earlier this week.
Continuing to call a measure “controversial” after all three major parties backed the proposals is only a comment on the BBC worrying about offending the few churchgoers left in the UK.
It is expected that the first gay and lesbian wedding ceremonies will take place by summer next year.
Under the terms of the the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, religious organisations will have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned in law from doing so.
Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the bill had received Royal Assent – the formal approval of the sovereign required for all legislation. The news was greeted with cheers in the Commons chamber…
There will also be a review of whether groups such as the humanists will be allowed to carry out marriages, while ministers said they were prepared to look at eliminating any difference in the treatment of gay couples when it came to pension schemes.
During the Commons debate, Equalities Minister Maria Miller said the passing of the bill was “clear affirmation” that “respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality”, she added.
Religious groups which traditionally support civil rights will opt-in, no doubt. Conservatives, cowards, cookie-cutter reactionaries will continue to whine until their children finally stop inviting them for holiday dinners – and they run out of people polite enough to listen to them.
Of course, all the reasons for passage of this law in the UK are as legitimate here in the United States. But, then, neither the White House nor Congress has sufficient courage to challenge bigots and backwards ideology.
A new study has found that dementia rates among people 65 and older in England and Wales have plummeted by 25 percent over the past two decades, to 6.2 percent from 8.3 percent, a trend that researchers say is probably occurring across developed countries and that could have major social and economic implications for families and societies.
Another recent study, conducted in Denmark, found that people in their 90s who were given a standard test of mental ability in 2010 scored substantially better than people who had reached their 90s a decade earlier. Nearly one-quarter of those assessed in 2010 scored at the highest level, a rate twice that of those tested in 1998. The percentage of subjects severely impaired fell to 17 percent from 22 percent.
The British study…and the Danish one, which was released last week…soften alarms sounded by advocacy groups and some public health officials who have forecast a rapid rise in the number of people with dementia, as well as in the costs of caring for them. The projections assumed the odds of getting dementia would be unchanged.
Yet experts on aging said the studies also confirmed something they had suspected but had had difficulty proving: that dementia rates would fall and mental acuity improve as the population grew healthier and better educated. The incidence of dementia is lower among those better educated, as well as among those who control their blood pressure and cholesterol, possibly because some dementia is caused by ministrokes and other vascular damage. So as populations controlled cardiovascular risk factors better and had more years of schooling, it made sense that the risk of dementia might decrease…
The new studies offer hope amid a cascade of bad news about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia…Dr. Marcel Olde Rikkert…who wrote an editorial to accompany the Danish study, said estimates of the risk of dementia in older people “urgently need a reset…”
Dr. Anderson, of the National Institute on Aging, said the news was good.
“With these two studies, we are beginning to see that more and more of us will have a chance to reach old age cognitively intact, postponing dementia or avoiding it altogether,” he said. “That is a happy prospect.”
RTFA for advocacy groups primarily American that whine about needing more study. Of course, more study is needed. No one involved with either of the groups in the UK or Denmark says otherwise. Good science always requires the broadest possible investigation.
Still, good news is worth reflecting upon.
The prince greeting his mate, Rupert Murdoch
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has sued Forbes magazine for libel in a British court, alleging its valuation of his wealth at $20 billion was short of the mark by $9.6 billion, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported…
The prince, a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s founder and nephew of King Abdullah, had attacked the U.S. magazine’s ranking of world billionaires as flawed and biased against Middle Eastern businesses after he was ranked number 26 in this year’s list.
An official at the High Court in London confirmed that Prince Alwaleed had filed a defamation suit against Forbes, its editor Randall Lane, and two of its journalists on April 30. Details of the claim were not immediately available.
Through his Kingdom Holding Company, Prince Alwaleed owns large stakes in Citigroup, News Corp and Apple among other companies. He is also owner or part-owner of luxury hotels including the Plaza in New York, the Savoy in London and the George V in Paris.
This year’s Forbes World Billionaires list was published on March 4, and the following day Kingdom Holding said the valuation process used “incorrect data” and “seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions”…
Under British libel law, a claimant has only to prove that a publication was defamatory. Then the burden of proof passes to the defendant, who has several possible defenses, including that the publication was true.
FORBES ekes out a living playing kissy-kissy with the most reactionary elements on Wall Street and inside the Washington Beltway. Prince Alwaleed has a more cosmopolitan air about him than his Saudi peers – mostly because he seems to swim well in the waters of Western investing instead of relying wholly on his oil income. That still doesn’t especially modernize his politics or the culture he represents.
They deserve each other.
Plans to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales are to proceed unimpeded in Parliament after ministers reached agreement with Labour…MPs backed a Labour plan to consult on changing civil partnerships – a move criticised by some Tory MPs.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Culture Secretary Maria Miller thanked other parties for their “unwavering support” for the principles of the same-sex Marriage Bill and said a review of civil partnerships could take place “very swiftly”.
Labour said the review could potentially take place within the next few months – enabling its findings to be reflected in the final legislation…
MPs gave their support in principle to gay marriage in February but are now discussing proposed amendments on Monday and Tuesday amid calls from some Conservatives for the government to focus on other priorities.
The bill is being debated over two days, with its third reading – the final hurdle in the Commons – on Tuesday. If approved, it will go to the House of Lords on Wednesday, where it is expected to face further opposition.
David Cameron has said equal marriage would help build a stronger and fairer society but nearly half of all Tories voted against it in February and many party activists remain deeply opposed to it in principle…
It does’t seem to matter which Western nation moves forward on civil rights for all. There always are conservatives who apparently feel equal opportunities for all somehow diminishes their tiny little lives.
While failing in their attempts to amend the legislation in any form, Conservative MPs voiced their concerns in large numbers on a range of issues. Blah, blah, blah.
Stonewall, which campaigns for equality for gay, lesbian and bisexual people, said it would be a “terrible pity” if the legislation got “bogged down” and urged MPs from all parties not to “play politics” with it.
Under the bill, the Church of England and the Church in Wales would be banned from offering same-sex marriages because of their strongly stated opposition, unless they changed canon law.
Other religious organisations would be able to “opt in” to holding ceremonies. There are currently no plans for similar legislation in Northern Ireland, but there are already plans for a bill to allow same-sex marriage in Scotland.
The UK debate comes the week after France became the ninth European country, and 14th in the world, to legalise gay marriage. Earlier this month Rhode Island became the 10th US state to allow same-sex marriages.
I wonder if the United States will join the ranks of nations with full civil rights, say, below number 50?
The British National Party has urged its members to procreate after it lost every seat it contested in the English local elections on Thursday.
The BNP fielded 99 candidates but did not win a seat. It lost the one county council seat it held in Lancashire, leaving Nick Griffin’s party with just two councillors.
In a post on the party’s website, members are urged to have bigger families to counter large families had by non-Britons.
Northernscot claims that 51% of the US population is non-white and says that to prevent the same thing happening in Britain, “BNP members and nationalists” need to breed more.
“I know, by now you will be giggling over this suggestion. But think about it, nationalists need to buck the trend of 1.8 children per white household. We need to aim between 3 and 4 children each if not more,” he writes. “And the bonus is that making babies is fun! So fellow nationalists, less TV and more fun! Let’s do our bit for Britain and our race…”
I don’t doubt there is plenty of giggling – over the desperation of these nutballs.
“We must look at ways of building up the white population in Britain,” he said, “There are a few ways that this can be done. Firstly immigration of white Europeans, although this causes problems in jobs and housing, in the end if they stay their children will slowly become pro-British, or their children’s children will at least…”
“…Nick Griffin is always going on about being outbred and in the past he has said members need to put away their boots and go and meet women. The problem is that your typical BNP member is a social pariah who is more into pornography than starting a family…”
Sounds familiar, eh? Some of the soul-searching going on in the Republican Party after two defeats by Obama sounds like this. It pairs nicely with the anti-woman, anti-abortion, anti-birth control agitprop from the Catholic and other fundamentalist factions in the Tea Party.