A 143-Ton Fatberg is Clogging a London Sewer

❝ An 820 foot long fatberg has been found blocking a sewer in East London, and it is taking a lot of man power to get it out of the way.

The fatberg, a solid mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, diapers, oil, and condoms was found in a Victorian-era tunnel in Whitechapel. The Thames Water company said it was the largest they had ever seen and estimated the removal time at three weeks.

The fatberg weighs about 143 tons and is 820 feet long. For reference, that’s 20 feet longer than London’s Tower Bridge. It’s also about the same weight as a blue whale, earth’s largest animal.

❝ Matt Rimmel, the head of the Thames Water’s waste network, expressed his shock at the fatberg and reminded everyone of how easily-avoided they are. Most fatbergs are caused by people putting things down their sinks and toilets that should be thrown in the garbage.

“It’s frustrating, as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil, and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo,” he said.

This is not how you keep Britain tidy!

First London-bound freight train departs China

The first freight train from China to London set off on Sunday on a journey that will cover a staggering 7,456 miles.

It departed from Yiwu West railway station in Zhejiang Province, China, and will arrive in Barking, London, having been trundling along for 18 days.

Its route will snake through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and finally Britain.

The service is being run by the China Railway Corporation. Britain is the eighth country to be added to its list of destinations, with London its 15th city.

The new route is set to boost trade ties between the UK and China with goods such as clothing and bags delivered along the re-established Silk Road, connecting Europe and Asia, according to The Indian Express, which cited a report from Xinhua news agency.

The focus on strengthening trade by expanding China’s railway infrastructure and network is part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, announced in late 2013.

I don’t think anyone asked Donald Trump for planning permission. Or ever will.

Our Immigrants, Our Strength


Click to enlarge

Life jackets along the NYC waterfront — a reminder

❝ World leaders are gathering in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly, and at the top of their agenda sits a refugee crisis that has reached a level of urgency not seen since World War II. The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants and President Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees represent a watershed moment that is putting a global spotlight on the need for an effective response to a growing humanitarian crisis…

❝ As the mayors of three great global cities — New York, Paris and London — we urge the world leaders assembling at the United Nations to take decisive action to provide relief and safe haven to refugees fleeing conflict and migrants fleeing economic hardship, and to support those who are already doing this work.

We will do our part, too. Our cities pledge to continue to stand for inclusivity, and that is why our cities support services and programs that help all residents, including our diverse immigrant communities, feel welcome, so that every resident feels part of our great cities…

❝ Investing in the integration of refugees and immigrants is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Refugees and other foreign-born residents bring needed skills and enhance the vitality and growth of local economies, and their presence has long benefited our three cities.

❝ Our cities are also on the front lines of helping those fleeing violence or persecution connect to critical, often lifesaving, services. Paris is one of the first major municipalities to open a refugee center in the heart of the city. Beginning in October, the center will provide services and basic necessities, as well as administrative support, to 400 refugees. New York has placed city representatives in immigration court to connect the thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America seeking asylum to crucial health, education and other social services. Last year London boroughs provided support to more than 1,000 unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children, and the city is now developing new ways of working with communities to offer support to resettled refugees.

❝ We know policies that embrace diversity and promote inclusion are successful. We call on world leaders to adopt a similar welcoming and collaborative spirit on behalf of the refugees all over the world during the summit meeting this week. Our cities stand united in the call for inclusivity. It is part of who we are as citizens of diverse and thriving cities.

RTFA for the details. This was published by the mayors of New York City, Paris and London. Not only cities for the successful – but, for the people of those cities trying to build anew.

Sadiq Khan – the first Muslim to head a major European capitol


#YesWeKhan

Labour’s Sadiq Khan has been elected mayor of London, becoming the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital city following a campaign that was dominated by his opponent’s negative tactics.

Khan beat his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith by an astonishing 65% to 35% in an election marked by an unexpectedly high turnout. The final confirmed result was delayed until the early hours of Saturday morning because of discrepancies with a small number of votes…

Khan used his victory speech to call for greater unity in London following a divisive campaign: “Fear does not make us safer, it only makes us weaker and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city.”

The result means Khan, who repeatedly emphasised his background as the son of an immigrant bus driver, ends eight years of Tory control of the UK’s capital city…Khan, the MP for Tooting, will now resign his parliamentary seat and take over City Hall from Boris Johnson, who has already returned to Westminster. In the process he will become the most powerful Labour politician currently holding elected office in the UK, although he faces a challenge to secure extra money for the capital from the Conservative-controlled government…

Despite the importance of the office, the campaign will mainly be remembered for Goldsmith’s tactics…by the end he became synonymous with attacks on Khan’s alleged connections with Islamist extremists, his decision to target different ethnic groups with warnings about what Labour would do to their finances, and dog whistle campaigning.

Although the candidate appeared at times uncomfortable with the decision to focus so much on personal attacks on Khan, prompting suggestions he was simply receiving bad advice, other London Conservatives queued up to personally blame Goldsmith for the result before it had even been announced…Even Goldsmith’s own sister criticised the campaign in tweets on Friday night.

Of course, if Republicans were to win the White House, the new mayor of London would not be allowed to visit the United States. He won out over bigots in London. Now, we must do the same in the United States.