Full Feeds Service Discontinued

Unfortunatly the time has come for this scraper to come down (seemingly it may come as a shock to some that this is not provided by the BBC). I wrote this back in 2005 and have modified it a couple of times since mainly so that I could more easily consume RSS on the move. In short, I no longer use it, I find consuming live news is not actually something an RSS reader does very well and I face a constant battle against sites trying to use these feeds to monetize BBC content and failing to pay any attention to etag or last modified headers (hello palin-pedia.com et al). Please update your RSS subscription as the last remenants of this will be removed soon , the official BBC RSS feed you are looking for is: http://newsrss.bbc.co.uk/rss/newsonline_uk_edition/front_page/rss.xml

Olympic security tests launched

Police on a search exercise at the Olympic StadiumSearching: Police on an exercise at the Olympic Stadium

Police, emergency services and other agencies are to be tested on how they would deal with crises at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Home Office will run at least 10 exercises in the run-up to the 2012 games, testing preparedness at venues.

The exercises will test how well different agencies work together in a variety of emergency situations.

Eleven police forces and the military are involved in the security effort, which has a budget of up to £600m.

The exercises are being prepared as the final phase of the security plan for the games and will examine not just how organisations work with each other but how they are able to communicate with the public.

Olympic security chiefs have already carried out a series of tests with specialists looking at the experience of other Olympic cities, including Beijing and Vancouver.

A wide range of scenarios are expected to be covered, including terror threats.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I want to reassure everyone that with a year to go we will leave nothing to chance in our plans to deliver a games that London, the UK and the whole world will enjoy.”

The Home Office has been working on the security plans for the games ever since the government made a series of commitments to the International Olympic Committee on how they would manage events.

Officials say that although the police forces involved all have experience of dealing with major public events, the Olympics is expected to create unprecedented challenges.

The digital radio system used by the police in London has had its capacity increased because up to 10,000 officers will be policing events at peak times.

The Metropolitan Police has also established the National Olympic Co-ordination Centre, based at Scotland Yard.

During the games, it will be staffed by senior figures from each emergency service or agency involved in the security operation, communicating with similarly-organised teams in the different games’ locations.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Bombardier cuts 1,400 Derby jobs

Bombardier sign at factoryBombardier is the UK’s last train-making factory
Related Stories

Train-maker Bombardier, which recently missed out on the £1.4bn Thameslink contract, is expected to announce job losses on Tuesday.

Last month, the Derby firm lost out to Siemens, which was named preferred bidder to build 1,200 carriages for the route between Bedford and Brighton.

Unions described the news as a “hammer blow” for British manufacturing.

Bombardier, which employs 3,000 people in the city, subsequently announced a full review of its UK operations.

Securing the Thameslink contract was regarded as crucial for Derby’s Litchurch Lane plant – the UK’s last rolling stock manufacturer – as most of its current orders will soon be completed.

Speaking on Friday, the leader of Derby City Council, Philip Hickson, said he expected the “full scale of the disaster” to be revealed this week.

Transport Minister Theresa Villiers said the Siemens-led venture represented the best value for money for taxpayers.

But shadow business secretary John Denham and shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle have written to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to review the decision.

After losing out on the contract, Bombardier said it was working with unions and would keep employees informed, while the union Unite has pledged to put pressure on the firm and the government to keep the factory open.

Mark Young, co-ordinating officer of Unite, said: “The country that invented the railways is at risk of losing its ability to manufacture trains unless the government urgently rethinks its decision to award preferred bidder status to Siemens instead of Bombardier.

“The government can reverse this decision and get UK train manufacturing back on track.

“It is simply unsustainable for the government to claim to support UK manufacturing with one hand and then with the other hand take decisions which potentially wipe out an entire manufacturing sector.”

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Milly hacking claims ‘dreadful’

Milly DowlerSchoolgirl Milly Dowler went missing nine years ago

Police are to meet News of the World executives to discuss allegations that a private investigator working for the paper hacked into the mobile phone of murdered girl Milly Dowler.

Labour has demanded a full inquiry into claims Glenn Mulcaire hacked into her voicemail while she was missing.

The Guardian has claimed he intercepted messages left by relatives and said the NoW deleted some.

NoW parent firm News International said the development was of “great concern”.

A lawyer for the Dowler family, Mark Lewis, said the alleged hacking dated from 2002 when the NoW was under the editorship of Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) – now News International’s chief executive.

In a statement, he said: “Sally and Bob Dowler have been through so much grief and trauma without further distressing revelations to them regarding the loss of their daughter.

“It is distress heaped upon tragedy to learn the News of the World have no humanity at such a terrible time.

“The fact that they were prepared to act in such a heinous way that could have jeopardised the police investigation and gave them false hope is despicable.”

Mark Lewis

Solicitor for the Dowlers, Mark Lewis: “It is distress heaped upon tragedy”

He also said the Dowlers had been told their own phones were targeted.

The Guardian claims that after Milly’s voicemail facility became full, the NoW deleted messages it had already listened to.

It quotes one source as saying that this gave false hope to friends and family, who mistakenly believed that Milly herself had cleared her message inbox and that therefore she was still alive.

By that time, she had been murdered by a nightclub doorman, Levi Bellfield, who was convicted of the killing last month.

The Guardian also alleges that the NoW employed another private investigator, Steve Whittamore, to illegally obtain ex-directory numbers for families called Dowler living in Walton-on-Thames, where Milly and her family lived.

Analysis

This is a watershed in a phone hacking scandal which has hitherto focused largely on the plight of celebrities whose phones were hacked. They’re entitled to privacy as much as anyone, but there’s been a limit to the public’s sympathy.

Not so with Milly Dowler, the 13-year-old victim of a hideous crime; the messages said to have been hacked were the frantic enquiries of family and friends desperate to know of her whereabouts. It will turn most people’s stomachs.

It’s more trouble for News International, long criticised for allegedly failing to come clean about the extent of the phone hacking by its journalists. Andy Coulson resigned twice because of it; first as NoW editor, then as Downing Street’s director of communications.

Rebekah Brooks was editor of the NoW at the time of the Milly Dowler abduction. She’s long denied knowledge of phone hacking. Today she’s chief executive of News International. But for how much longer?

A News International spokesman said it had been co-operating fully with the police inquiry into hacking since News International’s “voluntary disclosure in January restarted the investigation into illegal voicemail interception”.

He said: “This particular case is clearly a development of great concern and we will be conducting our own inquiries as a result.

“We will obviously co-operate fully with any police request on this should we be asked.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband described the alleged hacking as a “cruel and immoral act” and said the police inquiry had to “get to the bottom of who was responsible for this and who was complicit in it”.

The claims about Milly Dowler are significant in the overall phone hacking inquiry, which has until now focussed largely on the intrusion into the private lives of celebrities.

Nick Davies, the special correspondent from the Guardian who wrote the story, told the BBC: “The editor of the News of the World at the time that this particular episode took place was Rebekah Brooks, who is now Rupert Murdoch’s chief executive in the UK.

“This is one of the very few episodes that happened when she was editing the paper, and she’s clearly going to have to answer some questions about what she knew about what was going on.”

The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson said the allegations had “changed the character, if not the nature, of the hacking saga” and “moved many in Westminster who previously regarded the story as a question of interest only to those excited by media ethics or the privacy of celebrities”.

In January, the High Court will hear claims from five test cases involving public figures who say their phones were hacked into.

They are former footballer Paul Gascoigne, actor Jude Law, sports agent Sky Andrew, interior designer Kelly Hoppen and MP Chris Bryant.

The cases arise out of the disclosure of information by the Metropolitan Police relating to material forfeited by Mulcaire.

He and former NoW royal editor Clive Goodman were jailed in 2007 over tapping the phones of members of the royal household.

Five alleged victims have reached out-of-court settlements with the newspaper, including celebrity publicist Max Clifford, who received a reported £1m.

Five journalists have been arrested over the allegations.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.