Widespread delays to European flights due to computer glitch

Air traffic control system failure could affect almost half of flights in UK and rest of Europe

A glitch in Europe’s computerised air space and flight management system contribute to widespread flight delays and cancellations across the continent.

Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, said about half of flights travelling across Europe could be subject to delays after a system failure at about midday on Tuesday.

The organisation said that its” improved tactical flowing management system” had failed. The system links to air traffic control centres across Europe to determine when flights can best take off or land, affecting flight planning.

About half of the 29,500 flights expected to operate on Tuesday in the European network could be delayed, it said.

A significant proportion of flights in and out of London City airport were delayed, although Heathrow said it had been largely unaffected.

Work to restore the system was under way after the problem was identified, but it was unlikely to be in operation before the evening.

Air traffic control systems are being increasingly interlinked in the development of the Single European Sky, which the aviation industry hopes will increase the efficiency of flights and make best use of airspace.

More disruption could be in store for air passengers in the UK from Wednesday as the Nats air traffic control centre at Swanwick, which manages the airspace managing most British flights, continues the digitisation of its systems.

Passengers face potential postpones as airspace capability is reduced during the transition period, when the use of paper flight strips to document instructions to pilots from controllers is phased out in favour of an electronic system.

While Nats has started the process, this week will be” undoubtedly the most challenging “, according to Pete Dawson, the general manager of Nats’ London Terminal Control, as it affects airspace encompassing Britain’s biggest airports.

Nats has warned that lags of up to 20 minutes for some flights are possible at peak periods, and that flights may have to operate later at night and earlier in the morning at Heathrow and Gatwick during the transition.

The move comes as part of a broader overhaul of airspace, which controllers and the Department for Transport want to see modernised and reshaped to provide more capability, with the skies increasingly congested in the south-east of England.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Advertisements

White powder letter sent to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Reports say letter contained a racist note as Met investigates if it is linked to Westminster scare

Scotland Yard is investigating after a letter addressed to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry that contained white powder inspired an anthrax scare.

The letter was received this month at St James’s Palace in central London. The powder inside was be considered to be harmless after being examined by experts.

The package is understood to have contained a note, with one report claiming it was racist in nature. Markle, a successful actor, is from a mixed-race background.

The couple are due to be married in May. The letter was received at the palace shortly before a package containing white powder also prompted a scare at the Palace of Westminster.

The Evening Standard newspaper said the royal couple had been informed of the suspicious package.

The police inquiry is trying to determine if the same person or people were responsible for the sending both letters.

Anthrax can be weaponised in powder sort and is potentially deadly. But there have been a number of scares where harmless white powder has been sent to prominent people.

Scotland Yard said in a statement:” Police are investigating after a package containing a substance was delivered to St James’s Palace on Monday 12 February.

” The substance was tested and corroborated as non-suspicious. Officers are also investigating an accusation of malicious communications which relates to the same package. No apprehends; investigations continue .”

A spokesperson for St James’s Palace said they would not commentary and it was a matter for the police.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Londons fatberg on show: We thought of pickling it

The Whitechapel Monster, a giant block of grease from the sewers, comes to the Museum of London. Is it a monument to the age of garbage?

Made in North Korea a unique glimpse of life inside a closed society

Everyday objects, such as sweet wrappers and posters, is likely to be exhibited for the first time outside the communist republic at a new London show, writes Vanessa Thorpe

Holocaust memorial service pays tribute to victims of genocides

Survivors and relatives gather in London for service ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day

Sadiq Khan speech disrupted by Brexit and Trump supporters

London mayor brushes off interruption by White Pendragons, describing them as what some would call very stable geniuses

A group of protesters backing Brexit and Donald Trump have disrupted a speech by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan’s address on gender equality to the Fabian Society in central London was suspended for several minutes on Saturday morning while a small number of demonstrators from a recently formed far-right group called the White Pendragons built their protest.

Shortly after Khan began speaking at the society’s new year conference, one human told the audience:” Ladies and gentlemen, we’re here today to make a non-violent, peaceful citizen’s arrest .”

One man wailed “No to the EU” and another displayed a US flag.

Audience members began to heckle and slow-clap, but the protesters resisted attempts to remove them, claiming they would sue anyone who touched them for” common assault “.

Several police officers then moved in to escort them from the venue.

The protesters claimed the Fabian Society was ” subverting our English constitution”, with one quoting the Magna Carta.

Outside the vestibule, the ITV News reporter Paul Brand asked them several times in the interests of clarity about their objection to the society, but failed to get a clear response.

He said in a tweet that they claimed to be neither a racist , nor a far-right group.” But they told us Sadiq Khan has no right to be Mayor of London, referencing his religion .”

When Khan, a former chair of the Fabian Society, resumed his speech he quipped:” On the plus side, I wasn’t served with a P45″- a including references to Theresa May’s Tory conference speech that was interrupted by a prankster.

The mayor added:” It is a pleasure to be here even though we were distracted by the actions of what some would call very stable geniuses .”

Mafalda Damaso (@ DrMafaldaDms)

#Fab18 meeting somewhat delayed by Trump supporters who wouldn’t let Sadiq Kahn speak. The police had to intervene and remove the group of- in Kahn’s terms- ‘very stable geniuses’ pic.twitter.com/ d7sVx9Dc1j

January 13, 2018

Last Saturday the US president used the same phrase to describe himself in a tweet following questions about his mental health.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Debunked: Trump reasons for cancelling London visit

The US chairwomen claims that he will not visit UK to open new embassy because of bad Obama deal fail to add up

Donald Trump’s ” reason” for cancelling his trip to London to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the new US embassy has been torn apart.

While few people believe that Trump’s decision to stay away has nothing to do with the prospect of having to face some of the UK’s biggest street protests, many have also debunked other asserts in his tweet.

Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump)

Reason I canceled my journey to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off locating for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!

January 12, 2018

The Obama administration sold the embassy

Not quite. On the embassy’s UK website, a press release dated October 2008– one month before Barack Obama was elected president and three months before his inauguration- details plans to move the embassy south of the river Thames, from Mayfair to Nine Elms, in Wandsworth. The decision to relocate the building was made by the Bush administration.

However, the final marketing- to the Qatari royal family’s property company- was agreed and signed off by the US state department in 2009 when Obama was president.

The embassy was sold for peanuts

The Chancery building’s sale price was never disclosed, although in July 2000 it was estimated at PS500m.

The new embassy has been built in an’ off location’

While the new place may lack the opulence of Mayfair, Trump might find much to his taste in Nine Elms. The 230 -hectare district has been transformed from a once bleak landscape of depots and sorting offices to house some of London’s most expensive apartments and growths- about 30 of them.

Among the residential developments is neighbouring Embassy gardens, where a three-bedroom flat will set you back PS1. 7m ($ 2.3 m ). Within the regeneration area, designers including Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Richard Rogers are chipping in to the aesthetic; and the interiors of one block of flats were designed by Donatella Versace.

Perhaps the greatest symbol of extravagance within the district is the ” sky pond “~ ATAGEND, a glass bottom bathing area suspended between two buildings. Hurl in a food market, a new tubing stationand an enviable riverside view, and it could be concluded that the location is quite “on” ~ ATAGEND.

Embassy locations

The new embassy expense $1.2 bn

Not quite. The building was widely reported as costing$ 1bn, which is PS750m.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse

Ecuadors foreign minister discloses to reporters in Quito that Wikileaks founder was awarded citizenship a month ago

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has disclosed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

The 46 -year-old has been naturalised after living for five and a half years in the cramped, Latin American country’s embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.

Earlier this week the UK’s Foreign Office revealed that Ecuador had asked for Assange, who was born in Australia, to be accredited as foreign diplomats. The petition was dismissed.

The Ecuadorian initiative was intended to confer legal immunity on Assange, letting him to slip out of the embassy and Britain without being arrested for violating his former bail conditions.

Julian
Julian Assange posted this picture of himself in an Ecuadorian football shirt on Twitter. Photograph: Twitter

Assange failed to surrender to the UK authorities in 2012 after the supreme court rejected his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face accusations of sexual crimes, including rape. He was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Swedish attorneys last year unexpectedly dropped their investigation into allegations against him, which he denied. WikiLeaks, however, were afraid that the US will seek his extradition if he leaves the embassy, believing there is a sealed US indictment trying his arrest.

At a press conference on Thursday in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, the foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, explained that Assange had sought citizenship and that it had been granted on 12 December last year.

” The Ecuadorian government is empowered to grant nationality to the protected person and thus facilitate … his inclusion in the host country ,” Espinosa told reporters.

Assange’s life could be under threat from other states, she cautioned, adding that she was seeking a” dignified and merely” solution to his situation with Britain.

On Wednesday evening, the UK Foreign Office put out a statement explaining that:” The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request , nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice .”

At the same time Assange appeared on his Twitter account for the first time wearing an Ecuadorian national football shirt.

A statement by Assange’s legal team said:” The UN ruling, issued almost two years ago, is crystal clear in the original language.[ He] is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the UK authorities and must be released. The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration’s public threats to’ take down’ Mr Assange .”

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

London needs more gender-neutral public toilets, says mayor’s plan

Sadiq Khans planning blueprint will call for more public loos, and different types of lavatories to cater to peoples differing needs

More gender-neutral lavatories should be built in public spaces to help trans and non-binary people feel more comfy, according to Sadiq Khan’s new London Plan.

The mayor’s planning blueprint for London will argue that more public toilet should be built across the capital, including in commercial developings, to reflect the diversity of the city.

The document, due to be published this week, will include guidance saying more toilets must be built in shops, leisure facilities and large public areas that are suitable for all users, including disabled people, older people and households with young children.

For the first time, the London Plan also calls for the provision of gender-neutral toilets for trans and non-binary people.

In addition, it will argue for more” changing places lavatories”, which are designed to be suitable for people with profound and multiple impairments, some people with learning disabilities and people who require the assistance of a carer. These are different to standard disabled toilets, with additional features including a height adjustable changing bench, height adjustable sink, a toilet designed for assisted use and a hoist.

Khan said he was concerned that some Londoners and visitors to the city are restriction over where they can visit and how long they can spend somewhere because the capital does not have enough appropriate toilet facilities.

” I have vowed to be a mayor for all Londoners so I am determined to ensure that everyone has the ability to enjoy our great city to its fullest ,” he said.

” Toilets are a vital public service and can help to shape the experience of the capital for those who live here and for those visit. We need a range of lavatories that reflect the unbelievable diversity of this city- devoting people the confidence to move around London with dignity .”

Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, the charity for LGBT rights, said:” We’re pleased the mayor has utilized the London Plan to call on councils to create more gender-neutral toilets, and so help meet the needs of all Londoners and the city’s many guests. Gender-neutral lavatories are a practical answer for many people, for many reasons and it’s a powerful demo of acceptance that has benefits for everyone.

” But this move isn’t just practical, it’s symbolic. By introducing gender-neutral lavatories, planners can show that London is a city that cherishes its diverse population .”

The plan also pleased charities for older people and those campaigning for disability rights. This year, half of respondents to an Age UK survey of over-7 5s said the issue of too few loos was a “regular” problem when going out shopping.

Paul Goulden, chief executive of Age UK London, said:” It is reassuring to see that the mayor’s London Plan has committed to building most accessible public toilets across the capital. We want as many older Londoners as possible to be able to move confidently around their city without restriction and this pledge should go a long way to improving their experiences when out and about in London.

” The commitment to building more changing places toilets is especially encouraging, as many older people contend with limited mobility or necessitate the purposes of a carer. We look forward to the provision of the new free, publicly accessible toilets across the city .”

Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, added:” The mayor has quite rightly recognised that we need changing places toilets so that profoundly disabled people won’t face a choice between exclusion or changing on the floor of a public toilet.

” Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Changing Places Consortium welcomes this positive move and are keen to work with London’s train stations, shopping centre, cultural institutions and attractions to get more facilities built and make sure the city is accessible for all .”

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Lady Lucan found dead at London home after being reported missing

Aristocrat whose husband famously vanished more than four decades ago has been found dead in Westminster

Lady Lucan, whose husband famously faded more than four decades ago, has been found dead at her home.

Police forced entry to the 80 -year-old’s property in Westminster on Tuesday afternoon after she was reported missing, and discovered her unresponsive.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said:” Police attended an address in Westminster … following fears for the welfare of an elderly occupant. Policemen forced entry and saw an 80 -year-old woman unresponsive.

” Police and London ambulance service attended. Although we await formal identification, we are confident that the deceased is Lady Lucan .”

Police said her demise is being treated as unexplained but is not be deemed to be suspicious.

Her son, George Bingham, the 8th Earl Lucan, told the Daily Mail:” She passed away yesterday[ Monday] at home, alone and apparently peacefully. Police were alerted by a companion to a three-day absence and attained entry today[ Tuesday ].”

Lady Lucan, formerly Veronica Duncan, was one of the last people to watch her husband John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, alive before he disappeared.

He faded after the murdered body of Sandra Rivett, nanny to his three children, was found at the family home in Lower Belgrave Street, central London, on 7 November 1974.

Even though he was officially proclaimed dead by the high court in 1999, Lucan has reportedly been sighted in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand, and there are even claims that he fled to India and lived life as a hippy called ” Jungly Barry “.

The same night as his disappearance, the attacker also turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and create the alarm at a nearby saloon, the Plumber’s Arms.

Lucan’s car was later observed abandoned and soaked in blood in Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared the wealthy peer the killer a year later.

John
John Richard Bingham, Earl of Lucan, and Veronica Duncan after their wedding in 1963. Photograph: Douglas Miller/ Keystone/ Getty Images

Roger Bray was the first journalist on Lord Lucan’s doorstep the morning after the dramatic events unfolded, and wrote one of the first newspaper reports about the mystery.

Derrick Whitehouse, head barman at the Plumber’s Arms, told Bray that Lady Lucan ” staggered” in and said:” I guess my neck has been broken. He tried to strangle me .”

The barman said Lady Lucan was ” just in a delirious nation” and added:” She just said’ I’m dying.’

” She kept going on about the children.’ My children, my children ,’ she said. She came staggering in through the door and I gave her all the help I possibly could. I’ve only find her in here once before .”

Whitehouse told Bray that Lady Lucan had” various head wounds” that were” quite severe”, adding:” She was covered in blood. She’d been bleeding profusely when she came in .”

Earlier this year, Lady Lucan, formally named Veronica, Dowager Countess of Lucan, gave a Tv interview in which she said she believed Lord Lucan had made the “brave” decision to take his own life.

Ahead of the hour-long documentary interview called Lord Lucan: My Husband, the Truth, Radio Times magazine shared some of what she had told director Michael Waldman.

She said:” I would say he got on the ferry and jumped off in the middle of the Channel in the way of the propellers so that his remains wouldn’t be found- I guess quite brave .”

During the ITV programme, she spoke of her own depression and her husband’s violent nature following their matrimony in 1963.

Describing how he would beat her with a cane to get the” mad ideas out of your head”, she said:” He could have hit harder. They were measured blows.

” He must have got pleasure out of it because he had intercourse[ with me] afterwards .”

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com