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LONDON, August 27, 2018 (News Wires) - London’s famous Notting Hill Carnival transformed the streets into a sea of colour and sound on Sunday as revellers joined one of Europe’s largest open-air parties in their thousands despite heavy rain in the British capital.

The carnival featured steel bands, dance troupes and elaborate floats, with many among the crowds hurling paint and coloured powder at each other while dancing on the city’s streets.

A celebration of Afro-Caribbean community, the two-day event has its roots in a 1964 London procession to bring people together despite racism and a lack of opportunity that blighted day-to-day life.

Police deployed metal-detecting arches to counter potential knife crime and have been additional stop-and-search powers at this year’s carnival based on intelligence and after a spate of violent crime in London over the past week.

LONDON, August 14, 2018 (News Wires) — A car slammed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, injuring a number of pedestrians.

Armed police swooped into the area and cordoned off streets surrounding the heart of Britain's government. Police appealed to the public to stay away, and the Westminster Tube station was closed.

The area was the site of a terror attack in March 2017 when Khalid Masood ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge, killing four people. Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed a police officer before being shot in a courtyard outside Parliament.

In Tuesday's incident, the car slammed into barriers that had been extended following the Westminster Bridge attack. Video from Sky News showed a man being detained.

Eyewitnesses quoted in British media said they thought the crash looked deliberate.

LONDON, July 30, 2018 (News Wires) - Half of British voters support a referendum to choose between leaving with a deal that the government may clinch with the European Union, leaving with no deal or staying in the EU, Sky News reported on Monday, citing its own poll.

The poll showed 40 per cent opposed such a vote, while 10 per cent did not know.

With less than eight months left until Britain is due to leave the EU, there is little clarity about how trade will flow as Prime Minister Theresa May, who is grappling with a rebellion in her party, struggles to strike a deal with the bloc.

May has stepped up planning for a so called “no-deal” Brexit that would see the world’s fifth largest economy crash out of the EU on March 29, 2019, a step that could spook financial markets and dislocate trade flows across Europe and beyond.

The Sky poll showed 78 per cent of voters thought May’s government was doing a bad job of negotiating Brexit, up 23 percentage points from March. Just 10 per cent thought the government was doing a good job.

May’s approval rating has fallen to 24 per cent, the poll showed. Voters were split on whether Brexit would be good or bad for the country: 40 per cent said it would be good and 51 per cent said it would be bad.

In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9 per cent of the votes cast, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million voters, or 48.1 per cent of votes cast, backed staying. Many opinion polls were wrong about the result.

When asked to choose between three options - May’s deal, a no deal or staying in the EU - 48 per cent said they would prefer to stay in the EU, 27 per cent wanted to leave with no deal and 13 percent would opt for the government’s deal.

Eight per cent said they would not vote while 3 per cent did not know.

Sky Data interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,466 Sky customers online 20-23 July 2018. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.

To London by sea

By Simon Willis

Consider this statement: We get the modes of transport we deserve. Did Orville and Wilbur Wright think of the commercial possibilities of aviation? If they did, what might they think of how people are transported at 30,000 feet? Of course, the military use of aircraft must have crossed their and other minds. In World War I, the aircraft was used primarily for reconnaissance.

Dropping a bomb or two out of the cockpit was a bonus, just to keep the enemy on their toes. Then came the idea of using aircraft to carry more explosives to drop on more people either in uniform or not, which goes to show that the powers that be care little for the man, woman or child in the street, in the home, or in the air-raid shelter.

And thank the Americans for pressurised cabins and longer-range aircraft to deliver weapons of mass destruction on the foe in 1945.

Not only had the seeds for mutual self-destruction been sown, but also means of making our wallets and patience wear thin in a short space of time were less than two decades away. So far, air travel was for the few. And the few were treated like human beings with feelings and respect for other people employed to serve them and ensure their comfort.

You were persuaded that travel abroad was not so much a luxury, more a human right. You wanted to arrive at your destination with as little fuss as possible at the fastest time possible. One airline reminded us that we have a choice: if you don’t want to fly, you can go by sea.

The latter takes a bit longer and you might get a bit wet. Because you wanted faster travel and because you cannot spare two weeks or so to get to the destination you chose, the operators decided that the more people who come on board means more revenue, the less leg room per passenger, the more bods you can cram on board economy or coach class.

The term ‘coach’ is appropriate here, since coaches that travelled on land before the advent of railways were often uncomfortable and could be held up by footpads and highwaymen, i.e. people who engaged in private enterprise, specialising in the redistribution of wealth – from your pocket to theirs – by illegal means. Little has changed.

Now that certain individuals choose terrorism to promote their causes, air transport is at risk. Everybody is a suspect. Even granny might have explosives hidden in her Zimmer frame. The milk bottles for the tiny tots may not contain milk, but a substance that, combined with another, can bring down an aircraft over a densely populated area.

Not only do you have your knees under your chin when you try to settle down for six hours of boredom, you are searched, frisked, patted down, X-rayed and prodded for your security.

The authorities will keep you in waiting mode for as long as they choose. If you have spare cash, you can fritter it on trifles such as overpriced beverages and poorly-cooked snacks with big price tags. To add insult to injury, the person in front of you wants to put his seat back and shoves his interlaced fingers in your face. Consider how much you paid for all this.

You wanted speed, fine. Comfort comes extra; two hundred dollars extra, in fact. Air travel, otherwise, has robbed passengers of their dignity, especially when you stand in stockinged feet and arms outstretched because you want to shave off a few days from your journey time.

Meanwhile, an opinionated soul wags his finger at us in the media warning us about carbon footprints and destroying the environment by choosing to fly away from the likes of opinionated busy-bodies wagging their fingers at us and scolding us for being so selfish and wanting to fly.

You want your dignity back? Let’s ask for more time off during the summer and enjoy the romance of the sea. Let us re-live those days of feeling warm summer winds brushing our faces as we lean on the ship’s rail watching the sea rush past.

Think of those glorious sunsets and the occasional volcanic eruption by night. It would be like in the films showing ladies in cocktail dresses and men in tuxedos, joining the captain for dinner and exchanging amusing anecdotes about life in Cairo and Port Said.

The following day, you might enjoy a game of quoits or swim in the ship’s pool. Wrap yourselves warm if the breeze turns chilly and start reading the third novel you brought with you for the journey.

Indeed, the good news is that it is possible to go from Alexandria to London by ship. The bad news: the journey will take you 15 days 2 hours and 24 minutes. Have you not seen those great cargo ships transiting the Suez Canal? You can get on one of them.

Most big-name world shipping lines can take on paying passengers, who can be accommodated in guest cabins and have access to most areas of the ship, says one travel website. Do you fancy walking around containers for a fortnight? Are you interested in  engine rooms? The captain might be free to chat with you about navigation, but if the waves are as big as the Cairo Tower, such conversations will have to wait.

But places are limited for passengers, so you might have to book your trip at least six months in advance. You read correctly, 24 weeks before you intend to travel.

Mind you, waiting for service in some travel agents feels like six months, with or without a queue ticket number from the overweight moustachio’d ‘security’ man at the door.

You will also be liable for port fees, and I do not mean the Portuguese wine, either. By the way, the trip will cost you $100 a day. Do you fancy parting with almost $16,000 (LE286,000)? You might as well buy yourself a car and drive yourself to UK.

Oh well, it looks like a five-hour wait in the terminal building, a two-hour wait on the tarmac, knees up under your chin for four-and-a-half hours, 90 minutes on stack before we land, two hours to get through formalities, and a fortnight wondering why you bothered in the first place and to pluck up the courage to face the hardships on the return journey.

London, July 26, 2018 - (News Wires) - A huge fire broke out in a five-storey residential building in London's West Hampstead in the early hours of Thursday, forcing rescuers to evacuate dozens of people, and it took nearly four hours to douse the blaze, the London Fire Brigade said.

About 100 firefighters and 15 fire engines were tackling the blaze on Inglewood Road. Firefighters evacuated residents from the top floor due to concerns that the roof could collapse inward, fire brigade said.

"The fire is believed to have started in a flat on the fourth floor," fire brigade station manager Clainton Murray said.

"Fire crews assisted two people from the first floor and a number of other residents self evacuated from lower floors," Murray said. "Around 50 residents used a local public house as a rest center."

The fire brigade was called in at 01:04am (past midnight GMT) and the fire was under control by 05:01am, it said in a statement, adding that the cause of the fire was not known yet.

Neighbours took to social media to post photos and videos of the incident.

The London Ambulance Service have confirmed that no one was taken to hospital as a result of the incident, the fire brigade said.

LONDON, July 24, 2018 (News Wires) - About 3,500 to 12,000 financial services jobs will move from Britain to the European Union in the short term due to Brexit, the City of London financial district's leader said on Tuesday.

Many more jobs could disappear in the longer term, Catherine McGuinness told parliament's Exiting the European Union Committee.

"We are not expecting a big Brexodus in the first instance. But depending on how things pan out... In the longer term we may see many more go," she said.

Banks, insurers and asset managers in Britain are opening hubs in the EU ahead of Britain's departure from the EU next March to ensure continuity in services to customers there.

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