26th November 1968: Race discrimination law tightened|
The new Race Relations Act has come into force, making it illegal to refuse housing, employment or public services to people because of their ethnic background.
The Act has extended the powers of the Race Relations Board to deal with complaints of discrimination; and set up a new body, the Community Relations Commission, to promote "harmonious community relations".
Presenting the Bill to Parliament, the Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, said, "The House has rarely faced an issue of greater social significance for our country and our children."
One of the most controversial areas of the Act has been the exclusion of government services, such as the police, from legal proceedings.
Opposition MP Quintin Hogg said it was unfair to treat private employers more strictly than public employers.
"Why should the ordinary subject be liable to an action for damages, as the Home Secretary has decided that he should be, but the Home Secretary get off scot free?" he asked the Commons.
'River of blood'
Race has become a major issue following the speech in April of the right-wing Conservative MP, Enoch Powell, against immigration into Britain from Commonwealth countries.
He spoke of a "river of blood" should immigration continue, and his remarks caused outrage among MPs.
Mr Powell was sacked from the shadow cabinet soon afterwards for his racist views, but the government was taken aback to find some sections of the media applauding the speech.
Thousands of workers staged strikes in protest and marched to Downing Street in support.
'Fair but tough' promise
Mr Powell's speech came after the sudden influx of Kenyan Asians into the country, driven out of Kenya by draconian laws denying them employment.
At the beginning of the year, up to 1,000 Kenyan Asians, who hold British passports, were arriving in Britain each month.
Amid growing unrest, the government rushed through the Commonwealth Immigrants Act in March, restricting the number of Kenyan Asians who could enter the country to those who had a relative who was already a British resident.
The new Race Relations Act is intended to counter-balance the Immigration Act, and so fulfil the government's promise to be "fair but tough" on immigrants
Reply #361. Nov 26 08, 2:11 AM
November 27th 1975: TV presenter Ross McWhirter shot dead|
Guinness Book of Records co-founder and editor Ross McWhirter has been shot dead outside his North London home.
Mr McWhirter was hit at close range in the head and chest at 1845 GMT. He was taken to a local hospital, but died soon after being admitted.
The well-known author and BBC Record Breakers presenter recently offered a reward of £50,000 for information leading to the arrest of IRA bombers.
Scotland Yard said no group had yet claimed to be behind the attack.
The two gunmen are thought to have waited in the garden of the couple's Enfield house for an hour while Mr McWhirter was in the house preparing to go out to the theatre.
When Rosemary McWhirter arrived home, she got out of her blue Ford Granada and was approached by two men holding pistols.
She ran into the house as her husband came to the front door and seconds later heard two shots.
The killers then used her car to escape. Police later found the car abandoned a few miles away in Tottenham.
Outspoken critic of the IRA
Mrs McWhirter and her two sons, Iain and James, were taken to a secret address soon after the murder, where they are being guarded around the clock.
Mr McWhirter edited the Guinness Book of Records with his twin brother, Norris, and also worked closely with Guinness Director David Hoy, who said the outspoken critic of the IRA was aware he could be in danger.
"He took normal precautions recommended by the police and always looked under his Mercedes - he also varied his routes home," he said.
Reply #362. Nov 27 08, 10:02 AM
29th November 1990: Tearful farewell from Iron Lady|
Britain has a new prime minister for the first time in more than 11 years.
Margaret Thatcher formally tendered her resignation to the Queen early this morning after leaving Downing Street for the last time.
John Major was elected her successor yesterday by Conservative Party members.
The woman dubbed as the Iron Lady during her premiership made her last tearful speech as the leader of the country from the doorstep of Number 10.
Mrs Thatcher told reporters the country had become a much improved place in which to live since she took office in 1979.
"We're leaving Downing Street for the last time after eleven-and-a-half wonderful years and we're happy to leave the UK in a very much better state than when we came here," she said.
She also gave her support to her successor. "Now it's time for a new chapter to open and I wish John Major all the luck in the world," she said.
'Part of history'
After the speech she and her husband, Denis, were driven to Buckingham Palace, watched by a small crowd keen to witness this significant moment.
"It's part of history and we'd just like to say good bye and wish her well," said one onlooker outside the gates of the palace.
Mrs Thatcher had a half-hour meeting with the Queen before returning to her private home in Dulwich, south London.
Fifteen minutes later Mr Major arrived at the palace and was formally invited by the Queen to form a new administration.
The premiership of Britain's first female leader - and the longest since 1827 - was at an end.
Reply #363. Nov 27 08, 11:46 PM
29 th November 1956: Motorists panic as petrol rations loom|
The government has issued further details of its plans for rationing petrol from next month.
The rationing period is expected to last for four months, from 17 December to 17 April, and will be controlled through books of coupons.
Petrol has been in short supply since the President of Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser, took over the running of the Suez Canal four months ago.
Supplies of fuel from the Middle East have been blocked ever since, causing fuel shortages throughout Europe.
Aubrey Jones, Minister of Fuel and Power, told journalists that businesses will be allowed an extra 100 miles a month in petrol, in addition to the 200 miles a month issued to normal car users.
Farmers, religious ministers, and essential local authority workers will be allowed 600 miles a month.
A third group, including doctors, midwives, disabled drivers and veterinary surgeons will be allowed whatever petrol they need.
Mr Jones asked all petrol stations to restrict daily sales between now and the start of rationing on 17 December, so that supplies can be spread throughout the month.
But panic buying is already causing havoc throughout the country, following the government's decision to cut petrol supplies by 10%.
Many garages closed altogether at the weekend, and many have already introduced their own form of rationing, allowing customers only one or two gallons each.
The owner of a garage in Denham, Buckinghamshire, said, "We are almost afraid to serve our regular customers.
"When motorists saw a car being filled they stopped and waited. In five minutes we had a queue of 50 cars waiting, and had to turn them all away."
Car industry hit
The fuel shortages have also hit the motor car industry.
Vauxhall Motors and the Ford Motor Company have announced reductions in the number of passenger cars to be built. Staff at both companies have been told they will have to work a four-day week.
Oil companies have also been warning of price rises due to the loss of revenue from petrol sales.
above post should been 28th
Reply #364. Dec 01 08, 1:57 AM
30th November 1968: Shops told to stop conning customers|
Shopkeepers could face prosecution from now on for not telling the truth about goods they are selling.
The Trade Descriptions Act - which comes into force today - makes it a crime for a trader to knowingly sell an item with a misleading label or description.
Weights and measures inspectors who are policing the new guidelines have the power to issue fines to shops and other traders found to be breaking the law.
In cases of repeat offending or a more serious offence, the retailer could face imprisonment.
The alarm has already been raised by the Gramophone Record Retailers Association, which says many long-playing records, or LPs, have been labelled misleadingly as "stereo" when they are not, in fact, genuine stereophonic recordings.
Angus McKenzie, technical officer of the association, has warned retailers they may face prosecution under the new act.
Many of the larger department stores say the new law will not make any difference as they already insist on accurate labelling.
But in one London department store, Selfridges, salesmen have been given a briefing on how to mark up price reductions for the forthcoming January sales.
Only products which have been on sale in store for 28 days in the preceding six months at a higher price can be marked as genuine reductions.
The Trade Descriptions Act replaces the Merchandise Marks Act which has been in place since the mid-19th century dealing specifically with the regulation of trade marks.
Weights and measures spokesman Leslie Griffiths said: "From the point of view of the traders, I hope they won't envisage a reign of terror. We shall act as much as we possibly can in an advisory capacity.
"Of course any case of deliberate fraud or gross carelessness will be put before local authorities and they may recommend legal proceedings, but by and large we shall endeavour to administer this act by advice and persuasion."
Some retailers have expressed concerns about the damage the act will do to trade.
There has also been some criticism of the act for failing to provide adequate protection for the consumer who purchases faulty goods by way of compensation
Reply #365. Dec 01 08, 1:59 AM
December 1st 1955: Black woman challenges race law|
A black woman has been arrested by police in Montgomery, Alabama, after refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white person.
Mrs Rosa Parks now faces a fine for breaking the segregation laws which say black Americans must vacate their seats if there are white passengers left standing.
It is not the first time Mrs Parks, who is a seamstress, has defied the law on segregation.
In 1943 she was thrown off a bus for refusing to get on via the back door, which was reserved for black passengers. She became known to other drivers who sometimes refused to let her on.
Today Mrs Parks left Mongomery Fair, the department store where she was employed doing repairs on men's clothing, as usual.
She said she was tired after work and suffered aches and pains in her shoulders, back and neck.
When she got on the bus she realised the driver was the same man, James Blake, who had thrown her off twelve years before.
As more white people got on and the seats filled up, he asked her to give up her seat and she refused.
He threatened to call the police and she told him to go ahead.
She was subsequently arrested and charged with violating segregation law.
She will now appear in court on Monday 5 December.
Mrs Parks is a youth leader of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and her husband, Raymond, a barber, has taken part in voter registration drives.
Between them the couple have worked for many years to improve the lot of black Americans in the southern United States where rigid segregation laws have been in force since the end of the Civil War in 1865.
Last year a group of professional black woman in Montgomery, the Women's Political Council, protested to the mayor about segregation on the buses, warning him they were planning a boycott.
The NAACP has also tried to challenge the laws on segregation in the courts and Mrs Parks has been involved in raising money to defend a 15-year-old student, Claudette Colvin, who was removed from a bus in March of this year for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.
Reply #366. Dec 01 08, 2:01 AM
2nd December 1954: US Senate condemns McCarthy|
The United States Senate has censured Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy for conduct unbecoming to a senator.
The vote was 67 to 22, with all the Democrats and about half the Republicans voting against him.
He has been condemned on two counts:
Contempt and abuse of a Senate committee that looked into his financial affairs in 1952
Insulting members of this committee on national television thereby bringing the Senate "into dishonour and disrepute" and obstructing the constitutional process.
In April this year, McCarthy attacked Secretary of the Army Robert T Stevens and General Ralph Zwicker for refusing to help him in an investigation of espionage at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
After years of witnessing his crusade against alleged Communists in government, the entertainment industry, and education, his attack on the army was the final straw and a committee was set up to look into the senator's behaviour and its impact.
'Handmaiden of Communism'
The Watkins Committee, chaired by Republican Senator Arthur Watkins, deliberated from 31 August until 13 September.
Its final report said the senator from Wisconsin should be censured for his conduct in Senate and treatment of General Ralph Zwicker.
Sen McCarthy called the Watkins Committee "the unwitting handmaiden of the Communist Party" and told American TV audiences the whole proceeding was a "lynch party".
His words led to this latest motion to condemn him.
In a news conference soon afterwards, the senator told journalists he was relieved "the circus" was over so that he could return to his job of rooting out "Communism, crime and corruption".
But the Democrats, who won this year's elections, take over in January and he will no longer be allowed to chair the Senate Permanent Investigating Subcommittee charged with looking into Communist influence on government.
Mr McCarthy became a senator in 1946 but it was not until 1950 that he came to prominence. In February of that year he made a speech at Wheeling, West Virginia where he held up a piece of paper claiming it to be a list of 205 communists working in the State Department.
Although a Senate committee under Millard Tydings exonerated the State Department, Mr McCarthy continued to make accusations on radio and television but was never able to produce any solid evidence.
But in March 1951 the conviction of Julius and Ethel Rosbenberg for passing atomic secrets to the Russians helped boost popular support for McCarthy's campaign.
After the Republicans took control of Congress in 1953, he began his anti-Communist crusade in earnest and ruined the careers of many.
Reply #367. Dec 02 08, 2:47 AM
December 2nd 1993: Colombian drugs baron, Pablo Escobar, the so-called King of Cocaine, is shot dead in a gun battle with the police.|
Reply #368. Dec 02 08, 2:37 PM
3rd December 1965: White jury convicts Ku Klux Klansmen|
An all-white jury in the southern US state of Alabama has convicted three Ku Klux Klansmen over the murder of white civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.
The mother of five from Detroit was shot and killed while driving a young black activist, Leroy Moton, back to the town of Selma following a protest march to the state capital Montgomery on 25 March.
A car pulled up alongside Mrs Liuzzo's car. She was shot twice in the head and killed instantly. Her car veered off the road and crashed but Mr Moton was unhurt.
Collie Leroy Wilkins, aged 22, Eugene Thomas, 42, and William Eaton, 41, were convicted in a federal court on conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of 39-year-old Mrs Liuzzo.
They were given the maximum 10-year sentence.
The men were not able to be convicted on a murder charge because homicide is not within federal jurisdiction.
Wilkins had already been acquitted of the same murder in a state court in neighbouring Lowndes County, a decision which sent shockwaves across America.
'Hooded society of bigots'
The US President, Lyndon B Johnson, had intervened in the case from the very beginning.
The day after Mrs Liuzzo's murder he announced on television that four members of the KKK had been arrested, including Gary Rowe - later revealed as an undercover FBI agent and who testified against the other three.
The president also condemned the Klan as "a hooded society of bigots".
Robert Shelton, leader or Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America, called the president "a damn liar" and suggested Mrs Liuzzo's death, along with that of Rev James Reeb, were a "trumped up communist plot to destroy the right wing in America".
Pressure for change
Both the president and civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King have been calling for legislation to prevent courts in the southern states from refusing to convict those who kill black people and civil rights workers.
Last month President Johnson promised new laws "to prevent injustice to Negroes at the hands of all-white juries".
The pressure for change seems to be having an effect.
Today's groundbreaking verdict comes a day after an Alabama court made history by convicting a white man of the second-degree murder of a black man.
Hubert Damon Strange, aged 26, was found guilty by the Anniston state court in Alabama of murdering foundryman Willie Brewster last July.
He was sentenced today to 10 years' in prison. Two other white men charged with the murder will be tried at a later date.
All the convicted men have given notice of appeal.
Reply #369. Dec 03 08, 7:16 AM
4th December 1991: Last US hostage freed|
Terry Anderson, the last and longest-held US hostage in Lebanon, has been freed.
He will now be reunited with his fiancee and their six-year-old daughter, Sulome, a child he had never seen before he was kidnapped six and half years ago.
His family faced an agonising wait after news of his impending release.
Mr Anderson, who was the Associated Press bureau chief in Beirut at the time of his kidnap, was due to travel through Lebanon to Syria but was delayed by snow today.
The delay created confusion and tears as his family wondered if it was another false alarm.
But the former US Marine staff sergeant later emerged before a packed news conference in Damascus looking well.
He said he had been informed of his release the previous afternoon and given a new set of clothes and shoes - his first since he was snatched off the street by an Islamic militant group on 16 March 1985.
"I have thought about this moment for a long time," he said.
"Now it is here and I am scared to death. I do not know what to say."
He thanked Syrian, Lebanese, and Iranian authorities for securing his release and paid tribute to his family, friends and the thousands of well-wishers who had worked tirelessly to secure the hostages' release.
Mr Anderson said he spent his time in captivity listening to the radio, mainly the BBC which he praised.
He also read whatever magazines and newspapers were available.
Before his release he was ordered to read out a statement from his captors regarding the situation in Lebanon.
Mr Anderson will now be taken to the American military hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, where two other US hostages, Joseph Cicippio and Alan Steen, have been since their release earlier this week.
On being the longest held American hostage, he said: "It is an honour I would gladly have given up a long time ago."
German hostages Thomas Kemptner and Heinrich Struebig remain in captivity.
Reply #370. Dec 04 08, 9:02 AM
December 5th 1977: Egypt severs ties with Arab hardliners|
President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt has broken all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen.
He has ordered their diplomats to leave Egypt within 24 hours and recalled his envoys from the countries.
The move is in retaliation to the four nations and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation signing the Declaration of Tripoli.
The document is an official pledge to "freeze" relations with the Egyptian Government.
Hostilities have been growing between Egypt and her former allies in the region after Mr Sadat visited Israel last month and became the first Arab leader to recognise the state.
The agreement in Tripoli is said to have formed a unified military front against Egypt which includes sanctions against any Egyptian company or individual doing business with Israel.
The coalition is also considering moving the headquarters of the Arab League from Cairo.
It called on all Arab states to give full financial, political and military assistance to Syria as the main confrontation state and it condemned Mr Sadat's visit to Israel as "high treason".
Egypt is now expected to expel an estimated 200 diplomats with the Syrians leaving first.
It is not yet known if Egypt will take any action against Iraq which walked out on the talks in Tripoli.
Iraqi president Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr refused to agree to the declaration because the remit was too vague and he wanted tougher sanctions against Egypt.
The Egyptian move is seen as a damper on the forthcoming visit to the Middle East by the US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.
Mr Vance will be seeking Arab support for Mr Sadat's peace initiative and his plans for preliminary talks on the subject in Cairo.
Reply #371. Dec 05 08, 1:59 AM
6th December 1975: Couple under siege in Balcombe Street|
Three armed IRA men on the run from police have burst into a flat in central London and taken at least two people hostage.
Officers have now sealed off the corner of Dorset Square and Balcombe Street, in Marylebone, after a car chase through the West End during which shots were fired.
The gunmen are believed to be members of an IRA hit squad which has been behind a number of attacks in the capital and home counties over the past few months.
They are accused of shooting dead TV presenter Ross McWhirter at his Enfield home a week ago, and also of carrying out attacks on London restaurants, the Hilton hotel and the Army public house at Caterham in Surrey.
Lying in wait
The couple being held hostage are John Matthews and his wife Sheila. There are reports they have a young child as well, although these have not been confirmed.
Police appear prepared for a long siege. A large mobile headquarters has been brought in and there is an army personnel carrier in a nearby street where several diplomats are believed to live.
Donna Martin, who lives in Dorset Square overlooking the siege address, was watching from her window:
"About 50 cars arrived at my doorstep. We all rushed to the window and I have never seen so many guns in my life. We saw the policemen with a car which was riddled with bullets.
"Then the police came into our flat. They all had guns and were wearing flak jackets."
The gunmen were cornered after they attacked Scotts restaurant, in Mayfair.
It was the second time the building had been targeted. On 12 November a bomb containing ball-bearings was thrown into the restaurant, killing one and injuring 15 others.
This time, police were lying in wait and when the gunmen opened fire from their car, a Cortina, they were ready to give chase.
The Cortina was pursued through the busy West End traffic to Gloucester Place in Marylebone. A number of shots were fired and the windscreen of the getaway car was shattered.
The driver could no longer see where he was going and stopped the car. Police later found a holdall in the car containing two sub-machine guns, a Sten gun barrel and a clip of ammunition.
The four gunmen ran down Balcombe Street and finally burst into a five-storey block of flats owned by Westminster City Council.
Mrs Matthews is reported to have opened the door of flat number 22B to see what all the noise was about and the men smashed their way past her and barred the door.
Reply #372. Dec 06 08, 2:15 AM
December 7th 1941: Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbor|
Japan has launched a surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and has declared war on Britain and the United States.
The US president, Franklin D Roosevelt, has mobilised all his forces and is poised to declare war on Japan.
Details of the attack in Hawaii are scarce but initial reports say Japanese bombers and torpedo-carrying planes targeted warships, aircraft and military installations in Pearl Harbor, on Oahu, the third largest and chief island of Hawaii.
News of the daring raid has shocked members of Congress at a time when Japanese officials in Washington were still negotiating with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull on lifting US sanctions imposed after continuing Japanese aggression against China.
At 0755 local time the first wave of between 50 and 150 planes struck the naval base for 35 minutes causing several fires and "untold damage" to the Pacific Fleet.
The Japanese squadrons dropped high-explosive and incendiary bombs.
A second strike followed at about 0900 when a force of at least 100 planes pounded the base for an hour.
At least two Japanese airplanes have been shot down but it is reported that at least 350 men were killed by one single bomb at the Hickam Army Air Field, an Air Corps post on Oahu.
Officials announced a further 104 Army personnel were killed and 300 were wounded in the raid.
It is believed the attack was launched from two aircraft carriers.
One radio report says US forces downed six Japanese planes and sunk four submarines.
There are reports the Hawaiian capital Honolulu was also bombed as well as the Pacific island of Guam and the capital of the Philippines, Manila.
A British gunboat, the Peterel, has also been sunk at Shanghai in China.
Reports from Singapore suggest a build-up of Japanese warships in the South China Sea and seem to be headed for the Gulf of Siam, towards Bangkok.
President Roosevelt is working on a message to Congress tomorrow in which he is expected to ask for a declaration of war with Japan.
The Times newspaper's Washington correspondent says the US Government expects Germany and Italy to declare war on the US within hours.
Although the attack has shocked the American people there is little doubt that it had been brewing for some years.
Relations with the United States have deteriorated since 1931 when Japan occupied Manchuria in northern China. Over the last decade conflict has intensified into a full-scale war between Japan and China.
Last year, the US imposed trade sanctions on Japan.
Then in September 1940 Japan signed a Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy. It became a formal member of the Axis alliance fighting the European war but continued to negotiate with America for trade concessions until today.
Japan's fury over the embargoes and allied support for China prompted a declaration of war
Reply #373. Dec 07 08, 1:41 AM
8th December 1980: John Lennon shot dead|
Former Beatle John Lennon has been shot dead by an unknown gunman who opened fire outside the musician's New York apartment.
The 40-year-old was shot several times as he entered the Dakota, his luxury apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side, opposite Central Park, at 2300 local time.
He was rushed in a police car to St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he died.
His wife, Yoko Ono, who is understood to have witnessed the attack, was with him.
A police spokesman said a suspect was in custody, but he had no other details of the shooting.
"This was no robbery," the spokesman said, adding that Mr Lennon was probably shot by a "deranged" person.
Witness reports say at least three shots were fired and others have claimed they heard six.
There are also reports Mr Lennon staggered up six steps into the vestibule after he was shot, before collapsing.
Jack Douglas, Lennon's producer, said he and the Lennons had been at a studio called the Record Plant in mid-town earlier in the evening and Lennon left at 2230.
Mr Lennon said he planned to have some dinner and then return home, Mr Douglas said.
Fans at scene
The Lennons are said to have left their limousine on the street and walked up the driveway when the gunman opened fire.
It is unclear whether the man had been lying in wait in the entrance to the building for Mr Lennon, or whether he came up behind him.
Witnesses describe the gunman as a "pudgy kind of man", 35 to 40 years old with brown hair.
Other former band members, Paul McCartney, guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr are thought to have been informed of Lennon's murder.
Fans have already begun arriving at the scene, many still unaware Lennon has died.
Mr Lennon is survived by his wife, their son Sean, and his son from a previous marriage, Julian.
Reply #374. Dec 08 08, 2:47 AM
9th December 1952: London fog clears after days of chaos|
Sunshine has returned to the capital following four days of dense fog in which London transport was brought to a standstill.
The atrocious conditions led to widespread disruption of rail, road and air services and affected shipping on the River Thames.
As freshening winds and milder temperatures dissipated the fog today London buses and coaches ran normally but still with some delays on the Southern Region railway.
The fog, which began on 5 December, also affected other areas of the south-east, with icy roads causing several road accidents. Ambulancemen and firemen had to walk ahead of their vehicles to reach those in need.
It also spread as far as northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
A cross-channel ferry carrying 300 passengers from Folkestone to Calais was 15 hours late. The ship had to anchor off the French coast, unable to get into port due to poor visibility.
Fog descended on London once again yesterday evening at the end of a relatively clear day.
By 1830 London Transport reported a virtual shutdown of its north-east London service and nearly all buses were out of action.
Only the London Underground was still running, but as buses stopped running once visibility was reduced to a few hundred yards this too became congested.
At Stratford, on the Central Line, 3,000 people queued for tickets.
London Airport was also severely affected - BOAC reported just two departures and four arrivals yesterday. All other flights were diverted to Hurn, near Bournemouth and passengers were taken by train to Waterloo.
The severe weather conditions led to a rise in crime as robbers used the cover of fog to break into houses and shops and attack and steal from Londoners making their way home in the darkness.
The weather even affected cattle brought into Earls Court in preparation for the Smithfield Show.
Farmers spent hours trying to reach the capital and when they finally arrived found many livestock had breathing difficulties. At least one animal died.
Opera and football cancelled
There was no escape from the fog inside either, as it seeped into buildings as well as filling the streets.
Last night, the Sadler's Wells threatre had to end a performance of La Traviata after the first act because the auditorium had filled with fog.
The fog also took its toll on several sporting events. A University Association Football due to take place at Wembley was postponed. It is the first time any fixture has been cancelled at the stadium since it opened in 1923.
Most rugby matches were cancelled and no Association Football League matches took place in London.
Reply #375. Dec 09 08, 2:12 AM
10th December 1981: Mystery disease kills homosexual|
A mysterious epidemic, which has been discovered in homosexual men, is causing increasing concern in the United States.
The unknown condition, which consists of two separate diseases - a form of pneumonia and skin cancer, has been found in 180 patients in 15 states since last July.
It has claimed around 75 lives so far in the US and up to 92% of the victims are homosexual men.
One death has been reported from the virus in London.
Although doctors have identified what appears to be a new disease, they have yet to devise a cure.
The epidemic is being investigated by the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta.
The specialist unit has already discovered the causes of two other diseases, the toxic shock syndrome and Legionnaires' disease.
Dr James Curran, who is investigating the condition, said: "It is a very serious problem and it does not seem to be on the wane."
Three studies in the New England Journal of Medicine show that the immune systems of victims are severely weakened, leaving them vulnerable to serious infections from germs which most people normally shrug off.
Homosexuals who have developed either of the two conditions have shown a low resistance to standard tests on their immune system.
Four victims also had rare skin ulcers normally caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Researchers claim that their findings are "part of a nationwide epidemic of immunodeficiency among male homosexuals".
Doctors are unsure of the cause of the epidemic which is carried in semen and other body secretions.
A study at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that homosexuals may be repeatedly infected with the virus.
One case also involved an intravenous drug user which implies that the disease could be spread by sharing needles.
Reply #376. Dec 10 08, 2:20 AM
11th December 1941: Germany and Italy declare war on US|
Germany and Italy have announced they are at war with the United States. America immediately responded by declaring war on the two Axis powers.
Three days ago, US President Franklin Roosevelt announced America was at war with Japan, the third Axis power, following the surprise attack on its naval base at Pearl Harbor.
Today Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, made his declaration first - from the balcony over the Piazza Venezia in Rome - pledging the "powers of the pact of steel" were determined to win.
Then Adolf Hitler made his announcement at the Reichstag in Berlin saying he had tried to avoid direct conflict with the US but, under the Tripartite Agreement signed on 27 September 1940, Germany was obliged to join with Italy to defend its ally Japan.
"After victory has been achieved," he said. "Germany, Italy and Japan will continue in closest co-operation with a view to establishing a new and just order."
He accused President Roosevelt of waging a campaign against Germany since 1937, blamed him for the outbreak of war in 1939 and said he was planning to invade Germany in 1943.
Over in Washington, President Roosevelt told Congress the free world must act quickly and decisively against the enemy.
"The forces endeavouring to enslave the entire world now are moving towards this hemisphere.
"Delay invites danger. Rapid and united efforts by all peoples of the world who are determined to remain free will ensure world victory for the forces of justice and righteousness over the forces of savagery and barbarism."
Resolutions against Germany and Italy were passed without debate. The only person who did not vote for war was pacifist Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin who had also voted against war with Japan.
In the Senate the vote was unanimous.
Both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to "adjourn politics" for the duration of the war and focus on national defence.
They have passed a new law which allows US servicemen to fight anywhere in the world.
Following the shock of Pearl Harbor, American citizens are flocking to volunteer for the US Navy and Marine Corps which do not take conscripts.
The US Army has already grown tenfold since the draft was introduced last year.
Reply #377. Dec 11 08, 10:03 AM
WOW this is very nice of you to be doing something like this, it must take a lot of your time!|
Reply #378. Dec 11 08, 3:51 PM
12th December 1967: Stones guitarist escapes jail for drugs|
Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones has had a nine month jail sentence overturned at the Court of Appeal in London.
He has been ordered instead to pay a £1,000 fine and has been put on probation for three years. An order to pay 250 guineas in costs still stands from his earlier hearing.
Jones, aged 25, has also promised to continue medical treatment with a psychiatrist.
On 30 October the guitarist pleaded guilty to two drugs offences, possession of cannabis and permitting his home to be used by others smoking cannabis.
Catapulted to fame
The judge handed down a nine-month jail term - but Jones was released on bail a day later pending his appeal.
The drugs - enough to make up to 10 reefer cigarettes - were found during a police raid of his Kensington flat in May after a party.
James Comyn QC told the Appeal court his client had since "cut out drugs, soft, hard or what you will for the future".
He said Jones was a highly intelligent and extremely sensitive young man who had been catapulted to fame.
He added: "It may sound trite but Jones has suffered every single day since sentence was passed upon him - a suffering which cannot be removed and may be regarded as penalty enough.
"This man is at the very crossroads of life and if you uphold the sentence it is liable to break him and his career.
"Brian Jones is at your mercy and it is mercy that he seeks."
Dr Anthony Flood, a consultant psychiatrist who treated Jones for three weeks while he was on bail, also spoke on his behalf.
He said waiting for the appeal had had "an astounding effect" on the young musician.
"I think if one put a reefer within half a mile of Brian Jones he would start running," Dr Flood said.
The court also heard from Dr Leonard Henry, a Harley Street psychiatrist, who described Jones as emotionally unstable.
The judges' view was given by Lord Parker who said it was difficult to understand the kind of life Jones led.
He said there was nothing wrong with the jail term imposed on Jones but the court had decided "not without considerable doubt" a degree of mercy would be shown.
The fine of £1,000 was the maximum allowed under the law.
Stones' lead singer Mick Jagger was in court to hear the judges' decision. He and fellow band member Keith Richards had been in court earlier in the year following a different drugs raid. They had also had their jail terms overturned.
As Jones left the court, he said: "I am very happy to have my freedom."
Reply #379. Dec 12 08, 2:03 AM
13th December 1995: Riots break out in Brixton|
Hundreds of black and white youths have taken to the streets of Brixton, in south London attacking police, ransacking shops and burning cars after the death of a black man in police custody.
About 50 police officers in riot gear have formed a line across Brixton's main road to stifle pockets of trouble and prevent anyone entering the area - the scene of massive rioting in 1981 caused by racial tensions.
One report said two shots were fired as the centre of the demonstration moved into the area of the Ritzy cinema.
A police motor cyclist is reported to have been pulled from his machine by a crowd of at least 10 rioters.
Officers have sealed off a two-mile area around the centre of Brixton and both Brixton and neighbouring Stockwell tube stations have been closed.
A police helicopter has been despatched over the area.
Riots broke out after a peaceful picket of the police station - triggered by the death last week of Wayne Douglas, 26.
Police said Mr Douglas, who was being questioned about a burglary, collapsed at the local police station.
A post-mortem later revealed he had suffered from heart disease.
The protest about his death developed into a march down Brixton's main street.
A standoff ensued between the police and about 100 demonstrators triggering a backlash of violence.
Witnesses have reported hearing groups of black youths shouting "Killers, killers" at the police.
A spokeswoman for the police said seven civilian casualties had been reported so far, and police were also dealing with sporadic pockets of trouble in the area around Brixton town centre.
She said there had been unconfirmed reports of petrol bombs being ignited.
"Officers were wearing protective clothing because we had reports of missiles being thrown," she added.
"We gave them every opportunity to move off peacefully but they hadn't done so."
Reply #380. Dec 13 08, 2:05 AM
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