February 9th 1983: Police hunt Shergar's kidnappers|
A nationwide hunt for 1981 Derby winner Shergar has begun in Ireland.
The prize stallion was kidnapped last night from stables in County Kildare owned by the Aga Khan and his family for 60 years.
The unidentified kidnappers - numbering at least six - told head groom James Fitzgerald they would telephone a ransom demand by lunchtime today but have still made no contact.
His trainer Michael Stoute said: "Shergar was the best horse I have ever trained and I only hope to God nothing happens to him."
Nicknamed "Shergar the wonder-horse", he has been valued by Lloyds of London at £10 million at stud and carried an insurance premium of £300,000 when he was in competition.
A bay colt with a distinctive white blaze, Shergar was named European Horse of the Year in 1981 and retired from racing that September.
He is owned by a syndicate including Islamic leader the Aga Khan.
The breeding season starts in a week's time and Shergar was due to start his second season as a stud - to mate with up to 55 mares.
So far his fertility rate has been impressive as 42 of the mares he covered last year are in foal and another has already given birth.
The kidnap - the first of its kind in Ireland - began when two armed and masked men burst into the home of Mr Fitzgerald at the Ballymany stud in Newbridge.
The raiders then locked Mr Fitzgerald's family in a downstairs room before forcing him - at gunpoint - to release Shergar from his security stable.
Then they pushed the horse and head groom into a horsebox and drove off.
Mr Fitzgerald was released four hours later and 40 miles away from the stud farm.
Detectives questioned him for several hours before putting listening devices in his home in preparation for further contact from the kidnappers.
Reply #441. Feb 09 09, 2:42 AM
On this date in 1809 two remarkable men were born - one in a log cabin in Kentucky, and the other in a country house in England. Both went on to shape the modern age. They were Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
Reply #442. Feb 09 09, 11:30 AM
Oh dear, I'm a little beforehand with my looking back at history! Darwin and Lincoln were indeed born on the same day in the same year, but the date was February 12, not 9! Thanks to Honeybee for bringing this to my attention.|
Reply #443. Feb 09 09, 12:21 PM
10th February 1983: British police on trail of mass murderer|
Police have launched a mass murder investigation in London after discovering human remains in drains.
They are looking for a total of 16 victims who they describe as male and probably young and homeless.
Scotland Yard has confirmed the remains of three men have been found on the premises of a terraced house in Muswell Hill, north London.
A police spokesman has named one of the dead men as Stephen Neil Sinclair, 20, of no fixed address.
A man has been arrested in connection with the bodies and is expected to be charged with murder tomorrow.
Plumber Michael Cottran alerted the police yesterday (Wednesday) after realising the 10 inch blockage he had discovered in the drain at 23 Cranley Gardens was some kind of flesh.
New occupants of the Muswell Hill address called him out the day before to investigate a smell coming from their drain.
Mr Cottran made the gruesome discovery under a manhole cover outside the house when it was too dark to identify it properly.
Pathologist Professor David Bowen examined the tissue as a team of six police officers began searching the blue and white painted house and questioning its occupants and their neighbours.
They found two human heads inside the property and took one man away for further questioning from a neighbouring house.
The investigation - headed by Detective Chief Superintendent Geoffrey Chambers - is to be extended to 195 Melrose Avenue, Cricklewood, where police expect to find another 13 bodies.
The semi-detached house, in north-west London, was only converted into two flats last year - from single rooms and bedsitters - when builders described it as virtually derelict.
Reply #444. Feb 10 09, 2:05 AM
February 11th 1956: 'Cambridge spies' surface in Moscow|
Two British diplomats who vanished in mysterious circumstances five years ago have reappeared in the Soviet Union.
Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean handed a statement to four representatives from the press in a hotel room overlooking Moscow's Red Square.
In their 1,000-word statement the former diplomats denied ever having been Soviet agents.
They said they had come to the USSR to "work for the aim of better understanding between the Soviet Union and the West".
In 1951 Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean were recalled to London from the British embassy in Washington after confidential documents went missing.
It was not either man's first problem while in the service of the Foreign Office - in 1950 Maclean was rumoured to have suffered a breakdown brought on by overwork and excessive drinking.
Burgess, 44, was also known to have a drink problem and had earlier been recalled from Washington for "serious misconduct".
But after their recall in 1951 both men disappeared before they could be questioned.
At the time it was rumoured there was a "third man" who had tipped them off.
Since then there has been continuing speculation about a spy ring composed of former Cambridge University students.
During their meeting with the press - Richard Hughes of the Sunday Times newspaper, Sidney Weiland from Reuters news agency and two Russian journalists - Guy Burgess appeared to take the lead.
But neither man - both dressed in apparently English-made pinstriped suits - was forthcoming when questioned by the journalists.
Guy Burgess said: "I have given out too many statements to the Press in my time not to know what I have just given you fellows.
"We just don't want to add to our statement," he said.
But Mr Maclean, 42, did admit his family had joined him in Moscow.
Just two weeks ago Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev denied Burgess and Maclean were in the USSR.
However, Mr Khrushchev is due to visit London soon and his desire to avoid awkward questions about the pair is believed to be behind today's statement.
Reply #445. Feb 11 09, 2:33 AM
12th February 1964: Deaths follow Cyprus truce breach|
Fighting between ethnic Turks and Greeks in the disputed island of Cyprus has left at least 16 people dead.
Shots started to be exchanged between the two sides' lines in the port town of Limassol late yesterday afternoon.
Four Greek Cypriots including a schoolgirl were reported to have been injured in the shooting before a ceasefire was negotiated.
Soon after ambulances driven by RAF personnel went into the area of fighting to bring out the wounded.
However, fighting resumed at around dawn on Wednesday morning.
By the time peace was restored the Greek Cypriots had succeeded in ousting the Turkish Cypriots from their last remaining strongholds in Limassol including Berengaria Castle.
The island's two main ethnic groups have been involved in a civil war since last year.
In 1960 Cyprus gained independence from Britain after a long and sometimes violent campaign by some ethnic Greeks who wanted Cyprus to become part of Greece.
The "Zurich Settlement" which set down terms for independence included a scheme of political proportional representation reflecting the fact that 82% of the population are ethnically Greek.
However, many ethnic Turks felt the system was unfair and received backing from Turkey whilst many Greeks wanted Cyprus to become part of Greece.
Greece and Turkey have been close to war several times with both claiming ownership of the island.
Britain now has a "truce force" stationed on the island which it ruled from 1914.
So far British soldiers have not got involved in the fighting and it is hoped that Cyprus' President Makarios will accept a bigger force from the Commonwealth to take their place.
In the wake of the fighting the US is planning to evacuate its citizens from Cyprus to Beirut.
However, Britain is advising about 2,000 families of service personnel in Limassol to stay put apart from those living near the Turkish quarter.
Reply #446. Feb 12 09, 12:38 AM
February 13th 2001: Landmark Aids case begins in Scotland|
A man has gone on trial in Glasgow for knowingly infecting a woman with the HIV virus in a case believed to be the first of its kind in Scotland.
Stephen Kelly, 33, is charged with taking no precautions when having sex with a former girlfriend despite knowing he was HIV-positive.
Mr Kelly contracted HIV in prison after sharing needles to inject heroin.
He met mother-of-three Anne Craig in 1994 after leaving prison but in court Ms Craig said he did not tell her about his condition for more than three months.
Ms Craig said initially Mr Kelly had denied being infected and said he had tested negative in prison.
It was only when Miss Craig began feeling unwell and took a blood test that revealed she had contracted HIV that Mr Kelly revealed the truth about his condition.
Ms Craig, 34, said that at first Stephen Kelly told her he had only just discovered that he had caught the virus from a previous girlfriend.
But she said he later changed his story.
"Mr Kelly told me he had actually caught the virus in Glenochil Prison and the story he told me was a fabrication," she said.
Mr Kelly denies telling Ms Craig it was safe to have unprotected sex with him and alleges he told her the truth about his condition from the start.
After learning that she had the HIV virus in March 1994 Miss Craig stayed with Kelly for several months but went to the police after they broke up.
Reply #447. Feb 13 09, 2:24 AM
14th February 1945: Thousands of bombs destroy Dresden|
British and US bombers have dropped hundreds of thousands of explosives on the German city of Dresden.
The city is reported to be a vital command centre for the German defence against Soviet forces approaching from the east.
Last night, 800 RAF Bomber Command planes let loose 650,000 incendiaries and 8,000lb of high explosives and hundreds of 4,000lb bombs in two waves of attack. They faced very little anti-aircraft fire.
As soon as one part of the city was alight, the bombers went for another until the whole of Dresden was ablaze.
The Dresden trip took 12 hours. On this trip, I could still see the fires 500 miles away from Dresden.
People's War memories »
"There were fires everywhere with a terrific concentration in the centre of the city," said one Pathfinder pilot.
RAF crew reported smoke rising to a height of 15,000 ft (4,572 m).
This was followed by another attack in daylight by 311 US heavy bombers.
The Americans sent 450 B-17 Flying Fortress long-range bombers which arrived at 1230 local time. The pilots witnessed fires still blazing from the night before.
The same number of bombers flew to the city of Chemnitz, south-west of Dresden, to attack railways and factories and yet more attacked Magdeburg.
A major road bridge across the Rhine at Wesel was also hit.
The Times newspaper reports 19 German planes destroyed along with 98 locomotives and 185 railway cars.
Dresden is regarded by the Allies as the centre of its rail network linking eastern and southern Germany with Berlin, Prague and Vienna.
Last night, the RAF also hit oil plants at Nuremberg, Bonn and Dortmund.
Fighter Command Spitfires also pinpointed V weapons sites in the Netherlands that have launched hundreds of flying bombs against England in the last year.
Reply #448. Feb 14 09, 2:31 AM
February 15, 1942 (I'm posting this early because I want to make sure I get it in)|
My baby sister was born and Singapore fell to the Japanese. My father used to joke that he wasn't sure which event had the most impact!
Reply #449. Feb 14 09, 5:51 PM
15th February 1952: King George VI is laid to rest|
King George VI has been buried at St George's Chapel on his Windsor Castle estate.
The King passed away in his sleep at the age of 56 on 6 February after 16 years on the throne, following the abdication of his brother Edward Windsor (King Edward VIII) in 1936.
Crowds began to gather in London in the early hours of this morning for the solemn procession through the capital's streets - closed to traffic from 0800 GMT.
And for the first time thousands more people were able to witness the event on television.
Shortly after 0900 GMT the funeral party - including the new Queen Elizabeth - arrived at Westminster Hall, where over 300,000 people paid homage to the King's body as it lay in state for three days.
The bells toll
The cortege - of foreign royalty, heads of state and the armed forces - began its dignified progress through London at 0930 GMT as the first of Big Ben's 56 chimes began.
Dressed in black, the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal were in the first carriage.
They were followed on foot by the Dukes of Edinburgh, Gloucester and Windsor in dress uniform and the young Duke of Kent in formal mourning wear.
The coffin was draped in the red, blue and gold of the Royal Standard.
The Imperial State Crown, the Gold Orb, the Sceptre, the insignia of the Order of the Garter and a white wreath from the Queen Mother were placed on top.
George VI's mother, Queen Mary, watched from Marlborough House.
The funeral party arrived at Paddington to the refrain of Chopin's Funeral March and the royal train left for Windsor at 1220 GMT.
After a brief service at St George's Chapel the United Kingdom and Commonwealth observed two minutes' silence at 1400 GMT to mark the final passing of their war-time monarch.
Reply #450. Feb 15 09, 2:04 AM
16th February |
1959: Castro sworn in as Cuban PM
Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has become the country's youngest ever premier.
At the age of 32, he has been sworn in as Prime Minister in the Cabinet Room of the Presidential Palace in Havana.
Dr Castro led the resistance against the seven-year military rule of President Fulgeneio Batista and commanded the 26 July Army, a guerrilla force that drove the old regime into exile on New Year's Day.
But this is the first time he has assumed administrative responsibilities within the new, provisional government.
Cuban newspaper 'Revolution' - regarded as the voice-piece of the 26 July Army - explained his appointment is to solve the problem of "a dispersal of power", as many workers and industries have observed Castro's pronouncements and not the government's since the revolution.
According to the newspaper, "now the government, the revolution and the people will take the same path."
Dr Castro was on leave from his previous post as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces when Dr Jose Miro Cordoba - prime minister since 5 January - and his cabinet resigned, without explanation, two days ago.
As well as his supporters, a hoard of Cuban and foreign media witnessed Fidel Castro being sworn into office wearing his olive-green rebel army fatigues and sporting his trademark square cap and beard.
He told them: "We have great plans and we suffer when we cannot put these into effect rapidly, but technical preparations take time."
He also denied he had any interest in taking over as president, saying legal moves to lower the age of eligibility for the post last week were the initiative of the incumbent president Manuel Urrutia Lleo.
President Urrutia and Prime Minister Castro are old allies and are expected to work together to achieve revolutionary aims of economic reform and improved living standards for all Cubans.
Reply #451. Feb 16 09, 2:30 AM
Gary, I remember with amazing clarity the day that King George died. I was 13 at the time and we were called into assembly at school. Our headmistress broke the news, with tears streaming down her face. The school chaplain led us in prayers for the peaceful repose of the King's soul, gave thanks for his life and service to his country and people, and for the Queen and Princesses and all the Royal Family, and then we were dismissed for the rest of the day. On the way home the streets were absolutely silent. People wept openly and it was a distinctly sombre day. George VI was greatly loved and admired and he died far too young.|
Reply #452. Feb 16 09, 4:18 PM
17thFebruary 1979: China invades Vietnam|
China has sent hundreds of troops into Vietnam after weeks of tension and a military build-up along the border.
Vietnamese Vice-Foreign Minister Nguyen Ko Tach has told ambassadors in Hanoi the Chinese troops have occupied nearly all Vietnamese border positions and are advancing southwards.
He did not give any idea of casualties or whether he would be calling on the assistance of the Soviet Union.
Vietnam and the USSR signed an alliance last year, but military analysts think it unlikely the nine Russian ships in Indochinese waters would be of much value in a land campaign.
An official statement from China has expressed a willingness to negotiate peace "after counter-attacking the Vietnamese aggressors as they deserve."
The assault follows months of exchanges between Chinese and Vietnamese authorities about illegal occupation of the ill-defined frontier territory.
Foreign observers have reported a quadrupling of the Chinese force there, numbering up to 150,000 troops and 300 aircraft, in the past three weeks.
Vietnam appears to have fewer soldiers as up to 100,000 of their troops are currently serving in Cambodia and another 25,000 are in Laos.
The Chinese Government in Peking (later Beijing) claimed the Vietnamese had made over 700 armed incursions into China and killed or wounded over 300 Chinese soldiers and civilians over the last six months.
The official Chinese Hsinhua News Agency said: "We do not want a single inch of Vietnamese territory. All we want is a peaceful and stable border."
Chinese vice-premier Deng Xiaoping has also threatened the Vietnamese Government in Hanoi with "punishment" for its engagement in Cambodia.
Hostilities between Hanoi and the Chinese-backed Cambodian Government broke out last year and culminated in the Vietnamese invasion on Christmas Day and collapse of Pol Pot's regime.
Vietnam has appealed to the United Nations and has not cut off diplomatic relations with China.
Reply #453. Feb 17 09, 1:59 AM
18th February 1996: Bomb blast destroys London bus|
Three people are feared dead and eight have been hurt after a bomb exploded on a double decker bus in the heart of London's West End.
The front of the bus was destroyed by the force of the blast on the Aldwych near the Strand.
The bus had travelled over Waterloo Bridge along Lancaster Place and was passing a Ministry of Defence building and turning onto Aldwych when the bomb exploded.
The explosion comes just nine days after the IRA ended its ceasefire with a bombing in the Docklands area of London, which killed two people.
Scotland Yard says it received no warning of the explosion which happened at 2238GMT.
The blast, thought to have been on a New Cross to King's Cross bus, could be heard five miles (eight kilometres) away and witnesses described devastation at the scene.
Six people have been taken to St Thomas's Hospital. Three of the injured have "significant" head injuries.
A further two people have been taken to University College Hospital.
One man is "serious but stable" in intensive care while another was admitted with minor cuts.
Three of the casualties were in two cars in front of the bus when the explosion happened.
Paul Rowan, 31, a BBC employee, described how the bus was a tangled mess, with metal and glass scattered over about 50 yards.
"I saw one woman who looked in a very bad way. She was face down on the road with bad-looking head injuries. There was blood all over the place."
Ten ambulances, five fire engines and four paramedic units were called to the scene.
A large area of the Strand was cordoned off amid fears over another device and police with loudspeakers warned people to move away or to stay inside restaurants, theatres and hotels.
Charing Cross railway station was closed, preventing many people from catching their last trains home to south-east London and Kent.
No-one has admitted carrying out the attack but one theory is that the bomb exploded as it was being taken to another destination in London.
Detectives are sifting through the wreckage and the London Central bus company is to hand a tape from the video recorder fitted to the bus over to Scotland Yard for examination.
The Prime Minister John Major was being briefed by officials at 10 Downing Street about the attack. The Irish Government condemned the explosion as "an appalling outrage".
Reply #454. Feb 18 09, 2:29 AM
February 19th 1968: Damages for thalidomide children|
Damages are to be awarded under a settlement agreed in the High Court to 62 children born with deformities, after their mothers took the drug thalidomide during pregnancy.
The Distillers Company (Biochemicals) Ltd has agreed to pay each of the children 40% of what they were claiming had their court actions been successful.
But Distillers, who produced and marketed the drug in Britain, has said any agreement is conditional on all allegations of negligence being withdrawn.
Legal experts estimate between £500,000 and £1.5m will be the likely pay-out, which means each child can expect between £5,000 and £45,000, depending on the extent of their disability.
'Fair and just agreement'
Mr Justice Hinchcliffe said it was a "fair and just" arrangement which it would be "folly to refuse".
"It is in the interests of the infant plaintiffs and their parents, and it reflects great credit on all those who have taken part in negotiating it," he said.
Appearing for the children and parents, Desmond Ackner QC backed the settlement, and said he believed that had the claims continued, "the plaintiffs would have failed to recover a pennypiece".
He said the claimants faced an uphill struggle to establish that Distillers were in breach of their duty of care to the unborn children - to which there is no legal precedent under English law.
Distillers says it is now considering providing a substantial sum to assist thalidomide children whose parents did not make a claim and who would not normally benefit from this settlement.
It is estimated that more than 400 children in the UK have suffered deformities as a result of thalidomide.
But Lady Hoare, founder of the Lady Hoare Trust for thalidomide children, says the money awarded to the 62 children at the High Court falls short of what is required.
"Even for this number this amount of recompense can never recompense for the disaster that's happened," she said.
Reply #455. Feb 19 09, 12:51 AM
20th February 1986: Soviets launch space station Mir|
The Soviets have opened a new phase in space exploration with the launch of the world's biggest space station, Mir.
The successful launch of Mir comes just over three weeks after the American space shuttle Challenger disaster, in which seven astronauts died.
At next week's Communist Party congress in Moscow the Mir project is likely to be hailed as proof that the Soviets are leading the peaceful exploration of space.
Mir, which means both peace and world in Russian, is intended to provide a base for a permanently manned complex orbiting the Earth.
It succeeds the Soviet Salyut models, the last of which, Salyut 7, was launched in April 1982 and is still in orbit.
The Americans also had a space station, Skylab, which suffered damage on its initial launch and eventually proved too costly to maintain and fell back to Earth in 1979.
Soviet officials say their new craft represents the transition from research to large-scale production activities in space.
The station has six docking stations, which means other modules or laboratories can be added to it, expanding its size and capability.
Remain in orbit
The deputy head of the Soviet cosmonaut training centre, Alexei Leonov, said it would only be possible to determine how long Mir would remain in orbit after it had completed its first flight.
He said the cosmonauts, now taking part in a special training programme, would have separate cabins with windows and even individual desks and armchairs.
Mr Leonov explained that Salyut 7 was too small for the plans now being implemented by Soviet experts.
It has only two docking stations and can support a crew of only three, whereas Mir can carry between six and ten people.
The main work of the first cosmonauts on board Mir will be to continue with the experiments in materials processing, begun on Salyut 6 and 7.
Other activities will include observation of the Earth using high-powered cameras, as well as helping locate mineral deposits on Earth and monitor the seas for trawlers.
Reply #456. Feb 20 09, 1:52 AM
21st February 1972: Nixon makes historic visit to China|
The American President Richard Nixon has arrived in China at the start of a week-long summit aimed at ending 20 years of frosty relations between the two countries.
His visit began with an unexpected audience with Chairman Mao Zedong at the leader's home. Few details have been released, but officials said the one-hour meeting involved a "serious and frank discussion".
After a modest reception at Peking airport, the president was formally welcomed at a lavish banquet held in the Great Hall of the People and hosted by Prime Minister Chou En-lai.
Years of tension
Mr Chou described Mr Nixon's long journey to China as a "positive move" responding to the wishes of the peoples of both countries.
He hinted at the years of tension between China and the United States - largely due to American support for nationalists in Taiwan - and credited both governments for "common efforts" to open the gate to better contacts at last.
The president responded positively. "There is no reason for us to be enemies," he said. "Neither of us seeks the territory of the other; neither of us seeks domination over the other; neither of us seeks to stretch out our hands and rule the world."
Using one of Mao's own quotations, Mr Nixon said it was time to seize the day and seize the hour "for our two peoples to rise to the heights of greatness which can build a new and better world".
There followed an elaborate round of toasts, in which the 800 guests at the banquet wandered from table to table clinking thimble-sized glasses containing Chinese firewater.
Commentators said the elaborate banquet was in marked contrast to the coolness of the president's reception at the airport.
This historic visit was engineered by the president's national security adviser, Dr Henry Kissinger, during two visits to China last year. It is part of a policy of rapprochement aimed at restoring diplomatic relations between the two sides.
Reply #457. Feb 21 09, 2:18 AM
22nd February 1974: Hearst 'ransom' provokes violence|
There have been near-riots in Los Angeles as the food distribution demanded as a ransom for kidnapped newspaper heiress, Patty Hearst, turned into farce.
The $2 million (£870,000) food handout has been called the most bizarre ransom ever paid, and was in response to demands from Miss Hearst's kidnappers, the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA).
Distribution points were set up in slum areas throughout Los Angeles and San Francisco at the request of Randolph Hearst, Miss Hearst's father and the son of flamboyant tycoon William Randolph Hearst
Long queues formed as up to 1,000 people gathered to collect bags containing turkey, bread, milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables.
The handouts were organised through charitable organisations, but in at least two of the food banks, fighting broke out and there were clashes with the organisers and police.
In Oakland, California, the 5,000-strong crowd grew angry when organisers threw food from a window to them as they waited below.
One policeman was stabbed and one man in the crowd was knocked unconscious as people began throwing cans of food back again.
Many of those who were meant to benefit turned down the food aid, saying they were horrified at the SLA's tactics.
"I'm not a wealthy person, but if I needed some food I wouldn't accept that food," said one woman. "That's a lousy way to get food, you know, at the expense of other people's happiness."
"I wouldn't accept it," said another resident of one of the poorer areas of Los Angeles. "I just value human life a little higher than a bag of groceries."
The SLA's demand for the handouts came accompanied by a taped appeal from Patricia Hearst herself earlier this month.
Miss Hearst has been held captive for over two weeks by the shadowy underground group.
In the tape, she sobbed and told her parents her captors were "perfectly willing to die for what they do".
She begged, "I want to get out of here, but the only way is if you do what they say and do it quickly."
The organisation of today's food distribution, however, was dismissed by another tape recording yesterday - the fourth sent by the SLA.
In the tape, which contained a short recording of Miss Hearst's voice, a member of the gang calling himself Cinque described Mr Hearst's efforts as "a few crumbs".
He demanded a further $4m (£2.6m) in food handouts within one week.
Reply #458. Feb 22 09, 2:30 AM
February 23rd 1959: Macmillan and Khrushchev talk peace|
Britain and the USSR have expressed a willingness to expand Anglo-Soviet trade and cultural ties during the first official meeting between British prime minister Harold Macmillan and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev.
On the second day of his ten-day visit to the USSR - the first by a British prime minister since Sir Winston Churchill during the war - Mr Macmillan was driven to the Moscow Kremlin this morning for talks.
It was later revealed the two sides spoke of "cultural matters of interest between the two countries" and ways to encourage the exchange of literature, film and study.
Yesterday, during informal talks in Semyonovskoye, 60 miles south-east of the capital, neither side could agree on establishing a demilitarised "free" city in west Berlin or on unifying Germany.
They also discussed ways of stopping nuclear testing and reducing arms in general, although no actual agreement is expected.
This evening, the British delegation held a dinner for Mr Khrushchev at the British Embassy opposite the Kremlin on the other side of the Moscow River.
In a cordial atmosphere of goodwill, Mr Macmillan welcomed his host with a speech praising the achievements of the Soviet Union and looking back on the war years when the two nations were allies against fascism.
"When I reflect on the present situation in the world, I wonder whether we have not at least as great a common interest today. That common interest is peace. Somehow, in spite of the difficulties and obstacles, let us combine for peace."
In two days' time, Mr Macmillan will play host to the Soviet leader at a dacha, or country house, lent to him by the USSR's government on the outskirts of Moscow.
Mr Macmillan has a busy schedule ahead of him, with visits to the ballet, concerts, universities, art galleries, atomic stations, factories and farms.
Reply #459. Feb 23 09, 2:03 AM
24th February 1955: Britain's big freeze|
Deep snow and freezing temperatures continue across Britain leaving many parts of the country cut off from essential supplies.
More than 70 roads in Britain are blocked by snow, according to the Automobile Association and hundreds of vehicles have been abandoned in snowdrifts as high as 30ft (9m).
Rail travel has also been severely affected and some areas in northern Scotland have not had a train service for several days.
The RAF has been working flat out to drop food and medical supplies to affected areas.
Concerns for the welfare of the country's thousands of sheep are mounting as many are completely cut-off from food supplies.
The RAF has dropped nearly 40 tons of hay over the Scottish Highlands during the past week but reports of many sheep being buried deep in snowdrifts are continuing.
Sport has also been severely affected. Most race meetings have been cancelled and the Football Association has indicated it may consider extending the season to catch up on missed games.
Temperatures have fallen below 28 degrees Fahrenheit (minus three degrees centigrade) - four degrees below freezing and the lowest for 30 years.
The low temperatures have caused severe frosts and icy conditions across the country.
In total about 60 counties in Britain are affected by snow and ice, according to the AA.
One of the worst affected areas in the country is Caithness in the Scottish Highlands, which has been totally isolated and without power or light since 17 February.
Two days ago a light aircraft carrying two people crashed in the snow in Caithness. The pilot and his passenger were rescued by a naval helicopter.
Floods on Britain's east coast made conditions almost unbearable and the AA described driving conditions in the south as treacherous.
In the west country there are concerns for livestock on Exmoor and Dartmoor which are both cut off by snow.
Yesterday more snow and 60-mile-per hour (96 kph) blizzards in the west paralysed many parts of Devon and Cornwall. Cornish police reported that 70 vehicles had been abandoned in 10-foot (3m) snowdrifts.
Many people have also been stranded in the Pennines in northern England.
This current spell of freezing weather conditions began in the first week of January. There was a slight thaw towards the end of the month but more snow began to fall in the middle of February.
As yet there are no signs of improvement in the conditions.
Reply #460. Feb 24 09, 1:59 AM
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