Sunday, July 31, 2005

Press coverage of terror raids

What was in many respects a major success in the War on Terror could have been a major tragedy. The timing of the raids on the north London flats seemed to have been forced upon UK authorities. Dawn raids have been a feature of most of the police operations in recent weeks. Maybe the imminent arrest of a suspect in Rome forced their hand. Nonetheless an operation was in full swing at around 10 a.m. Reporting of the events was restricted until the raid was well under way. And as the news filtered through it was clear the operation was significant. By mid afternoon news stations were reporting at least one bomber had been arrested. But the drama of what had occurred came into full focus when video footage surfaced on ITV News, and repeated on both Channel 4 News and CNN. As the raid started, an armed police officer, with dog in hand, attempted to gain entry or raise attention of the residents of a flat below the bombers' flat. However, as he kicked at the door, two small children exited from an adjacent flat. The children then appeared more interested in his large Alsatian than his gun. As they approached the dog the father is seen glancing around the door to see what the commotion is, only to retreat. The officer abandoned his attempt to enter the flat and Brian Dempster and his two children, Callum and Tehya, made their escape. The distraction of such an incident could have been fatal for the officer and the success of the operation. But little or no resistance was offered by either of the two suspects at the Peabody Estate, nor indeed in Rome where another suspect bomber was arrested. It could have been much worse. In Madrid, suspects wanted in connection with the train bombings in March 2004, detonated explosives, killing themselves and destroying their flat, as police moved in.
Now that all the wanted would-be bombers are in custody, many people are probably breathing a sigh of relief and dropping their guard. But a police spokesman yesterday [Friday] warned against complacency. "The threat remains and is very real" said the Deputy Asst Commissioner Peter Clarke, "We must be vigilant".
Many papers across the world covered the story of the dramatic arrests on their front pages. Many made use of pictures taken from the footage obtained exclusively by ITV News and the Daily Mail. The Sun had the headline "GOT THE BASTARDS", whilst the Mirror went with "GOT THEM". US newspapers brought the headlines "Got 'Em" from New York's Newsday, and "Al Qa-ught" from the New York Post. There was a major bidding war for the use of the stills from the video, and many papers did not use them. No doubt partly due to cost. The Daily Telegraph relied mainly on Associated Press photos and previously released CCTV photographs to identify the suspects. The Independent did manage to obtain its 'Exclusive' if somewhat fuzzy camera phone image from an Alan Simpson. And the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post made use of the same image from Dini Kennedy and Alan Simpson. Without the camera phones, residents' video cameras and stills taken from the BBC helicopter footage, there would be little record at all of the events of the day. By the time the media arrived, cordons were well in place. Most press photographs tended to be of police and or members of the public standing around near cordon tape. The only exception was that of anti-terrorist police officers in balaclavas, gas masks and Kevlar helmets, arming up before the raid. These were dramatic pictures too, however, the drama of the raid itself, seen by millions throughout the world, even if not quite in real-time was something rarely seen. It is only a matter of time before someone uses their webcam to do a live stream to Sky or BBC 24 during an unfolding news event in the future.
[03:30 GMT 31/07/2005]

Friday, July 29, 2005

Italy - 'Fourth bomber arrested' officials say

According to the Italian interior minister, the fourth would-be suicide bomber has been arrested in Rome, Italy. Sky News and BBC News 24, both quoting Reuters, broke the news at around 17:20 BST [UTC+1]. Speculation of a Rome connection is currently being discussed. This suspect is believed to be involved in the Shepherd’s Bush incident of the 21st July.
[16:24 GMT 29/07/2005]

London - '2 bombers arrested'

Sky News report three of the four would-be suicide bombers are now in custody, according to police sources. If reports are correct, the suspects from the Oval incident and the Hackney bus incident are now in custody. This would leave the Shepherd’s Bush suspect outstanding. Officially the police will only say that significant progress has been made.
[14:06 GMT 29/07/2005]

London - 'Oval Bomber captured'

The suspect is led away [picture: Sky News]
Both Sky News and BBC News 24 have reported the would-be Oval bomber has been arrested. Operations in the Notting Hill area are apparently still ongoing and details are still sketchy at this time.
[13:51 GMT 29/07/2005]

London - Notting Hill raids

A siege is currently ongoing in the Notting Hill area of London. Police had earlier asked all media to maintain a news blackout in order to maintain advantage in a raid upon a house in the area. Explosions, possibly stun grenades or gunfire, according to witnesses, have been heard in the area. Armed police, wearing gas masks, are laying siege to a flat according to AP, CNN reported. Police are ordering the occupant to ‘strip and exit the building’. Live images from the Peabody Estate are being restricted by Sky News, BBC, and ITN in order not to compromise the operations currently ongoing. It is not yet known if the the suspect is one of the would-be bombers from the 21st July. Meanwhile, BBC are reporting the arrest of 2 women at Liverpool Street station, 14:22 BST [UTC+1]. BBC have also just reported that the Oval bomber may have been arrested.
[13:31 GMT 29/07/2005]

Fear grips London

Londoners, far from being stoic and calm, are cowering in fear. Bicycle use in the centre of London has risen significantly as has the use of private cars. Tourism is down according to figures released this week. Although the tube system is gradually coming back on line, many are opting for taxis or buses in order to get from A to B. Expressions of Londoners’ fears are not hard to find. London’s radio talk shows are full of these sentiments. One grandmother said, “I don’t mind taking the risk myself, but I wouldn’t take the [grand] children up there”. A taxi driver, spoken to a week after the 7/7 attacks, said he had left the city on the day of the explosions and had only returned the following Wednesday. ASLEF members refused to drive trains following the failed attacks of the 21st. And as the Edgware Rd station opened today only a few passengers took the first trains. Those who do use the transport network cannot fail to miss the constant eye contact of other passengers as people scrutinize each other. The paranoia is not confined to commuters. Police have saturated the transport network with officers, many armed and some with sniffer dogs. Stop and search procedures have increased, and not just those fitting the ethnic profile of the ‘suicide bomber’. Train spotters, professional photographers, members of the press and commuters have all been subject to Stop & Search procedures. And as the paranoia increases so the sales of ‘Emergency Kits’ have increased by 150% in the last few weeks. The kit containing a basic first aid kit, a whistle, torch, water and dust mask sells for £18.
Comments by Ian Blair only compound the fear, "It does remain possible that those at large will strike again, and it does also remain possible that there are other cells that are capable and intent on striking again" he said Thursday
[12:53 GMT 29/07/2005]

Leaks overshadow polices ops

Police successes in the investigations following the terror attacks of the 7th and 21st July have been somewhat overshadowed by information leaks and ineptness. Several arrests have been made since the attacks including one of the would-be bombers. One of those arrested in Stockwell, on the same day Jean Charles de Menezes was shot, has been released without charge. But there is nonetheless a feeling of progress in the investigations. Commissioner Ian Blair has expressed concern after pictures of the tube blasts were leaked to the US television network ABC. Besides a request by authorities to ABC not to run the pictures, they were aired in the US on Wednesday and widely used in the UK media on Thursday and Friday. British police have said the leaked pictures could “prejudice the current investigation and any future prosecutions”. It is not clear how ABC acquired the photographs but it is thought shared information between authorities around the world, following 9/11, is to blame. In the US, one House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee member has expressed his concern. “We can’t be looking over each other’s shoulder wondering who is leaking whose information” Pete Hoekstra said Thursday. It is not the first leak to come from the US. Shortly after the 7/7 attacks a leaked document published in the New York Times [see 20/07/05] showed that British authorities had reduced the terror threat level from “severe defined” to “substantial”. And it is not just leaks that are concerning authorities. Following the mistaken shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on Friday 22nd July, police in West Yorkshire used a Tazer stun gun to subdue suspected would-be suicide bomber Yasin Hassan Omar this week. But Ian Blair has expressed his concern, saying the stun gun could have set off any explosives he may have been carrying. The Daily Mirror reported on Thursday that Omar had yelled, “Stay back or I’ll take you with me” before being hit with 50,000 volts. He was apparently wearing a rucksack at the time, which was thrown out the window according to TV reports on the day. Ian Blair said the use of stun guns was, “not policy”.
[12:51 GMT 29/07/2005]

As one war ends another just begins

As one war ends another begins. This is the take of many front pages in Friday’s newspapers following the IRA statement ending its armed campaign. PM Tony Blair said the announcement was “a step of unprecedented magnitude”. The White House was cautiously optimistic, welcoming the statement but saying it "must now be followed by actions demonstrating the republican movement's unequivocal commitment to the rule of law". Dr Ian Paisley, DUP leader, offered similar sentiments, "We will judge the IRA’s bona fides over the next months and years based on its behaviour and activity."
However the minds of many Londoners will be on the current threat it now faces. And besides more arrests following dawn raids to day in Tooting, south London, the threat remains. "It does remain possible that those at large will strike again, and it does also remain possible that there are other cells that are capable and intent on striking again," Ian Blair, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said Thursday. Of the 6 arrested Thursday in Tooting, one witness, quoted on the BBC, said one was a ‘spitting image’ of one of the suspects.
[00:30 GMT 29/07/2005]

Weather wrap - Heatwaves, Tornados and Floods

Hundreds of scouts have suffered heat exhaustion in Virginia, USA [Times Union] as temperatures soared into the high 30s just a day after 4 others died in an accident. They had been waiting for President Bush to make a scheduled appearance at an annual jamboree. However his visit was cancelled due to electrical storms. The four scouts who died, were electrocuted after they erected their tent under power lines, Wednesday. On this side of the Atlantic, a tornado swept through Birmingham in the north of England. Dozens of houses were destroyed, trees were uprooted and cars were thrown into the air after winds of 180 kph. The BBC reported up to 19 people injured. No deaths occurred. In India, however, over 400 have died in worsening floods. The Mumbai area, formerly known as Bombay, has been particularly hard hit. Over 65 cm of rain fell in one day alone. The rainy season is set to last for at least another month. [BBC]
[00:06 GMT 29/07/2005]

Thursday, July 28, 2005

IRA has "ordered end to armed campaign"

The IRA has released its anticipated statement declaring an end to its armed campaign. Ulster Unionists remain extremely sceptical especially with the coincidental timing of Sean Kelly’s release. Sean Kelly an IRA member, was convicted for the bombing of a fish & chip shop in the Loyalist Shankill Road in October 1993. Nine died in that attack. Thousands of people have died in the thirty years of troubles, many of them victims of the IRA. But others have also died at the hand of both Loyalist groups and the British Army which has been seen on the streets in Northern Ireland since the troubles began in the 1960s. Besides the cautious scepticism, there is at least a glimmer of hope, though some such as Ian Paisley will require much more to be convinced.
This is the full statement from the IRA
“The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm [15:00 GMT / 16:00 BST] this afternoon. All IRA units have been ordered to dump arms. All Volunteers have been instructed to assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever. The IRA leadership has also authorised our representative to engage with the IICD [Independent International Commission on Decommissioning] to complete the process to verifiably put its arms beyond use in a way which will further enhance public confidence and to conclude this as quickly as possible. We have invited two independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic churches, to testify to this. The Army Council took these decisions following an unprecedented internal discussion and consultation process with IRA units and Volunteers. We appreciate the honest and forthright way in which the consultation process was carried out and the depth and content of the submissions. We are proud of the comradely way in which this truly historic discussion was conducted. The outcome of our consultations show very strong support among IRA Volunteers for the Sinn Fein peace strategy. There is also widespread concern about the failure of the two governments and the unionists to fully engage in the peace process. This has created real difficulties. The overwhelming majority of people in Ireland fully support this process. They and friends of Irish unity throughout the world want to see the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Notwithstanding these difficulties our decisions have been taken to advance our republican and democratic objectives, including our goal of a united Ireland. We believe there is now an alternative way to achieve this and to end British rule in our country. It is the responsibility of all Volunteers to show leadership, determination and courage. We are very mindful of the sacrifices of our patriot dead, those who went to jail, Volunteers, their families and the wider republican base. We reiterate our view that the armed struggle was entirely legitimate. We are conscious that many people suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative on all sides to build a just and lasting peace. The issue of the defence of nationalist and republican communities has been raised with us. There is a responsibility on society to ensure that there is no re-occurrence of the pogroms of 1969 and the early 1970s. There is also a universal responsibility to tackle sectarianism in all its forms. The IRA is fully committed to the goals of Irish unity and independence and to building the Republic outlined in the 1916 Proclamation. We call for maximum unity and effort by Irish republicans everywhere. We are confident that by working together Irish republicans can achieve our objectives. Every Volunteer is aware of the import of the decisions we have taken and all Oglaigh are compelled to fully comply with these orders. There is now an unprecedented opportunity to utilise the considerable energy and goodwill which there is for the peace process. This comprehensive series of unparalleled initiatives is our contribution to this and to the continued endeavours to bring about independence and unity for the people of Ireland.”
[12:48 GMT 28/07/2005]

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Space Shuttle fleet grounded by NASA

The space shuttle fleet has been grounded according to latest reports on CNN. Earlier NASA reported that a piece of foam had fallen away from the main fuel tank on launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on its mission named STS-114. It is not yet clear how severe the damage is to the heat resistant tiles on the Discovery. "We are treating it very seriously," Bill Parsons, space shuttle program manager, told reporters, but added, "Are we losing sleep over it? Not yet." The shuttle is due to return on the 7th August. [BBC]
[23:25 GMT 27/07/2005]

UK - bomber 'may have fled country'

One of the bombers may have fled the country according to Channel 4 News tonight. Muktar Said Ibrahim, the alleged would-be bus bomber, could have left through the port of Dover and police in Belgium have been put on alert. Police have been rattled after pictures surfaced on ABC News, in the United States, of bombs found in the car at Luton. They show several types of explosives including a 'nail-bomb', sixteen devices were found according to Channel 4 News quoting ABC sources. It is not clear how the TV network secured the pictures. Other pictures shown were of the scenes of explosion on the 7th July, that of the blasts on three subway trains at Aldgate, Kings Cross and Edgware stations.
[19:15 GMT 27/07/2005]

Issues of civil rights after London attacks

Alex Figueiredo, cousin to Jean Charles de Menezes.

Cherie Blair, wife of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and a QC has urged the government not to overreact with new anti-terror laws. Speaking in Malaysia as a human rights lawyer, she said: "Nothing I say here could possibly be construed as making light of those horrible acts of violence or of the responsibility imposed on the UK and other governments to keep the public safe, or of the difficult and dangerous task performed by the police and intelligence services.” But she said, an overly authoritarian reaction which would "cheapen our right to call ourselves a civilized nation."
Meanwhile, in England today, Gareth Peirce, another human rights solicitor spoke of her and the family’s concerns following the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on Friday last week. She said there was “a rush to judgment” by those in high places following the incident and before an inquiry had taken place. She spoke too of “astonishment” of the use of the term ‘shoot to kill’ policy as though it were a “term of law”. She hoped the inquiry would be quick and it would be transparent. Alex Figueiredo, cousin to Jean Charles de Menezes, said in broken English, “I want to say that people have to open their minds and see that the Blair [government] has been doing something wrong for a long time, and they kill a lot of people far from here. Now people here start to die. If no-one do anything, it go too far. You have to stop it”. The BBC cut away from the live press conference details of which surfaced on Channel 4 News later. Another cousin told assembled media that several details released after the shooting were incorrect. Early reports from the police had suggested Jean Charles de Menezes was wearing a ‘bulky coat’ when in fact he had been wearing a jean jacket. Vivien Figueiredo, another young cousin, told reporters that police had told her that de Menezes had not ‘jumped the barrier’ as earlier claimed, but used his travel card as any normal passenger. She also said reports that Jean Charles de Menezes was an illegal immigrant were also untrue, something which Jack Straw had substantiated shortly after press reports claiming his visa had expired.
[15:37 GMT 27/07/2005]

UK - 'Suicide bomber' arrested

Yasin Hassan Omar, one of the suspected would-be suicide bombers, has been arrested in Birmingham according to several reports on news channels. He is the suspect related to the failed attack at Warren Street underground station on 21st July. He was arrested at 04:40 BST [UTC+1] at a house in Heybarnes Road in the Small Heath area. He is also connected to the flat in north London which was raided by police yesterday.
[13:55 GMT / 14:55 BST 27/07/2005]

Rumsfeld in Iraq, Zapatero in UK

Puzzled looks and confusion were clearly seen on the faces of those in attendance at the latest Downing Street press conference. The translation audio problems continued throughout the press conference held during Jose Zapatero’s visit to London. It was covered initially by most news broadcasters. Sky, BBC 24, ITN, CNN, Euronews and Al Jazeera all covered the speeches Live. As the question over Iraq came up from Sky’s Adam Bolton most coverage cut away. Sky, BBC 24 and ITN ceased coverage along with Euronews and Al Jazeera. This left only CNN covering this conference.

Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari had said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country. Tony Blair responded to this by saying, “As the Iraqi force build so our forces may be diminished.” He said he’d not heard the actual comments and had only been made aware of the visit by Mr Rumsfeld just prior to the press conference.
On the ‘War on Terror’, Tony Blair said “an alliance of civilizations” existed between the two countries. He also said a European arrest warrant was essential. Jose Zapatero supported his stance saying, “The struggle with terrorism is not a conventional war.”
[13:36 GMT 27/07/2005]

UK - multiple arrests in 'War on Terror'

As the anti-terrorist police operation continues, several arrests have been made. One of those arrested is said to be one of the would-be bombers according to Sky News. The arrests came in the early hours of Wednesday morning as police raided houses in the Birmingham area. The ‘suspected bomber’ was arrested in the Heybarnes Road in the Small Heath area of Birmingham. He was apparently wearing a rucksack at the time of the raid which occurred at 04:30 BST [UTC+1]. Police used a Taser electronic stun gun to subdue the suspect and he was transferred to Paddington Green police station in London, according to police sources. Three other men were arrested at another address, Sky reported earlier. According to nearby residents they were Somali and had only recently moved to the address in the Ward End area. Explosives experts were called to the scene to investigate possible explosives at the address. In an apparently unrelated incident, two men were arrested on a train at Grantham station at 23:00 BST late Tuesday. Their arrests on the Kings Cross bound train came after receipt of information from two off duty Met Police officers. An arrest has also been made at Luton airport following a security alert, Sky News reported ahead of the Tony Blair's meeting with Spanish premier Jose Zapatero.
[12:44 GMT 27/07/2005]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

War on Terror - Latest developments

Developments in the ‘War on Terror’ today. French police arrested two suspects connected to the Madrid bombings of March 2004. In Holland, a court has convicted and sentenced Mohammed Bouyeri to life imprisonment for the murder of Theo Van Gogh. Van Gogh, a descendent of the painter Vincent Van Gogh, was killed by Bouyeri for his critical and often scathing films about islam. He was shot and stabbed to death on the 2nd November 2004. In England, police say they are making breakthroughs as they close in on the terror network responsible for the attacks of 7th July and the failed attacks of 21st July. Today a block of flats was sealed off in north London, and a flat was searched by forensics police investigators. It is believed that the terrorists responsible for the 21st July attacks returned here after their bombs failed to detonate. Police were also searching a garage in the complex at Curtis House, New Southgate. Later in the afternoon police sealed off streets around a white Volkswagon Golf near the A406 London ring road. The car is said to be connected to the terrorists, but although some reports said it was stopped by police, residents told Channel 4 News that it had been abandoned for a few weeks and had a flat tyre. Authorities also named two of the suspects wanted in connection to the 21st July incidents. Muktar Mohammed Said, the would-be No 26 bus bomber, and Yassin Hassan Omar, the would-be Warren St bomber are, along with two others, as yet un-named, still on the run. Tony Blair in a 90 minute press conference said he would “not give an inch to terrorism”. In what some saw as a powerful speech, he criticized those who had acknowledged the attacks of 9/11. The September 11th attacks had been a “wake-up call” he said, but “they [the international community] then turned over and went back to sleep”. It was not clear to whom he was pointing the finger, but it may well be a criticism of those that have not fully supported the War on Terror or have been seen to back down in the face of terrorism. There was "no justification for suicide bombing whether in Palestine, Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere; in the United States of America, there is no justification for it. Period" he said.
[19:51 GMT 26/07/2005]

Shuttle launch successful

Space Shuttle Discovery has successfully taken off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Their mission to restock the ISS as well as to carry out repair exercises on the shuttle.
[13:50 GMT / 10:50 Florida time 26/07/2005]

London - shooting of innocent man

The picture of events surround the police shooting of a Brazilian man Friday are beginning to emerge. Police have said they followed the Brazilian, Jean Menezes, from his flat after identifying the residency with being that of one or more of the terror suspects. The plain clothes policemen, described as dressed shabbily by one witness, then followed the man firstly onto a bus and then into Stockwell station. Criticism has been made that the police did not stop the suspect from boarding the bus, if indeed he posed such a major threat. Nonetheless he was only challenged when entering the underground station. It is still not clear what the exact details as to the challenge made. Mr Menezes apparently ran down the escalator and entered the train where two offers apparently held him down according to one witness and unloaded 8 rounds into him. Seven bullets hit Mr Menezes in the head and one in his shoulder, police said yesterday. As the passengers escaped up the stairs and escalators, the driver of the train left his cab and escaped along the tunnel. He was then chased by police and was briefly held with a gun pointed at his head, according to ASLEF. Police later apologized a report in the Scotsman said. Jack Straw, foreign secretary, has said he is “very, very sorry” over the shooting of Mr Menezes, but the anger in Brazil and confusion as to how such a ‘mistake’ could occur, prevails. Opinions vary widely from support of the police, to utter condemnation of a ‘trigger happy police force’.
Blogging has been the outlet for many, as the BBC reports.
[13:30 GMT 26/07/2005]

Shuttle ready for launch

Space shuttle Discovery is set for launch in little over one hour. NASA have investigated the failing fuel sensor which halted a launch two weeks ago. It will be the first shuttle mission in over two years after missions were scrapped following the Columbia disaster in February 2003. [NASA]
[13:05 GMT 26/07/2005]

Saturday, July 23, 2005

London - shot man was Brazilian

The man shot in Stockwell station has been identified as Jean Charles Menezes, a 27 year old Brazilian from the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. The Brazilian government has released a statement saying they are “shocked and appalled” following at the shooting and are asking for a “full explanation” from British authorities. His family meanwhile have asked that his body is returned quickly. "I asked that the body be released as quickly as possible, we need to bring him to Brazil, which is what the family wants," his cousin, Alex Alves, told Globo television. Mr Alves said his cousin had lived in London legally for three years and was heading to his job when he was killed. Mr Menezes was an electrician, he said. Another cousin, Aleide de Menezes, said Jean Charles de Menezes spoke English very well and would have understood police instructions, CBN radio reported.
[22:10 GMT 23/07/2005]

London - shot man 'not terrorist' say police

Police have said the man shot dead by police at Stockwell Station yesterday, was not connected to the terror incidents of the 21st July. The man was shot at point blank range “in the head” up to five times according to shocked witnesses. Police said he is “probably not connected to the 7th July bombings”, but would not completely rule out a ‘terror link’. Yesterday, Scotland Yard said the man was connected to the terror attacks. Describing the incident as a tragedy, Scotland Yard said today that "For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets." Liberty, a human rights organisation, called for a "prompt, comprehensive and independent investigation". Two other persons remain in custody following arrests yesterday and this morning, officials have said. [BBC]
[19:58 GMT 23/07/2005]

Egypt - death toll reaches 88

The death toll in last nights bomb blasts in Egypt has claimed at least 88 lives, authorities have said. The three bombs exploded in the tourist resort of Shaam al-Sheik. Two were car bombs, another was in a rucksack in a beach, according to Sky News. Many of the dead are Egyptian, but there are foreigners amongst them. [BBC]
[18:43 GMT 23/07/2005]

Friday, July 22, 2005

Egypt - death toll rises in bomb blasts

Talking to the BBC, one witness has described the attack on a hotel in Egypt as “absolutely devastating.” Fabio Basone, a resident of the Tropicana Hotel, said he had seen at least two bodies and feared many more. He described a scene of carnage, with glass and debris thrown across the street from the blast, which had blown off “the whole front of the hotel.” At least 20 are dead in the attack according to Reuters news agency. AP report 25 dead and 110 injured. Al Jazeera reported 30 dead and 100 injured as of 23:50 GMT.
[23:56 GMT / 00:56 BST 22-23/07/2005]

Middle east violence increases

Sixteen people including a young bride died in a suicide attack near Baghdad today. The bride had only married yesterday. In another suicide attack around 12 people died and others were injured, CNN tonight reported. That attack also occurred in Baghdad. The week has seen much violence hidden from media elsewhere due to coverage of the attacks in London. On Wednesday the Iraqi government called for the nationwide moment of silence to remember the Iraqis and one American soldier killed July 13 in Baghdad and the nearly 100 people killed in last Saturday in a massive bombing in Musayyib, 65 miles to the north.
Iraq was not the only country to see increased violence this week. Several people were injured in an explosion on a street in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, coming only hours after Condoleeza Rize visited the city. She had stopped for an unannounced meeting on her latest whistle-stop tour. And in Yemen, fuel riots saw the deaths of at least 36 people in two days of rioting. Fuel prices were increased on Wednesday and subsequent protests were fired upon by police after stone throwing.
[23:36 GMT / 00:36 BST 22-23/07/2005]

Egypt - '20 dead in car bombs'

Up to twenty people have been killed in explosions in a tourist district of Egypt. A resident of one hotel told Sky News that he didn’t believe the authority’s story that a gas explosion had occurred. Egyptian authorities later said 3 car bombs were involved in the explosions in Shaam el Sheik.
[23:14 GMT / 00:14 BST 22-23/07/2005]

Police release pictures of bomb suspects

At a police press conference at the QE II centre in London, Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police, said police were facing a "great operational challenge" but that investigations were moving swiftly. "Rumours are sweeping London" he said, and asked that the public to wait for the facts as they were made available. The shooting incident at Stockwell station occurred at 10 am, the Commissioner said. "The man was shot was "directly linked" to these investigations, but he failed to elaborate with precise details. He did say that "any death deeply regrettable."

Images were released of four individuals wanted in connection with the London attacks of 21st July. One of the suspects was pictured running from the scene of the Oval station incident wearing a black sweatshirt emblazoned with 'New York'. The shirt was later found in Cowley Rd., Brixton. Police appealed for information to their anti-terror hotline - 0800 789321
[15:56 GMT / 16:56 BST 22/07/2005]

London - Armed police seal off street

Police have sealed off Harrow Road in north-west London. BBC News 24 said police snipers had been deployed in the incident which started at 13:40 BST [UTC+1] Sky have said the police are searching a premises near a Thai restaurant.
[14:10 GMT / 15:10 BST 22/07/2005]

Suspect 'went home' after attacks

According to a Sky News correspondent the suspect shot today had been tailed by undercover police. Sources have revealed that the alleged bomber had been identified from CCTV images taken at key locations from yesterday’s incidents. Police had then followed him from his home, where he appeared to have returned after escaping yesterday.
[13:20 GMT / 14:20 BST 22/07/2005]

Witness describes shooting

Mark Whitby, a journalist who witnessed the shooting, said he heard shouting before seeing the man enter the subway carriage in which he was sitting. “He half sort of tripped and as two [plain clothes officers] held him down … I heard five shots” he said to assembled media outside Stockwell underground station. The shot man was described as Asian wearing a padded jacket. No bag or rucksack was seen. As Mr Whitby left the station, he said he saw many police officers entering the station and descending the escalators, all of them armed. Police have confirmed a man was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. The east London mosque was earlier sealed off today, details of which are still unclear.
[12:00 GMT / 13:00 BST 22/07/2005]

Claim of responsibility for London attack

Abu Hafs Al-Masri Brigade has claimed responsibility for yesterdays failed attack on London’s transport system. The claim was made on a website according to Reuters. Besides claims for attacks on Madrid’s transport system in March 2004, experts have discredited these claims. US officials say links of the group to al-Qaeda are unclear. Part of the statement read, "Our attack in the heart of the infidel British capital is nothing but a message to all European governments that we will not rest until all the infidel troops leave Iraq." It was dated July 22.
[11:50 GMT / 12:50 BST 22/07/2005]

London - 'Suicide bomber' shot by police

Police have shot a man outside Stockwell underground station. Sky News report the man was a suspected suicide bomber. According to one witness, the man, described as Asian, was seen jumping over the ticket barrier, shouting was heard and gunfire quickly followed. Another eyewitness told Sky that armed police put 5 shots into him.
[10:39 GMT / 11:39 BST 22/07/2005]

Thursday, July 21, 2005

China - Yuan revalued

China today revalued its currency. The reform is seen as the first step towards the “liberalisation of China's tightly controlled currency”, the BBC reported. The Yuan, instead of being pegged to the Dollar, is now tied to a “basket of other currencies” said CNN. Many have thought the peg to the Dollar undervalued the Yuan. China's currency had been pegged at 8.28 against the dollar, but the new move effectively strengthens it by 2.1%, to 8.11 to the dollar. On the street prices will be cheaper in China itself, while goods exported will increase in price throughout the west. The stock market fell briefly in the US, but Euro markets rallied with possible increased exports to China, resulting from a more competitive market place. Other financial news from China as shares climbed in the Chinese oil industry, Bloomberg News reported.
[21:51 GMT 21/07/2005]

London - 4 bombers on the run

A man was arrested following the incident at Warren St, according to police sources. Sky News stressed he was not one of the bombers but instead “someone who was acting suspiciously”. He was apparently being held at a “secure location, probably Paddington Green police station” under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The four would be suicide bombers are reported to be fugitives tonight.
[21:30 GMT / 22:30 BST 21/07/2005]

Ch 4 News - manhunts, UXBs and links to 7/7

Channel Four News report that traces of ‘Acetone Peroxide’ were found at the scene. This, said the report, seems to indicate a link to the explosions of 7th July. ‘Unexploded’ devices are still in place and cordons may remain for some time, Ch 4 News reports. The man arrested at gunpoint near Downing Street was ‘unconnected’ to the incidents the report went on to say. The ‘incident’ at University College London [Hospital] surrounded a possible ‘suspect with wires sticking from his clothing’, Ch 4 News said. A memo passed around the hospital, and seen by a Ch 4 News reporter, seemed to confirm this, indicating a probable manhunt. An ‘expert’ speaking on Ch 4 News, said that the explosive may have become unstable if made some time ago, and thus failed to detonate.
[18:26 GMT / 19:26 BST 21/07/2005]

Helpful Information

For travel information check the Transport for London website.
For a full overview of today's events see Wikipedia or check main news links on right. Police are requesting information and pictures be sent through their website
[17:30 GMT / 18:30 BST 21/07/2005]

Police press conference reveals little

In a press conference police confirmed the four scenes at which ‘attempt’ had been made to ‘detonate devices’. Sir Iain Blair asked the media to be patient as the authorities attempted to provide the facts. He gave praise to the emergency services. Due to the forensic evidence left at the scene, “It may be a positive breakthrough” for the police investigation, he added.
“The intention must have been to kill” Iain Blair, the London Police Commissioner told the media. But he would not confirm whether or not there were arrests, nor if a manhunt was underway. Neither would he confirm an earlier Reuters report that a ‘nail bomb’ was involved at the Warren Street incident. “It is too early to say” whether the attacks had the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda, Iain Blair told reporters. He would not confirm or deny reports that a bomber’s rucksack had ‘exploded whilst on his back’. He told the Boston Globe reporter, he would not “get into specifics”.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that “It is not surprising” that London was attacked so soon after the 7/7 attacks.
So in essence, nothing was confirmed other than what has already been reported in the ongoing news coverage.
[17:06 GMT / 18:06 BST 21/07/2005]

More witnesses speak to TV news

One passenger caught in the Warren Street incident described a scene of panic and a smell of smoke. Another said he was “wary of travelling by tube” after the previous attacks and would not be travelling by tube again. A police press conference is expected at 17:30 BST [UTC+1]. Many commuters are attempting to make their way home in whatever way they can. Some are set for a long walk. Bakerloo, Hammersmith & City, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines are all affected with closures. Roads are described as 'heavy'. A security alert has affected rail services in the St Albans area.
[16:28 GMT / 17:28 BST 21/07/2005]

Police - 'No sign of Chem/Bio attack'

Police say there is ‘no sign of chemical or biological agents’ at the scene of the explosions. The specifics are as yet unclear. Only one casualty has been reported from the Warren Street incident. A passenger of the No 26 bus, Mark Bond, has told the BBC he heard a bang and left the bus very quickly, “as soon as those doors were open I was gone”. He described the reaction of other passengers, “Everybody just got of the bus, about twenty people,” he said. “It’s just started to hit home, I didn’t expect it in Hackney” he added. At the Oval station incident a passenger who was entering the station told CNN he saw a man running from the scene being pursued by some 10 or so people. The individual was described as ‘Asian’, skinny, aged about ‘eighteen or nineteen’ with short hair. As he ran past the witness, he is alleged to have said something to the effect of “what’s wrong with these people”, before making his way into the park. It is not known if the ‘suspect’ was captured.
[16:02 GMT / 17:02 BST 21/07/2005]

PM Blair speaks on attack

PM Blair was due to speak at Downing Street at 15:15 BST [UTC+1] however he was delayed some 30 minutes. Possibly due to the increased security threat. A man has in the last 20 minutes been arrested near the entrance to Downing Street in Whitehall. He was led away by armed police. The police soon after ordered all TV cameras switched off in Downing Street. The Prime Minister said that there seemed to be few injuries and that London should remain calm.
[14:45 GMT / 15:45 BST 21/07/2005]

London Attack #2 - Latest developments

There is no trace at Oval Station of chemical or biological agents, following initial investigations, police have said. There are reports of armed police entering the University College Hospital. One witness speaking to Sky News said she saw someone struggle with a man with a rucksack. Another that a man threw a rucksack onto a train prior to it’s ‘exploding like a series of champagne bottles’ before running away. The bus driver of the No 26 Waterloo to Hackney bus, is said to have heard ‘a bang’ and ‘smelt cordite’. Four hundred metre cordons are in place around all the incident sites.
[13:57 GMT / 14:57 BST 21/07/2005]

Police - "Stay where you are"

At 12:30 BST [UTC+1] the first reports of an incident at Warren St was received by the London Ambulance Service. Shortly afterwards reports were received of incidents at Shepherds Bush and Oval stations and then a No 26 bus. Police confirm four explosions. Sir Ian Blair, of New Scotland Yard, issued a statement saying to Londoners to “Stay where you are.” Police, Fire and Explosives experts, dressed in Chemical & Biological Protection Suits are being deployed into Warren Street station.
[13:37 GMT / 14:37 BST 21/07/2005]

London - 'explosions' on bus and trains

The picture is still not clear from reports circulating on the internet nor indeed broadcast media. CNN report a device that has exploded at Warren Street. Reuters have reported a ‘nail-bomb’ at the same location. A bus has seemingly become involved in this alert and remains cordoned off in Hackney Road, east London. Sky report the windows blown out on the bus from an explosion.
[13:00 GMT / 14:00 BST 21/07/2005]

Breaking News - London Alert

Breaking news reports on Sky, CNN, ITN and BBC 24 are reporting ‘ongoing incidents’ at Oval, Shepherds Bush and Warren Street tube stations. The Underground Stations are being evacuated.
[12:24 GMT / 13:24 BST 21/07/2005]

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The blame game in the 'War on Terror'

Another leaked document has shown that British authorities lowered it’s terror threat from “severe defined” to “substantial”, less than one month prior to the terrorist attacks on London. Published in the New York Times the report seemed to support the views raised in the Chatham House report, published earlier this week. "Events in Iraq are continuing to act as motivation and a focus of a range of terrorist related activity in the U.K.," said the report, a copy of which was made available by a foreign intelligence service and was not disputed by four senior British officials who were asked about it, according to the NYT. Both Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Foreign Secretary have consistently dismissed a connection between Iraq and increased terror activity. "The terrorists have struck across the world, in countries allied with the United States backing the war in Iraq and in countries which had nothing whatever to do with the war in Iraq," Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary, said Monday in Brussels. Two groups have claimed responsibility for the London attacks, the first came from The Secret Organization Group of al-Qaeda [literally the base] of Jihad Organization in Europe and another from Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, although neither claim has been authenticated. Both mentioned the Iraq war as one of the reasons for the attacks.
Today, Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, laid blame for the attacks on the UK government’s stance on Iraq and the western ‘interference’ in the middle-east. “I think you've just had 80 years of western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the western need for oil,” he said on BBC Radio 4. He denounced the suicide bombers, but spoke of the ‘running sore’ that was the Palestine/Israeli conflict. “Those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy, as we have occasionally seen with the Israeli government bombing areas from which a terrorist group will have come, irrespective of the casualties it inflicts, women, children and men … Under foreign occupation and denied the right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs, often denied the right to work for three generations, I suspect that if it had happened here in England, we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves."
[12:25 GMT 20/07/2005]

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

British troops charged with 'war crimes'

Three British servicemen will stand trial for war crimes in Iraq, it was reported late Tuesday. According to Sky News the three are among 11 who face a range of charges of inhuman treatment of detainees, arising from incidents in Iraq. The Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has announced they will stand trial under the International Criminal Court Act 2001. Corporal Donald Payne, 34, of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, is alleged to have inhumanely treated and killed detainee Baha Da'oud Salim Musa. Lance Corporal Wayne Crowcroft, 21, and Private Darren Fallon, 22, both of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, are charged with inhumanely treating the internees, who sustained injuries following repeated assaults. The incidents occurred between September 13th-15th 2003.
[20:16 GMT 17/07/2005]

Iraq - reports paint grim picture

A day after a report from a government ‘think tank’ blamed the invasion of Iraq for increased terrorism, another report has been released painting a grim picture. Yesterday’s report [PDF] from Chatham House said, “the UK government has been conducting counter-terrorism policy 'shoulder to shoulder' with the US, not in the sense of being an equal decision-maker, but rather as a pillion passenger compelled to leave the steering to the ally in the driving seat". This policy along with the war in Iraq, had, in the view of the report, given “a boost to the al-Qaeda network's propaganda, recruitment and fundraising".
Tuesday’s report from Iraq Body Count and Oxford Research Group said that over 25,000 civilians had died in Iraq since March 2003. "The ever-mounting Iraqi death toll is the forgotten cost of the decision to go to war in Iraq," said John Sloboda, one of the report authors. [BBC]
[15:40 GMT 19/07/2005]

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hurricanes, typhoons & forest fires kill 18

Many “dodged the bullet”, according to one hotelier, when hurricane Emily swept through the Gulf of Mexico But others were not so lucky. Four people died as the 215 kph Category 4 storm hit the Caribbean en route to the Mexican coast. The four died when their car was swept away in flood waters in Jamaica. Two pilots also died when the helicopter they were using to carry out oil rig evacuation crashed in the high winds. Oil production dropped over the weekend causing an increase in oil prices. Emily, downgraded to a Category 2, is now heading into Texas. China meanwhile awaits typhoon Haitang, due to hit land Tuesday. Over 500,000 people have been evacuated from the Fujain province. Taiwan was hit earlier by the 180 kph typhoon injuring 22 people and destroying many buildings. Only one death has so far been reported.
Spain’s heatwave has claimed the lives of 11 fireman after forest fires swept through central parts of the country. Hundreds have been evacuated. It is said to be the worst drought to hit Spain since the 1940s.
[13:30 GMT 18/07/2005]

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Iraq and Turkey see bomb attacks

Saturday in Musayyib, south of Baghdad, and the target of the worst suicide attack that Iraq has yet seen. A petrol tanker was caught in the attack causing a massive explosion and with it massive casualties. The death toll has risen sharply over the last 24 hours. At least 90 have so far died, and over 150 people injured. [BBC]Twenty suicide attacks have occurred this week alone, leaving well over 100 people dead. Three British troops also died Saturday in a road side bomb attack. They were Second Lieutenant Richard Shearer, 26, from Nuneaton, and Private Leon Spicer, 26, and Private Phillip Hewett, 21, both from Tamworth. The troops, from the 1st Battalion Staffordshire Regiment, were attacked in central Amarahearly. [BBC]
Turkey saw an attack on a tourist mini-bus Saturday claiming 5 lives. The PKK are believed to be behind the attack. Initially a suicide bomber was believed responsible, but authorities later said it was likely to have been planted. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. [BBC]
[16:30 GMT 17/07/2005]

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A nation grieves

Hundreds of thousands stood in silence for two minutes to remember those who died in Britain's worst terrorist attack a week ago today. Fifty two people are believed dead not including the four 'suicide bombers' who perpetrated the coordinated attacks on London's transport system. Ken Livingstone, the city's mayor, speaking to the BBC, said, "This city has survived the past week because we didn't turn on each other, which is what the bombers wanted. We supported each other."

World wrap - 14/07/2005

Pakistan – 128 died in the country’s worst train disaster in more than 10 years. Three trains collided near Ghothi, 430 km north-east of Karachi. Having suffered terrible floods China is now being struck by a heatwave. Spain too is seeing water shortages as temperatures soar into the mid 30s. And following Hurricane Dennis which swept through the gulf of Mexico and up through Louisiana, another is on its way. Dennis avoided most of Florida but caused widespread damage and killed many people in Haiti and Cuba before heading north into the US mainland where considerable damage ws caused. Hurricane Emily is the fifth this year and the outlook is not good according to experts.
[19:00 GMT 14/07/2005]

Iraq - dozens dead in suicide attacks

Up to 32 children died Wednesday when a suicide bomber drove his SUV into a US military convoy in the centre of Baghdad. The convoy had stopped and a soldier was handing out sweets to a crowd of children, a US military spokesperson was quoted as saying. A witness to the attack, Hassan Mohammed, said, “"What sort of a resistance is this? It's a crime," There was a veiled criticism of both the insurgents and Americans, "Why do they attack our children? They just destroyed one US Humvee, but they killed dozens of our children". Another resident quoted on ITN blamed the US troops for stopping and handing out sweets, saying that they had surrounded themselves with ‘human shields’. A similar attack in September last year resulted in the deaths of 45 people, 37 of which were children.
[18:59 GMT 14/07/2005]

Shuttle delayed

The space shuttle was delayed Wednesday, first due to fears of damage caused to a number of tiles that make up the heat shield. Then storms threatened the take-off as the 19:51 GMT launch time approached. But in the final hour it was a “problem with a low-level fuel cutoff sensor located inside the External Tank” which finally halted the mission, according to NASA. The fuel tanks were last night being drained as NASA officials decide the date for the next launch attempt. NASA said, “The most optimistic possibility for the next launch attempt is no earlier than 14:40 EDT [18:40 GMT/UTC/Zulu 19:40 BST London Time] on Saturday, July 16.
[17:56 GMT 14/07/2005]

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Shahzad Tanweer - Britain's first 'suicide bomber'

Shahzad Tanweer, 22, ‘a good kid from a good family’ who ‘liked to play sports’. These were the comments from a friend of one of the ‘suicide bombers’ who targeted London’s transport network. Tanweer lived with his parents in a district of Leeds in a so called multi-cultural area. If it is proved that Tanweer was the bomber, it is certainly clear that he hid well his true intensions and views. The community from which Tanweer, and others linked to the bombing have come from, have been shocked. And the link to Islam seems to be fuelling ‘islamiphobia’ as attacks increase, besides being downplayed by police, and to a certain degree the media. The emotive use of ‘Suicide Bombers’ on many of Wednesday’s front pages will no doubt increase tensions. The Mirror went with ‘Suicide Murderers’ which echoes the rhetoric of FOX News’ much lambasted ‘Homicide Bombers’. That phrase was born out of the bombs targeted so many times in the last year in Iraq against US troops and in Israel too. And today too a suicide bomber detonated himself killing two and injuring over thirty in an attack in the early evening in Israel. Ha’aretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, described the incident, “An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber killed three women and injured 90, five seriously, near the Sharon shopping mall in Netanya yesterday. The bomber, identified as 18-year-old Ahmed Abu Khalil from the West Bank village of Atil, blew himself up on a pedestrian crossing near the entrance to the mall.”
Israel was not the only country to see terrorism today. In Iraq suicide bombers killed up to 24 according to CNN . In Spain a new power station was targeteted by ETA near the Basque city of Amorebieta. No-one was injured, according to reports so far, in that attack. This was probably due to the short warning given prior to the blasts. And warnings are something which kept the death toll down throughout the IRA campaign, though so called ‘mistakes’ occurred. The UK now faces an unseen, invisible enemy which gives no warning. The type of attack on London is not new besides Tony Blair’s claim that “we face a new kind of terrorism”, but it is new to Londoners. Israel has seen it for several years, and Iraq has seen it almost daily for the last two. It can be easy to fall into the rhetoric of sensationalist headlines, but the details with regards these attacks are not yet clear as to how big the threat in the UK may be. The public will however be influenced by the rhetoric and opinions found in many of the newspapers in England as recriminations fly.
[23:30 GMT 12/07/2005]

Shuttle launch may be in doubt

BBC News 24 have reported that a 'plastic cover' has fallen from the space shuttle and may have damaged the spacecraft ahead of its launch in 21 hours and 20 minutes [19:51 GMT] Wednesday.
[22:23 GMT 12/07/2005]

Alert at UK parliament

Entrances and exits to Westminster have been closed after a security alert was declared at London’s centre for government Sky News are reporting 18:50 GMT / 19:50 BST]. BBC Parliament are showing apparently Live coverage of proceedings within the House where MPs are discussing the ‘Licensing Act’ pertaining to Britain’s drinking laws. Sky News are also reporting a second car being investigated by police, near Leighton Buzzard, in connection with the bombings.
[19:00 GMT / 20:00 BST 12/07/2005]

Bush speech inspires little confidence in US

President Bush's speech yesterday, at the FBI training centre at Quantico, Virginia, has been criticized by former foreign secretary Robin Cook. George W Bush had described the bombings as "an attack on the civilized world" that provided "a clear window into the evil we face". Echoing Tony Blairs comments in the House of Commons yesterday he said, "but Londoners are resilient. They have faced brutal enemies before. The city that survived the Nazi blitz will not yield in the face of thugs and assassins." The only way the terrorists could win was "if we lose our nerve, and that isn't going to happen on my watch", he added. He finished his speech by saying that the US would, "continue to take this fight to the enemy, and we will fight until this enemy is defeated".
Far from being defeated, Robin Cook said, “The problem with the way in which President Bush has pursued the war on terror over the last three years is that far from isolating the terrorists, he has got himself into confrontation with many of the Muslim societies around the world.” He said the track record for the US led ‘War on Terror’ was also in question. "I find it very hard to see how George Bush can claim in the light of recent events that they are actually winning the war. Even in the case of Iraq, they do not have al-Qaida on the run. Indeed last month more people were killed than the same month a year before."
US dead in Iraq now stands at 1,756. Since Thursday, over 50 Iraqi Police and Military and over 70 civilians have died in attacks and bombings throughout the country. Five US personnel have died in the same period. On Friday a pipeline at the Daura oil refinery was hit by a mortar attack. The Daura refinery is situated to the south-east of Baghdad. It was the 248th attack on a pipeline or refinery since hostilities began in March 2003 according to Iraq Pipeline Watch.
In the US a poll shows 55% of Americans now believe a terrorist attack on US soil was likely or very likely in the next few weeks. The figure is a rise from 35% last month and was conducted for the newspaper USA Today in conjunction with CNN and Gallup after the London attacks. Confidence for George W Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ and its success has fallen from 36% in June to 34% after the attacks, according to part of the same poll in Tuesday’s USA Today .
[18:46 GMT 12/07/2005]

Police Press Conference update

In a press conference in London, police gave an update of the investigations so far. They said that 2,500 CCTV tapes were being reviewed. With reference to the raids on properties in Leeds the police said 6 warrants were issued. Three concerned addresses of four suspected bombers. All 4 men, believed to be the bombers, arrived in London at Kings cross at 07:30 GMT [08:30 BST] on the morning of 7th July, twenty minutes prior to the explosions on the underground network. Documents and identification related to the bombers was found at the locations of the blasts, police have said. One man was arrested in West Yorkshire as a result of their investigations.
[16:20 GMT / 17:20 BST 12/07/2004]

Luton - Controlled explosion on car

Security sources speaking to the Press Association and reported on BBC News 24 have said that police were led to the addresses in Leeds from the ‘dead bus bomber’. Several arrests have been made in the Yorkshire area, Sky News are reporting. And in the last few minutes army bomb disposal have made a controlled explosion on a car at Luton station.
[14:57 GMT / 15:57 BST 12/07/2005]

Luton station closed

Luton railway station has been evacuated as police start to recover a car from the car park. Sky News say that police suspect the car as having links with the bombings on London. Police say they started operations at 14:45 BST and a 100 metre cordon is in place. There are also reports of raids ongoing in the London area. Sky News are reporting police sources as saying that a “suspected bomber died on the bus”.
[14:21 GMT / 15:21 BST 12/07/2005]

Leeds - 500 people evacuated

The police, talking at a press briefing in Leeds, say that 500-600 persons had been evacuated prior to the controlled explosion. Six streets were evacuated at around 11:30 BST [10:30 GMT]. Military personnel were involved in the operation. Only BBC News 24 have a Live feed from the area at this time.
[13:09 GMT 12/07/2005]

Leeds - controlled explosion carried out

Police have conducted a controlled explosion at a house in Leeds, both BBC News 24 and Sky News are reporting. BBC have relayed Live pictures from a helicopter showing a bomb squad robot being deployed.
[12:58 GMT 12/07/2005]

Bomb threats in Poland and an explosion in Spain

A bomb threat has closed Warsaw’s underground system, a report on CNN has said [12:23 GMT]. Poland is a strong supporter of the US led war on terror. Sky have just reported an explosion at a power station in Spain’s Basque country. London has seen over one hundred security alerts since the bombing of its transport network last week.
[12:25 GMT 12/07/2005]

London attack - Houses raided by police

Five houses in Leeds are being searched by anti-terrorist police, Sky News are reporting. US officials have rescinded an order preventing Military personnel from US bases entering London or even going beyond the M25 London Orbital motorway. The No. 30 bus remains in place in Tavistock Square as the painstaking forensic operation continues. Police have named two more of the dead. Jamie Gordon was killed in the Kings Cross explosion and Philip Stuart Russell in the bombing of the London bus.
[11:15 GMT 12/07/2005]

Monday, July 11, 2005

PM makes Commons statement

The Prime Minister Tony Blair made a statement in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon following Thursday’s terror attacks. He said “Islamic extremist terrorists” were responsible and that Britain had seen a new type of terrorism as seen in many parts of the world. He listed many countries including Chechnya, Yemen, Bali [Indonesia], Madrid, Istanbul [Turkey] and in America [Sept 11th 2001]. “We will not rest until they are identified and where possible seek justice” he said. Of the 52 dead, he said the majority of the families had been informed and had Police family liaison officers with them. He thanked voluntary organizations as well as the emergency services. Identification of the dead may prove difficult but that every effort would be made to provide the information to relatives as quickly as possible. The timetable set for Anti terrorist legislation during this coming session of Parliament remained unchanged but “may be looked at for possible alterations.” “If, as the picture emerges, it is sensible to return with an accelerated timetable ... that would be done.”
He spoke also of the outspoken voices of support throughout the world. G8 leaders expressed solidarity, he said. The UN security council had passed an anti-terrorist resolution. “Today, what a different city London is from 1945 [speaking with reference to the weekend’s 60th Anniversary of the end of WW II] but still the British do not flinch ... in the face of adversity.” He spoke of his thanks to the Muslim community who had lent their support and condemned the bombings. “Fanaticism is not a state of religion but a state of mind,” the Prime Minister said. Speaking of the solidarity of a multicultural Britain and the resilience of the British nation he finished by saying, “It is to us and not the terrorists that victory will belong.”
[15:02 GMT 11/07/2005]

London bombing - death toll now 52

After an initial comment this morning that the death toll was unlikely to rise beyond the figure of 49, the Metropolitan Police have released a figure of 52. Two of the dead have been named as Susan Levy, 53, from Cuffley in Herts who was killed at the Kings Cross incident, and cleaner Gladys Wundowa, 51, who died in the bus bombing in Tavistock Square.

The Metropolitan Police have received over 1000 calls from the public and a ‘massive response’ to their request for pictures. They have asked for any mobile phone or camera images, that may be helpful to their enquiries, be sent to Alternatively members of the public could phone the Anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321 Missing relatives: 0870 156 6344.
[14:27 GMT 11/07/2005]

Sion Jenkins to face another retrial

Sky News are reporting that Sion Jenkins may face another retrial after the jury failed to provide a verdict in his murder trial. He is accussed of having murdered his step daughter Billy Jo Jenkins in 1997. If the retrial went ahead it would be the third time Sion Jenkins would have faced a jury for the murder.
[14:14 GMT 11/07/2005]

Mosques attacked as recriminations increase

Recriminations over Thursday’s bombings are in full swing following an article in Sunday’s News of the World. Speaking to the paper Lord Stevens, former Chief of the Metropolitan Police, said, “They will be apparently ordinary British citizens; young men conservatively and cleanly dressed and probably with some higher education. Highly computer literate, they will have used the internet to research explosives. They are painstaking, cautious, clever and very sophisticated.” He added that “up to 3,000 British-born or British-based people” had passed through terrorist training camps. It is not the first time Sir John Stevens has courted controversy. Less than one week after the Madrid bombings, on the 11th March 2004 killing 191 people, he said an “attack on London was inevitable.” Speaking as the then Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police he had also claimed, “This is not just about railways, the underground, it’s about buses, nightclubs and the like. Remember al-Qaeda attacked a night club in Bali.” He spoke then of a number of ‘dress rehearsals’ which the police and emergency services had trained for. One of these exercises was took place in central London in September 2004 in which a possible chemical / nuclear / biological attack was played out. Thursday’s attacks on London were very likely to have been conventional explosives, but the apparent lack of a controlled decontamination zone may strike some as bizarre, considering all that has been stated by government and officials. The debate stirred on London radio stations with many saying that his comments were likely to further fuel the racial hatred which has already been seen following the attacks. Four mosques have been attacked in several British towns and cities. The mosques in Leeds, Belvedere, Telford and Birkenhead had windows broken and cars and businesses in the areas concerned were also attacked. Chris Fox, the president of Association of Police Chief Officers, said there had been, “little damage.” Meanwhile, at least six Islamic centres in New Zealand have been vandalised and their walls painted with the message “Londoners RIP”, New Zealand police said on Sunday. PM Helen Clarke condemned the apparently coordinated attacks which occurred in Auckland. [TVNZ]
[updated 11:30 GMT 11/07/2005 ]

Behind the saturation coverage of London attack

Following the terrorist attacks in London on Thursday last week, much international news has fallen from the agenda. Though the saturation coverage has fallen away from most news channels, few have reported on Iraq nor other events around the globe. The attacks continued in Iraq over the weekend as 16 were killed by two suicide bombs and a shooting incident. The Italian government have confirmed that their troops will be withdrawn in two months. Silvio Berlusconi said at the G8 summit, "We will begin withdrawing 300 men in September." Italy's relations with the US were strained last month after an Italian judge ordered the arrest of 13 American agents accused of seizing a terrorist suspect on the streets of Milan and flying him out of the country. Of the original 47 countries that were a part of the so called 'Coalition of the Willing' few have a significant force on the ground. Thailand withdrew troops in August 2004, following attacks on troops and a number of kidnappings. Portugal withdrew their small contingent in March this year [2005] and Spain withdrew their troops following the Madrid bombings in March 2004. Others that have pulled out are Singapore [March 2005], the Philippines [March 2005], Hungary [December 2004], Nicaragua [July 2004], Honduras [June 2004] and the Dominican Republic [May 2004]. Italy, Ukraine, Bulgaria and the Netherlands have all announced a withdrawal date for sometime this year.

It was reported in one paper over the weekend that Britain would start to ‘scale down’ its presence in Iraq. According to a secret memo written for British Prime Minister Tony Blair by Defense Secretary John Reid, the United States and Britain were drawing up plans to withdraw the majority of their troops from Iraq by the middle of next year [2006]. The paper, which was marked "Secret -- UK Eyes Only," said "emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006," allowing a reduction in overall U.S.-led forces in Iraq to 66,000 troops. The troop level is now at about 160,000, including 138,000 American troops, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad. [source: Washington Post ]

In other news, Condoleeza Rice was in Beijing to discuss trade issues especially with regards textiles. Also in China at least twenty-two miners were killed and 60 others were missing after a gas explosion ripped through a coal mine in Fukang, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Monday.

In Afghanistan, 10 Afghani troops were killed by Taliban insurgents. According to the Guardian the attack, near the Pakistani border on Saturday on a military convoy, was carried out by a number of militants traveling in four pick-up trucks. Ten soldiers were beheaded by the militants, 15 were said to have escaped.
[10:31 GMT 11/07/2005]

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Birmingham City centre evacuated

Police have evacuated parts of Birmingham's city centre, home to many nightclubs and restaurants. BBC News 24 cited a 'warning', Sky News that police had received 'intelligence information' that the area could be a terrorist target.
[20:30 GMT / 21:30 BST 09/07/2005]

Friday, July 08, 2005

Police confirm higher death toll in London attack

Police have confirmed the death toll in yesterday’s terror attacks in London now exceeds 50 and could reach more than 100. Though not confirmed the death toll on the bus has been said to be near to double figures with at least 30 injured. On BBC LDN, the BBC radio station in London, John Gaunt received an email questioning ‘a report in which a suicide bomber had been shot near Canary Wharf’, and why the police ‘had not said anything’. John Gaunt said that the police had disputed these rumours, and that no-one had been shot nor detained.

Tributes have poured in from leaders around the world. Prince Charles visited St Mary’s hospital today and spoke of the ‘resilience’ which the British people displayed.


[11:00 GMT 08/07/2005]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Iraq - Egyptian ambassador killed

‘Al Qaeda in Iraq’ has said that the Egyptian ambassador Ihab al-Sharif, kidnapped last week, has been killed. Egypt is seen as one of the leaders in the Arab world to be trying to establish embassies and have encouraged others to send ambassadors. This, in the eyes of fundamentalists and insurgents, makes them a target for recognizing the new state of Iraq.
[20:13 GMT 07/07/2005]

Disputed claims of responsibility

There were claims on an Islamic website this afternoon that The Secret Organization Group of al-Qaeda [literally the base] of Jihad Organization in Europe were behind the attacks on London. The little known organization said “Nation of Islam and Arab nation: Rejoice for it is time to take revenge against the British Zionist Crusader government in retaliation for the massacres Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heroic mujahideen have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters. We have repeatedly warned the British Government and people. We have fulfilled our promise and carried out our blessed military raid in Britain after our mujahideen exerted strenuous efforts over a long period of time to ensure the success of the raid. We continue to warn the governments of Denmark and Italy and all the Crusader governments that they will be punished in the same way if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. He who warns is excused.”
[19:36 GMT 07/07/2005]

Saturation TV coverage continues as death toll rises

Channel 5 News are quoting a French Minister as saying that 50 people were killed in the attacks. Channel Four News are reporting the figure of 38 dead, including one who died following admission to hospital. The official figure is still 37. BBC [terrestrial] has now returned to normal programming, both Eastenders and Top Gear in their usual slots. Saturation coverage continues on Sky News, BBC News 24, ITN, CNN, Euro News and Al Jazeera. CCTV-9 a Chinese 24 hour News station has reported little on this so far.
[18:39 GMT 07/07/2005]

Burns victim taken to Essex Hospital

The burns unit in Essex

At least one victim from the terrorist incidents this morning has been transferred to the specialist burns unit at Broomfield in Essex. Others may be sent there once their condition is established. The Essex Air Ambulance was earlier dispatched to London to aid the transportation of casualties.
[17:55 GMT 07/07/2005]

Chaos on the traffic system is continuing on the roads as people try to make their way home without a bus and tube system running. Some mainline rail services are said to be running but most commuters have decided to use other methods to get home. The official death toll now stands at 37. At least 1000 people are said to be injured. Up to 100 of which are said to be in a critical condition.
[17:50 GMT 07/07/2005]

'Bomber' arrested

Unconfirmed reports say that a man has been arrested in the Canary Wharf area with a bomb strapped to him. It has to be stressed that this is NOT confirmed and comes from someone who works in the area.
[12:36 GMT 07/07/2005]

Tony Blair leaves Gleneagles

Tony Blair has left Gleneagles , venue of the G8 summit in Scotland. Getting on board a Chinook he flew off at around 12:22 GMT [13:22 London time / BST] and headed back to London.
[12:23 GMT 07/07/2005]

Home Secretary confirms four blasts

Charles Clarke, Home secretary, making a statement in the House of Commons, has said that four explosions have been confirmed. One on a tube train between Aldgate East and Liverpool St stations. Another on a bus in Woburn Place and also Russell Square. A further explosion was also confirmed at Edgware Rd. The Prime Minister said the attacks were ‘barbaric’ and will be returning to London from the G8 summit.
[11:58 GMT 07/07/2005]

At least 10 dead in London blasts

The Prime Minister will make a statement shortly following the series of explosions on the Underground system and buses in London. Many hundreds of people have been injured, but the official death toll stands at 2 according to AP reports. Police confirm blasts at Aldgate, Liverpool St, Moorgate, Edgware Rd stations as well as a bus in Russell Square. There are unconfirmed reports of two further explosions on buses according to transport Union officials who talked to Sky News. At least 2 were reported dead at the Aldgate East incident.
[11:15 GMT 07/07/2005]

The Prime Minister will make a statement shortly following the series of explosions on the Underground system and buses in London. Many hundreds of people have been injured, but the official death toll stands at 2 according to AP reports. Police confirm blasts at Aldgate, Liverpool St, Moorgate, Edgware Rd stations as well as a bus in Russell Square. There are unconfirmed reports of two further explosions on buses according to transport Union officials who talked to Sky News
[10:31 GMT 07/07/2005]

Police confirm 'explosions'

Police at Scotland Yard have confirmed ‘multiple explosions’ around London.
[10:24 GMT 07/07/2005]

TV coverage

Sky News, ITN and the BBC are still reporting the explosions as being caused by ‘electrical surges’. The BBC have no cameras on the ground nor do ITN. Sky are using a helicopter but are confined to the area around Aldgate East. Nothing on the terrestial stations.
[09:19 GMT 07/07/2005]

Edgware Rd tube blast

At Edgware Road underground station two underground trains have been involved in an explosion. At least 15 persons are trapped and at least 60 injured.
Police are starting to block all routes into and out of central London.
[09:00 GMT 07/07/2005]

London under attack

There are reports that a bomb has exploded on a bus near Euston station, as well as several underground station. All indications are that it is a terror attack ongoing.
[08:53 GMT 07/07/2005]

Bombs go off in central London

According to police there are casualties in the explosions. The fire brigade are outside Edgware Road underground station where a bomb has believed to have exploded. An unknown number of persons are involved and some are trapped according to the Fire service. All underground services are suspended.
[08:46 GMT 07/07/2005]

Major Incident in London

A major incident has occurred in London’s underground system. Explosions have been reported in Liverpool Street, Aldgate East and Edgware Road stations. More soon.
[08:35 GMT 07/07/2005]

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bush cycles into police officer

George Bush has received "slight scrapes to his hand" after he collided with a police officer at Gleneagles whilst cycling, it has been reported. Sky News said that the officer was taken to a local hospital and that George W Bush's hand had been bandaged. [source:AP/Sky News]
[19:52 GMT 06/07/2005]

Protesters break through outer cordon at G8

Protesters broke through the outer cordons near Auchterarder during Wednesday afternoon. Police were flown in using Chinook helicopters to swell their number against hundreds of protesters who were spread around a large field. Though most of the protesters were not directly involved in confrontations with the authorities, they have marred the protest against the G8 and become the main headline in the news. Tonight, safely away from the protesters, the members of the G8 were due to sit down to dinner of Scottish smoked salmon followed by lamb. No sign of Haggis or l'escargot on the menu, nor indeed fish'n'chips!
[19:08 GMT 06/07/2005]

G8 - Protests intensify as leaders arrive

Protests are intensifying around Gleneagles, the venue for the G8 summit which meets today. George W Bush arrived at Prestwick Airport on board Airforce One and completed his journey by Marine 1, his presidential helicopter. Tony Blair also arrived by helicopter, thwarting the efforts of anti-G8 demonstrators who fought running battles with police as they attempted to block roads around the site. An official protest cancelled by police earlier in the day has started in Auchterarder besides the damp weather. Many of the protesters were also caught up in traffic jams caused by earlier demonstrations.
[14:41 GMT 06/07/2005]

London wins bid for 2012 Olympics

London has won in what many will see a surprise victory. Some will say that President Chirac’s comments about British food and Mad Cow disease earlier in the week overshadowed the decision of the committee. The French newspaper Liberation on Tuesday quoted Chirac telling German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin that only Finland had worse food than Britain.
"We can't trust people who have such bad food," Chirac was quoted as saying of the British. He reportedly added that mad cow disease was Britain's sole contribution to European agriculture.
The comments provoked outrage in the British press. "Don't talk crepe, Jacques!" said The Sun. This may have been a factor, but others will emphasize the strength of the British bid which swayed the vote.
[11:48 GMT 06/07/2005]

Olympics - Madrid is out on third round

Madrid has been eliminated from the 2012 bid leaving everybody on the edge of their seats as to the final result. Paris and London are now in the final battle for the 2012 Olympics.
[10:39 GMT 06/07/2005]

Olympics - Second round over

New York has been eliminated, leaving the contest between London, Madrid & Paris.
[10:35 GMT 06/07/2005]

Olympics - First round over

After the first vote, Moscow has been eliminated from the 2012 bid.
[10:29 GMT 06/07/2005]

Olympics 2012 - voting under way

The IOC is gathered together in Singapore in order to decide the host city for the 2012 Olympics. The countries in competition with each other are London, New York, Madrid, Moscow and Paris. The result is expected at around 11:45 GMT. Many think it is too close to call. Moscow is seen as a long shot, as is New York. Madrid may be the ‘dark horse’ in all this, said John Gaunt on BBC London, though it is probably a strong contest between London and Paris.
[10:21 GMT 06/07/2005]

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Afghanistan - update on Chinook crash

Of the 4 troops missing in Afghanistan, two have been reported as dead, and one as ‘slightly injured’. Another remains missing. There was some confusion as to the exact figure since the US released a statement on Sunday saying that the fourth member of the team had been rescued. The BBC eventually received a confirmation on Tuesday that two troops were dead, which they reported on Monday. The US Military statement also said that “the whereabouts of one service member remains unknown."
In reports that have only just emerged, seventeen people, including women and children were killed in a US bombing raid in the eastern province of Konar last week, the local governor has said. The bombing was part of the operation in the Konar province in which US forces with Chinooks were attempting to rescue a number of colleagues stranded in inhospitable terrain where they had been under fire from militants. The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Kharzai, is said to be “saddened” by the incident. He said that there needed to be a “rethink” in the way in which coalition forces carried out there operations. The US said it “regretted civilian deaths” but that “terrorists” were amongst the dead.
[19:56 GMT 05/07/2005]

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Live 8 - "it was ****ing excellent!"

Linkin Park - Live from Philadelphia on AOL webcast

Sir Bob's jamboree went well with hundreds of thousands taking part in a number of free concerts all over the globe. The Live 8 events, organized by Sir Bob Geldof and many, many others, set out to bring the plight of Africa to the attention of the G8 leaders. The concerts started with a hastily organized event in Tokyo, Japan at around 02:00 GMT, at which a number of unknown Japanese bands appeared. Bjork, the Icelandic singer, also performed. The live broadcasts of events did not start until 13:00 GMT [14:00 London/UK] when proceedings got underway in Hyde Park. The Paris concert started around two hours later and soon after bands started playing in Rome, Berlin and Moscow. Smaller events also took place in Johannesburg, South Africa and at the Eden Project in Cornwall in the UK. Most African or black artists were confined to these two stages, though Jay-Z performed alongside Linkin Park in Philadelphia, USA, and Will Smith started off proceedings with a live link up with most of the other counties involved. Snoop Dogg appeared on the UK stage but has already brought about controversy with his multiple use of the word 'motherf*****' during his performance. Madonna was also criticized for her holler to the crowd, "Are you f***ing ready, London?" She could then be heard saying, after a short pause when the band didn't immediately start up, "come on, oh, sorry". The BBC received 350 complaints, and responded by saying, "We do apologize," but since it was "a live event there isn't much we can do."
Green Day and a number of artists in Toronto coloured the air blue but their performances went almost unnoticed by the main BBC coverage. The 'interactive' content on BBC Multiscreen was quite comprehensive. The choice of other concerts included Berlin, Philadelphia and the Eden Project, as well as the normal BBC output. A fifth choice rotated from other performances around the world but mostly stayed with Toronto, Canada. Paris was occasionally aired but no sign of it when it mattered. Shakira came and went without a mention. As did nearly the entire concerts in Rome, Moscow and Johannesburg, none of which were covered by AOL’s online video stream. The choice of streams were also dependent upon the country site which was accessed. The French URL provided the best streams in terms of quality and choice.
The event overall could not be criticised. It was immense. And probably the largest Live televisual event for a very long time. And for such a technical challenge to come together as it did, was a miracle in itself. As for whether minds at the G8 will be turned by this large symbolic, musical and political event, one can only guess. Many are cynical, but just as many are hopeful and optimistic. Still, it was a good party, just a shame all the trains had stopped running by the time the concert ended. This left many stuck with long walks, expensive taxi rides, or night buses. Others were more canny. One listener to LBC, a London radio station, had the foresight to bring a camper van with her. It was an “excellent day” she exclaimed in a hoarse voice, brought about through all the singing. She then described the very crowded streets near to Hyde Park but that she was now tucked down a side street off Park Lane.
There will be more protests in the next few days leading up to the G8 summit on Wednesday.
[19:20 GMT 03/07/2005]

Friday, July 01, 2005

Afghanistan - Chinook crash details emerge

The details and numbers of troops involved in the Chinook crash in Afghanistan are beginning to emerge. The US said on the 30th of June that 13 bodies had been found and that 7 soldiers were unaccounted for. The Army Times however reported on the 1st of July, that only 4 troops were missing and that 16 on board the MH-47 Chinook were killed.

Included amongst the dead are; Sgt Michael L. Russell, Stafford County; Steve Reich, Connecticut; Marcus Luttrell, Navy SEAL, Willis, Texas; Shane Patton, Navy SEAL, Boulder City, nr. Las Vegas; Michael McGreevey, Navy SEAL, New York and Jeff Lucas, Navy SEAL, Portland. In all, 8 Navy SEALs where killed when the Chinook, one of 4 travelling in formation, went down after what a military source described as a "smoke trail from an insurgent position" headed toward the helicopter.

Maj. Paul Swiergosz, a Defense Department spokesman, confirmed Thursday afternoon that all 16 of the U.S. military service members on the MH-47 Chinook helicopter died in the crash. The military had initially reported that 17 people were on the flight, but one passenger apparently missed the flight. The missing men are part of a small reconnaissance team.
[23:10 GMT 01/07/2005]

Shuttle to launch on July 13

The space shuttle Discovery is set to launch on the 13th of July after senior managers at NASA cleared it for take-off. Commander Eileen Collins and her crew are scheduled to lift off at 15:51 EDT [19:51 GMT] on the first U.S. space flight since the February 2003 loss of the Shuttle Columbia. It is due to dock with the International Space Station on the 15th.
[21:10 GMT 01/07/2005]

Blair assumes Presidency of EU

Britain has assumed the Presidency of the European Union. Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke on his vision for Europe at the Foreign Office in London on Friday afternoon. At the press conference he spoke briefly about the “dilemma of Europe” and how “we will do our best” in resolving the problems of unemployment, trade and other economic issues. On the rebate issue, he said he would look for a solution but would not discuss it openly. The ‘social model’ he said, was as important as the economic and trade in Europe. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso added support for this saying that ‘solidarity’ within Europe and the building of a ‘social model’ was important, but he said “we need growth and a modern economy in order to fund it”.
“We are 25 countries” Barroso said, “ [but] we must avoid nationalistic rhetoric.” Adding that “compromise” was important, in the present globalized world, for Europe to succeed. “We must stop looking at it as though it were a boxing match,” he said.
[14:31 GMT 01/07/2005]