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British Queen celebrates



A prison officer and two other people have been arrested in connection with the police probe into corrupt payments to officials by journalists.

Two men aged 46 and 37 and a woman aged 50 have been held at addresses in south-east London, Surrey and Kent.

They are being questioned at separate south London police stations, Scotland Yard said.

The Metropolitan Police said the 46-year-old prison officer was arrested at his south-east London home on suspicion of corruption, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office.


Alan Turing, the Second World War codebreaker widely regarded as the father of modern computing, may not have committed suicide but died as a result of an accident, an academic has claimed.

Evidence gathered after the death of the scientist from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 was "overlooked" and he could have died as a result of inhaling the poison he used in amateur experiments rather than deliberately ingesting it, according to Professor Jack Copeland.

Prof Copeland, director of the The Turing Archive for the History of Computing and author of a new biography of the academic to be published shortly, spoke as events took place around the country to celebrate the centenary of the under-appreciated scientific genius's birth.

"From the records I have been able to obtain, it seems to me very obvious that the inquest was conducted in a very superficial way," he said. "The coroner didn't really investigate the evidence at all, he just jumped to the conclusion that he committed suicide. He seems to have been very biased from the statements in newspapers at the time."

The coroner in Turing's death case ruled he committed suicide "while the balance of his mind was disturbed", adding: "In a man of his type, one never knows what his mental processes are going to do next."

Turing, who was gay, was found guilty of gross indecency with another man in 1952. To avoid prison, he agreed to receive injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to reduce his libido in a process known as "chemical castration".

Copeland, a Professor at the University of Canterbury Christchurch in New Zealand, will talk about Turing's death at an event in Oxford.


Hebrew graffiti thanking the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler for the Holocaust and denouncing Zionism were sprayed inside the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, an AFP correspondent said on Monday.

Seven giant slogans, including one which read: "Thank you Hitler for your wonderful Holocaust that you arranged for us, it's only because of you that we got a state at the UN" were sprayed in Warsaw Ghetto Square near the sculpture depicting the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

More graffiti was sprayed next to the cattle car memorial, which remembers how millions of Jews were transported from all over Europe to the Nazi death camps.

Other slogans read: "The Zionist leadership wanted the Holocaust" and "If Hitler hadn't existed, the Zionists would have invented him."

Another said: "The war of the Zionist regime is not the war of the Jewish people," fuelling suspicion that a small fringe of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are virulently opposed to the state of Israel, were to blame.

The red, white and black graffiti was written in both formal Hebrew characters as well as in hand-written script and signed "The global cynical mafia."

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed basic details of the incident, and said an investigation had been opened.


In a clinic in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, two vets lean over a sleeping puppy and deftly remove its ovaries and uterus.

After a storm sparked by the Euro 2012 co-host's alleged cull of the stray dogs that plague the country's streets, animal rights campaigners have stepped in to try to control the errant canines by sterilising them.

At the helm is Austrian organisation Vier Pfoten (Four Paws), which is launching a programme notably in the four cities hosting matches in Euro 2012: Kiev, plus Lviv in the west and Donetsk and Kharkiv in the east.

Mindful of the expected influx of hundreds of thousands of fans, plus a global television audience of millions, ex-Soviet Ukraine has been working to spruce up its cities and burnish its image.

Tackling the growing numbers of strays that roam their streets has been part of those moves, also driven by serious concerns about feral dog attacks -- which reportedly hit 2,800 in Kiev alone in 2010.

Last year, according to critics, Ukrainian authorities decided to take radical steps to wipe out as many of the animals as possible before the tournament, which kicks off on June 8 in co-host Poland and ends in Kiev on July 1.

Animal rights campaigners around the world condemned what they said was the extermination of thousands of dogs, claiming some were poisoned or burned alive.

In the face of the protests, the authorities ordered a halt to the killings at the end of 2011.

Vier Pfoten decided to come up with an alternative and in February signed a deal with Ukraine.

"The idea here is to use the atmosphere, the world's focus and the European championship to develop something very, very long term," said Four Paws representative Nicolas Entrup. 

"Once the final is played, the football atmosphere will be gone, but we will stay in Ukraine and work with Ukrainians to help animals," he added.

Working out of mobile clinics, some 520 people are being mustered for the programme, including 60 vets from Ukraine and beyond.

"Our ambition is here to provide a positive solution, a positive programme where people work together with animal welfare, activists as well as veterinary experts," said Entrup.

"It's a positive programme to stop the killing of stray dogs, to decline their population, so the relation between people and animals can flourish and be positive," he underlined.

The programme was launched in Kiev several weeks ago and is ongoing in a dusty city district where old houses stand alongside Soviet-era towerblocks.

Guided by local residents, a handful of Vier Pfoten experts, including a vet and a dog catcher, come across a pack of six dogs.

Vet Cornel Stoenescu, from Romania, fires a tranquiliser dart and hits a black dog in the haunch.

The animal begins to limp and then lies down, before the team cages it and drive to a veterinary school.

An elderly woman asks what's going on.

"We're going to sterilise it, vaccinate it and bring it back here," explains a young volunteer named Daria.


Yulia Tymoshenko case is one of topical issues in European policy today. Her apprehension and a subsequent conflict in the Ukrainian community became the subject of close attention from Europeans. Mostly all leaders of EU countries, and key officials of the European Parliament and European Commission have expressed their stance in this regard. At the end of March, the interim committee (chaired by Inna Bohoslovska) of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine published its reasons concerning a legal evaluation of Tymoshenko’s actions resulted in her apprehension.

On 10 April 2012, Inna Bohoslovska held a press conference on a topic “Why Tymoshenko is still in prison” attended by European journalists, experts and public members, at the premises of NCI European Parliament in Brussels. The journalists and community leaders found out about ultimate conclusion of experts at the interim committee worked during the past year under the auspices of the Ukrainian Parliament. The experts had spoken to Ukrainian MPs on 20 March 2012 and were approved by 266 of 450 MPs. Head of the Interim Investigation Commission Inna Bohoslovska underlined that Yulia Tymoshenko’s fault is that she:  

а) concealed from the public and government the facts of the conflict of interests and dependence on Russia, particularly, the debt of her privately-owned companies to the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in the amount of USD 405 million, and a bribery case against her;

b) held secret talks with the Prime Minister of Russia and agreed to unfair contracts, thus, violating signed international treaties;

c) issued Directives on signing the contracts being aware of the Government of Ukraine having withdrawn from approving them, however the Cabinet of Ministers only – as a collegial body – is entitled to issue such directives;

d) brought pressure on the company head subordinate to her and made him sign the contracts threatening to fire.

Pursuant to a comparative analysis of the laws of Ukraine and other European countries carried out Ukrainian lawyers, it turned out that eleven EU members have clauses stipulating a criminal responsibility for similar crimes.


A coroner has criticised a water authority for "gambling" with the lives of 20,000 people by not telling them for more than a fortnight about Britain's worst mass poisoning.

West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose criticised the South West Water Authority as he gave his verdict on the death of Carole Cross.

Mrs Cross, 59, died in 2004 from a rare disorder usually associated with much older people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. She had been living in the Camelford area of north Cornwall in July 1988 when the poisoning occurred.

She was one of 20,000 customers affected when a relief lorry driver mistakenly added 20,000 tonnes of aluminium sulphate to the drinking water at the Lowermoor treatment works.

The coroner recorded a lengthy narrative verdict in which he said there was a "very real possibility" that the ingestion of aluminium by Mrs Cross had contributed to her death.

The inquest, which first began in November 2010, heard that a post-mortem examination later found high levels of aluminium in Mrs Cross's brain.

The inquest was told that, for more than two weeks, South West Water Authority, which ran the treatment works, did not tell the public the cause of the poisoning and insisted the water was safe to drink. Many people reported rashes, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers and other health problems after drinking the water or bathing in it. The water became so polluted in the first few hours that customers reported hairs sticking to their body like superglue as they got out of the bath.

Customers flooded the switchboard of the water authority but were told it was safe and it has been claimed some were even advised to boil the water, which increased the levels of aluminium still further.


Japanese auto giant Nissan said on Tuesday that it will build a new hatchback compact car in Britain, in a £125-million investment that will create 2,000 jobs.

The new vehicle will be built at Nissan's Sunderland plant from mid-2013 in a project which will also be supported by a government grant of £9.3 million, the automaker said in a statement.

"As well as playing a key role in Nissan's market expansion within Europe, the new model will also have a significant benefit in terms of jobs with around 2,000 new posts created at Nissan and amongst its UK supplier base," it said.

The hatchback car, which will compete models like the Ford Fiesta and the VW Polo, was unveiled on Tuesday at the Geneva Motor Show by Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.

Business Secretary Vince Cable welcomed the news as a "clear vote of confidence" in Britain's manufacturing industry.

"It is fantastic news that Nissan will be building the new model in Sunderland," Cable said.

"The investment is a boost for jobs at Nissan's plant as well as the wider supply chain."


Many young people underestimate how much alcohol they drink even if they have some knowledge of the Government's guidelines on sensible consumption, a study says.

Researchers said their results suggest that young people do not have the knowledge or skills to keep their drinking within the set guidelines.

The University of Sussex-led study, which is published in Drug and Alcohol Review, surveyed 18- to 25-year-olds about their knowledge and beliefs on safe drinking.

People who took part in the study were asked to pour their usual measure of wine, beer or vodka followed by what unit they believed it to be.

Nearly two-thirds underestimated the unit content of the drinks they poured, researchers said. The Government's daily unit guidelines are up to two to three units for a woman and up to three to four units for a man.


Lloyds Banking Group is to claw back bonuses worth around £2 million in the wake of the scandal over payment protection insurance (PPI), it has been reported.

Former chief executive Eric Daniels will lose up to £700,000 of his £1.45 million bonus for 2010, while three other current and former directors will each have to forgo up to £250,000.

A further six executives, below board level, will be stripped of around £100,000 each, the BBC added.

Amid pressure from politicians and the Financial Services Authority, it will be the first time a bank has used a claw-back option on executive pay packages since the financial crisis.

Prince William arrived in the Falkland Islands on Thursday for a six-week deployment with the Royal Air Force (RAF), British officials said, a move Argentina has condemned as a "provocation".

The 29-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, has been deployed to the disputed South Atlantic archipelago as a routine part of his work as an RAF search and rescue pilot, the Ministry of Defence said.

However the timing of the deployment, just ahead of the 30th anniversary of the start of the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands which Buenos Aires claims as its own, has stoked tensions.

"The Ministry of Defence can confirm Flight Lieutenant Wales, as part of a four-man search and rescue (SAR) crew, has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine operational deployment and will shortly take up SAR duties post a period of briefings and a familiarisation flight," a ministry spokesman said.

When William's deployment was announced in November, Argentina said it was a "provocative act", and this week the foreign ministry in Buenos Aires said the prince would be arriving in a "conqueror's uniform".