Sunday 1st July 2012
Topic: Deterrent to thieves revealed
"Scrapyards banned from cash payments to deter metal thieves"
Source: The People
Extract: Scrapyards are to face tough new rules to deter metal thieves.
Tory MP Richard Ottaway is to introduce a new licensing system to ensure scrap dealers can no longer buy metal for cash.
They will be forced to record every transaction or have licences withdrawn.
Mr Ottaway's private members' bill on Wednesday has government support so is certain to become law.
Metal theft due to sharp rises in world prices now costs local authorities £4.6million a year.
Mr Ottaway said: "Unscrupulous thieves are getting bolder. These thefts cause heartache and, in some cases, lives."
Comment: Of course in the old day, deterrent meant having a policeman show himself every now and then - then again, we had policemen in those days!
Monday 2nd July 2012
"£32.3m bill for Royals"
Source: The Express
Extract: Queen and the rest of the Royal Family cost each person in Britain about 52p in the last financial year, according to Buckingham Palace accounts published yesterday.
Taxpayer funding for the royals rose by £200,000 to £32.3million in the year to April, although the real bill is estimated to be at least £250million with security and other costs that are not published.
Comment: I hope this cheers up me fellow made redundant unemployed, the Big Issue sellers, the pensioners and the other impecunious citizens?
Tuesday 3rd July 2012
Topic: NHS cutbacks
"Dehydrated patient Kane Gorny died after calling 999 for water
Source: The Metro
Extract: Kane Gorny, 22, suffered dehydration shortly after hospital staff turned away officers who had answered his distressed call.
His family said they suffered further trauma when a nurse asked whether they had finished tending his body so staff could 'bag him up'.
Mr Gorny was receiving routine hip surgery at St George's hospital in Tooting, south-west London, after his bones had been weakened by steroids prescribed following a brain tumour. Hospital staff failed to give him the tablets he needed to control fluid levels in his body, the hearing was told.
He was so desperate for water, having been refused by medical staff, that he phoned police and his mother, Rita Cronin.
She told the inquest: 'He sounded really distressed. He said, "They won't give me anything to drink".'
Mrs Cronin found her son being held down by a security guard.
The next morning she returned to see him looking 'delirious', with a swollen tongue and lips.
Mrs Cronin said a night nurse told her: 'He's had a good night and there's nothing wrong with him.'
Wednesday 4th July 2012
Topic: Barclays Bank fiddling
"Barclays ex-boss Bob Diamond faces MPs' questioning"
Source: BBC News
Extract: Bob Diamond is due to be grilled by MPs a day after resigning as Barclays chief executive in the wake of the inter-bank interest rate-fixing scandal.
His appearance was arranged before the latest furore, but he is likely to be quizzed about who knew what and when.
MPs are also likely to ask about the role of the Bank of England and the previous government in the rate-fixing.
There have been suggestions the BoE's deputy governor and senior Whitehall officials knew rates were manipulated.
Amid reports that Mr Diamond was pressured to resign, there is speculation that he will use the Treasury Committee hearing to hit back at senior political and City personnel.
Comment: I thought I'd look up this man's history a bit: He began his career as a lecturer at the School of Business, University of Connecticut from 1976-1977 - Diamond joined Morgan Stanley in 1977 and held several senior positions. He rose to the post of managing director and head of fixed income trading division. In 1992, after spending 13 years with the firm, he decides to join Credit Suisse First Boston, was formerly Vice Chairman and Head of Global Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange at CS First Boston. Based in New York, he was a member of the Executive Board and Operating Committee of CS First Boston - He joined Barclays in 1996 and has resided on the Executive Committee since 1997 - succeeded John Varley as Group Chief Executive in 2011 - During his tenure at Barclays, Diamond received criticism for his level of pay, his perceived lack of humility or modesty, and for being the bank's Chief Executive or otherwise seen as responsible, at the time a number of malpractices were identified within the bank. Ultimately it was the finding of money market rate manipulation in 2012 that was the direct trigger for his departure - Liberal Democrat politician Lord Oakeshott criticised Diamond, saying: "If he had any shame he would go. If the Barclays board has any backbone, they'll sack him."
Sounds like a run-of-the-mill banker to me!
Thursday 5th July 2012
Topic: Banking scandal - Diamond retires
"Q&A: Barclays and bank rates"
Source: The Telegraph
Extract: Barclays' chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned, less than a week after the bank was fined £290m ($450m) for trying to manipulate a key bank lending rate called Libor.
But why is Libor so important? Here we take a closer look at the issues involved:
Why do banks lend to each other in the first place?
Banks lend to each other on a short-term basis to either make a profit or cover any short-term cash shortfalls on the part of the borrower.
For example, a bank may find that at the end of a certain day more customers have made withdrawals than deposits. And so it borrows from its rivals to cover the shortfall.
Conversely, banks with a cash surplus can make extra profits by lending funds to a rival. The average rate of interest paid by the banks in such interbank lending is called the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).
Comment: Nepotistic management! Then again, are there any other kind?
Friday 6th July 2012
Topic: Illegal immigrants
"Scandal of 160,000 'missing' migrants"
Source: The Sun
Extract: The UK Borders Agency has no idea if they are still here or not, it was revealed yesterday. And the backlog of cases is increasing by around 600 a week.
The scandal was revealed by the UKBA's independent watchdog John Vine.
Despite the scale of the problem, he said the agency did not seem to have a clear plan to tackle it. And he voiced concern that tracking down the missing migrants was "not a high priority".
Comment: Not a high priority? Tracking down people refused immigration on the grounds of violent criminal records?
Saturday 7st July 2012
Topic: EU crisis - Football
"EU talks? No, let's see the football"
Source: The Sun
Extract: EU leaders watched FOOTBALL at crucial summit talks last night - instead of thrashing out a plan to save Europe.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, PM David Cameron and other leaders smuggled in iPads to see Italy beat Germany 2-1 in the Euro 2012 semi-final.
Comment: They might as well watch the football, instead of kicking the taxpayers into touch will any planned rescue for the Euro!