Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Putin’s Oligarchs Launder Money in London

April 7, 2022

Oliver Bullough explains how Russian oligarchs launder money in London.

More:

“Boris Johnson claims the UK is rooting out dirty Russian money. That’s ludicrous,” Oliver Bullough, The Guardian

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The Party’s Over: No. 10’s COVID BYOB Affair

January 13, 2022

Above: Dame Shirley Bassey delivers the news.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, British/American stand-up comediancricketer, and former London Lord Mayor, the Monty Python character currently serving as UK Prime Minister, is well in it for a spingtime garden party at his current abode, No. 10 Downing Street. It was a “bring your own bottle” party for staff. Very plesant-sounding. So why is everyone giving him stick?

The boozy party was on May 20, 2020, during a COVID lockdown strickly limiting outdoor gatherings and imposing fines up to £10,000 ($13,715) on violators. On that same day, there were 328 COVID-related deaths in the UK.

Mr. Johnson apologized before Parliament, but “Partygate” might be the scandal that finally gets BoJo made redundant and booted from office.

More:

“‘The party’s over, Boris’: what the papers say about Johnson’s No 10 crisis,” Graham Russell, The Guardian

“What next for Boris Johnson after his party apology?” Laura Kuenssberg, BBC News

Updates:

“Boris Johnson’s staff accused of more rule-breaking parties inside No 10,” BBC News

“On eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, Downing Street held lockdown parties,” Karla Adam, Washington Post

“Met police accused over failure to investigate No 10 lockdown parties,” Vikram Dodd, The Guardian

“Nobody warned me drinks event was against rules – Boris Johnson,” BBC News

“‘In the Name of God, Go’: Boris Johnson Told to Resign Over Boozy Lockdown Parties,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

Updated Updates:

“Boris Johnson ‘birthday bash’ added to list of alleged lockdown parties,” William Booth, Washington Post

“London police to investigate Downing Street parties during lockdown, raising stakes for Boris Johnson,” William Booth, Washington Post

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Christmas is Cancelled

December 27, 2021

“Christmas is Cancelled,” by The Long Blondes (vocalist: Kate Jackson). The lyrics (possibly by guitarist Dorian Cox) are here.

The band distributed free recordings of the song soon after they broke up in December 2008.

Related:

“Why music will miss the Long Blondes,” Priya Elan, The Guardian

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Cricket, explained for Americans.

June 24, 2021

Cricket: how the confusing sport became so popular, and its attempts to become more accessible, entertaining and profitable. A Vox/Netflix video.

Cricket glossary (Wikipedia)

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How the British royal family makes money

July 9, 2020

“How the British royal family makes money,” a Vox video explainer by Laura Bult.

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Vera Lynn, 1917 – 2020

June 19, 2020

Dame Vera Lynn died yesterday at the age of 103. The singer, actress, and radio personality is best known for her 1939 recording of “We’ll Meet Again,” written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, a signature song of Britain in World War II. Not a bad anthem for the pandemic crisis quarantine, either.

More:

“Vera Lynn, Singer Whose Wartime Ballads Lifted Britain, Dies at 103,” Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times

“Obituary: Dame Vera Lynn, a symbol of resilience and hope,” BBC News

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London’s Phone Booth Coffee Shop

June 5, 2019

It may be London’s smallest java stop: a coffeehouse in an antique red telephone booth.

Related:

“The Red Phone Box, a British Icon, Stages a Comeback,” Palko Karasz, New York Times

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New Year

January 1, 2019

“New Year,” written and recorded by Sugarbabes (Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan) in 2000. Video director: Alex Hamming.

New Year lyrics.

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The Magna Carta Caper

October 29, 2018

The Magna Carta Caper

In Wiltshire last week, a man was arrested for attempting to steal the 800-year-old Magna Carta on display at Salisbury Cathedral. The ancient document was unharmed, but its display case was heavily damaged. The criminal caper was foiled by Matt Delcambre, an American tourist from Louisiana, who tackled the hammer-wielding miscreant. “Back home he would have been hog-tied on the ground,” explained Mrs. Delcambre.

The alleged offender, free on bail, awaits his day in court, a right established by the Magna Carta.

More:

“Man Tried To Steal Magna Carta, 800-Year-Old Symbol Of The Law, Police Say,” Bill Chappell, NPR

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Image (“King John Adds a Digital Signature to the Magna Carta, 1215”)  by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Getting Dressed

March 6, 2018

How wealthy women were dressed — by others — in the 18th century: Shift, stays, petticoats, pockets, roll, stockings and garters, gown and stomacher, apron and shoes. That’s right, no knickers.

From the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool. More here.

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