Not The Royal Wedding #6: Couples Are Turning Their Backs On Traditional Gift Lists

With more couples choosing to live together before they get married, the traditional wedding gift list is often redundant. The average UK wedding now costs more than £27,000, so who wants an extra toaster, new kettle or spare bread-maker when what you really need is some help with funding your honeymoon?

It’s fair to say that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle probably aren’t staring at their bank accounts in desperation having run over budget on flowers or chair covers, but the pair have recently requested that the public make donations to charities of their choice, rather than send traditional presents. And for the six couples featuring in ‘Not The Royal Wedding’, HuffPost UK’s series following the journeys of people also getting married on 19 May, traditional gift lists won’t be playing a part either.

Shailesh Patel and Monica Chauhan are having two weddings this summer: a civil ceremony in May followed by a Indian wedding later in the year. The pair are not having a gift list, although money is traditionally given at Hindu weddings as a form of blessing. “As cliche as it sounds, the best present for us is having our friends and family around us on the big day,” Monica says.

[READ MORE: Not The Royal Wedding #5: Why This Bride Is Having Her Whole Family Give Her Away]

Childhood sweethearts Dafydd Thomas and Ceri Evans have also decided to go for the fuss-free option. A traditional gift list would feel “too awkward” they say. “We thought about it and decided we don’t want to do one,” the groom-to-be says. “If people ask, we tell them if there’s anything specific, but for the rest of them we’ve just left it to see what they do.”

Agreeing with Dafydd, Julie Spencer says she and her partner Gary Miller have decided not to organise a list, and instead have told their guests “their presence at the wedding is enough”. If family and friends do wish to give the couple a gift, they’ve said money towards their honeymoon “would be useful”.

Jo Want and Will Tarran, who are busy organising their festival-style wedding in Cambridge, have combined the modern approach of asking for honeymoon contributions with the style of a more traditional list. The couple have created an account on the gifting …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Dulwich Hamlet Football Team Fights Back Against The Developer That Wants To Bulldoze Its Stadium

Dulwich Hamlet supporters celebrate a goal against Thurrock F.C.

Cut grass prickles under the rising heat as the first waves of coaches and players mill around the dugout. Today marks the latest home game non-league South London football team Dulwich Hamlet has been forced to play away from Champion Hill, the ground it’s called home since 1912.

Today’s mid-April fixture against Essex team Thurrock FC takes place at local rivals Tooting and Mitcham’s ground, some nine miles from their Dulwich base.

The club’s displacement is due to a rift between Southwark, the local council, and a multinational property development firm Meadow Residential, an affiliate of New York City-based property fund Meadow Partners. Meadow, which owns Champion Hill, wants to knock down the current stadium and build apartments over it.

At the start of March, when Meadow Residential’s planning proposal for its £80 million apartment development on the site was rejected by Southwark Council – partly for , supported local living wage campaigns and played a landmark friendly against Stonewall FC, Britain’s premier gay football team, with all money from ticket sales going to the Elton John Aids Foundation. However, these efforts have come to a halt due to the team’s current challenges.

“Not being at [our ground] means we haven’t got a community, our community has got to travel to us,” Morath stewed, one eye on the game. “Not just that, but East Dulwich is feeling it as well. Without the crowds we’ve built up over recent years, the local pubs have had to lay off staff on Saturdays.” He attributed Meadow Residential’s conduct to pure pettiness ― “the kid in the playground taking the football away so nobody else can play.”

Meadow Residential did not respond to HuffPost’s emails or calls asking for comment. But the company’s website says it has supported Dulwich Hamlet to the tune of £750,000 but has been “unable to financially support the Club” while the dispute with Southwark Council over the development continues.

Tom Cullen ― a content producer and social media strategist ― came to the club in 2013. After taking over Dulwich Hamlet’s online presence in 2016, he was soon invited to become a committee member, going on to become the director the following year. It was during his tenure that relations with Meadow Residential broke down. He’s spent the past six months working pro bono, alongside Rose and fellow board member Liam Hickey, to keep Dulwich Hamlet afloat.

Cullen sees the fight …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Donald Trump Hails North Korea ‘Suspension’ Of Nuclear Missile Tests

Kim-Jong Un said his country 'no longer needs' tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles

North Korea has said it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests ahead of a new round of negotiations with South Korea and the United States.

Pyongyang said it also plans to close its nuclear test site, although there was no clear indication if it would be willing to deal away its arsenal.

Leader Kim Jong Un declared the nation’s nuclear force as complete in November after a slew of weapons tests that included the underground detonation of a purported thermonuclear warhead.

North Korea had also carried out flight tests of three intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Some analysts believe Kim is entering the negotiations from a position of strength and is unlikely to accept a significant cut of his arsenal or go significantly beyond freezing a nuclear program.

South Korean and US officials have said Mr Kim is likely trying to save his broken economy from heavy sanctions.

After the announcement on Saturday about testing, US president Donald Trump tweeted it was “very good news for North Korea and the World” and “big progress!”

He also said he is looking forward to his upcoming summit with Kim.

South Korea’s presidential office welcomed North Korea’s announcement as “meaningful progress” toward the denuclearisation of the peninsula.

Presidential official Yoon Young-chan said in a statement that the North’s decision brightens the prospects for successful talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington.

We no longer need any nuclear test or test launches of intermediate and intercontinental range ballistic missiles and because of this, the northern nuclear test site has finished its mission.
Kim-Jong Un

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the country is making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.

The North also vowed to actively engage with regional neighbours and the international community to secure peace on the peninsula and create an “optimal international environment” to build its economy.

The announcement came days before Mr Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.

A separate meeting between Mr Kim and Mr Trump is anticipated in May or June.

The North’s decisions were made in a meeting of the ruling party’s full Central Committee, which had convened to discuss a “new stage” of policies.

The …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


The Queen’s Birthday: 9 Regal Facts About Her Majesty’s Double Celebration

Queen Elizabeth II attends the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials and Beer Festival at Newbury Racecourse in Newbury, on her 91st birthday. The Queen turns 92 on Saturday.

1 – Twice the fun

On Saturday 21 April the Queen will enjoy birthday celebrations as she turns 92. But the monarch’s official birthday will be marked on the second Saturday in June.

2 – No rain on her parade

The tradition of a monarch having two birthdays dates back to 1748. George II was born in November of that year and it was decided the weather would be too cold around that time for an annual birthday parade. So instead he celebrated an official one in the warmer month of June – a tradition carried on to this day.

3 – All guns blazing

The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday; a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.

4 – Trooping a vibrant lime green

On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at a Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade, as well as a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. This is set to be Meghan and Harry’s first appearance on the balcony as a married couple.

5 – Giving back

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List is also released on this day in June, recognising more than 1,000 people for their commitment to public service.

6 – She likes to get out

In 2006 she celebrated her 80th birthday with a walkabout in the streets outside Windsor Castle to meet well-wishers.

7 – Thanks for all the fish

Two birthdays mean two sets of presents, right? Great news all round – until someone goes and gifts you with £5,000 worth of horse semen (yes really.)

Happily, the Queen has been pretty pleased with the majority of her gifts – so much so that after receiving the singing legend that is Big Mouth Billy Bass, the head of state was so tickled she promptly bought six more and installed them at Balmoral. “The Queen thinks Billy’s a scream,” one royal insider revealed.

8 – Corgi companions

But narrowly beating a plastic fish that mimes ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ was Susan the Corgi. Susan was a present for the then Princess Elizabeth’s 18th birthday back in 1944 and her first dog. …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Isle Of Man Could Be The First Place In The British Isles To Decriminalise Cannabis Possession

Mick Jagger once suggested legalising all drugs in the Isle of Man, as a litmus test for the rest of the UK.

“In England, they always try out new mobile phones in the Isle of Man,” said the former Rolling Stones frontman in 2010. “They’ve got a captive society. So I said… you should try the legalisation of all drugs on the Isle of Man and see what happens.”

Now the island – a British Crown dependency – could find itself taking steps towards Jagger’s idea, as it considers becoming the first area in the British Isles to decriminalise the possession of cannabis.

The Manx Government said in February that it was time to look at “alternative approaches” to its approach to drugs, and that it will hold an “evidence-based review” into decriminalising small amounts of cannabis possession for personal use.

The review, announced in its drugs strategy for the next five years, will look at at the health benefits and risks of such a move. It will also ask how having a criminal record for possessing of small amounts of cannabis can impact a person’s life, such as restricting career prospects or foreign travel, the island’s home affairs minister Bill Malarkey told HuffPost.

Cannabis is the most commonly seized drug in the Isle of Man. Figures suggest 45% of those in prison for burglary or theft are addicted to illegal drugs.

In his most recent report, the island’s police chief highlighted how arrests for cannabis possession had fuelled an 11% rise in crime.

There were 208 more crimes in 2016/17 than in the previous year, of which 115 were drugs offences, “almost all simple possession of cannabis”, Gary Roberts wrote. He added his officers “routinely found cannabis when dealing with young people”.

The review will evaluate evidence of other countries with pioneering drug policies, such as Portugal, where drugs possession was decriminalised. Deaths from drugs and HIV there fell, while drug use did not increase as some had feared.

“The evidence will be presented to politicians and the public to enable an informed debate on the Isle of Man,” health minister David Ashford said.

On the island, home to 83,000 people, drugs policy falls under the jurisdiction of the health department, unlike in the UK where it is handled under criminal enforcement.

On a single day in February, one man on the island was fined £100 for having £25 of cannabis, while …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Hither Green: Second Man Sought Over Failed Burglary Arrested

A police officer and a forensic officer outside the house of Richard Osborn-Brooks in South Park Crescent in Hither Green, south east London (file photo).

A man wanted in connection with an aggravated burglary in which another intruder died has been arrested by police.

Billy Jeeves, 28, was wanted by officers investigating the failed robbery at a home in Hither Green, south east London.

He was located and detained in north Kent on Friday evening by the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command.

Jeeves was arrested on suspicion of two counts of burglary, theft and possession of a controlled substance, the force said.

Scotland Yard confirmed Jeeves was taken into custody at a Kent police station.

The Met said in a statement: “No other persons are being sought in connection with this investigation.

“Enquiries continue.”

Detectives had appealed for information regarding Jeeves after the botched robbery of the home of pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks.

Henry Vincent, 37, was fatally stabbed during the incident on 4 April.

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Windrush: Labour’s Diane Abbott Vows Justice As Theresa May Backs Compensation

Diane Abbott used a speech at a rally in Brixton, south London, to add her voice to calls for compensation to now be given to those affected by the Windrush scandal.

.@HackneyAbbott tells Brixton’s Windrush rally she “won’t stop until I have got justice”

— George Bowden (@georgebowden) April 20, 2018

Labour’s Diane Abbott has vowed to “get justice” for those caught up in the Windrush generation scandal.

The shadow home secretary blasted Theresa May for her apology over the furore, saying the PM “knew what she was doing” when she removed protections for long-standing Commonwealth citizens in Britain.

Abbott told a packed rally on Windrush Square in Brixton, south London, on Friday night that May and her successor as home secretary, Amber Rudd, should be held responsible.

Abbott said: “Amber Rudd and Theresa May shouldn’t be apologising. You know why? Because you only apologise when you make a mistake – they knew what they were doing.”

Abbott said that together with now Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, she voted against the 2014 Immigration Act, which removed an exemption for those from Commonwealth countries who had settled in the UK.

The Guardian newspaper reported this week that a clause protecting those who arrived from Commonwealth nations after the Second World War was “quietly deleted” by Home Office staff from the 2014 law.

At the time, Labour, then led by Ed Miliband, officially abstained from voting on the act.

But several backbenchers chose to defy the whip, including Abbott, Corbyn, who acted as a teller, and McDonnell.

May was Home Secretary at the time the 2014 bill was passed.

Abbott said of the PM in her speech: “Don’t tell me you’re apologising, when you constantly knew what you were doing when you were warned about it by myself and others.”

“We need to come together to demand justice and I will not stop until we get that justice,” she added.

And the Hackney North MP added her voice to calls for compensation to now be given to those affected.

The prime minister, meanwhile, said the Government will now consider paying compensation “where appropriate” to those who suffered as a result of official challenges to their migration status.

Downing Street declined to give details of the compensation scheme, saying only they would be announced “shortly” by the Home Office.

It is thought likely that payments will go beyond the reimbursement of legal bills and include a recognition of the anxiety caused to long-standing Commonwealth residents of the UK whose right to be in the country was questioned.

‘Whatever it takes’

Speaking at a summit in London, May said: “On …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


I Didn’t Let Enoch Powell’s Speech Change Britain For Me

On April 20th, 1968 Enoch Powell made a speech in Birmingham that to this day overshadows every government’s attempts to speak on immigration.

Franklin Thomas, 73, was serving in the British army at the time Powell delivered his speech. He spoke to HuffPost UK about how he reacted to it in 1968 and whether he thought its legacy had made things better or worse for future generations of Britain.

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


Why The World Needs A Way Of Measuring The Effectives Of Countries’ Investments In Their Own People

Countries need to invest in their most important asset – their own people – and it pays to start early.

Children, who receive the right nutrition early on in life, learn much more effectively when they start school. This in turn has a huge knock-on effect on their ability to thrive in the workplace as an adult.

Vietnam is a shining example of a country which has invested in its own people in the last two decades, and has reaped huge benefits. It has focused on providing proper nutrition and quality education and the number of stunted children in the country fell by nearly 60% between 1985 and 2013, while pupils in its schools are now learning two times more each year than their peers in other countries with higher income levels.

As I laid out in my new development offer earlier this month, our focus should be on helping developing countries stand on their own feet, grow their economies, collect taxes and build sustainable health and education systems. To ensure UK aid is not just “spent well”, but “could not be better spent” we must ensure that the money we give builds that progress.

That’s why I strongly support the World Bank President Jim Kim’s plan for a Human Capital Index. This is a way of measuring how effective countries’ investments in their own people actually are. We should recognise and reward countries which are getting this right, and incentivise and support the rest to make the big shift that’s needed. Crucially, the index will allow countries to identify areas where they can invest to make big changes.

Donors, such as the UK, should ensure that the projects and programmes we fund become more than the sum of their parts. The sooner we can help nations build sustainable public services the better. After all, weak healthcare systems in the developing world are not just a danger for the people that live there – they pose a risk to us all. And many countries are stepping up. Countries like Ghana and Kenya are leading the way in enrolling more poor people in their national health insurance schemes so that they can get the services they need – from both public and private providers – to keep them healthy.

This progress can only happen if we move nations from aid to trade, and build strong tax systems.

UK aid together with HMRC is supporting tax reform …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec


US Democrat Party Sues Trump Campaign, Russia And WikiLeaks

The US Democrat Party is suing Donald Trump’s election campaign, Russia and WikiLeaks, claiming there was a conspiracy to help the Republican nominee win the 2016 presidential election.

The party alleges in the federal lawsuit in Manhattan that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and tilt the election to Trump by hacking Democratic Party computers, Reuters reports.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. Check back for the fullest version. Follow HuffPost UK on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.

…read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Tec