Gibraltars Offshore gambling sites on the Internet have revolutionized the sports betting industry

Gibraltars Offshore gambling sites on the Internet have revolutionized the sports betting industry. The offshore betting sites compete for the bettors’ money, and are constantly improving consumer services

Monday, 31 October 2011

10,000 border arrests due to screening system


10,000 criminals including rapists and murderers have been held at the UK border thanks to a screening system begun in 2005, a minister has said. Air and sea carriers using UK ports and airports submit passenger and crew details electronically to the e-Borders screening system, prior to travel. It results in about 52 weekly arrests, Immigration Minister Damian Green says. He praised the UK Border Agency and police for the scheme, which covers up to 55% of journeys to and from the UK. "By checking passenger and crew information before travel, law enforcement agencies can apprehend those trying to evade justice," Mr Green said. "From 2013 the new dedicated Border Policing Command, part of the National Crime Agency, will further strengthen security at the border, providing leadership and coordination based on a single national threat assessment and strategy." E-Borders has not avoided controversy. The government faces the threat of a lawsuit from Raytheon, the firm which managed the £750m system until Mr Green terminated its contract in July 2010 over delays to its full implementation. Raytheon says the problems were down to UK Border Agency mismanagement of the scheme. But John Donlon, of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said e-borders would continue to play a key role. Extending scheme "Police have been able to identify those wanted for offences before they leave or when they return to the UK, bringing offenders to justice and supporting counter-terrorist and serious crime investigations," he said. More than 125 million passengers' details were screened in the year to September, resulting in 2,700 arrests. Among those detained were 11 murderers, 22 rapists, 316 violent criminals and 126 drug offenders, government figures show. The government is extending the number of routes and carriers covered by the e-Borders system and will re-introduce exit checks by 2015. "Inevitably as more routes are covered the number of arrests will grow," Mr Donlon added. The border agency said recent successes included the arrest at Manchester Airport of a 44-year-old man who was later charged with sexually grooming a boy after an alert from Swiss authorities, and the detention of a man wanted for a rape 14 years ago. Other cases involved the jailing of a Spanish drugs courier trying to smuggle 1kg of cocaine from Brazil, the arrest of one man from Dubai who was wanted for a £5.7m theft and another who was suspected of a £50m fraud. Meanwhile, the agency said on Sunday it had blacklisted nearly 3,000 banks it believed could not be trusted to verify documents supporting student visa applications.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Armed guards are to be deployed on British civilian ships for the first time to protect them from pirates,

Armed guards are to be deployed on British civilian ships for the first time to protect them from pirates, David Cameron announced today.

A legal ban on weapon-toting protection staff will be relaxed so that firms can apply for a licence to have them on board in danger zones.

The Prime Minister said radical action was required because the increasing ability of sea-borne Somali criminals to hijack and ransom ships had become 'a complete stain on our world'.

He unveiled the measure after talks at a Commonwealth summit in Australia with leaders of countries in the Horn of Africa over the escalating problem faced in waters off their shores.

Under the plans, the Home Secretary will be given the power to license vessels to carry armed security, including automatic weapons, currently prohibited under firearms laws.

Officials said around 200 ships were expected to be in line to take up the offer, which would only apply for voyages through particular waters in the affected region.

It is expected to be used by commercial firms, rather than private sailors such as hostage victims Paul and Rachel Chandler.

Pirates: There are around 50 ships currently being held hostage

Pirates: There are around 50 ships currently being held hostage


Asked if he was comfortable with giving private security operatives the right to 'shoot to kill' if necessary, Mr Cameron told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: 'We have to make choices.

'Frankly the extent of the hijack and ransom of ships round the Horn of Africa is a complete stain on our world.

'The fact that a bunch of pirates in Somalia are managing to hold to ransom the rest of the world and our trading system is a complete insult and the rest of the world needs to come together with much more vigour.


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

EU referendum vote reaction


Backbenchers have warned that David Cameron will face further rebellions unless he takes a tough line in EU treaty negotiations.: For the record, here is the Press Association's full list of MPs who voted for the motion calling for a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU. Conservatives • 79 Conservatives voted for the motion. They were: Stuart Andrew (Pudsey), Steven Baker (Wycombe), John Baron (Basildon & Billericay), Andrew Bingham (High Peak), Brian Binley (Northampton South), Bob Blackman (Harrow East), Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West), Andrew Bridgen (Leicestershire North West), Steve Brine (Winchester), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Dan Byles (Warwickshire North), Douglas Carswell (Clacton), Bill Cash (Stone), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), James Clappison (Hertsmere), Tracey Crouch (Chatham & Aylesford), David Davies (Monmouth), Philip Davies (Shipley), David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden), Nick de Bois (Enfield North), Caroline Dinenage (Gosport), Nadine Dorries (Bedfordshire Mid), Richard Drax (Dorset South), Mark Field (Cities of London & Westminster), Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble), Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park), James Gray (Wiltshire North), Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey), George Hollingbery (Meon Valley), Adam Holloway (Gravesham), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), Bernard Jenkin (Harwich & Essex North), Marcus Jones (Nuneaton), Chris Kelly (Dudley South), Andrea Leadsom (Northamptonshire South), Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Julian Lewis (New Forest East), Karen Lumley (Redditch), Jason McCartney (Colne Valley), Karl McCartney (Lincoln), Stephen McPartland (Stevenage), Anne Main (St Albans), Patrick Mercer (Newark), Nigel Mills (Amber Valley), Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot), James Morris (Halesowen & Rowley Regis), Stephen Mosley (Chester, City of), Sheryll Murray (Cornwall South East), Caroline Nokes (Romsey & Southampton North), David Nuttall (Bury North), Matthew Offord (Hendon), Neil Parish (Tiverton & Honiton), Priti Patel (Witham), Andrew Percy (Brigg & Goole), Mark Pritchard (Wrekin, The), Mark Reckless (Rochester & Strood), John Redwood (Wokingham), Jacob Rees-Mogg (Somerset North East), Simon Reevell (Dewsbury), Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills), Henry Smith (Crawley), John Stevenson (Carlisle), Bob Stewart (Beckenham), Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South), Gary Streeter (Devon South West), Julian Sturdy (York Outer), Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth & Horncastle), Justin Tomlinson (Swindon North), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight), Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), Robin Walker (Worcester), Heather Wheeler (Derbyshire South), Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley), John Whittingdale (Maldon), Dr Sarah Wollaston (Totnes). • Two Tory MPs voted in both the Aye and Noe lobbies, the traditional way of registering an abstention. They were: Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South) and Mike Weatherley (Hove). • A further two Tory MPs, Peter Bone (Wellingborough) and Philip Hollobone (Kettering) acted as tellers for the motion. Labour • 19 Labour MPs defied the party leadership to support the motion: Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Rosie Cooper (Lancashire West), Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North), Jon Cruddas (Dagenham & Rainham), John Cryer (Leyton & Wanstead), Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West), Natascha Engel (Derbyshire North East), Frank Field (Birkenhead), Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North), Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak), John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby), Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), Andrew Smith (Oxford East), Graham Stringer (Blackley & Broughton), Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston), Mike Wood (Batley & Spen). Lib Dems • One Liberal Democrat, Adrian Sanders (Torbay) voted for the motion. Others • Green leader Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion) voted for the motion. • Eight Democratic Unionist Party MPs voted for the motion: Gregory Campbell (Londonderry East), Nigel Dodds (Belfast North), Jeffrey Donaldson (Lagan Valley), Rev William McCrea (Antrim South), Ian Paisley Junior (Antrim North), Jim Shannon (Strangford), David Simpson (Upper Bann), Sammy Wilson (Antrim East). • Independent MP Lady Sylvia Hermon (Down North) voted for the motion. 8.41am: Reverberations from last night's vote on the EU referendum will be bouncing around Westminster all day. David Cameron told his MPs yesterday afternoon: "I share the yearning for fundamental reform, and I am determined to deliver it." But when? Michael Gove, the education secretary, was on the Today programme a few minutes ago, doing his best to play down the significance of the rebellion against the prime minister – but even he struggled to explain when Cameron's long-promised renegotiation is going to take place. I'll post a full summary of his interview soon, as well as bringing you all the best reaction, comment and analysis relating to the referendum debate. Otherwise, it's a fairly routine day, although Kenneth Clarke, at the home affairs committee at lunchtime, could make good copy. Here's a full list of what's coming up. 9am: The cabinet meets. 10am: Sir Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, gives evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about quantitative easing. 10am: Unions are launcing a legal challenge to the government's plans increase pensions in line with the CPI measure of inflation rather than the RPI measure of inflation. 10.30am: Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, gives evidence to the Commons justice committee on joint enterprise prosecutions. 10.45am: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs publishes a report on legal highs. 12.45pm: Kenneth Clarke, the justice secretary, gives evidence to the Commons home affairs committee about the riots. 2.20pm: Maria Miller, the minister for the disabled, the health minister, Paul Burstow, and Grant Shapps, the housing minister, give evidence to the joint committee on human rights on the right of disabled people to independent living.

Boland launches new radio station on same frequency as Heart


HEART FM bosses have denied any bad feeling after controversial DJ Maurice Boland took over their coastal frequency for a new radio venture. The self-styled ‘Mr Marbella’ has left the station and plans to launch his new business later this month. “As far as we are concerned he can have it, it was an amicable agreement,” owner Pat Jay told the Olive Press. But other sources have revealed that there has been ‘considerable tension’ over the fallout, which left Heart FM ‘retrenching’ back inland. “There have been various issues and Pat and husband Lee have been left shattered,” said a friend. Now Boland, 62 – who was sacked from his previous job at Talk Radio Europe (TRE) after an alleged affair with a teenager – is setting up a studio at Estepona’s Kempinski Hotel. According to sources, he has managed to acquire a retail space to work out of and claims to have some big backers. “He has been approaching presenters at other radio stations, but is not offering a lot of money,” said a source.

Thousands of Telefonica clients disconnected for 5 hours


THOUSANDS of Telefonica clients on the Costa del Sol were left without service for five hours. The problem, which affected clients in Marbella, Ronda, Casares and Estepona, last Friday was due to a fault with a commutation network system, and also caused minor problems in Malaga City. According to Telefonica, it affected 20 per cent of communications in Malaga province, however, it did not affect clients with smartphones, which account for 65 per cent of clients in the province. Consumer group Facua said compensation for this can amount to the average of the amount charged over the past three months or five times the monthly tariff calculated proportionately by the time the problem lasted.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Various stories about how Al Qathafi lived his last moments have emerged


An image captured off a cellular phone camera showing Muammar Al Qathafi during his last moments

Various stories about how Al Qathafi lived his last moments have emerged with the most plausible being that the got out of a hole near a road not far from the city of Sirte only to find himself face-to-face with the same Libyan rebels whom he once called rats.

Al Qathafi seems to have been wounded in a hole before he was captured by the rebels. Video shots aired by Al Soumoud TVchannel ishow Al Qathafi held by two rebels, one on each side of him as they helped him walk for a few steps. He had a bloodied face. He was then carried by fightes and placed over the front body of a yellow pick-up truck.

Al Qathafi looked disoriented as blood covered most of his face. When he was laid down on the car a rebel seemed to put his hand on his seemingly wounded abdomen.

According to Ibrahim Mahjoub, one of the rebels who played a part in the last moments of Al Qathafi's life, the former Libyan leader escaped to a farm and hid under a rain water hole under a road bridge. “He was already wounded,” Mahjoub said.

Mahjoub went on to say: “We were above that small bridge when one of Al Qathafi troops carrying a green flag got out of the hole and said 'my master is inside'”. Moments later Al Qathafi himself got out of the hole saying, “what is going on?” 

Mahjoub continued to say: “We held Al Qathafi by the hand. He was holding a gun in his hand, a small black bag and also a number of mascots.”

Al Qathafi tried to escape out of Sirte towards the east on Wednesday night but his convoy faced heavy fire from the rebels and was forced to retreat to the city. He tried again to escape Thursday morning but his convoy was surrounded and bombed.

There is a possibility that after his convoy came under fire Al Qathafi was injured he ran away for cover under the road only to be captured by the rebels and die as a result of the wounds he was carrying. 

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Qaddafi Is Dead, Libyan Officials Say


Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan strongman who fled into hiding after rebels toppled his regime two months ago in the Arab Spring’s most tumultuous uprising, was killed Thursday as fighters battling the vestiges of his loyalist forces wrested control of his hometown of Surt, the interim government announced. Multimedia Slide Show Muammar el-Qaddafi: 42 Years as the Face of Libya Photographs Battle for Libya Interactive Feature Timeline: Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi Related Battle for a Holdout City Stalls Healing in Libya (October 19, 2011) Times Topic: Libya — Revolution (2011) Related in Opinion  Nicholas D. Kristof, a Columnist for The New York Times, on the Implications of Muammar el-Qaddafi's Death in Libya and Beyond on The Takeaway Radio Program Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. The New York Times More Photos » Al Jazeera television showed what it said was Colonel Qaddafi’s corpse as jubilant fighters in Surt fired automatic weapons in the air, punctuating an emphatic and violent ending to his four decades as a ruthless and bombastic autocrat who basked in his reputation as the self-styled king of kings of Africa. Libyans rejoiced as news of his death spread. Car horns blared in Tripoli as residents poured into the streets to celebrate. Mahmoud Shammam, the chief spokesman of the Transitional National Council, the interim government that replaced Colonel Qaddafi’s regime after he fled Tripoli in late August, confirmed that Colonel Qaddafi was killed, though he did not provide other details. "A new Libya is born today," he said.  "This is the day of real liberation. We were serious about giving him a fair trial.  It seems God has some other wish."   Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the leader of the Tripoli military council, said on Al Jazeera that anti-Qaddafi forces had Colonel Qaddafi’s body. It was not clear precisely how he died. Mohamed Benrasali, a member of the national council’s Tripoli Stabilization Committee, said fighters from Misurata who were deployed in Surt told him that Colonel Qaddafi was captured alive in a car leaving Surt.  He was badly injured, with wounds in his head and both legs, Mr. Benrasali said, and died soon after.   . Colonel Qaddafi had defied repeated attempts to corner and capture him, taunting his enemies with audio broadcasts denouncing the rebel forces that felled him as stooges of NATO, which conducted a bombing campaign against his military during the uprising under the auspices of a Security Council mandate to protect Libyan civilians. Libya’s interim leaders had said they believed that some Qaddafi family members including the colonel himself and some of his sons had been hiding in Surt or in Bani Walid, another loyalist bastion that the anti-Qaddafi forces captured earlier this week. There was no immediate comment on the news of his death from American officials. . Victoria Nuland, the State Department spokeswoman, traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Afghanistan, said the department was aware of the reports “on the capture or killing of Muammar Qaddafi.” There was also no immediate comment from Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, the interim government’s top official. But he had said that the death or capture of Colonel Qaddafi would allow him to declare the country liberated and in control of its borders, and to start a process that would lead to a general election for a national council within eight months. Libyan fighters said earlier on Thursday that they had routed the last remaining forces loyal to Colonel Qaddafi from Surt, ending weeks of fierce fighting in that Mediterranean enclave east of Tripoli. A military spokesman for the interim government, Abdel Rahman Busin, said, “Surt is fully liberated.” The battle for Surt was supposed to have been a postscript to the Libyan conflict, but for weeks soldiers loyal to Colonel Qaddafi, fiercely defended the city, first weathering NATO airstrikes and then repeated assaults by anti-Qaddafi fighters. Former rebel leaders were caught off guard by the depth of the divisions in western Libya, where the colonel’s policy of playing favorites and stoking rivalries has resulted in a series of violent confrontations. Surt emerged as the stage for one of the war’s bloodiest fights, killing and injuring scores on both sides, decimating the city and leading to fears that the weak transitional leaders would not be able to unify the country. The battle turned nearly two weeks ago, when the anti-Qaddafi fighters laid siege to an enormous convention center that the pro-Qaddafi troops had used as a base. The interim leaders had claimed that the ongoing fighting had prevented them from focusing on other pressing concerns, including the proliferation of armed militias that answered to no central authority.

Libya: 'Gaddafi dies from wounds' suffered in Sirte capture


National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which Nato warplanes attacked. Gaddafi was shot in both legs and "also hit in his head", the official said. "There was a lot of firing against his group and he died." There was no independent confirmation of his remarks. In the early hours of the morning, at least five cars carrying loyalist fighters attempted to escape the city. Libyan rebels then moved into the city's Number Two residential neighbourhood, which was the last pocket of pro-Gaddafi resistance left in the war-torn country. "Sirte has been liberated. There are no Gaddafi forces any more," said Col Yunus Al Abdali, head of operations in the eastern half of the city. "We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away." However, there were reports that Gaddafi loyalists had ditched their military uniforms and were firing indiscriminately at civilians. The final assault on the remaining pro-Gaddafi positions began around 8am (7am GMT) on Thursday and was over after about 90 minutes. Civilians, whose city has been under siege since Gaddafi was removed from power at the end of August, were making their way to the centre to celebrate. The Telegraph, witnessing scenes in the centre of the city said there were scenes of relief, jubilation and intense celebratory gunfire among National Transitional Council (NTC) forces. The new national flag was raised above a large utilities building in the Mediterranean city, which had been under siege for nearly two months. A rebel commander confirmed that loyalist fighters in the city had been rounded up. "This is the last day of the fight," Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Abdel Salam of the Misurata Brigade told AFP. The fate of the city has become entwined with the immediate political future of Libya after the National Transitional Council said a full interim government could not be named until Sirte had fallen.

Gardai in Spain for 'Fat' Freddie handover deal


DUBLIN detectives have travelled to Spain to negotiate the handover of gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson. Sources say that gardai are spending a number of days with their Spanish counterparts examining evidence against Thompson. "This is standard procedure in a case like this," a source said. Thompson is due to appear before the High Court today where he is expected to apply for bail after being remanded in custody on Friday when he was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant. laundering Spanish authorities want to extradite him to Spain and they allege that Thompson operated as a bodyguard and chauffeur for the Christy Kinahan drugs organisation, which was targeted in a massive international police operation in May, 2010, known as Operation Shovel. Spanish authorities say that the Kinahan organisation is heavily involved in gun crime, drug trafficking and money laundering through a complex network of companies. Sources have revealed that in the weeks before his arrest, Thompson had fallen out of favour with the Kinahan mob -- organisation who his gang has been sourcing drugs from for over a decade. A European Arrest Warrant has also been issued for Thompson's close pal Gary Hutch (30) but gardai have not been able to find him. The Herald has previously revealed that Thompson's arrest warrant contains explosive details about a phone call tapped by Spanish police in December, 2009, between 'Fat' Freddie and Hutch in which the two criminals discuss firearms. The warrant also alleged that 'Fat' Freddie and Hutch travelled together to Portugal in November, 2009 and Amsterdam in May, 2010, to organise drug shipments. The warrant also states that Hutch and Thompson lived together in Spain and were "right-hand men" of Daniel Kinahan -- the son of Ireland's richest drugs trafficker Christy Kinahan. Also mentioned on the warrant is Ross Browning (27) from north inner city Dublin who is alleged to have collected a major Irish criminal from Malaga Airport in May, 2010, in a car which was also regularly used by the notorious criminal Hutch. violence Browning was one of around 30 people arrested by police investigating Kinahan's drug organisation last year. He was released without charge after being questioned for a number of days by Spanish authorities. Since being sent to Cloverhill Prison on Friday, Thompson has been placed in the protection unit in the jail because of fears that he may become a victim of a feud related attack or that he may orchestrate violence within the prison. It is understood he has had no visitors in jail.

Spanish town rushes to wed gays before election


Spanish town is offering gay couples fast-track marriages before a likely November election win by the conservative Popular Party, which opposes same-sex marriage. The mayor of the small southwestern town of Jun, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, said he offered the service across Spain after hearing from gay couples fearing a change in the law after the November 20 vote. “People are very afraid, they are starting to realise that there could be a real change and they will lose a hard-fought right,” the Socialist mayor told AFP. “I felt it was important to reassure people and find a way so that people who want to get married could do so,” he said. Rodriguez said the town had received 52 requests from same-sex couples wanting to be married in the past week after he announced on Twitter he would offer speedy gay marriages before the general election. The town of just over 4,000 residents carried out just 11 same-sex marriages during all of 2010. The wedding applications are handled entirely online in about five days, complete with marriage certificate delivered by e-mail. The mayor said he had made the town’s park available for wedding ceremonies but the vast majority of couples opt for the electronic marriage and would not need to set foot in Jun. Under Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain has been on the vanguard of Europe in terms of gay rights. In 2005 — a year after Zapatero was first elected — Spain passed a law to allow same-sex marriages, making it only the third member of the European Union after Belgium and the Netherlands to do so. The law, part of the ruling Socialists’ aggressive agenda for social reform, also lets gay couples adopt children and inherit each other’s property. Since then more than 20,000 gay couples have tied the knot. The conservative Popular Party, which is riding high in the polls, has appealed the gay marriage law to Spain’s Constitutional Court. Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy has pledged to reform the same-sex marriage law if elected but as the general election has neared he has stressed that any legislative action will come only after the court issues its ruling. Polls show two-thirds of Spaniards back same-sex marriage, one of the highest levels of support in Europe.

Choose your petrol station carefully in Malaga Province


UP to €4.50 can be saved be choosing the cheapest petrol station to fill up. The average price per litre for unleaded petrol in Malaga Province is now up to €1.34, 13 per cent more than the same time last year, according to the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the highest in the whole of Spain. Diesel is €1.29 on average, 16 per cent more than October 2010. The cheapest place to fill up with 95 octane is Distreax-22, Velez-Malaga, at €1.29 per litre. The most expensive place to fill up with 95 octane is E.S. El Torcal, Villanueva de la Concepcion (Malaga), at €1.38 per litre. The cheapest place to fill up with diesel is Galp, Antequera, at €1.24 per litre. The most expensive place to fill up with diesel is Cepsa, Manilva at €1.31 per litre.

The Most Dangerous Airports: Gibraltar

The Most Dangerous Airports: Gibraltar. Gibraltar is situated on a peninsula on the southeast coast of Spain and has several daily flights. It also serves as an air force base. The two interesting features about this airport is the intimidating peer into the sea on the west coast and the main road crossing the runway with a set of traffic light to stop traffic during take-offs and landing.

Massive Staff Walkout at William Hill


Top UK gambling giant, William Hill, is apparently experiencing problems with staff members in its Tel Aviv head office. The Sun has claimed that 200 members of the gambling group's online support office in the Israeli city staged a mass walkout in protest over rumours that William Hill will be relocating the unit to Gibraltar or the United Kingdom. The newspaper also claims that William Hill's chief marketing officer for its online business, Eyal Sanoff, has resigned from his post. Several senior managers with the UK gambling group face disciplinary action related to the William Hill staff walkout. William Hill did not comment on the walkout in a statement issued today, but confirmed that "several other senior managers in Tel Aviv are now subject to disciplinary actions in relation to the disruption this week within the marketing business in Tel Aviv, and in the customer service and back office operations in Manila and Bulgaria." The statement also confirmed that there was "no intention" to relocate sales and marketing to Gibraltar or the UK as speculated in rumours. William Hill Management in Tel Aviv It was also stated in the press release issued by the Gibraltar based gambling group that "senior William Hill online management are currently on the ground in Tel Aviv working through these issues." With Israel currently in the midst of a week long holiday, it may be difficult for management to sort out the issues as fast as they expect to. William Hill online and land gambling giant said that the majority of employees in the Tel Aviv customer support head office had excellent working relationships with the group and with their colleagues in other countries. It was important for William Hill gambling group to reassure the public in its statement that there was no disruption to the consumer websites "at present". Don't miss... William Hill  William Hill Interested In Probability Mobile Acquisition William Hill Profits Increase In 2011 William Hill is considered one of the world's biggest betting groups, having taken in over £16 billion in stakes last year alone. According to the William Hill website it is building its business "by bringing the excitement of gaming and betting to the UK and international customers through a strong retail presence and growing online activities." Earlier this week, William Hill announced the appointment of Georgina Harvey and Imelda Walsh as non-executive directors with effect from November 1st. The pair bring with them extensive and diverse experience from the media and retail industries and are able to provide the group with useful insights into regulatory issues and people issues, explained the chairman of William Hill, Gareth Davis.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Catholic Church Child Trafficking Network


Spain is reeling from an avalanche of allegations of baby theft and baby trafficking. The trade began at the end of the Spanish civil war and continued for 50 years – hundreds of thousands of babies are thought to have been traded by nuns, priests and doctors up to the 1990s. This World reveals the impact of Spain’s stolen baby scandal through the eyes of the children and parents who were separated at birth, and who are now desperate to find their relatives. Exhumations of the supposed graves of babies and positive DNA tests are proof that baby theft has happened. Across Spain, people are queuing up to take a DNA test and thousands of Spaniards are asking ‘Who am I?’ Katya Adler has been meeting the heartbroken mothers who are searching for the children whom they were told died at birth, as well as the stolen and trafficked babies who are now grown up and searching for their biological relatives and their true identities.

Spain’s property bust is only getting worse.

Cranes erecting the Pelly tower under construction in Seville.

Spain’s property bust is only getting worse. The wonder is that the country’s economy and banks are still this resilient.

The Spanish government said Tuesday that housing prices remained in free-fall in the third quarter, dropping 5.5% from a year earlier, the biggest decline since 2009.

This makes Spain, in many senses, the worst case of a property bust in the developed world—the country is already deep in its third consecutive year of falling prices, with no rebounds.

Last year, the pace of decline slowed significantly, signalling some light at the end of the tunnel, but another metaphor is called for instead: that last year’s respite was nothing more than a dead cat’s bounce.

The good news should be the overall amount of the decline, since Spain’s government says prices are only down 18%, in nominal terms, since their peak in early 2008.

But that doesn’t include the effect of Spain’s persistent inflation, one of the highest in the euro zone, which makes the real drop closer to 30%—Spain’s government didn’t provide real price data in today’s release.

After earlier predictions of a short-term correction have been smashed, some analysts now say prices may keep falling for the next two years, eroding Spain’s household wealth and banking balance sheets.

Meanwhile, banks are struggling to keep up with the loss in value of the collateral against €400 billion worth of loans to construction and real estate firms, an amount that remains unchanged since 2008.

For Luis Garicano, a professor of economics and strategy at the London School of Economics, this number is perhaps the most dangerous of those related to the bust, since it indicates the banking sector exposure to such loans hasn’t diminished.

He estimates that a possible explanation is that banks have exchanged some non-performing loans for property that they now own, but not enough to offset the rising interest on the loans.

Many, if not most of these loans, are being rolled over to keep zombie developers in business, in the hope that the market will recover.

All the same, banks have also turned into property developers now.

Walk into any Spanish bank branch, looking for a mortgage, and you will see that is much easier to get it if you’ll just take one of the many, many houses the bank acquired from a bankrupt developer. But many will say why worry? The same house will be even cheaper next month.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

RBS staff told to pay for their own Christmas party


Another day, another downgrade. Reduced to surviving on two pints of lager and pack of crisps at recent Christmas parties, misery was heaped on Royal Bank of Scotland's highly-paid investment bankers on Friday as they were told that they would have to fund this year's bash entirely out of their own pocket.

HMRC clamps down on Swiss account holders


6,000 Britons who hold money in the Swiss arm of HSBC will soon receive a letter telling them that they need to own up to unpaid tax. The bank is acting on information received last year under a tax treaty. This revealed that more than 6,000 individuals, companies, trusts and other bodies held accounts and investments with HSBC Geneva. HMRC has already begun criminal and serious fraud investigations into more than 500 individuals and organisations holding these accounts. HMRC will shortly be writing to those who have not yet come forward, or are not under investigation. They will be offered a chance to contact HMRC and disclose all their tax liabilities, HMRC said. Fines of up to 200 per cent of any tax may, in certain circumstances, be imposed on people not coming forwards during this window for disclosure. "This is not an amnesty. There are no special rates of penalty or interest for those who come forward voluntarily," said HMRC's Dave Hartnett. "This is an opportunity for those who have made errors in past returns to correct them. The net is closing on offshore evaders. Don't wait for HMRC to contact you."

Thursday, 13 October 2011


35074501 Today from i: Brits abroad


Rich Brits plot escape to France


 wealthy Britons are planning to flee what they believe to be an over-taxed and crime-ridden UK, with France the most favoured destination, according to a survey published by British bank Lloyds TSB. The survey, published on Monday, found that 17 percent of those with more than £250,000 ($391,025) in savings and investments wanted to move abroad in the next two years, up from 14 percent six months earlier. The most popular destination for the rich exiles was France (21 percent), followed by Spain (15 percent) and the US (11 percent).  Three-quarters of those questioned (73 percent) thought that crime was a bigger problem in Britain than other developed countries. "Sadly, it seems August's riots, tax increases and a rising cost of living have cast a pall over life in the UK for some wealthy people," said Nicholas Boys-Smith, managing director of Lloyds TSB International Wealth in a statement. "It may reignite fears of a 'wealth drain' from our economy as rich people seek pastures new," he said. 42 percent of those questioned named tax as a reason for leaving, up from 35 percent six months ago. Cost of living was a factor for 52 percent, up from 31 percent. Research in January 2011 suggested that 4.6 percent of the UK population have over £250,000 in savings and investments, which equals around 2.8 million people.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Spain health service chokes as austerity tightens


Medical suppliers haven't been paid for as much as two years, emergency rooms have been shut down and doctors in Catalonia have been told to accept a pay cut or 1,500 medical residents will lose their jobs. Spain's treasured public health care system has become the latest victim of the euro zone debt crisis. "We haven't been paid, but there's nothing we can do about it. We need the contracts, so we're just going to have to wait it out," said a representative for a cleaning company who did not want his or the firm's name used for fear of a backlash. The company, which says it is owed hundreds of millions of euros by the government of the Castilla-La Mancha region south of Madrid, is one of dozens of providers of everything from surgical swabs to disinfectants struggling to pay workers as Spain's regions delay payments to meet tight deficit targets. The debt-burdened autonomous regions' spending cuts are a tangible sign of the present and future pain as Spain works to meet ambitious deficit reduction goals pledged to the European Union in the midst of an economic downturn. Spain's political parties have kept their positions on the issue vague ahead of November 20 general elections, but even the most passionate defenders of the current system agree there is scope for cost savings and more efficiency. Spain's conservative opposition, the People's Party (PP), which is expected to win in November, will likely cut into social welfare programs the incumbent Socialists have left untouched. But even the Socialists now say they can find ways to reduce health spending without harming services. Examples include forcing car insurance firms to pay for the treatment of accident victims and sending foreign governments the bill when their citizens use Spanish hospitals. 900-DAY WAITS Multinational pharmaceutical firm Roche says the Castilla y Leon region north of Madrid is more than 900 days behind on its bills, which has raised fears here that the company could start withholding drugs for some hospitals as it did in Greece, which is fighting off bankruptcy. Spain's central government makes yearly transfers of income tax revenue to the country's 17 autonomous regions, which are in charge of administering health care and schools. But the regions are being forced to make drastic budget cuts after piling up debt during Spain's property boom, the collapse of which in 2008 sent the country into recession and unemployment soaring to more than 20 percent. As the regions squeeze spending wherever they can, what they owe to companies that provide health care services and products has risen 42 percent in a year to more than 4 billion euros, according to the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology, known as Fenin. AT Kearney consultancy calculates the system's long-term deficit is 15 billion euros, a heavy burden for a government whose borrowing costs have soared in the euro zone debt crisis. Margarita Alfonsel, secretary general of Fenin, says small companies in her federation "are suffering to an alarming extent due to the liquidity squeeze." She said some will have to lay off staff or go into bankruptcy. The average number of days providers must wait for payment has risen in the past year to 415 days, from 285 days, she said. "It was unacceptable before. Now it's totally incomprehensible," said Joaquin del Rincon, Spanish representative of Boston Scientific, which provides medical and surgical instruments to Spanish hospitals. "We have to explain to our central offices that this is an ongoing problem in Spain made worse by the crisis," he said.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

British warship chases Spanish boat out of Gibraltar waters


British warship chased a Spanish customs vessel out of British territorial waters at Gibraltar, a spokesman for the British military command in the contested territory said Wednesday. The frigate HMS Argyll was leaving Gibraltar on Tuesday on deployment to the Middle East when it spotted the Spanish ship in British waters off the territory, the spokesman at the British military command said. "Argyll turned and followed the customs vessel round Europa Point and into the Bay where the customs vessel exited British Gibraltar's territorial waters," he said. The Spanish vessel, a large corvette-type vessel named "Fulmar", then sailed to the Spanish port of Algeciras on the other side of the bay, he added. It was the latest in a series of maritime face-offs in the waters off Gibraltar, which is strategically placed at the western entrance of the Mediterranean. In April Gibraltar police charged one of its boats was damaged in a clash with Spanish police vessels that illegally entered its waters in pursuit of alleged drug traffickers. Britain claims a strip of three nautical miles (5.5 kilometres) surrounding Gibraltar as its territorial waters. But Spain does not recognise any waters off Gibraltar as belonging to the territory apart from its ports. Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. Britain has said it will not renounce sovereignty against the wishes of Gibraltarians.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Scottish couple who went on the run in Spain to escape fraud charges are to have almost £1m seized under proceeds of crime legislation.


 Anthony Kearney, 46, and 44-year-old Donna McCafferty admitted claiming housing benefit when they had more than £330,000 in offshore accounts. Kearney was jailed for two years in 2008 and McCafferty was given 250 hours community service. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, confiscation orders totalling £943,366 were granted. Kearney and McCafferty were tracked down in the Costa Blanca town of Benissa in November 2008 after being featured in a Crimestoppers appeal to catch on-the-run British suspects. Fraud probe Kearney was later jailed for two years and McCafferty was given 250 hours community service. The couple, who have a son together, admitted committing benefit fraud by claiming housing benefit when they had more than £330,000 in offshore accounts. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote This case should also be a warning to those who think that targeting public an easy way to make money” Lesley Thomson QC Solicitor General Kearney also claimed for almost £23,000 in income support and pocketed more than £10,000 from credit card frauds. They went on the run after a money laundering investigation was launched against them in May 2004. At Glasgow Sheriff Court, a confiscation order for £930,362 was made against Kearney, and a confiscation order for £13,003 was made against McCafferty. Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC, said: "Anthony Kearney and Donna McCafferty lied about their circumstances to rob the public purse of thousands of pounds in benefit fraud before fleeing to Spain to try and escape justice. "They were arrested on an international warrant within 24 hours of a Crimestoppers' appeal - which featured them on a "most-wanted" list - and extradited back to Scotland. "This case should also be a warning to those who think that targeting public funds through criminal enterprise is an easy way to make money, and a reminder that the proceeds of crime legislation covers a wide range of offences where there has been financial benefit." Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud said benefit thieves were costing the taxpayer almost £1bn per year. "This money should be going to the people who need it most and not lining the pockets of criminals sunning themselves overseas," he said. "In addition to the sentence imposed by the court, the department always seeks to recover the money falsely obtained, to ensure that cheats do not benefit from their criminal activities."

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ronda police accused of prostitution allege witnesses were coerced


Four National Police and a Guardia Civil are accused of accepting the presence of local whorehouses in exchange for sexual favours. The defence teams for the four Ronda National Policemen and the Guardia Civil who are accused of looking the other way regarding the opening of whorehouses in the town, in exchange for sexual favours, called on Monday for the case against the accused to be declared null and void. They claimed that the witnesses who had declared against their clients had been forced by the investigators, with some of them being told they would not be expelled from Spain if they cooperated. The lawyers allege therefore that their statements are contaminated, and that would mean the process would have to stop. One of the defence lawyers, José Luis Ortega, said witness protection had not been enabled and even spoke of ‘tortures’. ‘This will end up in the Supreme Court’, he said. The Prosecutor, Valentín Bueno, noted that one of the protected witnesses in the case had been expelled from Spain after she had changed her statement and cleared the policemen. He spoke of pressures from those implicated in the case, and said the witnesses had been threatened using mafia tactics. The case got underway in the Provincial Court in Málaga on Monday, despite the fact that one of the accused failed to show. The agents face a total request from the prosecutor of 39 years in prison for bribery, sexual abuse, and influence peddling among other crimes. The Guardia Civil is accused of extortion, and the owners of three ‘clubes de alterne’ are also on the accused bench.

British tour operator goes bust

British tour operator, Fairway Golf Holidays, has closed. The company sold package golf holidays to Portugal, Turkey and to Spain where the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava, Costa de la Luz, Tenerife and Gran Canaria were its main destinations. The British Civil Aviation Authority reports that the company closed for business on September 28, but that it was still to inform clients on its webpage, which would be the normal practice. The company as ATOL financial protection, which means that the CAA will get clients home. Meanwhile in a separate story, the British low cost accommodation company, Travelodge, on Monday opened their first hotel in the Valencia region. The hotel at Manises, the Travelodge Valencia Airport, has cost 10 million €. The 116 room hotel gives employment to 16, and is 90% full in its first week of operation. The company says it intends to open 12 hotels in the Valencia region in the next ten years, starting in Torrent, El Saler, Valencia, Castellón and Alicante.


British tour operator goes bust


British tour operator, Fairway Golf Holidays, has closed. The company sold package golf holidays to Portugal, Turkey and to Spain where the Costa del Sol, Costa Brava, Costa de la Luz, Tenerife and Gran Canaria were its main destinations. The British Civil Aviation Authority reports that the company closed for business on September 28, but that it was still to inform clients on its webpage, which would be the normal practice. The company as ATOL financial protection, which means that the CAA will get clients home. Meanwhile in a separate story, the British low cost accommodation company, Travelodge, on Monday opened their first hotel in the Valencia region. The hotel at Manises, the Travelodge Valencia Airport, has cost 10 million €. The 116 room hotel gives employment to 16, and is 90% full in its first week of operation. The company says it intends to open 12 hotels in the Valencia region in the next ten years, starting in Torrent, El Saler, Valencia, Castellón and Alicante.

Tiger Woods' most famous mistress got married Sunday in Las Vegas.

Rachel Uchitel's two-year nightmare is over.

Tiger Woods' most famous mistress got married Sunday in Las Vegas.

The chapel wedding took place two years, almost to the day, after Woods' last outing in Sin City before his world -- and reputation -- unraveled six weeks later. The golf great was spotted celebrating at Tao Las Vegas' star-studded four-year anniversary and Lavo's one-year anniversary.

Uchitel, a former host at Tao, was in Marbella, Spain, at the time, orchestrating some of Woods' activities.

Her decision to invite Las Vegas night-life regular Ashley Hollingsworth Samson to Marbella led to Samson's $25,000 paycheck from The National Enquirer for going public with Uchitel's romance with Woods.

Uchitel and boyfriend Matt Hahn, a former Penn State football player, got married on impulse Sunday while in town to attend the wedding of their friends.

The Uchitel-Hahn wedding took place at the Little White Chapel, where Britney Spears married childhood friend Jason Alexander over New Year's weekend in 2004. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore tied the knot there on Nov. 21, 1987.

Uchitel and Hahn, with 12 friends, danced into the chapel at 11 p.m. to Beyonce's hit "Single Ladies," according to After the wedding, they departed to Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas."

It was anything but an all-night celebration for the newlyweds. They were back at her grandmother's by midnight, according to TMZ.

Spain Regions Race to Sell $1.3 Billion Property This Year


Catalonia and Andalusia, two of Spain’s largest and most indebted regions, are trying to sell $1.3 billion of real estate by the end of the year as the country tries to slash its budget deficit and keep borrowing costs from ballooning. “We put the cream of the crop in the portfolios to ensure the sales are completed,” Jacint Boixasa, director of assets for Catalonia, said in interview in Barcelona. “Our target is to sell 550 million euros ($742 million) of real estate by year- end, which is relatively little time.” Spanish regions, which control more than a third of public spending, will play a pivotal role in the nation’s effort to cut its deficit to 6 percent of gross domestic product this year from 9.2 percent in 2010 as the country tries to avoid following Greece, Ireland and Portugal in requiring a bailout. In August, Moody’s Investors Service put Spain’s credit rating on review for a downgrade, citing the worsening finances in the regions. Catalonia is trying to find buyers for 37 properties including the Barcelona stock market on Paseo de Gracia, Spain’s fourth-most expensive commercial street, as well as the Catalan Agriculture Ministry on Gran Via. Jones Lang LaSalle and Madrid- based real-estate consultant Aguirre Newman are advising the government on the sales. Andalusia hired BNP Paribas SA to help raise at least 400 million euros selling 76 properties including the cultural department in Granada and youth centers in Malaga, according to the region’s treasury department. The government will pay around 30 million euros a year to lease the buildings after the sale


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