Perhaps not all news out of London is bad news. In the aftermath of the city’s most devastating riots in decades, London’s more civic-minded citizens took to the streets. Armed with brooms, the mob gathered to clean up the mess left by rioters. Take a look at the video above.
By Nick Assinder, TIME
After three nights of violence, arson and looting that have left parts of London looking like a war zone, Prime Minister David Cameron has one pressing question to answer from citizens looking to him for reassurance and action: Who controls Britain's streets?
Throughout Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday morning, the answer to that question appeared to be the mob. It certainly was not the police, politicians or local community leaders, all of whom were overwhelmed by the unprecedented scale of the violence and the speed with which it escalated and spread, first from one London borough to another and then, perhaps inevitably, to other cities, including Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.
If Cameron cannot offer a different answer, one reassuring people that government ministers and the police have control, then the consequences for his leadership could be far-reaching and ultimately even lethal. Margaret Thatcher's long reign as Prime Minister came to an end partly as a result of less devastating riots in response to her attempt to radically reform local taxation in March 1990. As Diane Abbott, Member of Parliament for Hackney, one of the worst-hit boroughs in North London, tells TIME, "One of the basic functions of a nation-state is to maintain public order. If Cameron cannot regain control over the next 24 hours, then he will be in serious political trouble."
One European Union study this year found that 17 per cent of Britain’s youth are classified as “NEETs” – for Not in Employment, Education or Training, in other words high-school dropouts with no prospects of employment – the fourth-highest percentage in the European Union. There are 600,000 people under 25 in Britain who have never had a day of work.
Why these disenfranchised youth so explosively made their presence known in such a devastatingly violent way, and how this will all end, is not yet understood. But it puts a dark punctuation mark on what had, until this weekend, been London’s brightest modern era.
By Thomas Mucha, GlobalPost
Over the past 24 hours sales of aluminum bats are up more than 5,000 percent on Amazon.co.uk, the British division of the online retail giant.
But that's not all.
Wooden bats are popular, too, right now. Sales of these bashing devices are up almost 4,000 percent since yesterday.
The biggest mover on Amazon.uk's "Sports and Leisure" page?
Military Police Telescopic Tonfas (read: side-handled batons).
There is much speculation surrounding the circumstances of the death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan in north London on Thursday. His shooting at the hands of police while he was riding in a cab sparked a weekend of rioting and looting across the capital that continued into Monday.
Officers from Operation Trident - the Metropolitan Police unit that deals with gun crime in London's black communities - stopped the cab during an attempted arrest and soon afterwards shots were fired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said. Duggan, a father of four, was fatally wounded.
Since Saturday evening 215 people have been arrested and 27 people charged according to the British Home Secretary Theresa May, who returned home early from holiday Monday. Over 35 officers have been injured.
Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sir Paul Stephenson, commissioner of the UK's Metropolitan Police, commonly known as Scotland Yard, resigned (DailyTelegraph), following revelations that he had employed former News of the World editor Neil Wallis as a personal advisor.
Wallis was arrested last week on suspicion of phone-hacking while at the newspaper, though Stephenson claimed that Wallis was not involved in the scandal while working for him in 2009. Stephenson said he had not told Prime Minister David Cameron about Wallis's employment so as not to "compromise" Cameron (FT), whose former communications chief, Andy Coulson, was also arrested for phone-hacking activities at News of the World. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Jonathan Schell is a Fellow at The Nation Institute and is a visiting fellow at Yale University. He is the author of The Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger. For more from Schell, visit Project Syndicate's website, or check it out on Facebook and Twitter.
By Jonathan Schell
During the four decades since the Watergate affair engulfed US President Richard Nixon, politicians have repeatedly ignored the scandal’s main lesson: the cover-up is worse than the crime. Like Nixon, they have paid a higher price for concealing their misdeeds than they would have for the misdeeds alone.
Now, for once, comes a scandal that breaks that rule: the United Kingdom’s phone-hacking affair, which has shaken British politics to its foundations. Over the past decade, the tabloid newspaper The News of the World, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, targeted 4,000 people’s voicemail. The list includes not only royalty, celebrities, and other VIPs, but also the families of servicemen killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those of victims of the July 2005 terrorist attack in London.
Did he or didn't he? That is the question.
Actually, the question of whether or not William Shakespeare was a pothead is one of several mysteries about the bard that Francis Thackeray, director of the Institute for Human Evolution in Johannesburg, South Africa wants to look into.
And in his quest for answers, the anthropologist said that he has formally asked the Church of England for permission to open the graves of Shakespeare and several close relatives, all of whom are buried under a local church in Stratford-on-Avon in England. FULL POST
On President Obama's recent visit to Europe, his car hit a bump on its way out from the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. It was a minor blip for the vehicle we've come to know as The Beast.
Well, it turns out that the car ran afoul of another hurdle – London's infamous congestion charge.
Cars that travel in the city center are charged for that privilege. Turns out President Obama has to pay, too. About $16 for The Beast and the same amount for each and every car in his motorcade. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Stewart M. Patrick is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (where he blogs) and Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance. This is his First Take.
By Stewart M. Patrick
President Barack Obama's address to the UK parliament had one overriding objective: to reassure nervous Brits and a broader European audience that the United States still regards the transatlantic partnership as the central pillar of world order.
The president spoke at a difficult moment, given the inconclusive NATO air war over Libya, an unending military campaign in Afghanistan, and a deepening sovereign debt crisis and budgetary retrenchment across Europe. There are also growing concerns about the challenges to the West posed by rapidly emerging powers like China, India, and Brazil.
Obama's speech was as much a pep talk as anything else - a celebration of the durability of the "special relationship" and of the continued vitality of Western political values in the twenty-first century. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Raghuram Rajan and Brian Barry teach at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where Barry is Executive Director of the Initiative on Global Markets. You can read more from them at Project Syndicate.
President Barack Obama, like many Western leaders nowadays, made improving education one of his main promises to voters during his election campaign. But other domestic issues - health-care reform, budget battles, and high unemployment - have understandably loomed larger. And the United States is not alone: education reform is being held up in the United Kingdom and continental Europe as well. FULL POST
- They’re married
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- Annie Lowrey explores whether the royal family is worth the economic cost FULL POST