Surprises in store for economists

The commerce department reported that retail sales in May were down by 1.2% from April. This surprised most economists who had expected a modest increase. The media were filled with accounts of economists trying to explain why consumers were still reluctant to open up their wallets and spend in a big way. It would have […]

Light aircraft crashes in Bedfordshire field

A light aircraft has crashed into a field in Bedfordshire after colliding with another plane, police have said.The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is investigating the mid-air collision, which occurred near Tempsford at about 8.30am on Tuesday.A spokesman for Bedfordshire police said: “One of the aircrafts was able to carry on flying and land safely at […]

Madagascan parliament votes to remove president from office

Madagascar’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to dismiss the president, Hery Rajaonarimanpianina, for alleged constitutional violations and general incompetence. The motion was backed by 121 of the 125 lawmakers who voted, easily clearing the two-thirds majority required.The constitutional court will now decide whether the decision to dismiss Rajaonarimanpianina can be enacted.The US embassy had pledged […]

Tories’ European allies become matter of concern to US officials

Senior US officials are believed to have raised the issue of the Conservative party’s new relationships with rightwing Europeans when Hillary Clinton visited the UK last week.Although the issue is not thought to have been on the table in discussions between the US secretary of state and the foreign secretary, David Miliband, the nature of […]

Apple-Samsung trial: court fines both companies for patent breaches

A South Korean court has fined both Apple and Samsung, ruling that each infringed the other’s patents in building their mobile devices and banning some of their products from sale in the country.The Seoul central district court ordered Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPad 2 from shelves in South […]

George Zimmerman loses bid for early acquittal in Trayvon Martin case

George Zimmerman’s lawyers opened their formal courtroom defence of the neighbourhood watch captain on Friday after failing to persuade a Florida judge that he should be immediately acquitted of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin.Prosecutors, they argued, had failed to prove Zimmerman’s guilt during nine days of evidence, and were “grasping at straws” with a […]

A rare haven of stability in the transit lounge of life

Ray and Anne Wilkins run an airport pub. All they ever dreamed of was to be publicans in an English country village, at the very heart of the community. But the brewery had other ideas. Not to be put off by this unpromising assignment, Ray and Anne set out to create community in the transit […]

Patti Smith joined on stage by Dalai Lama at Glastonbury

Patti Smith was joined by the Dalai Lama during her Pyramid stage performance at Glastonbury. Honouring him ahead of his 80th birthday, Smith welcomed the spiritual leader onto the main stage, then dedicated a special birthday poem to him before leading a chorus of thousands who sang happy birthday to the exiled leader of the […]

Tunisia attack: thousands of UK tourists begin arriving home

Thousands of tourists arrived back in the UK from Tunisia at the weekend after the deadly attack on the beach at Sousse on Friday.Holiday firms scrambled to provide extra flights on top of scheduled services for people seeking to return home. Flights to the country were cancelled.Matthew James, from Trehafod, Pontypridd, south Wales, who was […]

Islamic State plot claims in California: US official denies reports

The FBI is investigating a possible Islamic State-inspired terror plot in California, reports have said.Broadcaster CNN said on Saturday that an investigation had been initiated because of intercepted communications, and other intelligence information and security was being enhanced in the state.But a law enforcement official in Los Angeles denied there was a threat. The official, […]