Showing posts with label england. Show all posts
Showing posts with label england. Show all posts

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thieves dig 100ft tunnel to steal cash in Levenshulme

thieves dig 100 feet tunnel to steal cash
Thieves dug the 100ft tunnel directly under the cash machine
Thieves in Manchester dug a 100ft (30m) underground tunnel to get to a cash machine.

The theft happened overnight on Monday 2 January at Blockbuster in Fallowfield Shopping Precinct, Levenshulme.

A similar plot was foiled in the same area in 2007, and police believe it may have been carried out by the same gang.

Thieves dug the tunnel directly under the cash machine and used machinery to cut through more than 15in (38cm) of concrete to steal the money.

Det Sgt Ian Shore from Longsight CID said: "In all my years of service, I've never seen anything as elaborate."

The tunnel started from a railway embankment at the rear of the shop, and went under a car park and beneath the foundations of the store.

The passageway was about 4ft (1.2m) tall and had been fitted with lighting and roof supports.

Police said the offenders also made their getaway back down the tunnel.

Officers believe the people responsible could have spent up to six months digging the passageway.

Det Sgt Shore said: "These people had obviously spent a long time plotting this crime and I doubt they would have been able to keep their plans secret for all that time, without telling others about their scheme.

"They must also have spent a lot of time in the area over the past few months, which people may have noticed."

In 2007, police sealed off the area near a Blockbuster store in Fallowfield Shopping Precinct after workmen uncovered a 40ft (12m) tunnel that seemed to be leading to it.

That tunnel had also been dug from a railway embankment but had been uncovered short of its target.

Police were unable to say if it was the same Blockbuster store that had been targeted, but said it was not the same tunnel that had been used this time.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Swiss bank chief to respond over wife's dollar trade

swiss-bank-chief-Philipp Hildebrand
Phlilpp Hildebrand, Swiss bank cheif
(Reuters) - Switzerland's central bank chief will break his silence on Thursday over a controversial currency trade made by his wife three weeks before he imposed a cap on the Swiss franc.

Philipp Hildebrand's decision to speak came after the sacking on Tuesday of a bank employee who leaked details of the trade to the lawyer of a political adversary.

The affair goes to the heart of bank secrecy in Switzerland, whose banks are plagued by scandals over their role in tax avoidance by the world's wealthy, but where controversy over the actions of the central banker's wife has been centered on the leak of her private data rather than on the action it revealed.

Kashya Hildebrand, a former trader who also owns a Zurich art gallery, told Swiss television she "felt good" about the deal last August. Local tabloid Blick reported it had yielded a 60,000 Swiss franc ($64,400) profit on a 500,000 franc trade.

"What motivated me to buy dollars was the fact that it was at a record low and was almost ridiculously cheap," she was quoted as saying. "As I have worked in the financial and banking industry for over 15 year and always observe the markets, I felt at ease with this transaction."

The Swiss National Bank has already investigated the trade and said last month it did not breach the letter of internal rules.

On Wednesday, it bowed to political pressure and published internal trading rules for the first time -- alongside a report by auditor Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) on the controversial dollar purchase.

PwC said Hildebrand had not known in advance about his wife's dealings on August 15, but that one day later, he told Sarasin in an email all future dealing would need his express approval. He copied in the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) compliance department for good measure.

His caution was well warranted. On September 7 the SNB's compliance department ruled that there should be no repeat of such trades, the PwC report said. The Swiss franc cap was introduced on Sept 9.

"One could call this trade risky," PwC said in the report.

Swiss central bank rules, as well as those from the Bank of England and European Central Bank, put the onus on staff to refrain from unauthorized disclosures rather than on families to avoid trading. But officials said the spirit of guidelines demanded extra sensitivity.

"It may well be completely above board but nevertheless it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth," said one central bank official, who declined to be named.

The SNB said Philipp Hildebrand, a former hedge fund manager and vice chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), would make an announcement on Thursday.

The respected banker, credited with steering Switzerland's banking system through the financial crisis, is expected to weather the storm, and won the backing of the government in a statement late on Wednesday.

"The Federal Council has no reason to question the validity of the audit findings and has expressed its full confidence in Mr. Hildebrand," it said in a statement.

Some said that the scandal was nothing more than a politically motivated attack.

"As long as allegations (of wrongdoing) turn out to be unfounded, which at the moment I think looks likely, it looks like just another attempt to discredit the central bank and its chairman," said Nikola Stephan at Informa Global Markets.


In a country which prizes itself on bank secrecy, the fact that the leak breached client confidentiality -- and that the data had found its way into the hands of Hildebrand's political rival Christoph Blocher -- initially took centre stage.

Bank Sarasin (BSAN.S), which said on Tuesday it had fired an IT staffer for the leak of customer data, apologized for the "considerable unpleasantness" caused by its employee, who turned himself over to police on Sunday.

"The bank condemns the misuse of confidential bank data for political purposes in the strongest possible terms," it said.

The data was leaked to the lawyer of Christoph Blocher, a political rival of Hildebrand.

Blocher has called for the central banker's resignation over the losses racked up trying to stem the relentless rise of the Swiss franc as funds seeking a safe haven from the euro zone crisis poured in.

But to date, Blocher, who transformed the right-wing Swiss People's Party into the country's largest political force, has stayed out of the trading embarrassment.

"There is a time to talk and a time to be quiet. In this affair, it is time for me to be silent," he has told Swiss television.

Philipp Hildebrand met Kashya, an American citizen born in northern Pakistan, when they worked as colleagues for the U.S. hedge fund Moore Capital, according to Swiss newspaper reports.

Police raided the London offices of Moore Capital, headed by billionaire Louis Bacon, in 2010, and arrested an equity trader as part of Britain's biggest swoop on an insider trading ring.

($1 = 0.9323 Swiss francs)

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Unsettled Bent becomes target for Liverpool as Dalglish eyes more firepower

Darren Bent
Liverpool are interested in a deal for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent.

The England international came off the bench to play a pivotal role in Villa’s 3-1 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday — setting up Stilian Petrov for the second goal before scoring the decisive third himself.

However, he has grown unsettled at Villa following a summer of change and a succession of niggly injuries. He expressed his frustration at the lack of service he was getting from his team-mates and incurred the wrath of fans by missing Villa’s 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool, opting to go Christmas shopping instead.

Selling Bent would be detrimental to Alex McLeish’s plans but club finances dictate that should the Villa manager want to strengthen his side then almost every player is susceptible to a bid. Villa paid £24million for Bent last January and would want more to justify the sale to fans.

That could yet work in their favour as Liverpool have made a defensive midfielder their priority for this window and know targets such as Fernando Reges from Porto or Riccardo Montolivo of Fiorentina could come at a hefty price. The Anfield club would then prefer to shelve a move for Bent until the summer.

Liverpool have also shown interest in Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha and want an extra defender.

Bent has a lot of admirers at Anfield, not least director of football Damien Comolli, who helped take him to Tottenham from Charlton for £16.5m in 2007. He also has a good relationship with ex-Villa team-mate Stewart Downing and the other members of the England contingent at Liverpool.

However, his arrival would bring Andy Carroll’s long-term future at the club under the microscope once again. Boss Kenny Dalglish has been a staunch supporter of the £35m signing from Newcastle and there were signs of a promising partnership with Steven Gerrard during Friday night’s 3-1 win over his former club. But a signing of Bent’s magnitude would put serious pressure on places up front with Luis Suarez almost an automatic pick.


The Aston Villa striker has scored against every current Premier League team except Swansea and QPR and stands on 97 goals from 222 games.

His goals-per-game ratio is up there with the likes of Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Robbie Fowler, too. He is ninth on 0.44.

Bent’s best season was his first at Sunderland in 2009-10 with 24 goals from 38 games, accounting for 50 per cent of their goals that season.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Owner suprised to find cat regularly catches bus

Traveler Cat
A pet cat named Dodger is living up to his name - by catching free bus trips from his home town.

The ginger moggy, who was named after the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, has taken to hopping on and off the public transport at the bus station near his home.

The 15-year-old Tom even sits on bemused passengers' laps as the bus makes up to 10 mile round trips from Bridport to Charmouth in Dorset.

Dodger is such a regular customer that some of the drivers take tins of cat food to work with them to give to him. They even know what stop to let him off at.

At the end of his journies the roving moggy returns to his home and owner Fee Jeanes.

Mrs Jeanes, 44, believes Dodger first took a liking to the buses as they are warm like greenhouses when the sun is on them.

News by The Telegraph

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Monday, November 28, 2011

United States duo Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland win World Cup Golf 2011

Golf 2011
World Cup 2011: Final-round leaderboard

    * -24: U.S.
    * -22: England, Germany
    * -21: Australia, Scotland, Ireland
    * Selected others: -20: Wales, Netherlands
    * -19: Spain, Korea

United States duo Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland hit six birdies in a closing 67 to win the World Cup by two shots.

The Americans eroded the overnight two-stroke lead held by Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell in China, with birdies on the first two holes.

Four more birdies lifted them to 24 under as Ireland faded with four bogeys in a level-par 72 to stay 21 under.

England's Ian Poulter and Justin Rose carded a nine-under-par 63 to finish second alongside Germany on 22 under.

"We were a little subdued [after the third round] and neither of us were much company," admitted Poulter.

"We stayed in our own rooms, and kind of rightly so as four under par in fourball was very disappointing.

"But to go and shoot nine under par in foursomes is crazy."

Poulter and Rose sank four birdies on the front nine and finished with two birdies and an eagle in their last four holes as they recorded the lowest score of the final round at the Mission Hills course on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

But although they caught and passed McIlroy and McDowell, who had held an eight-shot advantage over the Englishmen going into the final round, they were unable to match the Americans.

Kuchar and Woodland played solid, rather than spectacular, golf in the alternate shot foursomes format as they finished with a five-under-par 67 to record the United States's first victory in the tournament since Tiger Woods and David Duval teamed up in 2000.

"You think of all the sporting events, and you think of all the teams that become world champions, and in golf there are not that many opportunities to be world champions," said Kuchar.

"So to represent the United States of America and become world champions just feels great."

Their only blip was a bogey on the par-three 11th, but that dropped shot was wiped out on the 12th with a sixth birdie of the round following on the 13th.

In contrast, McIlroy and McDowell, who led by three on the back nine two years but were beaten to the title by Italian brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, again struggled on the final day.

They mixed two bogies with two birdies on the front nine to fall two behind the Americans.

A birdie on the 10th brought them within one shot of the lead, but a bogey on 12 checked their progress and another shot went on the par-three 15th after McDowell's tee shot plugged under the lip of a greenside bunker.

McIlroy could only blast the ball a few feet out of the sand but when his playing partner missed the 25-foot par putt, their challenge was effectively ended.

They finished joint fourth with Australia, Netherlands and Scottish pair Martin Laird and Stephen Gallacher who closed with eight birdies in a six-under-par 66.

German duo Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka did not drop a shot over the last two rounds and played the final 18 holes in a three-under 69, sinking a lengthy par putt at the last to ensure they finished joint second.

The World Cup used to be held annually but was switched to biennial after 2009 to accommodate golf's inclusion in the 2016 Olympic Games.

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