Posts Tagged ‘could’

Germany could send troops into streets for first time since war

November 20th, 2015

20.20

The first explosion went off near the Stade de France, where president Francois Hollande was at a football match between France and Germany. One person was killed in the blast. The body of a terrorist was found at the scene wearing a suicide belt filled with shrapnel.

20.25

Shortly after the first explosion at the Stade de France, gunmen with Kalashnikovs launched an attack at Le Carillon bar and Le Petit Cambodge restaurant on Rue Bichat, in the city’s 10th arrondissement, killing 15 people and injuring 10.

20.30

The attackers drove about 500 yards to the Casa Nostra pizzeria in Rue de la Fontaine au Roi and opened fire on diners on the terrace of the restaurant, killing at least five people and injuring eight.

20.30

Another explosion went off outside the Stade de France when a second suicide bomber blew himself up.

20.35

Militants launch an attack on La Belle Equipe in Rue de Charonne, spraying the terrace bar with bullets and killing 19 people in gunfire which witnesses say lasted “two, three minutes”.

20.50

Three black-clad gunmen wielding AK-47s and wearing suicide vests stormed Le Bataclan during a concert by American rock band Eagles Of Death Metal. At least 89 were killed and more than 100 others injured during the shooting. The attackers were heard mentioning Syria and Iraq during the massacre.

20.53

A third suicide bomber blew himself up on Rue de la Coquerie, near the Stade de France.

21.00

The first reports came in of the Bataclan massacre and within 10 minutes there was confirmation that a hostage crisis had developed at the theatre.

21.57

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Twitter: “I am shocked by events in Paris tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with the French people. We will do whatever we can to help.”

22.00

An emotional French president Francois Hollande, who was earlier evacuated from the Stade de France, closed the borders and declared a state of national emergency. The French military were called into the centre of Paris.

22.16

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Twitter: “My thoughts are with the people of Paris tonight. We stand in solidarity with the French. Such acts are heinous and immoral.”

22.28

French emergency services activate Plan Rouge to tackle the large numbers of casualties.

22.30

Parisians used the #PorteOuverte hashtag to search for or offer safe places for those fleeing the violence. The hashtag was soon trending.

22.43

A new toll of at least 35 dead.

22.46

President Obama delivered a speech at the White House, expressing solidarity with the people of Paris and calling the attacks terrorist acts. “Those who think that they can terrorise the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong.”We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite, are not just the values French people share, but we share.”Those go far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening.”

23.30

Reports emerge of French taxi drivers turning off their meters and offering passengers free rides home. A citywide curfew was put in place, the first since 1944.

23.30

Police storm the Bataclan, ending the siege. Two terrorists die after activating their suicide vests and a third is shot dead by officers.

Midnight

The death toll reached at least 120.

Saturday, November 14

00.46

At least 1,500 soldiers have been called upon to patrol the streets of Paris.

03.30

Schools, markets, museums and major tourist sites in the Paris area are closed and sporting fixtures cancelled.

09.50

Hollande calls the attacks “an act of war… committed by a terrorist army, the Islamic State, against France, against… what we are, a free country”. He declares three days of national mourning.

09.50

Isil claimed responsibility, saying in a statement issued in Arabic and French that the attackers had targeted “the capital of abominations and perversions and those who carry the crusader banner in Europe”.

10.30

Gatwick Airport north terminal was evacuated after a suspected firearm was discovered. A 41-year-old French national was taken into custody for questioning. He was later charged with possession of an air rifle and a knife.

11.00

David Cameron warned the UK “must be prepared for a number of British casualties”, and condemned the “brutal and callous murderers. The Queen also sent a message of condolence to Mr Hollande, saying she and the Duke of Edinburgh had been “deeply shocked and saddened by the terrible loss of life in Paris”.

12.00

By noon on Saturday French officials had put the provisional death toll at 127 people from the combined attacks, with 180 injured and 99 people in hospital in critical condition.

13.30

One of the bombers was identified by his fingerprints as a young Frenchman flagged for links with Islamic extremism. He is later named as Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, 29.

17.00

A number of people are arrested in Brussels in relation to the Paris attack. Belgian prosecutors later confirmed they have opened an anti-terrorist investigation based on a car that was hired in Belgium and was found near the Bataclan concert hall.

18.00

One Briton is confirmed to have died and “a handful” of others are feared to have been killed. The British victim was later named as Nick Alexander, who was selling band merchandise at the Bataclan.

18.23

Francois Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said 129 people were confirmed dead and 352 people were injured, with 99 in a critical condition.

Sunday, November 15

10.30

Home Secretary Theresa May indicated the British death toll in the Paris attacks may rise as she said the government has concerns about a “handful” of UK citizens. She said that British police and intelligence agencies were “working day and night to keep people secure”.


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Cuts mean we could no longer fight World War 2, claims military historian

May 23rd, 2014

Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, Dr Jonathan Boff, of Birmingham University, said that it was unlikely that today’s generals would be able to stand up to politicians and make a case for the best tactics.

“There is a problem I think, and that I have seen over the last 10, 11, 12, 13 years, and generation after generation, of the military being cut by civil servants,” he said.

The defence committee studied Britain’s nuclear and conventional forces, considering whether the country still has sufficient military power to deter attacks and threats from other states.

MPs concluded that the credibility of both forces is put in doubt by recent cuts in the Armed Forces, and warned against any additional cuts.

A Strategic Defence and Security Review is due next year, and some military commanders fear it will lead to more cuts.

However Dr Boff claimed that Britain’s defence capability no longer needed to be as strong as it had been as global threats had diminished.

“There is now no kind of existential threat to Great Britain,” he said, “What you require is an ability to adapt and role with the punches.

“There are no longer any threats that are susceptible to military force.”

In his lecture Dr Boff also argued that Britain did not stumble blindly into the first and second world wars but was actually fairly well equipped to fight by the time the conflicts were announced.

“Even in 1939 Britain was the strongest military power in the world with the biggest navy that only rash people would have take on,” he said.

IN PICTURES: The 20 greatest war films


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Could this be Britain’s most patriotic man?

May 21st, 2014

“We will be a part of the Federal State of Europe ruled by Brussels, and we may retain Parliament but it will only be a token body of people, the laws they form are already depleting and Brussels is taking over.”

Mr Abbott started out as a Butcher’s boy before joining the RAF on his 17th birthday, the day before the Second World War was declared.

He fought the Nazi’s, surviving a torpedo attack in the Indian Ocean and typhus he caught in Egypt to carry on and battle the Soviets in East Germany during the Cold War.

Deciding upon his retirement in 1974 at the rank of Warrant Officer that 35 years’ service was not enough, Mr Abbott joined the Beefeaters, leading to his face appearing on postcards and the 1986 London Marathon runner’s medal.

He also doubled as the Queen’s bodyguard in his role as a Yeoman Guard Extraordinary serving Her Majesty at other events and palaces around London.

In his spare time he found the time to serve as a special constable for the Metropolitan Police, become an expert on historical execution techniques, and even earn a Blue Peter badge.

Mr Abbott, who has been decorated for his military service seven times, now lives in Kendal, in the Lake District where he was Mace Bearer for the Mayor of Kendal for 20 years, and says he is proud to be British.

“I’ve served the King and the Queen for 35 years and I’ve been sworn in at St James’s Palace as the Queen’s bodyguard so yes I’m patriotic,” he said.

“I’ve done so much in my life I’m not sure how I’ve fitted it all in.”

But life has also changed beyond recognition in the last 90 years, he said.

“I am not on the internet, I am not joining the Lemmings,” he said.

“Life has changed unbelievably since my days on the milk crate which had two lamps with a candle in each. Since then I have met a man who has walked on the moon. Thinking about how much it has changed terrifies me.”

But he said that there had been advances for the better, especially in the fields of medicine and transport.

His book about his life From Butcher’s Boy to Beefeater – with a foreword from General the Lord Dannatt – was released on Tuesday.

Mr Abbott, who has written 24 books, said that although he has experienced more than most he continues to live by his motto “never allow yourself to be dictated to by your birth certificate”.

“I learnt to fly a helicopter when I was 77. I walked into a place in Morecambe where they train pilots for carrying people out to oil rigs,” he said.

“They asked if I had ever flown a helicopter before and I said ‘no, but I’d been in the RAF for 35 years’ so they said ‘ok then’.

“Planes only go in one direction, they’re bloody boring. My motto is if you don’t go on accepting challenges, you’re old.”

His book also chronicles his time living in the Tower of London with his wife Shelagh, who passed away 20 years ago.

He said: “It was a good address, my wife used to go shopping to Selfridges or Harrods or whatever and they would say ‘where did you want it delivered?’

“You should have seen the shop assistant’s face when she gave them the address.

“Our apartment was against the inner wall of the tower and the walls were eight-feet thick except for an arrow slit where I used to keep my beer cold.”

He continues to be invited by Her Majesty to attend occasions in her honour attending Buckingham Palace garden parties.


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Adolf Hitler’s house could become immigrants’ centre

May 14th, 2014

According to local press reports, she has rejected suggestions the house be made into an anti-Nazi memorial, and even refused the town authorities permission to put a plaque on the building, for fear it could provoke attacks from neo-Nazis or anti-fascists.

Instead, a small memorial stone on the street outside records the fact that this was Hitler’s birthplace.

Until two years ago, the building was used as a day centre for people with learning difficulties. The interior ministry carefully vets all prospective tenants to ensure it doesn’t become a neo-Nazi shrine, and the possibility of residential use was rejected in case it attracted Hitler admirers.

Now, after talks in Vienna dubbed the “Birthplace Summit” by Austrian newspapers, the interior ministry is optimistic it has found a solution acceptable to all parties – and one that seems a fitting response to Hitler’s racist policies.

Under the plan, after extensive renovation, the building would be used as a language school and integration centre for migrants.

Hitler spent the first three years of his life in the house. At the time, it was a modest guest-house where his parents rented rooms while his father was working as a minor customs official at the nearby border with Germany.

After his father was posted to Passau in Bavaria, the family moved away.

In 1938, after the Anschluss with Austria, huge crowds watched as Hitler returned to Braunau in triumph.

His private secretary, Martin Bormann, bought the house at 15 Salzburger Vorstadt for four times its market value, with the intention of turning it into a shrine.

In 1954, the former owner bought it back for a fraction of the price.


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