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Arctic weather brings snow and coldest October in years...

An Arctic weather blast saw snow showers sweep across the country as Britain got an early taste of winter.

A thick covering of snow was reported across Scotland and Northern Ireland, with heavy showers recorded as far south as Birmingham.

The cold snap - the chilliest in October for five years - brought frost, ice and harsh winds.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for Orkney, Shetland, the Highlands and Eilean Siar, and the Grampians, before the snow arrived yesterday.

The first significant snowfalls of the winter in parts of Scotland caused icy conditions on roads.

Grampian Police warned drivers to take extra care after a number of minor accidents. Heavy snow also affected driving conditions in the Highlands. Caithness, Inverness, Nairn and Aviemore were hit by significant flurries.

Nine Aberdeenshire schools were closed or partially closed, while most on Orkney were shut from noon.

Forecasters described yesterday's conditions as unseasonably cold.

Extra electricity engineers were flown to Shetland yesterday morning to tackle expected power cuts as the weather on the isles deteriorates.

Thousands of customers lost their power supply at the weekend after gusts up to 100 mph damaged overhead lines and junction boxes throughout the Shetland mainland.

Temperatures were hovering around 1C (34F) in Aberdeen yesterday morning where snow fell overnight, and 5C (41F) in Glasgow. The Met Office is expecting freezing temperatures overnight but it is not expected to be as cold as yesterday.

Further significant falls of snow are expected on higher ground with rain or sleet at low levels in Grampian and Highland and Eilean Siar.

The cold snap - with its widespread frost and crisp air - is being caused by cold air that has come down from the Arctic.

Met Office spokesman Barry Gromett warned Britain to wrap-up for the cold winter snap.


Tips on keeping the elderly warm this Winter...


 

Tips on keeping warm.

*Make sure you wear lots of thinner layers of clothing rather than fewer thinker ones. This will help trap the heat in.

*Keep your home at a decent temperature of at least 71f.

*Use hot water bottles in bed OR electric blankets but NEVER both due to the risk of electrical shock.

*Eat plenty of hot foods like stews and soups and hot drinks throughout the day. This will help maintain your body temperature.

*Keep moving. This will generate extra heat so try and get up and move around every hour.

Winter is upon us once again and to keep warm is vital for your health especially if your of age because if your body temperature drops too low the risk of heart attacks, strokes and breathing problems is very common for people over 60. Here's a few tips of the risks and what you can do to help.

Pensioners are at most risk. Many die each year due to general cold weather as much as extream cold weather so try to keep an eye out for neighbors who live nearby this winter when your out and about. Check that milk and mail have been collected! Or homes with curtains drawn during the day and lights off during the night. This could be a cause for concern and your help could be needed, so don't feel embarrassed to knock on the door or call them to check they are OK. If there is no answer call a relative who will have spare keys. If that's not possible call the emergency services..It's better to be safe than sorry.

Hypothermia: If the body becomes to cold the risk of Hypothermia is very great. It can be caused by the briefest exposure to sever cold weather or prolonged exposure to milder weather. If you come across anyone who is suffering from extreme cold skin. drowsiness, slurred speech and loss of sensation "not feeling cold when it is cold" then they could be suffering from Hypothermia. If they are indoors, cover them in a blanket to keep them warm. Give them warm drinks and call the emergency services.. If they are out and about try to get them inside as soon as possible and cover with blankets, turn the heating up gradualy, offer warm drinks and call the emergency services if your in any doubt on the severity of their condition.


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Why UK innocents may be branded as criminals abroad...

Britons could find themselves forced to prove they are innocent of crimes abroad after the Government agreed to EU-wide access to its 'Big Brother' databases.

All 26 other member countries will be able to check against sensitive personal information held on driver registration, DNA and fingerprint computer systems.

Where there is a match, a suspect-could be extradited to face trial abroad or - at the least - be forced to explain their movements or provide an alibi.

An example of the DNA kits used to take swabs from 4.6m members of the public, 800,000 of whom are innocent of any crime

An example of the DNA kits used to take swabs from 4.6m members of the public, 800,000 of whom are innocent of any crime...

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve warned last night: 'There is a real risk that a disproportionate number of innocent British citizens will be sucked into foreign criminal investigations.'

The nightmare scenario for a British citizen is a false fingerprint-DNA or number plate match linking them to a rape, murder or other serious crime.

They could be dragged into a lengthy legal battle. The agreement is backed by the European arrest warrant, which provides speedy extradition.

Mr Grieve said people could even be arrested in Britain for something which is not a criminal offence, or be whisked away to face punishment abroad after being tried in their absence,

In a speech today, he will say: 'It is a fundamental principle of British justice that if you are accused of a serious criminal offence, you get your day in court.

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve, who objects to the Government allowing EU-wide access to Britain's DNA databases

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve, who objects to the Government allowing EU-wide access to Britain's DNA databases...

'My fear is that ministers have magnified the risk of British citizens becoming the victim of miscarriages of justice that take place abroad but have effectively been sanctioned by their own government at home.'

The agreement stems from the Prum Convention, signed in Prum, Germany, in 2005 between Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria

The then junior Home Office minister Joan Ryan signed the UK up to its terms in 2007.

Officials are now preparing to formally approve the agreement, following technical talks.

Though the UK will receive access to other countries' databases, they barely compare in scale.

Our DVLA database alone contains the names and addresses of 38million drivers. The DNA database contains samples from 4.6million people, of whom 800,000 are innocent of any crime. The fingerprint database holds 7.5million entries, also including 800,000 innocents.

The UK's DNA database is 50 times the size of its French equivalent. In Austria, under one per cent of the population is included and coverage in Germany is only half of that.

Mr Grieve says this makes it ' disproportionately' likely an innocent British citizen will be sucked into a case overseas.

Requests from EU officials will receive simple 'yes, there is a match or no, there is not' answers. If there is a match, there will be a fast-track request system to get all the details.

Mr Grieve said: 'The Government cannot safeguard our data in Whitehall, so what chance is there of this happening once it's sent to Bucharest?'

Phil Booth, of the NO2ID privacy campaign, said the Government was allowing its own assault on the principle of innocent until proven guilty to be extended to other EU nations.

He warned of people being forced to explain cases of mistaken identity owing to blunders on the various databases.

The Home Office said last night: 'This initiative will bring benefits to law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting serious crime. During early operation of the system, German officials received more than 1,500 hits on DNA profiles held by Austrian authorities, offering new leads to unsolved cases.

'Prum will speed up existing procedures for member states to find out whether any other state has the information it needs, often returning a hit or no hit within 50 seconds.'


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Alcohol Units: The Facts
Learn the Facts about Alcohol: Find out how much you're drinking.
http://www.nhs.uk/units


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Gangster's got one foot in the grave

UNDERTAKERS TURN UP FOR MOBSTER'S BODY - BUT HE'S STILL ALIVE

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ONE-LEGGED mobster William Lobban stared death in the face...when two undertakers turned up with his COFFIN.

The notorious hood, above — currently hiding out in the Highlands — got the fright of his life when the men in black arrived in a hearse.

And he threw a wobbler when they insisted they’d come for HIS body.

Last night the 40-year-old admitted: “I’ve no doubt this was a message.

“Somebody is trying to tell me that I could be whacked at any time.”

Lobban believes underworld rivals were behind the stunt.

They’ve accused him of being behind the brutal 1991 slayings of gangland cronies Bobby Glover and Joe ‘Bananas’ Hanlon.

And the chilling doorstep encounter took place last week — on the 17th ANNIVERSARY of their deaths.

The dad-of-two revealed: “The undertakers arrived in a black Daimler early in the morning.

“One of them told me a Mr Glover had asked them to collect my body.”

Reeling from the shock, Lobban quizzed the man.

He told us: “The undertaker was pretty shocked when I explained who I was and that I obviously wasn’t dead.

“Apparently, he had received a telephone call from this Mr Glover in Glasgow, asking him to arrange my funeral.

“Instantly, I knew what he was talking about. It was some idiot who was trying to scare me. But I won’t be intimidated. I have got absolutely nothing to hide — I didn’t kill Joe and Bobby. It’s as simple as that.”

Lobban, who’s originally from the Blackhill area of Glasgow, was on the run from a six-year stretch for armed robbery at the time of the ’91 killings.

He admits he was the last person to see the pair alive after meeting up with 31-year-old Glover and Hanlon, 23, outside the Cottage Bar in Calton on September 17, 1991.

Their bullet-riddled bodies were found the next day in a blue Ford Orion dumped in front of the pub.

Both men had been implicated in the murder of 31-year-old Arty ‘Fatboy’ Thompson — son of feared crime godfather Arthur Thompson — exactly a month earlier.

In a grim coincidence, Arty’s funeral cortege was due to pass by the Cottage Bar that day.

Dad-of-two Lobban, who was finally recaptured four months later, was never charged over the killings.

In 1993, he was caged for another six years after an armed stick-up at Glasgow’s Pipe Rack pub.

The dad-of-two lost his leg last year after forgetting to take medication to dissolve blood clots.

He spent three months in hospital after the op. And he admitted: “There are plenty who'd have loved to pay me a visit when I was vulnerable.”


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Driver snatched a bite of her sandwich at the wheel - and had to swallow a £60 fine...

She took her hand off the wheel only for a moment. So when Ediri Tsekiri grabbed a bite of her sandwich while driving, she didn't think it was any more dangerous than changing gear or indicating.

Unfortunately, the police officer didn't see it that way.

And after watching the 36-year-old university researcher pop the 2in crust into her mouth, he pulled her over and accused her of breaking the law by not being in proper control of her vehicle.

ediri tsekiri

Ediri Tsekiri was branded dangerous by the policeman who handed her a hefty penalty...

Miss Tsekiri had been driving her Vauxhall Zafira between appointments down a 30mph road near her home in Liverpool, in November, when she was stopped. She had already eaten most of the chicken sandwich she had made.

'I had picked up a crust from a plastic bag on the seat next to me and I never took my eyes off the road,' said the mother of two. 'I was certainly no more distracted than if I had changed gear or switched radio stations.

'The officer asked me what I would have done if a child had stepped out in front of me. My reply was that I would have put my foot on the brake, the same as in any other situation.

'Everyone takes one hand off the wheel at some point quite legitimately when they change gear, roll down the window or change the heater settings. Police officers don't drive with both hands on the wheel at every moment.

'He tried to suggest that it was worse than using a mobile phone while driving but I don't accept that for a moment. The whole procedure lasted less than a second.

'I consider myself a good driver and certainly never take unnecessary risks. If I had been sneezing that could have been more dangerous than eating a morsel of bread.'

Miss Tsekiri, who works at Manchester University's school of nursing, paid a £60 fine and accepted three penalty points rather than go to court and risk a fine of up to £1,000.

Last year, Merseyside Police issued 46 penalty notices for not being in proper control of a vehicle. Offences included eating or putting on makeup at the wheel.

A spokesman said: 'There is no correlation between pushing a button on a radio, or changing gear and eating whilst driving.

'Each case is treated individually on its merits, but by eating at the wheel a driver is likely to be not in proper control of their vehicle.'


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The worm - known as Conficker, Kido or Downadup - has infected some 3m machines since Thursday alone.

Problems include taking over the administrative access of a machine and denying users entry.

Some 3,000 organisation have been affected across Britain.

Tom Gaffney, from anti-virus company F-Secure, estimated 15m machines had been infected - making it the worst outbreak of its kind since a worm called Slammer in 2003.

The worm only targets machines that use the Windows operating system. It can be easily spread by the use of USB memory sticks, according to anti-virus experts, or from visiting certain infected websites.

It attempts to break in to machines by automatically testing for weak passwords like 'password' or '123456'.

Microsoft, which makes Windows, said Conficker searched for a particular file and then embedded itself as part of it. The machine was then tricked into running the infected program.

The virus was noticed last October, prompting Microsoft to issue a software 'patch' to protect against it.

But not enough people downloaded it, leaving machines vulnerable to attack.

Experts think a new variant is responsible for the recent outbreak, which has shot up from 2.4m infected computers on 15 January.

Computer users are advised to ensure their antivirus software, operating system and firewall are up to date, and install a Microsoft patch to combat the problem, MS08-067, which is available from its website.

Beware the Windows worm - Conficker / Downadup / Kido rampant ...

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BRITONS WARNED AS SNOW STORMS LOOM...

The cold snap hit Britain in earnest as snow storms were brewing over the North Sea.

Wintry weather moving in from the east will bring freezing temperatures, biting winds and snow to the eastern half of the UK by Sunday night, forecasters said.

People were warned to wrap up warm and expect disruption on the roads during the big freeze, which heralds the start of February during the coldest winter for 13 years.

Stephen Davenport, of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said temperatures would barely get above freezing, with icy winds making it feel even colder.

"There are snow storms growing over the North Sea that will hit the eastern half of the UK tonight. The maximum temperatures will barely get above freezing and in some places it will feel several degrees below because of wind chill."

He said up to 10cm of snow could fall in places, with Lincolnshire and Yorkshire likely to be worst affected.

"There will also be drifting because of the strong winds," he added.

The winds, which will generally be around 25-30mph, could get close to gale force in some places, according to forecasts.

The AA have warned motorists to ensure they keep warm clothes in the car after dealing with unprepared drivers "flirting with hypothermia" at breakdowns during the last big freeze.

AA Patrol of the Year Andy Taylor said: "People often treat their car as an overcoat. But when you break down you are suddenly vulnerable to the weather. If you break down on a motorway, the safety advice is to get out of the car and wait behind the barrier. Unless you have extra clothes you really are flirting with hypothermia."


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Reply with quote  #83 
Beyond Belief

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2256361.ece
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A fitness trainer and former model has swapped his six-pack for a paunch - in a bid to understand his overweight gym clients.

Paul 'PJ' James, whose buff body once graced the Milan catwalk, is now halfway to reaching his goal of weighing 20st following a bizarre New Year's resolution.

Having started from a healthy 12 and a half stone, he has already reached 15 and a half stone.

Paul PJ James
Paul PJ James

Guts: Fitness trainer PJ James has been stuffing himself with carbohydrates to produce his current paunchy figure - a far cry from his previous look.

'I was finding it difficult to relate to my overweight gym members so I have decided to crank up my weight to experience life as an overweight person,' said the 32-year-old, who trains at a gym in Melbourne.

After an inaugural meal of four doner kebabs, the Australian trainer has stopped his daily routine of exercise and is fattening himself up on a carbohydrate-heavy diet which includes pasta, cream sauces and chocolate.

The former teetotaler now drinks a couple of beers every night to help gain weight.

He hopes to hit 20st by the end of March.

He then aims to spend the following three months at the same weight, to show overweight people that it can be done.

Finally, he plans to resume exercise so that he will be back to his former trim self by October.

'I have always been telling my clients who have come through the gym's doors that weight loss shouldn't be difficult, but it has reached the point where I can't relate and by doing this it should make me a better personal trainer,' he said.

Doctors in this country though have pointed out the dangers of such rapid weight gain and loss.

'Weight gain of this kind could cause Mr James to get visceral fat around his organs such as his heart and liver, increasing the dangers of diabetes and high blood pressure,' says Dr Matt Capehorn of the National Obesity Forum.

'Also, he could find his skin stretching when he loses his weight, which often happens in cases such as this.'

A physician is conducting weekly checks to monitor James's health during the stunt.


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Scotland's next two years toughest since World War Two...

THE next two years could be the most difficult faced by the Scottish economy since the Second World War, economists said today.

About 193,000 jobs could be lost between 2008 and 2011 in the worst case scenario, according to the economic commentary from the University of Strathclyde's Fraser of Allander Institute.

Under the worst case scenario it estimates that unemployment could rise from 5.1 per cent in 2008 to 8.5 per cent in 2011.

And the Scottish economy is not expected to return to 2008 levels of economic activity until at least 2012.

Scottish net output is projected to fall by 2.57 per cent in 2009 and will only grow by 0.52 per cent in 2011, rising to 1.14 per cent in 2012.

The worst case scenario suggests it could fall by 3.07 per cent in 2009 and will only grow 0.55 per cent in 2012.

The report said there is now "almost complete certainty" that Scotland is currently in recession.

Brian Ashcroft, Professor of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, said: "Output may fall by close to 3 per cent. This is a significant fall in output when the economies of the UK and Scotland have been growing continuously since the early 1980s.

"If these forecasts come to pass then we are in a world that's pre Second World War rather than postwar."

In its last report in October, the institute said there was a "high probability" that Scotland would go into recession in 2009.

Prof Ashcroft said: "There is now almost complete certainty that not only is Scotland currently in recession but that the recession looks likely to be as severe as that in the 1980s and could even be worse."

The report said that the "tentacles of recession" were spreading throughout the economy, with construction and financial service activity, hotels and catering and real estate and business services all contracting.

It sets out three scenarios - optimistic, central and worst - for how the economy could change in the next few years.

Under the central scenario about 160,000 jobs could be lost between 2008 and 2010, recovering in 2011.

Employment is forecast to decline by 14,200 in 2008, by 94,200 in 2009 and by 51,400 in 2010,

Scottish unemployment would rise from around 137,000 in 2008 to 226,000 in 2011 in the worst case scenario, which would be 8.5 per cent.

Under the central scenario unemployment rises from 137,000 in 2008 to a peak of around 210,000 or 7.9 per cent in 2010.

The Economic Commentary also suggests the recent UK fiscal stimulus appears to be "too little too late" and "relatively small compared to the US fiscal package".

Prof Ashcroft said that £45billion of fiscal stimulus rather than £25 billion over the next two years would probably be required.

The research was sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Paul Brewer, senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's Edinburgh office, said: "Scottish businesses are undoubtedly in for a tougher, longer ride in the downturn than was previously thought, and they should be under no illusion now as to how suddenly their trading position could change in the current volatile and uncertain climate."

The commentary said that the Scottish Government's six-point stimulus plan, which includes measures such as bringing forward capital expenditure, was "valuable" when taken together with the UK Government fiscal stimulus.

It suggested that the Scottish Government consider measures such as directly encouraging banks in Scotland to lend, and seek to minimise the impact of the recession on the Scottish growth trend through agencies such as Scottish Enterprise.


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A woman bit off her boyfriend's tongue during a drunken kiss on his birthday, a court heard today.

Tracy Davies deliberately bit down hard on Mark Coghill's tongue during the kiss, cutting the front third of it off, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court was told.

The court heard Davies had been in a relationship with Mr Coghill for nearly four months after they met through a lonely hearts advertisement in a local newspaper.

They were celebrating Mr Coghill's 45th birthday on October 10 last year with a meal and drinks in his Newcastle bedsit.

The court heard how they had gone to a local supermarket, buying two bottles of vodka and food for the evening, before going to a pub together.

They later returned to Mr Coghill's home, but as the evening progressed, Davies grew upset because she wanted to have a baby but was not pregnant.

As Mr Coghill moved to comfort her, she asked him to kiss her with his tongue, and when he did so, she bit it off.

"He sat and comforted her, that comforting moved on and it became amorous, he was cuddling and kissing her," Julian Smith, prosecuting, told the jury.

"She told him she loved him, she asked him to kiss her using his tongue. He did so and within a few seconds, she bit down hard on his tongue.

"Obviously this caused him pain, he pulled back, and the tongue had come clean off in her mouth.

"She had the piece of tongue in her mouth, he saw her take it from her mouth, and it fell to the floor."

Mr Coghill went to rest while the pain subsided, and eventually fell asleep, but was woken by Davies biting his elbow, Mr Smith told the court.

He said Mr Coghill pushed her away, and she decided to call an ambulance to the flat, who in turn alerted the police.

Upon their arrival, they were greeted by Davies holding the remains of Mr Coghill's tongue in a plastic bag, the court was told.

"Later, Tracy Davies called the ambulance service," Mr Smith said. "As a result of that call the police were also called.

"They arrived at approximately 4.36am. The door was answered by Tracy Davies. She was holding a small bag with a lump of flesh in it.


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New cars losing up to 60 per cent of value in a year...

Cars (Pic:Rex)

Britain's top-selling cars are now losing up to two-thirds of their value in just 12 months...

Traditionally, a family-sized car with 10,000 miles on the clock loses around 30 per cent of its value in its first year.

But as the struggling motor industry reels from plunging sales and mounting job losses, franchised dealers are offering  just 40 per cent of the original price if you trade them in.

It means an 08-reg Vauxhall Vectra saloon bought for £16,510 is now worth only £6,390 – down 61 per cent.

And a Ford Mondeo saloon which cost £15,905 a year ago is valued at £8,670 today – down 45 per cent.

Many drivers who bought on hire purchase owe significantly more than their cars are worth.

But with prices reaching an all-time low, there is good news for second-hand car buyers, with thousands of bargains to be had – although you’d better be quick. Adrian Rushmore, of Glass’s Guide, believes used-car values have finally bottomed out.

He said: “They were really on the floor at the beginning of the year but in January retail demand started to recover. 

“If people are thinking of buying a used car there should be plenty of choice.”

How Values crash

Ford Ka 1. 1.3i Studio 3d

New: £7,105

1yr old: £4,240 

DOWN 40 per cent

Vauxhall Corsa 1. 1.0i 12V Life 3d

New: £8,710

1yr old: £6,725

DOWN 22 per cent

Ford Focus Hatchback 1.4 Studio

New: £11,955         

1yr old: £7,225

DOWN 40 per cent

VW Golf Hatchback 1. 1.4 S 3d

New: £12,255          

1yr old: £8,295

DOWN 32 per cent

Renault Scenic 1.4 Authentique 5d 

New: £13,955          

1yr old: £7,040

DOWN 50 per cent

Ford Mondeo Saloon 1. 1.6 Edge 4d

New: £15,905          

1yr old: £8,670

DOWN 45 per cent

Vauxhall Vectra 1.8i VVT Life 4d

New: £16,510          

1yr old: £6,390

DOWN 61 per cent


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Thousands of firms on alert after attack on Sir Fred's home...


BUSINESS leaders in Edinburgh have issued a security alert to more than 2,000 companies after the attack on Sir Fred Goodwin's house in the city.
The move, by the city's Chamber of Commerce, comes as police in London brace themselves for a series of protests by anarchists and anti-capitalists to coincide with next week's G20 summit of world leaders.

The Metropolitan Police have cancelled al
l leave and drafted in thousands of officers from other forces as they prepare for an "unprecedented level of protests".

Meanwhile, thousands of City staff have been told to stay at home during the summit, with others told to "dress down" to avoid becoming targets.

But organisers of some of the London protests last night rejected as "smears" suggestions the demonstrations would be anything other than law-abiding.

As police attempted to track down those responsible for the vandalism on the former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive's home, The Scotsman learned that a number of companies in the city had since sought security advice from police.

Lothian and Borders detectives have alerted every police force in the UK amid fears that Wednesday's attack on Sir Fred's home may not be a one-off. "We routinely share intelligence and advice with police forces across the UK, and we have alerted all other forces following yesterday's incident," a police spokesman said.

"Any intelligence we receive regarding forthcoming events, including the G20 summit in London, will be considered and acted on if necessary."

A previously unknown group using the e-mail name "bankbossesarecriminals" claimed responsibility for the attack, which saw several windows smashed at Sir Fred's home in the Grange area of Edinburgh and a Mercedes S600 saloon parked in the driveway vandalised. Sir Fred is reportedly in Spain.

An e-mail issued within minutes of the attack warned: "This is just the beginning."

Ron Hewitt, the chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said police were treating the threat – which has been echoed on anarchist and anti-capitalist websites – "very seriously". He said:

"We have had a number of companies getting in touch and we are offering them advice and arranging for personal visits from the police, if necessary.

"The police are obviously not wanting to make too much of what happened. I saw the publicity it generated. We have also heard this business about burning effigies of bankers in London, which is quite scary."

After Wednesday's attack, Mr Hewitt reassured the chamber's 2,000-plus members that police were working "in partnership" with the business community – including financial institutions – to maximise security.

In a message on its website, he pointed out that the chamber had a dedicated business protection officer, who was "available to provide companies with security and safety advice".

He urged businesses to report any incidents directly to the police.


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MPs launch investigation into News of the World


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The picture in the passport is my cousin

Mum’s identity crisis

Carnoustie woman SUZANNE ELLIOT- passport mix up.

You look different . . . Suzanne with her passport mix up

 

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    MUM Suzanne Elliot was left shocked when she opened her new passport — to find a photo of a balding BLOKE.

    IT worker Suzanne, 45, used a special Post Office check-and-send service to make sure her details were correct when she applied for the ID last month.

    Suzanne, of Carnoustie, Angus, was desperate to get it in time for a trip she planned to Marmaris, Turkey, with partner Damian Waude, 44, and their pals.

    So she was appalled to discover the glaring error when the passport arrived in the post last week.

    And last night she blasted bungling officials over the gaffe.

    The mother of two said: “I couldn’t believe it. My name, date of birth and where I was born were all correct.

    “But where my photo should have been there was one of a big baldy man.

    “Surely it should have been checked before they sent it back to me? I can’t understand how they could send it out with the wrong photo.

    “Someone out there could be wandering around with my real passport.”

    A UK Identity and Passport Service spokesman said yesterday: “We aim for 100 per cent accuracy but despite our best endeavoursthe occasional error will slip through our security.

    “We are making arrangements for Mrs Elliot to be issued with a new passport immediately.”

    A spokesman for the Post Office Ltd said: “The process for dealing with applications means that it is not possible for such a mix up to have occurred at the Post Office.”


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