London Tube Run Later During Olympic Games


Last trains will leave central London as late as 2am and extra transport will run from Games venues at night.

Tube trains will run around an hour later during next year's Olympic Games, Transport for London has said.

The extension will mean the last trains will leave central London as late as 2am during the Games.

There will also be extra trains running from Olympic events in east London between 10pm and 11.30pm to get spectators home.

A TfL spokesman said: "All transport improvements to support the London 2012 Games are on track, and we're working hard with all partners to support a fantastic Games and to keep London moving.

"To ensure everyone can get to and from their events, and enjoy all that London has to offer in 2012, we plan to run the Tube around an hour later than normal during the Games on all lines.

"This means customers will be able to leave the Olympic Park to connect with other services to get them home after the events, with last trains leaving central London between around 1.30am and 2am.

"We'll also be running extra Tube services on lines serving the Olympic Park to coincide with the end of events in the evenings, meaning additional services from around 10pm."

Souvenir: Introducing Royal Wedding Oyster Card For London Transport


A special edition Oyster card will go on sale eight days before Prince William and Kate Middleton get married.

The world's most popular travel smartcard, with more than 43 million issued since 2003, has never been adapted as a souvenir before.

But it follows a tradition set in 1981 when London Transport issued its first £2 travel card for spectators at the wedding of Charles and Diana.

A total of 750,000 of the royal Oysters will be sold across every Tube station and at railway stations already selling the cards.

Buyers will have to spend at least £10 per card – £5 deposit plus a minimum of £5 credit to pay for journeys. If they are kept as souvenirs and not returned TfL stands to make between £3.75 million and £7.5 million.

Boris Johnson said: "Just as royal wedding fever starts to take hold in the city, this fantastic commemorative Oyster card is a great chance for Londoners and visitors to have a slice of the action as a fabulous memento of the happy day.

"I would also recommend the card to the happy couple as the cheapest, easiest way of getting around this city, especially as it bears their resemblance."

The card features a portrait of the couple taken at St James's Palace last November when they revealed that they had got engaged in Kenya three weeks earlier. The text reads: "To commemorate the marriage of Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton 29 April 2011." It comes in a black plastic wallet sponsored by MasterCard.

With around one million people expected to travel to central London for the wedding, TfL has promised to run a full service.

However many bus routes will be diverted as a result of road closures stretching from Waterloo bridge to Piccadilly and Hyde Park Corner.

TfL commissioner Peter Hendy said: "London's transport network will play a key role in helping people travel to the wedding celebrations, so it is appropriate that we commemorate the day with a limited edition Oyster card. I'm sure they will be a hugely popular souvenir of the day while ensuring Londoners and visitors get the cheapest fares for their journeys."

TfL was attracted to the idea of making money from souvenir editions of the Oyster card after seeing the way Hong Kong had marketed its Octopus card.

The Octopus was the world's first electronic travel smart card and has been used to mark Chinese New Year – the first being Year of the Pig in 2007 and film premieres, such as the animated Chinese blockbuster Dragon Blade.

If the initiative is successful, TfL plans to issue souvenir Oysters next year for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and for the Olympics.

Oil Prices ‘Biggest Risk To UK Growth’


The biggest risk to the UK's economy is that oil and food prices could continue to rise faster than inflation, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

OBR member Stephen Nickell, a former policymaker at the Bank of England, warned the Treasury Select Committee that if commodity prices did not stabilise, economic growth would be lower.

Mr Nickell explained the OBR forecast relied on forward market projections for oil prices, which show them declining.

He said if oil and food prices continue to increase, so will inflation, and added: "Under the assumption that wages don't adjust to this, consumption will fall and growth will be lower."

In subsequent comments to the MPs, the Chancellor George Osborne admitted that rising commodity prices had "clearly had an impact".

He added that the UK was faced with "twin threats" of inflationary pressure and European sovereign debt problems.

The OBR economist's comments came as the OBR defended its decision not to alter its key economic forecast in light of two major tax changes in the Budget.

Details of cuts to corporation tax and fuel duty were passed on a week before the Chancellor unveiled his Budget, but he said this was too late to include the impact in its forecast report.

OBR chairman Robert Chote told MPs on the Treasury Select Committee it was important to adhere to "clear and transparent" deadlines.

"Did we have time to do a complete re-run (of the forecasts)? No," he said, adding: "We don't believe the changes would have been material."

Last week the OBR lowered its GDP growth forecasts to 1.7% in 2011 and 2.5% in 2012, but lifted its estimates for 2014 and 2015.

It also predicted the rate of inflation, currently at 4.4%, is not expected to drop back to the Government's 2% target until 2013 – contrary to the Bank of England's belief it will fall back by 2012.

Mr Chote also stressed the Treasury had put the OBR "under no pressure to increase our trend growth estimate".

Apple iPhones Hit By Summer Time Alarm Glitch


Some iPhone owners were heading in to work late on Monday after a glitch caused their alarms to malfunction.

Users found their wake-up alert coming one hour late, one hour early or not at all.

The problem, related to the clocks going forward for British Summer Time, does not appear to have affected everyone.

Apple has yet to comment on what caused it, but similar problems have previously hit iPhones in the US.

Many of those whose alarms went wrong turned to social networking sites to vent their fury. One Twitter user wrote: "iPhone alarm failed twice. 1) went off at 5.45 instead of 6.45. 2) Didn't go off at all when I reset it. Time to update software."

Another unimpressed owner wrote: "Thanks iPhone. I didn't really want that alarm to go off anyway."

According to user reports, the glitch has affected non-recurring alarms set within the iPhone's calendar application, rather than its dedicated alarm clock.

The problem first came to light in the United States last November during the switch from Daylight Savings Time.

Despite promises from Apple to correct it, a similar issue hit iPhones on 1 January 2011.

Final Turf Laid At London Olympic 2012 Stadium


London today broke the world record for completing an Olympic stadium.

Construction of the landmark venue was declared finished today as the last piece of turf was laid by Olympic officials.

It has taken only 1,000 working days to complete the 80,000-seat venue in Stratford at a speed that was hailed as showing the capital’s readiness to stage the “greatest show on earth”.

The final £486 million cost came in £10 million under budget.

As an International Olympics Committee delegation made their eighth visit to the capital today to check on preparations, Mayor Boris Johnson said the breakthrough gave London a huge advantage over other host cities such as Barcelona, Sydney and Athens. Mr Johnson said: “This is yet another fantastic milestone in the preparations for London 2012. The faultless construction of the stadium, on time and under budget, is a shining example of how London is primed and ready to host the greatest show on earth.

“The real joy of being so far ahead is that, unlike any other host city, we are already able to focus on securing the legacy we are so determined to deliver from the Games.” Some work remains to be done, such as laying the running track. But this has been deliberately delayed to prevent it being damaged when giant cranes arrive to erect gantries for the opening and closing ceremonies. The Games will begin on Friday July 27 next year.

IOC member Frankie Fredericks, a four-time silver medallist sprinter, was given the honour of laying the final piece of turf, less than three years after work began in May 2008.

The IOC was given further reassurance when the Olympic Delivery Authority, which has overseen the construction work at the Olympic Park, said the sports infrastructure would be finished in July.

Built and designed respectively by Sir Robert McAlpine and architectural practice Populous – the team behind Arsenal’s Emirates ground – the stadium has employed 5,000 workers from 240 British businesses.

The last of 360 rolls of turf, grown in Scunthorpe, was laid today to complete the 9,000 square metre infield area.The running track – a blue surface by Mondo- will be laid later this year by organiser Locog. In its place is a temporary Tarmac surface resistant to the cranes that will lift into place stage sets for the opening ceremony.

History will associate the Olympic stadium with two controversies: its original bid book budget of £240 million has more than doubled though that figure was never seen as realistic.

The ODA have also been criticised for spurning the chance four years ago to install retractable seats over the running track to make it more attractive to football clubs.

Last month the post-Games future of the stadium was secured when West Ham were handed the long-term tenancy.

Stadium by numbers

80,000 seats Capacity in Games mode but designed to be flexible after.
40 acres Area of the stadium island, surrounded by water on three sides.
60 metres The height of the stands.
860 metres Stadium perimeter.
5 major new bridges into the site.
3 years Construction started in May 2008, completed ahead of schedule.
5,250 People involved in the project.
532 Individual floodlights in 14 towers to meet high-definition TV standards.

* The turf was grown in Scunthorpe and laid over three days this month.
* The track will be laid later this year.

Kenya: Six Charged Afresh Over Drug Trade


Six people arrested last week in Shanzu, Mombasa, in connection with heroin valued at Sh204 million were on Monday charged afresh in a Nairobi court with drug trafficking.

Three Kenyans Joash Omondi, Hassan Ibrahim and Yusuf Hassan, two Iranians Ali Mohammed and Abdul Baseet and Pakistani Khan Mohammed appeared before chief magistrate Gilbert Mutembei with amended charges of trafficking in 102 kilogrammes of heroin.

The two Iranians were further charged with being in the country illegally.

Possessing firearms

They were accused of failing to report at any immigration office upon their arrival in the country to register as aliens and being in possession of invalid travelling documents.

Mr Hassan Ibrahim and Mr Yusuf Hassan were separately charged with possessing firearms and ammunition without licences.

They all denied the charges and were remanded in police custody until March 31.

The suspects, through lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Kiraithe Wadugi, applied to be released on cash bail but the magistrate declined to free them.

They also applied to be issued with copies of all technical reports and documents the prosecution intended to use against them.

The suspects also sought orders to have their personal documents, which were allegedly seized by police after their arrest, returned to them.

The prosecution, led by superintendent Idleh Sheikh, however, opposed the applications on grounds that police were still carrying out investigations.

He asked the court to lock up the suspects for 10 more days, stating that the drugs involved were of high value and the suspects were likely to interfere with investigations if allowed to return to Mombasa.

Mr Mutembei, in his ruling, allowed the prosecutor’s request but reduced the number of days to three, directing that all the charges be consolidated as one.

He also directed the accused to renew their bail application when the matter comes up for mention on Thursday.

The magistrate also extended orders issued by the court last Friday that the accused’s lawyers be allowed access to them before 6pm every day and that any police interrogation be done in the presence of the advocates.

The six were arrested on Thursday last week by anti-narcotics police in a house they had rented in Shanzu. The heroin seizure is one of the country’s biggest drug hauls.

The drugs, packed in 98 two-kilogramme sachets, were being transported in two vehicles disguised as dog food and labelled “Science Plan: Veterinary Formulated Canine Senior for older dogs; new improved taste”.

Two pistols and 30 rounds of ammunition were also recovered in the vehicles and at the house.

The six suspects and the drugs were flown to Nairobi on Friday and the suspects later taken to court but did not take a plea as one of them, Iranian Ali Mohammed, could neither speak English nor Kiswahili.

Hewlett Packard’s Touch Pad Set For Summer Release


Computer maker Hewlett Packard (HP) has released details about the release of its tablet computer, the Touch Pad.

Two new versions of the device, which runs with the WebOS operating system, will come to stores in June, reported the company.

Both use Wifi for internet connection. The 16 gigabytes (GB) version costs 499 euros (700 dollars) while the 32 GB one sells for 599 euros.

About six weeks after the initial release, an additional 32 GB version with an extra UMTS module will go on sale for 699 euros.

The tablet’s screen has a central input area with a search function that calls on users to “just type.” Results come up in a list of options that apply to the search term.

So far, there are about 7,000 apps, with more expected by the summer. The tablet supports Adobe’s multimedia Flash technology.

Along with applications for email, social networking and ebooks, HP is also focusing on games and is trumpeting the tablet’s 3D capabilities.

Just like with Android mobiles and iPhones, the Touch Pad can also be used as a hotspot to allow up to five other devices to simultaneously access the internet through a wifi connection.

Touch Pads can also share information just by holding two up against one another. HP dubs the functions Touch to Share. It combines the wireless function Bluetooth with near field communication technology.

iPhone 5 To Launch On June 6 At Apple WWDC


Steve Jobs (pictured) unveils the iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The WWDC, Apple's yearly event for software developers who work on Apple's iOS and Mac OS platforms, has been the launching ground for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 – only the original iPhone was not unveiled there.

This year's WWDC will run from June 6 to June 10 in San Francisco. That date means that WWDC will clash with the annual E3 games expo, which is being held from June 7 – 9 in Los Angeles.

While an IPhone 5 reveal seems likely, Apple have (naturally) not mentioned anything about the iPhone 5 in their announcement of the dates, and a hardware launch is far from certain. Instead, the focus is very much on the software – with new versions of both its operating systems likely to be shown off.

Phil Schiller, Apple's marketing head, said: 'At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS. If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.'

The next version of Mac OS X, Lion, is already available in beta form, and seems likely to be unveiled in full at the June event.

iOS 5, meanwhile, has long been thought likely to debut in June – although recent rumours suggest that it might be delayed until the autumn, with a major overhaul seeing it including cloud-based features like online music storage.

If iOS 5 is indeed delayed, that could also suggest that the iPhone 5 might not come out until the autumn either – every new iPhone has been released at the same time as the new version of iOS. Some tech blogs, such as CrunchGear and usually-reliable Apple specialists The Loop, are already speculating that the heavy emphasis on software in Apple's WWDC announcement indicates that no new hardware will be on show at the event – so iPhone fans may have to wait a few months more. Or possibly even, according to 9 To 5 Mac, until 2012.

It's also not clear whether iconic Apple boss Steve Jobs will appear at the event – while he is currently on indefinite medical leave from the company, he did take to the stage to announce the iPad 2 at Apple's launch event in early March.

Fuel Duty Drop Not Being Seen At Pumps

Many petrol retailers have yet to pass on the 1p drop in fuel duty at the pumps, according to figures from the AA.

Petrol pump and car

Prices at the pump should fall over the coming days and weeks.

Figures from the independent research group Experian Catalist show that on Budget Day, the average price of a litre of unleaded stood at 133.53p, while diesel was 140.26p.

When Chancellor George Osborne stood up to deliver his Budget on Wednesday his surprise announcement was the penny reduction in fuel duty, which took effect at 6pm that evening.

But Experian Catalist publishes daily petrol prices and figures for the following day show that unleaded fell to just 132.93p with diesel at only 139.69p.

The AA also said that average petrol prices have only dipped 0.6p a litre, while diesel has gone down only 0.57p.

Petrol retailers argue that they pay for petrol and diesel on its arrival at the pump and as a result many retailers are still selling fuel bought at the higher price.

Prime Minister David Cameron urged garages to pass on the tax reduction and said there were ways to ensure "this market operates properly".

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, he said: ""We have done what we can as a government to cut tax, it is now right that the market should respond.

"If the market doesn't respond, obviously there are ways for the Office of Fair Trading and others to make sure this market operates properly.

"We will be watching like a hawk to make sure the action we take actually helps consumers and helps motorists at the pump."

London: Anti-cuts March


Organisers of a huge protest against the Government’s public spending cuts hailed the demonstration a “fantastic success” after hundreds of thousands of people joined the biggest event of its kind for over 20 years.

Between 400,000 and 500,000 teachers, nurses, firefighters, council and NHS workers, other public sector employees, students, pensioners and campaign groups from across the UK marched peacefully through central London to a rally organised by union officials on Saturday.

There had been at least 125 arrests for public order offences, criminal damage, aggravated trespass and violent disorder.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said five police officers were injured during the protests. Four were treated for minor injuries and one was taken to hospital with a groin injury.