Herbal Medicines Banned As EU Directive Comes Into Force


Patients have lost access to hundreds of herbal medicines today, after European regulations came into force.

Sales of all herbal remedies, except for a small number of popular products for 'mild' illness such as echinacea for colds and St John's Wort for depression have been banned.

For the first time traditional products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner.

Both herbal remedy practitioners and manufacturers fear they could be forced out of business as a result.

Some of the most  commonly used products were saved after the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley approved a plan for the Health Professions Council to establish a register of practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines.

However, many remedies were lost as it was only open to those who could afford the licensing process which costs between £80,000 to £120,000.

At least 50 herbs, including horny goat weed (so-called natural Viagra), hawthorn berry, used for angina pain, and wild yam will no longer be stocked in health food shops, says the British Herbal Medicine Association.

The 2004 EU directive demands that a traditional herbal medicinal product must be shown to have been in use for 30 years in the EU – or at 15 years in the EU and 15 years elsewhere – for it to be licensed.

The UK drug safety watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency, has issued more than a dozen alerts in the past two years, including a warning last month over a contaminated weight loss pill called Herbal Flos Lonicerae (Herbal Xenicol) due to concerns over possible side-effects.

Mr Lansley, in a written statement, said the Government wanted to ensure continuing access to unlicensed herbal medicines via a statutory register for practitioners ‘to meet individual patient needs’.

Acupuncture falls outside the EU directive and so remains unaffected.

Prince Charles, a long-standing supporter of complementary therapies, has voiced his support for formal regulation of herbal practitioners.

Up til now the industry has been covered by the 1968 Medicines Act. This was drawn up when only a small number of herbal remedies were available.

But recent studies show that at least six million Britons have used a herbal medicine in the past two years.

Professor George Lewith, professor of health research at Southampton University, said: ‘Evidence for the efficacy of herbal medicines is growing; they may offer cheap, safe and effective approaches for many common complaints.’

M11 Reopens After The Crash

The motorway was temporarily closed in both directions between between junction 8, the turn-off for Stansted Airport, and junction 9 at Great Chesterford.

It has since reopened on both southbound and northbound carriageways.

Ralph Lauren Car Collection Goes On Display In Paris

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic 468x312 Ralph Lauren car collection goes on display in Paris

A selection of cars owned by fashion legend Ralph Lauren will go on display in Paris this week, in a unique exhibition of one of the world’s most distinctive collections.

Ralph Lauren, who famously described cars as “moving art” in his 2004 book Speed, Style and Beauty, owns an extensive collection of vehicles which is rarely seen by the public — until now.

Seventeen models selected from the 1930s until the present day will be on display, offering a unique glimpse at the tastes of a major name in the fashion world.

Among the exhibits will be the Bentley Blower of 1929, immortalized in Ian Fleming’s early James Bond novels, a Mercedes-Benz SSK from 1930 owned by racing driver Count Carlo Felice Trossie and a Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic Coupe, one of only four ever made (and only two that remain).

Ferrari fans are well catered for — there are four in the collection — with a 375 Plus from 1954 (designed under the direction of Pinin Farina himself) and a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa from 1957 by automotive legend Sergio Scaglietti.

Ralph Lauren has collected the sounds of the engines online and to celebrate the launch, a Discovery Channel documentary on Ralph Lauren’s cars will be broadcast in France, Belgium and Switzerland on July 2 and July 3.

The Art of the Automobile was opened April 28 through August 28, 2011 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Two Dead After Packed Coach And Lorry Collide On The M11


Two people have been killed in a crash that closed the M11 in both directions in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Lorry driver Zdzislaw Piorko, 53, from Maidstone in Kent, died at the scene, along with coach passenger Delia Walker, 63, from Pontefract in west Yorkshire, Essex police said.

Fifty people were on board a coach that was in collision with a lorry on the southbound carriageway in the early hours of the morning.

Six people sustained serious injuries, the emergency services said.

Others with minor injuries were treated at hospitals in Cambridge, Harlow and Chelmsford.

Essex police said: "Three coach passengers have been admitted to hospital and are being treated for back injuries, the severity of which is being established.

"Other passengers were taken to hospital as a precaution and have been released. A company coach has taken passengers to their homes or other destinations."

The motorway was closed in both directions between junction 8, the turnoff for Stansted airport, and junction 9 at Great Chesterford. A number of diversions were put in place and motorists were advised to make alternative plans, especially if heading to the airport.

Police said it was hoped the northbound carriageway would be open by noon and the southbound one by 3pm.

It’s Official: The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge


Clarence House today released the official Royal Wedding album that shows the beaming bride and groom in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.

Prince William and Kate posed for the stunning photographs shortly after getting married in a moving ceremony that captivated the world yesterday.

The newly-titled Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared to be lost in matrimonial bliss as they smiled for the traditional wedding day photo album taken by Hugo Burnand. He said the scenes clearly reveal the couple’s love for each other.

No sooner had they arrived at Buckingham Palace from the service at Westminster Abbey did the rapturous family assume their positions for the pictures.

In the first photograph the couple stand arm-in-arm together against a stunning rich red velvet backdrop trimmed with gold.

The second official photograph shows William and Kate in a more informal pose. Kate’s wonderful dress flows onto the floor around them as she clutches her bouquet.

In the picture, the heir to the throne wore the ceremonial uniform of the Welsh Guards but was shown in a very relaxed seated pose with his arm across the back of an ornate chair.

Sitting around the newlyweds are two pageboys and four bridesmaids. They are from clockwise from the bottom right The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Miss Eliza Lopes, Miss Grace van Cutsem, Lady Louise Windsor, Master Tom Pettifer, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton.

Mr Burnand said he hoped his photos looked ‘effortless, relaxed and friendly’.

He said his favourite photograph was one of the newlyweds with the bridesmaids and page boys, but there were only seconds to set it up and the children were coaxed with promises of jelly beans and sweets.

He said: ‘It was a picture we all wanted to take but we didn’t know if we were ever going to have the time to do it.’

He said that, because he had discussed with his team and everyone in the picture knew what they were going to have to do, they were able to rush into position.

‘When you look at those individual children in that picture you are seeing those children and their characters.

‘That’s the same with the bride and groom in the middle of the picture as well. That’s really them. There’s no time for direction, we’ve done all that.’

In the third photograph, the newlyweds pose for the traditional wedding photograph flanked by their families.

To the left of Kate stands her father Michael Middleton, mother Carole Middleton, brother James Middleton and sister Philipa Middleton.

Standing by William’s side is Prince Harry, followed by Prince Charles,Camilla and Master Tom Pettifer.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh sit on the front way with Miss Grace van Cutsem and Miss Eliza Lopes to their right.

One the other side of the front row in front of the Middleton family is the Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Louise Windsor, Master William Lowther-Pinkerton.

The official pictures of William and Kate’s wedding were shot to show two families coming together, according to Mr Burnand.

‘Amazingly it was a family wedding,’ he said.

‘From where I was and from their point of view it was two families coming together and that was the feeling, the sense of family and love going between everyone.

‘They had their own buzz. Everyone had their own buzz. It was that excitement that I hope you feel at most weddings.’

Asked about his technique, he said: ‘I hope it looks effortless and relaxed and friendly and smiley because that is how it was.

‘But that comes from months of preparation, hours of setting up, and being so organised that you are sort of in control at the time.’

Mr Burnand had only a short period of time between the couple’s arrival at Buckingham Palace and their appearance on the balcony to take the official photographs.

He said: ‘I hope when you look at the picture you feel, as a viewer, that you’re engaged with the people in the picture. The only way to do that is to be engaged as a photographer.’

Royal Wedding: Schedule For The Day

The following schedule has been confirmed for the royal wedding day on 29 April:

The wedding will be covered live on BBC TV, radio and online. Find out how you can follow the day's events. All times are in BST.

Between 0815 and 0945 – The general congregation will arrive at the Great North Door of Westminster Abbey.

From 0950 – Prime ministers and governors-general of various Commonwealth countries, the diplomatic corps and other guests arrive at the Abbey.

1010 – Prince William and Prince Harry leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey.

1015 – Prince William and Prince Harry arrive at the Abbey.

1020 – Members of foreign royal families arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.

1020 – Kate Middleton's mother, Carole, and brother, James, leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.

1025 – Minor members of the Royal Family leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey.

1035 – The Duke of York and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, leave for Westminster Abbey along with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence.

1038 – The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall leave Clarence House for Westminster Abbey.

1040 – The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh leave Buckingham Palace for Westminster Abbey.

1048 – The bridesmaids and pages leave the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.

1051 – The bride, accompanied by her father Michael, leaves the Goring Hotel for Westminster Abbey.

1100 – The marriage service begins and is relayed by speakers along the route.

1215 – The carriage procession of the bride and bridegroom with a captain's escort of the Household Cavalry, followed by the Queen's procession with a sovereign's escort of the Household Cavalry, leaves Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace.

1230 – The bride's carriage procession arrives at Buckingham Palace.

1240 – Members of the Royal Family and members of foreign royal families arrive at Buckingham Palace.

1325 – The Queen and the bride and bridegroom, together with their families, appear on the balcony.

1330 – Fly-past by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight

The Queen will give a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, which will be a private gathering for guests drawn from the congregation who will represent the couple’s official and private lives. During the reception, the couple will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony with other members of the Royal family. The Reception is expected to finish mid-afternoon and guests will be served with canapés.

At some point in the afternoon, the bride and groom will leave Buckingham Palace for some downtime at St James's Palace.

In the evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private dinner, followed by dancing, at Buckingham Palace for the couple and their close friends and family.

The service:

The Dean of Westminster will conduct the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury will marry Prince William and Miss Middleton, and the Bishop of London – a personal friend of the Prince of Wales who has known Prince William for many years – will give the address

The dress:

The design is a secret but Miss Middleton's wedding gown is expected to be modest, with little flesh on show.

Bridesmaid and pageboys:

The couple have chosen four bridesmaids and two page boys who are a mixture of relations and the children of friends. Find out who's who here. Prince Harry is best man and Miss Middleton's sister Philippa is her maid of honour

The venue:

For 1,000 years the 11th century Westminster Abbey has been a backdrop to royal weddings, coronations and funerals

Westminster Abbey


Tradition dictates that a royal bride's bouquet contains a sprig of myrtle from the bush grown from the original myrtle in Queen Victoria's wedding bouquet. Royal brides send their bouquet back to the abbey to be placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.


Westminster Abbey's choir and the Chapel Royal Choir will perform, with the London Chamber Orchestra, the Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry also taking part. Claire Jones, the Prince of Wales's official harpist, will perform at the Buckingham Palace reception. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Queen's composer, was commissioned to write a piece which he revealed will have a "Scottish feel".

The ring:

Prince William will not wear a wedding ring, but his new wife's will be made from gold given to the prince by the Queen. According to tradition, the Welsh gold for royal rings comes from the Clogau St David's mine at Bontddu in North Wales.

The receptions:

Buckingham Palace, with its opulent State Rooms, is the focal point for the Queen's reception for 600 guests in the afternoon, followed by the Prince of Wales's dinner for 300 close family and friends in the evening.

Buckingham Palace

The cake:

A traditional multi-tiered iced fruit cake featuring the "language of flowers" made by Leicestershire baker Fiona Cairns will be the centrepiece. A chocolate biscuit cake is also being made especially for Prince William by McVitie's.

Wedding planning:

The man behind the big day is Prince William's private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.

Working closely with the Prince's personal private secretary Helen Asprey, Mr Lowther-Pinkerton is in overall charge of the wedding – although the royal couple themselves are "calling the shots".

The gift list:

No saucepans or towels for these newlyweds. The couple has requested donations to 26 charities instead. Close family are, however, likely to give personal gifts.

White iPhone 4 To Be Released Globally Tomorrow


Apple is set to make available the latest addition to its iPhone range – the white iPhone 4 – from tomorrow (April 28th).

Rumours had been flying around that the handset would be going on sale in the very near future, with MacRumours and iPhone Italia both making fairly close predictions of April 26th.

Originally, the plan over at Apple HQ had been to release the white version of the iPhone 4 at the same time as its black counterpart. Steve Jobs even unveiled both models at the same time.

However, delays in production meant almost a year has passed since the iPhone 4 hit the shelves, although tech fans at least now know they won't have to wait much longer.

From tomorrow, the model will be available in 28 countries worldwide, including the UK, through Apple's retail and online stores, and various authorised resellers.

Philip Schiller, Apple senior vice-president of worldwide product marketing, said: 'The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it's beautiful. We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we've worked to get every detail right.'

The 16GB model will cost just $199 (£120) in the US, rising to $299 for the 32 GB model, although Apple said details on UK pricing and availability will only be available at the launch.