24 Karat iPhone 5 Goes On Sale


As stories continue to circulate on Apple‘s message boards and on Twitter of iPhone 5s arriving in less than perfect condition, one London firm believes it may have found an elegant and suitably aspirational solution to the problem.

On Sep. 27, Gold & Co is set to unveil what it claims is the world’s first 24-karat gold-plated iPhone 5 at the Collector’s Palace in Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates.

The strictly limited edition phones, which are also available in rose gold, are each individually numbered, presented in handcrafted wooden boxes with a guaranteed certificate of authenticity and are ready for pre-order.

And although there are no details regarding price, it is safe to assume that these iPhones will retail for considerably more than those available at the Apple Store.

For those people who have already ordered their iPhone in the standard black or white and haven’t recently won the lottery or discovered an untapped oil well under their home, news is emerging of the first official comments from Apple regarding the scuffs and scratches that seem to be plaguing its latest handset.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, has reportedly responded personally to a customer complaint on the very subject. In his email, which has been verified by several technology sites, he says: “Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.”


GP’s ‘Banning Increasing Numbers Of Patients Who Dare To Complain About Rudeness Or Refusing To Give Them An Appointment’


  • Increasing numbers of patients are being unfairly struck off their GP's list for reporting a complaint against their doctor
  • Some GPs are forcing patients to undertake a phone interview before booking an appointment
  • The Patients Association says there is a surge in complaints about 'dismissive' or 'disrespectful' doctors
  • Increasing numbers of patients are being banned from seeing their GP just for making a complaint, campaigners warn.

    They risk being unfairly struck off their surgery’s list for reporting that their doctor has been rude or the practice has refused to offer them an appointment.

    Some family doctors are even forcing patients to undertake a phone interview before booking an appointment to ensure they are ill enough to be seen. 

    The Patients Association said there has been a surge in the volume of calls to its helpline concerning ‘dismissive’ or ‘disrespectful’ GPs.

    The charity – which mainly deals with patients who have suffered poor hospital care – says the proportion of calls made to its helpline about GPs has doubled in just two years.

    Members of the public are increasingly reporting being unfairly struck off a surgery’s list and refused any future appointments, it says. 

    Its survey of 500 patients found nearly one in 20 had been removed at some point after having made a complaint.

    Under Department of Health guidelines, surgeries must have a valid reason for striking patients off and have to give at least one warning beforehand.

    Patients can be removed – or deregistered – if the practice deems there has been an ‘irrevocable breakdown’ in their relationship with their GP or staff. 

    Last year the Health Service Ombudsman warned entire families were being struck off over trivial disagreements with doctors or even complaining that receptionists aren’t answering the phone. One patient was removed after voicing concerns staff had lost her medical records.

    Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association says there should be tough sanctions for GPs and practices unfairly striking off patients

    Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association says there should be tough sanctions for GPs and practices unfairly striking off patients.

    Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients’ Association, said: ‘There is a shockingly significant number removed from lists after making a complaint. 

    ‘Even more worrying, there are many more patients who do not raise genuine concerns because they fear being taken off the list.’ 

    She said there should be tough sanctions for doctors and practices found to be unfairly striking patients off. 

    The helpline said that of the 8,000 calls it receives each year, the proportion concerning GPs doubled in the past 12 months. They now represent a quarter of all calls, up from 11 per cent last year.

    One patient said before he was allowed to book an appointment the doctor carried out a three-minute phone interview to establish whether the patient really needed to see him. Another contacted the charity because her GP was ‘rude’ and ‘dismissive’. She was afraid to report this in case she was struck off their list.

    World’s Largest Oceanarium To Open In Singapore


    The world’s largest oceanarium will open in Singapore in December. The $7-billion Marine Life Park (MLP) is the last of the attractions to open at Resorts World Sentosa.

    RWS, located on Singapore’s Sentosa island, opened its doors in 2010 and is home to various lifestyle amenities, including a Universal Studios theme park and a casino.

    The opening ceremony, to be held on December 7, will be marked by a fireworks display and a series of performances by international performers, including soprano singer Sarah Brightman.

    MLP is expected to house more than 100,000 marine animals of over 800 species, including the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that sparked a controversy last year.

    Animal rights activists have since been lobbying for the resort management to release the 25 wild dolphins captured to be part of the resort’s attractions.

    One of MLP’s most hotly anticipated attractions is the Adventure Cove Waterpark, which will feature Southeast Asia’s first hydromagnetic water coaster ride and a rainbow reef where guests can snorkel among fishes.

    Another is the SEA Aquarium, where visitors can stay dry and watch through the world’s largest viewing panel over 100,000 aquatic creatures including manta rays and hammerhead sharks.

    “No other attraction in this part of the world comes close to the Marine Life Park in terms of scope and concept,” said Dennis Gilbert, senior VP of attractions at RWS.

    With the opening of the MLP, RWS hopes to boost its visitor numbers to 16 million in 2013, added the news daily. The RWS has attracted some 30 million visitors since its opening in 2010.

    Classic: 1938 Bentley Embiricos


    After Rolls-Royce snapped up Bentley, the latter started to produce rather more elegant cars than those focused on speed. The Embiricos changed all that.

    This, one of the rarest and most valuable Bentleys in the world, will take pride of place at the Lineage Showroom in the firm’s Pyms Lane factory.

    Back in the Twenties, Bentley was building some truly quick cars and was regularly taking the honours at Le Mans. However, when Rolls-Royce bought the carmaker in the Thirties, it began to suffer in terms of performance.

    When a 4 1/4 Litre Bentley was tested at the Bristol wind tunnel, it was here that engineers discovered that the car was more efficient when going backwards. The problem was its large grille. It was causing a tremendous amount of drag, but customers loved the opulent look of it. So Bentley decided to experiment a little and when they received backing from Greek shipping magnate/racer, André Embiricos, the boys went to work on a new low-drag 4 1/4 Litre model.

    The emphasis was on performance and the car you see pictured was the result.

    Penned by Georges Paulin of French coachbuilder Pourtout Carrossier, he designed a striking body, which would help the 4 1/4-Litre cut through the air better.

    The fastback featured teardrop shaped fenders while the rear wheels were covered to help lower the car’s drag. It did the trick as the split-window Embiricos with a tweaked 4.3-litre straight six, larger carburettors that bumped up the horses from 125 to 142 and riding on stiffer shocks and reached 184kph at Brooklands.

    It was the fastest saloon in Britain before the war. The one-off model had achieved its target and André parted with it to HSF Hay who competed with it in three post-war Le Mans 24 Hour races.

    The car swapped hands a few more times where it was even painted a shade of blue. It’s since been restored to its original gun-metal silver and even though it was never put into production the importance of the Embiricos is undeniable.

    It was way ahead of its time and allowed Bentley to explore similar, swoopy designs such as the 1952 R Type Continental. It helped shape the company’s design ethos and its DNA is still evident in today’s models.

    It hadn’t been since for years until making a sensational return at the 2001 Meadow Brook vintage car show where it won Best of Show. Fans had to wait eight years when it took the headlines at Pebble Beach in 2009 during Bentley’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

    Who knows when and where it’ll be seen after it is done showing off at Crewe. Hmm, suddenly that ticket to the UK doesn’t seem so crazy after all…

    Mercedes Benz Granturismo Luxury Yacht


    Mercedes-Benz Style is collaborating with UK-based Silver Arrows Marine to create a motor yacht that brings the style of the luxury automobiles to the water.

    The 46-foot Granturismo yacht will be a day tripper, though will also be capable for an overnight stay on the waters.

    Mercedes Benz Granturismo yacht interior 468x312 Mercedes Benz Granturismo Luxury Yacht

    Mercedes Benz is actively involved in selection and planning of the yacht’s interior and exterior materials and color combinations along with Silver Arrows Marine. Silver Arrows will be entirely responsible for the technical equipment and construction.

    The public got its first look at the exterior and interior designs for the luxury yacht at the 2012 Monaco Yacht Show.

    Mercedes Granturismo yacht interior 468x312 Mercedes Benz Granturismo Luxury Yacht

    This won’t be the first watercraft to bear the Mercedes-Benz badge, as the automaker teamed up with Cigarette Racing on an AMG-inspired custom racing boat in 2010.

    Previous Mercedes-Benz Style projects include a cabin fitout for a special run of Eurocopter EC145 helicopters, and designer furniture pieces.

    Mercedes Benz Granturismo Yacht Concept 468x228 Mercedes Benz Granturismo Luxury Yacht

    Are You Ready For The Great Pension Revolution?


    Hundreds of thousands of workers are about to get a company pension for the first time in their lives. From next month those enrolled in this new scheme will start having money taken from their pay packets.

    None of these savers will have filled in a form or ticked a box to give their permission. But letters are being sent out telling them the money will be invested for their retirement and locked away until they reach the age of 55.

    There has never been a pension scheme like this before in Britain — and it may come as a shock to many. Automatically putting workers in to a pension is one of the Government’s ideas to help get us all saving more.


    Britain’s state pension is one of the meanest in the western world and is, simply, not enough to live off. The basic payout is just £107.45 a week, or £5,587 a year. On top of this the poorest can claim a series of benefits.

    There are plans to get rid of these complicated top-ups and bring in a new flat rate pension of £140 a week — though for most that still won’t be enough to make ends meet. Meanwhile, we are saving even less than ever.

    Some 35 years ago 8.1 million workers saved in to a company pension. Today just 2.9 million people do. And gold-plated final salary pensions are also dying out. In 1997, one in three of us had a final salary pension, today it is one in ten.

    We are all also living longer on average. Thanks to healthier lifestyles and medical advances, today’s 65-year-olds are expected to live to 86 — six years more than someone who retired in 1967. All these combined have given Britain a savings crisis.

    The average pension fund is £26,000 — enough to give a married 65-year-old man an income of £1,298 a year. One answer to the problem is to get us to save for longer. So the Government is making sure most workers are given the chance to save in to a company pension.


    From Monday, all employers, starting with giant companies such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, will by law have to pay into a pension for their staff. Between then and Christmas, 800,000 will be enrolled, with smaller companies being gradually included over the next six years.

    By October 2018, even the smallest employers — including families hiring a full-time nanny — will have to give their staff a pension. Eventually 11 million workers who have never had a pension before will start saving for the first time. Anyone aged over 22, earning at least £8,105 a year, and with three months’ service under their belt will qualify.

    All workers will have to pay in to this pension. Their employer will also make a contribution, and so will the Government.

    At first, a minimum of 80p for each £100 earned will be automatically taken from their wages every month. Companies will add £1 for every £100 of salary. And the government will add 20p — a refund of the income tax you would have paid on your contribution — giving a total of £2.

    This means someone on £25,000 a year will see £28 paid into a pension each month. Their take-home pay — usually £1,417 a month after tax and National Insurance — will fall by £11.

    At some companies, particularly those which already offer a pension to staff, contributions from workers and the company will be higher.

    The minimum workers will have to save will rise in 2018: £4 for every £100 of salary, plus £3 from the company, and £1 from the government.

    If a worker on £25,000 a year starts saving at this rate aged 30, they will have £244,122 by 65 (assuming annual 7 per cent growth and 1 per cent fees). This should provide an income of around £5,490 a year in today’s money, according to wealth manager Hargreaves Lansdown.


    This year, Andy Gibbons started saving into a company pension for the first time.
    The 41-year-old has worked for window and door-fitting firm VBH for 20 years, but until January it didn’t offer a pension.

    Then VBH signed up to test out Nest, the new national pension scheme — and the married father-of-three from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands jumped at the chance.
    Mr Gibbons — pictured with wife Joanne, 41, and children Jake, 10, Ross, seven, and Mason, two — says: ‘I don’t want to be a burden on my kids when I retire, and my wife and I both want to travel the world.
    ‘I already had a small pension of my own, but the idea of my company contributing on  my behalf made it an easy decision to join.’ VBH currently puts 1 pc of Mr Gibbons’ salary into his pension.
    ‘In future, when things improve for us financially, I hope to save more,’ Mr Gibbons says.


    The money taken from your pay, along with that added by your employer and the Government, will be invested. It will be put in to a pension fund that holds shares from different companies as well as other types of investments, such as bonds and gilts (these are essentially IOUs issued by big companies and governments which pay a regular income in exchange for borrowing your cash).

    Most workers automatically enrolled will be put in to an existing company pension scheme. Around five million will have their money put in to the National Employment Savings Trust — Nest, for short. This is a newly created business that exists just to provide a simple investment plan for pension savers.

    To those who have never invested before, it can seem daunting. But putting your money in a fund gives it a chance to grow quicker than in a bog-standard cash savings account.

    In most company pensions you will be able to pick from a number of different funds. The 170-plus companies which have signed up to Nest so far will offer six funds. By default most will go into something called a ‘target-date’ fund.

    Here, you say when you think you will retire — your ‘target date’ —and the risk you take is adjusted depending you age. Those in their 20s will be invested in very low-risk investments for the first five years. This is to give them a feeling of safety.

    Then, along with anyone 30 and over, they will go into a more adventurous fund designed to grow faster. When you are ten years from retirement, the fund will go back to very cautious investments to protect your profits.

    At any time you can choose to invest in five other funds, each designed to grow at different paces. Low-risk funds are designed to pootle along methodically and are less likely to collapse if stock markets wobble.

    High-risk funds have potential to sky-rocket rapidly and make you a huge profit. However, they are more likely to nosedive if the economy turns sour.

    If a 30-year-old saved £50 a month for 35 years and the fund grew at 4 per cent a year after charges — a fairly average rate in the investing world — the pot would be worth £45,839 by age 65.

    If the fund grew at 7 per cent a year, the same saver would be sitting on £90,578, according to figures from advisers AWD Chase de Vere.

    One reason why you shouldn’t worry so much about risky funds when you are younger is because you will be saving regularly in to it. This means that when the price rises you’ll be buying slightly less of the fund, but when it falls you’ll buy lots more.

    So, when the fund climbs again you’ll get a lot more profit. Whichever you choose it pays to keep a close eye on your money.


    Gemma Anders is one of millions of young workers who will be signed up to a company pension in the next six years.

    The 24-year-old (left) is in her first senior role at fashionable High Street clothes store Karen Millen after winning a place on the firm’s graduate trainee scheme a year ago.

    Ms Anders, originally from Launceston in Cornwall but now manager of the Karen Millen store in Selfridges Birmingham, says: ‘The company made it very clear that a pension was a good idea, but at the time it was something I thought I could do without.’

    Now her career is in full swing, she is open to saving some of her salary into a pension, but admits automatic enrolment is the nudge she needs.


    Money in a pension is locked away until you reach the age of 55 at the earliest. This is to make sure you use it for retirement rather than a holiday or new car. When you retire, you’ll be able to take a quarter of the pension as a tax-free lump sum. The rest you will need to convert into a regular income.

    In most cases, this means buying something called an annuity from an insurance company. Today, a pension pot worth £100,000 will buy a married man aged 65 an income of £411 a month or £4,935 a year from an annuity, according to advisers at Better Retirement Annuity group.


    Pensions aren’t free. So every year a small amount of the profit you make will be taken as an annual charge for investing your money. The pension fund or Nest will deduct this. A typical fund has an annual charge of 0.77 per cent.

    Nest has a 1.8 per cent up-front charge. This means only £98.20 of every £100 you save actually makes its way in to the fund. The rest goes to help pay the costs of running Nest. On top of this, it takes 30p a year on every £100 you have invested as an annual charge.

    There are alternatives to Nest, but your employer will choose which scheme it invests in.

    The People’s Pension has no initial charge, but takes 50p a year on every £100 saved as an annual management charge. Now: Pensions, which is another rival, charges 30p a year on each £100 plus a £1.50 a month flat-rate administration fee.


    Although you will be automatically signed up to this pension, all employees can opt out. But don’t do it simply because you think you can’t afford it. Once the money starts coming out, you’ll barely notice.

    If you do opt out, you’ll be turning down free money from your company and the Government — it’s money you’re legally entitled to. It’s tempting, particularly for younger workers, to think that they can delay saving — after all, retirement is likely to be more than 30 years away. But an extra five years can make all the difference.

    Someone on £30,000 who starts saving into Nest aged 30 can expect a retirement income of £6,900 in today’s money per annum if their investment grows at 7 per cent a year. Delaying just five years will get £5,230 with the same rate of growth. Delay another five years and the worker can expect just £3,860.

    John Lawson, head of pensions at Standard Life, says: ‘If you think the Government will look after you in your old age, you are taking a big risk.

    ‘The strain on government budgets will only grow as the population ages, so your first step to taking care of retirement should be making sure you don’t opt out of a company pension scheme once signed up.’

    Only savers in their late 50s or 60s, close to retirement, and who already have a large nest egg can justify refusing to save. If you opt out, you will be automatically enrolled again in three years’ time — or after three months at a new company. And if you already save into a work pension, then you will continue saving as before.

    More Floods Expected In UK Over Next 24 Hours


    The Environment Agency (EA) has said up to 1.6 inches (4cm) of rain could fall today and has issued a total of 222 flood warnings, with 83 of them being serious ones.

    More than 300 properties have been flooded across England and Wales since Sunday, while scores of motorists were stranded as roads and railways ground to a halt.

    The EA said people living near the River Ouse in Yorkshire and the River Severn in the south west of the country should be wary as water levels would rise on Wednesday due to the rain.

    Those living in the North West and North Wales have also been warned about potential flooding.

    On Tuesday conditions were so treacherous in the north-east that Durham police took the unusual step of urging companies to let staff leave work early to minimise rush-hour disruption.

    Rosemary Murdie, 20, and her 24-year-old sister-in-law Leanne Bullock, 24, had to be carried from their home in Newburn, Newcastle.

    ‘We could hear the water gushing in at just after 5am, it was like a river,’ said Ms Murdie.

    ‘Everything is ruined, it’s really upsetting and the water is filthy. I don’t know where we’re going to go now.’

    Heavy downpours have hit Scotland, northern England and Wales, with the worst-hit areas receiving two-and-a-half months of rain in three days. Four people have already died in incidents linked to the storms.

    Severe weather warnings remain in place for many areas today when the storm – described by forecasters as a ‘beast’– is expected to move south.

    In Rothbury, Northumberland, cars were sent careering down a river and water from the swollen River Coquet flooded several homes.

    North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended almost 300 incidents, including rescuing more than 20 people from dozens of cars stranded in flood water.

    In Scotland, rain and winds of more than 70mph swept sand-filled foam into coastal areas, while about 2,000 homes were left without power.

    One of Britain’s biggest blood banks was forced to close in Bristol. Major transport links were also hit with more than 100 vehicles trapped on a 48km (30-mile) stretch of the A1 in Yorkshire.

    Several rail services were heavily disrupted as well, with passengers urged not to travel north of York. The Met Office said rainfall totals showed some areas received twice their usual rainfall for the whole of September in recent days.

    Mapped: Where Is The Crossrail Tunnel, Right Now?


    Crossrail boring map. CLICK HERE TO SEE IT LIVE

    Transport is great for data – especially rail transport. And with huge boring machines (called things like 'Ada' and 'Phyllis') tearing their way across subterranean London, sensor data can give us a new perspective on the 21km operation.

    Crossrail boring map

    Zooming into a specific machine gives you more data

    The map itself allows you to see where each boring machine is now, either by zooming in or entering your postcode – and will then tell you how far it's gone and how much further it has to go.

    Crossrail tunneling machine

    But where is it? One of eight, 1000 tonne tunnel boring machines used to construct the Crossrail tunnels under central London. Photograph: Ho/EPA

    The soil itself is being removed to Wallasea Island where it will help create a new wetlands bigger than the City of London.

    Apple Design Director To Create Leica Photo Camera


    Leica and Apple, two of the most desired brands in the world of design, are getting together to produce yet another fascinating — and very expensive — product.

    The German photography company is working with Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design, on the design of a one-off version set to be auctioned for charity.

    The collaboration was announced by Andreas Kaufmann, Leica’s head, at international photography and imaging fair Photokina in Cologne this week.

    Jonathan Ive is responsible for many of Apple’s iconic designs such as the iPad, iPhone, iMac and the MacBook Pro.

    It is not the first time Leica collaborates with high-profile names in the design and fashion world. In 2010 the German brand unveiled a camera designed by Walter de’Silva, an automobile designer for Audi.

    De’Silva was asked to recreate the classic Leica M9. The special edition was strictly limited to only 500 cameras worldwide for a price of over $32,000.

    Early this year Leica teamed up with Hermès to produce a limited edition. The 300 copies of the M9-P were available for a price of around $25,000.

    The two brands also produced an even more exclusive edition, the Jean-Louis Dumas model, available for over $50,000.

    The German brand unveiled this week a flashy design by British designer Paul Smith as part of the Leica à la carte program, a program that allows users to customize their cameras. The design will be available in October.

    Asda Announces 3p Petrol Price Cut


    Supermarket customers were set to benefit from lower fuel costs today after one of the country's biggest supermarkets announced price cuts.

    Asda, Britain's second-biggest supermarket, pledged to cut up to 3p a litre off the price of both unleaded and diesel and cap prices at 135.7p for unleaded and 139.7p for diesel.

    The cost of oil has fallen in the past 10 days with Brent crude in London sliding six per cent to around 110 US dollars a barrel – although this is still 25 per cent higher than in mid-June.

    Earlier this year the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched a review into whether reductions in the price of crude oil are being passed on to motorists.

    It said it will explore a number of claims about how the road fuels sector is functioning, including whether supermarkets and major oil companies are making it more difficult for independent retailers to compete.

    Many economists have warned that the rate of inflation is not likely to fall as rapidly as forecast by the Bank of England in the months ahead due to pressure from oil prices.

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