Norway Massacre

Two terrorist attacks devastate Norway. Tragedy unfolds following a car bomb explosion in Regjeringskvartalet. Then, less than two hours later, a man disguised as a police officer opens fire in a Labour party youth camp.
The Guardian lays out full timeline.

Death toll from Norway attacks reaches 91 casualties, and Anders Breivik is taken into custody for questioning about both attacks.
Fox News reveals the latest details.

Anders Breivik says he acted alone in both Norway attacks, an event he says was ‘gruesome but necessary.’
BBC gives details of Breivik.

Around 100,000 mourners carrying red and white roses join together outside Olso City Hall to pay tribute to the victims of the July 22 terrorist attacks with a memorial march.
International Business Times shows photos of march.

Emma Martinovic, an activist from the youth labour movement, recounts how she survived the Norway attacks.
The Guardian publishes blog post.

English singer and lyricist, Morrissey, inspires outrage at comment that Norway was “nothing” compared to what happens in fast food restaurants.
The Mirror reveals Morrissey’s comments.

Funerals begin for victims of Anders Breivik’s attacks in Norway with the burial of 18-year-old Bano Abobakar Rashid. Sending a message of unity to Norway, an imam and a Lutheran priest walked side-by-side with the casket.
The Mirror gives full details of the funeral.

Anders Breivik has made a list of “unrealistic” demands including the complete overthrow of the Norwegian and European societies. Two court-appointed psychiatrists will examine Breivik and report back by November 1.
BBC quotes Breivik’s lawyer in full story.

Volunteers clean memorial sites and move cards and letters to the national archives to recognize the words of grief from citizens.
BBC shows cleanup.

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West End’s Roxie lacks “all that jazz”

Christie Brinkley was beautiful as Roxie Hart on the West End Chicago stage at the Cambridge Theatre. But a pretty face does not mean a great actress. While Brinkley looked good in her skimpy black costume, her acting and singing crushed her performance.

Her voice sounded stifled and held back through what could have been some powerful musical numbers. She didn’t make the crucial character transition from timid jailhouse Roxie to an ego driven murderess. She bubbled up the roll and didn’t do the part justice.

Luckily for Brinkley, she had a strong cast backing her up. Amra-Faye Wright, who played Velma Kelly, put her 10 years of Chicago experience to good use. Likewise, James Doherty was perfect for the roll of Amos Hart.

The supporting cast and chorus were very talented. Their dance technique and their acting was West End worthy and brought the spice and sass that is expected of a Chicago performance.

Despite Roxy, it was a good show. But it can’t be a great show if the lead is lacking. Chicago should make its audience leave the theatre ready to hike up their fish-net stockings and brush up on their Fosse choreography. So, while I enjoyed the performance, I left Chicago without the sassy inspiration I had anticipated.

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The Art of London

During my six weeks in London I connected to the city through art. Art isn’t just in museums, it’s everywhere. I discovered the beauty and magic of London through art.

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“One Under” – Suicide on the London Underground

You ‘mind the gap’ and grab a seat with the intentionof craking open the paper for the latest gossip. A voice interupts, “This train is delayed due to a person under the train.”

What a way to start the day. Welcome to London.

Sure it’s the truth, but should underground officials be so blunt with their passengers? Can it really be more efficient to interrupt professionals travelling to work and families vacationing in the city with the news that someone has decided to kill themselves on the tracks ahead?

People are going to be annoyed by delays no matter what the reason. I fail to see how justifying a delay with a death is more efficient than simply informing passengers that their train is delayed. London residents may become more comfortable with the announcements through familiarity, but visiting tube riders, it’s a morbid experience.

When I first arrived in London a local explained that those announcements “happen all the time.” She shrugged her shoulders and made a comment to the selfishness of the people who constantly delay her schedule. But even after being in the city for six weeks, I am not comfortable with it.

Can this be blamed on cultural differences? The British are naturally more blunt than Americans. They don’t worry about being offensive. They are not afraid to be straightforward and love to have a good argument.

Swearing is also more acceptable and much more common in daily life. George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” would not apply to the censorship rules of British TV. Maybe the casual and frequent “one under” announcements is just the natural British bluntness. It is what happened, and they’re going to tell you.

Regardless of how nonchalant the speaker announces the event, it is still a death, still a tragedy. And for the driver of the train, it is no doubt a horrid experience. In 2008 a film attempted to turn subway suicides into a comedy. “Three and Out” is about a train driver who accidentally hits two people and learns that if he hits a third person he can retire early due to trauma.

British train workers gathered to protest the release of the film. Union spokesperson Chris Proctor told the press at the protest, “Last year, 249 bodies ended up under trains. Drivers had to get out of their cabs and found bodies under the wheels. Not many people are amused by the fact that they’re responsible for a death.”

Volunteers handed out leaflets at the protest reading, “We hope you enjoy the movie tonight, but please remember that for train drivers like ourselves, deaths on the railway are never funny.”

I commend the underground’s efforts to provide passengers with factual information and keep them updated on why their trains are delayed, but as a guest in the city, I find it insensitive. It shouldn’t be something that Londoners are used to and can just shrug off. If they arrived at work and the intercom system informed them that someone had shot themselves in the building, they would be horrified. It is no different to hear that someone jumped to their death in front of an underground train, no matter how often it happens.

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Rohan Daft

Rohan Daft grew up in Cheltenham, England. He got his start as a gossip columnist, moved to feature writing, and now runs a professional blog for Richard James. Richard James is a tailoring company and one of the founding members of the Savile Row Bespoke Association.

Rohan Daft

What’s better – blogging or newspapers?

I think if I had to choose, I prefer print journalism, but it was quite a tough time. You can’t do it forever. It was a fantastic experience and it taught me a lot. You’re taught to basically spot a story, to know what a story is. Now, a lot of people at Richard James say ‘I don’t know how you come up with things everyday to put on this blog’. But it comes very natural to me.

How did you get your first break?

The first Newspaper I wrote for was called the European, but the first job I had was with the Evening Standard. I started on London’s Diary, the gossip column. A friend of mine was the secretary there, and I realized the things I was telling her over dinner were ending up in the newspaper and I started receiving checks in the post. So she suggested I actually come in and write.

How was going from gossip to feature writing?

It is difficult. I specialized in sort of lighter things, but I wrote all sorts of things. Sometimes it is about something you didn’t know very much about so you have to do your research. I think at the time you don’t realize, but there is a lot of pressure. It’s a fantastic sense of achievement to produce something and then have it there in print in front of you.

Did you ever get negative feedback from readers about your stories? How did you feel about it?

People did complain. I even got hit once. In the newspaper world it was really like a badge of honour. I didn’t set out to offend people, but I think I have a sense of mischief. If there is a story there, and it is within the public interest, you can’t worry about who you’ll offend by publishing it.

How long have you been blogging for Richard James?

I only started doing this just over a year ago. I am interested in fashion, and I think it’s a lot easier and the results are a lot better if you’re writing about something you’re interested in.

Do you still consider yourself a journalist?

I usually say I’m a journalist, but I do work for a tailor. I think journalism and blogging are slightly different. Not terribly, but slightly. By trade I am a journalist. It is my job to write.

What is the best part about working on a blog?

My favourite part about blogging is the immediacy of it. I love the fact that you can see something that looks really beautiful, or hear something, and you can literally take a photograph, download it, write a caption or a blog, and you have it in just a few minutes. It’s fantastic, it’s so quick.

Any plans for writing in the future?

I enjoy doing the blog very much. I’ve been asked to do some work for an association of tailors. And this allows me to continue doing books in my spare time. So I’m very happy working here.

If you could write for any publication, who would you write for?

If I could write for any publication I’d write for New York Review of Books. I think it’s an incredible magazine. For me it’s the best magazine in the world. It’s fantastically well put together. I like the Washington Post as well.

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NASA shutdown prompts thousands of layoffs

NASA's space shuttle Atlantis. Picture from UPI

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Thousands of NASA employees will be dismissed following the conclusion of Atlantis’ final flight.
 

The United Press International tweeted Friday, “The end of the space shuttle program has been followed by an extensive series of layoffs in Florida.”

Following the completion of Atlantis’ final mission, the United States’ 30-year space shuttle program came to an end and the layoffs of thousands of employees began. The layoffs commenced Friday with the dismissal of 1,500 space shuttle contractor United Space Alliance employees.

ABC News reported that by the time all the notices are distributed, 8,000 workers will have been cut.

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“Horrible Bosses” London Premier

On July 20, 2011 a blue carpet was rolled out in London’s South Bank to welcome the premier of “Horrible Bosses.” Fans began gathering in the late afternoon as the BFI restaurant was transformed into a Hollywood premier. After appearances from popular local media hosts, Director Seth Gordon walked the carpet to greet excited fans.

Stars of the movie Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis greeted excited fans and offered autographs and pictures. But Jennifer Aniston was undoubtedly the London favourite.

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