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The wife of a wealthy Russian banker gunned down outside his executive flat has said that the shooting was an "act of pure unexpected violence".

Lorissa Gorbuntsov urged "any person, in this country or outside the UK" to come forward with information as she spoke of her heartache over her partner German remaining in a coma at a London hospital.

She said "this is a very emotional and complicated time" as Scotland Yard confirmed it was working with Russian police for the first time since the diplomatic fallout over the death of dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

Detectives leading the investigation also revealed that they had found a weapon, said by sources to be a pistol.

Mrs Gorbuntsov said: "This is a very emotional and complicated time for us. I would like to firstly thank everyone who is currently helping and supporting us, especially the Metropolitan Police. Their support has been of the highest standard.

"We as a family would like to appeal for any person, in this country or outside the UK, to come forward and provide the police with any information which will assist in the capture of the person or persons behind the attempted murder of my husband German.

Thousands of jobs are to be created in the UK aerospace industry under a new programme of fighter jet-building.

The components for a 3,000-strong fleet of F-35 jets are to be built by a number of different companies up and down the country before the planes are assembled in the United States and begin to be delivered in 2015.

The design and manufacture of the fifth generation aircraft is expected to create and sustain some 25,000 jobs in the UK over 30 years, according to Lockheed Martin, which is leading the contractorship. Involving around 130 firms across the country, it is projected to increase UK GDP by £28.7 billion over the period between 2009 and 2036.

The Joint Strike Fighter planes, which have been in development since the mid-90s, are expected to be used by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to replace Harrier and Tornado jets, with two of three test aircraft to be handed over to the UK in June.

A number of other countries around the world including Australia, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands have also already made orders, with the US buying the largest proportion to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower.


Detectives investigating the suspected payment of police for information on Saturday arrested a serving police officer and four staff from Britain's biggest selling daily newspaper, Rupert Murdoch's The Sun.

The investigation is linked to the police probe into phone-hacking at The Sun's former stablemate, the News of the World, which Murdoch shut down in July following revelations that hundreds of public figures had been targeted.

London's Metropolitan Police said it had arrested five people, including a 29-year-old from the force's Territorial Policing command, and had also searched the offices in Wapping, east London, where The Sun is based.

In a separate statement, Murdoch's News Corporation confirmed the other four men arrested either worked or used to work at The Sun, adding that the detentions were prompted by information it had provided to police.

Thirteen people have now been arrested under Operation Elveden, the police investigation into allegations that journalists paid officers for information.

It was sparked by concerns about the working practices of the British press after the News of the World scandal and runs alongside Operation Weeting, the probe into phone hacking under which 17 arrests have so far been made.

The scandal at the News of the World erupted in July when it emerged that journalists had listened to the voicemails not just of celebrities and politicians but also murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.


Former City minister Lord Myners has suggested that HSBC should move its UK retail arm to Paris to avoid the proposed banking reforms, it was reported.

The Government is considering measures suggested by the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) to force banks to ring-fence their retail banks from their investment banks to help avoid more bail-outs.

The proposals are unpopular among banks, who say the measures would restrict the amount they can lend and may make the UK uncompetitive compared to other financial centres.

Lord Myners, former chairman of fund manager Gartmore and retailer Marks & Spencer, said HSBC could move to France to escape the reforms, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

HSBC is the British bank thought likely to be the most affected should the recommendations published last month by chairman Sir John Vickers become law.

His words will add to fears that the reforms will encourage banks to relocate overseas, causing the UK to lose jobs and tax revenues.


Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would not support a referendum on UK membership of the European Union.

It came after it emerged that MPs are set to vote on a referendum within the next few months, after a petition with more than 100,000 signatures was submitted calling for the public to be given the chance to decide whether Britain should stay in the EU.

Speaking at the start of the Conservative Party in Manchester, Mr Cameron said he does not believe the UK should quit the EU - and he played down the prospect of the Government repatriating powers from Brussels in the near future.

The Government's immediate priority on Europe is to get the crisis in the eurozone sorted out and revive the continent's economy, he said.

The Commons Backbench Business Committee is expected to set a date before Christmas for a one-day debate in the House of Commons on a referendum on EU membership. The vote will not be binding on the Government, but if MPs back a referendum, it will put massive pressure on Mr Cameron to put the issue to the country.

The committee's Labour chairman Natascha Engel told the Mail on Sunday: "Given the crisis in the eurozone, this issue has become more relevant than ever. There is a clear majority of backbench MPs who want to debate this and we have to respond to that.



Energy giant E.ON is to cut 500 jobs in its UK support functions to reflect the "changed nature of the business" following the sale of its distribution arm earlier this year.

The company said it is seeking up to 500 voluntary redundancies, likely to impact mainly at its head office in Coventry and other sites near Nottingham.

The announcement follows the sale of E.ON's distribution arm, Central Networks, in March and the subsequent concentration on the customer-facing business.

Chief executive Paul Golby said: "We had to undertake a deep and rigorous review of how much money we spend in order to ensure we keep costs as low as possible for our customers, become a more agile organisation and build a sustainable business in the UK.


Home Secretary Theresa May has hit back at senior police chiefs over political criticism of their initial riot response, insisting it was her job to tell forces "what the public want them to do".

Mrs May refused to accept complaints that politicians were overstepping the line after the head of Scotland Yard attacked "extremely hurtful and untrue" claims that police had been timid.

She defended the Government's determination to press ahead with police budget cuts, saying they could be made "without affecting their ability to do the job the public want them to do".

And she defended the decision to recruit US "Supercop" William Bratton as an adviser on tackling gang culture in the UK.

Friction between the police and the Government mounted today with the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, dismissing Mr Bratton's relevance.

And Metropolitan Police Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin complained of "inconsistencies" from Parliament over tactics and spoke of his upset at political criticism of the Met's response.

Perth-based bus and rail group Stagecoach should post strong results on Wednesday after a recent update reported progress in all four of its divisions in the first 11 months of the financial year.

Fuel prices will be a concern, but broker Morgan Stanley recently rated Stagecoach as its top pick within the sector, adding it expects a further nine months extension to the West Coast main line rail franchise, until the end of 2012, while there is a possibility of it picking up another franchise, such as Greater Anglia, where it has been short-listed. Broker forecasts are for underlying profits of about £207 million against £161 million last time.

Investors in gambling firm Betfair have had little reason to smile since the firm floated last October.

The share price has fallen by more than 40% from its listing price of £13 as the company had been hit by a run of bad news and slowing growth.

Brokers are not expecting much in the way of an improvement with the full year figures on Wednesday.


Photo: Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies


At present, the history of Eastern Europe and Eastern European Jewry in particular is a popular field of scientific studies. Our correspondent has had an interview with an expert in this field Oleg Kozerod, Doctor of Historical Sciences, member of the European Association for Jewish Studies (Oxford).


Q.: Dear Dr Kozerod, You are one of a few world's experts in Jewish history in Ukraine. Please tell us about current trends in studying Jewish culture and history of that country.


A.: There is a stable interest in studying Jewish history and culture in Europe and globally. The history of Eastern European Jewry draws typically special attention these days. Eastern Europe is the cradle of the modern Jewish culture. It is actually a focus of attention for everyone who wish to know more about a modern life of People of the Book. Special attention is paid to studying history of specific cities and areas in Russia and Ukraine, and a Jewish cultural heritage that has become a part of contemporary culture in ex-Soviet Republics. I am happy about the fact that European foundations still inject money into research programs on Jewish history in Russia, Ukraine and other countries, regardless of the financial crisis.



Photo by Panoramix999

I read an amazing article by Grayson Perry entitled "How art appreciates - it's a class act".

In a nutshell he reckoned that art finds its true monetary value from what the experts say. But I can see something more from what he says.

If a piece of art is to be labeled as having any "value" at all it is what is said about it that establishes it as a work worthy of an individuals attention.

In other words ... if you see a picture and it relates to you in some way (this can be either positively or negatively) - then you should say so ... and write it down.

So once one remark has been made then others will follow ... plus other people will look at the work and make their own minds up about it, and they will also read about what you have said ... and they will include your critique in their weighing up of the image.

I am not necessarily talking only about financial worth, no, here is a far greater opportunity which is all inclusive, wonderfully mutual, and offers the chance for anyone - and everyone ... to add to the worthiness of any piece of art - and eventually to the whole of society. What YOU have to say about a particular artwork is very important ... even vital not only to the work, or the artist, or that particular type of work, or to your locality, or to your region, or to your country ... but to the World! (I am referring here to the butterfly wing beat theory ... if you don't know about it then you must look it up ... it really puts value onto the individual within a world context ... fantastic - but I believe it's true).