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British Queen celebrates

UK news

 

British clothing brand Topman Design revived the country's 1990s rave culture for its London Fashion Week show on Friday, dazzling the catwalk with fluorescent colours, psychedelic prints and underground attitude.

Celebrating the anarchic house music scene that spontaneously swept the country and shocked the authorities, the High Street giant transformed the stately Selfridges department store in the heart of London into a warehouse party.

The establishment bastion shook to the booming soundtrack of US artist Trevor Jackson, as models -- sporting greasy hair, oily skin and various piercings -- paraded between concrete columns and imposing metal sculptures.

The winter 2017 collection was "heavily influenced by the pubbing and clubbing scene," according to the label, featuring pub paraphernalia, hand-drawn prints and 90s "rave graphics and neons".

"This gives the look of working in the outdoors all day and clubbing all night," said Topman.

 

 

Staff on the London Underground are to hold a 24-hour strike from Sunday after the latest round of talks aimed at solving a long-running dispute over job losses broke down on Friday.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said its members will walk out from 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Sunday, threatening travel chaos for millions of commuters during the Monday morning rush-hour.

Transport for London, the local government body responsible for the transport system in the capital, warned services would be "severely reduced" on Sunday evening and all day Monday.

 

 

Rail services in southern England were hit by a fresh strike on Saturday and fog caused the cancellation of dozens of flights at London's main airport.

The RMT union launched a three-day strike on Southern Rail, which runs commuter services from the south coast into London, as part of a long-running dispute over plans to downgrade the role of the train guard.

Southern Rail said services were severely disrupted by what it called "pointless" action, with many routes cancelled and others running a skeleton service.

 

 

 

Sex with robots is "just around the corner", an expert told a global conference in London this week featuring interactive sex toys and discussions on the ethics of relationships with humanoids.

"Sexbots" are a staple of science fiction -- the idea of robots as sex partners is explored, for instance, in recent films and television series like "Ex-Machina" and "Westworld."

But some specialists believe the first animated lovers made of metal, rubber and plastic, programmed to provide sexual bliss, will take a step into reality just months from now.

"Sex with robots is just around the corner, with the first sexbots coming... some time next year," artificial intelligence expert David Levy told the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots at Goldsmiths, University of London.

US California-based company Abyss Creations next year will start marketing sex robots that are billed as life-like, with the ability to talk and move like humans.

Ultimately, Levy said, people should entertain the thought of marriage with robots as early as 2050.

 

 

Lloyd's of London, the historic insurance market, has drawn up plans to move part of its operations to elsewhere within the European Union when Britain exits the bloc.

The company had already warned before the June 23 referendum that it was examining contingency plans in the event of Brexit.

"Following the referendum we committed to looking at the options that would allow the Lloyd's market to continue trading seamlessly with the EU," the group said in a statement sent to AFP on Friday.

"This included establishing a subsidiary model amongst others.

"We will continue to develop our plans on creating a subsidiary and will provide a detailed update to the market on the progress we have made early next year."

Media reports suggested this week that Lloyd's has shortlisted five cities that could include Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris, but the group did not comment on this.

 

 

Hundreds of thousands of British commuters faced travel chaos on Tuesday (Dec 13) as train drivers went on strike in what is expected to be the worst rail disruption in decades.

Southern Rail, which runs trains between England's south coast and London, warned of severe disruption as it cancelled more than 2,000 services after workers launched three days of industrial action.

Up to 1,000 drivers are involved in the strike which will affect around 300,000 passengers, including those travelling to London's Gatwick airport.

 

A man was stabbed at a London suburban train station on Monday by an attacker said by eyewitnesses to have shouted that he wanted to kill Muslims.

Police said they had arrested a 38-year-old man following the attack on a train which left the victim, who is in his forties, in serious condition in hospital.

An eyewitness, 36-year-old Miguel Oliveira, told the Press Association news agency that he came face-to-face with the attacker, who was "shouting uncontrollably".

"He was walking towards me and he was shouting stuff like 'Death to Muslims' and 'Go back to Syria'," he said.

Local resident Shellby Curry, 24, told the agency that she saw a man waving what looked like a knife and screaming "Muslims fucking hate them, kill them all".

 

 

McDonald's will move fiscal headquarters for the majority of its non-US operations to Britain, it said Thursday, following an EU crackdown on tax deals struck by multinationals including the fast-food giant.

McDonald's is establishing a new Britain-based holding company to cover royalties from most licensing agreements outside the United States, shifting its tax base from Luxembourg.

The profits will be subject to British tax, McDonald's said in a statement that was immediately welcomed by the British government, which is under pressure to preserve economic stability as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to cut corporation tax to 17 percent by 2020 from the current 20 percent, prompting warnings by commentators in continental Europe that Britain is planning to become a "tax haven" post-Brexit.

"We welcome continued investment from companies around the world into the UK, particularly where that's securing growth and increasing jobs," May's spokeswoman told reporters at a daily briefing.

 

 

While the prospect of Brexit is weighing on much of the British economy, tourism and luxury goods businesses are cashing in on bargain-hungry visitors lured by the slide in the pound.

London's tourism agency says sales of goods eligible for sales-tax exemption have gone up by a third since the Brexit vote in June, which sent the pound sterling plunging against the euro and dollar.

"We calculated that over the last four months it's been about 12 percent cheaper for Europeans to come and shop here," said Chris Gottlieb, head of leisure marketing at the agency London & Partners.

The pound is now at 1.17 euros compared with 1.3 euros before the shock vote to leave the European Union, while it has also fallen to $1.25 from $1.49.

The result is that London has become the cheapest city for luxury goods shopping in the world in dollar terms, according to a study by Deloitte.

- 'Going to spend much more' -

In tourist areas, the effects are evident.

 

 

Facebook on Monday became the latest US tech giant to announce new investment in Britain with hundreds of extra jobs but hinted its success depended on skilled migration after Britain leaves the European Union.

The premier social network underlined London's status as a global technology hub at a British company bosses' summit where Prime Minister Theresa May sought to allay business concerns about Brexit.

"London is absolutely a global hub for technology," Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa told the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference.

Mendelsohn said Facebook would open its new headquarters in the British capital next year, taking its UK workforce to 1,500 from around 1,000 now.

"It's a place where, frankly, our engineers want to come and work," she said, stressing that the company had staff from 65 nationalities working in London.

"The movement of talent is something that obviously matters to us," she said, although she added it was "too early to say" what effect Brexit could have.