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The troubled London Stadium came under the spotlight again on Wednesday as Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan ordered an investigation into the escalating costs.

A spokesperson for the mayor slammed the previous Conservative administration of Boris Johnson for leaving the stadium’s finances in a “total and utter mess”.

Johnson said the cost of transforming the then-Olympic Stadium into one suited to football — since then taken over by West Ham United, who have been bedevilled by crowd trouble at their new home — would cost £272m (300m euros, $330m), a figure which has now risen to £323m.

Costs such as retractable seating — necessary for when the stadium hosts concerts and athletics meets — have sky-rocketed.

According to the BBC, the annual cost for that has gone from £300,000 to £8 million because the company that won the original contract has gone broke.

“The mayor is deeply concerned about the finances of the Olympic Stadium, which have clearly been left in a total and utter mess by the previous administration at City Hall,” a spokesperson for the mayor said.

“Sadiq has ordered a detailed investigation into the full range of financial issues surrounding the stadium.”

The onus on who pays for the extra costs will fall on stadium operators London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and the London taxpayer.

Poppy Appeal collectors will be at Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point from 29/10/2016 to 12/11/2016 raising funds for The Royal British Legion, the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity.

There will be Poppy inspired products on sale in store, with all profits going to The Royal British Legion. The range will include two Poppy jute bags, a tote bag, a travel coffee cup, two Poppy mug designs, a tea towel, a key ring, poppy seeds and two flower bouquets. Customers shopping online between 1 - 13 November can receive a stick on Poppy in return for a £1 donation to The Royal British Legion.

This year Sainsbury’s is also supporting the Centenary of the Somme through sales of Remembrance rose bushes, two Somme pin badges and Flanders Poppy seeds.

Sainsbury’s has supported The Royal British Legion for the last 22 years, and in 2015 customers and colleagues helped raise over £2 million for the charity.

This year’s Poppy Appeal is encouraging the public to ‘rethink Remembrance’ by not only remembering those who served in the First and Second World Wars, but also the sacrifices made by other generations of the Armed Forces.

 

'Some of our island states in the Pacific and the Caribbean will be hit first and potentially disappear, therefore climate change has been an issue of real importance to the Commonwealth,' says an official

The Commonwealth is bringing together global experts to thrash out new ideas for not just reducing climate change but actually reversing its effects by mimicking success stories in nature.

At a two-day gathering on Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29, at the 52-country organization's headquarters in London, a diverse band of experts in fields such as biomimicry, carbon sequestration, design and regeneration traded ideas for practical schemes that could pull carbon out of the air and put it back into the Earth.

Rather than a series of presentations, the conference instead saw experts from around the world huddle in groups to brainstorm.

While the Commonwealth contains G20 industrial powers like Britain, Canada and Australia and emerging forces like India and Nigeria, many of its members are developing island microstates.

"Some of our island states in the Pacific and the Caribbean will be hit first and potentially disappear, therefore climate change has been an issue of real importance to the Commonwealth," Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

 

 

Horrified by the desperate plight of traumatised children in the "Jungle" migrant camp in France, one London borough is seeking to provide a new life in Britain for unaccompanied youngsters.

As bulldozers raze the sprawling camp in the northern French port city of Calais this week, busloads of children have been arriving in Britain.

With the UK promising to take in hundreds more, local authorities face the challenge of resettling these youngsters -- many of whom have fled war and poverty in countries like Afghanistan, Eritrea and Sudan.

But media reports say one in four local authorities have refused to take in any children of the Jungle.

One London borough, Hammersmith and Fulham, has been at the forefront of efforts to bring them to Britain under the so-called Dubs Amendment passed in May, vowing to accommodate 15 in total.

While children with family ties in Britain have the right to claim asylum here, the Dubs legislation allows vulnerable youngsters with no such ties to seek refuge.

 

A local fire service visited Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point to give safety advice last weekend.  Crew members from Lambeth Red Watch – London Fire Brigade made a special visit to the supermarket to provide hints and tips to help Wandsowrth & Lambeth customers stay safe during the firework season.

The fire-fighting team were at the store on Saturday 22nd October 2016 and spent the day speaking to customers and handing out useful leaflets with information for shoppers.

Store Manager, Andy Robins, said: “As a store which sells fireworks, it’s really important that we act as a responsible retailer and make sure that our customers understand how to use fireworks safely. That’s why we were delighted to invite Lambeth Red Watch to the store at the weekend and we hope all of our customers took away some great advice on the day”.

 

British police on Wednesday charged a 19-year-old man with making or possessing explosives after a suspicious item was found on a London Underground train last week.

Damon Joseph Smith was charged a week after the item was found on a train at North Greenwich station, which serves the O2 entertainment complex in southeast London.

He is due to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

London's Metropolitan Police allege Smith "unlawfully and maliciously made or had in his possession or under his control an explosive substance with intent by means thereof to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom".

The charges relate to a day between October 18 and October 21, when Smith was arrested by armed police on a busy shopping street. An electric stun gun was used during the arrest, but no shots were fired.

A police spokeswoman would not confirm whether the explosive substance was a viable bomb and told AFP that Smith's alleged offence was not terrorism-related.

 

 

 

Security has been stepped up on the London Underground network, police said Saturday, following the arrest of a 19-year-old man after a suspicious item was discovered on a Tube train.

"The public will see more officers, including armed police, in and around transport hubs," a Scotland Yard spokesman told AFP.

Armed police arrested the 19-year-old in London on Friday under counter-terrorism laws in connection with the suspicious package found the day before.

An electric stun gun was used during the arrest on a busy shopping street, but no shots were fired.

The suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism acts, remains in custody on Saturday.

The item, found on a train at North Greenwich station, which serves the O2 entertainment complex in southeast London, was being forensically examined.

 

 

The United States and Britain warned on Sunday that Western allies were considering imposing sanctions against economic targets in Syria and Russia over the siege of Aleppo.

US Secretary of State John Kerry branded the bombardment of civilians in the Syrian battleground city as "crimes against humanity" and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged Moscow to show mercy.

"There are a lot of measures that we're proposing including extra measures on the regime and their supporters," Johnson said, standing alongside Kerry after talks in London.

"These things will eventually come to bite the perpetrators of these crimes, and they should think about it now," he warned.

Kerry, meanwhile, warned that US President Barack Obama had not taken any option off the table in terms of tackling Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad's assault on his own people.

He too raised the idea of sanctions but he played down the possibility of military action and insisted that it was his and Johnson's duty to "exhaust" all diplomatic options.

"We are discussing every mechanism available to us but I haven't seen a big appetite from anyone in Europe to go to war," Kerry said after talks with French and German officials.

 

A local fire service is visiting Sainsbury’s Nine Elms Point to give safety advice at the weekend.  Crew members from Lambeth Red Watch – London Fire Brigade will be making a special visit to the supermarket to provide hints and tips to help Lambeth and Wandsworth customers stay safe during the firework season. The fire-fighting team will be at the store on Saturday 22nd October 2016 from 11:00am for a few hours. They will be based in the store’s Foyer area on the day and will be handing out useful leaflets with information that customers can take away with them. Store Manager, Andy Robins, said: “As a store which sells fireworks, it’s really important that we act as a responsible retailer and make sure that our customers can take away some safety tips when using fireworks. That’s why we’re delighted to be partnering with Lambeth Red Watch – London Fire Brigade this firework season and we hope our customers will take away some great advice when the fire-crew visit the store”.

 

 

The British government will make a long-awaited decision next week on plans to boost London's airport capacity, a spokeswoman said Tuesday, with growing speculation that it will back expansion at Heathrow.

In a rare move, ministers opposed to the decision will be allowed to voice their views when the preferred option is revealed, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office said.

The unusual arrangement comes amid mounting speculation that the government will back a new runway at Britain's busiest airport, Heathrow, after years of debate and wrangling over the issue.

The decision on whether to approve this option or instead expand London's Gatwick airport will be taken by a cabinet sub-committee on transport, which includes May and Finance Minister Philip Hammond.

The spokeswoman said the decision had been "delayed for too long" and should be made now "in the national interest", after cabinet ministers met Tuesday to discuss the matter.