British Queen celebrates

UK news

Photo by Claus Rebler


Another strike by workers at food giant Heinz is "inevitable" after talks aimed at resolving a row over pay broke down, union leaders have said.

Members of Unite at the firm's site in Wigan will walk out for 24 hours from the evening of December 29, with further industrial action expected in the new year.

Heinz said it revised its pay offer during a meeting with the union held at the conciliation service Acas, maintaining the deal was worth 4% this year and 3% next year.

Unite said the offer was worth 3.3% and 3%, adding it was effectively a wage cut because the suggested deal was below the rate of inflation.

A Heinz spokesman said: "We are extremely disappointed with this outcome. What we are proposing addresses a number of key points we received in extensive feedback from our employees.

Skype on Wednesday left millions of users out, as a problem with its connection system. What's a global internet user to do? To the millions users, here are a few Skype alternatives to keep you connected.


Jajah - is a VoIP (Voice over IP) provider, founded by Austrians Roman Scharf and Daniel Matters in 2005. The Jajah headquarters are located in Mountain View, CA, USA, and Luxembourg. Jajah maintains a development centre in Israel. On 23 December 2009, it was announced that Jajah had been bought by Telefonica through its subsidiary Telefonica Europe.

Jajah's primary service, Jajah Web, takes an approach called web-activated telephony, using VoIP to connect traditional phones (landline or mobile).

Photo by portsmouthlibdems 

MP Mike Hancock will not face charges over allegations he sexually assaulted a female constituent, Hampshire Police have said.

Liberal Democrat Mr Hancock, 64, who represents Portsmouth South, was arrested over the allegations in October.

In a statement, the force said: "Hampshire Constabulary can confirm that following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), no further action is to be taken against MP Mike Hancock in relation to allegations of sexual assault.


Photo: The Queen and Zara Phillips by star1950


The Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips has got engaged to long-term boyfriend Mike Tindall, Buckingham Palace has said.

Mr Tindall proposed to his partner on Monday night at their Gloucestershire home and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are said to be "delighted" by the news, a Palace spokeswoman said.

A Buckingham Palace statement said: "The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Zara Phillips to Mr Mike Tindall, son of Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall."

Photo by AndrewHA .


An independent inquiry into the alleged misuse of public funds by senior executives at Network Rail (NR) will begin in the New Year.

Sources said it will led by Antony White QC and will begin formal hearings in London in January.

The move has been agreed by NR and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), which represents senior staff at the publicly-funded rail firm.

The inquiry's terms of reference state "that an inquiry should be conducted to investigate any allegations of misuse of public funds and serious financial impropriety, potentially including fraud, presented to the inquiry by TSSA or present or former employees of Network Rail".


Thousands of extra deliveries have been made by postal workers as the Royal Mail made strenuous efforts to clear the huge Christmas postbag despite the snow.

Up to 14,000 extra delivery rounds are planned across the UK, weather permitting, over the next four evenings.

Around two million homes should receive an evening delivery this week.

The delivery programme follows £20 million investment by the Royal Mail in additional measures to deal with what is already the most severe December weather in almost 30 years.