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England’s women’s record goalscorer Kelly Smith announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old striker — who scored 46 goals in 117 appearances for England — won five FA Cups with Arsenal, scoring six goals in the showpiece event.

She also played in Arsenal’s historic 2007 UEFA Cup — now the womens’ Champions League — success and they remain the only British side to have won the trophy.

Smith, who became Britain’s first female professional footballer when she joined American side New Jersey in 1999,  said her body had told her the time was right to hang up her boots.

“It just feels the time is right now,” she told the BBC.

 

 

Millions of Londoners endured a chaotic start to the week on Monday after a strike shut down most of the Underground network, including many city centre stations.

Clapham Junction, a major transport hub in the south of the capital, had to be evacuated in the morning rush hour due to overcrowding as passengers were forced onto packed overland trains to get to work.

Ten of the 11 Tube lines were disrupted by the 24-hour strike by members of the RMT union, who walked out on Sunday evening in a dispute over job cuts and staffing levels.

Squeezed into packed train carriages, or waiting for hours for buses in the cold, dark and damp January morning, many commuters expressed their frustration at the disruption.

"It's a real pain," said finance worker Ross Kemp, waiting for a bus at King's Cross station, adding that he had "limited sympathy" for the striking Tube workers.

 

 

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.