Sunday, October 24News That Matters

Tag: Great Britain

The Sheikh, the Businessman and a Hacking Mystery on 3 Continents

The Sheikh, the Businessman and a Hacking Mystery on 3 Continents

Business
Though the judge questioned the credibility of that story, his ruling against Mr. Azima should have ended the case. But soon, a reporter with Reuters contacted one of his lawyers and said the news organization had records indicating that BellTroX had sent him phishing emails.Mr. Azima, Mr. Massaad, their lawyers and other associates would uncover over 150 phishing emails, sent to them between 2015 and 2017, that bore the fingerprints of BellTroX, court filings state.Mr. Azima’s lawyers then hired a private investigator. That investigator, Jonas Rey, stated in an affidavit filed in Mr. Azima’s London lawsuit that an unnamed associate in India put him in touch with a computer specialist who used to work at CyberRoot.According to the investigator’s affidavit, that ex-employee, Vikash Kumar Pa...
The Enduring Appeal of Laura Ashley

The Enduring Appeal of Laura Ashley

LifeStyle
In this way, and on account of the sheer number of wearers, there was always something populist about the brand. At the same time, of course, the British countryside idyll was traditionally a lifestyle reserved for a certain kind of person, namely someone white and Protestant. Designers like Hay, who draws on her Jewish heritage — her line was inspired, in part, by her Yiddish-speaking grandmother’s “frumpy New York aesthetic,” as she puts it — and Kika Vargas, Yuhan Wang and Sindiso Khumalo, who are all women of color, have found ways of subverting the aesthetic and its conventions and, in doing so, making it their own.Khumalo, who is based in South Africa and references her Zulu heritage in her work with bright, sustainable fabrics, admires Ashley’s ability to “tell stories with her text...
Boris Johnson Promotes Rising Wages Amid Shortages in U.K.

Boris Johnson Promotes Rising Wages Amid Shortages in U.K.

Business
In a country bedeviled by acute shortages of goods and workers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is portraying the chaos as a source of national revival.Gas stations in Britain have recently had no gas and grocery items are sparse in part because of difficulties in delivering such goods. That is in part due to Britain’s abandonment of the European Union — a reordering championed eagerly by Mr. Johnson. Brexit has dissuaded Eastern European immigrants from coming to work as truck drivers, while new customs procedures at ports has snarled trade.Yet far from bemoaning such troubles, Mr. Johnson is celebrating them as the tough parts of a critically needed economic restoration. In his telling, Brexit has delivered a benefit that Britain has lacked for more than a decade: rising wages.“We are embar...

Nuclear Fusion Edges Toward the Mainstream

Technology
ABINGDON, England — Harnessing fusion energy into something commercially viable — and maybe, ultimately, a clean source of power that replaces fossil fuels for centuries to come — has long been considered by some as the ultimate moonshot.But investor interest in fusion energy continues to slowly rise, and the number of start-ups in the field is multiplying, with an estimated 1,100 people in several countries making their living at these firms. An industry is taking shape, with a growing network of companies that supply highly specialized equipment, like the components of the powerful magnets that fusion devices require.The British government even recently saw the need to issue regulations for fusion energy — a kind of milestone for a burgeoning industry.No one knows when fusion energy will...
U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

U.K. Agency Issues Climate Change Warning Before U.N. Summit

Technology, World
LONDON — The British Environment Agency on Wednesday urged world leaders to take decisive action to combat climate change, issuing a stark warning before a U.N. summit in Glasgow this month when some 20,000 delegates from nearly every country will discuss ways to tackle potentially disastrous global warming.“It is adapt or die,” Emma Howard Boyd, chairwoman of the government agency, said in a report to the British government.Deadly floods like those in Germany this summer will happen in Britain sooner or later, no matter how high the country’s flood defenses are built, she cautioned, urging adaptations to homes and workplaces to make them more resilient to the effects of the increasingly violent weather brought on by the climate emergency.“While mitigation might save the planet, it is adap...
Agony and Ecstasy on the Scottish Archipelago of St. Kilda

Agony and Ecstasy on the Scottish Archipelago of St. Kilda

Travel
For the first hour or so, the water was relatively calm. After departing from the small fishing village of Stein on the Isle of Skye, we sped through a strait known as the Little Minch toward the main band of the Outer Hebrides, the thick curl of rocky skerries that hovers like an apostrophe over the northwestern coast of mainland Scotland.But as we pressed onward, traveling west beyond the islands of North Uist and Lewis and Harris, the water suddenly grew rougher. Here, fully exposed in the North Atlantic Ocean, we had no refuge from the swells: Every few seconds, for more than two hours, the hull of our tour boat slammed against the oncoming waves with enough force to rattle my teeth.I looked to my right, across the boat’s narrow aisle, and saw my brother and sister huddled uncomfortabl...

U.K. Gas Shortages Reveal New Crucial Workers: Truck Drivers

Business
LONDON — For more than three decades David Carden drove across England’s Midlands, transporting tens of thousands of liters of fuel from holding tanks to service stations. The flammable liquid made it a dangerous job requiring skill and caution, but when he started the pay and the benefits were good, enabling him to support his young family.Gradually the conditions worsened for drivers. The hours got longer, roadside facilities deteriorated and the benefits were cut.“Eventually,” Mr. Carden said, “we lost an awful lot of what made the job worth doing.”In 2017, he quit.Now, as a critical shortage of truck drivers has caused gas pumps to run dry across the country and disrupted the lives of thousands, Britons and their leaders in Parliament are delivering a plaintive message: We need you.The...
Clive Sinclair, Inventive Computer Pioneer, Dies at 81

Clive Sinclair, Inventive Computer Pioneer, Dies at 81

Technology
With personal computers, Mr. Sinclair applied his creativity to technologies that were becoming ripe for commercialization, like electronics, semiconductors and software. The same could not be said for his next ambitious venture: electric vehicles.Mr. Sinclair was convinced that electric cars were the future of transportation, but he was way ahead of the technology and economics that would one day make them possible. In 1985, he introduced the C5, a vehicle that was aptly described as a souped-up golf cart. Selling for 399 pounds, or about $450, it had a top speed of 15 miles an hour, a range of 20 miles and pedals to assist on hills. Mr. Sinclair described it as a steppingstone toward a full-scale electric car. “The C5 is the first of a family of electric vehicles,” he said.He had hoped t...
Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Scotland’s Oil Industry Is Fading as Wind Energy Beckons

Technology, World
ABERDEEN, Scotland — It’s easy to see how vital oil is to this venerable port city on Scotland’s northeast coast. Step out the door of the small international airport and you are buffeted from across the road by the roar of helicopters ferrying crews back and forth to oil platforms scattered across the North Sea.Drive into the city and you’ll pass sprawling office parks with oil company logos, the home for some of the 71,000 engineers, geologists, drillers and others in Scotland who work in the oil and gas industry. Overall, the industry accounts for an estimated 7 percent of Scotland’s economic output.Yet Scotland’s oil and gas industry is in trouble.Oil output from the British North Sea has been on a long, steady slide for two decades, and production last year was around one-third of its...
U.K. Offers Thousands of Visas to Foreign Truckers to Ease Driver Shortage

U.K. Offers Thousands of Visas to Foreign Truckers to Ease Driver Shortage

Business
Though business groups generally welcomed the government’s move, some expressed doubt that it would be sufficient. The government’s reversal also comes after the hauling and logistics industries in Britain pleaded with lawmakers to ease restrictions on visas for drivers from the European Union. Logistics U.K., a trade group, had sought 10,000 seasonal visas for drivers, similar to a program for farm workers.“While we welcome the visa scheme to allow H.G.V. drivers from abroad to help temporarily fill domestic shortages in food and fuel logistics, the limit of 5,000 visas will do little to alleviate the current shortfall,” said Andrew Opie, the director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, a trade association, referring to drivers of heavy goods vehicles.“Supermarket...