UK’s powerful Daily Mail faces a political storm
National Express takes about 17m passengers to 1,000 destinations in England, Scotland and Wales, with about a third of all its journeys going to airports. The addition of coach ticket sales will broaden the range of services available in UK post offices, but also fits with other services post offices already offer to travellers and holiday makers, including foreign currency exchange, travel insurance and passport services. Post Office Ltd said that as well as buying coach tickets, customers will be able to get advice on journey details and the best available fares from post offices. Selling coach tickets extends the services on offer for travellers at UK post offices Alan Smith, head of payments at the Post Office, said the link-up with National Express meant more accessibility and convenience for people looking to arrange their travel. The partnership offers more choice and flexibility to our customers and by walking into any one of thousands of participating Post Office branches, they can now benefit from coach services that can take them all over the UK and beyond, he said. National Express said UK post offices offered unbeatable convenience for its customers to purchase tickets. Tom Stables, managing director at UK Coach, part of the National Express Group, said it was easy to overlook the importance of face-to-face bookings in this kind of business. We are all about increasing the options on offer for our customers, he said. We want to make it as convenient as possible for people to take advantage of affordable coach travel and are thrilled people can now pop into the Post Office to get their coach ticket. The Post Office is a fixture of the UK high street and we hope the partnership helps give high streets up and down the UK a welcome boost. Source: Post&Parcel/Post Office Ltd/National Express
Journalism professor and Guardian media columnist Roy Greenslade said the Mail is often described as the paper that “speaks for Middle England – that segment of the working class which has middle-class aspirations and wishes to defend them against all comers.” “It is vaguely anti-immigrant. It has opposed in the past social liberal moves such as gay rights,” he said. Among the things the Mail approves of are British troops, hardworking “mums and dads” and cute domestic animals. It dislikes unemployed “benefit scroungers” – especially if they’re immigrants – Brussels bureaucrats, badly behaved celebrities and left-wing politicians like Ed Miliband. In the newspaper’s pages, common foods regularly turn out to cause cancer – or obesity – and climate change is treated with skepticism. One recent headline had scientists saying “Global warning just half what we said,” while another read “World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just quarter what we thought.” Another article this week said global warming was “on pause.” Now the Mail itself has become the story. The furor began Saturday with the article excoriating Ralph Miliband for his Marxist views. It flared again on Thursday when Ed Miliband wrote to Lord Rothermere – chairman of the paper’s owner, Daily Mail and General Trust PLC- complaining that a reporter from the Daily Mail’s Sunday sister paper had showed up at his uncle’s memorial service this week and tried to interview mourners. Mail on Sunday editor Geordie Greig quickly apologized for the “terrible lapse of judgment.” In contrast, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has been silent, though he dispatched a deputy to defend the story on television. It is unwelcome attention for the publicity-shy, 64-year-old Dacre, the Mail’s editor since 1992. He has built the paper into a powerful media institution, with a circulation of 1.8 million, second only to the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun among Britain’s daily newspapers. The Mail’s website – light on politics, heavy on celebrity snapshots – is one of the most widely read news sites in the world. Even the paper’s critics acknowledge its skill at understanding what readers want, and its campaigning energy – it waged a long fight to bring to justice the racist killers of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, a notorious murder case. And even those who call the paper the “Hate Mail” have helped secure its place in popular culture. A popular online quiz asks “Does the Daily Mail Hate You?” Factors include being a woman and having parents born outside the U.K.
Home sweet home: USC-UK preview
The worst news for the Wildcats this week was Shaw would start at quarterback for USC. In two starts against Kentucky, Shaw is 41-of-57 (71.9 percent) passing for 459 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. His four TD passes in 2011 remain a career high. Two years ago, USC routed Kentucky by 51 points at Williams-Brice Stadium. More of the same? Difficult to say the game will be that lopsided, but if USC brings its “A” game, as it often does at home, Kentucky’s chances of winning are slim? PREDICTION: Kentucky can’t stop the run. USC has perhaps the top running back in the SEC. Easy, right? Well, you know Spurrier wants to throw the ball, too, as we saw over and over again in the first half of last week’s game in Orlando. With Shaw starting, we’ll see some one-back, some zone read and possibly more of the I-formation that worked like a charm last weekend. The most intriguing question entering the game is which quarterback Mark Stoops will choose to start. Will he stick with one signal caller or rotate them as he’s done in the first four games? The more mobile Whitlow would seem to be the better choice against USC’s aggressive and fast defensive front. USC always seems to play good football at home.
UK gears up for cyberwarfare offensives
by Charlie Osborne September 30, 2013 8:08 AM PDT The UK government is planning to recruit hundreds of computer specialists to defend core infrastructure against cyberthreats, Conservative Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said Sunday. Speaking at the annual Conservative party conference, Hammond said the United Kingdom was dedicating additional resources and funds to building a strong cyber intelligence and surveillance network, according to Reuters . As cybercrime continues to prove a lucrative way for hackers to steal valuable data for profit or as part of state-sponsored jobs — and many governments struggle to catch up and protect networks adequately against rising attacks — defense budget funds now need to not only consider physical threats, but digital warfare as well. Hammond commented: “Last year our cyber defenses blocked around 400,000 advanced malicious cyber threats against the government’s secure internet alone, so the threat is real. But simply building cyber defenses is not enough: as in other domains of warfare, we also have to deter. Britain will build a dedicated capability to counterattack in cyberspace and if necessary to strike in cyberspace.” In February, the National Audit Office named “addressing the UK’s current and future ICT and cybersecurity skills gap” as a “key challenge.” The NAO report was published as part of the UK’s 650 million pound ($1.09 billion) Cyber Security Strategy scheme, and said it could take “20 years” to address the skills gap at all levels of education. Not only could a dedicated task force of offensive security experts deter hackers in the future, but the Defence Secretary told the Mail on Sunday that cyberstrikes could work “alongside conventional weapons in future conflicts,” disabling communications, nuclear weapons, ships and critical hardware. To establish the new cybersecurity force, the UK will recruit experts in their hundreds from a number of fields. The recruitment drive will include civilian computer experts who will be part of the “Joint Cyber Reserve,” and their role will be to work alongside members of the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ to protect critical infrastructure and prevent data theft. The cost of the program was not disclosed, but recruitment is due to begin in October. Hammond commented : “Increasingly, our defense budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe. The cyber reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyber-space. This is an exciting opportunity for Internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.” The UK is also seeking ways to train the next generation of cyberspecialists. In May, two UK universities — Oxford and Royal Holloway — were granted 7.5 million pounds in funding to help develop the country’s skills in online security.