richard angus death of august 2013 opera singer
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02 December 2013 06:26:27 mirror - News
The illustration shows a likeness of the American-born opera singer performing to a packed auditorium
All News 02 December 2013 06:26:27
30 November 2013 07:38:21 UK headlines
The next general election should be delayed by a year to allow "intense" negotiations after a vote for independence, the SNP's campaign manager has said despite the nationalists languishing in the opinion polls.
All News 30 November 2013 07:38:21
30 November 2013 07:18:29 Politics News - UK Politics
The next general election should be delayed by a year to allow "intense" negotiations after a vote for independence, the SNP's campaign manager has said despite the nationalists languishing in the opinion polls.
All News 30 November 2013 07:18:29
30 October 2013 09:21:07 UK headlines
Opera singer Katherine Jenkins told how she suffers from a rare condition which means she cannot shut her eyes properly when sleeping
All News 30 October 2013 09:21:07
23 October 2013 23:58:52 UK headlines
A large plate worn at Prince George's christening by Dr Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, was a giant clasp holding his robe together
All News 23 October 2013 23:58:52
23 October 2013 23:58:52 UK headlines
A large plate worn at Prince George's christening by Dr Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, was a giant clasp holding his robe together
All News 23 October 2013 23:58:52
21 August 2013 12:21:30 BBC News - UK
Richard Angas, who was a principal bass with English National Opera for 15 years, dies at the age of 71 after collapsing during a rehearsal.
All News 21 August 2013 12:21:30
11 August 2013 04:10:40 Sport | Mail Online
MailOnline Sport brings you My Ashes: exclusive video interviews with current and ex-cricket pros, plus a host of celebrities. Former England bowler Angus Fraser is today's guest.
Sport 11 August 2013 04:10:40
09 August 2013 13:11:19 UK headlines
Today: dancing lemurs, yoga bears and flares.
All News 09 August 2013 13:11:19
31 July 2013 16:36:59 BBC News - UK
And The Crowd Wept is an opera based on the life and death of former Big Brother housemate Jade Goody. It opens later this week in London.
All News 31 July 2013 16:36:59
25 July 2013 13:22:05 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
The swing bowler joined the squad late and took a staggering 17 wickets in just two Tests to ensure England beat Australia 3-1 The 1985 Ashes series was all square with two to play when an unlikely hero arrived on the scene to write his very own brief chapter in the history of Anglo-Australian clashes. With all eyes on potential match-winners Ian Botham, David Gower and Allan Border, Richard Mark Ellison stepped forward to play a significant role in regaining the urn for England. As a 10-year-old boy recently converted to the marvellous spectacle of Test cricket, I was enraptured by the rise of this new star. Little did I know pre-Edgbaston, but Ellison had already played four times for his country in the Test match arena, and he had hardly set the world alight. A right-arm medium fast bowler, who swung the ball, his 10 Test wickets against the West Indies, Sri Lanka and India had cost 48.90 each. Come the start of the 1985 season, Ellison looked a long way down the list of bowling options for the forthcoming Ashes series, behind the likes of Botham, Norman Cowans, Paul Allott, Neil Foster and Jonathan Agnew. His international aspirations were dealt another blow at the start of the county season, when he tore ligaments in his left ankle in pre-season training with his county Kent. The fact that Ellison played his first match on May 22 meant his stock had dipped even lower. If England continued the revival that had started under Gower in India, his international opportunities were looking bleak. England started the series well. A win at Headingley gave them the early impetus, but their Lord's curse against Australia continued – since 1896 Australia had won eight Test matches to England's one. A draw on a flat track at Trent Bridge left England needing a win from somewhere to wrestle the Ashes from the tourists. Botham apart, England's seamers had struggled; prior to the fourth Test, Cowans had taken 2/128, Allott 5/264, Foster 1/83, and Arnie Sidebottom, in his one and only Test, 1/65. Ellison, in the meantime, had started to show the kind of form that would eventually make the England selectors sit up and take notice. Against Gloucestershire in June, he took 9/92 in the match, despite Kent losing, and 11/164 at Maidstone as Northamptonshire were beaten. With Ellison fourth in the first-class bowling averages – only Malcolm Marshall, Gary Sainsbury and Imran Khan ahead of him – a call-up for the Old Trafford match was inevitable. Other options were discussed in the press (Greg Thomas, David Lawrence, Graham Dilley) but Ellison was named in the 12-man squad for Old Trafford. On a pitch that was expected to turn, England hoped to play Emburey and Edmonds, leaving the final two spots in the team a straight fight between Allott, Agnew and Ellison. Ellison missed out, the selectors feeling that Allott's home-ground experience and Agnew's recent form (9/70 against Kent) were better options, although with the selected duo finishing with combined figures of 0/136, Ellison may have counted himself lucky to have missed out. Agnew and Allott paid the price for the fifth Test at Edgbaston, with Ellison and Leicestershire's Les Taylor becoming the seventh and eighth seam bowlers to be selected for England in the summer. Not all were enamoured by the decision though, the Mirror's Pat Gibson saying: "With respect to Taylor, and Ellison, the swing specialist, I cannot see them causing the Aussies to lose too much sleep." It would not have provided happy reading for a bed-bound Ellison, who was struck down with a heavy cold and chest infection in the week leading up to the Test, but come Wednesday the seamer reported himself fit for duty, and a vital piece of England's jigsaw was in place. Not that we knew this at the time. On a frustrating opening day in which only 64 overs were possible due to rain, Gower won the toss and inserted the Australians, the tourists closing on 181/2, with Ellison wicketless. What a difference a day made though, as he ripped through the Australian middle order, taking four wickets for just 12 runs and helping to reduce the tourists to 229/7. Australia fought back, but Ellison broke the eighth wicket stand of 58 between Geoff Lawson and Craig McDermott. When he took the final Australian wicket to fall early on the Saturday morning, he had recorded Test best figures of 6/77. The praise Ellison received in the press was well deserved. The Telegraph's Michael Carey noted that "he now seems a better equipped bowler than when he first appeared last year". Jim Laker was impressed with Ellison's extra speed - "Now he has a bit of nip, but has not lost the swing" - the man himself admitting that his new fitness regime and weight loss at the start of the season (helped by staying off the beer) had helped him gain a few yards in pace. The best was yet to come though. If Ellison had dragged England back into the match, and Gower, Robinson, Gatting and Botham (18 runs from just 7 balls) had given England the platform to push for the win, then the spell of bowling produced by England's new king of swing late on the Monday evening was the decisive period of the Test match. With a lead of 260, England had a little under four sessions to seal the win. Not in their wildest of dreams would they have believed the outcome of the 21 overs to be bowled on the Monday evening, as Ellison bettered his first innings burst, taking four wickets for one run in 15 balls of carnage which swung the Ashes England's way. First to go was Kepler Wessels, then nightwatchman Bob Holland and when Graeme Wood departed Australia had slumped to 35/4. Throughout the series though, the most prized Australian wicket was that of their skipper Allan Border. With scores of 32, 196, 41*, 146* and 45 so far in the series, it was not hard to see why. So, when Ellison produced a delivery with just enough movement to sneak through Border's defences, the reaction of the players and spectators was understandable. Australia closed on 37/5, and although rain threatened England's chances on the Tuesday, enough play was possible for England to claim an innings and 118-runs victory to take a 2-1 lead in the series. In 2005, Ellison talked proudly about his bowling on the Monday evening, although he admitted to a stroke of luck in his dismissal of the Australian captain: "I came on to bowl one of the greatest spells of my career. Allan Border's wicket was the one we wanted. I got him, with one that nipped back, even though I was trying to bowl an outswinger." Either way, it could be described as the ball of the series. In all Ellison took 10/106, not bad for a player playing against medical advice due to his illness, and still dosing up on antibiotics. The plaudits kept on coming, the Times' John Woodcock aptly describing the memorable scenes on the Monday night: "A good crowd so warmed to this big, shambling, hirsute fellow, a bowler of traditional English stock, that they roared their heads off in support." "Richard the Lionheart" declared the Mirror, as England's new hero, in his understated way told reporters that "it's a lovely feeling getting wickets against Australia". It wasn't bad watching it either. Australia were pretty much down and out on arriving at the Oval, a psychological fragility not helped by the fact that Gower won the toss and batted first in beautiful sunny
All News 25 July 2013 13:22:05
16 July 2013 07:45:01 Sport
Lord's will not be relaxing its policy on instruments or live music for the showpiece second Ashes Test starting on Thursday
Sport 16 July 2013 07:45:01
12 July 2013 18:46:45 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Winner takes runner-up across track but keeps race • Stewards inquiry is shown live on Channel 4 Racing The number of runners in a race is a poor guide to the excitement it will generate, and the four-strong field for the Group One Falmouth Stakes here on Friday certainly delivered value for money. The result was still in doubt a quarter of an hour after Elusive Kate had passed the post a neck in front of Sky Lantern, the odds-on favourite, thanks to an extended stewards' inquiry, broadcast live on Channel 4, in which Richard Hughes, the rider of Sky Lantern, argued that William Buick's whip had twice struck his mount on the head. Elusive Kate had also carried Sky Lantern across much of the width of the course as the two horses fought to the line, but reversals in the stewards' room are rare under British rules and the stewards decided that it could not be said with any certainty that Elusive Kate had improved her position. Buick received a three-day ban for careless riding, but the original result was allowed to stand. Despite his minor suspension, the Falmouth was won thanks to a well-judged, front-running ride by Buick. Hughes was alive to the danger of giving Elusive Kate, herself a previous Group One winner, an easy lead and sat close behind her from the start, but he still proved unable to summon enough of a finish from Sky Lantern to get her to the post in front. "It's always a bit of a worry [to be involved in a stewards' inquiry]," Buick said, "but on the day she was the best horse, and it's just unfortunate that she did hang left as it would have been nice to see her do it in a straight line. Sky Lantern is the best of her generation, but taking on older fillies is a different thing. I was hoping that she'd left that [tendency to hang] behind her last year, but she's a very good filly. She does a lot of running in her races, and she still wins." John Gosden won his first trainers' championship last season with a final total of £3.7m in prize money, but he has yet to reach seven figures in the current campaign and will have been glad to claim £90,000 with his first Group One success of the season. "There was no contact and William knew this filly so he had his stick in the left hand," Gosden said. "She was a champion two-year-old and second in this last year on her comeback on soft ground, so it's no fluke. "The Prix Rothschild [which Elusive Kate won last season] is the obvious one to go for, and then after that there's races like the Matron Stakes and the Prix Jacques le Marois, and you might want to go for a Breeders' Cup Mile later on." Sky Lantern's defeat added to the disappointment of favourite-backers following the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes – better known and loved as the Cherry Hinton – in which Rizeena, the 11-10 market leader, went down by two-and-a-quarter lengths to the 20-1 chance Lucky Kristale. "It wouldn't surprise me if she ended up being a Guineas filly," George Margarson, the winner's trainer, said. "She's got a lot going for her. She sat in behind [the experienced handicapper] Excellent Guest [at exercise] yesterday and moved up to him on the bridle. She's been working with the big boys, and I think that's helped physically and mentally." The British Horseracing Authority said on Friday that it is satisfied with the significant number of valuable races and meetings which will be staged on Saturday, one of the most frenetic in the British calendar. At least 100,000 people will go to a track on Saturday and Channel 4's viewers will see no fewer than 10 races flash before their eyes. "All the evidence we have seen so far is that this very busy Saturday in the racing calendar is working extremely well," Robin Mounsey, the BHA's media manager, said on Friday. "Over the last few years since the July Cup was moved to a Saturday around 100,000 people have been attracted to racecourses to watch top class racing across the length and breadth of the country, and this is expected to be the case again this year. "This is a wonderful result in terms of raising the profile of the sport and generating much needed revenue. We understand the challenges that arise when a lot of good horses are running on the same day at different meetings, but there is no evidence at present that these challenges outweigh the benefits to the sport. Having said that, this specific busy Saturday is a relatively new development and we will continue to monitor the situation." Horse racing Richard Hughes British Horseracing Authority Greg Wood guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 12 July 2013 18:46:45
12 July 2013 12:33:54 UK headlines
An opera singer who performed with the Royal Opera and at Glyndebourne died after a head-on collision with another car which drifted across the road, an inquest heard.
All News 12 July 2013 12:33:54
25 June 2013 21:09:29 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
Grigor Dimitrov dispatches Simone Bolelli in match overshadowed by spat between his girlfriend Maria Sharapova and defending champion Novak Djokovic and Laura Robson having safely steamrollered their way into the second round, all eyes turned to court 18 for the showdown of the day. Well, maybe not all. Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Simone Bolelli of Italy, ranked 28th and 87th in the world respectively, had not, perhaps, offered the most hotly anticipated sporting contest of this year's tournament, and there were a few stubborn souls on Tuesday afternoon who insisted instead on following the number four seed David Ferrer in centre court, or keeping an eye on Richard Gasquet on court No 2. But if his is hardly the best known face at this year's Wimbledon, Dimitrov has already found himself at the centre of one of its biggest stories. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have never been each other's warmest admirer, but matters did not improve when the Russian began stepping out with Williams's rumoured ex, a certain dishy Bulgarian. The defending champion, in a magazine interview, called "a top five player" "boring" for banging on about how happy she was in her relationship – "and if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it". Sharapova – for there was little doubt at whom the comments were directed – hit back, referring to her rival's rumoured link with her married coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Bookmakers were soon offering odds on which relationship would founder first (you can make an exceedingly small amount of money, since you ask, if you opt for the Russian). And inevitably, Williams couldn't quite leave matters alone when speaking to reporters after her first round win. Following her apology and muttered hope of moving on, were she and Sharapova friends again? "Um… We're playing on opposite days, so we don't really see each other." Gotcha. There was, needless to say, no sign of Sharapova courtside on court 18. As to whether her boyfriend has a black, black heart, meanwhile, the jury must remain in deliberations. He's clearly got something – dispatching the Italian with ease 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Elsewhere, for all the talk of the return of the teenager to the top of the women's game, it was instead a day of quiet triumph for the veteran, when Kimiko Date-Krumm from Japan, a mere stripling at 42 years and 269 days old, comfortably defeated the German Carina Witthoeft, who at 18 is one of the youngest women playing at this year's tournament, and considerably less than half her age. In fact, Date-Krumm's best tournament result, a semi-final place, was achieved in 1996, when the German was 16 months old; she retired shortly afterwards but returned to the game after a 12-year break, and is currently ranked 84 in the world. Only Martina Navratilova, who played her last grand slam singles tournament at 47, and the American Betty Pratt, have been older contestants at Wimbledon. In her decade-plus career break, Date-Krumm said on Tuesday, "I enjoyed my life. I married a German guy. I never [thought], I miss tennis, I miss the tour." But while working as a TV pundit, "I thought tennis is [such a] beautiful sport. Then [little by little I started] changing my mind." So how did she keep up with the youngsters? "I have a lot of passion. I like a challenge, because [it is] not easy for my age." There was also, she said – reaching in her handbag for the teapot she carries everywhere – the amount of tea she drank ("I like Chinese tea. Sometimes Japanese tea. I drink a lot"), and an unspecified contraption referred to gnomically as a "medical machine", whose nature, for the time being, must remain lost in translation. For the defeated Briton Heather Watson , a mere 22 years the Japanese woman's junior but already noting pointedly that her successful opponent, the 18-year-old American Madison Keys, was younger than her, there was perhaps a lesson if she chose to note it. Wimbledon 2013 Serena Williams Maria Sharapova Tennis Wimbledon Esther Addley guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 25 June 2013 21:09:29
23 June 2013 20:01:41 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
The ex-Conservative MP for Angus, a minister in the Thatcher and Major governments, passed away suddenly aged 68 Former Tory minister Lord Fraser of Carmyllie has died suddenly aged 68, the party has announced. Fraser was a Conservative MP for Angus and a minister in the Thatcher and Major governments. He was made a life peer in 1989 and served as lord advocate, Scotland's most senior law officer, taking responsibility for the investigation into the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie. Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, said: "Lord Fraser dedicated his life to public service. He was a popular figure across the political divide and I know he will be greatly missed." A funeral service for Fraser's family is being organised, with a public service to be arranged in a few weeks. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "He loved Angus - the area he represented as an MP for so many years, and where he continued to live until his sudden death. A hugely engaging figure, he was passionate about both history and the law. My thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Fiona, and to their family." First Minister Alex Salmond added: "Lord Fraser leaves an outstanding record of public service to Scotland as a politician and, particularly, as Lord Advocate. "More recently, he readily agreed to serve as an independent adviser to the Scottish Government on the Ministerial Code, another public service he performed without fear, favour or any remuneration. "Scottish public life is much poorer for his passing and my thoughts are with his wife, Fiona, and their family at this sad time." Lady Fiona Fraser said: "All of my family are with me in Carmyllie and we are completely devastated by Peter's sudden and unexpected death. On Friday we were making arrangements and filling our diaries with plans for holidays, the Open Golf championship, visits to family and friends and the christening of latest granddaughter, Delphin, and the next morning he was gone." Lord Fraser is survived by his wife, their children Jane, Jamie and Katie and seven grandchildren. Conservatives House of Lords Lockerbie plane bombing Scotland guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 23 June 2013 20:01:41
21 June 2013 19:45:51 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• 1,000 Guineas heroine displays superb turn of foot • Richard Hughes makes up for bad start to meeting Confidence can be a frail commodity at Royal Ascot, even for a champion like Richard Hughes. After three days of near-misses, blocked runs and growing frustration, he retreated to a golf course on Friday morning to clear his head. "It was getting to me," he said, on the solid ground of the winner's enclosure after Sky Lantern's win in the Group One Coronation Stakes later in the afternoon. "Why aren't the gaps opening?" Hughes did not need any gaps to get Sky Lantern home, just belief in himself and his filly. The 1,000 Guineas winner started the race 16 stalls away from the inside rail, a significant handicap in a one-mile race at Ascot. The only runner outside her was Just The Judge, second home at Newmarket in May and subsequently the winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas. "I said to Richard [Hannon Jr, the son of Sky Lantern's trainer], I want to drop this filly out, I don't want to try and overcome the draw," Hughes said. "He said, listen, you ride the way you always ride and you'll be grand." He was. Sky Lantern settled beautifully for her jockey at the back of the big field, and tracked the pack a few horse-widths away from the rail as Hughes took his position for a charge down the outside in the home straight. When Hughes asked Sky Lantern to challenge, the response was immediate. From last place on the turn for home, they passed the entire field in less than a quarter of a mile to finish four lengths clear of Kenhope at the line. Just The Judge, who had made more of an effort to overcome her wide draw under Jamie Spencer, was another neck away in third. Sky Lantern had been marked down as a little fortunate by some after running down Just The Judge in the closing stages of the 1,000 Guineas, but this victory made the score a very comprehensive two-nil. "You've got to keep that belief in yourself, there's plenty of fellas out there to knock you down," Hughes said. "Everything's gone wrong [this week], I've been riding the horses the way I always ride them, finding a rhythm and if the gaps come, they come, and if they don't, they don't, and they didn't. I've just had a nightmare, but Richard believed in me." Hughes won the jockeys' championship for the first time last season and has won two of the four Classics staged so far this season, so it was a surprise to hear that his confidence had been a little shaken by three blank days. More surprising still was the news that the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, over a mile-and-a-half, is one end-of-season target being considered for Sky Lantern, who would be the first 1,000 Guineas winner to line up at Longchamp since Salsabil was the beaten favourite in 1990. "I wouldn't put it past her having a crack at an Arc or something like that," Hannon Jr said. "Hughsie has always thought she would get a mile-and-a-half. I think a mile-and-a-quarter is probably the maximum she'd get, but she's done everything now and this is the time to start having a go at things." Charlie Hills, the trainer of Just The Judge, saddled his first Royal Ascot winner earlier in the afternoon when Kiyoshi took the Group Three Albany Stakes despite veering from one side of the course to the other in the closing stages. "I hope her hanging like that was down to greenness, " Jamie Spencer, Kiyoshi's jockey, said. "There are a lot of people in the stand and maybe she was having a little look at them. It's not in her character, she normally just straight down the line." A similarly erratic course on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket would see her finishing her race on the July Course on the other side of the Heath, but she is now the favourite for the 1,000 Guineas next spring at around 10-1. Second home behind Kiyoshi was Sandiva, Frankie Dettori's best chance of a winner at the Royal meeting following his return from a six-month ban for using cocaine. Sandiva started favourite at 7-4 but was three-and-a-quarter lengths behind the winner at the line. It was the first time in 13 rides at this year's Royal meeting that Dettori had even made the places, and his two further rides on the afternoon also failed to trouble the judge. He has five races on the final day, including Shahwardi, the probable favourite for the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes. Dawn Approach, the winner of the St James's Palace Stakes on Tuesday, is still the only subsequent winner to emerge from the Derby after Battle Of Marengo, fourth home at Epsom, failed to justify favouritism behind Hillstar in the King Edward VII Stakes. Royal Ascot Richard Hughes Horse racing Greg Wood guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 21 June 2013 19:45:51
21 June 2013 17:26:02 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Guineas winner defies bad draw under Hughes • Filly displays superb turn of foot in home straight Sky Lantern has proved herself the outstanding horse in the Coronation Stakes field, careering clear of her rivals in the final furlong. She becomes the first winner of a hitherto frustrating Royal Ascot for her trainer, Richard Hannon, and her jockey, Richard Hughes. That team had gone particularly close with Toronado in the colts' equivalent of this race, the St James's Palace, on Tuesday, only to be held off by Dawn Approach. Hughes has met trouble in running with several rides since then. On Sky Lantern, drawn on the outside of a big field, Hughes showed he retained his nerve by dropping her out at the back and making his move from the home turn. The grey filly, relishing this fast surface, swept past almost the entire field in imperious fashion. An emotional Hughes immediately told Channel 4 he was "lucky" to have the support of a trainer whose faith in him never wavered. "You've got to stick and believe in yourself, is what you do. Richard said, just try and enjoy yourself and do what you do. That made a big difference." Just The Judge, runner-up to Sky Lantern in the 1,000 Guineas last month, was third today. She had been drawn one stall wider than the eventual winner but her jockey, Jamie Spencer, chose the opposite tactics to Hughes, sending her on from the start to achieve a decent position in midfield. His mount lacked anything like the finishing kick of Sky Lantern. The pair were split at the line by the 33-1 outsider Kenhope. Royal Ascot Richard Hughes Horse racing Chris Cook guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 21 June 2013 17:26:02
21 June 2013 14:59:40 BBC News - UK
Five young contestants are chosen to perform in the final of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013.
All News 21 June 2013 14:59:40
08 June 2013 23:10:52 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
Having overcome death threats from the Taliban and deportation from his adopted country, he may be Australia's new king of spin In May 2009, Fawad Ahmed was training at Golden Cricket Club in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, close to Pakistan's north-western border with Afghanistan, when he was approached by a man claiming to represent the Taliban. He was told that, as one of the region's most notable cricketers, and through his work as a coach and for a non-government organisation that promoted education of young girls and women, he was infecting the local community with western values. It was made clear his actions would no longer be tolerated. On Thursday night, Ahmed thanked team-mates from Melbourne University Cricket Club and Pakistani friends from his mosque at a party to celebrate his call-up to the Australia A tour of Britain, where the 31-year-old leg-spinner is expected to vie for a place in next month's Ashes series. He told the party he was as thrilled to see his friends mixing freely as he was by the opportunities that lie ahead. A day earlier, Australia's House of Representatives passed legislation that allowed Ahmed's citizenship to be fast-tracked. By the time Australia play their traditional warm-up match at Worcestershire at the start of July, Ahmed should have an Australian passport. A few days later, he may lay his hands on his first baggy green cap. Already Ahmed has been celebrated for his talent and profession where he was once persecuted. He received two further death threats from Taliban representatives and considered the extremist attack on the Sri Lankan team-bus earlier in 2009 , before reaching the decision to leave Pakistan and, in particular, Swabi District, where his mother, two brothers and sister still live and where he had returned after obtaining his masters degree in Peshawar. Threats to cricketers in Pakistan remain. In March 2010, two cricketers were killed by extremists during a match, and in October 2011 another first-class cricketer from Ahmed's province, Nauman Habib, was murdered. In early 2010, Ahmed took up a playing offer from the Yoogali Cricket Association, in rural New South Wales, who sponsored his short‑term visa, and at the end of the season he moved to be with friends in Melbourne and began his application for refugee status. His first application was rejected in September 2010, but his subsequent appeal took a further 18 months to reach tribunal as the Australian legal system grappled with immigration reform and the merits of Ahmed's individual case. Whichever way he turned he faced prejudice, from those who doubted his claims and others who saw Ahmed as a sporting migrant worthy of being queue-jumped. Few subjects vex Australia's public like immigration issues and cricket. While red tape constricted Ahmed's everyday life – he could work only 15 hours per week, was denied legal aid and struggled financially – cricket brought freedom. In his first season with Hoppers Crossing he set the club record for dismissals in a season – and in all took 90 wickets in 24 games at 11.74 apiece – and started to train with Melbourne first-grade sides, a step below the Victoria state team. Jarrod Leggett, captain of Melbourne University Cricket Club (MUCC), and a cricket manager for the Victoria first-class set-up, recalls the first time, in late 2011, that he met Ahmed: "He came to us and said he wanted to play a bit of Twenty20 cricket for us, and then maybe play in the [highest domestic level] Big Bash League. We thought 'OK' but gave him a ball and told him to show us what he could do. "I never forget what happened next: he bowled three balls and we just raised our eyebrows and said 'Wow'. It was pretty obvious that there was something special about him. "Fawad had rocked up to training and talked himself up a bit, so you'd imagine he felt a bit of pressure. But his first 30 balls came out of his hand perfectly and he made one pretty competent batsman look silly when he couldn't pick his googly. He didn't bowl a bad ball, which is very unusual for a wrist-spinner, but also he showed he had all the tricks." The next day, MUCC's coach took a call from Ahmed, who said how much he had enjoyed training and that he wanted to make a firm commitment to the club. He immediately impressed with his dedication: Ahmed bowls 15 overs a day, regardless of whether or not he has a match to play. More importantly, he enjoyed being part of a liberal team culture, perhaps a counterpoint to the almost maniacally hard perception of Australian grade cricket. "Fawad is as nice a guy as you could wish to meet," Leggett says. "I think with us he found team-mates who were very tolerant of and interested in his culture, his commitment as a devout Muslim and obviously a teetotal, but also he was very tolerant and respectful of our club culture and traditions, like skulling a beer after a match." At the University, Ahmed continued to build his reputation as a cricketer – before long he was being used as a net bowler by Australia's Test side – and found team-mates able to assist him in his battle for citizenship. He became involved in Victoria's Harmony in Cricket Programme, aimed at raising participation from the state's considerable Indian subcontinental population, giving considerable impetus in an area where work needed to be done. But in August 2012, Ahmed's claim for asylum was rejected, leaving him facing immediate deportation. Ministerial intervention was his last recourse and it was as much for his community work as heavyweight support from Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland, that in November he was granted permanent residency status. Ahmed was flooded with offers by state teams (he opted for Victoria) and fulfilled his Big Bash ambition with Melbourne Renegades. In early 2013, he was selected for Australia A to play England Lions, impressing, and dismissing, the Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton. "He began by bowling top-spinners and then introduced more leg-breaks, turning the ball a lot at times," Overton says. "I could see him causing England problems. There is a bit of Shane Warne about him and it doesn't surprise me that he is being fast-tracked towards the Ashes. He's a quality leg-spinner." In Ahmed, Australia may find a man with the ability to end a six-year search for a successor to Warne, but also someone who can offer something more meaningful. If Ahmed is given a baggy green cap, he can take it as an expression of freedom for himself, for Australia's immigrant and Muslim populations fighting for acceptance, and for the women and children he helped in Pakistan amid Taliban oppression. Australia cricket team Ashes 2013 Cricket The Ashes Australia sport James Callow guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights re
All News 08 June 2013 23:10:52
05 June 2013 19:35:51 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
Distinguished public servant who worked at the MoD and went on to head the DHSS Sir Patrick Nairne, who has died aged 91, was one of Britain's great, and most enlightened, public servants at a time when they had the opportunity to shine. A highly civilised man of rare talents and interests, he rose to the top in Whitehall through administrative and managerial flair – virtues he combined with humanity, a deep appreciation of the arts, and enthusiasm for facing difficult intellectual and moral challenges. He spent most of his career in the Ministry of Defence – he came from a military background. But after a spell in the Cabinet Office in 1975, his special qualities – a real belief in public administration and an ability to run organisations, including the chairing of meetings, effectively – were recognised by the prime minister, Harold Wilson, who appointed him permanent secretary, the official head, of the mammoth Department of Health and Social Security. Denis Healey, one of Wilson's cabinet stalwarts, described Nairne in his 1989 autobiography as "the perfect choice for the most difficult two years of my service as defence secretary, when I was taking my most important decisions on equipment, commitments and strategy … Unfailing courtesy and a pretty wit made him a joy to work with." The agendas and priorities of the DHSS were very different from those he was used to at the MoD. Yet he drew parallels between them, comparing the often tense relationship between civilian administrators in the MoD and military chiefs with that between DHSS civil servants and the consultants and drug company lobbies. Nairne was the son of a colonel in the Seaforth Highlanders and he married a daughter of a colonel. He was educated at Radley College, Oxfordshire, and University College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first in modern history. But that was only after second world war service had intervened. He joined his father's regiment, and after fighting in the Battle of El Alamein and recovering from wounds in Tunisia, he took part in the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. In recognition of his initiative and outstanding bravery searching and identifying weak points in enemy positions at Francofonte, north-west of Syracuse, he was awarded the Military Cross. After leaving Oxford in 1947, he joined the Admiralty, one of the five organisations to be merged into a combined MoD in 1964. After a succession of posts there, many of them in ministers' private offices, and many playing a key role in integrating the three branches of the armed forces, Nairne became deputy under-secretary (1970-73). At the Cabinet Office he was second permanent secretary and he ended his Whitehall career in 1981 at the DHSS. In what he said was a great surprise, he was asked if his name could go on a shortlist as master of St Catherine's College, Oxford, to succeed the historian Lord (Alan) Bullock . It was unusual then, though not now, for Oxbridge colleges to elect "outsiders" – even former Whitehall mandarins – as heads. Nairne was master of St Catherine's for seven years. Soon after he took up the post, he was made a privy counsellor and appointed a member of the Franks committee, set up to review the events leading up to the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands in 1982. While the committee described a catalogue of errors, it was attacked for absolving the Thatcher government from "any criticism or blame" for the junta's decision "to commit an act of unprovoked aggression". Nairne soon joined other recently retired top Whitehall officials in the growing campaign for the repeal of the "catch-all" Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act. "Had Sir Humphrey Appleby changed his spots?" he asked, referring to the senior official in Yes, Minister. "Any Freedom of Information bill would have important exemptions; matters affecting national security, such as the organisation of a British nuclear test, would certainly be exempted," he warned. He fully recognised that ministers and civil servants were always attacked for their disposition to cover up not only what needed to be kept secret, but what could be politically damaging. "The secrecy culture of Whitehall," he openly acknowledged, "is essentially a product of British parliamentary democracy; economy with the truth is the essence of a professional reply to a parliamentary answer." Whitehall's culture of secrecy mentary democracy, he said, and encouraged by a adversarial politics. He was under no illusion that there was a long way to go before the Whitehall culture was fundamentally changed and the doctrine of "the need to know" is replaced by that of "the right to know". Nairne enjoyed wrestling with difficult ideas. He was the first chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (1991-96) and in 1993 published Demystifying Bioethics: A Lay Perspective, in the Journal of Medical Ethics. He was also a gifted painter of watercolours and his pictures were twice exhibited in the Royal Academy. A collection of his watercolours hangs in St Catherine's College. Sandy, one of his sons and director of the National Portrait Gallery, told the magazine Oxford Today in 2010 that Patrick encouraged his children to make room for art. "There's a line of art that runs through my family. Even though my father spent all his time organising things and making things better, he brought us up with the idea that art had a very strong place." Nairne was also chairman of the Society of Italic Handwriting, a role reflecting another of his enthusiasms. His Whitehall memos and minutes were well known for their fine, clear script. Nairne and his wife, Penelope, a lay reader for many years, were part of the church wherever they lived and his Christian beliefs were important to him. Penelope, whom he married in 1948, survives him, as do their daughters, Katherine, Fiona, and Margaret, and sons, Sandy, James, and Andrew. • Patrick Dalmahoy Nairne, civil servant, born 15 August 1921; died 4 June 2013 Civil service Ministry of Defence Official Secrets Act Defence policy Welfare Second world war Richard Norton-Taylor guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 05 June 2013 19:35:51
25 May 2013 14:05:01 BBC News - UK
An opera singer gets down on bended knee in front of 700 audience members to ask his girlfriend to marry him.
All News 25 May 2013 14:05:01
13 May 2013 15:57:02 UK headlines
Veteran actor Arnold Peters, who was known for his role as Jack Woolley in The Archers for more than 30 years, has died at the age of 87.
All News 13 May 2013 15:57:02
10 May 2013 18:19:08 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
The arch-secularist's proposal for the House of Lords harks back to a time when the Church of England had bite Richard Dawkins is at it again. He says he wants the bishops out of the House of Lords, which is not a complete surprise. The novelty is that he wants them replaced with elected members of the secular professions instead: philosophers, doctors, scientists, academics and so on. "Replace bishops in Lords by representatives elected by Royal Society, British Academy, Roy Coll Physicians, RA etc" he tweeted , and suggested "The Noble Lady the Member for the Royal Society of Literature", "the Royal College of Nursing", "For Oxbridge", "For the Police Federation". The electorates, of course, would be the other members of these professions, not the vulgar public. " Commons electorates are limited to geographically resident adults. My proposed Lords electorate would be limited to non-geographic elites. " This is how things were still run when he was born: the MPs elected by members of the universities were only abolished in 1948. They were handed out in a deliciously establishment way: Oxford and Cambridge had two seats each, London one, as it was almost a proper university, and seven provincial establishments had two more seats shared between them. The Attlee government abolished them on simple democratic reasoning: it was wrong for the privileged to have two votes, one for a geographical constituency and one for an elite, non-geographical one. When you think about it, a wholly hereditary House of Lords may be less of an offence against democratic principles, as its members are in effect chosen by genetic lottery. It may not be egalitarian, but at least no one has a vote in their selection, rather than some people having more votes than others. Of course, only a tiny minority of people are egalitarian about subjects they actually understand. "Elitist" may be a boo word among Guardian readers, but "populist" is an even worse insult here. Quite right too. The undemocratic and inegalitarian features are precisely what makes Dawkins' proposal attractive. We want scientific decisions to be made by properly qualified scientists, decisions about prison policy to be made by properly qualified criminologist, good teachers to run education and so on. And I don't think that the argument from democracy – that seemed to powerful in 1948 – would work nearly as strongly now. But there are still two things to be said about Dawkins' proposal. The first is that it shows how very Anglican and reactionary his style of secularism is. Back when the establishment of the Church of England had bite (roughly, the mid-19th century) you had to subscribe to certain theological opinions to be part of the governing elite. What Dawkins wants to revive is the Victorian establishment, with the theological polarity reversed. "Yes. Some Christians do good. So what? Does that make their supernatural beliefs true ? Let's get our priorities right", he tweeted. Correct beliefs again become more important than correct behaviour. That philosophers or members of the British Academy may suppose one another entirely mistaken about almost everything does not seem to worry him. They are after all the right sort. That, too, is rather Anglican. There is a more important criticism, however. He tweets as if Margaret Thatcher had never lived. One of the central parts of her legacy is that she broke the power of the establishment that Dawkins wants to re-enfranchise. The prime minister now cares far more for the opinions of the Daily Mail than of the Times. I am entirely with Dawkins in deploring this but what do our opinions matter? There is nothing sillier in the world than a romantic conservative. If you are going to deal with power, you have to recognise first where it is and what it wants. The last thing that power wants in the world today is to be told what to do by a bunch of pointy-head intellectuals, chosen by others whose heads are all pointed the same way. Richard Dawkins House of Lords Andrew Brown guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 10 May 2013 18:19:08
07 May 2013 18:09:12 UK headlines
An opera singer turned pub owner had nearly £15,000 in jewels and money stolen from her home by a teenage member of staff.
All News 07 May 2013 18:09:12
05 May 2013 19:59:53 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• Hughes swoops late at Newmarket on 9-1 shot Sky Lantern • Jockey reports Toronado coughed after his 2,000 Guineas flop Richard Hughes had expected to leave Newmarket on Saturday evening with a first victory in a British Classic on the board, and though his moment of triumph was postponed by 24 hours, it was worth the wait. "It's a monkey off my back, to be honest," Hughes said after winning the 1,000 Guineas on Sky Lantern. "I knew I'd do it one day if I got the horse, but the last nine or 10 years, Aidan O'Brien has been dominating and if you're not on those horses it's very hard." The victory of Sky Lantern followed the disappointing defeat of Toronado, a colt that Hughes believes to be as good as any he has ridden, in Saturday's 2,000 Guineas, and it arrived thanks to a typically composed ride by the champion jockey. Sky Lantern had been beaten by Hot Snap, the disappointing favourite for Sunday's Classic, in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at the Craven meeting, but Hughes rode her with confidence and ran down Just The Judge in the final furlong to win by a comfortable half-length as Aidan O'Brien's Moth stayed on into third place. "Luckily, I rode her the way I wanted to," Hughes said. "I had to ride her with balls and drop her in, and ride her the right way. I didn't want to go panicking just because I got beat yesterday when he wasn't the horse I know he is. "We heard that [Toronado] was coughing after the race, and the lad who led him up said afterwards he blew for half an hour, when after [winning] the Craven [Stakes] he blew for a minute and a half. There's obviously something wrong with him, I still believe in him and I'm not going to say any different." Sky Lantern could make her next start in the Irish 1,000 Guineas later this month, while Toronado is more likely to wait for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot according to Richard Hannon jr, assistant trainer to his father. Moth was the most significant mover in the Oaks market after Sunday's Classic and is the new favourite for Epsom at a top price of 4-1. Dawn Approach, the winner of Saturday's 2,000 Guineas, is "more than likely" to run in the Derby at Epsom, Jim Bolger, the colt's trainer, said on Sunday. "Sheikh Mohammed [Dawn Approach's owner] and I have agreed that we'll both sleep on it, ponder the situation and maybe talk in 48 hours," Bolger said. "On his breeding you would expect that he would not get it [the mile-and-a-half Derby trip], but because he's so relaxed and he has so much class, there is a reasonable chance that he will get it. "For that reason, it probably will be decided that he'll go there. It will more than likely be Epsom." 1,000 Guineas Richard Hughes Horse racing Greg Wood guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 05 May 2013 19:59:53
24 April 2013 19:24:58 Film | theguardian.com
Woman who sang in Bollywood films for 60 years dies in Mumbai after suffering ill health, says daughter The singer Shamshad Begum, whose lilting voice charmed fans of Bollywood films for more than 60 years, has died at the age of 94. The singer's daughter, Usha Ratra told local media that Begum died in Mumbai on Tuesday after a period of declining health. "The golden voice of Shamshad Begum, play back singer of great eminence in some of the most historic film songs … now silent … RIP," the Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter. Begum was born in Amritsar, Punjab, and started her career on radio in 1947 before singing for the movies. Her most memorable songs include Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon from the 1949 film Patanga and Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar from the 1956 hit "CID". Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat, her duet with Indian's most famous most famous playback singer Lata Mangeshkar in the 1960 blockbuster Mughal-E-Azam is still often played on Indian radio. "I am saddened to hear of the death of Shamshad Begum. I have sung with her in several films and she had a pleasant and simple personality," Mangeshkar wrote on Twitter. Begum received the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards, in 2009. India Bollywood guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 24 April 2013 19:24:58
18 April 2013 23:52:40 UK headlines
The arrest of whistle-blowers for allegedly leaking details of a Police and Crime Commissioner's limousine journeys represents a threat to free speech and sets a dangerous precedent, MPs have warned.
All News 18 April 2013 23:52:40
18 April 2013 23:51:15 Sport news, comment and results | theguardian.com
• All-the-way winner shortened for colts' Classic • Richard Hughes thinks winner is live Derby hope "I've never ridden a real champion mile-and-a-half horse," Richard Hughes said after winning the Craven Stakes on Toronado here on Thursday, but the smile on his face reflected the increasing possibility that he has now. Toronado was an odds-on chance to beat three rivals in the Craven Stakes, the most significant of the domestic trials for the 2,000 Guineas, and he did so with such a fluid mix of speed and strength that he is now a 7-2 chance for the first colts' Classic and as short as 5-1 for the Derby in early June. Toronado beat Dundonnell by half a length in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on his last start as a two-year-old, but he had the same horse more than four lengths adrift this time as he quickened away inside the final quarter mile. Richard Hannon's colt, a son of the Derby winner High Chaparral, is now unbeaten in four starts, and will be the leading British-trained contender for the 2,000 Guineas on 4 May, behind only Dawn Approach, last year's Dewhurst Stakes winner, in the betting. "I'd have been gutted if he didn't win like that to be honest," Hughes said. "I said to the girl leading us up that if he didn't win two or three going away, I'd be disappointed. He quickened away from them, then got into the Dip and quickened again up the hill, and there's not many that can do that. "He's the real deal, fingers crossed. He's bred to get the Derby trip, and I always felt that he was more of a Derby horse, but now that he's got stronger, he's got a bit more pace. Even a month ago, I said he wouldn't have the electric turn of foot of Canford Cliffs, but the more serious work we've done closer to the race, the more pace he's showed." Hannon, too, is starting to think about Epsom as much as Newmarket, and the chance that he may finally have a Derby horse in his yard. "He's a machine," Hannon said. "He quickened and quickened again. There's no doubt this horse will go a mile and a half, and he's got the speed to go around places like Epsom. I was speaking to John Magnier [the co-owner of High Chaparral] the other day, he knows pedigrees and he said that he's got loads of speed all right, but he can stay." Mark Johnston plans to run Windhoek in the Dante Stakes, the leading British trial for the Derby, at York next month after his narrow success in the Tattersalls Millions Three-Year-Old Trophy. Windhoek was making only the second start of his career having suffered an injury after winning a maiden at Nottingham last May, but showed impressive determination to hold off strong challenges by Greatwood and Ghurair, the even-money favourite, by a short head and a neck. "He was 30kg overweight and I think he'll come on a lot for that," Johnston said. "The Dante is certainly on the cards." Greatwood, who ran on strongly in the closing stages, is also likely to contest a Derby trial and is a 33-1 chance for the Epsom Classic, while Ghurair was pushed out to 33-1 (from 16-1) for the 2,000 Guineas. Tony McCoy, the multiple champion National Hunt jockey, was said to be "fully conscious" and with "movement in all limbs" after suffering a chest injury in a heavy fall at Cheltenham on Thursday. He was helped off the track on a stretcher and taken to hospital for further tests. 2,000 Guineas Richard Hughes The Derby Horse racing Greg Wood guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
All News 18 April 2013 23:51:15
17 April 2013 15:06:08 Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis | theguardian.com
Bishop of London acknowledges bitter debate over former prime minister's legacy at funeral but praises her 'formidable energy' Lady Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, was borne to St Paul's Cathedral for a ceremonial funeral as thousands lined central London's streets to witness the procession. With full military honours, the coffin bearing the body of one of Britain's most divisive politicians of modern times was escorted by members of all three armed forces to a service before a congregation of 2,300 from across the globe and led by the Queen. Although not officially a state funeral, as accorded to Sir Winston Churchill, the event was conducted with a level of pomp and ceremony not witnessed in London since the death of the Queen Mother in 2002. Her children, Sir Mark Thatcher and his twin sister Carol, and her American grandchildren, Michael and Amanda, listened as the Bishop of London, acknowledging the bitter debate over her legacy, said this was not the time or place for such matters . In a powerful address , the Right Rev Richard Chartres, a friend of Thatcher's, who died last week following a stroke aged 87, defended her and firmly rejected the assertion that she did not believe in society. She had overcome hurdles and experienced many rebuffs, and applied herself to work with "formidable energy and passion", he said. "Her later remark about there being no such thing as 'society' has been misunderstood and refers to some impersonal entity to which we are tempted to surrender our independence," he said. Acknowledging her as a polarising figure, he told the congregation: "After the storm of a life led in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm. "The storm of conflicting opinions centres on the Mrs Thatcher who became a symbolic figure – even an 'ism'." "Today the remains of the real Margaret Hilda Thatcher are here at her funeral service. Lying here, she is one of us, subject to the common destiny of all human beings." He continued: "There is an important place for debating policies and legacy; for assessing the impact of political decisions on the everyday lives of individuals and communities. Parliament held a frank debate last week – but here and today is neither the time nor the place." Here, at the funeral service, devoid of eulogies at Thatcher's own request, was a place "for the simple truths which transcend political debate. Above all it is a place for hope." Earlier, the longest-serving prime minister of the 20th century had left parliament for the last time as a hearse took her body from the crypt chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster, where it rested last night, to the RAF church of St Clement Danes in the Strand. There was gentle clapping as the cortege, with police motorcycle escort, drove slowly through cordoned-off streets. Big Ben fell silent. The cortege made its way went past the gates of Downing Street, her home for the 11 tumultuous years she held power and which she said goodbye to almost a quarter of a century ago, past Trafalgar Square, scene of the bitter poll tax demonstrations, and into the Strand. Union flags and the national flags of the UK were lowered to half mast. The crowds were deep, and for the most part supportive. But there was booing, too. At Ludgate Circus, where several hundreds protesters turned their backs on the coffin , there was a highly charged atmosphere with chanting of "what a waste of money" and "Tory scum", as heated exchanges broke out between demonstrators and Thatcher supporters. The prime minister, David Cameron, had said the funeral was a "fitting tribute" to a major national figure, and urged the Iron Lady's political opponents to show "respect" during the event. At St Clement Danes, prayers were said as the coffin – draped in a union flag with a simple wreath of white flowers with the handwritten tribute: "Beloved mother. Always in our hearts" – was transferred to a gun carriage of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, its steel wheels changed to rubber to muffle the noise. The carriage and procession made its measured way at 70 steps per minute, military drum beats keeping precise pace, and the Band of HM Royal Marines playing funeral marches by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin. The route was lined by members of all three services in full ceremonial day dress, officers wearing black armbands, with colours draped and rifle muzzles pointed downwards as a mark of respect. Her escort reunited her with units linked to the Falklands war , a victory she believed among her greatest accomplishments. A gun salute fired at one minute intervals from the Tower of London, as a single half-muffled bell at St Paul's tolled. The eight pall-bearers who carried the casket into the cathedral were drawn from army units, Royal Navy ships and RAF stations with links to the Falklands war, commanded by Major Nick Mott of the Welsh Guards who served in the 1982 conflict. Thatcher's grandchildren, Michael and Amanda , walked ahead of the coffin as it entered the cathedral, carrying cushions bearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter and Order of Merit, which were laid on the altar. The national anthem heralded the arrival of the Queen at St Paul's at 10.45am, her presence elevating Thatcher's ceremonial funeral to that of state funeral in all but name. It was the first time she has attended the funeral of one of her prime ministers since Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral in 1965. She was welcomed by the lord mayor of the City of London, Roger Gifford, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Chartres. Giving the bidding, the dean of St Paul's said the congregation was gathered to remember Margaret Hilda Thatcher, and commend her into God's hands. "We recall with great gratitude her leadership of this nation, her courage, her steadfastness, and her resolve to accomplish what she believed to be right for the common good." The service , planned many years ago in consultation with Thatcher, and with her relatives since, was traditional and simple. Thatcher chose the hymns He Who Would Valiant Be, the Charles Wesley hymn Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, reflecting the influence of her Methodist upbringing, and the patriotic verse I Vow to Thee My Country. The organ played Psalm 84, set to the music of Johannes Brahms, which is the same piece Thatcher chose to be played at the funeral of her husband, Sir Denis Thatcher, in 2003. Thatcher's
All News 17 April 2013 15:06:08