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Timely Tuesdays: False Bottoms at Heathrow and Scottish Curling in the News

January 6, 2010

AngloFiles’s weekly round-up of U.K. news – sober, stylish, sentimental, sporty, or outright silly.

  • UK’s deep freeze, the longest since 1981, has led to snowfalls across northern and central England. Accumulations up to four inches were enough to close schools in Northumberland and exhaust local supplies everywhere of “grit” for sanding streets. Highways closed in Cumbria and, in Manchester, buses and planes were idled. And morning trains into London have already been curbed in the south, which faces its first snow of the season tonight, possibly more than 10 inches. But cold news is good news near Aberfoyle in Scotland’s Trossachs (or lower Highlands); just one more inch of ice on Loch Menteith would enable the first outdoor curling Grand Match in 30 years.
  • What’s in a question? Full body scanners, in-flight restrictions and long security lines at airports nearly everywhere are all the buzz, thanks to the Christmas Day terror attempt above Detroit, Michigan. But counter-intelligence authority Daniel Pipes this week recalled a seemingly routine El Al interview at Heathrow in 1986 that reminds us no amount of robotic technology can match the value of highly trained human screeners.

UK Attorney General Scotland tries to mend fences with Israel, seeking a way the government could shelter visiting foreign leaders from automatic arrest. Baroness Scotland had to meet with Israeli officials on their own turf because, if the visits went the other way, ministers like Tzipi Livni could be hauled in on outstanding arrest warrants for alleged war crimes.

  • I’ve been missing old BoJo (Mayor Boris Johnson), so thanks be to GQ magazine’s British edition for putting him back in the spotlight. Yes, it’s on the magazine’s annual Worst-Dressed List, as BorisWatch points out. And, yes, he’s only fourth, while dour Arctic Monkeys fan Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, ranks Number One. Say what you like about Gordon, but that loudmouth albino, Boris, will always be my man. (Question, though, Bo: Of the bare dozen or so feeds you follow on Twitter, why is one of them @ijustine? Tsk, tsk. Don’t you know brainy girls are more fun? Follow @anglofilia and her hot friend, @mizparse!)
  • Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the larder, my friend bookofjoe (“world’s most popular blogging anesthesiologist”) sends word of a U.S.-based Marmite Museum — an abomination, like Marmite pop-up stores, we thought possible only in the Commonwealth!
London snow photo by Paolo Camera.
Scanner photo by Piotrus.
Four inches, sure, but that’s enough to close schools in Northumberland and exhaust local supplies everywhere of “grit” for sanding streets.

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