Monday News Review

London riots spread

More than 100 people have been arrested after bouts of rioting and looting broke out across London overnight. Emergency services were deployed to respond to “copycat criminal activity” across the capital late last night and early this morning, after trouble flared in Tottenham, north London, Scotland Yard said. Disturbances erupted in several boroughs in north, south and east London, with reports of trouble in Brixton, Enfield, Walthamstow and Islington. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said at least nine officers were injured, including three who were taken to hospital after being hit by a fast-moving vehicle at 12.45am. The officers had been in the process of making arrests in Chingford Mount, Waltham Forest, after a shop was looted by youths. Police said 16 people have been charged with offences in relation to the disorder, including burglary, theft, and violent disorder. Metropolitan Police Commander Christine Jones said officers were “shocked” at the level of violence directed towards them. She said: “Officers responding to sporadic disorder in a number of boroughs made more than 100 arrests throughout last night and early this morning. – the Independent

There was mounting evidence on Sunday night that some of the second night of rioting in London was part of an orchestrated plan, as violent disturbances broke out sporadically across parts of the capital. Police in riot gear were deployed across the city to deal with trouble in Enfield, six miles north of the site of riots in Tottenham, while looters later pillaged shops in Brixton. The scenes in Enfield, while reminiscent of Saturday night’s clashes, were smaller in scale, and they took place from about 7pm. Teenagers gathered on St Andrews Road – said to have been a preplanned destination – broke down walls on terraced streets so they could collect bricks to throw at police. About a dozen shops were ransacked and a police car smashed on Church Street. Riot police moved in to secure the area and train station. Shortly after 8.30pm, a crowd of about 100 mainly teenage boys broke into a jewellery store. When police arrived less than a minute later, there were chaotic scenes, with a number of people struck with batons and attacked by dogs. Resident Mizu Rahman, 34, said a plainclothes police officer had told him at around 2pm that there was intelligence that disorder was imminent. – the Guardian

ECB moves to avert crisis

The European Central Bank said on Sunday it would “actively implement” its bond-buying programme to fight the eurozone’s debt crisis, signalling it could start buying Spanish and Italian government bonds. The central bank welcomed new deficit reduction measures and economic reforms by Italy and Spain as well as a Franco-German pledge that the eurozone’s rescue fund will take responsibility for bond-buying once it is operational, probably in October. “It is on the basis of the above assessments that the ECB will actively implement its Securities Markets Programme,” the ECB said in a statement. It is understood ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet had been trying to extract an agreement from ECB members to buy Italian paper before Asian markets opened this morning. Some economists said last night the ECB’s move could improve Italian and Spanish bond yields by between 1pc and 1.5pc when they open this morning. – the Telegraph

The European Central Bank has moved to halt Europe’s runaway debt crisis by pledging to buy government bonds from Italy and Spain. The move to prop up Europe’s struggling nations came after a day of frantic discussions between the finance ministers of the world’s leading economies. Markets open for the first time since Standard & Poor’s decision to cut the US’s credit rating from AAA late on Friday. In a statement, the ECB said it welcomed announcements by Spain and Italy of “new measures and reforms” aimed at the financial problems and urged both governments to roll them out swiftly. The agreement of the bank’s policy-making governing council is a watershed moment for the ECB. The central bank has so far insisted that the main responsibility for acting lies with national governments. But last week a more modest bond buying effort failed to halt the European slide. The ECB said it had taken note of a statement by France and Germany released on Sunday stressing their commitment to European financial reforms. Silvio Berlusconi’s government cobbled together an emergency austerity package for Italy late on Friday to placate the bond markets. Italy’s borrowing costs shot up last week amid fears that its debts have become unsustainable. – the Guardian

NHS – second most cost effective health system in the developed world

The NHS is one of the most cost-effective health systems in the developed world, according to a study (pdf) published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The “surprising” findings show the NHS saving more lives for each pound spent as a proportion of national wealth than any other country apart from Ireland over 25 years. Among the 17 countries considered, the United States healthcare system was among the least efficient and effective. Researchers said that this contradicted assertions by the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, that the NHS needed competition and choice to become more efficient. “The government proposals to change the NHS are largely based on the idea that the NHS is less efficient and effective than other countries, especially the US,” said Professor Colin Pritchard, of Bournemouth University, who analysed a quarter of a century’s data from 1980. “The results question why we need a big set of health reform proposals … The system works well. Look at the US and you can see where choice and competition gets you. Pretty dismal results.” – the Guardian

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