Wednesday News Review

Riots spread across the country

Officers fought disturbances in Manchester and Birmingham, involving hundreds of youths who set fire to shops and smashed store windows. There were also riots in Gloucester. The Army’s emergency infantry battalion, known as the Spearhead Lead Element, has been put on standby should the civil unrest worsen, The Daily Telegraph has learned. In Birmingham, police clashed with up to 200 looters who attacked shops inside New Street station, closing off much of the city centre. Masked youths roamed the streets smashing windows and setting fire to cars. In Manchester, hundreds of masked and hooded youths gathered in Piccadilly Gardens and threw bricks at officers. A Miss Selfridge clothes shop was set alight while looters broke into a Foot Locker sports store in the Arndale Centre. Some reports said rioters were being allowed to ransack properties without police intervening. Residents claimed gangs were highly organised, with leaders warning them when to move on to avoid officers. – the Telegraph

Three men are reported dead in Birmingham after a car ploughed into a group of Asian men in Birmingham. The attack, which is being treated as a murder investigation, took place as there were more riots across England, although London remained largely calm thanks to a big increase in police numbers. Police confronted masked youths in Manchester, in what the city’s Chief Inspector called “extraordinary levels of violence”. In the West Midlands 87 people were arrested, while 44 were held in Liverpool and Nottingham saw a police station firebombed. Speaking to the BBC this morning, Labour leader Ed Milband said there were “complex” causes for the violence, but maintained there was “no excuse” for vandalism. – PoliticsHome

Three men killed in Birmingham

A murder investigation has been launched after three were killed and one critically injured in a road traffic collision in Birmingham, West Midlands Police said. The men were pedestrians hit by a car in the Winson Green area of the city at 1am, according to reports. Police said one man had been arrested in connection with the deaths and a car had been recovered. It is not yet known if the deaths are linked to overnight rioting in the area. A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “Two men have died following a road traffic collision in the Winson Green area of Birmingham which detectives are treating as murder. “The incident occurred just after 1am in Dudley Road. Three men were taken to hospital where two subsequently died from their injuries. A third male remains in a critical condition. “West Midlands Police have launched a murder inquiry, arrested one man in connection with the incident and recovered a vehicle from near the scene which will be examined by forensics experts.” – the Telegraph

Osbornomics: keep calm and carry on…

George Osborne will insist that the government is sticking to its tough deficit-reduction programme when he updates MPs tomorrow about the turmoil in the global economy. Treasury sources said the chancellor intends to reassure the Commons that the UK authorities will be increasing their vigilance over the country’s banks and ensuring that contingency plans are in place to cope with the effects of a new credit crunch. In the aftermath of disappointing official figures for manufacturing and exports released on Tuesday, Osborne will also make it clear that the coalition intends to reform the supply side of Britain’s economy to boost growth. “The chancellor will give parliament an update on what has happened, on the discussions he has had and what we need to do domestically, internationally and in terms of contingency planning”, the source said. – the Guardian

US fears double-dip recession

The US Federal Reserve promised to keep interest rates in the world’s largest economy at rock-bottom levels well into 2013, in a signal that it is increasingly worried about a double-dip recession. The central bank’s declaration cheered investors who had been selling stocks relentlessly for the best part of a week, fearful that policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic have run out of ammunition to stimulate faltering economies. A big rally on Wall Street was the result, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average of US shares recovering 430 of the 635 points it lost in the previous session. The Fed has held official US interest rates at zero since December 2008, but yesterday was the first time it has set a timeline for keeping monetary policy that easy, and it had immediate effects across the financial markets. Interest rates on some US government bonds, whose rise and fall is reflected in borrowing costs for millions of American homebuyers and businesses, crashed to never-before-seen lows. – the Independent

One Response to “Wednesday News Review”

  1. Robin Thorpe says:

    “Osborne will also make it clear that the coalition intends to reform the supply side of Britain’s economy to boost growth.”

    I thought neo-liberal Conservative types believed in hands-off/market knows best economics. Whats with all the meddling? Next they’ll be trying to push through large-scale top-down reform of the NHS…

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