Vanessa Redgrave, 76, and James Earl Jones, 82, star as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick, two resolute singletons forced to admit their love for each other. Redgrave and Jones are much older than actors who normally play the Bards bickering duo. CAPTION By Associated Press, LONDON The word ageless is often applied to Shakespeares plays, which are still packing in audiences after 400 years. But age is very much on the agenda in two new London productions. Both are well-loved comedies, both feature star casting and thats where the similarities end. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas A Midsummer Nights Dream, at the Noel Coward Theatre, puts the emphasis on youth; the Old Vics Much Ado About Nothing on maturity. Age first. Much Ado has a pedigree to make theater-lovers swoon: Directed by Tony-winning actor Mark Rylance, a former artistic director of Shakespeares Globe, it stars Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as sparring partners Beatrice and Benedick, two resolute singletons forced to admit they are in love. Redgrave, 76, and 82-year-old Jones are among the great actors of their generation, and showed terrific chemistry onstage in Driving Miss Daisy. They are also much older than actors who normally play the Bards bickering duo. Its not ageist to point this out Rylance has said age is a central theme of the production.
London arms fair: sugarcoated death trade
The fairs in 2001, 2003, and 2005 were all beset by sizeable protests and Space Hijackers activists make the 2007 event memorable after they distracted the police to drive a tank up near ExCel center before asellinga it to the highest bidder in a mockery of the indiscriminate weapons trade at the fair. As if the very staging of the DSEi was not enough for protest groups, the fair was entangled with more controversy in 2011. At the time, DSEi officials had to throw out two exhibitors for promoting cluster munitions, ostensibly condemned by Britain and more than 100 other countries. The organizers said they were unaware that the material was available but campaigners rounded on the fair, dismissing the scenario by DSEi officials as “unbelievable”. Protesters also targeted a newly unveiled aadvanceda Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Dauntless, as it was docking in London a week ahead of the fair. Members of the group Disarm Defence and Security Equipment International used inflatable kayaks to try to prevent the vessel from anchoring. Another disgrace for DSEi triggered protests after Amnesty International said it has obtained brochures, which appear to clearly show illegal torture equipment advertised. Amnesty said the banned torture-ware were displayed by a company called CTS-Thompson at the Beechwood Equipment stall, despite explicit acknowledgments on the fairas website that the sale of aleg irons, gang chains, shackles and shackle braceletsa were prohibited. aWith companies openly flogging torture equipment on one side of the counter and delegates from countries like Bahrain on the other, it is hardly the sort of matchmaking that Londoners should be proud to host,a Oliver Sprague, Amnesty Internationalas Arms Program Director, said in reaction. Spragueas comment pointed to a highly-embarrassing fact about the persistent participants in DSEis. A cross-party committee of senior backbench MPs said back in 2011 that successive governments had allowed British arms supplied to North Africa and the Middle East to be used for internal repression despite official guidelines to the contrary. To make matters worse, the very repressive regimes, such as Bahrain, the Israeli regime and Saudi Arabia, were, and continue to be, invited to the fair. In 2011, 14 out of 65 delegations present at the exhibition were from countries defined as aauthoritarian regimesa by human rights groups. In 2013, it appeared that Britain had issued arms exports permits worth A12 billion for some of the worldas most brutal dictatorships, almost all of them on the DSEi guest list while being also listed among countries with ahuman rights concernsa by the British Foreign Office.
British police said Friday they have arrested eight men after a gang stole ??1.3 million (1.5 million euros, $2.09 million) from Barclays bank by taking control of a branch computer system.AFP/File LONDON (AFP) British police said Friday they have arrested eight men after a gang stole ??1.3 million (1.5 million euros, $2.09 million) from Barclays bank by taking control of a branch computer system. The men, aged between 24 and 47, were arrested on Thursday and Friday morning on allegations of conspiracy to steal from Barclays and conspiracy to defraud British banks. They are accused of a theft in April, when a man purporting to be an IT engineer arrived at a Barclays branch in north London saying he was there to fix the computers. He then attached a keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) device with a 3G router to one of the computers, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police. Such devices are routinely used by people in business to work remotely on their office computer systems, but it allowed the gang to remotely transfer money into their bank accounts. “Those responsible for this offence are significant players within a sophisticated and determined organised criminal network, who used considerable technical abilities and traditional criminal know-how to infiltrate and exploit secure banking systems,” said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond of the Central e-Crime Unit. Barclays recovered “a significant amount” of the money stolen, police said, but the arrests are the first in the five-month investigation into the crime. Officers searched a number of addresses across London and Essex, east of the capital, and seized cash, jewellery, drugs, “thousands of credit cards” and personal data, the statement said. One central London premises searched was described by detectives as the “control” centre of the operation. Police foiled a similar plot against Santander last week, arresting 12 men accused to trying to take control of a computer in a branch in London’s financial district. Four men were later charged with conspiracy to steal.