Tag: London

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POLITICO – London Playbook

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POLITICO London Playbook




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Good Monday morning. It is one hell of a news day.

SUV, PPE, WTF: There is general bewilderment Stateside at the images of U.S. President Donald Trump — who still has COVID-19 — waving to supporters outside the Walter Reed Medical Center from his armored SUV alongside a PPE-clad driver and several secret service agents.

THE BACKLASH: Dr. James P. Phillips, a doctor at Walter Reed, tweeted: “Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die. For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity. That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID-19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding.”

WHAT TRUMP SAYS: In a video from hospital, the president said he wanted to give the “great patriots” supporting him a “little surprise.” He also talked about learning from the virus: “It’s been a very interesting journey — I learned a lot about COVID-19. I learned it by really going to school. This is the real school. This isn’t the ‘let’s read the book’ school. And I get it. And I understand it. And it’s a very interesting thing, and I’m going to be letting you know about it.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Trump’s physicians yesterday painted a conflicting picture of his health. They acknowledged he is ill enough to have needed oxygen and steroid treatments, but also said they might let him go

Posted in technology

London transport regulator strips Ola’s operating licence over public safety failings

By Rebekah Mathew

(Reuters) – London’s public transport authority stripped Indian ride-hailing company Ola of its London operating licence, saying that the taxi app was not “fit and proper” to hold one, having put passenger safety at risk.

Bengaluru-based Ola entered the London taxi market in February this year. The market is dominated by rivals including Uber <UBER.N>, Freenow and Bolt, and traditional black cab drivers who previously blocked streets in protest at what they see as a threat to their livelihoods.

Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement that it refused to grant Ola, a Softbank-backed <9984.T> operator, a new London private hire vehicle (PHV) operator’s licence as it “cannot find it fit and proper to hold one after discovering a number of failures that could have risked public safety.”

TfL’s decision came days after Uber won a legal bid to restore its London operating licence, which was taken away over safety concerns, after a judge ruled that the company was a fit and proper operator despite “historical failings”.

TfL said it had discovered a number of failures in Ola’s operations, including breaches of its licensing regime, which led to unlicensed drivers and vehicles undertaking more than 1,000 passenger trips on the platform’s behalf.

Ola was also accused of failing to notify Tfl of the breaches when they were first identified.

“Ola can continue to operate pending the outcome of any appeal process”, TfL said, adding that Ola had 21 days to appeal against TfL’s decision.

In an emailed statement, Ola said it was working with TfL during the review period and “have sought to provide assurances and address the issues raised in an open and transparent manner”.

“Ola will take the opportunity to appeal this decision”, the company said, adding it would continue to operate as normal.

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London Marathon 2020 Live | Official Website

Watch London Marathon 2020 Live Elite Men’s Race: The London Marathon 2020 may be taking place virtually this year, but here’s everything you need to know about the highly-anticipated event.


Watch Free London Marathon Live Without Buffering. Support Android, iPhone, iPad, Tablet.hj

Less than 15 mins until Kipchoge and co begin

After a damp, cold and dark start, that certainly livened up in the women’s race. Time to catch your breath and get a brew ahead of the men’s race. After not moving from my seat for the last three hours, I’m off to stretch my legs quickly. Back shortly.jh

The London Marathon may look a little different this year, but it’s still going ahead on Sunday – with runners all over the UK taking part in the virtual race for the event’s 40th birthday.

Over 45,000 runners are predicted to be taking on the weighty challenge, which takes place virtually this year due to the ongoing pandemic, and gives participants 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete 26.2 miles anywhere in the UK.

When is the London Marathon 2020?

The London Marathon 2020 takes place on Sunday 4th October, and begins at 7.15am, with different groups beginning the race at different times.

Race start times (ET)

Elite women — 2:15 a.m.

Elite men — 5:15

Elite wheelchair — 8:10

How to apply for London Marathon:

Applications for the London Marathon are now closed – however due to the ongoing pandemic, you can complete the marathon virtually by running the 26.2 mile distance anywhere.

General entries to The 40th Race have now sold out, but some charities do have a few places available.

How to watch London Marathon Live:

The BBC will be airing the London Marathon this year, with Gabby Logan presenting coverage of the 40th

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Inside the BFI London Film Festival, Seeking Programming ‘Representative of Audiences’

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Photo Source: rodwey2004 / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to Behind the Fest, Backstage’s questionnaire series with film festival figures looking for that next big festival hit. Featuring behind-the-scenes insight from the organizers and programmers at Sundance, TIFF, Cannes, and more fests from around the globe, these tips might just hold the key to your indie film success story!

The British Film Institute’s London Film Festival strives to showcase the best of the best cinema each year, and in spite of changes due to COVID-19, 2020 is no different. “We’re looking for that kind of magic in a film,” says Senior LFF Programmer Michael Blythe. “You’re looking for that film that speaks to you.” 

This year’s mostly virtual festival takes place Oct. 7–18, 2020 and features films like Francis Lee’s “Ammonite,” Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland,” and from Spike Lee, the HBO concert film “David Byrne’s American Utopia.”

What to See at the 2020 BFI London Film FestivalWhat to See at the 2020 BFI London Film Festival

Backstage asked Blythe about how the audience-focused 64th BFI London Film Festival is speaking to an even wider audience this year. “The festival has so much packed into its days. You can sleep when they’re done,” he says.

What is the festival’s mission and outlook?
BFI London Film Festival has always been and continues to be an audience festival. Probably the biggest thing we do is to bring the best in contemporary world cinema to audiences across London, and in many ways across the rest of the UK. Particularly this year, we’re very much an audience-facing festival. I think that really distinguishes us. We have an industry programme as well, and we spent a lot of work over the last few years really building that industry programme and making sure that the film that is greeting the festival gets seen by UK distributors.

What sorts of films

Posted in technology

Google commits to office work with London expansion: Report

  • Google is signing up for more office space next to its upcoming $1.2 billion headquarters in London, The Times reported.
  • The tech giant is also extending a lease of a 160,000 square foot office building in the city that was due to expire in 2021.
  • The move shows a commitment to both London and to the future of office work.
  • CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview with Time 100 on September 23 that the company would move to a “hybrid model” of working, with staff spending time both at home and in the office.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google is reportedly expanding its London base in a show of commitment to both the city and the future of office work.

The tech giant has agreed to lease an extra 70,000 square feet of office space next to its upcoming $1.2 billion headquarters in King’s Cross, the Times reported on Tuesday.

Google is also extending the lease on its Central Saint Giles building, near Tottenham Court Road in central London, for another 10 years, the paper reported. Its 160,000-square-foot lease at the office building was due to end in 2021.

The news comes a week after CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company, which has told staff they can work from home until the middle of 2021, would in future aim for “hybrid” work model where employees spend time both remotely and in the office. 

“We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new,” Pichai told Time. “So we don’t think the future is 100% remote, we definitely value our offices, we value the culture, but we do think we need to create more flexibility, a more