Friday, 29 April 2011

Balcony kiss seals royal wedding

Prince William and Kate Middleton kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Prince William and Kate Middleton have kissed twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding service in Westminster Abbey.
They were cheered by 500,000 well-wishers who gathered outside the palace, as RAF planes flew past in honour of the new royal couple.
Police estimate a million people lined the procession route from the abbey to the palace.
The bride will now be known as the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen is hosting a buffet reception at the palace for 650 guests.
Street parties
Kate Middleton in her Alexander McQueen wedding dress outside Westminster AbbeyThe dress was designed by Sarah Burton
The church service, watched by 1,900 guests, ran smoothly but the prince did struggle to place the wedding ring on the duchess's finger.
Following a long tradition, the ring has been fashioned from Welsh gold given to Prince William by the Queen.
After the couple said their vows, in which she did not promise to obey William, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, declared: "I pronounce that they be man and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
They spent a private moment together with their families, as they signed the marriage register.
Prince William has been given the title of the Duke of Cambridge by the Queen, and Miss Middleton has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge on their marriage.
The duchess, who managed to keep her wedding dress a secret, is wearing an ivory and lace gown by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. The prince is wearing the red tunic of an Irish Guards colonel - his most senior honorary appointment.

Timetable (BST) on 29 April

  • 1015 - The groom and Prince Harry arrived at Westminster Abbey
  • 1051 - The bride, and her father, left the Goring Hotel for the abbey
  • 1100 - The marriage service began
  • 1230 - The bride's carriage procession arrived at Buckingham Palace
  • 1325 - The Queen and the bride and groom appeared on the balcony
  • 1330 - Fly past by the Royal Air Force and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Well-known faces spotted at Westminster Abbey included singer-songwriter Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish, former England rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward, and former England football captain David Beckham and his wife Victoria.
Actor Rowan Atkinson, a close friend of Prince Charles, Prince Harry's friend Chelsy Davy and film director Guy Ritchie were also there.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha, Australian prime minister Julia Gillard, former British PM Sir John Major, and Home Secretary Theresa May were among the politicians present.
For those lining the route, large speakers broadcast the wedding service, and hundreds of millions of people were expected to watch the proceedings worldwide on television.
  • According to a lip-reading expert, Prince William told his bride she looked "beautiful" as she joined him at the altar. Tina Lannin, of O'Malley Communications, also said he joked to his father-in-law Michael: "We're supposed to have just a small family affair"
  • The fly-past involved Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
  • The busy schedule began when guests start arriving at the Abbey from 0815 BST. Many had been queuing before the Great North Door opened
  • A Rolls-Royce picked up Miss Middleton at the Goring Hotel, where the Middleton family were staying, at 1050 BST, and the ceremony got under way just after 1100 BST. Prince William travelled to the Abbey with his brother and best man in a Bentley
  • Out of the 1,900 guests at the Abbey, 1,000 were friends and family, who had been given some of the best seats in the house. The others included overseas royals, politicians from home and abroad, military personnel and representatives from various faiths and charities
  • After the service, the newly-weds travelled in an open-topped carriage for the 15-minute journey from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, past some of London's most famous landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Horse Guards Parade
  • More than 1,000 military personnel and musicians lined the procession route
  • Thousands of street parties are being held around the UK, and big screens have been put up in many towns and cities. The BBC has been bringing viewers and listeners comprehensive coverageacross TV, radio and online, both in the UK and around the world
  • 5,000 officers were on duty, with more than 900 along the wedding route
  • Police swooped on two anti-royal wedding protests as the ceremony got under way. A small group of masked anarchists gathered in Soho Square, central London, while police said 70 protesters were in Red Lion Square, Holborn
  • About two square miles of central London have been closed to traffic.
Royal officials said William and Kate were involved in planning their wedding day, from the music at the ceremony to the flowers and the cake.
Inside Westminster Abbey, an avenue of trees lined the red carpet leading up to the altar.
The bride walked up the aisle to coronation anthem I Was Glad, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, from Psalm 122. Her brother James Middleton gave the Lesson, reading Romans 12: 1-2, 9-18.
Prince William and Kate Middleton made their vows to each other during their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey
Classical compositions by Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams featured during the ceremony, alongside the hymn Jerusalem and the English melody Greensleeves.
After the canape reception at Buckingham Palace, about 300 close friends and relatives will stay on for a formal black tie dinner and disco in the evening, hosted by Prince Charles.
But the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will leave for a weekend away after hosting the lunchtime reception and will miss Prince Harry's best man speech and Michael Middleton's father of the bride address.
Despite predictions of showers, it stayed dry for the royal couple. Temperatures in the capital were expected to reach a high of 19C (66F) in the afternoon.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

”Restrepo” director Tim Hetherington killed in Libya

Fighting in Libya's besieged rebel city of Misrata killed at least 10 civilians including an Oscar-nominated British filmmaker, and NATO urged non-combatants to avoid troops so it could step up air strikes.
Among the dead were British photojournalist Tim Hetherington, co-director of Oscar-nominated war documentary "Restrepo", and American photographer Chris Hondros, killed when a group they were in came under mortar fire.
Seven Libyan civilians and a Ukrainian doctor were also killed during fierce fighting in Libya's third largest city, medics said.
France promised the insurgents on Wednesday it would intensify air strikes on Libyan government forces and dispatch military liaison officers, echoing a move by Britain, to help organize poorly trained insurgents.
Rebels said they were battling for control of a major road in Misrata, a port of 300,000 people and the insurgents' last bastion in the west of the country, where civil war ignited in February over demands for an end to Gaddafi's 41-year rule.
Around 120 people were wounded, including the wife of the Ukrainian doctor who lost both of her legs, according to Khalid Abufalgha, a doctor on the Misrata medical committee that tracks civilian casualties.
Abufalgha said a total of 365 people have been killed, including at least 85 civilians, and 4,000 people wounded in the Mediterranean city since it came under government siege about seven weeks ago. Civilians say they live in constant fear of government snipers.
"Mohammed and his friends were in our garage. They had gone outside to play when he had to pause to put his shoe on. In that instant the bullet hit his head," said Zeinab, mother of a 10-year-old boy who lay in bed with a bullet wound.
Rebels complained that there were too few NATO air strikes.
"NATO has been inefficient in Misrata. NATO has completely failed to change things on the ground," rebel spokesman Abdelsalam said.
Libyan state television said early on Thursday that NATO forces had struck the Khallat al-Farjan area of the capital Tripoli, killing seven people and wounding 18 others. The report could not immediately be independently verified.
Rebel spokesman Abdulrahman, reached by telephone from the western town of Zintan, said clashes were also taking place in Nalut, near the Western border with Tunisia.
"Clashes are currently occurring in Nalut and have been going on since Monday. The Gaddafi forces are using Grad missiles and mortar rounds to attack Nalut. It's not an even battle. The rebels are not well-armed."
Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO's Libya operations, said Libyan civilians should keep away from Gaddafi's forces to help NATO carry out air attacks.
"Civilians can assist NATO by distancing themselves from Gaddafi regime forces and equipment whenever possible. Doing this will allow NATO to strike those forces and equipment with greater success...," Bouchard said in a statement.
Aid groups say the humanitarian situation in Misrata is turning grave due to a lack of food and medical supplies.
Forces loyal to Gaddafi have been bombarding Misrata heavily over the last week. The government denies it is targeting civilians in the city.
There are long queues for petrol, and electricity has been cut so residents depend on generators. Thousands of stranded foreign migrant workers are awaiting rescue in the port area.
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed on Wednesday the need to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Gaddafi, the White House said.
France said it would send up to 10 military advisers to Libya, following on Britain's plan to dispatch up to a dozen officers to help rebels improve organization and communications. Neither country plans to arm or train the insurgents to fight.
In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has spearheaded U.N.-backed NATO intervention, pledged stronger military action at his first meeting with the leader of the opposition Libyan National Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
"We are indeed going to intensify the attacks and respond to this request from the national transition council," an official in the president's office said, quoting Sarkozy as telling Abdel Jalil: "We will help you."
He did not say how NATO-led forces planned to overcome the stalemate on the ground after the United States and several European allies declined last week to join ground strikes.
Abdel Jalil told reporters he had invited Sarkozy to pay a visit to the eastern rebel powerbase city of Benghazi to underline French support for ending Gaddafi's autocratic tenure and "boost the morale of the revolution."
French officials did not say whether Sarkozy had accepted.
Evidence surfaced on Wednesday that Gaddafi's government is dodging U.N. sanctions to import gasoline to western Libya using intermediaries who transfer the fuel between ships in Tunisia, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.