Tag Archives: england

British surgeon suspended for ‘branding’ inituals on liver’


British surgeon suspended for ‘branding initials on liver’
AFPBy AFP | AFP – Tue, Dec 24, 2013..
The initials were discovered in a follow-up operation at a hospital in Birmingham, central England
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AFP/AFP/File – The initials were discovered in a follow-up operation at a hospital in Birmingham, central England
A British surgeon has been suspended over allegations that he “branded” his initials onto a patient’s liver, media reported on Tuesday.

Simon Bramhall faces an investigation after a colleague discovered the initials “SB” on the organ during a follow-up operation at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, newspapers said.

The hospital’s managing trust said in a statement: “Following an allegation of misconduct, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has suspended a surgeon while an internal investigation is completed.”

The Daily Mail newspaper said Bramhall used non-toxic argon gas to sear his initials onto the liver.





October 21, 2013

6 Daring Train Robberies
By Evan Andrews

Almost as long as there have been trains, there have been train robberies. These dramatic stickups have become the stuff of legend thanks to dime novels and Hollywood westerns, but they also account some of the most fascinating—and lucrative—true crimes ever committed. From high profile capers by the likes of Jesse James and Butch Cassidy to a raid by a gang of Indian political dissidents, find out more about six of history’s most audacious rail heists.

train robbery1. Jesse James’ Iowa Train Robbery
Notorious outlaw Jesse James is best remembered as a bank robber, but he was also one of the first bandits to hold up a moving train. The earliest of these heists came on the evening of July 21, 1873, near Adair, Iowa. After gathering information on the train schedule, James and his gang loosened a section of track on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. As their target rounded a blind curve, the thieves used a rope to dislodge the track, causing the locomotive to derail and topple into a ditch. The crash killed the engineer and badly injured another man, but the rest of the cars lurched to a stop on the tracks.

Disguised behind white cloth masks, two of the robbers—most likely Jesse and his brother, Frank—boarded the train cars and sought out a safe belonging to the U.S. Express Company. The gang had been led to believe it would contain a large cache of gold bullion, but upon opening it they found only a meager $2,000. Disappointed, the men resorted to robbing the stunned passengers of their money and valuables. Despite its modest haul, the Adair robbery shocked the public for its sheer boldness, and went a long way toward establishing Jesse James’ reputation as a folk hero and celebrity criminal.

2. The Great Train Robbery of 1963
The biggest train robbery in British history came in 1963, when a gang of 15 thieves stole more than $7 million in banknotes—the equivalent of $60.5 million today—from a Royal Mail train. In the early morning of August 8, the robbers rigged a false red signal light near a section of track called Sears Crossing. When the locomotive stopped at the light, more than a dozen men in ski masks appeared, beat the driver with a metal rod and uncoupled most of the cars. After forcing the driver to move the remaining cars to a rendezvous point a mile up the track, the thieves formed a human chain and quickly transferred 120 bags of money—most of them containing bills set to be removed from circulation—into three waiting vehicles.

After escaping the scene, the robbers hid out for several days in a nearby farmhouse, where they celebrated by playing Monopoly with their two-and-a-half tons of stolen cash. Spooked by the high police presence in the area, the men eventually divided the loot and split up. Police were later called to the scene, where they discovered heaps of evidence—including fingerprints on the gang’s Monopoly board—that helped them track down the thieves. Twelve of the gang members were eventually arrested and sentenced to a total of 307 years in prison.

3. The Great Gold Robbery of 1855
Most train robberies are high profile crimes committed by armed bandits, but the Great Gold Robbery was the railway equivalent of a cat burglary. The heist was discovered in May 1855 in Paris, when authorities found that the gold in four lock boxes shipped from London had been partially replaced with lead shot. The boxes had been kept in double-locked safes and showed no signs of having been tampered with. At some point during the train journey between England and France, around 12,000 British pounds worth of gold bullion—the equivalent of some $1.5 million in modern day currency—had simply vanished.

As police would later learn, the crime was a carefully planned inside job. Working with a stationmaster and a train guard, masterminds Edward Agar and William Pierce had obtained wax imprints of the safe keys and painstakingly made copies. On the night of the robbery, the men disguised themselves as gentlemen and boarded the train in London carrying luggage filled with lead. Once in transit, Agar and Pierce stowed away in the baggage car and used their copied keys to open the safes. After switching the gold with their dummy lead weights, they resealed the boxes and disguised the loot in their luggage before exiting the train in Dover. The heist would have been the perfect crime, but Agar later confessed to authorities after he was arrested for a separate offense. Police rounded up his accomplices shortly thereafter.

4. Kakori Train Robbery
Most rail heists are inspired by blind greed, but many in India saw 1925’s Kakori Train Robbery as an act of political protest. The holdup was the work of the Hindustan Republican Association, a band of militant revolutionaries who sought to free India from British colonial rule. The HRA often resorted to robbery to fund their rebellion, and on August 9, 1925, they set their sights on a British train operating in what is now Uttar Pradesh.

As the train neared the town of Kakori, ten armed revolutionaries led by Ram Prasad Bismil overpowered the guards, hijacked the locomotive and brought all the cars to a screeching halt. While the rest of the men stood guard, four robbers made their way to the guard’s van and used hammers to batter their way into a British safe filled with moneybags. All ten of the revolutionaries escaped without injury, but in the chaos of the heist one passenger was killed in an accidental shooting. The men eluded capture for over a month, but by September the train robbers had been arrested along with around 30 other revolutionaries. Bismil and three other men were later executed by hanging in 1927.

5. The Rondout Train Robbery
The biggest rail heist in American history was the work of the “Newton Boys,” a band of four Texas brothers who robbed at least 60 banks and six trains during their lucrative criminal careers. The caper came on the night of June 12, 1924. Working on a tip from a crooked postal inspector, two of the Newton brothers boarded a mail train on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. After pulling guns on the engineer, the men forced the train to stop near Rondout, Illinois, where the rest of the gang waited with a small fleet of cars.

The thieves then threw bottles of noxious formaldehyde into the windows of the passenger cars, leaving the train’s 17 armed mail clerks gasping for air. When the guards surrendered, the bandits made off with several mail sacks containing a staggering $3 million in cash and bonds. The gang escaped in their cars, but in the confusion of the robbery an accomplice accidentally shot one of the Newton brothers several times. The thieves were later arrested after they tried to get medical assistance in Chicago.

6. The Wilcox Train Robbery
In the late 19th century, Robert LeRoy Parker—better known as “Butch Cassidy”—led a gang of train robbers who went by the colorful nickname “The Wild Bunch.” This band of stickup men was responsible for several railway heists, but perhaps none was as famous as 1899’s Wilcox Train Robbery in Wyoming. The raid began in the early morning of June 2, when several Wild Bunch members flagged down the first part of a two-section train operated by the Union Pacific Railroad. After the locomotive came to a halt, two masked men boarded it and ordered the engineer to cross a nearby bridge. As soon as the last car cleared the gap, the bandits dynamited the bridge, stranding the approaching second train on the other side.

Having isolated the train’s first section, the thieves ordered the clerks in the express and mail cars to open their doors. When the men refused, the robbers simply the blew the doors off with sticks of dynamite, pushed aside the dazed inhabitants, and then used even more explosives to crack open a safe. In total, the gang made off with around $30,000 in unsigned banknotes before disappearing into the mountains. Their exploits as railway bandits would later help inspire the seminal 1903 silent film “The Great Train Robbery.”



images (1)Teen and llama set to blaze a new trail

Friday, November 01, 2013

  By Craig Saunders craig.saunders@courier.co.uk

A TEENAGER will set a world first this weekend by competing in a special triathlon – comprising of a run, bike ride and llama trek. Max Bloom, 17, from Mayfield, East Sussex, has organised and will be the only participant in the inaugural tri-llama-thon tomorrow (Saturday).

He will run five kilometres before completing a 90-minute walk with a llama and cycling through London to complete the bizarre challenge.

  1. partners:  Max Bloom, 17, of Mayfield with Nicholas  before taking part in the first ever tri-llama-thon

    partners: Max Bloom, 17, of Mayfield with Nicholas before taking part in the first ever tri-llama-thon

The Tunbridge Wells Road resident is doing the trial to raise funds for a gap-year trip to Chile to help disadvantaged children.

After planning a fundraising event he decided to do something different and incorporate a South American theme which became the tri-llama-thon.

Max, an A-level student at Cranbrook School, said: “I thought initially of doing a sponsored run or a marathon or a triathlon then I thought of something different.

“So I took the triathalon idea and I wanted to give it a South American twist. I love cycling and I don’t mind running and then I thought I would bring in the llama to replace the swimming and it went from there.

” I am most looking forward to walking with the llama and maybe in the future it could become an annual thing that people will do and become a regular fixture. I’m hoping to do it in a poncho and cowboy boots as well although I won’t be able to ride or cycle in them.

“I’ve really wanted to do charity work ever since my uncle went over to Jordan, so I thought during my gap year I would like to do something to help people.”

Max will run to the Ashdown Llama Park in the Ashdown Forest and then walking with the animal, famed for spitting, before being transported to London where he will cycle 20km – ending up at the Chilean Embassy in Central London

In a bonus, Max’s partner for the second leg is somewhat of a famous face from the animal kingdom.

Nicholas the llama hit the headlines when he correctly predicted the winners of the Champions League and FA Cup finals by picking the correct corresponding balls – although his run came to an end after predicting England would win the 2012 European Championships.

“I went down to see Nicholas the llama with my mum and he was very calm. He is the llama they use for publicity events. He didn’t spit at me and I hope doesn’t on the day. One of the good reasons for the llama trek is they say it is a quite spiritual experience.”

If he raises his total of £5,400, the Project Trust – an educational volunteering charity – will send him off to Chile in September to undertake charity works in some of the poorest regions.

He added: “I’m nervous but it should be a great day.”

To sponsor Max visit virginmoneygiving.com/maxbloom

Read more: http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/Teen-llama-set-blaze-new-trail/story-20017603-detail/story.html#ixzz2jUclZsw5



The story below reminds me of when my husband and I lived in New Hope,Pa, from the late 90’s for 18 years.our troubles began when the propane company supplying our heat insisted they “top” our tank off every week. When we told them we couldn’t afford it-they took the tank away, Then we got space heaters-they hardly helped as we lived right on the Delaware River and the winter wind whipped through our cracked windows, Having no lease our slum landlord refuses to fix them. Soon after the stove broke-he also refused to replace it. We resorted to hot plates. The electrical wires in the apartment were exposed and hanging from the ceiling. The hot plates kept shutting off. Because our water was connected to the restaurant next door it was often shut off until repair men came, we had no water! Yes we lived in squalor, a nightmare at times. We couldn’t move as New Hope is a very expensive town, we were stuck.

After two major floods, loosing many of my poetry manuscripts, and Dave’s extensive “Beat” collection we were evacuated. The final flood left our home condemned and uninhabitable. We were forced to move to a motel until we found another home. Although I don’t know how we “did it” we were blissfully happy,and I can say those were the best days of my life!











aunt rosemary

the peacocks strut with
feathers puffed pecking
at breadcrumbs outside
my aunt’s stone cottage

she will marry the lord
of the estate she lives on
she will be a lady
he loves her
but she yearns for the
captain that was killed
in the war
his picture is on her
bedside table

with poker stoking the fire
vein striped elegant hands
move hot red coal
she has a knack with
the bellows


rouged cheek bones high
etch her face
she is beautiful-a Catherine
Hepburn- cannot help but
stare hair tumbling from
a bun
she wears plaid skirt
white blouse a cameo
pinned at the neck
a cardigan laced over
lean shoulders

sits back in worn tapestry
chair and sips her after
noon sherry

cats stroll sit and lay
on stakes of old newspapers
they feed from porcelain
bowls with raised contented
tails aloof and slightly

aunt rosemary is
my only aunt
she took me to
the circus-the
only outing I
would ever go on

when the cottage
caught on fire
late in winter
aunt rosemary
was asleep in
her long cotton
-I hoped she
didn’t suffer
but I know she
did- even though
I was a child I
knew what death
was all about.

Ana Christy