Despite 94% of Londoners opposing cuts to the fire service, it looks like the closure of 10 fire stations and over 500 front line firefighters will be cut. The closure of these stations is expected to take place in January. In the high court, seven different local authorities argued that the planned cuts were "dangerous, irrational and unlawful". It was this high court challenge that failed.
Last week we got the chance to sit down with the 7 ft British rising rapper XO Man to find out exactly how well his musical career is going so far. Following on from the excitement of the newly released 'The Calm EP' we ask him about where he sees himself in the next few years and this is exactly what he had to say about it...
The Mayor of Lisburn, the third largest city in Northern Ireland, Margaret Tolerton has refused to open a book of condolence after the recent passing of Nelson Mandela meaning that unlike those in Belfast City Council and Derry City Council, the people of Lisburn City will be unable to formally pay their respects to this much respected man.
It's mid-December, which must means it's... end-of-the-year, round-up time! This week you couldn't turn a page or click a link without stumbling upon best of' lists, reader votes and the like, and I'm afraid at HuffPost we couldn't resist joining in. Rather than select our own favourites, however, we teamed up with Ogilvy PR to crowd-source hundreds of recommendations for the accolade of best content of the year, and then asked a panel of experts to judge the final lists.
In a time of economic austerity it is hardly surprising that public opinion has turned to those receiving benefits from the state, particularly those who do not work. Repeated stereotyping and manipulation of statistics in the media have painted many of Britain's poorest citizens as lazy good-for-nothings living a life of luxury at our expense.
Misrepresenting someone or something is a big thing. It has potentially vast repercussions, a fact recognised by defamation law, and by the huge fees paid to advertising and PR companies by major brands and public figures. But not everyone has the money or expert advice to take these routes to controlling how they are represented by others.
So why, despite all the talk and the years of work, is FGM being ignored by the UK government? Why is it not discussed in the same way any other form of child abuse is? After 11 years I have come to this conclusion: We, the British, refuse to engage in conversation on race, sex and gender; our inherent conservatism gets in the way of having an honest discussion on this subject. Because FGM only affects women and girls, it's practiced to control female sexuality and primarily affects black children, it's not to be discussed.
If the government isn't talking with the people because the people are not interested, or don't know what the government is, let alone who. Then why don't we educate and empower the people, when they are young and if we manage to inspire them they may actually want to register to vote as though it's a rite of passage.
The news that an elder from the community has passed away is apart from the deep immediate sorrow an event that causes many to look on the future with some trepidation. Death in this context is so much more than just the passing of an individual. It represents the severing of a link to times and sacrifices that are all too distant for many second, generation immigrants.