Diary: Legal experts hoping to solve a 50-year-old mystery
More than 50 years have passed since the mysterious aircraft crash which killed Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish diplomat who some think was the best secretary general the United Nations ever had. He was fearless in his criticism of the great powers of the day, including the UK. When Katanga, a mineral-rich province of the Congo, declared independence from the government of Patrice Lumumba in July 1960, Hammarskjold suspected collusion by Western mining interests and was flying there to broker a peace deal on 18 September 1961, when the aircraft came down near the Katanga border. Eight months earlier, Lumumba had been kidnapped and taken to Katanga to be tortured and killed, evidence that it did not do to mess with Katanga's mining interests.
The cause of that crash has never been satisfactorily established but even after so many years, a commission of jurists – a panel of legal experts – has been set up in the hope of finding out. It is chaired by Sir Stephen Sedley, a retired Lord Justice of Appeal. "The whole of the truth, in significant respects, has yet to be told," the Labour peer, David Lea, who helped set up the commission, said yesterday.
Wealthy prove to have sensitive eardrums
Having previously blamed "health and safety" for the sudden end of Bruce Springsteen's live gig with Paul McCartney at the weekend, the promoters, Live Nation, now have a new explanation. The problem was the sensitive eardrums of wealthy and influential people living nearby, chief operating officer Paul Latham has told Classic Rock magazine. He added: "The residents of Park Lane and Mayfair may not be numerous, but they wield inordinate power over the Gogs and Magogs of Parliament."
A name from the shadows
Those who have heard of Jeremy Thorpe, one of the most dazzlingly talented and self-destructive politicians of the past 50 years, may be surprised to know that he is still alive, though he has been ill for years. He led the Liberals when Edward Heath and Harold Wilson led Britain's two main parties. In his memoirs, Thorpe had nothing much to say about the alleged homosexual affair with the model Norman Scott, and the bizarre allegation that he attempted to have Scott murdered, which destroyed his career. He was acquitted of the charge at trial. The 83-year-old was mentioned in the Western Morning News this week because his three bedroom 16th-century thatched cottage has gone on the market for an asking price of £625,000.
Attack dog goes on the defence
It is often said that those who dish it out should know how to take it, but this does not seem to be a maxim close to the heart of Andrew Gilligan, one of the most famous attack-dog journalists in the land. After leaving the BBC and moving back into print journalism, he waged a relentless campaign, in the Evening Standard and later in the Daily Telegraph, to prevent Ken Livingstone being re-elected as Mayor of London.
On page 642 of Livingstone's memoirs You Can't Say That, Gilligan came upon a reference to himself, alleging that he had been "shown the door" by the Standard, and that editorials since published in the paper said "there had been no corruption or cronyism at City Hall".
Gilligan interpreted this as saying that he had been sacked and that his award-winning exposés repudiated, and called for m'learned friends. Livingstone's publishers, Faber & Faber, denied that the words were intended to have that meaning, but agreed to pay unspecified damages. An apology was read out in court yesterday. "Being lied about by liars is an occupational hazard of my job, but anyone tempted to follow Livingstone's example should be in no doubt that I will defend my reputation and journalism.
"As for Ken, he has today learned that there are indeed some things you can't say," Gilligan triumphantly declared.
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...