Author: WLT NEWS DESK

At Grenfell Tower Silence is Golden

Grenfell Tower survivors, bereaved and their supporters have staged a peaceful and silent monthly procession around their west London neighbourhood since the tragedy that claimed 72 lives on 14 June 2017. In emotional scenes they continued the tradition with a silent march to a vigil in memory of the victims on the first anniversary of the tragedy. There were emotional scenes close to the base of the tower, as they held up pictures of those who perished in the inferno. Their quiet dignity seemed to have been mirrored across the country as the close-knit and ethnically diverse community held vigils, prayed, released doves and ate together. The Queen and her new granddaughter-in-law Meghan, on an official visit to Chester in northwest England, were among those who observed a national silence in honour of the victims at midday. The silence was also observed in the Houses of Parliament and in government buildings. It lasted 72 seconds, one for each of the 71 people who died on the night of the fire, and one for a woman who died in hospital …

Robbie Williams and his wife Flee Knightsbridge Hotel blaze

Robbie Williams and his wife were among 36 guests and 250 hotel staff evacuated from a fire that broke out at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge in west London. One hundred and twenty firefighters and 20 fire engines brought the blaze under control according to the London Fire Brigade. The fire is believed to have spread across a vertical facade for plants and vegetation and into several floors of the hotel but was quickly extinguished. The five -star hotel which provides concierge services to residents of neighbouring One Hyde Park luxury flats is believed to have recently undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment. The hotel has also been visited by the Queen while attending private functions at the venue. Williams, 44, described their dramatic escape on Instagram: “I went on the balcony and looked up and there was just billows and billows of smoke. “I came back in from the balcony and said, ‘The hotel’s on fire,’ and then the next thing a knock at the door came and there was a bellboy there and …

Heathrow Third Runway Gets Green Light

The Cabinet has backed plans for a new runway at Heathrow airport opening the way for a parliamentary vote after decades of delays, although the project could still face challenges before construction starts. Heathrow is Europe’s busiest airport but is now operating at full capacity. In the past, plans to expand the airport have faced opposition from local communities and environmentalists but the current £14bn ($18.5bn) expansion plan is making progress. The cabinet gave its blessing to the new runway plan, said transport minister Chris Grayling, and lawmakers should now vote on the issue within 21 days. The decision comes after almost half a century of indecision on how and where to add new airport capacity in densely populated southeast England. If it goes ahead it will be the first full-length runway built in the London area for 70 years. “Expansion at Heathrow presents a unique opportunity to deliver a multi-billion pound boost to our economy, strengthen our global links and maintain our position as a world leader in aviation,” Grayling said in a statement. …

Grenfell: Anatomy of a Catastrophe

Grenfell Tower residents should have been told to get out quickly rather than stay put in their flats as flames engulfed the building and killed 71 people, the public inquiry into the fire in west London almost a year ago has heard. The blaze, Britain’s deadliest on domestic premises since World War Two, shocked the nation and raised questions about the maintenance of its social housing, building regulations and fire safety protocols. The fire started just before 1 a.m. on 14 June 2017, in the kitchen of a flat on the fourth floor. It broke out of that apartment, ignited the cladding around the outside of the building, and reached the 23rd floor within half an hour. Expert reports released on the first day of oral hearings into the causes of the fire, pointed to a combustible external cladding installed during a 2012-2016 refurbishment as the main cause of the rapid spread of the fire. Residents who called the London Fire Brigade in the early stages were advised to stay put in their apartments, in …

Chelsea Put £1bn Stadium on Ice

  Chelsea Football Club have shelved plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge just as owner Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich faces a glitch in renewing his work visa. In a terse statement on its website, the west London club stated it was putting the new stadium project on hold and that further preparatory design and planning work will also cease. The statement read: “Chelsea Football Club announces today that it has put its new stadium project on hold. No further pre-construction design and planning work will occur. The club does not have a time frame set for reconsideration of its decision. The decision was made due to the current unfavourable investment climate.” Political observers are however linking the decision with Abramovich’s unexplained inability to secure the renewal of his investor’s visa. The business magnate who lives on Britain’s most exclusive street, Kensington Palace Gardens, was also inexplicably absent from the Blues’ recent victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup at Wembley. Relations between Russia and the United Kingdom has worsened since the Skripal poisoning. Britain has vowed tougher …

Factbox: Royal Baby, All you Need to Know

The Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William, gave birth to a boy at St Mary’s Hospital  in west London on Monday [23 April], the third child for the royal couple. HOW IS THE BIRTH BEING CELEBRATED? Bells rang and guns were fired in London on Tuesday [24 April] in celebration of the birth of the royal family’s latest addition. The bells tolled at Westminister Abbey while the Honourable Artillery Company, a reserve regiment, fired a 62-round salute from the Tower of London and Hyde Park. The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode out from Wellington Barracks into Hyde Park for a 41-round salute. WHAT HAS KENSINGTON PALACE SAID? “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 1101hrs. “The baby weighs 8lbs 7oz [3.8 kg]. “The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth. “Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. “The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed …