Barclays bank was fined £290 million this week after attempts were made to manipulate Libor interest rates that influence loan and mortgage costs. In a statement, Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said, ‘Barclays’ misconduct was serious, widespread and extended over a number of years,’ adding that, ‘The integrity of benchmark reference rates such as LIBOR and EURIBOR is of fundamental importance to both UK and international financial markets.’ Responding to the misconduct, the governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King said that 'something went very wrong with the UK banking industry and we need to put it right,' adding that 'we need a real change in the culture of the industry.'
An explosion on a street in the Shaw area of Oldham killed a two-year-old child and seriously injured a man on Tuesday. The explosion, which was first thought to have been caused by a gas leak, destroyed one house on Buckley Street and damaged several others. A spokesperson for the National Grid later said, 'The company can confirm that the incident was not caused by a leak from its gas distribution pipes. The Health and Safety Executive was on site during the testing of the gas pipes.’ A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and was later bailed pending further inquiries, according to Greater Manchester Police.
The Supreme Court of the United States decided to uphold President Barack Obama's healthcare reform legislation as constitutional on Thursday, in a decision that split the court 5-4. Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the majority, said, 'In this case, we must again determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess.’ The four dissenting justices stated in an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy that, ‘In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.’ President Obama described the decision as ‘a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law.' Meanwhile, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney stated that, ‘This is a time of choice for the American people. If we're going to get rid of Obamacare we're going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.’
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi was sworn in as the first democratically elected president of Egypt in Cairo on Saturday. Speaking after a swearing-in ceremony before the country’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Mursi said that, ‘Today the Egyptian people have laid the foundations for a new life, for absolute freedom, for a real democracy.’ The new president has also spoken about the country's military, suggesting that it should hand over powers to elected bodies. He has stated that, 'The elected institutions will resume carrying out their role, and the great Egyptian army will go back to focusing on its mission of protecting national security and borders.’ Mursi was elected last week with 51.73% of the vote after running against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq.
US President Barack Obama visited Colorado this week after some of the worst wildfires in the state’s history severely damaged local neighbourhoods. Almost 160,000 acres of land have been burned in the fires, which have destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and forced at least 35,000 people to evacuate their places of residence. President Obama declared that the state of Colorado was in a state of ‘major disaster’ on Friday. Speaking in in the state, the President said that there had been 'outstanding coordination and cooperation between federal state and local agencies' in dealing with the fires. The President added that, ‘Some lessons are being learned about how we can mitigate some of these fires in the future…Hopefully, out of this tragedy, some long-term planning occurs, and it may be that we can curb some of the damage that happens the next time.’
A 33-year-old man died on Saturday after falling from a balcony on the third floor of the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham. After the incident had taken place, West Midlands Police tweeted, ‘Bullring evacuated after man jumped from 3rd floor near Debenhams. He's been taken to hospital in critical condition.’ A spokesperson for the West Midlands Police later said that police were called to 'a man who had received critical injuries on the bottom tier of the bullring.' The spokesperson went on to say that, 'He was taken to hospital in a critical condition. Sadly the man was pronounced dead at hospital at about 8.45pm.' The Bullring was evacuated following the incident. A spokesperson for the Bullring has said that the shopping centre is working closely with police.
The Guild of Students has been awarded silver ‘Be a Champion’ status by the National Union of Students (NUS) for its work in supporting the 2012 Olympic Games, it was announced on Friday. In a statement on its website, the Guild said, ‘We have demonstrated our commitment to the Games throughout the year, with a number of activities delivered and supported by four enthusiastic ambassadors.’ The Guild’s Vice President for Sport, Tim Smith, has said that the awarded status ‘is a fantastic achievement for the Guild.’ He added that, ‘Our four ambassadors, who volunteered their time to ensure all students had the opportunity to be involved in the run-up to London 2012, should be extremely proud. With just four weeks to go to the main event, on behalf of Birmingham students, I can say we can’t wait!’