London Air Pollution Dangerously High, Campaigners Warn

Ni Zhaoxing, chairman of the ZhongRong Group real estate investment firm, hopes to recreate the 19th century palace that was the world’s largest glass structure before it was destroyed in a fire in 1936 that could be seen across London. The original Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton to host the 1851 Great Exhibition, held when Britain sought to awe other nations with spoils from its empire and the wonders of industrialization. Originally located in Hyde Park, it was moved to south London in 1854, and Ni now wants to build a replica there to the original dimensions of about 500 meters (1,640 ft) long and 50 meters high. “This is going to recreate a 21st century version of the palace,” London Mayor Boris Johnson told reporters. “This isn’t an act of nostalgia. It is looking forward and it is about adorning our city with a world-class structure.” The 180-acre park, where the palace once stood and includes the original terraced steps, is currently home to an amphitheatre that once hosted reggae singer Bob Marley, a national sports centre and a collection of giant dinosaur sculptures, which also date from the 1850s. If the proposal goes through, it would be another example of China’s growing appetite for investments in Britain. A Chinese firm signed a deal this year to convert London’s Royal Albert Docks into the city’s third financial district. “London is renowned across the world for its history and culture,” said Ni, who says he was tied to Britain through his English-educated daughters and love of British art. “This project is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring its spirit back to life by recreating the Crystal Palace and restoring the park to its former glory,” he said. The Chinese company, which says the project would create 2,000 jobs, is seeking to profit from its investment by drawing tourists and using the area to host international exhibitions. Residents of the surrounding area have rebuffed numerous development efforts in the past, including proposals to build a cinema, a new sports centre and housing developments. “It’s being dressed up as a heritage project but there’s not enough details, and the devil’s in the details,” said Amanda Sciberras, head of the Crystal Palace Residents’ Association, who said the proposal appeared to be a commercial venture rather than a cultural one. (Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Analysis by a laboratory used by government found that concentrations of the toxic exhaust pipe gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded EU levels by over 50% in some areas, and was over the safety limit in 15 out of 32 places tested. The results are alarming, say the groups, because colourless, odourless NO2 pollution is cumulative and the 15 sites surpassed the annual safety limit after only four weeks. The experiment suggests that official testing of roadside air pollution is limited and insufficient. Many of the tubes measured emissions in streets that are never monitored, and those placed near official monitors mostly recorded levels above those published by government. Air pollution from traffic in east London is considered by health experts to be some of the worst in Britain, mostly affecting the old and young and linked to respiratory and heart diseases. It is estimated that air pollution kills over 4,000 people a year in the city each year . The Green party assembly member Darren Johnson said on Friday that London’s air pollution was an “absolute crisis.” Environment groups expect air pollution to deteriorate further in east London if two major infrastructure developments are permitted. City airport has submitted plans which could allow it to add 50,000 more flights a year. Boris Johnson also wants a new Thames road crossing that could massively increase traffic. “Our sampling showed that in key public locations readings are breaching EU guidelines. We are being asked to believe that the massive expansion of London city airport will have only a negligible impact on air quality. This shows it is simply not the case,” said Alan Haughton of Stop City Airport .

Fire sweeps boat on London Duck Tours; passengers leap into the Thames

And, in the course of all this frustration, last Sundayas game against Saskatchewan might have been the most forgettable the Alouettes receiver has ever played. aIt was the worst game in my career, yes, since I picked up a ball,a London admitted following the Alsa practice Thursday at Stade HAbert. aIt happens.a The 6-foot-4, 210-pound London, now in his fourth season with Montreal, was held to two receptions for a paltry 11 yards. But that statistic was overshadowed by the three passes he dropped. Following the second, frustrated quarterback Josh Neiswander became quite demonstrative on the team bench, imploring London, and others, to catch the ball and pick up their game. London apologized to his offensive teammates following the game, which the Als won. He also sat down with general manager and head coach Jim Popp, the two conducting a lengthy conversation. aThatas not me,a said London, who appeared to be fighting the ball against the Roughriders and lacking in confidence. aI apologized to the offence after the performance I had. Throw it away. Itas not me. aWeare a competitive team.

Zurkowsky: A season to forget so far for Als’ London

Several people were pulled from the water, and the blaze was eventually extinguished. Police said all 28 passengers and two crew members on board the vessel were safe. No one was seriously injured, and three people treated at a London hospital for “minor smoke inhalation ailments” have all been discharged, London Duck Tours said. Most of the people on board the boat were foreign tourists, ITV reported. The company and the London Fire Brigade both said the cause of the blaze, which damaged one third of the vessel, was so far unknown. River tours suspended Borough Cmdr. Alison Newcomb of London’s Metropolitan Police said that the maritime coast guard is investigating. “At the conclusion of that investigation, I anticipate they will make a decision with regards to future tours,” she told ITV. London Duck Tours said it has stopped operating tours on the river until the reason for the fire has been established. “Should technical or safety modifications be required to our fleet, these will be introduced prior to the service recommencing,” Duck Tours said, stressing that it “operates to the highest safety standards.” “London Duck Tours operates a fully modernized fleet of nine vehicles that have been completely rebuilt and refurbished between 2002 and 2012,” it said. “This includes new, purpose built hulls, new engines, computerized systems and steering equipment.” The company said it was fully cooperating with investigators and regulatory authorities. Previous problems Amphibious tour vehicles have run into trouble in the past.

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