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Under EU law each member state must elect their MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) by a system of Proportional Representation (“PR”). However it is left to member states to choose which particular version of PR system they will use. PR is designed to ensure that the number of seats won by a party or […]

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Most people know the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome” from the numerous high-profile kidnapping and hostage cases – usually involving women – in which it has been cited. The term is probably most associated with Patty Hearst, the Californian newspaper heiress who was kidnapped by revolutionary militants in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors […]

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The first “Austin Mini 7”, the iconic car designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and manufactured by the British Motor Corporation went on sale at a price of £497. It was one of the cheapest saloon cars available and had been designed and introduced in answer to the fuel shortage and petrol rationing caused by the […]

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After three hours of anguished debate, the Soviet Parliament (the Supreme Soviet) voted to suspend all activities of the Communist Party pending an investigation of its role in a coup against President Mikhail Gorbachev. The fate of the party was already sealed before Parliament’s vote. Individual republics had closed Party offices and seized its vast […]

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The Earth Summit 2002 (or to give its official title “The World Summit on Sustainable Development”) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 26 August to 4 September 2002. It was convened by the United Nations to discuss sustainable development and was attended by a number of leaders from business and non-governmental organizations. As it […]

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Richard Milhous Nixon was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate on 8th August 1968 and exactly six years later, 8th August 1972; he announced he was resigning as the 37th President of the United States becoming the only President to resign office. After service in the Navy in World War 2 Nixon entered national politics […]

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Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on 26th November and touched down on Mars earlier today to explore Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL). The rover, which is the size of a small car, is designed to investigate the Martian climate and geology; assess whether Gale Crater has […]

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The worldwide media is today full of the story that it is exactly 50 years since the Rolling Stones first appeared on stage. In fact it was the very first time they ever played together and I remember it well because I was there – which is more than you can say for most (all?) […]

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A de Havilland DH16 (pictured) belonging to the British Aircraft Transport & Travel Company (“AT@&T”) took off from Hounslow Heath Aerodrome inaugurating the world’s first regularly scheduled airline service between London and Paris, Le Bourget Airport. Although situated near to modern-day Heathrow Airport, Hounslow Heath, which started life as a grass airstrip used by the […]

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The body of Hess, 93, was found in the grounds of Spandau Prison in West Berlin, where he had been held since his conviction in 1946 at the Nuremberg war crimes trial for crimes against humanity. Ever since there have been suspicions that he killed himself but several investigations came to no definite conclusion. For […]

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Speaking from the White House on the evening of 14th August, and after days of rumour and speculation, US President Harry S Truman announced to the world that the Japanese Government had agreed to comply in full with the Potsdam declaration which demanded the unconditional surrender of Japan. World War II was finally over. At […]

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There is nothing on Earth quite like the Isle of Man TT Races. They capture the imagination in a way no other race can and the sheer spectacle and uniqueness ensure that every May and June many thousands of fans flock to the Island – many with their own bikes – to revel in the […]

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The Battle of Bosworth Field was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses and historians consider that the death of Richard III marked the end of the War of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th […]

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Citizens of Czechoslovakia awoke to find that the Soviet Union and its main allies in the Warsaw Pact – (Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, and Poland) had invaded overnight in order to crush Prime Minister Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring political liberalisation reforms. Hundreds of people were killed or wounded and several members of the liberal Czechoslovak […]

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The Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions, and wars which took place in Britain and Ireland between 1688 and 1746. Their aim was to return James VII of Scotland and II of England, and the descendants of the House of Stuart, to the throne, James having been deposed by Parliament during the Glorious […]

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Elvis Presley, whose singing and style revolutionized popular music in the 1950s, was scheduled to fly out of Memphis on the evening of August 16 to begin another tour. But that afternoon his fiancée Ginger Alder found him slumped in a bathroom at his mansion, Gracelands. He was rushed to the Baptist Memorial Hospital in […]

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After ten years of negotiation the three “nuclear nations” – the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union – signed a Treaty prohibiting all test detonations of nuclear weapons except those carried out underground. The Treaty was developed both to slow the arms race (nuclear testing necessary for continued nuclear weapon development), and to […]

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On 30th July 1930 Uruguay won the inaugural soccer World Cup by beating Argentina 4-2 in the final, which was held, like all the matches, in Montevideo. On 30th July 1966 England beat West Germany in that year’s World Cup Final held at Wembley Stadium in London. In 1928 FIFA (the football world governing body) […]

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The streets of London were packed with some 600,000 people eager to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles, heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, and Lady Diana Spencer daughter of one of England’s premier Peers, Earl Spencer, on their wedding day. The couple were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St Paul’s […]

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History was made on this day when the London Stock Exchange (LSE) finally, after 200 years, allowed women to enter its premises as employees. One of the ten women in this first intake commented that the Exchange was the “last bastion of misogyny” and that business at the Exchange seemed to be carried out “at […]

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