London Mayor sends VW a £2.5m bill for Dieselgate cheaters' Congestion Charges

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Drivers in London have to pay a daily "congestion charge" intended to encourage the use of public transit and bicycles, but low-emission vehicles are exempt, and so for years, drivers of VW diesels got free rides thanks to the company's fraudulent claims about their cars' pollution. Read the rest

Ecuadoran Embassy confirms it changed its wifi password to lock out Assange

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The Ecuadoran Embassy in London has confirmed Wikileaks' accusation that it terminated Julian Assange's access to its wifi network because it disapproved of Assange and Wikileaks' "intervention in the affairs of other states" by publishing material pertaining to the impending US election. Read the rest

Apple to occupy Battersea Power Station, legendary London brownfield site

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The question of what to do with Battersea Power Station, a disused yet oddly beautiful pile of bricks in London, long occupied the city's planners. The latest developers have scored a coup that sounds a lot like the final answer: it's going to be Apple's London headquarters.

Countless schemes came and went for the massive structure, whose four towers belched coal smoke until 1983 and graced the legendary cover of Pink Floyd's Animals. But it was only in the last few years that plans came together for a modern, mixed-use combination of homes, shops and businesses. Apple will be the single largest tenant, London's Evening Standard reports, taking the top 6 floors inside the old boiler house.

Apple’s main European HQ will remain at Cork, Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest in the world outside America. The Californian giant, the world’s most valuable company, will be the largest single tenant in the 42-acre complex of homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities....Apple is leasing 500,000 sq ft in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals signed in London outside the City and Docklands in the past 20 years.

It is expected all the firm’s “central function” staff in London in areas such as finance and human resources will move to the power station. Apple has 2,530 staff in total in the capital, including about 1,100 working in its stores. It has taken enough space for 3,000 employees, giving it room to hire more as its operation grows in London.

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Geographically representative map of the London Underground

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The Transport for London tube map, building on Harry Beck's pioneering work in 1931, is rightly hailed as a masterpiece of simplification and clarity in data visualisation. Read the rest

Watch artisans make Freddie Mercury's Blue Plaque

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Freddie Mercury's childhood home in London will now have a blue plaque, the UK's acknowledgement of a significant historical person or place. This endearing film chronicles how it was made. Read the rest

Fire garden honors 350th anniversary of Great Fire of London

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This weekend was the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, so The Tate Modern erected a fire garden with performers and fire-spewing sculptures. Read the rest

Parking-ticket bot will now help homeless people get benefits

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Stanford computer science student Joshua Browder, whose DoNotPay bot helps you fight parking tickets in London and New York (it's estimated to have overturned $4M in tickets to date) has a new bot in the offing: a chatbot that helps newly homeless people in the UK create and optimise their applications for benefits. Read the rest

#Slaveroo: Crowdsourcing a strike-fund for exploited gig economy workers

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"Gig economy" scooter drivers for London's Deliveroo service earn £7/hour plus £1/delivery, and that's nowhere near a living wage: but rather than giving their a pay rise (£9.40/hour, plus £1/delivery, plus petrol, plus tips), Deliveroo wants to cut them all to zero-hours contracts with no hourly wage and £3.75/delivery and they fired all the drivers who asked for a living wage, so naturally, drivers are crowdfunding a strike-fund to fight back. Read the rest

Burying the past in glass coffins: Victoria & Albert museum bans sketching in temporary exhibitions

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London's Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world's great museums devoted to material culture and design, has joined a long line of museums who've allowed the owners of loaned items for temporary exhibitions to require them to ban photography and sketching of these items. Read the rest

London luxury property prices plummet after Brexit vote

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A Russian home-buyer pulled out of a "agreed offer" of £6.95m for a six bedroom Kensington flat, now it's listed for £6.75m; a three-bedroom in Swiss Cottage is down to £1.05m from £1.5m; a £1.1m 2-bedroom in Whitechapel is now £720,000; a 2bm maisonette in Notting Hill fell from £1.59m to £1.35mk; a £1.3m 5br in St. Reatham is down to £850,000 and estate agents have mutually agreed to go back to calling it Streatham. Read the rest

Post-Brexit, white-power handbills blanket a north London street

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Twitter user LDLDN posted this image of a racist National Front poster on a lamppost in Camden, a neighborhood in north London -- a relatively affluent, diverse neighborhood dominated by a giant subculture market, two huge train stations (St Pancras and King's Cross), a university, and the British Library. Read the rest

Crowd boos Boris "Leave" Johnson as he leaves his home

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Old Etonian and former London Mayor Boris Johnson -- a kind of English Trump figure -- campaigned heavily for the Leave side in Brexit, making it a proxy war for his struggle to discredit his old school rival David Cameron and wrest control of the Tory party for his faction. Read the rest

Transport for London blames Tube delays on "wrong type of sun"

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The agency says that the angle of the sunlight that strikes its tracks creates glare that blinds the CCTVs that train-drivers use to ensure that the platform is clear before pulling out of the station. Read the rest

Trump is ‘Ignorant About Islam’ and his extremism helps ISIS, says London's new Muslim mayor

Sadiq Khan, Britain's Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, speaks to the media at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 4, 2016.  REUTERS

The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says his election in a divisive campaign that drew attention to his faith should send a message to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump that Islam and Western values get along just fine.

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Sadiq Khan elected London mayor, becomes first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital

Sadiq Khan, Britain's Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, speaks to the media at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 4, 2016.  REUTERS

The practicing Muslim son of Pakistani immigrants has been elected mayor of London. Labour Party politician Sadiq Khan's win today is a major political milestone in the Western world.

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Tube map of "lost" London

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London is a ghost of all the things that were once there, and The Lost London Tube Map shows off some of the most famous forgotten landmarks. Biscuit Town and Bedlam are long gone, but others (like Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens) are still around to be rediscovered.

Some losses are definitely for the best. Few would welcome back the public horror of Tyburn gallows, or the miserable Marshalsea Prison. Other losses are a cause of some regret: Euston Arch and the Astoria, for example. Imagine a city where Whitehall Palace still stands, and Old London Bridge yet straddles the Thames. Of course, we're barely scratching the surface. We've not included the Overground or DLR, and have limited the scope to (roughly) zone 1. A whole heap of buildings such as Watkin's Folly and the White City Olympic stadium are left out, and we don't have room to include all the important stuff lost from central London.

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To do in London: digital storytelling with Rhianna Pratchett and Leigh Alexander

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Alice writes, "Held at BAFTA (195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN) Level Up will boast a discussion and celebration of digital storytelling in gaming led by a panel of renowned author-gamers, including academic and children's author Gabrielle Kent, script writer Rhianna Pratchett, and journalist Leigh Alexander." Read the rest

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