Residents of a gated community in east London got Ministry of Defence leaflets through their doors advising them that their roofs might be commandeered for surface-to-air missiles during the London Olympics this summer. The MoD assured them that the missiles on their roof "will only be authorised for active use following specific orders from the highest levels of government in response to a confirmed and extreme security threat". Gosh, the Olympics sure are wonderful.
Journalist Brian Whelan, a resident at the flats, said: "They are going to have a test run next week, putting high velocity missiles on the roof just above our apartment and on the back of it they're stationing police and military in the tower of the building for two months.
"It's a private, gated community... We have an MoD leaflet saying the building is the only suitable place in the area.
"It says there will be 10 officers plus police present 24/7. I'm not sure if they are going to live in the building."
I'm just waiting for some of our local gang-kids to swipe a few of these.
Here's the brochure (PDF).
Charlie Stross points out that a wily terrorist who buzzes east London with an RC airplane and triggers a launch would succeed in tricking the MoD into showering a crowded residential area with blazing supersonic shrapnel. For bonus points, aim the RC plane to get the missile to shower the white-hot shrapnel over a crowded train station.
London 2012: Missiles may be placed at residential flats
Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, has followed up his scorching condemnation of US poverty with an even more damning report on poverty in the UK, which he calls a "political choice" brought on by a decade of austerity at the hands of the Conservative Party.
Mark Zuckerberg has told the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Ireland that he is "not available" for a planned hearing on political disinformation and Facebook.
The British government has decreed that adult sites must collect age-verification data on everyone who looks at material rated for 18-and-over viewing; this amounts to a database of the porn-viewing habits of every adult in the UK.
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