Daily Archives: December 18, 2007

Actors ‘shot dead while filming crime movie’

Police responsible for the shooting looked like they belonged to an elite unit.

Telegraph | Dec 18, 2007

By Gary Cleland

Armed police in Angola shot dead two actors filming a crime movie after mistaking them for real armed robbers, the director of the film claimed.

Three other actors were injured in front of astonished onlookers during filming in a crime-ridden suburb of Angola’s capital, Luanda.

Director Radical Ribeiro, from the Banda Mulundi production company, said: “We saw the police pick-up speeding towards us.

“It looked empty but then suddenly it stopped and people appeared on the back and without asking any questions they started shooting at everybody at close range.

“I don’t know how I escaped, I was just two metres away.”

The shooting happened on Monday.

The director said that the actors were carrying firearms, but without any ammunition.

He said: “I was stunned when I saw them falling down. They went on shooting until I shouted out, ‘Please don’t shoot, this is a movie’.”

The officers then stopped firing and left without attending to the injured, who were taken to hospital, Mr Ribeiro said.

Angolan officials have not commented on the incident, but Mr Ribeiro said he had told local police about the film and maintained that he did have permission to film in the area.

He added that the police responsible for the shooting looked like they belonged to an elite unit.

Brits losing jobs to migrant workers

 

Recent immigrant employment may have come at a cost to the domestic workforce

Telegraph | Dec 18, 2007

100,000 lose out to migrants in hunt for work

By Robert Winnett

More than 100,000 young Britons may have been pushed into unemployment by the new wave of Eastern European immigrants, an economic analysis on the impact of migration has revealed.

The study, by the influential Ernst & Young ITEM Club, found that although the recent influx has boosted Britain’s economy and kept inflation low, it may have increased unemployment for younger Britons and reduced pay increases for all.

Since 1997, 1.5 million foreign workers have entered the British workplace, with many of these arriving from Eastern Europe in the past three years since the European Union expansion. This new group typically earns 40 per cent less than British workers.

Since 2004, the number of unemployed British 18 to 24 year olds has increased by 100,000, according to the study. “There is some evidence that the growth of immigrant employment seen in the last few years may have come at the expense of the domestic workforce,” the report concludes.

“Given the age and skill profile of many of the new immigrants, it is possible that ‘native’ youngsters may have been losing out in the battle for entry-level jobs.”

However, the report also reveals the wider economic benefits brought by the immigration boom.

The typical British family has saved thousands of pounds a year in mortgage repayments as interest rates are calculated to be up to 1.5 percentage points lower than they would have been without immigration. New immigrants have pushed down inflation, staving off Bank of England increases in interest rates.

Wage rises, however, are calculated to be up to 0.4 percentage points lower than they would have been, knocking hundreds of pounds off the typical wage rise this year.

The impact of immigration on the economy is now a key political battleground with Gordon Brown controversially pledging to create “British jobs for British workers”.

Yet figures showed the majority of new jobs created over the past decade have actually been taken by foreigners. The Conservatives have said they will cap immigration at a level recommended by a council of economic experts.

Peter Spencer, the chief economic adviser to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club, said: “We have seen big increases in industrial costs and food prices which have not led to significantly higher wages.

“One of the main reasons for this is that workers have been in a very weak position with overseas workers in a position to take their jobs.

“Immigration has been unequivocally good economically in terms of the benefits for lower inflation and interest rates. However, the fact is that wage increases have been held down.”

According to Ernst & Young’s calculations, if immigration continues at the same rate as the past two years -190,000 net immigration a year – the economy will grow by about three per cent annually.

Without immigration this would fall to 2.2 per cent, knocking £10 billion off the growth in the economy.

The report said a large proportion of the most recent immigrants have been filling gaps at the bottom of the labour market. Mr Spencer said entire industries may have been saved by this.

“Most of these workers have gone into jobs that British people did not want to do,” he said. “By taking up dirty jobs, the new arrivals have allowed whole industries – like the Scottish fishing industry – to survive.”

Ministers will today announce plans to clamp down on visas for visitors.

The duration for tourist visas is to be cut from six to three months and families who sponsor visits by relatives may have to pay a “bond”.

Immigration ‘amnesty’ for 160,000

British troops ‘kill Danes in friendly fire’

Telegraph | Dec 18, 2007

By Emma Henry

British troops are believed to have killed two Danish soldiers in a “friendly fire” attack in Afghanistan, the Danish equivalent of the Ministry of Defence has said.

Privates Mikkel Keil Sorensen and Thorbjorn Ole Reese were killed on Sept 26 in Helmand Province but the report into their deaths was only released today.

Both soldiers died of shrapnel wounds during strikes by British troops, who thought they were firing at the Taliban, according to the Danes.

Their report said that the soldiers were on duty in a compound to the north west of Helmand River on Sept 26 while British units were to the south east.

Accounts given by Danish troops said that an ongoing firefight between the Taliban and British positions broke out and at 9.28pm the Danish compound was hit, killing Private Ole Reese and wounding a non-commissioned officer.

The Danish troops presumed they had been hit by the Taliban and launched their own attack but an hour later, another strike hit their compound, killing Private Keil Sorenson.

At least three missiles identified “with 100 per cent certainty” to be the type used by British forces and not by the Taliban were later found in the compound,

Investigators had concluded there was a “high degree of probability” that fragments of missiles found during the post-mortems on the soldiers matched the same type of rocket.

Times given by British troops for when they fired missiles also matched the times of the strikes at the Danish compound.

The report concluded: “On the basis of the information available today, it is the opinion of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps that private Thorbjorn Ole Reese and private Mikkel Keil Sorensen were killed as a result of strikes by British soldiers which, by a tragic mistake, were directed towards the compound where the Danish soldiers were in position.”

The two soldiers were part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and had been on operations north of Gereshk, trying to combat the Taliban, when they were killed.

Brig Andrew Mackay, Commander Task Force Helmand, said in a statement: “I am, of course, concerned that we establish exactly what happened on September 26.

“As the Danish report makes clear, the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident will be thoroughly investigated by the British Army and until that process is complete, we will not be in a position to make further comment.”

Brig Mackay also expressed his “deepest sympathies” for the soldiers’ families, adding that their deaths would not sway the resolve of their fellow Danish troops still in Afghanistan.

He said: “I know that they will continue to show the same bravery and dedication to their duties as they continue to play a vital role alongside us in the defeat of the Taliban within Helmand.”