Archive | January 2013

Doctor Who drama casts Harry Potter actor

By Hannah Smithson

Harry Potter actor David Bradley will play “first Doctor” William Hartnell in a BBC drama about Doctor Who’s creation to mark its 50th anniversary.

Harry Pottor actor David Bradley is cast in new BBC Doctor Who drama
Harry Pottor actor David Bradley is cast in new BBC Doctor Who drama

The adventure story will journey the BBC‘s sci-fi drama, beginning in the early 1960s.

Bradley, known for his role as Filch in the Harry Potter series, said he was “absolutely thrilled” to be cast.

Filming will begin in February at BBC Television Centre, then move to Wimbledon Studios in south-west London.

The script has been written by Mark Gatiss, a regular Doctor Who writer who, like Bradley, has been seen in the show since its 2005 revival.

“I first heard about this role from Mark while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre,” said Bradley, who played the character of Solomon in 2012 episode Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.

“When he asked if I would interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history.”


Peace Envoy warns UN of horror in Syria

Peace Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has warned the UN security council that the conflict in Syria has reached new “unprecedented levels of horror”.

The UN-Arab League envoy was speaking hours after evidence emerged of a fresh massacre in the northern city of Aleppo.

At least 71 people were killed in the recent massacre in the city of Aleppo, Syria

Reports of at least 71 bodies were found by a river in the western Bustan al-Qasr district, opposition activists said.

Mr Brahimi has been trying to find a solution to the crisis based on a peace plan approved at an international conference in June 2012 but has said the UN security council cannot continue to be in disagreement and wait but must act now.

The UN says the conflict has left more than 60,000 people dead.

“The country is breaking up before everyone’s eyes. Only the international community can help, and first and foremost the Security Council,”  Mr Brahimi told a closed meeting of the 15-member council, according to diplomats.

“The region is being pushed into a situation that is extremely bad,” he said.

Horrifying massacre

Activists posted video footage of the massacre in Aleppo on YouTube, showing a large number of bodies strewn in and around the banks of the Quwaiq river.

The government and opposition have blamed each other for the killings.

The UN Security Council has been divided over Syria for months. The US, UK, France and other Western powers have pushed for resolutions that threaten sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

However, Russia and China have vetoed resolutions three times. Moscow – a close ally of Syria – also refuses to back calls for Mr Assad to step down.

Gordon Brown blogs for young women at WEF

Gordon Brown blogs live from the WEF about young womens empowerment being the hot topic for 2013 Photo courtesy of WEF

Gordon Brown blogs live from the WEF about young womens empowerment being the hot topic for 2013 Photo courtesy of WEF

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is blogging about the hot topic of 2013- looking at the growing global empowerment of young women from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos:

See link for his post from the Huffington Post

He said: “The rights of girls is becoming the hot topic of the 2013, as a new movement of empowered young women discovers that it has the momentum to force big issues — girls’ health, girls’ education and the protection of girls against violence — to the centre of the global agenda.”

The pressure that has come from anti-rape marches, which have dominated the early days of the year in India and have spread to other countries, will not dissipate in the next few weeks. Indeed it will be stepped up, with Valentine’s Day demonstrations around the world on February 14, when the online campaign group One Billion Rising plans what it calls a mixture of ‘a global strike, an invitation to dance, an act of solidarity with women and a refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given’.

Girls’ rights will be the focus of the 10×10 Initiative when, on International Women’s Day (March 8), award-winning journalists and film-makers will expose in the new documentary ‘Girl Rising’ just how unfair the distribution of educational opportunities is for so many millions of girls around the world. The new film will give added impetus to long-running campaigns such as Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl, whose aim is to give four million girls around the world the chance to gain the education that can help them to break out of the cycle of poverty.

In the wake of the shooting last year of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, discrimination against girls — 32 million of whom are denied the chance to go to school — will be the theme of a special event during the United Nations General Assembly in September. Ahead of that, getting girls to school in targeted countries will be a top agenda item in a summit on April 18-19 in Washington, to be attended by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank, in advance of the IMF/World Bank spring meetings. During that week, we will also focus on ways to ban child marriage and child labour, and outlaw the prejudice that prevents girls going to school.

The rights of girls is moving to the top of the global issues agenda because young women are saying with rising resolve that they will no longer accept the rules and conventions imposed upon them by a male-dominated adult population.

Indeed, I see in recent protests a real shift. Demonstrations that started as cautious, often gentle, admonitions to the powers that be, with respectful requests for change, have now come to encompass a set of defiant, non-negotiable demands in the form of ultimatums — and rightly so. Protests that once were pleas to ‘please stop this’ have become protests that insist ‘no more and never again’.”

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