Cold, wet and more than dismal at the Castle this morn, I spent most of yester aftermorn installing a new shower after the old one went tits up and deluged me with freezing cold water, and I spotted the first crocus in the garden.
The Prime Monster said the worse-than-expected 0.2% contraction showed that the country was facing "extremely difficult economic times".
The contraction was driven by a 0.9% fall in manufacturing, a 4.1% drop in electricity and gas production as the warm weather caused people to turn down heating, and a 0.5% fall in the construction sector, while the powerhouse services sector ground to a halt.
And as the multi millionaire Eton shirt lifter couldn’t blame cold weather or an Icelandic volcano he decided that the "overhang" of debt run up under the previous government, high food and commodity prices, and the eurozone crisis was the cause.
Everyone else’s fault but the Piss Poor Policies Millionaires Club Coalition.
Celebrities embarking on “morale-boosting” visits to troops serving in Afghanistan cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds last year, new figures have shown.
Katherine Jenkins, the opera singer who is also the “Forces Sweetheart”, David Beckham, the former England captain and Cheryl Cole, the pop star, were among the high profile visitors to the war zone in 2011.
Defence chiefs organise the important “morale-boosting” trips to the front line as part of attempts to maintain troops' spirits as they battle against the Taliban.
Celebrities don flak jackets and helmets, travel on military flights before bedding down alongside servicemen and women during the publicised trips that generally provide favourable coverage.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures provided to Parliament on Tuesday show that taxpayers were billed £437,637 for celebrity visits "including an element for UK travel and mobilisation".
The MoD could not say if the stars were paid for the visits or how many trips were made.
That should read “would not say if the stars were paid for the visits or how many trips were made”
A 40-year-old man who told IRS agents he was not subject to man's laws but instead was an American national who "resided in the Kingdom of Heaven," pleaded not guilty this week to charges he filed false tax returns.
Russell P. Gentile, of Melbourne, Fla., also faces one count of obstruction of an IRS agent after a grand jury indicted him.
The indictment reported that in 2008 Gentile claimed that he had no reportable income for the years 2001 and 2002. Gentile sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service disputing the government's claims and stated that he didn't have to provide information about his income.
Investigators reported that Gentile told IRS agents that he would sue them in court if they continued to call him and ordered them to remove his name and Social Security number from the agency's databases.
Good try...bad plan.
Nissan Motor Co. announced Wednesday it is investing $2 billion to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico. It will be the Japanese company's third in the country, helping it serve markets throughout the Americas.
Construction of the plant in the northern state of Aguascalientes will begin this summer and production should start by the end of next year, according to a company statement. It said an industrial park for supplier companies also will be built.
The plant is projected to have the capacity to produce 175,000 vehicles a year, focusing on "B" platform vehicles. Those include the Versa, March and Tiida. The company says that will give Nissan the ability to produce 1 million cars a year in Mexico in the midterm.
Nissan manufactured more than 600,000 vehicles in Mexico last year, and it reported selling 1.56 million vehicles throughout the Americas, giving it a 7 percent market share for the hemisphere.
Nissan topped sales in Mexico last year with more than 224,000 vehicles, nearly 25 percent of the market.
Nissan said it expects to employ 3,000 workers, raising the company's total workforce in Mexico to 13,500. It projects the new plant will create 9,000 other jobs indirectly.
The company's production in Mexico includes the March, Sentra, Versa, Tiida autos, as well as the aging but still popular Tsuru model widely used as a taxi. It also produces NP300 light trucks.
Note to oneself-do not buy a Nissan-Datsun recalls
In the state of many teeth a former dentist has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud for using sections of paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals in an effort to save money.
Michael Clair, who had a practice in Fall River, Massachusetts, is scheduled to be sentenced next week. He pleaded guilty Friday to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000, assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs and witness intimidation charges.
Some of Clair's patients reported infections after he performed root canals on them, said Grant Woodman, a spokesman for state Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office prosecuted Clair.
Prosecutors say Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002 but continued filing by using the names of other dentists in his practice.
Clair's license to practice dentistry was suspended in Massachusetts in July 2006. Woodman said Clair is no longer licensed to practice dentistry in any state.
James Kulild, a professor of endodontics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, said a paper clip should never be left in permanently.
And there are very limited circumstances under which a paper clip could be used during dental procedures.
With just a few thrusts of a shovel, beach-goers in Coromandel Forest Park can watch a slow gurgle of warm, geothermal water rise from below the sand to gently fill a personal spa-like pool. In peak season, hundreds take to the beach with their bucket and trowel, digging pools just big enough to lie out in the water, which can reach temperatures of 147 degrees Fahrenheit. Those who forget a spade still can't be dismayed, as the local surf shop rents out digging tools for hot-tub creation.
Despite the comfort of the beach side spa, visitors must be careful not to venture to close to the water past low tide, as the breaking waves and rip currents near the beach have a notorious and dangerous track record, and high tide comes in and washes down the walls of their personal tubs.
Get a bleedin life....
Security camera footage from Brazil shows how a hapless bank robber was quite literally the architect of his own downfall.CCTV from a bank in northern Paraná, Brazil recorded the action when three armed men stormed the building on Monday.
All appeared to be running smoothly for the trio of thieves as the security guards quickly capitulated and the bank tellers handed over around 30,000 Brazilian reais (£11,000) to them.
Unfortunately the check-shirted man who was acting as the lookout at the front door was armed with two pistols and an apparent itchy-trigger finger.
Idly fumbling with one of the weapons he managed to accidentally shoot himself in the foot with the gun in his right hand.
He is last seen on the CCTV limping from the bank behind his two accomplices.
And today’s thought: