Early on the morning of Thursday July 7th 2005 Detective Sergeant David Videcette was sitting alone in a satellite office used by the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist squad. It was two weeks after the birth of his daughter, and he did not yet know that the events of the day would consume his life and mean that he would barely return home again for five years. “It was absolutely and totally out of the blue,” he says, remembering watching the first reports of a power surge on the London Underground scroll across the television mounted on the wall. “I’ve lived in London my whole life and I don’t ever remember a power surge. I thought it was strange.”
By the time multiple power surges were reported Videcette knew something was wrong. His first calls confirmed that no one knew exactly what was going on – but soon the reality became clear: a terror attack on the London tra… [more]
Fifty years after he was killed, the daughter of Malcolm X wants to make sure her father isn’t written out of history
Half way down a winding country road in New York’s wealthy Westchester County, one of America’s most famous revolutionaries lies buried under three feet of crisp white snow. It is 50 years since Malcolm X was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem and since then he has lain in Ferncliff Cemetery – far from his people, surrounded by a ring of country clubs and golf clubs, alongside other dead celebrities including Judy Garland, Joan Crawford and Ed Sullivan.
He is an icon. He is a face on a T-shirt. But although he was certainly not silent in life, his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz fears he is not well understood. “It was when I was watching the second Obama inauguration that I started to really worry that my father was being written out of history,” she says, explaining her determination to corr… [more]
Like many people in their seventies and eighties, Buddy Elias and his wife Gertie are downsizing – clearing out the attic and getting rid of several generations’ worth of papers, clutter and possessions from their family home in Basel, Switzerland. Unlike most other pensioners, however, Elias is Anne Frank’s cousin and the last living blood relative who remembers her. The papers and artefacts are not family trivia, meaningful only to a few close relatives and destined for the dustbin, but an extensive testament to the Franks and the Eliases, and a remarkable and rare history of a German-Jewish family that will be part of a permanent exhibition at the new Family Frank Centre, housed at the Jewish Museum of Frankfurt.
Researchers from the centre have been staying with Elias and his wife for a week, sorting through final possessions, and now the removal trucks have arrived to take the archive nort… [more]
Eradicating the Last 1% of Polio Is Deadly But Essential
When 40-year-old Liberian civil servant Patrick Sawyer died of Ebola earlier this year in hospital in Lagos, having carried the disease from his home country to Nigeria, global health workers feared the epidemic would spread in West Africa’s most populous city. But no one paid much attention to the victim of another epidemic further north. One day before Sawyer’s death, on 24 July, the worried parents of a 16-month-old toddler in Kano state had discovered their child was suffering from the symptoms of a disease had supposedly been largely wiped out of existence – poliomyelitis.
Although the two viruses are very different, the efforts to tackle polio and Ebola have been intricately connected, largely through the efforts of the 30 year, multi-billion dollar, global polio eradication campaign that stands on the brink of wiping out polio – but that brink… [more]