Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strong earthquake strikes Chile; no serious damage reported

A strong earthquake struck coastal Chile near the port city of Valparaiso late Monday, causing mudslides and some minor damage, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The 6.7-magnitude quake knocked out some power and phone lines in the region, authorities said.

The temblor was felt in the capital city, Santiago, located 69 miles from the epicenter. A CNN en Español anchor held onto his desk as the quake rattled the studio during a newscast in Huechurba, a suburb of the capital.

"We could feel the ground shaking," said journalist Richard Madan. "It felt like we were standing on a subway track but multiply that by about 200."

Madan, of CNN's Canadian affiliate CTV, is in Santiago as part of the traveling press for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit there.

Both he and the Canadian delegation were okay, Madan said.

No tsunami warning was issued, according to Chile's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service, and a preventive evacuation for the area has been lifted. A 72-year-old man died of a heart attack during the evacuation, according to regional Mayor Raul Celis.

The same part of the country was hit with an 8.8-magnitude earthquake in February 2010, killing hundreds of people.
Chile is on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basic that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Friday, April 13, 2012

'Illegal' Roma teenager wins French 'best apprentice' award

Cristina Dumitru was told she would get her coveted "carte de séjour", a short-term residency permit, the day after the French Senate awarded her a prize for being the best apprentice in her professional field. No coincidence, says the teenager. 

A Romanian teenager who has lived a precarious existence in France since 2005 has made headlines in her adopted country for being recognised as the best achieving apprentice one day, and being granted the right to live here legally the next.

Until she was given a gold medal at the French Senate last Thursday, 18-year-old Critsina Dumitru, from a Roma (Gypsy) family, lived under the spectre of being expelled from the country because she didn’t have a “carte de séjour”, a short-term French residency card.

And the day after being rewarded for her hard work as dry cleaning apprentice in the western French city of Nantes, her local authority gave her notice that her carte de séjour would be hers within three months.

Dumitru, who was “delighted” with her gold medal, said there was little coincidence that her residency permit was granted immediately after the gold medal.

“Apart from getting this award there is absolutely nothing different about my situation now from when my application was turned down in February,” she told FRANCE 24.

In fact, her application has been rejected twice, both times because she could not produce a work contract. “And I couldn’t get a work contract because I was still a student,” she said.

In addition to helping her find regular work, the status also means she can apply for a driving license and a grant to study for a professional diploma. She wants to qualify as a clothing salesperson.

France’s hard line on immigrants

Dumitru’s award, and the granting of the carte de séjour, brings into focus the harder line France has taken towards immigrants in the last two years, as well as rules that have made it more difficult to live and find work in the country.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was widely criticised in summer 2010 for launching a campaign against illegal Roma encampments in France and for “repatriating” hundreds of illegal immigrants to Romania.

And Dumitru’s family story is not uncommon among Roma immigrants. Her family travelled to France in 2005 and found themselves in Nantes on France’s Atlantic coast.

He parents found casual seasonal work on farms, but the family still “slept in the open in a park”, and then illegally in a caravan without water or electricity until they could find a small flat.

A ‘focussed young woman’

Despite the hardships, Dumitru wanted to make a success of her life, enrolling on an apprenticeship course in dry cleaning at her lycée (high school), for which she was nominated for the award.

“She is an extremely focussed young woman,” Florine Durand, the head of her school, told French newspaper Le Figaro on March 30. “She is so determined that as soon as she completed her apprenticeship, she enrolled immediately for another one in sales.”

Dumitru admitted that travelling to Paris and going to the senate, the symbol of government in a country that had thus far refused her official residency, “was a daunting experience, especially as no one knew that I didn’t have a carte de séjour.”

She took the advantage of her situation to talk to journalists and explain the precariousness of her and her family’s situation in France, an exercise that seemed to have paid off when her local authority finally gave her application for residency the go-ahead.

“Obviously I’m delighted that I’ll be getting my carte de séjour, but it is a pity that I had to win a national prize to get my papers in order,” she said, hoping that her own status will help her parents and her brother get theirs.

Fears Over Rising Lung Cancer Rate In Women

High rates of smoking among women in the "Mad Men" era of the 1960s is having a shocking effect decades later, new figures show.

Statistics released by Cancer Research UK show that more than 18,000 British women were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.

The disease now affects 39 in every 100,000 women, compared to 22 in every 100,000 in 1975.

The charity says there is a time lag of two to three decades between high smoking rates and a rise in cancer cases.

In the 1960s, more than 45% of women smoked. Today just 20% smoke.

By contrast, rates of lung cancer in men are falling.

Male smoking rates peaked - at 65% - two decades earlier than in women, and have been falling since. Now 22% of men smoke.

Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, said: "These latest figures highlight the deadly impact of tobacco.

"The continuing rise of lung cancer in women reflects the high number of female smokers several decades ago when attitudes were different.

"Tobacco advertising hasn't appeared on UK television since 1965, but that didn't stop the marketing of cigarettes. New, more sophisticated marketing techniques have lured many hundreds of thousands into starting an addiction that will kill half of all long term smokers."

The charity says restrictions on tobacco advertising, cigarette displays and public smoking are likely to lead to fewer people getting hooked.

Irene Finlayson developed lung cancer after smoking 20-a-day for 45 years. She had her right lung removed and is now too breathless to even walk up the road.

"Teenagers think they are invincible, that nothing will harm them. But I know what cigarettes do.

"I hate them now. I feel sorry for the young folk smoking and wish they had never started."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Huge quake hits Indonesia; tsunami alert in India

Jakarta: A massive earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sumatra Islands on Wednesday forcing the authorities to issue a Tsunami warning.

According to reports, the magnitude of the earthquake was earlier reported to be 8.9 on the Richter Scale.

However, it was later revised to 8.7 on the Richter Scale by the US-based USGS.

The epicenter of the earthquake is said to be in the Sumatra Islands.

However, there are no reports of any major casualty or any large scale destruction of the property in Indonesia.

The tremors of the high intensity quake also felt in northeastern and other region of the India including West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Manipur.

After Indonesia earthquake, tsunami alert and tremors in India

New Delhi: 
A tsunami of between three to six metres is expected to hit the Nicobar Islands after an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter scale hit Indonesia.  A tsunami alert -which is less serious than a warning - has also been issued for the Eastern coast of India, the Andaman Islands, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Tremors were felt after that in Mumbai, Kolkata, and the southern part of Chennai.  The tremors lasted for a few seconds.

In Bhubaneshwar, people were seen running out of their homes and offices.  No damage has been reported so far.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fremantle container blaze bill hits $500k

NEARLY a dozen shipping containers were engulfed in a blaze in Fremantle Port yesterday that caused $500,000 damage 

The stack of containers in the Rous Head Harbour on North Mole Drive, North Fremantle, caught fire about 4pm yesterday.

Original reports from fire officials suggested 20 containers were ablaze but the number was later rounded down to 11.

A Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokeswoman said 13 fire crews with about 40 firefighters were sent to fight the blaze, which was under control by about 8pm.

Crews stayed overnight to clean up the area.

A fire investigation has been unable to determine the cause for the fire.

One of the containers, which belong to hire and servicing company Container Refrigeration, was believed to have contained oil.  

The majority of the containers were empty.

The Department of Environment and Conservation's Pollution Response Unit conducted air monitoring and analysis after concerns were raised about the large amount of thick smoke in the area.

Unit inspectors reported no chemicals of concern were detected downwind of the fire.

A spokesman for Container Refrigeration declined to comment yesterday, telling PerthNow that he was "busy working on the fires".

According to the company's website, Container Refrigeration specialises in the hire, sales, service and modification of shipping containers both for refrigerated and general purpose.

Parris snaps up national photo award

A PHOTOGRAPH of her school's boilerhouse, with its chimney starkly silhouetted against a bright sky, earned 11-year-old Parris Wilson from Jedburgh an accolade last week.

The picture was selected as the best primary school exhibit in the Scottish Civic Trust's prestigious PhotoArch competition 2012, which attracted 630 entries from across Scotland. 

Parris, a pupil at Howdenburn Primary, admitted: “I didn't expect to win.” 

Parris, together with 14-year-old Megan Robertson of Aberdeenshire, who won the secondary category, received their certificates from Derek Mackay MSP, minister for local government and planning, at a ceremony at the Lighthouse in Glasgow last Tuesday. 

Parris's photograph, along with all the highly commended and commended entries, will be on view to the public for four weeks at the city venue. 

After that, Parris's photo, entitled The Boiler House Pipe, will represent Scotland at the International Heritage Photographic Experience exhibition in more than 40 countries. 

It was a red-letter day, too, for Parris's Howdenburn classmate Kira Renilson, also 11, whose photograph The Cross won her a highly commended certificate. 

The PhotoArch project, founded in 2004, encourages young people to take an interest in buildings, archaeology and heritage. Sites under the lens this year included everything from atmospheric ancient ruins to ultra-modern flats, castles, schools, homes, shops, churches and factories. 

The illustrious panel of judges deemed Parris's photograph both “bold and unusual”. 

Parris reacted: “I just thought I would photograph the chimney at my school and I certainly didn't expect to win.” 

The judges for PhotoArch 2012 were Ruth Parsons, chief executive of Historic Scotland; Ray Entwistle, chair of the Scottish Civic Trust; Robin McClory, director at ADF Architects; and Julia Horton, a journalist for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland. 

Ms Parsons said: “The breadth of imagination shown by the entrants has been exceptional. The competition clearly brings out the very best in our young people, inspiring remarkable creativity and offering new perspectives and new interpretations on buildings and monuments that have a special place in our communities.” 

Mr Entwistle added: “This competition, which attracted a record number of entries, is a great way to get children thinking about the places and spaces that surround them. Once again, we had many excellent entries from pupils of all ages, showing originality, inventiveness and an eye for detail.”

Biel heads to Paris for wedding dress

Actress Jessica Biel has started planning for her impending wedding to pop hunk Justin Timberlake by visiting Paris, France to hunt for dresses. 

The Cry Me A River hitmaker reportedly popped the question in December and Biel finally flashed her impressive engagement ring during a day out in Los Angeles in March. 

Biel has now fuelled rumours the pair is gearing up for a summer wedding after she was spotted scouring Parisian bridal boutiques over the Easter weekend . 

The beauty was spotted going from store to store, including the high-end showrooms of designers Giambattista Valli and Elie Saab, while her assistant carried a wedding planning book.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tennessee seeks to question evolution in bill

US conservative Christians and science advocates are clashing again, this time in Tennessee over a bill that would allow debate in public schools over theories like evolution
Lawmakers from the southeastern US state home to a strong base of ultraconservative "Tea Party" activists have approved the bill, which now awaits the signature of Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican.

The measure, which could pass by a Tuesday deadline, would allow public schoolteachers to challenge accepted science on topics such as climate change and evolution in their classrooms without facing sanctions.
If it passes, Tennessee would join nine other states with similar laws promoting creationism, more or less explicitly.

Critics have labeled the legislation the "Monkey Bill" in reference to the highly publicized 1925 "Scopes Monkey Trial" in which Tennessee charged high school science teacher John Scopes of violating a state law against teaching "that man has descended from a lower order of animals."

The Tennessee Science Teachers Association and the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union rights group, the measure's biggest critics, are calling for Haslam to veto it. They say it would provide legal cover for educators to teach pseudoscientific ideas.

"They are not talking that much about creationism but rather about Intelligent Design," said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU's Tennessee branch.

"It's a very nuanced and clever way... to challenge the theory of evolution and allow teachers to inject Intelligent Design and neo-creationism." Intelligent Design is the idea that scientific evidence can show that life forms developed under the direction of a higher intelligence.

The measure states that "teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught."

It also says the legislation "shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine."

In a letter to lawmakers, the Tennessee members of the National Academy of Sciences argued that the bill would "miseducate students, harm the state's national reputation and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy."

The Tennessee Education Association, meanwhile, blasted the "unnecessary legislation."

But Haslam has already indicated he would "probably" sign the measure into law.

The Discovery Institute, whose model legislation inspired the bill, hailed the passage of a text that "promotes good science education by protecting the academic freedom of science teachers to fully and objectively discuss controversial scientific topics, like evolution."

Based in Seattle, Washington, the group backs the teaching of alternatives to evolution in public schools and supports research into Intelligent Design, a form of creationism.

The creationist offensive is part of a long-running battle, in a country where only a quarter of the population believes whole-heartedly in evolution, between advocates of non-religious teachings in public schools and conservative Christians who say man is a divine creature not descended from apes.

It was not before 1968 that the US Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional, based on the separation of church and state, to teach anti-evolution principles.

And in 1987, the high court said that mandatory teaching of creationism was against the Constitution because any such law intended to advance a particular religion.

UK jobless total 'to rise by 100,000 over summer'

Some 100,000 more people will be without a job before the end of the summer, according to a new report.
The IPPR think tank says unemployment may not peak until at least September, and that it could be 18 months before the UK jobless total falls.

North-west and Eastern England, London, and Yorkshire and Humberside will see the highest increases, it predicts.

But it adds that the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and South West will see a job recovery.

'Personal tragedy' 
The left-leaning IPPR said it expected 50,000 more men and 50,000 women to become unemployed this year as public sector jobs continued to be cut.

It predicts that 40,000 of those becoming jobless will be under the age of 25.

"The personal tragedy of the slow economic recovery is the way unemployment will continue to rise over the next year, even once the economy begins to grow," said Kayte Lawton, senior research fellow at the think tank.

"This has been the longest recession and the slowest recovery that Britain has ever experienced.

"The risk is that high unemployment becomes a permanent feature of the UK economy, as it did in the 1980s." 

The Department of Work and Pensions said that while "the international economic outlook remains difficult... we will do everything we can to help the unemployed find jobs".

"There have been some encouraging signs that the labour market is stabilising, but there is clearly still a big challenge ahead to bring down unemployment," a spokesman said.

New figures later this month are expected to show another increase in the figures.

The most recent data from the from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showed that UK unemployment rose by 28,000 to 2.67 million during the three months to January, with the unemployment rate at 8.4%.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 7,200 to 1.61 million in February. 

The rise in unemployment was the lowest in almost a year. However, unemployment amongst women accounted for most of the increase.

The Queen makes Camilla a Dame Grand Cross

The Duchess of Cornwall has been made a Dame Grand Cross, the highest female rank in the Royal Victorian Order.

The announcement by Buckingham Palace comes as Camilla and the Prince of Wales celebrate their the seventh wedding anniversary.

 A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said Camilla, 64, would be invested with the insignia of her rank at a later date.

Appointments to the Royal Victorian Order are made by the Queen independently of 10 Downing Street.
The Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service.

The duchess has become patron of a number of organisations and has travelled extensively with the prince on official visits.

BBC correspondent Fiona Trott commented: "As Charles's second wife, the duchess's involvement in royal engagements was gradual. But now, she's often seen at the Queen's side.

"It's likely that Camilla's award is in recognition of her many royal engagements at home and abroad over the past seven years and is an indication of her importance within the Royal family."

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why women stop worrying

Linden MacIntyre has some good news and some bad news for the young ladies of the world.
The good news: you know all those things you worry about when it comes to men? In your early 50s, he says, you'll stop worrying about them.

"You'll start to think, 'I really don't need the aggravation.' Your biological imperatives have changed," he explains. "You no longer care about the things that mattered when you were in your 20s and you're a lot more emotionally independent. You've learned by hard knocks what you need and what's what."
The bad news? The men you're worrying about now won't change.

"They become very insecure, and that's why they start chasing 20-year-olds and buying stupid cars and getting hair transplants. Everything that defines manhood starts to diminish at that point, whereas what defines womanhood is much deeper," says MacIntyre, 68. "Men don't change. A man at age 80 is much the same as he is at age 19, in terms of the things that matter a lot - and that's the problem."

It's just one of the themes MacIntyre, an award-winning author and journalist, explores in his new novel, "Why Men Lie."

The novel continues where his previous ones - 1999's "The Long Stretch" and the Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning "The Bishop's Man" - left off.

The series is centred around a group of people from Cape Breton, bound by a vague experience of their fathers in the Second World War.

The first novel brought out some ugly secrets that help the characters learn why they were experiencing the life challenges they were; the second sees one of the characters, Duncan, looking for structure and respectability, become a priest. The institution leads him to corruption and his struggle with it.
MacIntyre's protagonist in "Why Men Lie" is Duncan's sister, Effie MacAskill Gillis.

In Toronto in 1997, she bumps into JC Campbell, a TV news producer she once knew and hadn't seen for decades.

He's sophisticated, charming and handsome, and Effie, having endured a failed marriage and other doomed relationships with men, starts to wonder if she's finally met a man who has outgrown the need to lie.
Their romance blossoms, but gets complicated when Effie starts seeing a darker side to JC, who is also caught up with the case of a man on death row in Texas. She learns things about him that make him vulnerable and volatile.

Different view

Writing from a woman's perspective wasn't as challenging as you might think, MacIntyre says, although it may be a rather brazen thing to do. It was also brazen to write from the point of view of a priest in his previous book, he admits.

How he came to that conclusion, he says, is a complicated story.

"It's something I arrived at after seeing a lot of violence in the Middle East and Latin America and places like that when I was travelling a lot as a reporter."

MacIntyre, a native of St. Lawrence, is the author of a number of books, most recently "Who Killed Ty Conn?" an account of the life of an Ontario man sentenced to 47 years in prison, mostly for bank robbery, and how people and the correctional system failed him.

MacIntyre had developed a friendship with Conn after meeting him while working on an investigative piece on the effects of child abuse for CBC's "The Fifth Estate," which lasted until Conn shot himself in the chest - whether accidentally or not is unclear - during a standoff with police in 1999.

Readmore: http://www.thetelegram.com/Arts---Life/Entertainment/2012-04-07/article-2949697/Why-women-stop-worrying/1

Paris - 10 Things You Need To Know

Paris - 10 Things You Need To Know

Run Around Paris

Run Around Paris

Friday, April 6, 2012

On the Street….. Via degli Omenoni, Milan

Jermaine Gonzales: Pressure produces stars such as Delano Williams

Four months out from the Games, I've just run my first competitive 400 metres of the year. I clocked 45.92sec. That time is OK, no better than that. But it's just kind of a relief to get out on the track. You never really know how your first race of the year is going to go, or what kind of shape you'll be in when you get out after all the winter training. So at least I got all those questions out of my head. I'll be aiming to run something a lot closer to 45 flat in my next 400m. Before that I'll do a 200m. At this time of year I'm starting to switch from strength work to speed work, and running a 200m will be part of that. I haven't done a 200m since 2009, and my personal best is still only 21sec. I'll be looking to go a lot quicker.

We just had Prince Harry swing by the Racers Track Club in Kingston. You probably saw those pictures posing with Usain Bolt, surrounded by journalists. To be honest, though, the most interesting thing that's been going on since I last wrote is the Boys and Girls Champs, which were happening last weekend. People always ask me why Jamaica produces all these great runners. I tell them that if they want to find out the answer, they have to get down to the Boys and Girls, which are the national schools finals.

Track and field is just so big in Jamaica. You can't really appreciate it until you come and see it. Everybody is involved in it. If you have a look at one of the big high schools at the start of the season you'll see they have over 100 athletes trying out for the team. The coaches have to cut the squad down just to focus on a small number of people, so right from the start our runners are always competing against the guys and girls next to them. You're always being pushed, you know?

The best make it to the Boys and Girls, and the atmosphere there is just crazy. It is a real big thing, everybody is into it and everybody is looking forward to it, so there is lots of pressure and expectation. That means when we get to the Olympics, we're ready for it, because we grew up under pressure: pressure from the press, pressure from your school, pressure from the people in the street, pressure from the guy you're trying to beat.

There was too much talent at the Boys and Girls this year to name all the athletes who caught my eye, but I have to tell you about Shauna Helps. Remember that her name, because one day she could be the next Veronica Campbell-Brown or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Shauna won the sprint double in the under-15s group, with 24.21sec in the 200m and 11.50sec in the 100m. That beat the record by .16sec. It's not just that she wins the races, it's the way she wins them. That's what makes her so special.

The other runner you guys should look out for is Delano Williams. He won the sprint double in the under-19 group, with a 100m time of 10.37sec and a 200m time of 21.18sec. Now, the reason I tell you about him is that Delano could be running for Great Britain at the Olympics this summer. He's studying at Munro College over in St Elizabeth, but he's not Jamaican, he's from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He can't represent them in the Olympics, because they're not recognised by the International Olympic Committee. But Turks and Caicos are a British Overseas Territory and he's got a British passport. So he says he is going to go compete at the British trials in June. He's a good young sprinter, and he's already got the Olympic A qualifying standard in the 200m. Maybe GB is going to benefit from a little of that Boys and Girls magic too.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is London 2012 gripping Scotland?

"I think it'll be one of the big events in my life," said a woman in Aberdeen.
Meanwhile, in Dumfries, one man said: "It's not something I'm overly excited about." 

What is it that people across Scotland seem to regard so differently?
The answer is London 2012. 

From Lord Coe and Tony Blair, to Boris Johnson and David Cameron, many voices have billed the forthcoming Olympics as a London Games, for Britain. 

Jonathan Edwards, the 2000 Olympic triple jump champion, believes that excitement is growing across the British Isles. 

"Clearly, there's the challenge of something which is mainly based in London engaging the whole country," Edwards told BBC Scotland on a visit to Glasgow. 

"But my sense is that the country is engaged.
Continue reading the main story
We've seen directly tens of millions of pounds flowing into Scottish businesses and that's definitely good news
Garry Clark Scottish Chambers of Commerce
"When you look at the benefit that the Games has brought, not just to London but across the UK in terms of business contracts and the Cultural Olympiad.
"There will be Olympic football at Hampden Park and the Millennium Stadium - and volunteers come from around the country. 

"So there are a whole range of things that aren't just London-focused." 

It is true that the organisers of the Games have made efforts to engage the whole of the United Kingdom.
Just last month, Glasgow hosted Music Nation - a celebration of music and sporting achievement attended by great Scottish Olympians of the past. 

And Edwards also highlighted the Olympic Torch Relay, which aims to take the Olympic flame to within an hour's drive of 95% of the country. 

In Scotland, it starts in Stranraer, loops up to Stornaway and Shetland before leaving at Gretna.
But some surveys have indicated that, in general, Scots feel less connected to London 2012 than in other parts of the UK. 

Of the people we heard from ourselves in Shetland, Aberdeen and Dumfries, some of the reasons they gave ranged from anger at the billions of pounds of costs, to the simple factor of geographical distance.
Some did feel it was a "Games for Britain", while others did not subscribe to that ethos. 

While tickets for events at the Olympic Park in Stratford are in high demand, the same, thus far, cannot be said for the only sport to be staged in Scotland. 

A total of eight matches of the men's and women's football will be played at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Tickets are due to go back on sale later this month following a retail holiday. 

But, before that, BBC Scotland had learned that only 20,000 had been sold for the five days of competition.
One insider has also indicated private fears that there could be as many security staff as spectators at some of the women's pool matches. 

Games organisers, however, are relaxed about those sales - although they would not confirm numbers. 

They believe the nature of the football tournament means that people are waiting to see which teams will visit their local stadium.

Another aspect that is supposed to spread the benefit of the Games throughout Britain is in the form of UK-wide business contracts relating such diverse products as venue construction and official merchandise, to precision race timers and food supply.

The value of contracts to be awarded is around £6bn. So how much of that has filtered through to the Scottish economy?

"We've seen directly tens of millions of pounds flowing into Scottish businesses and that's definitely good news," said Garry Clark of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

"We'd always wish for more, and there are certainly new opportunities before the games, and we are continuing to encourage our members to bid for as many contracts as possible."
But perhaps one demographic that Lord Coe and his team is hoping to hook more than any other is the young.

The aim is that, through London 2012, more young people will become excited by sport and feel inspired take part.

The end goal is, in the first instance, healthier living and perhaps a few of them will even go on to win Olympic medals of their own some day.

Lochfield Primary school in Paisley certainly provided proof that children are feeling the ripple effect of London 2012.

Like many other schools around the country, this year they are learning about all things Olympic.
Taking some time out from designing and making their very own Olympic Torches, one of the pupils told me she was "about a 9.5" on the excitement scale.

Another little boy said: "I'm even looking forward to the Olympics more than my birthday this year... and Christmas as well!"