UK Publishing House Celebrates 20 Years of First Harry Potter Book

London, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) London's publishing house Bloomsbury celebrates today with a special collection the 20 years of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first of seven fantastic novels written by J. K. Rowling.

Since May 31st, readers in the United Kingdom can choose a copy of the book according to the color of each house of the Hogwarts School of Magic and Witchcraft, which became one of the main sites of the books.

The new editions are available in red for Gryffindor fans, yellow for Hufflepuff fans, blue for Ravenclaw fans and green for Slytherin fans, as well as other character profiles and illustrations for important students who have stayed in each house.

In June 1997, when it was still a small publishing house, Bloomsbury agreed to publish a first and small print run of 500 copies of Rowling's work, which had been rejected by 12 other publishing houses.

By mid-2013, some 450 million copies of the seven books had been sold and translated into more than 65 languages.

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Ariana Grande Returns to England Ahead of ‘One Love Manchester’ Concert: Pics

Ariana Grande returned to England on Friday, June 2, days before her “One Love Manchester,” benefiting the Manchester terror attack.

The pop star, 23, was photographed exiting a private jet in London with her parents and boyfriend, Mac Miller, morning. Grande was dressed casually in gray sweatpants teamed with a white zip-up hoodie and wore her hair in a high ponytail.

Ariana Grande seen arriving in the UK for the first time since the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester. Ariana Grande seen arriving in the UK for the first time since the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester. TheMegaAgency.com

The “Focus” singer has two days to prepare for her show, which will take place at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester on Sunday, June 4. The star-studded lineup for the “One Love Manchester” fundraising event includes Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Pharrell Williams, Little Mix, Take That and Niall Horan.

Earlier this week, the concert’s official Twitter account revealed that tickets for the show sold out in less than six minutes. “UPDATE: One Love Manchester is now completely sold out- and in under 6 minutes!” the tweet read on Thursday, June 1.

According to Ticketmaster, their site “was unsurprisingly met with remarkable demand for One Love Manchester tickets we had on sale this morning —140,000 fans were on the website and our call centre was buzzing. With over 450,000 searches on our site for One Love Manchester over the last 24 hours, demand was always going to be extremely high.”

Ariana Grande seen arriving in the UK for the first time since the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester. Ariana Grande seen arriving in the UK for the first time since the terrorist attack at her concert in Manchester. TheMegaAgency.com

Proceeds from the concert will go to the families and loved ones of those who died in the suicide bombing at Grande’s Dangerous Woman world tour stop in Manchester on May 22, in which 22 people were killed and more than 50 were injured.

Grande, who was physically unharmed in the attack, took to Instagram on May 26 to share a message of hope with fans after the horrifying incident. “I have been thinking of my fans, and of you all, non stop over the past week. The way you have handled all of this has been more inspiring and made me more proud than you'll ever now. The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you've shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday,” she wrote. “ … We will never be able to understand why events like this take place because it is not in our nature, which is why we shouldn't recoil.”

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Manchester attack: Ariana Grande to play benefit concert on Sunday

Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Katy Perry are among the stars who will join Ariana Grande at a benefit concert following the Manchester attack.

The One Love Manchester show comes less than two weeks after 22 people were killed by a suicide attacker as people left Grande's show at Manchester Arena.

The tribute gig will be held at the Old Trafford cricket ground on Sunday.

Those who were at the Manchester Arena concert are being offered free tickets by Grande.

Others performing include Take That, One Direction's Niall Horan, Miley Cyrus, Usher and Pharrell. The venue has a 50,000 capacity and the gig will be broadcast live on BBC TV and radio. Proceeds will go to the We Love Manchester emergency fund.

Seven children were among the victims who died when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb on 22 May.

Grande, 23, suspended her Dangerous Woman tour, including cancelling two shows at London's O2 Arena, following the attack.

But the US singer had promised to return to Manchester, saying: "I don't want to go the rest of the year without being able to see and hold and uplift my fans".

"I'll be returning to the incredibly brave city of Manchester to spend time with my fans and to have a benefit concert in honour and raise money for the victims and their families."

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/17AB3/production/_96274969_mediaitem96274968.jpgColdplay are among those to be performing

Earlier on Tuesday, Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins told BBC Radio Manchester: "When the idea of the concert came up, my first reaction was, we need to speak to the families of the victims and see what they feel.

"It's fair to say that the majority of them are very much in favour, there are some that clearly aren't and that is absolutely understandable."

After the attack, the singer posted her condolences on Twitter, saying: "Broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words."

Fifty people injured in the attack were still being treated in hospital - including 17 in critical care.

Manchester Victoria station reopened on Tuesday. The station, which is connected to Manchester Arena, suffered structural damage in the incident.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/16157/production/_96255409_17087027-3451-475a-8448-824dacff0cdd.jpg Well-wishers left tributes at St Ann's Square for the victims of last Monday's attack / Reuters 

Police say their investigation into the attack is "making good progress" and has around 1,000 people working on it.

In total 16 people have been arrested - but a woman and a 16-year-old boy were later released without charge.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/FE3D/production/_96258056_ae8b11c7-2fb4-4347-8c9b-2e0e11099f1b.jpgFlowers and tributes lined St Ann's Square in Manchester on Monday / Getty Images

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Ariana Grande: No decision on UK shows after Manchester attack

There is still no decision on whether or not Ariana Grande's scheduled live shows will go ahead, the O2 has said.

The singer has returned to the US after 22 people died and 64 were injured in an attack at a concert she played in Manchester on Monday.

She had further live dates booked across Europe in the coming weeks, including two at the London venue on Thursday and Friday.

"As yet the tour is not officially postponed or cancelled," the O2 said.

'Difficult time'

"We understand and appreciate you are waiting for information as to whether the shows are going ahead on Thursday and Friday," the statement, issued on Wednesday morning, continued.

"We are still in contact with the tour promoters regarding a final decision. As yet the tour is not officially postponed or cancelled, despite media reports."

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/FA13/production/_96191046_gettyimages-467094770.jpgGrande returned to her home town of Boca Raton in Florida after the attack / Getty Images

It added: "We promise that as soon as we have clear information we'll let everyone know. Thank you again for bearing with us in what is a difficult time for all involved."

Replying to the statement on Twitter, one fan said: "This is ridiculous and unacceptable. The uncertainty is only causing greater distress to distraught young fans."

Many said it appeared unlikely the show would go ahead, with another fan writing: "She's back at home in Boca [Florida]. It's clear she's not performing tomorrow... stop dragging it out."

But several defended the O2. One replied: "Lets hope the show goes ahead. It might be under a cloud but strength, defiance and not letting the terrorists get to us should win through."

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Blair prosecuted for Iraq War? Ex-PM’s legal immunity challenged in court

The first steps towards overturning a legal ban on prosecuting former Prime Minister Tony Blair over the Iraq War will be considered by the High Court on Tuesday.

A private criminal prosecution against the former Labour PM was blocked last year when it was ruled Blair had immunity from any charges related to the Iraq War and that any such case could also “involve details being disclosed under the Official Secrets Act.”

 
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair meets British troops, Iraq, May 29, 2003. © Stefan Rousseau

A more senior judge will consider on Tuesday whether there are sufficient grounds to grant a judicial review of the rejection of the prosecution.

Last year’s private prosecution, brought by a former top Iraqi general now living in exile – General Abdul-Wahid ar-Ribat – wants Blair, his foreign secretary Jack Straw, and Lord Goldsmith, who was attorney-general in the run up to the invasion, to face trial in a British court.

It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and follows last year’s damning Chilcot report, which found Britain invaded Iraq under the false pretext that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime had weapons of mass destruction.

The High Court judge on Tuesday will consider paper submissions made by lawyers on both sides. There will be no public hearing.

It will also decide whether the government’s top law officer, Attorney-General Jeremy Wright QC, can join the case. Wright wants the ban upheld, believing it is in the public interest that private prosecution be blocked.

“The next stage will be the court considering the papers and making a decision on whether to grant permission for a judicial review,” a spokesperson for Wright told the Guardian.

“The attorney is seeking to intervene to represent the public interest.”

Chilcot reveals Blair's letters to Bush

Wright argues that the case for the crime of aggression does not exist in English law, even though it does in international law.

That argument, however, appears to have been undermined in a document written by Goldsmith himself. In his 2003 memo on the legality of the Iraq War, Goldsmith, who was then attorney-general, wrote: “Aggression is a crime under customary international law which automatically forms part of domestic law.”

READ MORE: Chilcot’s forgotten witnesses – Britain’s Iraqi diaspora (VIDEO)

After the Chilcot Report was released, some families of British service personnel who died fighting in Iraq called for Blair to face criminal charges.

It is not clear when the decision by the High Court will be made public.

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NHS in England hit by 'cyber-attack'

The National Health Service has been hit by a large cyber attack, with hospitals across England reporting that their IT systems are down.

NHS Digital, the arm of the health service co-ordinating a response, said it was “aware an incident had taken place and steps are being taken to resolve that incident”.

Several hospitals had been affected, it added, but it did not yet know how many. Nor was it able to confirm how the incident had affected patients.

The same or a similar virus also appears to have been used in a large-scale attack in Spain on Friday that hit companies including Telefónica, the country’s main telecoms provider. Telefónica said it had suffered a “cyber security incident” affecting the personal computers of “some” employees.

It is not known if the attacks in Spain and on England’s NHS are connected. There have been more unverified reports of cyber attacks in several other countries.

The hackers are thought to have deployed a virulent version of ransomware known as WannaCry. Typically, hackers will seek to infect IT systems with ransomware in order to demand money to “unlock” the affected computers.

Barts Hospital, in central London, confirmed it was among the hospitals to have been hit and said it had been forced to cancel routine appointments and divert ambulances to neighbouring hospitals as the “major IT disruption” took hold. It asked the public “to use other NHS services wherever possible” and said the IT breakdown was causing delays at all the hospitals within the trust.

“We have activated our major incident plan to make sure we can maintain the safety and welfare of patients,” it added. The switchboard had been affected at Newham Hospital in east London but direct-line phones were still working.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust was also hit. It posted a statement on its website to say it was “currently experiencing significant problems with our IT and telephone network which we’re trying to resolve as soon as possible”.

Hospital trusts and GP groups in Lancashire were also reporting problems.

Vanessa Sandhu, a GP in Braintree, said: “We got a call from the CCG [Clinical Commissioning Groups] saying there had been a security breach. We all had to shut down our computers and unplug all cables from the walls.

“It was scary — we had no idea what was going on. We didn’t have access to our notes or patient medical records. We couldn’t request blood tests or ultrasounds. We had to disconnect the surgery telephones so we couldn’t communicate with other doctors or patients. We tried to see the patients in the building, but everyone else we told to go home.

“We’ve had to close the surgery for the day. Some hospitals have had to shut down so it’s going to be absolute carnage in A&E if you can’t do emergency tests or get blood results for those most in need.”

In February a report into the NHS and cyber crime found that 34 per cent of trusts across England, Scotland and Wales had suffered ransomware attacks during the previous 18 months. Scottish trusts were the worst hit, with almost 60 per cent being attacked, while 79 English trusts, more than 33 per cent, had been affected since June 2015.

Attacks on at least seven of the trusts, including dozens of hospitals, had been successful, which means data had been locked up by criminals.

In November a ransomware attack on the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Trust brought down the systems of three British hospitals, forcing doctors to use pen and paper rather than computers, and leading to the cancellation of hundreds of routine operations and outpatient appointments. The attack lasted five days.

Paul Flynn, a Labour MP, told the Financial Times that Friday’s attack was “absolutely terrifying” and argued that the government was woefully unprepared for such incidents.

“We are blundering around in the dark, we are trying to defend our institutions with systems that are right out of the 19th century,” he said. “We are so vulnerable to this kind of thing — it is alarming that they can get through the system so easily. There must be lives that are under threat.”

Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary, said the attack was “a real worry for patients” and called on the government to set out what had happened and what measures ministers were taking to reduce the threat.

“This incident highlights the risk to data security within the modern health service and reinforces the need for cyber security to be at the heart of government planning. The digital revolution has transformed the way we live and work but we have to be ready for the vulnerabilities it brings too,” he said.

“The safety of the public must be the priority and the NHS should be given every resource to bring the situation under control as soon as possible.”

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Tony Blair Predicts that Brits will Regret Brexit

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair assured that the British people will repent of their departure from the European Union (EU), an initiative known as Brexit, and that they will want to return to that community, The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Monday.

In an interview grated to local media media, the former head of government maintained his prediction that 'it may take another generation, but at some point, we will want to return to the EU' because, among other things, 'the single market put us in the League Of Champions of trade agreements.'

Mr. Blair, who strongly opposes the Brexit, also said that fighting that decision motivates him to return to high-level politics in his country, as he expressed, 'you have to get wet and I will,' although he declined to run for a seat in Parliament.

The former leader of the Labor Party, the main opposition force in the United Kingdom, said, 'I will have an active role in trying to shape the political debate' against the positions of the ruling Conservative Party and current Prime Minister Theresa May.

The former leader, who ruled the country for a decade after 1997, lost popularity because of the British's overwhelming rejection of his stance in favor of the invasion of Iraq and the involvement of British troops in the coalition against that Arab country led by the United States.

In October 2015, Blair apologized for his role in that conflict and claimed that he made his decisions on the basis of intelligence misinformation.

He also acknowledged that he was unable to foresee the chaos that would be created following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a situation that, he said, contributed to the emergence of the extremist Islamic State.

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Ed Sheeran settles Photograph copyright infringement claim

Ed Sheeran has settled a $20m (£13.8m) copyright infringement claim against him in the US, over his hit song Photograph.

Songwriters Thomas Leonard and Martin Harrington sued the singer last June, claiming his hit ballad had a similar structure to their song, Amazing.

A lawyer for the pair confirmed to the BBC the claim had now been settled.

Leonard and Harrington's track was released by former X Factor winner Matt Cardle in 2012.

Instantly recognisable

On Friday, court papers were lodged dismissing the case "with prejudice", stipulating that a California federal court would enforce the terms of an agreement.

Richard Busch, who represented Harrington and Leonard, would not comment on the settlement terms.

A spokeswoman for Sheeran's record company, Atlantic Records, told the BBC it did not comment on stories relating to copyright issues.

The songwriters originally claimed the chorus of the two songs shared 39 identical notes, with similarities "instantly recognisable to the ordinary observer".

They submitted the chord structures for both tracks in court documents.

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/16208/production/_89923609_photograph.jpg

Mr Busch is the same lawyer who won a case for the family of the late soul singer Marvin Gaye.

He successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement last year over their single Blurred Lines, winning a $7.4m (£5.1m) settlement.

 

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