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Gatwick baggage delays 'clearly a management failing'

The delays caused by baggage handling firm Swissport at Gatwick Airport are "clearly a management failure", according to the Shadow Transport Secretary.

Mary Creagh told Good Morning Britain there had been "a failure to plan adequately for the summer peak" and called for "strong action" by airports, airlines and Swissport/

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Usain Bolt and Tom Daley to take on the Games

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt is on a mission to hang on to that title when he finally takes to the track in Glasgow today in the 4 x 100 metres heats.

Usain Bolt has not competed all year due to a foot injury.
Usain Bolt has not competed all year due to a foot injury. Credit: Reuters

It will be Bolt's Commonwealth debut, but rumours have been rife over whether the 27-year-old Jamaican will actually run after he suffered a foot injury last year.

However, when the sixth-time Olympic champion arrived at the Games on Saturday he said he would "definitely" be doing it.

Olympic champ Tom Daley is hoping for Commonwealth success with teammate James Denny.
Olympic champ Tom Daley is hoping for Commonwealth success with teammate James Denny. Credit: PA

English diving champ Tom Daley will also be going for gold with teammate James Denny in the 10m synchronised platform final despite only having had seven hours training.

Daley, 20, a mentor in diving reality TV show Splash!, has dismissed claims he is to retire after Glasgow 2014 insisting he will continue "as long as my body holds out."

At least 24 dead and 271 injured in Taiwan gas blasts

At least 24 people have been killed and 271 injured in a series of massive underground gas blasts in Taiwan.

A gas explosion goes off in the city of Kaohsiung.
A gas explosion goes off in the city of Kaohsiung. Credit: APTN

The fires are believed to have been caused by a leak of propene, often known as propylene, a petrochemical material not intended for public use.

The series of explosions happened along pipelines and split the street open.
The series of explosions happened along pipelines and split the street open. Credit: APTN

Emergency services are still looking for people they believe are trapped under the rubble.

Rescue teams survey the aftermath of the five explosions.
Rescue teams survey the aftermath of the five explosions. Credit: APTN

Residents who live along the pipelines have been asked to evacuate.

A fire victim is taken to hospital.
A fire victim is taken to hospital. Credit: APTN

Emma Watson joins 'laughing' twitter campaign

Emma Watson has tweeted a picture of herself in fits of hysterics outside a closed restaurant as part of a social media campaign against comments made by the Turkish deputy PM.

Watson, who was recently announced as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for women, joined the thousands who posted pictures of themselves laughing in defiance of comments made by the politician Bülent Arinç.

In a speech to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid, Arinc called for women to be "chaste", know the difference between public and private, and "should not laugh in public".

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Customers are being 'held captive' by broadband services

Customers are being "held captive" by Broadband services when they try and cancel or change their plans, the Citizens Advice Bureau said.

In the last year alone CAB received more than 3,300 complaints about internet and broadband problems. More than half of these related to sub-standard service.

CAB Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: "People are finding themselves held captive by bad broadband services.

"Internet service providers must not shackle customers seeking a better service with unreasonable fees that can turn into shock debt.

"All internet users need to be able to easily have a way out of inadequate contracts and broadband speeds that only give them daily frustration."

Gatwick: Swissport has 'failed to meet standards'

The baggage handling firm behind four hour delays for Gatwick's arrivals passengers have "failed to meet standards", officials from the airport have said.

The spokesman for the airport said they were working "closely" with Swissport and was bringing in additional staff.

We have established service standards for our own staff, as well as for ground handling agents, who supply services to airlines such as unloading baggage from aircraft and delivering them to the baggage hall.

Recently, Swissport has failed to meet these standards. Although bags are being delivered on time for 95% of flights, this is not good enough.

This has been frustrating for passengers and we are disappointed with the recent arrival baggage service.

Swissport has committed to getting this right, and we are working closely with them to help.

Gatwick is providing additional staff. Although we are not permitted to unload the aircraft, we are assisting with transport of bags to the terminal and the unloading of bags onto belts.

We've also introduced a free baggage home delivery service for those who prefer not to wait.

– Spokesman for Gatwick Airport

'Whistleblowers must be provided with proper support'

Whistleblowers must be given proper support so they have the courage to come forward, the chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee has said.

Margaret Hodge revealed six out of 10 people would not speak out over fears of reprisals from bullying colleagues.

She told ITV News there must be tougher government sanctions against this so it does not have a detrimental effect on uncovering scandals in the future.

Background to the Gatwick baggage problems

  • Carriers using Swissport at Gatwick (and all major UK airports) include British Airways, Virgin, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.
  • Swissport isIt is supposed to deliver bags from each flight within 55 minutes. owned by a French private equity firm, and serves 27 airlines at Gatwick (there are two other baggage handling firms a the airport).
  • It is supposed to deliver bags from each flight within 55 minutes.
  • It's reported that Monarch Airlines is ditching Swissport and Virgin is in discussions to ensure an improved performance.
  • The company claims last weekend's problems were caused by a level of off schedule activity - or planes arriving or taking off earlier or later than planned.
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