UKBA 'cut too many staff'

The troubled UK Border Agency has cut too many staff too quickly and is now having to hire extra people and increase overtime to meet demands, Whitehall's spending watchdog said today.

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UK Border Agency 'cut too many staff'

The troubled UK Border Agency has cut too many staff too quickly and is now having to hire extra people and increase overtime to meet demands, Whitehall's spending watchdog said today.

UK Border Agency has cut too many staff, according to a new report Credit: PA Archive

Instead of slowing down staff cuts when it emerged an automated system designed to save money was both a year late and tens of millions of pounds over budget, the UKBA increased the speed of its planned changes, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

45% of people think UK is 'poorly prepared' for the Olympics

A ComRes survey conducted for ITV News shows that nearly half of the population believe that Britain is poorly prepared for the Olympics.

  • 45% think the UK is 'poorly prepared'
  • 15% are 'not sure'
  • 40% disagree that the UK is 'poorly prepared'

A further 39% of people think the Ministry of Defence being asked to provide extra troops to guard Olympic venues makes them concerned about whether spectators will be sufficiently safe at the games. 45% of people disagree with this statement and 16% said they did not know.

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'Vast majority' of Olympic journeys successful

London 2012 have said the "vast majority" of the journeys from Heathrow Airport to the Olympic Village were completely successfully. A spokesman said:

It is day one of team arrivals. We have successfully completed a large number of bus journeys so far today, from the airport, to the village and the training venues. Whilst there may have been one or two journeys taking longer than planned, the vast majority were completed successfully.”

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Hope Powell: "Pleased to be part of the Olympic games"

Women's GB football coach Hope Powell says the team are "pleased to be part of the Olympic games".

She added that the team will have to respect the "high calibre" of sides in the tournament including World champions Japan and Olympic champions USA.

Hope Powell said the team will first of all target qualification from the group. Group E includes:

Great Britain

New Zealand

Cameroon

Brazil

Great Britain's opening match is against New Zealand on the 25th of July at 4pm

See the rest of the groups

Syria 'should abide by Olympic truce or be barred'

Syrian athletes and spectators should be barred from the Olympics unless their Government ends the violence in the country and abides by the traditional 100 day Olympic truce, according to independent cross-bench peer Lord Hylton. He said:

It does seem that the Annan plan has not been in any way accepted by the Syrian Government. Would the Government consider barring access to this country for the Olympic Games to Syrian athletes, officials and even spectators unless they agree to a truce?

'Record' number of passengers pass through Heathrow

Members of the USA Olympic Team are met by LOCOG members are they arrive in Heathrow Airport. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Heathrow Airport expects to set a new record for passenger numbers today as it welcomes athletes to the London 2012 Games.

Some 236, 955 passengers will travel through the airport today, breaking the previous record of 233,562 on July 31 last year.

Members of the Russian team arrived today and were met by volunteers Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

335 Olympians from more than 50 countries will arrive today. Extra staff and volunteers who speak 20 languages have been drafted in to cope with the influx. Around 90% of the 16,000 athletes will arrive through Heathrow.

Members of the Russian Olympic team arrive at Heathrow Airport. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sailing teams from Russia and the USA were among the first to arrive. Sergey Kuzovov the Russia sailing team's coach said he was relieved he was not staying in London: He said:

"Fortunately we are not in London, we are going straight to Weymouth. It's rainy and cold, but we expected it this way."

Black newspaper The Voice denied access to the Olympics

The London Media centre will provide support to media officials from across the world during the Games Credit: John Phillips/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Britain's oldest and biggest black newspaper, The Voice, has been denied accreditation to the Olympic stadium. Sports editor Rodney Hinds described the decision by the British Olympic Association as "outrageous" whilst managing director George Ruddock said it was a "slap in the face."

"We are truly disappointed that the Voice which has covered the glorious achievements of British, African and Caribbean athletes for many years will not be inside the Olympic stadium.

"The games have been sold on diversity and if we can't have one reporter reporting on what's happening from inside the stadium something is very wrong."

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