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On this day May 11, 1995

In New York City, more than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

Participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Treaty to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, was opened for signature on July 1, 1968.

There are currently 189 countries party to the treaty, five of which have nuclear weapons: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and the People’s Republic of China (the permanent members of the UN Security Council). Read More…


Mohamed Al-Fayed sold Harrods to Qatari royal family

Harrods was sold to the Qatar royal family for £1.5 billion with chief executive Al Fayed planning to retire. Al Fayed will be given the role of “honorary chairman” though will have little day-to-day involvement with the store.

The sale was concluded in the early hours of 8 May and Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani was sent to London to finalise the deal, saying that the acquisition of Harrods would add “much value” to the investment portfolio of Qatar Holdings while his deputy, Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, called it a “landmark transaction”.

A spokesman for Fayed said “in reaching the decision to retire, [Fayed] wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued.” Read More…

Gordon Brown has announced his resignation

In the latest developments in discussions between the Liberal Democrats and the two largest parties, Gordon Brown has announced his resignation as Labour Party leader and Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown made his statement at 5.00 pm local time in front of 10 Downing Street, London, and follows a meeting he had yesterday with Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party.

He stated that a strong and stable “progressive alliance” of the Labour and Liberal parties would be in the best interest in the country and made his resignation as a means to forward this, saying that he would set in motion the process needed for a new leader of the Labour Party to be selected and that a new leader will be in place in the autumn by the time of the next Labour Party Conference. Read More…

UK Conservative and Liberal to form coalition

Results indicate there will be a hung parliament, where no party obtains the simple majority needed to pass legislation on its own, raising the prospect of a minority or coalition government being formed, which would require cooperation between parties.

David Cameron

With only one constituency not yet counted, David Cameron’s Conservatives have taken 306 seats, incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour party 258 seats, and Nick Clegg with his Liberal Democrats with 57.

Cameron has said he will negotiate with the latter party to try and form a coalition to attain more than 325 seats, or half those in the parliament.

After Labour’s large losses at the polls yesterday, both in terms of seats and votes, Cameron said Brown has “lost his mandate to govern”. Clegg, meanwhile, says he thinks the result allows the Conservatives to try to form a government first, contrary to past tradition, under which the incumbent prime minister and his party in a hung parliament try first to form a coalition.

UK voters turned away from polls

Scores of polling stations in the United Kingdom have been unable to cope with one of the highest voter turn outs in thirty years, leaving thousands of voters unable to cast their vote in yesterday’s general election.

Police had to intervene in Heeley, Hackney, and Islington when angry voters refused to leave after the 10.00pm deadline. Elsewhere voters were turned away before ten when polling stations ran out of ballot papers.

A late surge in voter registrations also saw hundreds of voters eligible to vote but unable to because electoral rolls had not been updated.

The Electoral Commission sets national standards for elections, and promised an inquiry into elections where people were unable to vote.

The returning officer of each constituency is legally independent and is personally responsible for the local conduct of the election. Returning officers are appointed and funded by local authorities.

On this day May 4, 2007

The Scottish National Party wins the Scottish general election and becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament for the first time ever.scottish_national_party_ribbon

The election was held on Thursday 3 May 2007 and was the third general election to the devolved Scottish Parliament since it was created in 1999. Local elections in Scotland fell on the same day.

The Scottish National Party emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, closely followed by the incumbent Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats. Read More…

On this day May 1, 1328

The wars of Scottish independence end with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton where the Kingdom of England recognizes the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.

The Treaty was a peace treaty, signed in 1328 between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland.

It brought an end to the First War of Scottish Independence, which had begun with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296.

The treaty was signed in Edinburgh by Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, on 17 March 1328, and was ratified by the English Parliament at Northampton on 1 May.

The document was written in French, and is held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh. Read More…