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Today in history:November 12

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:19:12 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  November 12
          Biggs has lived in Brazil since the 1970s
          1997: "Great Train Robber" escapes extradition again
          England have
          The so-called "Great Train Robber", Ronnie Biggs, is celebrating after
Brazil"s Supreme Court rejected a British request to extradite him.
          The court in Rio de Janeiro ruled that because Biggs" crime was committed
more than 20 years ago he could not be extradited under Brazilian law.
          In 1963 Biggs was convicted of robbing a mail train, part of a 15-strong
gang which stole more than ?.5m in what became known as "The Great Train
Robbery".
          A spokesman for the Supreme Court said the ruling was final and the British
Government would not be able to appeal.
          Ronnie Biggs said he was "totally elated and relieved" that the years of
uncertainty were now over.
          "Finally I can get on with the rest of my life," he said.
          In London a spokesman for the Home Office said that it was "very
disappointed" with the court"s ruling.
          Former Scotland Yard detective Jack Slipper, who was involved in the
investigation following the robbery, told the BBC he was not surprised by the
decision.
          "It"s a long time since the offence was committed and Biggs is an old man.
I can"t see any point in bringing him back," Mr Slipper said.
          Biggs has lived in Rio de Janeiro for 27 years.
          Just 15 months into a 30-year sentence for the robbery, he escaped from
Wandsworth prison in London.
          He first fled to Australia where he hid out until 1970 before moving on to
Brazil.
          But it was only in August, when Britain and Brazil formally ratified an
extradition treaty, that his return home became a real possibility.
          Quids out: notes are being replaced by coins
          1984: Quid notes out - pound coins in
          Artificially 1969:
          The The English pound note is to disappear after more than 150 years.
          News of the familiar green ? note"s withdrawal came when Chancellor Nigel
Lawson made his autumn statement in parliament on Monday.
          Mr Lawson said the note - popularly known as a "quid" - would be phased out
and replaced by coins which were introduced last April.
          It was widely expected that ? notes would rapidly be withdrawn.
          Their reprieve was credited largely to the intervention of Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher.
          Speaking in parliament last December, Mrs Thatcher told MPs the pound coin
was "not very popular" and she believed the pound note would be retained.
          Ironically, ? notes were greeted with public outrage when they were first
put into widespread use as an emergency measure to replace gold sovereigns
during World War I.
          Despite general misgivings the new pound coin has been welcomed by some
groups such as blind people because it is easy to distinguish.
          It has also found favour among makers of ticket and vending machines.
          Announcing the notes" withdrawal Chancellor Nigel Lawson told MPs that
coins were slightly more expensive to produce but would last up to 50 times
longer.
          He said the Bank of England would stop issuing pound notes at the end of
the year but they would continue to be legal tender until the end of next
year.
          The ? notes used in Scotland and Northern Ireland are not being
withdrawn.
          The wider use of the largest denominator of coin in England is to be
balanced by the withdrawal of the smallest - the half penny ceases to be legal
tender from the end of this year.
          It was introduced only relatively recently in 1971 as part of the
decimalisation of British currency.
          Vocabulary:
          extradite: hand over to the authorities of another country(引渡)
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