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    HEAVEN'S GATE CULT SUICIDES
    March 26, 1997 - USA

    The bodies of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult were found dead in a California mansion all having committed suicide by ingesting a lethal mixture of phenobarbital and vodka. The Heaven's Gate Cult led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles and the leader Applewhite convinced his followers to commit suicide so that their souls could take a ride on a spaceship that they believed was hiding behind the Comet Hale-Bopp ( Haleys Comet ) .

    DR. JACK KEVORKIAN
    March 26, 1999 - USA

    Was found guilty of second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection to a terminally ill man and airing it on the television program "60 Minutes." He allowed the airing of a videotape on "60 Minutes." that he had made which depicted the voluntary euthanasia of Thomas Youk, 52, an adult male with full decisional capacity who was in the final stages of ALS. He was sentenced to to serve a 10-25 year prison sentence by the judge, he was released on parole in 2007 on the condition that he cannot help anyone else die. He no longer assists in voluntary euthanasia but does campaign that the law is changed ( currently the only US State that allows legalized doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill people is Oregon. )

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The River Thames - A Brief History :

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The course of the River Thames as we know it today was created about 10,000 years ago, by melt water from the ice-sheets that covered much of the United Kingdom during the last ice-age...

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Photo by B. L. Chant - courtesy of GateUK.com The course of the River Thames as we know it today was created about 10,000 years ago, by melt water from the ice-sheets that covered much of the United Kingdom during the last ice-age. In fact, The Thames marks the point at where the ice sheets stopped and the temperate climate began. Prior to the ice-age, the Thames was actually a tributary of the River now known as The Rhine in Germany as The United Kingdom was not an Island separated from Europe at that time.

The Thames valley was first settled around 400,000 years ago, but it was not until the Roman Empire invaded Britain in the year 43, that the area then called Londinium, was first transformed into a permanent settlement. The Romans discovered that by using the natural tidal pattern of the River, they could get their ships 80 kilometres inland without using any effort.Photo by B. L. Chant - courtesy og GateUK.com

Although Londinium was not an ideal place for a settlement, due to the soft marshland surrounding the River Thames, it quickly became the hub of Roman life in Britain. The Romans were quick to capitalise on the River Thames and recognised it\'s use as a major shipping route into the heart of England and eventually London developed into a major inland port.

After a fire swept through Londinium, all but destroying the entire settlement, the Romans abandoned the area and soon after the Empire fell.

The area was soon to be settled again and was quickly established as England\'s capital city with the River proving to be both strategic in defence and providing a natural way for goods to be imported into and out of London.

London soon flourished and by the Victorian era (circa 1880), the Thames had become the busiest inland port in the world, importing spices from the Far East and tobacco from the America\'s. In fact, the Thames was so busy that the Victorians created vast docks inside the city itself, many of which remain today, although they are now used mainly for leisure purposes.
Photo by B. L. Chant - courtesy of GateUK.com
Following the success of the Victorians in using the River Thames for trade and industry, the river soon became severely polluted and became devoid of all life. In fact, the river had always been used as dumping ground. The Romans had used it as a landfill site throwing all manner of rubbish into the River. Up until Victorian engineers created the first sewers in the world, the river was also used as a means of disposing of human waste!

During the Second World War, The River Thames again proved to be both problematic for Londoners and also a saviour. The German Luftwaffe could easily navigate their bombers into the heart of London just by literally flying along the East Coast of Britain and turning left as soon as they were over the Thames estuary. Once they had followed the course of the river, it was easy for them to identify the centre of London due to unique buildings that had been erected following the success of the Victorians 60 years earlier! However, the Thames provided much needed water to put out the flames of the Blitz on London that came from the skies day after day after day.Photo by B. L. Chant - courtesy of GateUk.com

Today, the river is largely unnatural due to artificial banks running along many kilometres of its path. The marshlands that the Romans first settled on will eventually be London\'s nemesis, due to the fact that London is in fact sinking, albeit very slowly, while the tides that affect the Thames\' flow gradually get stronger due to sea level rises. To combat this, a movable barrier to protect London from flooding was built in the 1980\'s. In the first years of use, the Thames Barrier was used very occasionally, but it is being used much more often and most experts agree that in several years it will not be able to protect London from Flooding.

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  • GateUK
    GateUK is a gateway to United Kingdom business and resources.

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