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The December solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. This year the solstice occurs on Wednesday December 21st at 10:44 GMT (Universal time). The winter solstice happens every year when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest – 23.5 degrees – away from the Sun, delivering the fewest hours of sunlight of the year. The Winter Solstice is the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to be there. It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people - 100's of them! For many the impulse to arrive at Stonehenge in time for the Solstice is a little like all those people drawn to the strange rock in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It's akin to a spiritual experience. Anyone who has witnessed the crowd become silent as the sky begins to brighten can attest to that. Do you have a strange urge,are you feeling drawn to do something a little strange tomorrow. Well can you believe it,the winter solstice is nearly here,another exciting day,when you can let your hair down. Do a little dance perhaps,dress up or visit Stonehenge even and really celebrate. Everything you need to know,including video. And a countdown clock. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/0/winter-solstice-2016-shortest-day-year-time/
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced a pre-tax loss of £1.26 billion for the three months to the end of September. It takes the total loss for the year to £3.4 billion and compares to a £2 billion operating profit for the same period in 2011. A further £400 million provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation increased the loss. The bank also made a £1.5 billion charge against the value of its own bonds. The taxpayer-owned bank is also preparing for talks with regulators to settle its role in the manipulation of the Libor interbank lending rate. The bank said it expects to have talks soon that are likely to result in fines of a "material" amount. It hopes that details will be finalised before it announces its next set of results at the end of February 2013. Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommended that Barclays be given a $470 million fine relating to energy trading in North America. RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester said: “We are in the FSA’s hands, and the hands of the other regulators. Personally, I’ll be disappointed if, by the time of our year-end results, we haven’t had news on this.” The extra money set aside for PPI compensation takes the total charge for mis-selling of PPI by RBS to £1.7 billion. After Lloyds and Barclays added a further £1.7 billion to their PPI provision, this means the total set aside by UK banks is now more than £11 billion. RBS said that it may need to make further provision for PPI compensation in the future but the latest provision was an attempt to “get ahead” of the problem. Despite the big loss, Mr Hester said that “the RBS restructuring programme continues to make excellent progress.” RBS is 81 per cent owned by the UK taxpayer after having to accept a £45 billion bailout at the height of the financial crisis. More: http://www.myfinances.co.uk/investments/2012/11/04/rbs-announces-1-3b-loss-as-it-raises-ppi-provision-by-400m