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Chief Rat

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Chief Rat last won the day on January 3 2017

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  1. Two men jailed for Salford house fire murders 24 May 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe attack on the family's house in Salford was captured on CCTV Two men who murdered four children by torching their home with petrol bombs have been given life sentences. Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, were convicted of murdering Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson in Walkden, Salford in December. Courtney Brierley, 20, was cleared of their murders but found guilty of four counts of manslaughter following the blaze. Bolland was jailed for a minimum of 40 years and Worrall for 37 years. A judge at Manchester Crown Court also sentenced Brierley to 21 years in a young offenders institution. Mr Justice William Davis said the four children "died a terrible death". Sandra Lever, the children's grandmother, said the offenders were "evil". "To think and do anything like this with four babies in the house, and a woman, and two other children, it's just beyond me." Image copyright Police handout Image caption Lia, Demi, Brandon and Lacie died in the fire and their mother Michelle Pearson was left in a coma The jury heard Bolland, who lived 300 yards from the Pearsons, was high on drink and drugs when he launched the fatal attack, which was motivated by a petty feud with the victims' 17-year-old brother Kyle Pearson. Along with Worrall, he filled two glass bottles with £1.50 of petrol bought from a local garage, stuffing the tops with tissue paper as they prepared the attack shortly before 05:00 GMT. They removed a fence panel from the garden of the family's home in Jackson Street, smashed a kitchen window and threw in the two lit petrol bombs. One landed near the stairs, blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs as flames engulfed the three-bedroom mid-terrace house. Image copyright GMP Image caption Zak Bolland (left) and David Worrall were found guilty of the murders of four siblings Demi, 15, Brandon, eight, and Lacie, seven, all died in the blaze. Their mother, Michelle Pearson, 36, was rescued, severely injured, along with her youngest daughter, Lia, aged three, who died in hospital two days later. Neighbour Karen Kormoss told the jury during the murder trial Mrs Pearson screamed "not the kids" as the flames took hold. She said she saw the windows blown out and flames coming from upstairs and downstairs within two minutes. Image copyright GMFRS Image caption Bolland and Worrall threw two lit petrol bombs at the family's home Mrs Pearson dialled 999 but she was overcome with heat and smoke before completing the call. She spent four months in a coma and still suffers with dreadful burns and has had several infections. She has been told about the deaths of her children but "it's questionable how much she's absorbed and is aware of what she's been told", the court heard. Bolland was found guilty of three counts of the attempted murder of Mrs Pearson, Kyle, and his friend Bobby Harris who was staying at their house. Worrall, of no fixed address, was found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent. Image copyright GMP Image caption Bolland's then-girlfriend Courtney Brierley was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter Worrall and Brierley broke down in tears as the verdicts were read out in court. Bolland blinked and looked down to the floor. The court heard Bolland was friends with Kyle until the defendant's car was set on fire and his house windows smashed and he blamed the teenager. Mrs Pearson had called police on at least five occasions in the two weeks before her children died, saying Bolland was threatening to use fire to harm her family. He set their wheelie bin set on fire two days before the fatal fire and threatened to "kill 'em all" four hours before he torched the house, the court heard. CCTV shown to the jury showed Bolland and Worrall at the address at 04:55 for one minute and five seconds. The cameras recorded a flash then a larger second one from the petrol bombs, before they fled. Bolland, who admitted throwing the second petrol bomb but denied all other charges said he intended only to damage the house which he thought was not occupied. "I heard like a big whoosh. I didn't look back," he told the jury. Image copyright PA Image caption Zak Bolland lived 300 yards from the Pearsons Worrall, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, said he thought they were only going to set fire to wheelie bins and denied throwing a petrol bomb. Brierley, from Walkden, said she did not know the two men had petrol bombs and claims Bolland had a "controlling influence" over her during their "toxic" relationship. Det Ch Insp Lewis Hughes said it was one of the "most heartbreaking cases" he had ever dealt with. "I am glad that the sentences these three have received today reflect their atrocious acts, but nothing can change what has happened and nothing can bring back the children," he said. An investigation into Greater Manchester Police by the Independent Office for Police Conduct was suspended pending the outcome of the trial. View the full article
  2. 23 May 2018 Yulia Skripal, poisoned daughter of Russian ex-spy Sergei, says she is lucky to be alive after attack This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts. View the full article
  3. Sajid Javid pledges he is 'standing with' police in first speech 23 May 2018 comments Image copyright Reuters Sajid Javid has attempted to draw a line under the Home Office's fractious relationship with the Police Federation in his first speech to the body. Mr Javid, whose brother is a chief superintendent in West Midlands Police, pledged to provide the tools and back-up needed for frontline officers. In the speech taking place in Birmingham, he said: "I've seen the impact the job has had on family life." Theresa May was heckled at a previous meeting in 2012 over government cuts. Mr Javid became home secretary in April, after Amber Rudd resigned her position amid the Windrush revelations. The federation, which represents rank-and-file officers across England and Wales, has previously shown home secretaries a frosty reception. As of September there were 121,929 officers across the 43 forces, a fall of nearly 20,000 people compared to 10 years ago. Police cuts have come under scrutiny after figures have shown an increase in knife and gun crime. In London 52 people were killed in the first 100 days of 2018, which raised serious concerns about a rise in violent crime. Mr Javid hoped to repair that relationship in his inaugural speech to the body. He said: "I'm not arrogant enough to turn up here after three weeks in the job and tell you how to do yours. "What I will say is that I am listening and I get it. I get that there's increased demand." Referring to his brother, he added: "He's been hurt more times than I want to know from being assaulted on duty. "I've seen the impact the job has on family life. And, as you would expect from a brother, he doesn't shield me from the truth." Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionIn 2015 Theresa May told officers to stop "crying wolf" Speaking before Mr Javid, Police Federation chairman Calum Macleod called for the government's support and asked it to "agree that [emergency workers] are not society's punch bags for those fuelled by drink and drugs, or trying to evade arrest". View the full article
  4. Oxford University 'failing' on diversity, says Lammy 23 May 2018 Image copyright PA Image caption David Lammy has accused the university of "social apartheid" before Oxford University remains "a bastion of white, middleclass, Southern privilege" after "glacial" progress on improving diversity, David Lammy has said. The Labour MP told the BBC the university was "failing badly". His comments came as Oxford University data revealed about a third of its colleges accepted three or fewer black applicants, in the past three years. The university said it was "not getting the right number of black people with the talent to apply". Director of undergraduate admissions Dr Samina Khan told the BBC she was "pushing hard" on outreach activity to make sure those students felt welcome. Oxford's annual admissions report showed 11% of last year's undergraduates were from disadvantaged backgrounds. The proportion of students identifying as black and minority ethnic was 18% in 2017, up from 14% in 2013. The number of admissions from state schools, during the same period, rose by 1%, from 57% to 58%. Oxford portrait 'celebrates diversity' Oxbridge even posher than we thought The story of Oxford University's first black student The report also showed a divide between the north and south of the UK. London and the South East made up 46.7% of UK applications between 2015 and 2017, (and 47.9% of students admitted) while the North East accounted for just 2% (2.3% admitted). Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, Mr Lammy said the university had to explain why - having looked at the data - a person was twice as likely to get in if they were white, not black. Mr Lammy previously accused the university of "social apartheid", after a Freedom of Information request by him revealed 10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not award a place to any black British pupil with A-levels in 2015. This prompted more than 100 MPs to write to Oxford and Cambridge urging the universities to recruit more students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds. Reacting to the latest figures, Mr Lammy said the problem was "self-perpetuating". "If you're on the 20th floor of a tower block estate and you're getting straight A's, you apply, go for a difficult interview.. you don't get in, then none of the other kids apply the following year." 'Eton row' "It's very elitist, very, very white," student Taiwo Oyebola said. "For me, applying for Classics, I was very aware I'd be the only black person or one of a few people of colour." "We have this joke in lectures, I go in and there's this group we call them the Eton row, because all the Eton boys sit there." Joshua Tulloch of the Oxford African and Caribbean students society said his organisation was involved in targeting younger black students. "We have a vast access infrastructure which targets students from as young as Year 9," he said. "The university is supporting us in making sure that we are visible and people can see that they can succeed in Oxford." Oxford has said it must do more to attract talent from all backgrounds. "We want a diverse university," Dr Samina Khan told Radio 4. The university has agreed to a scheme which would fund the interview travel fees of applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds. It said it is doubling its spring and summer schools, which work with students from under-represented backgrounds. The best way to get news on the go Download the BBC News App. View the full article
  5. UK becoming 'cocaine capital' of Europe, warns minister 22 May 2018 Related TopicsLondon violence Image copyright PA Image caption There have been 67 murders in the capital in 2018 The UK "is fast becoming the biggest consumer of cocaine in Europe", the security minister has said. Ben Wallace told MPs that technology was enabling young people to trade drugs, communicate in a safe space and make connections like never before. He said he wished he had more money amid concerns from Labour MPs over police cuts. Warning of more killings, Labour's David Lammy said ministers must ask themselves "do black lives matter?" Calling for urgent action in response to the 67 murders in the capital so far this year, the Labour MP said the figure could rise to 100 by the autumn and he could not help thinking that more attention would have been paid if this level of violent crime was happening in a "leafy shire". Mayor urges 'targeted' stop and search'Junk food' Tube adverts may be banned Met hands murder inquiry to City police The children forced to sell drugs His comments came as MPs debated the government's serious violence strategy. 'County lines' The minister said the ubiquity of smart phones and growth of encryption had, increasingly, cut out the "middle men" when it came to international drug-dealing. "Young people have the ability to order drugs, and gangs have the ability to have delivered to their door large packets of drugs from Albanian or Serbian drug gangs, or indeed from local drug gangs," he said. "That has put a real power into a system where at the same time the UK is fast becoming the biggest consumer of cocaine in Europe, so there is a high demand by the consumer." Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Labour's David Lammy said young people were picking up knives for their own protection Cocaine was, he said, no longer "the preserve of the yuppie or the rich" and its increasing use in rural communities such as his Lancashire constituency was causing turf wars between different criminal gangs as they sought to enforce their so-called "county lines". "It is a high-margin, high-supply drug at the moment, and that is fuelling that increased violence. "With those serious organised criminals...they don't just put a 15-year-old in a house or they 'cuckoo' the house; they provide a weapon to enforce the drug line. "And sometimes, if the 15-year-old is not a willing participant, they will ruthlessly enforce that county line with violence, and they will kill those people and they'll kill the local drug dealers if they get in their way." 'Hidden in bushes' Promising that new measures to crack down on the possession of knives and a consultation on extending stop and search powers would be brought before Parliament within weeks, Mr Wallace warned the UK could not "arrest our way" out of some of challenges it faced. "I wish I had more money," he said. "I didn't come in here to cut things. There is sometimes a suggestion that we had a choice and we chose not to spend money." Mr Lammy said demand for drugs was "driving violence" and young people living on estates were picking up knives not because they were gang members but because they feared for their lives. "They are hiding them in bushes on the way to school and they're finding them on Saturdays and Sundays because they're scared," he said. The Tottenham MP suggested there was a racial dimension to how the issue was being treated, questioning whether the authorities would be talking about awareness-raising exercises and funding for at-risk children if "50 or 60 white middle-class young people were killed in Surrey or Kent in the space of five months". "This debate must also quite properly, as it has already done, land on the issue of whether in fact black lives matter in this country. "If we don't solve this problem by the autumn we will be over 100 - you heard it here first - young people, more than New York, dead in this country. "Do black lives matter or not? That is the question for the minister." His colleague Lyn Brown said for the past year her East Ham community had been "haunted" by violence as she read out the names of the nine young people killed since the start of 2017. View the full article
  6. Manchester attack: Choirs lead mass sing-along 22 May 2018 Related TopicsManchester Arena attack Image caption People gathered in Albert Square to take part in the mass sing-along Over 3,500 singers are coming together to lead a chorus of amateur voices in a mass sing-along to remember the Manchester Arena attack victims. Twenty-two people died and hundreds injured when a bomb was detonated outside a concert on 22 May 2017. Manchester Together in Albert Square will feature songs by Elbow and Oasis. It follows a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral, which saw Prince William join political leaders and the families of the victims to remember. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWho were the 22 victims of the Manchester Arena attack? Some of those who have gathered have a connection to what happened on the night, while others have come to show their support. Gina and Casey Hankey, from Stoke, said they were at the arena. "We did the arena visits, so this is another step. The atmosphere has been good so far, but it's still a bit sad." Rachel and Mia, from Bolton, said they had come "to show we won't be beaten and show you carry on and remember those who died". Julie, from Eccles, who came with her son Louis, said they wanted "to pay our respects as it just touched everybody". 'Stand up and rise up' The sing-along will see performances from 10 singing groups, including the Manchester Survivors Choir and the Parrs Wood High School Harmony Group. The former is made up of people who were caught up the attack last year, while the latter saw their post-attack tribute - a version of Ariana Grande's My Everything - go viral and earn them the chance to perform with the star at the One Love Manchester concert. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Many at the sing-along were wearing the bee emblem, a symbol of Manchester's defiance That concert was held two weeks after the homemade device was detonated outside Grande's concert. Cath Hill, who is in Manchester Survivors' Choir, said while they had "been through something really difficult", the group had wanted to "stand up and rise up and show everybody that we are carrying on". The two-hour event will conclude with a mass sing-along of four songs - Grande's One Last Time, Elbow's One Day Like This, Take That's Never Forget and Oasis' Don't Look Back In Anger. That final song became an anthem of defiance in the aftermath of the attack and was sung by a crowd in Manchester's St Ann's Square following a minute's silence on 25 May 2017. St Ann's Square was also be where the majority of tributes were left following the attack and will be the scene of the last part of the city's day of remembrance. From 21:30 BST, song lyrics chosen by members of the public will be projected onto its pavements and buildings. You can view special coverage of the "Manchester Together" commemoration event between 19:00 and 21:00 BST on the BBC news channel or via the BBC News website. View the full article
  7. Manchester Arena attack: Anniversary to be marked in city 22 May 2018 Related TopicsManchester Arena attack Image copyright AFP A cathedral service, a minute's silence and a sing-along vigil will mark the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack. Twenty-two people were killed and hundreds injured when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on 22 May 2017. Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince William will attend the memorial service at Manchester Cathedral. The national minute's silence will start at 14:30 BST. Memorial service Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Theresa May and the Duke of Cambridge will join families of victims and emergency workers who helped them The Duke of Cambridge and Mrs May will join families of victims and emergency workers who went to their aid. Only those with invitations can attend, but people will be able to watch the service on a big screen in the nearby cathedral gardens, and further afield at York Minster, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Glasgow Cathedral. 'I must've died 200 times in my nightmares' Arena bomb 'injured more than 800' Vigil and sing-along Image copyright Various Image caption Twenty-two people were killed in the blast on 22 May 2017 The Manchester Together With One Voice event takes place between 19:00 and 21:00 and will bring together choirs from the city and beyond. The final half hour will be a sing-along broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester. Families of the 22 people killed were invited to select lyrics, and members of the public were asked to make suggestions online. Attack 'could have been stopped' City finds strength in music and sport Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said music was "in Manchester's soul", as was shown in the aftermath of the attack when "spontaneous song captured the city's spirit". A crowd sang Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis at a vigil following the attack. He said: "Coming together in song will once again demonstrate that remarkable sense of togetherness." Moment of explosion Image caption The vigil and sing-along will be held at Albert Square At 22:31 bells across the city centre will ring out to mark the moment of the explosion. Bells at Manchester Town Hall, St Ann's Church and St Mary's Roman Catholic Church will sound in tribute to the victims. Light show Image copyright Reuters Image caption Thousands of tributes were left at St Ann's Square after the attack A further event, named There Is A Light, will run between Tuesday and Saturday with song lyrics projected on to St Ann's Church and other parts of St Ann's Square. St Ann's Square became a focal point for tributes in the wake of the bombing, with many thousands of wreaths left by well-wishers. Some of the flowers were later composted and the soil used for the Trees of Hope Trail, where trees were planted around the city centre. Members of the public can write messages on special tags to be attached to the Japanese maple trees until Tuesday evening. View the full article
  8. Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink trains cancelled and delayed 21 May 2018 Image copyright Alamy Image caption Passengers had been urged to plan ahead and check revised timetables Rail disruption is continuing on a day dubbed "Meltdown Monday" by unions after new timetables were introduced. Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) rescheduled every service on its Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern franchise as part of an overhaul billed as the biggest in the UK. The operator apologised after it cancelled dozens of trains, hours after its new timetable began on Sunday. It confirmed disruption was continuing on Monday. Passengers in the north of England are also reporting delays and cancellations as rail routes covered by Northern saw train times and stopping patterns change from Sunday. The RMT called today "Meltdown Monday" said it should "spell the end of the privatised chaos on Britain's railways". 'Some disruption' The Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise includes services to Bedford, Luton, Peterborough, King's Lynn, Cambridge, London King's Cross, London Moorgate, Wimbledon and Brighton. GTR has called the new timetable "the biggest change to rail timetables in a generation" and said "we expect some disruption to services in the initial stages". On Monday, a spokesperson said that "despite some cancellations, passengers will benefit from an overall increase in capacity with immediate effect". Image copyright PA Image caption The changes affect Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink trains "We are implementing over the coming weeks the biggest timetable change in a generation to boost capacity and improve reliability, introducing 400 extra daily trains and space for 50,000 extra passengers in the peak. "Due to the scale and complexity of the task, these changes will be made incrementally. "This involves redeploying drivers and trains and changing operating practices to achieve a large increase in the number of services, carriages and station stops." Trains cancelled on new timetable day one Rail firm changes time of every train Major changes to Northern rail services As the new timetable faces its first real test as commuters return to work, frustrated passengers have been tweeting to complain about disruption on Govia Thameslink services. One said: "[The] 0528 from Haywards Heath was cancelled, and I believe it will continue to be cancelled until early June. Less than impressive start to the brave new world!" Another passenger wrote: "Going well I'd say. My one train instead of 4 of the hour isn't running." Skip Twitter post by @Richardmd7 Report End of Twitter post by @Richardmd7 Skip Twitter post by @cjh15 Report End of Twitter post by @cjh15 Skip Twitter post by @schmoodub Report End of Twitter post by @schmoodub Skip Twitter post by @johnmonks Report End of Twitter post by @johnmonks Unions said they understood the disruption was because there were not enough fully-trained drivers. The RMT said it had reports from both Northern and GTR of a "hopeless lack of planning, combined with a shortage of crew and fleet, which has reduced the Monday morning journey to a nightmare for many passengers". General secretary Mick Cash said: "It is our members dealing with the anger at the sharp end not the well-paid top brass from Arriva and Govia who are responsible for this Meltdown Monday on our railways. "Both of these companies have sought to compromise safety and access by hacking back on critical staff and it is no surprise to RMT that they can't be trusted with the massive logistical challenges of bringing in new timetables. "Frankly I wouldn't trust the private train operators to run a bath let alone our vital rail routes." Image caption Delays and cancellations continue on Monday morning Rail routes covered by the Northern franchise, which operates services across the north from Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle, are also being disrupted. At the weekend, Arriva Rail North Ltd said 90% of the services would be affected by the changes and there may be some disruption. On Sunday, GTR apologised for "any inconvenience caused" to passengers, calling the changes a "significant logistical challenge". He added the timetable changes would mean a 13% increase in services across the GTR network. From Sunday, every schedule for Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern trains changed, in an attempt to improve efficiency. It will mean 400 extra trains a day and new direct services from 80 stations into central London. But passengers in a number of smaller locations complained they would be served with fewer or slower services. Emily Ketchin, founder of campaign group Harpenden Thameslink Commuters, said: "We are actually losing a third of key services in the morning and we're also getting longer journey times. "Even before the cuts it was a very overcrowded service... and it's going to get a lot more difficult." Has your train been delayed or cancelled today? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways: WhatsApp: +447555 173285 Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk Upload your pictures/video here Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100 Please check our terms and conditions Or use the form below Your contact details Name (optional) Your E-mail address (required) Town & Country (optional) Your telephone number (optional) Comments (required) If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions. Terms and conditions View the full article
  9. Grenfell Tower: Bereaved to speak at inquiry into blaze 21 May 2018 Related TopicsGrenfell Tower fire Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionGrenfell Tower: The key moments as the fire spread Every bereaved family from the Grenfell Tower fire will have the opportunity to make a statement to the public inquiry, which begins later. The commemoration hearings are expected to last for two weeks, with no limit on how long each person can speak for. The inquiry will look into 72 deaths - including one victim who died in January, having been hospitalised since the blaze on 14 June 2017. Dozens are expected to read statements or show videos about their loved ones. All the victims' names will be read out at the hearings, taking place at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in South Kensington, west London, but it is understood that not all families will give a tribute. Lead counsel to the inquiry, Richard Millett, said beginning the proceedings in this way will mean "we will never lose sight of who our work is for and why we are doing it". Grenfell Tower fire: Who were the victims? What happened at the tower block? Inside the 21st floor of the Grenfell Tower fire CGampaigners 'won the argument' The inquiry - chaired by retired judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick - will then begin taking evidence from other individuals and organisations, as well as evidence from expert witnesses. This will take place at Holborn Bars in central London, where several procedural hearings have already taken place. Image caption Barrister Kieran Mitchell said "this horrific event has obliterated so many lives" This first phase will focus on the facts of the night in North Kensington, including where and how the fire started, how it spread and how the building was evacuated. Barrister Kieran Mitchell, who is representing three of the victims' families, said having their voices heard had been "a long time coming". He said: "Starting this inquest process with statements and images means we have a stark understanding of how this horrific event has obliterated so many lives. "However, this is just the beginning. We must get the answers everyone craves and understand how this tragedy could ever have been allowed to happen. "Ultimately our clients want justice and we will not rest until those culpable are held accountable." 'Diverse panel' After months of campaigning by the main group representing the victims, Grenfell United, Prime Minister Theresa May agreed a more diverse a panel should be installed for the second phase of the inquiry - ensuring the initial proceedings are not delayed. Two experts will be appointed to sit with the judge after critics said the inquiry risked being a "whitewash". A programme of what they will look into during phase two - due to begin later this year - will be announced closer to the time. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionKarim Mussilhy from the Grenfell United group welcomed the news View the full article
  10. Royal wedding 2018: Princes Harry and William meet Windsor crowds 18 May 2018 Related TopicsRoyal Wedding 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Image copyright AFP Prince Harry is meeting the crowds in Windsor before his marriage to Meghan Markle on Saturday. Accompanied by his brother and best man Prince William, he arrived to cheers from well-wishers in the Berkshire town, who shouted "good luck Harry". When Prince Harry was asked how he was feeling, he replied: "Relaxed of course." Earlier, Kensington Palace said Prince Charles will walk Ms Markle down the aisle. Ms Markle's father, Thomas, is unable to attend the wedding, after undergoing heart surgery. The Prince of Wales was "pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way", the palace added. Prince Harry's grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, will also attend the wedding, Buckingham Palace confirmed. Prince Philip, 96, has been recovering from a hip operation. Image copyright PA Ms Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, will take her daughter to the wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor. Ms Ragland met the Queen for the first time at Windsor Castle, accompanied by Ms Markle, 36, and Prince Harry, 33. She has already been introduced to Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The ceremony begins at 12:00 BST and will be broadcast to the world. Royal Wedding final preparations: Live Updates Windsor's glimpse of Meghan and Harry Reality check: Who's paying for the wedding? How to watch the events The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will marry the prince and Ms Markle, said he thought it was "wonderful" Prince Charles will walk Ms Markle down the aisle. "He's a very warm person and that he's doing this is a sign of his love and concern and support," he said. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive at Windsor Castle a day before their wedding to meet the Queen Mr Markle had been due to arrive in the UK earlier this week, but became caught up in controversy over the apparent staging of photographs with the paparazzi. Speaking to the BBC from Windsor, American celebrity news site TMZ's Sean Mandell said he had spoken to Mr Markle on Wednesday and that he was "doing well" and "recovering from surgery". Mr Mandell - who broke the story - said Mr Markle realised on Tuesday that he would not be travelling to Windsor. "Chest pains were really being exacerbated by the emotional strain he was under," he said. "When doctors told him he needed to have surgery, he decided he needed to heed that advice, despite the fact he wanted to be here in Windsor for Meghan." "He definitely feels he's been mis-characterised," Mr Mandell added. "That's why he felt the need to speak out when I reached him." Ms Markle released a statement on Thursday saying she hoped her father could be given space to focus on his health. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTMZ's Sean Mandell says Thomas Markle thinks "news reports are not accurate" Ms Markle's mother met William and Catherine and their eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon. She took tea with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House in London on Wednesday. Image copyright PA Image caption Ms Markle's mother, Doria Ragland (left) had been rumoured to be walking her daughter down the aisle Ms Markle will have 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, who are all under the age of eight. She decided against having a maid of honour, saying she wanted to avoid choosing between her closest friends. In pictures: Crowds line streets for rehearsal Which titles might Harry and Meghan have? Eight different ways to spend royal wedding day Royal wedding: All you need to know The view from Windsor By Hanna Yusuf, BBC News Image copyright Reuters The two women, dressed in union jack gear, summed up the mood for one of the many TV crews. "Excited, excited, excited is what we are!" they said. Behind them, the castle; in front of them, a line of shops that, for the past few days, have been bound together by bunting. On top of the stores, lucky residents sit beside open windows, drinks in hand, looking at the view that many have been camping out for: the road leading to the castle gate. Other buildings have bright lights and correspondents' backs lining their balconies. On a sunny day, the lights seem unexpectedly stark. All eyes peer inside every car that drives by, looking for - hoping for - a glimpse of the royal couple. In front of the castle, two women take a defiant selfie - despite the best efforts of an officer. "Keep it moving please!" he says. Ms Markle will spend her last night before the wedding with her mother at the luxury Cliveden House Hotel, in Buckinghamshire, about nine miles north of Windsor Castle. Prince Harry will be staying 15 miles away at the Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park in Ascot, with his brother, the Duke of Cambridge. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionHarry and Meghan's royal engagements In Windsor, royal fans have been arriving throughout the week, with the rehearsal of the carriage procession on Thursday drawing hundreds of children, parents and pets keen to embrace the party mood. About 250 members of the armed forces are expected to take part on Saturday and up to 100,000 people are expected to line the procession route. Image copyright PA Image caption The finishing touches, including a white, elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream, are being applied to the wedding cake. Thames Valley Police has said it expects the town to be full to capacity by 09:00. Full coverage of the day will be on BBC One from 09:00-14:00 on Saturday and streamed live on the BBC News website or on BBC iPlayer. The best way to get news on the go Download the BBC News App. View the full article
  11. Royal wedding 2018: Finishing touches ahead of big day 18 May 2018 Related TopicsRoyal Wedding 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMeghan and Harry driven along wedding route Final preparations are taking place on the eve of Saturday's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Ms Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, will meet the Queen for the first time at Windsor Castle later, accompanied by her daughter and future son-in-law. Ms Ragland has already been introduced to some of the Windsors - including Prince Charles and Prince William. It remains unclear who will walk Ms Markle down the aisle of St George's Chapel as her father will not attend. Royal wedding: All you need to know Windsor's glimpse of Meghan and Harry How to watch the events Ms Markle released a statement on Thursday confirming her father would not attend the wedding and saying she hoped he could be given space to focus on his health. Ms Markle and Prince Harry were in Windsor on Thursday to prepare for the big day. Rehearsals took place for the ceremony and for the military procession around the town. The couple were seen being driven along the procession route, accompanied by a police escort. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBBC hosts have a right royal knees-up Other members of the Royal Family are also in Windsor ahead of the wedding, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. Ms Markle's mother met William and Catherine and their eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, at Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon. And she took tea with Prince Charles and Camilla at Clarence House in London on Wednesday. Image copyright PA Image caption Claire Ptak puts finishes touches to the wedding cake Image copyright PA Image caption The cake is being decorated with a white, elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream Meanwhile, further details on the wedding cake have been revealed. Its baker, Claire Ptak said it would be presented in a "non-traditional" way, displayed in a special "installation". The layered lemon and elderflower cake will be served to 600 guests at the afternoon reception at Windsor Castle. The owner of Violet Bakery in east London described the cake as "a slight shift from tradition". She has been baking with the help of a team of six people for five days in the Buckingham Palace kitchens. Skip Instagram post by violetcakeslondon Report End of Instagram post by violetcakeslondon Image Copyright violetcakeslondon violetcakeslondon Report Some 200 Amalfi lemons are being used in the recipe, as well as 10 bottles of cordial made using elderflower from the Queen's Sandringham estate. She has not made a back up cake in case of a disaster - "It's cake. It can't go that wrong," she said. Image copyright Daily Mail/SOLO Image caption "I have always been a daddy's girl," Ms Markle has said of her dad, Thomas Thomas Markle's absence leaves a question mark over who will walk Ms Markle down the aisle. Her mother is one option; Harry's father, Prince Charles, is another - or she could choose to walk alone. In pictures: Crowds line streets for rehearsal Which titles might Harry and Meghan have? Eight different ways to spend royal wedding day Mr Markle had been due to arrive in the UK in the days before the wedding but became caught up in controversy over the apparent staging of photographs with the paparazzi. Ms Markle will have 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, who are all under the age of eight. She decided against having a maid of honour, saying she wanted to avoid choosing between her closest friends. The rehearsal of the carriage procession in Windsor on Thursday drew hundreds of children, parents and pets keen to embrace the party mood. It went largely without a hitch - although some horses were seen veering out of line. About 250 members of the armed forces are expected to take part on Saturday. With just one day to go, BBC Weather is forecasting a sunny, breezy day for Saturday with temperatures reaching 21C (70F) in the late afternoon. Image copyright EPA Image caption The sun was shining for the rehearsal of the carriage procession Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The rehearsal in Windsor drew hundreds of people keen to get into the party mood early The best way to get news on the go Download the BBC News App. View the full article
  12. Acid attack: Mark van Dongen's ex-partner cleared over death 17 May 2018 A woman has been cleared of murdering her former partner in an acid attack which led him to end his life. Berlinah Wallace, 48, hurled the corrosive fluid at Dutch engineer Mark van Dongen in Bristol in 2015. Fifteen months later he ended his life by euthanasia in a Belgian hospital. He was paralysed from the neck down and had lost a leg, ear and eye. At Bristol Crown Court, Wallace was found guilty of throwing a corrosive substance with intent. The fashion student, originally from South Africa, had also been charged with murder. During the three-week trial she told the jury Mr van Dongen had put the acid in a glass for her to drink. View the full article
  13. 16 May 2018 Image caption Jemma (left) and Vicki had to drag a burning tumble dryer out of their flat. New fears have been raised about tumble dryers bursting into flames, despite efforts to modify the machines. The BBC's Watchdog Live consumer programme has uncovered cases in which the machines have caught fire after being fixed. Some 5.3 million tumble dryers under the Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit brands required modification. Whirlpool, which owns the brands, said it had total confidence in the fix. 'Disgusting' The original defect was discovered in 2015 and has reportedly led to scores of fires since 2004. The company began a huge operation to modify or replace dryers to ensures they were safe. Government introduces new product safety office Truth, fires and tumble dryers: Are our home appliances safe? However, Watchdog spoke to Vicki Mudge and her sister-in-law Jemma Greenslade who said they had to drag Vicki's burning tumble dryer out of their flat. It had earlier been modified. "You do trust them to think they are fixing something so it is going to be ok. It is disgusting really," Jemma said. They said that, as they lived in a block of flats, the fire could have been a risk to their neighbours. Domestic service engineer Graham Watkinson - who's worked with electrical appliances for over 40 years - believes the modification does not totally remove the risk. Charlie Pugsley, deputy assistant commissioner at the London Fire Brigade, said he was seriously concerned about the reports of modified dryers catching fire. "There is going to be a time delay between the modification and the fires occurring so if we are starting to see one or two, I would imagine it is only going to get worse," he said. "Each fire has got the potential to do huge damage to someone's home and risk lives." Image copyright LFB Image caption The damage caused to a seventh floor flat in Shepherd's Bush, London In August 2016, a dryer - awaiting modification - was blamed for a huge fire in a West London tower block, with more than 50 people forced to flee their homes. Despite that incident the company continued to state the machines were safe to use as long as someone was in the property. Which? threatened to bring judicial review proceedings against Trading Standards over the advice being given. Trading Standards instructed Whirlpool to issue new guidance earlier last year that the dryers should be unplugged and not be used until they had been repaired. Andy Slaughter, the MP in the area of the tower block fire, said: "I am really worried that people now think that the problem is solved - that they can go out, go to sleep and leave machines on - because they have been modified or replaced, but actually there is still a real danger that they could catch fire." In a statement Whirlpool said: "We have total confidence in the modification. Extensive testing and analysis of the modification both before and since its implementation has shown it provides an effective solution for the issue. "An external review with the input from three independent experts in fire safety, product safety, and engineering, concluded that the modification remains the most effective way of rectifying this issue for consumers. "There have been no reported incidents where the modification has shown to be ineffective. Recent criticisms of the effectiveness of the modification are based on fundamental technical misunderstandings of what it addresses. We are concerned that such misinformed criticism risks discouraging consumers from registering for this important safety modification. "We continue to urge consumers to contact us immediately if they believe they still own an affected appliance. We can assure consumers that if they contact us now, they can receive a resolution within one week." Watchdog Live is on BBC One at 20:00 on Wednesday View the full article
  14. Manchester Arena attack: Bomb 'injured more than 800' 16 May 2018 Related TopicsManchester Arena attack Image copyright PA Image caption Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson says the lives of those injured "have been altered forever" More than 800 people are now known to have suffered physical and psychological injuries after the Manchester bombing, police have said. Police previously reported 500 people were hurt in the Manchester Arena attack on 22 May 2017 in addition to the 22 killed. Salman Abedi detonated a home-made device at an Ariana Grande concert. Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson said the night's events would be "forever" etched in the city's history. "We knew quickly 22 people had been murdered and we now know that there are over 800 people with physical and deep psychological injuries from the attack. "Their lives have been altered forever," he said. ACC Jackson said the investigation team had worked hard to support those affected and had been "consistently moved by the grace and dignity they show in trying to repair their lives". "Of course for many, the loss is too great for them to ever make a full recovery from this terrible event." 'Flashbacks' Image caption Erin said she has had flashbacks and struggled to sleep after the attack A family affected by the explosion has spoken to the BBC about the impact it has had on them. Erin said she has had flashbacks and struggled to sleep after the attack. Since getting help she is only getting occasional flashbacks and said: "I feel much better having the support... it shows such a difference it makes talking to someone about it." Her mother Annette said the family had a "really tough" few months. "For seven or eight months [she] just refused to talk about what she saw," she said. "I knew she was sad but didn't know she was struggling so much as she hid it amazingly." Meanwhile, Erin's older sister Caitlin said she has had a "very different" reaction to the disaster. She said it has made her want to do more things. "I know life is shorter now and can be taken at any time." He gave an insight into the size and scale of the investigation almost a year on from the suicide bombing. A team of about 100 investigators are still working full-time on the murder investigation "preparing for a trial". Fire crews sent away from scene Theatre play about life of victim Martyn Hett Arena attack could have been stopped ACC Jackson said it was "really difficult" to give an update on the progress of the extradition of Abedi's brother Hashem Abedi who is currently in custody in Libya. Image copyright Greater Manchester Police Image caption A search of a landfill site in Bury failed to uncover any trace of a Salman Abedi's suitcase A warrant for Hashem's arrest over allegations of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to cause an explosion was also issued before the extradition bid on 1 November 2017. So far during the investigation, 2,000 witness statements have been taken, thousands of hours of CCTV examined, and officers have completed a fruitless search through 11,000 tonnes of rubbish at a landfill site in Bury for a blue suitcase used by Abedi. View the full article
  15. Carillion board oversaw a 'rotten corporate culture', say MPs 16 May 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionRachel Reeves says Carillion directors 'destroyed a British company' Carillion's board presided over a "rotten corporate culture" and was culpable for its "costly collapse", two committees of MPs have concluded. They also accused the government and big four accounting firms of failing to stop Britain's second biggest construction firm from going under. The MPs said regulators should now consider banning the former directors from serving on other company boards. Carillion collapsed under a £1.5bn debt pile in January. It employed 43,000 people, about 20,000 of them in the UK, and thousands of jobs have been lost. It also held numerous public contracts, such as the maintenance of schools and prisons, all of which had to be brought under government control. Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the business (Beis) committee, said: "Carillion's collapse was a disaster for all those who lost their jobs and the small businesses, contractors and suppliers left fighting for survival. "The company's delusional directors drove Carillion off a cliff and then tried to blame everyone but themselves." "However, the auditors should also be in the dock for this catastrophic crash. They are guilty of failing to tackle the crisis at Carillion, failing to insist the company paint a true picture of its crippling financial problems." What are the directors accused of? In their report, the Work and Pensions and Beis committees called Carillion's rise and fall "a story of recklessness, hubris and greed". Carillion: Six charts that explain what happened Where did Carillion's problems come from? They singled out former directors Richard Adam, Richard Howson and Philip Green for particular scrutiny, saying the men had expanded the firm through ill-judged acquisitions while hiding Carillion's financial problems from shareholders. "Even as the company very publicly began to unravel, the board was concerned with increasing and protecting generous executive bonuses," the MPs added. "Long term obligations, such as adequately funding Carillion's pension schemes, were treated with contempt." Image caption Former Carillion chairman Philip Green at a parliamentary hearing They said the directors had presented themselves during parliamentary hearings as "self-pitying victims" of "unforeseeable mishaps". But Carillion's former finance director, Richard Adam, said he rejected the committees' conclusions and objected to quotes in the MPs report, which he said had been misattributed to him. Former chairman Philip Green said: "The board always sought to make decisions on the best available information and with the best professional advice; furthermore we always strived to act in the interests of the company and all its stakeholders." What are the auditors accused of? The two select committees also attacked the big four accounting firms for approving Carillion's accounts despite its spiralling debts. They said Ernst & Young was paid £10.8m for "six months of failed turnaround advice", while Deloitte received £10m to be Carillion's internal auditor, but was either "unable or unwilling" to identify failings in financial controls, or "too readily ignored them". They also said KPMG had failed to question Carillion's financial judgements, while PwC was "continuing to gain" as its official receiver "without adequate scrutiny". Ms Reeves said the competition authorities should consider breaking up the big four accountancy firms "to help increase competition and deal with conflicts of interest". Carillion collapse sparks 'big four' probe Carillion pension scheme was 'ignored' But a KPMG spokesman said it believed it had conducted its audits of Carillion "appropriately", and Ernst & Young said it was "extremely disappointed that despite all efforts the business was not rescued". Deloitte said it was "disappointed with the conclusions of the committees" while PwC defended its role as official receiver. "Our priority has been to keep public services running safely across the country while saving thousands of jobs," said PwC chairman and senior partner Kevin Ellis. Image copyright PA Image caption Carillion delivered "swathes" of public services, MPs said What are regulators and the government accused of? The MPs also accused regulators of being too "passive" in tackling Carillion's problems, adding that the government had "nurtured" an environment in which the collapse of an outsourcing firm was "a distinct possibility". "When swathes of public services are affected, close monitoring of exposure to risks would seem essential," the report said. Regulator was warned over Carillion pensions Carillion 'wriggled out' of obligations "Yet we have a semi-professional part-time system that does not provide the necessary degree of insight for government to manage risks." A government spokeswoman said: "Our priority has been the continued, safe running of public services and to minimise the impact of Carillion's insolvency. The plans we put in place have ensured this. "The government wants to see a strong and varied supplier base where companies of all sizes benefit from long-term and stable government contracts. She added: "That's why we have recently announced a number of measures to support government suppliers - strengthening our commitment to prompt payment; protecting staff, businesses and small suppliers from irresponsible directors. "We welcome the report from the joint select committee and will respond fully in due course." View the full article