Sunday, 31 August 2014
A man who was found dead on a west London street was stabbed as he tried to flee from a bar, police have said.
Tony Charlery, 59, was stabbed in the neck as he tried to "run away from his attackers" at the Mau Mau bar on Portobello Road in Notting Hill.
The emergency services were called late on Friday to reports of a stabbing but the grandfather died at the scene in the early hours of Saturday.
A murder investigation has been launched. No arrests have been made.'Much loved grandfather'
Det Ch Insp Nicola Wall said: "On Friday 29 August, Tony went alone to the Mau Mau bar in Portobello Road W11.
"He was only inside the venue for a short while and was stabbed as he left. Tony received the fatal wound as he tried to run away from his attackers.
"Tony was a local man and a much loved grandfather. His family are devastated by his death in such a brutal way."
The officer believes two local men were involved in the killing and appealed to the community to come forward with information.
Post-mortem tests revealed Mr Charlery was killed by a stab wound to the neck.
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
The assault was part of the second phase of an offensive launched earlier this year to drive the rebels out of towns which they have continued to hold since losing control of the capital Mogadishu in 2011.
Al Shabaab ruled most of the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011 when African troops marched into the capital. African and Somali forces have regained several towns this year, but rebels still hold other centers and tracts of countryside.
"We secured Bulamareer town today. We have chased the al Shabaab and the operation will continue until its goals of securing the entire country is achieved," Abdirizak Khalif, Somalia's deputy military commander, told Reuters.
He did not give casualty figures, but a spokesman for the African Union force AMISOM, Colonel Ali Aden Houmed, said a Ugandan soldier was killed and two soldiers wounded. He said many rebels were killed but was not able to give a number.
Bulamareer lies about 80 km (50 miles) north of Barawe port, a major al Shabaab stronghold.
AMISOM's Houmed said Barawe was "one of our objectives" but said AMISOM and Somali forces had other targets on the way to Barawe that had to be dealt with first.
The rebels, which continue to stage hit-and-run gun and bomb attacks in the capital and across the country, acknowledged that their fighters had pulled out of the center of Bulamareer.
"After a serious fight with AMISOM and government forces inside Bulamareer town we went to the fringes of the town, but we shall keep up attacks and battles," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.
He claimed 18 African soldiers were killed and three of their vehicles burned, but made no mention of rebel casualties.
Even as they have lost ground, the Islamist group which wants to impose its own strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa nation has continued to harass African and government forces and blocked aid supply routes to towns they have lost.
Government officials have admitted that centers they have regained have often turned into "ghost towns" because many people flee as food and other supplies run out. Houmed said the new offensive aimed to prevent a repeat of this scenario.
The assault on Bulamareer began before dawn on Saturday. Many residents had fled before the assault began as AMISOM and the Somali forces had warned of an imminent attack, Houmed said.
Earlier this week, the joint African and Somali force retook another town, Teyeeglo, which lies in the Bakool region, which lies northwest of Saturday's fighting and near the Ethiopian border. That offensive involved Ethiopian forces.
AMISOM is a 22,000-strong African Union force that includes troops from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Sierra Leone.
(Additional reporting by Feisal Omar; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Stephen Powell)
The terrorist threat posed by Islamist extremists is as much a concern for countries in mainland Europe as it is for the UK, David Cameron has said.
The prime minister and Nick Clegg are expected to discuss plans for new measures to tackle the threat.
Their talks come after the UK's terror threat level was raised to "severe" from "substantial" in response to the deepening conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Labour has called for more action to stop Britons being drawn to extremism.
Mr Cameron will make a Commons statement on Monday, proposing new powers to stop would-be terrorists travelling abroad.
He has urged European leaders in Brussels to take co-ordinated action to tackle the group calling itself Islamic State (IS), which has seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking before the meeting, he said: "Today in Brussels is an opportunity to talk with other EU leaders and to make sure we all co-ordinate to stop people travelling to Iraq and Syria to stop radicalisation, to confront extremism."
He had previously said the "threat is growing" from Britons travelling to fight with IS, adding that there were "gaps in our armoury" that needed to be strengthened.
The new alert level rates the risk of an attack on the UK as "highly likely", although Downing Street said there was no evidence to suggest one is "imminent".
The rating is the second highest of five possible UK threat levels and is the highest since 2011.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has suggested the introduction of a "mandatory programme" of deradicalisation for people "drawn into the fringes of extremism".
Writing in the Independent, he also urged the government to revisit the decision to scrap the control orders regime for terror suspects.Liberty
Talks between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, the deputy prime minster and Liberal Democrat leader, come after the Conservatives said they wanted to make it easier to seize the passports of would-be terrorists travelling abroad.
The home secretary already has the power - under the Royal Prerogative - to withhold a passport if it is in the public interest to stop somebody travelling.
Mr Cameron is also likely to consider strengthening terrorism prevention and investigation measures - or Tpims - which were the coalition's replacement for control orders.
However, the Liberal Democrats have said they would only agree to policies that were made calmly, on the basis of evidence and that maintained the liberty of British citizens.
A Lib Dem source said Mr Clegg and the prime minister were in "constant communication" on the issue, adding that the party "will consider very carefully any new proposals that are put to us".'Bombs and rockets'
BBC political correspondent Louise Stewart said powers to withhold passports had been used 23 times since April 2013, but she said the PM could seek to strengthen those powers.
She said the government could not - following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights - make somebody "stateless" by refusing them re-entry to Britain, if they had no other passport.
"The sticking point with the Liberal Democrats is they have been against introducing more surveillance measures but say that any new measures would have to be brought in on an evidence basis and it would have to be purely for the safety and security of the British public," our correspondent said.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown has argued that diplomacy is vital to limit the risk from jihadists.
"I think we have got to get away from this idea which says that in response to everything in the Middle East our answer is bombs and rockets," he said.
Lord Ashdown added that the government was unwise to concentrate on the "threat of jihadis coming home".
He warned that the bigger threat was a potential "regional war" in the Middle East, which would be religious and result in the changing of borders.
Former Conservative minister Sir David Mitchell has died aged 86 following a long illness, his family has said.
Sir David served under Margaret Thatcher in various departments including transport, industry and Northern Ireland.
He was MP for Hampshire North West from 1964 to 1997 and died at home in Odiham, Hampshire, earlier.
His son, Tory MP Andrew Mitchell, resigned from the cabinet in 2012 over the so-called Plebgate affair.
Three people have become the first confirmed to find 24-carat gold treasure buried on a beach in Kent.
Kevin Wood, his partner Kirsty Henderson and her sister Megan found a £500 gold bar in Folkestone after digging for an hour at low tide.
German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried £10,000 worth of bullion as part of Folkestone Triennial arts festival.
The trio travelled from their home in Canterbury to join the gold rush on Friday.
Describing the moment he struck the precious metal, Mr Wood, 28, said: "My legs went from under me and I started shaking.
"I put it quietly in my pocket. We left the beach and half-way home, we pulled over for a drink."
The Folkestone Digs project is part of the town's arts festival which has included work by artists including Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller and Martin Creed in previous years.
Artists including Yoko One are taking part in this year's festival which runs until November 2.
Curator Lewis Biggs said the beach had been full since it was announced on Thursday the gold had been buried.
"There are always people digging on the beach but there's a lot more digging on the beach now," he said.
"When it's at high tide there are maybe 50 people, when it's low tide maybe 1,000.
"There are a lot of people coming and going of all ages - families, dedicated people with metal detectors, people with lights on their heads all night.
"It's been fun down there."
It is not known how many other people may have found the gold bars.
"What you find is yours and you can tell other people or not," said Mr Biggs.
"You can stick it in your sock and take it home so we will never know if they have all been found or not."
A seven-year-old boy died and four members of his family were seriously injured when their car was in collision with a lorry in Kent.
Police said the family, from Leeds, were on the London-bound carriageway of the A20 at Saltwood when the crash happened at 09:30 BST on Friday.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other children and their parents were flown to London hospitals.
Kent Police said the two children remain in a critical condition.
Both parents are in a stable stable condition. The lorry driver, who was taken to a local hospital, suffered hand injuries and is also said to be stable.
Police have appealed for any witnesses to the crash near Hythe, between the family's Kia Soul car and a DAF lorry, to come forward.
A spokesman said officers had now traced and spoken to the driver of a blue vehicle who stopped at the scene to help direct traffic.
The A20 was closed in both directions until 14:40.
A 16-month-old baby has died in a car in Switzerland, after one of the parents forgot to drop it off at the nursery on the way to work.
The baby was left in a company car park for several hours in La Chaux-de-Fonds near the French border, officials say.
"It was not until the end of the day... that they realised what had happened," AFP news agency quotes local prosecutor Marc Remy as saying.
A criminal investigation into the accident has been launched.
Prosecutors told Swiss media that no further details would be released.
A US television host and former Suffolk dance school teacher was shot dead by his son-in-law at his home in Louisiana, police have said.
Scott Rogers, 52, a presenter for WAFB-TV, was found in Iberville, Baton Rouge on Wednesday, local police said.
Sheriff Brett Stassi said it was thought Mr Rogers was shot by Mathew Hodgkinson, also his former lover, in a "murder and attempted suicide".
Mr Hodgkinson, 36, is in a coma in a US hospital, said Mr Stassi.'Gun to his head'
Mr Stassi, the sheriff of police in Iberville, told the BBC: "It looked like a murder and failed attempted suicide. Scott was shot in his bed, under the covers, tucked neatly in.
"It looks like Mathew put the gun to his own head... he was seriously wounded but still alive.
"He's still in a critical condition in an induced coma."
Mr Stassi said his deputy found a note next to the bed.
"We think Mathew wrote it and maybe even put it there after Scott was deceased," he said.'Unhealthy atmosphere'
Mr Hodgkinson, who was married to Mr Rogers' daughter Kimmy, joined Mr Rogers in America to work as a producer on the Around Town Show aired by WAFB-TV.
In 1994, BBC Look East reported that Suffolk County Council had "taken the unusual step" of issuing a warning to parents about a school for the performing arts in Bury St Edmunds.
There were claims of an "unhealthy atmosphere" similar to "a religious or supposedly religious cult" at the school founded by Mr Rogers, the East Anglian Daily Times has reported.
Mr Rogers was known as Richard Scott-Rogers in the UK.
Mr Hodgkinson, a former pupil of the Academy of Dance and Performing Arts in Bury St Edmunds, was also known as Mathew Hodgkins.
Mr Stassi said witness statements suggested Mr Hodgkinson was both Mr Rogers' son-in-law and former lover and lived at the Rogers property.
Missing five-year-old Ashya King and his family have been found in Spain, Hampshire Police have said.
Spanish police are now questioning the boy's parents, for whom a European arrest warrant had been issued.
Ashya, who has a brain tumour, had been taken out of Southampton General Hospital by his mother and father against medical advice.
Police in Hampshire could not confirm what condition the boy was in nor where in Spain the family was found.
Earlier, officers said they thought his family had "taken steps to be able to feed him".
It was feared the battery on Ashya's medical feeding unit, which was designed only for temporary use and was not easy to replace, had run out.
Police had said it was unclear whether Ashya's parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, had spare batteries.
Hampshire Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead had said without properly administered food, Ashya's situation was "very serious".
The five-year-old and his family, who are Jehovah's Witnesses, boarded a ferry to France on Thursday.
The arrest warrant was "based around neglect", said Mr Shead. But he stressed it did not necessarily mean Ashya's parents would be charged with that offence.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
Continue reading the main story
The UN has called for action to prevent what it says may be a possible massacre in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli.
Special representative Nickolay Mladenov says he is "seriously alarmed" by reports regarding the conditions in which the town's residents live.
Amerli, under siege by Islamic State (IS) for two months, has no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies.
IS has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in recent months.
Since 8 August, the US has carried out 94 air strikes to support Iraqi and Kurdish troops tackling the insurgents.'Immediate action' needed
The majority of Amerli's residents are Turkmen Shia, seen as apostates by IS.
The town's inhabitants say they have had to organise their own resistance to the militants and no foreign aid has reached the town since the siege began.
"The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens," Mr Mladenov said in a statement.
"I urge the Iraqi government to do all it can to relieve the siege and to ensure that the residents receive life-saving humanitarian assistance or are evacuated in a dignified manner."
Mr Mladenov's deputy, Gyorgy Busztin, told the BBC that the UN had no contact with IS representatives.
"We are not talking to terrorists and this is a matter of principle," he said.
"There is no way anybody can have any positive effect on these people. We have contacts with moderate Sunnis connected to the... areas which [IS] has overrun."
On Friday, the most influential Shia cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, expressed concern over the plight of Amerli's inhabitants.
The rise of IS has sparked widespread violence.
- On Saturday, a suicide bomber blew up a car in central Baghdad, killing at least nine people and injuring several others.
- In the Kurdish-held city of Kirkuk, at least 18 people including security personnel were killed by simultaneous car bombs.
- Another bomb exploded in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil, a rare occurrence in a region that has seen far less violence than elsewhere in Iraq.
- An attack by suspected Shia militiamen on a Sunni mosque in Iraq's Diyala province killed at least 68 people on Friday.
- Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria
- By early 2014, it controlled Falluja in western Iraq
- Has since captured broad swathes of Iraq, seizing the northern city of Mosul in June
- Fighting has displaced at least 1.2 million Iraqis
- Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics
- In July alone, IS expanded dramatically, recruiting some 6,300 new fighters largely in Raqqa, an activist monitoring group said
On Thursday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel described IS as an imminent threat to the US.
Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said IS was "an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated".
He said that IS fighters' bases in Syria also had to be attacked.
The Shia-dominated Iraqi government has been trying to secure backing from Sunni groups in its battle against IS jihadists.
Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shia, is trying to form a more inclusive government - following international criticism of outgoing PM Nouri Maliki, who was widely seen as a divisive figure.
The IS campaign has displaced an estimated 1.2 million people in Iraq, many of them minority Christians and Yazidis.
Refugees say the hardline Islamists have demanded that Christians and Yazidis convert to Islam, threatening them with death if they refuse.
Are you in Amerli or the wider region? Have you been affected by the violence in Iraq? If you have any information you wish to share with BBC News, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
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