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  1. Yesterday
  2. Not wanting to start arguments here... But I feel you're taking his side a little.... I know several people with Aspergers, ADHD and Autism, and they have the ability to go about their lives without constantly harassing both the police and the public... Alas, mr potter was on one of our daily briefings when I was in training school a few months ago. I'll be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of people claiming medical conditions left right and centre as an excuse to get out of everything they do wrong.
  3. Finsbury Park: Man 'wanted to kill Muslims in van attack' 22 January 2018 Related TopicsFinsbury Park attack trial Image copyright Julia Quenzler A man accused of driving a van into a crowd of people near two mosques in north London wanted to kill as many Muslims as possible, a court has heard. Darren Osborne, 48, is accused of ploughing into a crowd of worshippers in Finsbury Park, killing Makram Ali, 51, and injuring nine others last year. He targeted the crowd because they were Muslims, having grown angry at rising terrorism, Woolwich Crown Court heard. Mr Osborne from Cardiff, denies charges of murder and attempted murder. Opening the trial, prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said Mr Osborne had driven a Luton box van from Cardiff to London the day before the alleged attack. He then deliberately targeted crowds in Finsbury Park at about 00:15 BST on 19 June, he added. 'Handwritten note' The area was busy with worshippers attending Ramadan prayers at the time, Mr Rees told the court. Mr Osborne was seeking "to kill someone merely because of their religion", he added. Mr Rees told the court the alleged attack was "particularly horrific" because the group had gathered in the street to help Mr Ali, who had collapsed minutes earlier. Several of those who went to help Mr Ali said he was "definitely alive" and conscious in the moments before being struck. Image copyright PA Image caption The alleged attack happened in Finsbury Park on 19 June last year A handwritten note, found in the van, complained about terrorists on the streets and the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, Mr Rees said. The note allegedly referred to Muslim people as "feral" and called Muslim men "rapists" who were "preying on our children", the jury heard. One part read: "Don't people get it, this is happening up and down our Green and pleasant land. "Ferrel [feral] inbred raping muslim men hunting in packs preying on our children, this will be coming to a town near you soon, it most probably has, get back to the desert, you raping inbred bastards & climb back on ya camels." The note ended: "Well Folkes gotta go busy day today. Remember peaceful vigils only & please dont look back in anger, God Save the Queen." It also branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a "terrorist sympathiser" and attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan and singer Lily Allen, the prosecutor added. 'A public statement' Mr Rees said: "The underlying theme seems to be that the defendant felt that insufficient was being said or done to counter terrorism and the grooming gangs comprising predominantly Muslim males. "Against that background, the defendant decided to take matters into his own hands." Mr Osborne planned to make "a public statement by killing Muslims", knowing that his handwritten note would be recovered, Mr Rees added. Although Mr Osborne was not charged with a terrorist offence, Mr Rees said "the note and the comments he made after his detention establish that this act of extreme violence was, indeed, an act of terrorism". Mr Osborne's partner, Sarah Andrews, described him as a "loner and a functioning alcoholic" with an "unpredictable temperament", Mr Rees added. He had become "obsessed" with Muslims in the weeks leading up to the incident after watching BBC drama Three Girls, about the Rochdale grooming scandal, Ms Andrews had said. Ms Andrews said he became a "ticking time-bomb" before the alleged attack, Mr Rees added. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The court heard one person died in the attack and nine were injured During the weekend prior to the attack, the defendant was heard "preaching racial hatred" in a pub, he said. He allegedly told a soldier in the pub: "I'm going to kill all the Muslims, Muslims are all terrorists. Your families are all going to be Muslim. I'm going to take it into my own hands." Devices seized from his home showed internet searches for Britain First and the English Defence League, the court heard. Police also found a video - believed to be fake - showing Muslims celebrating following the Paris terror attack. Nearest mosque Prosecutors believe Mr Osborne had been planning to target an Al Quds Day march, organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, on 18 June. Mr Osborne is believed to have asked a black cab driver for directions to Grosvenor Square, the destination of the marchers, the court heard. Mr Rees added: "We are not able to say quite how close the defendant came to the marchers or Grosvenor Square, although it seems likely the defendant was prevented from carrying out an attack because of the road closures that were put in place." Instead, he said Mr Osborne travelled to Forest Hill, south London, at around 20:00, and asked a man where the nearest mosque was. He was told there was none in the area and travelled north, stopping to ask a motorist the directions to Finsbury Park. The driver allowed the defendant to follow him and he arrived in the Finsbury Park area at just before 23:30, Mr Rees added. View the full article
  4. A thug repeatedly stamped on a woman’s head during a robbery for just £20 as witnesses stood by filming the attack on their phones. The 45-year-old victim, who police described as vulnerable, was left with a fractured skull after the horrific attack in the early afternoon. Her arm was broken in several places and she was left lying injured on the pavement in Brixton, south London. Makes me mad when people wont help and they cant call the police and only stood by filming the attack on their phones.
  5. Brownhills stabbing: Arrested man is victim's father 22 January 2018 Image copyright Family handout Image caption Mylee Billingham died in hospital shortly after being found seriously injured The 54-year-old man arrested after eight-year-old Mylee Billingham was stabbed to death is understood to be her father. West Midlands Police said Mylee died in hospital after being found seriously injured in Valley View in Brownhills, near Walsall, on Saturday evening. Her father, believed to be Bill Billingham, is critically ill with a stab wound to the stomach. A post-mortem examination for Mylee is scheduled to take place later. Midlands Live: Car crashes into community centre; heavy rain prompts flood warning Police are treating the stabbing as a "domestic incident" and are not looking for anyone else in connection with Mylee's death. She was a pupil at St James Primary School in Brownhills. Walsall Council said it was working with the school "to give support to her classmates and their families as well as staff". Mylee's uncle - Mr Billingham's brother - is former SAS sergeant major Mark Billingham, who appears in Channel 4's show SAS: Who Dares Wins. He issued a short statement asking that the family's privacy be respected. Image copyright PA Image caption Mylee was found at the bungalow at 21:15 GMT on Saturday Mr Billingham is currently in hospital and will be questioned in due course. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Det Insp Jim Colclough said it was "an absolutely tragic set of circumstances". Neighbour Graham Greatrex, 74, told how he helped comfort the girl's mother after the incident. He said: "She was in shock. I just offered her a warm drink because it was a bitterly cold night." Walsall Council leader Sean Coughlan said he was "in shock and complete disbelief" following the news of Mylee's death, adding "the entire area will be left reeling in deep shock". View the full article
  6. Army chief warns British forces would struggle against Russia 22 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Russian T-90 tanks firing outside Moscow in August 2017 Britain's armed forces would struggle to match the Russian army in battle, the head of the Army will say. General Sir Nick Carter will say the British Army's ability to respond to threats "will be eroded if we don't keep up with our adversaries". The speech - approved by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson - comes amid speculation of potential defence cuts. The warning comes after Russia practised simulated attacks across northern Europe. In the speech, which will take place at the Royal United Services Institute on Monday, Gen Carter will highlight Russia's new cyber warfare capabilities. The Russian army conducted large scale military exercises last year, including simulated attacks across northern Europe, from Kaliningrad to Lithuania. The Army's case for boots on the ground 'Serious doubts' over defence savings Gen Carter will also highlight the Russian army's long-range missile strike capability. While Russian forces were intervening in Syria, 26 missiles were deployed from a 1500km (930 miles) range. He will add that Russia is building an increasingly aggressive expeditionary force, which already boasts capabilities the British Army would struggle to match. Potential military threats to the UK "are now on Europe's doorstep," Gen Carter will say. Last year Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia had "mounted a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption" against other nations. Image copyright MOD / Crown Copyright Image caption General Sir Nick Carter 'An appeal to avoid cuts' By Jonathan Beale, defence correspondent This intervention from Genl Carter is as much an appeal for more money to fund the armed forces and to avoid further cuts. Gen Carter will say the UK's ability to respond to threats will be eroded if it doesn't keep up with its adversaries, and he says the time to address these threats is now. This appeal is being made with the approval of the defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, who's made clear he wants more cash from the Treasury. In December Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said the UK should prioritise protecting undersea cables from the Kremlin, as disruption could be "potentially catastrophic" to the economy. The speech comes as national security adviser Mark Sedwill conducts a review of the UK's security capabilities. There are concerns in the armed forces that the review will prioritise counter-cyber attacks and terrorism, rather than major defence. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWatch: Russia's war game in 2017 under wayLast week Conservative MP Johnny Mercer, a former army officer, posed an urgent question in the Commons after speculation that there were plans to cut the UK military by 14,000 service personnel, nine warships and 100 helicopters. Mr Williamson said "hard work" is taking place to give the armed forces the "right resources". Some MPs have called to increase defence spending to 3% of GDP. View the full article
  7. Chancellor's plan to solve housing crisis will fail - MPs 22 January 2018 Image copyright PA Chancellor Philip Hammond's plans to tackle the housing crisis will fail without further reforms, MPs say. Abolishing stamp duty on homes under £300,000 was the centre piece of Mr Hammond's November budget. The government says it has already helped more than 16,000 people get on the property ladder. But the Treasury select committee said the move is likely to push house prices by at least the amount the reduction in stamp duty is supposed to save. It said Mr Hammond would only meet his target of 300,000 new homes a year if he took more action to promote building such as lifting a borrowing cap on councils. The committee's report states: "Greater measures are needed to increase housing supply. "300,000 homes a year will not be achieved with the current measures. "The government will need to show greater commitment to housing supply to achieve its aspiration and will need to bring forward additional policy measures." Responding to the report, Local Government Association Chairman, Lord Porter, said: "It is great that the influential Treasury Select Committee has backed our call for councils to be given the freedom to borrow to build more of the new homes our communities desperately need. "This is significant recognition of our central argument about the vital role councils must play in solving our housing shortage." View the full article
  8. Last week
  9. UKIP leader Henry Bolton hit by ruling body 'no confidence' vote 21 January 2018 UKIP's ruling national executive committee (NEC) has unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in party leader Henry Bolton. Mr Bolton has faced repeated calls to quit over offensive texts sent by his former girlfriend. But he has said he will defy the committee and continue as leader, as a contest would finish the party. The committee does not have the power to remove him - that can only be done by a vote of the party's membership. A UKIP spokesman said: "The committee took the decision to hold a vote of no confidence in the leadership of Henry Bolton. "The vote was carried unanimously with the exception of the leader. "This decision will automatically trigger an Emergency General Meeting of the party, to allow the membership of UKIP the democratic opportunity to decide to endorse or reject that vote of no confidence." View the full article
  10. Brownhills stabbing: Victim named as Mylee Billingham 21 January 2018 Image copyright Family handout Image caption Mylee Billingham died in hospital shortly after being found seriously injured An eight-year-old girl who was stabbed to death has been named as Mylee Billingham. West Midlands Police said she died in hospital shortly after being found seriously injured in Valley View in Brownhills, near Walsall, at 21:15 GMT on Saturday. A post mortem examination is scheduled to take place on Monday. A 54-year-old man has been arrested and is in a critical condition in hospital with a stab wound to the stomach. View the full article
  11. Brownhills stabbing: Man arrested after girl, 8, killed 21 January 2018 Image caption Police were called to Valley View in Brownhills on Saturday night A man has been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was stabbed to death. The child was found at an address in Valley View in Brownhills, near Walsall, with serious injuries, at 21:15 GMT on Saturday. She died in hospital a short time later. The 54-year-old man is in a stable condition in hospital with a stab wound to his stomach. West Midlands Police said the stabbing is being treated as a "domestic incident". Image caption A police cordon was put in place around the property The arrested man will be questioned "in due course", the force added. Det Insp Jim Colclough said no-one else is being sought in connection with the death. "Our family liaison team are supporting the family of the little girl, who are naturally devastated by her death. Our thoughts remain with them." Skip Twitter post by @PhilDolbyWMP Report End of Twitter post by @PhilDolbyWMP View the full article
  12. Autistic man fixated with police must stay in jail as court rejects appeal Marcus Potter, 20, who was diagnosed with autism aged three, has been in Norwich Prison since November last year for breaching bail conditions by gesturing at a police station in the city. That sparked a campaign to get him out of prison, with an online petition gaining more than 10,000 signatures. His father Martin said his son had become fixated with police around three years ago. Mr Potter was handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) by magistrates after he was convicted of causing alarm and distress when he filmed police and members of the public on February 2017. Many on here will know @MPotter and the many anti police threads he had begun. Seems his ‘Freeman of the land’ type antics he was so confident about have failed him. Marcus I hope you now get the help you need, you are a vulnerable adult who many have taken advantage of.
  13. 21 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images The government will stop workers' pensions being put at risk from "executives who try to line their own pockets", the prime minister has said. In the Observer, Theresa May said a government white paper would set out "tough new rules" for company bosses. It comes as construction firm Carillion's collapse could leave a pension scheme deficit of £900m, potentially affecting 27,500 workers. She also defended using the private sector to complete public projects. In her comment piece, Mrs May was quick to say that it would be Carillion shareholders, not taxpayers, "who pay the price for the company's collapse". She said the government would not be writing the company's directors a blank cheque, but would be "stepping in and supporting those affected". Reality Check: Are pensions on the brink? Carillion: Six charts that explain what happened It was earlier reported that Carillion's defined benefit pension schemes has a deficit of £580m, although this figure could be as high as £900m. Defined benefit schemes (DB) are based on either a worker's final salary, or their career average earnings. In March the Department for Business is expected to release a White Paper detailing new legislation on protecting DB schemes. Image copyright Getty Images The management of pension schemes, and its perceived lack of protection and security, has caused public outcry in recent years. Last year former owner of BHS Sir Philip Green came to an agreement with the pensions regulator to pay back £363m into the pension scheme for the company. Following the collapse of BHS it was found that there was a £571m deficit in the pension scheme. 'Private sector's valuable role' Despite the recent collapse of one of the government's biggest private contractors, Mrs May was quick to defend the government's use of public-private partnerships. She said the "private sector plays a valuable role helping the public sector". The collapse of Carillion, which employed 43,000 staff globally, has left many questioning what will happen to several high-profile public services and infrastructure projects. The construction firm was in charge of completing the new £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital, and the £350m Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Sandwell. Both completion dates were delayed by the company. She added Cabinet Office minister David Lidington had "acted swiftly" to co-ordinate the government's response to Carillion's collapse, which has put a number of high-profile public services and infrastructure projects at risk. View the full article
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  15. Lewisham Special Constables Have you ever wondered whether you have the ability to be a police officer? Now is the time to find out because the Metropolitan police are looking for new Special Constables to join its volunteer force. Coordinator for the Special Constables at Lewisham Police Station, PC Lucy Burrows, said: "This is an amazing role, both challenging and exciting, giving the public the opportunity to move out of their comfort zone, meet a wide range of new people to build their skills, enhance their CV and in some cases move on to becoming regular police officers." Special Constables will work in full uniform alongside regular officers dealing with response calls, which can be anything from a burglary, domestic assault to missing people and anti- social behaviour. Here are some of the qualities expected for the role: Motivation to make a positive impact on the Lewisham community Reasonably fit (must be able to score a 5.4 on a beep test) Good eyesight Have no offensive tattoos or visible tattoos on the neck or face Aged between 19 and 59 and having lived in the UK for over three years Have a clean criminal record The role requires at least 16 hours per month totalling 200 hours per year. Accepted applicants will have the choice of a four week intensive training course or a 10 weekend course. Once the Foundation Training is complete you will attend an Attestation Ceremony in uniform and you will receive your warrant card in front of family and friends. PC Lucy Burrows will be in Lewisham Shopping Centre on Saturday (January 27) from 10am until 4pm with Special Constable colleagues to answer questions about recruitment.
  16. 20 January 2018 Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionPresident Macron: "You can't have full access to the single market if you don't tick the box"French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested the UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit. But he warned that Britain would not have full access to the single market without accepting its rules. Speaking to Andrew Marr, he warned - as Brussels has already done - that the UK could not "cherry-pick" the elements it liked. A deal might fall somewhere between the single market and a trade agreement, he said. Mr Macron's comments come after his first visit to the UK since becoming French president, where he held talks with Prime Minister Theresa May. In the interview, to be broadcast on Sunday, the leader said that the UK should not gain access to the single market without accepting its "preconditions", which include freedom of movement across the EU, budget contributions and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. UK and France sign Calais migrant treaty The key Brexit dates in 2018 "There should be no cherry-picking in the single market because that's a dismantling of the single market," he said. "As soon as you decide not to join the [EU] preconditions it's not a full access. "What is important is to not make people believe that it is possible to [have your cake and eat it]." He added the access to the EU for the UK's financial services sector would be inferior to what it is now if the UK did not accept the obligations of the single market. 'Bespoke deal is possible' By Alex Forsyth, political correspondent Theresa May has repeatedly said the UK wants a bespoke trade deal with the EU after Brexit rather than a replica of any existing model. President Macron suggested that was possible, and said he hoped the deep and special partnership the Prime Minister seeks with the EU would become reality. But he echoed a warning already stated by Brussels; if the UK wanted full access to the single market it would have to accept its rules - including the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice - and pay in to the EU budget. On his first visit to the UK this week, President Macron signed a treaty with Theresa May to speed up the processing of migrants in Calais. Mrs May praised the "uniquely close relationship" between the two nations. She said both leaders remained committed to the "Le Touquet" border agreement in Calais - the UK has announced an extra £44.5m to be spent on beefing up Channel border security. Image copyright Emmanuel Macron Image caption Mr Macron took a selfie at a reception in the Victoria and Albert Museum, with Theresa May The visit was punctuated by a smiling selfie taken of Mr Macron and Mrs May, at an evening reception in the Victoria and Albert Museum. During the trip there was chatter about whether UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had discussed building a bridge across the English Channel, between France and the UK. But Downing Street has said there are "no specific plans" for such a project. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBridge designer Ian Firth and engineering expert Dave Parker on whether a bridge is feasible.The full interview with French President Emmanuel Macron will be broadcast on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday at 09:00 GMT. You can watch it on BBC iPlayer after it is broadcast. View the full article
  17. 19 January 2018 Image copyright EPA Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump will meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, Downing Street has confirmed. It comes after Mr Trump cancelled plans to open the new $1bn (£720m) US Embassy in London next month. The White House said Mr Trump "looks forward" to strengthening the countries' "special relationship". Mr Trump is the first sitting US president to attend the forum in the Swiss city since Bill Clinton in 2000. A Downing Street spokesman said the "bilateral meeting" would take place "in the margins" of the forum. Mrs May was the first foreign leader to visit Mr Trump at the White House, after his inauguration in January 2017. The two leaders also met at the G7 summit in Sicily in may and at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July. However, in November, the prime minister criticised Mr Trump for retweeting three inflammatory videos posted online by the far-right group, Britain First. After Mrs May's spokesman said it was "wrong for the president to have done this", he hit back on Twitter and told the British leader to not "focus on me, focus on the destructive radical Islamic terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom". Skip Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Report End of Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump Mrs May more recently discussed Brexit and events in the Middle East in a pre-Christmas phone call with Mr Trump. Earlier this month Mr Trump said on Twitter the reason why he was not going to cut the ribbon on the the new US embassy in Vauxhall, south London, was because he did not agree with the move from its old home in Mayfair. Reality Check: Who sold the US embassy in London? However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan - who has clashed with the president in the past - said Mr Trump had "got the message" that many Londoners were staunchly opposed to his policies and actions. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionInside the new US embassyThe reason given for moving the US embassy to Vauxhall was that the current building in Mayfair was too small and modern security was needed. View the full article
  18. John Worboys release will not be challenged by government 19 January 2018 The government will not challenge the decision to release rapist John Worboys, the justice secretary has announced. The Parole Board had said the former black cab driver would be released at the end of the month as its panel was "confident" he would not reoffend. 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
  19. NHS bail-outs could become new normal, National Audit Office says By Alex Therrien Health reporter, BBC News 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Repeated bail-outs to help the NHS cope with pressure on services and finances could become the "new normal", the National Audit Office has said. It comes after the auditor found NHS bodies used extra funds partly intended to transform services to shore up finances during 2016-17. The NAO said short-term funding had impeded necessary changes to the NHS. The government said the report showed the NHS had made "significant progress towards balancing the books". 'Short-term funding boosts' The NHS received a one-off payment of £1.8bn, known as the Sustainability and Transformation Fund, in 2016-17 to help it cope with reduced funding from 2017-18 onwards and to allow it to transform services. NHS 'haemorrhaging' nurses as 33,000 leave each year Patients 'dying in hospital corridors' One in eight patients hit by ambulance A&E delays The NAO said this had helped the NHS improve its financial position from a £1,848m deficit in 2015-16 to an £111m surplus in 2016-17. But it said the NHS had struggled to manage increased activity and demand within its budget and had failed to meet performance targets. And measures taken to rebalance NHS finances had restricted money available for the longer-term transformation needed to meet demand, drive efficiencies and improve the service, the NAO said. Image copyright Getty Images It also found NHS bodies were relying on other forms of short-term funding. The NAO said the Department of Health had transferred £1.2bn of its £5.8bn budget for capital projects - such as the building of hospitals - to fund the day-to-day activities of NHS bodies. On top of this, many trusts have received large levels of in-year cash injections, most of which are loans from the DoH. The auditor said this had worsened rather than improved their financial performance. Extra cash support increased from £2.4bn in 2015-16 to £3.1bn in 2016-17, it said. Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: "The NHS has received extra funding, but this has mostly been used to cope with current pressures and has not provided the stable platform intended from which to transform services. "Repeated short-term funding-boosts could turn into the new normal, when the public purse may be better served by a long-term funding settlement that provides a stable platform for sustained improvements." Search for a health trust or postcode Search for your nearest health trusts Can't find your health trust? Browse the full list Browse the full list Go Rather search by typing? 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} .bbc-news-vj-iframe-wrapper a { font-size: 1em; } .bbc-news-vj-iframe-wrapper iframe { -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch; /* Allow scroll when using VoiceOver */ } ]]> If you can't see the NHS Tracker, click or tap here. The report said clinical commissioning groups and trusts were also increasingly reliant on one-off measures to deliver savings. This poses a "significant risk to the financial sustainability of the NHS in the future", the NAO said. It said progress had been made in setting up 44 new partnership arrangements across health and local government, which it said provided a more "strategic approach" to meeting demand for health services. But it said the effectiveness of such partnerships varied and their tight financial positions made it difficult for them to shift focus from short-term day-to-day pressures to the transformation of services. NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said the report showed the "growing reliance on one-off measures is not a viable long-term approach to NHS funding". Its chief executive, Chris Hopson, said: "We need long-term decisions to be taken on the funding of health and social care no later than the autumn budget, and we urge the government to respond with urgency." The British Medical Association said the report showed short-term funding was not meeting patients' needs and called for a cross-party agreement on a "long-term, sustainable funding plan for the NHS". The Nuffield Trust health think tank said the report showed the NHS was in a "dire financial position" and in "desperate need of more money". A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "As this report recognises, the NHS has made significant progress towards balancing the books and returning to a financially stable position. "To support this we recently gave it top priority in the Budget with an extra £2.8bn, on top of a planned £10bn a year increase in its budget by 2020-21." View the full article
  20. ATM shake-up could leave many without cash, consumer group warns 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Which? says the plans could lead to "mass closures" of ATMs Plans to shake-up the UK's ATM network may leave many remote areas with little or no access to cash, consumer group Which? has warned. Link - which manages the network - wants to reduce the amount it charges banks and building societies to use its machines. It says this will control runaway growth in the number of ATMs, and preserve them where they are needed. Which? said it could lead to "mass closures" of free-to-use machines. According to the consumer group, more than 200 communities in Britain already have poor ATM provision, or no cash machines at all. It said 123 postcode districts did not appear to contain a single ATM, making many consumers reliant on access in nearby villages or towns. Image caption Link says the number of free-to-use ATMs has grown markedly Examples include: Postcode district PE32 in Norfolk (which has a population of 15,300) TA7 in Somerset (14,980) TN27 in Kent (12,400) NR16 in Norfolk (11,950) and YO13 in North Yorkshire (10,110). Gareth Shaw of Which? said: "Link's proposals could place a strain on communities across the UK that are already struggling to access the cash they need following mass [High Street] bank closures. "The financial regulator must intervene to avoid this situation getting worse." He said that those hit hardest would not be busy high streets, but ATMs in rural communities. Link says it wants to lower its fees to card issuers by 20% over the next four years, from 25p to 20p per transaction. This would make it less profitable to run an ATM in many areas. However, it says there are too many cash machines in places where they are not needed, with around 80% located within 300 metres of other ATMs. Protecting communities It said the number of free-to-use machines had rocketed from 36,400 in 2007 to 54,950 last year. John Howells, chief executive at Link, said: "The UK has one of the largest free-to-use ATM networks anywhere in the world, and the number of free ATMs is at an all-time high and rising. "We welcome the research produced by Which? and will review all of the areas that it has identified and take action if there is inadequate free ATM provision." He said the organisation would protect free-to-use ATMs that are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free cash machine. It plans to extend its Financial Inclusion Programme, which subsidises ATMs in less affluent and rural communities. View the full article
  21. By James Gallagher Health and science correspondent, BBC News 19 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer. A team at Johns Hopkins University has trialled a method that detects eight common forms of the disease. Their vision is an annual test designed to catch cancer early and save lives. UK experts said it was "enormously exciting". However, one said more work was needed to assess the test's effectiveness at detecting early-stage cancers. Tumours release tiny traces of their mutated DNA and proteins they make into the bloodstream. 'Exciting' blood test spots cancer a year early Blood tests spot ovarian cancer early Prostate cancer blood test 'helps target treatment' The CancerSEEK test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly arise in cancer and eight proteins that are often released. It was trialled on 1,005 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, colon, lung or breast that had not yet spread to other tissues. Overall, the test found 70% of the cancers. Dr Cristian Tomasetti, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told the BBC: "This field of early detection is critical, and the results are very exciting. "I think this can have an enormous impact on cancer mortality." The earlier a cancer is found, the greater the chance of being able to treat it. Five of the eight cancers investigated have no screening programmes for early detection. Pancreatic cancer has so few symptoms and is detected so late that four in five patients die in the year they are diagnosed. Finding tumours when they could still be surgically removed would be "a night and day difference" for survival, said Dr Tomasetti. CancerSEEK is now being trialled in people who have not been diagnosed with cancer. This will be the real test of its usefulness. The hope is it can complement other screening tools such as mammograms for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancer. Dr Tomasetti told the BBC: "We envision a blood test we could use once a year." Universal test? The CancerSEEK test, reported in the journal Science, is novel because it hunts for both the mutated DNA and the proteins. Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Breast cancer can be detected by the new test Increasing the number of mutations and proteins being analysed would allow it to test for a wider range of cancers. Dr Gert Attard, team leader in the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC: "This is of massive potential. "I'm enormously excited. This is the Holy Grail - a blood test to diagnose cancer without all the other procedures like scans or colonoscopy." He said "we're very close" to using blood tests to screen for cancer as "we have the technology". But he cautioned there was still uncertainty about what to do when a cancer was diagnosed. In some cases, the treatment may be worse than living with a cancer that is not immediately life-threatening. Men can already have slow growing prostate cancers closely monitored rather than treated. "When we detect cancer in a different way, we can't take for granted that everyone will need treatment," Dr Attard said. Paul Pharoah, professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said more work was needed to assess how the test performs when cancers are less advanced. He said: "Demonstrating that a test can detect advanced cancers does not mean that the test will be useful in detecting early stage symptomatic cancer, much less pre-symptomatic cancer. The sensitivity for the stage 1 cancers in the study was only 40%." The cost of CancerSEEK is less than $500 (£360) per patient, which is around the same price as a colonoscopy. Follow James on twitter. View the full article
  22. Winter weather: Thousands without power after gales hit UK 18 January 2018 Image copyright Payman Salem Image caption A falling tree landed on parked cars in New Barnet in north London About 47,000 homes and businesses are without power after severe gales brought disruption to much of the UK. A further 100,000 buildings lost power in eastern England, where gusts reached 83 mph (134 kph), but have since had it restored, UK Power Networks said. Across the country, high winds brought down trees and power cables, blocked transport links and damaged homes. A new snow and ice warning is in place for Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England until Friday night. In Berkshire, a wolf is on the loose after high winds brought down fences at the Wolf Conservation Trust's site in Beenham. The animal was last spotted eight miles away as a team of police and animal experts tried to catch it using a tranquiliser dart. 'Extreme caution' urged on roads Rail lines blocked after strong winds How cold is it where you are? But while wind speeds have already started to drop, forecasters said the wintry conditions would continue in north western parts. The Met Office warned of travel delays and power cuts, saying some rural communities may become cut off. Snow brings disruption to North East 'Code red' storm hits Netherlands • Have you been affected by the weather? Upload your pictures and video. National Rail said high winds had damaged overhead power lines between Stowmarket and Norwich, blocking the line between Norwich and London Liverpool Street. Services on the route are expected to be disrupted for the rest of Thursday. Image caption A workman tackles a fallen tree in Tufnell Park, north London Skip Twitter post by @prodnose Report End of Twitter post by @prodnose Image copyright Greater Anglia Image caption A tree blocked the train line between Ipswich and Norwich Image copyright Sandy Elliott Image caption A tree came down in East Grinstead, West Sussex, damaging a car. In other developments around the UK: In mid-Wales a trainline was closed after a freight train hit two sheds which had been blown onto the track by high winds overnight. A brick gable was blown off a house in the Stoke Heath area of Coventry overnight but West Midlands Fire Service said no one was injured. Lincolnshire Police appealed to the public to help remove more than 80 trees blown down overnight, saying: "If you have the equipment and relevant training to help with moving these trees, please call 101 if you are willing to assist us." In Sydenham, south east London, a train hit a tree. Until 05:00 GMT, drivers in Scotland and northern England were warned not to travel at all, the first such warning issued since high winds in January 2013. The warning was later downgraded. The QE2 Bridge at the Dartford Crossing was closed overnight but has now reopened. In Suffolk, the Orwell Bridge on the A14 was shut until 09:00 GMT due to high winds. Image copyright @FoleshillFire Image caption A firefighter inspects a building damaged by wind in Coventry A number of vehicles - including jacknifed lorries - got stuck on the A75 Euroroute in the Dumfries and Gatehouse of Fleet area of Scotland on Wednesday night but it was fully reopened by morning. Image copyright DGVost Image caption The A75 became blocked by jacknifed lorries at a number of points including Gatehouse of Fleet Image copyright PA Image caption A new yellow warning of snow is in place for north western parts of the UK on Thursday and Friday Image copyright PA Image caption Pavements are cleared in Lauder in the Scottish Borders Scottish Borders Council said no schools would open on Thursday, affecting 15,000 pupils. About 200 schools across Scotland closed on Wednesday. Skip Twitter post by @metoffice Report End of Twitter post by @metoffice Have you been affected by high winds or snow? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing 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: +44 7555 173285 Send pictures/video to Upload your pictures / video here Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international) 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
  23. UK pledges extra £44m for Channel border security 18 January 2018 Image copyright Getty Images An extra £44.5m is to be spent beefing up Channel border security, the UK government is to say later. It will be spent on fencing, CCTV and infrared detection technology in Calais and other border points. It comes as French President Emmanuel Macron visits the UK for a summit with Theresa May. Britain is also expected to commit to taking more migrants from Calais, especially unaccompanied children, the BBC's James Robbins said. He added that while Britain and France were heading in different directions as a result of Brexit, both governments are keen to show that they will continue to work closely together. Other commitments being unveiled include the deployment of three RAF Chinook helicopters in Mali, where French forces are fighting Islamic extremists, and France sending more troops to reinforce a British contingent in Estonia on Nato's border with Russia. On what will be his first visit to the UK as president, Mr Macron is also expected to announce the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry for display in the UK. What now for UK-France security relations? France will not allow another 'Jungle' in Calais, says Macron Bayeux Tapestry to be displayed in UK for the first time Thursday's summit has prompted fresh scrutiny of the border arrangements between France and the UK. During last year's French election campaign, Mr Macron said he wanted to renegotiate or scrap the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which established French border controls in Britain and UK controls in Calais. The agreement means undocumented migrants barred from entering the UK stay in France - many in makeshift camps. Up to 700 migrants are in the area, despite the camp known as the "Jungle" having been dismantled in 2016. The UK government is already thought to have spent over £100m on security in the area over the last three years, and officials said the number of illegal attempts to enter the UK fell from 80,000 in 2015 to just over 30,000 last year. Image copyright PA Image caption It will be Emmanuel Macron's first visit to the UK as French president A government spokeswoman said the latest investment was "about investing in and enhancing the security of the UK border". "Just as we invest in our borders around the rest of the UK, it is only right that we constantly monitor whether there is more we can be doing at the UK border controls in France and Belgium to ensure they are as secure as possible." Other "juxtaposed" border controls are in operation at Eurostar stations in France and Belgium. The summit between Mrs May and Mr Macron, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire, will also feature the first meeting of the heads of Britain and France's five intelligence agencies, and will be attended by UK cabinet ministers and their French counterparts. Downing Street said the RAF Chinooks would offer a "niche capability", providing logistical support for the French operation in Mali, but that Britain would not be committing combat troops. Speaking ahead of the summit, Mrs May said: "Today's summit will underline that we remain committed to defending our people and upholding our values as liberal democracies in the face of any threat, whether at home or abroad. "But our friendship has always gone far beyond defence and security and the scope of today's discussions represents its broad and unique nature." View the full article
  24. BBC: Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked

    Bonuses for Carillion bosses are blocked 17 January 2018 Image copyright Reuters Bosses and directors of Carillion will not get bonuses or severance payments, the government has said. The Insolvency Service said no such payments had been made since the construction firm collapsed on Monday. The announcement comes as work on Carillion's public sector construction sites is paused pending decisions about their future. However, work on most of its private sector service contracts, such as catering and cleaning, will carry on. Carillion's customers want existing services to continue until new suppliers can be found and will provide funding to retain staff for the moment. Several former executives of the firm would have received pay and benefits this year. Carillion had agreed to keep paying former chief executive Richard Howson a £660,000 salary and £28,000 in benefits until October as part of his departure deal. Former finance chief Zafar Khan, who left Carillion in September, was due to receive £425,000 in base salary for 12 months Interim chief executive Keith Cochrane was due to be paid his £750,000 salary until July, despite being due to leave next month. On Wednesday, Business Secretary Greg Clark met representatives of some banks to seek assurances that they would support small businesses affected by the Carillion collapse. Afterwards, he said UK lenders were ready to give "tailored support" and flexibility when it came to repayments. About 30,000 smaller firms which have been working on Carillion projects in the private sector face an uncertain future and are waiting to learn whether they will be able to get hold of money owed to them. Mr Clark said HMRC would also help affected contractors, offering them more time to pay tax bills and providing workers with cash support through the tax credits system. Mapping Carillion's biggest construction projects Carillion was left with just £29m before going bankrupt 'Sites are silent and virtually deserted' Carillion apprentices among casualties At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hit out at the "wildly excessive" bonuses paid to Carillion directors. He also accused the government of negligence, saying it awarded contracts to Carillion even when it became clear the company had problems. Mr Corbyn also called on the government to end the "costly racket" of private sector firms running public services. Mrs May said a third of government contracts with Carillion were agreed by the previous Labour administration, adding she wanted to provide "good quality public services, delivered at best value to the taxpayer". Prime Minister's Questions: The key bits and the verdict 'Scandalous' Earlier GMB union boss Tim Roache had said the government's response to the Carillion crisis had been "inadequate and inept". He said that his union had called on Mr Clark to set up a task force to help private sector companies and employees affected by Carillion's collapse. He called on other private sector companies to take on affected workers without a change in their terms and conditions - a process that he admitted would not be a short one. Are you affected by the collapse of Carillion? Email 'It's been an ongoing battle to get paid' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBusiness owner Shaun Weeks tells 5 live Breakfast he has pulled his staff from a Carillion job until he receives reassurances over payShaun Weeks runs the cleaning firm Paragon Services. He told BBC 5 live Breakfast they had withdrawn the cleaner they had working full-time in a local prison. "We'd been chasing them for money, we hadn't been paid since July and when we heard the rumours about a week-and-a-half ago that Carillion were in a lot of trouble, we really pressed. "Fortunately for ourselves, we did actually get paid the money that was owed to us for the work that she'd done between August and November. "We've pulled our cleaner out at the moment and we're just still waiting to hear from them what's happening next before we send her back in again. "It looks like we are going to lose the December invoice money that we've sent them and obviously the first two weeks of January. "It's been an ongoing battle since we've been in there to get paid and we're not prepared to take the risk while they're in liquidation. "Until we see something in black and white saying that, 'Yes, you will get paid on these set terms,' then we will consider sending our cleaner back in again." Carillion went into liquidation on Monday after rescue talks with its lenders and the government failed to reach a deal. The UK's second-biggest construction company ran into trouble after losing money on big contracts and running up debt of about £1.5bn. The company employed 43,000 people worldwide, including 20,000 in the UK, and the government has said staff and contractors working on public sector contracts will continue to be paid. Are you affected by the collapse of Carillion? Please share your experiences with us by emailing You can also contact us in the following ways: Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285 Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) Please read our terms & conditions Or please 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
  25. A driver who left two police officers fighting for life after ploughing into to them in his Maserati is facing jail. Mohammed Shaikh pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after Christopher Appleton and Samantha Clark were critically injured when he hit them in Neasden in the early hours of December 17.
  26. Health service 'haemorrhaging' nurses, figures reveal By Nick Triggle Health correspondent 17 January 2018 Image copyright alvarez The NHS is "haemorrhaging" nurses with one in 10 leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show. More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospital wards and community services. The figures - provided to the BBC by NHS Digital - represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners. Nurse leaders said it was a "dangerous and downward spiral", but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled. The figures have been compiled as part of an in-depth look at nursing by the BBC. We can reveal: More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left in each of the past three years The number of quitters would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40 Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC Brexit may have had an impact - the number of EU nurses leaving has trebled since 2012-13 to nearly 4,000 last year The number of joiners has halved since the EU referendum - 2,800 started NHS jobs last year Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps Other parts of the UK are also experiencing problems retaining nurses. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the leaver rates are rising. In the most recent years, 7.5% of nurses left NHS employment in Northern Ireland and 7.2% did so in Scotland. But in both nations, the number of joiners outnumbered leavers. In Wales there were more leavers than joiners, according to Freedom of Information reports. 'I can't work in the NHS anymore' Image caption Mary Trevelyan quit the NHS two-and-a-half years after graduating One of the nurses who has left the NHS is Mary Trevelyan. She was working as a staff nurse in a London hospital, but quit last year after the pressures of the job left her stressed and depressed. She had only worked in the NHS for two-and-a-half years. "I want to be a great nurse and I want to give my patients my best, but I feel that I can't do that at the moment because we're just too short-staffed, too busy, there are far too many things for us to be doing. "I want to work for the NHS, it's such a brilliant thing, [but] I don't think I can." She is now living with her family in Cornwall. She says she has not decided what to do next, but is considering moving abroad. "A few of my friends have gone. I think they've just got a better quality of life nursing overseas, which is very sad." Where are the nurses going? The figures do not show where these nurses went, although the BBC has been told the private sector, including agencies, drug firms and hospitals, is particularly popular. But the figures will also include those moving abroad or leaving nursing altogether to pursue other careers. A fifth of leavers in the past year were over 55 - the age at which nurses can start retiring. Royal College of Nursing head Janet Davies said: "The government must lift the NHS out of this dangerous and downward spiral. "We are haemorrhaging nurses at precisely the time when demand has never been higher. "The next generation of British nurses aren't coming through just as the most experienced nurses are becoming demoralised and leaving." She said nurses needed a pay rise and more support if the vacancy rate - currently running at one in nine posts - were not to increase further. "Most patient care is given by NHS nurses and each time the strain ratchets up again they are the ones who bear the brunt of it," she added. How the NHS is trying to stop the exodus The regulator, NHS Improvement, is rolling out a retention programme to help the health service reduce the number of leavers. More than half of hospitals and all mental health trusts are getting direct support. Master classes are also being organised for all directors of nursing and HR leads. Image copyright Science Photo Library The support is prompting hospitals to adopt a range of initiatives. Some have introduced internal "transfer" systems, allowing nurses to move jobs more easily, and mentoring schemes have been started for newly qualified nurses, while in some places, staff can ask for "itchy feet" interviews where they get the opportunity to talk to bosses about why they might leave. Others have introduced staff awards and worked with local businesses to offer workers discounts and benefits at shops and gyms. But Ruth May, executive director of nursing at NHS Improvement, admitted more needed to be done to keep staff. "Clinical workers are the NHS's greatest asset," she added. The government is also increasing the number of nurse training places by 5,000 this year - a rise of 25%. But it will be three years before these nurses graduate. Does the leaver rate matter? The Department of Health and Social Care in England has been quick to point out that the number of nurses employed by the NHS has risen. They have picked May 2010 - the point when the coalition government was formed - as the starting point, claiming there are "11,700 more nurses on our wards". That relates to the rise in hospital nurses - up from 162,500 full-time equivalents. But if you look at the entire nursing workforce, the numbers have only risen by 3,000 to 283,853 on the latest count - a rise of less than 1%. The population will have grown by 5% during this period, according to the Office for National Statistics. And if you look at nearly any measure of NHS demand - from GP referrals and diagnostic tests to emergency admissions and A&E visits - the increase is somewhere between 10% and 20%. What is more, if you take the last 12 months, the number of nurses has started falling and the number of vacant posts is rising. Even taking into account the rising number of nurses in training, the health service will only be able to ensure it has enough nurses by reducing the number of leavers. Read more from Nick Follow Nick on Twitter View the full article
  27. MSC to PC - Day 1

    I haven’t been for my Day 2 yet mate. Have you been for yours?
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