This weeks headline news 2/4/2017

UK 

  • A young British backpacker has been left fighting for his life after falling out of a moving train in Thailand. Daniel Clarke, 20, from Aldershot, Hampshire, was travelling from Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand when he is believed to have fallen from the train carriage, which has open air doors with no shutting mechanism. He was later found in a bruised and bloodied condition by another train driver after having rolled several feet from the tracks. 
  • Two British holidaymakers have been shot in Southern Spain after getting into a drunken fight at a bar. The unnamed man had been on a golfing holiday in the popular resort of Fuengirola when an altercation broke out between him and a 42-year old Brit, who pulled out a gun. Both men are now receiving treatment in a local hospital n what eyewitnesses are calling a ‘drunken argument’.
  • Fashion designer Karen Millen has this week declared bankrupt after failing to pay £6million to HM Revenue and Customs over her involvement in a tax avoidance scheme. Miss Millen, a mother of three who has become a household name after opening her first shop almost 35 years ago, now faces losing her £3million home in Kent. Miller is said to be ‘devastated’ over the matter and insists she had been a victim of fraud by collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing which financed the buyer who bought her business in 2004 for £95million.
  • Five people have been found dead after a plane crash in Snowdonia this week. Millionaire couple Kevin, 56, and Ruth Burke, 49, who own the aircraft, were on their way to Ireland from Britain when the plane crashed, killing three other people on board. 

Foreign 

  • A fire has broken out in a high-rise complex under construction close to the Dubai mall this weekend. It was confirmed that there were no casualties after the blaze was quickly put out by the local fire brigade at The Address Residences Fountain Views. 
  • Shocking footage has been released showing the moment a milkman used a large slab of pavement to smash and kill a tuk-tuk driver in India. Mushtaq Niwaraia, 36, had tried to overtake motorcyclist Hiralal, 40, on a congested road before colliding with him and accidentally scratching the mans bike. The two then began arguing at the scene in Churu in Rajasthan in western India, before Hiralal picked up a piece of pavement and threw it at Niwaraia, causing him to die instantly. 
  • A former model and medical has committed suicide at a dormitory hostel in Bangladesh this week. Raudha Athif, 21, a second-year student at Islami Bank Medical College in Rajshahi city, was found dead in her room by classmates on Wednesday. She had previously appeared on the cover of Vogue and received praise from the president of her native, the Maldives. 

 

This weeks headline news 26/03/2017

 UK 

  • Former Royal Marine Sgt Alexander Blackman who was jailed for shooting an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan has had his murder conviction reduced to “manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility” by an appeal court this week. Blackman, 42, from Taunton, Somerset, has already served three years of a life sentence despite having a recognised mental illness at the time of the shooting in September 2011.
  • A 32-year-old man was electrocuted to death after charging his mobile phone whilst in the bath, an inquest has this week heard. Richard Bull died at his home in Ealing, West London last December after his iPhone charger made contact with the bath water causing severe burns to his chest, arm and hand.
  • Four people have been left dead and fifty more have been critically injured after an ISIS attacker went on a bloody rampage on Westminster bridge this week. Dartford-born Khalid Masood, 52, drove his car into pedestrians before crashing the vehicle into railings and running into the grounds of Parliament where he proceeded to stab PC Keith Palmer. He was shot dead by police shortly after. 

Foreign 

  • Former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak has been freed from detention this week, more than 6 years after being overthrown. Mr Mubarak returned to his home in the northern suburb of Heliopolis after Egypt’s top appeals court cleared him over the deaths of protesters in the February 2011 uprising.
  • At least 11 people were detained by Police in Poland this week after taking part in a naked demonstration at the Auschwitz museum. According to staff at the museum, which is located on the same site as the former Nazi concentration camp, “a group of people killed a sheep, undressed and chained themselves together”. Police are still unaware as to the motive behind the demonstration but said that had arrested the group, aged between 20 and 27.
  • The US and UK have announced a ban on passengers carrying and using large electronic devices in aircraft cabins after intelligence suggests a terror threat to US-bound flights. The new carry-on restrictions means laptops and other large electronic devices will no longer be able to be used in the cabin on direct passenger flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

This weeks headline news

UK 

  • Metropolitan Police have been granted £85,000 to extend the search for Madeleine McCann who disappeared whilst on holiday in 2014, aged 3. The search operation, known as Operation Grange, will be extended for another 6 months. The funding comes after her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, vowed to “never give up” hope of finding their daughter.
  • Popular Food blogger Jack Monroe has successfully won in her legal case against columnist Katie Hopkins after a row over tweets. Monroe was awarded £24,000 in damages, plus legal costs, in a libel action against Hopkins after she  said the writer has caused “serious harm” to her reputation with her comment asking if she had “scrawled on any memorials recently”.
  • A Muslim detective is suing the Met Police for alleged racism and sexism after facing severe discrimination whilst working for them between 2013 and 2014. Det Con Night Hubbard, who was the first Muslim policewoman to be honoured with an MBE, said she was held back at work whilst white colleagues were allowed to work on more complex investigations. 
  • Former star of the Italian Job, John Forgehaum has passed away aged 75 this Friday. The actor is said to have fallen from his bed at his home in Worthing, West Sussex, on Wednesday and broken his collarbone, causing internal bleeding. 


Foreign 

  • Dutch riot police clashed with around 1,000 protesters outside the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam this weekend amid a diplomatic row over expanding Turkish presidential powers. Turkey is currently gearing up for a referendum on the 16 April to decide whether or not it will change from a parliamentary to a presidential republic. 
  • Former Sister Sledge singer, Joni Sledge has passed away aged 60 this weekend. The singer, best-known for the disco anthem We Are Family, was found at her home Phoenix, Arizona, her publicist said. The cause of her death is still unknown. The group were set to reunite this week to perform in Los Angeles.
  • A one-month-old girl who was abducted in a car-jacking in the South African city of Durban on Friday has been found safe and well. Three people have been arrested, including the baby’s mother, police said.

 

 

This weeks headline news 5/3/2017

UK 

  • Thousands of protestors marched through London this week against austerity in the National health service. The protestors included NHS workers, campaigners and union representatives who hope to draw attention to plans which could see services in nearly two-thirds of England cut back.
  • Burglars raided the Surrey home of former England captain John Terry while he was on a family skiing holiday last weekend, police have revealed. The burglars are believed to have taken a large amount of valuables from the players seven-bedroom property,which features a half-acre of land. 
  • German automobile company, Daimler is set to recall about 75,000 Mercedez-Benz cars in the UK after 51 fires were reported, the firm have revealed. Whilst no deaths have been recorded as a result of the fault, many consumers have reported overheating in the vehicles. The faulty fuse affects some of its A, B, C, and E-class cars as well as its CLA, GLA and GLC vehicles. 
  • Tougher punishments have been introduced in the UK this week for drivers caught using their phones. Under the new rules, drivers caught using a phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked. Penalties for using a phone at the wheel are now raised to 6 points and a £200 points, whilst new drivers who get six points or more must retake their practical and theory.

 Foreign 

  • US President Donald Trump has this week accused former president, Barack Obama of wire-tapping his phone a month before he was elected. Taking to twitter this weekend, Trump wrote, “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”. Despite a court denying a wiretap request, he is calling for a congressional investigation into the claims. 
  • Kang Chol, the ambassador to North Korea has been expelled from Malaysia after criticising its investigation into the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un. Chol was told by Malaysia’s foreign ministry that he must leave the country within 48 hours and apologise for his remarks. 
  • China has said it will increase military spending by about 7% this year, just days after Donald Trump outlined a boost to the US defence budget.
  • 15 prisoners have been executed in Jordan this week after they were found guilty of terrorism offences, rape and sexual assault. The prisoners, who were all from Jordan, were hung on Saturday in a jail south of the capital city of Amman. The country had imposed a moratorium on capital punishment between 2006 and 2014 but revoked it after sharp rise in crime  as well as the growing threat from  Islamic State ISIS, which controls areas of neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

This weeks headline news 26/02/2017

UK 

  • A mother-of-one from Taunton died after just three vodka and lemonades left her five-times over the drink-drive limit, an inquest heard this week. Heidi Hopley, 41, suffered alcohol poisoning after having the drinks over a two hour period whilst at home with her partner Scott Fisher. Mr Fisher said he found her dead body slumped outside on the patio and attempted to resuscitate her however she was pronounced dead. 
  • A British woman was horrifically murdered and her husband left for dead after three men broke into their farm house in South Africa. Sue Howarth, 64, and husband Robert Lynn, 66, were asleep at their home in Dullstroom, Mpualanga province when three men broke in through a window at 2am and tied them up before torturing them for several hours with a blowtorch and shooting them. 
  • Three men have been remanded in custody on slavery charges after a cannabis factory was discovered in a former nuclear bunker in Wiltshire this Wednesday. Martin Fillery, 45, Plamen Nguyen, 27, and Ross Winter, 30, were charged with conspiring to hold another person in slavery/servitude as well as conspiracy to produce the Class B drug, which has an estimated street value of £1m 
  • Five teenagers from London have been remanded in custody on suspected terrorism offences after officials found evidence that they were planning a terrorist-style attack. The male youths, aged between 15 and 19, are to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court next week. 

 

Foreign 

  • Five people have died in Australia this week after a charter plane bound for King island, Tasmania, crashed into a shopping centre. Max Quartermain, 63, a pilot from Melbourne, his wife Cilla and their friends Greg De Haven, 70, a retired FBI agent from Texas, and Russell Munsch, 62, who was also from Texas, all died on impact after their plane crashed into the Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) shopping centre in Melbourne. It is believed that Quartermain was flying the jet at the time and had placed mayday calls in the moments before the crash after the plane suffered ‘catastrophic engine failure’ shortly after takeoff.
  • A car bomb has killed at least 41 people in a village close to the Syrian town of al-Bab this week, after ISIS militants targeted a rebel checkpoint. The explosion claimed the lives of 35 civilians and 6 rebel fighters, although the exact death toll has not yet been released. 
  • The half-brother of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-nam, was killed by was killed by a highly toxic nerve agent, according to  Malaysian officials. Jong-nam was brutally attacked with VX nerve agent whilst waiting to board a flight at a Kuala Lumpur airport last week. The agent is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
  • Renowned Hollywood Actor, Bill Paxton has died this Sunday at the age of 61, after suffering complications following hear surgery. Paxton was best known for his roles in the films Titanic, Twister, Apollo 13 and Edge of Tomorrow. Celebrities such as William Shatner, Rob Lowe, Zach Braff and many more have paid tribute to the star on social media. 

This weeks headline news 19/02/2017

UK 

  • A man who died 27 times in hospital has this week praised staff at the Worcestershire Royal hospital for saving his life. Ray Woodhall, 54, from Wednesbury in theWest Midlands, suffered a heart attack and consequently went into cardiac arrest so many times that nurses had to resuscitate him. 
  • The body of a 48-year-old man has been found in the rubble left after at a block of Oxford flats went up in flames last Tuesday. Guido Schuette had been reported missing by police following the blaze which also left two people with minor injuries. Investigators are still carrying out inquiries as to how the fire began.
  • A 14-year-old boy has been charged with attempted murder after a man was left battling for his life in attack at Middleton Street, Leicester this Friday. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also been charged with robbery and possession of an offensive weapon. Two other boys, aged 13 and 15, were charged with robbery. Local police have said despite the victims devastating injuries, he is now in a stable condition.
  • Former socialite, Tara Palmer-Tomlinson died peacefully in her sleep after suffering from a perforated ulcer and not a brain tumour, her coroner has revealed. The 45-year-old had been happy and positive before her death according to family and friends and was not suffering from any illness.  

  Foreign 

  • Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders has has sparked outrage across Europe after referring to Moroccans as “scum”. Wilders, who this week launched his election campaign, said, “There is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe…If you want to regain your country, make the Netherlands for the people of the Netherlands again, then you can only vote for one party.” Although he later added that, “not all are scum”.
  • At least one person has died and more than 20 have been injured close to the Belgian capital of Brussels this Saturday after a train carriage derailed.
  • A North Korean national has been arrested alongside an Indonesian woman, a Malaysian man and a woman with a vietnamese passport this weekend following the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother,Kim Jong-nam. Malaysian police  believe Jong-nam was poisoned to death after being sprayed in the face with a liquid whilst waiting to board a flight.
  •  The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has issued a startling warning that tens of millions of people could be killed by bio-terrorism, after changes in molecular biology have made the development of biological weapons more accessible. During his speech at the Munich security conference this week, Gates, who has spent billions in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, said  “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus … or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.

This weeks headline news 12/02/2017

UK

  • A 10-year-old boy has died after an accident at clothing retailer Topshop’s Reading store this Tuesday. Karen Reddick is believed to have passed away after injuring himself on a display within the store. Despite three three ambulances and a rapid response vehicle arriving at the scene, the South Central Ambulance service were unable to save him. 
  • Around 360kg (793lbs) of cocaine was found washed up on beaches in Norfolk this week. The drugs, which have a street value of an estimated £50m, were found on Hopton beach, near Great Yarmouth and also on a beach near Caister according to the National Crime Agency (NCA). The NCA border investigations team are now working with Border Force, the Coastguard Agency and Norfolk Police to establish how the bags ended up there. 
  • An undercover reporter who spent two months at the HMP Northumberland prison has revealed how he witnessed wide spread drug use and a complete lack of control. The reporter, who worked as a custody officer in the prison, revealed he found inmates incapacitated by drugs, threatening towards staff members and often left to their own devices, whilst some prison guards revealed that they were afraid to confront prisoners incase back up took too long to arrive. The report was shown on BBC Panorama on Monday. 
  • RAF jets scrambled to intercept two nuclear-capable Russian bombers who flew into Britain’s “area of interest” this Friday. The planes were believed to have flown through the coast of Norway before passing the west coast of Ireland, although they did not enter British “airspace”.

Foreign 

  • Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned just hours after details were released showing the company has being running at a loss of $3.4bn, (390 billion yen). 
  • The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-nam, has been killed in an attack at an international airport in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Police say the late Kim Jong-il’s eldest son was waiting at a terminal for a 10.00 flight to Macau when he was attacked by an unknown woman who covered his with a cloth laced with liquid, resulting in his death.
  • North Korea  launched its first ballistic missile since Donald Trump became US president on Sunday. Pyongyang fired the medium-range rocket which flew 500km before crashing into the Sea of Japan, according to the US and South Korean military. 
  • Up to 188,000 people were evacuated from their homes in California this week after an emergency spillway in the US’s tallest dam, the Oroville Dam, began eroding, prompting fears it could release floodwaters. Although the dam itself currently remains structurally sound, weeks of heavy rain caused the Lake Oroville reservoir to rise above its capacity and lap over the spillway, which is designed to alleviate pressure on the dam.

 

This week headline news 5/2/2017

UK

  • An 18-year-old man has been found dead in a pub car park in Llanbedrog, near Pwllheli, Gwynedd after being shot this weekend. The victim, who police are yet to name, is said to have been shot by a group of ‘up to four men’ whilst he sat in his vehicle outside of the Ship Inn pub on Sunday night.
  • Cabin crew at British Airways are set to participate in six days of industrial action over low pay this week, in what staff are describing as a ‘dispute over poverty pay’. The airline has said that the strikes should not affect passengers and added that they have increased sanctions on employees who participate by threatening to dock two years of bonuses and remove all staff travel discounts for the next year.
  • An undergraduate student from the University of Bristol has been found dead beneath Clifton Suspension Bridge this Monday, in what police believe to be a suicide. The body of Lara Nosiru, 23, from Thurrock, in Essex, was discovered after friends notified the local authority of her disappearance. Nosiru was in the final year of her neuroscience course and a keen dancer. Her death follows that of three other students over the past few months: Miranda Williams, 19, Daniel Green, 18, and 18-year-old Kim Long. A spokesperson for the university said it has been carrying out a review of its mental health services.
  • Thousands of people took to the streets of London this Saturday in protest over Donald Trumps’ upcoming state visit. Demonstrators urged Prime minister Theresa May to withdraw her controversial invitation after the president caused outrage over his recent “racist” travel ban. Protestors walked from the US embassy to Downing street, brandishing placards with “No to scapegoating Muslims” and “No to Trump, No to War”, written on them. 

Foreign 

  • Heavy snow and avalanches in Afghanistan and Pakistan have claimed the lives of nearly 100 people this week, as officials warn of more snow storms to come. The worst-hit areas are the mountainous north-eastern province of Badakhshan, Nangahar in the east and Parwan near Kabul, which has seen several homes destroyed and major roads closed down.
  • Turkish police have detained 445 people suspected of having links to ISIS this week after carrying out early morning raids in 18 provinces. The co-ordinated raids saw the arrest of suspects in southeastern Sanliurfa, Gaziantep and Istanbul- where an ISIS attack at New Year left 39 people dead. 
  • The US federal appeals court has rejected Donald Trump’s request to reinstate a travel ban blocked by a federal judge on Friday. The ruling means the travel ban will remain suspended until the full case has been heard on Monday. The controversial ban has been named ‘unconstitutional’ by several lawyers as protestors say it ‘violates freedom of religion rights by appearing to target Muslims’. 
  • The French interior ministry has confirmed that a man was shot outside the Louvre museum in Paris this Friday, after attacking a soldier with a machete. French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the incident clearly represented “an attack of a terrorist nature” after 29-year-old Abdullah attacked a soldier, leaving him with scalp wounds. Despite being shot 4 times by a second soldier, Abdullah is said to be in a stable condition in hospital. 

The biggest news stories of 2016

The biggest news stories of 2016

  • Legendary singer-songwriter David Bowie passed away aged 69 after a long and private battle with cancer
  • Actor Alan Rickman dies of cancer within days of Bowies death
  • The World Health Organization announces an outbreak of the Zika virus in January
  • Kim Jong un launches a long-rage rocket into space and in the process violates multiple UN treaties .

  • In March, ISIS claimed the lives of at least 32 people and injured 250 more in Brussels after three coordinated bomb attacks.
  • German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung caused controversy in April after publishing detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies in the so-called ‘Panama Papers’.
  • World-renowned Pop artist, Prince, dies at the age of 57 after an apparent overdose of fentanyl

  • EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes into the Mediterranean sea on route to Cairo from Paris, killing 66 people on board.
  • MP Jo Cox is murdered in Birstall, where she had been due to hold a constituency surgery. Her murderer, Thomas Mair, who stabbed and shot Jo before fleeing the scene, was handed a life sentence in prison for his so-called ‘act of terror’.
  • Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies of septic shock at the age of 74 after battling with Parkinson’s

  • The UK votes to leave the European Union in the referendum.
  • David Cameron resigns as Prime minister and is swiftly replaced by former home secretary Theresa May.
  • ISIS attacks Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, killing 45 and injuring around 230 more

  • International investigators conclude that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a Buk missile that came from an area controlled by pro-Russian rebels.
  • Researchers release reports that claim Global CO2 levels have exceeded 400 ppm, believed to be the highest levels experiences in human history.

  • Controversial business tycoon Donald trump is named president elect after a tense and controversial campaign against Hilary Clinton.
  • Former Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, is assassinated in Ankara whilst giving a speech.
  • ISIS attack a Christmas market in  Bretscheidplatz, Berlin after hijacking a lorry and driving through a large crowd of people, killing around 12 people and injuring 56 more.
  • Singer songwriter George Michael dies aged 53 on Christmas day.

Politics made easy: What’s happening in Aleppo?


About Aleppo

Aleppo was once the largest city in Syria, with a population of around 2.3 million, it served as the center of the country’s finance and industry, making it a critical part of the countries economy. The old city of Aleppo was also named as a world heritage site but sadly, much of the city’s historical architecture has been devastated during the recent conflict.

What conflict?

In July 2012, the civil war in Syria spread through to Aleppo and the city quickly became one of the main battlegrounds for government forces and the rebels. During this period, the city was roughly divided into two sections, with government forces controlling the western part of the city and rebel forces controlling the eastern part.

Aleppo was left in this state of division for more than four years until 22nd December 2016, when Syria’s government, helped by Russian forces, defeated the rebels and took back control of the city. They did this through a series of airstrikes and ground attacks.

Why did Russia help the Syrian government forces? 

Russia announced in 2015 that it would be supporting the Syrian government with the conflict in Syria. Historically, both Russia and Syria have maintained a strong relationship since 1971, when the Soviet Union built a naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus. Syria has also been a consistent buyer of Russian firearms, in fact from 2007-2011, 78% of Syria’s military imports were bought from Russia. As tensions grow between Russia and the west (UK and US), this intervention also gave Russia the chance to showcase its military capabilities.

What happened to the people of Aleppo?

In the run-up to this defeat and in the time shortly after, a large-scale evacuation of the people of Aleppo began. This evacuation was halted though, because the Syrian government said that the rebels were not sticking to the agreed terms of how the evacuation should happen. After some negotiating, the evacuation began again. However, stories then emerged of more attacks and fighting during this time, putting the safety of innocent civilians trying to flee the city, at risk. The large-scale fighting within the city left people without food, medical supplies and in many cases, clean water. Buildings, hospitals and schools were bombed and more than 100 were killed during this time, although exact figures are yet to be released.

Lots of people who were stuck in Aleppo at the time began tweeting about what was happening, with many saying they feared for their safety as bombs were dropped over the city. You can see some of their stories and tweets here.

On the 22nd December, government forces announced that the evacuation was complete and they had defeated rebel forces, re-gaining control over the city. This was a turning point in the countries long-drawn civil war as it means that president Assad now had control over four of the biggest cities in Syria.

What will happen now?

Although the Syrian government have managed to take back the city of Aleppo, the rebel fighters still control large parts of the country and the war is far from over. The U.N. estimates about 400,000 people have been killed in Aleppo since the battle first started back in March 2011.