Amelia Smith

Amelia Smith

One dead in Dallas crane collapse

A crane has collapsed on a building in Dallas, Texas. One person has been killed and six others taken to hospital after a crane fell onto an apartment complex in the southern US city of Dallas.

The construction crane was brought down during a powerful thunderstorm which hit Texas on Sunday. Authorities say it broke apart and cut through five floors of the complex, which was opposite a building site. The tower’s parking garage was also damaged, and search and rescue efforts are still ongoing.

Local media reports said the person who died was a woman. Of those in hospital, two are in critical condition, said fire and rescue services spokesperson Jason Evans.”We’re hoping that what we have at this point is where it ends in terms of casualties,” said Mr Evans.

While the cause of the collapse was not immediately clear, Mr Evans said there was a “strong possibility” that high winds played a role. Damage and power outages are being reported throughout other areas of Texas, as severe storms blast through the state.

Vintage ship sinks near Hamburg

A 19th Century ship that had only recently undergone an expensive restoration has sunk in Germany after a collision with a container vessel.

Several people aboard the No 5 Elbe schooner were injured in Saturday’s incident on the Elbe River near the northern city of Hamburg. All 43 people onboard were quickly evacuated by rescue nearby boats.

The schooner, built in 1883, is Hamburg’s last seagoing wooden ship. The cause of the collision was around 12:30 GMT on Saturday and is being investigated. “If we hadn’t been in the vicinity there could have been fatalities,” fire service official Wilfried Sprekels told a local newspaper.

Despite all their efforts the schooner sank, but its passengers and crew were rescued. Passenger Almut Koertingsaid that she wanted to thank the crew for their “prudential and sober-minded action before, during and after the terrible crash”. “We have experienced a wonderful, lovingly maintained ship, which beautifully drove us down Elbe River, and then, incredibly enough, still took her people to port in spite of being severely damaged in the collision.”

The 37m (121ft) boat had just recently finished a €1.5m (£1.3m; $1.7m) refit in a Danish shipyard. It’s owners hope to salvage it so it can be rented for harbour excursions.

May to quit after Brexit deal passed

Theresa May has promised Tory MPs she will stand down if they back her EU withdrawal deal. She told backbench Tories: “I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party.”

The PM said she knew that Tory MPs did not want her to lead the next phase of Brexit negotiations and won’t stand in the way of that. She did not name a departure date at a packed meeting of the 1922 committee.  A Tory leadership contest could be expected in May. Downing Street said it would be a “different ball game” if the deal was not passed by Parliament. It comes as MPs seize control of the Commons agenda to hold votes on alternatives to the deal.

Mrs May told the 300 or so Tory MPs at the meeting “we need to get the deal through and deliver Brexit”. “I ask everyone in this room to back the deal so we can complete our historic duty – to deliver on the decision of the British people and leave the European Union with a smooth and orderly exit.”

Boris Johnson, a likely contender in any leadership contest – was smiling broadly as he left the meeting. A very senior Conservative had said the PM was “as clear as she has ever been” that she will not be around for the next stage of Brexit but, if the deal does not pass then “that’s a different matter”.

Tory MP Simon Hart said the mood in the 1922 meeting was “respectful” as the prime minister set out her plan. He said: “She was passionate about getting the deal through, passionate about keeping the party together and passionate about keeping the government as the government, passionate about keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of Number 10.”

Despite the nature of the meeting, Mr Hart joked that “neither the Chief Whip nor the PM were crying”. The PM has said she wants to bring the deal back to the Commons this week, after it was previously rejected twice, by large margins.

Speaker calls for changes Commons Speaker John Bercow ruled last week that the government could not return for a third attempt, unless there had been “substantial” changes to the proposals. And he warned ministers earlier that they should “not seek to circumvent my ruling” by introducing procedures that could reverse his judgement.

A Downing Street spokesman said there had been a “significant development” at the summit in Brussels last week, after Mrs May agreed “extra reassurances” over the Irish backstop with the EU, and the date of exit had changed.

Many Tory Brexiteers are looking to the Democratic Unionist Party, who have led opposition to the PM’s deal, before deciding whether to get behind it. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, said “I think that we have got to the point where legally leaving is better than not leaving at all. “Half a loaf is better than no bread.” He said his only condition for supporting the deal was that Mrs May wins round the DUP. “I won’t abandon the DUP because I think they are the guardians of the union of the United Kingdom,” he said.

Facebook to ban white nationalism

Facebook has said it will block “praise, support and representation of white nationalism and separatism” on Facebook and Instagram.

The social media giant also pledged to improve its ability to identify and block material from terrorist groups. Facebook users searching for offending terms will be directed to a charity which combats far-right extremism.

The social network has come under pressure after a man live streamed an attack on two mosques in New Zealand. Facebook had previously allowed some white nationalist content it did not view as racist – including permission for users to call for the creation of white ethno-states. Social sites seek to stop NZ attack clips

The company said it had deemed white nationalism an acceptable form of expression on a par with “things like American pride and Basque separatism, which are an important part of people’s identity”. But in a blog post  it said that after three months of consultation with “members of civil society and academics” it found that white nationalism could not be “meaningfully separated” from white supremacy and organised hate groups.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said social networks were “the publisher not just the postman”, in reference to their potential liability for the material shared on them. Facebook has previously acknowledged that a video of the attack, which left 50 people dead, was viewed more than 4,000 times before being taken down. The company said that, within 24 hours, it had blocked 1.2 million copies at the point of upload and deleted another 300,000. A group representing French Muslims is suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the footage to be posted on their platforms. Other tech groups also took steps to clamp down on sharing of the video.

Reddit banned an existing discussion forum on its site called “watchpeopledie” after clips of the attack were shared on the forum. Valve, which runs the Steam gaming network, said it had removed more than 100 “tributes” by users that sought to memorialize the alleged shooter.

Catalonia ‘National Day’ rally draws million

Catalonia ‘National Day’ rally draws million

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionProtesters march in Barcelona to mark the national day of Catalonia

About a million people have taken to the streets of Barcelona to mark Catalonia’s “National Day” and show continued support for independence. The annual celebration is the first since Catalonia’s failed attempt to break away from Spain last October. A sea of protesters wearing red shirts and bearing red-and-yellow Catalan flags banged drums, blew whistles and chanted slogans of support. The turnout was roughly the same as last year. Catalan regional president Quim Torra and his predecessor Carles Puigdemont, who fled into exile in Belgium after the failed independence bid, had urged people to demonstrate. Mr Torra said at the end of the rally: “We are starting an endless march.” Tuesday’s Diada holiday marks the day Barcelona fell to the soldiers of King Philip V in 1714 and for the past eight years has been used as a rallying point for independence. It is the first such celebration since Catalonia held a referendum on independence on 1 October last year and then unilaterally declared independence on 27 October. But the bid failed after Spain’s constitutional court deemed the move illegal and Madrid imposed direct rule. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Red-shirted protesters blew whistles and banged drums in Barcelona Protesters formed human towers and demanded the release of separatist leaders who are in detention awaiting trial following the independence campaign. One elderly protester at the rally, Dolors Llauralo, told Reuters she would continue the battle. “I will demonstrate every year, as long as I can… I fight for [my children and grandchildren] so they will have a better life than the one we have had,” she said. Read more stories on the Catalonia crisis: More protests are planned on the key anniversary dates of the referendum and declaration of independence.

However, opponents complained the Diada was being usurped as independence was not supported by all Catalans. Catalonia’s situation “not very serious”, says Josep BorrellSpanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrel, who is Catalan, said: “We Catalans should celebrate our national day and not just a call for independence that is shared by less than half of the population.” An opinion poll in July suggested 46.7% of Catalans favoured independence and 44.9% opposed it.

 

Alastair Cook: How has retiring England great become a ‘beacon’ for cricket?

Alastair Cook: How has retiring England great become a ‘beacon’ for cricket?

Cook, 33, announced on Monday that this week’s final Test against India will be his last appearance for his country. The opening batsman has scored 12,254 runs and made 32 centuries in 160 Tests – all England records. “We should laud Alastair Cook as a person as well as a player,” Gooch said. “Forget his achievements, he is a super man, an icon in our sport and a beacon for his sport.” Gooch, one of Cook’s boyhood heroes and his former mentor, was one of many coaches, friends and former team-mates to pay tribute to the Essex batsman.

But, what are the factors that have made Cook a “icon” who will receive an emotional send-off at The Oval this week – and where do England go from here?

Cook the role model Gooch: “If you’re looking for a role model, if you’re looking for an icon in sport, let alone cricket, you couldn’t get a more upstanding person and lovely guy than Alastair Cook. He’s everything you want in a sportsperson.”

Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan: “I’m delighted he’s playing this week because if there is one England cricketer that deserves a whole week about him, it’s Cook. He is not the person to go searching for that, he’ll probably be a bit embarrassed, but he deserves it.”

Former England captain Alec Stewart: “He’s almost flown under the radar in breaking all these records and he is the heartbeat of that team in such a quiet, unassuming way.”

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace: “He’s just such a fantastic bloke to have in your team. When he’s had tough periods and when he was under pressure as captain, everyone was saying: ‘We want him, we need him, he’s our man.’ It was genuine. He’s a caring bloke, he’s not selfish in any way and he has just run out of steam.”

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann: “He is one of the nicest men alive. He has lasted so long because he does have a sunny disposition and a way of thinking that cricket is not life and death. He always put in 100% but would appreciate the other side of life.”

Former England coach Peter Moores: “To be England’s most successful batsman ever but still be humble and have time for everybody is a great thing.”

All-time leading Test run-scorer Sachin Tendulkar: “Alastair Cook has been one of the finest batsmen to have represented England and his conduct on-field and off it has been impeccable.”

Former England team-mate Paul Collingwood: “It was very evident straight away that he was an unflappable character. He looked cool, he was relaxed, and it was obvious he was going to take to international cricket like no-one else.”

Stewart: “There is a little bit of madness in opening the batting but he’s done it so well. He’s probably not the most naturally gifted cricketer but others have not his mental strength, and their natural talent hasn’t seen them through. The combination of talent and mental strength Cook has means he’s played such a long time and broken all the records he has.”

Moores: “A lot of his traits are the best of English people – he keeps his counsel, he gets stuck in, he’s tough, and he’s resolute under pressure.”

Gooch: “Often we see players who have physical talent – Alastair Cook is talented between the ears. He’s got a lot of skills with the bat and has enhanced those as his career has gone on but he’s very strong of mind. From the word go he had the ability to get the best out of himself, he knew exactly what he could and couldn’t do, and that’s a priceless skill. The mental side of his game never needed any coaching.”

Vaughan: “Cook has had to eke out every run through hard work and preparation. That’s why it’s remarkable he’s played for 12 years.” Cook retirement sad day for English cricket.

Former England coach and Essex team-mate Andy Flower: “From the start, he was great playing off his hips and had a brilliant pull shot to fast bowlers but it was his stubbornness, his determination, that really came through in his batting. You can’t coach that into someone, it comes from deep within, that hunger that great competitors have. He’ll want to beat you, whether it’s squash, table tennis or cricket.”

Collingwood: “Everyone doubts whether he’s got a good technique or not but never his steeliness, his resilience.”

Stewart: “He left nothing to chance, he worked hard and made sure he always topped the fitness tests.” Cook the man for all conditions Cook scored 18 of his 32 Test centuries abroad, including five in both Australia and India.

Gooch: “His performances in India in 2012-13, when he captained England to a 2-1 Test victory, stand out for me. It was an exhibition in how to play the turning ball. His runs in that series helped us beat India in their own conditions.”

Swann: “Without his runs, we wouldn’t have won that 2010-11 Ashes series quite as convincingly, if not at all.” Cook the last of a dying breed Ex-England spinner

Phil Tufnell: “I’m not sure we will see his like again. He is one of the old-school openers. But there is still room in a Test team of mine for an Alastair Cook.”

Gooch: “Apart from him and Jimmy Anderson, most of the current players have been brought up in the Twenty20 era. So Cook is a dying breed, that Test player who can occupy the crease and graft for his runs – it’s a priceless commodity. I’d like to think there’ll be someone else but I don’t see anyone on the horizon.”

Vaughan: “I hope the send-off Cook will get this week is a real lesson to everyone in cricket that if you play for a long time in Test cricket, that’s the send-off you get. If you’re a real legend – and Alastair Cook is – you get a week like this that you absolutely deserve.” But is he irreplaceable?

Gooch: “It will be very strange to see someone else walking out to open the batting for England in Test cricket.” Moores: “Maybe a completely new partnership will make it easier for somebody. It’s not always easy someone coming in with such a great record. It’s a fresh start and a chance for two new blokes to get in there and form a partnership that will hopefully be successful for the next few years.”

Collingwood: “They’re going to be difficult shoes to fill. Hopefully someone can put their hand up, come in and become a mainstay in the team.”

Farbrace: “There is a new selection group in place and it’ll be their job to make sure England have two good opening batsmen. When Cook finishes and we’re looking round at the experience you’re missing and the runs he scored, that is a massive hole for anybody to fill.”

Flower: “The game moves on and teams move on from great players. He will be missed, but there will be other hungry, strong, young Englishmen that will step in and step up. We all look forward to seeing that and Cook will look forward to seeing other young men developing themselves and challenging themselves in the international set-up.” And is he England’s greatest Test batsman?

Stewart: “If someone breaks his record of Test runs then they’ll be a very, very good player and it will take a long, long time to get there.”

Gooch: “He’s right up there. You could say there are more exciting and entertaining players to watch, but he would have to be ranked in the top two or three.”

 

U2 stop Berlin show over Bono voice issues

Bono was in Germany for the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour U2 fans were left disappointed when their Berlin show was cancelled after Bono lost his voice. The Irish band had played a handful of songs when the singer apologised to the crowd, saying: “I think we can’t go on. It’s not right for you.” Those at the Mercedes-Benz Arena were told there would be a short pause, but were later told the show was over. Bono promised another gig would be arranged. Some fans said Bono had announced that smoke machines had affected his voice. “Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice, ” U2 said in a statement.

“We don’t know what has happened and we’re taking medical advice,” the band added. ‘So sorry’ It was the second night of the European leg of U2’s Experience + Innocence tour, which had kicked off at the same venue on Friday night. Bono had been singing Red Flag Day when he lost his voice, according to those at the concert. U2 fan Paul Jones said: “During the fourth song, Red Flag Day, Bono’s voice deteriorated massively – he said it was something to do with the smoke that was set off.” He was trying to “soldier on” with the next song, Beautiful Day, when he called a stop to proceedings. In a video posted by a fan of the Saturday night concert, Bono appeared to be coughing and told fans he was “so sorry”. “I’m sure this is not a big, big problem – but I’m going to have to do something.” he said. “If people want to go home, that’s fine – we’ll play another show for you another time.” Bono said he needed a short break “to find out what’s happening” but then did not return. US actress Ashley Judd was at the concert and said “the crowd so felt for him” as he was “powerless and vulnerable”. Many fans said they understood and wished Bono well.

Another said Bono had appeared “visibly distressed” when he announced he was having to take a break. One fan said she had travelled from England for the gig for her partner’s 50th birthday – and was unlikely to be able to return for a rescheduled date. She told BBC News that Bono “complained his voice had gone due to smoke from smoke machines”. He said he would either cancel or take a short break, but after 30 minutes it was announced the concert was cancelled. Sharon said: “Very sad it’s cancelled but can’t be helped if he can’t sing.”

 

Anti-Semitism row: Corbyn has been misinterpreted, says close ally

Anti-Semitism row: Corbyn has been misinterpreted, says close ally

Corbyn a ‘danger’ to British Jews, says ex chief rabbi. Labour can resolve its anti-Semitism crisis quickly, John McDonnell has said, insisting Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Israel have been “misinterpreted”.

The shadow chancellor told the BBC that the party should accept in full the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance guidelines on anti-Semitism, as long as free speech was protected. But ex-Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks said Mr Corbyn must also “repent and recant”. And ex-PM Gordon Brown said Labour must act now or undermine its values. Speaking at a meeting of Jewish Labour MPs in London, Mr Brown said the party needed to be “cleansed of anti-Semitism and racism”. The party has been beset by arguments over the issue throughout the summer, prompting two MPs – John Woodcock and Frank Field – to resign the whip and others to threaten to do the same. Eighteen months of rancour within the party over claims of growing anti-Semitism came to a head last month when footage from 2013 emerged of Mr Corbyn saying a group of British Zionists had “no sense of English irony” despite a lifetime in the country. Labour MP Luciana Berger said it made her “feel unwelcome” in the party while Lord Sacks branded his comments as “the most offensive statement” by a politician since the late Conservative MP Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.

Ex-chief rabbi ‘wrong’ over Corbyn anti-Semitism attackSpeaking publicly for the first time since he made those remarks, the former chief rabbi told the Andrew Marr show he stood by his criticism of Mr Corbyn and suggested British Jews were considering leaving the country because of the prospect of him becoming prime minister. “Jeremy Corbyn must repent and recant as quickly as possible,” he said. “When people hear the kind of language that’s been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat.

Former MP Ivor Caplin, who is chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said it and other groups were only prepared to have a dialogue with Mr Corbyn if he made it “very clear” that he would take firm action against anti-Semites in the party and others engaging in “bad behaviour” at a local level. Amid growing warnings that Labour was facing a 1980s-style split, Mr McDonnell said the party must remain a “broad church” and he hoped Mr Field would “come back into the fold”. The Birkenhead MP, a former welfare minister, quit the Labour group at Westminster on Thursday over what he called the party’s “tolerance” of anti-Semitism and a “culture of nastiness”. While Labour MPs who resigned the whip should normally trigger a by-election, Mr McDonnell said in this case he did not want to “go anywhere near that” given Mr Field’s long service to the party.

 

Kris Boyson dumps Katie Price who moves on with Alex Adderson

Kris Boyson dumps Katie Price as he reveals they want different things

KRIS Boyson has ended his relationship with Katie Price. The fitness trainer took to Instagram today to reveal the news, admitting it was a difficult decision to make after around five months of dating.

Instagram Kris Boyson has dumped Katie Price The fitness trainer took to Instagram today to revealed the news, revealing it was a difficult decision to make Katie Price accidentally calls boyfriend Kris Boyson Kieran during a ghost hunt He told fans: “This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, however Katie Price and I are no longer together. “It’s just clear we both want different things… “Who knows what the future will bring but I wish her all the best.”

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A post shared by Kris Boyson (@krisboyson) on

Just yesterday Kris told fans he was missing Katie, who is currently believed to be away on a hen do, but he seems to have had a u-turn in the last 12 hours. The decision comes just days after the couple attempted to fix their relationship with a make or break trip to Scotland.

Katie had been out with minted high-flyer Alex Adderson behind Kris’ back, which left their romance on the rocks. Former glamour model Katie met the loaded hunk through mutual friends a few weeks ago and the pair are said to have “hit it off” immediately. Katie was later pictured holding Alex’s hand as they left The Blue Boar in Abridge. Alex has also taken Katie for fancy nights out in central London and told punters in The Blacksmiths Arms in Adversane, West Sussex, on Thursday that she was “dumping Kris”. Katie had been out with minted high-flyer Alex Adderson behind Kris’ back, leaving their romance on the rocks.

Since Kris’ Instagram message of the break-up yesterday, Katie has moved on – as seen in the below photos –

Man jailed for plot to kill Theresa May

A man who plotted to kill the prime minister in a suicide attack has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years. Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 21, from north London, was convicted last month of preparing acts of terrorism. Rahman had planned to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun. Sentencing him, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Rahman “would have carried out his attack” had he not been arrested. Rahman was captured by an undercover operation involving the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI. He was arrested moments after collecting a bag and jacket from an undercover operative that he believed had been fitted with explosives. The judge said: “I am sure that at all material times Rahman believed the devices to be real and capable of causing serious harm.” He added that the undercover officers involved in the case were “scrupulous” at all times and Rahman was the “instigator and author” of his own actions. How Rahman was caught By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani Rahman made contact with IS recruiters via social media – but unbeknown to him the contact was actually an FBI agent. That agent referred Rahman to an MI5 team of online role players who convinced him that they were genuine IS figures. “I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament,” Rahman told the MI5 role players. “I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. All I need now is a sleeper cell to lay low for now.”

Undercover officers gave Rahman a fake bomb Rahman, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said, had been “told and believed” that the rucksack bomb given to him was “capable of causing casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena”, where 22 people were killed. Rahman’s lawyer argued he had been brainwashed by his uncle – who was later killed in a drone strike while fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria – and said his client had not intended to go through with the plot. But a probation report read to the court by the judge revealed that Rahman had admitted in prison he would have carried out the attack had he been able to. A pre-sentence report described him as a “clever and cunning” young man who had the potential to “operate below the radar to dreadful effect”. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Rahman he would have “plenty of time” to study the Koran in prison, adding that Islam was “a religion of peace”. The judge added that Rahman – originally from Birmingham – was a “very dangerous individual” and it was hard to predict if he will ever be de-radicalised. Image copyright Met Police Image caption The jacket was filled with fake explosives

During his Old Bailey trial, Rahman pleaded guilty to a separate charge of engaging in conduct which assisted the preparation of terrorist acts, which related to a “sponsorship” video he filmed for an associate who allegedly wanted to join IS in Libya. In addition to the life sentence, Rahman was handed six years in prison for the IS sponsorship video. The sentences will run concurrently, rather than consecutively.