Contaminated blood scandal: Inquiry ‘must uncover truth’

Emotional testimonies from people infected with HIV and hepatitis have been heard at the start of the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal. The public inquiry is looking at how thousands of NHS patients were given infected blood products during the 1970s and 1980s in what has been dubbed the worst-ever NHS treatment disaster. In a video played to the inquiry, one man described how he felt he lost his entire life after finding out at the age of 43 that he had been infected with hepatitis C when he…

Pret baguette inquest: Plea for help after allergic reaction

A 15-year-old girl who died after a severe allergic reaction to a baguette from an airport Pret a Manger said « Daddy, help me » as she struggled to breathe, an inquest has heard. Natasha Ednan-Laperouse became ill on a flight to Nice on 17 July 2016. Despite her father administering two EpiPen injections, Natasha died in a hospital in Nice within hours, West London Coroner’s Court heard. Pret a Manger said it was « deeply saddened » by her death. Natasha from Fulham, west London, ate an artichoke, olive…

Trump says Brett Kavanaugh accusations ‘totally political’

US President Donald Trump says sexual misconduct claims against his Supreme Court nominee are « totally political », as a second woman came forward. Speaking at the United Nations in New York on Monday, Mr Trump said Brett Kavanaugh is « outstanding », adding: « I am with him all the way. » The latest allegation is that the nominee once exposed his genitals to a Yale University classmate at a party. The judge has denied both claims, labelling the latest « a smear ». The nomination battle is so…

Monthly rubbish bin collection launched

Media playback is unsupported on your device Controversial monthly bin collections will be rolled out across a county on Monday – the first area in the whole of England and in Wales to make the move. Waste destined for landfill will now only be collected once a month in Conwy county following a trial. It has been met with controversy, with residents and councillors calling it « unfair » and claiming the trial brought more rats, seagulls and flies. The council said it could save £390,000 a year and concerns…

Weight Watchers slims down in rebrand

Weight Watchers has unveiled a slimmed down version of its name, rebranding itself WW, in what it says marks « the next stage of the company’s evolution ». The company says the new name reflects its development from focusing on weight loss to overall health and wellness. But the chief executive was unable to explain what the letters WW stood for. Mindy Grossman said they did not stand for Weight Watchers or « Wellness that Works », a phrase the company has trade marked, but were simply « a marque…

Brexit: Labour conference vote wording agreed

Labour members are to vote on keeping « all options on the table » on Brexit, including possibly campaigning for a new referendum, the BBC understands. A source said the party’s ruling body had agreed on the conference motion on what the party should do about Brexit if it cannot get a general election. Leader Jeremy Corbyn had previously said he would prefer the issue to be resolved by a general election. But he has accepted he would be « bound » by the outcome of a conference vote. ‘Consensus…

U.S. says won’t hesitate to impose sanctions over fuel to North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Saturday that Washington would not wait to impose sanctions on any shippers helping to get fuel to North Korea, in an apparent warning to Russia days after the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations accused Moscow of cheating on the measures. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during joint news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 19, 2018. Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool via REUTERSNorth Korea continues to employ tactics to evade U.N. sanctions, Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, said in…

Brexit: Labour ‘must listen’ to members on new vote, says Tom Watson

Labour should be prepared to back demands for a new Brexit referendum, deputy leader Tom Watson has said. He told the Observer he would prefer Brexit to be debated in an election but if members favour another public vote, their views must be respected. A poll for the paper suggests 86% of members want a final say on the UK’s future relationship with Europe. Mr Watson said there could be « pressure » to commit to another Brexit vote in its next election manifesto. The party has never formally rejected…

Brett Kavanaugh: Judge accuser agrees to testify next week

The woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has agreed to testify against him next week. Lawyers for Dr Christine Blasey Ford said she accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s request to appear before them to be questioned on the alleged attack at a party in 1982. Some reports say she will testify on Wednesday or Thursday. Judge Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations. The allegations, which emerged in the US media last week, have delayed Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Dr Ford, a university professor,…

Sky: Comcast outbids Fox with £30bn bid for broadcaster

US cable giant Comcast has submitted the winning bid in the auction for broadcaster Sky, valuing the company at more than £30bn. Comcast beat Rupert Murdoch’s Fox in a rare blind auction process set by the UK’s Takeover Panel. The firm’s chairman and chief executive said it was « a great day for Comcast ». Sky is now expected to recommend the bid to shareholders before offer documents are sent out. The UK company’s 23m subscribers and Premier League football rights make it one of Europe’s most profitable TV companies.…

Theresa May: EU must respect UK in Brexit talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said the EU must treat the UK with more « respect » in Brexit negotiations. In a statement at Downing Street she said for EU leaders to reject her plan with no alternative at this « late stage of negotiations » was « not acceptable ». She said talks had reached an « impasse » and could only be unblocked with « serious engagement » from the EU side. At an EU summit on Thursday, European Council…

NHS to save ‘hundreds of millions’ in landmark drug ruling in England

A landmark ruling against two leading drug companies could save the NHS in England « hundreds of millions » a year. Novartis and Bayer were trying to stop NHS doctors from prescribing a cheaper treatment for a serious eye condition. Health bosses said the judgement in the High Court may reduce the power of companies to set prices. Drug company Novartis said they were « disappointed » because patients were being asked to accept an unlicensed treatment to save the NHS money. The case centred on the treatment of patients…

Brett Kavanaugh nomination: Trump challenges accuser

President Donald Trump has challenged the woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, demanding she provide evidence. Mr Trump questioned why the FBI was not called at the time of the alleged assault, in 1982, if it was « as bad as she says ». The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has been held up while the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford are assessed. Both have agreed to testify before a Senate committee. However, Prof Ford has set out conditions for her appearance which have yet to…

Harry Uzoka death: Men jailed for rival model murder

Three men have been jailed for killing a model in a row over his girlfriend. Harry Uzoka, 25, was stabbed in the heart by fellow model George Koh in west London in January after after he went to settle the dispute. Koh, convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in August, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years. Merse Dikanda was also found guilty of murder and jailed for at least 22 years, and Jonathan Okigbo was given a 14-year sentence for manslaughter. Although initially friendly,…

60,000 bees found in hospital roof

More than 60,000 bees have been found in the roof of a hospital building. Staff at Fulbourn Hospital in Cambridge called in experts after noticing a large number of bees flying in and out of the Beechcroft building, which houses staff but is not open to patients. They said « honey oozed » from the between gaps in the brick and plasterwork when a roof panel was removed on 10 September. The Tree Bee Society took 12 hours to remove the bees, which they say had probably been there for…

Brexit: EU must compromise or no deal, says minister

Cabinet minister Chris Grayling has said there will be no deal with the EU on Brexit if it does not soften its position on the Irish border. His comments come after EU leaders rejected Theresa May’s Chequers plan at their Salzburg summit on Thursday. EU chief Donald Tusk said a key part of that plan « will not work » but the prime minister said it was the only credible way to avoid a hard Irish border. Mr Grayling told the BBC he was still confident a deal could be…

Police ‘aware’ undercover officer was in relationship

Police have admitted for the first time that an undercover officer had a sexual relationship with an environmental activist with the knowledge of bosses. Legal documents seen by the BBC reveal they knew about Mark Kennedy’s relationship with Kate Wilson and allowed it to continue. She was among several women he had relationships with while undercover. In public statements to date, police have maintained such relationships would never have been sanctioned. Posing as an environmental campaigner, Mark Stone, the police spy began a two-year relationship with Ms Wilson in 2003.…

Lake Victoria, Tanzania: Dozens drown in ferry capsize

At least 42 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania. One official told the Reuters news agency the number who drowned could be more than 200. Rescue efforts have been halted until dawn on Friday. The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near the shore between the islands of Ukora and Bugolora. It is thought the overloaded vessel toppled over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked. Officials have said the ferry was carrying more than 400 passengers. About 100…

British jihadis refusing to leave Syria

Jihadists from the UK are still fighting in Idlib – some of the last British extremists in Syria – and some are allied to the al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, once know as the Nusra front. It’s accused of torture and random killings, is a terrorist group in the eyes of most governments, and it has Idlib in its grip. The BBC has spoken exclusively to two British extremists who have lived and fought in Syria for years. They say they won’t lay down their weapons for anyone. Quentin Sommerville…

Brexit: EU leaders warn time is running out for a deal

Leaders of European countries have warned time is running out for a Brexit deal ahead of more talks in Salzburg. There is still no agreement on issues including how to avoid new checks on the Northern Irish border. At the EU summit on Wednesday evening Mrs May stressed her « serious » proposals for future co-operation would ensure a « shared closed relationship ». European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker described her 10-minute presentation as « interesting ». « It was polite, it was not aggressive, she was doing her job,…

Train delays: ‘Lack of accountability’ led to rail timetable chaos

Media playback is unsupported on your device « No-one took charge » during the timetable chaos that caused severe disruption on Britain’s railways in May, a regulator has said. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) blamed a lack of « responsibility and accountability » and said passengers were « badly treated ». It said track manager Network Rail, two train operators and the Department for Transport « had all made mistakes ». It came as the government promised a major review of Britain’s railways. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling –…

James Bond: Cary Fukunaga to direct next James Bond film

Maniac director Cary Fukunaga has been named as the director of the next James Bond film. Fukunaga, replaces Danny Boyle, who dropped out, blaming « creative differences ». Producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli praised Fukunaga’s « versatility and innovation ». He recently directed Netflix’s dark comedy Maniac, starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, and 2015’s Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba. Bond’s producers added he was an « excellent choice » and they were « delighted » to be working with him. David Mackenzie, Yann Demange and…

Salisbury incident: Hoax ‘likely’ to be one line of inquiry

A hoax is likely to be one line of inquiry after a couple apparently fell ill in a Salisbury restaurant on Sunday prompting a major incident, police sources have told the BBC. Alex King, 42, was admitted to hospital with his wife, six months after a nerve agent attack in the same city. Mr King is a convicted criminal and once hoaxed Prince Charles. Police sources said until the man had been spoken to, « we can’t rule anything in or out ». On Tuesday, Mr King’s wife, Anna Shapiro,…

Clean-up after Storm Ali’s destruction

Thousands of homes are without power, lorries have overturned and a cruise ship broke free from its moorings as Storm Ali hit parts of Britain and Ireland. A woman died after the caravan she was in was blown off a cliff in the Irish Republic, while in Northern Ireland a man was killed by a falling tree. Source: BBC

Brexit: Theresa May tells EU ‘don’t demand the unacceptable’

Theresa May says the EU must « evolve » its stance on the Irish border as she prepares to make the case for her Brexit plans to other European leaders. In Salzburg, the PM welcomed the EU’s recognition its initial proposal to avoid a hard border in Ireland was « unacceptable ». It comes after EU negotiator Michel Barnier suggested a shift in tone on his controversial « backstop » plan. Mrs May said her own Chequers plan would ensure « frictionless trade ». The UK and EU both want…

Woman dies after caravan blown off cliff

A woman has died after a caravan was blown off a cliff in the Republic of Ireland, as parts of the British Isles have been battered by Storm Ali. The woman in her 50s died after the caravan was swept away in Claddaghduff, County Galway, at about 07:45 BST. An amber, « be prepared », weather warning is in force from 08:00 BST in Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England. Source: BBC

With metal skulls and horns, Turkish artist re-interprets ancient stories

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – In a disused hangar in Istanbul, Turkish artist Ahmet Gunestekin uses thousands of metal human skulls and twisting, spiky animal horns to re-tell some ancient myths in a towering, fearsome installation. Gunestekin says his work “Chamber of Immortality” draws on the Epic of Gilgamesh – the Sumerian king who tried in vain to find the secret of everlasting life, and on the closely related Biblical story of Noah, whose ark some believe landed on Mount Ararat, Turkey’s highest peak. The centerpiece is an enormous metal skull with…

Che Guevara poster artist looks back on 50 revolutionary years

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Fifty years after creating the Che Guevara poster that still adorns student bedrooms around the world, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick is delighted at its ubiquity, but concerned at its exploitation for commercial gain. Fitzpatrick created the image in 1968 from a photograph of the Argentine Marxist revolutionary taken in 1960 by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda, and made it available for free to anyone who wanted to use it.  It was quickly adopted by left-wing movements, appearing on T-shirts, posters and leaflets, but has also been used by…

Brexit: EU ‘ready to improve’ Irish border proposal

The EU is « ready to improve » its offer on the Irish border, Michel Barnier has said as he warned the « moment of truth » was nearing for Brexit negotiations. The EU’s negotiator said he wanted most new physical checks to be carried out away from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a key demand of Conservative MPs. He also said any backstop solution must respect the UK’s territorial integrity. It comes as Theresa May prepares to win support for her plans from EU…

‘No preference’ for EU workers post-Brexit

EU workers should be given « no preference » for visas to come to the UK after Brexit, says a new report. The Migration Advisory Committee also recommends that it should be easier for higher-skilled workers to migrate to the country. It has called on the government to scrap a limit on high-skilled workers altogether – currently 20,700 each year for those from non-EU countries. The government has said it will « carefully consider » the proposals. More than 400 businesses, industry bodies and government departments gave evidence to the…