Sri Lanka attacks: ‘International network’ linked to deadly bombings

Media playback is unsupported on your device A wave of bombings that killed 290 people in Sri Lanka on Sunday was carried out with the support of an international network, officials say. The government blamed a previously unknown local jihadist group, National Towheed Jamath, for the attacks, but said it had help from abroad. Another 500 people were injured in the suicide attacks on churches and hotels. A nationwide emergency will be declared from midnight on Monday, the president’s office has said. Police have arrested 24 people in a series…

Sri Lanka attacks: Country under curfew after bomb attacks kill 200

Media playback is unsupported on your device Sri Lanka has been placed under a nationwide curfew, as the government responds to a string of deadly bomb attacks on Sunday. More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more injured in eight blasts that targeted busy luxury hotels and Easter services at churches. The government has not yet attributed blame for the attacks. There are also reports of social media networks being temporarily limited to try and stop misinformation spreading. Popular messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook are said to be…

Sri Lanka explosions: 30 killed as churches and hotels targeted

Media playback is unsupported on your device At least 50 people are reported to have been killed and more than 200 injured in explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. At least six explosions have been reported. Three churches in Kochchikade, Negombo and Batticaloa were targeted during Easter services. The Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels, all in Colombo, were also hit. Easter Sunday is one of the major feasts in the Christian calendar. Images on social media showed the inside of one of the churches – St…

Brexit: Labour must back another referendum – Tom Watson

Labour must promise another Brexit referendum to counter the electoral challenge posed by Nigel Farage, the party’s deputy leader has said. Writing in the Observer, Tom Watson said his party could not « sit on the fence » about the biggest issue to face the UK for a generation. But ex-UKIP leader Mr Farage said a new referendum would be « a total insult » to five million Labour Leave voters. The UK has been given an extension to the Brexit process until 31 October. This means the UK is…

Sudan crisis: Cash hoard found at al-Bashir’s home

A large hoard of cash has been found at the home of Sudan’s ousted president Omar al-Bashir and he is now being investigated for money laundering, prosecutors say. Security services found euros, dollars and Sudanese pounds totalling more than $130m (£100m). The ex-leader was placed under house arrest after months of protests led to his removal. Reports say Mr Bashir is now being held at the Kobar high-security prison. A source in Sudan’s judiciary told Reuters news agency that suitcases loaded with more than $351,000, €6m ($6.7m; £5.2m) and five…

Extinction Rebellion: Met Police asks for 200 extra officers

The Met Police has requested about 200 extra officers from neighbouring forces to help deal with the Extinction Rebellion protests in central London. Oxford Circus was reopened to traffic on Saturday afternoon after officers cleared demonstrators. Protesters continue to occupy Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square. The Met said 750 people have been arrested and 28 have been charged. Commissioner Cressida Dick said it had caused « miserable disruption ». « Every day we have had over 1,000 officers – and now over 1,500 officers – working to police these protests,…

Lyra McKee: Killing has led to ‘palpable change’ in community sentiment towards policing

Media playback is unsupported on your device The killing of journalist Lyra McKee has led to a « palpable change » in community sentiment in support of policing, a senior detective has said. Ms McKee, 29, was shot while observing rioting in Londonderry’s Creggan estate in Northern Ireland on Thursday night. Two teenage men, aged 18 and 19, have been arrested and are being held under the Terrorism Act. On Saturday, Det Supt Jason Murphy, who is leading the investigation, urged people to come forward. He said there was a…

UK weather: Hottest day of the year, says Met Office

The Met Office has confirmed Saturday as the hottest day of the year, with 25.5C recorded in Gosport, Hampshire. And the UK is set for record-breaking temperatures over the rest of the Easter weekend, forecasters have said. Temperatures are expected to climb to 26C on Easter Sunday and 27C on Monday, though north-west Scotland could be clipped by outbursts of rain. The record temperature for Easter Sunday in the UK is 25.3C reached in Solent, Hampshire in April 2011. The Solent also lays claim to the hottest Easter Monday with…

Yellow vest protests: Paris police fire tear gas at demonstrators

Police in Paris have fired tear gas and arrested more than 100 people as part of the latest anti-government protests by France’s yellow vest movement. A number of motorbikes have been set on fire and the protesters have been banned from the area around the Notre-Dame cathedral, which was badly damaged in a huge fire earlier this week, in order to protect the structure. Source: BBC

Lyra McKee: Two teenagers arrested under Terrorism Act

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee. The men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested under the Terrorism Act. They have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime suite. Miss McKee, 29, was struck by a bullet as she was observing rioting in Londonderry on Thursday night. Source: BBC

Lyra McKee: Police release footage of suspected gunman

Media playback is unsupported on your device Detectives hunting the killer of journalist Lyra McKee have released footage of the shooting as they appeal for help from the local community. The 29-year-old was struck by a bullet as she was observing rioting in Londonderry on Thursday night. Police have blamed dissident republicans for the murder and believe more than one person was involved. CCTV captures Ms McKee’s final moments in the crowd and mobile phone footage shows the suspected gunman. In the video, the masked attacker leans from behind cover…

Turpin captivity case: Children forgive parents for torture

Media playback is unsupported on your device A California couple’s children have forgiven them for years of torture and starvation as the parents were sentenced to life in prison. David and Louise Turpin’s children told a court they still loved their mother and father despite all the abuse. The couple were arrested in January 2018 when their 17-year-old daughter escaped the filthy home in Perris. The Turpins pleaded guilty to the abuse of all but one of their 13 children for at least nine years. They are expected to serve…

Hacking ‘hero’ Marcus Hutchins pleads guilty to US malware charges

A British man hailed as a hero for stopping a global cyber-attack that was threatening the NHS has pleaded guilty to US malware charges. Marcus Hutchins, 24, has pleaded guilty to two charges related to writing malware – or malicious software – court documents show. Writing on his website, Hutchins said he regretted his actions and accepted « full responsibility for my mistakes ». Hutchins has been held in the US since he was arrested by the FBI in 2017. « As you may be aware, I’ve pleaded guilty to…

Are plants a necessity or a luxury?

A new campaign says we should pay less tax on plants because they are good for the environment and mental health. It’s being backed by the National Garden Scheme at a time when house plants are becoming increasingly popular – particularly among young people who can’t afford gardens. In the UK, plants which don’t produce food are subject to full VAT (Value Added Tax) at a rate of 20%. Whereas in other European countries, it can be at least half that. Source: BBC

Targeted checks ‘prevent one-in-10 heart attacks’

Nearly one-in-10 heart attacks and strokes in England and Wales could be prevented if routine check-ups were better targeted, say researchers. Currently, people aged 40 and over are eligible to have their heart health assessed every five years. But UCL scientists say people at low risk are being checked too often while those considered at high risk are not checked often enough. They say a personalised approach could save lives without costing any more. Chances of a heart attack or stroke can be worked out by looking at risk factors…

Lyra McKee: Murdered journalist’s ‘dreams snuffed out’

A journalist who was shot dead during rioting in Northern Ireland had her dreams « snuffed out by a single barbaric act », her partner has said. Lyra McKee, 29, was struck by a bullet as she was observing the violence in Londonderry on Thursday night. Police have started a murder inquiry and are blaming dissident republicans for the killing. At a vigil in Derry, Sara Canning said she had been left without « the woman I was planning to grown old with ». Journalist shot dead during Derry rioting…

Mueller report: Subpoena issued for unredacted version

Media playback is unsupported on your device A subpoena demanding the release of the full report into Russian meddling during the 2016 election has been issued, amid claims the current version « leaves most of Congress in the dark ». Democrat Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House judiciary committee, argued they are entitled to an unredacted version. Democrats have promised to continue pursuing Donald Trump following the release of the report on Thursday. But Mr Trump’s legal team argues it completely exonerates the president. The 448-page redacted document is the…

Extinction Rebellion: Police move in on London protesters

Hundreds of police officers have closed in on Extinction Rebellion protesters in central London as demonstrations entered a fifth day. Officers surrounded a pink boat in Oxford Circus as actress Dame Emma Thompson told activists her generation had « failed young people ». More than 570 people have been arrested at protests this week in Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Waterloo Bridge Dame Emma joined the protests after flying from Los Angeles on Thursday. She said: « We are here in this little island of sanity and it makes me…

Two women die in Aberdeen beach swimming tragedy

Two women have died after getting into difficulties while swimming in the sea at Aberdeen beach in the early hours of the morning. Police said the victims, aged 22 and 36, were foreign nationals who were living in the city. The women have not yet been named. Emergency services were called to the Beach Esplanade at about 00:45 after reports of two people in the water. The women were pulled from the sea and taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. However, Ch Insp Martin Mackay of Police Scotland said that they…

Holyhead crossbow shooting: Man, 74, in critical condition

A 74-year-old man has suffered « significant life-threatening injuries » after being shot with a crossbow. It happened outside his home in a remote area near South Stack Road in Holyhead, Anglesey, in the early hours. North Wales Police said the victim was trying to fix a satellite dish on his home when he was hit with the bolt. He managed to get back inside and raised the alarm at about 00:30 BST on Friday and remains in a critical condition at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor. Hospital staff alerted police…

Lyra McKee: Journalist shot dead during Derry rioting

A journalist has been shot dead during rioting in Londonderry that police are treating as a « terrorist incident ». Dissident republicans are being blamed for killing 29-year-old Lyra McKee during rioting after police searches in Derry’s Creggan area on Thursday night. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the New IRA « are likely to be the ones behind this » and detectives have started a murder inquiry. Prime Minister Theresa May said the murder was « shocking and senseless ». Profile: Lyra McKee – ‘Her commitment to…

Mueller report: Democrats keep pressure on Trump over Russia

Media playback is unsupported on your device Democrats are keeping up pressure on President Donald Trump following the long-awaited release of a report into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. They want Robert Mueller, the man who collated the report, to publicly testify before congress about the work he has done. The redacted report, which was released on Thursday, reveals the president tried to get Mr Mueller fired. Mr Trump’s legal team has described its release as a « total victory ». The 448-page redacted document is the result of…

Woman shot dead in Derry after rioting in the city

Media playback is unsupported on your device A 29-year-old woman has been shot dead in Londonderry in what police are treating as a « terrorist incident ». Dissident Republicans are being blamed for the killing, which happened during rioting after police searches in Derry’s Creggan area on Thursday night. Petrol bombs were also thrown at police Land Rovers. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the police were « treating the shooting as a terrorist incident » and a murder inquiry had been launched. There are reports that the trouble broke…

Libya crisis: PM Fayez al-Serraj condemns ‘silence’ of allies

The UN-backed PM of Libya has condemned the « silence » of his international allies as opposing forces advance on the capital Tripoli. Fayez al-Serraj is facing down an insurgency led by eastern commander Gen Khalifa Haftar. More than 205 people have been killed since fighting began on 4 April, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. As violence continues, Mr Serraj told the BBC his people were starting to feel abandoned by the world. Why is Libya so lawless? Who is military strongman Khalifa Haftar? He said failure to support…

Santorini deaths: London teachers killed in buggy crash

A British couple killed in a buggy crash on the Greek island of Santorini have been named as two teachers who worked in south London. Milly and Toby Savill had been driving on the Profitis Ilias mountain when the vehicle fell into a 200-metre ravine on Sunday afternoon, local media reported. Mrs Savill’s father, Steve Coulson, paid tribute to the couple saying they « were utterly devoted to one another ». The Foreign Office said it was in contact with the Greek authorities. Mr Coulson, a vicar at St Mark’s…

Trump Russia investigation: Attorney General Barr backs Trump

US Attorney General William Barr has reiterated that investigators found « no collusion » between President Trump’s election campaign and Russia. Mr Barr held a news conference on Thursday morning ahead of the long-awaited release of the special counsel report into Russian collusion. Mr Barr is facing heavy criticism from senior Democrats over his impartiality and handling of its publication. The redacted 400-page report will be made public later on Thursday. The Attorney-General also revealed for the first time that Mr Mueller’s report examined 10 episodes pertaining to Trump and…

Alan García: Peru former president kills himself

Former Peruvian President Alan García has died after shooting himself as police arrived at his home to arrest him over bribery allegations. Mr García was rushed to hospital in the capital, Lima. His death was confirmed by current President Martín Vizcarra. A crowd of supporters gathered outside the hospital and were held back by a line of police. Mr García was accused of taking bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht – claims he denied. Officers had been sent to arrest him in connection with the allegations. Interior Minister Carlos Morán…

Notre-Dame fire: International call for architects to design new spire

Media playback is unsupported on your device France is to invite architects from around the world to submit their designs for a new spire to sit atop a renovated Notre-Dame cathedral. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters they hoped for « a new spire that is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era ». The spire was completely destroyed in the blaze that tore through the 850-year-old Gothic building’s roof. The entire cathedral was minutes away from total destruction, officials say. However, much of the Parisian building…

UK universities face ‘gagging order’ criticism

Media playback is unsupported on your device UK universities are being accused of using « gagging orders » to stop bullying, discrimination and sexual misconduct allegations becoming public. Dozens of academics have told BBC News they were « harassed » out of their jobs and made to sign non-disclosure agreements after making complaints. Figures obtained by the BBC show UK universities spent about £87m on pay-offs with NDAs since 2017. Universities UK says using NDAs to keep victims quiet should not be tolerated. Non-disclosure agreements were designed to stop staff…

The Priory fined £300k over death of 14-year-old girl

The Priory healthcare group has been fined £300,000 over the death of a child at one of its hospitals. Amy El-Keria, 14, was found hanged in her room at the Priory in Ticehurst, East Sussex, in November 2012. The private company, which runs mental health services as part of an NHS contract, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court. In 2016, an inquest found her death may have been prevented if she had received proper care. ‘Historic day’ The Health and Safety Executive pursued a criminal investigation and the company admitted…