Italy bridge: State of emergency follows Genoa disaster

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has declared a 12-month state of emergency in the Liguria region in response to the motorway bridge collapse in Genoa. He also said he would make €5m ($5.7m) available from central funds. The regional government had requested the action following Tuesday’s collapse, which left 39 people dead. There has been anger and disbelief in Italy that such a vital structure could have simply given way. Rescuers have said there is little hope of finding more survivors underneath the Morandi bridge, where almost 40 vehicles fell…

‘Everyone was screaming to run’

In driving rain, brake lights suddenly illuminated an Italian motorway. Then the screaming started. « Out, out now. Collapse. » A UK family have told the PCF of their terror, after being caught up in the collapse of a bridge in Genoa on Tuesday which killed at least 39 people. Nicola and Lisa Henton-Mitchell, from Bicester, Oxfordshire, were four days into a three-week holiday with their two children when they were forced to abandon their hire car and run for their lives. « We had stopped at a service station…

Westminster crash: Salih Khater named as suspect

The man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament has been named as Salih Khater by government sources. The 29-year-old British citizen, originally from Sudan, has also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Met Police said on Wednesday. He came to the UK as a refugee and was granted asylum, the PCF understands. His brother described him as a « normal person » with no fanatical ideas, and no links to any religious group. Abdullah Khater also said his family –…

Sir Cliff Richard privacy case: BBC will not go to Court of Appeal

The PCF will not challenge a ruling over its coverage of a police raid at Sir Cliff Richard’s home in 2014 at the Court of Appeal. A High Court judge ruled the PCF had infringed the singer’s privacy, awarding him £210,000 in damages in July, and refused leave to appeal. The corporation will now seek advice from the attorney general over the ruling’s impact on future reporting. « There is a fundamental principle of press freedom at stake, » the PCF said. A spokesperson for Sir Cliff said he welcomed…

Tesla ‘to be probed by regulators’ over privatisation plan

Shares in Tesla have fallen 4% on reports that US regulators are seeking to question executives at the firm about its privatisation plans. Fox News tweeted that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent subpoenas to the electric carmaker and was « ramping up » its investigation. Last week, boss Elon Musk said he was considering taking Tesla private, but some have questioned his intentions. Both Tesla and the SEC declined to comment on the Fox report. On Tuesday, Tesla’s board of directors said it had not received…

Italy bridge: Genoa motorway bridge collapses kills at least 11

A motorway bridge has collapsed near the Italian city of Genoa, sending vehicles plummeting some 100m (328ft) to the ground and killing at least 11 people, local media report. Italian Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli said it was likely to be « an immense tragedy ». Local emergency officials have been quoted as saying « dozens » died. Video footage appears to show one of the towers holding up the suspension bridge collapsing in stormy weather. The police linked the disaster to what they called a violent cloudburst. Live updates on…

Parliament car crash: Man arrested as pedestrians injured

A number of people have been injured after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament, Scotland Yard say. Armed police, ambulances and firefighters are responding to the incident in central London, which happened shortly after 07:30 BST. Officers were seen surrounding the vehicle before a man was arrested. Streets around Millbank, Parliament Square and Victoria Tower Gardens have been cordoned off. Members of the public and press have been moved further back from the area as police put up a Terrorism Act cordon, officers at the…

Social housing proposals ‘to give tenants greater power’

Giving tenants greater support so they can hold their landlords to account is being considered as part of government proposals on social housing. The measures include speeding up the complaints process and publishing league tables to highlight the performance of landlords. The government said its « new deal » would « rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords ». Labour said the « pitiful » Green Paper did not address the housing crisis. The latest announcement comes a day after the government unveiled its £100m strategy to tackle rough sleeping…

Jeremy Corbyn ‘wreath laying’ attacked by Israeli PM

Media playback is unsupported on your device Israel’s PM has criticised Jeremy Corbyn over his presence at a ceremony said to have honoured the perpetrators of the 1972 Munich terror attack. Benjamin Netanyahu said Mr Corbyn deserved « unequivocal condemnation » for laying a wreath on the grave of one of those behind the atrocity. The Labour leader said Mr Netanyahu’s claims about his « actions are false ». Mr Corbyn said he had attended the event in Tunis in 2014 as part of a wider event about the search…

Struck-off Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba wins appeal to work again

A doctor who was struck off over the death of a six-year-old boy has won her appeal to practise medicine again. Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence in 2015 over the death of Jack Adcock, who died of sepsis in 2011. She was struck off in January 2018. Her appeal was funded by medics because they said the ruling would discourage practitioners from being open when reviewing mistakes. Live updates from the East Midlands Dr Bawa-Garba had been suspended from the medical register for a year…

Moss Side shooting: Ten people in hospital

Ten people are in hospital after shots were fired in the Moss Side area of Manchester. Police said victims suffered « minor to major injuries », which did not appear to be life-threatening. Armed police were called to the shooting in Claremont Road at about 02:30 BST. Several people were in the area after the first day of this weekend’s Caribbean Carnival in Alexandra Park, Greater Manchester Police said. The annual event, which has been held every summer since 1972, usually draws thousands of people. Moss Side anti-violence campaigner Dr…

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa launches mission to ‘touch the Sun’

Media playback is unsupported on your device US space agency Nasa has launched its mission to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any before. The rocket carrying the Parker Solar Probe shot up into the sky from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It came after a failed attempt the previous day, when a last-minute alarm caused the agency to miss its 65-minute weather window. The probe is set to become the fastest-moving manmade object in history. Its data promises to crack longstanding mysteries about the Sun’s behaviour. What will the…

Stolen plane closes Seattle-Tacoma airport before crashing

Media playback is unsupported on your device An airline employee who stole an empty passenger plane from Seattle airport has crashed on a nearby island. Authorities said the man had made « an unauthorised take-off » late on Friday local time, forcing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to close. Two F15 fighter jets pursued the plane. It is unclear if the man survived the crash in Puget Sound. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said it was « not a terrorist incident », adding the man was local and aged 29. Pierce County…

House of Fraser bought by Sports Direct for £90m

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has agreed to buy the House of Fraser department store chain for £90m. Earlier on Friday, House of Fraser went into administration after talks between the retailer and its creditors failed to reach an agreement. All of its 59 shops were set to open as usual on Friday, including the 31 that had already been marked for closure. House of Fraser – which began trading 169 years ago – employs 17,500 people, including 11,500 concession staff. Sports Direct said in a statement: « The group has…

Child abuse inquiry: School ‘reputations put before victims’

Two leading Roman Catholic schools « prioritised monks and their own reputations over the protection of children », a report says. « Appalling » abuse was inflicted on pupils at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset over 40 years, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said. But, the report said, both institutions attempted to cover up the allegations. Ten individuals, including monks, have been convicted or cautioned for abuse. The report, based on evidence heard by the IICSA’s investigation of the Roman Catholic Church and the…

Ben Stokes trial: Cricketer ‘stepped in’ to defend two gay men

Media playback is unsupported on your device England cricketer Ben Stokes has told a court he « stepped in » to defend two gay men before an alleged brawl outside a nightclub. The Durham all-rounder is one of two men accused of fighting in Bristol on 25 September 2017. At Bristol Crown Court Mr Stokes, 27, denies affray and in his evidence said he was not drunk on the night. Ryan Ali, 28, has also pleaded not guilty to affray while Ryan Hale, 27, was acquitted of affray earlier. Giving…

Johnson facing Tory probe over burka comments

Boris Johnson is facing a possible investigation into breaches of the Conservative Party code of conduct. The party has received a number of complaints about the former foreign secretary’s comments about women wearing burkas, who he said looked like letter boxes. The complaints will be looked at by an independent panel. A Conservative Party spokesman said: « The code of conduct process is strictly confidential. » Mr Johnson has rejected calls to apologise for his remarks, in a Daily Telegraph column opposing a ban on full face veils. Source: The…

Ben Stokes trial jury shown bodycam arrest video

Bodycam footage showing the moment cricketer Ben Stokes was arrested has been released. The Durham all-rounder is one of three men accused of being involved in a confrontation in Bristol on 25 September. The police footage was shown to jurors at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday. Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, have been charged with affray alongside Mr Stokes. All three deny the charges. Source: The Guardian

Skripal attack: US to sanction Russia over nerve agent poisoning

The US is to impose sanctions on Russia after determining that it used nerve agent against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in the UK in March. The move was announced on Wednesday by the US state department. Sergei and Yulia Skripal were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury, England, on 4 March. They were seriously ill but later made a full recovery after spending several weeks in hospital. Russia has strongly denied playing any role in the attack. « The United…

Boris Johnson faces growing criticism over burka jibe

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson is facing growing criticism over his remark that Muslim women wearing the burka « look like letter boxes ». Dominic Grieve, the ex-attorney general, said he would quit the party if Mr Johnson became leader. Ex-Tory chairwoman Baroness Warsi said his remarks could trigger a rise in hate crime. Senior Tories have urged him to apologise but Mr Johnson has not done so, and has stood by his comments. In a Daily Telegraph article, he said full-face veils should not be banned, but it was…

Samantha Eastwood death: Midwife ‘found in shallow grave’

Midwife Samantha Eastwood was found in a shallow grave, wrapped in a duvet cover and with tape around her eyes and face, a court has heard. The 28-year-old’s body was found in Caverswall, Staffordshire, on Saturday, eight days after she was reported missing. Pathologists found no gunshot or knife wounds during initial tests on her remains, Stafford Crown Court heard. Michael Stirling, 32, is accused of Ms Eastwood’s murder. The defendant, of Gratton Road, Bucknall, appeared at court via videolink, and was remanded in custody until his next hearing on…

British Gas increases energy prices again

British Gas is to increase prices for 3.5 million customers, its parent company Centrica has announced. The 3.8% increase in its standard variable tariff (SVT) from 1 October means the average bill will rise by £44, taking it to £1,205 a year. This is the second increase this year, but Centrica said wholesale energy prices had risen since the last time. The SVT was withdrawn for new customers in March and 2.4 million customers on fixed rates are unaffected. The company, the biggest energy supplier in the UK, said its…

Ben Stokes ‘was main aggressor in nightclub fight’

England cricketer Ben Stokes « seemed to be the main aggressor » in a fight outside a nightclub, a court has heard. The Durham all-rounder is one of three men accused of fighting in Bristol on 25 September. Bristol Crown Court previously heard Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, were knocked unconscious by 27-year-old Mr Stokes, who denies affray. Mr Ali and Mr Hale have also pleaded not guilty to affray and are on trial alongside the cricketer. Witness Mark Spure, an off-duty police community support officer (PCSO), told…

European Championships 2018: Dina Asher-Smith wins 100m in British record time

Dina Asher-Smith sets a new British record time of 10.85 seconds for the 100m – equalling the fastest time in the world this year – as she storms away from the field to win gold at the European Championships in Berlin. FOLLOW LIVE: European Championships 2018 WATCH MORE: ‘Fabulous’ last leg secures GB freestyle relay gold Available to UK users only Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson burka row: Tories should ditch MP, peer says

Media playback is unsupported on your device Boris Johnson should be kicked out of the Conservative Party for his remarks about the burka, a Muslim peer says. Conservative Muslim Forum founder Lord Sheikh told PCF Newsnight demands from the PM for an apology were not enough. He has called for the MP to have the whip removed – meaning Mr Johnson would no longer represent the Tory party. Mr Johnson said Muslim women wearing burkas « look like letter boxes » and compared them to « bank robbers ». A…

California wildfire will burn for the rest of August, say officials

Media playback is unsupported on your device California’s biggest wildfire on record is expected to burn for the rest of the month, fire officials said on Tuesday. The Mendocino Complex fire has already engulfed 290,692 acres (117,639 hectares) – almost the size of Los Angeles. Barely a third of it is under control, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Firefighters are tackling 18 major blazes across the state amid strong winds and low humidity. The fire – which comprises two blazes in the state’s north –…

Paisley faces UK’s first MP-recall petition

A petition that could force a by-election in North Antrim and unseat the current MP Ian Paisley will open later. In July, MPs voted to suspend Mr Paisley for 30 sitting days over his failure to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government – triggering the recall procedure. The DUP MP apologised in the Commons but will face a by-election if 10% of his constituents sign the petition. The recall petition is the first in UK parliamentary history. What is a recall petition? This is a…

Junk food advert ban for KFC and Kellogg’s

Food giants KFC and Kellogg’s have been told to remove adverts which promoted junk food to children, by the UK’s advertising watchdog. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says they broke strict rules on advertising high fat, sugar or salt products to children. The ASA found Kellogg’s promoted a Coco Pops product, during a Mr Bean cartoon, likely to have been seen by children. It also ruled KFC advertised a Mars product on a phone box by a school. Rules governing food advertising forbid promoting certain foods to children. KFC said…

Why GDP includes the illegal drugs trade

When it comes to our main measure for the economy, GDP, even the illegal drugs trade is included. When GDP goes up, it’s said the economy is growing, which is something governments like to show off about. Critics say GDP includes some things it shouldn’t. For more, check out this podcast from the series Economics with Subtitles on PCF Radio 4. Source: The Guardian

Boris Johnson ‘won’t apologise’ for burka comments

Boris Johnson has stood by his remarks about the burka after the Conservative Party chairman told him to apologise. The former foreign secretary has been criticised for saying Muslim women wearing burkas « look like letter boxes » and comparing them to « bank robbers ». His remarks have been branded « offensive » and « deliberately provocative ». But a source close to Mr Johnson said: « It is ridiculous that these views are being attacked. » « We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the…