Parkinson’s results beyond researchers’ wildest dreams

Media playback is unsupported on your device A treatment that has restored the movement of patients with chronic Parkinson’s disease has been developed by Canadian researchers. Previously housebound patients are now able to walk more freely as a result of electrical stimulation to their spines. A quarter of patients have difficulty walking as the disease wears on, often freezing on the spot and falling. Parkinson’s UK hailed its potential impact on an aspect of the disease where there is currently no treatment. Prof Mandar Jog, of Western University in London,…

Sri Lanka attacks: Authorities face scrutiny over advance warnings

Scrutiny fell on rifts in Sri Lanka’s leadership on Monday after it emerged that authorities were warned about the group accused in Sunday’s bombings. Attacks on churches and hotels killed 290 people and wounded nearly 500. Security agencies had been watching the National Thowheed Jamath jihadist group, reports said, and had notified police about a possible attack. But the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the cabinet were not informed, ministers said. A ‘colossal intelligence failure’ The prime minister had been kept from security briefings following a rift last year with…

UK weather: Hottest Easter Monday on record

It has been the hottest Easter Monday on record in all four nations of the UK, the Met Office has said. England reached the highest temperature with 25C (77F) recorded at Heathrow, Northolt and Wisley. Temperatures hit 24.2C (75.6F) in Kinlochewe in the Highlands, 23.6C (74.4F) in Cardiff and 21.4C (70.5F) in Armagh. Saturday was the hottest day of the year so far with 25.5C (77.9F) recorded in Gosport, Hampshire. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also enjoyed their warmest Easter Sunday on record, with temperatures hitting 23.4C (74.1F) in Edinburgh…

Extinction Rebellion: Climate change protesters at Natural History Museum

Extinction Rebellion activists took over part of the Natural History Museum as the climate change protest entered its second week. About 100 people lay down under the blue whale skeleton at about 14:15 BST. It comes as more than 1,000 people have been arrested since the protests began in central London a week ago. The climate change group are now based in Marble Arch, after police moved protesters from Oxford Street, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square. Extinction Rebellion said it hoped the protest at the museum, which it called a…

‘Dark kitchens’: Are they the future of takeaways?

The UK’s fast-food delivery market continues to grow at a record rate – and the takeaway industry is worth more than £4.9bn per year. But these days some takeaways come from places customers can’t go themselves: A so-called « dark kitchen, » which could well be tucked away on an industrial estate. « Deliveroo Editions » is one such venture. The PCF’s Colletta Smith has been to see inside. Produce: Rebecca Wearn Camera/editor: David Cheeseman Source: The Guardian

Sri Lanka attacks: ‘International network’ linked to 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 has blamed a little-known local jihadist group, National Towheed Jamath, although no-one has yet admitted carrying out the attacks. 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 of…

Sri Lanka attacks: County 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…

Ukraine election: Comedian Zelensky wins presidency by landslide

Media playback is unsupported on your device Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, exit polls suggest. The polls give the political newcomer, who dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago, more than 70% support. Mr Zelensky, 41, challenged incumbent president Petro Poroshenko who has admitted defeat. The apparent result is being seen as a huge blow to Mr Poroshenko and a rejection of Ukraine’s establishment. « I will never let you down, » Mr Zelensky told celebrating supporters on Sunday.…

Record Easter temperatures in three nations of the UK

Three of the UK’s nations have recorded their highest ever Easter Sunday temperatures, the Met Office has said. Scotland’s peak was 23.4C (74F), in Edinburgh, while that same temperature was also the high point in Wales – coming in Cardiff. Northern Ireland beat a 95-year-old record when the mercury hit 21C at Helen’s Bay near Bangor. England’s highest temperature was 24.6C at Heathrow airport – just shy of the record of 25.3C. The good weather has brought people in droves to beaches, parks and other outdoor attractions, while people queued…

Extinction Rebellion: Climate protesters ‘making a difference’

Media playback is unsupported on your device A teenage climate change activist has told Extinction Rebellion protesters in London they are « making a difference ». Greta Thunberg, 16, was greeted with chants of « we love you » as she took to the stage in front of thousands of people at the rally in Marble Arch. A protest organiser said they planned « a week of activities » including a bid to prevent MPs entering Parliament. More than 950 people have been arrested during the climate change protests and…

British woman killed by gunmen at Nigerian holiday resort

A British woman was one of two people shot dead by gunmen who stormed a holiday resort in Nigeria. The British High Commission confirmed the death of the woman, who was named by her employers as Faye Mooney. A Mercy Corps statement said Ms Mooney, who was working in Nigeria, was « tragically killed » by gunmen while on holiday in the northern city of Kaduna. Local police said a Nigerian man was also killed, and three others were kidnapped during the attack on Friday. Kidnapping for ransom is common…

Sri Lanka explosions: 20 killed as churches and hotels targeted

At least 20 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 Sebastian’s in Negombo – with a shattered…

Ukraine election: Voters to choose between comic and tycoon

Media playback is unsupported on your device Ukrainians will head to the polls shortly in a run-off election to pick the country’s next president. Voters face a stark choice between tycoon Petro Poroshenko, the incumbent president, and television comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, new to politics. The TV celebrity is favourite in the polls, having dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago when 39 candidates were on the ticket. Poll stations will open 08:00 local (05:00 GMT) and close 12 hours later. A court in the capital, Kiev, has rejected…

Theresa May says UK will stand up for religious freedom

Theresa May says the UK « must stand up for the right of everyone » to practise their faith in peace. In her Easter message, the prime minister said she will spend her time « giving thanks in church », but for many Christians « such simple acts of faith can bring huge danger ». About 245 million Christians worldwide are estimated to be facing persecution. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn compared Jesus’ experiences to the challenges currently facing some refugees. Mrs May, a vicar’s daughter and practising Christian, said: « Churches…

Technology used to trace prison mobiles to exact cells

Prison staff are using technology to find and seize phones used illegally by inmates in England and Wales. New detection kits can narrow a phone’s location down to a single jail cell, the Ministry of Justice said. Staff get an alert when a phone is detected, which helps them track inmates organising drug smuggling or contacting criminals on the outside. After a six-month trial at one jail, the kits will now be used at four more. The locations are not being revealed. The real-time alerts are shown on a digital…

Agent Orange: US to clean up toxic Vietnam War air base

Media playback is unsupported on your device The US has launched a multi-million dollar clean-up operation at an air base in Vietnam it used to store the notorious chemical Agent Orange. The ten-year programme, unveiled more than four decades after the end of the Vietnam War, will cost $183m (£141m). The site at Bien Hoa airport, outside Ho Chi Minh City, is considered the most contaminated in the country. Agent Orange was a defoliant sprayed by US forces to destroy jungles and uncover the enemy’s hiding places. It contained dioxin,…

Girl finds her voice after brain surgery

Seven-year-old Leia Armitage lived in total silence for the first two years of her life, but thanks to pioneering brain surgery and years of therapy she has found her voice and can finally tell her parents she loves them. « We were told you could put a bomb behind her and she wouldn’t hear it at all if it went off, » said Leia’s father, Bob, as he recalled finding out their baby daughter had a rare form of profound deafness. Leia, from Dagenham in Essex, had no inner ear…

Lyra McKee: Two men arrested in connection with journalist’s killing

Two men have been arrested in connection with the killing of journalist Lyra McKee. The pair, aged 18 and 19, were arrested under the Terrorism Act. Ms McKee, 29, was struck by a bullet as she was observing rioting in Northern Ireland on Thursday night. She was shot in Londonderry’s Creggan estate. Violence broke out after police raids on houses in the Mulroy Park and Galliagh areas in the city. Ms McKee was standing near a police 4×4 vehicle with other journalists when she was wounded. CCTV captured her final…

Journalist shot dead in Derry during rioting in the city

Media playback is unsupported on your device A journalist has been shot dead during violence 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. Petrol bombs were also thrown at police Land Rovers. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said the New IRA « are likely to be the ones behind this » and detectives have started a murder inquiry. « At around 23:00 BST last…

Sophie Gradon: Love Island star took own life

A former beauty queen and Love Island star took cocaine and alcohol and then killed herself, an inquest has found. Star of the ITV2 dating show Sophie Gradon hanged herself at her family home in Medburn, Ponteland on 20 June. The 32-year-old was found by her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, who took his own life 20 days later. Northumberland South coroner Eric Armstrong said he was « certain she would not have acted as she did without taking alcohol and cocaine ». Mr Armstrong told North Shields Coroner’s Court research…

Mueller report: Trump ‘tried to get special counsel fired’

President Trump tried to get the man appointed to investigate his links to Russia fired, a long-awaited report has revealed. Details are starting to emerge about the 448-page redacted document, collated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which has just been published. Mr Trump’s legal team earlier described the report as a « total victory ». It comes as the country’s top lawyer, William Barr, faces heavy criticism of his handling of the report’s release. Live updates: Reaction to Mueller report The attorney general, who was appointed by Mr Trump, held…

Facebook bans UK far right groups and leaders

Facebook has imposed a ban on a dozen far-right individuals and organisations that it says « spread hate ». The ban includes the British National Party and Nick Griffin, the English Defence League and the National Front. The list also includes Britain First, which was already banned, but this latest action will prohibit support for it on any of the US firm’s services. It said it had taken the action because those involved had proclaimed a « violent or hateful mission ». « Individuals and organisations who spread hate, or…

Mya-Lecia Naylor: CBBC star dies suddenly, aged 16

PCF children’s TV star Mya-Lecia Naylor has died suddenly at the age of 16. Mya-Lecia, who appeared in CPCF shows Millie Inbetween and Almost Never, died on 7 April after she collapsed, her agents A&J Management said. CPCF said she was a « much-loved part of the PCF Children’s family and a hugely talented actress, singer and dancer ». A&J Management said she was « hugely talented and a big part of A&J » and that they would « miss her greatly ». It is not yet known how she…

T2 Trainspotting actor Bradley Welsh dies after shooting

A man who starred as a gangland figure in Trainspotting 2 has been shot dead in Edinburgh. Bradley Welsh, 42, who also appeared in an episode of Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men, was killed in an incident in Chester Street. Armed officers were sent to the city’s west end at about 20:00 on Wednesday. One resident said he was told someone had been shot in the head and people were instructed to stay indoors as the street was cordoned off. Police later confirmed officers had responded to reports of a disturbance…

Crossrail ‘could be delayed until 2021’

Crossrail could be delayed until 2021, according to a senior source associated with the project to build a new railway underneath central London. The east-west route, officially called the Elizabeth Line, will run between Reading and Shenfield in Essex and had been due to open in December 2018. Crossrail said testing of the trains and signalling was « progressing well ». But sources told the PCF this phase – known as dynamic testing – was « proving more difficult than was first thought ». The source said: « It all…

Madeira crash: At least 28 killed on tourist bus near Caniço

A bus carrying German tourists has plunged off a road and overturned on the Portuguese island of Madeira leaving 28 people dead. Another 22 were injured in the accident near the town of Caniço, according to national news agency Lusa. The accident happened at 18:30 (17:30 GMT) when the driver lost control of the bus at a junction and went off the road, reports said. Portuguese media showed the overturned vehicle had come to rest near houses. « I have no words to describe what happened. I cannot face the…

Pig brains partially revived four hours after death

US scientists have partially revived pig brains four hours after the animals were slaughtered. The findings could fuel debate about the barrier between life and death, and provide a new way of researching diseases like Alzheimer’s. The study showed the death of brain cells could be halted and even restored some connections in the brain. However, there were no signals from the brain that would indicate awareness or consciousness. The surprise findings challenge the idea that the brain goes into irreversible decline within minutes of the blood supply being cut…

Alan García: Peru ex-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: Macron pledges to reconstruct cathedral

Media playback is unsupported on your device French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the medieval cathedral of Notre-Dame after a major fire partially destroyed the Paris landmark. Firefighters managed to save the 850-year-old Gothic building’s main stone structure, including its two towers, but the spire and roof collapsed. The fire was declared under control almost nine hours after it started. The cause is not yet clear but officials say it could be linked to extensive renovation works under way. The Paris prosecutor’s office said it was currently being…

Notre-Dame cathedral: Firefighters tackle blaze in Paris

Media playback is unsupported on your device A fire has broken out at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris and has spread rapidly across the building. The cause was not immediately clear, but officials say that it could be linked to renovation work. Images on social media show plumes of smoke billowing into the air above the 850-year-old Gothic building. Last year, the Catholic Church in France launched an urgent appeal for funds to save the cathedral, which was starting to crumble. A major operation is under way to tackle…