West Bank village prepares for homecoming of Ahed Tamimi

The 17-year-old was arrested in December, after slapping two Israeli soldiers. She is to be freed Sunday, along with her mother.

Her father Bassem said Saturday that "we expect her to lead" in the struggle against Israeli occupation. He says she completed high school with the help of fellow prisoners and is considering college.

To Palestinians and their supporters, Ahed is a symbol of resistance to occupation. In Israel, many see her as a provocateur.

Also Saturday, an activist said two Italian artists who painted a large mural of Ahed Tamimi on Israel's separation barrier were detained by Israel.

 

July 28, 2018

Sources: ABC News

Related news

  • Robin Thicke and Pharrell must hand over $5.3M to the family of Marvin Gaye for Blurred Lines

    Robin Thicke and Pharrell must hand over $5.3M to the family of Marvin Gaye for Blurred Lines

    ng he made three years ago, and provided a break down for how much was to be paid by the two men. </p><p>Thicke, Pharrell and the publishing company that released the songs will be responsible for $2.9 million of the fine while Thicke himself will have to pay $1.7 million.</p><p>The remaining $357,631 will come from Pharrell and the publishing company.</p><p>In addition, all remaining royalties will be split with Gaye's estate.  </p><p>Robin Thicke, Pharrell and the publishing company that released the songs will be responsible for $2.9 million</p><p>A jury sided with Gaye's family back in 2015 after they filed a complaint contending that Blurred Lines lifted sections of Marvin Gaye's 1977 hit Got to Give It Up.</p><p>Jurors also found that rapper T.I., who received songwriting credit and a share of the royalties, did not commit copyright infringement. </p><p>'Mr. Thicke and Williams, and their legal team, among others, went on a public relations campaign after the jury's verdict criticizing the verdict and saying the evidence did not support the finding of copyright infringement, and did not believe the decision on liability would therefore stand,' the Gaye family's attorney, Richard Busch, wrote in a statement at the time. </p><p>'The judge who actually heard all of the evidence disagreed. I am thrilled for the Gaye family, and the thoughtful members of the jury, who had to listen to all of that while remaining silent.'</p><p>Williams contended during the trial that he was only trying to mimic the 'feel' of Gaye's late 1970s music and insisted he did not use elements of his idol's work.</p><p>Blurred Lines, which was the biggest song of 2013, remains Thicke's biggest hit.</p><p>This is a difficult blow for Thicke, who lost his house last month in the California wildfires.  </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Boris Johnson 'ignored' official letters telling him to leave his £20million Government apartment

    Boris Johnson 'ignored' official letters telling him to leave his £20million Government apartment

    'vanity photographer' to take a picture of him sitting at a desk in his residence as he signed his explosive resignation letter to Theresa May [File photo]</p><p>Boris Johnson ignored a string of official demands to leave his £20million Government apartment, documents have revealed.</p><p>At the time, officials played down his reluctance to budge, claiming it was normal for ministers to be given time to rearrange their affairs.</p><p>The foreign secretary's official residence, One Carlton Gardens, is one of the most glamorous buildings on the government estate. </p><p>The Grade 1 listed 19th century building was designed by Regency architect John Nash, who was also responsible for Buckingham Palace.</p><p>The Foreign Office pays almost £500,000 a year to rent the building, which includes several reception rooms, from the Crown Estate.</p><p>An ally of Mr Johnson last night said it was 'completely standard practice' for a departing minister to be given a few weeks to leave an official residence. </p><p>It is understood that the incoming foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt had told his predecessor to 'take as long as you like'.</p><p>Labour was accusing him of 'squatting' and demanding that he forfeit the rent he was receiving from his £2.3million home in Islington while living rent-free in Carlton Gardens, above</p><p>But documents seen by the Daily Mail reveal a growing frustration among Foreign Office and Cabinet Office officials at Mr Johnson's refusal to budge. At the time Mr Johnson had separated from his second wife Marina Wheeler. </p><p>They announced in September they were to divorce after 25 years of marriage. It was reported that Mr Johnson, 54, had been having an affair with former Tory aide Carrie Symonds, 30.</p><p>The official documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, set out a series of text messages sent to Mr Johnson by Sir Simon McDonald, the permanent secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.</p><p>The first, sent on Monday, July 9, hours after Mr Johnson resigned, informed him that he no longer had use of his ministerial car, and said the Cabinet Office wanted him to leave his official residence within 48 hours. Officials expected any 'packing up period' to be 'v.short, ie if not tomorrow then Wednesday'.</p><p>Mr Johnson's replies are not recorded, but he appears to have asked for more time, because that evening Sir Simon says he wants to be 'humane' about the issue. He asks Mr Johnson to provide the following day a timetable for his departure and says it is 'essential' he stops using his official residence for holding meetings and arranging media interviews.</p><p>Earlier, Mr Johnson had angered officials by summoning a 'vanity photographer' to take a picture of him sitting at a desk in his residence as he signed his explosive resignation letter to Theresa May.</p><p>Four days later, Sir Simon wrote again to complain he still had not received a timetable for his departure: 'Time is passing and I have still not seen a plan. So I'd be grateful for an update, please.' Sir Simon reminded Mr Johnson that he had yet to surrender his diplomatic passport, government-issue laptop, iPads and phone.</p><p>Six days later, Sir Simon wrote again to complain he had still given a departure date: 'Can you tell me today, please, when you will be finally and completely out?'</p><p>An ally of Mr Johnson last night said it was 'completely standard practice' for a departing minister to be given a few weeks to leave an official residence [File photo]</p><p>By this point, Mr Johnson's continued presence was becoming a major embarrassment to the Government. </p><p>Labour was accusing him of 'squatting' and demanding that he forfeit the rent he was receiving from his £2.3million home in Islington while living rent-free in Carlton Gardens.</p><p>There was anger that he was being allowed to stay despite apparently laying the ground for a future leadership challenge.</p><p>In a final message on July 19, Sir Simon said officials were 'under great pressure to speed things up'.</p><p>He asked Mr Johnson to be out by July 25 and urged him to keep a 'very low profile' while he remained in the official residence he was no longer entitled to.</p><p>Mr Johnson finally began moving out on July 30 – three weeks after he quit.</p><p>An ally of Mr Johnson said the MP had an informal understanding with Sir Simon that he should leave by the end of July. There was 'no additional cost to the taxpayer' as Mr Johnson paid the day-to-day bills at the official residence, the ally said.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Adverts promoting 'harmful' gender stereotypes to be banned

    Adverts promoting 'harmful' gender stereotypes to be banned

    ypes from TV commercials.</p><p>Gone will be the traditional, and largely out-dated, view of the housewife. </p><p>And companies will not be able to suggest men are lazy or useless when it comes to doing what used to be considered typically female roles, such as changing a nappy.</p><p>The move aims to avoid pigeon-holing boys and girls at a young age in terms of how they should look and their interests. </p><p>Last year, Aptamil baby milk caused controversy by showing a girl growing up to become a ballerina and a boy becoming a rock climber</p><p>Gone will be the traditional, and largely out-dated, view of the housewife. Advertising watchdogs will ban 'harmful' gender stereotypes from TV commercials [File photo]</p><p>It follows a review that found gender stereotypes could restrict the choices, aspirations and opportunities of children, teenagers and adults.</p><p>Also banned under the new regime will be stereotypes which depict boys as daring and girls as caring.</p><p>The proposals have been agreed by the Committee on Advertising Practice (CAP) and will also outlaw depictions that suggest people may not be successful in love or life because they do not have what is considered an ideal physique.</p><p>The industry watchdog has issued guidance for companies and advertisers on how the ban, coming into effect in June, should be applied.</p><p>Many brands such as Unilever have already taken voluntary measures to end gender stereotyping.</p><p>Asda's Christmas advert from 2012 offering that showed an exhausted mum struggling to buy the presents and tree</p><p>The Oxo brand also traditionally showed the mother – played by the late Lynda Bellingham – cooking for her husband and children. But a revamp of the commercial depicted the male partner being much more hands-on in the kitchen [File photo]</p><p>For example, the firm changed its Lynx deodorant commercials which, in the past, featured women in bikinis hunting down young men.</p><p>Historically, the company's food brand Knorr TV adverts showed a mother and daughter in the kitchen, but more recently they featured a father and son.</p><p>The Oxo brand also traditionally showed the mother – played by the late Lynda Bellingham – cooking for her husband and children. But a revamp of the commercial depicted the male partner being much more hands-on in the kitchen.</p><p>A few years ago, Asda was criticised over a Christmas TV ad that showed a mother doing all the work, buying presents and making the dinner, while everyone else relaxed and had fun. </p><p>Last year, Aptamil baby milk caused controversy by showing a girl growing up to become a ballerina and a boy becoming a rock climber.</p><p>The CAP stressed the new rules specifically do not rule out the use of attractive men and women.</p><p>The watchdog said: 'The rule and guidance does not intend to prevent ads from featuring glamorous, attractive, successful, aspirational or healthy people or lifestyles.' </p><p>And it said companies will be allowed to use gender stereotypes as a means to challenge their negative effects.</p><p>Unilever changed its Lynx deodorant commercials which, in the past, featured women in bikinis hunting down young men [File photo]</p><p>Historically, the company's food brand Knorr TV adverts showed a mother and daughter in the kitchen, but more recently they featured a father and son [File photo]</p><p>Director of the CAP, Shahriar Coupal, said: 'Harmful gender stereotypes have no place in UK advertisements. </p><p>Nearly all advertisers know this, but for those that don't, our new rule calls time on stereotypes that hold back people and society.'</p><p>Ella Smillie, who led the CAP's investigation into gender stereotyping, said: 'Harmful gender stereotypes in ads contribute to how people see themselves and their role in society. </p><p>'They can hold some people back from fulfilling their potential, or from aspiring to certain jobs and industries, bringing costs for individuals and the economy.'</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Parents angry over more places for disadvantaged students at Birmingham grammar schools

    Parents angry over more places for disadvantaged students at Birmingham grammar schools

    hools to admit poorer pupils will lower standards.</p><p>Among the proposed changes are new catchment areas which would include the poorer parts of the city and a quota of 25 per cent of places reserved for those from low-income families.</p><p>But parents complain the plans would shut out bright pupils who do not live in Birmingham and also lower academic standards.</p><p>They also say the changes would eventually be rendered pointless as those living outside catchment areas would simply move house to get their child in, pushing up prices in the city.</p><p>The King Edward VI group of six schools in Birmingham wants to change their admission rules to give disadvantaged pupils a better chance of getting in but parents aren't happy. Pictured: King Edward VI Aston</p><p>There is already anecdotal evidence of prospective parents house-hunting within the catchment areas, they said.</p><p>More than 3,000 people have so far signed a petition opposing the plans, which would come into effect from September 2020.</p><p>Kaja Fawthrop, who has an 11-year-old son at one of the schools, said: ‘People are very upset about the way this has been handled. </p><p>'The grammar schools are a jewel in the crown of Birmingham and we believe the changes mean they are no longer aiming for the highest possible academic standards.</p><p>‘We all want to see more opportunities for poorer pupils, of course, we all want that. </p><p>'But there are far better ways to do this than by drawing a line and saying people over this line just can’t come in.</p><p>‘I wanted [my son] to go to the best school in Birmingham. I am worried it won’t be able to maintain that position in future.’</p><p>The changes have been mooted in response to criticism that grammar schools are overpopulated with rich middle-class children, whose parents can afford to pay for private tutoring.</p><p>The entrance exams are supposed to be tutor-proof. However, many parents have their children tutored for up to two years before to give them the edge on their peers.</p><p>In the case of the Birmingham schools, many pupils come from more affluent areas outside of the city as places are open to anyone.</p><p>The new catchment areas would mean that the schools would have to give preference to pupils living nearer, often living in less well-heeled areas. </p><p>A new ‘localisation policy’ would be imposed, meaning higher scoring children in catchment areas would get first places, followed by lower scoring children who achieve a minimum cut-off score.</p><p>In addition, 25 per cent of places at each school would be reserved for applicants eligible for the pupil premium – those on very low incomes – who achieve a minimum standard and live in catchment.</p><p>Currently, there is a quota in place but it only applies to 20 per cent of places.</p><p>Parents complain the plans would shut out bright pupils who do not live in Birmingham and also lower academic standards. Pictured: King Edward VI Camp Hill School for boys</p><p>Only after these are awarded would places go to high-scoring pupils outside of catchment areas.</p><p>The six schools – King Edward VI Aston School, Camp Hill Schools for Boys and Girls, Five Ways School and Handsworth Schools for Boys and Girls – regularly feature in the top ten of all schools in the city.</p><p>Each year, about 6,000 pupils sit the tough entrance tests in a bid to secure one of the cherished places.</p><p>Campaigners have written to the board of governors and urged local MPs to back their protest.</p><p>The King Edward VI Academy Trust say the proposals, initiated by executive director Heath Monk, are designed to ‘enhance our historic mission of providing high-quality education, in a local school, for the children of Birmingham, regardless of background.’</p><p>The proposals aim to ‘improve accessibility for disadvantaged students; ensure that there is priority for local children; and provide a more consistent approach across our growing family of selective schools,’ it said.</p><p>The proposals are supported by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, which tweeted its support.</p><p>More than 3,000 people have so far signed a petition opposing the plans, which would come into effect from September 2020. Pictured: King Edward VI Five Ways School </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Boy, eight, takes the wheel to steer car to safety when his mother is hit by seizure while driving

    Boy, eight, takes the wheel to steer car to safety when his mother is hit by seizure while driving

    h her eight-year-old son Ben Hedges when she suffered a seizure</p><p>This is the incredible moment a quick-thinking eight-year-old boy grabs the steering wheel and drives his mother's speeding car to safety after she suffered a seizure while driving. </p><p>Lauren Smith was travelling at 65mph in her Ford Ka along the A120 dual carriageway when she had an attack.</p><p>The 27-year-old started to shake and her hands gripped to the steering wheel as the vehicle smashed and scraped the central reservation during the incident on December 3. </p><p>Footage of the moments after Ms Smith's seizure shows her son Ben Hedges, eight, calmly controlling the vehicle and driving it onto a grass verge before stopping behind a van. </p><p>Ben leapt from his front passenger seat and took hold of the wheel, before guiding the out-of-control car across two lanes and safely onto the grass next to the hard shoulder during his mothers seizure.</p><p>The quick-thinking primary school pupil even put the hazard warning lights on during the incident near Colchester, Essex. </p><p>Dashcam footage from a vehicle behind shows Ms Smith's vehicle heading towards the verge</p><p>Footage from a car behind's dashcam shows Ms Smith's car being steered along the grass by Ben and other vehicles coming to a stop to help.</p><p>The driver can be heard saying 'something's wrong' as he slows the car down and Ms Smith's silver Ford Ka comes into view.</p><p>The cars in front put on their hazard lights and multiple vehicles in the left hand lane move into the right to give the Ka being controlled by Ben more space.</p><p>As the driver gets closer to the Ka it can be seen moving up the grass verge before coming to a stop behind a van which has also pulled over to try and help. </p><p>Ms Smith was rushed to hospital where emergency services carried out a series of test which found she suffered a seizure for the first time - making her son's reactions even more remarkable.</p><p>The silver Ford Ka, being steered by Ben, drives up the grass before stopping behind a van</p><p>The quick-thinking eight-year-old managed to guide the pair to safety after his mother had a seizure</p><p>Ms Smith praised her son's action for saving both their lives.</p><p>Speaking about the crash, Ms Smith said: 'I was driving really erratically - that went on for a good minute and then I just collapsed at the wheel, let go and fell completely unconscious - my head was resting on the steering wheel.'</p><p>She said her son grabbed the steering wheel and managed to guide them to safety after she completely blacked out and they scraped along the side of the central reservation.</p><p>'The car was really shaking as it slowed down because it was still in fifth gear before it finally cut out.</p><p>The Ford Ka crashed into the side of a central reservation near Colchester before it was eventually guided to safety</p><p>'About four or five people in a van came rushing over to check we were okay,' she added.</p><p>They were rushed to Colchester General Hospital but they managed to escape without any injuries.</p><p>Ms Smith, a teaching assistant, had no memory of what she had done in the previous 24 hours.</p><p>She said: 'It was at that point the people who stopped to help us came over and said "madam, you've just had a full-blown seizure, you've crashed your car and the ambulance is on its way".</p><p>'As I came around, the ambulance was arriving. It took me a really long time to register it - and I just could not believe it.'</p><p>Ms Smith, a teaching assistant, had no memory of what she had done in the previous 24 hours before her seizure</p><p>She described her son as a 'hero' for his bravery. She said: 'I am still in shock that he knew what to do. He's my hero.</p><p>'I keep thinking about what would have happened if he had not acted so quickly, I hate to think how it could have ended.</p><p>'I am so grateful and I've been telling him over and over again, "what you did was amazing, you literally are a lifesaver" so he realises what he has done - it's a big deal.'</p><p>Doctors have been unable to identify the cause of the seizure but believe it to be because of a virus. The attack has left her in pain and she will not be given the all-clear to drive by doctors. </p><p>Ben's headteacher at Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt, Essex, where his mother also works, praised the year-four pupil. </p><p>Headteacher Julie O'Mara said: 'I'd like to commend Ben for his bravery - without his actions it could have been a tragic accident.</p><p>'For someone so young to have displayed such bravery, maturity and quick-thinking is very impressive.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Harry Potter author JK Rowling backs Daily Mail Christmas NHS volunteer campaign

    Harry Potter author JK Rowling backs Daily Mail Christmas NHS volunteer campaign

    sands of Daily Mail readers who have pledged their time to the Health Service should be applauded </p><p>The Harry Potter novelist says the thousands of readers who have pledged their time to the Health Service should be applauded.</p><p>She gave her backing to the drive to recruit volunteers across the United Kingdom as more than 22,000 people pledged their time to the cause, boosting the NHS's voluntary workforce by more than a quarter.</p><p>Miss Rowling, a philanthropist who has donated millions to good causes, hailed those who have already stepped up to do their bit with the charity Helpforce.</p><p>She said: 'The NHS is one of our country's most cherished institutions, one that we can truly be proud of.</p><p>'Despite the constant pressures and constraints, it never ceases to amaze me just how much work and time all those involved dedicate to continuing to make this organisation function, let alone excel.</p><p>'And now, a new army of volunteers have stepped forward. The thousands who are giving up their time to help the NHS through the Helpforce campaign should be applauded.'</p><p>And fellow bestselling novelist William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart, said: 'This is a massively important and timely campaign.</p><p>'Anything we can do to support the wonderful NHS is wholly worthwhile.'</p><p>The Mail is asking readers to give their time to the NHS to support patients and take some of the pressure away from overstretched staff.</p><p>The campaign, which will see volunteers start helping at hospitals in spring, has won the backing of celebrities, unions and health leaders.</p><p>The recruitment drive aims to fill key roles such as befriending patients, collecting prescriptions and helping at mealtimes. Since its launch on December 1, readers have flocked to pledge either three hours a week or a day a month, for six months.</p><p>Theresa May encouraged readers to sign up to offer 'companionship and support', while praising the 'extraordinary dedication' of doctors and nurses.</p><p>There are already about 78,000 volunteers in hospitals. A landmark report found doctors and nurses believe hospital helpers play a vital role in improving the experience of patients and staff.</p><p>The overwhelming majority of those asked – 90 per cent – felt volunteers improved patient experience by 'bringing human kindness' to busy hospitals. It is not too late to get involved, with applications open until the end of the month. The chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens said boosting volunteer numbers will be essential for the NHS to deliver ambitious treatment upgrades.</p><p>Leading doctors are warning the NHS is braced for another 'very difficult winter'.</p><p>Figures from NHS England show nearly 94 per cent of beds are already occupied, well above the 85 per cent target, despite the mild weather and low flu levels. </p><p>A&amp;E departments have had the worst November on record, with only 87.6 per cent of patients seen within four hours, against the national target of 95 per cent.</p><p>Health officials said staff were working hard to deal with increased demand, with 1,000 more patients seen within four hours every day in November compared to last year.</p><p>But Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned: 'After decades of reductions there are simply not enough appropriately staffed beds available to meet the current demand.' </p><p>Mike Pointer, 72, a former scientific consultant, lives in Salisbury with his wife, Pam, 69. </p><p>He has volunteered at Salisbury District Hospital since 2011, supporting older patients.</p><p>'Seven years ago I had a heart attack, and although I recovered relatively quickly, it was a wake up call. Clearly I was just too stressed – and so I decided to cut my working hours and find something useful but less demanding.</p><p>'I'd received marvellous care at Salisbury so I looked at its website where I came across the Engage programme, a volunteering scheme supporting older adults.</p><p>Pictured: NHS volunteer Mike Pointer with patient Nora Burke </p><p>'The volunteers visit 16 wards in the hospital – I might go to the stroke unit one morning a week, or the gastroenterology ward the next. As a volunteer what I offer is broadly similar wherever I go: I sit by their beds and talk about their feelings.</p><p>'Often when patients have shared a problem, they realise it's not as insurmountable as it first seemed. </p><p>'Our role is important because if a patient is anxious or depressed, it can have such a detrimental effect on their general wellbeing, leading to slower recovery.</p><p>'What volunteers have is time, which the medical staff don't. My record is three hours with one gentleman who was so lonely and couldn't stop crying about problems with his children. </p><p>'He wanted someone to listen and I was able to do that. I like the purpose volunteering gives me. And I love to give some sort of hope.'</p><p>Fiona Aiken, 59, a retired university manager, lives in Lancaster. She volunteers from home as a controller for the North West Blood Bike service, co-ordinating motorbike riders who deliver blood, human milk, lab samples and equipment.</p><p>'One of the things I love about this job is that I'm called 'the controller', it is quite nice being in charge. Joking aside, though, the job carries a lot of responsibility – I get around 30 calls a night.</p><p>'I got involved two-and-a-half years ago after I read about the blood bike service in a newspaper and just thought: I can do that. 'I was approaching retirement and wanted something useful to do. </p><p>'I also wanted to give something back to the NHS as it looked after my mum. It's just my folder of contacts, and my house phone.</p><p>Fiona Aiken, 59, a retired university manager, lives in Lancaster. She volunteers from home as a controller for the North West Blood Bike service, co-ordinating motorbike riders who deliver blood, human milk, lab samples and equipment </p><p>'I volunteer for two or three eight-hour shifts a month – they run through from 6pm to 2am during week nights.</p><p>'Often I don't get to bed until 3am, but I love it: you get an adrenaline buzz when the phone rings for the first time on a shift, as you never know what you're going to get that night, you just know it is urgent and you need to work quickly.</p><p>'We touch so many peoples' lives but we never know who or how we have helped – we just know that what we do matters and take pride in that. Some bikers and controllers will work over Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays – nobody moans though because they want to do it, that's the great thing about being a volunteer.'</p><p>A-Level pupil James Grieves, 17, of Stannington, Northumberland, has volunteered once a week at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital for the past year.</p><p>'I started after the hospital gave a recruitment talk at my school,' he said.</p><p>James said his role was simply to sit and talk to some of the elderly patients. 'As well as the company, this helps distract them from pain,' he said.</p><p>'To begin with, the nurses would point out who was lonely but over time, I grew in confidence and now, I walk into the ward and can tell who would like a chat. I've learned so much.</p><p>A-Level pupil James Grieves, 17, of Stannington, Northumberland, has volunteered once a week at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital for the past year</p><p>'It made me realise that teenagers and older people have so much in common.</p><p>'Teenagers are at a crossroads in their lives, and we don't yet know who we are. But many elderly people have lost their identities because they've put everything into work for years – and then suddenly that's all gone.</p><p>'I volunteer once a week for two-and-a-half hours, on a Tuesday after lessons.'</p><p>Interviews by Angela Epstein, Jo Waters and Amanda Cable</p><p>The Daily Mail and the charity Helpforce invite you to join our Christmas campaign by giving some of your time in 2019 as a volunteer for the NHS. Here, we explain all you need to know...</p><p>The simple answer is no. If you join our campaign, you will start volunteering some time in 2019. Once Helpforce has put your NHS organisation in touch with you, it can take up to three months – and in some cases six – before you start, because of the necessary checks and training that have to be carried out.</p><p>Volunteers can help provide better experiences for patients, and free-up time for healthcare workers to focus on delivering the incredible work they've been trained to do.</p><p>And while there are thousands of volunteers carrying out vital work in the NHS, there is more we can do. The Join The Hospital Helpforce campaign aims to harness the power of dedicated volunteers to create a more compassionate care system.</p><p>No – they provide extra help that wouldn't be covered by a staff role. NHS Trusts need volunteers as they provide a valuable support role to busy staff and to patients who are going through a difficult time. Volunteers can make the difference to someone's day by providing simple but significant support.</p><p>Helpforce is asking for volunteers to commit to at least three consecutive hours a week for six months, or one day a month for six months.</p><p>The minimum age is 16 but some NHS organisations are not able to take volunteers until they are 18 due to their own policies.</p><p>Youth groups #iwill and the Pears Foundation are together aiming to increase the number of volunteering opportunities for young people – visit iwill.org.uk for details.</p><p>Visit hospitalhelpforce.com and fill in the pledge form.</p><p>Once you've completed it, you should hear back immediately with a thank you email, then again by February once Helpforce has matched you with an NHS organisation.</p><p>If you don't, please go to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website.</p><p>Training varies between NHS organisations and the role you are taking up. But all of it will help keep you safe and give you the skills to make you feel confident when volunteering on a busy ward with staff and patients.</p><p>Training typically includes some or all of the following elements: health and safety, fire training, equality and diversity, safeguarding, conflict resolution, information governance and infection control.</p><p>Once you have been matched to an NHS organisation, you will be asked to meet its volunteer co-ordinator.</p><p>They will want to find out more about you – your experience, interests and motivation to volunteer – and you will have health and criminal record checks. You may also be required to provide a reference.</p><p>You can choose to volunteer for the NHS at any time, but this campaign is being supported during December and will close at the start of January.</p><p>If it isn't a good time for you to volunteer but you may want to in the future, you can get in touch with your local hospital or other NHS organisation at a later date. You can also look at volunteering opportunities at do-it.org.</p><p>Go to the Frequently Asked Questions web page (hospitalhelpforce.com/faqs). The 'Need Help?' icon will link you to one of Helpforce's ambassadors who will be happy to help.</p><p>YOU can donate to Helpforce – the charity will use all of the money raised to help support hospitals in the creation of new volunteering roles and bring more volunteers to their wards.</p><p>There are two ways you can donate: via the donate button at hospitalhelpforce.com, or by sending a cheque.</p><p>Please make it payable to Helpforce Community Trust, and post it to: Helpforce S90, South Wing, Somerset House, The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA.</p><p>Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • More than half a million lonely elderly people will spend Christmas on their own, survey reveals 

    More than half a million lonely elderly people will spend Christmas on their own, survey reveals 

    Age UK suggests many of them will spend the festive period grieving for happier times before the deaths of loved ones.</p><p>The report said that for 530,000 over-65s, Christmas will be ‘just another day’, while around a quarter of a million said being lonely is ‘a normal part of life’ for them.</p><p>Survey reveals more than half a million elderly are likely to be alone at Christmas. Stock picture</p><p>Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said: ‘There is far more awareness now of the problem of loneliness, and as a result I think many families and friends make a real effort to be kind to older people, especially at this time of year. However, as our research shows, sadly, some older people are still being left out in the cold and have no one at all to turn to for advice or support.</p><p>The older people who will feel the pain of isolation at Christmas are among 1.7million who can go for long periods of time without ever seeing a friend, Age UK said.</p><p>The findings come at a time of growing concern over large numbers of people who go from day to day without talking to any friends or family members.</p><p>The report said: ‘Although loneliness is by no means an inevitable part of ageing, difficult life events that many experience as people get older, such as bereavement, serious illness or reducing mobility, can all be triggers for becoming more isolated and feeling lonelier.’</p><p>It added: ‘Christmas isn’t something to look forward to because it brings back too many memories of people who have passed away and happier times.’</p><p>Earlier this year the Government appointed the first minister for loneliness, after research found evidence that the problem is widespread among young people as well as the oldest generation.</p><p>In October, Theresa May launched a campaign to reduce isolation, and suggested people could be prescribed cookery and art lessons on the NHS in a bid to get them out and about.</p><p>Age UK’s assessment said that 1.7million older people in England have not seen a friend in a month, and that 300,000 people over the age of 65 have not had a conversation with a family member or a friend over the same period of time.</p><p>Actress Joanna Lumley, who supports the charity, said: ‘Sadly, the feelings of loneliness are too common in many older people’s lives and it’s really quite a worry.</p><p>‘It can affect your mental and even physical health.</p><p>‘We can see from this latest research that so many older people accept loneliness as part of life, so my plea is to take action for yourself or an older relative or friend who you think might be feeling isolated.’</p><p>The figures were gathered from a poll of 1,917 people aged over 65, together with evidence of population estimates from the Office For National Statistics. </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Strasbourg Christmas market shooting: Police cordon off road amid manhunt

    Strasbourg Christmas market shooting: Police cordon off road amid manhunt

    illed by police during a shoot-out with armed officers who were hunting for the terrorist. </p><p>The terrorist was killed after anti-terror police stumbled upon him in the street and officers returned fire when he shot at them and tried to flee, a French official said.</p><p>As a police helicopter circled overhead, reports on social media suggested there had been shots fired in the Neudorf area of Strasbourg where a manhunt was underway at the time. </p><p>It was then reported Chekatt had been shot and 'neutralised', but initially it was not clear if the suspected terrorist had been gunned down and killed or was captured alive by French police. </p><p>But his death was soon confirmed by police and minutes after the announcement, officers said their appeals for witnesses had paid off. </p><p>The local branch of the national police tweeted tonight: 'Thank you for your reports that helped to find the wanted individual.' </p><p>A local police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the man who shot at police was armed with a pistol and a knife. </p><p>A police source told FranceInfo: 'The suspect of the Strasbourg attack on Tuesday night, right in the city centre, had taken refuge in a warehouse located at Plaine des Bouchers, not far from Neudorf.' </p><p>Just over an hour after Chekatt was shot dead, ISIS claimed the terrorist as a 'soldier' of Daesh, according to the propaganda new agency of the jihadist organisation, Amaq. </p><p>A French police officer running during an operation in the Plaine des Bouchers area of Strasbourg near the Neudorf neighbourhood where the suspected ISIS terrorist was gunned down in a shoot-out with cops</p><p>A dead body laying in the doorway of a building after a shootout with police in Strasbourg, thought to be that of the Christmas market gunman</p><p>French police officers raided a warehouse in Plaine des Bouchers area of Strasbourg near the Neudorf neighbourhood where terrorist Cherif Chekatt was gunned down</p><p>French special police forces secured an area during a police operation where the suspected gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was killed tonight</p><p>Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, as a police helicopter had been circling overhead</p><p>Donald Tusk says the Brexit deal is 'not open for renegotiation'</p><p>Eight-year-old takes the wheel after mum has a seizure while driving</p><p>Jacob Rees-Mogg hints PM should step down after 'very bad result'</p><p>Police body-cam footage shows murder suspect found 'unconscious'</p><p>Subway rider Anna Lushchinskaya starts fight with another passenger</p><p>Russian priest violently baptises a terrified two-year-old girl</p><p>David Dimbleby receives standing ovation on his final Question Time</p><p>Comic cancels show after he's forced to sign 'behaviour contract'</p><p>Black First Land First leader calls for killing of white people</p><p>Chinese worker survives after being impaled by steel spikes</p><p>Strasbourg suspect shot dead in brief gun battle with French police</p><p>Jean-Claude Juncker: British 'need to say what they want'</p><p>The French interior minister also later confirmed the death of suspected gunman in a shoot-out with police. </p><p>Christophe Castaner said three police officers stumbled across a man they believed to be Chekatt in the street and went to arrest him. </p><p>As the officers approached him Chekatt turned to fire at them but they shot and killed him. </p><p>The gunman had been on the run since he killed three people in Strasbourg's popular Christmas market two days ago and was shot dead by police this evening.   </p><p>Police officer Emmanuel Georg told BFM TV station that three police officers patrolling the neighbourhood tried to intercept a suspect corresponding to Chekatt's description as he was about to enter a building.</p><p>The officer said: 'He opened fired, they responded and managed to shoot him down.'</p><p>An eye witness to the shoot-out said he heard shots and rushed to the window to see what was happening and closed the shutters when he spotted the cornered suspect across the street.</p><p>Cem Akcakaya said: 'I was very afraid for my children, I told them to go away, and I went to the side.'</p><p>After it was over, he said he saw the man motionless on his back on the pavement, his left arm askew.</p><p>More than 720 French security forces had been hunting for the 29-year-old since the bloodshed on Tuesday night.</p><p>A police source said he was shot and killed by police in the Plaine des Bouchers area, near the Neudorf area of the city.  </p><p>The police operation was launched around 8.30pm around just over a mile (nearly 2kms) from where he launched his deadly attack on festive shoppers. </p><p>Several sources also claim that during the shooting no members of the police were injured during the operation.  </p><p>More than 720 French security forces had been hunting for the 29-year-old terrorist since the bloodshed at a Christmas market in the city on Tuesday night</p><p>French special police forces secure an area during a police operation in Neudorf in the Meinau district after the deadly shooting in Strasbourg, France</p><p>Investigators working on the street during a police operation in which the suspected gunman, Cherif Chekatt, who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, was killed this evening</p><p>Heavily armed police swooped on the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg today amid a massive manhunt for the Christmas market shooter</p><p>Forensic and armed officers working at the scene where Chekatt was killed in a shoot-out today</p><p>Donald Tusk says the Brexit deal is 'not open for renegotiation'</p><p>Eight-year-old takes the wheel after mum has a seizure while driving</p><p>Jacob Rees-Mogg hints PM should step down after 'very bad result'</p><p>Police body-cam footage shows murder suspect found 'unconscious'</p><p>Subway rider Anna Lushchinskaya starts fight with another passenger</p><p>Russian priest violently baptises a terrified two-year-old girl</p><p>David Dimbleby receives standing ovation on his final Question Time</p><p>Comic cancels show after he's forced to sign 'behaviour contract'</p><p>Black First Land First leader calls for killing of white people</p><p>Chinese worker survives after being impaled by steel spikes</p><p>Strasbourg suspect shot dead in brief gun battle with French police</p><p>Jean-Claude Juncker: British 'need to say what they want'</p><p>In an update shared via social media, the IS Amaq news agency said: 'Amaq identifies Strasbourg gunman as an IS "'soldier".' </p><p>The Islamic State group's self-styled news agency said that Chekatt was 'an Islamic State soldier' who 'carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of coalition countries' fighting the terrorist group's militants in Syria and Iraq. </p><p>Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told reporters after news that Chekatt had been killed: 'I think it will help to get back to a life that I would describe as normal. With the death of this terrorist... citizens, like me, are relieved.' </p><p>Today the death toll from Tuesday's attack rose to three as police combed the city in the east of France for a second day and manned checkpoints on the German border.</p><p>Police issued a wanted poster in multiple languages for Chekatt, who was the main suspect in the attack and who had been on a watchlist as a potential security threat.</p><p>Authorities say the 29-year-old was known to have developed radical religious views while in prison. </p><p>Neighbours on the housing estate where Chekatt family's lived described the suspect as a typical young man who dressed in jogging pants and trainers rather than traditional Islamic robes. </p><p>A leader of a community group said outside Chekkat's apartment building in Strasbourg: 'He was a little gangster, but I didn't see any signs of him being radicalised.' </p><p>The Paris prosecutor's office said Chekatt's parents and two brothers were being held in custody, while two of his sisters in Paris were also questioned today and one of their homes was being searched. </p><p>French President Emmanuel Macron expressed 'the solidarity of the whole country' towards the victims as he arrived for a European summit in Brussels this evening. </p><p>'It is not only France that has been hit... but a great European city as well,' he added, referring to the seat of the European parliament in the eastern French city that lies on the border with Germany. </p><p>Rescue workers walked past hooded police officers standing guard in Strasbourg, eastern France tonight, where Chekatt was shot and killed</p><p>Hooded police officers block the access in the Meinau district in Strasbourg, eastern France, as the manhunt for the terrorist continued as night fell  </p><p>Police cars at the scene of the shooting in the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg this evening as officers in body armour and carrying rifles hunted for Chekatt throughout the day </p><p>The Paris prosecutor's office said Chekatt's parents and two brothers were being held in custody, while two of his sisters in Paris were also questioned today and one of their homes was searched</p><p>A hooded police officer holding his gun in Strasbourg, eastern France, as armed officers combed the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg in search for the gunman</p><p>Residents of Strasbourg's Neudorf neighborhood expressed relief, such as Pierre Plasse, who said: 'Everybody's quite happy that the killer has been finally shot. I think now, the city and life can keep going on in Strasbourg.'</p><p>Earlier today elite RAID police officers were scouring the French-German border for a car belonging to the mother of Chekatt amid fears he has fled eastwards in her vehicle. </p><p>A custody image of Cherif Chekatt released by police</p><p>Officers were searching across three locations in the late afternoon, including the area where Chekatt was last seen. </p><p>Swiss police are also said to have increased their security amid fears he was fleeing across Europe. </p><p>Heavily armed police swooped on the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg on Thursday amid a massive manhunt for Christmas market shooter, Chekatt.</p><p>Police cars blocked a street as officers carrying rifles and dressed in body armour gathered in the neighbourhood where Chekatt was dropped off by a taxi driver following his bloody rampage on Tuesday.</p><p>As officers searched for the killer it emerged that they had found jihadist literature at his apartment, as well as a grenade, a loaded rifle and four knives. </p><p>Chekatt killed three people and wounded 12 during an attack on the city's Christmas Market before fleeing when he was shot through the shoulder.  </p><p>Heavily armed French police descended on a street in the Neudorf neighbourhood of Strasbourg on Thursday amid a manhunt for Christmas market shooter Cherif Chekatt</p><p>Officers blocked a street in the east of the French city, though it was not immediately clear whether they had tracked Chekatt down</p><p>The raid comes two days after Chekatt killed three and wounded 12 after opening fire at the city's Christmas market before fleeing when he was shot in the shoulder</p><p>Officers sweep the streets in Neudorf, the neighbourhood where Chekatt was dropped off by a taxi driver after his rampage</p><p>Officers have been searching for two days for any sign of shooter Cherif Chekatt, amid fears he might strike a second time</p><p>French special police forces were also spotted in the Meinau neighbourhood, close to Neudorf, while heavily armed</p><p>One French police official said security forces, including the elite Raid squad, were taking action on Thursday based on a 'supposition only' that Chekatt, a serial criminal, could be hiding in a nearby building. </p><p>This evening police ended their search in Neudorf without finding the killer, but as darkness fell officers continued to scour the nearby Meinau neighbourhood and the Plaine des Bouchers area. </p><p>Police also arrested a member of Chekatt's 'entourage' today, believed to be a friend who had served time with him in prison, after the killer's parents and two brothers were earlier taken into custody. </p><p>Cherif Chekatt, 29, is being hunted by French police after opening fire at a Christmas market in Strasbourg this week, killing three</p><p>In the search this afternoon raid officers fanned out along one street, some with their guns trained on the houses in front of them, as television cameras watched on, while other officers extended a security perimeter in the neighbourhood. </p><p>Children at a nearby school were placed in lock down while the operation took place, with parents told not to come and pick them up. </p><p>Five people have been detained, believed to be Chekatt's parents, two of his brothers and another person taken into custody on Thursday. </p><p>The fifth person is reported to be a 39-year-old friend of the killer who once shared a prison with him. </p><p>Chekatt is said to have stayed with the friend in Lingolsheim on the night before the attack.</p><p>Officers apparently became suspicious over the sister's links to a doctor who may have helped treat Chekatt after he was shot in the arm. </p><p>Another 500 troops have been sent to guard public places including Christmas markets amid fears Chekatt will attack again, with 1,300 more due to join soon. </p><p>A government spokesman confirmed authorities have been told to capture Chekatt 'dead or alive', and that the most important thing is that he is found quickly.</p><p>Officers have warned that Chekatt, who has been convicted 27 times starting when he was just 13, should be considered dangerous and not to approach him.  </p><p>Chekatt was put under observation by anti-terror police and was still being watched at the time he committed his attack, but didn't show 'any obvious signs'. </p><p>French special police forces secure an area during a police operation in the Meinau district</p><p>Meanwhile Interior minister Christophe Castaner was dispatched to Strasbourg to handle the crisis while Emmanuel Macron is in Brussels at an EU summit.</p><p>The attack came just as President Emmanuel Macron sought to take back control of the nation after a month of anti-government protests that have spread violence across the country. </p><p>Speaking before his arrival, Castaner said: 'This [operation] is a question of suspicion, as there have been several over the last 36 hours. This is not a confirmation and it does not announce anything, the investigation continues.'  </p><p>Earlier today the death toll from the attack rose to three as a victim who had already been declared brain-dead finally succumbed to his wounds. </p><p>The man, an Afghan national who worked as a car mechanic in Strasbourg, died of his injuries today after he was reportedly shot in the head in Tuesday's rampage.  </p><p>It was also revealed that 45-year-old Anupong Suebsamarn, who was shot dead at the market, had not intended to be in Strasbourg at the time. </p><p>Suebsamarn had been planning to go to Paris with his wife, but had changed plans at the last minute because of the Yellow Vest protests, which have seen some of the city's busiest landmarks paralysed by rioting.  </p><p>Police officers secure a street in Neudorf, a neighbourhood in the east of Strasbourg</p><p>A French special police captain gives orders to one of his men amid the armed operation</p><p>A police source said officers acted on a 'supposition' that Chekatt was hiding in a house somewhere in the neighbourhood</p><p>Officers including those from the elite RAID unit were taking part in the operation in Strasbourg's eastern region</p><p>One Italian, 28-year-old Antonio Megalizzi, was reported to be in critical condition. Italian daily La Repubblica reported he was in Strasbourg to follow the session of the European Parliament. </p><p>Leaders of the mosque he attended initially said he had died after falling into a coma, but this was never confirmed by authorities. </p><p>Meanwhile L'Est Républicain reported that two people from eastern France were injured in the attack, one of whom was shot in the back of the neck and was in intensive care. </p><p>The other is an 18-year-old woman who has been operated on and is now recovering.</p><p>Strasbourg-based art collective Mimir told Les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace that two of their members, both musicians, were injured near the Savons d'Hélène café where they were performing. </p><p>One of them, a percussionist, was shot in the neck and is in a coma. The second, a guitarist, was also injured, but less severely. </p><p>A third man, also with links to Mimir is seriously wounded in the head. </p><p>French police have appealed for members of the public to look for Chekatt and to contact them if they have information, but not to approach him</p><p>In total 720 police and gendarmes had been searching for Chekatt across a vast swathe of eastern France, using helicopters, roadside searches and border surveillance</p><p>Hundreds of troops were also drafted in to guard public places, including Christmas markets, amid fears Chekatt will attack again</p><p>Anupong Suebsamarn, 45, who was shot dead at the market had not initially planned to be there and was supposed to be in Paris, but changed his plans at the last minute</p><p>Police warned that Chekatt should be considered dangerous and that members of the public should inform authorities and not approach him</p><p>The French government has urged Yellow Vest protesters to hold off another round of demonstrations scheduled to take place in Paris this weekend. </p><p>Spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said ministers decided against banning the marches outright, but asked people to be 'reasonable' amid a massive manhunt for Strasbourg shooter Cherif Chekatt.</p><p>It comes after conspiracy theorists accused the government of staging the terror attack in order to quash the Yellow Vest movement.</p><p>Writing in online forums, one protester said: 'You'll see next week there won't be a single yellow vest. Well played, Macron.'  </p><p>President Emmanuel Macron has already offered the marchers a £9billion package of concessions including pay rises and tax cuts.</p><p>But many complained that the measures were too little, too late, and vowed to continue with weeks of protests, which have often turned violent.  </p><p>'Our security forces have been deployed extensively these past few weeks,' Griveaux said, while insisting that 'it's not up to us to say if the movement should be called off or not.'</p><p>In the wake of the Strasbourg attack, 'it would be better if everyone could go about their business calmly on Saturday, before the year-end celebrations with their families, instead of demonstrating and putting our security forces to work once again.' </p><p>Last Saturday nearly 90,000 police were mobilised across the country for the protests, with 8,000 officers and a dozen armoured vehicles deployed in the capital where scores of stores, museums and monuments were closed. </p><p>Le Parisien also reported that a house painter, married with two children, was seriously injured. </p><p>Amid the hunt for Chekatt, France raised its three-stage threat index to the highest level and bolstered troops around France.</p><p>Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that the French native, born in Strasbourg, had run-ins with police starting at age 10.</p><p>Chekatt was mostly convicted in France but also in Switzerland and Germany, for crimes including armed robbery. </p><p>He had been flagged for extremism and was on a watch list, but the interior minister said 'the signs were weak'.</p><p>'It's a large zone and the search is difficult,' senior Interior Ministry official Laurent Nunez said on France-Inter radio.</p><p>Strasbourg is on the border with Germany, where the suspect was convicted in 2016 of breaking into a dental practice and a pharmacy in two towns. </p><p>He said: 'The only thing that attracted attention was his very religious attitude. He made a point of never taking alcohol or illegal drugs. </p><p>'It was also important to him that he did not have to eat pork in the prison. My client was actually a very sociable type, often joking.'</p><p>Prosecutor Remy Heitz said the man attacked with a handgun and a knife about 8pm local time on Tuesday, and was shot in the arm during an exchange of fire with soldiers during his rampage.</p><p>He then took a taxi to another part of the city, boasting of the attack to the driver, and later exchanged more gunfire with police and disappeared, Mr Heitz said.</p><p>Witnesses described shots and screams after the gunman opened fire and yelled 'God is great!' in Arabic, the prosecutor added. Swaths of the city were under lockdown for hours.   </p><p>The attack in the heart of old Strasbourg, near its famous cathedral and within the Christmas market that draws many tourists, unsettled the border city that also is home to the European Parliament.</p><p>The German government said it had stepped up controls on the border with France but did not change its threat level.</p><p>'All terrorist attacks touch all of France, and it's plain to see each of the attacks have hit a highly symbolic point or moment,' Mr Philippe told parliament.</p><p>He listed violence since 2015 that killed more than 200: at the Charlie Hebdo satiric newspaper, a Kosher store, restaurants, bars and a concert hall in Paris; along the famed seaside promenade in Nice; and even inside a church in a quiet suburb of the northern city of Rouen, among others.</p><p>Strasbourg's Christmas market 'is a family and brotherly celebration that speaks about hope and what unites us. It's this celebration that was hit yesterday by a terrorist act,' he said.</p><p>The city was in mourning, with candles lit at the site of the attack, and the Christmas market was closed at least through Thursday, according to regional prefect Jean-Luc Marx. </p><p>The Strasbourg suspect, who lived in a rundown apartment block a short drive from the city centre, was flagged by French security forces in 2015 as a possible Islamic extremist.</p><p>France has been hit by a wave of attacks from gunmen claiming allegiance to Al Qaeda or the Islamic State group since 2015, which have claimed the lives of 246 people before Tuesday's attack.</p><p>The Christmas market, a hugely popular attraction in historic Strasbourg, will reopen on Friday, Castaner said.</p><p>People began returning to the area on Thursday with many marking their respects for the victims by leaving candles in the main Kleber square.</p><p>Candlelit vigils were held in Strasbourg for the victims of the shooting on Wednesday. Three people died, one was left brain-dead, and 12 more were wounded</p><p>People lay candles and flowers in tribute to those who died in Place Kléber, in Strasbourg</p><p>There are fears that Chekatt could have fled across the border to Germany, where he has link and has been arrested at least once</p><p>It came only 24 hours after he broke a long public silence and appealed for calm amid the mushrooming 'yellow vest' protest movement that seeks a better standard of living for ordinary citizens.</p><p>He offered a package of measures, but it was not clear if that would halt the weekend protests.</p><p>'The terrorist threat is still at the core of our nation's life,' government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux quoted Mr Macron as saying at the weekly Cabinet meeting.</p><p>Interior Ministry official Mr Nunez said Chekatt had been radicalised in prison and had been monitored by French intelligence services since his release in late 2015, because of his suspected religious extremism.</p><p>Mr Nunez told France-Inter that police went to his apartment in an outer neighbourhood of Strasbourg on Tuesday morning. Authorities said he was not there, although five other people were detained.</p><p>Police seized a grenade, a rifle and knives in the operation, Mr Heitz said.</p><p>The graves were painted with Nazis swastikas and the numbers 88 and 14, which are used by white supremacists to reference the phrase 'heil Hitler' and a 14-word statement he once issued from prison which reads: 'We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.'</p><p>Other graffiti read 'CRIF = ZOG', referencing the French organisation which represents Jewish communities - CRIF - which was compared to a 'Zionist occupation government' or 'ZOG'.</p><p>Jewish graves in a cemetery in Herrlisheim, 12 miles north of Strasbourg, were discovered covered in racist graffiti on Tuesday just hours before the city's Christmas market was attacked by a radical Islamist</p><p>Graves were painted with Nazi swastikas and the numbers 88 - which stands for 'heil Hitler' - and 14 - which represents a white supremacist screed he once penned in prison</p><p>The graves were also painted with a slogan which reads CRIF = ZOG, referencing the organisation that represents French Jews, called CRIF, which was branded a 'Zionist occupation government', or ZOG</p><p>The graves are located in Herrlisheim, a commune around 12 miles to the north of Strasbourg. </p><p>On the same day the most recent graffiti was discovered, Strasbourg saw one of its main avenues renamed for Simone Veil, a Holocaust survivor and former minister who died last year.</p><p>Hours after the vandalism was uncovered, Cherif Chekatt - an Islamic extremist - shot three people dead and wounded another 12 in an attack at Strasbourg's Christmas market.</p><p>Another fruitcake who has no place in a civilised ...</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Prime Minister's dashes from Westminster to Europe are like Fifty Shades of May 

    RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Prime Minister's dashes from Westminster to Europe are like Fifty Shades of May 

    Mother Theresa started laughing.</p><p>The last time I saw her looking that cheerful in the Commons was during Spread Fear Phil's disastrous 2017 Spring Budget speech. </p><p>She did a passable impersonation of the Meg Ryan restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally.</p><p>As I watched this week's slow-motion car crash unfold, I couldn't help thinking: what on earth has she got to laugh about?</p><p>In order to win the support of the 1922 Committee, she had to abase herself before Conservative backbenchers, by promising that she wouldn't lead the party into the next General Election.</p><p>Why was she bothering? And why, not for the first time, did I recall what Detective Constable Jones said to Cheerful Charlie Chisholm, in one of the two classic Minder episodes featuring Scotch Harry?</p><p>RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: The Prime Minister's deranged dashes from Westminster to Europe have been like Fifty Shades of May</p><p>After yet another abortive attempt to nick Arthur Daley, an exasperated Jones turns to Chisholm and pleads: 'All I'm saying is this: Who bloody cares?'</p><p>'Yeah,' says Cheerful Charlie, finally bowing to the inevitable. Sod it!'</p><p>Funnily enough, I decided to watch this episode again on Wednesday night, rather than suffer the self-serving gabfest at Westminster in the run-up to the announcement of the no-confidence motion result.</p><p>You can just imagine a version of this conversation taking place in No 10 between Mrs May and her ever-loyal husband. 'All I'm saying, Theresa, darling, is this: Who bloody cares?'</p><p>But instead of throwing in the towel, Mrs May has decided to tough it out, even though 'Sod It!' appears the only sensible conclusion.</p><p>Then it dawned on me. She's enjoying this. What we're witnessing here is Fifty Shades Of May.</p><p>It all fell into place after reading yesterday's Femail magazine cover story on the 'pleasure gap' between men and women, written by Rowan Pelling, former editor of The Erotic Review.</p><p>RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: As I watched this week's slow-motion car crash unfold, I couldn't help thinking: what on earth has she got to laugh about?</p><p>We're all vaguely aware that the romantic sweet-spots — and indeed, fantasies — of males and females are poles apart.</p><p>It's why I get a bigger buzz watching Spurs score a late equaliser against Barcelona — or June Whitfield trying to seduce Arthur in Minder — than having to sit through that hairy ape scything stripped to the waist on Poldark.</p><p>But, for some reason, I've never really thought of Theresa May being similarly susceptible to such base passions.</p><p>Stands to reason, though, when you come to think about it.</p><p>You know what they say about vicars' daughters. Fiona Richmond, anyone?</p><p>We've been looking at Theresa's treatment by the EU and her own MPs through the wrong end of the kaleidoscope. Most (male) commentators see only humiliation after humiliation and, like me, can't fathom why she keeps going back for more.</p><p>Then again, most (male) commentators haven't read the Fifty Shades Of Grey series, the sado-masochistic best-sellers by E.L. Wisty, or whatever her name is, which have mutated into major motion pictures, grossing gazillions around the globe.</p><p>Theresa May arriving in Brussels for a European Summit aimed at discussing the Brexit deal, the long-term budget and the single market</p><p>To be honest, so-called erotic fiction has never done much for me. Allegedly erotic films, neither. An usherette once threatened to throw me out of Muswell Hill Odeon for laughing too loudly at the sex scenes in Fatal Attraction.</p><p>But, seemingly, the ladies have other ideas. Why else would the Fifty Shades franchise have proved so popular? I've never met a man who has read it.</p><p>However, I'm guessing that Mrs May has all three volumes discreetly tucked away on her Kindle, alongside biographies of Nancy Astor and Pitt the Younger.</p><p>I'm sure I don't need to explain what passes for the plot of these books to my female readers. But, in order to enlighten the gentlemen, I checked out Fifty Shades on the internet yesterday. Purely in the interests of research, you understand.</p><p>Without going into the gory details, the first review I stumbled across described the heroine, Anastasia, being transported everywhere by private jet and subjected to regular, and harsh, chastisement with a leather belt.</p><p>Call me old-fashioned, but doesn't that sound eerily like Theresa May's deranged dashes around Europe recently, flitting from Brussels to Strasbourg and beyond, only to be rewarded at every juncture with a good thrashing?</p><p>Theresa May met with EU leaders to try and get legal assurances about the backstop proposal </p><p>Then it was back home for a severe paddling from the 1922 brigade, where she emerged badly bruised but triumphant, ready to fight another day.</p><p>In the book, Anastasia signs an agreement not to disclose details of her treatment at the hands of the dominant Christian Grey.</p><p>Was this the inspiration for Theresa's initial refusal to publish the damning legal advice she had received about her backstop? Not to mention her red lines.</p><p>Even those like me who think she is a truly dreadful Prime Minister, who has cynically betrayed her manifesto promises and the 17.4 million who voted Leave, have to admit there is a certain magnificence about her bovine stubbornness.</p><p>It must be the abject humiliation which keeps her going. Jacob Rees-Mogg missed a trick when he dropped his ultra-polite routine. While he was damning her with faint praise, she was reeling.</p><p>Once he went on full offensive, she seemed to feed off the overt hostility and become even more determined to stand firm.</p><p>To what end, remains to be seen. I'm not about to revisit all the arguments about why her 'deal' is a disaster for Britain. </p><p>Nor speculate about how long she will stay in the job. My guess is as long as possible, even if she has to be dragged out screaming and kicking after chaining herself to a radiator.</p><p>Power is an aphrodisiac, for both men and women, although it does seem you have to be a masochist to enjoy it.</p><p>Theresa May and Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (R) at the European Council in Brussels during their two-day summit in which European leaders will focus on Brexit and the EU's budget for 2021 to 2027</p><p>Tony Blair used to boast about the 'scars on my back' inflicted by the unions, who tormented him as much as the European Research Group torment Mrs May. At least Blair knew when his time was up. So, too, did our only other female Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher.</p><p>Despite receiving a greater level of support from her backbenches than Mother Theresa did this week, Maggie quickly realised that no useful purpose could be served by clinging to office.</p><p>I've never seen the parallels between Mrs T and Mrs May, apart from their shared gender. Where Maggie was dominant in Europe, Theresa is submissive, like Anastasia in Fifty Shades.</p><p>It's only when she gets home that she tries unconvincingly to act the dominatrix.</p><p>Perhaps she should take a hint from Mrs Thatcher, who, right at the end, found that her departure was actually liberating.</p><p>Thatcher, too, was brought down by Tory divisions over the EU, but for standing up to Brussels, not surrendering.</p><p>During her resignation speech in the Commons, Maggie was taunted — as was Mrs May this week — by veteran Labour hooligan Dennis Skinner, who suggested that after leaving No 10 she should become the head of the yet-to-be-founded European Bank.</p><p>Mrs Thatcher burst out laughing. 'I'm enjoying this,' she said.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018
  • Sir Lenny Henry says he would never go on Who Do You Think You Are because his ancestors were slaves

    Sir Lenny Henry says he would never go on Who Do You Think You Are because his ancestors were slaves

    o Do You Think You Are? because his ancestors were slaves and he fears becoming too emotional.</p><p>The actor, 60, is playing head slave Godfrey in the new BBC1 drama The Long Song.</p><p>The British comedian, 60, said the tale of a woman enslaved under British rule in 19th century Jamaica had renewed relevance in today's political climate.</p><p>Ahead of the show's release next week, he said: 'My family are from Jamaica, it's why I don't do Who Do You Think You Are? because within two or three generations is slavery and I'd be there two minutes in crying ''They're all slaves!'''</p><p>Sir Lenny Henry as Godfrey in the new BBC1 drama The Long Song which airs this month</p><p>'I did a documentary called Caribbean Kid recently and we went back to my grandmother's house which was in the grounds of a plantation and we went up past my grandmother's house into the back area and there were all these slave graves, some small ones for babies, big ones for adults. </p><p>'That's how slaves lived, they buried them on the property.'  </p><p>Sir Lenny, who stars as Godfrey in the BBC One series, said he wanted the adaptation to become the British equivalent to American miniseries Roots.</p><p>That 1977 book adaptation followed the family of Kunta Kinte, a Mandinka warrior enslaved and sold to a plantation in the southern United States.</p><p>Set during the final days of slavery, The Long Song follows strong-willed young slave July, played by Tamara Lawrance, and was adapted by Sarah Williams from Andrea Levy's book.</p><p>Hayley Atwell (left), Sir Lenny Henry and Tamara Lawrance at a photocall for the new BBC One Drama The Long Song</p><p>He said: 'When you make something you want it to be part of the national conversation and I think this will evoke a conversation about the past.</p><p>'We're in a place where racism is on the agenda - Black Lives Matter, and also this idea of knowing (that) if you don't know what happened, you're not going to know what's happening.</p><p>'We need to look at the past so we can think about what happens going forward. Slavery is still happening, so we need to watch these things and be informed going forward.' </p><p>Sir Lenny said he would never appear on the TV programme Who Do You Think You Are? because his ancestors were slaves and he fears becoming too emotional</p><p>Sir Lenny said it was important the British public learnt about their country's role in the slave trade, adding that the UK's full involvement had been omitted from schools.</p><p>He said: 'I wanted to be part of this story because the retelling of the story of slavery and the British empire's involvement is something that needs to be known because this is stuff we didn't learn at school.</p><p>'I went to Blue Coat Secondary. We learned about Clive of India and the triangle, but we didn't learn about Bristol or Liverpool or Manchester and Preston and Carlisle, and all those ports that were built from the profits of slavery, and the Black Country's involvement in the Industrial Revolution, making irons and chains and guns for the slave trade.'</p><p>The series also features EastEnders actress Dona Croll, The Boy With The Topknot star Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Chewing Gum's Ayesha Antoine.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 December 14, 2018

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