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Grenfell Tower fire: ‘We are truly sorry we couldn’t save everyone’s life that night’

London Fire Brigade chief Dany Cotton has welcomed a critical report on the Grenfell tower fire, but said that the building “failed spectacularly”.

Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said the absence of a plan to evacuate the tower was a “major omission” by the LFB and more lives could have been saved had the “stay-put” policy been abandoned sooner.

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Josh Hanson murder: Britain’s ‘most wanted’ man jailed for life

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Media captionDet Ch Insp Noel McHugh explains how he managed to track Shane O’Brien

A killer once dubbed one of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been jailed for at least 26 years.

Shane O’Brien, 31, evaded police for three-and-a-half years after he slashed Josh Hanson’s neck in Hillingdon, west London, on 11 October 2015.

He fled the UK, changed his appearance and moved around Europe before his extradition from Romania in April.

O’Brien, who jurors found guilty of murder last month, was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey.

CCTV released during the trial showed 21-year-old Mr Hanson clutching his neck and stumbling as blood poured out of a 37cm (14.5in) wound.

‘Abrupt, vicious, violent’

After the killing, jurors heard, O’Brien was seen “calmly” walking out of the bar.

He made his way to Ashford, Kent, where a contact had chartered a private four-seater plane to take him to the Netherlands.

The killer grew a beard and long hair and changed his tattoos as he travelled through countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic, the court was told.

In 2017, the father-of-two was arrested over a dispute in a Prague nightclub but gave police a false name and fled while on bail.

The trial heard the 31-year-old was added to Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists but still managed to lay low.

However, he was eventually caught by Romanian authorities after he contacted Scotland Yard to arrange a possible meeting, the jury heard.

Sentencing the father-of-two, Judge Nigel Lickley QC called it “a grotesque, violent and totally unnecessary attack on an innocent man”.

“The reason why you behaved in such a way may never be fully explained. You, however, know the reason,” he said.

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Metropolitan Police

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Josh Hanson was pronounced dead at the RE bar in Hillingdon

In a victim impact statement, Mr Hanson’s mother Tracey described her son as being “considerate, kind and generous”.

“He was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently,” she said.

The victim’s sister, Brooke, said the 21-year-old “was not just my brother, he was my best friend”, and described his “infectious smile” and “magical presence”.

She told the court she had suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress since the killing and found herself always wondering if she could have protected him from the “evil” that took him away.

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EPA

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The 31-year-old was eventually detained by authorities in Romania

During the trial, O’Brien had claimed he felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” and had only meant to scare his victim.

There were angry shouts of “coward” from the public gallery as he was led away from the dock.

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Baptista Adjei stabbing: Second murder charge over Stratford killing

Baptista Adjei

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Met Police

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Baptista Adjei lived in North Woolwich but was stabbed to death near the Stratford Shopping Centre

A 15-year-old has been charged with conspiring to murder a schoolboy who was stabbed to death in the street.

Baptista Adjei, also 15, from North Woolwich, was attacked on Stratford Broadway, east London, on 10 October.

Police have charged another 15-year-old boy with murder, GBH and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon.

The latest suspect will appear at Stratford Youth Court later, Scotland Yard said.

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Finsbury Park flood: Families stay in temporary housing

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Media captionFinsbury Park flooding

Some 50 households had to stay in emergency accommodation overnight after a burst water main flooded homes in north London.

About 250 properties including two schools were affected after a 36-inch (91cm) water pipe fractured in Finsbury Park before 08:00 BST on Tuesday.

One man was rescued from a basement while others had to be led to safety.

Thames Water said a temporary fix had been put in place and all flood water had been pumped away.

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Parkwood Primary school has reopened after being shut as a result of the flood

The water main burst at the junction of Queens Drive and Princess Crescent causing an area measuring about 600m x 200m (1,900ft x 650ft) to be flooded to a depth of about 1m (3ft).

About 12 fire engines and 80 firefighters were deployed to help rescue people and pump water away, while postcode areas N1, N4, N5, N7 and N19 were left with no water or low water pressure.

Tanja Schnitzer, who lives in a basement flat on Queens Drive, said rooms in the property had filled up with water “within half an hour from floor to ceiling”.

“It’s devastating. We’ve pretty much lost everything,” she said.

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Residents of a basement flat escaped with their possession to the top floor of their property

Water supplies for most properties in the area have been restored but Thames Water said air locks in the system meant some residents were still experiencing problems.

A spokesman for the firm said bottled water and plumbers were on standby in case of issues while engineers would finish fixing the mains during the day.

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Thames Water said engineers would work throughout the day to repair the broken mains pipe

Woodberry Down Primary School remains shut but Parkwood Primary School has reopened.

Queens Drive, between Brownswood Road and Seven Sisters Road, has been closed to traffic.

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Banksy opens ‘pop-up’ shop in Croydon

Banksy has opened a “pop-up” shop in south London featuring the stab vest he designed for Stormzy’s headline act at the Glastonbury Festival.

A Tony the Tiger rug and a cradle surrounded by CCTV cameras are also on show as part of the venture, at a disused retail outlet in Croydon.

“I’m opening a shop today,” the artist said on Instagram. “Although the doors don’t actually open.”

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Hillingdon Tube stabbing: Tashan Daniel ‘was going to Arsenal match’

Hillingdon station

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Anne Robinson/Twitter/PA Wire

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Emergency services were called to Hillingdon Underground station at shortly before 16:00 BST

A man stabbed to death at a London Underground station was an Arsenal fan on his way to a match, the BBC has been told.

Tashan Daniel, 20, was was killed in an “unprovoked attack” on the platform at Hillingdon station on Tuesday.

He had been heading to the Emirates Stadium to see the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Carabao Cup, a source said.

It is the third murder investigation on the Tube network this year.

No arrests have been made over the attack, which Det Supt Gary Richardson described as “a shocking act of violence”.

He said the British Transport Police (BTP) investigation was in its “early stages”.

“We believe a group of young men were involved in an altercation on the platform before one of the men received a fatal stab wound,” he said.

Police and paramedics were called to the station in west London at 15:57 BST.

An air ambulance was also sent to Hillingdon, but Mr Daniel was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Mike Quinn/Geograph

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The man was pronounced dead at the scene at Hillingdon station

Danielle Foster, who was driving past Hillingdon station at the time of the stabbing, said upon “hearing so many sirens, I knew something terrible had happened”.

“Lots of people were being turned away from the station as it had been closed,” she said, adding: “Then the police helicopter began circling the scene.”

Hillingdon station was closed by Transport for London (TfL) while police searched the area.

The station was closed for the rest of Tuesday evening and reopened at 05:45 this morning.

So far in 2019 more than 100 murder investigations have been launched across London by the Metropolitan Police and BTP.

The other two murder investigations carried out by BTP happened after killings at Queensbury Tube station in March and Elephant and Castle Tube station at the start of this month.

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Greenpeace oil rig protestors sentenced

Greenpeace protest on rig

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Greenpeace

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The protest in June prevented the rig Paul B Loyd Junior from leaving the Cromarty Firth

Five Greenpeace campaigners who occupied an oil rig for almost four days have been sentenced to carry out unpaid work.

They boarded Transocean’s Paul B Loyd Junior while it was in the Cromarty Firth awaiting a tow to a BP oil field.

The three men and two women chained themselves to the rig preventing it from leaving the Highlands firth during June’s protest.

They pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at Tain Sheriff Court.

Appearing back at the court for sentencing on Monday, Andrew McParland, 52, from Epsom in Surrey, Peter Chan, 50, from Reading, and Thomas Johnstone, 35, from Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy, Wales, were ordered to complete 135 hours of unpaid work.

Joanne Paterson, 53, from Munlochy on the Black Isle, was sentenced to 100 hours and Meena Rajput, 39, from London, to 80 hours.

‘Criminal act’

Police, RNLI and coastguard were involved in work to make sure no-one came to harm during the occupation.

The court heard that the protest led to most of the rig’s 99 crew being confined to their quarters.

Sentencing the group, Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said: “I may or may not have sympathy for your beliefs. But that is for another forum. A criminal act was committed here.

“What concerns me is that the RNLI and the coastguard were taken away from a possible legitimate emergency elsewhere.

“We have all sorts of terrorist acts these days and some people on the rig would not have known this was a benign action.”

The rig was eventually towed out to the North Sea.

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London Car Free Day: Tower Bridge shuts for mass yoga session

Yoga session on Tower Bridge

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Eleanor Broderick

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Tower Bridge was closed for the mass yoga session at 07:00

Downward dogs and yoga mats have replaced cars and buses on London’s Tower Bridge as part of Car Free Day.

The mass yoga session was one of a number of activities taking place in the capital as more than 16 miles (27 km) of streets were shut.

Bank junction has been turned into a festival space while children will race go-karts in the Square Mile.

The closures will be in place until 19:00 BST with roads elsewhere expected to be busy as a result.

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Eleanor Broderick

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Organisers hope more than 150,000 people will take part in events during the day

Tower and London Bridge were shut at 07:00 along with streets in parts of the City, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.

Among the other activities taking place are a hedge maze in Cheapside and classic cycle rides on Tower Bridge.

Organisers hope more than 150,000 people will join the event which has been named Reimagine.

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TfL

Away from the centre, 15 boroughs will be running their own Car Free Day celebrations and more than 340 “play streets” – safe spaces for local people to socialise and play – have been approved some 24 boroughs.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said the day was about “demonstrating our commitment to cleaning up our toxic air and experiencing a greener way of living”.

Transport for London has warned that those who do take to the roads should expect “significant delays”.

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Climate Strike: Protests expected across UK

Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg

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Getty Images

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Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg – who inspired the protests – sailed to the US ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York next week

Protests are expected across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools in a bid to urge more government action on climate change.

It’s part of a global “climate strike” day, which started in Australia earlier, where organisers said around 300,000 people took part.

They are urging “climate justice” and “an end to the age of fossil fuels”.

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were being heard but did not “endorse children leaving school”.

It follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

The teenager, from Sweden, has described the turnout in Australia earlier as “incredible”.

She is set to join a later rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.

Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.

It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.

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EPA

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Students gather for a protest against climate change in Nicosia, Cyprus

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will address the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike in Westminster at about 13:15pm.

Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast protesters’ voices were “being heard” but insisted the time spent in school was “incredibly important”.

He added: “What I do support is their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously.”

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Hampton Hill ‘explosion’: Residents evacuated after building fire

Hampton Hill

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@Barry2103

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The London Fire Brigade evacuated 30 residents after a building on High Street in Hampton Hill caught fire

About 30 residents have been evacuated and part of a building has been destroyed following a suspected explosion.

London Fire Brigade said it was called to a fire after the suspected blast on High Street in Hampton Hill, south-west London, on Tuesday night.

On social media, one witness described hearing a “boom” before the blaze. No was injured.

Road closures remain in place at the scene, Richmond Council said.



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