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General election LIVE – latest news as MPs vote for general election on December 12 – The Sun

THE UK is set to go to the polls on December 12 after MPs backed Boris Johnson's calls for a general election last night.

Boris Johnson saw off Labour and Lib Dem attempts to call the election early after an amendment for a December 9 poll was voted down.

The bill now goes to the House of Lords and if it passes, Brits are going to the ballot boxes.

Follow our live blog below for all the latest updates…

  • COMMONS CLASH

    BORIS JOHNSON rejected last-ditch attempts by opposition MPs to give EU nationals and 16 and 17-year-olds the vote during last night's Commons showdown.

    The PM turned down the Labour push to extend the franchise – with the Lib Dems and SNP backing Jeremy Corbyn's party's.

    A Number 10 spokesman said: “The Government’s position has not changed, we’ve no plans to lower the national voting age.

    “18 is widely recognised as the age people become an adult. Below the age of 18 you are treated as a minor in both the foster care system and the criminal justice system.

    “Full citizenship rights including voting should be gained at adulthood.”

    Up to three million EU nationals would also not be given a a vote on December 12 as there would be “no idea on the cost or logistical burden this could cause”.

  • ELECTION FEVER

    SEASONS greetings will not be the only thing on the cards this December – that’s right folks, we’re going to have a Christmas(ish) general election

    Last night Boris Johnson got his December 12 poll after MPs voted for the PM's election bill on its third reading – 438 to 20.

    Mr Johnson saw off Labour and Lib Dem attempts to call the election early after an amendment for a December 9 poll was voted down.

    The bill now goes to the House of Lords and if it passes, Brits are going to the ballot boxes.

    It comes after Jeremy Corbyn performed a dramatic U-turn to back a call for a national vote.

    Mr Corbyn had a change of heart after getting assurances from the EU that a no deal Brexit was “off the table”.

    The Labour boss – who three times dodged a Commons vote on the election – said yesterday that he “can’t wait” to take on the Tories at the ballot boxes.

    Boris received a boost after a Remainer plot to get 16 and 17-years-olds the right to vote was dismissed in the Commons.

    Deputy Speaker Linsday Hoyle did not select an amendment allowing MPs to hold a vote on the matter.

    A spokesman for No10 had previously warned lowering the voting age would cause “chaos”.

    In an eventful day in Westminster, the PM also restored the whip to a host of Tory rebels, including Winston Churchill’s grandson.

    Sir Nicholas Soames was among the 21 MPs sacked by the PM for voting against the government over a possible no deal Brexit.

    But last night Boris gave back the whip back to 10 of the expelled MPs.

    They are: Richard Benyon, Steve Brine, Alistair Burt, Greg Clark, Stephen Hammond, Richard Harrington, Margot James, Caroline Nokes, Nicholas Soames and Ed Vaizey.

    In Brussels, Donald Tusk warned MPs that this may be the last Brexit extension the EU offers Britain.

    The European Council President said; “The EU27 has formally adopted the extension. It may be the last one. Please make the best use of this time.”

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Essex lorry – Family of graduate, 33, feared to be among 39 dead migrants slam ‘cruel and evil’ people smugglers – The Sun

THE family of a 33-year-old graduate today slammed "cruel and evil" people smugglers after the bodies of 39 people were found inside a freezing container.

Nguyen Van Hung texted his parents to tell them he was "going by taxi" to get to the UK on October 21 – with the Vietnamese parents now fearing he is one of the  victims in one of Britain's biggest murder investigations.


Mum Pham Thi Lan and dad Nyguen Thanh Le now face the grim task of providing DNA that will tell them if their son was inside the doomed container.

Speaking to the Mail Online, the mourning dad said: "The people who did this are cruel and evil. The driver only has to stop and let the people out and give them a chance to live."

He said his son – his second of six children – had obtained a music studies degree but had been unable to get a job.

Van Hung's family say he then travelled to France and was working as a dishwasher with hopes of getting to the UK.

But his parents said they became worried when his calls home abruptly stopped after October 21.

In his last message, he told his family he would be "taking a taxi" to England – with them now fearing he didn't want to worry them by telling them he would be smuggled in a container.

The people who did this are cruel and evil

Fearing the worst, mum Pham Thi Lan sobbed as she paid tribute to her "loving" son.

The family are among those desperately waiting for answers, with candlelit vigils held over the weekend in the northern Vietnamese village of Yen Thanh, home to around 24 suspected victims.

Lorry driver Mo Robinson, who made the grim find when he opened the container on Wednesday, will today face court charged with manslaughter.

Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, was also charged with conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

It is understood the container passed through the Belgian port town of Zeebrugge before arriving in the UK last week.

LEFT TO DIE

Among them are the family of 19-year-old Anna Bui Thi Nhung, who is feared to be the youngest victim found in the freezing lorry.

The teen, who wanted to work at a nail bar, is believed to have travelled through China before arriving in Germany then onto Belgium where she is believed to have boarded the doomed truck.

But Reuters reported that during her travels, she posted on Facebook: "I feel lonely in the place I used to dream of everyday."

She later wrote: "Back in Vietnam, I thought Europe was pink. But it turns out it’s black."

Some migrants are said to have died banging on the truck’s walls after it travelled through the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Many were naked or had minimal clothing, say sources.

The Vietnamese Embassy in London has today set up a channel to liaise with Essex Police as they work to identify victims.

The country's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has since ordered an investigation into alleged human trafficking activities.

Gareth Ward, Britain's ambassador to Vietnam, today said he had met with the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam to discuss the tragedy.

He said: "At this time, we have not received confirmation as to who these people are, and where they are from.

"But whatever nationality they have, our hearts go out to their families and friends."





The family of another feared victim Pham Thi Tra My, 26, told how she was tricked into paying £30,000 for a “VIP” trip.

Tra My texted her mum “I love you so much. I’m dying because I can’t breathe”, as she suffocated in the sealed trailer, it is claimed.

Dad Pham Van Thin said he and his wife paid Snakehead gangs £30,000 for their daughter’s trip despite earning just £400 a month.

Pham said: “I’ve lost my loved one and my money. The smugglers said this was a safe way — by plane or car.

"If I’d known she would go by this route, I would not have let her go.”

A human rights group source said: “Tra My was using the ‘Very Important Service’ — like a business class ticket on the lorry.

"She had to pay double or three times the price of the cheap ticket.”

But despite the horror, migrants have said they won't stop trying to get to the UK.

The Sun yesterday revealed how Vietnamese migrants were still waiting in France for smugglers to help them cross the Channel – saying they had come too far to turn back now.

Migrants in Zeebrugge, where the doomed container passed through, have also said they won't stop trying to get onto trucks for the perilous journey.















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UK weather forecast – Met Office warns ‘danger to life’ as flash floods and 60mph gales to hit Britain before snow – The Sun

FORECASTERS have warned of a "danger to life" as flash floods and gales spark travel chaos and power cuts – before a burst of snow lashes Britain.

The Met Office released FOUR weather warnings as a cold front inches across the country.

One in South Wales warns: "Homes and businesses are likely to be flooded, causing damage to some buildings.

"Fast flowing or deep floodwater is likely, causing danger to life.

"There is a good chance some communities cut off by flooded roads.

"Power cuts and loss of other services to some homes and businesses are likely."

5

5


The warning covers large parts of South Wales.

Three more cover the South West, North Wales, and the Midlands.

Met Office meteorologist Steven Keates said: "A cold front will move across the country later on Saturday and this will bring a marked change in temperatures compared to the start of the weekend.

"There will be blustery showers and the risk of gales in the north on Sunday, there is a chance that some of these showers will turn wintry especially over high ground.

"It is going to feel markedly colder, especially across the southeast after this cold front moves across bringing temperatures down from mid-double figures to around 9C to 12C.

"We are going to be a bit below average in terms of temperatures into the start of next week.

"Skies will be clear so it is going to be chilly, we are also going to see winds coming in from the north and the east. There will be a risk of frosts in the morning and some early fog."

The Government's Flood Information Service has 13 warnings where "immediate action" is required.

The warnings are in place across Yorkshire, the Midlands, and Wales.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue service warned: "Large volumes of flood water in North Devon are making driving conditions hazardous.

"Fire & Police have attended a number of people who have driven into floodwater.

"Drivers are asked to respect road closures, not diverting to minor roads which are more treacherous. Avoid travel."

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Hurricane Dorian – Attention-seeking stars and Instagrammers slammed for wildly inappropriate bikini and ‘belfie’ tributes to Bahamas dead – The Sun

ATTENTION-seeking Instagrammers have been blasted for their tone-deaf tributes to Hurricane Dorian victims featuring belfies and sexy bikini pictures.

The “disgraceful” posts were supposedly intended to send out “prayers” to the Bahamas – which has been devastated by the Category 5 storm.



At least five people are dead more than 13,000 have seen their homes destroyed by one of the biggest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the Atlantic.

But despite lives being ruined by Dorian, narcissistic social media users are using the disaster as an opportunity to post throwbacks to bikini pictures in a cynical bid to get likes, reports News.com.au.

In one post, an Instagram user posted a “beflie” picture of her bum in a red bikini along with the message: “Praying for the safety of this beautiful country #Bahamas”.

However, her picture has been met with a backlash with many users calling for her to delete with some calling it “disgraceful.”

One said: “This is disgusting, delete this.

A second wrote: “This is why I ignore that phrase in social media.”

Another post featured a woman posing seductively on rocks by the water wearing a purple bikini showing off her toned body along with the caption: “My thoughts and prayers go out to all my friends in the Bahamas.”




23
Credit: Instagram

23
Credit: Instagram

Another shameless belfie picture was captioned: “SO sad to read in the news about #Bahamas one of the most beautiful beaches I visited and photographed, friendly people and happy.

“My heart goes out to the families that lost their homes Dorian left destruction, my heart is breaking to see. #prayforbahamas”.

Actress Sofia Vergara has also been slammed for posting about the deadly hurricane.

The Modern Family star posted a demure-looking photo of herself and a friend captioned: “Waiting for Dorian.”

However, some fans took exception to the post, with one writing: “‘I am a fan. But the waiting for Dorian comment was not funny.”

Another wrote: “That caption sounds insensitive. People are not gonna like it.”

But many users came to Sofia’s defence branding her critics “snowflakes” and accused them of overreacting.


Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in history as the 225mph killer edges towards Florida.

The category 5 monster made landfall in the Bahamas with devastating force on Sunday, reportedly killing a seven-year-old boy.

More deaths are feared from the mega-storm – which is now officially the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, bar one.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 225mph – tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.

MONSTER STORM

That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were even named.

The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980 – which had sustained 190mph winds but didn't make landfall at that strength.

Darren Henfield, Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage.

“We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen.

“We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and see for ourselves.”












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Watford stabbing – First pic of man, 27, stabbed to death after car crash as mum pays heartbreaking tribute – The Sun

THE young man stabbed to death after a three-car crash in Watford has been pictured today – as as his devastated mum paid a heartbreaking tribute.

Luke O'Connell, 27, was knifed during the brawl that broke out after the collision at 3am on Saturday.


The 27-year-old who lived in the area, was found stabbed in Gammons Lane, at the junction on Leavesden Road.

He suffered serious injuries from the attack and was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after.

A 19-year-old man, also from Watford, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

Police were also called to reports that another young man had been found with a stab wound to his arm in nearby St Georges Road.

The stabbing has been treated as part of the same incident and the injured man was also taken to hospital.

It was understood that the crash involving a grey Volkswagen Golf, a blue Vauxhall Corsa and a black Vauxhall Astra may have been caused deliberately to attack the teenager.

All three cars were all badly damaged.

'WE ARE HEARTBROKEN'

Detectives are appealing to anyone who may have seen the cars in the night time hours before the crash or for those with dash-cam footage of the cars involved in the three hours before the brutal stabbing.

In a statement issued through Herts police Luke O'Connell's family also appealed to anyone with information about what happened to him to contact police.

We are absolutely devastated at what has happened to Luke. He had his whole life ahead of him and we are heartbroken.

His mum said: “As you can imagine we are absolutely devastated at what has happened to Luke.

"He had his whole life ahead of him and we are heartbroken.

“We would urge anyone who has any information about what happened to Luke to please contact the police in confidence or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

PENDING INVESTIGATION

Detective Chief Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the BCH Major Crime Unit, said: “Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this awful time and they are being supported by specially trained officers.

“A 19-year-old man from Watford has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

“We are still in the very early stages of our investigation and extensive inquiries are being carried out to help establish the sequence of events.

I understand this sad news will cause alarm to the local community

"I would urge any witnesses or anyone with information to get in touch straight away.

“In particular, I would like to hear from anyone who believes they might have dash-cam footage of any of the vehicles in Watford overnight on Friday August 30 into this morning.”

Chief Inspector Matt Phillips added: “I understand this sad news will cause alarm to the local community and I would like to reassure Watford residents that we are working closely with MP Richard Harrington and Watford Borough Council to support anyone who has been affected by this terrible loss of life.

"Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have information that can help the investigation.”

Watford Chief Inspector Matt Phillips said: “I understand this sad news will cause alarm to the local community and I would like to reassure Watford residents that we are working closely with MP Richard Harrington and Watford Borough Council to support anyone who has been affected by this terrible loss of life."

STABBINGS CONNECTED

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Major Crime Unit have launched a murder investigation following the death of a man in Watford this morning.

"Police were called just before 3am today to Gammons Lane at the junction on Leavesden Road to reports of a three vehicle collision and subsequent fight taking place.

"Officers attended and found a man in his 20's with alleged stab wounds. He was taken to hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.

"A further call was received to reports that a man had been found with a serious alleged stab wound to his arm in St Georges Road.

"This man was also taken to hospital for treatment. The two incidents are believed to be connected and both scenes are cordoned off."

Details of the second stab victim and the person arrested have not yet been released by police.

A Home Office pathologist was expected to carry out a post-mortem examination on the youth's body and a coroner will open and adjourn an inquest into his death early next week.

STRING OF KNIFE VIOLENCE

It comes as a 21-year-old man was left fighting for his life after being stabbed while a 15-year-old was knifed in two attacks just hours apart on London's bloody streets.

The man is believed to have had his phone and watch snatched in the vicious broad daylight attack in Croydon, South London, on Friday – left in a critical condition.

Three men, aged 19, 20 and 22, have since been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and are now being quizzed by cops.

Met Police confirmed they had been called to Croydon High Street just before 5.30pm after the man was stabbed.

This comes after a teen was knifed in broad daylight in the notorious Broadwater Farm Estate in Tottenham with cops called just after 11am today.

He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and is in a critical condition.

More than 90 people have been killed in London already this year, with at least 50 on the grim roll call victims of fatal stabbings.

CRIME FIGURES SOAR

Britain has been battling a knife crime epidemic with fatal stabbings as deaths are at their highest level since the Second World War.

Violent crimes have surged in the capital since Sadiq Khan took office as mayor, with 2018 the bloodiest year in a decade.

The staggering statistics come a day after a report revealed that super-criminals who are caught carrying knives and committing crimes several times are STILL escaping jail.

Knife crime is up by more than half in the three years since Khan took power in the capital.

The Mayor is accused of "complacency, incompetence and shirking responsibility" in the face of the city's crime wave.

Knife crime has increased by 52 per cent, burglary by 17 per cent and robbery by 59 per cent.




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Nick, just do me – and everyone – a favour and win the bloody thing

The frustration with Nick Kyrgios is obvious – he is a bloke with more talent in his little finger than the run-of-the-mill professional tennis player has in his whole body, and yet so often throws it all away with ludicrous tantrums over trivialities. If only he could focus, we all know, instead of constantly trying to jam it to the man, he could win major after major!

Ben Stokes celebrates after his match-winning century at Headingley in the third Ashes Test.Credit:PA

Tim Paine on umpiring in the third Test: “I have no issue with that, we can't control that. I don't think I've got a referral correct the whole series so I can't sit here and bag the umpires and again we have got to focus on what we can control and umpiring decisions isn't one of them.”

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce after defeating Tottenham around the same time of the cricket’s climax: “I don’t know what was more nervous – the last 10 minutes of the cricket or this. Ben Stokes can certainly play centre-half for us next week!”

Nick Kyrgios, in the wake of being fined $US113,000 for bad behaviour at the Cincinatti Open: “The ATP is pretty corrupt anyway. I’m not fussed about it at all.”

Kyrgios, 24 hours later, when he realised the ramifications of his accusation: “I would like to go on record to clarify my comment around the ATP being corrupt, it was not the correct choice of words and my point and intention was to address what I see as double standards rather than corruption.”

Josh Reynolds on his unlikely recall to the West Tigers team: “Yep, Steven Bradbury, that's what it is. I have a laugh about it. Rugby league is a weird game, and if you try to work it out, it does your head in.”

USA basketball coach Gregg Popovich on being undone by his Spurs player Patty Mills: “As I told you all after the last game, Patty’s a pain in the ass.”

Mills after the win: “For me to be able to go back to remote Indigenous communities, and have that experience to be able to remind myself why I play the game, personally.”

Knights coach Nathan Brown after another bad loss:The first half was a reflection of why the boss (chief executive Phil Gardner) and I came to the decision we did.” He’d left the building with Elvis by Tuesday.

Cameron Munster after his Storm team struggled to beat the lowly Titans: “I don’t want to swear on national TV but that was absolutely shit.”

Tiger Woods looking back on his 2019: “Very special to win my 15th major and get my fifth jacket. Those are special moments to be able to have an opportunity like that. And the rest of the tournaments I didn’t really play as well as I wanted. But at the end of the day, I’m the one with the green jacket.”

Former NFL Player Le’Ron McClain took to Twitter last Saturday to plead for help dealing with head and brain troubles he said have resulted from playing football: “Need to tell my story of how my head is crazy and how football did it. Please someone help me get this out the @NFL puts paperwork in out (sic) faces and thats it. I have to get my head checked. Playing fullback since high school. Its takes too f*****g much to do anything. My brain is f*****g tired…. @NFL i need some help with this s**t. Dark times and its showing. F*****g help me please!!”

Team of the Week

Ben Stokes. After his heroics in the World Cup final, his innings in the third Test means he’s had quite the summer. Out of the final-wicket partnership of 76, he scored 75. But what a killer innings also played by his partner, Jack Leach.

Wauchope Thunder Women's Team. Won the club’s first premiership last Saturday in Forster, defeating the Wallamba Bulls 55-0 in the grand final of the 10-a-side women’s rugby comp. Special kudos to Sonja Rock (50) and her 17-year-old daughter Paris Rock who played side by side and gave 'em hell!

Boomers. Broke the 78-game winning streak of Team USA that dates back to 2006.

Sydney University. Students win back-to-back Shute Shields, this one over Warringah in a come-from-behind win.

Rory McIlroy. Ended the year in style by winning the Tour Championship, pocketing a lazy $US15 million.

Young Socceroos. Won the AFF U18 Championship.

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UK weather forecast – Britain to be hit by rain, 50mph gales and thunder this weekend as monsoon rages on – The Sun

BRITAIN'S midsummer monsoon is set to continue this weekend, with rain, 50mph winds and thunder set to batter the country.

The Met Office warned it would be “wet and windy” for most on Friday as the miserable weather continues.

Coastal gales are expected to hit in the south and west and showers will sweep into Scotland and Northern Ireland later in the day.

Forecasters warned of heavy downpours that could turn thundery on Saturday and Sunday.

Large swathes of the nation have already been drenched by their average monthly August rainfall.

And more is set to lash the country this weekend amid 50mph winds and a sudden drop in temperatures.

Met Office forecaster Luke Myall said: "It's been extremely wet and it's going to remain that way until at least the middle of next week.

"By then we should start to see some high pressure returning but it'll mainly be confined to the south.

"For most August has been a complete washout."

But it’s not all bad news, as forecasters say a heatwave could return to the UK in just 10 days.

Large parts of Asia are being hit by a tropical typhoon which is sending a heat blast towards Europe.

If it hits the UK it is likely to bring an end to the heavy rain, flooding and thunderstorms which have caused chaos this month.

One forecaster has claimed blistering hot weather could return just weeks after the hottest ever temperature of 38.7C was recorded in Cambridge.

Liam Dutton, a Channel 4 News weatherman, said the Asian typhoon is likely to bring summer weather back before the end of August.

He posted a 92-second video online which shows how parts of Asia are currently being hit by a tropical storm.

TYPHOON

His clip reads: “How a typhoon over Asia may bring summer weather back to the UK.

“Tropical storm Krosa is spinning around over the NW Pacific Ocean.

“It was previously a typhoon but has now weakened to a strong tropical storm.

“During the next few days, it’ll move over Japan and onwards to the far east of Russia.

High pressure would bring settled weather for the end of August with some sunshine and a warmer feel than of late

“However, it’ll also bump into the jet stream high up in the atmosphere.

“This will send a ripple eastwards along the jet stream, like what happens when you flick a skipping rope.

“If you look closely, you can see this ripple in the jet stream travel across the ocean to the US.

“The ripple then travels onwards to above the Atlantic Ocean, pushing the jet stream north of the UK.

“If the jet stream moves north of the UK, it will bring high pressure instead of low pressure.

WARMER FEEL

“High pressure would bring settled weather for the end of August with some sunshine and a warmer feel than of late.”

The Met Office has a yellow weather warning in place for the Midlands until 10pm tonight.

A statement read: “Heavy showers and thunderstorms may cause flooding and transport disruption in a few places.

“There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes or hail.”

However, the Met Office added that parts of the South and South East are expected to enjoy temperatures of at least 25C as the weather settles down from Monday.

Marco Peteagna, a forecaster at the Met Office, told The Sun Online: “Things will start to improve next week.

“The jet stream from the Atlantic will push north on Monday which will bring warmer weather and sunshine.”





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Iona Sclater dead – British horse riding star, 15, dies in riding accident at home – The Sun

A TEEN equestrian star has been killed in a horse riding accident at her home.

Iona Sclater, 15, was pronounced dead at the scene after falling from her horse in Abington Pigotts, Cambridgeshire, on Sunday.

Paramedics and an air ambulance crew desperately fought to save the teen after her family dialled 999 at around 11.30am.

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said: "An ambulance, two Hazardous Area Response Team Vehicles, a rapid response vehicle and East Anglian Air Ambulance were called to a Abington Pigotts shortly after 11.30am on Sunday, following reports of a child injured in a fall from a horse.

"Sadly, despite the best efforts of all involved, the girl died at the scene."

Her parents Charles and Hetty and sisters Lara and Alicia are said to have been left heartbroken by the tragedy.

Just five days ago she posted a picture on Instagram of herself competing in trials in South Yorkshire with the caption: "Find me someone who looks at me the way Swatchy does."

The fledgling star had been selected for the 2017 and 2019 pony European Championships.

TRIBUTES TO RIDER WITH 'BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD'

British Eventing paid tribute to Iona, describing her as one of the sport's brightest young stars.

A statement said: "British Eventing was devastated to receive the news that one of our young members and bright stars in the sport, Iona Sclater, sadly died in a riding accident at home on Sunday 11 August.

"Our thoughts are with Iona's friends and family at this very difficult time.

"Iona was an exceptionally talented and dedicated young event rider."

Sclater won a British Eventing Under-18 competition at Stratford Hills in Essex in June on her pony Foxtown Cufflynx.

Friends posted heartfelt tributes to the teenager on social media, describing her as a 'legend' and 'the most thoughtful person ever'.

One pal wrote: "Iona, you were the most delightful, talented and personable young lady I know with a very bright future ahead of you."

Another added: "Another equestrian gone too soon. Iona you will be dearly missed and my thoughts go out to your family and friends. You were such a big part of the equine community and will never be forgotten."

A fellow friend said: "Iona was the kindest, most thoughtful person ever. She would always pick people up when they were down and enjoyed every moment with everyone.

"Iona you are a legend and we will love you forever. Another angel gone too soon."

Iona also represented her region four times at the U18 regional team championships.

Her death comes just one month after a fellow horse rider died while competing in a cross country event in Solihull.

Clare Bedford, 31, had been taking part in the one-day event on July 13, when she is said to have fallen off her horse and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Cambridgeshire Police and East of England Ambulance Service has been contacted for comment.


Find me someone who looks at me the way Swatchy does ❤️❤️thank you @adamfanthorpe for capturing these special moments #watermillrocks #devoucoux

A post shared byIona Sclater (@ionasclater_eventing) on

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UK weather – Britain’s 10 hottest years have all been since 2002 as heatwaves become ’30 times more likely’ – The Sun

Britain's 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2002, the Met Office has revealed.

Analysts also confirmed that none of the 10 coldest years have occurred since 1963, showing how the country is getting warmer and warmer.

The Met Office's latest annual state of the climate report measure temperatures going back to the 19th century.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office's national climate information centre, said: "Looking back further into the UK's weather reveals a very interesting timeline, with the top ten warmest years at the most recent end, since 2002.

"Extending the record back by 26 years from 1910 to 1884 didn't bring in any new warm years, but it did bring in a number of new cold years, including several that are now within the top ten coldest years."

The records now show 1892 as the coldest year, with the average temperature of just over 7C.

The warmest year was 2014, with an average temperature approaching 10C.

Hottest 10 years in UK history

  1. 2014
  2. 2006
  3. 2011
  4. 2007
  5. 2017
  6. 2003
  7. 2018
  8. 2004
  9. 2002
  10. 2005

Coldest 10 years in UK history

  1. 1892
  2. 1888
  3. 1885
  4. 1963
  5. 1919
  6. 1886
  7. 1917
  8. 1909
  9. 1887
  10. 1962

The annual report shows that 2018 joined the top 10 warmest years at number seven, despite the severe "beast from the East" cold snap early in the year.

The cold weather saw the UK having the most significant snowfall since 2010 last year.

In a year of extremes, the UK also saw a heatwave last summer, which the experts said was made 30 times more likely by climate change, and the season was the equal-hottest summer on record along with 2006.

Dr Michael Byrne from the University of St Andrews, said it was "hugely significant, though not surprising" the UK's top 10 warmest years had occurred since 2002 and summer 2018 was the joint-hottest ever.

He said: "The world has warmed 1C since pre-industrial times, meaning that hot years are the new normal.

"Not only is the UK getting warmer but also wetter, with 13% more summer rain compared to last century.

"With global emissions of greenhouse gases on the rise, the UK will continue to get warmer and wetter as global warming accelerates.

"The science of climate change is now clear. The UK Government must ramp up preparations and ensure that our infrastructure and citizens are prepared for what is to come."

A Government spokeswoman: "The impact of climate change is clear and demands urgent action, which is why we are the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions and eliminate our contribution to global warming by 2050.

"We've seen first-hand the effect climate change is having on our environment, and we share people's passion to tackle this issue and protect our planet for future generations."



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World News

Kyoto Animation fire – Several feared dead and 30 injured after blaze at famous Japan animation studio

SEVERAL people are feared dead after a suspected arson attack at a famous animation studio in Japan.

Local cops have arrested a man who allegedly burst into the studio and started a fire inside the Kyoto building this morning.


The blaze broke out at a three-story building of Kyoto Animation in Uji city in southern Kyoto.

Cops have said the suspect spread an unidentified liquid that set off the blaze.

Several people were confirmed dead at the site, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing police.

Around 30 people have been rushed to hospital, many of them suffering from burns.

The suspect was also injured and taken to a hospital and cops have arrested a man on suspicion of arson.

Footage on NHK showed grey smoke billowing from the charred building.

Rescue officials set up a tent outside the studio building to provide first aid and sort out the injured.

Fire department officials say more than 70 people were in the building at the time of the fire, but most of them ran outside.

The fire was almost extinguished hours later, and firefighters were searching for anyone left behind.

Kyoto Animation, better known as KyoAni, was founded in 1981 as an animation and comic book production studio.

It is known for mega-hit stories featuring high school girls, including "Lucky Star," "K-On!" and "Haruhi Suzumiya."




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Kids

19 Moms Who – God Bless Them – Got Things Very Wrong

1.This mom who thought her son’s mugshot was the best pic to send to family:

2.This mom who thought her daughter’s makeup sponge was something else:

3.And this mom who thought her daughter’s cleaning wipes were something else:

4.This mom who thought she sent a pic of cleaning wipes…but didn’t realize her “toy” was in the background:

5.This mom who was way off on the meaning of roadhead:

6.This mom who thought putting her dog on a treadmill to exercise would go smoothly:

7.This mom who forgot her kid’s birthday:

8.And this mom who forgot which is right and which is left:

9.This mom who was just trying to tell everyone how bad her throat hurt:

10.This mom who thought she could clean the dog bed in the washing machine:

11.This mom who doesn’t get realize wearing a brand is ~cool~:

12.This mom who thought she could get save time by super glueing her kid’s patches instead of sewing them:

13.This mom who put her text to her kid in the notes section of her phone:

14.And this mom who simply texts a pic and thinks it’s a Snapchat:

15.This mom who tried to make “1” cookies for her son’s first birthday, but they came out looking like this:

16.This mom who thought Crocs would look magnificent with a dress:

17.This mom who tried very hard to learn “teen slang:”

18.This mom who nearly used diaper rash cream instead of toothpaste:

19.And this mom who thought wearing a dress with a child backpack carrier was a great idea:

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• M U M F A I L S • 😂 We’ve all been there. Take them in your stride. Laugh out loud at their ridiculousness. Think of the joy you have probably brought to others (I’m sure many people laughed their socks off as i strutted around with my booty out). They may seem mortifying at the time, but trust me, you’ll laugh one day. May as well get the extra endorphins now 🙌🏻 (And remember they’re not really ‘fails’ – merely ‘moments’ 💃🏼) #mummoment #mumfailmonday #monday * * * * #mumfail #mumsofinstagram #instamum #mondaymotivation #mumhood #funny #brightbirthsmama #brightbirths #bepositive #mummyblogger #booty #positive #mondayfunday #mondaylove #laughoutloud #laugh #motherhood #motherhoodunplugged #oops #haha #ohheymama #funnymummy #funnymoments #mum #mama #realmotherhood

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World News

Emiliano Sala crash – Pilot arrested over the death of Cardiff City footballer has gone into hiding – The Sun

THE pilot arrested over the death of footballer Emiliano Sala was yesterday lying low.

David Henderson, 64, was quizzed by officers after being held on suspicion of the manslaughter of the £15m striker who died in a plane crash in January.


He was registered as taking charge of the doomed flight from France to Cardiff, but later drafted in David Ibbotson, 59.

Mr Ibbotson died along with Argentine ace Sala, 28, when the plane went down off Guernsey.

Mr Henderson has not been seen at his house since shortly after he was released under investigation following the police interview.

His sister-in-law Mandy Chandler yesterday confirmed he had been arrested but refused to reveal his whereabouts.

There was no answer at Mr Henderson's large stone house where he lives with his wife Debbie.

Neighbours in the tiny village of Hotham, East Yorkshire, last saw the couple on Wednesday evening around the time police issued a statement revealing the arrest.

SUSPICION OF MANSLAUGHTER

Ms Chandler said she had "no idea" when they would be returning.

Asked about the circumstances of her brother in law's arrest, she said: "I'm sorry I can't help you. I honestly do not know very much at all."

One resident said: "Dave and Debbie keep themselves to themselves.

"We knew he was a pilot. He was actually in the air flying when 9/11 happened, so we are told."

Another neighbour said: "We haven't seen any police activity around the house.”

Sala had just signed for Cardiff City for £15million from Nantes and was flying to meet his teammates when the tragedy happened.

His remains were recovered in February, but Mr Ibbotson, of Crowle, Lincs, is still missing.

Det Insp Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police, said officers "have to consider whether there is evidence of suspected criminality".

He added: "As a result of our inquiries, we have arrested a 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act."

A preliminary accident report said Mr Ibbotson was not licensed to fly fee-paying passengers.

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World News

Sudan massacre – Dozens of kids killed and sexually abused by brutal militia as stench of dead bodies fills schools – The Sun

DOZENS of kids have been killed and sexually abused by brutal militia groups in Sudan, with the smell of bodies reportedly filling schools.

At least 19 children are among those confirmed to have been killed amid unrest that has engulfed the country in recent weeks.



Doctors now believe paramilitaries also carried out more than 70 rapes during an attack on a protest camp in Khartoum last week.

Violence erupted in April following the removal from office of Omar al-Bashir, the country’s strongman president of 30 years.

The military then launched a brutal crackdown on protesters staging sit-ins and demanding a transition to full civilian rule.

Reports have since emerged of repeated atrocities being committed by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a notoriously brutal militia with its roots in the Darfur conflict, which broke out in western Sudan in 2003.

Successful attempts by the army to cut off the internet in certain areas have made communication within the country intermittent.

But a doctor with access to data compiled by pro-reform group the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors told the Guardian that hospitals in Khartoum recorded the rape of civilians during and after the crackdown.

Several witnesses have also described cases on social media, but fear of reprisal and a lack of available care are reported to have stopped many victims from seeking medical treatment.

A film by Sky News this week showed a reporter trying to gain access to a school known to have been ransacked by the army but being stopped by soldiers.

John Sparks and his cameraman were threatened with violence when they attempted to enter the school, but said that “the stench of what smelt like dead bodies emanated from inside”.

SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS TARGETED

Human rights activists and experts have described the reports of sexual violence as reliable.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said on Tuesday: “We have received information that children are being detained, recruited to join the fighting and sexually abused.

“Schools, hospitals and health centres have been targeted, looted and destroyed. Health workers have been attacked simply for doing their job.

“Many parents are too scared to let their children leave the house, fearful of violence, harassment and lawlessness.”

Violence on the streets has eased in recent days, but general strikes are still being used to try to force the army to relinquish power, and at least four protesters are known to have been killed over the weekend.

Faisal al-Taher, a patient at a Khartoum hospital who had been shot in the back, told Sky News: “They [the militia] had everything, with their weapons, their orders to kill, to rape,  to loot.

“They do whatever they wanted and nobody will ever question them.

Amin Taleb Hussein, another patient who had been beaten and shot in the arm, said: “There are a lot of barricades in our neighbourhood. It’s creating problems for the army, thank God.

Asked whether the revolution was over he said: “No, no, it will never be over, it is never going to be over.”




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Science

All roads lead to Rom – confused bloke’s pilgrimage to Rome ends 1,000 miles off target

“He was on his way to Rome, where he was hoping to visit the Pope”

Monika Treutler

She added that the man, who has not been named, realised something was wrong when he could not see any of the landmarks he was expecting.

The Italian-born motorist might have been confused by the fact that Rome is written Roma in Italian and Rom in German.

Police said that the car had come to a halt after hitting the sign but did not appear to be seriously damaged.

An ambulance was called to check on the pensioner.

Sat-navs aren’t always a curse though. last week a Manchester woman was able to use GPS data from her phone to end a terrifying kidnap ordeal after she was abducted by a man who believed she owed him a television.

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World News

NAS Jacksonville – Plane carrying 142 from Guantanamo Bay crashes into Florida river while trying to land

A PASSENGER plane with 142 on board has “skidded” off the runway and into a river in Florida.

The Boeing 737 is understood to have crashed into St Johns River while trying to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville at 10.30pm (local time) on Friday.

The plane was flying from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base with 136 passengers and seven crew members on board.

Reports suggest some passengers have been injured, but there are not believed to be any deaths.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry urged his followers to "pray while they [the Fire and Rescue team] work".

Posting on Twitter, he said: "Teams are working to control jet fuel in the water."

He later shared an update, saying: “I’ve been briefed that all lives have been accounted for."

Air station officials said: “Navy security and emergency response personnel are on the scene and monitoring the situation."

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet the plane was in “shallow water,” and was “not submerged".

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TV & Movies

Sonic the Hedgehog movie – trailer, release date and cast

THE trailer for the big screen debut of iconic computer game hero Sonic the Hedgehog has officially landed online.

Here, we take a closer look at the hotly anticipated film.

When is the movie released?

Sonic the Hedgehog is released on November 8, 2019.

Judging by the trailer, the speedy blue hero will be battling long time nemesis Dr Robotnik.

There is still no confirmation on the actual storyline, although the new preview suggests that Sonic may be from another planet.

In the trailer, he says: “Basically, it looks like I’m going to have to save your planet.”

Who is in the cast?

Ben Schwartz from Parks and Recreation is voicing the titular character while Westworld actor James Marsden plays a local sheriff who appears to befriend Sonic.

Golden Globe winner Jim Carrey plays villain Dr Robotnik.

Who is Sonic?

The first Sonic game, Sonic the Hedgehog, was a 2D platformer released on the Sega Genesis console in 1991.

Since then, the series has spawned dozens of titles, making the leap from home consoles to handhelds and mobile.

The most recent title was Sonic Forces on the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

The Sonic series is one of the world's biggest gaming franchises, with more than 140 million games sold.

Five animated TV shows have been produced based on the Sonic games.



 

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Lifestyle

Debenhams store closures – which branches might be closing and why? – The Sun

DEBENHAMS has named 22 out of 50 stores which will close as part of its plan to save the chain.

The branches are expected to close early next year and 1,200 jobs are at risk, according to the BBC.

Which Debenhams stores are closing and how many will shut?

At the end of 2018 it was revealed that Debenhams was set to close 50 of its stores.

Today, the chain confirmed that the first set of stores will shut early next year.

They are:

  • Altrincham
  • Ashford
  • Birmingham Fort
  • Canterbury
  • Chatham
  • Eastbourne
  • Folkestone
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Guildford
  • Kirkcaldy
  • Orpington
  • Slough
  • Southport
  • Southsea
  • Staines
  • Stockton
  • Walton
  • Wandsworth
  • Welwyn Garden City
  • Wimbledon
  • Witney
  • Wolverhampton

Debenhams is continuing to trade and will not disappear from the high street altogether.

Of the 166 stores in the UK the 50 least profitable ones are due to be shut, as they make up less than 15 per cent of the 240-year-old chain's overall annual profits.

Where does Debenhams stand now?

Earlier this month Debenhams announced a pre-pack administration deal. 

The retailer, which employs 25,000 staff, is now in the hand of lenders as part of this process.

The deal doesn't mean that Debenhams will disappear from the high street but some stores will still close.

A pre-pack administration is an insolvency process for a business to sell its assets before appointing administrations.

A "pre-pack administration" is an insolvency process for a business to sell its assets before appointing administrations.

It is a powerful way of selling on a business to a third part of buyer.

All 166 Debenhams stores will continue to trade, although 50 branches have already been ear-marked for closure.

As part of the deal Debenhams bosses will also renegotiate rents with landlords to help tackle funding problems.

Are the stores still taking gift cards?

Customers are still able to spend their gift cards as stores will continue to trade as normal.

However shoppers have been urged to use any gift cards they have while the retailer is still accepting them.

Gift cards, orders and returns are still being accepted as usual.

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis warned shoppers not to buy any new gift cards from the retailer.

He said: "Clearly, Debenhams is not in the most stable state at the moment. So personally I wouldn't be buying anyone any gift vouchers from there in the future."

Mr Lewis also says shoppers should be careful about what they order or buy from the retailer and recommends they make purchases on card so they're protected if something goes wrong.

Why is Debenhams closing some of its stores?

It's believed to be a combination of increasing rents, business rates and a rise in online shopping.

Richard Lim of Retail Economics, told the BBC in October 2018 that Debenhams is operating in the part of the market under the most intense amount of pressure.

He said: "Put simply, department stores are incredibly expensive to run. The combination of too much space, inflexible leases and spiralling operating costs are set against a backdrop an accelerating behavioural shift towards online and experiences.

"This is eroding their profitability and changes in the business need to occur at a pace if they are to survive."

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TV & Movies

Telly star Carol Vorderman – 6 things you didn’t know about the Countdown brainbox

CAROL Vorderman became a household name as the mathematician extraordinaire on Countdown.

From the whiteboard to the I'm A Celeb jungle, Carol has led most of her life in the limelight, however here are some little-known facts about the brainbox…

1. Up, up and away

Carol wanted to be a pilot since she was a little girl but thought a degree from Cambridge would be more beneficial to her in the long run.

Carol admitted she was also thwarted by the sexism of the Seventies and had a failed attempt to join the air squadron at university.

But she obtained her pilot’s licence in 2013 and planned to become the ninth woman in history to complete a solo trip across the globe.

Unfortunately, her plan was derailed by her mother's tragic death and her own suicidal depression.

2. Life-changing advertisement

She is best known for being Countdown’s sexy co-host but did you know she only got the job because her mum applied for her?

Edwina Rizzi saw an advert in the paper by Yorkshire Television looking for a girl who was good with maths to join the show.

Carol wasn’t interested but her mum wrote to them, forged her signature and she landed the job during the interview.

3. Hollywood wife?

She could have dated Hollywood pin-up George Clooney after he admitted he had a crush on her.

He discovered Countdown when he had the flu and was stuck in his hotel room watching TV while visiting London.

He said: “I really like the dark-haired girl who helps present it. That girl is smart. She always gets the answers long before I do. God, she's brutal."

4. Her most embarrassing moment

She had been attending a lunch for columnists for the Daily Mirror when she went to the loo and then headed outside to make a phone call – and her dress was tucked into her knickers!

She said: “Thank god back then there was no such thing as Twitter and Instagram!”

5. Take away queen

Don’t expect a home cooked meal round at Carol's house, unless it’s someone else cooking, because it bores her.

She said: “I get so bored that I walk out of the kitchen and while the food is cooking on the hob I might have a bath or write a dozen emails and forget all about it. I'm always, always burning things.”

6. Downtime

Carol’s favourite way to relax is to watch an episode of Coronation Street and she never misses an episode because “it’s real life”.

However, in December 2017 she slammed the soap as tragic and begged for it to be "funny again".

Carol tweeted: “I've put this on my list to Santa this year…

"PUR-LEAZE Father Christmas make Corrie funny again….the last time I had a laugh watching it was in about September 2016.. even wonderful Mary is now tragic. #BringBackCorrieComedy "

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TV & Movies

James Jordan – 7 fun facts about the Dancing on Ice 2019 star

But after leaving the BBC One dancing show in 2013, James made his first appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house the next year and is now on ITV's Dancing on Ice.

After finishing in third place, the 41-year-old re-entered the house for the All Star vs New Star series.

While the British public might think they know everything there is to know about James after he spent eight series on Strictly with wife Ola, there are some spectacular facts about the dancer which have gone under the radar – until now.

James Jordan nearly got stranded on a desert island

James revealed during an appearance on All Star Mr & Mrs in 2013 his competitive nature had almost led to him being stranded on a desert island.

He said: "We went on holiday and my friend and myself are very competitive. There was an island that was about two miles away and we decided one afternoon that we’d swim to it. We were gone for about six, seven hours.

James added no one raised the alarm, including wife Ola.

He said: “She was still sunbathing when I got back to the beach. She thought we’d been gone a long time but she didn’t do anything about it."

James Jordan owns a speedboat

James has lots of hobbies outside of the ballroom dancing world, and as well as owning a motorbike, he also holds the keys to his very own speedboat.

He enjoys water sports including waterski-ing and wakeboarding as well as dry land activities including snooker and golf.

James Jordan's had his nose broken three times

Speaking about how he's accidentally elbowed Ola in the eye with his "pokey elbows" while on Mr & Mrs, James revealed his wife had got her revenge on a number of occasions.

He said: "When we're sleeping I do have a tenancy to elbow her in the face – occasionally – not on purpose!

"She doesn't like that, but she has broke my nose three times from dancing."

James Jordan is not afraid of confrontation or getting into a spat

James has never been one to bite his tongue and that's landed him in a few feuds with other famous faces.

The dancer infamously fell out with Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood after he dropped the dancing couple from the Strictly tour.

They also clashed regularly on screen when Craig criticised James' celebrity partners, which have included Alex Jones, Pamela Stephenson and Vanessa Feltz.

James also hit back in 2015 when Craig blasted Ola for having a sexy calendar, with James calling the Australian "vile".

The star also had a well-publicised Twitter spat with EastEnders actor Danny Dyer in 2015 after he branded James an "irritating c***".

The dancer hit back with a jibe about Danny's movie career while Danny then called James a "kept man".

A wardrobe malfunction brought James Jordan and Ola together 

James and Ola started dancing together in 1999 and began dating a year later, after a wardrobe malfunction led to James seeing his partner in a different light.

Recalling the moment on All Star Mr & Mrs, James said: "There was a particular move at the end of the Paso Doble, we hit a highlight and Ola had this new dress.

"I did a knee slide as Ola hit her position, but what we forgot was the dress was clasped at the front, and it broke.

"It popped open as I was doing the knee slide towards her."

Ola added that "everything was out" as James continued: "and then funnily enough about two weeks later we started dating".

James Jordan quit dancing for three years to live in Hong Kong

Before joining Strictly, Ola and James gave up their competitive dance careers and moved to Hong Kong to teach Latin American dancing.

The couple spent three years there, before returning to the dance circuit and making it into the top 12 in the world and after dancing at Blackpool, they were spotted by Strictly producers and signed up for the show.

James Jordan was a judge on Dancing on Wheels

James and Ola swapped the dancefloor for the judging desk for BBC Three series Dancing on Wheels in 2010.

The programme saw celebrities pair up with a wheelchair user to learn a routine with a couple being eliminated each week.

Caroline Flack – who went on to triumph on Strictly – won the series with former contestant Mark Foster the runner-up.

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World News

UK weather – Brits to bask in highs of 19C today as spring-like conditions continue after hottest February day EVER

The balmy conditions are set to continue after Britain basked in the hottest February weather EVER as the mercury rocketed up to 20.6C.


A Met Office forecaster said: “Sunshine is expected across the UK for the rest of the day and it will feel warm and spring-like.”

But forecasters warned that northern Scotland will be cooler with some cloud coverage.

London could see highs of 19C, with Birmingham expecting temperatures of 17C and Cardiff hoping the mercury will hit 16C.

A Meteogroup forecaster added: “It will remain dry and sunny for the vast majority through the afternoon, although there will be patchy cloud affecting northern and western Scotland as well as Northern Ireland.

“It will be mostly clear in the evening with just a little patchy cloud across northern Scotland.”

Sunny conditions are set to continue for the next three days thanks to a plume of hot air from Morocco which sent mercury soaring on Monday.

A hot spike, recorded in in Trawsgoed in Wales, is the highest February day since February 13, 1998.

Parts of the UK were hotter than Malaga and Rome (both 15C) and the Algarve (18C).

It's likely to stay warm until Wednesday.

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But it won't be for long as Britain is about to fall to the mercy of the Atlantic as it hurls a barrage of stormy weather systems our way, forecasters warn.

Parts of the country are on alert for 80mph winds by the weekend with heavy downpours threatening a grim start to spring.

The weather will take a dive from Wednesday after another day of glorious golden rays and possibly record-breaking temperatures.

Met Office meteorologist Sophie Yeomans said: “The warm weather is only expected to continue until Tuesday before we see a change take hold around mid-week.

“We will start to see more in the way of weather fronts come in from the Atlantic from Wednesday and we are expecting a very different picture by the end of the week.

“Temperatures will come down, however they should still stay above average for the time of year, around 12C (53.6F), so still double figures.

“Low-pressure systems will come in from the Atlantic later in the week, the jet stream will pick up a bit more and draw these lows across the UK.

NEW RECORD

“It will be a change compared to all the sunshine we have had over the past few days.”

In the meantime sun-loving Britons can lap up a few more toasty rays with spring-like sunshine forecast through Tuesday, Yeomans added.

She said: “There is still a chance we could beat the record for the month before the middle of the week.

“We have high pressure and lovely warm air coming in from the south and this is going to keep temperatures higher than average for the time of year.”

Next weekend will bring a stark contrast to the one just gone with even a chance of snow over high ground as temperatures dip.

Exacta Weather forecaster James Madden warned to make the most of the fine weather before things take a dive.

He said: “High pressure will dominate at the start of the week giving way to some more warm temperatures for the time of year.

“There will also be ample amounts of sunshine for many although there will be some cloud cover at times, clearer skies in the evening will make it feel quite chilly.

WHILE IT LASTS

“Next weekend will bring a colder theme, and there is a chance of some snow to parts of the north and western Britain.

“The unsettled weather and snow will also be accompanied by some rather strong winds, gusts in excess of 70-80 mph are to be expected from next weekend onwards.”

In its last Monday weather forecast, the Met Office said: "Early fog patches will soon clear, with sunny spells developing for many.

"The sunshine may stay hazy though, and mist may affect a few coastal areas.

"It will feel warm and spring-like for most, but chilly on some coasts."

And forecasters at Meteogroup UK said: "It will be a dry day across the UK with the exception of some rain over northern Scotland this morning.

"This rain could last into the afternoon.

"There will be clear skies in the south of England and a mix of bright and sunny spells elsewhere.

"There will be warm temperatures and a south westerly wind."

WARM AIR

Looking ahead to the warm weather in store this week, Sara Thornton, director of digital weather company Weathertrending told The Sun Online: "Records may be threatened as the air warms up again."

"And as the week goes by the sun is getting every stronger – meaning higher temperatures become more likely."

But after the surge in temperatures a cold snap is set to follow in the early days of March.

Eleanor Bell, meteorologist at The Weather Company, said: "For the week commencing the 4th March we currently expect high pressure to gradually sink southwards."

She added that this will bring "a return to lower pressure over Britain with cooler air from the north west."

The more unsettled weather due to arrive in early March will see gales in northern parts of the country.

Scotland in particular could see the return of some snow.

The Met Office said: "By early March we are likely to see much more unsettled conditions as weather fronts bring stronger winds, gales and rain at times to all parts of the UK.

"It will also be a little colder than recently, with snow over some of the hills and mountains in the north."







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World News

UK weather forecast – Strong winds, rain and THUNDER to strike Britain today in a miserable start to the week

Met Office forecasters said heavy rainfall will move across the country today with downpours accompanied by a “keen breeze”.


Meteorologist Becky Mitchell said it will be a “wet start” for the UK as it moves into spring.

The rain will batter mainly in north-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

And Meteogroup warned that Scotland may even see some thunder.

The southeast will be often cloudy though, with rain later in the day.

It's not all bad news though, as Britain could see its warmest ever February day this week as temperatures soar after heavy rain sweeps through on Monday.

WET START TO THE WEEK

Temperatures could range from a balmy 15C-20C later in the week, with the chance the mercury could nudge above the record set in 1998 of 19.7C.

But before we reach such heady heights, blustery showers are predicted for Scotland and Northern Ireland, with more rain and wind in the north today and tomorrow.

The Met Office predicts: "Sunny spells and showers for many today, the heaviest and most frequent showers in the northwest where it will be windy. The southeast will be cloudier with rain.

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"It will be wet and windy across the north on Tuesday while the south will be drier.

"Remaining unsettled further northwest through Wednesday and Thursday, but drier and brighter elsewhere – becoming very mild."

Later this week Britain could be hotter than Australia – where it is summer – as Hobart, Tasmania, is due only 17C highs from midweek.

The Met Office forecast mainly mild temperatures over the month ahead.

Forecaster Simon Partridge said: “The February temperature record is 19.7C – and there's a chance of reaching it, albeit a low chance.

“The mid-teens are likely later in the week ahead, with potential for higher, although it's a bit too early to say.

The February temperature record is 19.7C – and there's a chance of reaching it

“Monday and Tuesday are at 10-12C – still well above average – before southerly winds return from midweek with 15C.

“Temperatures will generally be on the milder side over the next 30 days, with short colder spells at times.

“We never said the ‘Beast from the East’ was definitely coming. We forecast settled and potentially colder conditions, and we have had colder spells.

“It’s mild rather than cold as high pressure is situated a few hundred miles further to our east, giving a southerly rather than easterly flow.”

Bookmakers Coral cut odds on summer being the hottest ever to 5/2. Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “Last year was a scorcher – but 2019 is already simmering and punters reckon this summer will be even hotter.”

Weather experts have scrapped forecasts of a ‘Beast from the East’ chill, blaming warm southerly winds arriving instead of expected cold easterlies.

The Weather Outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “Computer models show record 20C February temperatures are possible from the coming weekend.

“Families flying abroad for half-term sun could have stayed home and gone to a UK beach instead.

“Plumes of warm air from the Sahara are due in coming days and also in spring. 25C is certainly likely by April.

“There's a good chance of another fine summer due to the past 12 months’ continuing pattern of high pressure blocking, which brings hot conditions in summer.”

Met Office forecaster Martin Young said: “It will turn generally very mild again. Temperatures will widely be above the seasonal average.

“For the start of March, temperatures are likely to remain mild overall, with many southern and eastern parts predominantly settled. Atlantic frontal systems will affect northern and western parts.”

A statement from The Weather Company said: “Warmer-than-normal UK conditions are predicted for March and April.”




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World News

UK weather forecast – Britain to bask in sunshine today before SNOW and Arctic blast returns

A dry and bright start is expected with lengthy spells of sunshine for central and eastern parts during the morning.



Meteogroup forecasters did warn that a few mist and fog patches are likely in the early morning.

But the fog will soon clear and give way to mild temperature, with areas such as Maidstone in Kent seeing highs of 13C.

There will be a dry start to the evening with clear spells for many.

It will be mostly cloudy in southern England, Wales and parts of Scotland with a few light showers, a meteogroup forecaster said.

Later in the night, it will be dry with clear spells for many but it will remain cloudy in the far south.

Unfortunately the balmy temperatures will not last long as the mercury is set to plummet with snow and a -2C Arctic blast predicted for this week.

It comes after a 15C "Spanish plume" left the country basking in balmy weather at the tail end of the week, and sent temperatures higher than average.

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Northern parts of the country are bracing for thermometers to hit 0C.

Met Office forecaster Richard Miles said: "We could well see some snow by the end of February.

"Temperatures could go as low as zero to two degrees next week, and I'd expect to see a lot of frost if that happens.

"Weakening fronts could also bring showers on Monday.

"After that it could be mostly dry with some sunny spells, but temperatures won't be quite as warm.

"There's a lot of fog around today, especially in the South East – but that should clear up by the end of the day."

Met Office forecaster Alex Deakin said: "Our long-range forecast sees colder spells through March.

"If we do see any snow it will be on high ground in the north. Snow further south isn't looking as likely.

"There is a small chance of snowy weather coming from the east, like the 'Beast from the East' we've seen in the past."





 

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World News

UK weather forecast – Snow to hit Britain AGAIN today hours after killer Storm Erik wreaked havoc

Just as the storm starts to fade away, forecasters warned that temperatures will plummet and snow could cover hilly areas.


It comes after Storm Erik battered the UK with powerful gusts of up to 80mph, causing three deaths and travel chaos.

Met Office meteorologist Alex Deakin told the Express that rain showers brought in by Storm Erik “will turn more and more into snow” by this afternoon.

“Through Sunday it turns cold once more and Monday morning looks quite chilly,” he said.

“A band of wet weather will swing across Northern England on Sunday, that could bring in some snow over the hills.

“That is followed on by plenty of showers that will eventually turn more and more into snow across low levels in Scotland by the end of the day.

“People will wake up to rather chilly temperatures on Monday morning.”

The return of the snow could see temperatures plunge to -4C.

“More persistent rain and the risk of hill snow will push south-east across western Scotland, Northern Ireland, north-west England and into north Wales through the afternoon,” a Meteogroup forecaster said.

“There will also be strengthening winds for many.”

KILLER STORM

The warning of imminent snowfall comes as emergency services count the cost of Storm Erik.

On Saturday a kitesurfer died amid strong winds in an incident on the Saunton Sands beach in north Devon, although police would not confirm whether the death was weather-related.

On Friday morning a 50-year-old man died on the A384 in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and in Wales a van driver was killed after he collided with a fallen tree on the B4306 between Pontyberem and Llannon in west Wales.

Road and rail users were faced with delays as a result of the weather with speed limits put in place on the East Coast Main Line and drivers advised to take extra care.








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World News

Jeff Bezos pics – National Enquirer DEFENDS emails ‘threatening to publish Amazon billionaire’s nude selfies’… but vows to investigate

Last night the billionaire said the threat was an attempt to stop his investigation into how messages between himself and mistress Lauren Sanchez were first leaked to the magazine.


Today a statement from American Media, the company owner, today said: "American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos.

"Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him.

"Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary."

Intimate details of the couple's affair were first published in the Enquirer last month – just hours after Bezos announced he and his wife MacKenzie were getting a divorce.

But in a sensational statement released yesterday, Bezos – the world's richest man – said the magazine's publishers AMI had attempted a campaign of "extortion and blackmail" against him.

He claimed an editor acting on the orders of AMI's ferocious chairman David Pecker had gone on to demand Bezos stop his investigation into the text and photo leak, or else the nude pics would be published.

SORDID SNAPS

Emails apparently sent by AMI chief content officer Dylan Howard to Bezos' lawyer threatened the publication of 10 shocking snippets:

  • “A below the belt selfie — otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d**k pick’”
  • "Mr. Bezos face selfie at what appears to be a business meeting."
  • "Ms. Sanchez response — a photograph of her smoking a cigar in what appears to be a simulated oral sex scene."
  • "A shirtless Mr Bezos holding his phone in his left hand –  while wearing his wedding ring. He’s wearing either tight black cargo pants or shorts — and his semi-erect manhood is penetrating the zipper of said garment."
  • "A full-length body selfie of Mr Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring."
  • "A selfie of Mr. Bezos fully clothed."
  • "A full-length scantily-clad body shot with short trunks."
  • "A naked selfie in a bathroom — while wearing his wedding ring. Mr Bezos is wearing nothing but a white towel — and the top of his pubic region can be seen."
  • "Ms Sanchez wearing a plunging red neckline dress revealing her cleavage and a glimpse of her nether region."
  • "Ms Sanchez wearing a two-piece red bikini with gold detail dress revealing her cleavage."

After listing the descriptions, Howard allegedly wrote: "It would give no editor pleasure to send this email.

"I hope common sense can prevail – and quickly."

TRUMP 'BIAS'

Explaining his decision to publish the emails alleging the "blackmail", Bezos wrote on Medium: "Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here.

"If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?"

According to further emails, AMI wanted Bezos' assurance that he would end a probe into how the leaks first emerged last month.

The billionaire alleges that his investigation could expose a pro-Trump political motivation being behind the Enquirer's coverage.

It is believed that the brother of former TV news anchor Sanchez may have gained access to the couple's private messages.

Ms Sanchez's brother Michael – thought to be a Trump supporter – is then alleged to have potentially passed the texts and pics on to the National Enquirer to discredit Bezos.

Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words below

President Trump has often vocally criticised Bezos – who also owns the Washington Post newspaper.

And AMI has admitted that it engaged in what's known as "catch-and-kill" practices to help Trump become president.

That admission was part of a deal between AMI and federal prosecutors.

They agreed to not pursue charges against the company for secretly assisting Trump's campaign by paying $150,000 to a Playboy model for the rights to her story about an alleged affair with the then-candidate.

The company then intentionally suppressed the story until after the election.

Explaining his decision to speak out, Mr Bezos said: "Of course I don’t want personal photos published, but I also won’t participate in their well-known practice of blackmail, political favors, political attacks and corruption.

"I prefer to stand up, roll this log over and see what crawls out.”

Publishing the shocking emails, Bezos added: "Nothing I might write here could tell the National Enquirer story as eloquently as their own words below."

AMI, also known as American Media Inc, has not commented on the allegations.

Responding to previous allegations of political motivations affecting coverage, AMI said: “American Media emphatically rejects any assertion that its reporting was instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.”






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Health

Nausea, panic, tears – why wasn’t I warned about antidepressant comedown

A strange sensation, like electric currents passing through my brain, jolted me and brought on a strong feeling of unease. Nauseous, a sense of impending doom began to creep.

I felt angry and on edge. Little grievances all of a sudden seemed overwhelming. I began ruminating over the past, and the future seemed bleak. I was 22 weeks pregnant and, while I’d been feeling excited about having a baby, I now felt scared and unable to cope.

Later, I sobbed in bed unable to sleep. What was wrong with me?

Why are patients not warned about antidepressant withdrawal?Credit:Shutterstock

About a week before, I stopped my antidepressants under the guidance of a psychiatrist.

He had given me no warning that I might experience these symptoms, nor had the doctor who first prescribed the pills for my anxiety and depression about a year earlier.

It’s hard to get information about antidepressant withdrawal from official sources, but Harvard Medical School’s website explains symptoms come on quickly, unlike the usual slow return of a mental illness relapse.

One in 10 Australians take antidepressants, second only in the world to Iceland.

Information is so scarce that my psychiatrist told me he wasn’t taught about withdrawal at university as there wasn’t any evidence on it.

I spoke to Professor Derelie Mangin from McMaster University in Canada, who has led the first rigorous, long-term trial of withdrawal, as to why this may be.

“Drug companies really only have a mandate to their shareholders to do the trials that will bring the drugs onto the market,” she explained.

“The system is not structured for anyone to have responsibility. Given the lengths of time that these drugs have been on the market, it’s extraordinary that we still don’t have the kind of evidence that we need.”

I don’t want to debate the merits of antidepressants. For some people they are lifesavers, for others they don’t seem to work.

What I’m advocating for is adequate information so withdrawal can be better managed and people can make informed decisions.

One in 10 Australians take antidepressants, second only in the world to Iceland. The rate has almost doubled from 2000 to 2016. At the moment, many are resorting to groups on the internet for advice. But these pills are big business, and users deserve correct information.

For example, I didn’t know – and neither it seems did my doctors – to reduce symptoms, it's better to taper off over months, not weeks.

A doctor I saw during my withdrawal said it was rare, but a little survey of my friends has made me doubt this. Almost a dozen told me they’d experienced similar withdrawals, while others knew friends or clients who had.

One friend, bestselling mental health author Jill Stark, said she experienced an “absolutely horrendous six weeks of debilitating brain zaps, eye twitches, nausea, the shakes, gut problems and so much more”.

“Plus, a brain fog so bad I could hardly focus on anything and would forget my words mid-sentence,” she said.

Another friend, a health worker in her early 40s, also had brain zaps – the sensation of electric currents – plus vomiting.

“I wasn't warned,” she said. “Actually I was told there were no side effects at all before I took them.”

A third, an academic in his mid-30s, said he experienced three months of brain zaps, along with insomnia and hyperactivity.

I didn’t know – and neither it seems did my doctors – that it was better to taper off over months, not weeks.

“The doctor definitely minimised it in my experience. It’s such a serious side effect, and yet I felt it was completely glossed over.”

Then there are even more serious cases.

A lawyer friend, aged in his 50s, said he’d given up trying to come off the pills he was first prescribed 25 years ago.

“[I] have tried on multiple occasions to taper but always get severe brain zaps and the other symptoms. Withdrawal makes working impossible,” he said.

“All psychs have told me I should be able to taper over a week or so. Rubbish.”

Alarmingly, two friends said they became suicidal. One, a fashion designer in her late 30s, was experiencing this at the time we spoke and couldn't get in to see her doctor.

“I have never in my life felt this out of control, nor suicidal,” she said. “The crying and the hysteria is scary.”

But we don’t need to rely on anecdotal evidence. Research has, in fact, begun to emerge.

A New Zealand survey of long-term users of psychiatric medications, three-quarters complained about withdrawal symptoms. In another of 250 long-term users, most commonly antidepressants, half rated their withdrawal as severe.

In a third, 130 of 180 users reported withdrawal symptoms and almost half felt they were addicted. Many of the participants complained of a lack of information and support on withdrawal.

The doctor I saw said she didn’t warn patients as she believed it was more important to treat a person’s mental illness than worry them about what could occur if they go off it.

Professor Mangin disagreed, saying patients were entitled to be informed and warning them took the fear out of the equation.

She described brain zaps as “alarming” and listed a litany of other possible symptoms including ones similar to the flu, gut problems, vivid nightmares, insomnia, distress and panic.

One patient told her she would have thought she was going mad if she wasn’t warned.

“She was quite a high-functioning woman, with a high-pressure job, and she said, ‘I would just burst into tears for no reason at all’,” Professor Mangin said.

“That’s why it’s so important to know so that you can plan for it from the outset and not feel alarmed by it. And I think you’ve got to be able to prepare your family for it too.”

Professor Mangin hopes her research – due to be published in the coming months – will help doctors set a course length, rather than parking patients on the drugs long-term unnecessarily, and plan for a gradual, monitored and supported withdrawal.

The only options my psychiatrist, who worked at a major Melbourne hospital, could give me to treat withdrawal was to restart the antidepressant (which hadn’t helped my condition in the first place and carried risks to my baby), take another antidepressant that others also report experiencing withdrawals from, or start an anti-psychotic.

None of these felt appealing, and, seeing I’d already passed through the worst of it by the time I was able to see him, I hung on.

I was lucky my withdrawal only lasted about three weeks, with a few lingering symptoms that gradually faded. Other people report them continuing for months or years.

A few months on, I’m feeling better than I was before I withdrew, so I’m happy I didn’t go back on the medication. But I deeply regret the withdrawal and what occured in my heightened emotional state. The vivid nightmares of awful things happening to my baby have stayed with me.

With such huge numbers of Australians on antidepressants, we deserve better.

Lifeline 13 11 14

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TV & Movies

It’s not the edit – MKR ‘villains’ Josh and Austin really are that scathing

It happens like clockwork.

A new reality show bursts onto our TV screens and the tabloids ask: are these contestants paid actors? They couldn't possibly have said those things of their own accord, say the magazines. It's obviously staged, assert the viewers.

MKR’s Josh and Austin have ruffled Australia’s feathers.Credit:Network Seven

Off screen, Josh isn't afraid to mock other contestants or even describe a certain British tabloid as being like "a clingy girlfriend… but on meth".

"It's just who we are as people," he says. "If we have a thought, we say it out loud. There's a bit of a culture … where people say nice things to each other. For me, it's superficial. I just said what I was thinking."

He adds: "We don't really factor in what Australia's going to think of us because we're not here to please other people. I'm not the prime minister. If I wanted people to like me, I'd sell ice-cream."

The brothers' tendency to say exactly what pops into their heads extends to how they found themselves on the show in the first place. Josh admits a producer approached him and asked him to apply not once, but twice. There was just one problem: he had no idea what the show was about.

"A producer messaged me on Instagram and said, 'Hey, you should apply for My Kitchen Rules.' I'm like, what's that? I said I'll think about it," says Josh.

"I applied and they were like, 'Awesome, but you need two people'. So I went into my brother's room while he was playing Fortnite and was like, 'Hey, Austin, do you want to go on a show called My Kitchen Rules?'

"We didn't think we were going to get it. We didn't know what the hours were going to be, we didn't know what the culture of the show was. We knew who Manu [Feildel, one of the show's two main judges] was, but we didn't know he was on this show."

My Kitchen Rules airs on Network Seven on Sundays through to Wednesdays at 7pm.

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Lifestyle

Pound to euro exchange rate – what is the rate as Dominic Raab resigns?

Here is our guide to what is happening in the euro currency market and how Cabinet resignations are affecting your cash.

What is today's pound to euro exchange rate?

The pound is trading at 1.13 against the euro as of 10:26 on November 23.

It has continued to drop after several ministers resigned from Theresa May's Cabinet in response to her draft Brexit proposal on November 15.

A weaker pound is better for British exports – but imports will cost more, potentially driving up inflation.

It also means your money doesn't stretch as far when going abroad on holiday.

The exchange rate had remained relatively stable for months following a more volatile period earlier in 2018.

Sterling dipped below €1.12 on March 7 and then reached almost €1.16 on April 17.

In August 2017 the rate briefly plunged under €1.08, the lowest for nearly a decade, but it quickly recovered.

Before the EU referendum in June 2016 a pound was trading for around €1.30. Sterling fell around 15 per cent after the result.

The highest rate in recent years was €1.42 in November 2015.

What affects the exchange rate?

Foreign exchange (forex) markets allow currencies to be bought and sold around the world.

They are necessary for international commerce but are also opportunities for traders to make a profit by effectively gambling on whether rates go up or down.

As in any market, rates are determined by the price that buyers and sellers are willing to accept.

If more people are buying than selling the price will go up, and vice versa.

Traders' confidence in a country's economic health is the biggest factor shaping forex markets.

Reports and forecasts on GDP growth, inflation, employment, retail sales and manufacturing can prompt traders to buy or sell a country's currency.

Other factors that sway forex markets include interest rate decisions by central banks (such as the Bank of England), and news such as the signing of a trade deal or a natural disaster.

Movements in global capital markets, bond markets and stock markets can also influence forex trading.

Banks and money changers who sell holiday cash broadly follow foreign exchange markets in the rates they offer the public.

The buy and sell price for each currency is usually a few percentage points either side of the "true" rate so they can make a profit even if there is no commission.

Unstable and unpredictable government events can also negatively impact the pound's strength in trading.

Following the resignations of Theresa May's Cabinet in response to her draft Brexit proposal on Thursday, the pound plummeted to its lowest value in over a year.

How can I get the best currency rates?

  • Don’t buy cash at the airport – you’ll always be able to beat the rate with a bit of forward planning
  • Compare travel money companies online  Factor in delivery costs and choose the option that gives you the most cash to spend on holiday. If you’ve left it until the last minute order online for airport collection so you get the best of both worlds.
  • Use comparison tools – MoneySavingExpert’s TravelMoneyMax enables you to compare pick-up and pre-order rates.
  • Don’t pay for travel money with a credit card – it’s likely you’ll be charged a cash withdrawal fee which adds to the cost.
  • Top up a prepaid card to lock in your rate now – Choose your card and read the T&Cs carefully as some apply hefty fees. WeSwap, FairFX and Caxton FX are all worth checking out.
  • Always choose to pay in the local currency rather than sterling – This will help you avoid sneaky exchange fees

 

 

Where is the best place to get euros?

Euros can be bought at supermarkets, such as Marks & Spencer, as well as the Post Office and currency specialists – but rates vary massively.

The best rates can often be found at specialist online outlets, such as Travelex, which will deliver cash directly to your home.

Travellers can use comparison sites, like MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax, to find the best rate.

If you order in advance and pick up the cash then you’ll most likely get a better rate than if you walk into a bureau de change.

Alternatively, providers such as FairFX and WeSwap offer currency cards that can load up at a good rate and then use abroad like a debit card without transaction fees on each purchase.

You can always buy last-minute currency at the airport or withdraw cash at your destination, but it's almost always cheaper to buy before you go.

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World News

South Western Railway delays – are trains running from Waterloo Station and how is your commute affected?

Passengers using the route into London Waterloo from Surbiton were warned not to travel on Monday morning (November 19) and now evening commuters face delays. Here's what we know.

Are trains running to Waterloo and what stations are closed?

Chaos has lasted for the whole day, with Network Rail engineering works not being finished by 8.30am.

Evening commuters for services across South Western face cancellations, delays or revised timetables after thousands have been left stranded all day.

Southern services between East Croydon and London Victoria have also been derailed by disruption as a result of over-running engineering works.

SWR said Woking, Surbiton, Raynes Park and Earlsfield stations are all closed.

Until the works clear, no trains can leave Wimbledon or Clapham Junction depots.

What has SWR said about the delays?

A spokesman for SWR said: “To assist you with your journey your ticket will be accepted, at no extra cost to yourself, on the following services:

“Southern Rail services via any reasonable route.

“London Underground services via any reasonable route.

“TfL Bus services from Chessington South/Surbiton/Teddington from/towards London Waterloo.

“GWR services via any reasonable route.

“If you hold a SWR car park seaason ticket, you may park at any SWR station today. Your train ticket will also be accepted from that station.

“We are very sorry for any delay that this may cause to your journey.”

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Fashion

Beauty advent calendars 2018 – here are the best cosmetics Christmas countdown calendars, including No7, Look Fantastic and Charlotte Tilbury

Maybe you're a last minute kind of gal or a count-down queen, 2018's beauty advent calendars are guaranteed to put a spring in your step… because who doesn't like a mini lipstick mixed with the element of surprise?

With the beauty industry at an all time high, cosmetics calendars are bigger than ever.

Which means there is a lot to choose from: skincare, haircare, makeup, men's health and more.

So why not treat a friend, partner, mother, in law or, more importantly, yourself to one of these carefully edited beauty boxes compartmentalised into the many days of Christmas?

We've rounded up the best beauty calendars you can buy – and they're not as expensive as you might think.

Beauty calendars under £30

This advent calendar is an absolute bargain and one of the cheapest out there this year.

But it certainly doesn't scrimp on gifts, featuring 24 windows to peek behind – all the way up to Christmas Eve.

This kit will, quite literally, kit you out – with everything tweezers, nails files and cosmetics sponges, to highlighters and hairbands.

  • Gloss Beauty Calendar, £12.50 from Boots – buy here

Counting down the 12 days to Christmas is ASOS' Beauty Extras Calendar.

The set features a mixture of skincare and hair care from the likes of popular brands Pureology, Eyeko and Starskin.

If you're looking for something a little luxer, upgrade to ASOS's Face + Body version.

  • Beauty Extras countdown calendar, £25 from ASOS – buy here

Colour Cargo's calendar is perfect present someone who is keen to expand their nail polish collection.

This advent calendar contains everything a polished nail lover must have  – from earthy brown hues to Christmas sparkle and vivid red.

Because there's no such thing as too many nail polish colours.

  •  Colour Cargo Nail Advent Calendar from Debenham's – buy here

 

 

Beauty calendars under £50

This Revolution make-up calendar is a total must for beauty beginners.

With a whole range of setting powders, bronzers, eyeshadow palettes and lip glosses, there's no look you won't be able to create once when you've uncovered all these goodies.

Not to mention just how pretty it will looked sitting in your bedroom – who needs a chocolate calendar anyway?

  • Revolution Beauty Advent Calendar, £30 from Superdrug – buy here

From brushes to contour kits to lipstick, you'll be sporting an a new full-face of make-up come Christmas Day.

After all, you can't go far wrong with a festive red lip, right?

And for just £35, this fun-filled beauty calendar has gone straight to the top of our wishlist.

  • Sleek Beauty Advent Calendar 2018, £35 from Boots – buy now

Originally just a clothing brand, Jack Wills' beauty range gets more comprehensive every year – it is a big hit with buyers around the holiday period.

This sleek advent calendar has 24 surprise doors.

Behind each one you will find a different beauty product – body washes, nailpolishes and lotions – for each day of Christmas.

  • Jack Wills advent calendar, £35 from Boots – buy here

 

 

We couldn't do an advent calendar round-up without mentioning M&S' annual offering.

Famous for their great value festive box, 2018's calendar has stayed true to form with the likes of Pixi, This Works, and Balance Me.

In other words, it's the best of their beauty hall in a cute little box.

  • Beauty advent calendar, £35 from Marks and Spencer – buy now
Cath Kidston23
Love Cath Kidston? This could be your perfect choice this advent

The kitsch Cath Kidston doesn't disappoint – this might be one of the prettiest calendar's we have seen.

Behind the doors are 24 treats for December, from enriching hand creams to body scrubs and lip balms – all in some sensational scents.

The Christmas Townhouse aromas include redberries and candied sugar, madarin blossom and white rose and quince. Sign us up!

  • Christmas Townhouse Advent Calendar, £40 from Cath Kidston – buy now
23
This year's L'Occitane Beauty Calendar sounds like an absolute dream… and it only costs £49
  • L'Occitane Beauty Advent Calendar, £49 from L'Occitane – buy now

Any beauty fan worth their salt knows that L'Occitane is the one-stop shop when it comes to pampering.

From fragrant hand creams to fresh shower gels, the French brand is forever our-go when we're in need of a little TLC.

And this year's advent calendar certainly does not disappoint.

Full to the brim of products worth £85, savvy beauty shoppers can now snap up this luxurious set of classic L'Occitane products for just £49… and yes, it does include the almond shower oil.

Just think of it as pampering 101.

Beauty calendars under £75

 

Brace yourself lipstick lovers because NYX's advent calendar offering is a thing of beauty.

Featuring a range of the American brand's best-selling glosses and matte lipsticks, trying not to rip open all the doors on the first day is going to be a challenge.

By the time Christmas rolls around, you'll never need to buy another lipstick colour again. Just saying.

  • NYX Beauty Advent Calendar 2018, £50 from Boots – buy here

With its amazing product recommendations and discount prices, Amazon has fast become our favourite place to shop for beauty of late.

So it will come as no surprise to anyone that Amazon's advent calendar is one of the best quality offerings on the market.

Featuring over 24 products from brands such as Rituals, Elemis, and Max Factor, this is one calendar worth snapping up way in advance.

  • Amazon Beauty Advent Calendar, £50 – buy now

No one does Christmas quite like Clarins – it's a hero skincare brand because it suits every age and skin type (you can't go wrong with Clarins for the mother-in-law on the 25th December).

This pyramid box is packed with goodies including the brand's full size SOS Primer and Honey Lip Oil.

Behind the numbered gold doors are 10 other minis for your skin and nails.

  • Clarins 12 Days of Christmas, £60 from Boots – buy here

Clarins may be the only brand doing a beauty calendar for men and we applaud them. Everyone should take the time to pamper themselves.

This cool granite gift box has 12 doors that lead up to the 24th- a perfect pre-Christmas gift for your man.

Behind the doors is a full size Anti-Fatigue eye cream and active hand care lotion plus 10 other minis including scrubs, lotions and shower gels.

  • Clarinsmen 12 Days of Christmas, £60 from Boots – buy here

  • Latest in Beauty Advent Calendar, £60 from Latest in Beauty – buy now

Featuring a mix of our favourite ride-or-die beauty bits as well as some make-up newcomers, the Latest in Beauty advent calendar certainly does not disappoint.

Containing a whole host of beauty must-haves worth over £255 (yes, you read that correctly), you can currently snap up this incredibly good value offering for as little as £60.

Not only does the calendar include beauty blogger favourite The White Company's classic Christmas candle, but skincare enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that Oska's Nutri-Active Day cream has also made the cut.

Along with a full-sized Wet Brush and Morrocan Oil, of course.

  • NUXE Beauty Countdown Calendar, £59 from Look Fantastic – buy now

If you fancy a pamper this Christmas season, the NUXE beauty countdown calendar is an absolute must.

A total treat for skincare fans, this nifty calendar will provide you with everything you need to well and truly revamp your skincare regime.

Behind each door you'll find one of the brand's cult favourite skincare products, including our all-time favourite luxurious dry oil as well as their clarifying cream mask.

Did we mention it also includes a selection of organic tea bags? Sold.

 

Beauty calendars under £100

 

Counting down the Christmas with brands from all over the world, this year's Feel Unique calendar has a total value of £250 and gets great reviews.

Featuring the Nails Inc unicorn sheet mask we've been desperate to try and a Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum cream, this beauty parcel is anything but "little".

And if you ask us, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Feel Unique Beauty Advent Calendar, £75 – buy now

Big name goodies are hiding behind each door of the Look Fantastic calendar: the likes of Molton Brown, Illamasqua, Glamglow and Rituals.

And there are full sizes as well as sample sizes included in the skin, hair, tan and make-up haul.

PLUS it's worth £300 but will go on sale for £79 – talk about good value.

What's so great about this one is you reuse the box as a dressing table organiser.

*insert heart-eye emoji here*

  • Look Fantastic Beauty Advent Calendar, £79 – buy now

Liz Earle's Hot Polish cleanser has become a household name – it has won more than 100 awards.

The brand has since expanded beyond skincare to hair and body,

This beautiful gift set includes minis of all their best-selling products.

  • The 12 Days of Liz Earl, £80 from Boots – buy here

Fans of The Body Shop will also be delighted to know that the cruelty-free shop has launched its very own beauty advent calendar this festive season.

This Freddie the Fox calendar may be a pricey £99 but it includes £231 worth of products, including enough luxurious body creams to see you through till next year.

Not to mention a couple of handy make-up brushes and must-have skincare goodies.

What's more, if you want a cheeky discount, the store is currently offering a deal where you get £10 off when you spend £30 or more, which applies to all three calendars – just type code 14671 at the checkout.

  • 25 Days of the Enchanted Ultimate Advent Calendar, £99 at The Body Shop – buy now

Including must-have brands such as NARS, Huda Beauty and BareMinerals, Glossybox subscribers are in for a real treat this festive season.

With beauty treats taking you right up until Christmas, we're going to struggle not ripping into each and every one of the boxes as soon as the calendar lands on our desks from 15 October.

In true Glossybox style, the advent calendar is nothing short of stunning too – and we particularly love the little inspiration words that will see us through the month of December.

Looks like Glossybox are right, this advent calendar is all we want this Christmas… along with those 17 full-size products obvs.

  • Glossybox 'All I Want' Beauty Advent Calendar, £99 (£75 for subscribers) – buy now

Beauty calendars over £100

As always, Charlotte Tilbury's take on beauty is over the top and fabulous – we're obsessed with the makeup artist's luxury advent calendar.

Each glitter-dusted drawer features 12 full size product and also 12 mini products – it's not called a Beauty Universe for nothing.

This kit is a great chance to try a huge range of the brand's award-winning items for less, including the Pillow Talk lipstick loved by the likes of Kim Kardashian, Gigig Hadid and Jennifer Aniston.

  • Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Advent Calendar, £150 – buy now

 

This year MAC cosmetics collaborated with some of the world's leading beauty brands such as Clinique, Estée Lauder, Origins and Michael Kors to create a beauty advent calendar including variety of their iconic products.

The Beauty Countdown calendar comes in a shimmering ruby star box with 25 drawers packed with a wide range of beauty and skincare treats.

This  calendar is for someone who wants everything – from cleansing and detox products to MAC's liptensity lipsticks.

  • MAC The Beauty Countdown advent calendar, £150 – buy now

There's nothing better than venturing into a John Lewis beauty hall during the festive period, right?

Well this year's annual beauty calendar offering is a total dream.

The perfect gift for the make-up fan in your life (or just a mid-week pick-me-up if you're anything like us), this must-have beauty offering includes 25 luxury products to unwind during the festive period.

Featuring the likes of Lancome and Clarins, this John Lewis offering is the ideal way to unwind and pamper yourself in the cold winter months.

And we're particularly lusting after the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser that's been sitting on the top of our wish lists for what feels like an absolute age.

  • Beauty Advent Calendar 2018, £165 from John Lewis & Partners – buy now

And finally, a beauty advent calendar edit wouldn't be complete without giving Harrods' luxury offering a mention.

Packed with 25 high-end products from Charlotte Tilbury, Givenchy, and NARS, this calendar is full of the year's most-talked about beauty launches along with some cult classics.

And for that eye-watering price, you can expect to see some full-sized beauty bits…

  • Harrods Beauty Advent Calendar, £250 – buy now

Boots are currently teasing out the No7 Christmas calendar and social media is going mad.

In other beauty news, we may have found the answer to banishing dry feet for good.

And these are the best foundations for oily, dry and sensitive skin.

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World News

Thousand Oaks shooting – Multiple people killed and ‘dozens’ injured as gunman armed with ‘Uzi’ storms bar packed with young students

Wearing a black jacket and sunglasses, the suspect shot a security guard and young female cashier before showering the Borderline bar in Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles with bullets.

Officials have confirmed that the depraved attacker has been killed after a shootout with cops who were alerted to the attack at 11.20pm local time.

One sheriff's deputy is among the 11 people who have been confirmed as wounded in the mass shooting.

Revellers, mostly young college students, hid in bathrooms and attic spaces in a bid to flee the gunman who was carrying an "Uzi" machine gun, reports claim.

Police sources confirmed to NBC News that "multiple" people have been killed.

Marc Brown, an ABC7 reporter, said that he has seen one dead body outside the venue which does not match the description of the suspect.

Witness John Hodge told ABC7 he saw the suspect throwing smoke grenades into the front of the restaurant after shooting a security guard.

John, who was stood at the front door, said: "I just started hearing these big pops. Pop, pop, pop. There was probably three or four, I hit the ground.

"I look up – the security guard is dead. Well, I don't want to say he was dead, but he was shot. He was down”.

“The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place.”


WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • A gunman killed 'multiple' people and injured at least 11 more after opening fire at a late-night bar in Thousand Oaks, California
  • Police were called to the Borderline bar and grill at 11.20pm local time last night, officials have confirmed
  • Armed with an 'Uzi' machine gun and smoke grenades, the shooter has been 'engaged and neutralised' by cops, the local mayor said
  • Witnesses say he gunned down a security guard and a young girl working as a cashier at the venue
  • One cop is among the wounded, reports local media
  • Revellers used chairs to break windows in the bar in a bid to escape while others reportedly hid in bathrooms





The distraught witness said the gunman was wearing a black jacket, a hat and sunglasses and had a beard.

John’s stepdad Tom described seeing the shooter firing bullets a “young girl.”

He said: “He shot the front doorman, who was just a young man.

“Then he shot the cashier, just a young girl. Then he started moving to the right. He wasn't looking at us.

“Then he went into the office, where all the cash and stuff is. He didn't say anything at all. He just started shooting.”

The injured cop is reportedly "down and unresponsive" and cannot be reached by emergency medical workers.



One teenage reveller cut his hand while breaking a window in the bar using a chair in a desperate bid to escape the shooter, reports VC Star.

The attack has been upgraded to a level 2 mass casualty incident indicating that there are between 10 to 20 injured victims.

A police source told the LA Times that at least 30 shots have been fired.

Four ambulances have attended the scene to treat the injured victims.

Borderline is a western-themed bar and grill, open until 2am, with a 2,500 square feet dancefloor which is popular with late-night revellers.

Thousand Oaks is one of the safest towns in America, according to FBI stats.

It was ranked as the fourth safest among cities with a population greater than 100,000 in the United States by the FBI's 2013 Uniform Crime Reports.

More to follow…

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