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Teens attack man after he asks them not to throw snowballs at cars

| blog, Crime news, L&B World, UK | January 18, 2016

Teens were throwing snowballs (Archive picture: Getty)

A man who confronted teenagers throwing snowballs at cars and lampposts was punched in the face.

The man, who told the boys they could cause an accident, needed hospital treatment after they piled in and assaulted him as a group at around 1pm yesterday on Collyweston Road in Northampton.

This morning Northamptonshire Police launched an appeal for information about the gang of boys, all said to be white and around 15 years old.

Officers said one was around six feet tall, of a normal build with short shaved, light fair hair and a small amount of facial hair around his chin. He wore a dark coloured coat.

The other three were slightly smaller.

MORE:… Read the full story

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Breast surgeon charged with wounding 11 patients with intent

| blog, L&B World, UK | January 18, 2016

BPM MEDIA: The Birmingham Post and Mail.Pics by Iain Findlay File picture of Consultant Breast Surgeon Ian Paterson.
BPM MEDIA: The Birmingham Post and Mail.Pics by Iain Findlay File picture of Consultant Breast Surgeon Ian Paterson.

A breast surgeon suspended over complaints regarding operations he carried out has been charged with 21 counts of wounding with intent to cause harm.

Ian Paterson appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court today charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding with the intention to do grievous bodily harm, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

All the offences alleged to have taken place are said to have happened between 1997 and 2011.

The counts relate… Read the full story

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David Cameron REALLY wants us to use Daesh instead of Isis – here’s why

| blog, L&B World, News | January 18, 2016

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech on life chances and opportunities for families in London, January 11, 2016. REUTERS/Andy Rain/Pool
(Picture Metro)

David Cameron has renewed his calls for people to use the term ‘Daesh’ instead of Islamic State – saying that Muslims in Britain would ‘hold their heads in despair’.

Cameron criticised the BBC for using the term ‘Islamic State’ after he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

He said, ”Muslim families around the country would have held their heads in despair this morning when once again you just called it Islamic State, you didn’t even say “so-called Islamic State”.

‘It is so important, this.’

Late last year, Downing Street announced that David… Read the full story

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The numbing predictability of the Istanbul tragedy

| blog, Islamic State, L&B World, Turkey, unrest | January 18, 2016



Istanbul's Blue Mosque two days after the attacks. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

(AFP/Ozan Kose)



"It’s conventional after attacks to express surprise and shock," writes Stuart Williams, AFP's Istanbul-based deputy bureau chief in Turkey.

"But when a suicide bomber ripped through a group of German tourists on a morning last week in central Istanbul the shock was genuine, but no-one could feign surprise. This was the attack that everyone had feared."



By Stuart Williams



Istanbul's Blue Mosque two days after the attacks. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Istanbul's Blue Mosque two days after the attacks. (AFP/Ozan Kose)



Istanbul, Jan 18, 2016 -- It’s conventional after attacks to express surprise and shock. But when a suicide bomber ripped through a group of German tourists on Tuesday morning last week in central Istanbul the shock was genuine, but no-one could feign surprise. This was the attack that everyone had feared.

Attacks blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists had struck Turkey three times in 2015 -- once in Diyarbakir, once in the town of Suruc on the Syrian border, and then in Ankara where 103 people were killed in modern Turkey’s bloodiest ever attack.



Victims of the Ankara bombing on October 10, 2015. (AFP/Fatih Pinar)

Victims of the Ankara bombing on October 10, 2015. (AFP/Fatih Pinar)



An expected strike

It would only be a matter of time, we thought to ourselves, until terror struck in the heart of the milllenia-old, messy, overcrowded, cosmopolitan and enchanting metropolis that is Istanbul, possibly targeting one of the busiest tourist areas.

And this is what happened when Nabil Fadli, a 28-year old Syrian reportedly born in Saudi Arabia, detonated his charge on January 12 at 10:20 in the morning, just a few yards away from the iconic Ottoman-era Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet Square, the tourist hub of the city.



A Turkish riot police officer stands guard two days after the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

A Turkish riot police officer stands guard two days after the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Ozan Kose)



Sometimes at night I look out over the lights on Istanbul’s fabled skyline and wonder what is lying beneath this glittering beauty. We have long been aware of the existence of jihadist sleeper cells in Turkey comprising extremists who have spent time, gained bomb-making knowledge and been radicalised in Syria.

It was a question of where, when and how they would act. The city has been on edge for months, but particularly after the Ankara attacks. Walking in especially crowded areas, like Taksim Square or the packed Iskitlal Street, you feel constantly on alert. The Turkish authorities unquestionably have stepped up efforts in the last weeks to crack down on these cells, detaining hundreds of suspected jihadists.

The bomber exploded his charge right next to one of the most extraordinary sights in the entire city, the Obelisk of Theodosius. It’s a large column of stone commissioned by the pharaohs in the second millenium BC which was then shipped to the city by Roman Emperor Theodosius in the late fourth century AD. A magnificently sculpted base was added glorifying his own achievements, including the erection of the column.



The Obelisk of Theodosius at the site of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

The Obelisk of Theodosius at the site of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)



Normality returns, fear remains

Many times I had visited the column, to wonder at the hands that touched these stones, which have survived as generation after generation passed away and empires rose and fell. Probably the German tourists were thinking much the same when the horror struck.

The reaction of many in the city after the bombing, so early in the new year, was a numb fear: when will this happen again?

For now, no doubt encouraged by the municipal authorities, a semblance of normality has returned to the area. There are moving messages on the railings of the monument, which has been festooned with red carnations and adorned, most touchingly, by several football scarves of the popular German Bundesliga side. Guides can be heard rattling off the history of the monument, tourists hesitatingly take photographs, wondering if the site of the blast truly makes an appropriate holiday snap.



A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Ozan Kose)



I believe the Turkish authorities were genuinely horrified by the attack and worried for its consequences, notably for the tourism industry. To their credit, the magnitude of the death toll and the nature of the blast was rapidly made clear in official statements. Strangely, it took some time however to make clear that all the dead were Germans, as if the fact that tourists from one single, key partner nation had been targeted (by design or accident) was just too much to take in at once.



Emergency personnel at the scene of the attack. (AFP/stringer)

Emergency personnel at the scene of the attack. (AFP/stringer)



Far less welcome was the news, hours after the bombing, that the authorities had slapped a so-called “broadcast ban” on coverage of the event. For an hour or so, this seemed to halt all live broadcasting from the scene. I saw one channel, its news ticker screaming red with the death toll, but showing pictures of a feature about scuba diving.

But in Turkey, the lines are never crystal clear. By their 1:00 pm news bulletins, all channels, including pro-government ones, appeared to have shaken off the absurdity of the broadcast ban and were broadcasting live from the scene.



Police stand guard at the site of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Police stand guard at the site of the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)



Authorities keep focus on PKK

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted swiftly to the news of the bombing, using a speech to Turkish ambassadors in Ankara to condemn it in unequivocal terms and confirm the bomber was of Syrian origin. But surprisingly, Erdogan did not dwell on the issue, spending much more time in a long and sometimes rambling address talking about Turkey’s fight against Kurdish militants.

Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) launched in July is hugely controversial, with rights groups saying dozens of civilians have been killed, in particular in a succession of curfew operations since December which have seen three areas placed under a military lockdown to flush out the militants.



A funeral procession on January 12 for those killed during curfews in Turkey's restive southeast. (AFP/stringer)

A funeral procession on January 12 for those killed during curfews in Turkey's restive southeast. (AFP/stringer)



In typically combative form, the president then went on to take aim at over 1,000 Turkish academics and dozens of foreign professors (including the American linguist Noam Chomsky) who had signed a petition condemning a military crackdown in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. Refusing to let go of the issue, Erdogan launched a new attack against the academics on Thursday. By Friday several had been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged propaganda for a terror group.

The police have already made seven arrests over the Sultanahmet attack but the focus on a written petition seems a strange balance at a time when there is a such a concrete threat from extremists. The authorities have always made clear they make no distinction between IS and the PKK, which was blamed for a blood-curdling attack in the southeast overnight Wednesday to Thursday that killed six people, including three children.



Rescuers search through wreckage after a blast killed six in southeastern Turkey on January 14. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Rescuers search through wreckage after a blast killed six in southeastern Turkey on January 14. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)



In the meantime, fear and alarm will stalk the streets of Istanbul and many other Turkish cities. It has been noted repeatedly that IS has never claimed an attack in Turkey, in contrast to its usual brazen boasting about strikes elsewhere. We don’t understand how the group operates inside Turkey and what its specific objectives are. But Istanbul’s residents, and its visitors, many of whom fall so in love with the place they come time-and-time again, will be determined to continue as normal in the fact of this uncertainty.


Stuart Williams is AFP’s deputy bureau chief in Turkey, based in Istanbul. Follow him on Twitter.



A headline in German reads 'We mourn" in a Turkish newspaper the day after the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

A headline in German reads 'We mourn" in a Turkish newspaper the day after the Istanbul attack. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)



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Man expecting shiny new smartphone in delivery finds smelly sardines instead

| blog, L&B World, UK | January 18, 2016

Greg Cundill
Greg Cundill posing with the sardines and sponge (Picture: Mercury)

A man eagerly anticipating the delivery of his new smartphone was shocked to discover it had been replaced by a sponge and a smelly tin of sardines.

Sounds like a practical joke doesn’t it?

If it was, no-one has yet admitted to switching Greg Cundill’s shiny Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

What’s even more bizarre is the package was perfectly sealed when it arrived at his home in Honiton, Devon, on Thursday.

MORE: ‘Parent sex’ honest mum blogger is back and this time she’s taking on post-natal depression

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First flower to ever bloom in space takes us one step closer to colonising Mars

| blog, International Space Station, L&B World, Tech | January 18, 2016

Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted the picture with the hashtag #SpaceFlower (Picture: Scott Kelly/Twitter)
Astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted the picture with the hashtag #SpaceFlower (Picture: Scott Kelly/Twitter)

This is the first ever flower to bloom in space – and look how pretty it is!

US astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted a photograph of the orange zinnia, which has flowered on the International Space Station’s zero-gravity vegetable garden.

But it’s not just there to look nice – the flower was grown by Nasa to ‘help scientists understand how plants flower… Read the full story

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Scotland officially earns more than England, so let’s all pack up and move to Glasgow

| blog, L&B World, Money, Scotland, UK | January 18, 2016

Scotland officially earns more than England so let's all pack up and move to Glasgow Getty
It’s a wee bit better up north (Picture: Getty)

Scots have long suspected it, but now they have extra proof that living north of the wall is better.

Average workers in Scotland now earn more than their English counterparts for the ‘first time ever’, earning a typical £11.92 an hour, compared with £11.84 across England.

Think tank the Resolution Foundation (not biased, as it’s based in London) is about to release a report called ‘The State of Working Scotland’ – and it looks like Scots have more reason to celebrate than just having certain cool words English people don’t… Read the full story

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Woman beats husband’s mistress then throws her off a bridge

| blog, L&B World, News | January 18, 2016

This is the horrific moment an enraged wife takes revenge on her husband’s mistress by beating her up and throwing her off a bridge.

The vicious attack, which was posted to video site Liveleak, was allegedly captured in Brazil and shows what appears to be a mistress being dragged on a road.

The wife can be seen gripping the hair of the smaller woman, who desperately tries to cling on to a gate while she strikes her head.

MORE: Kerry Katona’s estranged husband denies beating her up

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‘Cash tip’ from Christian actually turns out to be Bible pamphlet

| blog, L&B World, News | January 18, 2016

image (6)

They say that Jesus saves – but we didn’t expect his followers to be THIS tight-fisted.

A waiter in an American burger joint turned over what looked like a $20 cash tip from a Christian diner – and found it was a Bible pamphlet.

If THAT doesn’t turn you to worshipping our infernal master, Satan, nothing will.

The pamphlet said, ‘Don’t be fooled. There is something you can have more valuable than money!’

MORE: Anglicans send open letter asking CofE to repent over treatment of gay Christians

Waiter's tip was actually a folded up Bible pamphlet - pic @Beanburrito Must Link: https://twitter.com/BEANBURRlTO?ref_src=http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/18/cash-tip-from-christian-actually-turns-out-to-be-bible-pamphlet-5629447/twsrc%5Etfw%22 width=

Waiter's tip was actually a folded up Bible pamphlet - pic @Beanburrito Must Link: https://twitter.com/BEANBURRlTO?ref_src=http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/18/cash-tip-from-christian-actually-turns-out-to-be-bible-pamphlet-5629447/twsrc%5Etfw%22 width=

Garrett Wayman, 17, said, ‘I was just taken aback because I don’t know if you’ve… Read the full story

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