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Christmas Trees are coming! Be Prepared this December

Types of Christmas Trees

There are various types of Christmas trees available, and you must choose the one that is perfect for your home during the holiday season. There are various types, as you will see below:

Nordman Fir

The Norman Fir Christmas Tree barely drops its needles, making it the most popular choice in Modern times, due to the safety issues related to children and pets, and the sharp Christmas tree needles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and their needles are a lot fleshier.

Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce Christmas tree, brings the classic smell of childhood to your home. Its needles do drop a lot more than other varieties, but it more than makes up for that with its beautiful smell, and really traditional tall and narrow shape.

Potted Christmas Trees

The Potted Christmas tree is a great choice if you would prefer your tree to last longer than just a few weeks, as potted trees are more likely to live on through the year, and be fine to use again a year later. The come in both varieties, the Nordman or Norway Spruce, and are often a little cheaper.

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

You can normally buy Christmas trees at your local garden centre, or check online for your nearest Christmas tree farm. Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester, LE94LG, 01455 274049, (http://www.sapcotegc.co.uk/christmas/christmas-trees) has a range of Nordman Fir, and Norway Spruce Christmas trees for sale, and the price is the same as 2012.

David Beckham demonstrates his football skills as he appears on China’s The Voice


Published:

12:15 EST, 21 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:18 EST, 22 April 2014

Scroll down for video

He’s been on a whirlwind visit to China where he has been promoting the new Jaguar.

And David Beckham has shown no signs of slowing down as he appeared on Chinese TV show, Role Model’s Voice.

The 38-year-old star looked slick in a dark suit, pale pink shirt and a grey tie as he featured as a special guest on the show.

Talented: David Beckham delighted a TV audience with some football as he appeared on China's The Voice

Talented: David Beckham delighted a TV audience with some football as he appeared on China’s The Voice

He also delighted the audience by performing some of his famous soccer moves on the prime time show, where inspirational role models talk in front of a selection of young people.

The star also took part in a ceremony of the Establishment of the Youth Football Fund at the Great Hall of the People on Monday.

The event was held to unveil a fund created using donations from David and his wife Victoria made last year.

Special guest: David certainly seemed to be charming the audience in Beijing

Special guest: David certainly seemed to be charming the audience in Beijing

He's game: Becks keeps his eye on the ball as he performs in front of a thrilled audience

He’s game: Becks keeps his eye on the ball as he performs in front of a thrilled audience

Accomplished: David shows off his legendary soccer skills with some lithe kicks

Accomplished: David shows off his legendary soccer skills with some lithe kicks

Fun-loving: David is instructed by a TV host as he competes in a task on the show

Fun-loving: David is instructed by a TV host as he competes in a task on the show

The couple donated a Jaguar sports car and six football jerseys for a charity auction during a visit to China in June last year, raising 2.58 million yuan ($415,000) for the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

The donation is now being used to form the Youth Football Fund Supported by David Beckham.

David said at the ceremony: ‘Obviously I’m very proud of my involvement with the foundation. Everybody knows how important youth and the children are to myself.

Fancy footwork: The star was happy to show off his skills on the ChineseTV show

Fancy footwork: The star was happy to show off his skills on the ChineseTV show

Speaker: David confidently addresses the camera as he appears on the Chinese talent contest

Speaker: David confidently addresses the camera as he appears on the Chinese talent contest

Legend: The star stands in front of a TV screen as a tribute is made to his footballing career

Legend: The star stands in front of a TV screen as a tribute is made to his footballing career

Adaptable: The former footballer also kicked around an object resembling a shuttlecock

Adaptable: The former footballer also kicked around an object resembling a shuttlecock

Adaptable: The former footballer also kicked around an object resembling a shuttlecock 

Sporting: The star concentrates as he takes aim at the brightly coloured shuttlecock

Sporting: The star concentrates as he takes aim at the brightly coloured shuttlecock

[embedded content]‘I have four beautiful children myself. So I know how important children are. It sounds obvious, but they’re our future.

David added: ‘I’m very proud of my association to the Super League. It’s one of the things I was very proud to be involved in, and will continue to be involved in the youth system, and this is obviously part of my involvement with children, with the foundation, and giving children the opportunity to live a great life and the opportunity to play in great facilities that they’re going to be very happy with,’ he added.’

An attendant passes a football to David Beckham during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, marking the establishment of a youth soccer fund under his name

An attendant passes a football to David Beckham during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, marking the establishment of a youth soccer fund under his name

David attended a ceremony unveiling the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Football Fund, which he and his wife Victoria have supported

David attended a ceremony unveiling the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation Football Fund, which he and his wife Victoria have supported

Attentive: David wears headphones, as he seems to listen to a translation of the ceremony

Attentive: David wears headphones, as he seems to listen to a translation of the ceremony

Amicable: The star seemed in cheerful spirits as he appeared at the youth soccer fund event

Amicable: The star seemed in cheerful spirits as he appeared at the youth soccer fund event

Honoured: David is presented with a traditional Chinese vase during the ceremony

Honoured: David is presented with a traditional Chinese vase during the ceremony

Celebrating: Cai Zhenhua, China's vice sports minister and president of the Chinese Football Association, Hu Qili, chairman of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, and David Beckham attend the ceremony of the Establishment of the Youth Football Fund at the Great Hall of the People

Celebrating: Cai Zhenhua, China’s vice sports minister and president of the Chinese Football Association, Hu Qili, chairman of the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, and David Beckham attend the ceremony of the Establishment of the Youth Football Fund at the Great Hall of the People

Dapper: David cuts a smart figure as he leaves the ceremony at the Great Hall of the People

Dapper: David cuts a smart figure as he leaves the ceremony at the Great Hall of the People

On Saturday, David launched the new Jaguar just one day after celebrating wife Victoria’s 40th birthday in LA.

The former footballer looked his usual dapper self at the 13th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on Saturday where he introduced the new Jaguar F-Type Coupe.

Beckham donned a grey tailored designer suit with undertones of blue and mirrored James Bond as he cooly stepped out of the white sports car.

Smooth moves: David Beckham steps out of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe launch in Beijing, China on Saturday

Smooth moves: David Beckham steps out of the Jaguar F-Type Coupe launch in Beijing, China on Saturday

International celebrity: The 38-year-old received a warm response on stage as he introduced the sports car

International celebrity: The 38-year-old received a warm response on stage as he introduced the sports car

He showed no signs of fatigue, despite celebrating at LA hot spot Nobu with Victoria and good friends Gordon and Tana Ramsay 24 hours earlier.

The foursome were out celebrating the 40th birthday of Posh Spice herself, with the former pop star choosing to keep things low-key with an intimate dinner with friends as opposed to a big birthday bash.

The couples have been close friends for years with the wives often posting pictures of themselves together via social media.

Drive it like Becks: Just one day after wife Victoria's 40th birthday in LA, the former football star was in China for the promotion

Drive it like Becks: Just one day after wife Victoria's 40th birthday in LA, the former football star was in China for the promotion

Drive it like Becks: Just one day after wife Victoria’s 40th birthday in LA, the former football star was in China for the promotion

Million dollar smile: The father of four showed no signs of fatigue as he fronted crowds at the Automotive Exhibition

Million dollar smile: The father of four showed no signs of fatigue as he fronted crowds at the Automotive Exhibition

The entire family were thought to be accompanied by the celebrity chef and his brood for the Beckham’s trip to a Utah spa before Victoria’s birthday.

The day itself included a brisk walk around the Canyon, during which Victoria posted a picture of herself taking in the breath-taking view while resting on a large rock to her Twitter account.

It was a notably intimate affair for the famous couple, who have been married for 14-years and have four children together: Brooklyn, 15, Romeo, 11, Cruz, 9, and Harper, 2.

Business Beckham: The sporting star has made a lucrative career off the field in product endorsements, such as that with Jaguar, and is estimated to earn $3.4M per year

Business Beckham: The sporting star has made a lucrative career off the field in product endorsements, such as that with Jaguar, and is estimated to earn $3.4M per year

Happy birthday: The couple spent Victoria Beckham's 40th birthday at a retreat, followed by an intimate dinner in LA

Happy birthday: The couple spent Victoria Beckham’s 40th birthday at a Utah spa retreat, followed by an intimate dinner in LA

Xmas Holidays

Abu Hamza was ‘happy’ about 9/11 attacks terror trial jury hears

  • Hamza said attacks left Muslims and non-Muslims around the world happy
  • Tape played for the jury at his terrorism trial on Monday in New York
  • Said World Trade Center was legitimate target because of globalisation role


Published:

14:35 EST, 21 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:18 EST, 22 April 2014

Abu Hamza told how he 'happy' he was about the September 11 attacks

Abu Hamza told how he ‘happy’ he was about the September 11 attacks

Abu Hamza told how he ‘happy’ he was about the September 11 attacks in a broadcast interview, saying it left Muslims and non-Muslims around the world rejoicing, according to a tape played for the jury at his terrorism trial on Monday. 

He did not hesitate when asked about the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people and could be heard casually speaking of the attacks in the undated interview with a Canadian broadcaster, even equating what Al Qaeda did to the hero in American movies. 

He is currently on trial in New York after being extradited to the US to face terrorism charges.

‘Everybody was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center,’ Hamza said in the interview.

‘Anybody who tell you he was not happy, they are hypocrites.’

He said the World Trade Center was a legitimate target because of its role in globalisation.

‘It’s the centre of, of, of evil,’ Hamza said. ‘Political and financial evil for the whole world.’

The interview was played after U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest last week turned down a request by defence lawyers to exclude it from trial on the grounds that it would unfairly prejudice their client.

‘Expressing clear and unequivocal support for terrorism is no doubt prejudicial,’ the judge said.

‘However, the defendant is charged with just those sorts of crimes.’

Hamza, 56, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to support Al Qaeda by trying to set up a terrorist training camp in 1999 in Oregon.

He also is accused of helping to abduct two American tourists and 14 others in Yemen in 1998. Four hostages died.

He did not hesitate when asked about the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people and could be heard casually speaking of the attacks in the undated interview with a Canadian broadcaster, even equating what Al Qaeda did to the hero in American movies

He did not hesitate when asked about the attack that killed nearly 3,000 people and could be heard casually speaking of the attacks in the undated interview with a Canadian broadcaster, even equating what Al Qaeda did to the hero in American movies

The tape was played during the testimony of a terrorism investigator for the prosecutor’s office in Manhattan.

‘This is what you teach your people in cowboy films when you see the aggressors being, doing bad things, and then the hero comes and gives him a couple of punches in his face,’ Hamza said during the interview.

‘That’s exactly like this. So I would be hypocrite if I tell you no. All Muslims are happy, even non-Muslims are happy.’

According to the taped interview, Hamza said it was right to use airplanes against those who use planes to ‘oppress nations and kill them and maim them.’

He added: ‘What do you call this when you go and bombard people and kill them by thousands just because you have ability to fly higher?’

In the interview, Hamza also said he agreed with the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. The attack killed 17 American sailors.

David Smith, one of his former worshippers, said
Hamza was like ‘two different people’ and was able to switch between the
two whenever he wanted – aggressive and outrageous when at the pulpit
but was a ‘nice guy’ when talking amongst his followers.

The
testimony reveals one of the techniques Hamza used to manipulate his
followers and spread hate in North London at the notorious mosque before
police closed it down in 2003.

Under
cross-examination from Hamza’s lawyer Jeremy Schneider, Mr Smith said
that he first heard Hamza’s preachings on tapes of his sermons that he
bought in Seattle.

The court heard how the radical cleric adopted an aggressive and fiery persona to preach a message of jihad

The court heard how the radical cleric adopted an aggressive and fiery persona to preach a message of jihad

Abu Hamza is standing trial for terrorism offences at New York Federal Court

Abu Hamza is standing trial for terrorism offences at New York Federal Court

Mr Smith was so impressed that in 1999 he flew to London to talk in person to Hamza.

He
agreed with Mr Schneider that during their 45-minute meeting at the
Finsbury Park mosque that the preacher was a ‘nice guy’ who seemed
‘cool’.

Mr
Schneider said: ‘Is it fair to say that when you met him [Hamza] and
talked to him personally, it was like two different people, the person
you met and the person you hear on those tapes?’

Mr Smith replied: ‘If you believe like him, yes’.

Mr Schneider suggested that in his sermons Hamza had ‘one personality’ and in private he had a ‘different approach’.

Mr Smith said: ‘If you mean he’s not screaming and hollering at you, yes’.

Mr Schneider asked: ‘When he was at the podium, that’s when he gets fiery?’

Mr Smith replied: ‘Yes’.

This week the trial is due to hear from James Ujaama, a former follower of Hamza from Seattle who moved to London and worshiped at Finsbury Park mosque.

He has been waiting 11 years to testify against Hamza under the terms of a 2003 plea deal which meant he only served two years for terrorism-related offences instead of up to 30.

If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Hamza would face life in prison.

The Finsbury Park mosque, since closed, where Abu Hamza preached to his followers

The Finsbury Park mosque, since closed, where Abu Hamza preached to his followers

He previously served several years in prison in Britain for inciting his followers to kill non-believers.

Extradited from Britain in 2012 under the condition that he would be tried in civilian court and not face the death penalty.

Defense lawyers have argued that Hamza, known for his fiery sermons in London, is responsible only for using inflammatory words, not for any overt criminal acts.

Prosecutors intend to use his rhetoric against him via video and audio recordings that show him denouncing non-Muslims and preaching Islamic fundamentalism and encouraging followers to become militants.

Prosecutors also played several other tapes, some in Arabic, for the jurors, who were given English transcripts.

Some of the tapes were seized from the Finsbury Park mosque or from Hamza’s residence.

Hamza lost both hands and one eye in Afghanistan in the 1980s and was known in London for wearing a prosthetic metal hook on his right arm.

In court, he has taken notes with a pen wedged in his hook.

Hamza plans to testify at the trial at Manhattan’s Federal Court which is expected to last about a month.

Xmas Holidays

Wolf whistle’s days could be numbered as women in building trade rise by 22%

  • Percentage of women expressing
    an interest in civil engineering has risen by 10 percentage points over
    the past seven years
  • One young construction worker explained that she is often asked if she chose her job to ‘meet a man’
  • More women graduating with
    degrees in
    male-dominated subjects

By
Sian Boyle


Published:

17:53 EST, 20 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:56 EST, 21 April 2014

[headerlinks

Gone are the days of the stereotypical ‘builder bloke’ and instead, a legion of women are hammering, chiselling and sawing their way through the glass ceiling.

The number of self-employed women entering the building trade is up four times more than the increase of men, with a female year-on-year increase of 22 per cent.

The recovery of the construction industry, self-employment and flexible hours in the building trade have all contributed to the sea change in women choosing professions such as civil engineering and surveying.

A thing of the past: The number of self-employed women entering the building trade is up four times more than the increase of men, with a female year-on-year increase of 22 per cent (File picture)

A thing of the past: The number of self-employed women entering the building trade is up four times more than the increase of men, with a female year-on-year increase of 22 per cent (File picture)

More female graduates are also entering career fields traditionally seen as ‘male’, and a survey by careers advice service Cambridge Occupational Analysts found that the percentage of female students expressing an interest in civil engineering has risen by 10 percentage points over the past seven years - twice the rise among male pupils.

Women are still having to challenge traditional gender stereotyping, however, and one young construction worker explained that she is often asked if she chose her job to ‘meet a man’.

Amie Bailey, 21, who has worked in the construction industry since she was a teenager, told The Sunday Times: ‘I have never felt any gender barriers within the company, although outside work it tends to be men who understand what I do.

The shape of things to come: More female graduates are entering career fields traditionally seen as 'male', and a survey by a careers advice service found that the percentage of female students expressing an interest in civil engineering has risen by 10 percentage points over the past seven years (File picture)

The shape of things to come: More female graduates are entering career fields traditionally seen as 'male', and a survey by a careers advice service found that the percentage of female students expressing an interest in civil engineering has risen by 10 percentage points over the past seven years (File picture)

She's the boss: Women are still having to challenge traditional gender stereotyping, and one young construction worker explained that she is often asked if she chose her job to 'meet a man' (File picture)

She's the boss: Women are still having to challenge traditional gender stereotyping, and one young construction worker explained that she is often asked if she chose her job to 'meet a man' (File picture)

‘Women often ask me if I’m doing it to meet a man [but] this is a great career, whether you are a man or a woman.’

Judy Adams, a director at global construction company Turner & Townsend, said: ‘When I was studying surveying at university, there were just four women in a class of 40.

‘But these days many more women are graduating with degrees in subjects that were once male-dominated, from engineering to architecture and building design.’

Xmas Holidays

After terrorists go to European court… Human rights law helps murderers not victims, say Omagh families

  • Two Real IRA terrorists won latest fight to escape paying damages
  • Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell were ordered to pay share of £1.6m
  • But lawyers persuaded court to put their case to have order
    overturned
  • Families of those murdered say they were outraged by decision

By
Chris Greenwood


Published:

16:30 EST, 20 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:55 EST, 21 April 2014

Families of the Omagh bombing victims said yesterday that human rights laws favour ‘killer gangs’.

They spoke out after two Real IRA terrorists won the latest round of their European court fight to escape paying damages.

Michael McKevitt and Liam Campbell were ordered to pay a share of £1.6million in aggravated damages after a landmark civil action found them liable for the 1998 atrocity.

A Royal Ulster Constabulary officer looking at the damage caused by a bomb explosion in Market Street, Omagh

A Royal Ulster Constabulary officer looking at the damage caused by a bomb explosion in Market Street, Omagh

But their lawyers have persuaded officials at the European Court of Human Rights to put their case to have the order overturned before judges.

It was revealed yesterday that the Government must now formally respond to their case after they passed an important filtering stage designed to weed out invalid cases.

Families of those murdered when the car bomb exploded in the Northern Irish market town said they were outraged by the decision.

Michael Gallagher, whose 21-year-old son Aiden was killed in the blast, said the development was a ‘psychological blow’ and called for the law to be urgently reformed.

‘There seems to be no effective law for giving rights to victims,’ he said. ‘The human rights laws to me would need to be looked at again.

‘It has always favoured the killer gangs and organisations and never the victims. It’s always weighted on the side of the perpetrator and this news is extremely disappointing.’

How the Mail led the fight

Mr Gallagher told a Sunday newspaper: ‘We are still working under human rights law formed many years ago to deal with the Nazis in Germany post-Second World War and what seems to be happening since the 1970s is terrorism, is the new Nazism, and there has been no effective human rights legislation focused on the victims.’

The decision of terrorists to turn to controversial human rights legislation again highlights Europe’s influence over the British legal system.

They are following in the footsteps of many foreign criminals who have attempted to use the law to escape deportation.

The Omagh bombing, in which 29 people and unborn twins died and hundreds more were injured, was the worst single terrorist attack of the Troubles. The Real IRA admitted responsibility, but no one was ever successfully prosecuted in the criminal courts.

Royal Ulster Constabulary police officers and firefighters inspect the damage caused by a bomb explosion

Royal Ulster Constabulary police officers and firefighters inspect the damage caused by a bomb explosion

However, after a fighting fund was launched by the Daily Mail, grieving families brought an unprecedented civil action and won their first victory at the High Court in Belfast in 2009. McKevitt, Campbell and fellow Republicans Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly, were ordered to pay damages but embarked on a lengthy appeal process.

In January last year, it emerged that McKevitt, 64, and Campbell, 52, had taken their case to the Strasbourg court in a final attempt to escape paying up.

McKevitt is serving a 20-year jail sentence imposed in 2003 by a court in Dublin for IRA membership and directing terrorism.

Campbell, a fellow dissident Republican, was jailed for eight years by the same court in 2004 for IRA membership.

Their lawyers claim their rights were breached under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to a fair trial – which has been incorporated into British law by the Human Rights Act. The argument focuses on the decision to allow hearsay evidence from FBI agent David Rupert, who infiltrated dissident Republican terrorist groups.

Earlier this month Daly, 43, appeared at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court charged with 29 counts of murder over Omagh.

Stanley McComb, whose wife Ann died in the blast, said of McKevitt and Campbell’s move: ‘Those b******* will go to any length and any extreme. It’s all just a cynical exercise for them.

‘These guys are just terrorists, murderers and yet they can get all the support they need to get this into a European court. What is wrong with the judicial system that is allowing this to happen? This is all a moneymaking exercise for the legal profession too.’

Xmas Holidays

Police arrest man over murder of former Continuity IRA leader Tommy Crossan

  • Police arrest 26-year-old man in connection with yesterday’s murder
  • Tommy Crossan killed in grounds of industrial complex in West Belfast
  • Priest attended to pray over victim in area known as republican heartland
  • Crossan was reportedly Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be subject of a death threat from his former allies
  • PSNI seeking information on a red BMW found burned out near the scene

By
James Rush


Published:

20:24 EST, 18 April 2014


|
Updated:

02:58 EST, 20 April 2014

Tommy Crossan was killed in the grounds of an industrial complex in West Belfast, in full view of surrounding houses, a local representative said

Tommy Crossan was killed in the grounds of an industrial complex in West Belfast, in full view of surrounding houses, a local representative said

Police in Belfast have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Republican hard-liner Tommy Crossan.

PSNI officers detained the 26-year-old suspect less than 24 hours after the former Continuity IRA leader was gunned down in broad daylight.

Crossan, 43, was shot in the head and body at close range in a Belfast fuel depot.

A local Catholic priest gave Crossan the last rights moments after the attack. 

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the murder but it is believed that Crossan had been threatened previously by his former comrades in the Continuity IRA. 

PSNI detective superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: ‘At around 4.45pm Mr Crossan was shot a number of times at close range in his upper body area as he sat in the office of the business of a family friend within the Peter Pan complex.

‘The murder of Mr Crossan on the Springfield Road yesterday was a brutal and ruthless attack which has no place in society.

‘Mr Crossan was known to police but no matter what his lifestyle was, absolutely nothing justifies this barbaric action against him.

‘Police are working on a number of lines of inquiry. One line of inquiry centres on individuals or groups who would associate themselves with dissident groupings, however we are keeping an open mind.’

The man arrested over the killing was being questioned today at the serious crime suite in Antrim PSNI station.

Detectives investigating the murder discovered this burned out BMW on the Springfield Road area of West Belfast which is a known dissident republican stronghold

Detectives investigating the murder discovered this burned out BMW on the Springfield Road area of West Belfast which is a known dissident republican stronghold

Shortly after the murder a number of people gathered in a highly emotional scene

Shortly after the murder a number of people gathered in a highly emotional scene

It is understood that Crossan had been expelled by the CIRA and had been the subject of death threats. He had previously been jailed for conspiracy to murder RUC officers in 1998.

Belfast City Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir of Sinn Fein said condemned the murder.

Sinn Fein's Lord Mayor of Belfast  Mairtin O Muilleoir condemned the attack claiming the killers were 'dinosaurs trapped in the past'

Sinn Fein’s Lord Mayor of Belfast Mairtin O Muilleoir condemned the attack claiming the killers were ‘dinosaurs trapped in the past’

He said: ‘They are dinosaurs trapped in the past and I urge everyone to work with the police to remove them from our streets.’

Nationalist SDLP councillor Colin Keenan said: ‘We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from West Belfast.

‘Today’s event is a terrible, tragic reminder of the violent conflict of the past.’

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies.

The organisation has opposed the peace process which largely ended three decades of violence and transformed the region.

The attack happened at the Peter Pan Centre in Springfield Road, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.

The road, one of the main arterial routes, has been closed to traffic.

Family members have arrived and are said to be devastated.

A PSNI spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the Springfield Road area of West Belfast this afternoon.

‘One man has been shot dead in the vicinity of the Peter Pan Centre.’

Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in West Belfast on Friday

Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in West Belfast on Friday

The largely-nationalist area of Belfast is mainly made up of tightly-packed terraced housing estates and businesses.

Mr Keenan said it was a horrific scene.

The CIRA murdered Police Constable Stephen Carroll in Lurgan in Co Armagh in March 2009. It has since been riven with splits.

Members of the security forces have been on high alert for attacks by various extremist factions who have also killed two soldiers and a prison officer.

In recent weeks they have stepped up efforts to kill police officers, with several attacks on the force in West Belfast.

After the murder of prison officer David Black on the M1 motorway in November 2012, police mounted an unprecedented surveillance operation against various factions as well making significant arrests.

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA's former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies

Colin Keenan, a nationalist SDLP Belfast City councillor for the area, said: ‘A fatal shooting has taken place on a busy through way. The family have just arrived.’

Tommy Crossan, who was gunned down in Belfast

Tommy Crossan, who was gunned down in Belfast

The attack happened close to a supermarket on an industrial estate.

The largely-nationalist area of Belfast is mainly made up of tightly-packed terraced housing estates and businesses.

Mr Keenan said it was a horrific scene, with the dead man lying in the grounds of the industrial estate and exposed to view from surrounding residents’ windows.

Relatives at the scene are devastated, he added.

A priest attended to pray over the victim.

The councillor added: ‘We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from West Belfast.

‘Today’s event is a terrible, tragic reminder of the violent conflict of the past.’

PSNI officers have secured a burned out red BMW that they believe was used by the killers.

It was found dumped on the Springfield Road in Belfast which is a dissident republican stronghold.

 

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Xmas Holidays

Calif. customers hit with expensive Del Taco bill

  • A technical glitch caused a Southern California Del Taco restaurant to overcharge customer credit cards
  • About 150 people were charged thousands of dollars for fast food meals
  • A spokesman says all customers will be refunded

By
Associated Press


Published:

14:07 EST, 19 April 2014


|
Updated:

01:59 EST, 20 April 2014

What was supposed to be a cheap bite at Del Taco turned out to be small fortune for some Southern California customers.

About 150 people who ordered this week at the Mexican-style fast food chain in Santa Paula, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were mistakenly charged thousands of dollars for burritos, tacos and soft drinks.

Customer Michael Cole said he was surprised when he was charged $4,050 for one CrunchTada Pizza and two beef tacos. He discovered the error Friday when he tried to withdraw $20 from an ATM and was denied.

Expensive fast food: About 150 customers were charged thousands of dollars on their credit cards for orders of cheap fast food from Del Taco

Expensive fast food: About 150 customers were charged thousands of dollars on their credit cards for orders of cheap fast food from Del Taco

‘I don’t even think I’ve spent that much in the last five years,’ Cole said.

The cause of the technical error was unknown, but it affected ATM and credit-card transactions at one Del Taco restaurant.

‘The processor is aware of the situation and has contacted banks involved,’ Del Taco spokesman Brian Devenny told the Ventura County Star. ‘They are working together to get these charges reversed as quickly as possible.’

Devenny said all charges will be refunded.

Mex hex: A CrunchTada Pizza like this cost one customer several thousand dollars

Mex hex: A CrunchTada Pizza like this cost one customer several thousand dollars

Another customer, Dino DeLaO, said his wife paid $10.20 for a meal and ended up being charged $10,200. DeLaO said the mistake caused his mortgage check to bounce, and he was afraid it would affect other bills.

Austin Dillon said it wasn’t hard to erase the charge. He bought $4.26 worth of food earlier this week that turned out to be $4,260.

‘It’s kind of obvious because it was Del Taco,’ he said.

As for Cole, who was billed $4,050, he still thinks highly of the food and service at his local Del Taco.

‘It’s not going to deter me from coming back,’ he said. ‘I’ll probably use cash from now on.’

Xmas Holidays

I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas Winner and Top 3 …….

Happy Easter to you all.  Lynsey here for this week’s winner’s post. Thank you for all your lovely entries into last week’s challenge ‘I’m Dreaming of a Pink christmas’.


Last week’s winner as chosen by Random Org is Number 9 so that is 





And here is the winning entry








Congratulations – please email Deborah  to claim your lovely prize of 3 stamps from
Wild Rose Studio



before the end of the current challenge. 


Please make the subject of your e-mail Winter Wonderland Winner and sponsor name.

Now onto the top three 






Fiona
 



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Christmas 2013

Health warning on juice-only diets as expert warns they can lead to eating disorder

  • Products marketed as a way to lose a few pounds while detoxing body
  • Fashionable ‘juice cleanses’ can lead to eating disorders, expert says

SOPHIE FREEMAN


Published:

19:59 EST, 17 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:55 EST, 19 April 2014

A health expert has warned that juice detox diets may lead to an eating disorder (library image)

A health expert has warned that juice detox diets may lead to an eating disorder (library image)

They are marketed as a way to lose a few pounds while detoxing the body.

But fashionable ‘juice cleanses’ can lead to an eating disorder, an expert has warned.

Sara Shammas, a consultant psychotherapist who specialises in eating disorders, said she has seen a large rise in the number of clients hooked on juicing – a problem dubbed ‘juicerexia’.

She said: ‘Juicing gives people “permission” to avoid meals.

‘People think they’re being healthy when they put spinach and beetroot in their juices, but the problem is they’re knocking out entire food groups.

‘That’s the danger. It’s such a mounting problem, I’m running a specific group for it at my clinic.’

Miss Shammas said that unlike ‘traditional’ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ‘juicerexics’ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves.

‘It’s about people tricking others, and tricking themselves, that they’re being healthy. It’s actually a code word for starving,’ she added.

Eating disorders charity Beat said fad diets such as juice cleanses can be a trigger for some people and also hinder recovery.

A spokesman said: ‘The way they are advertised as a “healthy” means to “get a body like X celebrity” or “slim down for summer” can fuel a way for someone to continue their eating disorder behaviours, hiding them through an “acceptable” way to restrict intake.’

The expert said unlike ¿traditional¿ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ¿juicerexics¿ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves (library image)

The expert said unlike ¿traditional¿ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ¿juicerexics¿ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves (library image)

 

Xmas Holidays

Photographer captures giant rhea bird but only on camera

  • The 6ft bird can run at 40mph to escape the attentions of predators
  • Wildlife experts warn that the rhea could inflict serious injuries if cornered
  • The Daily Mail spent more than an hour trying to catch the bird

By
Louise Eccles


Published:

18:33 EST, 18 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:55 EST, 19 April 2014

The South American rhea on the loose in the Home Counties was captured by the Daily Mail yesterday – but only on camera.

Mail photographer Mark Richards spotted the 6ft tall flightless bird running through fields in Hertfordshire and tracked the six-year-old female for more than an hour.

He said: ‘I was able to follow it for quite a while but, much like the Road Runner, it was too fast for me.’

The giant Rhea ran amok for more than an hour running through Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead

The giant Rhea ran amok for more than an hour running through Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead

Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail spent the morning trying to track down the bird

Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail spent the morning trying to track down the bird

The giant bird sped-off at more than 40mph to escape into a field

The giant bird sped-off at more than 40mph to escape into a field

The Giant Rhea  can move at 45mph and is said to be capable of disembowelling a human with its six-inch claws.

The RSPCA has warned against approaching it. But Richards said: ‘It was extremely timid and I was never able to get closer than 250 yards.’ The ostrich-cum-emu – nicknamed Chris after singer

Chris Rea – has previously been seen at the Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead, next to where it was spotted yesterday.

It escaped a month ago from Jo Clark’s smallholding in Brent Pelham on the Essex and Hertfordshire border.

Miss Clark, 60, who keeps four of the birds, believes it may have become spooked when the local hunt passed nearby.

Xmas Holidays

Scooby-dooed! Dogs found intoxicated on drug believed to be CANNABIS after walks on Hampstead Heath

  • Pets were rushed to a vet’s for treatment after getting intoxicated
  • They all slipped into a drugged-like stupor after being let off the lead
  • Three of the victims were given emergency medication
  • Vets have sent blood samples to experts to try to identify the toxin

By
Leon Watson


Published:

22:24 EST, 17 April 2014


|
Updated:

02:39 EST, 18 April 2014

Drugs dumped on London’s famous Hampstead Heath are feared to have poisoned five dogs.

The stricken pets were rushed to a vet’s for treatment after getting intoxicated.

The animals all slipped into a drugged-like stupor after being let off the lead in the Sandy Heath area of the iconic heath by a professional dog walker.

Test are being carried out on five dogs believed to have been drugged on Hampstead Heath, north London

Test are being carried out on five dogs believed to have been drugged on Hampstead Heath, north London

The seriously ill dogs were rushed to the Village Vet in Belsize Park, north London.

The three most ‘intoxicated’ victims were given emergency medication or they could have died.

Their heart rates and blood pressure had plunged to dangerous levels as they showed symptoms that the vets immediately suspected were triggered by cannabis.

But the practice has now sent blood samples to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

Head vet Sean McInnes said: ‘They looked completely inebriated. Three of them were extremely quiet, withdrawn and lethargic, almost what we call “stuporous”.

‘To all intents and purposes it was like they had consumed some sort of recreational drug.’

Blood samples have been to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis (pictured)

Blood samples have been to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis (pictured)

Mr McInnes, a partner at Village Vet, said the dogs began to show symptoms shortly after arriving in Sandy Heath on Tuesday last week.

‘With blood pressure and heart rates that low, if you don’t treat them, they can start to get organ dysfunctions.

‘If they had not been treated, it is very likely they could have developed renal failure and potentially a degree of swelling of the brain,’ he added.

‘It could have been fatal.’

The pets have now recovered from their ordeals and been returned to their relieved owners.

Hampstead Heath Constabulary officers combed Sandy Heath for toxic substances but drew a blank.

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath, said: ‘We are investigating reports on this serious matter.

‘No source of poisoning has been found on Hampstead Heath.

‘Until we have information to act on, we ask that all dog walkers remain vigilant and report anything untoward immediately to the Heath Constabulary.’

Xmas Holidays