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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.

Furby that interacts with iPads is among ‘must-have’ Christmas toys

A furby
A furby 

Dan Hyde

By
Dan Hyde
, Consumer Affairs Editor

12:38AM GMT 30 Oct 2014

Loom bands, a gun that fires foam darts and a Furby that interacts with iPads
are the must-have toys this christmas, a survey has found.

Good Housekeeping magazine enlisted more than 100 pupils from Harefield Junior
School, Hillingdon, to test the toys expected to make the most popular
gifts.

The Furby, a soft, owl-like toy that learns to speak English as it “grows”,
is once again a favourite among children, the findings showed, rekindling a
Christmas craze that began in 1998.

The latest incarnation, the Furby Boom Crystal, came third in the tests, the
magazine said.

It costs £64.99 and has “a mind of its own”, makers Hambro
said, as it can interact with apps on an iPad or smartphone.

Children can wash and feed the Furby by placing the toy in front of an iPad
camera, which acts as a shower head or spoon. The Furby will say if the
water is too hot or the food unwanted.

This year’s toy, which is an updated version of a 2013 model, can also have
children, called Furblings, which cost £14.99 and can talk to their parent.
It came third in the Good Housekeeping Great Big Christmas Toy Test.

The children rated loom bands, the rubber bands that can be twisted into
bracelets, as the best toy on display.

The £9.99 Loom Twister Friendship Loom Bands Set was given a score of 84 per
cent by Good Housekeeping.

Caroline Bloor, consumer director at the publication, said: “It’s
refreshing to see that the inexpensive loom bands, a toy that children can
be creative with and doesn’t require batteries, is this year’s top toy.

“It has been trialled, tested and chosen by children for children, so
parents also won’t need to grapple with industrial-strength packaging or
complicated setup, which on a hectic Christmas day is a gift in itself.”

Another popular choice with both boys and girls was the Nerf Demolisher, which
scored 82 per cent. The gun, which costs £44.99, shoots foam missiles and
darts.

A full list of toys in the Good Housekeeping survey is available at
telegraph.co.uk.

Christmas Trees

BBC ‘lowers standards’ over way presenters say the letter ‘H’ 

  • One complains of ‘horrible, horrendous and harmful’ drop in quality control
  • Campaigners say the mistakes mark the beginning of a ‘slippery slope
  • Called on BBC to only hire presenters who can use language correctly
  • Queen’s English Society say world looks to BBC for right pronounciation

By

Sam Creighton for the Daily Mail


Published:
19:47 EST, 29 October 2014

|
Updated:
07:52 EST, 30 October 2014

The BBC was once known across the world for the precise elocution of its presenters.

But the corporation is now facing complaints that its staff are making basic errors in the use of English.

A number of viewers have pointed out that television personalities are increasingly pronouncing the letter ‘H’ as ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’.

Viewers pointed to Sara Cox as one of a number of  BBC presenters who fail to pronounce 'H' in a correct way

Viewers pointed to Sara Cox as one of a number of  BBC presenters who fail to pronounce ‘H’ in a correct way

Appearing on Points of View, a programme which airs public concerns over BBC content, one branded the falling standards ‘horrible, horrendous and harmful’ while another urged the corporation to ‘educate your presenters’.

Points of View highlighted several instances of the BBC broadcasting mispronunciations of ‘H’, including an advert for the Children in Need Great British Sewing Bee, in which guest presenter Sara Cox makes the error, and another television appearance by Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw who makes the same mistake.

Speaking yesterday, campaigners said such mistakes marked the beginning of a ‘slippery slope’ and called on the BBC to only hire presenters who use the English language correctly.

Points of View presenter Jeremy Vine said the programme had collected a ‘whole folder’ of complaints about the issue and two viewers appeared on the show to express their concerns.

June Binyon said: ‘Would the BBC please instruct their presenters and commentators on the correct pronunciation of the letter “H”. For example, when announcing a programme is to be in HD, they will say haitchD. This is not correct. Please BBC, educate your presenters.’

Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw has also come under fire by BBC viewers over his English elocution 

Radio 1 breakfast host Nick Grimshaw has also come under fire by BBC viewers over his English elocution 

While Sharon Shepperd added: ‘I just cannot believe my ears that you, the guardian of the Queen’s English, is showing a television trailer where someone mispronounces the letter “H” as haitch. 

‘Surely, this should never have been allowed to air, it’s horrible, it’s horrendous and it’s harmful to the English language. Is this the thin end of the wedge?’

According to campaigners, such a decline in standards in the BBC’s use of English could have negative impacts across the world.

Gareth Hardwick, who recently stepped down as secretary of the Queen’s English Society, said: ‘With the BBC in particular, it is listened to by a worldwide audience and people for whom English is a second language look to the BBC for an example of what is good English.

‘There are a whole number of reasons why the BBC might choose to recruit someone onto its staff as a broadcaster and maybe the use of English should be one and BBC broadcasters should be people to aspire to good, correct English usage’.

Dr Bernard Lamb, the group’s president, added: ‘It is a problem because presenters can be quite influential, so a mistake that broadcasters start taking up is easily spread to the rest of the population.

‘I take the view that you have to be very careful about slippery slopes and if you let one or two things through it will encourage people to let even more things through and become slacker and slacker.’

A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘The BBC has won awards for its use of language and we are proud of the range of voices heard across our programmes.’

Xmas Holidays

Woking family reunited with Toby, after UK’s first reconstruction of dognapping

  • Family’s border terrier, Toby, was taken by motorist near their home
  • They launched huge campaign to track down the much-loved pet
  • The £4,000 search has seen banner flown over town trailed behind plane 
  • It also included a Crimewatch style reconstruction of dog being taken 
  • But today the family were reunited with their pet after he was found 
  • Toby was spotted playing on a field 80 miles from home in Kent 
  • Border terrier is now back at home with the family and begging for treats  

By

Jennifer Newton for MailOnline


Published:
14:58 EST, 29 October 2014

|
Updated:
07:44 EST, 30 October 2014

A missing dog whose devastated owners staged the UK’s first reconstruction of an animal crime have finally being reunited with their pet after it was found 80 miles away from the family home.

The Marsh family of Woking, Surrey, spent £4,000 by shooting a video reconstruction of the moment three-year-old border terrier Toby was snatched and even funded a fly-by banner featuring his name in a desperate attempt to be reunited with the pet.

They also launched a huge campaign on social media using the hashtag #FindToby, which was backed by tennis player Andy Murray, comedian Alan Carr and boyband One Direction.

Scroll down for video  

Lost dog Toby has been reunited with the Marsh family - including baby Pippa - after a huge search for him

Lost dog Toby has been reunited with the Marsh family – including baby Pippa – after a huge search for him

Toby back at the family home with owner Louise  Marsh after he was found after going missing for three weeks

Toby back at the family home with owner Louise Marsh after he was found after going missing for three weeks

The dog was found in a park after Mrs Marsh organised a huge campaign to find him on social media, arranged for a plane to fly a banner in the skies over her town and even staged her own Crimewatch-style reconstruction

The dog was found in a park after Mrs Marsh organised a huge campaign to find him on social media, arranged for a plane to fly a banner in the skies over her town and even staged her own Crimewatch-style reconstruction

However, today Louise Marsh received the call she never thought would come, when a vet’s surgery in Kent contacted her to say they had Toby.

And straight away Mrs Marsh jumped into her car and drove the 80 miles from her home to go and collect her pet, which had been found running around on a nearby field.

Mrs Marsh, 28, said: ‘I received a telephone call from a vet in Kent who said they had a border terrier who looked exactly like Toby.

‘They said he was fine and had been running around a nearby field playing with a Jack Russell, when a lady noticed him and took him to the vet.

‘I drove down there straight away and collected him and we only just brought him home earlier this evening.

‘He has been begging for treats ever since.’

The family said their three-legged rescue dog, Peggy, had been pining for Toby ever since he went missing

The family said their three-legged rescue dog, Peggy, had been pining for Toby ever since he went missing

The dog was taken to this vet surgery in Kent after being found playing on a nearby field. The surgery then called Mrs Marsh, who went to pick him up 

The dog was taken to this vet surgery in Kent after being found playing on a nearby field. The surgery then called Mrs Marsh, who went to pick him up 

Mrs Marsh, pictured spent £4,000 in a desperate bid to get her dog back, and even filmed a reconstruction of the moment the dog was snatched 

Mrs Marsh, pictured spent £4,000 in a desperate bid to get her dog back, and even filmed a reconstruction of the moment the dog was snatched 

 Toby, a pedigree animal, slipped out of the front door when Mrs Marsh was distracted by her six-month-old daughter, Pippa.

A local boy found the terrier and, suspecting he was lost, put him on a lead and started knocking on doors looking for the owner.

A man sitting in a nearby silver estate car overheard and offered to take Toby to a vet to see if there was an identifying microchip implanted under his skin. Toby, who was wearing a green suede collar, has not been seen since.

The man was aged between 40 and 50, with a bald or shaved head. He had a young boy sitting beside him in the car’s front passenger seat

Mrs Marsh, a vet, spent £4,000 in her campaign to find her border terrier, missing for three weeks.

A family have filmed a Crimewatch-style reconstruction of the alleged dognapping of their beloved pet. The film shows a youth hand the dog to a driver, who offered to take it to a vet. The dog has not been seen since

A family have filmed a Crimewatch-style reconstruction of the alleged dognapping of their beloved pet. The film shows a youth hand the dog to a driver, who offered to take it to a vet. The dog has not been seen since

A reconstruction of the moment Toby went missing in Woking has taken place in a bid to jog people's memory 

A reconstruction of the moment Toby went missing in Woking has taken place in a bid to jog people’s memory 

There were leaflets — 10,000 of them — and a campaign on social media, and a firm of pet detectives. 

At the weekend she staged a Crimewatch–style re-enactment of his theft to jog memories, and spent £650 to fly a banner appealing for information about her pet behind an aircraft circling her home town of Woking.

But now that Toby is back at home with Mrs Marsh and her husband Les, she says that every penny spent was worth it.

She explained: ‘One hundred per cent I would do it all again if he were to go missing.

‘It has been worth it, especially when I saw his face when I went to pick him up. I would have spent £10,000 if it meant getting him back.

The family even paid for a plane to fly over Woking with a banner in a bid to raise awareness of their search

The family even paid for a plane to fly over Woking with a banner in a bid to raise awareness of their search

As well as putting up posters, Mrs Marsh made video appeals and took to social media in a bid to find Toby

As well as putting up posters, Mrs Marsh made video appeals and took to social media in a bid to find Toby

She added: ‘Every time I see him now I just can’t believe he is back. I was always hopeful he would come back but as the weeks went on it looked less likely.

‘He is definitely getting to sleep upstairs in the bed with us tonight. He isn’t normally allowed but my husband said if we got him back he could so I am holding him to that!’ 

This week, campaigners at the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance called for anyone convicted of stealing a dog to be jailed for at least six weeks, after reports of the crime increased by more than a third over the past two years. 

In particular, ‘theft by finding’ is said to be on the rise — where people who claim to have innocently come across a dog demand money for its return.

From April 2016, all dogs will be required to have an identification microchip inserted under the skin, partly to combat such crimes. But already these chips are being removed by thieves.

Despite the huge scale of efforts to find the dog, the animal has not been handed into vets and remains lost

Despite the huge scale of efforts to find the dog, the animal has not been handed into vets and remains lost

Tom Watkins and Dawn Deeley take a break from putting up posters in Woking to help find missing dog Toby and chat to the pet's owner Louise Marsh 

Tom Watkins and Dawn Deeley take a break from putting up posters in Woking to help find missing dog Toby and chat to the pet’s owner Louise Marsh 

Xmas Holidays

Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore!”

Day 56 – Happy Halloween Eve! Visit your local library and check out a Halloween book or video. Gather your own Halloween craft books, picture books, and maybe even start a good thriller.  What are your favorite Halloween stories?

Visit the 100 Days to christmas Facebook page.

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Christmas Trees

Charles and Camilla begin tour of Colombia

  • The royals were handed a football shirt and snakeskin bag during reception
  • Charles looked particularly delighted with his gift, presented by Luis Bedoya 
  • Only other royal to have travelled to country is Princess Anne in 1997
  • Aim of trip is to ‘strengthen co-operation in fight against drugs and crime’
  • Charles will discuss work between UK and local anti-narcotics agencies
  • Also will be shown equipment and proceeds of crime seized from cartels

By

Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent In Bogota For Mailonline

and
Ruth Styles for MailOnline


Published:
20:11 EST, 28 October 2014

|
Updated:
05:18 EST, 29 October 2014

It’s a question that vexes even the most distinguished of hosts – just what do you give to a guest when that visitor happens to be royal?

Luckily for Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, diplomats had come up with the perfect solution: a football shirt for Prince Charles and a chic snakeskin bag for the Duchess of Cornwall.

The gifts were presented during a welcome reception at the British ambassador’s residence in Colombian capital Bogota,with Charles beaming delightedly as Luis Bedoya, head of the Colombian Football Federation, presented him with the shirt.

Scroll down for video 

Fit for a princess: The Duchess of Cornwall inspects a chic snakeskin bag during the reception

Fit for a princess: The Duchess of Cornwall inspects a chic snakeskin bag during the reception

Very nice: Camilla looks impressed as designer Mario Hernandez shows her the bag
Now try it on! Mr Hernandez persuades the royal recipient to give it a spin

Now try it on! After showing Camilla the bag, designer Mario Hernandez persuaded her to try it on

Is that for me? Charles looks delighted as he is presented with a Colombia football shirt by Luis Bedoya

Is that for me? Charles looks delighted as he is presented with a Colombia football shirt by Luis Bedoya

Earlier, the couple had been greeted by a guard of honour as they arrived at a rainy Bogota Military Airport, as well as dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby.

While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs.

The tour, which has been dubbed ‘the Tequila Tour’ by some sections of the media, will focus on conflict resolution and is the first time senior members of the Royal Family have ever visited Colombia.

The only other royal to have travelled to the country is Princess Anne, back in 1997.

Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office.

Good stuff: A clearly delighted Prince Charles inspects the Colombia football shirt watched by Luis Bedoya

Good stuff: A clearly delighted Prince Charles inspects the Colombia football shirt watched by Luis Bedoya

Interest: Charles chats to Colombian artist Carlos Jacanamijoy (centre) after being presented with a book

Interest: Charles chats to Colombian artist Carlos Jacanamijoy (centre) after being presented with a book

Nice to meet you: Charles with champion cyclist Nairo Quintana (second left) during the reception

Nice to meet you: Charles with champion cyclist Nairo Quintana (second left) during the reception

Arrivals: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall endured a wintry welcome as they arrived on a ground-breaking tour of Colombia tonight

Arrivals: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall endured a wintry welcome as they arrived on a ground-breaking tour of Colombia tonight

Touching down by private jet in the rain-soaked capital Bogota, the couple have become the most senior members of the Royal Family to ever visit the conflict-ridden Latin American region
The only other royal to have travelled to the country is Princess Anne, back in 1997

Royal visit: Touching down by private jet in the rain-soaked capital Bogota, the couple have become the most senior members of the Royal Family to ever visit the conflict-ridden Latin American region

Making strides: While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives into Bogota Military Airport

Making strides: While Charles strode ahead to accept their welcome, Camilla gingerly made her way down the slippery plane stairs

One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to ‘strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime’.

Colombia has been home to some of the most violent, sophisticated and powerful drug trafficking organisations in the world since the 1970s.

Despite intensive government efforts, it is still the world’s largest producer of cocaine and during his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.

He is also expected to be shown some of the equipment and proceeds of crime seized from the powerful drugs cartels – including a submarine built to smuggle cocaine to the US, which was recently confiscated by police.

A source said: ‘The National Crime Agency has been working in Columbia for a number of years and our support for an input into that struggle has been valued by their Government.’

Guests of honour: President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess
The Royal Couple are on a four day visit to Colombia as part of a Royal tour to Colombia and Mexico

Guests of honour: President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess

History: For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe
After fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia the theme for the visit is Peace and Reconciliation

History: For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe

Discussions: During his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon

Discussions: During his four-day stay Charles will discuss co-operation between the UK and local anti-narcotics agencies with the country’s President, Juan Manuel Santos Calderon

Welcome: The couple were greeted at the airport by a Guard of Honour and dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby

Welcome: The couple were greeted at the airport by a Guard of Honour and dignitaries including the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Colombia, His Excellency Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby

Itinerary: Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office

Itinerary: Charles and Camilla will tackle issues as diverse as the international drugs trade and violence against women during their four-day visit, requested by the Foreign Office

Also central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, including a meeting with representatives from communities most affected by the fighting.

For most of its 200-year history Colombia has been plagued by bitter unrest and for the past half century has been riven by the longest civil war on the globe.

More than 250,000 people – many innocent civilians – have lost their lives as a result of fighting between left-wing guerrillas including the Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and ELN (National Liberation Army), government groups and right-wing paramilitary forces, set up by wealthy landowners for protection. More than five million people are also believed to have been left displaced.

Key event: Central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict

Key event: Central to their busy tour programme in Bogota will be a Peace and Reconciliation ceremony to remember the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict

Return: Charles briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet

Return: Charles briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet

Many of these armed factions have financed their actions through kidnapping and drug trafficking. Paramilitaries from both side have also been accused of organising widespread massacre, torture and violent crime.

Just days ago, however, it was reported that talks between President Santos and Farc leaders had left the troubled country on the brink of an historic peace deal.

Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia.

The Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict.

President Santos and the First Lady will also put on an official welcome ceremony at Casa de Nano, the Presidential Palace, as well as a State Banquet in honour of the Prince and the Duchess.

Timetable: Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia

Timetable: Other engagements in Bogota will focus on traditional arts and crafts, historical architecture, organic food and wool, trade and a celebration of the British Council’s 75th anniversary in Colombia

Breaking new ground: Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country

Breaking new ground: Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country

At a reception at the Ambassador’s residence last night, the Duchess, wearing cream silk and wool coat and dress by her go-to designer, Anna Valentine, was given a £1,500 handbag by a local Colombian designer.

Mario Hernandez made the grey snake-skin evening bag with Camilla’s name inscribed inside especially for the Duchess.

She declared herself delighted with the gift and promised to use it.

‘I have also given her a bag to take home for Princess Kate,’ he said.

Colombia is also one of the world’s most ecologically diverse countries, encompassing Amazon rainforest, tropical grassland and both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.

Purpose: One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to 'strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime'

Purpose: One of the key aims of Charles and Camilla’s trip to South America is to ‘strengthen co-operation in the fight against drugs and crime’

Cause: While in Columbia, the Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict
The Duchess of Cornwall arrives at Bogota Airport, Colombia, on the first day of their tour to Colombia and Mexico

Cause: While in Columbia, the Duchess will also attend a high-level meeting for charities and Government representatives working on initiatives in the field of preventing sexual violence in conflict

Charles will take the opportunity to visit the breath-taking Macarena National Park in southern Colombia to witness some of its raw beauty for himself, before flying on to Cartagena where he will deliver the concluding speech at the Health of the Oceans international conference.

Other engagements in Cartagena include a sunset ceremony on board HMS Argyll, which is currently moored there. Charles himself briefly visited Colombia in 1974 when he was an officer on HMS Minerva and will take part in the ceremony as Admiral of the Fleet.

Colombian Ambassador Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby admitted that such a significant royal visit simply wouldn’t have been possible just a decade ago due to instability of the country.

But, he told Mail Online, while the country still had many problems to tackle, Colombia had ‘transformed’ itself.

‘At the turn of this century it [a royal tour] would have been a much more difficult proposition. I can’t pretend everything is marvellous now but the country has been transformed and is keen to show all it has to offer,’ he said.

Roll out the red carpet: Members of the Colombian armed services carry a red carpet across the runway before the royal party's arrival

Roll out the red carpet: Members of the Colombian armed services carry a red carpet across the runway before the royal party’s arrival

‘There is a very palpable degree of excitement about Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visiting. People are keen to get to know them better and show off the diversity of this wonderful country.’

On Sunday the prince and his wife will fly on to Mexico – a country Charles has visited four times previously – beginning their brief visit in Real del Monte.

The town is considered the birthplace of the historical relationship between the UK and Mexico, which began with Cornish miners who first arrived there from Falmouth in 1825 to help resuscitate the Mexican silver mining industry.

The couple will stop off at the Museo del Paste – or Pasty Museum – which celebrates the Cornish delicacy bought to the country by those UK-born adventurers.

Remarkably more pasties are sold in Mexico than in Cornwall – and the museum even featured in in episode of the Great British Bake Off last month.

Visit: The only other royal to have travelled to the Latin American region is Princess Anne in 1997. She is seen (above) on that visit smiling at two children dressed as clowns during a presentation in Cali's Club Noel hospital

Visit: The only other royal to have travelled to the Latin American region is Princess Anne in 1997. She is seen (above) on that visit smiling at two children dressed as clowns during a presentation in Cali’s Club Noel hospital

Three-day trip: Princess Anne is greeted by children at a Colombo-Britanico School in Cali in November 1997

Three-day trip: Princess Anne is greeted by children at a Colombo-Britanico School in Cali in November 1997

The royals will also view a colourful Day of the Dead festivity – a national public holiday in Mexico where families gather to pray and remember loved one who have died.

Charles and Camilla will mark the day themselves by visiting the Cornish cemetery in Real del Monte, which contains the only known British WW1 memorial in Mexico to a Cornish immigrant who died at the Battle of the Somme.

The royals will also visit Mexico City, Campeche and Monterrey during their four days in the country.

The Prince and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing the richly varied and beautiful environment of both countries and meeting the warm and welcoming people 
Simon Martin, Deputy Private Secretary to The Prince of Wales

In Mexico City, Their Royal Highnesses will receive an official welcome by the President and the First Lady at the Presidential Palace. Other events include a reception to promote collaboration between the UK and Mexico in the fields of education, science, culture and business.

In Campeche the couple will tour the Edzna Maya archaeological site, which dates back to 400BC.

The prince’s deputy private secretary, Simon Martin, said of the tour: ‘The Prince and the Duchess are looking forward to seeing the richly varied and beautiful environment of both countries and meeting the warm and welcoming people.

‘Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a broad range of engagements to promote the UK’s partnership with both Colombia and Mexico in key areas such as combatting climate change, improving trade and investment, creating youth opportunities, encouraging corporate social responsibility, preserving historical and cultural links and supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence. .

‘The fact that the British Government has asked them to accept these invitations now is a sign of the importance that it attaches to these two countries.’

Xmas Holidays

Volvo spotted at Heathrow Airport with rather eye-catching number plate E8 OLA

By

Daily Mail Reporter


Published:
17:48 EST, 28 October 2014

|
Updated:
05:10 EST, 29 October 2014

It’s certainly one way of ensuring the driver behind you doesn’t get too close.

Amid global panic, travel restrictions and plenty of controversy, most of us would probably be keen to steer clear of a car that reads ‘ebola’ – particularly at an airport.

Unfortunately for the owners of this Volvo, however, even their eye-catching registration plate wasn’t enough to empty the road ahead as they drove into Heathrow on Sunday with their suitcases piled high in the boot.

Travellers flying in to Heathrow from the affected African countries face screening measures which include a questionnaire followed by a medical examination and temperature check.

You would have thought that this car would have a clear passage into Heathrow Airport 

You would have thought that this car would have a clear passage into Heathrow Airport 

 

Xmas Holidays

Tower of London moat nearly full of poppies commemorating WWI’s victims&nbsp;

  • Up to four million people have already visited the poignant tribute at the Tower which will be finished on November 11
  • Large crowds have packed viewing areas with visitor numbers vastly increasing this week due to half-term holiday
  • Visitors have been advised to wait until next week if possible or to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds
  • 8,000 volunteers have been placing flowers in the moat since July with the last poppy to be planted on Armistice Day
  • Ceramic flowers, designed by Paul Cummins, will then be sold for £25 each raising estimated £11.2million for charity
  • The 888,246 ceramic poppies each represent a soldier from the UK who was killed in conflict in the First World War
  • Mr Cummins, 37, has revealed how he lost one finger and the use of another making one of the poppies for memorial 

By

Jack Crone

and
Emma Glanfield for MailOnline


Published:
14:59 EST, 27 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:48 EST, 28 October 2014

Up to four million people have already visited the Tower of London to witness the incredible sea of ceramic poppies which pay tribute to those who died fighting in the First World War.

With almost all of the 888,246 poppies now in place, the landscape of London has been dramatically transformed by the emotionally-charged Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation.

In a fortnight’s time, the magnificent tribute to the Commonwealth soldiers will be complete – each poppy a painful reminder of the monumental loss of human life suffered in the conflict.

Today, with the half-term holiday in full swing, the crowds continued to flock to the landmark – as they have done for many weeks – in awe of the creation, which is the brainchild of artist Paul Cummins and which is predicted to raise around £11.2million for charity.

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Magnificent: Millions of people have visited the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London since July

Magnificent: Millions of people have visited the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London since July

Moving: Thousands of people have gathered at the moat surrounding the Tower of London to see the spectacular blanket of scarlet 

Moving: Thousands of people have gathered at the moat surrounding the Tower of London to see the spectacular blanket of scarlet 

Monumental: When the last ceramic poppy is planted on November 11 there will be a staggering total of 888,246 in the installation

Monumental: When the last ceramic poppy is planted on November 11 there will be a staggering total of 888,246 in the installation

Incredible: The emotionally-charged tribute has dramatically changed London's landscape and the scarlet moat can be seen for miles

Incredible: The emotionally-charged tribute has dramatically changed London’s landscape and the scarlet moat can be seen for miles

The view from above: An aerial view shows the amazing memorial which has attracted millions of visitors
In a fortnight's time the magnificent memorial to the Commonwealth soldiers who died in World War One will be complete - each ceramic poppy a painful reminder of the monumental loss of human life suffered in the conflict

The view from above: An aerial view in both day and night shows the amazing memorial which has attracted millions of visitors

Packed: Visitor numbers to the Tower have vastly increased since work on the memorial began in July. Pictured: The large crowds today

Packed: Visitor numbers to the Tower have vastly increased since work on the memorial began in July. Pictured: The large crowds today

Scrambling for a view: Four million people have already visited the poppy tribute, which will be officially completed on November 11

Scrambling for a view: Four million people have already visited the poppy tribute, which will be officially completed on November 11

Visitor numbers to the Tower have vastly increased since work on the poignant memorial began in July. A Tower of London spokesman today said the attraction is ‘extremely busy’ and confirmed visitor numbers have increased greatly compared to the same period last year. 

Some visitors told how the poppy memorial was so busy at the beginning of the half-term holiday that there were queues of around one hour to get in and out of the nearest Tube stations. Others said the area was heavily-congested with crowds desperately scrambling to get a look at the sea of flowers.

The scarlet moat also appears to have helped entice visitors into the Tower itself, with reports of queues of up to two hours to see the famous Crown Jewels display.

However, the Tower of London said special measures had been put in place to help control the large swathes of visitors but advised visitors to try and postpone their visit until after the October school break. 

A spokesman said: ‘The Tower of London is currently very busy due to the half-term school break and interest in the poppies installation.

‘We want to ensure that everyone visiting the Tower enjoys the best possible experience, so we’ve put measures in place to facilitate the increase in visitor numbers. 

‘We’ve introduced crowd control barriers in key areas, and brought in extra staff, including agency staff specialising in facilitating major events, to help meet the demand. We’re advising people to postpone their visit to the Tower until after half-term if possible, or to visit earlier in the day, before 11am.’  

Scarlet moat: The poppies, each hand made carefully before being planted, can clearly be seen surrounding the Tower of London

Scarlet moat: The poppies, each hand made carefully before being planted, can clearly be seen surrounding the Tower of London

Star attraction: The incredible memorial has been attracting thousands of visitors every week, including during this week's half-term

Star attraction: The incredible memorial has been attracting thousands of visitors every week, including during this week’s half-term

Emotive: Each ceramic poppy marks a Commonwealth soldier from the the UK, Australia and the Commonwealth who died in the war

Emotive: Each ceramic poppy marks a Commonwealth soldier from the the UK, Australia and the Commonwealth who died in the war

Fascinating: The incredible installation will remain on display until Armistice Day on November 11, when the last poppy will be planted

Fascinating: The incredible installation will remain on display until Armistice Day on November 11, when the last poppy will be planted

The installation will remain on display until Armistice Day on November 11, when the last poppy is planted. Afterwards, they will be sold off for £25 each to raise funds for military charities, including Help for Heroes and Combat Stress.

The very next day, the same army of 8,000 volunteers who began planting them on July 17 will begin to uproot each bloom individually, before sending it off to be washed and posted on to its new owner.

The breathtaking sea of scarlet, which has seen potters in Cummins’ Derbyshire studio work around the clock making poppies for the piece, has been visited by millions of people including the Queen two weeks ago and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in August. 

Tower of London General Lord Dannatt said he had been delighted with the great public response to the memorial.

He said: ‘We have been astounded by the overwhelming public support to the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London. 

‘In this significant year of the centenary, it has been heartening to see so many people engaging with the project; either by volunteering their time, buying a poppy and helping to raise millions of pounds for service charities or by visiting the poppies and remembering all of those who died in the First World War.

‘The First World War was a pivotal moment in our history, claiming the lives of over 16 million people across the globe; its consequences have shaped our modern society. 

‘We wanted the Tower of London’s commemorations to serve as a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives during the First World War, whilst encouraging others to reflect on our past.’

Busy: The magnificent feature has attracted millions of visitors from around the world - including many families of soldiers lost in the war

Busy: The magnificent feature has attracted millions of visitors from around the world – including many families of soldiers lost in the war

Panoramic: The sea of red is a stark reminder of those soldiers who lost their lives trying to protect their country in the First World War

Panoramic: The sea of red is a stark reminder of those soldiers who lost their lives trying to protect their country in the First World War

‘REMEMBER THE FALLEN’: ROYAL MINT RELEASES LIMITED EDITION £5 COIN TO COMMEMORATE FIRST WORLD WAR

The Royal Mint has released a limited edition £5 coin to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Created by renowned artist Laura Clancy, only 2,014 of the sterling silver coins, featuring a distinctive red poppy design, will be minted.

The coin’s design depicts a striking image of falling red poppies, finished with the simple inscription, ‘Remember the Fallen’.

Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin, Medals and Bullion, said: ‘Each year in November, millions in Britain and across the world take a moment to remember the servicemen and women who have lost their lives in conflicts past and present.

‘The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War makes this year’s remembrance day all the more poignant, and is a fitting reason to create this brand new design for the 2014 Remembrance coin.’ 

The limited edition £5 coin to commemorate the centenary of the First World War features the Queen and ‘Remember the Fallen’

However, the making of the incredible tribute hasn’t been without hitch and Derbyshire-based artist Mr Cummins today revealed he lost a finger while making one of the ceramic poppies.

The 37-year-old lost one finger and the use of another while making the poppies which now tumble from the tower and form the scarlet sea in its moat.

Mr Cummins revealed that he sustained his life-changing injuries after his right hand was flattened in an industrial roller as he made one of the flowers.

‘I did nearly kill myself halfway through,’ he said.

The ceramic artist lost the middle finger of his right hand and the remains have been fused with his ring finger. He has also lost the use of his index finger.

He also revealed that – as the climax of his extraordinary memorial approaches – he can no longer make any poppies because of his injury. He hopes to return to work in six months. 

Painful: Artist Paul Cummins - the man behind the memorial - has revealed he lost a finger while making one of the memorial's poppies

Painful: Artist Paul Cummins – the man behind the memorial – has revealed he lost a finger while making one of the memorial’s poppies

Good enough to eat: A life-size cake of a British solider has been created ahead of Armistice Day. Pictured: The cake (centre) with members of the First Regiment of Foot Guards (from left): Guardsmen Johan Brunt, George Parker, Harry Aspishaw and James Brookes

Good enough to eat: A life-size cake of a British solider has been created ahead of Armistice Day. Pictured: The cake (centre) with members of the First Regiment of Foot Guards (from left): Guardsmen Johan Brunt, George Parker, Harry Aspishaw and James Brookes

Vivid: The bright scarlet installation is clearly visible from the sky - dramatically transforming and adding colour to London's landscape

Vivid: The bright scarlet installation is clearly visible from the sky – dramatically transforming and adding colour to London’s landscape

Spectacular: The project was the brainchild of artist Paul Cummins and is expected to raise around £11.2million for charity

Spectacular: The project was the brainchild of artist Paul Cummins and is expected to raise around £11.2million for charity

Almost complete: With just two weeks to go until Armistice Day, a sea of red blankets the moat surrounding the Tower of London

Almost complete: With just two weeks to go until Armistice Day, a sea of red blankets the moat surrounding the Tower of London

Attraction: The memorial to honour those soldiers who died in the First World War has attracted millions since work on it began in July

Attraction: The memorial to honour those soldiers who died in the First World War has attracted millions since work on it began in July

Of the drama which saw him rushed to hospital in May, Mr Cummins said: ‘We had to rally the troops. Morphine helped.’

However, it wasn’t his first major injury as an artist.

When he was making an installation at Althorp House, in Northamptonshire, he put a pole through his chest.

‘Ceramics is not a safe business,’ he warned.

Mr Cummins will oversee the final phase of his phenomenal work – which has seen every single poppy now bought and paid for at £25 apiece – but plans to move on soon after.

‘There are plans,’ he said. ‘I’m fanatical – one of those people who doesn’t like stopping.’

HANDMADE AND INDIVIDUALLY SHAPED: THE INCREDIBLE CRAFT WHICH GOES INTO MAKING THE UNIQUE POPPIES

Each poppy is handmade and carefully shaped by a team of workers in Derby

Each poppy is handmade and carefully shaped by a team of workers in Derby

Each poppy is handmade and individually shaped by a team of local workers in Derby, making each poppy unique.

Clay is sliced by hand and rolled into large flat sheets and a metal stamp, much like a large biscuit cutter, carves out petal patterns. They are then paired together by hand to form six overlapping petals.

The petals are individually moulded to create the shape of the flower and fired to fix their position.

The bright red glaze is applied to the fired poppies before they are returned to the kiln for the second and final firing.

Ceramic artist Paul Cummins, who came up with the idea, has had a team working on the project since January.

He said: ‘I was inspired to create this installation after reading a living will by an unknown soldier who we think may have been from Derby. I approached the Tower as the ideal setting as its strong military links seemed to resonate.

‘The installation is transient, I found this poignant and reflective of human life, like those who lost their lives during First World War. I wanted to find a fitting way to remember them’.

He came up with the idea of creating a ‘sea’ of poppies two years and was delighted when the Tower of London decided to bring his idea to life with the help of set designer Tom Piper.

The artist has experience of working with historic buildings and over the last three years he has been commissioned to create large-scale installations for the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House, Derby Royal Hospital, Althorp Estate and Blenheim Palace.

Warm: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended the Tower of London tribute and planted a poppy of their own

Warm: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended the Tower of London tribute and planted a poppy of their own

Time for reflection: The royals spent time walking through the maze of poppies during an official outing to honour the incredible tribute

Time for reflection: The royals spent time walking through the maze of poppies during an official outing to honour the incredible tribute

Division of labour: The poppies were created by at least 35 artists with each one hand cut and welded to create a stunning 2ft flower

Division of labour: The poppies were created by at least 35 artists with each one hand cut and welded to create a stunning 2ft flower

Magical: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to the Tower of London's Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation

Magical: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to the Tower of London’s Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation

Coming on leaps and bounds: The poignant tribute has come a long way since work originally started on it back in the summer (above)

Coming on leaps and bounds: The poignant tribute has come a long way since work originally started on it back in the summer (above)

Work in progress: While millions of visitors have visited the memorial since work began a couple of months ago (pictured), crowds have increased greatly since the majority of poppies have been planted ahead of the final flower being laid on November 11, Armistice Day

Work in progress: While millions of visitors have visited the memorial since work began a couple of months ago (pictured), crowds have increased greatly since the majority of poppies have been planted ahead of the final flower being laid on November 11, Armistice Day

 

Xmas Holidays

Jaffar Deghayes, brother of Abdullah who died fighting in Syria, is also killed

  • Jaffar Deghayes died at the weekend after leaving home in East Sussex
  • Left earlier this year in bid to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad’s government
  • Brother Abdullah, 18, died in Latakia in April after leaving UK in January
  • Pair’s brother Amer, 20, who also travelled to Syria, has relayed news
  • Father: ‘I hope and pray to God to accept him and have mercy on him’ 
  • Some 25 Britons are believed to have died in the war in Syria and Iraq
  • Most of British fighters with ISIS, but Abdullah was in Al Qaeda affiliate

By

Mark Duell for MailOnline


Published:
07:05 EST, 28 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:45 EST, 28 October 2014

A teenage British Muslim whose brother died fighting in war-torn Syria has also been killed, their father said today.

Jaffar Deghayes, 17, is believed to have died at the weekend after leaving home near Brighton earlier this year in a bid to overthrow dictator Bashar Al-Assad’s government.

His brother, Abdullah, 18, died in Latakia province in April after leaving the UK in January to reportedly take up arms with Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group.

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Jaffar Deghayes, 16,  brother of Abdullah Deghayes
Abdullah Deghayes, 18, from Brighton

Brothers from East Sussex: Jaffar Deghayes (left), 17, is believed to have died at the weekend after leaving home near Brighton earlier this year for Syria. His brother, Abdullah (right), 18, died in Latakia province in April

From Britain to Syria: Jaffar left his home (above) near Brighton in Saltdean, East Sussex, earlier this year

From Britain to Syria: Jaffar left his home (above) near Brighton in Saltdean, East Sussex, earlier this year

Yesterday the pair’s brother, Amer, 20, who also travelled to Syria, relayed news of the death of Jaffar to their father, Abubaker Deghayes, 45, back home in Saltdean, East Sussex.

Mr Deghayes said: ‘Amer sent me a message via the internet. All I know is that (Jaffar) was fighting against Assad and was killed in battle.

‘I don’t know much else. I can only hope and pray to God to accept him and have mercy on him.’

The Deghayes brothers are the nephew of Omar Deghayes, who was held by the U.S. as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay detention camp from 2002 to 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan.

He wrote in Arabic on Facebook confirming the boy’s death, saying: ‘As you grieve, know that we are remembering you and honouring the memory of a sincere and truthful young man (deceased).’

BBC Newsnight reporter Secunder Kermani also said on Twitter: ‘I spoke to Jaffer [sic] Deghayes a few times whilst he was in Syria, very polite and friendly person with me… Poor family.’

Following the death of Abdullah, counter-terrorism officers raided the Deghayes’ family home in May and seized material after a warrant was issued under the Terrorism Act 2000.

There was no answer at the family home today and all but one pair of curtains remained drawn.

Grieving father: Abubaker Deghayes (pictured), was told of the death of his son yesterday at home in Saltdean

Grieving father: Abubaker Deghayes (pictured), was told of the death of his son yesterday at home in Saltdean

'Truthful young man': Omar Deghayes, uncle of Jaffar and Abdullah, posted on Facebook following the death

‘Truthful young man’: Omar Deghayes, uncle of Jaffar and Abdullah, posted on Facebook following the death

A woman who lives nearby, but did not wish to be named, said: ‘To lose one son is awful, but to lose two so close together is unimaginable. The family must be going through a terrible time.  

‘I don’t understand why these teenagers are putting their lives at risk like this.’

Related: The Deghayes brothers are the nephews of Omar Deghayes (above), who was held by the U.S. as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay until 2007

Related: The Deghayes brothers are the nephews of Omar Deghayes (above), who was held by the U.S. as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo Bay until 2007

Sussex Police urged anyone who has concerns or information about anyone locally planning to travel to Syria or Iraq to contact the force.

A police statement said: ‘The south east counter-terrorism unit and Sussex Police are aware of recent social media postings reporting the death of a man who may have come from Brighton during fighting in either Syria or Iraq.

‘Whilst we will not comment on individual cases, reports like these remind everyone that the situation in Syria and Iraq is unsafe and that risk of injury, death or abduction remains for anyone travelling to that area.

‘The Government advice continues to be that no one should travel to these war zones and that the most effective way to help the affected population is through humanitarian support.

‘Anyone locally who has concerns or information about someone who is planning to travel to Syria or Iraq for whatever reason or are hearing or seeing negative tensions within communities can contact the Sussex Police prevent engagement team.’

Abubaker Deghayes has previously said that his three sons could have helped the cause in Syria from the UK by lobbying the government.

But in a film shot by Vice News this year, Amer Deghayes said he had no intention of returning to Britain, adding: ‘My work here is not done. I came here to give victory to the people and make sure that they receive justice, and we still haven’t reached the goal yet.’

He added: ‘I’m in the Syrian civil war because I believe it’s my duty to fight here …The Muslim nation is like one body. If one part complains, the other parts react, so I don’t see it as a Syrian conflict. I see it as an Islamic conflict.’

Speaking in June Mr Deghayes, said: ‘Amer, Jaffar, if you see me or this interview please, please come back home. Enough. This war has taken away Abdullah already. 

Family: Amer Deghayes (centre, in grey) was the first of his family to leave for Syria, telling his parents he wanted to be an aid worker. Brother Abdullah (front left) and Jaffar (front right) followed soon after

Family: Amer Deghayes (centre, in grey) was the first of his family to leave for Syria, telling his parents he wanted to be an aid worker. Brother Abdullah (front left) and Jaffar (front right) followed soon after

The Deghayes' parents had insisted their boys are not terrorists, and simply went to Syria to protect the weak

The Deghayes’ parents had insisted their boys are not terrorists, and simply went to Syria to protect the weak

‘I’d like to see you live longer. I said [to them] “why are you going there, it’s not worth it? You have to stick to helping in the refugee camps and doing the humanitarian work”. I am scared for my children. I don’t want to lose them obviously. But they are becoming men now.’

After Abdullah died in April, his father described him as a ‘martyr’ and revealed he only learned of the death when he saw tributes on Facebook.

 As you grieve, know that we are remembering you and honouring the memory of a sincere and truthful young man (deceased) 

Mr Deghayes said at the time: ‘He was a youngster who didn’t communicate a lot. With parents, once they grow, they don’t tell you much about their lives.’

And asked whether he believed Abdullah was a martyr, Mr Deghayes replied: ‘Of course I think, as a Muslim, that my son is a martyr. Anyone who dies for a just cause is a martyr.’

Counter-terrorism investigators have expressed concern about aspiring British jihadis travelling to Syria and becoming radicalised.

It emerged this month that a fourth man from Portsmouth, Hampshire – Muhammad Mehdi Hassan, 19 – died fighting in Kobani.

Three others from the same city – Iftekar Jaman, 23, Mamunur Roshid, 24, and Muhammad Hamidur Rahman, 25 – have also been killed after travelling there in October last year.

In January alone, 16 people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences related to Syria compared with 24 arrests in the whole of last year.

Spotted leaving Gatwick Airport: Three other men from Portsmouth - including Muhammad Hamidur Rahman (right) - have also been killed after travelling to Syria last year

Spotted leaving Gatwick Airport: Three other men from Portsmouth – including Muhammad Hamidur Rahman (right) – have also been killed after travelling to Syria last year

Another death: A fourth man from Portsmouth-  Muhammad Mehdi Hassan (above) - died in Kobani, it emerged

Another death: A fourth man from Portsmouth-  Muhammad Mehdi Hassan (above) – died in Kobani, it emerged

Father-of-three: Abdul Waheed Majeed (pictured at a refugee camp on the border of Turkey and Syria), from Crawley, West Sussex, is believed to have driven a lorry to a jail in Aleppo before detonating a bomb in February

Father-of-three: Abdul Waheed Majeed (pictured at a refugee camp on the border of Turkey and Syria), from Crawley, West Sussex, is believed to have driven a lorry to a jail in Aleppo before detonating a bomb in February

Others who have died include one man suspected of carrying out a suicide attack. Abdul Waheed Majeed is believed to have driven a lorry to a jail in Aleppo before detonating a bomb in February.

The 41-year-old married father-of-three, who was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex, left Britain in 2013, telling his family he was going on a humanitarian mission to Syria.

I can only hope and pray to God to accept him and have mercy on him 
Abubaker Deghayes, father

A Foreign Office spokesman said today: ‘We are aware of reports of the death of a British national in Syria. The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, where all UK consular services are suspended.

‘As we do not have any representation in Syria, it is extremely difficult to get any confirmation of deaths or injuries and our options for supporting British nationals there are extremely limited.’ 

Around 25 Britons are believed to have died in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, and they are being killed at a rate of more than one every three weeks, according to researchers at King’s College London.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said last week that five British extremists are joining ISIS every week, with more than 500 already having travelled to join the conflict.

Xmas Holidays

Inside Tesco’s luxury private jet, now on sale for &pound;23million

  • Gulfstream G550 one of four private planes now on the market as Tesco faces the biggest crisis in its 95-year history
  • Planes flew up to 14 executives at a time across the globe but new CEO Dave Lewis is selling them to save cash 
  • Jet, with 560mph top speed, signals end of luxury travel for Tesco because of falling sales, profits and share price

By

Martin Robinson for MailOnline


Published:
05:15 EST, 27 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:34 EST, 27 October 2014

This £23million private jet flew Tesco executives around the world in luxury for years but is now up for sale after the supermarket giant’s profits, sales and share price all dive-bombed.

The Gulfstream G550 is one of four private planes now on the market as the grocer is facing the biggest crisis in its 95-year history.

The decision to put them up for sale marks the end of excesses enjoyed by Tesco’s bosses while sales and profits have tumbled in recent years. 

New chief executive Dave Lewis has called for austerity, which means selling off the jets that used to fly up to 14 executives at a time across the globe.

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High life: This seven-year-old Gulfstream G550 flew up to 14 Tesco executives around the world but is now up for sale for £23million

High life: This seven-year-old Gulfstream G550 flew up to 14 Tesco executives around the world but is now up for sale for £23million

Change of direction: Tesco has a fleet of jets but amid falling sales and profits they are being sold as its new CEO demanded austerity

Change of direction: Tesco has a fleet of jets but amid falling sales and profits they are being sold as its new CEO demanded austerity

Jet-lagged: Executives could also retire for some sleep on the plane, which has full-length beds, TVs and other entertainment

Jet-lagged: Executives could also retire for some sleep on the plane, which has full-length beds, TVs and other entertainment

This seven-year-old jet, with a 580mph top speed generated by two Rolls-Royce engines, flew management from Britain’s biggest retailer on business trips. 

They would lounge in large leather armchairs while being served food and drink by cabin staff.

On longer journeys to America and Asia they would be able to head off to cabins for some sleep in full sized beds.

TESCO’S PRIVATE JET IN NUMBERS 

Max range: 7697 miles – London to Johannesburg

High speed: 560mph

Passenger capacity:14

Interior seating length: 35.35ft

Overall cabin length: 50.1ft

Cabin height: 6.2ft

Cabin width: 7.3ft

Baggage Capacity: 226 cubic ft

For entertainment, the jet has DVD players, several widescreen TVs and a bar stocked with wine and spirits. It also has more than 226 cubic feet of luggage space, ample room for 20 suitcases and several sets of golf clubs.

Gulfstream, which is based in the United States, said they may be close to finding a buyer. 

Tesco owns two Gulfstream G550s, the one pictured and another new £30million model, which was delivered this year but now also up for sale. It also has a Hawker and a Cessner worth up to £10million.

The supermarket giant revealed last week that its half-year profits slumped by 91.9 per cent and its £263million accounting scandal was even worse than predicted.

The bad news sent the markets into a panic and its shares plunged, dropping below £1.70 for the first time since 2003.

On Friday they were available for £1.65 but a year ago they were worth £3.70, meaning Tesco has had £4billion wiped off its stock market value in just 12 months. 

Millions of customers have switched to budget rivals like Aldi and Lidl or high-end Waitrose and Marks and Spencer because Tesco has failed to deliver on price, service or quality, 

But CEO Dave Lewis yesterday refused to be drawn on what he would do to win back shoppers.

He said: ‘Everybody’s been saying to me, ‘Dave, when are you going to reveal your strategy – when is there going to be an announcement about what you’re going to do?’ And I won’t be doing that because strategies are constantly evolving.

However, Mr Lewis has been clear on one thing, that executives should forget the past high life they enjoyed, and he is swapping his company car for the train.

The former boss of consumer goods giant Unilever said he wanted all staff to examine whether a cost was absolutely necessary and something customers would think felt right. 

Top executives at Tesco have been forced to shop and cook like housewives as part of a plan to put them back in touch with their customers.

The bosses were sent food shopping at Tesco and at all its main rivals then whisked away to a small, remote holiday cottage in Norfolk. 

Excesses: Executives would on long and short haul trips in the plane, and were served food and drink from this galley by a team of staff 

Excesses: Executives would on long and short haul trips in the plane, and were served food and drink from this galley by a team of staff 

Bathroom: Passengers had access to a wide range of products and facilities, including a shower and full-size toilet

Bathroom: Passengers had access to a wide range of products and facilities, including a shower and full-size toilet

For his part, in what most will see as a symbolic gesture, Lewis said wherever possible he would forgo his company Mercedes Viano people carrier and take the train to London from the head office in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

In particular he is seeking to unwind some of the largess of former boss Philip Clarke, who was sacked a month before the private jets went on sale.  

Philip Clarke still retains the use of a company chauffeur despite having not set foot in the firm’s head office since August.

The Mail understands that Ferrari-driving Clarke is still entitled to all the trappings of his previous position as chief executive despite having stepped down in August ahead of the financial scandal.

This includes a driver, membership to clubs, security, health insurance and even a staff discount.

He gets this on top of a £1.1m salary which continues to be paid until January.

Tesco operates a pool system of cars and drivers which include Mercedes saloons and mini vans. It is also thought Tesco is paying his membership of the exclusive private dining club 5 Hertford Street, based in Shepherd’s Market, London.

The perks, sanctioned by chairman Sir Richard Broadbent will anger investors who have seen Tesco shares lose 53pc of their value over the past year.

It also brings into question Broadbent’s judgement given the scandal that has since engulfed the grocer.

Broadbent, who quit after the Tesco’s disastrous results were revealed on Thursday, announced in July that Clarke would be replaced following a string of profit warnings.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis
Sacked boss Philip Clarke

Change of culture: New boss Dave Lewis, left, is said to be seeking to unwind some of the largess of former boss Philip Clarke, right, who was sacked a month before the private jets went on sale

Running for cover: Departing Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent raced out of a press briefing last week having quit over poor results

Running for cover: Departing Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent raced out of a press briefing last week having quit over poor results

Stark: Tesco was considered untouchable but its profit fall in the past year has been unprecedented

Stark: Tesco was considered untouchable but its profit fall in the past year has been unprecedented

A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘Philip Clarke remains a Tesco employee on his existing terms.’ Since his departure it has emerged that shareholders were misled over the true state of Tesco’s financial health going back what could have been years.

In August the firm inflated its profits by a phantom £263m and as many as eight executives have been suspended.

The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has launched an investigation.

Broadbent, who last week was also forced to announce plans to step down amid accusations he had been ‘incompetent’, had agreed that Clarke should continue to be paid more than £90,000 a month until the end of the year. 

 

Xmas Holidays

Young mother has life-saving hysterectomy at 21 after suffering early stages of miscarriage NINE times before giving birth to baby girl 

  • Lucy Richards was diagnosed with the rare womb disorder placenta previa 
  • Only discovered she was pregnant when suffered severe bleeding at work
  • Doctors told her she was five weeks pregnant and in midst of a miscarriage
  • They saved her unborn baby, bringing the bleeding under control
  • In next 14 weeks she suffered the early stages of a miscarriage eight times
  • Placenta previa causes the placenta to grow into the lower part of womb
  • It causes heavy bleeding and affects just one in 150 labours
  • Miss Richards went into labour early and had a C-section over bleeding fear
  • She lost almost six pints of blood and her womb began to disintegrate
  • Doctors were forced to perform a full hysterectomy to save her life
  • Miss Richards held baby Demi for first time after a night in intensive care 

By

Lizzie Parry for MailOnline


Published:
07:48 EST, 27 October 2014

|
Updated:
09:07 EST, 27 October 2014

Lucy Richards was diagnosed with the rare womb disorder placenta previa while pregnant with her daughter Demi

Lucy Richards was diagnosed with the rare womb disorder placenta previa while pregnant with her daughter Demi

A young mother was forced to have a hysterectomy at just 21 after suffering a rare womb disorder which caused severe bleeding during her pregnancy.

Doctors feared nine times that Lucy Richards would miscarry her baby, before her daughter was delivered safely via C-section.

She lost six pints of blood and drifted out of consciousness as her daughter Demi was born.

At 36 weeks pregnant, doctors diagnosed Miss Richards with the condition placenta previa.

This is where the placenta grows into the lower part of the womb, causing heavy bleeding. 

As doctors delivered her baby, the condition caused her womb to begin to disintegrate, leaving surgeons no option other than to perform a hysterectomy.

Without the drastic operation, the 21-year-old would not have survived to raise her daughter.  

She said: ‘I had always dreamed of having a big family. I wanted four kids.

‘Giving birth was traumatising and I lost my womb during labour.

‘I can never have any more children, but one smile from my beautiful daughter is enough to make me realise that it was all worth it.’

Miss Richards, from Warrington, became pregnant when she was 19 years old.

She conceived despite using the contraceptive pill and the morning after pill. 

She said: ‘At that time I had no plans to start a family. I knew I would have plenty of time to have babies, so I was in no rush to get pregnant.’

Miss Richards discovered she was pregnant only when she was rushed to hospital after she began bleeding uncontrollably at work.

Doctors told her she was five weeks pregnant and in the midst of suffering a miscarriage. 

She said: ‘I was terrified. I’d been in a meeting and I suddenly started bleeding. I was completely shocked when they told me I was pregnant.’

Doctors were able to save her unborn child and bring the bleeding under control. 

But over the next 14 weeks the expectant mother suffered the early stages of a miscarriage another eight times.

Miss Richards said: ‘I didn’t know what was happening – but I was terrified I would lose my baby.

‘I hadn’t planned to have children for another ten years and now I was carrying a little life inside me. 

‘As soon as I knew I was having a baby my mothering instinct kicked in and I was determined to fight for it.

‘I couldn’t even consider having an abortion, she’d been through so much – it was obvious she was desperate to live. It was awful, but eventually I was told the baby was safe and healthy.’ 

The 21-year-old did not know she was pregnant and only discovered she was expecting after suffering heavy bleeding at work. Doctors told her she was five weeks pregnant and in the midst of a miscarriage. But they managed to bring the bleeding under control and saved her unborn child's life

The 21-year-old did not know she was pregnant and only discovered she was expecting after suffering heavy bleeding at work. Doctors told her she was five weeks pregnant and in the midst of a miscarriage. But they managed to bring the bleeding under control and saved her unborn child’s life

At 36 weeks Miss Richards was diagnosed with placenta previa, which causes the placenta to grow in the lower part of the womb causing severe bleeding. As a result doctors said she would need a C-section to deliver her daughter. Miss Richards lost six litres of blood during delivery, forcing doctors to perform a hysterectomy

At 36 weeks Miss Richards was diagnosed with placenta previa, which causes the placenta to grow in the lower part of the womb causing severe bleeding. As a result doctors said she would need a C-section to deliver her daughter. Miss Richards lost six litres of blood during delivery, forcing doctors to perform a hysterectomy

Without the life-saving operation, Miss Richards would not have survived to bring up her now six-month-old daughter Demi, pictured 

Without the life-saving operation, Miss Richards would not have survived to bring up her now six-month-old daughter Demi, pictured 

In April, when she was 36 weeks pregnant, Miss Richards was diagnosed with placenta previa.

The complication, which affects one in 250 labours, causes the placenta to grow into the lower part of an expectant mother’s womb, causing vaginal bleeding. 

On April 22, Miss Richards went into labour three weeks early and was rushed into theatre for an urgent Caesarean section.

RARE WOMB DISORDER CAUSING LIFE-THREATENING BLEEDING 

Placenta previa occurs when the baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the opening of the mother’s cervix.

The condition can cause severe bleeding before and during labour.

The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to an unborn baby.

In most pregnancies, it attaches at the top or side of the uterus.

Where a woman is suffering placenta previa, it attaches to the lower area of the placenta.

Sufferers normally require a Caesarean section to safely deliver their baby.

The placenta grows wherever the embryo implants itself in the uterus.

Placenta previa is caused when the embryo implants in the lower part of the womb.

Women are at greater risk of the condition if they have had previous surgeries invloving the uterus, including a C-section or removal of uterine fibroids.

It is also more common in women who have had at least one child, the condition before, women carrying multiple pregnancies, those aged 35 or older, those who smoke and those who use cocaine.

Source: Mayo Clinic 

She said: ‘Doctors said if I gave birth naturally it would kill me and the baby so I had to have a Caesarean. 

‘When my waters broke I was really scared. I went to hospital and doctors rushed me straight into surgery.’

After her daughter was born Miss Richard’s slipped in and out of consciousness as she lost nearly six pints of blood.

When she regained consciousness doctors told her that they had attempted to remove her placenta but her womb had started to disintegrate, causing haemorrhaging.

Her placenta had fused itself to her cervix and hip and an emergency hysterectomy was required to save her life.

She said: ‘The doctors and surgeons were rushing around me. One told me I would have to have to have my womb removed or I would die.’

After a night in intensive care Miss Richards finally held her daughter Demi Alice Richards.

She said: ‘The day I gave birth was the worst day of my life – but the day I finally held my daughter was the best.

‘I can hardly put into words what it felt like. She was so tiny and perfect.’

Now six months on, baby Demi said her first word last Thursday.

‘Her first word was ‘Mama’ – it felt awesome to hear,’ said Miss Richards.

‘I’m lucky to have survived through labour, but the chance to have more children has been taken from me.

‘I still have my ovaries so I will look to other options like surrogacy and womb transplants in the future.

‘But right now I want to focus on raising the daughter I’m lucky to have.’ 

 

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