News

Newspaper headlines: ‘Snow storm chaos’ and prospect of hard Irish border raised

Daily Mirror
Image caption The photograph of a huge snow cloud looming over London features on a number of Wednesday’s front pages. It’s the “Rage Of The Beast”, says the Daily Mirror, which reports that four people died in the wintry weather that swept across the UK on Tuesday. A number of schools were shut and trains and flights were disrupted, the paper says.
Daily Express
Image caption The “killer freeze” is set to get worse, warns the Daily Express. It says Storm Emma is threatening widespread chaos.
The Metro
Image caption Using the same picture, the Metro says this is the moment the “monster weather snow bomb” from the east hit the capital on Tuesday.
Daily Star
Image caption “Snowmageddon”, is the headline for the Daily Star, which also reports on the snowy weather and the “beast from the east”. The UK is set to endure the coldest week for 30 years, the newspaper says.
The Guardian
Image caption The Guardian reports that a heatwave in the Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe. It says Greenland has already experienced 61 hours above freezing in 2018 – more than three times as many as any previous year.
Daily Telegraph
Image caption The Telegraph leads on a leaked letter written by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Theresa May, in which it’s claimed there could be a hard Irish border after Brexit. The newspaper reports Mr Johnson said if a hard border was reintroduced in Ireland, it would not significantly affect trade across the UK’s land border with the EU.
The i
Image caption The i says Tory rebels are threatening a showdown with Theresa May. Up to 15 MPs are ready to defy whips and support a cross-party amendment for the customs union, the newspaper says.
The Financial Times
Image caption The Financial Times leads on the ongoing takeover battle at Sky. Comcast’s bid for the company could thwart Rupert Murdoch’s plan to acquire the 61% of Sky his 21st Century Fox does not already own, the paper says.
The Sun
Image caption The Sun features a story about the will of Sir Elton John’s late mother. The paper says the star was bequeathed two ceramic urns, while other family members received money.

Snow – and the clouds that bring it – give a compelling quality to landscape photography that is not lost on newspaper picture editors.

The Guardian has a brooding view of Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast.

“Rage of the beast” is the caption that the Daily Mirror gives to the most commonly-used image – one that shows a panorama of London, half of it under a blue sky, the other half threatened by a vast malevolent snow-laden cloud.

The Times prefers a view of the Southend seafront and two young women trudging through snowfall.

“Promenading,” says the paper, “proved less than relaxing.”

By contrast, on the front of the Daily Telegraph, two girls and a boy celebrate the pleasures of the season – tobogganing past a windmill in West Sussex.

And the Daily Mail revels in the comedy of human response, reporting that one headmaster banned children at his school in east London from even touching the snow.

A cartoon in the Financial Times shows a well-wrapped couple, in snow-covered countryside.

One says: “I’m pretty sure the Irish border is around here somewhere.”

Others also think an almighty row about that with the EU is on the cards.

The Times thinks the EU will insist that Northern Ireland, at least, stays in a customs union.

The i suggests there are up to 15 Tory MPs prepared to vote against the prime minister on the issue.

Get news from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning

On World Rare Disease Day, former prime minister David Cameron writes in the Times about the condition that killed his son, Ivan – and his hope that the science of genomics can transform the way we do medicine.

He argues that every child in paediatric intensive care should have a “simple yet vital genomics test,” saying it is within our grasp to beat the disease that took the life of his six-year-old son.

It may not be the weather to talk about ice-cream, but that does not stop the Daily Express from celebrating the life’s work of Frank Penna.

He began selling ices in Hull at the age of 14, and he’s still going, at 82.

The paper calls him the “King of the Cornets.”

Mr Penna reckons he’s handed over three million – every one of them vanilla-flavoured.

Read More...

News

‘Bullied for the way I looked’

Hannah Lewis Image copyright YMCA
Image caption Hannah Lewis was bullied about her appearance

“Hannah Lewis is a big, fat, lanky slag with greasy hair, a spotty face and a big nose.

“Those words haunted me throughout my adolescence,” says Hannah, now 24.

“Being the tallest in my class and developing early meant that I was always ‘different’ from the other children”, she recalls.

But her experience is not uncommon, YMCA research finds, with more than half (55%) of children saying they had been bullied about the way they looked.

For its research – In Your Face – the youth charity surveyed 1,006 youngsters aged 11 to 16 across the UK and carried out focus groups in 12 different UK locations.

It found that of those who had experienced appearance-based taunting:

  • 60% had tried to change the way they looked
  • 53% said they became anxious
  • 29% said they said they became depressed
  • 24% said they had reduced the amount they ate

“It makes me not want to come into school and it makes it harder in lessons,” one young person from the Vale of Glamorgan told YMCA researchers.

“With my experiences, without my mum boosting up my confidence, for me to have been able to have got through the 11 years of school, without her giving me that boost and other members of my family, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it,” said another from Nottinghamshire.

For 54% of victims, the bullying had started by the age of 10.

This was true for Hannah who says the taunting began at primary school.

“From the age of nine, I encountered remarks from the other children about how I already had teenage spots, how I was a ‘freak’ for being so tall and how old I looked for my age,” she says.

“You take what they say as fact, so your perception of how you really look becomes distorted – you expect the truth to be what you’ve been told.”

She says being bullied from a young age contributed to her developing body dysmorphic disorder, which is when someone becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance.

  • ‘Selfie’ body image warning issued
  • Does social media impact on body image?

While therapy has helped her deal with the obsessive element of the disorder, Hannah says she still suffers with low self-esteem.

“What’s helped me is focusing on my personal qualities – my skills, my abilities in my studies, my sense of humour.”

The YMCA is urging secondary schools in England and Wales to make use of its body confidence campaign toolkit which offers guidance, materials and advice on teaching about improving young people’s body confidence.

Hannah, who now volunteers for the YMCA to raise awareness about body confidence, adds: “Difference and diversity should be celebrated, and young people should always be reminded that in the future, colleges and universities are going to look at grades, efforts and personal achievements, rather than popularity and appearance.

“We need to teach them to appreciate all the things that their body can do as opposed to just what it looks like.”

Denise Hatton, chief executive of the YMCA England & Wales, says: “Bullying has always existed among young people, but this generation face increasing pressure to live up to unrealistic beauty ideals which they say come from celebrities, social media and the media.

“It’s crucial that we teach young people how to feel comfortable in their own body and that looking different isn’t a bad thing.

“We know from previous research that young people who have learned about body confidence at school feel better about their bodies.”

Read More...

News

Brexit: Liam Fox warning of customs union ‘sellout’

Liam Fox Image copyright AFP

Any form of customs union with the EU after Brexit would be a “complete sellout” for the UK, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said.

The UK would find itself in a “worse position” than it is now, he said, if it left the existing arrangement but negotiated a similar new one.

Having to accept EU rules and limits on doing other deals would make the UK “less attractive”, he said.

But his former top official has criticised the government’s strategy.

Sir Martin Donnelly, who was permanent secretary in the Department for International Trade until last year, said any deals done after Brexit would not compensate for leaving the single market and the customs union.

Giving up access to the EU market and its existing trade agreements was “rather like rejecting a three course meal now in favour of the promise of a packet of crisps later”, he said.

Sir Martin, who has previously warned about leaving the single market and has worked for the European Commission in the past, said that negotiating full access to the single market without accepting EU rules would require a “fairy godmother specialised in trade law”.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he did “not agree for a moment” with Sir Martin’s verdict, because the “real growth opportunities” were outside the EU.

Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a long-term customs union, as Labour has proposed, would lead to “colony status for the UK”, which would not get a say in trade policy.

The government has said it wants a customs agreement with the EU – which is the UK’s single largest trading partner accounting for 43% of exports – but one that does not stop it from doing free trade deals with other countries.

Mr Fox, one of the most prominent Brexiteers in the cabinet, is the latest minister to set out his stall as part of the government’s attempt to map out “the road to Brexit”, which is due to happen in March 2019.

His speech comes a day after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn set out his approach to Brexit, saying he backed the UK being in a “new and comprehensive” customs union with the EU.

Mr Corbyn said a new customs union would help protect existing jobs and supply chains while giving the UK a say in future deals negotiated by the EU.

But Mr Fox will reject this, saying the UK would have to cede “considerable control” of its trade policy to Brussels in any customs union.

In his speech, at Bloomberg in London, Mr Fox said that changing economic and trade patterns meant the EU was a less significant partner than 15 years ago and the UK must have the freedom to exploit the “opportunities of the future”, particularly in services and digital industries.

Image copyright Nissan
Image caption The customs union means there are no internal tariffs

“As rule takers, without any say in how the rules were made, we would be in a worse position than we are today,” he said. “It would be a complete sellout of Britain’s national interests.”

Citing Turkey’s experience of being outside the EU but joined in a customs union with it, he said that if the UK found itself unable to set its own rules in key sectors of the economy, this would “remove the bulk of incentives” for other countries to enter into comprehensive free trade agreements.

“The inevitable price of trying to negotiate with one arm tied behind our back is that we would become less attractive to potential trade partners and forfeit many of the opportunities that would otherwise be available.”

Flexibility, he said, must be the basis of the UK’s trade policy if it is to support the fledgling industries that will provide much of the employment and income of the future.

Labour’s policy shift could lead to it siding with Tory rebels to defeat Theresa May on her Brexit strategy.

Mr Corbyn insisted in an interview with BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that his speech was a “firming up” of Labour’s existing policy, which was to back customs union membership during the planned two-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

Mrs May will address the issue of the UK’s future relationship with the EU on Friday amid calls for greater clarity about how her twin objectives of frictionless trade with the continent and no hard border on the island of Ireland can be achieved outside the single market and customs union.

Meanwhile former World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy argued that whatever Brexit option was chosen “will necessitate a border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

“There will have to be a border”, he told the Commons Brexit committee, because checks will have to be carried out on goods and people. He suggested a “Macau option” for Northern Ireland.

“You should think about giving to Northern Ireland the same autonomous trade capacity that China has given to Macau, which doesn’t mean that Macau doesn’t belong to China,” he said.

The European Commission will publish the first draft of its proposed withdrawal treaty on Wednesday, which it wants both sides to agree to by the autumn to allow for an orderly departure.

Read More...

News

UK weather: Heavy snow causes UK-wide disruption

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionSnow warnings continue across UK

Heavy snowfall is hitting parts of the UK, causing road and rail disruption.

Three people died following a crash in Lincolnshire, as police warn wintry weather and low temperatures have left conditions treacherous in some areas.

Hundreds of trains are cancelled, many schools are shut and forecasters say some rural communities may be cut off.

Kent, Surrey, Suffolk and Sussex are among the worst-hit counties, seeing up to 10cm of snow, while north-east England has received up to 8cm (3in).

Amber Met Office weather warnings are in place in those areas, meaning there is a possible risk to life and property.

A less severe yellow warning applies to a much wider area, covering much of Scotland, England and Wales.

Lincolnshire Police say three people died following a crash at about 06:15 GMT on the A15 near Baston.

Officers have not said whether the crash – which involved a blue Renault Clio and a white lorry – was caused by the poor weather, but the force said earlier that roads in the county were “particularly hazardous”.

Officers in Lincolnshire also helped 45 schoolchildren from their bus after it collided with a car and left the road. None of the pupils were injured.

Coldest week

The UK is experiencing what’s expected to be the coldest week of the winter, with snow moving west during Tuesday, increasingly spreading into Scotland and the Midlands later in the day.

Up to 40cm of snow could fall in north-east England and Scotland, between Wednesday morning and Thursday lunchtime, the Met Office says.

Temperatures dropped well below freezing on Monday night, with Northern Ireland, south west England and East Anglia logging figures as low as -6C. The lowest temperature was -8.9C and was recorded in Farnborough, Hampshire.

  • Travel warning as snow sweeps across Scotland
  • Snow closes schools in Wales

It is expected to get as low as -15C by midweek where snow has fallen.

BBC Weather meteorologist Gemma Plumb said: “On Wednesday and Thursday it is going to feel bitterly cold with a lot of areas seeing maximum temperatures below freezing.

“There will be heavy snow showers in the East, particularly in north-east Britain.”

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Some of the heaviest snowfall was in Kent, like above in Brenchley
Image copyright PA
Image caption Some people – and animals – are enjoying the Siberian weather in Blyth in Northumberland
Image copyright PA
Image caption Newcastle city centre also saw heavy snowfall overnight

Among the disruption on Tuesday:

  • Rail journeys have been badly affected, with Southeastern cancelling more than 100 services between Kent and London. Southern said it was running a reduced service, and the Gatwick Express is also disrupted
  • In East Anglia, Great Northern and Greater Anglia services are also affected, with a reduced service being run on many lines. In Essex, the Stansted Express, Tfl rail and c2c services are running a reduced timetable
  • Ice and snow on the roads has made driving conditions “treacherous” in some areas, according to police, with cars and lorries becoming stranded
  • The M20 in Kent is gridlocked due to the weather, while Lincolnshire Police said officers had been called out to 20 collisions since 05:45 GMT – many more than on a typical day
  • British Airways cancelled 60 short-haul flights to and from Heathrow in preparation for the poor weather
  • Most other airports remain unaffected, but Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s single runway was briefly shut for a time due to snow
  • Chester Zoo is closed due to the cold – a spokesperson said the animals’ welfare was “one of our top priorities”

Some passengers have complained at the disruption to their journeys, but Greater Anglia’s Juliette Maxam said all railway staff were working really hard to keep trains running.

“We’ve got people with de-icers de-icing the doors, and we’ve got special socks fitted to stop ice from getting in the horn, because… if the horns aren’t working they can’t go as fast,” she added.

Motorists, meanwhile, are being urged to take extra care and in the worst affected areas, only travel if really necessary.

The RAC’s Pete Williams advised drivers to check fuel levels, oil, tyre tread and pressure, coolant, lights and screen wash before setting out.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionFive handy winter driving tips

Hundreds of schools across the UK are shut, particularly in north-east England, Yorkshire, and the South East.

Closures have also been announced in north-west England and northern and eastern Scotland, and in north Wales more than 230 are shut.

At least 238 schools and nurseries have shut in Kent, as well as others in Sussex and Surrey.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionKent is among the worst-hit counties to be affected by heavy snowfall

Emergency shelters have been opened across the country as councils offer extra accommodation to the homeless during the freezing conditions.

The offer of a hot shower, clean clothes, food and a bed can help save lives, homeless charity St Mungo’s said.

Weather warnings are expected to be in place until Friday.

How has the cold weather affected you? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

  • WhatsApp: +447555 173285
  • Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
  • Send pictures/video to [email protected]
  • Upload your pictures/video here
  • Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

Read More...

News

Syria war: Shelling and strikes despite Eastern Ghouta ‘pause’

Smoke rises from the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, Syria, on 27 February 2018 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Russian media said not a single civilian left the besieged Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday

Fighting continued in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area in Syria during the first daily five-hour “pause” ordered by the government’s ally Russia.

Activists said there were government air and artillery strikes, while Russia said rebels shelled a “humanitarian corridor” meant to let civilians leave.

As a result, there were no UN aid deliveries or medical evacuations.

Some 393,000 people are trapped in the enclave near Damascus, which has been besieged by the government since 2013.

Medics say more than 500 people have been killed since the government intensified its bombardment nine days ago in an attempt to retake the enclave.

Meanwhile, France has urged Russia to use its influence over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to secure a 30-day truce covering the whole country.

The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding a nationwide cessation of hostilities on Saturday, but it did not specify a start date.

“Russia is one of the only actors that can get the regime to implement the resolution,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov at a meeting in Moscow.

What is happening on the ground?

A spokesman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had received reports that fighting continued after the Russian-ordered pause began on Tuesday morning.

“Clearly, the situation on the ground is not such that convoys can go in or medical evacuations can go out,” Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group, said the situation in the Eastern Ghouta had been relatively calm overnight.

But it reported that in the first two hours of the Russian-ordered “humanitarian pause”, a number of shells hit the towns of Douma, Harasta and Misraba.

Later, it reported air strikes, including the dropping of two barrel bombs on the town of al-Shifuniya, and rocket fire.

The Syrian Civil Defence, whose volunteer rescue workers are widely known as the White Helmets, said one person was killed in Douma by shellfire. But the Syrian Observatory said the attack happened before the pause began.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ambulances were seen waiting at the government-controlled al-Wafideen checkpoint

The Syrian state news agency, Sana, reported that “terrorists” had shelled the route of the humanitarian corridor leading to the government-controlled al-Wafideen Camp, which is north-east of Douma, and were using “human shields”.

Russian media said not a single civilian left the besieged area as a result.

The accusation of firing mortars was denied by the rebels, while the Syrian military said it had not carried out air strikes.

What was supposed to happen?

The Russian defence ministry announced that government forces would “cease strikes on terrorists” from 09:00 until 14:00 local time (07:00-12:00 GMT) daily “with the aim of immediately saving the peaceful population”.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption“At least in heaven there’s food”: The children caught up in Eastern Ghouta air strikes

One “humanitarian corridor” had been prepared, with help from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, to allow civilians to leave and the sick and wounded to be evacuated, it said.

Residents would be informed via leaflets, text messages and videos, it added.

Buses and ambulances were waiting at the al-Wafideen checkpoint on Tuesday.

Will the pauses allow aid to be brought in?

Humanitarian organisations say they need to be sure the truce is taking effect on the ground before sending in aid workers and vehicles.

Dr Mohamad Katoub, a Turkey-based doctor with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), which supports hospitals in the Eastern Ghouta and other rebel-held areas, told the BBC: “We don’t believe that this truce will bring any benefits for the civilians inside Eastern Ghouta. Five hours is not enough to do anything.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionRawaa has been living in a basement with around 75 others for months

“This truce doesn’t mean that we NGOs there will have any access to bring any items inside Eastern Ghouta.

“The only access is the UN inter-agency convoys. Their access there is very limited due to the restrictions from the Syrian government.

“Only 10 convoys entered Ghouta in 14 months and those convoys brought less than 10% of the needs.”

Will people be able to get out during the pauses?

Al-Wafideen has long been the formal point for people to enter and exit Eastern Ghouta.

But Reach Initiative, which is monitoring the humanitarian situation in the enclave, said earlier this month that less than 10% of the enclave’s population – made up of public sector employees and males over 40 – were permitted to leave. Women and children reportedly continued to be forbidden by rebel groups from leaving for security reasons, it added.

The organisation said people attempting to leave the area faced sniper fire, landmines, shelling, verbal and physical harassment, detention and, in the case of women, sexual harassment, humiliating inspections and beatings.

A journalist for the pro-opposition Ghouta Media Center who lives in Douma told the BBC that it was too dangerous to venture outside, let alone try to reach al-Wafideen.

“I went outside but only for a while,” Firas Abdullah said. “After half a minute of this ceasefire, shells were dropped. Even if anyone tries to leave, he will be shot by the snipers of the regime checkpoint.”

Is this the same as the UN’s proposed truce?

No. The Security Council resolution demanded that “all parties cease hostilities without delay for at least 30 consecutive days” to allow humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations of critically ill people.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the resolution needed to be implemented immediately, warning: “Eastern Ghouta cannot wait. It’s high time to stop this hell on Earth.”

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that the UN-mandated truce would “start when all sides of the conflict agree on how to introduce it”.

The jihadist groups Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda are excluded, as well as the major Islamist rebel factions Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam.

Mr Lavrov called them “partners of al-Nusra Front” – the name of a former al-Qaeda affiliate whose latest incarnation is an alliance of jihadists called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). It has a small presence in the Eastern Ghouta.

Read More...

News

Diesel ban approved for German cities to cut pollution

Duesseldorf Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The ruling sets a precedent for all German cities

German cities will be allowed to ban older diesel vehicles from some areas following a landmark court ruling.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig said the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf could legally ban more older, more polluting diesel cars from zones worst affected by pollution.

Both the government and the car industry have opposed the bans, which set a precedent for the whole country.

They fear diesel owners’ lives will be disrupted and vehicles will lose value.

The ruling by the country’s highest federal administrative court came after German states had appealed against bans imposed by local courts in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf, in cases brought by environmental group DUH.

It said bans were necessary after about 70 German cities exceeded European Union nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels limits last year.

Diesel emissions containing nitrogen oxide can cause respiratory disease.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Diesel vehicles have faced greater scrutiny since VW’s “dieselgate” scandal

Diesel vehicles have faced greater scrutiny since VW’s “dieselgate” scandal.

In September 2015, the car maker admitted it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests. Some 11 million cars worldwide ended up being affected by the scandal.

DUH said it hoped the bans in German cities would end the industry’s “resistance” to refitting older, more-polluting cars to meet the latest EU standards.

“This is a great day for clean air in Germany,” said DUH managing director Juergen Resch.


What happens next? Theo Leggett, Business correspondent, BBC News

The likelihood now is that the German government will rush to introduce some sort of national policy, to ensure at least some level of consistency across the country.

There may also be a move to retro-fit older cars with modern emissions control technology – potentially a very costly process.

New diesel cars won’t be affected, but that’s not really the point. Consumers are already moving away from the technology – and the prospect of city bans will only accelerate that process.

So diesel’s decline is likely to gather momentum.

That’s a problem for the industry, because while diesels produce high levels of nitrogen oxide – a major urban pollutant – they emit relatively low levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

So moves to control one environmental problem may end up undermining efforts to combat another – unless we all start driving electric cars very soon.


Refit costs

The impact on German drivers could be marked, with millions being forced to leave their cars at home on days when harmful emissions are particularly high.

Of the 15 million diesel cars on Germany’s roads, only 2.7 million meet the latest Euro-6 standards, according to data from Germany’s automotive watchdog.

Car companies could also incur huge costs to refit vehicles at a time when consumer interest in diesel is falling.

The market share for diesel vehicles in Germany fell from 48% in 2015 to around 39% last year.

Image copyright Mark Renders

Seeking to avert bans, German car makers have pledged software improvements for millions of diesel cars and offered trade-in incentives for older models.

The German government meanwhile has floated alternatives, such as making public transport free in cities suffering from poor air quality.

Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have all pledged to ban diesel vehicles from city centres by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to ban new diesel cars from entering the city as soon as next year.

Carmakers including VW-owned Porsche and Toyota have also signalled they will move away from diesel technology.

The share of diesel cars in overall vehicle production in Europe could be cut to 27% by 2025 from 52% in 2015, Barclays forecasts.

Read More...

News

Derrylin: Man held on suspicion of murder over fire deaths

Fire Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Two fire engines from Lisnaskea and one from Enniskillen helped put out the fire

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three people died in a house fire in Derrylin, County Fermanagh.

The 27-year-old was arrested at the scene and transferred to hospital for treatment, police have said.

Police officers were called to the house on Molly Road at about 07:20 GMT.

“We believe the fire, which has claimed at least three lives, was started deliberately,” said Det Supt Jason Murphy.

“We are continuing to thoroughly examine the scene along with our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

“I would renew my appeal to anyone who was in the Molly Road/Doon Road area this morning to contact police. We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who was in, or travelling through Derrylin prior to the time the fire broke out at approximately 07:10.

He added the emergency services were carrying out an “extensive examination” of the whitewashed rural bungalow to establish the cause of the blaze and determine if anyone else was involved.

At the scene: BBC News NI’s Louise Cullen

The roof of the house has caved in and smoke is still rising from the property. The emergency services are at the scene as investigations continue to establish the cause of the fire.

I understand the family who rented the property have only been in the area for the past 12 to 18 months.

Firefighters said they were called to a “well-developed fire in a detached bungalow” near the border with the Irish Republic before 07:15 on Tuesday.

Two fire engines from Lisnaskea and one from Enniskillen attended the incident. The fire has now been put out.

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster, the MLA for Fermanagh South Tyrone, said: “Horrific news coming from Derrylin, County Fermanagh, this morning.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and local community.”

Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin MP for the area, offered her condolences.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The road leading to the scene of the blaze has been closed to traffic

“This is absolutely tragic, God help them all,” she said.

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton said: “This is a close knit community and there will be a huge sense of loss felt within the community, but particularly to the family concerned.

“I’m sure the community will rally round to assist the bereaved.”

Read More...

News

‘You can’t dress it up, I said “mummy’s died”‘

Sky Sports anchor Simon Thomas has said telling his eight-year-old son that his mum had died was “horrendous”.

Simon’s wife Gemma passed away last November, just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live’s Anna Foster, Simon spoke about his grief, and about supporting their son Ethan.

Simon said: “You can’t dress it up, I said ‘mummy’s died’ and he collapsed onto the floor in tears. And we rolled around the floor together, and it was horrendous. I kept saying, we’re going to be ok.”

Read More...

News

Handbag drones light up Milan catwalk

These are external links and will open in a new window

Copy this link

Read more about sharing.

Read More...

News

Ryanair to axe Glasgow Airport base

Passengers getting on flight at Edinburgh Airport Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ryanair will add 11 new routes to its Edinburgh schedule

Ryanair is to close its base at Glasgow Airport, warning that 300 jobs could go as a result.

The airline, which also operates out of Prestwick, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, will cut the number of routes out of Glasgow from 23 to just three.

Chief commercial officer David O’Brien blamed the change on the cost of air passenger duty and said Glasgow “simply could not bear the burden”.

Glasgow Airport said it was “bitterly disappointed” by Ryanair’s decision.

A spokesman for the airport said there was “no doubt” that the failure to replace air passenger duty (APD) with a cheaper air departure tax (ADT) in Scotland was behind the move.

Ryanair made the announcement as it unveiled its schedule for winter 2018, confirming that only its services to Dublin, Wroclaw and Krakow would continue from Glasgow.

The company said 11 new routes would be added to its Edinburgh schedule.

‘Into the ether’

Mr O’Brien said: “Sadly the weaker Scottish market is even weaker still in Glasgow, which simply can’t bare the burden of APD at £13.

“This should not come as a surprise to the government, we did say that our growth in Glasgow was based on their promise to abolish APD, which morphed into a promise to half APD, which suddenly has disappeared into the ether and quite frankly we don’t have any more patience.

“There are other markets in the UK and Europe which offer a more compelling proposition.”

Mr O’Brien added: “Passengers mean jobs and around 500,000 passengers will be lost at Glasgow, pressurising around 300 jobs which will probably be lost.

“The flipside is that you’re looking at around 700 jobs being introduced to Edinburgh.”

Image caption Glasgow International Airport will see a reduction in the number of routes operated by Ryanair

Mr O’Brien also said that Brexit was a threat to Scottish tourism and the airline industry in general.

The Scottish government unveiled plans to replace air passenger duty with a cheaper air departure tax in 2017.

However, the plans have yet to be implemented and require EU approval under state aid rules.

‘Stark scenario’

A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said: “We are bitterly disappointed at this decision by Ryanair which is not only damaging for Glasgow and wider Scottish connectivity, it will impact approximately 100 jobs locally.

“This is a result of the airline’s review of its single aircraft bases, however, we have been left in no doubt it is also a consequence of the Scottish government’s inability to introduce its proposed 50% cut in air departure tax.

“Despite clear and repeated warnings from both airports and airlines about the potential impact of this policy not being implemented, we are now faced with a stark scenario that includes the loss of 20 services and a significant number of jobs.”

You may also like:

The spokesman said capacity would continue to be reallocated elsewhere until there was movement on ADT.

In future Ryanair will host 45 routes from Edinburgh, including the 11 new routes.

The airline’s summer schedule will operate as planned out of Glasgow.

Ryanair opened its base at Glasgow Airport in autumn 2014, one of several new bases opened across Europe that year.

At the time it said it remained committed to Prestwick Airport and would continue to offer flights from there.

Read More...