Daily Archives: February 13, 2017

Draft opinion – EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the Union – PE 599.683v01-00 – Committee on Development

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Pictures and video show extent of fire at North Devon pub

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EIGHTY firefighters are continuing to battle the thatch fire at the Bell Inn, North Devon.

Rectory Lane has been closed and minor asbestos found at the property. The Environment Agency has been made aware of the incident and a member of the team is present at the scene.

It has been reported that five people were evacuated from the building early this morning unharmed.

The ambulance crew was called at around 8.25am and are still on scene for safety purposes.

The fire service sent eight engines to the Bell Inn after the initial report, from Bideford, Appledore, Torrington, Hartland, Barnstaple and Holsworthy, together with a water bowser from Barnstaple and Incident Command Unit from Ilfracombe.

At 9.12am crews requested a further five appliances together with supporting appliances to attend the incident. These appliances came from South Molton, Braunton, Hatherleigh and two appliances from Bude in Cornwall, making 13 fire engines in total.

At 9.30am crews confirmed the thatch was involved in the fire.

At 10.46am fire crews were at work removing the thatch from the roof and carrying out salvage operations with 10 breathing apparatus wearers from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue and six breathing apparatus wearers from Cornwall Fire Service, four hose reel jets, two compressed air foams systems jets and safety at height equipment.

At 1537 hrs – fire crews are making steady progress with two aerial ladder platforms removing the roof and continuing salvage operations. This incident will shortly be scaled down to six pumps.

This incident is still on-going.

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People urged to sign up for walk along the River Tees

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US$1.6 billion humanitarian appeal for South Sudan

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A humanitarian aircraft undergoing checks at Juba Airport, South Sudan. OCHA Photo

Humanitarians are appealing for US1.6 billion to address what they describe as “unprecedented needs” in South Sudan.

The “devastating combination” of conflict, economic decline and climate shocks has led to a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation there, according to UN agencies and their local and international partners.

They’re calling for “swift action” ahead of the start of the rainy season in May to enable them to deliver supplies by road instead of by air, which is more costly.

Dianne Penn reports.

Humanitarian organizations will use the funds to provide life-saving assistance and protection to 5.8 million people across South Sudan this year.

Conflict between rival forces which began in December 2013 has forced 3.4 million citizens to flee their homes.

The majority, 1.9 million, are internally displaced while 1.5 million have crossed the border into neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, horrendous atrocities have been reported, such as widespread sexual violence while malnutrition and food insecurity have “skyrocketed.”

Humanitarians warn that thousands in conflict-affected areas are at risk of famine if action is not taken.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, said:  “If we fail to act swiftly, lives may be lost.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 53″

Cage fighter dragged through streets by car then brutally beaten after trouble outside Mosque

A cage fighter was driven through South Shields town centre clinging to the side of a car and then savagely beaten after trouble started outside a Mosque on muslim prayer day.

Newcastle Crown Court heard elders were forced to step in when arguments flared outside the place of worship, in Baring Street, South Shields, on September 5, 2014 – a day of Friday Prayers.

During the angry confrontation, mixed martial arts fighter Mohammed Afzal Miah kicked out at a car containing three rivals and ended up with his leg wedged through the vehicle’s window.

When the car moved off, the he clung on until it came to a stop in Percy Street and, once the vehicle was at a standstill, front seat passenger Raja Iftkhar, 24, who is a Sunderland University student, used a car jack to inflict a series of wounds to Mr Miah’s head that required staples and stitches in hospital.

The court heard driver Osman Raja, 35, held on to the victim’s leg during the attack so he couldn’t move away and punched him at the end of the assault. The shocking, daylight, scenes happened near a nursery and was seen by passers-by.

Monsur Miah, 22, who was back seat passenger, helped the two attackers cling on to the victim while the car was still moving.

Judge Robert Adams said: “There is footage of the car driving through South Shields, with Mohammed Afzal Miah hanging on.

“For the first part, he accepts he was hanging on in order to try and sort out the confrontation. Towards the end of it, he was being held by those in the vehicle.

“The assault was carried out in broad daylight, in full view of members of the public. This was a sustained attack, with a weapon. Thankfully, the injuries were not as serious as they might have been.”

The court heard Mr Miah had four deep wounds to his scalp, one of which was down to the bone.

Judge Adams said he was satisfied Mr Miah was a “particularly formidable person”.

The court heard it remains unclear what caused the rift between the men.

Itkhar, of Cordery Road, Leicester, admitted unlawful wounding and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with supervision and 200 hours unpaid work.

David Comb, defending, said the accountancy student, who has a good family and education, has put his future career at risk by his actions and has been in no trouble before or since.

Raja, of Cordery Road, Leicester, also admitted unlawful wounding and was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours unpaid work.

Tony Davis, defending, said Raja is a respectable married man with children and a business to support.

Mr Davis said: “It became somewhat of a public spectacle. That is a matter of great shame to him. It was a very one-off situation.”

Miah, also of Cordery Road, Leicester, admitted common assault and was sentenced to a 12 month community order.

John Wilkinson, defending, said Miah played a very limited role in what went on.