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Silence as MP Jess Phillips reads names of 127 murdered women in Parliament full list

The Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley spent almost five and a half minutes reading out the names of more than 120 women in the Commons, and paying tribute to their lives

By Aletha Adu Political Correspondent

18:31, 10 Mar 2022Updated18:37, 10 Mar 2022

Labour MP Jess Phillips today paid tribute to women who have been killed in the past year where a man has been charged or convicted.  The MP for Birmingham Yardley spent almost five and a half minutes reading out the names of more than 120 women in the Commons.  The Commons chamber fell silent as Ms Phillips highlighted that behind every death there was a story where better victim support or mental health services could have saved the woman's life.  Relatives of Ellie Gould, 17, and Poppy Devey Waterhouse, 24, who were both murdered by their ex-boyfriends, watched on from one of the galleries in the Commons.  The MP for Birmingham Yardley concluded by telling the chamber: “The list is painfully long but in reality the list is much longer. We can make it shorter, let’s act faster.”

Ms Phillips, who reads out the latest list during the annual International Women’s Day debate, said: “The act of remembrance here every year is completely down to the work of Karen Ingala Smith and the Counting Dead Women project.  She’s the only person keeping this data but her painstaking work over many years has meant that unlike seven years ago, when I first read this list, we are all more aware of the peril of femicide.  This wasn’t the Government doing the work, it was women giving their labour away for free.”

She added excuses used by perpetrators to get a lighter sentence are used to “victim blame and diminish” a woman’s innocence when applied to her during the “trial of her own death”.

Ms Phillips said: “Every name I’m about to read there will be a story about how better mental health services, even the slightest suggestion of offender management or the availability of quick specialist victims’ support, would have saved their lives.  The perpetrators killed but it is on us in here if we keep allowing a system where women live under the requirement to give away their labour for free in the pursuit of their own safety.”

In a nod to Sarah Everard, who was murdered by a serving Metropolitan Police officer, Ms Phillips said: “The final name on the list last year when I stood here was a name that we all know. Here are the names of the women killed since that supposedly watershed moment.”

She concluded by naming three women killed in the last month where no suspect has been charged, adding: “And finally to mention Jomaa Jerrare, whose body was dumped and set on fire in a layby last August and nobody has been charged with her murder.  Many women like Jomaa don’t appear on our lists because no-one is ever charged with their killing or because they die by staged homicide and sudden death falling from a building, overdose or suicide and we never look into the history of domestic abuse in their cases.  The list is painfully long but in reality the list is much longer. We can make it shorter, let’s act faster.”

Government minister Trudy Harrison said the “painfully long list” of women killed by men is a reminder of “more work that must be done”.  She said: “The issue of gender-based violence has featured heavily today. As some of you have pointed out, we’re also reeling from the tragic death of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and many other women that the right honourable member for Birmingham Yardley has so poignantly listed.  I think the painfully long list of women killed by men, such a poignant and powerful if not utterly tragic reminder of more work that must be done. And I would like to put on record my thanks to Karen Ingala Smith for compiling that record."

Full list of women killed in the last year where a man has been charge or convicted

Karen McLean

Stacey Knell

Smita Mistry

Samanth Mills

Dyanne Mansfield

Patricia Audsley

Phyllis Nelson

Klaudia Soltys

Simone Ambler

Emma McArthur

Sherrie Teresa Milnes

Constanta Bunea

Jacqueline Grant

Loretta Herman

Sally Metcalf

Sarah Keith

Peggy Wright

Charmaine O'Donnell

Michelle Cooper

Kerry Bradford

Julia James

Beth Aspey

Susan Booth

Maya Zulfiqar

Maria Rawlings

Chenise Gregory

Agnes Akom

Wendy Cole

Caroline Crouch

Svetlana Mihalachi

Nicola Kirk

unamed woman

Agita Geslere

Alison Stevenson

Lauren Wilson

Penina Kabeba

Jill Hickery

Bethany Vincent (and 9 yr old son)

Leah Ware

Esther Brown

Michaela Hall

Mildred Whitmore

Stacey Clay

Linda Hood

Marlene Coleman

Sophie Cartlidge

Gracie Spinks

Kim Dearden

Michelle Hibbert (& husband)

Sally Poynton

Catherine Wardleworth

Sukhjit Badial

Elsie Pinder

Catherine Stewart

Ishrat Ahmed (husband also attacked)

Tamara Padi

Katie (Kathleen) Brankin

Sandra See

Beatrice Cenusa

Patricia Holland

Louise Kam

Yordanos Brhane

Amanda Selby

Malgorzata Lechanska

Megan Newborough

Diana Nichols

Maxine Davison

Kate Shepherd

Bella Nicandro

Eileen Barrott

Sharron Pickles

Helen Anderson

Jade Ward

Maddie Durdant-Hollamby

Fawziyah Javed

Ingrid Matthew

Unnamed woman, Welwyn Garden City

Sabina Nessa

Terri Harris +3 children (John Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, Connie Gent, 11

Sukhjeet Uppal

Norma Girolami

Jekouki Jaboa

Nicole Hurley

Bonnie Harwood

Katrina Rainey

Marta Chmielecka

Ruth Dent

Josephine Smith

Dawn Walker

Yvonne Barr

Sarah Ashwell

Tamby Dowling

Pauline Quinn

Ilona Golabek

Alexandra Morgan

Tricia Livsey (and partner Anothy Tipping, 60)

Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Bori Benko

Jennifer Chapple ( and husband Stephen)

June Fox-Roberts

Malak Adabzadeh, 47

Fernanda, and her father

Amber Gibson

Lily Sullivan

Caoimhe Morgan

Julia Howse

Beverley Tayor (and John Taylor)

Mary Fell (and husband Denis)

Kirsty Ashley

Brenda Blainey

Judith Armstrong

Freda Walker (husband also attacked but survived)

Marlene Doyle

Yasmin Chkaifi

Lucy Powell who was my constituent killed at the age of 21.

Marena Shaban

Lesma Jackson

Ashley Wadsworth

Charissa Brown

Katy Harris

Nicola Shaba

Dawn Trusler

Valerie Warrington (and husband)

She also mentioned the names of three women who have been killed in the last month where no suspect has been charged, they are:

    Clair Ablewhite
    Valerie Free
    Niomi Hunte

And finally a mention for Jomaa Jerrare whose body was dumped and set on fire in a lay-by last august and no one has been charged with her murder.


Parents appear in court charged with killing their overweight 16-year-old daughter by allowing her to become morbidly obese after she was found dead in her bed

    Kaylea Titford, 16, died in her family home in Newtown, Powys, in October 2020
    Her parents Alun Titford and Sarah Lloyd-Jones have been charged by the CPS
    It's claimed they caused her death by allowing her to become morbidly obese
    The charges allege they failed to ensure she received 'reasonable medical help'

By Matthew Lodge For Mailonline

Published: 14:59, 22 March 2022 | Updated: 15:42, 22 March 2022

Two parents have appeared in court charged with killing their overweight 16-year-old daughter by allowing her to become morbidly obese.  Teenager Kaylea Titford died from health problems linked to her weight - and was found dead in bed by her mother at the family home in Newtown, Powys, Wales, in October 2020.  Father Alun Titford, 44, and mother Sarah Lloyd-Jones, 39, have been charged with gross negligence manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable person.  It is alleged that the pair, of Colwyn, Newtown, between March 24 and October 11, 2020, failed to ensure Ms Titford's dietary needs were met, leading to morbid obesity.  The charge also states 'nor did they ensure she got enough exercise, was in a hygienic condition, had a safe and hygienic environment, her physical health was maintained, or that reasonable medical help was sought.'

The parents appeared before Welshpool Magistrates' Court today, to face the charges.  They stood side by side in the dock wearing face masks.  Neither entered pleas but spoke to confirm their names, ages and address.  Prosecutor Helen Tench asked both defendants to remain on conditional bail and not to have contact with anyone under the age of 18.  They will next appear before Mold Crown Court on April 14, 2022.  An earlier inquest heard spina bifida sufferer Kaylea suffered 'multiple medical issues' through her life and was immobile.  Kaylea was pronounced dead by paramedics at 8.12am on October 10, 2020, at her home in Newtown, Powys.  A medical cause of death was given as 'inflammation and infection in extensive areas of ulceration arising from obesity and it's complications in a girl with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.'

Coroner Graeme Hughes adjourned the inquest in Pontypridd, South Wales, until the conclusion of the criminal investigation.  He said: 'While the medical cause of death was proposed by Dr James may itself be natural, the circumstances precipitating Kaleigh's death are under investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police.  As such those investigations give me reason to suspect that Kaleigh's death may be unnatural, in that a natural cause of death may be considered unnatural where there is some culpable human involvement or contribution to that death.'

Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Jokes
« on: March 19, 2022, 06:53:41 PM »
It was a very long and boring sermon.  As one parishioner left the church, he said: "Pastor, today your sermon reminded me of the peace and love of God."

The pastor was thrilled: "Really? Tell me why."

"Because it endured forever."


Mum wins £23,000 after told she's not 'needed' while off with severe morning sickness

Kiran Nasreen was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a condition which gained notoriety after Kate Middleton was diagnosed with the condition during her own pregnancies

By Kelly-Ann Mills News Reporter

15:50, 23 Feb 2022

A law firm receptionist has won £23,000 after her bosses told her she was "no longer needed" while she was off work sick with the same debilitating severe morning sickness condition suffered by Kate Middleton.  Kiran Nasreen was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which can leave women bedridden and vomiting, and told her boss, Dr Akbar Ali Malik, she was unable to work.  But an employment tribunal heard her texts and calls were ignored so her husband went into the office on her behalf to explain.  The panel was told Dr Malik was "hostile" and refused to take her sick notes or medical evidence because she was "no longer needed" after working at the firm for three years.nnThe Duchess of Cambridge suffered from the condition with all three of her pregnancies and ended up in hospital while carrying her firstborn, Prince George.  It affects up to 2% of women in the UK and is one of the most common reasons for hospitalisation during pregnancy, according to the NHS.  Mrs Nasreen won her discrimination claim after a panel ruled that bosses believed her difficult pregnancy was "inconvenient" to the firm.  She has been awarded £23,413 in compensation.  Mrs Nasreen began working for Malik Law Chambers, a London-based immigration solicitors firm, in December 2014 as a receptionist where Dr Malik was her line manager and the pair had a good working relationship.  In December 2017, she became pregnant.  She told Dr Malik about her pregnancy and that she was already having some sickness and might encounter further difficulties so may need time off, the panel heard.  After she went off work on January 20, she sent texts to Dr Malik saying she was very unwell and apologised for being unable to come in.  But the panel heard he did not answer these, nor her calls.  Mrs Nasreen's husband then went into the office to give Dr Malik copies of sick notes and medical evidence as in February, while seven weeks pregnant, she was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.  Despite her husband reiterating that her illness was pregnancy-related, Dr Malik sacked her, the tribunal heard.  Mrs Nasreen then sent her sick note and hospital letter again, hoping Dr Malik would reconsider his decision to fire her.  But she later received her December payment along with her Christmas bonus and nothing further despite her having worked until January 20, the hearing was told.  Mrs Nasreen has now successfully sued her bosses at an employment tribunal for pregnancy discrimination, unauthorised deduction from wages and unfair dismissal.  The panel headed by employment judge David Massarella concluded that problems only arose when she became pregnant, with Malik Law Chambers taking "none of the usual steps in relation to a pregnant employee".

Judge Massarella said: "We infer from all the evidence that [Dr Malik's] attitude to her changed when he realised she was having a difficult pregnancy, which was giving rise to a protracted period of sickness absence and (inevitably) a period of maternity leave.  This was inconvenient to the firm and Dr Malik decided to dispense with her services in a summary fashion.  The problems only arose after she became pregnant.  Dr Malik's attitude to her and her husband became hostile and uncooperative."

Malik Law Chambers was shut down by Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2018, two months after Mrs Nasreen was fired.

Find help and support

Pregnancy Sickness Support is a registered UK charity working to improve care, treatment and support for women suffering from Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) and the severe form of the condition; Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Call them on 024 7638 2020 or contact the WhatsApp text help on 07899 245001

The HER Foundation A non-profit organisation that provides support, groundbreaking research, advocacy, and education on hyperemesis. Since 2000, it has been the leading source of information on HG and have helped hundreds of thousands of families across the globe.

Fun, Games And Silliness / Re: Jokes
« on: March 09, 2022, 04:31:37 PM »
Youngest son: "Hey, everybody: I went to the Army recruiter's office today and signed up!"

Eldest son (amazed): "No way! That's a big deal, bro."

Middle son (dubious): "I dunno, I hear training is tough. You think you'll make it?"

Father (misty-eyed): "I'm proud of you, Son."

Mother (serious): "Do you really plan to make your own bed every morning?"


Prince Andrew settlement: Duke's bombshell statement in full after secret deal

The Duke of York has been spared a courtroom showdown after settling his sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre today

By Alahna Kindred News Reporter

16:48, 15 Feb 2022 Updated 21:56, 15 Feb 2022

Prince Andrew vowed to fight sex trafficking and help support its victims moments after reaching a secret “settlement in principle” in the civil sex claim filed in the US with accuser Virginia Giuffre.  The Duke of York has been spared a courtroom showdown after settling his sexual abuse lawsuit with Ms Giuffre today.  Court documents published today reveal that Prince Andrew regrets his "association" with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and to show his remorse he plans "on supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims".

The sum of the settlement will not be disclosed, but it has been revealed the 61-year-old disgraced royal plans on also making "a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights".

Ms Giuffre alleges she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell to have sex with the Duke on three occasions after being trafficked by the pair.  Ms Giuffre included a now-infamous photo in her complaint against Prince Andrew, claiming she was forced to have sex with him on the night the image was taken when she was aged 17.  Prince Andrew has always strongly denied Ms Giuffre’s claims.  A document submitted to a US court today said: "Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement.  The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre's receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).  Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights.  Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre's character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.  It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.  He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims."

Prince Andrew has also avoided having to give evidence under oath - as he was originally meant to face a deposition on March 10 in London, before the case was settled today.  This civil case had become a headache for the disgraced Duke.  The Mirror recently reported that plans to fly flags in honour of Prince Andrew’s birthday were scrapped.  The decision taken in consultation with Buckingham Palace means Government buildings will not be expected to raise the Union Flag when the Duke of York turns 62 on Saturday.  Furthermore, his family have appeared to distance themselves from him after Prince Charles reportedly requested his little brother Andrew stay away from Windsor Castle, it has been claimed.  The future king, 73, allegedly told his younger sibling, 61, to stay "out of the line of sight" and it could mean the Duke of York and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson eventually moving out of Royal Lodge.  And last month, Andrew's mum the Queen summoned him to a 90-minute meeting in which he was told he would be stripped of his royal privileges.


Coventry stabbing: Mum screams 'my child' as son, 5, 'knifed to death by woman'

Witnesses heard the boy's mother frantically calling for her son and shouting "call the police" as she ran to a nearby Co-op for help in Earlsdon, Coventry

By Adam Dutton & Laura Sharman News Reporter

15:19, 26 Jan 2022Updated15:28, 26 Jan 2022

A mum screamed "my child, my child" as her five-year-old son was "snatched and stabbed to death" before a woman was arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Police discovered the schoolboy with serious injuries at a house in Earlsdon, Coventry just before 6pm on Tuesday.  Despite the best efforts of emergency services, he was confirmed dead at the scene and a 49-year-old woman was detained on suspicion of murder.  Neighbours have described the boy's horrified mum frantically shouting "my child, my child, call the police, call the police" as she ran to a nearby Co-op for help.  One resident, who did not want to be named, said: "We heard lots of screaming and shouting and the mum had run into the Co-op saying her child had been taken.  She was saying 'my child, my child' and repeatedly saying 'call the police'. She was in a lot of distress as you can imagine. It was nightmarish.  We don't know if the boy was snatched from the home or found at the home. It is still quite confusing but a lot of people are saying he was stabbed, which would just be horrific.  But police closed the shop so something has gone on there. It is just completely heartbreaking. I'm told they were a foreign family but I don't know where from.  The police have made the cordon even bigger this morning, they have been knocking our doors and it has just been completely crazy."

West Midlands Police confirmed on Wednesday that the woman arrested was not the boy's mother, but was known to the family.  Speaking near the scene, Supt Ronan Tyrer said: "I'm here to tell you about an ongoing investigation into the tragic death of a five-year-old child which, understandably, has shocked the community.  Just after 5pm yesterday, we were called to the Earlsdon area of Coventry and when we arrived we found a young boy, who was just short of his 6th birthday, with multiple injuries.  Despite the extensive efforts of police officers and paramedics, unfortunately nothing could be done to save him.  At this time, I am unable to provide you with the boys details.  His wider family have been informed, his parents are being supported and will continue to be supported by dedicated family liason officers during this heartbreaking time.  We have arrested a 49-year-old woman, she is known to the family. I would like to stress that she is not the boy's mother.  She is in custody currently and an extensive investigation is underway. We are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident.  This incident is shocking and thoughts at this time are with the boy's family, both immediate and wider family and of course his friends.  The boy's school have been informed and are providing the support available through the schools trust and the local authority to parents and pupils.  Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation I would ask the family's privacy is respected and that members of the public who have imagery or evidence of the offence contact the police to help progress the investigation.  I would further ask that consideration be given to the family of the boy, who are clearly devastated, and consider the impact images shared on social media can have and that people consider removing or not sharing social media posts that contain speculation about the incident.  We will share more detail when we are able."

West Midlands Ambulance Service said they sent two ambulances, two paramedic officers and the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Critical Care Car to the scene.  A service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews discovered a boy in a serious condition.  He was already receiving medical attention from police colleagues.  Ambulance staff immediately began administering advanced life support but sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, it became apparent nothing could be done to save the boy and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

That's heartbreaking   :cry:


The battle for Kyiv: Russian tanks will hit Ukrainian capital TODAY as the war enters 'its hardest day', official warns, with troops already fighting in the city. US intel warns of plan to fly in 10,000 paratroopers and 'decapitate' government

    Russian tanks will reach Kyiv today, Ukraine official warned, with Russian forces now fighting in city's north
    Today will be war's 'hardest day', government official said, as Ukrainian forces try to hold off Russian push 
    Came as US intelligence warned of plan to encircle the city, seize an airport, and fly in 10,000 paratroopers
    Paratroopers would then go into the capital, capture Zelensky and force him to sign a peace treaty handing control of the country back to Russian or a puppet regime, effectively ending the war

By Chris Pleasance for MailOnline

Published: 07:27, 25 February 2022 | Updated: 09:59, 25 February 2022

Russian troops will arrive in Kyiv today and are now fighting in the outskirts of the city, an official has said, as US intelligence warned of a plan to seize an airport, fly in troops, and 'decapitate' the government.  Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the country's interior minister, said Friday will be the war's 'hardest day' as Russia armour pushes down from Chernihiv - to the north-east of the capital and Ivankiv to the north-west in an attempt to encircle the city, where President Volodymyr Zelensky is still holed up. Ukrainian forces blew up several bridges leading to the capital in the early hours to try and slow down the assault.  The US warned tanks were fighting Ukrainian forces 20 miles from the city early Friday, before clashes were reported in a northern district just a few hours later. The fighting appeared to be taking place in Obolon, with the ministry of defence urging residents to make Molotov cocktails to hurl at Russian tanks. Russian forces were also reported in nearby Vorzel, Bucha, Irpen districts.  Once the city is surrounded, US intelligence believes the plan will be for Russian special forces to move in and seize an airport likely Sikorsky or Boryspil which would then be used to fly in a much larger force of up to 10,000 paratroopers who would assault the capital.  The job of the paratroopers would be to enter the city, find Zelensky, his ministers, and parliamentarians, before forcing them to sign a peace deal handing control of the country back to Russia or a Moscow-backed puppet regime effectively ending the war without Putin's ground forces needing to complete the difficult and bloody task of seizing and occupying the whole country.  It appears the Russians almost pulled off the plan on the first day of the invasion when 20 attack helicopters landed a crack team of troops at Antonov Airport, 15 miles to the north of Kyiv. But Ukrainian national guard units managed to retake the landing strip overnight after heavy fighting, scattering the surviving Russian attackers into the surrounding countryside.  A Russian attack on the capital would likely be coordinated with a push by troops on southern and eastern fronts - Crimea and Donbass - aimed at pinning down Ukrainian armed forces so they cannot retreat and reinforce the city, officials told author Michael Weiss.  It may also be accompanied by bombing raids and sabotage attacks on power grids and infrastructure to sow panic and force people to flee, snarling up roads and making it difficult for forces already in Kyiv to move around.  The plan appeared to be underway in the early hours, as explosions sounded before dawn with the city under bombardment from what the defense minister called 'horrific rocket strikes' not seen since 1941.  Ukraine's armed forces claimed to have shot down a Russian jet over the outskirts of the city, with flaming wreckage seen falling from the sky, as Zelensky gave a national address, saying Russia has identified him as 'target number 1' of the invasion but he and his family were remaining in the city.  He said invading Russian forces are targeting civilian areas, praising his countrymen for their 'heroism' and assuring them that the armed forces are doing 'everything possible' to protect them.  'They say that civilian objects are not a target for them. But this is another lie of theirs. In reality, they do not distinguish between areas in which they operate,' Zelensky said in a video.

'Ukrainian air defence systems are defending our skies,' he said. 'Ukrainians are demonstrating heroism'. 'All our forces are doing everything possible' to protect people, he added.

The Ukrainian leader called on people to show 'solidarity' and help the elderly find shelter and 'access to real information.' Zelensky also said that Russia will have to eventually talk to Kyiv to end their war.  Russia will have to talk to us sooner or later. Talk about how to end the fighting and stop this invasion. The sooner the conversation begins, the less losses there will be for Russia itself,' he said.

Switching into Russian in his address, Zelensky acknowledged Russian street protests against Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine that ended with mass arrests Thursday.  'To the citizens of the Russian Federation that are coming out to protest, we see you. And this means that you have heard us. This means that you believe us. Fight for us. Fight against war.'

Russian police detained more than 1,700 people at anti-war protests across dozens of cities Thursday night.  Zelensky said the government had information that 'subversive groups' were encroaching on the city, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Kyiv 'could well be under siege' in what U.S. officials believe is a brazen attempt by Putin to dismantle the government and install his own regime.  U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on a phone call that Russian mechanized forces that entered from Belarus were about 20 miles from Kyiv, according to a person familiar with the call.  The assault, anticipated for weeks by the U.S. and Western allies and undertaken by Putin in the face of international condemnation and cascading sanctions, amounts to the largest ground war in Europe since World War II.  Russian missiles bombarded cities and military bases in the first day of the attack, and Ukraine officials said they had lost control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, scene of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Civilians piled into trains and cars to flee.  As explosions sounded in Kyiv early Friday, guests of a hotel were directed to a makeshift basement shelter. Air raid sirens also went off.  'Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won't give up its freedom,' Zelenskyy tweeted.

His grasp on power increasingly tenuous, he called Thursday for even more severe sanctions than the ones imposed by Western allies and ordered a full military mobilization that would last 90 days.  Zelenskyy said in a video address that 137 'heroes,' including 10 military officers, had been killed and 316 people wounded. The dead included border guards on the Zmiinyi Island in the Odesa region, which was taken over by Russians.  He concluded an emotional speech by saying that 'the fate of the country depends fully on our army, security forces, all of our defenders.'

He also said the country had heard from Moscow that 'they want to talk about Ukraine's neutral status.'

Biden was to meet Friday morning with fellow leaders of NATO governments in what the White House described as an 'extraordinary virtual summit' to discuss Ukraine.  U.S. President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia, saying Putin 'chose this war' and had exhibited a 'sinister' view of the world in which nations take what they want by force. Other nations also announced sanctions, or said they would shortly.  'It was always about naked aggression, about Putin's desire for empire by any means necessary by bullying Russia's neighbors through coercion and corruption, by changing borders by force, and, ultimately, by choosing a war without a cause,' Biden said.

Blinken said in television interviews that he was convinced that Russia was intent on overthrowing the Ukrainian government, telling CBS that Putin wants to 'reconstitute the Soviet empire' and that Kyiv was already 'under threat, and it could well be under siege.'  Fearing a Russian attack on the capital city, thousands of people went deep underground as night fell, jamming Kyiv's subway stations.  At times it felt almost cheerful. Families ate dinner. Children played. Adults chatted. People brought sleeping bags or dogs or crossword puzzles - anything to alleviate the waiting and the long night ahead.  But the exhaustion was clear on many faces. And the worries.  'Nobody believed that this war would start and that they would take Kyiv directly,' said Anton Mironov, waiting out the night in one of the old Soviet metro stations. 'I feel mostly fatigue. None of it feels real.'

The invasion began early Thursday with a series of missile strikes, many on key government and military installations, quickly followed by a three-pronged ground assault. Ukrainian and U.S. officials said Russian forces were attacking from the east toward Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city; from the southern region of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014; and from Belarus to the north.  The Ukrainian military on Friday reported significant fighting in the area of Ivankiv, about 60 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Kyiv, as Russian forces apparently tried to advance on the capital from the north. It said one bridge across a small river had been destroyed.  'The hardest day will be today. The enemy's plan is to break through with tank columns from the side of Ivankiv and Chernihiv to Kyiv. Russian tanks burn perfectly when hit by our ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles),' Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko said on Telegram.

Zelenskyy, who had earlier cut diplomatic ties with Moscow and declared martial law, appealed to global leaders, saying that 'if you don't help us now, if you fail to offer a powerful assistance to Ukraine, tomorrow the war will knock on your door.'

Though Biden said he had no plans to speak with Putin, the Russian leader did have what the Kremlin described as a 'serious and frank exchange' with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Both sides claimed to have destroyed some of the other's aircraft and military hardware, though little of that could be confirmed.

Hours after the invasion began, Russian forces seized control of the now-unused Chernobyl plant and its surrounding exclusion zone after a fierce battle, presidential adviser Myhailo Podolyak told The Associated Press.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency said it was told by Ukraine of the takeover, adding that there had been 'no casualties or destruction at the industrial site.'

The 1986 disaster occurred when a nuclear reactor at the plant 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Kyiv exploded, sending a radioactive cloud across Europe. The damaged reactor was later covered by a protective shell to prevent leaks.

Alyona Shevtsova, adviser to the commander of Ukraine's ground forces, wrote on Facebook that staff members at the Chernobyl plant had been 'taken hostage.' The White House said it was 'outraged' by reports of the detentions.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued an update saying that though the plant was 'likely captured,' the country's forces had halted Russia's advance toward Chernihiv and that it was unlikely that Russia had achieved its planned Day One military objectives.

The chief of the NATO alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said the 'brutal act of war' shattered peace in Europe, joining a chorus of world leaders decrying an attack that could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine's democratically elected government. The conflict shook global financial markets: Stocks plunged and oil prices soared amid concerns that heating bills and food prices would skyrocket.

Condemnation came not only from the U.S. and Europe, but from South Korea, Australia and beyond and many governments readied new sanctions. Even friendly leaders like Hungary's Viktor Orban sought to distance themselves from Putin.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he aimed to cut off Russia from the U.K.'s financial markets as he announced sanctions, freezing the assets of all large Russian banks and planning to bar Russian companies and the Kremlin from raising money on British markets.  'Now we see him for what he is a bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest,' Johnson said of Putin.

The U.S. sanctions will target Russian banks, oligarchs, state-controlled companies and high-tech sectors, Biden said, but they were designed not to disrupt global energy markets. Russian oil and natural gas exports are vital energy sources for Europe.  Zelenskyy urged the U.S. and West to go further and cut the Russians from the SWIFT system, a key financial network that connects thousands of banks around the world. The White House has been reluctant to immediately cut Russia from SWIFT, worried it could cause enormous economic problems in Europe and elsewhere in the West.  While some nervous Europeans speculated about a possible new world war, the U.S. and its NATO partners have shown no indication they would send troops into Ukraine, fearing a larger conflict. NATO reinforced its members in Eastern Europe as a precaution, and Biden said the U.S. was deploying additional forces to Germany to bolster NATO.  European authorities declared the country's airspace an active conflict zone.  After weeks of denying plans to invade, Putin launched the operation on a country the size of Texas that has increasingly tilted toward the democratic West and away from Moscow's sway. The autocratic leader made clear earlier this week that he sees no reason for Ukraine to exist, raising fears of possible broader conflict in the vast space that the Soviet Union once ruled. Putin denied plans to occupy Ukraine, but his ultimate goals remain hazy.  Ukrainians were urged to shelter in place and not to panic.  'Until the very last moment, I didn't believe it would happen. I just pushed away these thoughts,' said a terrified Anna Dovnya in Kyiv, watching soldiers and police remove shrapnel from an exploded shell. 'We have lost all faith.'

With social media amplifying a torrent of military claims and counter-claims, it was difficult to determine exactly what was happening on the ground.  Russia and Ukraine made competing claims about damage they had inflicted. Russia's Defense Ministry said it had destroyed scores of Ukrainian air bases, military facilities and drones. It confirmed the loss of one of its Su-25 attack jets, blaming 'pilot error,' and said an An-26 transport plane had crashed because of technical failure, killing the entire crew. It did not say how many were aboard.  Russia said it was not targeting cities, but journalists saw destruction in many civilian areas.  Twenty million dollars in U.N. humanitarian funds for Ukraine. A raft of new, stronger sanctions against Russia from Japan, Australia, Taiwan and others. And a cascade of condemnation from the highest levels.  As Russian bombs and troops pounded Ukraine during the invasion's first full day, world leaders on Friday began to fine-tune a response meant to punish the Russian economy and its leaders, including President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.  While there's an acute awareness that a military intervention isn't possible, for now, the strength, unity and speed of the financial sanctions with the striking exception of China, a strong Russian supporter signal a growing global determination to make Moscow reconsider its attack.  'Japan must clearly show its position that we will never tolerate any attempt to change the status quo by force,' Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters Friday while announcing new punitive measures that included freezing the visas and assets of Russian groups, banks and individuals, and the suspension of shipments of semiconductors and other restricted goods to Russian military-linked organizations. 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an extremely grave development that affects the international order, not only for Europe but also for Asia,' Kishida said.

Countries in Asia and the Pacific have joined the United States, the 27-nation European Union and others in the West in piling on punitive measures against Russian banks and leading companies. The nations have also set up export controls aimed at starving Russia's industries and military of semiconductors and other high-tech products.  The moves follow Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Putin's forces conducted airstrikes on cities and military bases, and his troops and tanks rolled into the nation from three sides. Ukraine's government pleaded for help as civilians fled. Scores of Ukrainians, civilians and service members alike, were killed.  'An unthinkable number of innocent lives could be lost because of Russia's decision,' New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

She announced targeted travel bans against Russian officials and other measures.  At the United Nations, officials set aside $20 million to boost U.N. humanitarian operations in Ukraine. Separately, the U.N. Security Council is expected to vote Friday on a resolution condemning Russia and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all its forces. Moscow, however, is certain to veto it.  U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the $20 million from the U.N.'s Central Emergency Response Fund will support emergency operations along the contact line in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and in other areas of the country, and will 'help with health care, shelter, food, and water and sanitation to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict.'

The West and its allies have shown no inclination to send troops into Ukraine a non-member of NATO and risk a wider war on the continent. But NATO reinforced its member states in Eastern Europe as a precaution against an attack on them, too.  The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, meanwhile, extended to 200 nautical miles the airspace it considers risky, and warned of 'the threat of missile launches to and from Ukraine.'

Protests by Ukrainians and their supporters were held Friday in Taiwan, Mongolia, Australia and elsewhere. Public buildings, sports stadiums and landmarks in the Australian city of Melbourne were illuminated in Ukraine's national colors of blue and yellow.  Japan's new sanctions follow an earlier set of measures that include the suspension of distributing and issuing new Russian government bonds in Japan - a move aimed at cutting funding for Russia's military - a trade ban with two Ukrainian separatist regions and the freezing of their assets and visas.  Japan, which has long sought to regain control of Russian-held northern islands seized at the end of World War II, took a milder stance toward Moscow during Russia's 2014 Crimea annexation. Tokyo's response to the current invasion has been considered tougher and faster, something that may be linked to a deep worry in Tokyo over China's increasingly assertive military actions in the region.  South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his nation will join international sanctions, but won't consider unilateral sanctions.  South Korea's comparative caution is likely because its economy is heavily dependent on international trade. It also worries that strained ties with Moscow could undermine efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis. Russia is South Korea's 10th largest trading partner, and Moscow is a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council and maintains friendly ties with North Korea.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi phoned Putin late Thursday and appealed for an 'immediate cessation of violence,' his office said in a statement.  India's permanent U.N. representative pushed for 'urgent de-escalation' through 'sustained and focused diplomacy,' but stopped short of either condemning Russia or acknowledging Ukraine's sovereignty.  The cautious statement reflects India's delicate position. It relies heavily on Russia, a historic partner, for military equipment but has sought to strengthen ties with the West over the years.  Taiwan announced Friday that it would join in economic sanctions against Russia, although it did not specify what type of measures those would be. Sanctions could potentially be focused on export control of semiconductor chips, local media reported. Taiwan is the dominant manufacturer of such chips, a critical component used in technologies from cars to laptops to cellphones.  While most nations in Asia rallied to support Ukraine, China has continued to denounce sanctions against Russia and blamed the United States and its allies for provoking Moscow. Beijing, worried about U.S. power in Asia, has increasingly aligned its foreign policy with Russia to challenge the West.  'At a time when Australia, together with the United Kingdom, together with the United States and Europe and Japan, are acting to cut off Russia, the Chinese government is following through on easing trade restrictions with Russia and that is simply unacceptable,' Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday.

'You don't go and throw a lifeline to Russia in the middle of a period when they're invading another country,' he added, referring to a report in The South China Morning Post that China had announced it was fully open to Russian wheat imports.

In Tokyo, Ukraine's top diplomat for Japan urged China to join international efforts to stop the Russian invasion.  'We would very much welcome that China will exercise its connection with Russia and talk to Putin and explain to him it is inappropriate in the 21st century to do this massacre in Europe,' Ambassador Sergiy Korsunsky told reporters.


    Ukraine says Russia has bombed 33 civilian sites in Kyiv in the last 24 hours 
    Two children have been reported killed in Kyiv bombing overnight 
    Russia is deploying paratroopers to Chernobyl after capturing it yesterday, Moscow said
    Ukraine reported 'anomalous' radiation levels at the plant amid fears nuclear storage was breached in fighting, but Moscow said readings are normal
    Russia claims to have destroyed 118 Ukrainian military sites in 30 hours of fighting
    PM Boris Johnson pledged more support is coming to Ukraine in the coming days
    Johnson shared a phone call with Zelensky on Friday morning

Russia 'intends to take the whole of Ukraine' but FAILED its key objectives on Day 1 of war, UK defence secretary says

Russia intends to take the whole of Ukraine but failed to deliver it main objectives on the first day of President Vladimir Putin's invasion, British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said.  'It's definitely our view that the Russians intend to invade the whole of Ukraine,' Wallace told Sky.

'I certainly think he has gone full tonto,' he added, suggesting the Russian leader may have lost his mind. 'No-one else in their right mind would do what we are seeing on our telly screens today.'

Wallace said the Russian army had failed to deliver any of its key objectives, directly contradicting the Russian defence ministry which said it had achieved all of its main aims on the first day of the military operation.  'Contrary to great Russian claims, and indeed President Putin's sort of vision that somehow the Ukrainians would be liberated and would be flocking to his cause, he's got that completely wrong, and the Russian army has failed to deliver, on day one, its main objective,' Wallace said.

Russia, Wallace said, had lost more than 450 personnel so far. Ukraine put the figure closer to 800. Neither number has been independently verified.  After Britain unveiled its toughest sanctions yet on Russia, Wallace said London was pushing reluctant allies to cut off Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payments system.  'We would like to go further, we'd like to do the SWIFT system,' he said. 'If not every country wants them to be thrown out of the SWIFT system, it becomes difficult.'

British Airways owner IAG is now avoiding Russian airspace for overflights and cancelled its flight to Moscow on Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson banned Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot from Britain, CEO Luis Gallego said.  Britain has prohibited all scheduled Russian airlines from entering British airspace.

It's sad that some murders never get solved.


YouTuber with rare Benjamin Button ageing illness dies at just 15 years old

Adalia Rose, from Texas, US, died on Wednesday as a result of rare condition Progeria, which affects only 500 people in the world and sees the body age at a rapid rate

By Sam Elliott-Gibbs Reporter

18:05, 13 Jan 2022Updated18:08, 13 Jan 2022

A young girl who touched the hearts of millions with her real-life Benjamin Button story has died, her heartbroken family have announced.  YouTube star Adalia Rose was just 15 but an ultra-rare rare disease saw her age rapidly.  Becoming an internet sensation, she inspiration people around the world by sharing her journey while living with Progeria.  The condition sees a person's body age faster than it should and she quickly became unrecognisable as a teenager.  Progeria affects only around 500 people across the world with a low life expectancy of just 13.   In a post on Facebook, the family told her many followers the devastating news.  They wrote: “January 12, 2022 at 7pm Adalia Rose Williams was set free from this world. She came into it quietly and left quietly, but her life was far from it.  She touched MILLIONS of people and left the biggest imprint in everyone that knew her. She is no longer in pain and is now dancing away to all the music she loves.  I really wish this wasn’t our reality but unfortunately it is. We want to say thank you to everyone that loved and supported her.  Thank you to all her doctors and nurses that worked for YEARS to keep her healthy.  The family would now like to mourn this huge loss in private.”

Adalia, from Texas, US, had built up a big fan base with people wowed by her bravery.  People compared her to Benjamin Button, the subject of hit film starring Brad Pitt which tells the story of a man who starts ageing backwards.  Her clips amassed over 170 million views on the video sharing platform YouTube in 2018 before the disease really took hold.  One user on Facebook said: “I’m so sorry Natalia and Ryan. Adalia lived life to the fullest each and every day. She touched so many people through her videos and taught us all to never take anything for granted. Fly high sweet angel!”

A second added: "An inspiration to do many. So sad."

While another said: “She was a special person that gave joy to many all over the planet. She will always be with you.”


Mummified body of woman found sitting at her table two years after she died

Marinella Beretta was found dead sitting on the kitchen table where she died two years previously in the district of Prestino in the city of Como in the north-western Italian region of Lombardy

By Douglas Patient

01:32, 10 Feb 2022Updated01:38, 10 Feb 2022

The mummified remains of an Italian woman have been found by police still sitting on the kitchen chair where she died over two years ago.  The body was found in the district of Prestino in the city of Como in the north-western Italian region of Lombardy.  Marinella Beretta, 70, who came from the nearby municipality of Erba, reportedly had no living relatives and had sold her house, but she continued to live there under a usufruct agreement.  The new owner, an unnamed Swiss man, alerted the authorities after neighbours told him that the trees in the garden were in a poor state. The police went to the property to investigate and discovered the elderly woman's remains inside.  They are currently investigating the incident to determine the cause of death, but they have reportedly said that the preliminary hypothesis is that she died alone.  It is not clear how her body came to be mummified, but natural mummification, although rare, can happen in situations of extreme cold, aridity or a lack of oxygen.  Elena Bonetti, 47, the Italian Minister for Family and Equal Opportunities, said: "What happened to Mrs Marinella Beretta in Como, the forgotten loneliness, hurts consciences.  Remembering her life is the duty of a community that wants to stick together.  We need to not limit our horizons to the private and go back to healing the ties between ourselves.  Taking care of each other is the experience of families, institutions, and our citizens: no one should be left alone."


Police launch murder inquiry after mother-of-four found dead in Belfast home

BY: Gerard Donaghy
December 19, 2021

POLICE in Belfast have launched a murder inquiry following the death of a mother-of-four in the city.  The PSNI have confirmed the victim was 30-year-old Caoimhe Morgan.  Her body was found at a house on Harcourt Drive in the Old Park area of North Belfast on Saturday morning.  A 30-year-old man, who was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of murder, remains in police custody.  Sinn Féin MP John Finucane said the local community was in shock following the tragedy.  "The local community is in shock at the news that a woman has been murdered in the Old Park area," said the North Belfast MP.

"My thoughts are with the woman's family and friends at this extremely difficult time.  A police murder investigation is underway and I would call on anyone with any information which may help those inquiries to contact the PSNI."

The PSNI have appealed for anyone with information to come forward.  "Police investigating the murder of a woman in North Belfast have confirmed that the body discovered in the Harcourt Drive property yesterday morning (Saturday, 18th) is that of 30-year-old Caoimhe Morgan," said a PSNI spokesperson.  The 30-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday, remains in custody.  Police would appeal to anyone who was in the area of Harcourt Drive and who witnessed anything, or anyone with any information that could assist this investigation to contact detectives on 101 quoting reference 790 18/12/21.  Alternatively information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100 per cent anonymous."


Teenager stabbed to death after flying to UK from Canada to meet her boyfriend

Ashley Wadsworth, from the small city of Vernon, had been due to return to Canada later this week after travelling to England to visit her boyfriend Jack Sepple

By Ben Turner & Laura Sharman News Reporter

18:57, 2 Feb 2022 Updated 07:51, 3 Feb 2022

A Canadian teenager who flew to the UK to meet her new boyfriend was stabbed to death just two days before she was due to return home.  Ashley Wadsworth, 19, was found dead at a block of flats in Chelmsford, Essex at about 4pm yesterday after concerned neighbours called police. Cops swarmed a housing estate after receiving reports of a domestic disturbance and paramedics tried to revive Ashley who sadly died at the scene.  The tragic teen, from Vernon, Canada, had travelled to England on November 12 to visit boyfriend Jack Sepple.  Detectives are currently questioning a 23-year-old man on suspicion of murder and said they are not looking for anyone else at present.  During her trip to the UK, Ashley visited dozens of tourist hotspots including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben (the Elizabeth Tower) in London.  She also joined Jack's family for a trip to the historic town of Rye in East Sussex and was due to return to Canada later this week.  Friends of Ashley posted tributes to the teen on Facebook on Wednesday.  Larissa Kontos, a friend of Ashley's sister, described her as a "beautiful loving soul".  "She had a ticket for this Thursday to come back home to people who love her dearly," Larissa wrote on Facebook last night.  You will never be forgotten my girly. And I'll miss you so much,"

Ashley's aunt, Rosie Turcotte, wrote on Facebook: "I am so angry, sad and f **ing mad.  Want to say so much right now, but mama always said if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all."

She added: "Another special angel gone way too soon."

DCI Scott Egerton, of the major investigation team, said their initial enquiries show the killing to be an isolated incident with "no wider risk to the community."

He added:“We have a team of dedicated officers working around the clock to establish the circumstances which led to a woman losing her life.  The investigation is progressing well, but we will remain on scene for a few more days whilst we continue to gather evidence and establish the facts."

Extra high visibility patrols will be carried out over the coming days as the investigation continues.


Renewed appeal over "ruthless execution" of father waiting to pick son up from school

BY: Gerard Donaghy
December 05, 2021

POLICE in Belfast have made a renewed appeal for information on the third anniversary of the murder of James Donegan.  Mr Donegan, 43, was shot dead at around 3.15pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 as he waited to pick up his 13-year-old son from school.  He was sat inside his red Porsche Panamera, registration JDZ34, on the Glen Road in West Belfast when the shooting occurred in front of hundreds of children.  "This ruthless execution was carried out in broad daylight by a lone gunman in front of hundreds of innocent schoolchildren and their parents," said Detective Chief Inspector Phelan.

"He didn't care who saw him or whom he traumatised. He showed total contempt for anyone who was in the vicinity.  I believe that the information police require lies within the community and today I am making an appeal to the community: if you have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please come forward to police.  Help us to bring this cold-blooded murderer to justice."

 Detective Chief Inspector Phelan continued: "Jim was a husband, a brother, a father to two sons and a stepfather.  Ask yourself how you would feel if this was your loved one who was taken away in such a cold and callous fashion.  Jim's family deserve answers and justice."

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or submit a report online at

Alternatively, information can be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

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