A man has been charged with murder after a fatal stabbing near the luxury department store Harrods.
Mohammed Abdullah Al Araimi, 20, died at the scene near the Knightsbridge store on 5 December 2019.
Badir Rahim Alnazi, of no fixed address, was charged with murder, attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.
The 23-year-old is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later on Thursday.
Millions of commuters will have to pay an average of 2.7% more for train tickets from today.
The rise, announced by industry body the Rail Delivery Group in November, is lower than the 3.1% increase at the start of last year.
Train companies say it is the third year in a row that average fares have been held below RPI – the inflation measure on which rises are based.
But many commuters face an increase of more than £100 for annual passes.
In Wales, fares have bucked the trend of rising prices in England and Scotland, with an average fall of 1% this year.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the government was committed to “putting passengers first”, by funding trials for flexible fares, for example.
He said he planned to tackle the “fragmented” system and had begun the process to end the franchise for Northern Rail, whose performance was “completely unacceptable”.
“You can judge me on this at the end of the year,” he told BBC Breakfast. “These changes are going to take time but I think people will see things moving in the right direction.”
But Labour’s shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, said the rise showed passengers were “once again paying more for less under the Tories”.
Independent watchdog Transport Focus says fewer than half of train journeys (47%) are rated as satisfactory value for money by passengers.
The watchdog’s director, David Sidebottom, said: “After a year of pretty poor performance in some areas, passengers just want a consistent day-to-day service they can rely on and a better chance of getting a seat.”
He encouraged passengers to claim compensation for eligible delays in order to “offset” the cost of fare rises.
Some annual passes go up by more than £100
£132Reading to London. Total £4,736
£118Gloucester to Birmingham. Total £4,356
£116Glasgow to Edinburgh. Total £4,200
However, Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for Rail Delivery Group, said rail companies were investing in improving journeys while holding fare increases below inflation.
He said 2020 will see 1,000 extra weekly services and 1,000 more carriages added to Britain’s rail fleet.
“There is a record level of investment going into the railway at the moment,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“For people who do suffer from poor punctuality in areas of the country, that could be for a variety of different reasons, we apologise. We are looking at trying to make punctuality much better across the board,” he said.
Official statistics show that just over one in three trains failed to arrive on time in July, August and September 2019, although that figure was an improvement on the previous year.
About 40% of annual rail price rises are regulated by governments in England, Scotland and Wales. They are pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure for the previous July. Other fare rises are decided by train companies.
RPI inflation was 2.8% last year.
But RPI inflation is generally higher than the most widely watched measure of inflation, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
Passenger groups have repeatedly called for the system to be changed since RPI inflation was abandoned by the UK Statistics Authority as a national statistic in 2013.
Emily Yates, a freelance writer from Brighton who co-founded the Association of British Commuters, said the annual rises feel like “Groundhog Day” and a “complete charade”.
“Every year, we ask for a fares freeze, the government says no, and the rail industry defends the decision,” she said.
Protests will be held against the fare increase on Thursday, including a demonstration outside London King’s Cross station.
The rallies come as the Trades Union Congress (TUC) releases research suggesting fares have risen by twice as much as wages in the last 10 years.
The TUC said someone earning an average salary in the UK would have to spend 16% of their wages for a season ticket from Chelmsford to London (£511 a month), but similar commutes would cost 2% of the average salary in France, and 4% in Germany and Belgium.
A man shot dead on Christmas Eve was attacked in front of his family after a night out, police said.
Officers were called to Battersea Church Road in south west London at about 21:00 GMT.
Neighbours described hearing multiple gunshots followed by a woman screaming “desperately” for help.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said the killing which “saw a man losing his life in such a horrific way” had left his family “devastated”.
The 36-year-old who had a wife and young child was pronounced dead at the scene by the emergency services.
Lying in doorway
Neighbour Vittoria Amati, 60, said she heard between “eight to 10” gunshots fired.
“I then heard the screams of the wife. I came out and realised it was one of my neighbours.
“He was lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood. He was still alive. We were really hoping he would make it.
“You have no idea how desperate she [his wife] sounded.”
‘Fled on foot’
A young woman, who identified herself as a nurse, tried to help the man by applying pressure to his wounds, Mrs Amati added.
Det Ch Insp Jamie Stevenson said: “Our investigation is in the very early stages and we are still working to establish what the motive could be that has led to a man losing his life in such a horrific way, on Christmas Eve, in front of his family.
“They have been devastated by this horrible event and are being supported by specialist officers.
“We know that the victim was returning home with his wife and young child following an evening out, when he was shot just yards from his home.”
The officer added the assailant fled on foot in the direction of Battersea Bridge Road.
Supt Richard Smith said: “There is no suggestion that there is any ongoing risk to members of the local community in Battersea.”
The death is the 135th homicide in London in 2019, the highest number in a calendar year since 2008.
England’s Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have all earned six-figure contracts in the Indian Premier League’s player auction.
Morgan, who led England to World Cup success in 2019, was auctioned for £563,000 to Kolkata Knight Riders, who are expected to name him as captain.
Kolkata also made Australia’s Pat Cummins (£1.7m) the most expensive overseas player in IPL history.
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer remain with Rajasthan Royals.
The England trio were not part of the auction after the franchise opted to retain them from last season’s squad. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali were also retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.
Jason Roy and Chris Woakes both went to Delhi Capitals for their base price of £161,000, while Sam Curran was bought by Chennai Super Kings for £590,000.
Curran was released from his £800,000 contract by Kings XI Punjab after his debut season in 2019 despite taking a match-winning hat-trick in one game.
Knight Riders pin their hopes on pace of Cummins
Cummins, 26, is number one in the ICC Test bowling rankings and his pace and accuracy marked him out as a standout player in the auction.
Delhi and the Royal Challengers were both in for him, before the Knight Riders made their move.
At £1.7m, Cummins is the fourth costliest player in IPL auction history and the most expensive overseas signing, marginally surpassing the fee commanded by Stokes in 2017
Only Yuvraj Singh in 2014 and 2015 and Gautam Gambhir (2011) have gone for more.
Other big money foreign purchases included Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who joined Kings XI Punjab for £1.15m.
Chris Morris, who was omitted from South Africa’s Test squad for the forthcoming series with England, was bought by Bangalore for £1.1m, along with Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch for £473,000.
West Indies duo Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer were also popular and will make their IPL debuts. Left-arm bowler Cottrell was a £914,000 purchase for Kings XI, and Hetmyer will play alongside Roy and Woakes for Delhi after they signed him for £833,000.
Among those who went unsold were South Africa’s Dale Steyn and New Zealand’s Tim Southee while 14-year-old Afghan left-arm wristspinner Ravi Bishnoi also failed to attract a bid.
The 2020 edition, which begins in April, will be the 13th season of the IPL, which was won in 2019 by Mumbai Indians.
More to follow.
The rumour parakeets arrived in the UK when rock star Jimi Hendrix released a pair in London’s Carnaby Street in the swinging 60s has finally been scotched.
They also didn’t escape across the country during the wrap party for the movie The African Queen, in 1951.
In fact, reported sightings from the 1860s have been uncovered, Goldsmiths and Queen Mary universities say.
Intentional releases may have also been encouraged in 1929-1931 and 1952 when fatal “parrot fever” hit the headlines.
The bright green non-native ring-necked parakeets now thrive across the UK.
Originally from Africa, it has become a successful invasive species in 34 countries on five continents, the study’s lead author, the late Steven Le Comber, says.
As well as the rumour from the Bogart and Hepburn classic, in 1951, another suggests that a flock kept at Syon Park escaped when a plane crashed through the aviary roof, in the 1970s.
However, the researchers found their spread across the UK is more mundanely down to repeated intentional releases and not to do with publicity stunts.
Numerous sensational accounts of human deaths due to psittacosis infections from birds were published in 1929.
And in 1932, the Middlesex County Times reported parakeets had been spotted in Epping Forest, with the paper blaming the “parrot disease scare” of 1931 for the observations in the wild.
“Scary” health stories often prompt a strong public reaction, said Sarah Elizabeth Cox, postgraduate history student at Goldsmiths.
“If you were told you were at risk being near one, it would be much easier to let it out the window than to destroy it,” she said.
This latest study used geographic profiling, a statistical technique originally developed in criminology to prioritise large lists of suspects in cases of serial crime, to analyse spatial patterns of parakeet sightings.
When applied to biological data, the model can identify the origin sites of diseases or introduction sites of invasive, non-native species.
None of the “suspect sites” connected to origin myths showed up prominently in the geoprofile of more than 5,000 unique records dating from 1968 – 2018.
By 1961, birds were a more popular pets than cats and dogs in the UK, with 11 million birds in captivity, of various species, and it seems obvious there would be an increase in escapes, researchers said.
Three men who say they were framed by a detective decades ago have had their cases quashed by the Court of Appeal.
Winston Trew, Sterling Christie and George Griffiths were part of a group known as the Oval Four.
They spent eight months in jail for assaulting a police officer and attempted theft.
The men, who belonged to a political organisation representing black people in London, have waited 47 years to have their convictions overturned.
|Venue: Recreation Ground Date: Friday, 29 November Kick-off: 19:45 GMT Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website|
England trio Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola will play for the first time since the World Cup final on Friday after being named in Saracens’ squad to face Bath in the Premiership.
All three are set to start for Sarries, who are bottom after their 35-point deduction for breaching the salary cap.
England team-mate Jamie George is also named in the Saracens XV for the first time since the World Cup in Japan.
Bath name Tom Homer at full-back in the absence of the injured Anthony Watson.
More to follow.
Young people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME) have described how they feel the 2019 general election has failed so far to take on their views or represent them.
Students at London’s Westminster Kingsway College talked about the issues they care about and the changes they would like to see in politics.
Video by Jamie Moreland
Seventeen people have been arrested in early morning raids across east London in an international human trafficking investigation.
Officers went to 16 addresses after working with Romanian police, who simultaneously raided four addresses in Romania and arrested one man.
In London, police took 29 potential victims – women aged between 20 and 40 – to a “place of safety”.
The suspects – 14 men and three women – remain in custody in central London.
The 17 arrested people, who are aged between 17 and 50, are being held on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, Class A drug offences and firearm offences.
‘One fell swoop’
Det Ch Insp Richard McDonagh, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “The Met recognises the seriousness of modern slavery and the devastation it brings to people’s lives.
“Today’s synchronised operational activity [had] the aim of, in one fell swoop, dismantling an organised crime network and providing support to the victims.”
The London raids were carried out in Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Brentwood and Tower Hamlets.
A spokesman for Romanian police in the UK said: “Romanian police officers working shoulder to shoulder with our British partners is a great achievement, a proof of our mutual permanent support and a great professional reward.
“The Romanian police is committed to continue its efforts in combating all forms of criminality together with the Metropolitan Police.”
Several people were injured when parts of a ceiling collapsed during a Piccadilly Theatre show in London’s West End.
The venue in Denman Street was packed on Wednesday for a performance of the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman, starring US actor Wendell Pierce.
Audience members “heard dripping sounds indicating water was coming through the ceiling,” according to the theatre production company.
More than 1,000 people were evacuated.
Four people were taken to hospital after three men and two women were treated at the scene by paramedics.
“We are ascertaining the extent of the situation, and will be providing an update on future performances as soon as possible,” the Ambassador Theatre Group said.
The group said Thursday’s showing would be cancelled.
Wendell Pierce, who plays Willy Loman in the show which opened on Monday, apologised for having to stop the performance and evacuate the theatre.
A video shared on social media shows the US actor outside the venue asking the crowd to come back and see the play another time.
“We’re so honoured that you came tonight. We are so sorry that this happened,” he said.
BBC journalist Iain Haddow, who was in the audience, said the collapse happened about 20 minutes into the show.
He said that before the ceiling caved in there had been a steady drop of water “which turned progressively into a stream” – although it was not raining at the time – and said there was some panic when the ceiling fell in.
He said that outside the theatre there was scaffolding and building work going on.
In December 2013, 76 people were injured, seven seriously, when part of a ceiling at London’s Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show, while 1,200 people had to leave the Queen’s Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, following a small fire during a matinee performance of Les Miserables.