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Trump to address supporters in Phoenix

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:26

President Trump will be speaking to a rally of supporters in Phoenix, Arizona tonight, and protesters are heading there too, with police on high alert.


Categories: Media

Pensions Regulator to prosecute former BHS owner

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:23

The former British Home Stores owner, Dominic Chappell, is to be prosecuted by the Pensions Regulator accused of failing to comply with the investigation into the firm’s sale. Mr Chappell is accused of failing to hand over information without a reasonable excuse. BHS plunged into administration last year, throwing thousands of jobs into the balance and leaving a pension black hole of more than £570 million.

Categories: Media

Peter Kosminsky: ‘We didn’t seek to glamorise a people who joined a brutal and disgusting death cult’

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:23

What on earth could drive young Britons to go to Syria and join the militant Islamic State group? That’s the question at the heart of the powerful Channel 4 drama, The State. It follows four people who leave behind their lives in Britain and travel to the heart of IS-controlled territory in Syria. Its award-winning director, Peter Kosminsky, says we must understand the mindset of those who join and carry out horrific attacks both in the Middle East and in Europe.

Categories: Media

Should Nelson’s Column be torn down? Afua Hirsch and Laura Perrins debate

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:21

Confederate statues are coming down, being vandalised or covered over across the United States, with the debate over whether they are part of history or a symbol of oppression dividing the country. Here too, there have been calls to tear down monuments which celebrate Britain’s colonialist past – and the latest on that list, Nelson’s Column.

Categories: Media

The battle for affordable housing in Britain

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:19

It’s been two months since the Grenfell Tower fire, yet many survivors are still waiting for new homes. This week Kensington and Chelsea Council will discuss urgent measures to spend tens of millions of pounds on properties nearby. Yet the council still has a lengthy waiting list, and even though hundreds of new homes are being built, one site has got planning permission to include no affordable housing at all.  How is this allowed to happen?

Categories: Media

US says Korea war games must go on

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:19

North Korea has vowed “merciless retaliation”, but senior US commanders are pressing ahead with their joint military exercises with South Korea, saying it’s vital to maintain readiness in the face of Pyongyang’s aggression. At a time when hostility between the two countries has risen to worrying levels, there have been calls to postpone or modify the drills. But US military chiefs say the war games must go on until they “have reason not to”.

Categories: Media

Two dead and 2,000 homeless after Italy earthquake

Tue, 2017-08-22 20:06

First they pulled a seven-month-old baby alive from the rubble. Then firefighters found his two older brothers, working through the night to rescue the children after an earthquake damaged homes and buildings on the Italian island of Ischia. At least two people were killed in the quake, which struck yesterday evening on the popular holiday resort, leaving more than 2,000 people homeless.

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Sir Simon Mayall: Trump’s Afghanistan pledge ‘very sensible’

Tue, 2017-08-22 19:40

General Sir Simon Mayall, a former deputy chief of the defence staff,  who was responsible for operational policy in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012, responds to President Trump’s announcement that more troops will be sent there.


Categories: Media

Trump: US troops to stay in Afghanistan

Tue, 2017-08-22 19:39

The top US commander for the Middle East says the first new US forces will arrive in Afghanistan within days or weeks. This after an abrupt volte face from President Trump, who reversed his previous calls to pull American troops out.  Instead Mr Trump declared “we will fight to win”.  It’s what his national security advisers wanted, but after 16 long years of conflict, will his strategy be any more effective?

Categories: Media

Four alleged Barcelona terror gang members in court

Tue, 2017-08-22 19:38

The men accused of plotting the Barcelona terror attacks have told a court that a much bigger attack was being planned, striking at the city’s major monuments, according to Spanish reports. And they’ve reportedly claimed that an imam, who died when the gang’s alleged bomb factory blew up, was the ringleader.

Categories: Media

Channel 4 News headlines, Tues 22 Aug

Tue, 2017-08-22 19:38

As the four men suspected of carrying out the terrorist attacks in Barcelona appear in court, one claims: “We were planning a much bigger atrocity.”

Categories: Media

Harry Athwal: ‘Ten minutes of my life that will stay with me to my dying day’

Tue, 2017-08-22 19:37

Harry Athwal, a British man caught up in the Barcelona attack, risked his own safety to cradle a child who was killed.

Categories: Media

My friend Liz MacKean: a forensic journalist who had time for people who others ignored

Tue, 2017-08-22 18:04

Newsrooms are not always known for their caring sharing environment and the arrival of a new reporter is a bit like a stray animal pitching up into the middle of a pack – everyone staring suspiciously at the new arrival, looking them up and down and wondering just how much of a threat this person is going to be.

So in comes Liz, so striking, beautiful, absolutely oozing confidence. She had a real stride about her – it would have been easy to be unnerved by her, put off straight away. But there was something very unusual about her. There are plenty of people in news whose confidence is a weapon to overwhelm and undermine their colleagues but Liz just wanted to do a brilliant job and wanted you to be as good as you could be too. So you could envy Liz her talent but you couldn’t begrudge her it.

I’d watch her pieces and just have to concede, every time, she was so bloody good. There was an hilarious inevitability about going home after a night when we’d both had pieces on and as I walked in the door, my husband would say, “Blimey, Liz’s piece was excellent…”

The thing was, from the very first moment you met Liz, you felt an absolute palpable warmth about her. She loved people, and that is absolutely central to why she was so good at her job. She had a combination of skills that is much rarer in journalism than it should be. Not just a forensic, brilliant mind – plenty of journalists have that – but it was coupled with a genuine interest in hearing people’s stories, and most often people who were considered unimportant, not used to getting their stories heard. Her openness and warmth meant people, so used to being dismissed or ignored by authorities, trusted Liz and felt able to talk to her. It’s why the whole Savile debacle was so wounding for her.

Liz and producer, Meirion Jones, had begun investigating allegations in 2011 that the late Jimmy Savile had sexually abused young girls at a school. They’d spoken to scores of women and convinced by them, in turn, the pair managed to convince several of them to speak on camera. But their investigation was shelved by the BBC, prompting a huge crisis for the corporation and the beginning of a truly crushing period for Liz. The story was eventually broadcast by ITV.

Liz knew it was a brilliant scoop of course, but she also knew those women had trusted her, believed that she wouldn’t let them down. Liz, in all aspects of her life, was loyal and I think because of that, she found the lack of loyalty from the BBC to her over Savile, particularly devastating. She loved Newsnight, she loved the BBC with a passion and yet during that time she genuinely felt they were out to destroy her.

I’m now constantly – and painfully – reminded of speaking to her back then and how it was the first time I’d ever heard any sort of anxiety, or sadness in her voice. She knew she was right – she knew that absolutely – but she said she felt the full weight of the corporation working against her and it was clear how difficult it was. I hate hearing that voice in my head now – it was so unlike Liz, always upbeat, strong, positive.

I absolutely love though, the photo of her coming out through the revolving doors of the BBC with her beloved colleague and friend, Meiron , behind her, after the Pollard report had been published. She looked relieved, vindicated, justified.

I think it was always an enormous sadness to her to have to leave the BBC but she said despite being vindicated she felt frozen out. She was certain things would never be the same again and so – with her customary toughness – she walked away.

She went on to do fantastic work outside the BBC. But I often think – long before Savile – the BBC missed a trick with Liz. She had a fantastic career but when we were at Newsnight , it was a time when the BBC’s main flagship Ten O’Clock news was often chock full of male reporters – it wasn’t uncommon to watch for fifteen minutes before, as Liz and I used to say “a bird turns up” in front of the big news board in the studio for a quick minute. She could and should have been one of their big hitters, she could have stood her ground with the “big beasts” at the top of the Ten running order with ease.

But in the end, it wasn’t what really mattered to Liz. She absolutely loved life – every aspect of it and she wouldn’t let work get in the way of the important stuff.

She was a terrible – but glorious – gossip. Every time I had a day off I’d get an urgent breathless answer phone message from Liz which always started with “Jacks, it’s Elizabeth Mary MacKean here. I have some really important news for you. You MUST ring me back as soon as you can.”

In the beginning I’d ring , panicking that some massive story had broken , but I soon learnt that she’d just want to talk about some absolute nonsense in the office, some ridiculous thing one of the bosses had asked her to do, or some speculation about who might be going out with whom. She always said it was “strictly entre nous” but an hour later I’d have one of her other friends telling me the story, insisting I didn’t pass it on because Liz had told them it was “strictly entre nous.”

She adored her partner Donna and her two children, Alex and Will, and talked about them constantly. Their wedding was a perfect illustration of Liz’s character. As we all sat waiting, Liz and Donna walked down the aisle looking stunning to some rather unexpectedly traditional wedding music. Thirty seconds in, it turned into some mad hip hop and they danced the rest of the way down, both women laughing and looking delighted with it all.

At a party just before I left the BBC, we were all, I won’t lie, absolutely hammered. She never stopped laughing as she danced round the room, smiling and hugging everyone. She span past me and shouted “I adore you Jackie Long and I’ll miss you.” And now all I can think is we adored you, Elizabeth Mary MacKean, and we’ll miss you too.

Categories: Media

US sailors missing after warship collision

Mon, 2017-08-21 20:31

The US navy is ordering a “wide investigation” of its Pacific fleet after the second collision in as many months. In the latest, a search is still under way for 10 US navy sailors missing after their destroyer crashed into an oil tanker near Singapore. The USS John McCain was on its way for a routine port visit when it collided with the tanker, ripping a large hole in its hull.

Categories: Media

Solar eclipse update

Mon, 2017-08-21 20:23

Tom Clarke is in South Carolina for the totality of the solar eclipse.

Categories: Media

Colson Whitehead: author’s slavery novel speaks to contemporary America

Mon, 2017-08-21 20:23

It was a network of safe houses that helped slaves in America escape the brutality of the south, but in the author Colson Whitehead’s latest novel, the underground railroad takes on physical form: a steam train delivering runaways through secret tunnels to the safety of the north. His magical realist take on one girl’s struggle for freedom has won him a plethora of awards and accolades, not least from Barack Obama.

Categories: Media

Missing journalist killed in Danish submarine accident

Mon, 2017-08-21 20:12

The owner of a home-made submarine has told Danish police that a missing journalist died in an accident on board, then he buried her at sea. Thirty-year-old reporter Kim Wall disappeared more than a week ago after going on board the vessel on an assignment. The owner, Peter Madsen, was arrested hours after his submarine sank off Denmark’s eastern coast. He originally claimed he’d dropped Ms Wall off in Copenhagen harbour.

Categories: Media

Paul Scharre: ‘Terminator scenario is far-fetched’

Mon, 2017-08-21 20:08

Mary Wareham, one of the founders of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, and Paul Scharre, from the Centre for a New American Security, discuss calls for the UN to ban lethal autonomous weapons.

Categories: Media

Big Ben rings for last time in four years

Mon, 2017-08-21 19:59

Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It’s not tolling again for four years. Big Ben fell silent today at noon so workers can carry out vital maintenance work, to the huge chagrin of a group of traditionalist MPs who called it a “desperately sad” moment. It’s almost as if the chimes had become a symbol of Britain’s place in the world, now facing an uncertain post-Brexit future.

Categories: Media

US and South Korea carry out war game exercises

Mon, 2017-08-21 19:50

US and South Korean troops have begun their annual war game exercises at a time of rising tension with Pyongyang. The mostly computer-simulated drills are held every summer, but North Korea has called them a “reckless” move, warning they could trigger “the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war”.

Categories: Media