TODDLER ACID ATTACK: Worcester 3-year-old deliberately assaulted with chemical

Worcester – VIJAY SHAH via HARLEY TAMPLIN and Metro

A three-year-old child was the deliberately-targeted victim of a shocking acid attack in the English town of Worcester, leaving the boy with severe injuries, according to local police in a report published by online paper Metro today.

West Mercia police, say that the child was attacked intentionally, but as this was a breaking news story, there have so far been no details published as to the motive or circumstances of the attack. The horrific incident took place yesterday late afternoon while the child was with guardians at a Home Bargains store at the Shrub Hill Retail Park in Tallow Hill, a district of the normally peaceful town. The child was ferried to a local hospital with serious burns to his arms and face.

 

Police sources have released CCTV camera footage of three men in casual summer clothing they urgently need to speak to. The images can be found on the Metro article linked below this one.

Officers have arrested one suspect, a 39-year-old man from Wolverhampton on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and is now in police custody.

Chief Superintendent Mark Travis said: “At this time we are treating this as a deliberate attack on a three-year-old boy.”

‘The incident will rightly shock the local community and I would like to reassure local people that we are carrying out a thorough investigation to identify those responsible. ‘At this time, the motive for the attack is unclear.

‘Officers are working hard to establish exactly what happened and what the substance involved was.

‘The three men in the photo may have information vital to our investigation. I am sure someone will recognise them and I would urge anyone with information to contact us as a matter of urgency.”

SOURCES:

HEM Newsbreakers, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-newsbreakers

Metro, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/MetroUK

“Boy, 3, left with serious injuries after ‘deliberate’ acid attack” – Harley Tamplin, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (22 July 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/22/boy-3-seriously-injured-deliberate-acid-attack-7745481/?ito=twitter

IMAGE CREDIT:

“SO8555 : Shrub Hill Retail Park, Worcester” – Jaggery, geograph (29 July 2017) http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5491172 © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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DAGENHAM FILICIDE CASE: Man charged for murdering infant daughter

London – VIJAY SHAH via Sky News

 

A father from Dagenham, Essex has been charged at court for the crime of killing his two-year-old daughter, according to a report published yesterday by Sky News.

Rejwanul Islam, aged 25, is accused of causing his daughter, Mariyah Islam, serious head injuries in March 2016. She passed away at an undisclosed location in Euston, central London, and a post-mortem at St. Thomas’ Hospital in south London revealed the child has suffered a ‘traumatic head injury’.

After police investigations, the father was formally charged with Mariyah’s murder at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in London yesterday. Court proceedings will continue at a later date.

SOURCES:

Shere Singh/Facebook.

“Man charged with murder of two-year-old daughter” – Sky News/Sky UK (15 July 2018) https://news.sky.com/story/man-charged-with-murder-of-two-year-old-daughter-11436496

IMAGE CREDIT:

” “Crime Scene Do Not Cross” tape” – Tex Texin, Flickr (9 June 2009) https://www.flickr.com/photos/textexin/3612094774

 

NEWHAM PUBS: Over half of borough’s watering holes have closed

London – VIJAY SHAH via ELLENA CRUSE and Newham Recorder

In a trend replicated across much of the United Kingdom, large numbers of public houses, licenced establishments selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. have closed down in the east London borough of Newham, according to figures published in an article from local newspaper, the Newham Recorder. Figures made available by the Inter-Departmental Business Register, a central government database of businesses, state that between the years 2001 to 2017, fifty-two per cent of the borough’s pubs have closed down, leading to a decline in community activities and the appearance of homogenised high streets.

 

Seventeen years ago, Newham had 105 pubs operating within its territory. As of last year, this number has shrunk down to only fifty, the second highest decline in London, and a development which has troubled the London mayor, Sadiq Khan. Mayor Khan urged central and local governments, including borough councils, and the pub industry to get together to stop the ongoing decline in pubs, many of which have been forced out of business by rising rents and business taxes, alongside a change in consumer drinking habits and the increasing cost of drinking and eating out at pubs. A nationwide smoking ban introduced in 2007 has also been blamed by many in the industry

The Mayor told the Recorder: “The traditional London pub has been at the heart of London’s communities for hundreds of years, but sadly they continue to face a long-term decline in numbers,’

‘As mayor, I have made safeguarding and growing London’s night-time economy a priority and am doing all I can to protect the capital’s iconic pubs.’

‘By creating the most pro-pub planning strategy the capital has ever seen I’ve shown what can be done, and I want to see the government and local authorities match my ambition and help protect these key community hubs for generations to come.”

Many closed-down public houses are converted to other business uses, or increasingly thanks to the city’s housing crisis and rising land prices, demolished to make way for flats or office complexes.

Geoff Strawbridge, the Greater London regional director for the drinking association the Campaign for Real Ale, added: “Camra branches would like to see all London boroughs adopting robust pub protection policies in their strategic plans and enforcing them in their planning decisions.

‘The mayor’s draft London Plan highlights the importance of London’s pubs as part of our heritage and culture and we commend the efforts of his team in reinforcing his message.”

Across all of London during the year 2017, pub numbers declined by around 2.4 per cent, according to the data sets published by the Inter-Departmental Business Register.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Half of pubs in Newham have closed down” – Ellena Cruse, Newham Recorder/Archant Community Media Ltd (13 July 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/half-of-pubs-in-newham-have-closed-down-1-5606766

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Doolin-Gus-OConnors-Pub-2012.JPG” – Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Wikimedia Commons (28 March 2012) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Doolin-Gus-OConnors-Pub-2012.JPG

THE CRIMEWAVE CONTINUES: London man shot in face, other person stabbed

London – VIJAY SHAH via GEORGIA DIEBELIUS and Metro

The crimewave of stabbings and shootings which has dominated headlines in the London area and across the United Kingdom’s media in recent months shows no sign of abating as two men were attacked in the city only last evening, the newspaper Metro reported.

In Peckham, south-east London, police and an air ambulance were called to a man who was reportedly shot in the face. Witnesses at the crime scene told Metro that a blue Ford vehicle had been cordoned off by police as part of their searches. The driver-side window was said to be shattered. Accounts of the shooting and its aftermath were shared on social media network Twitter. One commenter tweeted: “Shooting in Peckham. Apparently someone got shot in the face with a shotgun”. Another observer added: “Apparently someone has been shot in the face. I feel ill. The road is locked.”. Locals gathered around to try and help the stricken victim, who has not yet been identified.

 

Just an hour earlier in nearby Greenwich, a man was stabbed by assailants unknown. Police also attended this incident. As with the Peckham shooting, no details of the victim have yet been furnished publicly. A Metropolitan Police Service spokesperson told Metro “Police in Southwark were called to Wodehouse Avenue, SE5 at 7.56pm on Saturday, 2 June following reports of a shooting.

‘Armed police attended and found a man suffering from gun shot injuries. ‘He has been taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service. We await an update on his condition.

‘A second man was also found with injuries at the scene and has been taken to hospital for assessment. His condition is believed to be stable. ‘No arrests have been made. A crime scene remains in place. Enquiries continue.”

SOURCES:

Metro, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

“Man ‘shot in face’ and another ‘stabbed’ in latest attacks in London” – Georgia Diebelius, Metro/Associated Newspapers Limited (2 June 2018) https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/02/man-shot-face-another-stabbed-latest-attacks-london-7600536/

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Jerusalem Stabbing Attack at November 23 2015.jpg” – Israel Police and Doodoo Bo, Wikimedia Commons (23 November 2015) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jerusalem_Stabbing_Attack_at_November_23_2015.jpg

DARKSOULES: New book club launched for fantasy fans

London – VIJAY SHAH

Fans of indie author fantasy books are in for a treat as a new book club dedicated to the works of small-time author Leslie D. Soule has been launched online.

The book group, named DarkSoules, has been unveiled on the social media network Facebook, and aims to bring together fans and new authors of fantasy literature, as well as being a forum for discussing the books of Soule, who has written fiction stories such as the Fallen Wood series, Hybrid Space, Birds of a Feather, and The Feast of Rule.

 

Soule, who lives in Sacramento, California, United States, has had a long love affair with the English language, having studied the subject as a postgraduate student at the National University.  She likes to experiment with different genres and has also a varied career in her young life, working as an artist and citizen journalist. She has been an established writer for a decade, and her collections of novels and short stories have been published in both e-book and print format.

DarkSoules will enable fans of Soule’s work to interact with her, receive the latest news exclusively about her new projects, chat with her directly and take a peek at her art works too. The group on Facebook is being promoted in the UK by fellow author and book promoter The Sassy Brit.

Interested fantasy fans keen to know more about Leslie Soule and her new online book group can find all the links below the article.

SOURCES:

HEM Bloggers List, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-bloggers-list

@Sassy_Brit 🇬🇧 Publicist & PA/VA #AltRead, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/sassy_brit

“About this group” – DarkSoules, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/541471792896263/about/

“Leslie D. Soule” – Melange Books/Melange Books, LLC http://www.melange-books.com/authors/lesliedsoule/index.html

Leslie Soule, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Falcondraco

“About Me” – Leslie Soule, LESLIE D. SOULE (16 February 2012) http://authors.coffeetimeromance.com/lesliesoule/about-me/

 

POST-BREXIT UBS: Banking giant to move London jobs to Europe amidst uncertainty

London – VIJAY SHAH via KALYEENA MAKORTOFF and Independent

The uncertainty about the political and economic ramifications of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union next year have set European businesses with operations in the UK on edge in the past year. Now Swiss banking giant UBS is the latest bank to doubt its ongoing presence in Britain after the withdrawal, with UK newspaper The Independent reporting recently that the bank is planning to move jobs from London to Germany.

As talks between Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and the European Commission see trade deals and negotiations complicated and rejected left and right, UBS has said it expects to merge its British arm with its Germany-based European facility before the Brexit deadline of 29th March, 2019.

 

Many of the senior staff in London will be transferred to positions in Europe, mainly in Frankfurt, with the ‘lack of a Brexit transition deal’ being the main reason, causing considerable headache for UBS senior executives worried about possible fallout to the UK’s finance industry, of which UBS is a major player.

The move will mostly affect staff who serve Europe-based clients as well as those working in the bank’s central risk management and support services, which will be centralised in Frankfurt.

​UBS said its plans would be put in motion “in the absence of adequate transition relief being agreed and passed into law by the United Kingdom and the European Union”.

“The nature of the UK’s future relationship with the EU remains unclear,” UBS said.

“Any future limitations on providing financial services into the EU from our UK operations could require us to make potentially significant changes to our operations in the UK and the EU, and to our legal structure.”

It added: “We further anticipate that some staff would be relocated as a result.”

Many in the UK financial industry had been hoping for the maintenance of ‘passporting rights’ which allow UK and mainland European institutions to operate seamlessly in each other’s territory with few restrictions, but the dithering in the Brexit negotiations casts doubts in any future interconnectivity between the two.

UBS had not formally stated how many jobs will move from Britain, but the Independent has stated that the number will be in the region of 200. The bank does plan to keep its UK wealth management, asset management and non-EEA investment bank business in the country, where it employs around 5,000 people, mainly in London.

“The timing and extent of the actions we take may vary considerably depending on regulatory requirements and the nature of any transition or successor agreements with the EU,” UBS said.

UBS follows in the wake of several other international finance leaders who are re-orienting themselves towards the Continent in the aftermath of Brexit. German firm Deutsche Bank plans to also move staff, possibly in the hundreds, out of London, while HSBC will relocate 1,000 jobs to France. Another thousand jobs will go with JP Morgan, which plans to beef up its European operations, while American heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may also move staff across various EU locations, according to the newspaper.

SOURCES:

Sonel BC.

BritCits, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/britcits1/

“Brexit: UBS to move London jobs to Europe as lack of transition deal forces ‘significant changes’ ” – Kalyeena Makortoff, Independent (10 March 2018) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-ubs-london-staff-move-europe-transition-deal-investment-bank-a8247516.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“London’s financial district” – Michael Duxbury, Flickr (18 September 2011) https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelduxbury/6159853445

NEW STRATFORD HOUSING PROJECT: Not so much in the way of ‘affordable’

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder

As the city of London struggles to house its growing population amidst a housing crisis and soaring rents and house prices, a new housing project underway in the district of Stratford has come in for criticism after it was revealed that only twenty-five per cent of the available stock will be marketed as affordable, the local community newspaper Newham Recorder reported.

The Legacy Wharf complex, being designed by Bellway Homes, is being promoted as an ideal site for first-time buyers to move into an up-and-coming part of east London, only a few minutes from the centre of the city. But only around 50 of the 196 flats (apartments) planned for the site will be classed as affordable, meaning that people on average city wages (around GBP £28,000/USD $38,788) will be able to successfully purchase them.

 

Legacy Wharf, which is expected to be ready this spring, claims to offer a variety of apartments for different budgets, especially for first-time buyers, young professionals and families. The development, located in Stratford’s Cooks Road will also have an on-site gym, children’s play facilities and even a concierge service, but the starting price for a one-bedroom flat there will start at GBP £365,000 (USD $505,631). The Bellway development will consist of a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom living units, with some properties being available to buy via the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme, which aims to help first-time homeowners get their foot on the housing ladder.

Bellway did not comment on the limited amount of affordable housing offered at Legacy Wharf, which is being built in one of the poorest areas of London, where rapid gentrification have caused even low-grade ex-local housing authority homes to cost several hundred thousand of pounds. However Emma Denton, the firm’s sales director designate told the Newham Recorder “Homebuyers will have a great opportunity to invest in this revamped area of Stratford at Legacy Wharf,”

Many parts of east London have changed rapidly in recent years as new apartment blocks and villages have sprung up catering to young professionals and working families with jobs in central London, alongside foreign investors looking for the next property portfolio golden egg, but developers in the city have been criticised for not providing enough flats affordable to the vast majority of Londoners, particularly those on benefits or average incomes.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Quarter of flats in Stratford development ‘affordable’” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (8 March 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/quarter-of-flats-in-stratford-development-affordable-1-5426504

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Granville New Homes, London.jpg” – Tim Crocker and Levitt Bernstein Archive, Wikimedia Commons (19 August 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Granville_New_Homes,_London.jpg

VOTES FOR WOMEN WEEKEND: London museum marks key democratic milestone

London – VIJAY SHAH via sources

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of British women winning the right to vote in elections, the Museum of London is hosting the Votes for Women Weekend from today in honour of women’s suffrage, featuring various participatory activities for people of all ages, the magazine Skint London writes.

The event, which is being held over two days from 3-4 February, 2018 and is free entry, promises to be an immersive and fun experience celebrating this key milestone in universal suffrage, when women over the age of thirty finally won the right to help choose who governs us, after a long struggle.

 

Votes for Women Weekend will feature lots of performances, photography, workshops, poetry and other things to do. Visitors can take part in a re-enactment of a suffragette rally, which also has a trip through history to the present day, and a two-hour long ‘banner-thon’ where they can create their own digital banners in collaboration with the charity Digital Drama’s 100 Banners projects. The banners will be taken on a march to the UK parliament.

Herstory fans can also learn about how the early 20th-century police used photography to capture suffragette activities undercover, and even play suffragette-inspired games in an Edwardian living room, including one called ‘Pank-a-squith’, a board game said to be have conceived by the Suffragettes themselves.

There will also be a spoken poetry jam and a chance to discover stories about inspirational women and girls, as well as learning about significant participants in the struggle to gain women the vote, such as Millicent Fawcett and Sophia Duleep Singh.

British women received the right to vote on the 6th of February, 1918, after a long struggle by early women’s activists, known as the Suffragettes, who first planned their protests in the drawing rooms of Victorian Britain, before eventually taking to rallies, civil disobedience protests, and in some cases, even getting into trouble with the law.

SOURCES:

Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984

Super London, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SuperLNDN

Skint London Mag, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/SkintLondon

“Top Skint picks for the Weekend!” – Skint London (2 February 2018) http://www.skintlondon.com/top-skint-picks-for-the-weekend-30/

“Votes for Women weekend” – Museum of London https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/votes-women-weekend?id=154608

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Suffragettes, England, 1908.JPG” – The New York Times photo archive via Mr. Gustafson, Wikimedia Commons (21 October 2007) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Suffragettes,_England,_1908.JPG

NORTHERN IRELAND AFTER BREXIT: Residents to be able to keep EU membership

Belfast – VIJAY SHAH via JON STONE and Independent

As both the Brexit talks in Brussels and the situation over the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic dominates political news in the U.K., the negotiation teams of the two sides have made a concession for residents of Northern Ireland, whereby they can still be EU citizens after Brexit is finalised in two years’ time, the Independent reported recently.

 

UK citizens born in the province will be able to continue their EU membership thanks to a deal struck by British prime minister Theresa May on Friday morning. The deal is a further continuation of an older agreement between the UK and EU whereby Northern Irish residents can apply for a Irish Republic passport. Even after the UK’s withdrawal, this agreement will be allowed to continue, meaning a Northern Ireland-born person can adopt Irish citizenship and therefore take advantage of border-free travel with the EU, as the southern part of Ireland is remaining within the union.

“Both Parties acknowledge that the 1998 Agreement recognises the birth right of all the people of Northern Ireland to choose to be Irish or British or both and be accepted as such,” the joint text agreed by the two sides stated in quotes published by the Independent.

“The people of Northern Ireland who are Irish citizens will continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens, including where they reside in Northern Ireland.”

The EU Commission have also suggested that Irish citizens from both sides of the border resident in the province should also be able to continue enjoying their rights as EU citizens post-Brexit. The deal is part of a breakthrough in recent talks, which hit a stumbling block over the question of the Irish border. The UK and EU will now move on to discussing future trade agreements.

SOURCES:

Cindy Chak.

I LOVE MY ‘FOREIGN’ SPOUSE: defend the rights of cross-border couples., Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/groups/139807999382936/

“Brexit: Northern Irish will be able to remain EU citizens under deal” – Jon Stone, Independent (8 December 2017) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-northern-ireland-keep-eu-citizenship-irish-border-a8099176.html

IMAGE CREDIT:

“Tuesday: my Irish passport arrived” – Sarah-Rose, Flickr (20 March 2012) https://www.flickr.com/photos/oh_darling/6999195061

CHEMICAL ‘COWARDS’ – Pair of robbers who attacked women with ammonia jailed

London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder

Two vicious criminals who laughed as they launched attacks on people have been sentenced by a judge who described their attacks as ‘horrifying, cruel and barbaric’ have been sentenced, the Newham Recorder reports.

Joshua Jordan and Sadik Kamara launched attacks on women using ammonia liquid, which thy sprayed on their victims in order to rob them. After spraying the ‘high strength corrosive liquid’ in the violent robberies on two victims, they were reported as leaving the scenes laughing by witnesses. Kamara, aged 24, of Booth Road, Silvertown, and his accomplice Jordan, 20 years and living in Ruscoe Road, Canning Town, both in south Newham, were jailed for 14 years each by a judge at the Old Bailey court in London.

 

The trial, the culmination of proceedings that took place in early October, was presided over by Judge Dodd QC, who described the men’s attacks as “horrifying, cruel and barbaric” and said that the duo posed a significant risk to the public of further harm. It took the jury less than an hour to convict Jordan and Kamara.

The robbers would travel from their homes in Newham to the neighbouring borough of Hackney, where they were casing a convenience store in Mare Street, Central Hackney. Then on March 10, they launched their attack, targeting the 50-year-old storekeeper, who was working the tills alone at the time. Four men, believed to include Jordan and Kamara, entered the store. Without warning, the masked intruders walked straight to the storekeeper, with Kamara squirted the ammonia directly into her face. He did not make any demands for cash or even give the victim any warning.

Despite being sprayed from close range, CCTV footage from inside the store showed the storekeeper gallantly trying to fight off and kick out the gang, who are seen milling around the front of the shop. The scuffle sends store displays crashing to the floor as the woman tries to protect the shop from being plundered.

After fleeing the supermarket in a getaway car, the gang chanced upon their next victim, also a woman in her fifties, in Hackney’s Hassett Road. Two robbers got out of the car and bundled the woman to the ground, where they repeatedly sprayed the liquid into her face and stole her handbag. Police found discarded bottles of the substance at both crime scenes, the labels clearly stating that the ammonia could cause severe skin burns and blindness.

Both the shopkeeper and pedestrian who were assaulted were rushed to hospital with burns, one of which sustained chemical burns to her mouth also. While neither suffered permanent harm, the storekeeper was traumatised to the point she has now given up working at the shop.

CCTV cameras caught the gang, including Kamara and Jordan, who were subsequently arrested at their homes after police raids in May this year. Medical paperwork was found in Kamara’s home suggesting he had sought treatment, possibly for chemical burns, a day after the robberies. At the hospital, Kamara lied to doctors, claiming he had squirted ammonia in his eye while cleaning. He had since recovered from the burns.

The two robbers, who were described by investigators as little more than ‘cowards’, were convicted of two counts of applying a corrosive fluid with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable or to do some grievous bodily harm; one count of robbery; and one count of attempted robbery. Kamara was also told to make restitution of £2,000 (USD $2,678) to the victims.

Investigation lead Det Con Ben Kahane called the pair’s actions “cowardly in the extreme”.

“Five physically strong males preying on lone slightly built women to attack and rob,” he said, adding: “I hope they use the 14 years’ imprisonment that they have received to reflect on this.”

The report does not mention the fate of the other members of Kamara’s and Jordan’s gang. Acid attacks and assaults with corrosive chemicals such as ammonia and bleach are the rise in London, with many such attacks carried out for the purposes of robbing the victim.

SOURCES:

Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/

“Jailed: “Cowardly” Newham robbers who burnt women’s faces with ammonia” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (8 December 2017) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/jailed-cowardly-newham-robbers-who-burnt-women-s-faces-with-ammonia-1-5314590

IMAGE CREDIT:

“File:Liquid ammonia bottle.jpg” – Nadina Wiórkiewicz, Fotoedukacja/Wikimedia Commons (23 January 2011) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Liquid_ammonia_bottle.jpg