Three accidents on a single stretch of the M4 motorway

Three accidents on a single stretch of the M4 motorway including a jack-knifed lorry crashing through the central reservation cause 15-mile tailbacks and traffic chaos for commuters

  • 3 incidents between junctions 14 for North Wessex Downs and 20 near Bristol
  • Accidents happened on M4 motorway over three-hour period from 6am to 9am
  • First incident saw a lorry jackknife and crash through the central reservation 
  • * Stuck in the M4 chaos? If safe to do so, email: [email protected]

Drivers making their way along the M4 faced traffic chaos today following three separate accidents on the same motorway.

There were three separate incidents between junctions 14 in the North Wessex Downs and 20 near Bristol over a three-hour period from 6am to 9am.

The first incident saw a lorry jackknife and crash through the central reservation, causing 15 mile tailbacks in both directions. 

A lorry jackknifed and crashed through the central reservation on the M4 at 6am today

The crash was between junction 18 for Bath and junction 19 for the M32 to Bristol this morning

Photographs showed the lorry sprawled across both carriageways after it collided with another lorry on the westbound route.

A large shipping container fell off the back – and blocked two lanes of the eastbound route.


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The crash happened between junction 18 for Bath and junction 19 for the M32 to Bristol at about 6am.

Motorists were told to expect a wait of up to one hour and 40 minutes amid reports of two further crashes.

Motorists were told to expect a wait of up to one hour and 40 minutes following the crash

A large shipping container fell off the back – and blocked two lanes of the eastbound route

Two vehicles collided at junction 20 for the Almondsbury Interchange near Bristol one hour later.

And two lanes were closed at junction 15 and 14 between Newbury in Berkshire and Swindon in Wiltshire following another crash just after 9am.

However the problems had cleared up by lunchtime – with traffic moving freely through all three sections of the motorway that had faced earlier issues. 

* Stuck in the M4 chaos? If safe to do so, email: [email protected] *

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Meet the Nepalese bus driver who licks his own forehead

Pulling funny faces? He’s got it licked! Bus driver can touch his forehead with his TONGUE

  • Yagya Bahadur Katuwal, 35, can touch his own forehead with his tongue
  • The school bus driver from Nepal claims he has the longest tongue in the world 
  • He claims his ‘scary’ trick has made children wet their pants and adults faint

A Nepalese school bus driver is hoping to become a Guinness World Record holder thanks to his unusual ability to lick his own forehead. 

Yagya Bahadur Katuwal, 35, from Urlabari, Nepal, claims he has the longest tongue in the world, and can cover his nose with his bottom lip while he licks his eyebrows. 

Mr Katuwal has become something of a local celebrity after a friend posted a video of him licking his forehead on social media.  

Scroll down for video 

Forehead lickin gurn: Yagya Bahadur Katuwal, 35 can but his bottom lip over his nose and lick his own eyebrows

However, he has been warned not to show off his unusual skill at work, as the students get scared.

‘Children never want to get close to me. Some even wet their pants.


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‘Even adults can lose consciousness when they watch me in action.

‘If I got to act in a horror movie, I wouldn’t need makeup like other actors to scare people.’ 

No fear: The school bus driver from Urlabari, Nepal has been banned from showing off his skills at work as it scares the students

Look, no hands! Mr Katuwal is able to perform the rubber face trick thanks to only having one single tooth

Confidence is key: Speaking about how he scares both children and adults with his tricks,. Mr Katuwal says ‘I think I look great like this’

However, Mr Katuwal does not let other people’s opinion faze him, adding ‘I think I look great like this,’ before once again covering his nose with his mouth.

Mr Katuwal now hopes that his unusual party trick will  see him set a Guinness World Record

Puskar Nepal, who filmed Mr Katuwa doing his trick, said: ‘He’s physically and mentally fit – he discovered in the early age that he can lick his own forehead.

‘He has just one tooth and that is what makes him able to do that – his skills are weird, yet amazing.’  

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Filipino ‘Killer’ croc found and will have stomach checked for victim

‘Killer’ croc is captured in Philippines and will have the contents of its stomach checked for remains of fisherman who was eaten

  • Locals in Palawan region, Philippines, trapped the huge beast on Saturday 
  • It was said to have killed a local fisherman and eaten his arm and leg 
  • Specialists will now examine its stomach contents to see what it last ate 

This is the moment a 15ft long crocodile was caught four days after it is believed to have eaten a fisherman.

Locals began hunting the 1,100lb reptile on Tuesday after the mutilated body of Cornelio Bonite, 33, was found on a river bank in the Palawan region, Philippines.

The victim’s right arm and left foot were missing. The beast was trapped on Saturday morning and hauled ashore before being taken into captivity – where vets will begin the grim task of establishing what its last meal was.

The enormous 15ft long beast was discovered by locals in Palawan region, Philippines, four days after it was believed to have killed a fisherman

The croc is now being examined to see what its last meal was after the fisherman lost an arm and a foot

Local trawler-man Vincent Pamplona said: ‘The crocodile was a threat to humans so we were determined to catch it. People were afraid. I am sure the crocodile ate the fisherman.

‘I am relieved that the crocodile has been caught. But there are many, many more crocodiles in the river, so fishing is dangerous.’


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Jovic Fabello, spokesman for the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS), said the saltwater crocodile has been estimated to weigh around 1,100lbs. It was found in an estuarine river after being trapped by experts from the Palawan Wildlife Refuge and Rescue Center (PWRRC).

Jovic said the crocodile will be taken to to Puerto Princesa City today where it will undergo a ‘gastrointestinal decontamination’ procedure to inspect the content of its stomach.


Pictures showed villagers hauling the enormous beast onto a flatbed truck to be taken away for examination

The saltwater crocodile has been estimated to weigh around 1,100lbs according to an environment spokesperson

He said: ‘We have yet to determine its gender. We are still arranging its cage / housing. Once it arrives here on Monday, we will determine that and we will conduct a health check.

‘We will also be able to confirm whether or not it killed the fisherman that was found dead in the area.

‘The crocodile will remain under the custody of authorities there. They cannot transport the crocodile because of the strong current. It needs to be kept away from people. It cannot be exposed to people because they might harm it.’

Ensign Allison Tindog, spokesperson of the Coast Guard District Palawan, said that the crocodile will be transported to Puerto Princesa by the Parola-class patrol vessel BRP Cabra.

He said: ‘The Coast Guard through the leadership of Commodore Allen Toribio will help in transporting this large crocodile to Puerto Princesa on Monday. It will be here in six to eight hours.’

The body of Cornelio Bonite, 33, is recovered with a missing arm and leg after the suspected crocodile attack in Palawan, Philippines

The beast was trapped on Saturday morning and hauled ashore before being taken into captivity

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Sully will accompany George H. W. Bush’s casket to Washington

‘Mission complete’: Sully the service dog will accompany George H.W. Bush one last time when his casket is flown on the presidential plane to Washington

  • The presidential jet will carry 41st president’s body to Washington on Monday
  • His son George and service dog Sully are expected to travel on the plane too
  • Family spokesman Jim McGrath posted a photo of Sully near Bush’s casket
  • ‘Mission Complete,’ he wrote alongside touching snap of the yellow Labrador 

George H.W. Bush’s service dog Sully will accompany his casket aboard the presidential plane to Washington.

The Boeing 747 jet will carry the 41st president of the United States’ body from Texas to Washington, where he will lie in state in the rotunda of the US Capitol.

His son George – the 43rd president of the United States – and other loved ones are expected to travel on the plane as well as his service dog Sully.

Family spokesman Jim McGrath posted a touching photo of the yellow Labrador near Bush’s casket on Sunday with the phrase ‘Mission Complete.’  

Scroll down for video 

George H.W. Bush’s service dog Sully (pictured with his casket on Sunday) will accompany his casket aboard the presidential plane to Washington

Bush received Sully in June from America’s VetDogs non-profit organisation. 

The president had a form of Parkinson’s disease, and Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help. 

Sully will return to America’s VetDogs in New York before joining the Water Reed National Military Medical Centre’s Facility Dog Programme, KTRK-TV in Houston reported. 

Bush died Friday at age 94, at his home in Houston – ‘a very gentle and peaceful passing,’ his lifelong friend and advisor James Baker said Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week.’


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Only the second president to see his son follow him to the Oval Office, he will be honored with four days of services and tributes in Washington and in Texas, where he will be buried on Thursday.

The high point of the commemorations will come Wednesday with a state funeral at Washington National Cathedral – the first presidential funeral since Gerald Ford died in 2006.

Bush (left, with Bill Clinton) received Sully in June from America’s VetDogs non-profit organisation

The president had a form of Parkinson’s disease, and Sully could open doors, pick up items and summon help

America’s farewell to Bush will begin with his remains being flown aboard the presidential Boeing 747 – made available at President Donald Trump’s direction – from Houston to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on Monday.

By tradition, the plane is only known as Air Force One when the sitting president is on board.

McGrath said the flights to carry Bush are being dubbed ‘Special Air Mission 41.’

‘A beautiful day In Texas – ‘ceiling and visibility unlimited,’ Mr. President,’ he wrote – using a phrase that Bush held dear from his time in the Navy, and one used by his family and friends to discreetly spread the news of his death.

After a speech from Vice President Mike Pence, Bush will lie in state in the US Capitol from Monday evening until Wednesday morning, under the watchful gaze of an around-the-clock honor guard.

Thousands are expected to pay their respects.

The casket will then be transported to the cathedral for Wednesday’s funeral service – the fourth held there for a former president.

Jim McGrath said the flights to carry Bush are being dubbed ‘Special Air Mission 41’

A portrait of President George H.W. Bush is draped with black cloth at the White House

Joint service members rehearse the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush to the US Capitol, a day before he will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington

Dozens of foreign leaders and US luminaries are expected.

Trump – who has often clashed with the Bush family – has declared Wednesday a national day of mourning, and said he will attend the funeral.

Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney told Politico he will deliver one of several eulogies, at Bush’s request.

The casket will then be flown back to Houston, where the former head of state will lie in repose at St Martin’s Episcopal Church – where the Bushes worshipped for decades – until Thursday’s funeral service.

The remains will then be transported by train for interment at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

Bush will be buried next to his wife Barbara, who died in April, and their daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age three.

He was a decorated World War II fighter pilot, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, and vice president to Ronald Reagan before winning the White House.

A painted portrait of the late George H.W. Bush – painted by his son George W. Bush – and a memorial wreath grace the atrium area of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas

Baker, who served Bush as secretary of state, joined others in paying warm tribute on Sunday television talk shows.

Baker called him ‘far and away the best one-term president we have ever had,’ alluding to Bush’s single biggest political failure – his loss in the 1992 election to Bill Clinton.

Baker instead emphasized his friend’s foreign policy successes: navigating the end of the Cold War, negotiating two nuclear arms reduction treaties, and summoning a global coalition to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait in the first Gulf War.

Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during that war, said he was confident in Bush’s leadership because ‘he knew what combat was all about. He knew it meant the death of people… He wanted to avoid a war.’

The former president had struggled for years with Parkinson’s disease, which left him wheelchair-bound and often hospitalized – including after Barbara’s death.

Last week, things took a decided turn for the worse, Baker said on ABC.

When an aide told Bush that Baker was visiting Friday, ‘he perked up. He opened his eyes. He looked at me, he says, ‘Hey, Bake. Where we going?”

‘We’re going to heaven,’ Baker said.

Bush replied: ‘Good, that’s where I want to go.’

Baker said Bush’s last words, in a phone conversation with son George, were: ‘I love you, too.’

 

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PM admits her battle for her Brexit is ‘tough’

PM bats off Philip Schofield’s jibes that her Brexit deal will be a ‘DISASTER’ as she faces grilling on This Morning sofa and admits she is finding life ‘tough’ – but vows she will ‘hold her nerve’ and face down critics

  • Theresa May is staring down the barrel of near-certain defeat on her Brexit deal
  • DUP has joined Labour and Tory rebels to demand full legal advice on package
  • The PM or her senior ministers could face charge of contempt of Parliament  
  • Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is due to make a statement to MPs later today 
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Theresa May batted off jibes that her Brexit deal is a ‘disaster’ today as she vowed to face down mutinous MPs.

The Prime Minister admitted she admitted she was having a ‘tough time’ today and the process of getting the package she has thrashed out with Brussels past the Commons was ‘difficult’.

But despite a wall of opposition from Tory rebels, Labour and the DUP, she insisted the government will ‘hold our nerve’ and press on with doing the best thing for the UK. 

In an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Mrs May was asked by presenters Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Humes whether she was ‘knackered’.

‘It”s a tough time. It is a difficult time,’ she said.

But Mrs May added that she was determined to cling on as PM and again appealed to MPs to recognise the benefits she had secured in negotiations.

‘What I’ve got is a deal that delivers,’ she said. 


In an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Theresa May said: ‘What I’ve got is a deal that delivers.’


In at times tetchy exchanges with Mrs May during the interview, Philip Schofield said: ‘It looks like the end is a disaster.’

In at times tetchy exchanges, Philip said: ‘It looks like the end is a disaster.’

But the premier replied: ‘No, the end is a deal – a good deal.’

She said the UK must ‘hold our nerve in getting this over the line so we can deliver on Brexit and people can that better future.’ 

Philip also demanded to know, What have you won that we didn’t have before?’

Mrs May insisted: ‘What I’ve got is…we end free movement – we control who comes in to our country.

‘We end sending vast sums of money to the EU.

‘We will end the jurisdiction of the European Courts – we will make our own laws.’

Later she added: ‘It is an important moment in our history. This is not, “oh well it’s any old vote”. 

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‘This is about delivering what people voted for when they voted to leave the EU and I think that’s important for politicians t remember.’  

Mrs May dodged questions about whether she will resign if she loses the crunch vote on December 11 – saying she was ‘focused’ on winning it.

At one point the frustrated premier urged Philip to let her ‘finish a sentence’ as he harried her for answers.  

Asked how she personally was coping the her relentless workload and pressure, Mrs May said: ‘It is tough, in any job there are times its really tough and you have to work through it. In politics it’s the same.’

She said her husband was a ‘huge support’ and was telling her to keep doing what it ‘right for the country’.

‘Philip is a huge support to me he says I must do what I believe is right,’ she said. 

‘I believe what is right for this country….is let’s get this deal done.’

How does the Commons contempt process work? 

Under Commons rules, the Speaker decides whether to allow a contempt motion to go before the House.

If he does and the vote is carried, it would then be referred to the Committee of Privileges which would rule on whether a contempt of Parliament had taken place.

If it is decided that a contempt had occurred, the committee can recommend a suitable punishment which is then put back to MPs to agree.

In theory, the most severe penalty is expulsion from the House, although the prospects of that happening would appear remote.

There were only three expulsions in the 20th Century, with the last one in 1954. Two of them involved serious criminal convictions, and the third was for lying to a committee and allegedly taking bribes.  

However any finding against the Government would be potentially highly damaging for Mrs May at a time when she is at her most vulnerable politically.  

Mrs May said she hoped MPs would ‘put the national interest first’ and said members of the public were backing her.

‘What people think about this is important. Yesterday in my constituency, in Twyford, I was switching on the Christmas lights,’ she said.

‘A woman said to me “when you say you want to get this done you are speaking for me”.

‘That’s important. For us as MPs it’s not just about what we think, it’s about what you’re doing for people.’ 

The appearance comes as Mrs May faces the threat of being held in contempt of Parliament.

She is resisting huge pressure to disclose the private opinion Attorney General Geoffrey Cox gave on the package she has thrashed out with Brussels.

The eminent QC and strident Brexiteer was a key figure in forcing the deal through the Cabinet – but there are claims his formal written advice was far bleaker and he warned the UK would be stuck ‘indefinitely’ in the Irish border backstop.

Despite a Commons motion being passed demanding the full document, ministers are insisting they will only release a summary as the full material would break convention and undermine the operation of government.

Boris Johnson today joined condemnation of the refusal, saying it was a ‘scandal’ and pointing out that Mrs May previously called for advice on the Iraq War to be released. 

If the government does not cave in by the time Mr Cox makes a statement to the Commons this evening, Speaker John Bercow could launch contempt proceedings – triggering a formal investigation in the PM or her most senior colleagues.

The potential punishments include suspension or expulsion from the House, although they have not been deployed for decades.  




Boris Johnson (right) has joined demands for the full legal advice from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox (left) to be published


The wrangling comes as the bitter row over Mrs May’s Brexit plan reaches the endgame, with just over a week until the crunch Commons vote.

As tensions rise, the DUP has said it ready to sign a joint letter with Labour complaining that ministers are in contempt of parliament – after a Commons motion called for the details to be issued.

The party’s Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said: ‘If the Government attempt to ignore the will of the House of Commons and refuse to publish the full legal advice on the Irish backstop, the DUP will work with colleagues from right across the House to ensure they start to listen.’ 

In his Telegraph column, Mr Johnson also waded into the row, saying: ‘It is a scandal that this is currently being withheld.

‘You will recall that, when she was in opposition, the present Prime Minister wrote to the Labour government and complained of their failure to publish the Attorney General’s advice on the Iraq war. 

‘She was right then – and how much more wrong and absurd is her position now, when you consider that this legal question is more important even than the Iraq war.’  

It represents another massive hurdle for Mrs May to overcome as stares down the barrel of almost certain defeat on December 11.

A heavy loss could bring Mrs May’s time in Downing Street to a chaotic halt – although allies hope going down by a small margin could allow her to try again.

Meanwhile, demands for a second referendum are mounting after the dramatic resignation of universities minister Sam Gyimah over the weekend.

Senior Labour figures including shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and deputy leader Tom Watson are thought to be ramping up pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to back a fresh national ballot. 

Environment Secretary Michael Gove admitted yesterday that a referendum was a potential outcome if Mrs May loses, but said it would ‘rip the social fabric of the country’. He also insisted Leave would win by a bigger margin than in 2016.

MPs across Parliament have angrily accused ministers of ignoring the will of the House after they said only that they would release a ‘full reasoned political statement’ on the legal position.

It follows a binding Commons vote last month requiring the Government to lay before Parliament ‘any legal advice in full’ – including that given by the Attorney General – relating to the Withdrawal Agreement.

Ministers chose not to oppose the motion – tabled by Labour under an arcane procedure known as the humble address – as they feared a damaging Commons defeat. 

Is May’s deal already sunk? 100 Tories have already come out against it meaning she must find almost 100 votes from Brexiteer rebels, DUP and Labour to get it through the Commons

Theresa May has secured her deal in Brussels but her fight to get it actually in place in time for Brexit day is just beginning.

The ‘meaningful vote’ promised to MPs will happen on December 11 and is the single biggest hurdle to the Brexit deal happening – and Mrs May’ fate as PM.

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The number is less than half because the four Speakers, 7 Sinn Fein MPs and four tellers will not take part.

The situation looks grim for Mrs May and her whips: now the deal has been published, 100 of her own MPs and the 10 DUP MPs have publicly stated they will join the Opposition parties in voting No.

This means the PM could have as few as 225 votes in her corner – leaving 410 votes on the other side, a landslide majority 185.

This is how the House of Commons might break down:

Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.


Mrs May needs at least 318 votes in the Commons if all 650 MPs turns up – but can probably only be confident of around 230 votes.

The Government (plus various hangers-on)

Who are they: All members of the Government are the so-called ‘payroll’ vote and are obliged to follow the whips orders or resign. It includes the Cabinet, all junior ministers, the whips and unpaid parliamentary aides.

There are also a dozen Tory party ‘vice-chairs and 17 MPs appointed by the PM to be ‘trade envoys’.

How many of them are there? 178.

What do they want? For the Prime Minister to survive, get her deal and reach exit day with the minimum of fuss.

Many junior ministers want promotion while many of the Cabinet want to be in a position to take the top job when Mrs May goes.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

European Research Group Brexiteers demanding a No Confidence Vote

Who are they: The most hard line of the Brexiteers, they launched a coup against Mrs May after seeing the divorce. Led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker.

How many of them are there: 26

What do they want: The removal of Mrs May and a ‘proper Brexit’. Probably no deal now, with hopes for a Canada-style deal later.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Other Brexiteers in the ERG

Who are they: There is a large block of Brexiteer Tory MPs who hate the deal but have so far stopped short of moving to remove Mrs May – believing that can destroy the deal instead. They include ex Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex minister Owen Paterson.

Ex ministers like Boris Johnson and David Davis are also in this group – they probably want to replace Mrs May but have not publicly moved against her.

How many of them are there? Around 50.

What do they want? The ERG has said Mrs May should abandon her plans for a unique trade deal and instead negotiate a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal.

This is based on a trade deal signed between the EU and Canada in August 2014 that eliminated 98 per cent of tariffs and taxes charged on goods shipped across the Atlantic.

The EU has long said it would be happy to do a deal based on Canada – but warn it would only work for Great Britain and not Northern Ireland.

How will they vote: Against the Prime Minister.

Remain including the People’s Vote supporters

Who are they: Tory MPs who believe the deal is just not good enough for Britain. They include the group of unrepentant Remainers who want a new referendum like Anna Soubry and ex-ministers who quit over the deal including Jo Johnson and Phillip Lee.

How many of them are there: Maybe around 10.

What do they want? To stop Brexit. Some want a new referendum, some think Parliament should step up and say no.

A new referendum would take about six months from start to finish and they group wants Remain as an option on the ballot paper, probably with Mrs May’s deal as the alternative.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister.

Moderates in the Brexit Delivery Group (BDG) and other Loyalists

Who are they? A newer group, the BDG counts members from across the Brexit divide inside the Tory Party. It includes former minister Nick Boles and MPs including Remainer Simon Hart and Brexiteer Andrew Percy.

There are also lots of unaligned Tory MPs who are desperate to talk about anything else.

How many of them are there? Based on public declarations, about 48 MPs have either said nothing or backed the deal.

What do they want? The BDG prioritises delivering on Brexit and getting to exit day on March 29, 2019, without destroying the Tory Party or the Government. If the PM gets a deal the group will probably vote for it.

It is less interested in the exact form of the deal but many in it have said Mrs May’s Chequers plan will not work.

Mr Boles has set out a proposal for Britain to stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) until a free trade deal be negotiated – effectively to leave the EU but stay in close orbit as a member of the single market.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

The DUP

Who are they? The Northern Ireland Party signed up to a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with the Conservative Party to prop up the Government.

They are Unionist and say Brexit is good but must not carve Northern Ireland out of the Union.

How many of them are there? 10.

What do they want? A Brexit deal that protects Northern Ireland inside the UK.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister on the grounds they believe the deal breaches the red line of a border in the Irish Sea.

Labour Loyalists

Who are they? Labour MPs who are loyal to Jeremy Corbyn and willing to follow his whipping orders.

How many of them are there? Up to 250 MPs depending on exactly what Mr Corbyn orders them to do.

What do they want? Labour policy is to demand a general election and if the Government refuses, ‘all options are on the table’, including a second referendum.

Labour insists it wants a ‘jobs first Brexit’ that includes a permanent customs union with the EU. It says it is ready to restart negotiations with the EU with a short extension to the Article 50 process.

The party says Mrs May’s deal fails its six tests for being acceptable.

How will they vote? Against the Prime Minister’s current deal.

Labour Rebels

Who are they? A mix of MPs totally opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership, some Labour Leave supporters who want a deal and some MPs who think any deal will do at this point.

How many of them are there? Maybe 10 to 20 MPs but this group is diminishing fast – at least for the first vote on the deal.

What do they want? An orderly Brexit and to spite Mr Corbyn.

How will they vote? With the Prime Minister.

Other Opposition parties

Who are they? The SNP, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, Green Caroline Lucas and assorted independents.

How many of them are there? About 60 MPs.

How will they vote? Mostly against the Prime Minister – though two of the independents are suspended Tories and two are Brexiteer former Labour MPs. 

 

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Heartwarming moment orphaned baby white rhino is taught how to CHARGE

Heartwarming moment an orphaned baby white rhino is taught how to CHARGE

  • The white rhino named Maarifa was filmed learning to charge at staff member
  • She arrived at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya when she was just two
  • During the video the rhino cannot contain her excitement as she chases at staff 

This is the heartwarming moment an orphaned baby white rhino couldn’t contain her delight when she was taught how to charge.

The adorable calf named Maarifa, who is being raised by staff at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya after she was abandoned by her mother, is seen happily chasing after a worker at the wildlife park.

In the extraordinary video, the calf, who arrived at trust when she was just two days old, playfully charges at a member of staff as she tries to get her footing.

This is the moment a baby rhino couldn’t contain her excitement when being taught how to charge by member of staff at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya


The adorable calf named Maarifa is seen happily chasing after a worker at the wildlife park as she tries to get her footing

She arrived at the trust when she was just two days old after being abandoned by her mother and is now being raised by staff

The video was shared by Sheldrick Wildlife on Twitter under the caption: ‘Maarifa, the baby white loves to play – the is definitely her favourite game, though she’s yet to master the skill of braking!’

Maarifa’s touching tale begins when a routine morning security patrol by staff at Meru National Park Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya discovered a mother rhino unable to get hold of her calf who was stuck in a muddy pool.


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After realising the wild female called Makosi would be unable to retrieve her baby staff at the sanctuary decided to intervene.

However following the rescue Maarifa’s mother began walking away from her calf and staff were unable to reunite them.

On Twitter Sheldrick Wildlife on Twitter wrote: ‘Maarifa, the baby white loves to play – the is definitely her favourite game, though she’s yet to master the skill of braking!’

 The rhino was abandoned by her mother Makosi after getting stuck in mud at Meru National Park Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya. She was then brought to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Far from being deterred, staff made continued efforts to reunite mother and calf and even brought in a helicopter to locate the mother but she failed to respond to her baby’s calls or scent. 

Maarifa was then taken to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery, situated within the Nairobi National Park, where she has become quite the star.

Since it was posted on November 29, footage of the headstrong rhino learning to charge has received more than 2,000 views on Twitter.

The heartwarming footage was posted on Twitter on November 29 and has already received more than 2,000 views

One user wrote: ‘Probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time.’

Another commented: ‘So in love with this little girl! I can’t stop smiling so much that my cheeks hurt!’

A day after the original post, the wildlife sanctuary posted another video of the playful Maarifa galloping through the wilderness.

A tweet by staff read: ‘What miniscule Maarifa (currently) lacks in size, she makes up for with her big personality – and boundless energy! 

‘This Foster Friday please consider fostering her as a gift for a loved one – or a gift for yourself – and help support her care.’ 

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Tribunal to decide if veganism is religious belief

Landmark tribunal is to decide if veganism is a RELIGIOUS belief after sacked campaigner claims he was discriminated against because of it

  • Jordi Casamitjana claims he was sacked because of his belief in ethical veganism
  • He is seeking to have it declared a ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act
  • Such a ruling would give British vegans broad protections from discrimination 

A tribunal will decide whether veganism is a ‘philosophical or religious belief’ in a landmark legal action which could give vegans broad protections across employment, education and housing in Britain. 

Jordi Casamitjana, who is bringing the claim, alleges that he was sacked by the UK charity League Against Cruel Sports after raising concerns about its investment in animal testing products.

He said he was unfairly disciplined and claimed the decision to sack him was because of his belief in ethical veganism, an accusation which the League denies.

Mr Casamitjana’s lawyers say ethical veganism – which includes avoiding non-food products made from or tested on animals – amounts to a philosophical or religious belief protected under the Equality Act 2010. 

Jordi Casamitjana, pictured, is bringing a case to have ethical veganism recognised as a protected belief under the Equality Act after saying he was sacked because of his veganism

How could veganism be protected under the Equality Act?  

The Equality Act 2010 spells out nine ‘protected characteristics’ which it is illegal to discriminate against. 

As well as religious belief, they are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex and sexual orientation. 

If a belief meets the criteria it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they hold that belief. 

The law applies to a wide range of fields including employment, education and housing.  

The legislation says that a philosophical belief must be:  

  • Genuinely held 
  • A belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available 
  • A belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour 
  • Attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance
  • Be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others   

For a belief to be protected under the Act, it must meet a series of tests including being worthy of respect in a democratic society, not being incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.   

Mr Casamitjana, who is originally from Catalonia in Spain but has been living in the UK for 25 years, said the hearing was not primarily about his dismissal, but about establishing ethical veganism as a philosophical belief.

He said: ‘This is not a hearing to determine whether I was unfairly dismissed, or suffered any detriment because of my beliefs, or because I blew the whistle.

‘It’s a hearing to decide the legal status of the belief in ethical veganism. 

‘If we are successful in establishing that ethical veganism is such a philosophical belief, then a subsequent hearing will deal with the question of whether I was discriminated because of that belief.’

He added: ‘Although the manner in which I was dismissed was intensely distressing for me, some good may come of it if I am able to establish this valuable protection for all ethical vegans.’

He told BBC News: ‘Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don’t care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health.

‘I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything.’  

Solicitor Peter Daly, who is acting for Mr Casamitjana, said ethical veganism ‘comfortably’ met the tests to be considered a protected belief.

He said: ‘Ethical veganism is more than simply a dietary choice. 

‘It is a particular and well-defined philosophical view about the relationship between humans and animals. It is based on well-considered and substantial philosophical thinking.’


Mr Casamitjana, pictured, said the hearing was not primarily about his dismissal, but about establishing ethical veganism as a philosophical belief

Mr Daly said it was a ‘landmark case’ because a decision in his client’s favour could give vegans new protections across employment and education.   

The campaigner said the tribunal could not issue binding precedents but that its rulings were usually followed by other courts. 

Mr Casamitjana, who is based in London, is an ethical rather than a dietary vegan, which means his avoidance of animal products extends beyond food.

He said: ‘I have been an ethical vegan for over seventeen years, and it is as an ethical vegan that I live all aspects of my life as far as this is reasonably practical. 

‘This means that I do not eat, wear or consume any animal products.’ 


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But the League Against Cruel Sports said it sacked Mr Casamitjana for gross misconduct and that linking the decision to his veganism was ‘factually wrong’.

In a statement to the BBC, it added: ‘Mr Casamitjana was dismissed from his position because of gross misconduct.

‘To link his dismissal with issues pertaining to veganism is factually wrong.

‘Mr Casamitjana is seeking to use his veganism as the reason for his dismissal. We emphatically reject this claim.’

Mr Casamitjana is crowdfunding his legal fees for the case, which will be heard in March next year. 

What is the difference between ethical veganism and dietary veganism?  

Dietary vegans and ethical vegans both eat a plant-based diet, avoiding meat and other foods derived from animals such as dairy products. 

However ethical vegans also try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation outside what they eat. 

This includes not wearing clothing made of wool or leather and not using products tested on animals. 

Mr Casamitjana told BBC News that dietary vegans chose that option for their health rather than concerns about the environment or animals. 

Describing his own ethical veganism, he said: ‘I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything.’   

He said: ‘I have been an ethical vegan for over seventeen years, and it is as an ethical vegan that I live all aspects of my life as far as this is reasonably practical.’  

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Mysterious flaming hole in ground ‘was started for prank’ after authorities forced to deny it was the work of Satan

The confirmation comes after officials were forced to deny the hole was the result of a meteorite, methane — or even the work of the devil.

The fiery crevice opened up on a private property and shot 12 foot flames into the air for a full 40 minutes in mid-September leading many to claim it was a “portal to hell”.

Locals were quick to chime in with theories about what caused the sudden explosion guessing at meteorites or a gas leak to name a few.

Gas company Black Hills Energy, which was asked to help inspect the site, confirmed it didn't find any utility or fuel lines leaking in the area.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality also examined several underground fuel storage tanks in Midway to ensure they were sealed.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Baxter County authorities used soil samples to identify various flammable chemicals typically found in paint thinners, confirming the firey hole may have been the result of an ill-thought out prank.

The Arkansas National Guard analysed three soil samples and found two solvents: toluene and xylene.

Wesley Stites, chemistry and biochemistry department chairman at the University of Arkansas, said both solvents can be found in household items, including paint thinners.

He said: “That seems like the most plausible thing to me, that somebody dumped a quart of paint thinner down there and caught it on fire.”

Baxter County Emergency Management Director Jim Sierzchula said there were no photos or images of the fire, which caused no property damage, and said the sheriff’s office would not be investigating the blaze as a crime.

A version of this story first appeared on New York Post.



 

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Have-a-go hero, 21, stopped a charity box thief by tripping him up

‘I stomped at him like a pigeon’: Have-a-go hero, 21, who stopped a charity box thief by tripping him up reveals the same thug went on to threaten his mother with a claw hammer while high on Spice

  • Joshua Starkey was seen on CCTV stealing charity box from a Subway in Hull
  • Passer-by Jerome Denton stuck out his leg and tripped thief as he tried to flee 
  • 21-year-old from Hull said: ‘As I left people were clapping and shaking my hand’
  • Starkey was handed a 16-week jail sentence after admitting theft and damage 

A passer-by who stopped a charity box thief by tripping him up has revealed the same thug then threatened his mother with a claw hammer while high on Spice.

Jerome Denton, 21, was wandering through Hull Paragon train station to get something to eat before starting his shift at St Stephen’s shopping centre.

But he spotted Joshua Starkey, who had just stolen a British Heart Foundation box from a Subway branch, running towards him and stuck out a leg to trip him up.

Later on that day – in an amazing coincidence – Starkey went into a bingo hall in the city and threatened Mr Denton’s mother with a claw hammer.


Jerome Denton (left), 21, was wandering through Hull Paragon train station to get something to eat when he spotted spotted Joshua Starkey (right), 23, running towards him

Recalling what happened on March 25, Mr Denton said: ‘I was working at Gravity at the time and I arrived in town 20 minutes before my shift.

‘I thought to kill some time I would go and get a sausage roll or a Subway salad so I was walking through the station and I just saw him running at me.’


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Mr Denton said he spotted the charity box and after initially being torn between getting involved and trying to stop him, he tried to stop the thief.

He added: ‘I tripped him over and he went flying and then when he tried to grab the charity box again, I stomped at him like a pigeon and gave him a good chastising.

‘I said: ‘You don’t steal from charity’. I picked up the box and gave it back to the Subway lady who ran after him.

‘I then felt super awkward going into Subway so I went to Greggs and bought a sausage roll, but I could barely grab my change because I had an adrenaline rush.’

After leaving the shop and tucking into his well-earned grub, Mr Denton was met with a round of applause with onlookers appreciating his bravery.

‘As I left people were clapping and shaking my hand. It felt like Chariots of Fire should have been playing.’

Mr Denton spotted Joshua Starkey, who had just stolen a British Heart Foundation box from a Subway branch, running towards him and stuck out a leg to trip him up

Later, Starkey, who was under the influence of Spice and heroin, threatened Mr Denton’s mother with a claw hammer in a bingo hall.

He said: ‘Later that night my mother came home telling me someone threatened her and her workmate with a hammer.

‘I joked around saying, ‘imagine if it was the same guy’ and it turns out it was. So I saved a charity box but also made the man mentally scar my mother.’

Starkey, of Hull, was jailed for five years last month before being given an additional 16 weeks behind bars for attempting to steal the charity box.

CCTV footage showed Mr Starkey walking into Subway in Hull Paragon train station in March

A close friend of the 23-year-old had defended him by labelling him as ‘amazing’ and the ‘nicest kid you could ever meet’.

She said he only committed the crimes because he was on drugs which he had taken as a way to cope with his mental health problems.

However, Mr Denton had no sympathy for the armed robber who was labelled as ‘despicable’ and ‘disgraceful’ by judges and the police.

He said: ‘I don’t know what his circumstances are. I don’t know if he needs money for drugs or money to just be able to afford to live but apparently he’s stolen charity boxes multiple times before. 

The 23-year-old grabbed the British Heart Foundation box which was ripped from the counter

‘Plus he had two guys working with him, which means it was pre-planned or pre-meditated. 

‘I don’t really care what gets done to him, he’s irrelevant to my life, I just love how he has a limp on the video of him robbing Showcase and it’s because of me.’

Since British Transport Police uploaded a video of Mr Denton’s heroics, he has been praised as a ‘hero,’ a ‘legend’ and ‘brave’.

However Mr Denton’, who is a student in Blackpool, insisted he would do it again – if only so he could have his own ‘montage’ of him ‘tripping people over’.

The bungling thief was stopped when the passer-by stuck out a leg out and tripped him up

Mr Denton said: ‘I’m not a hero, I’m off Hessle Road and you just don’t steal from the little guy and you don’t steal from struggling causes.

‘I mean sure, a key to the city and a medal like what I’ve seen in the comments would be nice, but to be honest the only thing I expected was a free Subway.

‘Would I do it again? Yes, because a montage of me tripping people over would be fun to watch.’

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Populists with Make Spain Great Again slogan win regional seats

Populists with Make Spain Great Again slogan become the first far-right party to win seats in the country’s regional parliament since the Franco dictatorship

  • Vox took 12 seats in vote, handing a majority to right-wing parties in Andalusia
  • First far-right group to win seats in regional parliament since Franco dictatorship
  • The anti-immigrant party has used the slogan ‘make Spain great again’

Populists with a ‘Make Spain Great Again’ slogan have become the first far-right party to win seats in a Spanish regional parliament since the Franco dictatorship.

With more than 99 percent of the votes counted late Sunday, Vox took 12 seats, handing a majority to right-wing parties in Andalusia, southern Spain, a region governed by Socialists for more than three decades. 

The result means that Vox, which opposes illegal immigration and Catalan independence, has exceeded even the most optimistic poll predictions which had forecast a possible five seat win.

Populists with a ‘Make Spain Great Again’ slogan have become the first far-right party to win seats in a Spanish regional parliament since the Franco dictatorship. Pictured is party leader Santiago Abascal

With more than 99 percent of the votes counted late Sunday, Vox took 12 seats, handing a majority to right-wing parties in Andalusia, southern Spain, a region governed by Socialists for more than three decades

‘The Andalusians have made history… and got rid of 36 years of socialist rule,’ said Vox leader Santiago Abascal.

The Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) scored the worst result in its history winning 33 seats.

Its potential ally on the left Adelante Andalusia (Forward Andalusia) picked up only 17 seats, depriving the left of a majority, while the conservative Popular Party (PP) won 26 seats and the Ciudadanos liberals took 21 seats.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen sent ‘warm congratulations’ in a tweet to her ‘Vox friends’.

The poll had been seen as the first of a series of tests for Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.


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It was Sanchez’s first electoral test since taking office in June after winning a surprise vote of no-confidence in parliament against the previous PP government of Mariano Rajoy over a corruption scandal.

His Socialists had ruled Andalusia since 1982.

The vote, however, is a mere foretaste of the coming ‘super election year’: 2019 will see municipal, regional and European elections and perhaps even an early general election to coincide with the other May polls.

All eyes will now be on Vox which can try to use Andalusia as a springboard in next year’s elections.

If it did win a seat in the next general election, it would be the first time a far-right party had had a presence in Spain’s lower house of parliament since 1982.

In all, 6.5 million were eligible to vote in the ballot in Andalusia, the country’s most populous region and among its poorest.

The result means that Vox, which opposes illegal immigration and Catalan independence, has exceeded even the most optimistic poll predictions which had forecast a possible five seat win

Spain’s far-right VOX party leader Santiago Abascal and regional candidate Francisco Serrano celebrate results after the Andalusian regional elections in Seville

The PSOE’s Susana Diaz – who last year unsuccessfully challenged Sanchez for the party leadership – had been seeking to retain the regional presidency while also giving Sanchez and the national party a fillip.

But Vox, which has used the slogan ‘make Spain great again, sought to throw a spoke in their wheels by adding its voice to traditional conservative forces led by the PP and market-friendly Ciudadanos, which has in recent years challenged the PP for the mantle of Spain’s dominant liberal force.

‘These elections are key as a first step in the removal of Pedro Sanchez’ and the PSOE from the government, PP leader Pablo Casado told Radio COPE on Friday.

-Casado said a defeat in its traditional southern fiefdom would render the PSOE’s attempt to retain power nationally ‘unsustainable.’ The Socialists are already walking a tightrope given they hold just 84 seats in the 350-seat national assembly.

Both the PP and Ciudadanos had said during the campaign that if rightwing forces together won a majority of seats they would not rule out accepting support in the regional chamber from Vox.

Vox’s campaigning had mainly been against illegal immigration and any decentralisation of powers from Madrid.

Pablo Iglesias, leader of the far-left Podemos party, called on all leftist groups to mobilise ‘to defend liberties, social justice, fraternity and ultimately democracy’.

Diaz meanwhile called for ‘stability’ as she ended her campaign, warning voters against forces of the right and far-right that ‘want to take us backwards’. 

 

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