Police deny overreaction in rooftop manhunt

By Philip Askew and Mariana Mercado

 

Police in Edinburgh have defended their response to last Saturday’s manhunt through the city centre, where more than 50 riot officers cordoned off part of Cockburn Steet.

Authorities were pursuing two alleged motorcycle thieves through Edinburgh’s Old Town aided by riot police, sniffer dogs and helicopters in what was described as a “mini war-zone” by Twitter users.

Amid accusations of overreacting, Superintendent Angus MacInnes has defended the heavy handed response, saying that they were “simply about ensuring safe and coordinated apprehension of the suspects” due to the “height and potential danger” involved.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland has emphasised that there were no firearms involved in the incident, saying it was “never a shooting” and that reports to the contrary were just “social media doing its thing”.

The two suspects ran away from police on patrol in Tron Square at 8pm when the chase started, according to a statement from the police. One man was detained and a stolen motorcycle was recovered nearby.

Riot police were brought out when an emergency call placed the second alleged perpetrator on the roof one of the buildings in Cockburn street.

Police are still searching for the other suspect, and the investigation is ongoing.

 

17 year old in critical condition after another ‘Mortal Kombat’ incident

By Martha Shardalow

Perhaps as proof that new club licensing laws are yet to solve the problem, last night a 16 year old boy was battling for his life in intensive care after taking what is understood to be the same lethal ecstasy tablet that killed 17 year old Regane Maccoll in Glasgow last month.

Partick Hill overlooking Glasgow. The city at the heart of recent ecstasy drug scares. Credit - Martha Shardalow

Partick Hill overlooking Glasgow: the city at the heart of recent ecstasy drug scares. Credit – Martha Shardalow

The 16 year old is said to be in a critical “but stable condition” in Monklands District General Hospital in Airdrie, after apparently consuming illegal drugs at a house party on Saturday night.

Tests have also been carried out on a 17-year-old boy also at the party in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, after both teenagers fell ill and were submitted to hospital.

Police Scotland have issued a statement confirming that they believe the drugs included ecstasy and “possibly” a Mortal Kombat tablet.

A spokeswoman for NHS Lanarkshire emphasised: “Anyone who has taken ecstasy – particularly the one described as Mortal Kombat, and who is feeling unwell, or who knows someone who has taken this type of drug in the past few hours, should attend or contact their local hospital for treatment and advice.”

This official stance has reminded people to avoid illegal drugs at all costs; a warning that users can never be certain of what precisely they are taking. This is especially directed at those taking ecstasy pills, which are often cut with multiple substances that are proving fatal.

The news comes after The Arches nightclub in Glasgow raised its minimum age admission to 21 last month. The venues decision came as a direct response to the “tragic events of 2nd February” when 17 year old Maccoll collapsed on the premises and later died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Police later linked her death to the ecstasy-like ‘Mortal Kombat’ tablet – a distinctive red pill believed to be stamped with a dragon.

Today these warnings have been renewed with repeated vigour.

Pressure at The Arches - the venue which has now changed it license to over-21s only after 17 year old Regane's death on the premise.

Pressure at The Arches – the popular venue which changed its license to over-21s after 17 year old Regane’s tragic death.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Livingstone of Coatbridge police office, said: “We are continuing to work with our partner agencies, including health officials and medical staff, in connection with this investigation. At this time our priority is to ensure that everyone who was at the house party is safe and well, and officers are carrying out extensive enquiries to trace everyone involved.”

“Further to previous warnings, I would again strongly advise people to avoid illicit drugs as their exact content is unknown and can contain dangerous chemicals. Users must be aware of these dangers and understand the devastating effect they can have.”

Dr Neil Howie, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in emergency medicine, restated the weight of an immediate response to flag up symptoms. “Early warning signs include a feeling of agitation and distress and it is important that people are seen as early as possible.”

As another week arrives with ecstasy pill-related illness forming headlines, fresh debate on Scotland’s Drug Policy is taking place across multiple forums. A Thousand Flowers bloggers urge the government to adopt a new approach based on education, decriminalization and the introduction of drug testing kits in order to “help save lives and turn the tide on dodgy pills.”

As this incident surfaces, a teenager has been arrested in connection with alleged drug offences. He is expected to appear at Airdrie Sheriff Court today.

These are undeniably testing times for Scotland’s recreational drug users and the appropriate way forward for UK drug policy remains uncertain.

News in Brief

By Stuart Iversen, Alex Watson and Benjamin Bland

A new study has found that close to nine million people in the UK are in serious debt.  8.8 million UK residents (18% of the population) consider themselves to have severe financial issues.

David Cameron has announced benefit restrictions on EU migrant workers. They will include a three-month ban on Jobseekers allowance for migrants. This follows public anxiety over the lifting of transitional controls on Bulgarians entering the UK in January.

The Supreme Court has ordered the owners of a Christian gatehouse to pay damages, after they turned away a gay couple.

Transform Scotland have claimed that public bodies in Scotland are not doing enough to to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

New NHS guidelines are urging hospitals to implement a complete smoking ban across their premises. Critics fear it would lead to increased security costs and misuse of staff resources.

An Edinburgh West End printing company have been ordered to remove posters encouraging readers to throw eggs at trams.  Intended as a lighthearted marketing scheme, the joke has now been shut down by police.

News Round Up

West Yorkshire Police Officers have searched former Co-Op bank chairman and Methodist Minister Paul Flowers’ home due to allegations he bought and used illegal drugs including cocaine.

President Obama has urged US Senators to hold off from proposing more sanctions against Iran to allow World Powers to complete a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Northern Ireland’s Attorney General has said there should be no further investigations or inquests into the Troubles’-related killings that took place before the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Scots gay marriage to pass first hurdle

Ten people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a car bomb attack on Egyptian soldiers near the North Sinai city of el-Arish.

Legislation to introduce same-sex marriage in Scotland is expected to be backed by the government in its first vote even though the Church of Scotland and Catholic Church are still opposed.

The UK has an alarming shortage of people able to speak the ten languages vital to our future prosperity and global standing, a new report has stated.

Journalist, Broadcaster and Gay Rights Activist Ray Gosling has died aged 74 in a hospital in Nottingham.

Climate change campaigners ask for funds to be doubled

We Want to See Double Campaigners

Bethan Cleary

CLIMATE change campaigners are to gather outside the Scottish Government offices this afternoon. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland are campaigning to get the MSP in charge of the budget, John Swinney, to double the funds to £40m for cycling and pedestrian facilities in Edinburgh. This protest follows on from a similar gathering that took place last week, where the efforts of the We Want to See Double campaign persuaded the Scottish Minister to raise the budget by a further £13m. Campaigners are eager to see this figure rise, with an aim to reduce Scotland’s climate change emissions.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is the largest group in the UK that’s dedicated to lowering climate change. Much of the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland draws from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) September report, which confirmed a direct link between climate change and human activity, noting a particular acceleration in climate distress since the 1950s. Speaking at the time, Tom Ballantine, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland coalition detailed how the report left no doubt that governments must act now in an attempt to avoid catastrophic climate change. He also expressed how Scotland had set a positive example due to the nations attempts to become a greener city. However, he urged the government to put the proper policies in place to support these efforts.

The We Want to See Double campaign seems to be reflective of a green-conscious nation, and in particular, an eco aware Capital. A report published by sustainable transport charity, Sustrans noted how the annual number of cyclists and pedestrians using a range of paths within the Lothians radically increased last year, with more than 62 million trips either walked or cycled.

Stop Climate Chaos Coalition hope that the gathering outside the Scottish Government offices at 1pm this afternoon will gain the appropriate funds to further fuel this eco-friendly enthusiasm. Aside from the protest, the Scottish Government has agreed to meet with Stop Climate Chaos Scotland to further discuss their proposals.

News round-up

by Nicola Brown

1. Newspaper and magazine publishers are seeking an injunction to prevent royal charter on press regulation as proposed by the government. In a last ditch attempt at the High Court on Wednesday, industry representatives will go before the Privy council to oppose the plan. The three main political parties, along with Hacked Off campaigners, back the proposal. Publishers believe the proposed charter by political parties would mean the end of a free press in the UK.

2. The government has put forward plans to cap pension fees, which they believe could save people tens of thousands of pounds. The proposal aims to limit pension management fees to between 0.75% and 1%. The government intends to stop excessive charges, and become firmer handed with pension fees. The cap comes alongside large-scale reforms being set up to automatically place workers in pension schemes.

3. Competing supermarket chains Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s may face a court battle. Sainsbury’s has appealed for a review of Tesco’s Price Promise Promotion, disagreeing with the way it compares products of different quality and origin. The argument made by Sainsbury’s has already been rejected twice. A review will likely be heard in summer 2014.

4. Leading German intelligence officials are in talks at The White House over the alleged hacking of Chancellor Merkel’s mobile phone. The US is facing increasing anger amid reports that the NSA has been spying on its allies. The NSA has spoken out saying that accusation are grossly exaggerated.

5. The Supreme Court has ruled against the appeal made by the IDS in what has been coined the ‘Poundland case’. The Court ruled that the regulations did not fall under the accused ‘forced and compulsory’ labour. Cait Reilly who brought the case forward argued it was a breach of her human rights, however others have commended it as a gateway for those wanting to get into employment.

6.  The Great British Bake Off has helped see a surge in popularity for The Women’s Institute, who had to reject 130 prospective members. Baking shows like Bake Off which, with the help of social media, have seen a resurgence in fans have helped to revamp crafts once considered old-fashioned. The WI saw queues of 350 women hoping to join a new branch in Bristol.

7. Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill’s previously applauded decision to lower Scottish drink driving limits may not be put into action until 2015. McAskill’s initial announcements in March suggested that the legal limit would be reduced from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood by 2014. The delay is due to the unavailability of vital Home Office experts, who are required to recalibrate alcohol testing equipment. The proposed change is reported to be popular among Scottish residents, as around 17 lives a year are expected to be saved under the new law.

8. The White House has stated that it will monitor its NSA surveillance, with recent leaks forcing a review of their intelligence methods. Following the revelations made by whislteblower Edward Snowden, administration has suggested changes have already been put in place. Among them are a ban on spying of foreign allies and the United Nations.

What’s On in Edinburgh

What’s happening in Edinburgh on the week of the 22nd April 2013.

Includes Tradfest, 30 Days of IPA, Toy and Comic Mart and the Edible garden at the Botanics.

culturebelt.01 from Tom Freeman on Vimeo.

World News in Brief

Chinese Quake Death Toll Rises
The large earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan Province this weekend has left at least 200 people dead and nearly 12,000 injured. Rescuers have finally managed to reach many of the rural areas affected by the quake, which measured 6.6 on the Richter scale. Up to 100,000 families could be left homeless after the disaster.

Boston Bomb Suspect May Never be Questioned
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombings, remains in a serious condition in hospital. The 19 year old is apparently so seriously injured that communication is difficult, with interrogators facing the possibility that he may never be able to be questioned effectively.

Damascus Massacre Rocks Syria
Reports of a massacre in Syria suggest that hundreds might have been left dead, after violent clashes in the capital city of Damascus. Syrian forces loyal to the President Bashar al-Assad have attacked residents in the city suburb, with opposition forces claiming up to 250 have died, including women and children.

Burmese Police Filmed Ignoring Violence
Footage has emerged of Burmese police standing by as Buddhists attacked and killed a Muslim boy with a sword. The footage also shows police standing by while rioters  destroyed a Muslim shop in the country. It comes as the EU is set to lift sanctions against the troubled country.

Guantanamo Inmates on Hunger Strike
Military officials have said that 84 of the remaining 166 inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp are on hunger strike. Inmates continue to protest against their indefinite confinement at the controversial centre, where prisoners are alleged to be subject to abuse and violent interrogation.

U.K News in Brief

Downing Street Soothes Recession Fears
Downing Street has insisted that the U.K economy is “slowly healing” despite ongoing speculation that the country has entered an unprecedented triple-dip recession. Thursday will see the publication of the latest growth figures for the first part of the year. If GDP contracts Britain would officially have entered another recession.

Poll Shows Immigration Concerns Unfounded
A survey has shown that the number of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants planning on moving to the U.K is lower than expected. Work restrictions for the two countries are expiring later this year, sparking fears that there would be an influx of immigrants seeking work. However the poll suggests that most wouldn’t re-locate without a job offer.

Suarez Faces Ban Over Bite
Liverpool footballer Luis Suarez has been fined by his club after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during yesterday’s match between the clubs. The FA are set to review footage of the incident before deciding whether to impose a retrospective ban. Suarez stayed on the field before scoring a late equalizing goal in the game, which finished 2-2.

Cameron Defensive Over Nurse Plans
Plans to reform training for student nurses have been defended by Prime Minister David Cameron. The proposals have been blasted by the Royal College of Nurses, which also expressed concern over staffing levels. Cameron has said that the NHS should focus on the “level of care” provided.

Google Hits Back at Tax Critics
Google have defended their tax record in the U.K, after facing damning criticism last year over allegedly avoiding corporation tax. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt claimed that the internet giant, which has only paid £6m in corporation tax, was responsible for “billions of pounds of start-ups” in Britain.

Scottish Labour Conference Round-up

558818_441204319305107_370916936_n

This weekend saw Scottish Labout hold its annual conference in Inverness. With Scotland just over a year away from the independence referendum, the conference was an opportunity for the party to establish its agenda for the coming months. Here were a few of the talking points.

Lamont pledges to help SNP on social justice

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont has vowed to work with the Scottish government to help those affected by Tory cuts. In an emotional speech to conference, Lamont pledged to work with the SNP to protect Scots from the “injustice” of the much-maligned “bedroom tax”. She told delegates “Scotland can stand united against the Tory cuts and I call upon the SNP to work with us. If they truly believe in social justice, we can work together.”

Labour attacks Thatcher legacy

Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader Anas Sarwar accused George Osborne of carrying on the “vandalism” of Margaret Thatcher with his austerity measures. In a fiery speech to conference Sarwar blasted the Chancellor in the wake of the former PMs funeral last week. He said “(Osbourne) has shaped his whole political ideology and cut his political teeth so he can carry on the work of his political hero. Today, he is carrying on the vandalism Thatcher started and his targets are just the same.”

Future Employment Taskforce Launched

Margaret Curran MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, used conference to launch a taskforce on Employment for the Future. The taskforce will be in place to explore ways in which Scotland can increase employment opportunities in the years to come. Speaking at the launch, Curran said “We have close to 200,000 people unemployed in Scotland, and 17,000 people have spent the last two years on the dole, trying to find jobs. This is a challenge that is too urgent to wait until we are in Government again.” The taskforce will be chaired by Lord John McFall and leading tech entrepreneur MT Rainey.

New Health Watchdog Proposed

Labour announced proposals for a new healthcare watchdog, which would have the power to monitor and turn around troubled hospitals with troubleshooting “Change Teams”. Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health Jackie Baillie said that it would be a body “with teeth”, to “regulate, inspect, enforce and encourage continuous improvement.”

Johann Lamont was praised by attendees for her keynote speech to her party. However the SNP took the opportunity to criticise her “obsession” with the nationalists, claiming that it overshadows the party’s lack of policies. A spokesman said “There were 22 mentions of the SNP in Johann Lamont’s speech and Alex Salmond was name-checked 13 times. But sadly she was unable to come up with even one new policy.”

Gas leak in North Sea

A typical oil rig (not Elgin Platform) picture provided by Manchot sanguinaire

A gas leak at the Elgin platform, 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen has been ongoing since Sunday.

238 workers have been evacuated from the platform and the nearby Rowan Viking drilling rig as well as Shell have moved personnel.  A three mile safety zone had been put in place but it has been increased to a five mile radius by the Unite union.

Greenpeace are concerned with possible wider implications of the gas leak in the North Sea.

Total Oil Company owns the platform and claim the leak has not been caused by human error. The company believe the leak is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m.

It has been regarded too dangerous for anyone to return to extinush the blaze but the company claim there is no danger of the flare igniting the gas cloud beneath the rig.

Total has been evaluating the sitution by fly-overs in the area and are currently considering drilling a relief well which could take months.

Lennon’s nail bombers convicted

Trevor Muirhead, 44, and Neil McKenzie, 42, have been convicted of plotting a nail bomb attack against Celtic manager Neil Lennon after a five week trial at Glasgow High Court.

The men were found guilty of conspiring to send the package. The pieces of mail they sent last year were designed to injure but actually the devices could not explode. McKenzie got “bomb making” tips from US television show The A-Team.

A bank of evidence was mounted against the two, including recordings from a police bug in McKenzie’s car which taped him boasting about “building a bomb”.

There is also CCTV footage of the unemployed builder buying parts including nails for the packages from local shops.

They had previously faced an allegation of conspiracy to murder before it was dropped.

Big Brother Politician becomes Bradford-West MP

Photo taken by David Hunt

George Galloway, a Respect Party Candidate, most well known for his infamous Big Brother Stint, has won the Bradford-West by-election by 10, 140 votes.

Galloway, in a shocking victory, has taken the Bradford West Parliamentary seat from the Labour Party, and polled more than 18,000 votes. Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 because he expressed his opposition to the Iraq War. Soon after he became a founding member of the left-wing, anti-war Respect Party.

Mr Galloway said the victory is: “the most sensastional victory in British political history.”

Labour Leader, Ed Milliband, is very disappointed with the outcome of the by-elections, but has vowed to lead a Labour Party fightback. Miliband said: “It was an incredibly disappointing result for Labour in Bradford West and I am determined that we learn lessons of what happened.” Miliband will be travelling to Bradford soon, to try to: “win back people’s trust.”

George Galloway contested the parliamentary seat of Poplar and Limehouse, in the 2010 UK general election, as well as the Glasgow List in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, but was unsuccessful in both.

George Galloway, beat Labour candidate Imran Hussein by 10,140 votes and received 15,595 more votes than Conservative candidate Jackie Whiteley, who came third in the election.

Rangers receive £25m bid from US Company

Copyright Christopher Harress

Glasgow Rangers have more than 140 years of history, but the past few months may have been the most tumultuous, with the SPL title-defenders staring into the abyss of administration and the imminent uncertainty over possible takeovers.

A £25m bid from a Chicago-based company, if accepted, could see Rangers go into liquidation – an option fans do not support.

Club 9 Sports would want to form a new club, to avoid paying the club’s debts. Such action would lead Rangers to have at three-year ban from all European competitions. In the even more drastic scenario, liquidation could force Rangers back to the start, requiring them to apply to join the Division Three.

The only offer seeing Rangers go into administration came from former Ibrox director Paul Murray. Letting Rangers pay off their debts through the Company Voluntarily Arrangements (CVA).

The American bid is more than double Brian Kennedy’s offer, which was rejected yesterday. The American firm is now the frontrunner for taking over the club.

 

Union rules out fuel strike over Easter

By: Anna Redman

The Unite Union has decided against a possible fuel strike over Easter. However, a strike may still occur after Easter depending on the results of reconciliation talks.

The government caused panic buying when they advised drivers to fill up their tanks. Independent experts suggest petrol demands rose 172% yesterday.

In a statement, assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks break down.”

Approximately 90% of UK forecourts are supplied by Unite union. Almost 2,000 members are at the centre of this dispute.

Unite’s drivers are responsible for delivering fuel to Shell and Esso garages as well as a number of supermarkets.

On Thursday, Energy Secretary Ed Davey advised that people “just need to do the sensible thing… get a full tank of petrol, not a half-tank”.

Tian Tian the panda is in the mood for love

Image supplied by Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Tian Tian the panda, also known as Sweetie, may be ready to mate with Yang Guang as early as next week on Tuesday 3rd or Wednesday 4th April.

Edinburgh Zoo and their team of experts have identified an increase in Tian Tian’s oestrogen and a decrease in her progesterone. Female pandas only ovulate once a year, and there is only a 36 hour period in which a female panda can fall pregnant. The two pandas at Edinburgh Zoo will be introduced to each other on Tuesday for 15 minutes at at time. They will probably be put together three times on the first date of Tian Tian being in oestrus. If natural mating does not occur on the first day of oestrus, the zoo may consider the option of artificial insemination.

However, expert keepers will be keeping an eye on the two, as pandas often tend to fight after mating or instead of mating.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Zoo said has said: “We understand that the whole country is in a state of heightened anticipation, but whatever the outcome of next week, we as animal conervationists and scientists have learnt a huge amount in such a short time about this captivating species. We are just delighted to be playing our part in the essential long term worldwide panda breeding programme.”

Image supplied by Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Panda Mating Facts:

 Panda mating season is from March to May.

A female panda may be in heat from two to seven days.

Pandas reach reproductive maturity at the age of seven years which lasts until they are 20 years old.

A female panda attracts a mate by rubbing against trees and urinating which leaves a scent which grabs the attention of male pandas, as well as by bleating calls.

The male panda leaves the female panda after mating and has nothing to do with the raising of the cub.

Pandas can have between one to two cubs at a time, but because newborn pandas require a high amount of care the mother will usually reject one of the cubs.

Man found dead In Broomhouse

The body of a man, who is believed to be in his 30’s, was found on a patch of grass in Broomhouse Gardens East.

The man was found just after midnight yesterday, 29 March, after residents in Broomhouse heard what they thought were fireworks. The man is believed to have died from a gunshot wound.

A police spokesperson has said that the death is being treated as unexplained. “Officers attended at Broomhouse Gardens East just after midnight following a call from the Scottish Ambulance Service. The man’s body was found on a grass area nearby.” The police are currently carrying out house to house enquiries and are asking for information: “Anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have seen or heard anything is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 01313113131 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800555111.”

10.30 news bulletin

Breaking news: Betting shop fire confirmed as arson

A former betting shop in Midlothian was deliberately set ablaze resulting in thousands of pounds of damage.

A group of youths were spotted on the roof of the building moments before the fire broke out on Saturday.

A group of youths were seen on the roof of the building just before the blaze broke out and police are appealing for witnesses.

Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue Service were called to the derelict building inWoodburn Road, Dalkeith, at 9.30pm and managed to put out the flames.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “A group of male youths were seen on the roof prior to the fire breaking out, and we are keen for any information that can help us identify them.

“Anyone who was in the area at the time, who noticed any suspicious activity, should contact police immediately. Similarly, anyone with any other information that can assist our inquiries should also get in touch.”

Anyone with any information should contact Lothian and Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Car crashes outside secondary school

A car dramatically crashed outside Trinity Academy on Craighall Road earlier this afternoon.

An eyewitness reports that the driver smashed into another vehicle at high speed as it was trying to park.

No injuries were reported. More details to follow.

Supreme Court to hear Obama’s Healthcare Law

Today the United States Supreme Court will be begin it’s three day hearing on whether or not President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act is legal. Opponents of the act state that its requirement that people buy insurance intrudes on civil liberties.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in March of 2010, and has faced negative reactions and criticism from conservatives and Republican party leaders and has been dubbed “ObamaCare” by many.

If the court upholds the act,  it would forbid insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions, limits how much companies can charge older people. Though the most controversial aspect is the law’s “individual mandate.”  This would require almost all Americans to hold health insurance or else pay a penalty on their tax returns by 2014. Some believe this goes against civil liberties, while others claim some  Americans  having no health care results in their unpaid health bills being placed upon taxpayers.

Breaking News: Three men found guilty over shooting that left 5-year-old girl paralysed

Three men have been convicted at the Old Bailey over a shooting in a south London shop which left a five-year-old girl paralysed.

Thusha Kamaleswaran was shot in the chest and Roshan Selvakumar, 35, was shot in the face at Stockwell Food and Wine in Brixton shop last March.

Nathaniel Grant, Kazeem Kolawole and Anthony McCalla were convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent.

The men were also found guilty of the attempted murder of Roshaun Bryan.

The court heard the gunmen were trying to shoot someone else when the two innocent victims got caught in the crossfire.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told jurors: “The reality of this shooting may be that, whilst there was an intention to kill the suspected rival gang member, the gunman and his accomplices couldn’t have cared less if someone else was shot too.”

Thusha’s heart stopped twice before doctors were able to save her. She has spent most of the last year in hospital and doctors say she will never walk again.

Breaking news: Two British soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan

The Defence Secretary has confirmed that two British soldiers have been shot dead by an Afghan National Army gunman.

Philip Hammond has told the Commons the incident happened at the entrance gate to the British HQ in Lashkar Gah.

NATO has confirmed that the gunman was then shot dead by return of fire.

A total of 407 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since military operations began in 2001.

In a statement to the Commons, Mr Hammond stated: “Our thoughts, as ever, are with their families, for whom this will be a deeply personal tragedy”.

Details of the incident are still emerging and relatives are being informed.

BP Awards £500 million contract to oil services company

It has been announced that oil services company Techchip have won a multi-million pound contract with with oil giants BP.

The contract will include the replacement of the Schiellion floating production and storage vessel, and will take place off the west coast of Shetland.

Based in Paris, Techchip will oversee the project from its Aberdeen office.

It is believed that the work will see an additional 450 million barrels of oil produced by 2035.

The firm currently employs 30,000 people in over 48 countries.

GAME goes into administration, main Edinburgh stores stay open

A GAME Shop: Open For How Long?

GAME, Britain’s biggest video game retailer, has gone into administration today.

The retailer counts around 1.300 stores distributed between the UK and mainland Europe, 5.100 employees in the UK and Ireland, of which 385 are employed at its headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

In Edinburgh, Gamestation on Princes Street, the flagship store of the company, had already been closed in late 2011.

However, as the retailers are refusing to release any comments, it’s understood that the GAME stores in St. James Shopping centre and Ocean Terminal are still open as usual.

Meanwhile, it has already been reported that about half of the 600 UK shops have been closed during the day, and it’s unclear whether the rest will stay in business.

The company’s website is currently no longer accessible, and it names MJA Jervis and SD Maddison as the appointed Joint Administrators.

Mike Jervis has commented: “Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK.

“As a result, we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable”.

GAME, which was founded in 1991 as Rhino Group, had already been rumoured to be in troubled waters as their credit worthiness came under scrutiny just a few days ago.

As a consequence, three main suppliers, Nintendo, EA and Capcom, blocked the distribution of their most recent releases to the retailer.

The overall performance of the company in the last few months has been abysmal, with a £18 million loss for the year to 31 January being blamed on high fixed costs and an ambitious international expansion.

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