World News

Two wedding venues fined and shut down for hosting illegal parties in lockdown

Two London venues have been fined and ordered to close for three months after hosting illegal weddings during lockdown.

The Milan Palace and Tudor Rose in Southall have both had their licenses suspended after a hearing in front of the Ealing License Committee.

Both venues, which neighbour each other in the west London suburb, were brought before the committee following joint action by Ealing Council and the Metropolitan Police.

The committee heard that in September and October both venues flouted the UK's coronavirus social distancing restrictions by continuing to host events as normal.

Both have now been ordered to close down entirely for the next three months.

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The Tudor Rose was fined £1,000 for one breach, while the Milan Palace was fined approximately £7,000 for three separate breaches. These took place between Friday, September 25 and Sunday, October 18.

One of the events at the Milan Palace had as many as 150 people in attendance. Police were filmed breaking up the party and the footage was posted to social media.

Meanwhile, more than 60 people attended an illegal gathering at the Tudor Rose.

Chief Superintendent Pete Gardner, West Area policing commander, said: "The brazen actions of these neighbouring venues were completely selfish – they deserve to have their license temporarily stripped for putting their community at risk.

"Likewise, their attempts to ignore the rules shows utter contempt for the thousands of legitimate businesses across London who have made excellent efforts to keep their business Covid secure.

"This action alongside Ealing Council should be seen as a warning to those other businesses who flout the rules. Repeated breaches will result in escalated enforcement, which could potentially see licenses being revoked."

Police Sergeant Guy Rooney said: "I visited both these venues on multiple occasions to warn them that their actions were in breach of the regulations and could result in enforcement.

"However, they took blatant steps to ignore my instructions, continuing to hold weddings and other ceremonies.

"It is deeply frustrating to see such a total disregard for the rules, which the vast majority of businesses and Londoners are following to help keep this deadly virus at bay."

Councillor Joanna Camadoo-Rothwell, Ealing Council cabinet member for community safety and inclusion, said: "Enforcement action will be taken against businesses that do not follow the restrictions placed on them.

"We all have a responsibility for ensuring we follow the Covid-19 restrictions and work together to ensure the safety of ourselves and others. We will not hesitate in taking appropriate action against those that flout the regulations."

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London shopping centre evacuated as ‘armed police seen entering’

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A shopping centre in London was evacuated today with armed police seen entering, according to reports.

Surrey Quays shopping centre, in south east London, is said to have been evacuated this afternoon.

Pictures posted on social media showed shoppers stood outside the glass-fronted building.

Twitter user James Bee wrote: “Surrey Quays shopping centre has been evacuated!

“Several armed police were seen entering not long before.”

Photos also posted online showed armed police inside the building.

One social media user wrote: "All going off."

The centre has a number of shops inside which remain open during England’s second national lockdown.

A spokesman for the shopping centre told there were two different incidents this afternoon.

A fire alarm was falsely set off and visitors were evacuated as a result.

Meanwhile, police officers were already at the shopping centre as they were searching for an armed person.

The spokesman for the building said: "There were two separate incidents as the first was a false fire alarm.

"Police were already on site for an armed suspect in a nearby Tesco, but they did not find him."

This includes a Tesco Extra, a Boots and banks including Halifax, HSBC and Santander.

There are also restaurants open for takeaway.

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World News

Stag charges man in park after crowds of visitors ‘chuck food’ at animals

Warnings have been issued after a stag was pictured charging at a man with its antlers after he got too close.

Crowds of visitors to Richmond Park in southwest London were also seen chucking seeds at the creatures – despite strict rules not to feed them.

The behaviour was slammed by park chiefs who urged them to stay 50metres away from the wild deer.

Photos posted by visitor Charlotte Wilden showed groups of children getting close to the wildlife to feed them while adults also got too near.

She tweeted: "My friend took these pics on a long zoom lens today.

"People feeding the deer from their hands, then throwing food at the deer when the deer decided they’d had enough.

"So horrible to endanger the children in this way."

In one shot, a man was seen darting off quickly as a stag lowered its head with its antlers out to run at him.

Royal Parks, which is responsible for the popular tourist spot, blasted the behaviour, the Sun reports.

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The charity tweeted: "Once again, we condemn this sort of behaviour in the strongest possible terms – when visiting the Parks with native wildlife, please refrain from approaching closer than 50 metres.

"In addition, feeding the deer does them harm, not good."

One social media user tweeted: "They wouldn't be endangered if the muppets left the animals alone."

The deer are in their breeding season, which runs from October to November, and leaves them pumped with testosterone and adrenaline.

While they face down other rival deer, it means if they are provoked they can attack humans.

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Man ‘rams car into north London police station as area is evacuated’

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A man has been arrested after driving his car into a north London police station.

Several police cars have been pictured outside Edmonton Police Station in Enfield, which has since been evacuated.

A cordon has been set up at the scene as the Metropolitan Police begin an investigation.

The force confirmed in a statement: “At around 6.58pm on Wednesday, November 11, a vehicle collided with the station office at Edmonton Police Station.

“A man – no further details – has been detained in connection with the incident. The vehicle remains at the scene. Specialist officers are in attendance while it is examined.

“At this stage we have not been informed of any injuries.

“London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade are present.

“The police station has been evacuated and a large police cordon is in place.”

Footage has emerged on social media of a man pouring petrol onto the road before setting it alight.

Officers were also recorded tackling him to the ground.

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World News

Men told to ‘pee from 8ft away in ridiculous social distancing measures’

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A man couldn't believe he was told to 'keep his distance' at a row of urinals in the gents' loos.

The sign on the floor of the toilets, based in an office space in Paddington, London, asked men to follow the rules – at eight feet away.

The man said it was 'the most ridiculous social distancing measures yet '.

Alastair Hilton joked that he opted to use the cubicle instead as he wasn't sure he'd be able to hit the target from such a distance.

While in the toilet cubicle he saw another sign telling him to 'close the lid before flushing' for his own safety.

Speaking about the sign, he said: "This took social distancing to the nth degree. It’s definitely the most ridiculous measure I’ve seen so far.

"It’s beautifully done. They’ve spent some money printing this sticker and it must be 8ft across or something. I just thought it was hilarious.

"Each toilet that you go into now, you are assaulted by something weird and wonderful. You used to go in and there was a toilet.

"Now you’ve got social distancing or every other urinal blocked off, and you don’t know what you’re going to be met with. This was a fancy toilet with a ridiculous social distancing thing.

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"I used one of the cubicles and that had a funny sticker in it telling me to put the lid down for my own safety. I had a good laugh looking at that as well.

"Everybody that runs an office has got all their boxes to tick and they’re doing it in all seriousness, but when you come to these places, you think, “This is a bit bonkers”.

"The whole toilet sums up the UK’s reaction to all of this. It’s taking it tongue-in-cheek. It’s an absolute classic.

"I don’t think I’d manage to hit the target from there. You’d need a mop afterwards, a reckon.

"If you obeyed that rule you’d need to increase the number of cleaners or put a sticker on the front door saying ‘flood risk’."

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World News

Oxford Circus station evacuated as multiple police officers rush underground

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London’s Oxford Circus underground station has been evacuated, with police officers recorded running down the station stairs.

Several emergency service vehicles have also been pictured at the scene in the centre of the capital.

Officers were seen sprinting out of a police van and down the steps, into the tube station.

The station was shut as officers dealt with an incident, MyLondon reports.

Multiple police cars were seen in the area.

Passengers were asked to leave the station as police arrived just after 5.30pm, according to reports.

One witness said they had been asked to leave the underground station while police dealt with an incident involving a person.

Police were later seen taking a man wearing a mask and no shoes up the steps of the Tube station.

A video posted on social media showed a man being taken into an ambulance by the emergency services.

The station has since reopened.

The street is famous for its shopping and is home to many flagship retail stores, which have been shut during Britain’s second national lockdown.

Oxford Circus is the third busiest underground station on London’s network, with 84.1million passenger journeys each year.

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Anger as bagpiper gets pushed onto ground by police on Remembrance Day

This is the shocking moment a police officer appears to push a bagpiper to the ground as he plays the bagpipe in front of the officers honouring the fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day.

Video shared on Twitter shows the veteran marching between a line of police officers and the crowd while playing the bagpipe at Whitehall in central London.

A barrier was set up to stop members of the public to visit The Cenotaph.

He appears to be marching from the footpath as a man yells: "Hey, let the veteran through!"

As he is about to make his way back and turns towards the officers, he gets pushed on the ground and falls on his back.

Suddenly, the crowd become enraged and one man is heard shouting: "What the hell? How dare you? You're disgusting!"

The bagpiper appears to be unharmed and gets up to confront the police.

A man tries to de-escalate the situation and separate him from the officers.

In a separate clip live-streamed on YouTube, a police officer is seen explaining to the bagpiper that the group has breached the government's coronavirus rules.

"I've come to say to you that you are in breach of a Covid regulation. We are going to ask you to split up and move on," he said.

The post read: "This is absolutely unforgivable of the Met Police.

"This is a special day for many people, the overreaction and aggression will turn people against them, at a time when they need support and cooperation."

While the bagpiper appears to be walking in the line of police, some viewers pointed out that he was just trying to make a turn.

One explained: "There was a policeman blocking him from going further. He was doing an about-turn like he did when he reached the wall.

"These people are peaceful respecting the fallen and their right to do so."

Another commented: "Disgraceful and needs to be dealt with according to the law, that was assault! With a significant amount of witnesses, no dispute regarding corroboration."

Daily Star Online has contacted Met Police for comment.

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Man, 26, charged with raping and kidnapping teenage girl in London

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Detectives investigating an alleged rape in south London have charged a man.

Nelson, 26, of the Mitcham area was arrested on Tuesday, November 3, and has been charged with rape and kidnap.

Police were called at 7am on the same day following reports of the incident in the North Place area.

A teenage girl and her family continue to be supported by specialist officers.

People have been warned to not share any information via social media which could identify the girl or affect any future legal action.

Kadian Nelson, of the Mitcham area, has been charged with rape and kidnap.

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He is due to appear in custody at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Thursday, November 5.

Any witnesses or those who have information that could assist police are asked to call 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting reference 1063/03Nov.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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‘Most obnoxious’ plane passenger called travellers and crew ‘a bunch of c***s’

A long-haul plane passenger described by a stewardess as "the most obnoxious customer she has ever encountered" called travellers and flight crew "a bunch of c***s", a court has heard.

Kujo Frei, 24, kicked off when another passenger "left a mess" in the toilets of the Virgin Atlantic flight from Delhi to Heathrow on March 17.

He abused another couple in front of him and stuck chewing gum to one of their jackets when they asked him to stop kicking their seats and swearing.

Frei also harassed cabin crew when they moved two passengers into first-class to get away from him, demanding that he and his girlfriend be moved instead.

One stewardess said he was "obnoxious" but she feared he would turn violent if the flight took any longer.

He pleaded guilty to failing to obey a pilot's order after failing to sit down when the seatbelt sign was turned on and three counts of using insulting language to cause distress at Ealing Magistrates’ Court in west London today.

In a witness statement, customer service manager Lindsay Spalding said Frei stormed into the first-class bar area because two passengers had been moved.

She said: "He was extremely aggressive and said he was being victimised as he had an altercation with another customer but they had moved him instead of them.

"He called my colleague and I "a bunch of c***s", I went down to the economy cabin and he stood in the aisle shouting at customers sitting near him.

"His eyes were very wide, at times he seemed confused, then he became angry. He called me a c*** and an a***hole. He told me he would make my life hell and would get me sacked as his girlfriend had a sister very high up in Virgin.

"I asked him to return to his seat, he replied 'make me'. Then he told me I was a nasty person and s*** at my job."

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Stewardess Sarah Ward said Frei had shouted at a passenger for leaving "a mess" in the toilet and was shouting at him from across the aisle.

She said: "During the whole incident he made me feel nervous to the point I was shaking. I felt strongly we weren't going to land safely.

"In all my flying career, he is one of the most obnoxious passengers I have ever had to encounter."

  • Cov-idiots who spit or cough on emergency workers could face six months in prison

Passenger John Grenville said he and his wife were sitting directly in front of Frei and his girlfriend during the flight.

He said he noticed the pair swearing as they had a "loud whispered argument" and Frei kept getting up which was pushing into his wife's seat.

Grenville said: "I asked him to please stop swearing, he threatened me and said 'what are you going to do about it you old c***?'"

The passenger said Frei also told him to "f*** off" and stopped the drinks trolley from moving down the aisle saying "I will move when I feel like it".

Grenville said: "The man called me a 'f***ing c***' and 'f**ing w***er' and he repeatedly and deliberately pushed the back of our seats.

"He then blew or spat on my head. He went into the overhead locker and deliberately dropped his bag hard just missing my wife's head. He sat behind me and prodded in the gap between the seats whispering loudly 'you c***'.

"My wife later noticed he had stuck chewing gum on the back of my jacket."

Chair of the bench Darshan Sachdev adjourned sentencing for a report to be prepared by probation services, adding: "We are going to leave all options open."

Frei, of South End Road, Camden, north London, will be sentenced next month.

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Virus expert claims UK’s R rate has dropped below 1 before new lockdown begins

England is bracing for another lockdown that Michael Gove has warned could stretch into December. But before the restrictions even come into force, one medical expert says they may not be necessary.

Professor Tim Spector, the King's College epidemiologist who is in charge of analysing data from the Covid Symptom Tracker app, says the all-important R figure has now dropped below 1.

That means that the virus isn’t spreading as quickly through the population as was originally thought.

On Monday, the UK recorded 18,950 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 136 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

Professor Spector said on Twitter today: “More good news as the Zoe CSS app survey continues to show a plateauing and slight fall in new cases in England, Wales and Scotland with an R of 1.0.”

Official figures on Friday put the UK-wide number at 1.3, down from around 1.4 the previous week.

There are still a number of hotspots skewing the average though. At the end of October the R rate in London reached an estimated 2.86, meaning each infected person passes the virus onto nearly three others.

Data from a study by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI from the same time period put the figure across the South East at around 2.34, and the South West at 2.06.

Figures from that same study for the North West and North East were estimated to have dropped to 1.21 and 0.57 respectively.

Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, said on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that “at this moment in time” the R value in Liverpool is "well below one.”

The city is about to begin a pilot scheme where everyone who lives or works in Liverpool will be offered a coronavirus test – regardless of whether they’re showing symptoms.

Professor Heneghan said data from Liverpool showed “cases have come down by about half, admissions have now stabilised…”

“But, actually, the tier restrictions… the people in Liverpool have dropped cases from about 490 a day down to 260 a day – a significant drop.

“The R value is well below one in Liverpool at this moment in time.”

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