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News Digest: Olympic gold medal winner Greg celebrates first son’s birth


Olympic champion Greg Rutherford

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford has leapt into a new period of his life after becoming a father for the first time.

The London 2012 gold medal-winning long jumper — who has had a son Milo with his girlfriend Susie Verrill — said Milo Andrew William James Nugget Rutherford was born on October 20, weighing 8lbs.

Explaining the lengthy name, he said: “William and James after our granddads, and Nugget is the name we gave him when Susie was first pregnant. We’ve even put it on the birth certificate.”

In an interview with Hello! magazine, he said: “He’s in my thoughts when I’m going to jump and that brings a great deal more emotion.”

Million vote in poll on independence

More than a million voters participated yesterday in an informal vote on whether Catalonia should secede from the rest of Spain, officials said.

The regional Catalan government pushed forward with the vote despite Spain's Constitutional Court ordering its suspension last Tuesday after it agreed to hear the Spanish government's challenge that the poll is unconstitutional.

The Catalan government said more than 1.1 million of the 5.4 million eligible voters had voted by 1pm local time at polling stations manned with more than 40,000 volunteers. Results are expected today.

"Despite the enormous impediments, we have been able to get out the ballot boxes and vote," regional president Artur Mas said after depositing his ballot at a school in Barcelona.

The ballot asks voters two questions: should Catalonia be a state and, if so, should it be independent?

Polls show the majority of Catalonia's 7.5 million inhabitants want an official vote on independence while around half support breaking centuries-old ties with Spain.

Spanish state prosecutors said yesterday they were investigating if any laws were broken by holding the informal vote.

Four hurt as ferry hits harbour wall

An investigation will look into how a ferry carrying 320 passengers hit a harbour wall as it made its way into the English Channel.

Four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries after passengers and crew were evacuated from the Dover Seaways ship which hit the dock as it left the harbour for the 8am crossing to Dunkirk yesterday, Port of Dover officials confirmed.

Passengers posted pictures on Twitter and Facebook showing upturned chairs and shop stock strewn across the floor and a disabled woman was reportedly knocked unconscious.

Keith Etherton (54) and his wife Silvia(51), who were on board the ferry when the incident happened, told Kent Online that they were thrown across the deck just moments after the ferry started its journey.

Mr Etherton, who was on his way to visit friends in Germany said: "It was like Titanic hitting the iceberg because it crashed into the wall.

"There was only going to be one winner - and that was the wall."

Fourteen die after bus on church excursion crashes

A bus carrying a group on a religious excursion has crashed, killing 14 people and injuring 38.

A regional church authority in Murcia said one of two buses bringing back 55 members of a religious group from a day trip in Madrid to the town of Bullas ran off the road and tumbled down a 15-metre dirt embankment. The crash occurred near the town of Cieza.

The regional government said 23 passengers were still in hospital and that police were investigating the cause of the crash.

Murder probe launched as pensioner (82) is stabbed

Police are treating the death of an elderly man as murder - two days after his stabbed body was discovered by paramedics.

The 82-year-old was found at a property in Walkley Hill in Stroud last Friday following reports he had died.

Gloucestershire Police yesterday announced a murder inquiry was under way as it is "now clear" the man died from stab wounds.

Officers earlier arrested a 47-year-old man, who is local to Stroud, more than 100 miles away in Southsea, Hampshire.

Belfast Telegraph