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News Digest: President of Barcelona is indicted over Neymar 'fraud'

By Staff Reporters

A judge has indicted Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell for tax fraud and fraudulent administration in a probe centring on the signing of Brazilian star Neymar.

Investigative magistrate Pablo Ruz accused the club of fabricating a labyrinth of contracts to hide the real cost of signing the striker in 2013.

The judge said Neymar cost at least €83.3m (£60m), while Barcelona officials insist they paid €57m (£40m).

Mr Bartomeu took over the Catalan club when Mr Rosell resigned in January last year after being named a suspect in the case and investigated for misappropriating funds to hide the transfer cost.

No trial date has been set.

Weatherman jailed over sex assaults

TV weatherman Fred Talbot is beginning a five-year jail sentence after he indecently assaulted two schoolboys to "feed his own sexual desires".

Talbot (65), a regular on the floating weather map in Liverpool's Albert Dock for ITV's top-rating This Morning show, is also facing further investigation into allegations of abuse in Scotland.

Police said Talbot had destroyed the teenage boys' childhoods with his "abhorrent abuse of trust".

Detective Chief Inspector Graham Brock, of Greater Manchester Police, described Talbot, who taught biology at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, as a "likeable" but "devious" man.

Sentencing Talbot, Judge Timothy Mort said the teacher abused his position of trust by assaulting the two schoolboys.

The judge said Talbot, who assaulted the boys on school trips in the mid-1970s, had taken pupils on as many as 38 school trips, including camping trips to Scotland.

Judge Mort sentenced Talbot to two-and-a-half years for each offence, to run consecutively.

He said he would serve half his sentence before being considered for release on licence.

Hillsborough officer called for dogs

Hillsborough police chief David Duckenfield called for police dogs instead of ambulances as fans were crushed to death in the football tragedy, the inquests have heard.

But the former South Yorkshire Police chief superintendent, who was match commander on the day of the disaster, denied his mindset was focused on hooliganism rather than fans' safety.

The retired officer, aged 70, was being cross-examined for a third day by the lawyers of the relatives of the 96 who died.

He has already made a series of admissions about "mistakes" he made, confessed that he lied in the aftermath and apologised "unreservedly" to fans' families. On the day of the disaster, police became overwhelmed by fans at the turnstiles as kick-off approached and Mr Duckenfield gave the order at 2.52pm to open gates to let them in.

Up to 2,000 fans poured in through Gate C, many heading straight for a tunnel - which Mr Duckenfield, as match commander, had not ordered to be closed, a "blunder of the first magnitude", the inquest heard.

Energy emissions stalled despite economic growth

Paris: Global energy emissions stayed stable last year even though the economy grew, according to new data.

The rising use of renewable energy, particularly in China, played a role in keeping emissions from the energy sector to 32.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide last year, the same as in 2013, the International Energy Agency said.

Over the past 50 years, the only other times that emissions stayed the same or shrank were during economic downturns.

The global economy grew last year by 3%.

Islamic State hails loyality pledge from Boko Haram

Islamic State has accepted a pledge of allegiance by the Nigerian Boko Haram group.

The development comes as both terror groups are under increasing military pressure and have suffered setbacks on the battlefield.

Islamic State (IS) seized much of northern and western Iraq last summer, gaining control of about a third of both Iraq and Syria.

But it is now struggling against Iraqi forces and US-led coalition attacks.

Boko Haram, meanwhile, has been weakened by a multinational force in Nigeria.

Belfast Telegraph


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