Belfast Telegraph

Margaret Atwood: Booker Prize will be irrelevant if we don't save the planet 

Booker Prize-winner Margaret Atwood has said literary awards will be irrelevant unless action is taken over the environment. The Canadian author was jointly awarded the prestigious prize for The Testaments, and wore the badge of Extinction Rebellion as she accepted the honour. Showing solidarity in turn by wearing the protest group's hourglass symbol, the veteran author said environmental crises will affect lives within a generation and has supported international calls for action. She added that her own most recent literary honour - her second Booker Prize following a win for The Blind Assassin in 2000 - will be an irrelevance in a world riven by environmental problems.

Drink-driving footballers told they brought 'shame on club' as they avoid jail 

Two Derby County footballers were told they have brought "shame upon yourselves, your family, your profession and your club" after they admitted drink-driving over a crash which left a team-mate seriously injured. Wales international Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett were ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work and were disqualified from driving for two years by a district judge at Derby Magistrates' Court, who said he had considered jailing the pair.

Queen and Camilla mark 750th anniversary of Westminster Abbey rebuild 

The Queen attends a service at Westminster Abbey with the Duchess of Cornwall to mark the 750th anniversary of the re-building of the church. The Queen wore a Stewart Parvin dress and coat in putty grey and fuchsia with a matching hat by Angela Kelly. Camilla, wearing a pale blue crepe dress and coat by Bruce Oldfield and matching hat by Philip Treacy, was greeted by Westminster Sub Dean, the Venerable David Stanton. The service, attended by more than 2,000 people, celebrated 750 years since Edward the Confessor's original church was rebuilt under the reign of King Henry III. The Gothic abbey was consecrated on October 13, 1269.

Glamorous rickshaw transports Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan reception 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived at a reception at Pakistan's historic national monument, which is set to highlight the relationship between the UK and the Commonwealth country. The royal couple travelled to the event, hosted by Thomas Drew, the British Commissioner for Pakistan, in a colourful rickshaw. Kate wore a glittering emerald dress by Jenny Packham, while William wore a similar-coloured sherwani by Karachi-based designer Naushemian.

William and Imran Khan reminisce over friendship with Diana 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met Imran Khan on the second day of their five-day royal tour of Pakistan. The Duke of Cambridge and Pakistan’s prime minister reminisced about when the ex-test cricketer spoke of his political ambitions more than 20 years ago. The duke told how everyone laughed at a gathering in Richmond-upon-Thames, south-west London, in 1996 when Mr Khan announced his ambition of becoming his nation's prime minister to William and his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. The former international cricketer was a friend of Diana, who had taken the young duke to visit him and his then-wife, Jemima Khan.

Extinction Rebellion protesters removed from Trafalgar Square 

Police have ordered climate change protesters in London to stop their action immediately or face arrest in an effort to put an end to more than a week's disruption in the capital. Activists with Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been told to leave Trafalgar Square. Many had congregated there lawfully since October 7. Scotland Yard said activists were told to cease their protests by 9pm on October 15 or face arrest. More than 1,400 people have been arrested during eight days' XR action, with the threat that anyone defying police orders will also be detained.

Bulgaria's manager denies hearing any racist chanting during England game 

Bulgaria's manager Krasimir Balakov denies hearing any racist chanting during their Euro 2020 qualifying match against England. The match in Sofia was marred by abuse directed at England’s black players during the 6-0 win for Gareth Southgate’s men, and the FA called on UEFA to take swift action as soon as the game ended. At half-time Bulgaria's captain Ivelin Popov seemed to make an appeal to fans to put an end to their chanting, instead of heading into the changing room, a move that has been called 'courageous' but the English side. However, Balkov suggests that is not what happened, saying his captain was probably apologising to the crowds for their poor performance. England skipper Harry Kane spoke to Croatian referee Ivan Bebek and the first step of the UEFA anti-racism protocol – a stadium announcement to call on the abuse to stop – was enacted in the 28th minute. Further abuse was reported to the match officials towards the end of the first half, with the referee halting play. However, it is understood this suspension of play did not constitute the second part of the UEFA protocol, which would involve the players being taken temporarily off the pitch. The final stage of the protocol would have been the abandonment of the match. Anti-discrimination group Fare will now help UEFA build a “legally safe” case to prosecute Bulgaria after the abusive chanting. The Fare network had observers inside the Levski Stadium in Sofia who fed their information to UEFA delegates, and this along with television footage will form part of the evidence European football’s governing body uses when making decisions on any sanctions. Football Association chairman Greg Clarke last night called for football to take a “zero tolerance” approach to racism after the Euro 2020 qualifier was marred by abusive chants directed towards England’s black players and staff throughout the match.

Green Party MEP arrested in Trafalgar Square during climate change protest 

Ellie Chowns, Green Party MEP, is arrested after standing in solidarity with protesters in Trafalgar Square. Police have ordered climate change protesters to stop their action immediately or face arrest, in an effort to put an end to more than a week's disruption in London. Activists with Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been told to leave Trafalgar Square, where many have congregated lawfully since Monday last week, as police seek to expunge the protesters from the capital. More than 1,400 people have been arrested during eight days' XR action, with the threat that anyone defying police orders will also be detained.

Terrorist who tried to kill cyclists and police outside Parliament jailed 

A copycat terrorist who tried to "kill as many people as possible" when he ploughed into cyclists and police officers outside the Houses of Parliament has been jailed for life. Salih Khater, 30, drove his Ford Fiesta into a pedestrian and riders who had stopped at a red light in Parliament Square on August 14 last year. He then careered into a security lane and crashed into barriers as two police officers jumped out of the way.

Injured football fan taken away in ambulance after bar fight in Sofia 

Warning: contains strong language. An injured football fan is taken away in an ambulance after a reported clash between football fans at a bar in Sofia. Images from the aftermath of the incident showed a young man, thought to be an England supporter, being walked into the vehicle with blood spattered on his clothes and a scarf wrapped around one hand. Bulgarian police confirmed an incident had taken place involving two foreign nationals. One was treated for injuries to their hand and the other was arrested.

Evidence against Harry Dunn accused 'extremely clear' 

The parents of 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry Dunn, who died in a crash on August 27, have called on the US suspect in the case to return to the UK to face justice. Mr Dunn's mother Charlotte Charles told a press conference in New York that they felt let down by the decision to allow Anne Sacoolas to return to America shortly after the crash outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. Mrs Sacoolas had been said to be covered by diplomatic immunity as the spouse of a US intelligence official, although that protection is now in dispute

Hundreds turn out for killed Pc Andrew Harper’s funeral 

Tributes have been paid at the funeral of the “treasured” Pc Andrew Harper after he was killed while responding to a burglary. Pc Harper’s wife Lissie and his brother Sean were among 800 mourners who attended a private funeral at Christ Church cathedral in Oxford on Monday. The service was preceded by a procession through the city, led by mounted officers of Thames Valley Police and watched by members of the public gathered outside the church.

Ferrybridge cooling towers demolished 

Four cooling towers at Ferrybridge Power Station have been demolished in a "significant milestone in the history of the UK energy industry". Parts of West Yorkshire came to a standstill as the landmark towers, at the junction of the A1(M) and M62 motorways, collapsed in a controlled explosion. Around 100 homes were evacuated around the site during the demolition and people gathered on roadsides and in nearby fields to watch the blowdown. Roads were closed and rolling road blocks were used on the motorways as the towers were collapsed. Spectators in nearby Pontefract watched in the rain as the four 114-metre-high towers collapsed in huge clouds of dust in a demolition that took around 10 seconds. Ferrybridge C, in West Yorkshire, provided the UK with energy for 50 years until its owners, energy company SSE, made the decision to close the coal-fired power station in March 2016.

Deadly typhoon strikes Japan 

Helicopters, boats and thousands of troops were deployed across Japan to rescue people stranded in flooded homes as the death toll from a ferocious typhoon climbed to at least 19 with more than a dozen missing. Public broadcaster NHK said 14 rivers across the nation had flooded, some spilling out in more than one spot. The casualty toll was compiled by Kyodo News service and was higher than one given by the government spokesman earlier on Sunday, a day after Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo and battered central and northern Japan with torrents of rain and powerful gusts of wind.

Arndale stabbings 'unlikely to be politically or religiously motivated' 

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, speaks at the Arndale shopping centre. A knife attack at the complex appears to have been "more mental health-related" than politically or religiously motivated, he said. Three people are recovering from stab wounds after a man armed with a large knife lunged at shoppers on Friday morning. A 40-year-old was arrested within five minutes on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of an act of terrorism, and he was later detained under the Mental Health Act. Counter-terrorism officers continue to lead the investigation and are keeping an open mind about the reasons for the attack, but it is understood no political, religious or ideological motivation has so far been uncovered. Police have searched the man's address in Manchester as part of their inquiries. Mr Burnham held a press conference on Saturday in the reopened Arndale, close to the scene where less than 24 hours earlier the knifeman ran amok. He said: "Yesterday's incident in the Arndale centre was deeply distressing for those caught up in it, but of course for everybody across our whole area. "As the city returns to normality this morning, Greater Manchester is doing what it always does - which is to respond in a considered way, providing support to those who need it, prosecuting those responsible, and of course learning any lessons that may need to be learned. "We think first this morning of those recovering from their injuries and I am sure I speak for everybody in Greater Manchester in wishing them a very, very speedy recovery indeed. "This would appear to be an isolated incident so the message very much this morning is it's business as usual. "It is important not to jump to conclusions but what I can say is that at this stage, it would appear to be more mental health-related than political or religious motivated - but of course we need to allow the police to conduct their full inquiries and we keep an open mind on that until that work is complete."

Former Paralympic cyclist speaks about plane stunt outside court 

A former Paralympic cyclist accused of climbing on to a British Airways plane and gluing himself to it has denied causing a public nuisance. James Brown, 55, who is visually impaired, is alleged to have climbed on top of the aircraft at London City Airport on Thursday during the Extinction Rebellion protests. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday where a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by his solicitor Raj Chada.

Sperm whale dies on Northumberland shore 

A sperm whale, spotted dangerously close to the Northumberland shore yesterday, has died after beaching itself. It is believed that the young male - which is estimated to be between 36ft (11m) and 59ft (18m) long - had been around shallow waters in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea for more than a day. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, are not often seen in the North Sea as it lacks the giant and colossal squid they would usually feed on, which are to be found in more tropical waters.

Southgate accepts reality Czech in Prague and promises better in Bulgaria 

Gareth Southgate says England got what they deserved after the Czech Republic inflicted their first qualifying defeat in a decade. The Three Lions blew the chance to seal Euro 2020 qualification with three matches to spare as the Czechs capitalised on the visitors’ listless performance in Prague. Harry Kane’s fifth-minute penalty was as good as it got for England, with Jakub Brabec quickly levelling and substitute Zdenek Ondrasek netting a dream debut goal late on as the Czech Republic secured a memorable 2-1 comeback win.


From Belfast Telegraph