Anglesey child kidnap case: Six charged over knifepoint abduction

Six people have been charged with kidnapping a child allegedly abducted at knifepoint and taken about 200 miles from home.

The child was reportedly abducted in Anglesey, north Wales, on Wednesday.

They were found unharmed later that day about 320km away in Northamptonshire.

Six adults accused of kidnap and are due to appear before Llandudno Magistrates on Monday, North Wales Police said. One has also been charged with possession of a bladed article.

Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi, dies aged 72

The former chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, has died aged 72 about a month after being diagnosed with cancer, a spokesman for his office has confirmed.

He died in the early hours of Saturday morning, the spokesman said.

Lord Sacks was a prolific writer and regularly contributed to radio and TV programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine Taylor, their three children and several grandchildren.

A statement from Lord Sacks’ office on 15 October announced he had been “recently diagnosed with cancer” and was undergoing treatment.

Lord Sacks, an Orthodox Jew, was born in London on 8 March 1948.

In 1991 he became Britain’s chief rabbi – the spiritual head of the largest grouping of Orthodox Jewish communities in the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply saddened” by Lord Sacks’ death, adding: “His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also paid tribute, saying: “He was a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community.”

Marie van der Zyl, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, described Lord Sacks as a “giant of both the Jewish community and wider society”.

“His outstanding tenure as chief rabbi led to a revolution in Jewish life and learning which has ensured his legacy will pass not just through his own beloved family, but through generations of our community’s young people too,” she said.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis hailed his predecessor as “an extraordinary ambassador for Judaism”.

A statement from the chief rabbi’s office said on Saturday that Lord Sacks’ “remarkable legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of the countless people he inspired”.

Lord Sacks, who was made a crossbench life peer in 2009, often tried to find compromise between conservative and liberal factions of the British Jewish population.

At a tribute dinner held in May 2013 for the departing chief rabbi, the Prince of Wales defined Lord Sacks as “a steadfast friend” and “a valued adviser” and praised his “spiritual awareness and [his] comprehensively informed philosophical and historical perceptiveness.”

Boris Johnson congratulates Joe Biden on US election win

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is among politicians congratulating Joe Biden on his US presidential election win.

Mr Johnson said he looked forward to “working closely” with Mr Biden.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer praised Mr Biden’s campaign of “decency, integrity, compassion and strength”.

Vote counting continues after Tuesday’s election, but the BBC projected on Saturday that Mr Biden has surpassed 270 electoral college votes – the threshold required to win.

Donald Trump’s campaign has indicated the incumbent president does not plan to concede.

Mr Johnson said in a statement on Twitter on Saturday: “The US is our important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”

Mr Johnson also congratulated the president-elect’s running mate, Kamala Harris, on “her historic achievement”. She will be the country’s first female vice-president.

Sir Keir said on Twitter that Mr Biden’s campaign was based on “decency, integrity, compassion and strength”, which are “values that we in the United Kingdom share”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Mr Trump had “fought hard” but that he was looking forward to working with the new administration.

“The UK-US friendship has always been a force for good in the world,” he added.

They won’t be seen as natural allies: Joe Biden, the seasoned Democrat, and Boris Johnson, the bombastic Brexiteer.

In looking at how their future relationship might work, it’s worth considering the past. Specifically that seminal year, 2016, when Donald Trump won the White House and the UK voted to leave the EU. Both Mr Biden and his boss at the time, Barack Obama, made no secret they preferred another outcome on Brexit.

The UK government’s recent manoeuvres in relation to Brexit have not gone down well with key Democrats and the Irish lobby, including the US president-elect. Mr Biden said he would not allow peace in Northern Ireland to become a “casualty of Brexit” if elected – stating that any future US-UK trade deal would be contingent upon respecting the Good Friday Agreement.

The “special relationship” could, feasibly, face a downgrade. However, the two men may yet find some common ground.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said the result was “a great victory for social justice, climate action and democracy”.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon also shared her congratulations, while SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the win “gives great hope to progressives here in Scotland and around the world”.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford tweeted that he was looking forward to working with Mr Biden “to build on the strong links between Wales and USA”.

The BBC’s projection of Mr Biden’s victory is based on the unofficial results from states that have already finished counting their votes, and the expected results from states like Wisconsin where the count is continuing.

The election has seen the highest turnout since 1900. Mr Biden has won more than 73 million votes so far, the most ever for a US presidential candidate. Mr Trump has drawn almost 70 million, the second-highest tally in history.

Man fined after 60 turn up to party at Manchester flat

A man has been fined £10,000 after about 60 people turned up at a party in a two-bedroom flat in Manchester.

Police said they found people were not distancing and music was being played from large speakers at the gathering in Withy Grove last Sunday.

The organiser, aged 38, was fined on Friday for holding an illegal gathering of more than 30 people.

Supt Chris Hill said “organising this flat party was a clear act of non-compliance”.

Milind Soman: Actor and model charged over nude photo

Indian actor and model Milind Soman has been charged by police after he shared a naked picture of himself on Instagram.

Soman posted the image on Wednesday, showing him sprinting nude down a Goa beach, with the caption “Happy Birthday to me!”. 

It attracted over 147,000 likes and thousands of comments.

But police were called to action following a complaint by political party Goa Suraksha Manch.

The party said Soman had indulged in public obscenity, and tainted Goa’s image.

Police charged him on Friday with public obscenity and sharing lewd images online.

In an interview with the Bombay Times, his wife Ankita Konwar, who took the photo, said it “sends out a very positive message on body positivity and being free and happy with who you are.

“I think anyone who accepts themselves for who they are has this incredible light and energy around them, and people start liking their presence,” she added. “Milind’s always been like that. Always himself.”

Sameer Khutwalker, president of Goa Suraksha Manch, told the Indian Express newspaper he was happy Soman had been charged.

“He has used Goa for cheap publicity and acted foolishly on a public beach,” said Mr Khutwalker.

“When these things become public, people will imagine that ‘anything is possible in Goa,” he added. “When will all this stop?”

It is the second time Soman has been booked for charges of obscenity. In 1995, he and model Madhu Sapre were charged for appearing nude in an advertising campaign, wearing only a pair of shoes and a python wrapped around them.

Earlier this year, Soman posted the picture on his social media, with the caption “What the reaction would have been if it had been released today…”.

The latest charge also comes days after actor and model Poonam Pandey, and her husband, were arrested for allegedly trespassing on government property and shooting an “objectionable” video at a dam in Goa. The pair have since been released on bail.

Afghanistan violence: Former TV presenter Yama Siawash killed

A well-known former television presenter has been killed in a blast in Afghanistan that officials have blamed on militants linked to the Taliban.

Yama Siawash was an anchor on the private TV channel Tolo News and had recently started work at the country’s central bank.

He and two others were killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded near his home in the capital Kabul.

No group has officially claimed the attack.

But the interior ministry has reportedly blamed the Haqqani militant group, which is linked to the Taliban and is classed as a terrorist organisation by the US.

President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly ordered an investigation into the killings.

Siawash had a bachelor’s degree in law and political science. He spent almost a decade working as a journalist in Afghanistan and was one of Tolo TV’s most prominent presenters before starting work as a public relations adviser for the Central Bank of Afghanistan.

Another bank employee, Ahmadullah Anas, died in the attack along with their driver Mohammad Amin. Pictures on social media show the car engulfed in flames after the attack.

Violence in Afghanistan has worsened in recent months including targeted killings of journalists, politicians and rights activists.

Last week the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported that in the last three months there had been a 50% rise in “enemy-initiated attacks” compared with the previous three.

It comes as the Taliban conducts peace talks with the Afghan government in Doha, Qatar. The talks – which follow an earlier peace agreement between the Taliban and the US in February – have stalled over preliminary issues.

Abdullah Abdullah, who heads Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process, condemned the attack as an “unforgiveable” crime.

And Ross Wilson, US chargé d’affaires in Kabul, tweeted that he was “shocked” by the attack and expressed his sympathies for the families of those killed.

“This attack is an assault on freedom of the press, one of Afghanistan’s core democratic principles,” he posted.

Brexit: Significant differences remain over trade deal

“Significant differences” between the UK and the EU remain, as negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal continue, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said

Following a call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday, the PM said progress had been made but there were still issues around the “level playing field” and fishing.

Both parties agreed negotiating teams would resume talks in London on Monday.

They also agreed to remain “in close contact” over the coming days.

A statement from Downing Street on Saturday said:

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson today spoke with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for a stock take on the progress in the negotiations between the UK and the EU.

“The prime minister set out that, while some progress had been made in recent discussions, significant differences remain in a number of areas, including the so-called level playing field and fish.

“The prime minister and president agreed that their negotiating teams would continue talks in London next week, beginning on Monday, in order to redouble efforts to reach a deal.

“They agreed to remain in personal contact about the negotiations,” the statement said.

Echoing Mr Johnson, Ms von der Leyen acknowledged “some progress had been made, but large differences remain”. “Our teams will continue working hard next week,” she wrote on Twitter.

The prime minister has said he believes there is “a deal to be done” and “very much hopes” to come to an agreement, but he has insisted the country was “very well prepared” to move on should the two parties not be able to agree a deal.

Meanwhile, the National Audit Office has warned of “significant disruption” when the Brexit transition period ends.

The UK left the EU on 31 January and entered the transition period – continuing to follow many EU rules – while a trade deal was negotiated.

But while both sides said a deal needed to be done in October, they have yet to come to an agreement, and talks between the negotiating teams have intensified.

The transition period is due to come to an end on 31 December, meaning the UK would trade with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules – meaning tariffs are imposed – if a deal is not in place.

Critics say this could cause damage to the UK economy, but the government insists the country will prosper with or without a deal.

Earlier this week, both the UK and EU’s chief trade negotiators warned of “wide” and “serious divergences” between the two sides.

Sticking points include fishing rights, competition rules and how a deal would be enforced.

Asked on Friday if the UK could get a deal in the next 10 days, Mr Johnson said: “I very much hope that we will, but obviously that depends on our friends and partners across the Channel.

“I think there is a deal to be done, if they want to do it.

“If not, the country is, of course, very well prepared. As I have said before, we can do very well with on Australian terms [without a deal], if that is what we have to go for.”

Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s minister for European affairs, said the talks up to this point between the EU and UK’s negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, had been “difficult”, with “big issues” still remaining.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I personally don’t expect that there would me major progress today, but at the same time I think it’s very good that they are talking – I think that’s really positive. But I’m not sure that we would expect a moment at this point.”

Mr Byrne was also asked if there could be a “new dynamic” to discussions between the UK and EU if Joe Biden was elected the US president, saying it was “certainly possible”.

Mr Biden, who has Irish roots, said in September that he would not allow peace in Northern Ireland to become a “casualty of Brexit” if he was elected president.

Mr Byrne said: “He was very clear in his suggestion and statement on the 16th of September that any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent on respect for the Good Friday Agreement and preventing the return of the hard border.”

Four hurt in crash closing M1 northbound between Mansfield and Matlock

Four people have been hurt after a van and a car were involved in a crash closing part of the M1 northbound.

The van overturned at about 09:35 GMT between junctions 27 near Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire, and 28 near Matlock, in Derbyshire.

East Midlands Ambulance Service said three patients were taken to Queen’s Medical Centre and the other to Kings Mill Hospital. Their injuries are not yet known.

The motorway has since reopened.

Belpers mass moo returns for second lockdown

A town’s mass moo to bring positivity and fight boredom during the first lockdown has made a comeback.

For 83 days from March, hundreds of residents in Belper, Derbyshire gathered on doorsteps and leant out windows at 18:30 for a two-minute moo.

For the next four weeks, bellow organiser, Jasper Ward said they had vowed to return.

He said it would “give people something to look forward to in these long dark nights”.

The chorus which became known as The Belper Moo ended on June 14, the night before non-essential shops reopened in England.

“Back then it was all very novel, the sun was shining and the togetherness was very intoxicating,” said Mr Ward.

“We were all cheering Captain Tom and applauding the NHS, but eight months on everyone’s stamina has been really tested and we are all a bit worn out with it, but it’s defiance in the face of that overbearing gloom.”

The original concept of the moo was to have fun and be silly but Mr Ward said it had brought the town together.

“It’s good fun to be moo-ing again but I really wished we weren’t,” he added.

“Once the weather really turns there is every chance that some people behind closed doors won’t interact with another person that day or step out the house, so if nothing else, it gives them a reason to open a window and let off some steam or connect with a neighbour for a few seconds.”

Belper, which also boasts a quirky Mr Potato Head statue, even saw people in Australia, Japan and the US joining them with the moo.

Mr Ward said: “You can’t see people but last night a man who lives opposite came out. I recognised his moo through the darkness.”

Back in April, resident Isabel Kennedy said the moo had become “the highlight of my day.”

“It brought our little four house, Quarry Road comoo-nity together in a way that sustained beyond lockdown and is tighter than ever now.”

Extinction Rebellion protester scales Norwich crane

An Extinction Rebellion protester has climbed a crane, prompting an emergency services response.

Police were called to reports a protester, thought to be a 17-year-old boy, was at the top of a crane in Duke Street in Norwich at about 06:40 GMT.

Banners have been hung from the machine and the protester has not come down. Three other people were arrested in connection with the incident.

Emergency services are at the scene and people are asked to avoid the area.