Brexit deal: Guernsey backs UK agreement

Guernsey deputies have voted unanimously to include the island in the UK’s Brexit agreement with the EU.

The States Assembly voted for the new trade deal to be extended to Guernsey and for the UK Government to ratify it on the island’s behalf.

Guernsey’s most senior politician, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, said the island would be “entering a world of great opportunity”.

Alderney and Sark are also discussing their positions on the Brexit deal.

The agreement was reached on Christmas Eve after months of fraught talks on issues including fishing rights and business rules.

MPs will vote on the deal in Parliament on 30 December.

£1.8m lottery winner in West Lothian still to claim cash

The holder of a £1.8m EuroMillions lottery prize has still to claim their winnings.

Players are being urged to check their tickets after one that was bought in West Lothian scooped the sum in the 11 December draw.

The ticket, which matched the five main numbers and one lucky star number, is worth a total of £1,886,380.

If no-one comes forward to claim the winning ticket the money will go to good causes.

Camelot’s Andy Carter, a senior winners’ advisor at The National Lottery, said the ticket holder has until 9 June next year to claim their prize.

He said: “We’re desperate to find this mystery ticket holder and unite them with their winnings.

“We’re urging everyone who bought a ticket in this area to check their old EuroMillions tickets again or look anywhere a missing ticket could be hiding.”

Teen critically injured in Stockport police vehicle crash

A 15-year-old boy is critically ill after he was hit by a police vehicle responding to a call out.

Officers were heading to a report of a domestic disturbance when the boy was struck on Garners Lane, Stockport, at about 21:30 GMT on Saturday, Greater Manchester Police said.

The officers stopped and administered trauma care to the boy until an ambulance arrived, a spokesman said.

He was taken to hospital where he is in a critical state with a head injury.

The incident has been referred by GMP to its Professional Standards Branch, which has launched an investigation, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Oxford Circus: Grenfell among graffiti sprayed over Tube station

A platform in one of London’s biggest Tube stations has been covered with graffiti dedicated to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

The artwork was found on the northbound Victoria and Bakerloo line platform at Oxford Circus on Saturday.

British Transport Police said the graffiti was reported at 07:00 GMT. Officers were investigating.

Part of the artwork was dedicated to Grenfell, a London tower block fire which killed 72 people in 2017.

“Grenfell” was painted across an advertising board on the platform while another spray painted message reads: “Oi!! Muppets. What if it was your “houses” that burnt down!!! All power to the people”, with the letters M P and S circled to refer to members of Parliament.

It is not known who carried out the graffiti however the artwork was tagged with DDS and TVZ, graffiti artists who have previously spray painted the train track in Camden and Kilburn as well as the Southbank skate park and a hoarding on Westbourne Grove.

The Tube network was closed on Christmas Day.

Transport for London (TfL) has recently said the Underground network was safe. It issued the response following a Freedom of Information Act request by the BBC after well-known street artist Banksy spray painted a train carriage.

It said figures from the British Transport Police indicated graffiti on trains was currently at an eight-year high.

“There is a growing culture, fuelled by social media, which encourages the aspiring graffiti artist to target TfL trains and post the results on dedicated social media pages,” it said.

Pi the whale is Christmas treat for Scilly islanders

A humpback whale has provided Scilly islanders with a Christmas treat.

The giant mammal appeared off St Mary’s on Christmas Eve and has been spotted every day cruising just a few hundred metres from the shore.

The whale has drawn many islanders to the coastline, including photographer Martin Goodey who nicknamed it Pi after the film Life of Pi.

Pi is also thought to have been spotted off the Cornwall coast over the summer because markings on its tail match.

Mr Goodey said: “It has been close to the shore so people walking along the coast can see it.

“We have plenty of dolphins, but we don’t often get the opportunity to see humpback whales.

“They are rare visitors to the islands, so it’s quite special.”

Wildlife expert Lucy McRobert, who lives on the islands, said there could be two whales, perhaps a mother and a calf, although there are no pictures of the two together.

Both appeared to be healthy, moving in and out with the tides and feeding in the shallow waters, she said.

“There are people who have lived their whole lives in the islands and have only seen humpback whales once or twice,” she said.

“It appears they are recovering after being hunted excessively and we will continue to see more of them around Devon and Cornwall.”

Ms McRobert, who captured a whale on film, added: “It’s been a real delight to see how the whales have entered people’s lives here. Half the island has been out to see them.

“And it’s lovely to see how they have brought people together after this year of the pandemic.”

Christmas Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jumper a Twitter hit

‘Tis the season for a festive sweater but one woman’s throwback knit has really captured the Christmas spirit on social media.

As a three-year-old, London-based Hannah George sported an eye-catching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jumper knitted for her by her grandmother.

Now 30 years on, her mum on the Isle of Wight has created an exact replica and posted it in time for Christmas Day.

“I haven’t taken it off since,” Hannah told BBC Radio 5 Live.

She tweeted side-by-side photos of herself wearing the design now, and as a child 30 years ago, and it has so far been liked more than 18,000 times.

This year also marks the 30-year anniversary of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.

The movie introduced even more people to super-powered reptiles Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Rafael, who had already appeared in a 1980s TV series based on the comic books of the same name.

Film and television writer Hannah said she had mentioned the original jumper to her mum about three months ago but said she never expected she would actually knit a new one.

“Then come 25 December, she’s pulled out all the stops and made it for me,” said Hannah.

“She’s just the best mum in the world, just the kind of person who would do something so thoughtful.”

The 33-year-old said her mum had enjoyed having something creative to do in lockdown and “she knew how much I’d love it”.

“It’s really similar to the original one – a bit bigger obviously because I’ve grown slightly!”

Birmingham memory cop Andy Pope spots 2,000 suspects

A police officer with a remarkable talent for remembering faces has now identified more than 2,000 suspects.

West Midlands Police PCSO Andy Pope says he can remember faces for years and has even been able to single out wanted people wearing face coverings.

The 43-year-old was recognised by the force’s chief constable in 2018 when he passed the 1,000 milestone and is now aiming to reach 2,500 by 2022.

Mr Pope, from Redditch, said his talent was “impossible to explain”.

“It’s just an instinct that it is the person and thankfully it’s proven right,” the PCSO, nicknamed “memory man” by colleagues, said.

“Although it’s been a year like no other, I’ve still carried on as usual with the same preparation coming on to a shift.

“I’ve made sure I’m fully updated on the images of people wanted by the force, and it’s paid off.”

Mr Pope works in Birmingham and patrols transport hubs in the West Midlands, spending most of his time on trains and buses.

His record for the most suspects identified in one day was 17 and he was once able to recognise a man in a restaurant while waiting at traffic lights.

Mr Pope joined the force in 2012 and is one of only 20 members of the Association of Super Recognisers, a body representing those with excellent memory capabilities and which wants the skill to be recognised as a branch of forensic science.

He was also nominated for the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2020 for his work.

Storm Bella winds give way to snow and ice warning

Winds of almost 60mph have been recorded as Storm Bella moves across Northern Ireland.

But NI has missed the worst of the conditions that have rattled England and Wales, with strong winds now giving way to warnings of ice and snow.

Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing on Sunday night after a prolonged batch of sleet and snow.

A Met Office snow and ice warning is in force until Sunday 15:00 GMT, and again from 18:00 GMT until Monday morning.

A prolonged batch of sleet and snow is expected to move in from the north on Sunday evening as the second Met warning comes into force.

This will be followed by clear spells overnight when temperatures will widely drop to between 1 and minus 2 degrees Celsius with lows of -4C in sheltered rural areas.

Met Éireann also have a snow and ice warning in place for the northwest, as Storm Bella leaves hundreds without power in the Republic of Ireland.

The wind warning has lapsed after gusts reached 59mph at Castlederg and Katesbridge late on Boxing Day.

A colder airmass is likely to bring treacherous icy conditions as bands of wintry showers are moving through, bringing a mix of sleet and snow for many.

Heavier showers are expected to bring snow temporarily down to low levels, although settling snow is still most likely on the hills.

The cold snap is expected to stay with us this week with blustery northerly winds bringing sunny spells and further wintry showers, and also frost and ice at night.

Thursday and Friday should see fewer showers and more sunny spells, with less wind but daytime highs are expected to reach only mid single figures.

Swindon paramedics attacked by man with knife on Christmas Day

Paramedics responding to an emergency on Christmas Day were attacked by a man with a knife.

The crew fled to their ambulance, which was then driven into during the incident in the centre of Swindon.

A 39 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray, criminal damage and drink driving.

Insp Steve Love, of Wiltshire Police, said it was a “sad reality” that emergency workers feared for their safety “on a daily basis”.

In a statement police said South Western Ambulance Service were called to an address in Morse Street at about 16:30 GMT.

While there, the attack happened and the paramedics, fearing for their safety, left the house to shelter in their ambulance while police were called.

The arrested man remains in custody at Swindon’s Gablecross Police Station.

Insp Love said: “Nobody should be made to feel in danger when trying to carry out their work, especially when that work involves protecting our communities.

“We will do all we can to protect emergency workers doing their job and urge the public to respect our officers and members of the ambulance service and fire service and to help us to help you.”

Christmas sinkhole forces road closure

Part of a residential road has been fenced off after a sinkhole opened up on Christmas Day.

Bristol City Council earlier closed off Canynge Square in Clifton and said staff were “confident there is no risk to property or residents”.

The authority said tree surgeons will work on trees as a precaution ahead of forecast bad weather.

Residents said they heard a “loud noise” at about 22:30 GMT on Friday and found a tree had fallen into the hole.

Michael Woodman-Smith, who lives in the square, said the scene was “absolutely dramatic” after the tree’s collapse.

He said: “There was a bang. To be honest it could have been a door slamming. It wasn’t enormous.

“But the scene is absolutely dramatic. To see an enormous, forest-sized tree sitting in a huge hole is really remarkable.”