Solihull murders: Man charged over mother and daughter deaths

Raneem Oudeh and her mother Khaola SaleemImage copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Raneem Oudeh (left) and her mother Khaola Saleem were pronounced dead at the scene

A man has been charged with the murders of a mother and daughter in Solihull.

Khaola Saleem, 49, and Raneem Oudeh, 22, were found stabbed to death outside their home in Solihull in the early hours of Monday.

Ms Oudeh’s former partner Janbaz Tarin, 21, will appear before magistrates in Birmingham on Saturday.

He was arrested in the Sparkhill area of the city on Thursday, following an extensive search by West Midlands Police.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Ms Oudeh’s ex-partner Janbaz Tarin was arrested on Thursday in Birmingham

The pair were stabbed at Ms Saleem’s home in Northdown Road, Solihull, shortly after 00:30 BST on Monday and were confirmed dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination concluded they died from multiple stab wounds.

Ms Oudeh, who has a two-year-old son, and Mrs Saleem, who has five other children, were born in Syria.

Det Insp Caroline Corfield, from West Midlands Police, said: “The response to our appeals over the last few days has been fantastic and resulted in arresting and charging Tarin.

“I would like to personally thank the community for their support.

“Our thoughts continue to remain with Raneem and Khaola’s family who have been kept fully updated by this development.”

Ms Saleem’s brother-in-law said: “The family would like to express their sincere thanks for all the police are doing to bring justice for Khaola and Raneem.

“They would also like to thank the local Birmingham community and general public for their continued help and support.

“At this time, their [the family’s] hearts go out to their loved ones who had their lives so tragically cut short and especially to the young children they left behind.

“May they soon rest in peace and may justice be done.”

England beat Wales to reach Women’s World Cup finals in France next year

Highlights: Wales Women 0-3 England Women

England secured their place at the 2019 World Cup with a superb second-half display to break the resistance of a determined Wales side.

Second-half goals from Toni Duggan, Jill Scott and Nikita Parris in Newport saw England book their passage to France as Wales’ own impressive campaign was dealt a disappointing blow.

A squad filled with amateur players, Wales did not lose any of their other qualifiers and went an incredible 687 minutes without conceding in Group 1 before Duggan’s goal.

But they were second best to Phil Neville’s side, who stuck at their task before finding a more clinical edge after the break.

The result means the Lionesses are guaranteed to be group winners even before their final qualifier in Kazakhstan, while Wales must rely on other results going their way to get a second chance via the play-offs.

Rodney Parade unsettles England… for a time

Duggan fires England into lead against Wales

Wales would certainly have felt they got all the home advantage they could have wished for at League Two side Newport County’s compact ground, more famous for rugby than football.

The idea was to create a cauldron of noise, and that was exactly what Jayne Ludlow’s side got, as the Welsh broke their attendance record for a women’s international.

But if the hope was to unsettle the Lionesses, the opening exchanges did not suggest they were too rattled by the vociferous Welsh support.

Neville’s side could and should have led after only six minutes when Parris turned home an Alex Greenwood deflected shot that came back off the post.

Surprisingly, given the shot was deflected, Parris was onside and the assistant did not raise initially her flag, it was ruled out for offside.

Any English sense of injustice will have been tempered by the fact Wales had an early goal controversially ruled out in Southampton in the reverse fixture as a lack of goal-line technology potentially denied Natasha Harding a winner.

And other than Parris’ stroke of misfortune, Wales keeper Laura O’Sullivan was surprisingly underworked in a first half where England had plenty of possession but little to show for it.

Jordan Nobbs shot wide from long range, while O’Sullivan and Loren Dykes almost got themselves into danger when neither cleared with Jodie Taylor lurking, but O’Sullivan grabbed the ball at the second attempt. She also made a smart save from Duggan’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

Wales’ defensive masterclass is ended

Wales had gone 687 minutes without conceding in Group 1 before Duggan’s goal

Wales came into the contest with seven clean sheets from seven matches and their incredible organisation and team ethic was evident in both games against the Lionesses.

However, as at St Mary’s, their rearguard effort came at the expense of leaving their front two – Helen Ward and Kayleigh Green – somewhat isolated and ultimately the effort expended in defending took its toll.

Green did find space to race clear on 36 minutes and rounded goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, who managed to get a faint touch on the ball to deny the Brighton forward as Rodney Parade screamed for a penalty.

That was as close as Wales came.

England, for their part, looked devoid of ideas for how to break through for long periods.

The breakthrough finally came when O’Sullivan spilled Nobbs’ cross, allowing Fran Kirby to find Duggan, the Barcelona forward making no mistake as she drilled home.

And, once they took the lead, England did not look back as they finally made their superior quality tell.

Steph Houghton almost doubled the advantage with a curling free-kick that O’Sullivan tipped behind, but there was nothing the Wales goalkeeper could do on the hour when the impressive Scott headed home from Lucy Bronze’s touch to all but kill the contest.

Helen Ward came close for Wales as they looked to push forward, but the visitors added a third from another O’Sullivan error as she dropped Greenwood’s free-kick, allowing Taylor to find Parris who nodded home.

Player of the match – Jill Scott (England)

Scott always seemed to have an extra few seconds on the ball and a little bit of extra composure and underlined her impressive display with England’s second goal

Theresa May plot: Man jailed for life for Downing Street murder plan

Naa'imur RahmanImage copyright Met Police

A man who plotted to kill the prime minister in a suicide attack has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years.

Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 21, from north London, was convicted last month of preparing acts of terrorism.

Rahman had planned to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Rahman “would have carried out his attack” had he not been arrested.

Rahman was captured by an undercover operation involving the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI.

He was arrested moments after collecting a bag and jacket from an undercover operative that he believed had been fitted with explosives.

The judge said: “I am sure that at all material times Rahman believed the devices to be real and capable of causing serious harm.”

He added that the undercover officers involved in the case were “scrupulous” at all times and Rahman was the “instigator and author” of his own actions.

How Rahman was caught

By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani

Rahman made contact with IS recruiters via social media – but unbeknown to him the contact was actually an FBI agent.

That agent referred Rahman to an MI5 team of online role players who convinced him that they were genuine IS figures.

“I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament,” Rahman told the MI5 role players.

“I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. All I need now is a sleeper cell to lay low for now.”

Read more from Dominic Casciani

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Undercover officers gave Rahman a fake bomb

Rahman, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said, had been “told and believed” that the rucksack bomb given to him was “capable of causing casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena”, where 22 people were killed.

Rahman’s lawyer argued he had been brainwashed by his uncle – who was later killed in a drone strike while fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria – and said his client had not intended to go through with the plot.

But a probation report read to the court by the judge revealed that Rahman had admitted in prison he would have carried out the attack had he been able to.

A pre-sentence report described him as a “clever and cunning” young man who had the potential to “operate below the radar to dreadful effect”.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Rahman he would have “plenty of time” to study the Koran in prison, adding that Islam was “a religion of peace”.

The judge added that Rahman – originally from Birmingham – was a “very dangerous individual” and it was hard to predict if he will ever be de-radicalised.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption The jacket was filled with fake explosives

During his Old Bailey trial, Rahman pleaded guilty to a separate charge of engaging in conduct which assisted the preparation of terrorist acts, which related to a “sponsorship” video he filmed for an associate who allegedly wanted to join IS in Libya.

In addition to the life sentence, Rahman was handed six years in prison for the IS sponsorship video.

The sentences will run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

Salisbury Novichok 999 vehicles buried near Cheltenham

Police carsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Some of the vehicles involved in the response to the poisoning in March have been disposed off

A number of vehicles which were used in the response to the Salisbury Novichok poisoning have been buried at landfill.

Defra said the “potentially contaminated items” were taken to a site at Bishop’s Cleeve near Cheltenham before “being disposed of safely”.

A spokesman said the secure burial of the vehicles posed “absolutely no risk” to the public.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were poisoned with the nerve agent in March.

Then, on 30 June, Dawn Sturgess and Charlie Rowley fell ill at a house in Amesbury, about eight miles from Salisbury.

Police said they were exposed after handling a contaminated container – which is now believed to have been a perfume bottle.

Ms Sturgess died in hospital on 9 July. Mr Rowley was discharged from hospital on 20 July.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police and military staff were among hundreds of people who took part in searches for the contamination

All the affected vehicles had been kept in secure storage and as they are released from the investigation they are being sent to landfill.

The precise number has not been released but it is understood the figure will increase as the probe continues.

The Defra spokesman said once the contaminated sites were safe they could be returned to use, “and Wiltshire can get back to normal”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Maltings shopping centre was one of the many areas cordoned off

The Skripals were found collapsed on a bench in the Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, prompting a massive police and military investigation.

Ms Skripal and her father were discharged from Salisbury District Hospital in April and May respectively, following treatment.

A number of the locations victims visited, including Queen Elizabeth Gardens and land close to the Maltings shopping centre, have been decontaminated and handed back to the city.

Loughborough ‘sexsomniac’ jailed for raping woman

Karl Gammon Loughborough rapeImage copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Karl Gammon admitted having sex with the woman, but claimed he could not remember it and was asleep when it happened

A man who claimed he had sex with a woman while he was asleep has been jailed for five years for rape.

Karl Gammon had met the victim and her friend at a bar in Loughborough in March 2016 before attacking her.

The 24-year-old, of Albert Street in Loughborough, told a trial he suffered from “sexsomnia”, a form of non-insane automatism that meant he had sex with her without his knowledge or memory.

He was found guilty on 8 August after a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

East Midlands Live: Latest updates

Gammon, who was sentenced on Friday, has also been placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Leicestershire Police said DNA evidence proved he had had sex with the woman.

Det Sgt Tom Brenton, who led Leicestershire Police’s investigation into the case, said the victim was still “living with the trauma” of the attack more than two years later.

“Gammon’s victim has shown tremendous courage throughout the judicial process,” he said.

“Not only did Gammon prey on his victim when she was vulnerable, he claimed not to have knowledge of the rape when questioned by officers and as such she was forced to relive her ordeal in court.”

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New asthma treatment set for wider NHS distribution

Woman using an inhalerImage copyright Getty Images

A new treatment for severe asthma is set to be made more widely available on the NHS in the UK by the end of 2018.

The procedure, bronchial thermoplasty, “melts” away excess muscle tissue in the lungs using radio frequency, making breathing easier.

Previously there were strict criteria about who was eligible to receive it.

But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says it can be offered more routinely, after it was proved to be safe and effective.

Some people may still not be able to receive it because the final decision about whether to offer the procedure lies with local health bodies.

Who could benefit?

Some 5.4 million people in the UK have asthma – but for more than 200,000 of them (3.7%) the asthma is so severe, it can be life-threatening.

In fact, the most recent figures from Asthma UK show that 1,410 people died from asthma in 2016.

However, this “life-changing” treatment will be used only if a patient’s symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with drugs, and is only suitable for adults.

Joe Farrington-Douglas, the charity’s head of policy and external affairs, said: “This debilitating form of asthma is resistant to regular treatments, meaning many have to cope with terrifying asthma symptoms, such as gasping for breath, as well repeated trips to Accident & Emergency.

“Until now, this treatment has only been available for specific patients at some specialist centres, but these new guidelines could mean more people with the condition could reap the benefits.”

Symptoms of asthma

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness

They might only happen when you react to a trigger, like pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, cold air or pets.

Source: Asthma UK

How does it work?

Severe asthma causes inflammation and constriction of the smooth muscle in the walls of the small tubes – the bronchi – impeding the passage of air through to the deep tissue of the lungs.

Bronchial thermoplasty tackles this by reducing this muscle mass, thus decreasing the constriction of the bronchi that can take place during an asthma attack.

As a result, patients experience fewer and less severe asthma attacks.

The procedure takes place under sedation or general anaesthetic and involves a wire probe being inserted into the lungs.

Image copyright Asthmatx/BBC
Image caption Diagram of bronchial thermoplasty

Ten-second bursts of radio waves are sent along the airway wall, heating the lining of the lungs to 65C.

Two further sessions will be needed, each three weeks apart.

The estimated cost of the procedure per patient is thought to be between £7,099 and £7,257.

Nice’s programme director and clinical adviser, Prof Kevin Harris, said: “This is a procedure which is innovative and it does work.

“Asthma is a common disease and the vast majority of patients won’t require this treatment.

“But for people with severe asthma this procedure could be life-changing.

“The committee was convinced it was safe enough and works well enough for use with standard arrangements in the NHS.”

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Homebase future in doubt as creditors meet

HomebaseImage copyright HRG

DIY retailer Homebase faces a make-or-break vote on its future on Friday as it teeters on the brink of collapse.

The chain – where 70% of outlets are losing money – has proposed closing 42 stores and cutting rents on others as part of a rescue plan.

But some landlords plan to vote against the deal, or Company Voluntary Arrangement, saying it penalises them.

If it is not approved, owner Hilco Capital has said it is “very likely” Homebase will go into administration.

The private equity firm, which bought Homebase for £1 in June, wants to revive the DIY chain under a three-year turnaround plan.

This would see it bring back popular products, like soft furnishings, that were dropped by previous owners Wesfarmers.

Hilco has also promised to pump £25m of capital and up to £116m of debt into the business – but only if creditors back the CVA.

Alvarez and Marsal, the consultants managing the CVA process, say the rescue plan would be a “lifeline” for Homebase and benefit its landlords.

Image copyright Newscast

But reports this week claimed some property owners, including M&G and Aberdeen Asset Management, were considering legal action against the chain.

They feel the proposed rent reductions – of between 25% and 90% at 70 stores – are too steep.

They could seek to block the plan or renegotiate terms, although other landlords are hopeful the CVA will the revive the chain’s fortunes.

It comes amid growing anger about CVAs, which have been used to rescue struggling businesses such as House of Fraser, New Look and Carpetright.

‘Self-induced’ blunders

Landlords say the deals lead to a sudden loss of income while other creditors are often left untouched. But advocates say they protect jobs.

Wesfarfmers bought Homebase for £340m in 2016 but sold it on this year, booking a $1bn (£768m) loss.

It blamed a series of “self-induced” blunders, including underestimating winter demand for a range of items from heaters to cleaning and storage, and dropping popular kitchen and bathroom ranges.

Homebase, which has about 250 stores and 11,500 staff, now plans to bring back popular brands and concessions such as Laura Ashley and Habitat.

Hilco has revived the fortunes of other retailers and is best known for rescuing music chain HMV from administration in 2013.

However, the restructuring specialist also tried to rescue Allders and Allied Carpets, both of which later went into administration.