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Sky News

Sky News is a British free-to-air television news channel and organisation. Sky News is distributed via a radio news service, and through online channels. It is owned by Sky, a division of Comcast. John Ryley is the head of Sky News, a role he has held since June 2006.

Piers Morgan has revealed his next presenting job will be for new television channel talkTV - which is being set up by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The company, which will launch its new service next year, said Morgan's nightly show will be broadcast in the UK, the US and Australia.

He left Good Morning Britain earlier in the year, after criticising Harry and Meghan's comments in an interview they gave with Oprah Winfrey, saying he did not believe some of the things they said, particularly around mental health.

The show was cleared by Ofcom, after tens of thousands of complaints were made about it.

Talking about his new role, Morgan said: "I'm thrilled to be returning to News Corp, which is where I began my media career more than 30 years ago.

"Rupert Murdoch has been a constant and fearless champion of free speech and we are going to be building something new and very exciting together.

"I want my global show to be a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews, and a place that celebrates the right of everyone to have an opinion, and for those opinions to be vigorously examined and challenged.

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"I'm also delighted to become a columnist for The Sun and the New York Post, two brilliantly successful and popular newspaper brands.

"I'm going home and we're going to have some fun."

News Corp said its new channel will "offer a mix of programming from our stable of household brands, proper hourly news bulletins, documentaries, entertainment and more".

The company already owns established news brands such as The Times and The Sun newspapers, as well as a number of radio stations such as Virgin and talkSport.

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The military could be called in to help Scotland's ambulance service which is facing "acute pressure", Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Scotland's first minister apologised "unreservedly" for long waiting times and confirmed that targeted military assistance to help deal with "short-term pressure points" is under consideration.

The announcement came as Ms Sturgeon was questioned about the death of Gerald Brown, a 65-year-old from Glasgow, who reportedly died after waiting 40 hours for an ambulance.

London, UK, May 12, 2020, Parked Ambulances Service Vehicles In South London, UK, NHS Emergency Medical Response Vehicles, With No People During Coronavirus COVID-19
Image: Nicola Sturgeon has apologised 'unreservedly' to those who have faced long waiting times for ambulances

The first minister said the pressures were due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our ambulance service is working under acute pressure right now, largely due to COVID," Ms Sturgeon told MSPs in Holyrood on Thursday, as she offered her condolences to Mr Brown's family.

"I want to take the opportunity to thank the paramedics and ambulance technicians for the work they're doing in such difficult circumstances.

"While they are responding heroically to these challenges I recognise that some people are not getting the standard of service that they should be getting, or indeed the service the Scottish Ambulance Service wants to deliver.

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"That is not acceptable and I apologise unreservedly to anyone who has suffered or who is suffering from unacceptably long waits.

"A range of actions have already been taken to address these challenges, for example, additional funding to support new recruitment."

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf adjusts his protective face mask before visiting the NHS Golden Jubilee National Hospital, in Clydebank, Glasgow
Image: Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said on Wednesday that people in the country should 'think twice' about calling an ambulance due to the pressures

Ms Sturgeon added that "a number of additional actions are under consideration" to ease the backlog, including "seeking targeted military assistance to help deal with short-term pressure points".

"This is a service under acute pressure," she went on.

Scotland's Health Secretary Humza Yousaf will make a statement to the Scottish parliament next week setting out measures being taken by the government to ease the crisis, it was also announced.

Mr Yousaf said on Wednesday that people should "think twice" before calling for an ambulance due to a period of high pressure on the service.

Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross described Mr Yousaf's remarks "dangerous" and "reckless" and called for an apology.

"This shouldn't be happening in Scotland in 2021," Mr Ross said, suggesting Scotland's ambulance service is in "crisis".

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross
Image: Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said the country's ambulance service is in a 'crisis'

Ms Sturgeon did not apologise for Mr Yousaf's remarks, but did say that people should "never hesitate in calling an ambulance if that is the intervention they think is required".

The first minister refused to call the situation a crisis, instead responding: "I don't challenge the extent of the pressure that's on our ambulance service and indeed on all parts of our national health service.

"It is incumbent on me as first minister, with all of my colleagues across government, as it faces up to these challenges."

Speaking specifically about the case of Mr Brown, a spokeswoman from the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "We have started an investigation into the circumstances relating to the delay in reaching Mr Brown and will be in contact with Mr Brown's family directly to apologise for the delay in response and pass on our sincere condolences.

"We are really sorry for their loss and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. All findings and lessons learned will be shared with Mr Brown's family as part of the investigation process."

Mr Brown's death has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal, who said an investigation was "ongoing".

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A 29-year-old man has been charged with stabbing his father to death in Bromley, southeast London.

Police were called to Widmore Road just before 11pm on Tuesday where officers found 51-year-old Paul Maurice with multiple stab wounds.

He was given emergency medical treatment at the scene but was pronounced dead just before midnight.

His son, Sean, was charged with his murder on Wednesday.

Following an appearance at Bromley Magistrates' Court on Thursday, he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday 20 September.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of Paul Maurice's death as stab wounds to his chest, the Metropolitan Police said.

His next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

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The NHS has started rolling out COVID-19 booster jabs.

Over 50s, people in care homes, frontline health and social care workers and vulnerable people between 16 and 49 are among those who will be offered a third dose.

At least six months must have passed since the second jab.

Hospital hubs began giving third doses to health and social care workers on Thursday, NHS England said, with other eligible people now being identified.

The first-choice booster is the Pfizer vaccine or alternatively a half-dose of a Moderna jab
Image: The first-choice booster is the Pfizer vaccine or alternatively a half-dose of a Moderna jab

GP vaccination services will follow in the coming days and the full rollout will start next week as more vaccination centres and pharmacy centres finish final checks.

NHS England said people would be contacted by their GP or the National Booking Service when they become eligible.

One of the first to get a third jab was Catherine Cargill, a maternity support worker at Croydon University Hospital.

More on Covid-19

She said it would enable her to stay protected and "make sure I can carry on working, I can carry on spending time with my family, and so I can carry on with my studies".

Ms Cargill added: "I would definitely want to encourage you to get your booster shot when you are invited to do that."

Nikki Kanani, deputy lead for the vaccination programme, said the NHS would contact people when it is their turn.

"Now that the decision has been taken by the JCVI and once the relevant checks are in place, the NHS will invite you for your booster vaccination," she said.

"There is no need to contact the NHS - we will be in touch with you when it is your turn to get your booster vaccine - at least six months on since your last dose."

Mel Whiteley was also among those to get her third jab on Thursday
Image: Mel Whiteley was also among those to get her third jab on Thursday

About 4.5 million people will be eligible in the coming weeks - and care home residents and staff are being prioritised to ensure they are offered the booster by the start of November.

NHS England said some in the original nine priority groups would not become eligible until the New Year.

It comes after the the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) backed the booster programme on Tuesday.

The expert panel said the first-choice booster should be the Pfizer vaccine, or alternatively a half-dose of a Moderna jab as it works just as well.

JCVI chair Professor Wei Shen Lim said that the booster advice was just for this winter and younger people might not need a booster, but that advice would be issued in due course.

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Over-50s to be offered COVID booster jabs

In a statement, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "It is brilliant to see that the first booster jabs are being rolled out today - thanks to the phenomenal efforts of the NHS who continue to work tirelessly to help us fight COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable."

He urged anyone who's eligible to come forward when invited ahead of the winter months, when infections and hospitalisations are likely to increase.

The government has also said that all healthy 12 to 15-year-olds will be offered a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with that programme to start next week.

Rich countries administering third jabs has attracted some controversy given that many developing nations still have low rates of people who are double-vaccinated.

The head of the World Health Organisation has said giving boosters to more than just vulnerable people was "really not right".

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries should think twice before doing so, noting there was still not enough evidence to show that booster jabs are required.

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National Grid has warned it will be more than six months before part of a power link between the UK and France, which was shut off because of a fire, is restored.

The blaze at the electricity interconnector at Sellindge in Kent has sent UK wholesale power prices surging - adding to pressures that had already been pushing them sharply higher.

National Grid initially said the 1000MW (megawatts) of capacity would be unavailable until 13 October this year but in an update later pushed the date back to 27 March 2022.

An aerial photo shows the damage after the electricity interconnector fire at Sellindge in Kent
Image: An aerial photo shows the damage after the electricity interconnector fire at Sellindge in Kent

A further 1000MW planned outage will be in place until 25 September.

The shutdown affects the Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA) link, a joint venture between France's RTE and National Grid operating the subsea electricity link between Britain and France.

A second link, IFA2, continues to operate normally and at full capacity, National Grid said.

Low wind supply, thanks to unfavourable climatic conditions, and soaring wholesale gas prices have already forced National Grid to activate UK power station reserves by turning on coal-fired stations to keep the lights on this month.

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Glenn Rickson, head of European power analysis at S&P Global Platts Analytics, told the Reuters news agency on the effect of the fire: "The outage is going to lift the potential for price volatility as long as its offline.... and of course demand will get higher as we move further into winter."

Prices have been driven higher amid a shortfall in natural gas Europe-wide, with stocks of liquefied natural gas struggling to be replenished in time for the winter season following COVID disruption and a cold end to the last winter.

Wind turbines at Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire
Image: A lack of wind generation has added to pressures on power supply

Consumer groups have warned the increases, which have already forced four challenger household suppliers out of business this month alone, are being reflected in household bills ahead of a rise in the price cap on so-called default tariffs - also known as the standard variable tariff (SVT) - which comes into effect in October.

That could add to pressure on consumers already experiencing a record increase in inflation, with prices now going up at the fastest pace in nine years.

On Thursday, the owner of retailers John Lewis and Waitrose warned that it expected inflationary pressures to persist.

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A mother has been charged with the murder of her five-year-old daughter in west London, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Police officers and the London Ambulance Service were called to a property on Leyborne Avenue in Ealing at 12.56pm on Tuesday, following concerns for the welfare of the occupants.

Officers and an ambulance crew tried to save the five-year-old girl, who has been named as Aijah Thomas, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her mother, Martina Madrova, 41, of Leyborne Avenue, was charged on Wednesday with her murder.

She is expected to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court today in connection with the death.

The girl's next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

A post-mortem examination has been scheduled for today, the Met Police added.

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Marks and Spencer is to close 11 stores in France blaming "lengthy and complex export processes" affecting fresh and chilled products following Brexit.

The retailer said the outlets operated with franchise partner SFH, mainly located in Paris high streets, were expected to shut by the end of 2021.

It said nine other stores operated with another partner, Lagardere Travel Retail, at airports, railway and metro stations would continue to operate amid discussions between the companies on a "sustainable future business model".

Lorries queue in at the border control of the Port of Dover in Dover
Image: M&S said it was acting in light of post-Brexit customs arrangements

M&S confirmed earlier this week that it was reviewing its French operations in the wake of problems created by new rules on exports of goods from the UK into European countries.

Chairman Archie Norman has complained of the "pointless and byzantine" way the rules are being enforced.

In a statement announcing the closures, the retailer said: "The lengthy and complex export processes now in place following the UK's exit from the European Union are significantly constraining the supply of fresh and chilled product from the UK into Europe."

M&S said this is "continuing to impact product availability for customers and the performance of our business in France".

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"As a result, we have reviewed how we trade with our EU businesses and partners, and today we have announced that our partnership with SFH will end resulting in the closure of all 11 of their franchised stores."

The retailer has already reconfigured part of its business elsewhere in Europe in the wake of Brexit, announcing in April that it was removing the sale of all fresh and chilled products in its Czech food stores.

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Brexit, COVID, and container shortages

Paul Friston, managing director of the group's international division, said: "M&S has a long history of serving customers in France and this is not a decision we or our partner SFH have taken lightly.

"However, as things stand today, the supply chain complexities in place following the UK's exit from the European Union, now make it near impossible for us to serve fresh and chilled products to customers to the high standards they expect, resulting in an ongoing impact to the performance of our business.

"With no workable alternative for the high street stores, we have agreed with SFH to close all 11 franchised stores."

M&S said its website selling clothing and home products in France was not be affected by the announcement.

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Anti-monarchy billboards that say "Wales doesn't need a prince" have sparked fury for not being "reflective of public opinion".

The signs, which were organised by the Republic campaign group and feature pictures of Prince Charles, have cropped up in Aberdare, Cardiff and Swansea this week.

The group said they want the nation to hear their message that the Royal Family is "wrong in principle" and should be abolished in favour of an elected head of state.

The Prince of Wales discusses his favourite tracks on a hospital radio show
Image: Prince Charles has faced backlash from the Republic campaign group

However, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies criticised the billboards for not being "reflective of Welsh public opinion".

He told MailOnline: "The Royal Family are extremely popular in Wales, and that is because their presence provides guaranteed stability in the UK and they are fantastic ambassadors for this country.

"This is a fringe movement, totally divorced from the people's priorities and opinion."

The billboards were originally launched earlier this year in July, with the first batch going up in Portsmouth, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

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The campaign has also raised almost £25,000 for the billboards through crowdfunding so far.

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Prince Charles holds head high in Scotland

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, added there should be a debate about the future of the monarchy as the Queen's 67-year reign may soon "draw to an end".

He said: "The monarchy is wrong in principle, wrong in practice and it's bad for British politics. That's the message we want the country to hear.

"The Queen's long reign has sustained support for the royals for decades.

"The Queen is the monarchy, the monarchy is the Queen. King Charles may inherit the throne, but he won't inherit the respect and deference enjoyed by his mother.

"We have been campaigning for the abolition of the monarchy for a long time but now we are at a crossroads. As the Queen's reign draws to an end, it is time to demand a say in who should be our head of state.

"The royals are on collision course with British values. The 2020s should be the decade when we finally get to decide who we have as our elected head of state."

(dpa) - Her Majesty the Queen arrives at the British embassy in Berlin, Germany, 3 November 2004. The British Queen met afterwards for a climate conference with business representatives, politicians and scientists. Photo by: Peer Grimm/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Image: The Royal Family brought in an estimated £19bn to the UK's economy during 2019/20

Forbes recently estimated that the Royal Family brought in £19bn to the UK's economy during 2019/20.

Sky News has contacted Clarence House for a comment about the billboards.

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Emma Raducanu has been reunited with her parents after arriving back in the UK - five days after making tennis history.

Proud father Ian lifted her hand in the air before putting his arms around his daughter outside the family home in Bromley.

On Saturday, Raducanu became the first British woman to win a major title in 44 years, and the first qualifier in history to lift a grand slam.

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US Open Champion Emma Raducanu said it was 'pretty special' to see her name engraved on the wall with the past champions, adding that she felt 'very honoured and grateful' to receive a letter from Her Majesty the Queen.

Her parents - Romanian father Ian and Chinese mother Renee - had been unable to watch their daughter triumph in person as they could not secure the visas needed to fly to New York.

A driving force behind the teen tennis star, Raducanu said her parents were "proud and happy" following her win, adding: "They're my toughest critics and so hard to please - but I got them this time!"

As a result of her victory, the teenager has shot up 127 places in the world tennis rankings, from 150th to 23rd.

Her achievement was all the more remarkable as throughout her qualifying and main draw matches on the way to lifting the trophy, she did not drop a single set.

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Emma Raducanu at the Met Gala 2021. Pic: AP
Image: Emma Raducanu attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala. Pic: AP

Following the New York tournament, the 18-year-old spent several days sightseeing in the city before returning home.

She made her debut at the Met Gala dressed in a black and white Chanel ensemble and visited the New York Stock Exchange.

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Back in 2014, 11-year-old Emma Raducanu told Sky Sports she would like to become a Grand Slam Champion one day if she ‘works on her game and pulls it together’.

Raducanu's success prompted praise from around the world - including royalty, other sports stars and celebrities, with the Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge among those congratulating the tennis star.

In a letter, the Queen wrote: "It is a remarkable achievement at such a young age, and is testament to your hard work and dedication."

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A British woman, who was convicted of lying about being gang raped in Cyprus, is said to be "anxious and upbeat" as her lawyers appeal her case at the Cypriot Supreme Court.

The then 19-year-old, from Derby, was given a suspended four-month jail term in 2020 after a judge found her guilty of public mischief following a trial.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police she was attacked by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room, during a party in Ayia Napa on 17 July 2019, but was charged after signing a retraction statement 10 days later.

A British teenager, convicted of falsely accusing a group of Israelis of gang-rape, covers her face as she arrives at the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni
Image: Her lawyers are seeking to have her conviction overturned by the Supreme Court in Cyprus

The now 21-year-old university student has maintained she was pressured by officers to withdraw the allegation and has vowed to clear her name having flown back to the UK after being sentenced.

Her team of English and Cypriot lawyers have taken the case to the Supreme Court, which is in Cyprus's capital, Nicosia, on Thursday.

They are arguing the conviction is unsafe and are seeking to set it aside.

The woman is not attending the hearing, which is in front of a three-panel judge, including English-born president Persefoni Panayi.

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Lewis Power QC, her English barrister, said: "She's bearing up really well. She is getting on with her life at university.

"She is very anxious about the result but she is fairly upbeat and determined that this won't ruin her life.

Protesters supporting the woman outside court
Image: Protesters have shown their support for the woman through her court hearings

"We spoke to her yesterday and her mother. They are back in the UK watching from afar.

"It is so important for young women across the world. This case is a beacon."

The woman's lawyers have submitted a written document of around 150 pages, which they will expand on in oral arguments based on transcripts from the trial.

Her legal team will argue the retraction, which formed the basis of the prosecution case, should never have been admitted into evidence because it was made by a vulnerable teenager who spent almost seven hours in a police station without legal representation.

The woman's charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail or a fine.
Image: The woman was given a four-month suspended sentence in 2020

The decision could take between three to six months, although the lawyers hope it could come sooner.

Mr Power added: "The young woman's story has reverberated around the world since it hit the headlines in 2019.

"It has been both shocking and distressing and has for her been deeply harrowing, humiliating and personally intrusive.

"Today though, we hope, the Supreme Court of Cyprus (will ensure) this girl can free herself from the shackles of an unjust conviction, which has tarnished her young life."

If the appeal is unsuccessful, the woman's legal team plan to take the case to the European Court of Human rights, which they say found against Cyprus after a teenager was brought into a police station in Limassol and separated from his father before confessing to murder without a lawyer.

The woman received a four-month jail term, suspended for three years
Image: Her lawyers say they will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights if they are unsuccessful

The 12 men accused of rape in 2019 were aged between 18 and 20 at the time and were arrested.

They denied any wrongdoing and were freed, before returning home.

Story By Sky News

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