Electrical cars EV Migrants found aboard Kent motorway lorry

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electrical cars  EV M20

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A section of the M20 was closed while police investigated

A group of nine migrants has been found in a lorry travelling on the M20.

Kent Police were called at 15: 40 BST to reports of people in the back of a lorry.

The group are being checked by the South East Coast Ambulance Service before they were passed to Home Office immigration officers, Kent Police said.

Police closed a section of the motorway near Ashford, Kent, where the lorry was stopped, but it has since been reopened.

It came hours after 39 people were found dead in a refrigerated lorry thought to have travelled to the UK on a ferry from Zeebrugge.

Electrical cars EV Essex lorry deaths: Work starts to identify 39 bodies

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Media captionThirty nine bodies were found in the trailer container

Police have begun the process of trying to identify 39 bodies found in a refrigerated lorry trailer in Essex.

The trailer arrived in Purfleet on the River Thames from Zeebrugge, Belgium, at about 00: 30 BST.

Ambulance staff discovered the bodies in the unit just over an hour later at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays.

The lorry driver, named locally as Mo Robinson, 25, from Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, is being questioned by police.

Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police Pippa Mills said the vehicle had been moved to a secure site at Tilbury Docks so the bodies of the 38 adults and one teenager could be “recovered while preserving the dignity of the victims”.

She said identifying the deceased remained a “priority” but was expected to be a “lengthy process”.

Police said the tractor unit (the front part of the lorry) came from Northern Ireland and picked up the trailer from Purfleet.

The tractor and trailer then left the port shortly after 01: 05 and officers were called around 30 minutes later when ambulance staff made the grim discovery.

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The lorry driver has been named locally as Mo Robinson, from Northern Ireland

Police have appealed for witnesses and anyone with information about the lorry’s route to contact them.

The National Crime Agency said it had sent officers to assist and identify any “organised crime groups who may have played a part”.

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Media captionEssex lorry deaths: CCTV shows arrival at industrial park

A spokesman for the Bulgarian foreign affairs ministry said the truck was registered in the country under the name of a company owned by an Irish citizen.

He said it was “highly unlikely” the deceased were Bulgarians.

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The lorry has been moved to a secure location at Tilbury Docks

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was an “unimaginable tragedy and truly heartbreaking”.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “I know that the thoughts and prayers of all members will be with those who lost their lives and their loved ones.

“I’m receiving regular updates. The Home Office will work closely with Essex Police as we establish exactly what has happened.”

Electrical cars EV Tricky task of catching the people smugglers

Since the Calais migrant camps were shut three years ago and security measures were increased at Dover and the Channel Tunnel, people smugglers have increasingly moved to other routes.

Asked which ports are being used, the National Crime Agency told me: “All of them.”

More dangerous methods are being used to get human cargo through.

The most common one is being hidden in the back of a lorry, but increasingly commercial shipping containers are being used, sometimes even refrigerated ones of the type seen on the back of the truck in Essex.

Risks are substantial for the migrants, who can pay £10,000 or more for a space on these vehicles.

Read more: Tricky task of catching the people smugglers

Electrical cars EV How many migrants have died in transit?

The number of migrants who die in transit has been recorded by the UN since 2014.

Since then, five bodies of suspected migrants have been found in lorries or containers in the UK:

Data was not collected in the same way before the migrant crisis began in 2014, but such deaths are not new.

In 2000, 58 Chinese migrants were found suffocated to death in a lorry at Dover.

In 2015, the bodies of 71 people were found in an abandoned lorry on an Austrian motorway. Police suspected the vehicle was part of a Bulgarian-Hungarian human trafficking operation.

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Media caption“An absolute tragedy and a very sad day for Essex” – Pippa Mills from Essex Police

Essex Police has set up a casualty bureau for anyone concerned about relatives to call.

The British Red Cross has confirmed staff and volunteers were helping “those dealing with this terrible tragedy”.


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Electrical cars EV Scientist gets £2m decades after he invented diabetes test

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electrical cars  EV Professor Ian Shanks

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Ian Shanks

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Prof Shanks said he was relieved his 13-year legal battle to get compensation was over

A scientist has been awarded £2m compensation by the UK’s highest court for his invention of pioneering technology to test blood sugar levels nearly 40 years ago.

Professor Ian Shanks developed the system, used by many diabetics, while working for Unilever in the 1980s.

The rights to his invention belonged to the company and until now he was not entitled to a share of the benefits.

Prof Shanks said he was relieved by the result, after a 13-year legal battle.

While working for a subsidiary of multinational giant Unilever in Bedfordshire in 1982, Prof Shanks developed new technology to measure the concentration of glucose in blood and other liquids.

Using plastic film and glass slides from his daughter’s toy microscope kit and bulldog clips to hold it together, he built the first prototype of what is now known as the electrochemical capillary fill device (ECFD).

His ECFD technology eventually appeared in most glucose testing products, which are used by diabetics to monitor their condition.

Electrical cars EV ‘Thirteen-year slog’

Prof Shanks first applied for compensation in 2006 but lost every step in his legal battle until it reached the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the court unanimously ruled that Prof Shanks’s invention had provided his former employer with an “outstanding benefit” for which he should receive compensation.

Judge Lord Kitchin said the rewards Unilever enjoyed “were substantial and significant” and Prof Shanks was entitled to a “fair share” of the company’s net benefit of around £24m from the patents.

Speaking after the ruling, Prof Shanks, who lives near Dundee, said he was pleased his “13-year slog” to get compensation was over.

However, the 72-year-old told the BBC the legal battle was not “without its costs” and had caused him a great deal of stress.

“In 2007 I had a heart attack – which wasn’t at all helped by the strain I was under,” he added.

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A finger-prick blood test is one way someone with diabetes can check their blood sugar levels

However, he said his persistence was driven by a desire to help future inventors, rather than for his own financial reward, adding that most of the compensation would go towards his legal costs.

“I would much prefer that employee inventors believe that if they do something that turns out to be really profitable and significant, they may actually stand a chance of getting an award,” he said.

When he first applied for compensation, he said not one employee inventor had benefitted from the provisions of the Patents Act, introduced 30 years earlier.

The Act entitles workers who invent something from which their employer gains an “outstanding benefit” to a “fair share” of these benefits.

Prof Shanks added that he felt great pride for his invention which he said had probably helped several hundred million people living with diabetes.

Outlining the background to the case, Lord Kitchin said Prof Shanks accepted that the rights to his inventions belonged to Unilever, but argued that he was still entitled to compensation.

The judge said Prof Shanks’ ECFD technology became something most significant companies in the field were willing to pay millions of pounds to use.

Prof Shanks had argued at an earlier hearing that, while Unilever ultimately received around £24m from the patents, the company could have earned royalties for “as much as one billion US dollars” had his invention been “fully exploited”.

A spokesperson for Unilever told the Guardian the company was “disappointed” with the decision to award Dr Shanks “a share of the licence revenue obtained by Unilever in addition to the salary, bonuses and benefits he was compensated with while employed to develop new products for the business.”

Electrical cars EV Johnson accused of avoiding scrutiny after postponing committee appearance

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electrical cars  EV Boris Johnson

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Boris Johnson has pulled out of a scheduled appearance before a panel of senior MPs, saying he has to “focus on delivering Brexit”.

The prime minister had been due to be grilled by the Commons liaison committee – made up of the chairs of select committees – on Thursday.

He has asked committee chair Sarah Wollaston for a date “five or six months” from him becoming PM.

Dr Wollaston accused the PM of “refusing to face detailed scrutiny”.

The former Conservative – now Lib Dem – MP said it was the third time the prime minister had cancelled.

In a handwritten note, the PM said: “Dear Sarah, I promised that I will come to the Liaison Committee and I will keep that promise but I am afraid I must now focus on delivering Brexit in the difficult circumstances in which we now find ourselves, and I believe I would be of greater value if I could postpone to a fixed date nearer 5 or 6 months after I became PM, so that my appearance took place after roughly the same period in office as Gordon Brown, David Cameron & Theresa May.

“I do hope you will understand.”

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The prime minister’s handwritten note to Sarah Wollaston

Dr Wollaston, who quit the Conservatives over Mr Johnson’s Brexit policy, expressed “astonishment” that he had cancelled at such short notice.

In her reply to the PM she said: “You are refusing to face detailed scrutiny from select committee chairs tomorrow morning.

“This is the third time that you have postponed or cancelled.”

She added: “Our role as select committee chairs is to ask you detailed questions on behalf of the public and we planned to do so on Brexit, climate change, health and social care. It is unacceptable that you are refusing to be held to account.”

Dr Wollaston released a copy of the PM’s handwritten note to the media.

She also raised the issue in the Commons, where she was joined by other committee chairs – Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Mary Creagh – in accusing him of avoiding accountability.

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Sarah Wollaston accused the prime minister of avoiding scrutiny

But Conservative MP Sir Patrick McLoughlin, a member of the liaison committee, defended the prime minister, saying he “is held to account in this chamber by all members of Parliament” at prime minister’s questions.

Another Conservative MP, Steve Baker, took a swipe at Dr Wollaston, saying it was a “profound injustice” that some MPs were able to keep their “high office” in the select committee system despite abandoning their party.

Dr Wollaston hit back, saying committee chairs were elected by the “whole House of Commons” because they were “trusted” to be impartial.

Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said he hoped the PM would appear before the committee “at the earliest possible date”, which he said meant “this year, not next year” – unless “other events overtake us”.

Electrical cars EV T20 Cup Qualifier: Jersey lose to Hong Kong by eight runs

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electrical cars  EV Ben Stevens bowls for Jersey

Ben Stevens followed his 2-26 with 39 batting at number three for Jersey
ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, Abu Dhabi:
Hong Kong 144-7 (20 overs): Nizakat Khan 48, McKechnie 40*; Ward 3-19, Stevens 2-26
Jersey 136-6 (20 overs): Stevens 39; Ehsan Khan 2-18
Hong Kong won by eight runs
Scorecard & standings (external site)

Jersey’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s T20 World Cup took a hit with an eight-run defeat by Hong Kong.

A third-wicket partnership of 58 between Ben Stevens (39) and Jonty Jenner (27) put Jersey in a good position in pursuit of 145 to win.

But after Stevens was bowled by a Ehsan Khan full toss and then Ben Ward fell next ball, they struggled to 136-6.

Jersey have won two and lost two of their four games to date and are two points behind group leaders Canada.

Earlier, Hong Kong rallied from 81-6 to post 144-7 in their 20 overs, with Ward taking 3-19 for Jersey.

Jersey’s slower bowlers caused Hong Kong problems in the middle overs and Ward took the crucial wicket of opener Nizakat Khan, who made the most of being dropped on the first ball of the innings to top-score with 48.

Jersey took four wickets in 12 balls, but Scott McKechnie (40 not out) and Waqas Barkat (22) put on 61 for the seventh wicket to ensure Hong Kong posted a competitive total.

Group B is delicately poised, with four teams within two points of leaders Canada.

Jersey, who stay third in the group, have remaining matches against Ireland on Friday and Oman on Sunday, with the top four in each group going through to the knockout phase.

Six of the 14 competing teams in the United Arab Emirates will qualify for the next T20 World Cup, which takes place in Australia in October 2020.

Electrical cars EV Boris Johnson reacts to Brexit bill timetable rejection

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MPs voted for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal but against the three-day timetable he proposed.

The prime minister said he was “disappointed” and would pause the legislation until he had spoken to EU member states.

Live updates on Brexit here.

Electrical cars EV Welsh MPs reject Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal timetable

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electrical cars  EV Houses of Parliament

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Most of Wales’ MPs have joined colleagues in opposing Boris Johnson’s three-day timetable to get his Brexit deal through the House of Commons.

MPs voted 322 versus 308, with a majority of 14, to reject the PM’s bid to fast-track his Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru members were among those rejecting the plan.

Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens said it was “the right result in the national interest”.

But MPs did back the general principle of the Brexit bill, passing its second reading.

Andrew RT Davies, a Welsh Conservative Brexiteer AM, said it was a “big moment as after three years Parliament finally backs something”.

“But then the game-playing returns almost immediately with a vote for yet more prevarication and delay.”

The vote comes after the Welsh Assembly voted against Boris Johnson’s deal – with first minister Mark Drakeford calling for AMs to go further and formally refuse consent for the bill.

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru’s parliamentary leader, said the delay gave “more opportunity to release the economic impact assessments”.

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Boris Johnson told MPs the UK “now faced further uncertainty”.

After the vote, the prime minister told the Commons he would “pause” his legislation until the EU had “stated their intentions”.

He sent a letter, as required by the Benn Act, requested an extension to the Brexit date of 31 October earlier this week.

Mr Johnson told MPs he was “disappointed” they had “voted for delay”, and said the UK “now faced further uncertainty”.

But he said his policy remained that Brexit would go ahead at the end of the month, but added: “One way or another, we will leave the EU with this deal to which this House has just given its assent.”

Welsh MPs opposing the timetable included Jane Dodds, for the Liberal Democrats, and former Welsh Conservative MP Guto Bebb.

All six Tory MPs backed the timetable, including former Brexiteer rebel David Jones who joined party colleagues in backing the second reading, which was opposed by Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru, Mr Bebb and Ms Dodds.

Mr Jones had voted against Theresa May’s Brexit deal three times. Stephen Kinnock, a Labour MP who has talked about supporting a deal, voted against the time table and the second reading.

Plaid’s Jonathan Edwards said: “Tonight’s defeat of the British Government was a victory for democracy. By choosing to pause the Bill, the Prime Minister is doing more to delay Brexit than anyone else.”

Electrical cars EV Jeremy Corbyn: House of Commons will not be ‘bounced’ on Brexit

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MPs have rejected a proposal to examine Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill in the Commons in three days.

The Commons supported the Withdrawal Agreement Bill earlier, but have now voted against the short timetable.

Jeremy Corbyn has said the rejection of the Brexit bill timetable showed they had “refused to be bounced” into debating the deal over two more days.

The Labour leader called on Mr Johnson to work with all MPs in order to “agree a reasonable timetable”.

More on Brexit here.

Electrical cars EV DUP MPs vote to block PM’s Brexit timetable

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electrical cars  EV Nigel Dodds

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Nigel Dodds asked the PM to sit down with the DUP to discuss the deal

DUP MPs have voted with Labour and other opposition parties to block the government’s timetable to pass key Brexit legislation.

The government won a vote on its Brexit bill, but a second vote on a plan to implement the law was lost by 14 votes.

Number 10 had wanted MPs to allow the bill to pass through Parliament in the space of three days.

Boris Johnson said he will now “pause” the legislation and speak to EU leaders about a delay to the Brexit deadline.

The prime minister was forced to ask for an extension, but unless the EU grants one, the UK is due to leave the EU with no deal on 31 October.

The DUP voted against both the government’s Brexit deal and against the timetable for putting it through Parliament.

The party’s chief whip, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said MPs needed “much more time” to scrutinise the bill, which the government wanted to push through Parliament in the course of this week.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said MPs had made a “very wise” decision to vote down the timetable, also known as a programme motion.

Electrical cars EV ‘Great quest’

Mr Dodds addressed the PM directly and asked him to sit down with the DUP to discuss the detail in the Brexit bill.

“Talk to us again about what can be done at this late stage to ensure we join in this great quest together to get Brexit done, but as one United Kingdom,” he said.

Independent Unionist Lady Hermon, MP for North Down, also voted against the timetable motion.

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Lady Hermon had asked the government to reassure unionists about the contents of the bill

It means that all Northern Ireland MPs who take their seats in the chamber voted to oppose the government on two fronts on Tuesday night.

Sinn Féin has seven MPs but they abstain from taking their seats in the House of Commons.

Reacting to the results, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar tweeted: “It’s welcome that the House of Commons voted by a clear majority in favour of legislation needed to enact Withdrawal Agreement.

“We will now await further developments from London and Brussels about next steps including timetable for the legislation and the need for an extension.”

The European Commission’s chief spokeswoman said her organisation takes note” of the results of the Westminster vote and “expects the UK government to inform us about the next step”.

She added that the President of the European Council Donald Tusk “is consulting leaders on the UK’s request for an extension until 31 January 2020”.

Electrical cars EV The moment when MPs reject bill timetable

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MPs have rejected a proposal to examine Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill in the Commons in three days.

It was rejected by 322 votes to 308.

For live updates: Reaction as MPs reject Brexit bill timetable