Electrical cars EV Dutch farm mystery: Man suspected of holding family against will

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Media captionPolice discovered a hidden room at a remote farmhouse in the Netherlands

A man arrested after a family were found hidden at a remote Dutch farmhouse is suspected of holding them against their will, prosecutors say.

The 58-year-old suspect, named locally as Josef B, will appear in court on Thursday.

He was held on Tuesday for failing to co-operate during a police search at the farm in the province of Drenthe.

Officers found the family after the eldest son ordered beer at a bar in a nearby village.

The son, identified locally as Jan, was not at the farm near the village of Ruinerwold at the time of the search. Police found his five grown-up siblings and a man they told officers was their father.

Police have not yet confirmed that man’s age or identity and have told the BBC it is a question they are trying to solve.

Another man, reportedly Austrian national Jose B, was also at the farm and arrested for refusing to cooperate. Although he rents the property, police do not know his connection to the family.

Dutch prosecutors said the suspect was believed to have been involved in “illegal deprivation of liberty and harming the health of others”.

He was due to appear before an examining magistrate and prosecutors said they were seeking an extension of his custody.

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The farmhouse, part-hidden by trees, is accessible via a bridge over a canal

Two properties linked to the inquiry were being searched by police on Wednesday in the village of Zwartsluis, 16km (10 miles) to the south-west of the farm at Ruinerwold.

Electrical cars EV How were the family discovered?

The mystery unfolded after the eldest of the six children, aged 18 to 25, turned up at a local bar in Ruinerwold and ordered beer, before asking the owner for help, broadcaster RTV Drenthe reported.

Bar owner Chris Westerbeek described how the man had come in, ordered five beers and drunk them.

“Then I had a chat with him and he revealed he had run away and needed help… then we called the police,” he said.

“He had long hair, a dirty beard, wore old clothes and looked confused. He said he’d never been to school and hadn’t been to the barber for nine years,” he told public broadcaster RTV Drenthe. It later emerged that Jan had been active on several social media accounts, posting photos on Facebook of Ruinerwold in the dark earlier this month, and a series of articles about action to fight climate change.

Police went to the farm and found the man’s five siblings, as well as another man and the 58-year-old suspect.

“We found six people living in a small room in the house which could be locked but wasn’t a basement,” they said in a statement late on Tuesday. “It is unclear whether they were there voluntarily.”

Local reports described Josef B as a handyman.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” local mayor Roger de Groot told reporters on Tuesday. He revealed that some of the family had not been registered locally and also indicated that the 58 year old was not the father.

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Neighbours believe the family lived on vegetables grown on the farm

Electrical cars EV What do we know about the property?

Ruinerwold is a village with a population of less than 3,000. The farm is outside the village and is accessible by a bridge over a canal.

The farm, which is part-hidden behind a row of trees, also has a large vegetable plot and a goat.

A neighbour told Dutch media that he had only ever seen one man on the farm, no children, and that there had been animals on the grounds, such as geese and a dog.

The local postman said he had never delivered a letter there. “It’s actually pretty strange, now I come to think about it,” he told Algemeen Dagblad news connection.

The farmhouse and the surrounding grounds were cordoned off.

It was unclear what had happened to the children’s mother, although the mayor said she had died some time ago.

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Electrical cars EV Sandy Hook shooting: Parent awarded $450,000 for defamation

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electrical cars  EV Noah Pozner

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Noah Pozner was one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook

A US jury has awarded $450,000 (£350,000) to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook school, in a defamation lawsuit against a conspiracy theorist writer.

In June a Wisconsin judge ruled that James Fetzer had defamed Leonard Pozner by claiming he had fabricated the death certificate of his son Noah.

Mr Fetzer, who co-wrote Nobody Died at Sandy Hook, said he would appeal.

Noah, aged six, was the youngest of 26 people killed in the shooting.

In the Dane County court in Wisconsin, Mr Pozner thanked the jury for recognising “the pain and terror that Mr Fetzer has purposefully inflicted on me and on other victims of these horrific mass casualty events, like the Sandy Hook shooting”.

In his book, written with co-author Mike Palacek, Mr Fetzer claimed that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, manufactured by the Obama administration as part of an effort to tighten gun laws.

The book, and a later blog post by Mr Fetzer, included several false statements about Noah’s death certificate, including claims that Mr Pozner had circulated fabricated copies.

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Media captionThe sister of a Sandy Hook victim tells the BBC she is getting threats from conspiracy theorists

Mr Pozner reached a settlement with Mr Palacek last month. The terms have not been disclosed.

On Tuesday, Mr Pozner emphasised that the case was not about First Amendment protections for free speech.

“Mr Fetzer has the right to believe that Sandy Hook never happened. He has the right to express his ignorance,” hr said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

“This award, however, further illustrates the difference between the right of people like Mr Fetzer to be wrong and the right of victims like myself and my child to be free from defamation, free from harassment and free from the intentional infliction of terror.”

Mr Pozner’s lawyer Genevieve Zimmerman described Mr Fetzer’s claims in both the 2015 book and 2018 blog post as “alt-right opium”.

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Alex Jones faces multiple defamation suits related to his claims about Sandy Hook

It is one of several defamation cases launched in the wake of Sandy Hook, many led by Mr Pozner.

He and Noah’s mother, Veronique De La Rosa, have also sued prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation. The pending case is one of at least five faced by Mr Jones.

Last week, a Texas court ruled that Mr Jones could not invoke free-speech law to end a separate suit, waged by Scarlett Lewis, the mother of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis.

Parents of Sandy Hook victims who have spoken publicly about their experiences have been targeted by trolls, both online, as well as in person.

Electrical cars EV Straws, stirrers and polystyrene cups face Welsh ban

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electrical cars  EV Plastic straws

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Straws are among the items officials will consider banning

Straws, stirrers, cotton buds and single-use plastic cutlery could be banned in Wales next year.

The Welsh Government is to consult on restricting the sale of a wide range of the most commonly littered plastic.

Deputy minister Hannah Blythyn announced the proposals as AMs across the Welsh Assembly demanded a new law to tackle plastic pollution.

Ministers in England are planning controls on straws, stirrers and cotton buds from April.

The Welsh plans would go further, however, implementing an EU directive banning single-use plastics.

Ms Blythyn, deputy minister for housing and local government, told the Welsh Assembly ministers want to bring forward “a ban or restriction” on the sale of the “most commonly littered single-use plastic items”.

“This includes straws, stirrers, cotton buds, single-use plastic cutlery, and expanded polystyrene food packaging and drinks containers,” she said.

Others include balloon sticks, plates, and polystyrene cups.

Proposals are at an early stage. The Welsh Government intends to ban the items but a consultation would need to be held – it is currently pegged for early next year.

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Hannah Blythyn announced the plans during a debate on single-use plastics

The Welsh Government announced the plans during a debate on single-use plastics, called by Labour AM Huw Irranca-Davies.

Backed by AMs from Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives, the former MP called for the Welsh Government would establish Wales “as a World-leader in reducing plastic waste”.

Calling for a new law, he proposed “appropriate taxes and levies to significantly reduce the production and use of single use plastics in Wales”.

He told AMs the Welsh Government should “consider now phasing out all single-use carrier bags totally” – beyond the charging that currently takes place.

“Wales is in a great position to lead globally on significantly reducing single-use plastic waste, using the best international practice, evidence and research, using our new powers over taxes and levies to drive behavioural change,” he said.

Electrical cars EV FA Cup first round: Bury expulsion means bye to second round for one team

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electrical cars  EV Gates at Gigg Lane

Bury were founded in 1885 and have twice won the FA Cup

One club will receive a bye to round two of the FA Cup when the first-round draw is made on Thursday, following Bury’s removal from the competition.

The Shakers were expelled from the English Football League – and subsequently the cup – in August.

The 47 remaining League One and League Two clubs will join 32 non-league outfits in the first round in November.

The club that receives the bye will also be awarded the £36,000 prize money for a first-round winner.

The final club left in the pot on Thursday will receive the bye.

When then-holders Manchester United did not compete in the 1999-2000 FA Cup campaign because of the FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil, a “lucky losers” system was used rather than awarding a team a bye.

In that year, with an odd number of teams involved in the third-round draw, Darlington were selected at random from the 20 teams who had been knocked out in the second round and lost 2-1 at Aston Villa.

What is Bury’s latest situation?

Bury were beaten 1-0 by Luton Town in the second round of last season’s FA Cup

Bury are the first club to have their league membership withdrawn since Maidstone were liquidated in 1992.

On Wednesday, they were granted a 14-day extension after a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue & Customs was adjourned in the High Court.

The club have been given the additional time to pay back smaller businesses, reports BBC Radio Manchester.

A prospective buyer for the club ended their interest on Monday, leaving Bury on the brink of liquidation.

A group of Bury supporters have already been working on plans to form a phoenix club and, if successful, would have to apply to the Football Association for entry into the English non-league pyramid next season.

Electrical cars EV Human ‘mini-brain’ develops slowest among primates

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electrical cars  EV Chimp Mini-brains

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Four lab-grown chimpanzee “mini-brains”. Each one is about the size of a small pea

New research shows that human “mini-brains” develop more slowly than those of other primates.

“Mini-brains” are miniature collections of cells that allow scientists to study how the brain develops.

A Swiss team has grown artificial human, chimp and macaque versions in their lab from stem cells.

In a study published in Nature journal, the team produced an “atlas” of the genes involved in each stage of the three types of brain development.

They say the work will help them to answer the basic question of what makes us human.

Stem cells are the body’s master cells, which can then grow into more specialised tissues.

The recent emergence of the technology to grow brain tissue from stem cells has enabled researchers to directly compare brain development in different primates. The “mini-brains” are grown for four months and are about the size of a pea.

Known formally as “cerebral organoids”, they are simple structures consisting of different types of brain cells and are not capable of any functions.

The researchers noted that the three types of brain developed at the same speed to begin with, but once the cells began to specialise into different types of neurons, the macaque’s developed the fastest, followed by the chimpanzee, with the human brain being the slowest.

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Media captionThe “mini brain” is roughly the size and developmental level of a nine-week foetus

Co-author Prof Barbara Treutlein of Basel University, Switzerland, said the slow development might be required to develop the larger and more complex human brain.

“It seems that we take more time to develop our brains but the end state that we reach is more complex. Maybe it takes this additional time to get the greater number of connections between neurons and reach the higher cognitive functions we have. But we don’t really know yet why this might be the case,” she told BBC News.

All cells develop by following instructions contained in DNA. But the genetic information of humans and chimps has comparatively few differences yet their brains are very different. Prof Treutlein believes that the resolution of this this apparent dichotomy is that the timing and sequence of how brain-building instructions are read from the genes are different. To assess this, her team took thousands of snapshots of what the genes were doing at each stage of brain development of the three types of mini-brains.

Put together the snapshots give what the researchers call an “atlas” of brain development for each primate brain. These atlases give researchers a resource with which to examine the roles of collections of genes in brain development.

According to Dr Grayson Camp, also at Basel University, the differences between the human and chimp brains should give an indication why our brains are more complex.

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Scientists are developing ethical guidelines should it ever become possible to grow functional human brains in the lab

“We want to find out whether the emergent properties of the human brain come from a small number of genetic changes that have a big effect or very many small genetic changes that have a cumulative effect,” he said.

Dr Madeline Lancaster of the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC) said that the mini-brain approach was helping researchers, such as herself to answer the “basic question of what makes us human”.

“We have complex language and are capable of abstract reasoning and chimps don’t. Work with (mini-brains) won’t model those differences because they are not functioning brains,” she said.

“But they will help us understand the very important differences early on in development that set the stage for our cognitive abilities.

Electrical cars EV Consciousness question

Dr Lancaster is not connected with the Swiss team’s research, but uses mini-brains for her own research at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. She is working with Prof Treutlein, Dr Camp and others in the field to develop an ethical framework for their research.

The mini-brains are relatively simple cellular structures and nowhere near capable of consciousness. But they will become more advanced as research progresses. The research community is therefore working with ethicists to develop a regulatory framework for the future, according to Dr Lancaster.

“It is always good to think ahead,” she said.

“We don’t want to run into a situation where someone has created something truly unethical and we try and deal with the consequences after the event.”

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Electrical cars EV Birmingham LGBT teaching protester criticises ‘imam’s’ claims

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electrical cars  EV Shakeel Afsar

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Shakeel Afsar is one of three named on an interim injunction which stops protests directly outside school gates

A man leading protests against primary school LGBT teaching in Birmingham has criticised a fellow campaigner for his language during one of the rallies.

A High Court hearing was told the man, referred to as the “imam from Batley”, shouted “there are paedophiles in there”, outside Anderton Park school.

Birmingham City Council wants an injunction which stops rallies outside the school gates to be made permanent.

Protest organiser Shakeel Afsal said he had not invited the man to take part.

The school in Balsall Heath has been at the centre of a campaign in which some parents and activists are trying to stop its LGBT relationship teaching. Many claim it contradicts their Islamic faith and is not “age appropriate”.

In May, the High Court granted a temporary injunction banning demonstrations at the school gates.

The latest hearing will decide whether this ban will be made permanent.

Mr Afsar, his sister Rosina and Amir Ahmed are named on the current injunction.

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Demonstrators gathered outside the High Court in Birmingham before Monday’s hearing

On Wednesday, at the High Court sitting in Birmingham, Mr Afsar was shown a video of himself standing near the “imam” at a demonstration on 24 May.

Jonathan Manning QC, for Birmingham City Council, said it also showed the man talking about “genderism, homosexuality, sex” in front of small children, adding it was “all the things you [protesters] say children shouldn’t be taught about”.

Mr Afsar said the man was “not part of our campaign” and he had tried to indicate to fellow organiser Mr Ahmed he should be stopped.

Mr Manning asked Mr Afsar, who does not have children at the school, about the book My Princess Boy, about a boy who dresses in girls clothing.

Mr Afsar said: “The name Princess Boy would suggest to parents of our faith that a transgender lifestyle is acceptable.”

Mr Manning replied: “A book about a little boy dressing up in girls clothes is nothing to do with a transgender lifestyle.”

The hearing continues.

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Protests have continued outside the exclusion zone at Anderton Park Primary School

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Electrical cars EV Nightclub rapists ‘high-fived’ after Soho attack

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electrical cars  EV Ferdinando Orlando and Lorenzo Costanzo

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Ferdinando Orlando (left) and Lorenzo Costanzo (right) were filmed ‘bragging’ about ‘attackin

Two men who high-fived each other after raping a woman in a nightclub have been found guilty of the attack.

Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, led the victim into a store room and assaulted her.

After leaving her in the ladies’ toilets the pair appeared to celebrate the attack inside the club, on Argyll Street, Soho, police said.

Italian nationals Orlando and Costanzo will be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on 1 November.

The Met Police said the 23-year-old woman required surgery after the attack on 25 February 2017.

Electrical cars EV Lewd gestures

CCTV showed both defendants dancing with the woman and attempting to kiss her, officers said.

They were then seen breaking a lock on the maintenance room door before escorting her inside.

The men took turns to rape the woman before carrying her to the toilets after the attack, officers said.

She was found by staff an hour later, struggling to walk and in “extreme pain”.

Further footage showed Orlando and Costanzo run up the stairs to the nightclub exit, where they were seen high-fiving each other and making lewd gestures as they re-enacted the attack on a mobile phone.

Det Sgt Rebecca Woodsford described the rape as a “truly traumatic experience for the victim”.

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Police said the victim was ‘visibly drunk and unsteady on her feet’

Costanzo returned to Italy hours after he had carried out the attack,

On 15 March 2018, Costanzo returned to the UK to watch a football match in London and he was arrested at Heathrow Airport and charged the following day.

Orlando, who was also convicted of one count of GBH, left around a week later than his friend.

After Costanzo’s arrest, Orlando contacted police and flew back to the UK, where he was arrested upon his return.

Electrical cars EV Euro 2020 qualifier: Pitch inspection before Republic’s Geneva game after rain

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electrical cars  EV The Stade de Geneve

The match is scheduled to take place at the Stade de Geneve

Electrical cars EV BBC coverage

How to follow:
Live text commentary and match report on the BBC Sport connection

The Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Geneva will go ahead following a pitch inspection.

With rain falling all day in Geneva and water lying on the pitch, the game appeared under threat but was given the go-ahead by referee Szymon Marciniak.

The Polish referee took the decision at 18: 00 BST.

A win will see the Republic qualifying for Euro 2020 and almost certainly end Switzerland’s hopes with Denmark the other contenders in Group D.

More to follow.

Electrical cars EV Can you name England’s starting XV against Australia in 2015 Cup?

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electrical cars  EV Stuart Lancaster

It was the game that effectively cost Stuart Lancaster his job as England coach
Rugby World Cup quarter-final: England v Australia
Venue: Oita Stadium Date: Saturday, 19 October Kick-off: 08: 15 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and online with text updates on the BBC Sport connection and app.

England and Australia are set to renew their rivalry for a place in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

The old foes have met six times in the history of competition, with both sides winning three matches each.

The Wallabies went some way to avenging their 2003 final defeat on home soil when they knocked England out of their own tournament at Twickenham in 2015.

But can you remember the England XV who started that match four years ago? You’ve only got three minutes, so be quick!

Can you name the England XV the last time they played Australia at the Rugby World Cup?

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Electrical cars EV Brexit: Pound and shares jump on optimism over talks

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electrical cars  EV Pounds and euros

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The pound has jumped to its highest level in five months on reports the two sides in the Brexit talks are inching towards a draft deal.

Shares in banks and housebuilders also soared as optimism about a breakthrough buoyed companies with a UK focus.

It was hoped that a preliminary deal might be reached on Tuesday, ready to go before a summit on Thursday.

Sterling rose 1.5% on the dollar to $1.28, and by a similar amount against the euro to 86.3 pence.

On the FTSE 100, shares with a big exposure to the health of the UK economy rose sharply. Builders Barratt Developments and British Land were up about 6%, and Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland rose more than 5%. Next, ITV and Ocado were also big risers.

“A deal between the UK and EU was 60% in the price [of sterling] and now we stand to see if the remaining 40% come into play,” said Stephen Gallo, European head of foreign exchange at BMO.

Morten Lund, a senior forex strategist at Nordea, added: “The reaction from the markets shows they want to get this deal over and they are ready to push the button at the slightest sign of a deal.”

But he said he was “a bit more sceptical about the outcome” given how little time remained to negotiate and the difficulties of getting a deal through the British Parliament. The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.

Shares and the pound jumped last week on growing optimism of a deal, only to slip amid signals from Brussels that the negotiations still had a long way to go.

Electrical cars EV ‘Right direction’

But on Tuesday, Brussels’ chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier sparked another rise on the markets when he said it was “high time to turn good intentions [into] a legal text”.

Irish PM Leo Varadkar said talks were “moving in the right direction”. Boris Johnson has spoken to France’s Emmanuel Macron and the BBC understands the two men agreed there was “positive momentum”, although “many hurdles” must still be overcome.

The FTSE 250 of UK mid-cap stocks rose and European equity benchmarks extended their gains on the news.

“The more uncertainty you remove, the better for investors. If the [UK] prime minister and the EU were now to agree a deal, then the market would take that positively,” said Edmund Shing, global head of equity derivatives strategy at BNP Paribas.