telegraph reports

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One of the most famous dresses worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, almost didn’t get its public outing - because she thought that it was too risqué. The design in question - dubbed the “revenge dress” - was worn by Diana to the Serpentine Gallery summer party in June 1994, on the same night that a controversial television programme aired detailing Prince Charles’ adulterous relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.

The figure-hugging black silk dress, by Greek designer Christina Stambolian, featured a low-cut, off-the-shoulder neckline - which she wore with a pearl choker, black heels and scarlet nails. According to a documentary about the late princess due to air next week, the decision to wear the dress was a last-minute one.

“She thought it was too daring,” said Stambolian, revealing that she’d actually designed the piece some three-years earlier for Diana - but that she’d been too nervous to wear it. The Princess had originally been set to wear Valentino that evening, reports The Telegraph, but was put off when the fashion house sent out an early press release saying so - and decided on the Stambolian dress instead. "She wanted to look a million dollars,“ said her former stylist Anna Harvey. ”And she did.“

Here’s when science says the world could end

There’s this thing called the Doomsday Clock. Every year, a board of geniuses convenes to determine how it should be reset — sort of like daylight savings, but less predictable and miles more disconcerting. As the Telegraph reported, these knowledgeable few declared in January that 2016 puts us one hour closer to midnight on the clock, which is to say, the apocalypse. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, we are currently three minutes to midnight.

But the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists isn’t the only group speculating on when, precisely, the world will end.

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'They shouted 'this is for Allah', as they stabbed indiscriminately' - How the London terror attack unfolded
The attack came out of the blue and out of the night.

Beneath the shadow of The Shard, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, terror hit Britain’s streets again

At shortly after 10pm, a white B&Q van being driven at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour mounted the pavement at London Bridge and ploughed into pedestrians, knocking them down like skittles. Reports suggested some victims were thrown into the water of the Thames below. Others may have jumped in in an attempt to avoid the speeding vehicle.

The van came to a halt on the south side of the bridge but it wasn’t the end of the carnage. Three men wielding knives 10 inches long began attacking passersby, even entering at least one restaurant to attack Saturday night diners.

One report suggested throats had been slashed by the marauders, likely to be Islamic State-inspired terrorists – although that had not been confirmed by the early hours of this morning.

One eyewitness spoke of the men shouting “this is for Allah” as they stabbed indiscriminately.

The death toll was unclear at first but later rose to six; the number of injured is over 30.

At 1.30am on Sunday, a series of explosions, thought to be controlled, were heard at Borough Market, according to Telegraph reporter Kate McCann at the scene.

Theresa May declared it a terror incident and is returning to London to chair an urgent meeting of Cobra today.

A taxi driver told of the carnage. Giving his name only as Paul, he spoke of seeing several people lying dead or injured on both sides of the road.

Pedestrians screamed in terror as they ran for their lives. “It’s happening,” said one young woman as she raced for cover.

A taxi driver told LBC radio what he saw: “A van came from London Bridge itself, went between the traffic light system and rammed it towards the steps.

It knocked loads of people down. Then three men got out with long blades, 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people at random.”

What was sadly apparent was that Britain, so shortly after the Manchester Arena bombing, was coming under terrorist attack again. This time, just a few weeks following the Westminster Bridge terrorist atrocity, the capital was being targeted again.

“A white van driver came speeding –probably about 50mph – veered off the road into the crowds of people who were walking along the pavement,” said Holly Jones, a BBC reporter at the bridge.

“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.

“I’d say there are about four severely injured people. They all have paramedics assisting them at the moment.”

Ms Jones told of how she thought some pedestrians had hurled themselves into the Thames to avoid being hit. It is possible that they were flung into the river after being mown down.

The BBC’s Ms Jones spoke to a Frenchwoman who had been injured in the incident.

She told Ms Jones: “I don’t know where those other two people are. So the police are checking the Thames.

“They were right near the edge of the bridge. It looks potentially they could have been thrown over.”

In the dark river below, police boats were despatched to search the river – apparently looking for people who may have been thrown off the bridge.

At Borough Market, just along from where the van came to a halt, eyewitnesses spoke of seeing one attacker stab his victim “calmly”.

Natalie and Ben were coming up to the entrance of the underground on Borough High Street when they saw lots of people running.

The married couple witnessed someone being stabbed.

Ben said: “I saw a man in red with quite a large blade, I don’t know the measurement I guess maybe 10 inches. He was stabbing a man… he stabbed him about three times fairly calmly.

“It looked [like] the man had maybe been trying to intervene but there wasn’t much that he could do, he was being stabbed quite coldly and he slumped to the ground.

The attacker and another man walked off quite “boldly”.

“A table was thrown, a bottle was thrown at the individual with the knife and then we heard three gunshots and we ran,” he added.

One eyewitness on London Bridge, told the BBC he saw three men stabbing people indiscriminately, shouting “this is for Allah”.

The witness, named as Eric, told how he saw a van driving on the pavement with people running out of the way, before three men got out.

“They literally just started kicking them, punching them, they took out knives. It was a rampage really,” he said. “They headed down towards Southwark Cathedral towards the bar, and starting running at people.

“People at the bar started fighting back. Then the three of them decided to make their way up to the bridge

“A woman was staring at them and they started stabbing her.

“Throughout the whole way across the bridge, there were people littered across bleeding. People were trying to help each other.”

The BBC reported an unnamed eyewitness, a security guard who works across multiple bars and pubs in Borough Market, claiming to have seen a man with a canister strapped to his abdomen.

The eyewitness described people running away screaming from three men.

The police reacted quickly. The terror lasted eight minutes in total before armed police arrived and killed the three terrorists.

Police are undoubtedly going to be looking for associates and accomplices, but they do not believe that there are any more attackers on the loose.

Many perish in London's Towering Inferno, six bodies found

London, June 14 (IANS) Several people are believed dead as a major fire on Wednesday engulfed a 24-storey apartment complex in west London housing hundreds, with a resident who escaped likening the disaster to a “horror movie”. Six bodies were found but the toll is expected to shoot up.


Desperate occupants of the burning Grenfell Tower flocked to apartment windows and screamed for help, many holding their children. Witness Jody Martin said: “I watched one person falling out, I watched another woman holding her baby out in the window… hearing screams.”

More than 70 people were in hospitals, over 20 in critical condition, officials said.

More than 12 hours after the fire was seen in the complex, over 250 firefighters continued to battle the leaping flames and thick, choking smoke. London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said: “In my 29 years of being a firefighter, I have never ever seen anything of this scale.”

Up to 600 people were believed to have been inside the 120 flats in north Kensington when the blaze began shortly after Tuesday midnight, The Telegraph reported.

Authorities said the death toll was expected to rise.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: “I can confirm six fatalities. This figure is likely to rise during what will be a complex recovery operation over a number of days.”

Media reports said the 24-storey appeared it could collapse any time, with cladding already falling to the ground. Explosions could be heard. Windows kept shattering.

Witnesses described people trapped in the burning tower screaming for help and yelling for their children to be saved, the BBC reported. Some people threw their children from windows and others jumped from upper floors.

Many got trapped on upper floors as flames spread rapidly through the building.

One resident who fled from the seventh floor with his girlfriend and young daughter said wrong official advice may have led many residents not to leave the complex.

Michael Paramasivan said he ignored official advice to remain inside.

“If we had stayed in that flat, we would have perished. My gut instinct told me just to get the girls out. I wrapped the little one up because of the smoke and I just got them out,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

Some residents reportedly attempted to use bin bags as makeshift parachutes in a desperate attempt to escape. Firefighters rescued large numbers of people, but London Mayor Sadiq Khan said “a lot” of people were unaccounted for.

Cotton said the cause of the fire was not yet known.

Pictures from the scene showed flames engulfing the block and a plume of smoke visible across the capital.

As an investigation into the cause of the blaze began, residents reported that fire alarms had not sounded and that they were told to “stay put” in their flats, The Telegraph reported.

The London Mayor said “questions need to be answered as soon as possible”.

Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, who represents the area in which Grenfell Tower is located, said the tower contains some 120 individual apartments, many of which house young families, meaning the number of people trapped could run into hundreds, Efe news reported.

Police closed off roads nearby and asked people to avoid the area.

Paul Munakr, who lives on the seventh floor, managed to escape. “As I was going down the stairs, there were firefighters, truly amazing firefighters that were actually going upstairs, to the fire, trying to get as many people out of the building,” he told the BBC.

Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire prevention procedures at the building built in 1974.

Appeals were made on social media for news of missing friends and relatives.

–IANS

soni-mr/vd

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We’re one step closer to better cancer treatment. When a team from Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus injected breast, lung and bladder cancer cells with the protein PLEKHA7, they were able to “program” some cancers to stop multiplying and spreading, the Telegraph reports. So far, the method has only been performed in vitro and not tested on living human patients, but if it’s successful in human trials, it could replace other brutal forms of treatment.

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“You fight for certain roles and you realise they’re being filled by television and film actors, because theatre is constantly fighting for survival and they need names and faces and ticket sales.  So I remember actively making the decision, ‘I’ve gotta go and make a name for myself, in television or film, so that I can then go back and do those theatre roles that I want.’ ” 

And after 13 years of concentrating on film and television, returning to the stage is a very big deal for him.  “That’s why it’s interesting coming back now and getting into a rehearsal room and going:  ‘This is why I did it. I’d forgotten.’ ” (x)

Coronation Street stars attend funeral of 'superfan' killed in Manchester attack

A host of Coronation Street stars were among mourners who gathered to celebrate the life of a PR boss killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Martyn Hett, 29, was a “superfan” of the ITV1 soap and even had a tattoo of Weatherfield stalwart Deirdre Barlow on his leg.

In attendance at the funeral at Stockport Town Hall were actors Helen Worth (Gail McIntyre), Jennie McAlpine (Fiz Brown), Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor), Anthony Cotton (Sean Tully) and the show’s producer Kate Oates.

Jennie McAlpin, right, hugs a friend before the funeral Credit: Dave Thompson/Getty

His Coronation Street-themed coffin arrived at the service in a horse-drawn carriage and was greeted by a minute’s applause before it entered the building to the tune of Beautiful by Mariah Carey.

Former Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus welcomed guests to the service in which the dress code was “black and fabulous”, and was due to sing during the ceremony.

Actress Kym Marsh arrives at Stockport Town Hall Credit: Dave Thompson/Getty

Mr Hett was a massive fan of the Scottish singer and once spent more than 24 hours on a coach to travel to see her in concert.

Speaking in the days leading up to the service, his mother Figen Murray and stepfather Stuart Murray said it was only after his death that they realised how well known Mr Hett was through social media.

Martyn Hett was killed in the May attack on Manchester Arena Credit: AFP

Mrs Murray said: “It seems that he was fearless about life as well because he wasn’t frightened of talking about his own death.

"He actually had discussed and planned his funeral the way he wanted to exit. It’s going to be almost theatrical actually.”

Paying tribute, his father Paul Hett told the congregation: “It was in the early hours of Tuesday morning that we were told by his friends Martyn was missing.

"Our world was instantly turned upside down and from that moment and all along our painful journey which brought us here today we were cared for with so much empathy and understanding by everyone concerned. We are so very proud of Martyn.”

Martyn Hett’s Coronation Street-themed coffin arrives at Stockport Town Hall Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

He added: “I would describe Martyn’s life as one long rollercoaster ride. You never knew where it would take you or what was round that corner, but you couldn’t wait for it to happen.

"He was inspirational and this in turn inspired everyone around him. His comic timing was perfect. He would have gone on to achieve the most amazing things, of that we have no doubt.

"In a very nice way, Martyn loved being in the limelight and the centre of attention. He would be loving every minute of this fantastic celebration of his life.”

Mourners were told the dress code was ‘black and fabulous’ Credit: Dave Thompson/Getty

The family of Mr Hett, who appeared on reality shows Tattoo Fixers and Come Dine With Me, have asked for donations to the Kidscan Children’s Cancer Charity, Beechwood Children’s Bereavement Service and Beacon Counselling in Mr Hett’s memory.

A funeral service for 15-year-old Megan Hurley, another of the 22 victims of the May 22 atrocity, was also taking place on Friday in her home town of Halewood, Merseyside.

US police shot Australian woman dead outside her home after 'she called them to report sexual assault'

A woman killed by police in the US had called them to report a sexual assault taking place in an alley behind her home, it has emerged.

Justine Ruszczyk made the 911 call after hearing suspicious noises, which she believed was a sex attack, coming from the secluded path close to her home in Minnesota around 11.30pm on Saturday night, American media reported.

When officers arrived they opened fire from their vehicle, fatally striking the 40-year-old spiritual healer.

Miss Ruszczyk was born in Sydney but moved to the US to be with her partner, who she was due to marry next month, three years ago.

Her fiance Don Damond and his son Zach have demanded answers over the death which is being investigated, the Telegraph reported.

Mr Damond told Australian media that the family were “desperate for information.”

“Piecing together Justine’s last moments” would be “a small comfort,” he added.

Zach said in an emotional Facebook live video: “My mum is dead, because a police officer shot her, for reasons I don’t know, and I demand answers.

“She heard a sound in the alley so she called police and the cops showed up.

“Basically my mum’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know … I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”

The officer responsible for firing the fatal shot has been named as Mohamed Noor.

Tom Plunkett, his lawyer, confirmed his client fired his weapon, according to CBS Minnesota.

Both Mr Noor and his partner have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

However, police said the officer’s body worn cameras and a camera in their squad car had been switched off at the time of the shooting which may hamper the investigation.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said they were "providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian woman who died in a shooting in Minneapolis”.

They said in a statement on behalf of her family: "This is a very difficult time for our family.

"We are trying to come to terms with this tragedy and to understand why this has happened.”

Charlie Gard campaign is being spearheaded by an evangelical pastor jailed for abortion clinic protest

A pro-life evangelical preacher is leading a campaign to give an experimental treatment to terminally ill baby Charlie Gard.

The Reverend Patrick Mahoney flew to the UK from the US last week to act as a self-appointed spokesman for the Gard family, leading to concerns he is exploiting the case for political gain.

The 63-year-old, who is director of the Christian Defence Coalition and a pastor at the Church on the Hill in Washington DC, said he met with a senior White House official before leaving the US, The Telegraph reported.

Donald Trump has offered to help baby Charlie, saying he would be “delighted” to help him secure treatment in the UK after courts ruled his life-support machine should be turned off.

Rev Mahoney said he was keeping the US President updated on events in London, The Telegraph reported.

The pro-life pastor has previously been jailed for violating an order banning him from demonstrating in front of abortion clinics in Texas.

Rev Mahoney claimed he was initially prevented from praying at Charlie’s bedside. In a Facebook post he claimed it was a “victory” when he was allowed into the intensive care ward, saying: “Let’s believe for a miracle and that Great Ormond Street Hospital would continue do the right thing”.

The High Court ruled on Monday that Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, should be given the chance to present new evidence their son should be given the treatment.

Charlie suffers from a rare mitochrondrial disease, which doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say has left him with severe brain damage and muscle weakness.

The European Court of Human Rights had previously rejected an appeal by the couple to take the baby to the US for treatment after doctors said it would not improve the quality of their son’s life.

Charlie, who was born on 4 August 2016, inherited the defective RRM2B gene leaving him with severe brain damage and unable to open his eyes, move his limbs or breathe without a machine.

Ms Yates and Mr Gard want to try nucleoside therapy, a new treatment that has been used on around a dozen patients in the US with other mitochondial diseases.

Mr Justice Francis, who heard the case in the High Court, said he may not be able to make a final decision on Thursday.

Newlyweds Skip Traditional Banquet to Feed Thousands of Refugees

After saying “I do,” most newlyweds pose for pictures, toast with champagne, and sit down to a luxurious meal with family and friends. Instead of being wined and dined, one couple decided to serve meals to those in need.

Enlisting their friends to dole out dinner from food trucks, Turkish couple Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat celebrated their new life together by dining with 4,000 Syrian refugees. And they didn’t just serve the guests—the couple used the money that would have been spent on a traditional banquet dinner to throw a party for a group, The Telegraph reports

- Read more about this inspiring story here on TakePart.com

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice criticise schools' 'political' change to Joseph musical

Lyricist Tim Rice and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber have protested against a lyric change to their musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which premiered in 1970.

A group of schools in New Zealand had altered a line in the song “Close Every Door”, sung by Joseph behind prison bars, from the original: “Children of Israel are never alone … for we have been promised a land of our own”. The lyrics were changed to read “Children of kindness” instead, reports The Telegraph.

While speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, Rice said he had only found out about the change via Twitter, adding: “They were doing the Joseph songs and they changed ‘Close Every Door’, the last line, 'Children of Israel are never alone’, they changed it to 'children of kindness are never alone’, which was obviously being politically correct or something.”

“[They] interpreted the song completely wrongly, and what a rotten thing. And I only heard about it because someone tweeted me and said 'did you approve this change?’ I said I did not approve it and I hadn’t heard about it. It was quite a big thing, it was for all schools in the Wellington area in New Zealand.”

“We came down on them like a ton of bricks and they said … we wanted to make it easier for the children. I thought the point of teaching was to teach children to cope with hard things in life. This was moronic,” he continued. “I mean Joseph is an innocent story straight from the Bible and these people in New Zealand thought we were making statements about Israel and Palestine – bonkers.”

@WgtnCC Please explain Joseph lyric change: “children of Israel” to “children of kindness”. Permission not given. Tim Rice. @Kate_DowlingNZ

— Sir Tim Rice (@SirTimRice)

June 16, 2017


Lloyd Webber later backed Rice in the dispute, telling The Observer: “Tim is quite right. You cannot reinvent a Bible story. That song is a serious moment and a key point in the show. It is about the connection Joseph suddenly makes with Israel. Tim was paraphrasing the Bible and it should be kept that way.”

The local council has since apologised and said the change will be dropped, adding that a “community coordinator made an error in judgement”. The coordinator for the New Zealand arts festival where the song will be performed in September said: “Action has been taken over the weekend to ensure that the original song words are all reinstated with immediate effect.”

Protestors Gather in Support of Charlie Gard Outside the Supreme Court in London

Protestors rallied outside the Supreme Court in London, on July 10, to support a critically ill 10-month-old boy.

Charlie Gard’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been in a court battle to allow their son, who has a rare genetic condition, to be taken to the United States for treatment.

Twitter user EJ Ward uploaded videos showing protestors outside the High Court, who can be heard chanting “justice for Charlie”.

Today, The Telegraph reported that: “a High Court judge said a new decision could be made if there was “new and powerful” evidence.” Credit: Twitter/SINO Newsdesk via Storyful

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Denmark to become the first in the world to stop classifying transgender people as mentally ill

The World Health Organization (WHO) still classifies transgender individuals as mentally ill. It’s currently working to revise that definition, but Denmark has “run out of patience,” the Telegraph reported, and is addressing the problem on its own. Meanwhile, in the U.S. …