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Tower Bridge floods as torrential rain in London
Tower Bridge and its surrounding streets have been flooded after rain lashed London yesterday. The tourist landmark was just one area hit by travel chaos across the capital as roads and tubes suffered under the torrential downpours. Major delays hit arterial routes including the North Circular Road, Euston Road and Blackwall Tunnel, while a section of the District line had to be closed.
Footage posted onto social media showed streets turned into rivers, and buses and cars struggling to get across Tower Bridge.
The pummelling came soon after the Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning for most of England and forecast that heavy downpours were likely to continue across much of the country for the rest of the day.
F1 fan mistaken for mafia boss
A British F1 fan was seized by police who handcuffed, hooded and bundled him away, while he was eating lunch at a restaurant in the Hague, after being mistaken for a mafia crime boss. The 54-year-old man, who has been identified only as Mark L, was in the Netherlands to watch the Dutch Grand Prix with his son and a friend before police whisked him away to a maximum security prison.
His arrest followed a request by Italy, asking Dutch authorities to execute an international arrest warrant for Sicilian mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro, whose whereabouts have been unknown since 1993. The mobster, for whom the warrant was intended, is known as the “capo di tutti capi”, the boss of all bosses of the Sicilian mafia. The Briton has since been released.
Man stabbed stranger 30 times with bayonet
A man has admitted killing a stranger in a cemetery by stabbing him more than 30 times with a bayonet. Cornelius Tully, 50, attacked Michael Morris-Owens, 62, as he sat on a bench outside the chapel in the grounds of St Mary’s in Kensal Green, northwest London, on 22 November last year. CCTV captured the shadow of a figure holding a long thin blade on the chapel wall before Tully carried out the random stabbing.
Tully appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday by video link from Three Bridges secure hospital. He denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and the plea was accepted by prosecutors because of his unspecified psychiatric condition. Judge Anthony Leonard adjourned sentencing to 29 October and Tully was remanded in custody until sentencing.
Northern Irish to get £100 to spend on ailing high streets
All adults in Northern Ireland will receive £100 to spend at local high street shops as part of a country-wide scheme to boost businesses that were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Gordon Lyons, Stormont’s economy minister, announced the £145m scheme during a visit to Ormeau Road in Belfast yesterday. He said: “The objective of the £145m high street scheme is to boost local businesses following the drop in footfall brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
An online application portal will open from 27 September and remain open until 25 October, through the NI Direct website. Applicants are expected to receive their Spend Local cards within 10 days, with the first vouchers being issued during the week of 4 October. The pre-paid cards will be accepted by any shops and businesses that accept credit and debit cards for payments but will not be valid for online purchases. Similarly, the cards cannot be used for gambling.
Snakes ‘evolved from survivors of dinosaur-killing asteroid’
All living snakes evolved from a handful of species that survived the impact of the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs when it smashed into Earth, a new study suggests. While three-quarters of the plant and animal species living on the planet were destroyed by the collision 66 million years ago, snakes not only survived but soon began to diversify, scientists say.
The study, led by researchers at the University of Bath, found that the reptiles’ ability to shelter underground for long periods without food helped them to survive the collision’s aftermath while the loss of competitors and creation of new habitats allowed them to flourish. Mapping snakes’ evolution also showed scientists that the reptiles underwent a change to their vertebrae after the Cretaceous period that eventually allowed the evolution of modern species like giant sea snakes.
China’s ambassador banned from parliament
China’s ambassador to the UK has been barred from parliament in retaliation for sanctions imposed against MPs who have spoken out about his government. Beijing sparked outrage in March when it punished critics, including former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who have attacked its cruel treatment of Uyghurs Muslims.
Zheng Zeguang, the ambassador, was due at parliament on Wednesday – but Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle and his counterpart in the Lords, John McFall, have blocked him from attending a meeting. Sir Lindsay said it was not “appropriate for the ambassador for China to meet on the Commons estate and in our place of work when his country has imposed sanctions against some of our members”.
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