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French holocaust denier Vincent Reynouard faces extradition from Scotland | UK News

A convicted Holocaust denier who spent two years on the run is to be extradited back to France, a Scottish court has ruled.

Vincent Reynouard, 54, was arrested in November last year after being tracked down in Fife.

During a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, Reynouard was told he will be returned to his homeland to stand trial on charges including “public trivialisation of a war crime” and “public incitement to hatred”.

The Frenchman’s lawyers had argued that UK extradition law only allows people to be sent back to their homeland if there is an equivalent British crime to the one that foreign states plan to prosecute them for.

Defence advocate Fred Mackintosh KC stated there was no equivalent law in Scotland to Holocaust denial and that this should stop his client from being extradited.

However, Sheriff Chris Dickson ruled against the defence.

In a written judgment explaining his decision, Sheriff Dickson wrote about how Reynouard published a video online.

Sheriff Dickson concluded that although Reynouard “did not call for the extermination of the Jewish people”, his actions in the video would constitute an offence under Scottish law and due to that he could be extradited.

Reynouard was apprehended in Anstruther on 10 November 2022 on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement warrant.

A general view of Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court
Edinburgh Sheriff and Justice of the Peace Court. File pic

He is wanted in France as the authorities there believe he is guilty of denying the Holocaust took place. The act of Holocaust denial is an offence in France.

Reports say Reynouard was using a false identity while working as a private tutor after evading authorities for two years before being arrested.

The search was led by France’s Central Office for the Fight against Crimes against Humanity and Hate Crimes.

The investigation began after the memorial of Oradour-sur-Glane, where Nazi troops killed and destroyed an entire village in June 1944, was vandalised by graffiti which read “Reynouard is right”.

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Reynouard was first convicted of Holocaust denial in 1991.

He was detained after handing out leaflets denying the existence of gas chambers among high school pupils.

In 1997, he was sacked from his job as a maths teacher at a secondary school in Honfleur, Normandy. His dismissal came after the discovery of revisionist texts on his computer hard disk.

He was also found giving his students statistical equations regarding the rate of mortality in Nazi concentration camps.

In 2005, Reynouard was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment and fined €10,000 (£8,600) by a court for writing a 16-page brochure entitled “Holocaust? Here’s what’s kept hidden from you”.

This was sent to French tourism offices, museums and town halls.

In 2015, he was sentenced to two years in jail by a court in Normandy for denying the Holocaust in a series of Facebook posts.

His most recent conviction came in November 2020 for posting a Holocaust denial video on YouTube.

Ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone admits fraud | UK News

Ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has pleaded guilty to fraud over a failure to declare £400m held in a trust in Singapore to the government.

Ecclestone, who turns 93 later this month, was due to face trial at Southwark Crown Court in November after previously denying the charge.

The billionaire appeared at the same court today wearing a dark grey suit, supported by his third wife, Fabiana Flosi, to plead guilty to a single count of fraud on 7 July 2015.

The court has previously heard he failed to declare a trust in Singapore with a bank account containing around 650 million US dollars, worth about £400 million at the time.

Prosecutors said Ecclestone made untrue or misleading representations to HM Revenue and Customers at a July 2015
meeting, when he said he “established only a single trust” in favour of his daughters Deborah, Tamara and Petra.

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Captain Tom’s daughter says he wanted her to keep book profits – despite readers being told they were going to charity | UK News

Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter has admitted keeping £800,000 from the three books he wrote before he died – despite the prologue of one of them saying the money would go to the charity in his name.

Hannah Ingram-Moore has also told TalkTV her father had wanted the family to keep the profits from the books in Club Nook Ltd – a firm separate to the Captain Tom Foundation charity.

In extracts of the interview with Piers Morgan published in The Sun, Ms Ingram-Moore is reported to have said: “These were father’s books, and it was honestly such a joy for him to write them, but they were his books.

“He had an agent and they worked on that deal, and his wishes were that that money would sit in Club Nook, and in the end . . . ”

Morgan interjects with: “For you to keep?”

She replies: “Yes… specifically.”

Sir Tom, who died in February 2021, became a national figure after raising £38.9m for the NHS, including gift aid, by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the country’s first national COVID lockdown in April 2020.

Thousands of buyers of his three books, including the autobiography Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day, were reportedly unaware that the profits were going to the family.

Ms Ingram-Moore was joined by her husband Colin and their children Benji, 19, and Georgia, 14 during the interview – with the family insisting there was no suggestion anyone who bought the books thought the money was going to charity.

However, the prologue of the autobiography reads: “Astonishingly at my age, with the offer to write this memoir I have also been given the chance to raise even more money for the charitable foundation now established in my name.”

Handout photo of Second World War veteran Captain Tom Moore with his daughter Hannah, as they wave to a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight flypast of a Spitfire and a Hurricane passing over his home as he celebrates his 100th birthday.

Ms Ingram-Moore was also asked by Morgan about when she was paid £18,000 for attending the Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Foundation Connector Awards in 2021.

This was despite the fact she was already paid as the chief executive of the charity.

The money was paid to her family firm the Maytrix Group, with Ms Ingram-Moore keeping £16,000 and donating £2,000 to the Captain Tom Foundation.

Holding back tears, she told TalkTV: “I think it’s all very easy to look back and think I should have made different ­decisions, but I hadn’t planned on being the CEO.”

The family also spoke of their “regret” over the spa and pool complex at their £1.2million home.

Ms Ingram-Moore reportedly told planners they wanted an office for the charity set up in Sir Tom’s name but built the complex instead.

Plans for the site said it would be used partly “in connection with The Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives”.

However, a subsequent retrospective application a year ago for a larger building containing a spa pool was refused by the planning authority.

A view of the home of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire. The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking money from donors after planning chiefs ordered that an unauthorised building in the home of the daughter of the late charity fundraiser be demolished. Picture date: Wednesday July 5, 2023. PA Photo. Central Bedfordshire Council said a retrospective planning application had been refused and an enforcement notice issued requiring the demolition of the "now-unauthorised building" containing a spa pool. On Tuesday, the foundation put out a statement saying it would not seek donations, and was closing all payment channels, while the Charity Commission carried out an inquiry. See PA story SOCIAL CaptainTom. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Ms Ingram-Moore’s home where she built the unauthorised spa

The Captain Tom Foundation stopped taking donations when the planning dispute came to light.

Ms Ingram-Moore said: “We have to accept that we made a decision, and it was probably the wrong one.”

In the interview, which airs at 8pm on Thursday night, Morgan also asked Ms Ingram-Moore about the annual salary of £85,000 pro-rata on a rolling three month basis that she received to head the foundation.

She replied: “Yes, and look, absolutely in hindsight, the two things should have been separated, but that’s not how it landed, and it was done with love and with trying to ensure that the community and the Captain Tom Foundation benefited, and yes I got paid.”

The Maytrix Group is also reported to have accepted up to £100,000 in furlough money and £47,500 in COVID loans despite making huge profits in the pandemic.

Israel-Hamas war: Met Police appeals for footage or images of attack after British citizens confirmed dead | UK News

The Metropolitan Police has appealed for footage or images of last weekend’s attack in Israel after a number of British citizens were confirmed dead in the country.

The force’s counter-terrorism unit is “appealing for anyone in the UK who has direct evidence related to the terrorist attacks”.

It added: “This appeal is directed at anyone who may have already returned from Israel in the past few days.

“There may also be people in the UK who have friends, relatives or loved ones in Israel and have been sent direct messages, images or videos.

“UK nationals are among those who were killed or are missing.

“Specialist officers are in close contact with colleagues in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to act upon information about UK nationals being received.”

The police are discouraging people from sending them footage or information from social media, online sources and media reports.

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Cleverly runs for cover in Israel

Seventeen British nationals, including children, are feared to have been killed or are missing in the country, Sky News understands.

Four British men have been confirmed to have died as a result of the incursion.

Jake Marlowe, a security guard at the Supernova music festival raided by Hamas over the weekend, was confirmed dead today.

Jake Marlowe working as a security guard in southern Israel
Jake Marlowe was working as a security guard in southern Israel

The 26-year-old’s parents, Lisa and Michael Marlowe, said: “We are heartbroken to have to inform you the crushing news that our son Jake has been confirmed dead in southern Israel.”

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The three others of those known to have died are Israeli army member Nathanel Young, Bernard Cowan from Scotland, and photographer Dan Darlington.

Hamas launched the attack on Saturday morning, indiscriminately firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

After its militants crossed the border, on foot and using various modes of transport – including several on paragliders – Israel retaliated with air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Since the initial assault, at least 1,200 Israelis and 1,100 Palestinians have been killed.

Sycamore Gap: People urged to stay away as work starts on removal of historic tree | UK News

Work has started as part of a “complex and difficult” operation to remove the Sycamore Gap tree from Hadrian’s Wall after it was felled in an act of vandalism.

The National Trust said workers were using chainsaws to remove branches ahead of the removal of the historic attraction, which is expected to take place on Thursday.

A crane will be used to lift the 50ft tree off the delicate Roman wall, before it is taken away from the area and put into safe storage at a trust site.

People are being urged to stay away from the area while the operation is taking place.

Andrew Poad, the site’s general manager for the National Trust, said it needed to be moved now to make the site safe for visitors and to preserve Hadrian’s Wall. Historic England previously said it had sustained damage when the tree fell on it.

“We’ve explored every option for moving the tree and while it isn’t possible to lift it in one go, as the tree is multi-stemmed with a large crown, we have aimed to keep the trunk in as large sections as possible, to give us flexibility on what the tree becomes in future,” he said.

“We’re encouraging people to stay away from the site while these complex and difficult operations take place.”

The stump, which could generate new shoots, will be kept in place and is currently behind a protective barrier.

Seeds have been collected – which the National Trust said could be used to grow new saplings.

Work begins in the removal of the felled Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. Picture date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.
Work begins in the removal of the felled Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. Picture date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.

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The much-photographed and painted lone sycamore, one of the most famous trees in the world and an emblem for the North East of England, was based in a dip in the Northumberland landscape.

There will be public consultation about what happens next at the site, which has UNESCO designation and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Work begins in the removal of the felled Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland. Picture date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.

Northumbria Police arrested a boy aged 16 and a man in his 60s after the tree was felled a fortnight ago. They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

M4 section closed in both directions at Margam after ‘serious collision’ | UK News

The M4 was closed in both directions at Margam after a “serious collision” overnight.

South Wales Police are at the scene of the crash and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

The road has been closed westbound between junction 38 Margam and junction 39 Groes.

Eastbound the road was closed from junctions 40 to 38 but has since reopened.

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it was called at around 2.22am to reports of a road traffic collision between junctions 38 and 39.

Traffic Wales, the Welsh government’s motorway and trunk road information service, said there are delays of around one hour on surrounding routes.

The road is expected to remain closed for some time.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson confirmed it had taken one patient to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for further treatment.

“We sent one duty operational manager, one hazardous area response team and one emergency ambulance to the scene where we were supported by colleagues from the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service who travelled by car and pre-hospital immediate care specialists from MEDSERVE Wales,” the spokesperson added.

Football clubs should be banned from selling crypto fan tokens, say MPs | UK News

Football clubs should be banned from selling crypto-based “fan tokens” as part of engagement with supporters by the sport’s incoming regulator, according to a cross-party committee of MPs.

In its report, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee (CMS) warns about the volatility of prices and the risk of financial harm to supporters who are convinced to buy the tokens for club access and rewards.

CMS committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP said: “In the world of sport, clubs are promoting volatile cryptoasset schemes to extract additional money from loyal supporters, often with promises of privileges and perks that fail to materialise.

“Fan token schemes must not be used as a substitute for meaningful engagement with supporters.”

Socios is singled out by the MPs as a sports cryptoassets marketplace to generate cash from fans in exchange for apparent access that does not always deliver on expectations.

The CMS committee report said: “The unique relationship between clubs and fans means that fan speculation on sport-based cryptoassets carries a real risk of financial harm to fans and reputational harm to clubs.

“We are also concerned that clubs may present fan tokens as an appropriate form of fan engagement in the future, despite their price volatility and reservations among fan groups.

“We recommend that any measurement of fan engagement in sports, including in the forthcoming regulation of football, should explicitly exclude the use of fan tokens.”

The government is planning to legislate to introduce a regulator for English football next year.

The regulator system is being set up to force clubs to prove their business models are financially sound and that they have good corporate governance before being allowed to compete.

What are fan tokens?

Fan tokens’ value ostensibly derives from giving its owner a say in club matters, often trivial such as what song will be played at half time, or which player will run the club Instagram account for a day.

They also create a bespoke club cryptocurrency, however, the value of which Socios says is determined by supply and demand and fan sentiment.

With clubs holding the balance of tokens and deciding when to release them for sale, analysis has shown the major driver of price fluctuations is not a club’s form or supporter engagement, but the wider, and highly volatile, crypto market.

The Financial Conduct Authority categorises them as crypto assets, a complex investment subject to big price swings which could expose investors to big losses.

Socios says it has deals with more than 100 teams, including Premier League champions Manchester City and Arsenal.

The CMS committee said for “differing reasons” Socios, which has Lionel Messi as a brand ambassador, said it could not attend a session to provide evidence.

Socios did not directly address the criticism, but in a statement to Sky News it said: “Fan token holders received more than 24,000 matchday tickets and over 1,000 items of merchandise last season, and continue to engage with their club in a unique new way.

“Fan Tokens offer new and complementary benefits to clubs’ traditional fan engagement beyond the boundaries of geography, and unlike NFTs (non-fungible tokens), are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).”

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The UK and Ireland will host Euro 2028

The Socios website flashes up a variety of warnings now.

“Fan Tokens are a type of utility token,” one states.

“They are obtained by exchanging them for the Chiliz cryptocurrency ($ CHZ), which can be purchased on the app after downloading it.

“Before using crypto-assets (tokens), consider that: (a) their value can go down or up; (b) they are not regulated in most countries; (c) you may have to pay taxes on any profits made from their sale.”

On crypto exchanges, the value of Chiliz has plummeted from 25 cents (15p) to around 5 cents (3p) in two years.

Waving a Palestinian flag on British streets ‘may not be legitimate’, Suella Braverman warns | UK News

Waving a Palestinian flag on British streets “may not be legitimate” if it is done to show support for acts of terrorism, the home secretary has told police chiefs.

In a letter to chief constables across England and Wales, Suella Braverman urged officers to use the “full force of the law” against shows of support for Hamas following its unprecedented attack against Israel.

It comes after vigils were held in Westminster for Israeli civilians killed and held captive, while pro-Palestinian rallies took place outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington.

Read more: Israel vows to ‘wipe out’ Hamas – live updates

Ms Braverman said targeting Jewish neighbourhoods, waving pro-Palestinian or pro-Hamas symbols, and chanting anti-Israeli slogans could all amount to public order offences.

Hamas has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the UK and many other Western nations, including the EU and the US.

Because of this, she reminded police forces that it is a criminal offence for people in the UK to:

• Belong to Hamas or invite support for the group

• Wear clothing in public that suggests they are a member or supporter of Hamas

• Publish images of flags or logos linked to the organisation

Ms Braverman joined officers in a patrol of Golders Green on Monday

“At a time when Hamas terrorists are massacring civilians and taking the most vulnerable (including the elderly, women, and children) hostage, we can all recognise the harrowing effect that displays of their logos and flags can have on communities,” Ms Braverman wrote.

 Suella Braverman speaks to volunteers during a visit to Bolton Lads and Girls Club
Suella Braverman has written to the UK’s chief constables

She added unrest in the Middle East has previously been used “as a pretext to stir up hatred against British Jews” – and there is an “obvious risk this pattern will be repeated during the current conflict”.

“In the past, this has included vandalism of Jewish businesses, desecration of memorials and religious sites, physical and verbal abuse of Jews on the streets, convoys driving through Jewish neighbourhoods hurling antisemitic abuse, and proliferation of antisemitism online,” she warned.

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A Tube train bridge, branded with 'Free Palestine' graffiti, is seen in in Golders Green, London, Britain, October 9, 2023. REUTERS/Anna Gordon
‘Free Palestine’ was daubed on a railway bridge in north London

On Monday, a kosher restaurant in Golders Green – an area of north London with a significant Jewish population – had its windows smashed and a cash register stolen, while “Free Palestine” was daubed on a nearby railway bridge.

The graffiti is being investigated as a potential hate crime by the British Transport Police, with local authorities describing it as a “deliberate attempt to intimidate the Jewish community”.

A vandalised Kosher restaurant is seen near a bridge with 'Free Palestine' painted on it, in Golders Green in London, Britain, October 9, 2023. REUTERS/Anna Gordon
A kosher restaurant was vandalised in Golders Green

Ms Braverman went on to stress online offending must be treated as seriously as offline incidents – and all perpetrators must face “heavy criminal consequences” to prevent future incidents and ensure Jewish communities feel safe.

“There can be no place for antisemitism or glorification of terrorism on the streets of Britain,” she added.

Amazon workers in Coventry set to strike for four days over Black Friday | UK News

Amazon workers in the UK are set to stage fresh strikes coinciding with Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

More than 1,000 workers at the company’s Coventry site are set to walk out over pay from 7 November until 9 November as well as on Black Friday – 24 November.

The day symbolises the first shopping day in the build-up to the Christmas or holiday season, where many shops offer highly discounted prices and extend opening hours.

The strike announcement comes a day after Amazon offered a pay rise for staff of at least £1 an hour, which will kick in from 15 October.

The move means the minimum starting pay for frontline employees will rise to between £11.80 and £12.50 an hour, depending on location.

People take part in a rally in support of Amazon workers' on strike
Amazon’s Coventry warehouse

Pay is expected to increase further next April to between £12.30 and £13 an hour, depending on location.

Despite this, the GMB union said the four-day strike will be the biggest in Amazon’s history, with the potential of causing “widespread disruption to customers and the public”.

They are calling for at least £15 an hour to help with the cost of living crisis.

Rachel Fagan, GMB organiser, said: “This is an unprecedented and historic moment with low paid workers taking on one of the world’s most powerful corporations.

“This is our members’ response to the failure of Amazon bosses to listen.”

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She said Coventry is the “beating heart” of Amazon’s distribution network and the strike will “ripple throughout the company’s UK logistics”.

Amazon employees’ concerns over pay have been a long-running dispute, with staff in Coventry first walking out in January – the first time the corporation faced industrial action in the UK.

One employee at the time, Darren Westwood, said he had grown fed up with pay and working conditions – where workers are on their feet all day sorting through goods to send to other warehouses.

The company previously said the Coventry warehouse does not directly serve customer orders, so industrial action will cause no disruption to customers.

IMF’s new predictions of doom for UK economy should be taken with a few pinches of salt | Business News

There are a few ways one could report the latest economic growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The first way is to declare that Britain’s economy is heading for the buffers.

Its economy will grow next year at the slowest rate in the G7 group of leading industrialised economies (0.6%). This is considerably lower than, say, the 1.2% growth expected in the euro area or the 1.5% expected in the US.

And this is probably the way many outlets will report the numbers this morning.

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, published every six months by the Washington-based institution, is arguably the single most important international economic forecast out there. Who could doubt it?

But it turns out there are a couple of question marks about the IMF’s latest UK growth forecasts.

The most important one is buried away in a paragraph about interest rates: “The Federal Reserve’s policy rate is expected to peak at its current level of about 5.4%, the Bank of England to raise its to peak at about 6%.”

There’s an issue here, beyond the grammar. While it was certainly true that a few months ago UK interest rates were indeed expected to peak at around 6%, that hasn’t been the case for some time.

The Bank of England in the city of London
The Bank of England held off on a 15th consecutive rate rise at September’s meeting, keeping Bank rate at 5.25%

Today, after a run of lower-than-expected inflation data, the betting in financial markets is that the Bank rate has already peaked at 5.25%.

The difference between 5.25% and 6% interest rates is, in economic terms, rather a lot.

Those higher rates would mean considerably more pressure on those with mortgages, more pain in the high street, more saving, less spending and, all told, a weaker economy.

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September: ‘We cannot be complacent’

Working out precisely how much weaker is no mean feat, but assuming 5.25% interest rates instead of 6% could quite plausibly add 0.1 or 0.2 percentage points to the UK’s growth rate next year.

That in turn would mean the UK was no longer the weakest economy in the G7, with that unhappy distinction going instead to Italy.

So, the second way to report these numbers is to put a mighty big asterisk next to the UK number and to warn that the number is not altogether reliable because it doesn’t reflect the current picture for interest rates.

Indeed, according to a well-placed source, the interest rate expectations baked into the IMF’s forecasts date from all the way back in August.

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This isn’t the only reason to be a bit sceptical about the scale of the IMF’s downgrade of the UK economy in this latest report. It acknowledges too that its forecasts don’t incorporate the latest set of revisions of the economy from the Office for National Statistics – upwards revisions which completely changed the complexion of Britain’s post-pandemic economic path.

This is less likely to have as much of an impact on the year-on-year growth figures as the path of interest rates, but all the same, it adds to the sense that we should take these figures with a fair few grains of salt.

Even so – even when you’ve taken these issues into account – there is another, better way one could describe the outlook for the UK economy: not good. It may not be the weakest in the G7, but it’s still barely growing. And nor, for that matter, are many European economies.

The reality is that the outlook for the global economy is disappointing.

Global growth is expected to be well below typical speeds this year and next. China’s economy is facing serious trauma in the face of a property slump. While the US economy is doing far better than many had predicted, its expansion rate is, by American standards, disappointing.

Britain, in short, is not doing well. But, contrary to the impression you might get from glancing at the IMF’s numbers, it is far from an outlier.