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Daniel Khalife: Escaped terror suspect urged to hand himself in by close relative | UK News

Escaped terror suspect Daniel Khalife has been urged to hand himself in by a close relative.

Speaking to The Times, the unnamed family member described the 21-year-old as a “very, very intelligent, easygoing and kind boy” who had changed in the past year.

As a nationwide manhunt enters its fourth day, the relative told the newspaper: “If I could talk to him, I would tell him to end this and give himself up, even though I understand he is afraid.”

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New CCTV of prison escape van

Prisoner manhunt – latest updates

The former soldier escaped from Wandsworth Prison on Wednesday morning in a chef’s uniform – holding on to straps underneath a food lorry to make his getaway.

Yesterday, Scotland Yard revealed there was a confirmed sighting of Khalife about a mile away – shortly after the breakout.

Detectives have been scouring Richmond Park for signs of the fugitive, not far from the Category B prison.

More on Daniel Abed Khalife

The relative told The Times that Khalife is unlikely to seek help from his family while on the run, adding: “He would never want to cause us any problems. He loves us very much.”

It is assumed that Khalife knows the Richmond area well because he grew up nearby, while his mother and sister are believed to have lived in the vicinity until a few years ago.

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Sighting ‘very significant’

£20,000 reward offered

Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, has said the confirmed sighting on Wednesday “could be very significant”.

A member of the public had seen Khalife climb out from under the lorry, and walk towards Wandsworth town centre.

Mr Murphy said the force is currently working on “lots of leads” after receiving over 100 calls from the public – and a reward of £20,000 is now being offered for information that leads to his arrest.

While the Met does not believe Khalife poses a threat to the wider public, anyone who sees him is being urged to stay away and call 999 immediately.

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Where was Khalife hiding on the lorry?

The former soldier was awaiting trial after allegedly planting a fake bomb at an RAF base and gathering information that might be useful to terrorists or enemies of the UK.

He was discharged from the army in May.

Rishi Sunak, who is currently at the G20 summit in India, was asked by reporters about potential “state involvement” in Khalife’s escape – perhaps from Iran.

The prime minister said it would not be appropriate to comment on an “ongoing police investigation”.

Read more:
How Khalife is likely surviving on the run
Was incompetence or collusion to blame?
What life is like at Wandsworth Prison

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Terror suspect’s prison escape ‘pre-planned’

A ‘clearly pre-planned’ escape

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley told LBC that Khalife’s escape “was clearly pre-planned – and it “seems odd” that the terror suspect wasn’t being held in a high-security prison.

Detectives are now examining whether he was assisted by prison guards or other inmates in his bid to escape.

Police have not ruled out the possibility that he may have managed to flee the country.

Daniel Abed Khalife and clothing similar to what he was wearing when he escaped. Pic: Met Police
Daniel Abed Khalife and clothing similar to what he was wearing when he escaped. Pic: Met Police

Mr Murphy had previously described police as a “very resourceful individual”.

Earlier this week, he said: “We have some of the best military in the world here in the UK and he was a trained soldier.

“So ultimately he has skills perhaps some sections of the public don’t have.”

Britons urged not to pour meat fats down sink to avoid blockages in water system | UK News

Britons are being urged not to pour their meat fats down the sink today, to avoid blockages in the water system.

South West Water is looking to avoid the build up of so-called fatbergs over the holiday season, which are often caused by people pouring their foul, fowl juices from their festive feasts down the sink while hot, which clogs up the pipes when they cool.

The firm says a medium-sized turkey, which many of us will be tucking into at some point today, can produce up to three quarters of a pint of fat, meaning if every house covered by South West Water poured their fats down the sink, it would be the equivalent of 2,800 full bath tubs entering the sewer system.

Undated handout photo issued by Thames Water of a fatberg, that had the weight of a small bungalow, under Yabsley Street, Canary Wharf, London, before its removal. Issue date: Friday February 19, 2021.
Water firms want to avoid scenes like this one – from underneath Canary Wharf last year

Guy Doble, the company’s director of wastewater recovery, treatment and networks, said: “Don’t let the fat from your festive feast ruin your Christmas by causing blockages and fatbergs.

“Tens of thousands of litres of waste fat, cooking oil and grease are poured down sinks in the South West each year, along with food waste, which can build up in pipes.

“These mix with wrongly flushed items such as wet wipes, hygiene wipes, cleaning wipes, cleansing pads and sanitary products, causing blocked sewers which can lead to flooding in your homes and in the environment.

“Every year we deal with around 8,500 blocked sewers across our region – around one every hour – and these can increase the risk of flooding and damage to customers’ homes and properties.

“So don’t let fat spoil the festivities this Christmas and play your part by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, paper and poo – down the loo, and avoid pouring fats, oils and greases down your sink.”

Last year, a fatberg the “weight of a bungalow” was removed from a London sewer underneath Canary Wharf, with the process taking more than two weeks.

A fatberg in Birmingham was also removed, which was said to more than a kilometre in length and 300 tonnes in weight – taking more than a month to clear.

South West Water covers more than two million people across Devon and Cornwall and some 450 tonnes of unflushable material is removed from its system every year – including wet wipes, sanitary products and cotton pads.

Strep A: Pharmacies warn of penicillin shortage as parents urged not to self-diagnose their children | UK News

A senior pharmacist says a penicillin shortage is leading to fears that some prescriptions will not be filled as seasonal sickness levels continue to rise.

Pharmacy director Zeshan Rehmani criticised the Department of Health for being “out of touch” after it mooted proposals to give antibiotics to children in schools to help fend off illnesses including Strep A – saying: “There’s no drugs. Today, we haven’t been able to get any penicillin in stock at all.”

His warning comes amid concerns some parents have been resorting to using old or out-of-date antibiotics they have found at home to treat their children.

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Ninth child dies in Strep A outbreak

That led to Thorrun Govind, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, cautioning against self-diagnosis and urging parents to talk to their GP instead.

She has warned leftover antibiotics must be returned to pharmacies as there is a risk that children could be given an incorrect dose.

Nine children in the UK are known to have died in a recent outbreak of a form of Strep A, an infection that is usually mild and treated easily with the antibiotic amoxicillin.

But an invasive form of the bacteria known as iGAS has increased this year – particularly in those under the age of 10.

Share your story about the NHS

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Schools ‘may’ get Strep A antibiotics

The National Pharmacy Association confirmed there had been a spike in demand for some antibiotics, including those used to treat Strep A infection in children.

A statement said: “Pharmacies are having to work very hard to obtain stocks of these antibiotics, and some lines are temporarily unavailable.

“We have been advised by wholesalers that most lines will be replenished soon, but we cannot say exactly when that will be.

“As always, pharmacists will continue to work with local GPs to help people get the medicines they need as promptly as possible, which may require a change of prescription.”

Mr Rehmani, whose pharmacy is in Manchester, told Sky News’ Inzamam Rashid: “When we hear stories about possibly giving antibiotics to children in schools, it just shows how out of touch the Department of Health is with on-the-ground pharmacy.”

He added: “Pharmacists across the country are thinking we haven’t got enough penicillin to fill our prescriptions, let alone handing it out to schools.”

Read more:
What is Strep A and what are the symptoms?
Strep A generally causes mild infections – why the spate of deaths now?

Inzamam Rashid piece on the growing issue of Strep A, colds, and flu in the North West of England

‘No shortage’

Health minister Maria Caulfield said a cross-party briefing had been held for MPs on Strep A, and she denied there was a shortage of antibiotics.

She said: “We want to reassure parents if their children do have symptoms, and they are concerned to seek help – GPs are ready, A&E departments are ready, and also we have directors of public health proactively going into schools where there are cases.

“There is no shortage of antibiotics we want to reassure people on that, and we’re keeping an eye on that on a daily basis.”

Dr Colin Brown, UKHSA deputy director, told Sky News there was “long-standing guidance” that enables health protection teams to assess the situation in schools and nurseries to consider antibiotic prophylaxis for “either a group of children in certain classes or an entire nursery school”.

Following the death of at least nine children across the UK, Dr Brown reiterated there was no evidence to suggest there had been a change to the circulating strains of Strep A to make them more severe.

He suggested it was a lack of mixing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the susceptibility in children that was “bringing forward the normal scarlet fever season” to this side of Christmas.

UK’s economic policies could cause ‘many more deaths’ than COVID – with government urged to protect the ‘most vulnerable’ | UK News

The government’s economic policies could be causing “many more deaths” than the COVID-19 pandemic, an academic has warned.

In the space of eight years, almost 335,000 more deaths than expected were recorded across England, Wales and Scotland, researchers have found.

The “not only shocking but shameful” statistic is thought to show the “damaging impact” of difficult economic situations caused by the government reducing public spending.

Experts at Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) looked at data on deaths in the three nations from 2012 until 2019.

Tory divisions over 45p tax rate U-turn to dominate conference – politics latest

“This study shows that in the UK a great many more deaths are likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy than by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ruth Dundas, a professor of social epidemiology at the University of Glasgow and one of the authors of the report.

In its findings, the report stated there was now a “clear and urgent need… for such harmful policies to be reversed” and its authors urged the government to “implement measures to protect the most vulnerable in society”.

The research was carried out amid a “stalling of improvement overall” in mortality rates, with the number of deaths among the poorest members of society increasing since the early 2010s.

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Coffey’s NHS plan: Is it enough?

What did the study find?

From 2012, until 2019, 334,327 more people died than expected across England, Wales and Scotland, and more than half of them were men.

Among women, there were 77,173 excess deaths in England and Wales, as well as 6,564 in Scotland.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study found that previously improving mortality trends changed between 2011 and 2013 in Scotland and England.

This occurred after the Conservatives, under the leadership of David Cameron, came to power in 2010.

From that time until 2012, death rates among women living in the 20% most deprived areas of England increased by 3%, and they did the same between 2017 and 2019.

In the previous decade, this figured had decreased by around 14%.

In Scotland, the number of premature deaths among the poorest communities increased by 6-7% in the same time frames after declines of 10-20%.

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NHS data reveals A&E delays

‘These deaths did not have to happen’

Speaking about the research, Dr David Walsh, the lead author of the paper, said: “These figures are not only shocking but shameful.

“We must remember that these are more than just statistics: they represent hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been cut short, and hundreds of thousands of families who have had to deal with the grief and aftermath of those deaths.

“The tragic thing is that these deaths did not have to happen. In the words of the United Nations, in a society as wealthy as the UK, ‘poverty is a political choice’.”

Read more:
What does the NHS need before winter?
NHS ‘broken beyond repair’

The government’s ‘plan for patients’

He urged the government to realise the “damaging impact of austerity” and respond with economic policies that improve life expectancy for everyone.

Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the “shocking” findings reinforces the “urgent” need for the government to “change course” from its current budget proposals, which have caused concern among many MPs.

“Reinforcing austerity, and imposing deep real terms cuts on welfare payments and on public services as a whole, would simply add to the human toll so starkly illustrated in this study,” he warned.

His comments come amid speculation that the government could cut benefits in a bid to reduce public spending.

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak had promised to increase benefits in line with inflation, but current Prime Minister Liz Truss has said a decision on this policy “will be made in due course”.

With a failure to rule out a real-terms cut to benefits, concerns have been raised by Conservative MPs about the impact it may have on families already struggling due to the cost of living crisis.

Greater Manchester Police release new image of man wanted over abduction of six-year-old girl – as parents urged to be ‘extra vigilant’ | UK News

Police have released a third image of a man they are searching for in connection with the abduction of a six-year-old girl, as parents are urged to be “extra vigilant”.

The child, who police previously said was seven, was allegedly taken by a man into a wooded area near a disused railway track in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, at around 4pm on Wednesday.

She was safely reunited with her family a short time later.

Tameside Police Detective Superintendent Richard Hunt said a man “obviously grabbed a child” and it is believed that he “sexually assaulted her”.

“A child was playing in this area and a chap who was hanging around has taken a child and thankfully within a few minutes we’ve got her back,” he added.

“Parents need to consider the circumstances of what I have mentioned, and I would suggest they need to be extra vigilant with their children whilst we progress this as quickly as possible.”

Officers believe the girl was taken in Warne Avenue before she was led down a path towards a football field and allegedly assaulted.

More on Greater Manchester

“The offender appears to have been hanging around the area prior to the offence and afterwards he made his way through the paths and streets of the Snipe Estate, possibly in the direction of Openshaw,” Det Supt Hunt added.

Below are the three images of a man being looked for by police – it is not clear if he is the suspected perpetrator.

CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police
CCTV images issued by Greater Manchester Police

The first two images were released on Wednesday and were taken within 30 minutes of the abduction.

While the search for the man continues, a large police presence remains in the area.

He has been described as white, aged in his 20s, wearing dark trousers, a dark jacket, and dark shoes or trainers, possibly with a white rim around the sole.

Residents have been urged to check CCTV, dashcam video and doorbell footage for any clips that might assist the investigation.

A 35-year-old man – not the man pictured – was arrested on Wednesday, but has since been released.

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9262.