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UK weather: New warning for heavy rain and floods covers whole of England and Wales | UK News

Yellow weather warnings have been issued for rain across England and Wales, amid fears flooding could cause widespread disruption.

Heavy downpours will push east across most areas during Saturday and Sunday, according to the Met Office.

The latest Sky News forecast

Forecasters say some homes and businesses may suffer flooding and travel could be affected by surface water – including bus and train services.

Powers cuts are also likely.

A yellow warning for rain has been issued by the Met Office covering England and Wales from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening.
Pic: Met Office

The Met Office said: “An area of persistent and occasionally heavy rain is expected to move from west to east across the warning area during Saturday and Sunday, falling on already saturated ground.

“Rain will clear western areas early Sunday, whilst rate of clearance from east and southeast England is open to some uncertainty, but all areas should become dry by evening.”

The Environment Agency, which covers England said: “Land, roads and some properties will flood and there will be travel disruption.”

Natural Resources Wales said: “Local flooding from surface water is probable, and local flooding from rivers is also possible, on Saturday and Sunday across Wales.

“Land, roads and some properties could flood and there could be travel disruption.”

UK weather: Snow on the way with yellow warning for large parts of England and Wales | UK News

A yellow weather warning for snow has been issued for large parts of England and Wales.

The Met Office said snowfall could bring some disruption on Thursday and into Friday morning.

It warned there was a chance of travel delays on roads, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel.

There was also a chance some rural communities could become cut off, it said.

“A band of rain, sleet, and increasingly snow, will push north on Thursday bringing up to 2cm snow at lower levels, 2-5cm on ground above 200m, and perhaps as much as 10-20cm above 400m,” the Met Office said.

“The snow will ease later in the day, and may turn back to rain or drizzle, especially in the south and east of the area.”

It said there was some uncertainty about the northern limit of the snow and said details may change in the coming days.

The warning will be in effect for 24 hours from 3am on Thursday.

It comes after a yellow weather warning remains in place for Scotland until 9pm on Monday night, with up to 170mm (6.7in) of rain possible.

The Met Office said there is a “small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded”, which may result in damage to buildings.

The warning covers most of the Scottish Highlands but reaches as far south as the outskirts of Glasgow.

There is also a yellow warning for ice covering northern Scotland from midnight on Tuesday until 9am.

Wales rugby legend JPR Williams dies aged 74 | UK News

Wales and British and Irish Lions rugby legend JPR Williams has died aged 74, his former club has announced.

He played a big part in Wales’ success in the 1970s – helping them to three Grand Slams – and featured on the triumphant Lions tours to New Zealand in 1971 and 1974 in South Africa.

The former fullback, instantly recognisable with his low socks and long sideburns, also played for Bridgend, London Welsh and the Barbarians.

It was while playing for the Barbarians in 1973 against New Zealand that he was involved in what is widely regarded as the “greatest try ever scored” – a stunning 22-second blitz from one end of the field to another ending in a try by Gareth Edwards.

“Bridgend Ravens are devastated to announce the passing of JPR Williams,” the club said in a statement.

“One of Bridgend’s most decorated players and an icon of world rugby, JPR served the club most recently as club president.

“Our thoughts are with JPR’s family and friends at this sad time.”

Rugby legend JPR Williams waves as he stands in the Royal Box after being introduced on Centre Court on day six of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Saturday, July 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Rugby legend JPR Williams, pictured in July last year. Pic: AP

Welsh International full back JPR Williams, who has become their mosted capped player with 54 caps. Williams first played for the national side in 1969.

The British and Irish Lions described Williams as “one of the greatest ever Lions”.

“A man who inspired so many. It is with huge sadness to learn that JPR Williams has passed away at the age of 74. All our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in Peace,” they wrote in a post on X.

Irish Rugby said Williams was a “true legend of the game”.

“A joy to watch on the field and a gentleman off it. Rest in peace, JPR Williams. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family,” they said in a post on X.

Rugby star and surgeon

Born John Peter Rhys Williams in Bridgend, South Wales, in 1949, JPR as he would later become known, was the son of two GPs.

He initially shared his time as a schoolboy between rugby and tennis – at one point winning a British junior title at Wimbledon in 1966.

It was his decision to pursue a career in medicine that would eventually lead JPR to choose rugby over tennis – because the sport was amateur at the time and so allowed him to continue his education and train at the same time.

British Lions winger J.P.R. Williams gets his foot to the ball despite the efforts of Springbok Chris Pope in the test match at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, June 22, 1974. (AP Photo)
JPR Williams playing for the British and Irish Lions against South Africa in 1974. Pic: AP

He was awarded his first of 55 caps for Wales against Scotland in 1969 – at the start of what would be Wales’s second golden era of rugby.

With players like Edwards, Barry John, and Phil Bennett, Wales dominated much of the 1970s, with Williams helping the side to Grand Slam wins in 1971, 1976, and 1978.

Welsh rugby legends Gareth Edwards (left) and JPR Williams in the gardens of Buckingham Palace where they attended a Royal garden party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.
Welsh rugby legends Gareth Edwards (left) and JPR Williams in 2006

He was also a member of six Triple Crown-winning teams throughout the period and won eight caps for the Lions.

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At the same time, Williams continued his career in medicine, qualifying as a physician in 1973.

JPR, who was awarded an MBE for services to rugby in 1977, retired from international rugby in 1981 to focus on his work as an orthopaedic surgeon.

JPR Williams, the Welsh international rugby star, Tommy Smith, the Liverpool soccer player, and tennis star Roger Taylor at Buckingham Palace after receiving their MBE s.
JPR Williams (left) was awarded an MBE in 1977

However, he continued to play for club side Bridgend through the 1980s and 1990s, before joining Tondu where he remained until retiring in 2003.

Speaking about his mixing work and rugby, he told WalesOnline in 2019: “I was happy with my career as a surgeon and happy with my experiences in rugby.

“I was lucky to play for Wales when I did. I was surrounded by great players, who undoubtedly helped me become the player I was. And I enjoyed my club rugby, too.”

Mother of boy killed in North Wales crash describes ‘gutwrenching’ feeling | UK News

The mother of one of the boys who died in a car crash in North Wales has told other parents to “hold your loved ones tight” in a tribute to her son.

Harvey Owen, 17, was found in a silver Ford Fiesta in Snowdonia (Eryri) on Tuesday with friends Wilf Fitchett, Jevon Hirst and Hugo Morris, who are aged between 16-18.

They were reported missing from an overnight camping trip, which sparked an urgent police search until they were found in an overturned car, which was partially in water off the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog.

Harvey’s mother, Crystal Owen, said it is “unbearable to think” he will always be 17 and “even harder to accept”.

‘Please hold your loved ones tight’

“There is never a time to lose a child but this feels so much more gut wrenching as he was literally thriving in life and had everything to live for,” she added.

“Please hold your loved ones tight, all the minor things we worry about are irrelevant, life is so short and can be so cruel.

“I’ve lost my boy, the boy I absolutely adored, and I can’t accept that I won’t be able to hold him again or tell him I love him again.”

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn, from North Wales Police, said earlier this week the crash appeared to be a “tragic accident” but that the investigation into why the car left the road is ongoing.

Read more:
‘Touching to see so many pay respects’ to four boys killed
Mother describes ‘nightmare’ after son among four teenagers found dead

Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris have been reported missing
Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris had been reported missing

In an update on Wednesday, he said officers were now being assisted by members of the North West Underwater Search Team and that the road would remain closed in the meantime.

Harvey leaves behind an older sister, Yasmin, whom Crystal said he “idolised” growing up, and two younger sisters, Olivia and Sophia, whom he was “never too old” to hug.

‘Forever a son we can be proud of’

“From the moment Harvey was born, he was special, a truly longed for baby who made me feel so complete and a much-wanted sibling for Yasmin,” Crystal said.

“Laid back, charismatic, cheeky, a boy not of his time, he always thought outside the box, he was creative and funny. A boy that preferred to be outside and active.”

Crystal described him as “quirky, a trendsetter, loving, pure and hilarious” while also being “so dopey at times” but too “lovable” to stay mad at for long.

He dreamt of one day owning his own café, Crystal said, having recently developed a passion for working with bread.

“He never caused ill will, he did no harm, he wronged nobody, he was and will forever be a son we can be proud of,” Crystal added.

“Harvey was perfect when he came into the world and he will go out that way.”

Mother describes ‘nightmare’ after son among four teenagers found dead in North Wales | UK News

The mother of one of the four teenagers found dead after a car crash in North Wales has said she wishes she could wake from her “nightmare”.

Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris – all aged 16, 17 and 18 – were found in a silver Ford Fiesta in Snowdonia (Eryri) on Tuesday, after they were reported missing from an overnight camping trip.

An urgent search operation was launched by police, who found their bodies inside the overturned car, after it left the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog, and was partially submerged in water.

Crystal Owen, Harvey’s mother, wrote on Facebook: “I feel like I’m in a nightmare I wish I could wake up from but I’m not.

“I just wanted to say I do appreciate people’s kindness but no amount of messages is going to help me overcome this. Nothing will make this nightmare go away.”

In the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury, where the boys lived, the Trinity Churches parish said it would offer “time and space to pray” at the Trinity Centre in Meole Brace, from 9am on Wednesday.

Shrewsbury Abbey, meanwhile, is open all day for prayer, and Shrewsbury Colleges Group, where the boys were A-level students, offered “deepest condolences” to their family and friends.

A road has been closed by police near the village of Garreg
A road had been closed by police near the village of Garreg

Wilf’s girlfriend, Maddi Corfield, posted a tribute online for her “sweet angel”.

“I love you so much, I’m going to miss you forever,” she said.

“The sweetest and most loving boy I’ve ever known. I hope you know how much I love you, gorgeous.

“Thank you for all the time you’ve spent with me… thank you for loving me endlessly. I promise I’ll do the same for you, my sweet, sweet angel.”

Read more:
Car found in search for four teenagers on Snowdonia camping trip

She added: “I can’t imagine my world without you. I’m missing you so much already, but I am going to enjoy life the way you would’ve wanted, the way that you made me feel.”

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn, from North Wales Police, said the crash appeared to be a “tragic accident” but the investigation into why the car left the road is ongoing.

North Wales Police launch search and issue appeal to find four young men missing in Gwynedd | UK News

Police have launched a search for four young men who have gone missing in North Wales .

North Wales Police said they had gone missing from the area around Harlech and Porthmadog in Gwynedd.

Officers said the group was last seen on Sunday morning.

The force has expressed concern and is appealing for information to help find Jevon Hirst, Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Hugo Morris.

They were travelling in a silver Ford Fiesta. The car’s registration plate is HY14GVO.

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Locals reported a helicopter had been searching the Penrhyndeudraeth area before heading toward Nantmor and Beddgelert.

Anyone who may have seen the four are urged to contact North Wales Police.

Wales follows Scotland and England to ban single-use plastics | UK News

Single-use plastics have been banned in Wales from today.

Plastic plates, cutlery and drink stirrers which can only be used once will be included as part of the ban.

The Welsh government says the move would further “embed [its] response to the climate and nature emergency in everything [it does]”.

Other items covered by the ban include cups and takeaway food containers made of expanded or foamed extruded polystyrene, single-use plastic balloon sticks and cotton bud stems.

Single-use plastic drinking straws have also been banned, with exemptions in place for those who need them to drink safely and independently.

The government in Cardiff added this would be the first step as it looks to completely phase out single-use plastic items.

That next phase will see a ban on single-use plastic carrier bags and polystyrene lids for cups and food containers.

Government ministers say that ban will come into force before the end of the current Senedd term in 2026.

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Scotland was the first UK nation to introduce a similar ban on single-use plastics in June last year.

England followed suit on 1 October, with the UK government’s environment secretary saying it would “protect the environment for future generations”.

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Plaid Cymru’s climate change spokesperson Delyth Jewell has welcomed the ban but says more needs to be done.

“We need to go even further and faster to rid ourselves of the plastic plague that pollutes our countryside, our seas and beaches,” she said.

The Welsh government is currently consulting on banning wet wipes containing plastic.

Climate change minister Julie James said if people reused, recycled and repaired more, it would “help create a greener future for generations to come”.

COVID inquiry: Some pandemic counter measures ‘prematurely dismissed’ in Wales, says top medic | UK News

A leading medic in Wales has told the COVID inquiry that some non-flu pandemic counter measures had been “prematurely dismissed”.

Sir Frank Atherton, the Welsh government’s chief medical officer, was giving evidence to the COVID inquiry on Monday.

“They had been considered of course but discounted for various reasons and with the benefit of hindsight, discounted without sufficient consideration,” he said.

“The role of these counter measures had very little evidence.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we could and should have paid more attention to the ‘what if’ questions.

“What if the virus was so different that we needed to go down some of these but at the time, I think it’s fair to say that those measures had been considered and somewhat prematurely dismissed.”

The Welsh government's chief medical officer, Sir Frank Atherton, giving evidence to the COVID inquiry. Pic date: 3 July 2023
Sir Frank Atherton was giving evidence to the COVID inquiry on Monday

Sir Frank Atherton works with the Welsh government’s department on public health.

His duties also include the development of health and care research in Wales and maintaining links with other UK chief medical officers, according to the Welsh government’s website.

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Sir Frank told the inquiry that Welsh government ministers had “always been receptive” to advice.

“They haven’t always followed it diligently or entirely, but they’ve always listened very carefully to what I have to say,” he said.

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June: ‘That is a witness box, not a soapbox’

Sir Frank said “Operation Yellow Hammer” – the name given to the preparations for a no-deal Brexit – meant resources had been redeployed from pandemic preparation.

“Resources were moved to other issues,” he said. “The work had all stalled.”

Dr Andrew Goodall, permanent secretary to the Welsh government. Pic date: 3 July 2023
Dr Andrew Goodall was chief executive of NHS Wales and director general of health and social services during the pandemic

The former NHS Wales chief executive also began his evidence to the inquiry on Monday.

“The EU exit arrangement ended up being a priority over and above some of the underlying resilience activities,” said Dr Andrew Goodall.

Dr Goodall was chief executive of NHS Wales and director general of health and social services during the pandemic – a role he held since 2014.

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He was appointed the Welsh government’s permanent secretary in September 2021.

First Minister Mark Drakeford and former Welsh government health minister Vaughan Gething are due to give evidence to the inquiry on Tuesday.

King to give up property in Wales amid questions about future of his numerous homes | UK News

The King is giving up his home on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.

He bought Llwynywermod, a farmhouse near Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, for £1.2m in 2007 via the Duchy of Cornwall.

When he was Prince of Wales, he used it as a base for his regular visits to the nation – but now the title has been passed to his son Prince William, he will no longer spend much time there.

Read more: Why people want William’s inherited title to end

A view of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's private residence inside their property in Llwynywermod, near Llandovery, taken from the courtyard
A view of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall's private residence inside their property in Llwynywermod, near Llandovery, taken from the courtyard.

The Telegraph quoted royal sources as saying the King remained “passionate” about Wales, but would give up the property because it was “unlikely” he would be able to use it in the same way he had previously.

The old house and the disintegrating concrete and corrugated iron farm buildings were restored by Welsh craftsmen using traditional methods and local materials.

Charles planted climbers including Albertine roses, jasmine and honeysuckle up the walls, and six of the English field maples which formed the avenue of trees at William and Kate’s 2011 wedding were rehomed at the Welsh retreat.

Future of King’s properties uncertain

The Telegraph reported the King and his aides have been looking at the future of his numerous properties.

These include Highgrove, Birkhall, Clarence House, Sandringham and Balmoral, plus official residences such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

It is possible the public may be given more access to some of the properties, so the buildings can pay their way.

Llwynywermod sits on a 192-acre estate and the King has been paying rent on it since the Duchy of Cornwall was passed to Prince William, along with its £23m-a-year income.

The lease expires this summer, but the King reportedly told the Duchy earlier this year he would be giving it up.

A spokesman for the Prince of Wales told The Telegraph he has no plans to establish a home in Wales, preferring to stay in hotels to help the local economy.

Prince and Princess of Wales surprise guests at Jordan royal wedding | UK News

The Prince and Princess of Wales have made a surprise visit to Jordan to attend the wedding of the country’s Crown Prince and his Saudi Arabian bride.

Prince William and Kate were among a host of foreign royalty attending the nuptials of the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Hussein, 28, and 29-year-old architect Rajwa Alseif.

Watch live: Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein marries Saudi architect Rajwa Alseif

The ceremony got under way on Thursday at Amman’s Zahran Palace, the same venue chosen by the Crown Prince’s father, King Abdullah II, and his grandfather, the late King Hussein, for their weddings.

 King Abdullah II, and Jordan's Queen Rania greet  Prince William and Princess Catherine, on the day of the royal wedding ceremony of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan
 King Abdullah II, and Jordan's Queen Rania greet  Prince William and Princess Catherine, on the day of the royal wedding ceremony of Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan
King Abdullah II and Jordan’s Queen Rania greet the Prince and Princess of Wales

The British royals’ trip to Jordan was not announced in advance, with their arrival confirmed by Jordanian state media a few hours before the start of the palace ceremony.

Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif exchange rings at their royal wedding ceremon
Jordan’s Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif exchange rings at their royal wedding ceremony
Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif are seen together at their royal wedding ceremony, in Amman, Jordan

After the ceremony, Prince William and Kate lined up along other guests to congratulate the royal couple, Kate wearing a floor length, long-sleeved baby pink dress.

Prince William hugged the Crown Prince before kissing Ms Alseif on either cheek, the Princess of Wales followed suit.

Prince William and Princess Catherine meet Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif at their royal wedding ceremony, in Amman, Jordan
Prince William and Kate congratulating the Jordan royal couple

The King and Queen of the Netherlands as well as US First Lady Jill Biden also said they would attend.

The ceremony started with some of the same features as previous ceremonies, including a motorcade of red Land Rovers escorting the couple through the streets of the capital to the ceremony.

Royal guards in a convoy head towards the Zahran Palace on the day of the royal wedding of Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan
Royal guards in a convoy head towards the Zahran Palace
Members of a band play musical instruments during celebrations on the day of the royal wedding of Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan

Crowds gathered at sites with huge screens set to livestream the wedding across the nation, with many people waving flags and decked out in the white-and-red checkered scarves worn by Jordan’s ruling family, the Hashemites.