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Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster, says he will 'vigorously' fight charges including child rapeThe Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has been dropped from any further episodes of the ITV soap after being charged with a string of sex offences.Le Vell, who has played the car mechanic Kevin Webster over the past 30 years, will appear in court in two weeks' time and has said he will "vigorously" fight the charges, which include child rape.He was first arrested in September 2011 and the matter was later dropped. He vowed to put the allegations behind him and, following a short break from the show, his character is currently involved in some of the soap's main storylines.An ITV spokesman said: "Given the serious nature of these charges, Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time."Greater Manchester police said on Thursday night that the actor, who is from Hale, Cheshire, and whose real name is Michael Turner, had been charged after a review of evidence by Crown Prosecution Service lawyers.He is accused of 19 child sex offences including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity with a child. He will appear at Manchester magistrates court on 27 February.Le Vell, a 48-year-old father of two, said in a statement on Friday: "I would like to make it quite clear that I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously."I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence. I thank my friends, family and fans for their continued support. I would ask now for time to concentrate on preparing my defence with my legal team."In late December when the case was dropped, the authorities said there was not enough evidence to charge him. At the time Le Vell said he was delighted to have been "completely exonerated", and thanked police for their "thorough" investigation and Coronation Street staff and the public for their support.Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, reviewed a file of evidence and looked again at the decision not to prosecute.She said: "I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offences."I have authorised Greater Manchester police to charge Mr Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child. Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial."Le Vell, originally from Manchester, began his acting career in the Oldham Theatre Workshop after taking an interest in amateur dramatics while at school.He first joined the soap in 1983 and quickly endeared himself to fans who have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from apprentice mechanic through to his stormy marriage to Sally and fathering two teenage girls as well as a child from his affair with Molly Dobbs.The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.Coronation StreetSoap operaTelevisionITV channelBen Quinnguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
By Onuora Amobi:In a recent article on CNN.com, Morgan Stanley's Adam Holt estimates Microsoft (MSFT) may be leaving money on the table by not offering a full version of its Office suite on Apple's (AAPL) iPads.In the piece, he goes on to estimate that this decision is costing Microsoft two and a half billion dollars. He may be right but it's absolutely irrelevant. What's strange about the analysis is how incredibly one-sided it is and how it doesn't talk about some of the potential downsides of such a decision.Well that's what I will do now.First some context about Microsoft Office.Microsoft Office and Windows are the crown jewels of Microsoft's inventory. Combined, their business units both brought in $11.48 billion to Microsoft in the last quarter alone.I respectfully submit though that even if you took the money out of the equation, the strategic value ofComplete Story »
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of companies that sell 3D printers fell on Thursday after Citron Research said they were vastly overvalued and that the technology, highlighted this week by U.S. President Barack Obama, has been hyped. Makers of 3D printers in recent years have turned an evolving technology used by manufacturers for over two decades toward consumers, offering the prospect of producing everything from toys to tools in the home, and sending their share prices soaring. Citron Research, run by California-based investor and notable short-seller Andrew Left, issued a report on Thursday accusing 3D Systems' Chief Executive Abe Reichental of exaggerating advances in 3D printing and contributing to a bubble in the shares of 3D printing companies. "Appearances have become completely unhinged from reality when it comes to the mania created in so-called '3D Printing' stocks, and 3D Systems in particular," Citron Research said. "Behind every good bubble there is a good promoter, in this case we have the best in Abe Reichental." Shares of 3D Systems Corporation, the biggest listed U.S. 3D printer maker, fell. So did shares of Stratasys and ExOne. Citron Research focuses on stocks it believes have been fraudulently and intentionally overvalued. It said 3D Systems has made no significant advances in 3D printing technology in the past five years and that it has recently rehashed consumer products with little change. Rock Hill, South Carolina-based 3D Systems and Stratasys declined to comment. REVOLUTIONARY? Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing creates solid objects from a digital model by laying down successive thin layers of material. Under the traditional "subtractive" approach, objects are created by cutting them out of a solid chunk of metal or plastic. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama pointed to 3D printing as a technology for manufacturing innovation and said it "has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost anything." Shares of 3D printer stocks rallied the next day. Leading-edge 3D printers are finding new roles in manufacturing, for example, to create product prototypes and other kinds of one-off production. Companies such as General Electric Co plan to use 3D printing to build lightweight aircraft parts. Dentists use it to create crowns in the space of an hour instead of two weeks. But today's consumer-level 3D printers can produce little more than egg holders, combs and plastic sex toys, Citron Research said. Shares of 3D Systems have tripled over the past 12 months and recently traded at more than 42 times the company's expected 12-month earnings. Shares of Stratasys have almost doubled over the past 12 months. Its stock was recently priced at 39 times expected earnings. After Citron's report, 3D Systems closed down 4.36 percent at $62.75 and Stratasys ended 6.08 percent lower at $71.20. ExOne closed down 2.96 percent at $27.18. (Reporting By Noel Randewich; Editing by Xavier Briand)
N-Dubz singer breaks down in tears in court after being given a six-month suspended sentence for assault and affrayN-Dubz rapper Dappy broke down in tears and shouted "Yes" when he avoided a prison term on Friday.The singer was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months at Guildford crown court for assault and affray and ordered to do 150 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay £4,500 compensation and £2,000 in costs.The 25-year-old had faced a maximum sentence of three years in jail after being convicted in connection with a brawl at a petrol station in Guildford.The court heard during a nine-day trial last month that the pop star became angry after two 19-year-old women refused to get into his car to go to a party at his recording studios, sparking a fight which led to three men being injured.The trial was told that Dappy, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, was out with friends on 27 February last year celebrating the release of his single Rockstar.After spending the night in the VIP area of the Casino nightclub in Guildford drinking sambuca shots and Jack Daniels, the group headed back in three cars to the recording studios in Godalming, where Dappy was recording his debut solo album.The group stopped at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, at about 3.30am on 28 February where the violence erupted.Brian Stork, prosecuting, said Dappy approached the two 19-year-olds, Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, sitting on the pavement outside the station shop and tried to persuade them to get into the car with him.When they refused his advances and began to ridicule him by calling him "boring", Dappy became angry and called them "sluts".He told the court: "They had shown me disrespect, a lot."Dappy denied swearing and spitting at them and was found not guilty of two charges of common assault in relation to spitting.Stork said a man called David Jenkins, who had been talking to the two women, stepped in to protect them but was spat at by Dappy. The spitting made up the assault charge which Dappy was convicted of.Jenkins put Dappy in a headlock, leading to several other people joining in the fight, including co-defendants Kieran Vassell and Alfred Miller.Jenkins suffered several broken teeth in the fight while another man, Oliver Billson, got a swollen eye and a third, Christopher Gibson, had his nose broken.Dappy denied attempting to pick up the two women and told the court that he only spoke to them to promote his single.He denied spitting at them and at Jenkins and said he simply acted in self-defence to get out of the headlock.Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, denied affray and said he only acted to protect Dappy. He was found guilty of affray and was jailed for 14 months, ordered to pay £1,500 compensation and £500 costs.Judge Stewart said his actions were so serious that they could only be punished by a prison sentence.Miller, 28, a songwriter, of Brentford, west London, pleaded guilty to affray and was sentenced to 19 months in jail and ordered to pay £4,500 compensation and £1,000 costs.Dappy's defence said Cochran and Burton were "unreliable witnesses" as they had sent Twitter and BlackBerry (BBM) messages saying they intended to sell their stories to the national newspapers.Burton also sent a message saying that she could not remember what happened and that she would "bullshit" when she gave evidence.The court was told that Dappy had previous convictions for assault and possessing a bladed weapon.In November 2005, he was given a community order for possessing a bladed weapon in a public place.In September 2007, he was given 40 hours of community service for battery when he pushed a taxi driver following an argument in Camden, north London.And in December 2008, he was given a four-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay compensation for two battery offences which related to him spitting at two women.Paul Greaney, defending, said Dappy had shown remorse by intervening on Twitter when the two female witnesses received "extremely unpleasant" messages from some of his supporters.Judge Neil Stewart told Dappy that although the offences he committed were serious enough to attract a custodial sentence, he would suspend it because of his remorse at his actions.He said: "The report I have on you suggests you do not present overtly criminal attitudes and this offence has been a wake-up call for you."He added: "Your culpability in the affray was considerably less than that of your co-defendants."The sentence I have decided on is not affected by any consideration of whether a person is well-known to the public."N-DubzCrimeguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
SARAJEVO/BELGRADE (Reuters) - Mirsad Tokaca calls it the "crowning achievement" of 10 years of painstaking research - thousands of grey pages bearing the names of 95,940 victims of the Bosnian war, where they died and when.
Actor who has played Kevin Webster on ITV soap opera for 30 years is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a childCoronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who plays garage boss Kevin Webster in the TV soap, has been charged with child sex offences.Le Vell, 48, whose real name is Michael Turner, is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.Le Vell, a stalwart on the popular ITV series, will appear in court in two weeks' time, Greater Manchester police said.He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.But late on Thursday night police said the actor, from Hale, Cheshire, had been charged with sex offences against a youngster after a review of evidence by lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).A police spokeswoman said: "A man has been charged with 19 child sex offences."Michael Turner, of Byrom Street, Hale, has been charged with 19 offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child."He is due to appear at Manchester magistrates [court] on Wednesday, 27 February."The charges, which were authorised by the CPS following a review of evidence, relate to offences against a child between 2001 and 2010."Alison Levitt QC, principal legal adviser to the director of public prosecutions, had reviewed a file of evidence in relation to allegations of sexual offences and looked again at a decision previously made not to prosecute.Levitt said: "I have very carefully reviewed the evidence in this case and I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Michael Robert Turner with a number of sexual offences."I have authorised Greater Manchester police to charge Mr Turner with 19 offences, including rape of a child."Mr Turner has now been charged with criminal offences and has a right to a fair trial. As proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to say anything further at this stage."Le Vell, a father of two, was not charged with offences after his initial arrest in September 2011 and the investigation was dropped three months later in late December, when authorities said there would be no further action taken against him as there was not enough evidence to charge him.At the time the actor said he was delighted to have been "completely exonerated", thanked police for their thorough investigation and Coronation Street staff and the public for their support.Le Vell vowed to put the allegations behind him and returned to the show after a short break and has been involved in some of the soap's main storylines.He is one of TV's most famous faces after playing car mechanic Kevin Webster for the past 30 years in the TV show.Le Vell, originally from Manchester, began his acting career in the Oldham Theatre Workshop after taking an interest in amateur dramatics while at school.He first joined the soap in 1983 and quickly endeared himself to fans who have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from Brian Tilsley's apprentice mechanic through to his stormy marriage to Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, and fathering two teenage girls as well as a love child from his affair with Molly Dobbs.The actor split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.Coronation StreetTelevisionSoap operaguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
We have become very good at detecting risk, but it's impossible to know if this latest virus will be another Sars or disappearIf Alfred Hitchcock were alive today and looking for a new way to terrorise Tippi Hedren, he need look no further than the Health Protection Agency and the "reassuring" announcement about the coronavirus.In case, like Hedren, you've been marooned in Bodega Bay and missed the update, the coronavirus, which takes its name from the menacing, crown-like spikes on its surface, first blipped on the HPA's radar in September, when a 49-year-old Qatari man was admitted to intensive care at St Thomas' Hospital with renal failure. Now the virus seems to have been transmitted to a new patient at another hospital, providing "strong evidence for person-to-person transmission".Never mind that there have been a total of just three confirmed cases in the UK and 11 worldwide, half those infected have died and, as there is no vaccine, health officials are "worried". They are worried not least because we have been here before: in 2003, to be precise, when severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), also caused by a coronavirus, suddenly emerged from Guangdong, China, sparking an epidemic that resulted in 1,000 deaths worldwide and grounded planes from Hong Kong to Toronto.On that occasion, civet cats – a popular delicacy in Chinese animal markets – were to blame; this time the animal reservoir is thought to be bats. But the truth is that no one knows for certain, least of all the scientists whose job it is to keep tabs on new pathogens and alert us to the threat before they can be reprimanded for not speaking up sooner.And that's the dilemma: press the panic button too early and you risk being labelled a wolf-crier. Do it too often and when a real wolf comes along – albeit in the guise of a bird, cat or bat – no one will believe you.For all the current fuss about the coronavirus, the pathogen that still keeps most scientists awake at night is H5N1 bird flu, a virus that first emerged in Hong Kong around the same time as Sars, and which has been causing deaths every year since. And let's not forget about ebola, a Hammer Horror virus that reduces victims' organs to a bloody pulp and is also thought to be spread by bats (truly, Hitchcock is spoilt for choice).Part of the problem is that we have become almost too good at detecting these risks. To keep tabs on exotic pathogens, the World Health Organisation now routinely trawls the internet for reports of unusual disease outbreaks in remote jungle regions. Meanwhile, in Africa, health workers are being encouraged to use SMS to text clinical data from the bush in real time.For the most part, these efforts are welcome. However, the paradox is that the digital technologies that enable us to monitor the emergence of exotic diseases and take action to prevent pandemics are the very same technologies that spread fear.This is arguably exactly what happened in the spring of 2009, when the WHO, already on high alert over bird flu, began picking up electronic chatter about an unusual flu-like illness in the Yucatan. Within weeks, "Mexican" swine flu had sparked a series of escalating pandemic alerts, whipping up needless hysteria and triggering the production of billions of dollars' worth of vaccines that had to be junked as soon as the pandemic fizzled out.Of course, the coronavirus is a very different animal from swine flu. Judging by the messages issued by health experts, scientists have learned a lot from 2009. For instance, Professor John Oxford, who was responsible for sounding some of the direst warnings five years ago, told the BBC that the coronavirus "doesn't raise too many alarm bells" as the latest patient seemed to have got it from his father, meaning transmission probably required close contact. "If it was somebody who was not related – or a nurse or a doctor – that would be a lot more serious," said Oxford.So that's all right then: the coronavirus is only a little bit infectious – unless, of course, it isn't.SarsHealthWorld Health OrganisationFlu pandemicBird fluSwine fluMark Honigsbaumguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Court of appeal upholds decision last year that Dizaei framed Waad al-Baghdadi in row over moneyThe former Scotland Yard commander Ali Dizaei has lost his appeal against a conviction that ended his career.The court of appeal on Thursday upheld a jury's decision last year that Dizaei had framed a man, Waad al-Baghdadi, in a row over money.Last February a jury at Southwark crown court convicted Dizaei of the offences after deciding unanimously that he was lying when he claimed Baghdadi had threatened him and assaulted him outside a west London restaurant in July 2008.The decision upholding Dizaei's convictions for misconduct and perverting the course of justice was made by the lord chief justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges at the court of appeal in London.Dizaei, 50, has been tried and convicted twice over the charges. The first conviction was overturned by an earlier court of appeal judgment after it emerged Baghdadi was a serial benefits fraudster. After the first conviction in 2010 Dizaei was jailed for three years.In the latest appeal, Dizaei's QC, Stephen Riordan, argued that the conviction was "unsafe", submitting that the judge at the second trial had made an "error of law" when he refused to admit certain "bad character" evidence relating to Baghdadi.Riordan said the judge's decision to reject the application meant the jury "did not have all the material that it should have done". He told the court: "We submit simply that that decision was wrong – that the reasons he gave for refusing to allow this material to be deployed were matters which more properly should have been considered by the jury."Opposing the appeal, Peter Wright QC, for the crown, told the court: "Here there was no error by the judge in the exercise he undertook. The decision was not wrong in law. We submit that in the context of the fairness of this trial, that this trial remained entirely fair and that the conviction was not unsafe."In the second trial the jury took 11 hours to decide against Dizaei. He was convicted of misconduct in public office for abusing his powers to falsely arrest Baghdadi, and perverting the course of justice for filing false accounts of the incident.In July 2008 Dizaei clashed with Baghdadi, who claimed the police commander owed him £600 for a website he had designed. Dizaei then arrested Baghdadi and claimed to have been assaulted and poked in the stomach with the mouthpiece of a shisha pipe.Baghdadi spent 24 hours in a cell and six weeks on bail before it was decided he would not face charges. Dizaei's 27-year police career ended with him being drummed out of the force in disgrace.At the first trial it was claimed Baghdadi was an honest man and of good character. But the jury in the second trial heard that Baghdadi had been convicted in September 2011 of committing benefit fraud by claiming £27,000 in the name of his dead father, from 2007 to 2010, and sentenced to eight months' imprisonment.The jury also heard that Baghdadi gave false details in the first trial about his name, age and date of birth, and was accused of glassing a man in the street outside a London nightclub in September 2009, according to two witnesses who testified in court.The clash with Baghdadi was during the summer of 2008 when Scotland Yard was engulfed in a race row. Dizaei was the main adviser to the assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who accused his bosses of racially discriminating against him.The Met had previously spent at least £4m investigating Dizaei over a series of separate allegations, but that ended in 2003 with his acquittal, after which he returned to work where he won promotions and commendations.Ali DizaeiMetropolitan policePoliceLondonVikram Doddguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
AB InBev (BUD) amends the terms of its $20.1B proposal to acquire the 50% of Modelo it doesn't own as it looks to allay U.S. antitrust concerns. AB InBev says it will sell the Mexican company's Piedras Negras brewery to Constellation Brands (STZ) and give the latter perpetual rights to sell Corona and other Modelo brands in the U.S. in a deal worth $2.9B. And as originally planned, Constellation will buy the 50% of Crown Imports it doesn't own from Modelo for $1.85B. (PR)
AB InBev (BUD) amends the terms of its $20.1B proposal to acquire the 50% of Modelo it doesn't own as it looks to allay U.S. antitrust concerns. AB InBev says it will sell the Mexican company's Piedras Negras brewery to Constellation Brands (STZ) and give the latter perpetual rights to sell Corona and other Modelo brands in the U.S. in a deal worth $2.9B. And as originally planned, Constellation will buy the 50% of Crown Imports it doesn't own from Modelo for $1.85B. (PR) Post your comment!
The Macau Government Tourism Office reports the Chinese New Year is off to a strong start with total visitors to Macau growing 22% Y/Y over the last four day period. A mini-boom in traffic could help drive revenue higher for the local arms of casino companies Las Vegas Sands ([[LVS]] +0.7%), MGM Resorts ([[MGM]] -0.3%), Wynn Resorts ([[WYNN]] +0.3%), and Melco Crown ([[MPEL]] +1.8%).
The Macau Government Tourism Office reports the Chinese New Year is off to a strong start with total visitors to Macau growing 22% Y/Y over the last four day period. A mini-boom in traffic could help drive revenue higher for the local arms of casino companies Las Vegas Sands (LVS +0.7%), MGM Resorts (MGM -0.3%), Wynn Resorts (WYNN +0.3%), and Melco Crown (MPEL +1.8%). 4 comments!
The 29-year-old shot both PC Fiona Bona and PC Nicola Hughes in the chest, but denies killing David and Mark ShortA man accused of killing two unarmed police officers in a gun and grenade attack changed his pleas on Tuesday to admit murdering them.PC Fiona Bone, 32, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, died within moments of Dale Cregan luring them to the scene of a spurious burglary in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, last September.The 29-year-old fugitive shot each of them in the chest as they walked up the garden path of a house he had taken over the night before. He then fired a further 30 bullets at the officers as they tried to take cover.Once they were dead he threw a fragmentation grenade towards their bodies and then drove to Hyde police station, Greater Manchester, to hand himself in. He told the counter clerk: "I'm wanted by the police and I've just done two coppers." Police released images of Cregan handing himself in.Cregan, who still denies two other murders, had pleaded not guilty to killing the officers at the start of his trial at Preston crown court. Nine co-accused denied charges including murder and attempted murder.On Tuesday, on the fourth day of proceedings in the trial, Cregan informed his defence team that he wanted to plead guilty to two charges. After a lunch break, he stood impassively in the dock as the clerk asked how he now pleaded to the charge of murdering PC Bone on 18 September last year. "Guilty," he replied.He was then asked for his plea on the charge of murdering PC Hughes. "Guilty," he said again.Relatives of both officers had been in court to hear Nicholas Clarke, QC, prosecuting, give a detailed account of their final moments.They had also watched footage of them bounding towards a police van at Hyde police station and setting off to what would prove to be a trap.However, none of them were in court one to see Cregan's change of plea in relation to their loved ones.Clarke had said that at the time of the double murder the gunman was already being hunted in connection with the murders of Mark Short, 23, and his father, David, 46, earlier in the year. Mark Short was shot dead at the Cotton Tree public house, Droylsden, east Manchester, on 25 May. His father died after being chased around his home by two gunmen on 10 August.Cregan laid a trap for the two officers by ringing 999 and telling the operator someone had thrown a concrete slab through a rear window at 30 Abbey Gardens, Mottram, and run away.He claimed he had seen the direction of the offender's flight and would be able to point it out to any officer who attended.As the operator assured him an officer would be dispatched, he said: "I'll be waiting." He appeared calm, composed and in control of himself.PCs Bone and Hughes set off from Hyde police station in a marked VW transporter van. PC Hughes was at the wheel. Aside from PC Bone's Taser they were unarmed.Cregan, holding his Glock pistol, had a clear view of them as they entered the cul-de-sac at 10.52am."Cregan's carefully laid plan had been successful," said Mr Clarke. "He had lured two unarmed officers to his door and he was armed, ready and waiting for them."As Nicola and Fiona walked through the small front garden, he opened the front door and immediately fired his Glock."Both officers were shot to the chest. The body armour they were wearing protected them and the bullets did not penetrate."The officers made a tactical retreat, PC Bone moving to the right – out of the line of fire – and her colleague turning to run up the path. As they retreated, more shots were fired. PC Hughes was shot, just below her armoured vest, in the middle of her back, and was immediately paralysed, causing her to fall forwards onto the path."As she was falling or lying flat on her stomach, she was shot three more times."Clarke went on: "Cregan then turned his attention to PC Bone. She was trapped in front of the lounge and he discharged 24 shots at her. Some struck the officer, others the house. She managed to draw and fire her Taser, but it was discharged into a hard surface, probably the paving."Such was the speed of the attack upon the two officers that only a matter of 31 seconds had elapsed between Nicola Hughes switching off the engine of their vehicle and Fiona Bone firing the Taser."Most of the bullets struck her body armour or the wall at the front of the house, but she was the central target."Fiona was shot between five and eight times, receiving a total of eight gunshot-related injuries … She was killed by a perforating shot to the upper side of her chest."Cregan was not finished, said Clarke. He turned back to PC Hughes who lay paralysed on the floor and shot her six more times, in the back and the side of her head. Four of the shots caused potentially fatal wounds.Finally, just before speeding away from the cul-de-sac in a BMW, he launched a fragmentation grenade towards the garden where the officers were lying prone. The grenade caused further injuries to PC Hughes but did not contribute to her death.When he arrived at Hyde police station he told a police officer: "I dropped the gun at the scene and I've murdered two police officers. You were hounding my family so I took it out on you."CrimeManchesterGreater ManchesterNigel Bunyanguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
A jury has heard that a fire that killed six children was started deliberately by their father in a bid to frame his former loverA house fire that killed six children was started deliberately by their father as part of a plot to frame his ex-girlfriend, a jury has heard.Mick Philpott was facing a custody battle with his former lover, Lisa Willis, who had ended their relationship months earlier. A jury at Nottingham crown court heard that Philpott began to "set up" Willis by complaining to police that she was threatening him, his wife and the children.Philpott, 56, his wife Mairead, 31, and Paul Mosley, 46, all denied six separate counts of manslaughter in relation to the deaths.Mick and Mairead Philpott's children – Jade, 10, and her brothers Duwayne, 13, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five – died in the fire, on 11 May last year in the semi-detached house in Allenton, Derby, where the couple lived.Willis, 28, had also lived at the property but left in February 2012 after becoming fed up with the living arrangements.Opening the prosecution case, Richard Latham QC branded Philpott a "very controlling and very manipulative" man who was determined to punish Willis for leaving him.The jury was played a 999 call from the night of the blaze made by the couple as the children were trapped inside. Philpott tried to leave the dock, saying, "I can't listen to it" before being made to sit down by court security guards. He sobbed as the eight-minute recording was played.The jury were told on Tuesday that the third defendant, Mosley, said to a friend who asked him if the Philpotts were behind the fire: "What if I told you we actually rehearsed it six weeks prior to it happening?"He told a friend that a plan was set for him to rescue the children from the blaze, the court heard. Mosley said he was to kick the back door in while the Philpotts ran out of the front of the house, and he was then to go upstairs to save the children, Latham told the court.A total of 11 children lived in the house. Six were the offspring of Mick and Mairead Philpott, while four were his children with Willis. Another child was Willis's, who she had had with another man.Latham said the fire was started in the early hours of the morning on the day Willis and Philpott were due in court to discuss the residency of the children.In February 2012 Willis left Philpott and took her children with her. He began making complaints to the police, Latham told the jury: "By 1 May, Mick Philpott was reporting to the police that Lisa Willis had made telephone threats to kill him. The police visited him. He was at times highly emotional and made it clear that he wanted Lisa arrested."If she had been, this would have assisted him in the court proceedings, wouldn't it?"Latham added: "It became apparent to him that Lisa was going to do what she wanted and not what he required or demanded. He began to set her up. We say that this was a plan that went horribly wrong and resulted in total tragedy." He told the court that Willis denies threatening to set fire to the house.The court heard how, on the night of the fire, neighbours tried to rescue the children from the burning house but were beaten back by the smoke and flames. When the bodies of the children were carried out of the house by police, Philpott ran forward and had to be restrained, Latham said."It must have been quite clear the plan had gone horribly wrong."Philpott was heard telling people that Willis had threatened to kill them or to set fire to the house. Police reported his behaviour following the fire as "unusual". One constable said Philpott showed "no emotion" and acted as if at a social event.At the hospital, onlookers said he was looking "spotlessly clean" for someone who had been in a house fire, Latham said. His wife was seen to be distraught and constantly crying at the hospital. Philpott was overheard at the hospital saying: "It wasn't meant to end like this."Philpott first met Willis when she was 17, and she moved into the house soon afterwards. While Willis and her children were living at the three-bedroom council house in Victory Road, most of the children normally slept upstairs, while Mairead Philpott slept in either the living room or the conservatory.Her husband slept in a caravan outside with Willis.The adults had a sexual relationship but Philpott often said he was unhappy with his wife, jurors heard. He said he wanted to divorce her and marry Willis while still wishing for all three of them to live in the house together. "Mairead was Lisa's lapdog, Lisa was who he wanted," Latham told the court.Willis became unhappy with the relationship, Latham said, but did not express her feelings to Philpott because she was worried about his reaction. He had in the past attacked her with a piece of wood."Michael Philpott was convinced she was having an affair with everyone," Mr Latham said. "She was not allowed to speak to another man."Latham told the jury that Philpott become depressed and even tried to take his own life after Willis left.When Willis returned to the house with a friend on 14 February to collect clothes for her and the children, she was challenged by Philpott. "There was an incident on the doorstep, Philpott manifesting huge aggression, and the police were called," Latham said. "What she had done challenged the very core of his attitude to his family and his women."During the eight-minute 999 call, made from Philpott's mobile phone at 3.46am on 11 May, the distress and panic could be heard when both Philpott and his wife talked to the operator. He could be heard crying and saying: "I can't get in."His wife put her hand up to her eyes and wiped away tears as the recording was played.The trial continues.Vikram Doddguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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Defendant changes plea and admits murdering PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes but denies killing David and Mark ShortDale Cregan has changed his pleas on two murder charges to admit shooting dead two unarmed police officers.PCs Fiona Bone, 32, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, died within moments of the 29-year-old fugitive luring them to the scene of a spurious burglary in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, last September.Cregan shot each of them in the chest as they walked up the garden path of a house he had taken over the night before. He then fired a further 30 bullets at the officers as they tried to take cover.Once they were dead he threw a fragmentation grenade towards their bodies and then drove to Hyde police station, Greater Manchester, to hand himself in.He told the counter clerk: "I'm wanted by the police and I've just done two coppers."Cregan, who still denies two other murders, had pleaded not guilty to killing the officers at the start of his trial at Preston crown court. Nine co-accused denied charges including murder and attempted murder.On Tuesday, the fourth day of proceedings, Cregan informed his defence team that he wanted to plead guilty to two charges.Simon Czoka QC rose immediately after the lunch break and told the trial judge, Mr Justice Holroyde: "I ask that counts 10 and 11 be put again to the defendant."Cregan stood impassively in the dock as the clerk asked how he now pleaded to the charge of murdering PC Bone on 18 September last year. "Guilty," he replied.He was then asked for his plea on the charge of murdering PC Hughes. "Guilty," he said again.The judge told the jury: "If you cast your minds back to the very start of the case, you will remember that I indicated to you that in due course you will be asked to record separate verdicts on each defendant on each charge that they face."Looking at it in those terms, you have heard Mr Cregan's admissions of guilt on these two charges and clearly these pleas do not change the position of the other defendants. You will also remember that all the defendants were put in your charge and that means only the jury have the power to return verdicts."The jury foreman was then asked to stand up. He confirmed the verdicts as directed by the judge.CrimeManchesterGreater ManchesterNigel Bunyanguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Entrepreneurs experience the same growing pains as the companies they run, though the suffering the CEO endures is more intense. Keith McFarland’s “The Breakthrough Company” provides a wonderful synopsis of how the entrepreneur / CEO must “crown the company” by removing himself / herself as the constraint of growth and empower the systems and people of the company to do their jobs. Essentially, the CEO must stop trying to do everything and allow the business processes and people to take over (who are often better at it than the CEO).
Father accused of starting fatal blaze was locked in custody battle with woman he claimed had threatened him, trial hearsA father accused of killing six of his children in a house fire started the blaze as part of a plan to frame his ex-girlfriend after becoming locked in a custody battle with her, a court has heard.Mick Philpott, along with his wife, Mairead, allegedly started the fire at their semi-detached home after making reports to the police that his former partner Lisa Willis had been threatening him and his family.There were emotional scenes at Nottingham crown court as the 999 call made by the couple as the fire took hold was played to the jury.Philpott stood and tried to leave the dock, saying "I can't listen to it", before being made to sit down by security officers. He spent the remaining minutes sobbing, his head bowed and hands over his ears, as the call played out.The court was told the family shared an unconventional lifestyle: Philpott, 56, his 31-year-old wife and 28-year-old Willis lived in the same house. A total of 11 children also lived there: six were those of Mick and Mairead Philpott, four were his children with Willis, and the other was Willis's with another man.Mick and Mairead Philpott's children – Jade, 10, and her brothers Duwayne, 13, John, nine, Jack, eight, Jesse, six, and Jayden, five – all died after the fire began at their home in Victory Road, Allenton, Derby, in the early hours of 11 May last year.The couple, along with a third defendant, Paul Mosley, 46, deny six separate counts of manslaughter.At the start of their trial on Tuesday, the prosecutor Richard Latham QC told the jury of six men and six women the fire was started in the early hours of the morning on the day Willis and Philpott were due in court to discuss the residency of the children.She had left Philpott and the Victory Road property in February last year, taking her children with her, and had become embroiled in a bitter battle with Philpott, the court heard. He planned to frame her and eventually win his children back, and had made numerous reports to the police that she had threatened him, his wife and the children, the jury was told.Latham said: "By May 1st Mick Philpott was reporting to the police that Lisa Willis had made telephone threats to kill him. The police visited him, he was at times highly emotional and made it clear that he wanted Lisa arrested. If she had been, this would have assisted him in the court proceedings, wouldn't it?"About a fortnight before the fire Philpott told friends he had an idea for a way of getting Willis and the children back, Latham said. "He told people he had a plan up his sleeve and that she wasn't going to get away with it – watch this space."The trial continues.guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
When the Hotel Jerome first opened in downtown Aspen in 1889, at the height of the city’s silver boom, it was among the poshest hotels west of the Mississippi. Built for $150,000—about $1.6 million in today’s dollars—it was designed to rival establishments like the Savoy in London. It had the only elevator and public bathroom in town and was one of the first buildings in the West to have full electric lighting.