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Astral Weeks’ 50th year sparks new intrigue

Image caption Sir Van Morrison is one of east Belfast’s most famous sons, along with footballer George Best She has met Van enthusiasts from Britain, America and Australia who’ve come to see their hero’s home city. Image caption Fans of the singer visit the streets on which he grew up and subsequently wrote about Among the numerous nearby places mentioned in On Hyndford Street is “the Beechie River”. You can find it just around the corner at the Hollow, a childhood haunt of Van Morrison, which has been given a…

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Pampered pups: Is the ‘pooch pound’ out of control?

“Yes, I think it’s definitely over the top,” she admits. However, she adds: “It’s nice to provide ‘the best’.” ‘Family members’ Victoire is not alone in wanting to pamper her pooch. Euromonitor estimates the dog food market this year is worth just under £1.6bn, about 1.7% down on 2017. However, the premium dog food sector – brands like Lily’s Kitchen, Royal Canin and The Rockster – has risen 2.2% to £379m. Image copyright The Little Lord Barkley Image caption Cocktail time at The Little Lord Barkley? Not a luxurious spa…

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Fallen Madonna sells for 15k at auction

Stolen and relentlessly pursued by the Germans, the artwork was rolled into German sausages, shoved down trouser legs and singed by an exploding gilded frame intended as a gift for Adolf Hitler. Described as “a rare and important piece of British sitcom history” the prop was one of the few copies of the picture to have survived all nine series of the show. Image copyright East Bristol Auctions Image caption The portrait by fictional artist Van Clomp sold for £15,000 Mr Stowe, from East Bristol Auction House in Hanham, said:…

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‘Controlling’ man stamped partner to death

Although the report is anonymised, the BBC understands it relates to Ms Butiene’s death. Image copyright Google Image caption Ms Butiene’s body was found in Orange Grove, Wisbech Ms Butiene and Bauzys had known each other from school and he persuaded her to move to the UK, where he was already living, “on the promise of a better lifestyle” in September 2013. She was described as a “tiny, meek woman” by a previous employer, while he was known to be a body builder who used steroids. When Ms Butiene was…

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May won’t rule out ‘no-deal’ Brexit

Labour is hoping to force a general election or, failing that, another referendum, if, as is currently widely expected, MPs reject Mrs May’s deal. Mrs May was questioned by the Commons liaison committee, made up of the chairs of all select committees. Nine Tory Brexit tribes May must convince Security warnings over no-deal Brexit Row over Brexit debate TV channel Brexit: The view from small businesses She refused to speculate about what she would do if MPs reject her Brexit deal on 11 December, saying she wanted MPs to “focus…

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Would-be bank raiders target fake vault

Image copyright Lucardo Manchester Image caption Props and a discarded soft-drink can were among items examined for fingerprints The men unsuccessfully attempted to break into a safe which the business uses as part of pretend bank heists. Image copyright Lucardo Manchester Image caption Two men were seen moving around the escape room business The men left behind an expensive camera as well as an empty soft-drink can, which police later tested for fingerprints and DNA, Mr Conroy said. CCTV shows one of the men wearing a mask on top of…

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Cross-party bid to stop ‘no-deal’ Brexit

But amendments being discussed in Westminster would seek to rule that out. Several sources told the BBC they think such an amendment is the only one that could command a majority. May won’t rule out ‘no-deal’ Brexit UK ‘not ready for no-deal Brexit’ What happens if MPs reject deal? It would not be legally binding, but a source said if MPs back the amendment it would be a clear “expression of parliamentary opinion”. Another source says it would “knock out” leaving the EU without a deal as a realistic option.…

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‘Bullying culture’ at baby deaths trust

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJack Burn died hours after being born at Princess Royal Hospital in Telford Staff at a hospital trust being investigated over baby deaths say there is a “culture of bullying and harassment”, a report has revealed. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), which is already in special measures, has now been rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Emergency and maternity services at its two hospitals were deemed unsafe. Trust chief executive Simon Wright said: “You cannot be unaffected by a…

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Instagram inaction ‘left children at risk’

‘Disturbing’ Ms Giles said she complained but received a “standard response stating that it did not violate [Instagram’s] terms and conditions.” Worried “children were still at risk”, she contacted Kent Police and the account was deleted. Ms Giles has now launched a petition calling on the government to introduce legal standards for reporting suspicious social media accounts. She said “disturbing accounts on social media which impact young children need to be investigated and removed with immediate effect”. Kent Police said it was contacted on 15 November “due to concern about…

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Brexit economic impact analysis due

Brexit: A really simple guide Winning over the Commons: An impossible task for PM? Reality Check: Is Trump right about the Brexit deal? However, Mrs May will continue to maintain the Brexit withdrawal agreement she has agreed with the EU secures the UK “full sovereign control over our waters” and is the best way to protect the economy. According to the the Daily Telegraph, the Treasury analysis will show that under Mrs May deal, the UK’s GDP will be between 1% and 2% lower over 15 years than if it…

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Boy, 16, killed in city stabbing

Image copyright PA Image caption Forensics officers have been checking drains, bins and the grounds of a nearby school A family friend told the BBC the community had been “completely shocked” and described Jaydon as a quiet boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another local resident, Rebecca Rushton-Nesbitt, said: “He was just an ordinary young boy. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt anybody.” The road by Moat House Leisure Centre was blocked off by police, with a cordon about 200 yards (180m) further down the…

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Price cap plan for rent-to-own sector

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionMichele Jacques found rent-to-own meant paying over the odds for her cooker Plans to cap the costs of buying domestic goods such as TVs and fridges through rent-to-own shops have been welcomed by the stores’ customers. Michele Jacques, from Droylsden in Manchester, ended up spending £700 on a cooker as a result of interest rates that can reach 99% a year. Had she gone to a High Street shop, it could have cost her as little as £250. The proposals from the…

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Woman sought following hospital stabbing

Supt Brian Shaw said: “I am urging anyone who witnessed the attack to get in touch with us. I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who was in the area around 10.00am and has information about a woman who was seen leaving the area shortly after the 42-year-old woman was stabbed.” Image caption The area around the addiction services buildings remains taped off The woman is described as being about 5ft 2in to 5ft 3in tall, of slight build with a pale complexion. She was wearing a dark woolly…

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