Author Archives: Andleeb Hanif

  1. Aagrah Group wins national award in London 

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    DELIGHTED: Aagrah Managing Director Mr. Mohammed Aslam, MBE, Deputy Lieutenant (centre), Tahir Iqbal, Director (left) Wasim Aslam, Director (right)

    The Aagrah Restaurant Group won the coveted Best Asian Restaurant Chain United Kingdom Award at the Asian Food and Restaurant Awards (AFRA) at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.

    The awards, in their inaugural year, aim to recognise and celebrate the standout Indian restaurant operators across the growing multi-billion pound dining sector. 

    Only the best, most innovative and creative chefs and restaurants get a shot at the title and an award that opens doors to future success.

    Accepting the award Aagrah Managing Director, Mr. Mohammed Aslam, MBE, DL, commented: “By continuing to get our chefs to embrace creativity, not only do we to create a unique dining experience but we also ensure that modern curry cuisine continues to evolve. It is a great honour for Aagrah Group to receive this United Kingdom title”.

    Aagrah celebrates 41 years in business this year. The company has twelve restaurants across Yorkshire, a purpose built conference and banqueting centre, The Midpoint Suite, Pudsey, seating 450, an outdoor catering unit, catering for up to 5000 people nationally.

    The Aagrah group also enjoys a share of the home dining market through their range of authentic tarka cooking sauces available in supermarkets. Many of the sauces from the range have won The Guild of Fine Food Great Taste award. These awards are the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards.

    Asian Food and Restaurant Awards pays homage to the leading lights of the Asian hospitality, services and supplier sectors amid a who’s who guest list of ministers, VIP’s, dignitaries, celebrities and Asian restaurateurs and suppliers from across the UK.

    Following its inaugural ceremony in 2017 that was marked by a special message from HRH The Queen, AFRA 2018 recognised the achievements and contribution being made by South Asians in Britain.

  2. Bradford’s Broadway shopping centre wins award

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    The Broadway shopping centre in Bradford has been awarded a certification by the People’s Parking which verifies its capacity to cater for people of all needs and abilities thanks to the quality of the facilities in its multi-story car park.

    The 1,323 space car park is the first in the UK to receive the People’s Parking award for its motorcycle parking facilities.

    People’s Parking, a national accreditation scheme for car parks, has granted the centre an award in a number of other categories. The car park has been recognised as accessible for disabled people, as well as being family and shopper-friendly. 

The centre also has charging points for electric vehicles and is convenient for commuters travelling by train or bus.

    The centre has 63 disabled bays and 54 extra wide parent and child bays to make loading and unloading pushchairs and prams easier.

    Dave Downes, Deputy Centre Manager, at The Broadway, has said: “It’s fantastic for The Broadway to be recognised by People’s Parking. We have worked hard to ensure everyone who wishes to visit the shopping centre can do so easily and in a stress-free manner.

    “We know how important it is for people to have a sense of independence and we want our visitors to be able to go about everyday activities, such as shopping trips, without having to worry whether they can use the car park safely.”

    People’s Parking founder Helen Dolphin said: “Through my work as an independent mobility consultant and as a disabled person myself, I know first-hand the difficulties many of us face when coming in and out of car parks.

    “A few small changes to payment methods or parking bays can make life far easier for disabled shoppers, as well as parents with small children, who might otherwise avoided visiting somewhere for fear of having to deal with poorly equipped parking facilities.”

    People's Parking was founded in 2016 by disability campaigner Helen Dolphin MBE and is primarily aimed at improving car parks for customers, enabling them to find a car park which meets their needs.

  3. Historic Park Avenue cricket ground gets 100 ball contest to mark redevelopment

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    A one hundred ball cricket match was hosted to celebrate Yorkshire Day, and mark the development of Bradford’s Park Avenue cricket ground.

    The match, played by amateurs from the Parklane Foundation and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, was hosted to celebrate and showcase the continuing redevelopment of the historic Park Avenue cricket ground in Bradford.

    The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation is the official charity and community arm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. The foundation is a registered charity that delivers community projects across the county. Using the power of cricket, the Foundation aims to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of those living in Yorkshire.

    The Parklane Foundation is the charitable arm of the Yorkshire-based property developing giant Parklane Group. The foundation has a close relationship with sporting bodies around Yorkshire, being owners of the Leeds Golf Centre and recently investing to support the redevelopment of the Park Avenue cricket ground.

    Naveen Ahmed, Managing Director of the Parklane Foundation, explained: “I was delighted to attend this fantastic match on Yorkshire Day. At the Parklane Foundation we are committed to investing in communities across Yorkshire – and that’s why, earlier this year, we were thrilled to work with Yorkshire County Cricket Club to support the redevelopment of Park Avenue in Bradford.

    “Using our relationships with people like Yorkshire County Cricket Club, we’re working to support inclusivity and diversity across Yorkshire – bringing people from all backgrounds together to secure a better future for our region.”

    Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, added: “We were delighted to work with the Parklane Foundation on hosting this historic match. The Parklane Foundation is a committed partner of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, supporting our plans to redevelop Park Avenue into a cricket facility fit for the 21st century. We look forward to working with Naveen and the rest of the Parklane team for years to come.”

    The match was attended by a range of stakeholders from around Yorkshire, including Lord Mawson and Zulfi Karim, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

    Lord Mawson, a Bradford-born social entrepreneur, is heavily involved in social entrepreneurship and supporting community growth.

    He explained: “I was delighted be invited to attend this historic cricket match and learn about the great work the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the Parklane Foundation are doing together.

    “The last time I was at Park Avenue I watched Freddie Trueman play – so it was fantastic to be back here and see the ground after so many years.

    “Investing in cricket facilities like Park Avenue is a brilliant way to bring people from across Bradford and Yorkshire together – ensuring that our wonderful and diverse communities can thrive.”

  4. Case filed against Sidhu for hugging Pakistan Army Chief

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    Navjot Singh Sidhu, a minister in India's Congress-led government in Punjab, is under attack for hugging the Pakistan Army Chief, by the BJP and Akali Dal leaders.

    An Indian lawyer has filed a case against cricketer-turned-politician Sidhu for insulting Indian Army by hugging the Pakistan Army Chief at the swearing-in of Imran Khan as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

    During a press conference earlier in August, Sidhu had clearly highlighted that the invitation extended to him was in personal capacity.

    Prior to attending Khan's oath-taking ceremony, Sidhu on Friday said that he sees himself as “a goodwill ambassador of India.”

    Before entering the President House on Saturday 18th August, Sidhu said: “People like Khan Sahab (Imran Khan) create history. With this invitation, they have honoured me. People who build relationships are respected, people who break them are disrespected and I am one of those who respect relationships. It’s a new dawn. This government has come to change this country’s perception, picture and destiny, with high hopes and expectations.”

    Lawyer Ojha said he has filed the case at Muzaffarpur's Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court in Bihar on Monday 20th August under Indian Penal Case sections involving sedition. In his complaint, he said Sidhu's gesture "hurt the people of the country (India)".

    Ojha said: "The court has admitted the case and will hear it next week," he said.

    On Friday, Imran Khan was elected as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan, defeating his rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Shehbaz Sharif . While the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician bagged 176 seats, Sharif, the PML-N president and the brother of jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif managed to secure just 96 seats.

    In the July 25 general elections, the PTI had emerged as the single largest party with 116 seats. The number increased to 158 in Pakistan's National Assembly (NA) after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued notifications of the successful candidates on the reserved seats for women and the minority community.

     

  5. Kerala Floods: 22,000 rescued so far

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    Over 22,000 people have so far been rescued from the flood-hit Indian state of Kerala, after monsoon rains finally eased.

    Military teams as well as disaster response forces and local fishermen reached some of the worst-hit areas.

    Helicopters also brought much-needed supplies to communities cut off by two weeks of incessant rain.

    More than 350 people have been killed, most of them in landslides, since the monsoon started in June.

    Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the number of people taking refuge in the 5,645 relief camps now stood at 725,000.

    Now the state's disaster management team, say they are preparing to deal with a possible outbreak of waterborne and airborne diseases in relief camps

    Rescue officials said efforts on Sunday had been concentrated on the town of Chengannur, where about 5,000 people were reported to be trapped, and in the Alapuzha and Ernakulam districts.

     

    Survivors at evacuation centres have described spending days without food or water.

    As the rain eased, some evacuated residents returned to see what was left of their homes.

    Many have said they would stay in relief camps for a few more days because they don't have enough money to repair their homes or replace what they have lost.

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the area on Saturday, and promised an immediate grant of 5bn Indian rupees (£55m; $71m).

     

  6. Imran Khan to be inaugurated as Pakistan prime minister

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    Imran Khan brings new hope to the country's political landscape (Picture Credit: Zill Niazi)

    Imran Khan, 65, Pakistan’s greatest cricket star, bringing fresh political hope for the country, has been elected prime minister of Pakistan in a vote at the country's National Assembly.

    In Friday's vote, Mr Khan was backed by 176 National Assembly members. His opponent, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, received 96 votes.

    His PTI party won the most seats in July's elections, more than two decades after he first entered the political arena.

    He will be sworn in on Saturday 18th August.

    In what is the climax of his career that began in the 1970s for a man once widely seen in the West, and particularly in the UK, as an Oxford-educated playboy, Mr Khan will now inherit a country with a mounting economic crisis.

    He has vowed to create a "new Pakistan”.

    His promise of change includes improved education and health facilities, and more jobs for young people - who constitute nearly 64% of the country's population and provide the bulk of Mr Khan's electoral support.

    The charismatic sports star, who captained Pakistan to a World Cup victory in 1992, has long-styled himself as a pious, populist, anti-poverty reformer.

    But it’s taken over twenty years for him to become a serious contender for political power.

    In 2013, his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI), considered the country's "justice movement", emerged from obscurity as the third largest political force, after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former president Asif Zardari's "inherited" Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

    Mr Khan ran his political campaigning on an anti-corruption platform that pledged to improve the lives of the country's poor with an "Islamic welfare state”.

    Prior to the election, Mr Khan stated that his initial focus would be on the economy. Pakistan's currency, the rupee, has declined drastically in the last year. Inflation is on the rise and the trade deficit is widening.

    Exports such as textiles have taken a hit from cheaper products by regional competitors, including China. Analysts say the new government may need to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the country's second bailout since 2013, which could complicate efforts to boost welfare.

    After the 25th July election, Mr Khan also vowed to hold talks with India to seek a resolution to the dispute over the Kashmir region, a key flashpoint between the nuclear-armed countries.

    He also called for "mutually beneficial" ties with the United States, despite being an outspoken critic of that country's anti-terrorism measures. US President Donald Trump recently cut aid to Pakistan, accusing it of providing a "safe haven" to terrorists active in neighbouring Afghanistan.

    In the lead-up to the election, Mr Khan was widely seen as the favoured candidate of the powerful military, which was accused of meddling against his rivals.

    Veteran political observers believe that in the medium term Mr Khan may find himself on a collision course with the military establishment.

    This is because once he assumes power and takes sight of the bigger picture, say, he will find that the route to improving health and education, and to creating jobs and triggering the economic growth that Pakistan needs, passes through territory appropriated by the military.

    Like his predecessors he will realise, they say, that he must first reduce conflict and tension in the region, especially with India, where such issues are widely blamed on Pakistan's security establishment.

    Many say he will also have to reform the country's bureaucracy and judiciary, and ensure and reinforce the writ of the government in areas ceded to rent-seeking business interests often allied with the military.

    Three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted from office in 2017 over corruption allegations, who was jailed in the lead-up to the vote, and his brother, Shahbaz Sharif, led the PML-N party into the election.

    After the election, the three major opposition parties banded together to nominate Shahbaz Sharif as a joint candidate in a bid to thwart Mr Khan.

    However, the PPP party of assassinated ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto - is reported to have withdrawn its support for Mr Sharif in the run-up to the vote and abstained on Friday.

    The PPP and PML-N have dominated Pakistani politics for decades, governing several times in between periods of military rule, political critics say Mr Khan may have to find a way to work with them rather than casting the two parties as chief enemies.

  7. Pakistan Community Welfare Attaché visits University of Huddersfield

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    Mrs Fizzah Niazi, Community Welfare Attaché at the Consulate General of Pakistan, toured the campus and met students from the University’s Pakistani Student Society

    Links between the University of Huddersfield and the Consulate General of Pakistan have been further strengthened by a fact-finding visit from a woman whose role is to work closely with the Pakistani community throughout the UK.

    She is Mrs Fizzah Niazi, who is Community Welfare Attaché at the Consulate. On her first visit to Huddersfield, she toured the University campus with International Student Experience Manager Alan Tobi and Head of International Projects Shamim Ghani.

    She also met key members of the University’s Pakistani Student Society and discussed their subject areas – including engineering, business, psychology and economics – plus their experience on campus and graduate opportunities in the UK.

    “It was a wonderful experience visiting the University of Huddersfield and meeting our bright international students from Pakistan,” said Mrs Niazi.

    She praised the University’s various Schools, including “vibrant arts and music school environment, open spaces and upcoming architecture block” and its characterful older buildings, described as “a delight to visit”.

    “It was enlightening to share ideas and information about the University’s dedicated International Office and our offices,” said Mrs Niazi, adding that it was “refreshing to see such a close liaison between the students and International Office. Our office will always be happy to help facilitate further linkages and collaborations in Pakistan.”

    Mrs Niazi described her role at the Consulate General.

    “I work around Pakistani employment promotion through our public sector recruitment department and facilitate the Pakistanis – students or employees – residing in the UK with consular assistance surrounding various issues.”

    International Student Experience Manager Alan Tobi said: “We were delighted to welcome the Community Welfare Attaché for her first visit to Huddersfield. Our relationship with the Consulate is continuing to grow and so is the reputation of the University within Pakistan.

    “It was especially pleasing to see the high levels of engagement that she had with our students and the opportunities that this will present.”

  8. Bradford bids to host Rugby League World Cup 2021

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    Members of the Bradford bid team and players from Bradford Bulls and Keighley Cougars Women's Teams

    In partnership with Bradford Bulls RLFC and Keighley Cougars RLFC, Bradford Council has submitted its bid to be part of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

    To celebrate submission of the bid to host the women’s element of the tournament, the bidding team, members of Bradford Bulls Women’s Team and representatives of the Council got together to see the Rugby League World Cup trophy, when it was the centre piece to a special exhibition of current and retired Rugby League silverware, at Bradford City Hall on Saturday 11 August.

    If the Bradford bid is selected venues throughout the district could be used to host matches, team base camps and training camps.

 Odsal Stadium, the home of the Bulls, would be used to host matches between women’s teams from across eight countries, with their state of the art training facility at Tong High School being used as a training camp.

    Base camps for the international teams could include the Cedar Court Hotel on Rooley Lane, The Bradford Hotel and the Midland Hotel in the city centre and Hollins Hall Marriott Hotel in Baildon.

    Bradford has a long history and heritage of Rugby League, from Odsal stadium hosting the match with the largest attendance on record, to the Keighley Cougars being the venue for the first televised international game.

    The women’s game in Bradford is also strong with the Bulls Women’s team the current Super League and Challenge Cup winners, as well as 10 players from the team also selected for and played in the England side which made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

    Bradford’s City Hall is also the prospective home of the new Rugby League Museum subject to Rugby League Cares and Bradford Council securing the necessary funding.

    Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “Our district is no stranger to hosting major international sporting events, with Ilkley’s Cow and Calf Rocks a stage finish location for both the women’s and men’s Tour de Yorkshire this year.

    "Having the women’s element of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021 would be great for Bradford. This tournament really does bring people together from different cultures across the world and being a host would bring great benefits to the district as well as provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the district on the world stage.

    “Working with our partners the Bradford Bulls and the Keighley Cougars who both have strong women’s teams the aim, as well as giving a warm welcome for these top class athletes and their fans, is to provide a sustainable legacy, especially for girls and women competing in the game across the district.”

    Ken Jones, Strategic and Commercial Consultant at Bradford Bulls, said: “If our bid is successful our focus will be on engaging local schools and community groups to encourage both boys and girls to take part in rugby league events, and we also want to get into the South Asian community, where we feel that there is untapped talent.

    "

The tournament will be hosted between October and November 2021. It will feature 16 nations in the men’s format and eight in both the women’s and wheelchair formats. The bid team of Phil Barker and Andy Ross from Bradford Council, Jones and Russ McFarlane from Bradford Bulls and Neil Cullen from Keighley Cougars expect to hear within a month to six weeks if their World Cup bid has been successful.

  9. Freedom march to celebrate Indian Independence Day

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    A freedom march to celebrate the anniversary of Indian Independence will take place in Cardiff on Wednesday 15th August starting at 9.30am.

    Hundreds of people are expected on the parade which will start at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the Wales Millennium Centre and finish at Cardiff Castle with a flag raising ceremony.

    The event has been organised by Indian Honorary Consul Raj Aggarwal and will be attended by the Lord Mayor Cllr Diane Elizabeth Rees, Cardiff City Council Cabinet member Russell Goodway and Indian businessman Sanjeev Gupta from Liberty Steel and Miss Wales Bethany Steel.

    There procession will take around an hour to get to Cardiff Castle where there will be performances of traditional Indian dance and and music performances, and a flag raising ceremony.

    The event is celebrating the anniversary of Indian Independence which happened on August 15th 1947 and is open to all members of the public to attend for free.

    In his speech Indian diplomat Raj Aggarwal will say : "Thank you all for sparing your valuable time in joining us to celebrate the success of Indian Democracy. The Indian Diaspora are happily settled in Wales. They are highly successful, hard working and integrate well with the local community and are committed to success and prosperity of Wales."

    The procession will start at 10.30m at the Mahatma Gandhi statue, close to the National Assembly and Wales Millennium Centre on Lloyd George Avenue in Cardiff Bay. A procession of hundreds of people, many in traditional Indian dress will then proceed down to Cardiff Castle where there will be a flag raising ceremony at 11am. There will be dancing and music performance along the route as well.

  10. “IMMORAL”: India rejects patent plea for sex toy

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    A Canadian company's patent plea in India for a vibrator has been rejected because the patent office deems that sex toys violate "public order and morality".

    The India's patent office invoked India's obscenity law, saying the law "has never engaged positively with the notion of sexual pleasure".

    The patent office said sex toys are considered to be obscene objects and are illegal in India, despite a 2011 court ruling that said sex toys could not be considered obscene.

    An Ontario-based company called Standard Innovation Corporation had applied for a patent in India for a new vibrator, to prevent generic local copycats being sold in the market, according to Shamnad Basheer, a visiting professor of law at India's National Law School who is working on a book about public health law.

    The country's patents office upon rejected the plea, said that sex toys lead "to obscenity and moral deprivation of individuals".

    "These are toys that are not considered useful or productive. Mostly these are considered to be morally degrading by the law," the office said.

    "The law views sex toys negatively and has never engaged positively with the notion of sexual pleasure".

    The office also invoked the Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a 155-year-old colonial-era law, which criminalises gay sex and unnatural intercourse, in refusing the patent.

    An appeal to strike down provisions of the law is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

    "Why should the patents office handle moral decisions? Officials trained in technical science are not supposed to decide whether an invention is moral or immoral," Prof Basheer told the BBC.

    Sex toys are openly sold online, and in a thriving black market in India.

    A survey by an online store selling sex toys in India last year found that 62% of the buyers of sex toys in India were men, while the remaining 38% were women.

  11. Westminster Car Crash – Police statement

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    Statement from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in relation to this morning's incident in Westminster

     

    At 07:37hrs a silver Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision in front of the Houses of Parliament.

    That vehicle collided with cyclists and pedestrians before hitting a barrier and coming to a stop.

    Two people have been taken to hospital. One man has been discharged and one woman remains in hospital being treated for serious but thankfully, non-life threatening injuries.

    Another man was also treated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment.

    The driver of the Fiesta, who was alone in the vehicle, was arrested at the scene by armed officers who were already nearby.

    The man, who is in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.

    Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident and the investigation is being led by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command.

    Officers are searching the vehicle and no other weapons have been found at this time.

    At this early stage of the investigation, no other suspects at the scene have been identified or reported to police. There is no intelligence of further danger to Londoners or the rest of the UK in connection with this incident.

    Our priority is to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivations if we can. He is not currently co-operating.

    However, as you would expect, detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command are making various other urgent enquiries to ensure there is no outstanding risk to the public.

    I would urge anyone who thinks they may have information that could assist the investigation to call police on 0800 789 321. Thank you to all the people who have already come forward.

    Similarly, anybody who captured footage or images of the incident can download these to us via our website www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

    We are treating the scene and Parliament Square as a crime scene. Cordons are likely to be in place for some time as the investigation team continues to carry out its important work to establish what happened.

    I appreciate that this has caused a great deal of disruption to those who may live, work or be visiting the area, and I thank the public for their patience and understanding whilst we deal with this incident.

    We will be working as quickly and diligently as possible in order to reopen the area, but in the meantime I would ask that the public avoid the area.

    The safety of the public is our top priority and the Met Police will continue to do all we can to protect the people of London.

    As always, the public should remain vigilant and if you see anything suspicious or something that causes concern, then please dial 999.

  12. Manhunt: Manchester man wanted in connection with firearms incident

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    The National Crime Agency are appealing for information on the whereabouts of a Manchester man wanted in connection with a firearms incident.

    At around 9.30pm on Saturday 28 July, two men were seen driving a white VW Passat in the area of Allama Iqbal Road in Oldham.

    The vehicle was followed but unbeknown to officers a firearm and ammunition was thrown out of the car window near the Fiddlers Green pub, Alexandra Terrace, off the A6 Stockport Road, Levenshulme.

    The firearm was found by a member of the public and handed in.

    On Thursday 9 August, a 22-year-old man was arrested at his home address in the Levenshulme area of Manchester in connection with the incident, but the NCA urgently want to trace another man, Salman Gull, aged 24, of Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

    Andrew Etherington, NCA Operations Manager, said: “This is an extremely serious offence whereby a firearm was thrown from a car as it drove down a busy road.

    “Fortunately, the individual who found the weapon immediately informed police, however, there could have been a very different outcome.

    “We are appealing to members of the public who may know the whereabouts of Salman Gull or have any information that can help us find him.

    “It is important that we find Gull as soon as possible. I would like to remind that anyone helping Gull or actively frustrating our attempts to locate him could find themselves being arrested.”

    Salman Gull is an Asian male, aged 24. He is 6ft, of a heavy build and has a beard. He speaks with a northern accent. He has a three inch scar on right wrist.

    Anyone with information on Gull’s whereabouts should contact the NCA on 0370 496 7622 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

  13. Boris Johnson to be investigated over ‘Islamophobic’ burka comments

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    Boris Johnson is to face a Conservative Party investigation over his comments about women who wear the niqab.

    Tory officials opened the inquiry into the former foreign secretary after receiving complaints about his widely-criticised remarks.

    The probe could, in theory, lead to the MP being expelled from the party, although such an outcome appears highly unlikely.

    Mr Johnson caused outrage after calling the Muslim niqab veil "absolutely ridiculous" and suggesting women who wear it look like "letterboxes" and "a bank robber".

    Several senior Conservatives have called for action to be taken against him, with some demanding he have the party whip removed.

    Theresa May and Brandon Lewis, the Conservative Party chairman, and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson have all called on Mr Johnson to apologise for the comments.

    He has so far refused to do so, with allies insisting the criticism of his comments was "ridiculous".

    The probe will investigate whether Mr Johnson breached the party's code of conduct, which says members must "lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance".

    It will initially focus on collecting evidence and statements to determine whether the inquiry should proceed. Mr Johnson will be given the opportunity to provide a statement outlining "any evidence or details that will help establish their position".

    If there is deemed to be enough evidence of a breach of rules, a disciplinary panel consisting of at least three people will be appointed by Mr Lewis. Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs, will select one member.

    The panel will determine whether Mr Johnson broke any rules and pass its conclusions to Ms May and the Conservative Party board, who will decide what punishment, if any, he should face.

    Two Tory peers are among those who have called for disciplinary action to be taken against Mr Johnson.

    Lord Sheikh, the founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said he had written to Mr Lewis calling for "severe action" and suggesting the whip be removed from the former foreign secretary.

    Baroness Warsi, a former co-chair of the party, called Mr Johnson's comments "reprehensible" and said there should be "real action" and "consequences" if he refuses to apologise.

    As well as the complaints made to the Conservatives, Mr Johnson has also been reported to the police and to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

     

  14. Time limit tool to tackle social media addiction

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    Facebook has announced new tools to tackle social media addiction, available in its app and on Instagram.

    Users will now have access to an activity dashboard, a daily reminder and a way to limit notifications to help them control the time they' are spending online.

    The company said it "developed these tools based on collaboration and inspiration from leading mental health experts and organisations" as well academics and its users.

    To access the tools on either app, users need to go to their settings page and on Instagram tapping "Your Activity", and on Facebook tapping "Your Time on Facebook" to access a dashboard showing them how they have spent their time.

    Facebook stated: "We have a responsibility to help people understand how much time they spend on our platforms so they can better manage their experience.”

    The company also added "it's not just about the time people spend on Facebook and Instagram but how they spend that time", following reports about social media damaging users' mental health.

    A survey by the charity Scope found that social media sites make almost two thirds of people feel inadequate about their own life achievements and jealous of others.

    A poll by Sky Data revealed that just 1% of people believe that platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram make bullying less of a problem among children.

    "It's our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people - and we take that responsibility seriously," stated Facebook.

    "These new tools are an important first step, and we are committed to continuing our work to foster safe, kind and supportive communities for everyone."

  15. Jailed heroin wholesaler ordered to pay back over £740,000 of illicit earnings

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    Daljinder Bassi

    A Wolverhampton man who acted as a wholesaler to drug dealers in the West Midlands has been ordered to pay back £742,270 in a confiscation hearing.

    Daljinder Bassi, 36, was jailed for 13 years in February this year following an investigation by the National Crime Agency and Met Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).

    Bassi used various hiding places in his home, including under the floorboards, beneath the insulation in the loft and within the wall cavities, to store cash and class A drugs in powder, rock and block.

    Bassi drugs in wall hide

    The cash hidden in the walls was only accessible from the loft using a home-made pulley system. 

    OCP officers searching his home in October 2017 seized £737,000 in cash, 22kg of heroin, cocaine and mixing agents. The drugs recovered would have had a total estimated street value of £2.5 million.

    Bassi cash

    At Wolverhampton Crown Court, Bassi was ordered to hand over £742,270 – based on an assessment of his available assets. His total criminal benefit figure was judged to have been £1,187,650.

    If he does not pay the sum of money within three months, he will be sentenced to a further five years and five months in prison.

    Bassi drugs pulled out of wall

    Matt McMillan from the Organised Crime Partnership said: “Bassi made huge sums of money by selling dangerous class A drugs; a business that directly fuels serious violence and gang culture.

    “In most cases, the OCP’s work does not stop at a criminal conviction. Wherever possible, we will look to strip offenders of their illicit earnings and make sure they aren’t able to fund a luxury lifestyle once they’ve served their time.

    “If Bassi satisfies the confiscation order, he’ll be released from his sentence when he expects to be. If not, he’ll serve over five more years and still be expected to pay this bill at the end.”

  16. Honorary Doctorate for first non-white CEO in Barnardo’s 150 year history

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    BARNARDOS: Chief executive Javed Khan is the first non-white CEO in the charity’s 150-year history

    One of the leading figures in the UK charity sector has been honoured by the University of Salford. 

    Javed Khan, Chief Executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, received an honorary doctorate in Business Administration at a ceremony at the Lowry, MediaCityUK.

    As a British Pakistani, he is the first non-white CEO in Barnardo’s 150 year history.  

    Javed Khan with Margaret Rowe, Dean at Salford University

    At Barnardo’s, Mr Khan leads a staff team of over 8,000, with 23,000 volunteers, making it the UK’s largest national children’s charity. Last year the charity helped transform the lives of more than 301,000 of the UK’s most vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers.

    After gaining a BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Salford in the 1980s he began his career as a teacher in the West Midlands, and then made rapid progress through the education sector holding posts of Head of Mathematics, Assistant Principal in a large further education college, through to Director of Education in local government. 

    Javed has dedicated his life to public service and supporting the most vulnerable. In 2016 Javed has also won the ‘Spirit of Britain’ award at the prestigious British Muslim Awards.

    Mr Khan said: “I had a fantastic experience at Salford University, which gave me a brilliant education in Mathematics and in life. I’m really grateful to the professors who believed in me, and the friends who inspired me – it’s thanks to Salford that I have got to where I am today.

    “Ever since graduating, I’ve worked with young people and communities to achieve a positive future, first as a Maths teacher, and then as a leader in Education and in Local Government, and now as Chief Executive of Barnardo’s.

    “It’s a great privilege to be awarded this honorary doctorate and to come back to Salford to share the journey that I have been on. I hope it sends a message to young people across the UK that regardless of where they’re from, or the challenges they have faced,  the future is theirs for the taking.

  17.  Majority of Brits plan to swap diesel with their next car purchase

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    UK motorists look set to go green in the near future, as 55 per cent plan to swap diesel for a more ‘planet-friendly’ alternative with their next car purchase.

    A study of 2,000 motorists currently in the market for a new vehicle found 42 per cent are concerned that they may be taxed more in the near future if they decide to buy a vehicle which runs on diesel.

    As a result, more than half are considering switching to a car which runs on a more eco-friendly fuel in the near future.

    And 53 per cent think diesel vehicles will become less popular over the next two years.

    Despite concerns about rising diesel tax, three in five drivers have no idea what the changes to the Vehicle Excise Duty are and what they entail.

    Of those who do understand what the VED is, 76 per cent believe the legislation – which will tax diesel vehicles more heavily from April 2019 – is punishing diesel drivers.

    A spokesperson for Vantage Leasing, which commissioned the study, said: “Whether drivers are making a concerted effort to be greener, or because they want to avoid the rising taxation on diesel vehicles, it looks like a shift to eco fuels is coming.

    “And while many drivers seem unaware of the changes coming to the Vehicle Excise Duty, it seems to be doing its job in dissuading the purchase of new diesel vehicles.”

    Of the drivers considering making the switch, 40 per cent are doing so because they want to drive a vehicle which is better for the environment.

    Four in five drivers surveyed consider themselves ‘eco-conscious’, and 83 per cent are concerned about the future of the planet.

    And 63 per cent currently worry about the effect their vehicle is having on the planet.

    One in four drivers think a vehicle which runs on eco fuels is the more practical option as they believe they will be cheaper than diesel going forward.

    One in ten also think eco fuels are more futuristic and two thirds think leading a greener lifestyle has become ‘cool’ in recent years.

    Tesla is the car brand drivers most associate with environmentally-friendly driving, followed by Toyota and Nissan.

    But the study also found our eco-friendly tendencies take a backseat to costs, when running a greener vehicle becomes more expensive.

    For 27 per cent of buyers cost is more important than the environmental impact of the vehicle, with one in four opting to buy a cheaper, less environmentally-friendly car over a more expensive eco-friendly car.

    And 48 per cent think purchasing and running and eco-friendly vehicle is more expensive than a petrol or diesel alternative.

    When asked to consider which kind of engine produces the best performance, petrol is perceived as the best, followed by diesel.

    Only one in 10 thought a hybrid engine would produce the best performance and five per cent favourite an electric engine.

    A spokesperson for Vantage Leasing, added: “Our views around eco-friendly driving still appear to be split.

    “On one hand we have the desire to be conscientious about the planet and the environment, but there is also the perception that making the switch to an eco-friendly car will hit us harder in the wallet.

    “With the changes in legislation coming in 2019, which will make owning a diesel vehicle a more expensive affair, making the switch to something greener may become a more enticing proposition.”

  18. Man guilty of murdering father-of-seven in ‘brutal’ axe attack

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    GUILTY: Imran Muhammed had previous convictions for dishonesty and was an over-stayer in the country, giving him a motive to kill

    A store worker has been convicted of murdering a father-of-seven with an axe before taking his body in a shopping trolley to a cemetery.

    Imran Muhammad, 31, had searched terms such as "how to kill a man with a hammer" and "how to kill a man with one punch" on his mobile phone four days before the attack.

    He murdered Seyed Khan, 49, with a metal axe at the A-Z Furniture and Carpets Shop in Ilford, south east London, on 24 January. He will serve at least 24 years in prison. Mohammad was also sentenced to five years in prison, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.

    MURDERED: Seyed Khan died following 12 blows to the head with the weapon

    Mr Khan, from Thamesmead, was looking after the shop for a friend when he suffered more than 12 blows to the head with the weapon, according to local reports.

    Muhammad was working at the shop when Mr Khan caught him stealing. He is then said to have begged Mr Khan not to tell the store's owner what he had done.

    Muhammed had previous convictions for dishonesty and was an over-stayer in the country, giving him a motive to kill, the court heard.

    Muhammad has reportedly not admitted this was reason for the killing but it is strongly suspected to be the motive.

    After the murder Muhammad tried to clean the premises and painted over the walls.

    He transported his victim's body and the axe in a shopping trolley to Ilford cemetery in the early hours of 25 January.

    Muhammad then hid his body in undergrowth.

    Mr Khan's body was found eight days later, by which time Muhammad had fled to Glasgow.

    Muhammad was found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey in London. He had previously admitted perverting the course of justice.

    Devi Kharran, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a brutal and premeditated attack on a hard-working family man.

    "Imran Muhammad went out of his way to cover his tracks.

    "After murdering Mr Khan he painted over bloodstains in the shop and also called the police claiming to have been robbed and injured by a stranger, leading to him being taken to hospital.

    "In the days that followed police put out numerous appeals in search for Mr Khan while all along Muhammad knew that he had murdered him.

    "It was eight days until Mr Khan's body was found and by that time Muhammad had fled to Glasgow.

    "Using forensic evidence, witness accounts and CCTV footage showing Muhammad's journey to the cemetery where Mr Khan's body was found, the prosecution was able to prove Muhammad had deliberately carried out this murder.

    "I hope this conviction brings some closure to the family and friends of Mr Khan.”

  19. Half of students consider studying abroad due to ‘extortionate’ UK tuition fees

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    Half of students are considering studying abroad - due to ‘extortionate’ UK tuition fees, research has revealed.

    A study of 750 students aged 16 and over found seven in 10 think the cost of higher education at home is ‘too high.’ And three in five are concerned Brexit could increase the cost of UK tuition fees even more.

    Amid this, the poll commissioned by foreign exchange specialists, Caxton, found four in 10 believe studying overseas is likely to lead to a higher paid job upon graduation.

    In comparison, just 14 per cent are confident studying in the UK would set them up for financial success in the future.

    Edward Gott, head of premier clients at Caxton, said: “It’s clear that an education overseas can offer a wealth of benefits, bringing financial rewards as well as opportunities for significant cultural enrichment.

    “Although it might at first appear a daunting investment proposition, Brits can in fact save thousands of pounds by looking overseas to further their studies and reap the rewards as a result.”

    The research found the USA is the most popular choice for those who would like to study abroad, followed by Spain and Germany.

    But exchange rates would play a part in deciding which country to study in for 54 per cent, with one fifth more inclined to move abroad if foreign exchange rates were more beneficial towards the pound.

    Researchers also polled 1,000 parents and found more than half would support their children should they decide to study abroad.

    Almost half believe it would enable their kids to have ‘new and exciting experiences’, while 45 per cent think it would provide them with important life skills.

    Despite this, 44 per cent of mums and dads admit they would be worried about financing their child’s studies overseas.

    But should they decide to pursue further education abroad, parents would most like to see their kids head to the USA.

    Edward Gott added: “We’re working closely with a number of our Premier clients who fund children at overseas universities, as well as retired or mature students looking to study abroad.

    “Living in a foreign country presents a number of challenges – from making regular payments for tuition fees and living costs, to working out a savings plan and managing unexpected currency fluctuations.

    “All clients like to budget and manage costs and we take time to understand their needs, hedge their specific currency exposure and set up the transfer of funds to work like clockwork.
    “It takes the headache away and allows them to focus on the fun stuff.”

    TOP 10 – COUNTRIES UK STUDENTS WANT TO STUDY IN:
    1. United States of America
    2. Spain
    3. Germany
    4. Italy
    5. France
    6. Australia
    7. Canada
    8. Japan
    9. Netherlands
    10. China

  20. Man guilty of planning terrorist attack to kill the Prime Minister

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    A man is facing years in jail after a joint investigation between the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI foiled his plot to kill the Prime Minister.

    As part of his intended attack, Naa’imur Rahman, 20, of north London, sought to detonate a bomb in the vicinity of Downing Street. Rahman planned to use the ensuing chaos to gain access to Downing Street so that he could assassinate the Prime Minister, Teresa May.

    However, unbeknown to Rahman, as he was putting his plans together he was confiding with a network of online role-players from the Met Police, MI5 and the FBI who, in turn, introduced him to real-world undercover police officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

    Replica suicide jacket: Naa’imur Rahman sought to detonate a bomb in the vicinity of Downing Street

    Rahman went on to meet these officers on a number of occasions, culminating in his arrest in November 2017 shortly after Rahman collected what he believed to be a homemade bomb but was in fact a harmless replica.

    In September 2017, Rahman unwittingly contacted an online role player working with the FBI, who in-turn introduced him to online role-players from MI5 and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

    Rahman gradually revealed his ambition to carry out a terrorist attack, targeting the Prime Minister. He gave details of the preparatory work he had been doing, including carrying out reconnaissance around Parliament.

    Counter Terrorism detectives were able to recover CCTV footage of him carrying out the reconnaissance around Westminster.

    Rahman also sought the officers’ help to obtain a bomb and gave an undercover counter terrorism police officer his jacket and a rucksack to be converted into a suicide jacket and bomb in a bag.

    The officer again met Rahman in the former’s car a week later, on 28 November 2017, by which time the items had been converted into replica improvised explosive devices.

    Rahman, on receipt of the items, told the covert officer “Now I’ve seen everything, it feels good,” not knowing that moments later he would be arrested.

    As Rahman walked away from the car, waiting Met Police Counter Terrorism officers and specialist officers from the Met Police Firearms Command moved in and arrested him.

    Following a four-week trial, Rahman was found guilty at the Old Bailey of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

    Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, who is the Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism in the UK, said: “Rahman is an extremely dangerous and determined individual.

    “Rahman’s target was the Prime Minister but he had no qualms about killing innocent bystanders in the process of reaching her. In fact, at one point he told a covert counter terrorism officer that even if he could not reach the Prime Minister, he just wanted to strike fear into people.

    “This case demonstrates the strength of the cooperation between the UK’s intelligence agencies and the FBI. As a result, we were able to disrupt Rahman’s plans and ensure that a terrorist attack was prevented.”

  21. Church and charity join forces for diversity

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    A Yorkshire charity is celebrating 25 years of working with the Church of England to support disadvantaged communities.

    In July 1993 the Bishop of Bradford David Smith visited a QED Foundation computer training course aimed at helping people into further education, training and employment. And recently Dr Toby Howarth, who succeeded to the office in 2014, expressed his support after visiting the charity.

    QED Foundation was founded by Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, who is still its chief executive, in 1990. It soon became one of the most influential organisations working on behalf of disadvantaged ethnic minority communities in the UK.

    Dr Ali now sits on the board of governors of York St John University, which has a Church of England foundation.

    'Over the past year the two organisations have developed a fruitful partnership with a focus on improving access to students from more diverse backgrounds,' says vice chancellor Professor Karen Stanton. 'Work is now under way to develop stronger links with schools in the Bradford region.

    'Dr Ali is advising the university on changes to policies and practices to build a more racially diverse workforce. The mission and values of our organisations are closely aligned and York St John is now an official sponsor of QED Foundation. Dr Ali is also supporting the university to develop its overseas links with Asia and the Middle East.’

    Rev Smith describes QED Foundation as 'one of the best projects I came across'.

     

  22. Birmingham road-rage attacker has sentence increased

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    A man who drove over another man in an act of road-rage will spend longer in prison after the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred his original sentence to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient.

    In July 2017, Shahid Ali, 43, shouted and swore at his victim before deliberately driving over him at a slow speed. Ali blamed his victim for holding up traffic along Brighton Road in Balsall Heath. He then drove away and attempted to conceal his involvement by cleaning his car using abrasive materials and hiding his phone.

    Patrick Colbert, who was in Birmingham celebrating his 35th birthday, was left with severe brain injuries, fractures to his skull, ribs, and sternum, and collapsed lungs. He will likely suffer long-term complications from these injuries, and requires professional care.

    Ali was originally sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court in April, where he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. After the Solicitor General’s referral, the Court of Appeal increased his sentence to 15 years.

    Commenting on the sentence increase, the Solicitor General said: “Ali made a deliberate choice to carry out an horrific act, and further to this attempted to conceal his actions. I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed to increase Ali’s sentence, and hope that this brings his victim some comfort.”

  23. Bradford NCP closed after man found with “very serious injuries”

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    A multi-storey car park in Bradford city centre has been cordoned off by police after a man found with 'serious injuries' and was taken to hospital.

    Police were called to the NCP car park in Hall Ings by the ambulance service at just before 5am today.

    Both the car park - which sits next to the Bradford Interchange - and Hall Ings remain cordoned off this morning.

    A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said: "Officers were called by the ambulance service who had located a male with serious injuries.

    "The man was taken to hospital and continues to be treated. He is described as being in a very serious condition.

    "Initial enquires to determine how he came to be injured are ongoing."

    One lane of the westbound carriageway of Hall Ings was opened after 8am to allow buses to pass through.

    Motorists are still being urged to avoid the area.

  24. INCEST: Bradford pensioner jailed for fathering three children with daughter

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    A "dishonourable and wicked" pensioner who fathered three children with his own daughter has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

    Ashraf Khan, now 81, of Kirkburn Place, Bradford, West Yorkshire, admitted three charges of incest dating back to the 1980s.

    Ashraf Khan’s twisted secret was only discovered after his victim confessed on her deathbed in the early 1990s. The daughter’s husband, who had DNA tests done to confirm the children’s parentage, finally reported the matter to police in 2012, but continued to care for the children.

    Bradford Crown Court heard the defendant's daughter was aged about 20 when she gave birth to the first child.

    The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the woman's husband as an honourable man because he had continued to care for the children even after a DNA test confirmed his wife's revelation.

    The husband reported the offences to the police in 2012, but Khan was not questioned about the allegations until he returned to the UK from Pakistan in 2016.

    He initially denied having any sexual relations with his daughter but in May this year he pleaded guilty to the three charges of incest.

    Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC heard how the "incestuous parentage" had led to medical conditions affecting the children.

    Prosecutor Abigail Langford said the victim impact statement provided by the children included a tribute to their late mother's husband for his fortitude and selflessness over the years.

    "Your honour sees the psychological damage that they have outlined and how their physical health has been impacted by their paternity," she added.

    Jailing Khan, Judge Durham Hall described him as a "very dishonourable" and "wicked" man.
    The judge said the daughter's deathbed confession must have been dreadful as she unburdened the trauma she had carried about her father.

    Judge Durham Hall said the harm caused was "off the scale" and he noted Khan was only described as a man of good character because he had got away with it for years.

  25. Looking at health inequalities among British Muslims

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    Born in Bradford (BiB) is gearing up to host a conference which will look at why British Muslims suffer from chronic diseases and childhood obesity  at a higher rate than the wider population.

    The event, being held at the University of Bradford on September 12, is hoping to attract leading researchers from across the UK.   

    The academics, clinicians and representatives from the British Muslim community will discuss and debate the reasons for health inequalities and explore the roles of low levels of physical activity, diet, migration, deprivation, gender stereotypes and even myths have on people’s wellbeing.

    Professor John Wright, Director of Bradford Institute for Health research, where the BiB project is based, said: “British Muslims face major health threats from diabetes and heart disease.

    “In Born in Bradford we have shown that this risks starts in early life.

    “Religious settings provide a key setting for health promotion for these children and our work with mosques has demonstrated how we can develop culturally sensitive approaches to healthy living.”

    The conference is being organised in partnership with the Muslims in Britain Research Network and University of Bradford.

    The conference will also find out about the latest news from BiB, the UK’s largest medical study of its kind, which is tracking the health of 13,500 children growing up in the city.

    The project looks at why some children stay healthy while others get ill and what helps children do well at school. BiB is also exploring how mosques and madrassa in Bradford can be used for preventing childhood obesity and general health promotion.

    For more information go to www.borninbradford.nhs.uk

     

  26. 6-year-old killed whilst on way to mosque prayers

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    A six-year-old girl who was hit and killed by car had been heading for prayers at a mosque with her father, police have said.

    Jannatul Bakya was hit while crossing Oldbury Road in Smethwick, West Midlands, on Saturday night.

    Jannatul’s family have released a photo of her and a tribute issued on behalf of her father reads: “Jannatul, my youngest daughter, was always happy and cheerful. She always bought a smile to everybody's face. 
     
    “She will be greatly missed. I would ask that my family be given space to be able to grieve in private.” 

    Two people arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving have been released under investigation while inquiries continue, West Midlands Police said.

    The 27-year-old man, from Smethwick, and woman, 26, from Bearwood, were arrested shortly after the collision.

    Det Con Damian Gibson said police were continuing to investigate "the circumstances leading to this tragic event”.

    "I'm appealing for anyone who saw the collision, or who may have CCTV or dashcam footage, to get in touch," he said.

    "The family are receiving support from family liaison officers and, our thoughts are them at this very sad time.”
     
    DC Damian Gibson from West Midlands Police’s Collision Investigation Unit said: “We are investigating the circumstances leading to this tragic event…I’m appealing for anyone who saw the collision, or who may have CCTV or dash-cam footage, to get in touch. 
     
    “The family are receiving support from family liaison officers and, our thoughts are them at this very sad time."
     
    Witnesses are asked to call the Collision Investigation Unit on 101 quoting log number 2933 from 28 July or email FL.COLLISION_INVEST@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk . 

  27. ‘Super Bolt’: Usain as you’ve never seen him before 

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    New pictures reveal Usain Bolt as you’ve never seen him before – as he unveils his superhero alias, ‘Super Bolt’.

    The eight-time Olympic gold medallist’s costume features the yellow, green and black of the Jamaican flag.

    Now retired, 31-year-old Bolt looks to be in great shape in his all-in-one outfit - which also includes a power source on his chest similar to Iron Man’s arc reactor.

    As the current 100 and 200 metre sprint world record holder the likes of Lex Luthor, Thanos or the Joker would surely think twice before battling the athletics legend.

    As the pictures of ‘Super Bolt’ were revealed, a poll also found four in 10 Brits wish they were a superhero – that’s in excess of 26 million people.

    A spokesman for Virgin Media, for whom Bolt was posing for, said: “Usain Bolt has long been considered to be somewhat of a superhero thanks to his amazing speed.

    “So we wanted to finally give him a costume worthy of the superhuman he is and he’s got a new name too – ‘Super Bolt’.

    “There’s no denying he really pulls it off and certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the next Marvel of DC movie.”

    The poll of 1,000 UK adults also found Man of steel, Superman, and princess of the Amazons, Wonder Woman, are the superheroes men and women respectively most want to be.

    It also emerged invisibility is the superpower most Brits would like to have, followed by the ability to fly and power to time travel in joint-second place - along with super -healing in third.

    But with one foot back in reality, Brits revealed their actual ‘super’ powers – and the ability to be very polite topped the list.

    Other ‘special’ abilities include remembering birthdays, pretending to sound interested and being good at queuing.

    While it’s unlikely those polled will be battling intergalactic threats anytime soon, many have a definite opinion on what they’d wear in the event they miraculously developed superpowers.

    Three in 10 would adorn a cape – a wardrobe staple for many a superhero – and 44 per cent would keep their identity hidden by wearing a mask.

    Dealing with criminals and evil masterminds is dirty business so 45 per cent would literally and figuratively keep their hands clean by wearing gloves.

    Six in 10 would complement their costume with a pair of boots and 43 per cent plump for a tight fitting body suit.

    Around two-thirds would top it off with a symbol – the most popular ones being a peace symbol, a star and a flag representing the country of their birth.

    However, half revealed their dark side and admitted they relate to supervillains - women polled feel the strongest connection to Catwoman and men have the biggest affinity with the Joker.

    Carried out through OnePoll.com, the research also found 54 per cent wish they had the physique of a superhero.
    Men are most envious of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Christopher Reeve’s Superman’s of finely sculpted muscles.

    And women are especially jealous of Halle Berry’s Catwoman – just ahead of the Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

    A spokesman for Virgin Media said: “Superheroes have never been more popular and that’s certainly evident in the survey results.

    “It’s remarkable just how many of us wish they could be a superhero – who wouldn’t want super powers?”

  28. Funnyman Michael Palin has been named the greatest ever Yorkshireman

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    By Grant Bailey

    Funnyman Michael Palin has been named the greatest ever Yorkshireman, according to a study.

    A poll of 2,000 Brits saw nearly three in 10 select the Monty Python legend as the best export from the northern region.

    Second on the list was gruff actor Sean Bean, followed by Sir Patrick Stewart.

    Halifax-born Ed Sheeran came fourth with Jeremy Clarkson rounding out the top five.

    Dame Judi Dench was chosen by almost half of respondents as the greatest ever Yorkshirewoman, followed by Jess Ennis-Hill and the Brontë sisters.

    The study was conducted by the energy supplier npower to celebrate Yorkshire Day on August 1st.

    Commercial Director at npower and proud Yorkshireman, Andy Wiggans, said: “Yorkshire Day is a reason to celebrate everything brilliant about the UK’s biggest county, and there’s no shortage of legendary Yorkshire folk to pick from with a list like this.

    “We wanted to give the nation the chance to think about the region and how much it’s given the country – and the rest of the world.

    “After all, where would we be without Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch – inspired by Michael Palin’s disastrous trip to a mechanic, who refused to accept there was something wrong with his car?”

    When asked to think about Yorkshire, the first thing that springs to mind for Brits is Yorkshire pudding, with one in five saying the Sunday roast staple is the single best thing to have originated from the region.

    A further 14 per cent believe the ‘catseye’ reflective road stud is Yorkshire’s greatest export while one in 10 selected the creation of the world’s first commercial steam locomotive, which was built in Holbeck by engineer Matthew Murray in 1812.

    It also emerged two thirds of the country have either visited Yorkshire or lived there are some point in their lives, with 34 per cent still to visit.

    And a tenth of respondents loved their time there so much they’d consider making the move permanently.

    This could be due to the lilting accent, which 45 per cent of Brits say they’re happy to hear.

    However, an incredible one in eight Brits admit they’d struggle to locate Yorkshire on a map of the UK.

    Researchers also found Yorkshire’s reputation for being careful with money is well-founded, with a tenth of Brits believing people from the county are better at looking after the pennies than those from elsewhere.

    And twice as many people think those from Yorkshire are more likely to be careful when it comes to saving energy than anywhere else in the UK.

    Andy added: “Whether you’ve been once, twice or lived there for years, it’s great to see how much the area has contributed to society.

    “We’ve generated some of the most famous names throughout history – and it’s exciting to wonder who the next will be.”


    THE TOP 10 BEST EVER YORKSHIREMEN
    1. Michael Palin
    2. Sean Bean
    3. Sir Patrick Stewart
    4. Ed Sheeran
    5. Jeremy Clarkson
    6. Brian Blessed
    7. Alan Bennett
    8. The Chuckle Brothers
    9. Brian Clough
    10. Geoffrey Boycott
    THE TOP 10 BEST EVER YORKSHIREWOMEN
    1. Dame Judi Dench
    2. Jess Ennis-Hill
    3. The Brontë sisters
    4. Dame Diana Rigg
    5. Maureen Lipman
    6. Kimberley Walsh
    7. Penelope Wilton
    8. Jodie Whittaker
    9. Nicola Adams
    10. Amy Johnson
  29. 9-year ban for restaurant boss after failing to pay correct tax

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    Director of a restaurant company has been disqualified for 9 years after he suppressed and concealed sales figures to avoid paying the correct amount of tax.

    Azam Ali was the sole registered director of the company Pabna Restaurant Ltd (Pabna), which traded as an Indian restaurant in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

    The restaurant began trading in 2006 as a family business owned by Azam Ali’s brother before Azam Ali took over the business in 2011. He then incorporated it as a limited company in March 2012.

    The company catered to the West Yorkshire area and traded from property which the company owned in Ropergate, Pontefract. But in April 2017, the company entered into voluntary liquidation having not paid the right amount of tax.

    The Insolvency Service carried out investigations following the company’s liquidation and found that Azam Ali caused the company to suppress and conceal sales figures, which meant the company under-declared and underpaid the correct amount of tax.

    As a result, on 7 June 2018 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Azam Ali where he did not dispute the Insolvency Service’s findings.

    Effective from 28 June 2018, Azam Ali is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 9 years.

    Commenting on the disqualification, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations for the Insolvency Service said:

    "The majority of businesses comply with statutory legislation. However, some companies fail to do so and deliberately underpay their taxes.

    "The ban of Azam Ali demonstrates our determination to clamp down on those directors who avoid paying the correct levels of tax and we will levy hefty periods of disqualification whether they cooperate or not."

  30. Child abuse chatroom user ‘Satan’ asked other offenders: “Who likes torture”

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    Danny Rowland

    A man dubbed himself ‘Satan’ and watched child abuse videos on his home computer more than 250 times.

    Danny Rowland, 24, from Dorset Road, Newcastle, watched the horrific videos via an on online conferencing facility and asked other offenders: “who likes torture?”

    Rowland admitted making indecent images of children and was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for 18 months following an early guilty plea.

    He was also given a 10 year Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign to the Sex Offender Register for 10 years.

    National Crime Agency investigators raided his home address on the 4th April 2017 and he was arrested and his computers seized.

    Forensic examination showed Rowland had watched the horrific videos 256 times.

    The pre-recorded footage was streamed through the online video conferencing facility where Rowland’s user names were ‘666’ and ‘Satan’.

    NCA investigators proved that while he was watching the child abuse he said he was going to “thank Santa” and commented the videos had “no limits, no taboo”.

    Rowland admitted to officers that he had seen indecent images of children but denied having a sexual interest in children.

    NCA senior investigating officer Graham Ellis said: “For his own sexual gratification Rowland was watching images of children being abused”

    “Behind every image is a child who has been abused, the NCA is wholly committed to tackling this threat”.

    “If you are engaging with people online and watching and sharing images of child abuse, you will be identified and brought to justice.”

    Child protection charity The Lucy Faithfull Foundation runs the Stop It Now! helpline which offers confidential advice to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s behaviour towards children.

  31. Man who killed young dad for his watch is jailed for life

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    SENTENCED: Jordan Bailey-Mascoll

    A man who brutally stabbed a young dad to death for his watch has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve at least 35 years.

    Jordan Bailey-Mascoll, 26, of The Brent, Dartford, had previously been found guilty of murdering 31-year-old Danny Pearce following a three week trial at the Old Bailey.

    The court heard how Danny, aged 31, was walking with his girlfriend and two friends to a parked car in King William Walk, SE10.

    They had left a Jazz Club in Nevada Street on Saturday, 15 July 2017, when at 00:15hrs, Danny was confronted by two men; one of the men was Bailey-Mascoll.

    The pair demanded Danny's Rolex watch and when he refused he was chased, stabbed repeatedly and shot at by the robbers, with the whole attack witnessed by his terrified friends and partner.

    Danny, who has a five-year-old daughter, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly afterwards despite efforts of paramedics and police to save him.

    31-year-old Danny Pearce was brutally murdered for his Rolex

    Footage shown in court showed Bailey-Mascoll and his accomplice picking out their target. The pillion passenger is seen raising his arm to point back at Danny, clearly alerting his accomplice they have found a potential victim to prey upon.

    Moments after he refused to surrender his Rolex, Bailey-Mascoll produced a large knife and began chasing Danny, whilst the second man shot in his direction as Danny ran for his life.

    A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as multiple stabbings, but police also found gunshot grazing and evidence of at least four shots fired in Danny's direction as he attempted to flee.

    Following a painstaking investigation by the Homicide and Major Crime Command, Bailey-Mascoll was arrested on Thursday, 30 November and charged on 1 December.

    Investigating officer Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway said: "The level of violence used against Danny was truly horrendous and the length of time over which they carried out the attack - up to two minutes - marks it out as the most sustained random stabbing attack I've seen in my 26 years in the police service.

    "Danny had sought help at a nearby address, but he was cornered and shown no pity. Danny was repeatedly stabbed as he lay collapsed on the steps of a stranger's house. It was only when his girlfriend shouted out that she'd give them Danny's watch, that they stopped their remorseless attack. Without a hint of compassion they grabbed the Rolex and fled the scene.

    "The family who lived at the address opened the door to a dying young man, the trauma of that night cannot be imagined. Some witnesses who ran from the scene thought it was a terrorist attack, due to its ferocity. It is sickening that such prolonged, lethal violence against a defenceless man, with a family, was done only for a wristwatch.

    "Although one man has been convicted, we are still keen to trace the stolen watch. The model was a Silver Rolex Datejust 2 2017, worth around £5,000.

    "Do you work in a shop perhaps and remember seeing such an item offered for sale? Or maybe you bought such a watch in good faith from an internet dealer? It is an important part of this investigation, which remains ongoing."

    A 21-year-old man also arrested in connection with Danny's murder, remains released under investigation.

    Danny's Mother, Jan Pearce, aged 63, released the following statement: "Danny was randomly murdered in Greenwich.

    "He left behind a family who loved him unconditionally, including two sisters and a brother. But it is not only us as adults suffering - Danny's nieces and nephews are grieving and it hurts them in different ways. How do you answer a child when they ask where Uncle Danny is?

    "We need to get these murderers off the street - who knows who will be next and then another family will go through the same devastation as us.

    "I don't want another mum to go through this agony. I need to know those responsible will be locked up for a very long time."

    Bailey-Mascoll also pleaded guilty to a robbery that occurred on the 13 July 2017 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison to run concurrently.

  32. BATLEY: Europe’s oldest girls Muslim high school saved from closure

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    Following an uproar by parents when it was announced that the Zakaria Muslim Girls’ High School (ZMGHS) in Batley, West Yorkshire was facing closure, three community heroes have stepped in and saved the day.

    Zakaria, an independent school for Muslim girls aged 11 to 18, was originally founded by Dr Ebrahim Dadibhai 36-years-ago, and the school became Europe's first high school for Muslim girls.

    Dr Dadibhai, a much-respected figurehead of the community set-up and overviewed the running of the school up until four years ago when it was handed over to a new set of Trustees.

    The previous school administrators had told shocked parents earlier in April that due to the school’s “financial difficulties” they must find new schools for their children from the end of the current term.

    There was a furious response from both parents and people who had loaned the former Zakaria governors almost a million pounds to purchase and develop the former Batley Hospital buildings off Carlinghow Hill as a new future site for the school.

    Questions were raised after it was learned the former headteacher Yusuf Jasat and two associates, Saeed and Shabir Patel, have privately bought the land around the school in Warwick Road and applied to build 17 houses on the site. Questions were raised over the appropriation of funds.

    The Kirklees Council planning website shows that a plan for ten semi-detached houses on the Warwick Road site of the Zakaria school was submitted by headteacher Mr Jasat and the Patels, on the same day last year that a company called Warwick Road Development (2017) Ltd – of which Saeed Patel and his wife Aisha are directors – applied to build seven townhouses at the same location.

    Following a tirade of issues with the establishment, a very concerned Dr Dadibhai says he couldn’t sit back and watch the horrors unfold. Along with the help of his trusted long-time friends, he decided they would do all that they could to save the school from closure.

    Now the terrific trio of Dr Dadibhai, much-respected and renowned international poet Ahmed Lunat OBE and Iqbal Dhoriwala of IQ Events have set a new plan of action for the school, which will see it reopen for the new academic year in September 2018.

    The stalwarts have also began a legal process of buying back the former sites from the previous trustees. “A lot of people loaned huge sums of money to help fund the school. We are making it a priority to return around £600,000 back to the parents and other members of the public who loaned money to the school,” says Dr Dadibhai.

    “We have bought back the Taylor Street campus and have been working with consultants to reorganise the entire structure of the school. We are ready to present the new Zakaria School in September this year and are confident with our plans.”


    People are invited to an Open Community Invitation at Common 'y' all charity's organised outdoor function at Saville Road Sports Field, Saturday 21st July 2018 from 11.00 am - 4.00 pm. You can meet our new dedicated Trustees, Staff, Consultants, Governors, Students and former Pupils.


    TESTIMONIALS

    Former student of Zakaria says: “I can say that school-life was one of the most memorable times in my life. It was a second home where I learnt about life, ambition, mission, friendship; I have learnt how to be the best from the gifted teachers who motivated us to work hard and gave us the highest standard of education. Academically, I’ve achieved great results. I am grateful to have been part of this great school and thank it for the success it has given me.”

    View from a new governor: “We have been making dua and working hard to ensure that Zakaria stays open. It has been a pleasure to meet the staff and students of ZMGHS - they are the backbone of the school and we are here to help and support them to make it a thriving school once again. We have been looking at the infrastructure of the existing school and have found many ways of improving the teaching and learning at the school and are currently reorganising the leadership structure.

    View from a parent: One of my daughters is currently in Year 8 and I’m delighted that my other daughter will also be joining the school in Year 7 this September. My daughter does not want to leave the school and I am happy to keep her here where she feels safe and enjoys her lessons. The school achieves good results and it has a strong Islamic ethos. This is what I want for my daughters.”

  33. Bradford restaurateur appointed Deputy Lieutenant

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    "I’m still struggling to take in the fact that the son of an immigrant textile worker could be asked to help the Lord Lieutenant in her role representing the Queen."

    A Bradford restaurateur and community leader has been appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

    The appointment of Zulfi Karim, General Secretary of Bradford Council for Mosques and owner of Curryosity restaurant, in Saltaire, Bradford, comes after years of dedication to integrating and uniting communities.

    Mr Karim, aged 51, said: “My appointment as a deputy lieutenant is a huge honour. I’m immensely proud to be asked to take on the role and I’m still struggling to take in the fact that the son of an immigrant textile worker, born and raised in the inner city, could be asked to help the Lord Lieutenant in her role representing the Queen.

    “It’s very humbling but it also sends a positive message that one’s origin should not be a barrier to success in the UK. One can remain true to one’s identity but at the same time be able to contribute on a bigger and wider stage celebrating the best that this society has to offer.”

    Born and bred in Manningham, where his grandfather ran a grocer’s shop, Mr Karim grew up opposite Drummond Mill, the textile factory where his father worked.

    After studying marketing at Huddersfield College and, later, Bradford Management Centre, he established himself as an events organiser, a role in which he brought the world’s biggest film-industry awards, run by the India International Film Academy (IIFA), to Bradford and helped to draw a worldwide audience of more than 400 million people.

    That led to roles as a consultant with Bradford Urban Regeneration, helping to create the vision and feasibility assessment for the city centre, connecting areas such as Manningham to the Will Alsop Masterplan, and then with Bradford Council’s regeneration department. He later also worked with the regional development agency Yorkshire Forward and served as a non-executive director of the Yorkshire Tourist Board.

    A winner of numerous awards for his voluntary and community relations contributions, Mr Karim, who is a founding director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, is also a former governor of Leeds City College and has also served as a board member of Breast Cancer Haven, in Leeds.

    In 2009, his love of food, culture and community drew him to launch the first World Curry Festival in Bradford, drawing in top chefs and food experts from across the globe. In 2015, he took the festival to Malaysia for the first time to spread the word about Yorkshire’s talented chefs.

    RETURNING: World Curry Festival founder, Zulfi Karim (right) has vowed to bring back the annual event this year

    ENTREPRENEUR: Zulfi Karim founded the World Curry Festival, which saw huge success internationally

    Mr Karim said: “If there’s one thing that brings all cultures together it’s food – people may follow different religions, or hold conflicting political views, but talk about food and they’ll have something to say to each other!”

    Last year he went one step further and launched his own restaurant, Curryosity, in the World Heritage Site of Saltaire, where he specialises in meals based on authentic street food, taken from personally-sourced original recipes from pre-partition India.

    Mr Karim hit the international headlines in 2013 after Asian Express newspaper broke the story of him rallying the Muslim community to raise funds to save Bradford’s last remaining Jewish synagogue from closure. The Grade II-listed, 132-year-old building was leaking and damaged and the congregation, which could not afford the repairs, would have been forced to worship in Leeds.

    Mr Karim said: “I have spent many years working in the region’s cities and I am passionate about genuinely integrating communities and creating social understanding.

    “I have first-hand appreciation of multi-cultural issues and I want to reach diverse communities on their terms and help build bridges between them.”

    The father-of-two is married to Saira Ali, who works in a senior landscape design and conservation role at Bradford Council. His son Kesser is an inner-city school teacher, and daughter Aisha is currently at university.

    “Bradford is our family home and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Mr Karim.

    “I hope that my new appointment will help me to spread the word about what a great place it is to live and work in.

    “I really feel this isn’t just an honour for me, it’s an honour for the whole city and I will do my best to show people how proud I am of Bradford and West Yorkshire.”

  34. Dripping with crystal chandeliers and Versace walls Fanoosh is a dining room fit for royalty

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    “The international language of food unites us all.”

    Street Lane in Leeds is renowned somewhat as a food haunt nestling a delightful variety of eateries, attracting an eclectic mix of people ranging from the every day hard working type to those who enjoy more of a celebrity status.

    Passionate foodies Nadim Hanif and wife Andleeb, who come from families that take immense pride in their traditional culinary skills, decided to embrace the challenge of creating a boutique restaurant with food that reflects the taste of what they love.

    Both come from a strong family heritage of traditional Punjabi home cooking with mothers - Zahida and Yasmin - renowned for the feasts they so beautifully prepare for family and friends.

    The dishes on the menu other than the Korma (it was ad-hoc created for British Army personnel during their rule in India) will be found cooking away regularly in Zahida and Yasmin’s kitchens.

    “As a childhood dream my passion evolved from working part-time during school holidays at the ‘last proper Indian restaurant’ on Street Lane over two decades ago, which was next to Flying Pizza,” explains Nadim.

    “From my early teens I started off as a tea boy at the very first Indian restaurant in the 80s on Street Lane and then worked my way up to a managers position over an eight-year span.

    “I ended up having a successful career along with my wife in advertising, marketing and publishing, but having a restaurant has been a life-long desire. I’m thrilled to bring back fine quality Indian cuisine to the area with Fanoosh The Indian.”

    Andleeb has a definitive stance on cooking using only premium ingredients and she’s quite the connoisseur in her kitchen at home.

    Working with already accomplished chefs, she is committed to ensuring that food presented to diners from the Fanoosh kitchen is what she’d proudly lay out on her own dining table.

    Having been involved as marketing consultants to many restaurateurs across Yorkshire, they came to a realisation that they desired to create a boutique restaurant reflecting the ambience of a Maharaja’s dining room.

    "As a couple that has a passion for food and quality dining, we desired to create a warm, luxurious ambient setting, resonating a maharaja's dining room. The Versace wall coverings and dark wood panels demanded chandeliers, and so I decided that each table would have its own crystal chandelier. The end look has been appreciated by almost everyone who steps into our boutique Indian dining room.

    Andleeb has been featured in a Channel 4 international food documentary as well being an avid public speaker on a number of platforms. The couple have taken to live cooking arenas on numerous occasions at World Curry Festivals, both in Britain and internationally, and are inspired by British Michelin-star chefs in their vision for Fanoosh restaurant.

    Fanoosh stands committed in using only the finest produce and sources locally where it can, to bring patrons a culinary experience with the most authentic taste of the Punjab in South Asia.

    After being open for seven months, the fully licensed restaurant rolled out its take away delivery service in March.

    [noun 1. Fanoosh: Chandelier]

  35. Fashionable students see their work on catwalk

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    Rosa Parks, recycling and road safety were among the inspirations for fashion collections paraded on the catwalk at Bradford College.

    Graduating fashion students from Bradford School of Art showcased their creative, extravagant and edgy designs to family, friends, staff, students and fashion industry figures at a series of shows.

    Among the dramatic designs on show this year were cardboard animal heads, garments made from charity shop-sourced denim jeans and gender neutral outfits.

    The collections were created by students on the BA (Hons) Fashion degree, HNC Fashion and Textiles course and the Access to HE programme and all won huge applause from the fashion-loving audience in the college’s Lister Building.

    Iram Hussain was among the students seeing their designs take centre stage. Her collection is called Rosa.

    She said: “My concept is based on the civil rights movements. I decided to look into a key figure from the past movements and chose to look at Rosa Parks. I also looked at the Black Lives Matter.

    “The silhouettes of the garments incorporate femininity with oversized hoodies. All the fabrics were bought to keep in line with the darkness of the outfits and the hint of yellow was used to represent a colour used in both past and present movements.”

    Hi-Viz was the name of Husain Patel’s collection. He said: “My collection is based on combining my love of urban streetwear with road safety elements to create a unisex collection which is both aesthetically pleasing and practical.”

    Thandiwe Eagleton’s collection, called Merged, focuses on sustainability. She said: “The production of fabrics is ruining the environment because of the chemicals used. I decided I would like to see more designers making sustainable clothing and it starts with me.”

    Dance of Death was the title of Zahra Mahmood’s women’s wear collection inspired by bullfighting, ballet, surrealism and manipulation.

    Aishah Khan’s collection, Unpredictable, is based on water with PVC plastic representing water and ruffles to represent rushing water.

    One collection was created in collaboration with the Born in Bradford health project with 25 knitted cardigans donated by Oxfam being used as the basis for designs inspired by the city’s elderly population.

    Work by final year students from numerous courses at Bradford School of Art and Northern School of Creative Industries are on display to the public in an exhibition in the college’s Dye House Gallery between until June 15. Entry is free. For more details see the Bradford College website.

    Work on show is from students on degree courses in visual arts, graphic design, textiles, fine art, interior design, photography, media make-up with special effects and fashion.


    Anyone interested in studying at the Bradford School or Art of Northern School of Creative Industries is encouraged to come along to the Bradford College open day on Saturday 7 July, 11am to 2pm. The Dye House Gallery is in Lister Building, Carlton Street, Bradford, BD7 1AY.

  36. Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide

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    Damning UN report says three people will become displaced by the time you to read this headline...

    Violence, war and other forms of persecution forced a record 68.5 million people to flee their homes in 2017, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN has said.

    According to the new report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of displaced people around the world reached a record high.

    The UN has also revealed in a damning new report that also shows a dramatic drop in the willingness of wealthy nations to welcome refugees. Turkey topped the list of countries that hosted the most refugees last year, with 3.5 million.

    Intractable conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Myanmar were among the greatest drivers of movement, forcing people to leave their homes and in some cases their countries.


    The annual report suggests, that on average, a person became displaced every two seconds last year


    The report showed that 16.2 million people were freshly displaced last year, and included those forced to flee for the first time as well as those who had been previously displaced. This equates to some 44,500 people being pushed out of their homes every day - or one person every two seconds, UNHCR said.

    Of the 68.5 million people who were forcibly displaced, 25.4 million (with over half of them children) were refugees who fled their home countries.

    U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement. “No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”

    Syria's seven-year conflict alone had, by the end of last year, pushed more than 6.3 million people out of the country, accounting for nearly one-third of the global refugee population. Another 6.2 million Syrians are internally displaced.

    The global refugee population stood at 25.4 million at the end of 2017, the report said. That figure included 5.4 million Palestinian refugees who were under the watch of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

    Of the remaining 19.9 million refugees under UNHCR’s watch, nearly two-thirds came from just five countries: Syria with 6.3 million, Afghanistan with 2.6 million, South Sudan with 2.4 million, Myanmar with 1.2 million and Somalia with 986,400.

    The figures debunked the perception that the refugee crisis primarily affects developed nations. According to the report, low-income developing nations hosted about 85 percent of the world’s refugees under UNHCR’s watch.

    The agency said it hopes its new blueprint for addressing refugee crises, the Global Compact on Refugees, will help the international community cooperate more closely when responding to the issue.

  37. Is That All Sir?

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    Luke Patel of Blacks Solicitors

    Most commercial contracts will include a clause known as an “entire agreement clause”. This type of clause is used to signify the intent of the parties that the written terms of the contract should represent the agreement between the parties in its entirety and that it will supersede all preceding agreements, negotiations or discussions that have not been set out in the agreement. The primary purpose of such a clause is to prevent the parties to a written agreement claiming that statements made during contract negotiations, which are not included in the final agreement, constitute either additional terms of the agreement or a form of side or collateral agreement.

    Entire Agreement Clauses provide commercial certainty for the parties to an agreement as the full extent of the agreement between them is contained in one single document. Entire Agreement Clauses also prevent potential litigation between the parties, which would not only be costly but also very time consuming, as they force the parties to acknowledge that they are not relying on any statements or representations made during the contractual negotiations other than those expressly set out in the document and therefore they are effectively waiving their rights to rely subsequently upon anything said before the formation of the contract.

    Entire Agreement Causes must be reasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. If the parties are both commercial entities and the contract is made in a commercial context, it is unlikely that an Entire Agreement Clause excluding liability for pre-contract representations would be considered unreasonable. However, an Entire Agreement Clause cannot be used to exclude liability for fraudulent pre-contractual representations.

    A typical Entire Agreement Clause will state that:

    The contract is the whole agreement between the parties.

    The contract supersedes any previous agreements or understandings.

    The parties do not rely on any representation made prior to the making of the contract.

    Although the Courts will uphold Entire Agreement Clauses which are expressed in general terms, the parties should be aware of the limits to these clauses and consider whether to provide for express exclusions. If the parties wish to exclude certain liabilities or to ensure that a specific term is not implied into a contract then this should be expressly stated and they should not assume that the Entire Agreement Clause will cover the position.

    Blacks Solicitors can assist with all aspects of contractual matters from drawing up the contract to dealing with any disputes arising from the contract. Please contact Luke Patel on 0113 227 9316 or by email at “LPatel@LawBlacks.com”.

  38. Leeds student finalist for Miss Asian Face of Miss England title

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    Following her debut feature in Asian Express two years ago, an A-level student from Leeds is putting her best foot forward to compete for the Miss England title.

    17-year-old Angel Patel from Pudsey, will go up against three other gorgeous finalists to potentially wear the crown in a special category at the national beauty pageant titled ‘Miss Asian Face of Miss England’ .

    The grammar school ‘A grade’ student, first got her taste of success at just three-years-old winning ‘Child of the Year in Pudsey’, and then went on to win ‘Junior Miss Leeds’ in 2016.

    Since Asian Express featured her, she’s been using the power of her dazzling crown to fundraise for children’s charities and even travelled to Dharvi, India, one of the largest slums in the country. Not only did she visit a girl’s orphanage there donating everyday essentials including educational and personal items, she also spent the entire day living the life of the slums.

    “Being Junior Miss Leeds has really built my confidence especially in public places, I’ve enjoyed using my profile to benefit charities and fundraisers,” says a thrilled Angel speaking to Asian Express.

    “As for Miss England I was nominated by my friend to sign up. The last few weeks all came as a bit of a shock and surprise to me! It seems that at a snap of the fingers I’ve been in a whirlwind of activities - professional photoshoots, hurried dress fittings and trips to London, all while I was revising for exams at the end of my first year of A-levels,” she laughs.

    “The first stage was being shortlisted, I was shortlisted from the top 100 to the top 25,” she explains.

    “The second stage was interview round, where I was asked about beauty, brains and my qualities and what difference I would make if I was to win.

    “After the interview round we had to wait three weeks before the four finalists for Asian Face of Miss England were announced. Three weeks later I received an email giving me the news that I was finalist for Asian Face of Miss England and also a semi finalist for Miss England. It’s surreal!

    “I am quite nervous but at the same time really excited. It’s an opportunity to make new friends again. Whether I win or not, I am proud of my achievement and after the finals I want to organise a fashion show with a difference.”

    Proud mum, Nila Patel, who’s been the encouraging force behind Angel says: “What can I say about my daughter that you don’t already know? Not only has she made us proud, but has made the entire Asian community proud as a young woman ready to face challenges and battle stereotypes.

    “She has her heart set on Bollywood, let’s see how her journey unfolds. I’d like to thank those who’ve helped us put our Angles outfits and photoshoots together, and of course the Asian Express for their continued support.”

     


    Vote For Angel Patel - Miss Asian Face of Miss England

    Text MISS SF58 to 63333 (text costs 50p)

     

  39. Ramadan Robinhood raises whopping £220,000 for refugees

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    Ramadan Robinhood raises whopping £220,000 for refugees

    Haji Mohammed Shakeel Faraz with a Syrian child

    Faraz and his "A-Team" hand-delivered 4000 food parcels to Syrian refugees in Reyhanli

    “It’s a life changing experience, a lot of physical work was involved, lots of pain and bruises but my ‘A Team’ are ready to do it all again.”

    A local man has proved to be a real- life superhero by raising a staggering £222,000 during Ramadan, before flying out with his team to deliver aid to desperate refugees at the Reyhanli at Turkey/Syria border.

    It all started around four weeks ago when Haji Mohammed Shakeel Faraz over a meal with his two brothers unwittingly triggered off a conversation about literally going the extra mile for overseas charitable work. 

    Faraz, of Fastrack Solutions Ltd in Liversedge, has been a longstanding supporter of numerous local charities and is considered a community champion. 

    Known for previously fundraising £43,559 for Reyhanli and £35,516 for Bangladesh to helping Rohingya people, Faraz and his team also regularly dedicate themselves to British national and local charities such as Candle Lighters, Wishing Upon A Star, Batley Homeless Project and Cancer Research.

    “During my conversation with my brothers Waqqas and Usman over a meal, we were discussing my charitable work and what we could do in the last ten days of Ramadhan - the most rewarding days of this blessed month,” says Faraz.

    “Pretty much on the spot, I sent out a message to on my contact broadcast list if they fancy going to Reyhanli to hand-deliver food packs to the Syrian refugees. I immediately was encouraged by the overwhelming supportive response.

    “We set up a Just Giving page with a target of 100k.

    “The team panicked saying ‘it’s too much to raise in such short time and we cannot do this amount’, to which I said let’s at least try.”

    But Faraz needed not to worry, as the response himself and the team got was nothing short of phenomenal.

    The greatest reassurance people had was the explicit faith in Faraz and his promise to deliver. Being a much-respected member of the local community, he vowed to personally distribute the life-saving parcels in person to some of the 110,000 Syrian refugees that are living in make-shift camps.

    Faraz and his team also regularly dedicate themselves to British national and local charities

    “We did two car washes in Ravensthorpe at Spot On Car Wash and Formula Shine in Heckmondwike one weekend before we left. We raised a massive 40k over two days - which is unheard of.

    “Now in total, myself and my team have raised £222,000 and donations are still coming in.”

    Faraz and his team flew out on 9th June and returned 13th June and hand-delivered a whopping 4000 food packs, a thousand of which were packed by them themselves.

    “I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to bring hope to people in destitution.

    “We visited rehabilitation centres seeing those effected by the war and life-changing injuries. We did an outside Iftaar for 3000 Syrian people at the SKT Welfare flagship Springs of Hope Centre - a custom building dedicated to orphans and widows. Currently some 50 women and 150 children are sheltered there.

    “As well as food parcels we handed out hundreds of toys and sweets to the children.

    “It’s a life changing experience, a lot of physical work was involved lots of pain and bruises but my ‘A Team’ are ready to do it all again.”

    “I’d like to thank all the donors, support of family and friends and SKT Welfare - who are doing an amazing job on the ground, especially our team leader Muz.

    “The team on the ground and the system they have in place, the vetting they do so that the aid goes to those who are most needy. They operate on a 100% donation policy which means every penny donated goes on aid and the cause.

    “They have what they call a three stage process where you fundraise, you go out and pack the food packs and then distribute to the beneficiary (full on transparency).

    Special thanks to Faraz's A-Team

    “From the bottom of my heart I would like to specially thank the 24 volunteers who self-funded the trip with their own expense (biggest ever deployment team) Tabassam Zulfiqar, Mohammed Imran, Zulfiqar Nazir, Basharat Ali, Saif Cheema, Afeef Patel, Imran Hussain, Mujtaba Nabi, Mohammed Usman Hussain, Mohammad Waqqas Tufail, Shakeel Hussain, Mohammad Jawaid, Mohammed Ali Bashir, Kamar Shazad Rashid, Mohammed Matloob Hussain, Islam Chaudary, Daniel Taylor, Mohammad Ramzan Anwar, Nazim Ali, Shaban Din, Zaid Hussain, Imran Ali, Dawood Masood, Janaid Raja and the four main SKT members (Muzamal Hussain, Asif Hussain, Zubair Sharif & Majid Butt)."


    Haji Mohammed Shakeel Faraz is planning on another private deployment to Pakistan soon. Anyone that wants to get involved, please email him on m.faraz@fastracksolutions.co.uk, you can also follow our amazing journey on Instagram / snapchat:- S5HAK

  40. Friend jailed for failing to inform police of imminent terror plot

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    JAILED: Khawla Barghouth, 21, admitted failing to disclose her friend Rizlaine Boular’s terror plot

    A young married woman who knew of her friend's plans to carry out a terrorist attack in Westminster, but failed to alert police, has been jailed for 28 months.

    Khawla Barghouthi, 21, of north-west London now also faces deportation to Tunisia after she admitted failing to disclose her friend Rizlaine Boular’s Islamic State-inspired plan to authorities.

    She was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, 22nd June to two years and four months’ imprisonment.

    Rizlaine, 22, had discussed and even practised her proposed knife attack at Khawla’s home in Willesden, north-west London, shortly before her arrest on 27th April last year.

    In a bugged conversation, the women were heard laughing as Rizlaine talked about her fears that she might “flop so badly” and cut her arm by accident.

    When armed police swooped to arrest them, Rizlaine shouted “F*** you” and was shot by an officer, who thought she had something in her hand.

    FOILED: Rizlaine Boular, 22, had an Islamic State-inspired plan for a knife terror attack in Westminster

    Of her banter with Rizlaine on the day of the planned attack, Open University student Khawla said: “I did not believe the person I was with was actually going to go through with anything. When I read the transcript I was horrified how it sounds. What I can say, at the time it was extravagant talk and very stupid fooling around.”

    But passing sentence at the Old Bailey, Judge Mark Dennis QC said the defendant knew Rizlaine was serious and did nothing to alert authorities or put her off.

    He said she “failed to disclose information about an imminent attack in which a knife would be used to endanger the life of multiple individuals”.

    Rizlaine was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday, 15th June and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years, having previously admitted preparing acts of terrorism.

    Rizlaine’s 44-year-old mother Mina Dich, 44, and 18-year-old sister Safaa Boular

    Rizlaine’s 44-year-old mother Mina Dich, 44, and 18-year-old sister Safaa Boular were sentenced for their roles in planning the terrorist attacks. Mina was sentenced to an extended sentence of 11 years and nine months comprised of six years and nine months’ imprisonment and an additional five years on licence.

    Safaa Boular, Britain’s youngest female IS terror plotter, was found guilty of two counts of preparation of terrorist acts. This followed a trial and Safaa, who is the daughter of Mina and sister to Rizlaine, is due to be sentenced at a later date.

    The court heard that Boular took up the mantle from her younger sister, Safaa, who had planned to attack the British Museum after her Islamic State fiance was killed in Syria.

    The sisters had discussed it in coded chat about an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party.


    The History

    SEEMINGLY HAPPY: An earlier picture of Mina and her two daughters paint a very different picture of their lifestyle. Safaa Boular, pictured front left, with sister Rizlaine, top and their mum Mina Dich, plotted terror attacks in London.

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dean Haydon, said: "This investigation started with Safaa, and her attempts to travel out to Syria, marry a Daesh fighter and support their terrorist activity. Having been prevented from travelling to Syria, she then set about plotting an attack in the UK but her plans were being covered by the counter terrorism network and security services.

    "After Safaa was arrested and charged, her mother and sister tried to pick up where she left off. But again, working with the security services, we tracked their plans and stopped them before they were able to put them into practice.

    "All three women were filled with hate and toxic ideology and were determined to carry out a terrorist attack. Had they been successful, it could well have resulted in people being killed or seriously injured.

    "But thanks to the work of the security services and counter terrorism police, their plans never came to fruition."

    The Met's Counter Terrorism Command launched its investigation in August 2016 when police officers spoke to Safaa during a Schedule 7 port stop on her return to the UK from a trip to Morocco. At this point, Safaa - who was 16 at the time - made indications that she was planning to travel to Syria to join Daesh.

    Two days later on 22 August 2016, Mina reported them both as missing. Further enquiries led police to find and arrest both Safaa and Rizlaine at a hostel in north-west London. Both admitted that they were planning to travel to Syria in order to live under the Daesh regime, but insisted they simply wanted to live there peacefully and had no intention to carry out any terrorist acts.

    Officers seized mobile phones and digital devices from the sisters and they found several conversations between Safaa and a UK national who was fighting for Daesh in Syria. The conversations showed that Safaa was, in fact, planning to marry the Daesh fighter and included discussions between them about her wearing a suicide belt. Their enquiries also revealed Safaa was sharing and supporting Daesh propaganda material online.

    Safaa was subsequently charged on 12 April 2017 with preparation of terrorist acts in relation to her plans of joining and supporting Daesh in Syria.

    However, whilst she had been on police bail, Safaa remained in contact with the person she planned to marry in Syria. It was during this time on bail that Safaa shifted her attention from travelling out to Syria to committing an attack in the UK.

    Unbeknown to Safaa, people she was discussing her attack with online were not fellow extremists, but online role players from the security services. Believing she was communicating over encrypted and secure apps, Safaa discussed her plans and desire to get hold of firearms and grenades, or 'pineapples' as they were referred to. She also discussed with them potential targets in central London and the possibility of using a vehicle and knife to carry out an attack as an alternative to firearms.

    After Safaa was charged on 12th April 2017, she remained in touch with her mother and sister whilst on remand. It was during this time that both Mina and Rizlaine hatched their own plans to carry out an attack.

    Officers carried out surveillance of both Mina and Rizlaine, and subsequently uncovered their plans.

    Various phone conversations between Safaa, who was in custody, her sister and their mother were recorded during which they discussed plans to have a 'tea party'; their code for carrying out an attack. These conversations continued for around two weeks.

    On 25th April 2017, officers tracked Mina and Rizlaine driving in and around the Westminster area. They passed a number of major landmarks as they carried out what officers believed to be reconnaissance on potential locations for their attack.

    The following day, both Mina and Rizlaine went to a supermarket in Wandsworth, where they purchased a pack of three kitchen knives. Officers recovered the receipt for the knives after Mina threw it away and also retrieved the pack of knives and an old rucksack after Mina discarded the items in a bin on her journey home that evening. Tellingly, the largest of the knives had been retained by Rizlaine - officers believed this was the weapon she was planning to use to use to carry out her attack.

    On 27 April 2017, and still under surveillance, Rizlaine was heard discussing her attack plans with Khawla at her home in north-west London, describing how she would carry out the knife attack.

    Shortly after 19:00hrs that day, armed officers entered the address to arrest Rizlaine and Khawla. During the operation, Rizlaine was shot by police. She was taken to hospital for treatment and discharged three days later. At the same time, Mina, who was visiting Safaa in custody, was also arrested.

    Following their arrest, detectives recovered various electronic devices from both Rizlaine's and Mina's address, on which they found various Islamist extremist content including Daesh propaganda and Al Qaeda-related material.

    Both Rizlaine and Mina were subsequently charged with preparation of terrorist acts. Khawla was also charged with terrorism offences and was convicted as above after she admitted knowing about the plans, and not alerting the police or authorities to them.

     

     

  41. New garden designed to help people with dementia opens in Keighley

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    A new memory garden that has been planted with memory invoking plants and plants that will stimulate the sense of smell will support people who are affected by dementia. The garden creates an area where people can sit quietly and reflect.

    The garden, which is on Church Green in Keighley town centre was formerly opened on Wednesday 20th June by Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Zafar Ali and Keighley Town Mayor, Fulzar Ahmed.

    There is a new seating area which contains the Alzheimer’s Society logo in the paving and an information board that informs people about the garden.

    Many groups and businesses have been involved in this exciting project. It was funded by Bradford Council, Keighley Business Improvement District, Keighley Area Committee, Dementia Friendly Keighley. Keighley In Bloom, Healthy High Streets which includes Boots, the CO-OP, Marks & Spencer, Santander and the Airedale Shopping Centre were all in full support and Ideas of the project.

    The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Zafar Ali, said: “I am delighted to be opening this garden in Keighley. The Garden will benefit young and old, something which I want to be a theme during my time as Lord Mayor.”

    Saira Ali, Team Leader at Landscape, Design and Conservation, who help secure the funding, said: “We were asked to help create a garden in the town centre that would simultaneously meet the needs of people with dementia and the general population.

    “It needed to incorporate six key design principles. It needed to be familiar, accessible, legible, distinct, safe and comfortable. We were able to deliver this amazing space using funding we had secured from the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan (LTP). The objective of which is to enhance the quality of life of people living in, working in and visiting Keighley. This scheme does all that and much more!”

    Steve Seymour, Chair of Dementia Friendly Keighley, said: “It’s great to see the garden has finally been completed. It is now a space for the community to use and particularly people living with dementia. This project has been a four year team effort and without everyone’s commitment it could not have happened.”

    Sandra Kelly, of Dementia Friendly Keighley DFK, said: “We were delighted to be able to contribute ideas through our members living with dementia to this project. The garden will have colour and fragrance all year round due to the imaginative and well thought out planting arrangement. The Memory Board is great for reminiscing with some lovely pictures of landmarks of days gone by alongside a few key points about living with dementia.”

  42. Batley to host multi-cultural mushaira performance

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    Lovers of the spoken word are in for a treat with a multi-cultural performance and sharing of food, poetry and cultures.

    An event at the Pakistan Kashmir Welfare Centre, Batley, on Sunday 24 June, will see the coming together of local poets and other international and national performers at a mushaira hosted by Yorkshire influencers Ishtiaq Mir and Mehjabeen Ghazal Ansari.

    Traditionally a mushaira was a symposium where poets gathered to share their work and remain popular in Pakistan and north India, and act as a forum for free expression. Here in the UK, they also offer an opportunity to preserve traditional cultural practices, language and heritage.

    The daytime event features a line up of internationally acclaimed artists who will perform in Urdu, Gujurati, Punjabi and English at Mushaira: It’s A Word Thing, organised by Creative Scene and the Yorkshire Adabee Forum.

    Performers include retired Batley social worker Ahmad Lunat OBE, whose pen name is Ahmad Gul. A globally known name, he won the Gujurat Darpan Award for his book Ajaanya ‘strangers’ depicting his work on the modern experiences of British Muslims.

    Also appearing is rap poet Donovan Christopher, aka Rappaman, a cultural reggae artist and dedicated advocate for social justice worldwide.

    Madiha Ansari Khan, of the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, who is a local artist from Dewsbury, said: “This is an opportunity for people from different communities, who speak different languages to gather together to hear poetry.

    “No matter what language it is written or performed in, the spoken word is a reflection of the human condition, regardless of what colour, ethnicity of faith you might be from. It shows that we are all exactly the same.

    “Any sort of creativity whether it be art, literature, theatre, visual arts is just a depiction of life. That is the one thing we have in common and here we can enjoy poetry together and perhaps question the world we live in.”

    Other performers include Mukhtar Azal Karbalai, Jim Saville, Rachel Laurence, Rehena Qamar, Tamsin Cook, Umar Farooq and Usman Abdul Qayyum.

    The mushaira will include a traditional Indian lunch buffet and is part of the Great Get Together series of events, taking place across the UK from 22-24 June, in celebration of Jo Cox’s belief that “we have more in common, than not”.

  43. Zaytouna brings the world of Mediterranean food to Leeds

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    If you've got an international palate and crave world-class Mediterranean food, there's no need to wait to go abroad to eat.

    An international chef with over 30 years experience working in top hotels across the globe has captured the essence and flavours of the Mediterranean, and it’s available right here in Yorkshire.

    Head chef Mohsin has just opened the doors of Zaytouna (meaning olive) on Roundhay Road, Leeds. He uses the trusty formula of sharp service, classic Mediterranean cooking, using prime British ingredients.

    The menu features several Mediterranean classics such as charcoaled aubergine wrapped around tender lamb steak, the lamb meshwi (tender seasoned lamb chunks), as well as an ample variety of fresh stone-baked Sicilian pizzas, a fresh fish steak range, charcoal Mediterranean chicken - which is simply to die for and a selection of gourmet burgers.
    Gaining an enviable reputation for both quality and portion size, the the chefs at Zaytouna bring top quality cooking that faithfully replicates the urban street food of the region.

    “We’ve got over 30-years experience in the industry and have cheffed in top restaurants in many countries in the world.
    “We firmly believe in giving diners a meal that will both satisfy their palates and their stomach. Zaytouna is a family-friendly restaurant with ample parking available, and already has had an exceptional response from independent reviewers. We’re thrilled to have been received so well.”

    With starters including an aubergine caviar and marinated mushrooms, there are many suitable options for vegetarians, but it’s the portion sizes that really comes into top play.

    Visit Zaytouna on 311 Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS8 4HT            Tel: 0113 249 0985

  44. Southgate tube station explosion confirmed “non-suspicious”

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    Police have said said the cause of the explosion at a north London Tube station which has left five people injured was due to a faulty drill  battery. A 23-year-old man was arrested.

    Witnesses described smelling "burning rubber" and seeing "six-foot flames" at the entrance to Southgate Underground station in Enfield on Tuesday evening.

    The man was held on suspicion of an act likely to cause an explosion to injure or damage property, and endangering safety on the railway.

    The station was shut and a cordon set up after the explosion occurred at about 19:00 BST.

    London Ambulance Service said they treated three people at the scene for minor injuries while two others were taken to hospital.

    The Met responded to the incident, which is now being investigated by British Transport Police.

    The station has reopened with services running although some officers remain in the area to provide reassurance to passengers, British Transport Police said.

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the explosion had been "confirmed as non-suspicious" and praised the emergency services "for a swift and professional response".

    The arrested man, who is from Enfield, has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

  45. Finsbury Park: Minute’s silence marks one-year anniversary of mosque attack

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    Victims, emergency service workers and faith leaders joined community figures and murdered Makram Ali's family for a one-minute silence

    Survivors of north London mosque attack stood shoulder-to-shoulder for a minute's silence marking the first anniversary of the Finsbury Park terrorist attack.

    They were joined by emergency service workers who helped victims of the attack, faith leaders,  politicians and members of the public outside Islington Town Hall.

    Father of six, Makram Ali, was killed and a dozen others were injured when Darren Osborne drove a van into a crowd leaving evening prayers during Ramadan, outside the Muslim Welfare House in north London on 19th June 2017.

    Makram Ali, married with four daughters, two sons and a grandchild was killed on the night of the mosque attack

    Mr Ali was struck by Osborne's rented removals van on the night of in a race-hate killer frenzy to try to kill as many Muslims as possible in a hit-and-run rampage.

    Darren Osborne, 48, was jailed for 43 years for murdering 51-year-old Mr Ali after deliberately ploughing into the crowd on Seven Sisters Road during Ramadan.

    Victims of the Finsbury Park attack, say some people at the mosque are still afraid.

    The event was attended by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader and MP for Islington North, Emily Thornberry, the Islington South MP and shadow foreign secretary, Sajid Javid, the home secretary, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and local councillors.

    Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and other politicians also gave speeches at the event in Islington.

    Corbyn, who delivered the closing remarks after the silence, praised the response of the community. He also lauded the emergency services, the local authority and the Muslim Welfare House’s Imam, Mohammed Mahmoud, who protected Osborne from retaliation after the attack.

    Mr Ali's daughter, Ruzina Akhtar, said: "Our father, like the victims of most terrorism, was entirely innocent which makes his death in this violent way all the more hurtful.

    "He was such a peaceful and simple man, he had no bad thoughts for anyone."

    Councillor Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: "One year ago, a terrorist attack took the life of Makram Ali, injured many others, and changed the lives of all those affected.

    "This was a hate-filled, targeted attack, designed to incite fear, but instead of driving us apart it has brought us closer together.

    "I have been deeply moved to see our community stand stronger than ever to reject that message of hate and fear."

    Commissioner, Cressida Dick, said: "Today our thoughts are with Makram Ali, who died in the attack at Finsbury Park last year. A husband, father, brother, grandfather – much loved and deeply missed. In the Met we also remember all those who were injured that night and those who were caught up in the horror.

    "London is a city of many faiths and many nationalities. Our strength is our unity. The way the local community in Finsbury Park – of all faiths and all backgrounds – came together and remains so strong together is inspirational. A true reflection of our City.”

    On Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday, the words #LondonUnited were projected on to Muslim Welfare House. The same phrase was beamed on to the Houses of Parliament and London Bridge to mark the one year anniversary of the two other deadly terrorist attacks in the capital last year.

  46. Arjun Tendulkar: Sachin’s son named in India under-19 squad

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    The son of legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun, has been picked for the national under-19 team.

    The team will play five one-day internationals and two four-day matches in Sri Lanka in July.

    Sachin, who remains the most revered sportsman in India, said his son's selection "was an important milestone in his cricketing life".

    Experts have praised Arjun Tendulkar's ability to perform well in junior cricket despite intense media scrutiny.

    In an interview with BBC Sport in January, Tendulkar Jr said his dream was to play for India.

    "Yes, I'm working very hard to. That's my ultimate dream," he said.

    EARLY DAYS: Just a few years ago Sachin Tendulkar was seen giving his son some very handy batting tips

    Taller and thinner than his legendary father, when asked about the stresses of continuing the name associated globally with an icon, he says: "I don't take that pressure.

    "When I bowl I just think hit the deck hard with every ball and when I bat I just play my shots, and choose which bowlers to take on and which not to."

    Arjun Tendulkar is a left-arm fast bowler. He said he did not choose bowling consciously.

    "I just grew taller and got stronger," he explains.

    "And I just loved bowling fast in my childhood. So I thought I might as well be a fast bowler because there's not many in India."

    Asked whether his father had been a decisive influence he adds: "He helped me a lot. But he didn't force me into it."

  47. Top Cop: Bradford-born police officer awarded MBE

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    With an impressive 22-years police service tucked safely under his belt, Yorkshire and Humber’s most senior ranking Muslim officer has been awarded an MBE for services to the police and charity.

    Being selected for the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom, has left Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain glowing with community pride.

    Similar to the story of numerous Asian families in Bradford, Mabs came from very humble beginnings, and joined West Yorkshire Police in 1996. He was initially posted to Bradford, the city where he was born and raised.

    During his exceptionally progressive career, he has served in all ranks as a detective, from Detective Constable to Detective Chief Inspector, across the Force area, investigating complex and serious crime. 

    In March 2018, after a gruelling three-month course, Mabs graduated from the College of Policing Strategic Command Course qualifying him to the Chief Officer rank. As a Chief Officer of Assistant Chief Constable and above, he is one of only two Muslim officers at this rank nationally.

    Talking about the emotional challenge of only being able to spend weekends with his young children for the duration of the course, he admits: “Being a father of a six-year-old and an eight-year old, my commitments to the course have been really hard on them. It was always heartbreaking leaving the kids on a Sunday night.

    “My wife has been unwavering and outstanding in her support for me and my career, which has no doubt had an impact on her and the children.

    “My family have always been incredibly supportive in particular my parents who have always prayed for my success and wellbeing. As a Muslim I believe that has helped me choose the right path and guided me when times have been difficult.”

    Over the last deacade, Mabs says he has felt an intrinsic reward by working extensively with a number of charities, including the White Ribbon Campaign, which works to end violence against women and girls.

    Humble as always, Mabs says: “The MBE is not just recognition for me, but for the excellent work done on a daily basis by incredible people in our communities, these charities and colleagues across policing.”

    “I was both surprised and absolutely humbled to have even been nominated by the community and the charities who I have the pleasure of working with, to be recognised for my contribution to them and West Yorkshire Police, is an absolute privilege.”

    Speaking to Mabs, it’s clear that he’s had a determined vision to rise the ranks from the onset.

    Despite facing some “tricky” situations in his career when he was an operational officer (either in uniform or a detective), Mabs says that self-belief and his parent’s support urged him to remain committed to the job.

    Mabs reveals: “In the early days, I’ve been called everything you can imagine in lots of colourful language. On other occasions been called a coconut/bounty bar by Asians/Pakistani community who felt I had sold them out by joining the police.

    “How did I deal with it? Some got arrested, and I wasn’t the one spending time within the cells, with others I always remained professional, smiled and did my best to engage to challenge their views.”

    When asked about racism in the Force, he says: “I’ve never been subject to it directly - however I am not naive to dismiss that in places I have worked, people may have held prejudicial views. Lots of work has been done in across policing to address the issue.

    “As stated earlier I have had my fair share of challenges and some of them have been real and plain to see others perceived. What I have learnt is to develop my personal resilience and learnt to deal with adversity when it presented itself.

    “I have been incredibly fortunate to have had good people I could turn to for advice both within the organisation and outside of policing to get the necessary support and guidance on how to deal with the issues presented.”

    He adds that the most challenging and rewarding period in his career to date was when he worked in Leeds as the Superintendent of operations and was the temporary commander in Leeds.

    “The change programme was unprecedented in size and scale and being part of the leadership team at a time when we were forming the new operating model which is now known as Leeds District was a special time. “

    What’s next for the “Top Cop”? well, Mabs is now looking to secure a role as an Assistant Chief Constable in the very near future.

    Mabs confesses: “I am currently considering my options and looking at what opportunities maybe available if one doesn’t present itself in West Yorkshire for me.

    “I would be sad if I had to leave a force where I have invested a lot of time, energy to improving the communities we serve and have an emotional connection to.

    “However I also need to look towards my own future career and whats right for me and my family."

  48. Sukhjinder Singh Murder: Five men convicted of fatal attack

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    VICTIM: 33-year-old Sukhjinder Singh, also known as Gurinder Singh was murdered in rivalry

    Five men who used a multitude of weapons that included knives, swords and baseball bats to commit a brutal attack on a rival have been convicted at the Old Bailey following the conclusion of a trial.

    Amandeep Sandhu, 30 (01.04.87) of Townsend Road, Southall and Ravinder Singh-Shergil, 31 (18.03.86) of Colville Close, Tipton were found guilty of the murder of 33-year-old Sukhjinder Singh, also known as Gurinder Singh from Southall.

    Two other men, Visha Soba, 30 (18.10.87) of Eighth Ave, Hayes and Kuldeep Dhillon, 26 (03.03.92) North Road Hayes, were found guilty of Gurinder's manslaughter.

    Dhillon was also found guilty of witness intimidation; Soba and Sandhu found guilty of assisting an offender.

    A fifth man, Palwinder Multani, 37 (09.12.80) of Tudor Road, Hayes pleaded guilty on 10 November 2017 to manslaughter and assisting an offender.

    TOP L-R Amandeep Sandhu and Ravinder Singh-Shergil BOTTOM L-R Visha Soba, Palwinder Multani and Kuldeep Dhillon

    Multani will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 21 June; the other four will be sentenced on Friday, 22 June.

    The court heard that as far back as August 2013 there was a rivalry that existed between the victim and a group of men within the Sikh community. The rivalry escalated in July 2016 when it surfaced that Gurinder had been boasting about an assault he had committed on Dhillon at a religious festival in Birmingham. Associates of Dhillon wanted revenge.

    On Saturday, 30 July 2016 Gurinder was ambushed and violently attacked in Spikes Bridge Road, Southall by a group of men with various weapons that included knives, swords and baseball bats.

    The men chased, beat up and stabbed Mr Singh a number of times.

    Police were called and Gurinder was found suffering from a number of stab injuries. He was taken to hospital by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) where he was pronounced dead the next morning at 06:30hrs.

    A post-mortem examination held at Uxbridge Mortuary on 1 August 2016 gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds.

    On 4 August 2016 following enquiries detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command attended a storage facility in Uxbridge Road, Hayes.

    They obtained a warrant allowing them entry to a unit at the storage facility. Inside, officers found a number of items that included swords, a machete, a baseball bat and a crowbar. Many of the items had blood on them.

    Weapons recovered during the attack

    Clothing was also retrieved which again contained blood.

    A forensic analysis of those items was found to contain the DNA of Sandhu. Sandhu was forensically linked to an item of clothing, a balaclava.

    Soba was identified by a witness as the person with access to the unit and as the driver of a Volkswagen Golf entering the storage depot two days after the murder. He was seen entering the premises carrying a bag on his shoulder.

    A telephone linked to Soba was equally shown as being in touch with Sandhu on the evening of the murder. Sandhu and Soba were arrested on 4 August on suspicion of murder.

    Further analysis showed this number was also in contact with Multani immediately after the murder.

    Multani was arrested at around on 6 October 2016 at his home address and, in custody during his interview, he admitted his involvement. He informed detectives that he knew Gurinder had upset a number of people who sought revenge and he was hired by them to drive people to where Mr Singh was attacked. He stated he was paid £300 for these services. Multani was charged the following day with murder and assisting an offender.

    Singh-Shergil was located and was found to be in possession of a phone which was found to be in contact with Sandhu - he was arrested and charged on 26 November 2016.

    On 20 September 2017, Soba - who was on court bail having been charged with assisting an offender - and Dhillon were charged with murder after further information was provided by Multani.

    Dhillon was also charged with witness intimidation relating to an incident on 20 August 2017 when he approached a witness and threatened him against attending court in the upcoming murder trial.

    Detective Inspector James Stevenson, Homicide and Major Crime Command said:"These men used a shocking level of violence to exact their revenge on Gurinder at the culmination of a bitter feud. They planned the time and location of the attack through to the disposal of the weapons they used.

    "Whilst these five men have now been convicted and face lengthy custodial sentences this is not the end to this case. There are more individuals we are seeking in connection with this brutal killing and I would urge anyone with information to come forward.

    "We are determined to find the individuals who took part in the attack, we know it will not bring back Gurinder back but it will go some way in bringing a degree of comfort to his family and friends, knowing all those involved have been brought to justice."

  49. Manchester to Mumbai…

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    Jet Airways connects India to the North of England with direct flight service

    A new service aims to open up travel between India and the North of England from winter this year.

    The addition of the fifth direct service makes Jet Airways the largest carrier between the UK and Mumbai. Guests will be able to enjoy the luxury and comfort of the airline’s wide body Airbus A330-200 service.

    Given Manchester’s position as Europe’s second largest digital hub, the new service between Manchester and Mumbai is likely to benefit a large number of business travellers, as well as making travel more convenient for the growing Indian community, including both families and students. It will also connect surrounding cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield to India.

    Jet Airways will launch the first non-stop service between Manchester and Mumbai on from 5th November 2018. The service will operate four days a week including Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Manchester will become the 66th addition to the flight carrier and its 21st international destination. With the introduction of the new flight - the carrier’s fifth non-stop service to/from the UK, Jet Airways will also become the largest carrier between Mumbai and the UK.

    The launch of this new service will provide seamless connectivity to nearly 35 domestic destinations to and from India which include Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bhuj, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Aurangabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Nagpur, Rajkot, Raipur, Udaipur, via the airline’s HUB, Mumbai.

    Similarly, quick connections to beyond points on Jet Airways’ international network such as Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dhaka and Kathmandu, will now be available.

    The new service will complement the carrier’s existing three daily, non-stop services between London Heathrow and Mumbai, and once a day service between London Heathrow and Delhi. 

    The launch of the new route comes one year after the airline launched three new international services last year on 29th October to Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, from Amsterdam, Paris and London respectively. 

    Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways said: “We are extremely pleased to begin a new chapter in our decade-long relationship with the United Kingdom. 

    “The new service will bring Manchester into our global network, reinforcing our global footprint, as well as expanding the choice of connectivity to and from the United Kingdom for our guests with the four days a week, non-stop service. 

    “With the new flight, Jet Airways will have over 8,000 seats on offer every week, making it increasingly convenient for both business and leisure travelers to travel between the UK and India. This will deepen both commerce and tourism ties between the two countries”.

    Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan, who said: “I am delighted Jet Airways have recognised this by launching what I’m sure will be a hugely popular service, not least for the 500,000 people of Indian origin living across the North. 

    “Direct connectivity to the world’s most important markets is key to creating a prosperous and internationally competitive Northern economy, and a balanced and outward facing UK. 

    “This route will deliver a major boost to businesses looking to export to the world’s fastest-growing economy, as well as helping to attract Indian visitors and investors to the North. We look forward to working with Jet Airways on launching the Mumbai service in the months ahead.”

    Passengers travelling on this route will be able to take advantage of the benefits of Jet Airways’ A330-200 aircraft comprising of 254 seats including 18 in Premiere which will operate on this service. 

  50. Appeal to help find missing 13-year-old girl

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    Joanna Mohammad

    Police are appealing for the public’s help to find a missing 13-year-old girl.

    Joanna Mohammad, 13, has been missing from her home address in Westminster since 20:30hrs on Sunday, 10 June.

    Joanna’s phone is turned off and officers and family are extremely concerned for her welfare.

    Joanna was last seen wearing a light grey and royal blue jumper, blue jeans, and black Nike trainers.

    She is described as of slim build and around 5ft 2in tall.

    She may be in the company of a teenage male.

    Anyone who sees Joanna is asked to call police on 101 quoting 18MIS023055