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Iran plane crash: Tributes to three British nationals killed

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi

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Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board

Tributes have been paid to three British nationals who died when a Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran.

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners, BP engineer Sam Zokaei and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board the flight.

They were among the 176 people from seven countries who died in the crash.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

The airline said the plane underwent scheduled maintenance on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesman said the UK was “working closely with the Ukrainian authorities and the Iranian authorities” over the crash, and there was “no indication” the plane was brought down by a missile.

As well as the three Britons, the victims in the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians – including all of the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans, Ukraine foreign affairs minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.

Tributes were paid locally to Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh, 40, who ran a neighbourhood dry cleaners in Hassocks, West Sussex, and had a nine-year-old daughter.

Steve Edgington from the pet shop next door said he had known Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh for 14 years, and described him as a lovely, hardworking man who was good at his job and loved by staff.

Savvas Savvidis, 36, who rented a room in Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s home in Brighton, said he was a “super-nice person”.

“It’s so sad. Before he left we had a conversation, he told me that he spent all his life working, working really hard, and now finally he wants to start to enjoy life a bit more.”

Mr Savvidis described Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh as a humble man who loved his daughter very much.

The dry cleaners closed on Wednesday, with neighbouring businesses telling the BBC that staff were too upset to stay open.

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A sign on the window of Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s dry cleaners in Hassocks

Meanwhile, in a statement, BP said “with the deepest regret” that its employee Mr Zokaei, 42, from Twickenham, was among the passengers.

Mr Zokaei had been on holiday. He had worked for BP for 14 years and was based at the company’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends,” BP said.

A friend of Mr Zokaei, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC they were “still in shock”.

“He was a highly accomplished person. Very clever and very friendly. Always smiling and full of positive energy. He will be sorely missed.

“He was always trying new adventures. He cycled and toured Europe on bikes a few times. He also loved travelling to interesting far out places.”

Also killed was Mr Tahmasebi, 35, who worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rourke in Dartford.

Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also listed as a passenger on the plane.

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Mr Tahmasebi, pictured here last Valentine’s Day, recently married his partner

“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by this very tragic news,” said Laing O’Rourke.

“Saeed was a popular and well respected engineer and will be missed by many of his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time and we will do all we can to support them through it.”

‘Humble and generous’

Mr Tahmasebi – whose full name was Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi – was also a part-time PhD student at Imperial College London’s Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “We are deeply saddened at this tragic news. Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi was a brilliant engineer with a bright future.

“His contributions to systems engineering earned respect from everyone who dealt with him and will benefit society for years to come.

“He was a warm, humble and generous colleague and close friend to many in our community. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both said their thoughts were with the families of those killed.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman has said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.”

They said it was “urgently seeking confirmation” about how many British nationals were on board and would be supporting any families affected.

Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.

Ukraine’s state aviation service has forbidden its national airlines from using Iranian airspace from Thursday, with the restrictions in place until an investigation into the cause of the crash has concluded.

Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran and Iranian state television both initially said technical issues caused the crash.

But the embassy later removed this statement and said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.

Ukraine said its entire civilian aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.

The country’s president warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.

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Flowers were laid outside the Canadian embassy in Kiev in remembrance of the 63 Canadians on board the flight

Ukrainian International Airlines said the flight disappeared from radar just a “few minutes” after take-off.

The Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were “clarifying the exact number”.

“The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” a statement said.

The airline, which is investigating the crash, said the aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.

There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”.

A statement from Boeing said its “heartfelt thoughts” were with all those affected following the “tragic event”.

There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC.

This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.

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Norwich City 1-1 Crystal Palace: Connor Wickham scores late VAR-awarded equaliser

Connor Wickham’s strike was waved offside on the field but awarded by VAR

Crystal Palace substitute Connor Wickham scored a late equaliser awarded by video assistant referee to deny bottom side Norwich a much-needed victory at Carrow Road.

Wickham’s strike after turning in Wilfried Zaha’s cross was initially disallowed for offside, but a check by VAR showed the striker was being played on by an outstretched Norwich boot.

Palace had struggled to create against a resolute Canaries defence – who remain without a clean sheet at home this season – after Todd Cantwell put the hosts in front after only four minutes.

But Norwich ultimately paid for not scoring a decisive second, having come close several times, with Emiliano Buendia drawing a fine save from Palace keeper Vicente Guaita and Kenny McLean hitting the underside of the crossbar.

A renewed Palace surged forward in search of a late winner but Norwich held firm to avoid further damage.

But the Canaries are now five points adrift at the bottom of the table following Watford’s win over Wolves earlier on Wednesday.

More to follow



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London’s City Hall provides Christmas meals for homeless

Sadiq Khan hands out food

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Sadiq Khan helped serve 100 Christmas Dinners to guests at City Hall

Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.

Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.

Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.

“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.

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Claire said she had been “looking forward” to the Christmas Dinner

Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.

“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”

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Guests were treated to rendition of carols by the London International Gospel Choir

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Around 100 people who use London’s homeless services were invited to City Hall

Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.

But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.

“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.

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Sadiq Khan said “it is shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do”

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Guests were given a three-course Christmas Dinner

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.

“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.

“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.

“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”

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Free opticians services were put on by charity Humanity First

Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.

There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.

Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.

Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.

“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”

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London Bridge shot might have passed through bus

A ricochet from a police bullet could have passed through the entire top deck of a bus during the London Bridge terror attack, pictures reveal.

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This previously unpublished picture shows London Bridge soon after the attacker was shot – with the bus on the right that was hit

The police have suggested a ricochet could have hit the bus, stopped near to where attacker Usman Khan was shot.

And a picture given to BBC News by a man on the bus directly behind shows a round hole and a shattered back window.

But a closer examination of other photos from the bridge reveals a hole in the front window of the bus as well.

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The front window of the bus appears to have been hit – with a forensic examination taking place

The man, who does not want to be named, believes the bus he was on was also clipped.

He was at the front of the upper deck when he saw, heard and felt the impact of the back window of the bus in front shattering, and immediately dived to the floor.

“We are talking about a split-second of noise,” he said.

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The picture given to BBC News by the man on the bus directly behind shows a round hole and a shattered back window

“In no more than a half-a-second I was on the floor.”

Armed officers shot Khan after he had been tackled by members of the public using improvised weapons including fire extinguishers and a narwhal tusk.

Khan had been chased from nearby Fishmongers’ Hall, after a knife attack in which he had killed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who had been working at a prison rehabilitation event at the hall.

Dr Rachel Bolton-King, associate professor of forensic science at Staffordshire University agreed the ricocheted bullet could have passed “through one window, through the length of the bus and out the window at the opposite end of the bus”.

“Ricochet bullets are often unstable once they have hit their first target surface,” she said.

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Getty Images

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A close-up shows the hole in the front window of the bus, along with the reflections of nearby buildings

They could continue “nose on” in the normal direction of flight but could also be deflected sideways or into other angles.

And investigators would be able to find the direction of travel by examining the front and back surfaces of the window.

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Getty Images

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Forensic investigators examined the damaged bus

Philip Boyce, of forensic services company Forensic Equity, said the bullet could have entered through the front window and glanced off the ceiling of the bus before going out through the back.

Ricochets could carry for hundreds of yards, depending on the surfaces they hit but well within the distance between the bus and the site of Khan’s shooting, he said.

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And their path could be altered by what they hit or passed through, such as laminated or toughened glass.

An inquest opened last week and the Independent Office for Police Conduct is carrying out an investigation.

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Jaden Moodie: Accused killer ‘carried knife for safety’

Jaden Moodie

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Jaden Moodie was allegedly dealing drugs for a gang when he was targeted by a group of men

A man accused of murdering a 14-year-old boy sold drugs for a London gang so he could “survive”, and would carry a knife for “safety”, a court has heard.

Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, north-east London, on 8 January.

Ayoub Majdouline, who is accused of being one of five men who carried out the attack, told the Old Bailey he had sold drugs since he was 16 years old.

The 19-year-old, from Wembley, denies murder and possession of a knife.

The court has been told Jaden was selling drugs for the Beaumont Crew, also known as Let’s Get Rich, when he was attacked by a group of men who were looking for a rival gang member to attack.

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Ayoub Majdouline denies murdering the teenager and possession of a knife

Jurors heard Mr Majdouline had a troubled upbringing in Leyton and his parents had split up when he was seven.

While living with his mother, he was abused by his stepfather so went to live with his aunt, the court was told.

However, that relationship broke down and he ended up in foster care. His father also died in 2015.

The court was told he had been identified as a victim of modern slavery by the National Crime Agency (NCA) over concerns he was being exploited by older youths.

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The jury has been told five men took part in the attack on Jaden Moodie

Giving evidence, Mr Majdouline said he sold drugs “for and with” the Mali Boys gang, including as part of county lines dealing in Basingstoke, Ipswich and Andover.

He told jurors he was previously jailed for drug and knife offences but went straight back to dealing “to survive”

“At the time I did not feel like I was being supported by social services and I never lived by myself before,” he said.

He added that he got “confused” sorting out jobseekers’ allowance when he turned 18 and dealing had been “the only way I knew how to make money”.

Explaining why he carried a knife, Mr Majdouline said he had been “sliced” on one occasion in Basingstoke so carried a blade “for my own safety”.

The trial continues.

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Mujeeb Ur Rahman: Middlesex re-sign Afghanistan spinner for T20 Blast

Mujeeb Ur Rahman has taken 20 wickets in 16 T20 games for Afghanistan

Middlesex have re-signed Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for next season’s Twenty20 Blast campaign.

The 18-year-old took seven wickets in 10 games last season and will be available for all 14 of their group stage matches in 2020.

Mujeeb made his debut for his country at the age of 16 and featured in this year’s World Cup.

“I enjoyed my time at Middlesex so much, so I am very pleased to be coming back,” he said.

Meanwhile, the club have awarded England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan a testimonial year in 2020.

The 33-year-old made his debut for the county’s first XI in 2005.

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Tottenham: Jose Mourinho appointed after Mauricio Pochettino sacked

Jose Mourinho: Watch the new Tottenham head coach’s classic moments

Jose Mourinho has been appointed Tottenham manager after the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho has signed a contract until the end of the 2022-23 season.

“The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me,” said the 56-year-old Portuguese. “Working with these players is what has attracted me.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said: “In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.”

Mourinho will hold his first news conference as Tottenham boss at 14:00 GMT on Thursday.

Lille coaches Joao Sacramento and Nuno Santos will join his backroom team, the French club have confirmed.

Tottenham will be the third Premier League club managed by Jose Mourinho

Tottenham reached the Champions League final last season under Pochettino, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool in Madrid.

The Argentine, who was appointed in May 2014, did not win a trophy in his time in charge of the north London club, with Spurs’ last silverware being the League Cup in 2008.

Levy said Mourinho has “a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician”.

“He has won honours at every club he has coached,” he added. “We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”

Mourinho still has a home in London and won three Premier League titles – in 2005, 2006 and 2015 – as well as one FA Cup in two spells at Chelsea.

Having taken over at Manchester United in May 2016, he won the Europa League and Carabao Cup with them in 2017.

Mourinho was sacked by the Old Trafford club in December 2018, with the club 19 points behind league leaders Liverpool, and had not managed another side before joining Spurs.

He has also previously managed Portuguese side Porto, where he won the Champions League in 2004.

At Italian club Inter Milan, Mourinho won a league, cup and Champions League treble in 2010 and was named Fifa’s world coach of the year, while he led Spanish team Real Madrid to the La Liga title in 2012.

He takes over a Spurs side that are without a win in their past five games and have slipped to 14th in the Premier League, 20 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 12 matches.

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust had said “many fans thought Poch had earned the right” to try to turn around the side’s form and that “there are questions that must be asked of the board”.

Following Mourinho’s appointment, it said it had “concerns about how Jose and our club’s executive board will work together”.

It added: “The club must ensure it does not find itself in the same position in two or three years’ time, and we need to hear from the executive board what the long-term thinking behind this appointment is.”

Mourinho’s first match in charge is a trip to West Ham United on Saturday (12:30 GMT kick-off).

Spurs go to Manchester United on 4 December, and host another of Mourinho’s former teams – Chelsea – on 22 December.

Mourinho has turned down a number of managerial opportunities, including in China, Spain and Portugal, since leaving Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s Man Utd ups and downs

Analysis

BBC sports editor Dan Roan

Spurs have never hired a manager as expensive or demanding as Mourinho, nor spent the kind of money on players that he became accustomed to at clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United.

But Spurs have come a long way in recent years under Pochettino. They have a new £1bn stadium and training ground, and spent four successive seasons in the Champions League.

They now have a European pedigree, and a hugely talented squad.

Mourinho has been out of the game for almost a year but retained a home in London.

His tribulations at Manchester United saw him lose his ‘Special One’ status, but his many achievements in the game still command widespread respect.



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‘Free Tommy Robinson’ march violence images released

Images of nine people wanted by police

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Met Police

Images of 10 people the Met want to find after violence broke out at a “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration in central London have been released.

More than 20 officers and members of the public were injured as protesters blocked roads and threw missiles during the march in Whitehall on 9 June, 2018.

Detectives had to trawl through hundreds of hours of CCTV and videos to identify those involved.

Fourteen people have already been jailed over the violent disorder.

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Met Police

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Police are appealing for the public’s help in identifying 10 people

Referring to the incident where scaffolding and glass bottles were thrown at police, Det Sgt Matt Hearing said: “We are extremely keen to identify these individuals, who were involved in serious disorder which resulted in a number of police officers getting injured.

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Protesters gathered in large numbers outside the Old Bailey in 2018

“Whilst we will always facilitate lawful protest, the actions of some individuals on that day showed a total disregard for the law and it is important that all those involved are brought to justice.”

Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in currently serving a nine month sentence after being found guilty of interfering with the trial of a sexual grooming gang at Leeds Crown Court in May 2018.

The nine month sentence includes six months for the Leeds Crown Court offence last year and another three months for contempt of court, following a suspended sentence given at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.

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Man admits to trying to rob Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac

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Media captionFootage posted online showed Sead Kolasinac fighting off an attacker

A second man has admitted trying to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac in a moped ambush.

Jordan Northover, 26, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to steal watches from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.

His co-accused Ashley Smith, 30, of Archway in North London, admitted his role in the crime in October.

CCTV footage showed Bosnian defender Kolasinac chasing off the two masked attackers on 25 July

In the video, that circulated on social media, 26-year-old Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.

He can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.

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Arsenal Football Club said both Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil were fine after the incident

In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at full-back Kolasinac.

World Cup winner Özil can also be seen in his black Mercedes G class jeep before he reportedly took refuge in a Turkish restaurant.

Kolasinac and Germany midfielder Özil were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the incident.

Judge Rosa Dean said Smith would be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.

Northover will be sentenced at a later date.

Özil told the Athletic sports site that he was scared for his wife Amine as the attackers pursued his car.

“Sead’s reaction was really, really brave because he attacked one of the attackers,” he said.

“I tried to move the car, block them, escape, but each time they would be there. My wife was extremely scared.”

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