People embarking on Christmas getaways face disruption as thousands of Border Force staff go on strike today – before another wave of industrial action on the railways tomorrow. Plus, we reveal a catalogue of errors that left a murderer free to kill.
Violent offender was classed as ‘medium-risk’
It was one of the most grotesque child killing rampages in recent decades. Now, we can reveal that a multiple murderer was left free to kill after “appalling” blunders by the probation service. Damien Bendall, 32, was given a whole-life sentence this week for killing three children and his pregnant partner with a hammer in Killamarsh, Derbyshire, in September last year – three months after receiving a suspended sentence for arson. It can now be disclosed that a probation officer who assessed Bendall’s record for the sentencing judge in the arson case has been sacked for gross misconduct after wrongly categorising him as “medium risk”. Crime correspondent Jack Hardyreports on a catalogue of errors.
Meanwhile, ambulance workers in Unison are to stage two more strikes in the dispute over pay and staffing. Members of the union in five ambulance services in England have announced walkouts in January. Health editor Laura Donnelly explains how the new wave will involve all ambulance employees, not just 999 response crews, as was the case on Wednesday. For this week’s Your View, we asked how you think NHS industrial disputes should be solved. Read the best reader responses.
PS: Christmas parcels are being stolen by doorstep thieves exploiting postal strikes and overloaded drivers. Watch video of one of the thefts.
‘The most awkward Christmas present I ever received’
Christmas is a time for giving, but not all of it turns out to be successful. Presents that fall wide of the mark are mostly met with an eye-roll or a rictus smile and promptly placed on the regifting pile, almost certainly to be forgotten. But every now and then a present is so awful it enters the realm of family folklore. Some of my Telegraph colleagues reveal the truth about the more “memorable” festive fails they have received.
Also in the news this Friday
Never-before-used powers | Nicola Sturgeon’s overhaul of transgender laws faces being vetoed after ministers said they were willing to use unprecedented powers to block it from receiving Royal Assent. The SNP pressed ahead with the Bill, which allows people as young as 16 to change their legal gender simply by signing a declaration. Moments after the legislation was passed, Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, warned that the Government was considering invoking the “nuclear option”.
Northern Ireland Protocol | Biden’s UK state visit at risk over Brexit
Events to mark 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement risk being overshadowed by row over Brexit treaty
Sources in Dublin confirmed the US president would not come to the island of Ireland unless Brussels and London struck a deal on the Irish Sea border.There are fears that the loss of a highly sought after presidential visit could cost Northern Ireland and Ireland large amounts of potential money from US well-wishers keen to invest in the peace process.The warning comes after Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, held talks before Protocol negotiations are expected to restart in earnest in January.
Capitol attack | Trump accused of ‘multi-part conspiracy’ in report Donald Trump has been accused of criminally engaging in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election in the January 6 committee’s final report on the US Capitol attack.The 845-page report, released on Thursday, claimed Mr Trump failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.The panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained millions of pages of documents.
Cambridge academics | Real reason men do not do the housework
Women do most of the chores around the home because men do not see mess in the same way, University of Cambridge academics believe.While men will look at a pile of dishes in the sink or crumbs on the counter as a mess, women view it as a job in need of doing and feel an urge to do so.This comes from a deep-rooted social training which wires the brains of men and women differently from a young age, it is thought.
By royal request | Ukrainian children sing for the Princess of Wales
The princess personally invited the school choir of Ukrainian refugees to her royal carol service at Westminster Abbey
They sang their little hearts out for their fathers back in Ukraine on the frontline. A children’s choir of Ukrainian refugees performed at the royal carol service, after being personally invited to do so by the Princess of Wales.The future queen praised the children for their “courage”, describing the school choir as a “wonderful example of how to find pockets of happiness, meaning and comfort” in the face of a conflict.The service held at Westminster Abbey last week will be broadcast on Christmas Eve and recordings sent back to Ukraine for absent fathers to watch.
Around the world: Russian space boss in hotel strike
The ex-head of Russia’s space agency was wounded when an artillery shell exploded as he celebrated his birthday in a hotel near the front line in Ukraine. Dmitry Rogozin, a flamboyant politician who was once deputy prime minister, was reportedly hit in multiple places by shrapnel and will require an operation. Two people were killed in the attack and several others were wounded, as Nataliya Vasilyeva reports.
The artillery strike caused severe damage at the hotel in Donetsk. Credit: Reuters
David Frost | Christmas offers a glimpse of a world that is lost
It is the last festival not to have been almost totally desacralised, and it is surely all the richer for it
Around the year 1400, a monk at the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, possibly one John Bardwell, wrote down what is now the only surviving text of the Christmas carol, I sing of a maiden that is matchless. The carol was seemingly well known in its day, but its memory was lost after the Reformation, and it was only rediscovered by Victorian antiquarians.
To this writing of Mr. Frost, Marcus Ampe replied:
The writer writes that “Christmas is still the last festival not to have been almost totally desacralised. For Christians, it is that moment when God steps into the world, as a character not just as the author. ” but real Christians who follow the Bible know the God of the Bible is an eternal Spirit Being, no man can see, and that this Eternal Being declared Jesus His only begotten son. Nowhere in the Bible is written that God would have come down to earth to fake His death. The position of the ElohimHashemJehovah and His promised sent one to earth are clearly described in the Bible, where also is told that incarnation is an abomination in the eyes of God (so why would he do something against a teaching he detests?)
An other fact is that Jeshua ben Joseph, the son of Miriam (Mary) and Joseph from the tribe of king David, was born on October 17 bce, when the census was taking place, the shepherds were still out in the fields and an incredible number of shooting stars were lighting up the sky.
The Bank of England has thrown its weight behind Rishi Sunak’s plan to make Britain a digital currency superpower, despite a market meltdown that has wiped more than £1 trillion off the value of crypto. Sir Jon Cunliffe, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, said he believed there was a “real benefit for the UK in terms of the technology”. Meanwhile, real wages in France are predicted to overtake British counterparts even though most employees work fewer hours.
Here is a selection of articles we think you’ll be interested in today.
A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world.
We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".
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