Afghanistan vs Ireland – Highlights & Stats

Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman (second from right) took three wickets to set up Afghanistan’s victory

Spinner Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman took three wickets as Afghanistan beat Ireland by 21 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match T20I series in India.

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Mujeeb finished with figures of 3-38, capturing the key wickets of openers Kevin O’Brien and Paul Stirling as well as dismissing Harry Tector, who had kept Ireland’s hopes alive with a knock of 37 from 29 balls.

Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan won the toss and top-scored with 49 from 28 deliveries, adding 74 in just five overs with Mohammad Nabi (27 off 17) as his side posted 184-4 from their 20 overs.

Asghar Afghan was Afghanistan’s top scorer with 49

Ireland’s chances of a successful run chase were dented by the loss of both O’Brien and Stirling in the powerplay, although captain Andy Balbirnie (46 off 35) and Tector (37) staged a recovery.

However, tight bowling from Rashid Khan (1-26) and Shapoor Zadran (1-25) meant Ireland were unable to keep up with the required run-rate and they eventually closed well short on 163-6.

The third and final match in the series takes place on Tuesday at the same venue, Greater Noida Sports Ground.

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Calls for probe into police and Foreign Office

Calls for probe into police and Foreign Office into why investigation into kidnap of Dubai ruler’s daughter from UK was dropped – as it is claimed she contacted officers while in captivity

  • The ruler of Dubai ordered henchmen to abduct Princess Shamsa, a judge found 
  • The teenager said guards injected her with sedatives and rendered her to Dubai 
  • Cambridgeshire police launched a criminal probe in 2001 and shut down in 2017 
  • Allegedly shut down amid ‘interference’ by Foreign Office – as diplomatic favour
  • British authorities are facing pressure to bring the Gulf state monarch to justice

Princess Shamsa was abducted from Cambridge after she went on the run in 2000 and the High Court has ruled her father Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum was behind the plot 

Demands are growing for independent inquiries into the roles of the Foreign Office and Cambridgeshire Police after an investigation into the abduction of a princess in Britain was dropped – as it is claimed she contacted officers while in captivity.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, a friend of the Queen, ordered henchmen to snatch his daughter, Princess Shamsa, but a criminal inquiry was dropped as an alleged diplomatic favour.

Human rights groups and politicians have called for the inquiries amid claims that Shamsa had contacted Cambridgeshire Police force in 2017 from Dubai asking for help, as reported by The Guardian.

DCI David Beck led Cambridgeshire Police’s investigation into her disappearance, and discovered the arrival and departure of a helicopter which travelled from Newmarket to France at 5am on August 20.

The officer sought permission from the Crown Prosecution Service to visit Dubai to interview potential witnesses, but his request was refused.

At a hearing in November, Princess Haya’s barrister Charles Geekie QC told the court that DCI Beck’s evidence made clear that there had been ‘interference’ in the police inquiry.

In his judgment, Sir Andrew said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had confirmed it held ‘information relating to the investigation of Shamsa’s alleged kidnapping’.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attend Derby day at Epsom in 2017 – extraordinary details about their family life have emerged in a High Court ruling published this week

But the FCO refused to disclose it, saying that ‘releasing information on this issue would increase public knowledge about our relations with UAE’ and ‘would reduce the UK Government’s ability to protect and promote UK interests through its relations with UAE which would not be in the public interest’.

Sir Andrew concluded: ‘It is not possible to find on the balance of probability that permission for Mr Beck to visit Dubai was refused because of the direct intervention of the FCO, nor, moving further still from the basic known facts, that any intervention by the FCO had been triggered by the father or the government of Dubai.’

David Haigh, a human rights lawyer, shared information Cambridgeshire Police related to both Princess Haya and her younger sister, Princess Latifa in 2018 and 2019, and tried to have their cases reopened.

Haigh told the newspaper: ‘She said ‘I was here when she [Shamsa] called us six months ago’ and I said ‘oh’ and then she said, ‘didn’t you know that?’

A spokeswoman for the force told the Observer: ‘As with any crime it is inappropriate for us to make any comment in relation to specific contact or accounts from any victim. As far as the IOPC [Independent Office for Conduct] is concerned, since the release of the public judgment the case is now subject to further review by ourselves. 

‘This will take a period of time to progress but whether a referral is required will be an area for discussion.’ 

Could the Sheikh be arrested in Britain after bombshell judgment? 

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum is free to travel into the UK despite yesterday’s humbling judgment.

Family Court chief Sir Andrew McFarlane said his behaviour, on the balance of probabilities, runs ‘contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law and internationally accepted human rights norms’. 

But his ruling has no weight in the criminal courts.

And the Sheikh would not be arrested over the alleged abduction of Princess Shamsa  because he has never technically a suspect. 

As a head of state he could also claim diplomatic immunity from a prosecution –  but Cambridgeshire Police has said today there is no ongoing investigation.

A spokesman said: ‘An investigation into the alleged abduction of Shamsa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2000 was carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2001. With the evidence that was available to us this was insufficient to take any further action. A review took place in 2017 and it was again concluded there was insufficient evidence to take any further action. This is no longer an active investigation and we are not in contact with the victim.’ 

Oxford-educated Princess Haya mounted her own escape from Dubai after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa. 

Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesperson, said: ‘The government must now establish an independent inquiry into what role the Foreign Office played in preventing that investigation going ahead. The British people must know who took these decisions and why.’

Stirling also backed an investigation into the Foreign Office’s role, saying: ‘If it disallowed an investigation into the unlawful abduction of a woman, they have sent a dangerous message to the UAE, essentially sanctioning this behaviour.’

Downing Street has insisted the Foreign Office had no role in the investigation into Shamsa’s abduction or its outcome. 

The High Court ruled this week that Sheikh al-Maktoum masterminded the raid and Sir Andrew McFarlane said his behaviour, on the balance of probabilities, runs ‘contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law and internationally accepted human rights norms’. 

Cambridgeshire Police launched a criminal probe 20 years ago but it was allegedly shut down amid ‘interference’ by the Foreign Office – as a diplomatic favour. 

It is alleged the then foreign secretary Robin Cook, who died in 2005, effectively shut down a serious criminal inquiry into a helpless girl’s kidnapping.

The force said it will look at it again – although the case still remains officially closed.

A spokesman said: ‘The burden of proof and evidential requirements are significantly different in family court proceedings to that of criminal proceedings, however, in light of the recent release of the judgement, aspects of the case will now be subject to review’. 

MPs have called for detectives to reopen the probe immediately and Tory Nickie Aiken, who sits on the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, said: I certainly think that Cambridgeshire Police should consider reopening the case’.  

Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said: ‘We’ve always believed that Cambridgeshire police needed to investigate Princess Shamsa’s alleged kidnapping for as long as there was credible evidence of wrongdoing.

‘Yesterday’s High Court judgement would appear to support the case for a fresh – or re-energised – investigation into what happened to Princess Shamsa on a Cambridge street 20 years ago.’ 


It is alleged the then foreign secretary Robin Cook, who died in 2005, effectively shut down a serious criminal inquiry into a helpless girl’s kidnapping. Tory MP and party vice-chairman Alec Shelbrooke (right) told MailOnline that the alleged ‘backroom deal’ must be probed

Cambridgeshire’s chief constable Nick Dean would likely decide whether to reopen the case, but the force said last night: ‘An investigation into the alleged abduction of Shamsa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2000 was carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2001. With the evidence that was available to us this was insufficient to take any further action. A review took place in 2017 and it was again concluded there was insufficient evidence to take any further action. This is no longer an active investigation and we are not in contact with the victim.’

The alleged ‘backroom deal’ between Tony Blair’s Labour government and the billionaire sheikh must be investigated, a senior Tory told MailOnline today. 

Princess Shamsa said armed bodyguards grabbed her, injected her with sedatives and rendered her from her father’s Newmarket mansion to France by helicopter and then to Dubai where she was tortured. She has not been seen in public in the 20 years since. 

There are growing calls for the Government to investigate and today Tory MP and party vice-chairman Alec Shelbrooke told MailOnline: ‘Once again backroom deals done by the previous Labour government – like the completely unbalanced extradition treaty with America that has now come back to bite us – are coming to light.’ Mr Shelbrooke said there should be a probe into what had gone on at the Foreign Office because ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’. 

In an astonishing ruling, Sheikh Maktoum, one of the world’s richest men, is today also exposed as having waged a campaign of ‘fear and intimidation’ against his youngest wife, Princess Haya, who fled to Britain last year fearing that he would kill her.

Then PM Gordon Brown greets Sheikh Mohammad in Downing Street in 2007 – Now for the first time, an alleged kidnap cover-up under Tony Blair’s government of 2000 can be reported.

Princess, aged 11, was being lined up for forced marriage to notorious crown prince 


Princess Haya with her daughter Jalila (with face obscured), at Epsom racecourse in June 2018

A princess aged 11 was being lined up for a forced marriage to the notorious crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, the court heard.

Known as MBS in the desert kingdom, Bin Salman allegedly ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. 

And in January of this year, he was accused of hacking the phone of the world’s richest man, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.

Princess Jalila’s’s father Sheikh Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, allegedly discussed arrangements to force her into an arranged marriage with Bin Salman in February 2019, according to her mother Princess Haya, who said it was a key reason she fled to the UK with both of her children.

Bin Salman, 34, who already has one wife, was at the centre of international outrage after he was blamed for the horrific killing of regime critic Mr Khashoggi, who was butchered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Sheikh Maktoum strenuously denied the claims. His QC, Alex Verdan, told the court: ‘None of his children have forced marriages or were betrothed at this age. There has never been such a plan, a person to whom Jalila is betrothed.

‘There have been no forced marriages. That is not what this father does with his daughters – there are about 13 of them – at this age.’

The forced marriage order has never been proven. 

 

Public officials are now facing pressure to bring the sheikh to justice, after a judge found that he orchestrated the abduction.

Following the judge’s ruling, Shami Chakrabarti, Labour shadow attorney general, said: ‘This is clearly a shocking judgment. Both Priti Patel and Dominic Raab must urgently investigate why a criminal inquiry into a kidnap in Cambridge appears to have been impeded.’ 

Now for the first time, the alleged kidnap cover-up under Tony Blair’s government of 2000 can be reported. 

Shamsa had begged British detectives to save her, but they were forced to drop the case.

The Director of Public Prosecutions at the time has denied any suggestion that the CPS had leant on a Cambridgeshire policeman to stop them investigating the abduction of the billionaire ruler of Dubai’s daughter. 

DCI David Beck, who led the force’s investigation into Shamsa her disappearance, claimed he sought permission from the CPS to travel to Dubai and interview witnesses – but his request was refused.

However, speaking at his home in Barnes today, Sir David Calvert-Smith – the Director of Public Prosecutions from 1998 to 2003 – said the CPS would have ‘no such power’ to refuse DCI Beck’s request – and denied any knowledge of the case.

Questioned about the princess’ disappearance, he said: ‘All I know is he’s a racehorse trainer or something. That’s all I know about him.’

When informed that the case unfolded while he was leading the CPS, Sir David replied: ‘That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that, I’m sorry.

‘[The accusations from DCI Beck] may or not be true, but it certainly wasn’t the Director of Public Prosecutions who leant on him. I’ve never heard of the case until you told me about it. 

‘If he wanted to go to Dubai to interview witnesses that’s up to him that’s not up to the CPS. The CPS has no power to refuse a request from police to interview a witness. I think he may be talking rubbish.

‘If the police want to interview a witness in this country – or anywhere else – they go and do it.

‘They then send the statement to us. Certainly the CPS can’t ban the police from taking statements. I think that may well be a misunderstanding, perhaps’.

In an explosive ruling following a 10-month High Court child custody battle between the sheikh and Princess Haya, it can be revealed:

  • The court found the sheikh responsible for kidnapping Shamsa from Cambridge in 2000.
  • He also sent commandos to abduct another runaway daughter, Princess Latifa, during her escape bid in 2018, the court found.
  • Both princesses were locked in a Dubai palace and remain imprisoned to this day.
  • Oxford-educated Princess Haya fled with their two young children to London after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa.
  • She feared her daughter Princess Jalila was being lined up for a forced marriage aged 11 to the notorious Saudi crown prince accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Sheikh Maktoum also discovered his wife was having an affair with her British bodyguard.

The British lawyer for Princess Latifa, David Haigh told the Guardian he would be submitting the judgment to the United Nations’ working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances.

‘We are delighted with the judgment,’ he said. ‘It’s vindication for everything we have been saying, vindication for Shamsa, Latifa and Haya.’ 

Sheikh Maktoum is pictured shaking hands with the Queen at Ascot racecourse in June 2016 alongside his ex-wife Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussein 

Princess Haya is pictured at the Court of Appeal with Baroness Fiona Shackleton, February 28

First the High Court, then the Appeal Court and then the Supreme Court all threw out his bid for secrecy, ruling the world should know what Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division of the High Court, had concluded about his ‘criminal’ behaviour 

Haigh added that he and Latifa’s close friend Tiina Jauhiainen were interviewed by Cambridge police in late 2019. 

He said: ‘It is now clear to see why Sheikh Mohammed did not want these judgments to be made available to the world. They show him as someone unfit to be in charge of children, let alone a state that is an ally of the UK.’  

Today’s bombshell revelations come after Sheikh Maktoum lost a desperate bid to keep the case secret. He hired eight top British QCs at enormous cost but they have not been able to stop his humiliation.

First the High Court, then the Appeal Court and then the Supreme Court all threw out his bid for secrecy, ruling the world should know what Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division of the High Court, had concluded about his ‘criminal’ behaviour.

In a victory for open justice, it can be revealed that the Gulf ruler’s own ex-wife fought against him for the public’s right to know the ‘evil’ secrets of the Dubai royal family.

A million Britons visit the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, each year. The 70-year-old sheikh owns Godolphin stables, a favourite of the Queen, in Newmarket, Suffolk. He and Princess Haya, 45, his sixth and youngest wife, are regulars at Royal Ascot. 

Last April, Princess Haya fled in their private Boeing 737 to Britain with their children, Princess Jalila, 12, and Prince Zayed, eight. They are now holed up in an £85million mansion in central London. 

The sheikh – who is worth £14billion – launched a High Court case to demand the ‘summary return’ of his son and daughter, but it has backfired spectacularly, with him losing his children and his wife, and his standing as an international statesman.

Oxford-educated Princess Haya mounted her own escape from Dubai after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa 

Now for the first time, the alleged kidnap cover-up under Tony Blair’s government of 2000 can be reported

Sir Andrew heard evidence from former Cambridgeshire Detective Chief Inspector David Beck who investigated Shamsa’s abduction and had requested official permission to visit Dubai to interview her.

Charles Geekie, a QC for Princess Haya, told the High Court there was ‘interference’ in the police inquiry and ‘a direct interest being expressed by the foreign secretary’. 

The Foreign Office has since admitted it ‘does hold relevant information’ on the case, but claimed it ‘would be likely to prejudice relations between the UK and other states if it was disclosed’.

In his ruling, Sir Andrew said: ‘The allegations that the father ordered and orchestrated the kidnap and rendition to Dubai of his daughters Shamsa and Latifa are of a very high order of seriousness. I have found he continues to maintain a regime whereby both of these young women are deprived of their liberty.’

Sir Andrew said Haya wanted him to conclude Dubai had ‘made representations’ to the Foreign Office ‘to bring an end to the investigation’ but it was not possible to prove this.

The sheikh did not appear or call any witnesses during the court case, and has not appealed against the findings. 

Last night he said: ‘This case concerns highly personal and private matters relating to our children. The appeal was made to protect the best interests and welfare of the children. The outcome does not protect my children from media attention in the way that other children in family proceedings in the UK are protected. As a head of government, I was not able to participate in the court’s fact-finding process. This has resulted in the release of a ”fact-finding” judgment which inevitably only tells one side.’

Sheikh Maktoum’s UK property empire that is worth more than £100m alone: From the £75m Surrey estate the billionaire uses to escape Dubai’s summer heat to the 63,000-acre Highland retreat with three helipads

The billionaire ruler of Dubai, is one of the world’s richest men and boasts a multi-million pound property portfolio, with interests, assets and ventures all over the UK.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s lavish collection of homes include a £75m Surrey estate, a historic Suffolk mansion and a sprawling Highland retreat with 63,000-acres of land. 

A friend of the Queen and a close UK ally, his collection of assets and country houses stand testament to his deep ties with the country. 

He has also ploughed his extreme wealth into construction projects and sports, including one of the world’s most successful thoroughbred horse racing stables, Godolphin, based near in Newmarket, Suffolk.

He bought Longcross estate on green belt land in Surrey in the 90s, as a place to escape the stifling summer heat in the Gulf. 

Sheikh Mohammed later snapped up the historic Dalham Hall in 2009 for £45m, to serve as a stud farm near to the famous Newmarket race course. 

His 63,000-acre Highland estate in Wester Ross was bought for £2million, 20 years ago.It boasts an incredible 58 bedrooms, a triple helipad and a 16-bedroom luxury hunting lodge. 

His property portfolio has been mired in planning disputes with his Surrey mansion at the centre of claims portable cabins had been installed without permission to house his servants, and his Scottish estate was embroiled in a row over the construction of a hunting lodge.

In other business interests, the airline Emirates, which he launched, has a shirt sponsorship deal with Arsenal, worth £200million over four years – and has naming rights to their north London stadium.

His company DP World last year acquired P&O Ferries for £322million, and in Essex he established the London Gateway. Built for £1.5billion, the deep water port on the Thames handles millions of shipping containers every year. 

Yesterday the sheikh was found by the High Court to have waged a campaign of ‘fear and intimidation’ against his youngest wife, Princess Hay and also ‘orchestrated’ the abduction of his two of his adult daughters, currently being held captive in Dubai.

Here we look at the ruler’s UK property portfolio after the damning High Court judgement:

£75m Surrey estate… complete with ‘portable cabins to house the servants’

The historic Longcross estate, near Chobham in Surrey, was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed in the 1990s as a place to escape the stifling summer heat in the Gulf. 

It was at the centre of a planning row in May 2019 over claims the billionaire had, without planning permission, installed portable cabins on its grounds to house his servants. 

A letter to planning officials at Runnymede Borough Council claimed ‘considerable development’ had taken place at the estate, which is estimated to be worth £75m. 

The historic Longcross estate, near Chobham in Surrey, was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed in the 1990s as a place to escape the stifling summer heat in the Gulf

 An aerial view of the site, where neighbours have repeatedly complained of excessive development amid a series of planning rows 

It contained photographs of at least eight portable buildings which were said to have been erected more than a year ago, as well as four pagoda-style marquees set up ‘very recently’.

Retrospective planning applications were submitted to Runnymede Borough Council, but neighbours accused the Sheikh of showing ‘cynical disregard’ for planning laws, damaging the environment and putting wildlife at risk.

The ruler of Dubai’s land is covered by an Article 4 Declaration, meaning even minor changes must receive permission from the council.

As with all of Sheikh Mohammed’s properties, security at the estate is very tight, with perimeter guards, CCTV and an inner security fence.

It was at the centre of a planning row in 2019 over claims the billionaire had, without planning permission, installed portable cabins (pictured) on its grounds to house his servants 

Fencing that has been put up by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum around his estate in Surrey

He was also accused of showing ‘cynical disregard’ for planning laws by erecting the 6ft 6in-high spiked metal fence without planning permission.

Locals had said the fence was totally inappropriate for the area and blocked vital wildlife corridors between Chobham Common and the previously open estate.

But he was later granted retrospective approval by Runnymede Council for the £75million security barrier condition openings are made every 90ft to allow wildlife to pass through.

Former Suffolk home of diamond magnate Cecil Rhodes that now produce’s the Sheikh’s thoroughbred horses 

Sheikh Mohammed snapped up the historic Dalham Hall in 2009 for £45m, to serve as a stud farm near to Newmarket race course. 

It was previously owned by diamond magnate and colonial adventurer Cecil Rhodes, who bought it after reading in the game book that 1,700 partridges had been shot there during the first four days of the 1901 season – but he died before he could move in.

The grade II-listed house is eight miles west of Bury St Edmunds and comes complete with 3,300-acres of land. 

Construction of the house was started in the early 18-century by Bishop of Ely Simon Patrick, before it was converted into a stud farm in 1928. 

During his studies as a young man in nearby Cambridge  Sheikh Mohammed attended his first race meeting at Newmarket where he watched Royal Palace win the 2,000 Guineas in May, 1967. 

Ten years later, Sheikh Mohammed’s own involvement with international racing began when his horse won in Brighton in June, 1977. 

In 1992, Godolphin, one of the world’s most successful thoroughbred horse racing stables, was founded. It currently owns two large facilities in Suffolk and produces some of the most sought-after stallions in the sport. 

It has other facilities the UAE, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Japan and the US – and has won 6,000 races across the world, including 315 prestigious Group One races.

Sheikh Mohammed frequently attends major horseracing events such as Royal Ascot, where he has been pictured with Queen Elizabeth II. 

Sheikh Mohammed snapped up the historic Dalham Hall in 2009 for £45m, to serve as a stud farm near to Newmarket race course

Sprawling 63,000-acre Highland estate with three helipads at the centre of ANOTHER planning row over a new laundry 

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s 63,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands boasts a 14-bedroom holiday mansion and a triple helipad. 

But that wasn’t enough for the Dubai ruler, who has been at the centre of yet another planning row over his desire to build a hunting lodge and a laundry to clean his guests’ clothes after they’ve been on shoots. 

A source said of the laundry application: ‘It’s important to have a laundry here to ensure that garments are pressed and prepared clothes to the highest standard.

‘The Sheikh is extremely proud of the estate and this is an essential part of the ongoing expansion and ensure that the Sheikh and family ensure their high presentation standards. The family certainly don’t want to have dirty garments.’

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s 63,000-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands boasts a 14-bedroom holiday mansion and a triple helipad

His estate, which is the size of 31,500 football pitches, has a 16-bedroom luxury hunting lodge complete with a swimming pool and gym. The Sheikh purchased the site roughly 20 years ago for £2million.

He also recently won planning permission for 28 more bedrooms at the Inverinate retreat – bringing the total to 58.

In October, neighbours accused the billionaire of using his royal status to push through the controversial plans for a second hunting lodge on the estate.

Thirty residents claimed it would destroy their local community and the beauty of the area.

He was then force to downsize his plans for the fourth time, with planners yet to make a final decision. 

 

A dramatic escape, an affair with a bodyguard and a £5.2m battle royal: How British-schooled Olympic horsewoman Haya bint al-Hussein took on her potentate husband Sheikh al-Maktoum after fleeing to the UK

It was a cloudless evening in April last year when a luxury private jet glided in to land at Farnborough airport near London.

Her Royal Highness Haya bint al-Hussein stepped off the opulently-appointed Boeing 737 – and became the third princess to flee one of the world’s richest and most powerful families.

And so far Princess Haya, the glamorous 45-year-old Oxford-educated youngest wife of the ruler of Dubai, is the only one to have successfully escaped.

Disembarking into the crisp British air after the seven-hour flight from Dubai, she kept her two young children close.

Princess Haya of Jordan. The sheikh and Haya had long been a fixture in British high society and are independently both friends of the Queen

Her Royal Highness Haya bint al-Hussein, the glamorous 45-year-old Oxford-educated youngest wife of the ruler of Dubai, is the third princess to flee one of the world’s richest and most powerful families

By car, they were whisked into central London where, shortly before midnight, they swept through the black iron gates of an £85million mansion in central London which she had bought in February 2018 without her husband.

The daughter of Jordan’s late King Hussein, Princess Haya was quite unlike any of Sheikh al-Maktoum’s five other wives.

Her mother, Queen Alia of Jordan, died in a helicopter crash when she was two, and she was sent to England to board at £30,000-a-year Bryanston.

She went up to Oxford to study philosophy, politics and economics at St Hilda’s College, where she met ‘open-minded people who were prepared to debate anything’.

The princess competed in showjumping at the 2000 Olympics for her country and has been a goodwill ambassador for the UN world food programme.

The sheikh now has to suffer details being made public of his young wife’s extramarital affair with her British bodyguard, former infantry soldier Russell Flowers (circled)

She also had a fun side, confessing to a penchant for ‘raunchy’ Jilly Cooper novels and mixing a love of Chanel with high street clothes.

Last year the sheikh – unaware his wife was fleeing him in fear of her life – had been waiting for her and their children at his sprawling estate in Newmarket, Suffolk, one of several enormous homes the 70-year-old monarch owns in the UK. They never turned up.

Russell Flowers at Royal Ascot in June 2018 

The sheikh and Haya had long been a fixture in British high society and are independently both friends of the Queen.

His Godolphin stables at Newmarket are one of the world’s most successful racing organisations, and she is a racehorse owner in her own right. 

It was only hours before the sheikh twigged that his young wife – once the ‘liberal face of the monarchy’ in Dubai but who had drifted into an affair with her British bodyguard – had left him. 

Worse, from his perspective, she had taken their daughter Princess Jalila, then 11, and son Prince Zayed, then seven.

Ensconced behind the walls of their bullet-proof London mansion, Princess Haya received a cryptic message from one of her husband’s associates about a wife being ‘slaughtered in anger’.

It was part of a sinister ‘campaign of fear and intimidation’ the sheikh had been waging against his young wife. The couple had ‘not enjoyed an intimate relationship with each other for a significant period of time’, according to yesterday’s judgment, but it was Haya’s discovering the truth about her husband’s ‘torture’ of his two older daughters, Shamsa and Latifa, that split them apart.

It was Haya’s discovering the truth about her husband’s ‘torture’ of his two older daughters, Shamsa (pictured) and Latifa, that split them apart

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, June 16, 2016 in Ascot

Her husband – who once told her ‘nothing happens here if I don’t know or command it’ – did not welcome her interest in the princesses, she said. Twice she found a gun on her bed which she took as a death threat.

In early February last year, there was a chilling telephone conversation with the sheikh in which he cruelly suggested Zayed was ‘a desert boy – in a few months we will take him from you, you will see’.

Then in March, he told his youngest children: ‘We don’t need your mum any more, do we?’ The children replied: ‘Yes we do’, the court ruling revealed. Sheikh Maktoum responded: ‘No, we don’t need her’.

On March 11, a helicopter landed on Haya’s lawn, and one of the security guards told Zayed: ‘Bubba is angry with Momma. He is going to send her to the jail’. The princess said her young son clung to her leg with terror. It was a ‘warning’, the court heard.

Princess Haya’s husband – who once told her ‘nothing happens here if I don’t know or command it’ – did not welcome her interest in the princesses, she said, one of whom was Latifa (pictured)

On April 15, in ‘utter terror’, Haya took her children and fled to the UK in fear of her life.

Today a team of smartly-dressed bodyguards wearing earpieces accompany her and the children everywhere, on the infrequent occasions they dare leave the safety of their mansion.

One of the former British police chiefs responsible for her protection was himself threatened by a representative of the ruler of Dubai in London.

The High Court ruling says that, despite his significant experience, the officer was ‘seriously troubled and concerned about the threats’. In public, nothing was said about the seismic rupture between two of the most powerful ruling dynasties in the Middle East and the ramifications for diplomatic relations within the region and between Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

Less than a month after her midnight flit, the fugitive princess was meeting the Queen at Windsor Castle. A month after that, in June, it was the sheikh’s turn to join Her Majesty, at Royal Ascot.

But behind the scenes, a menacing domestic drama was unfolding as the sheikh – trained at Sandhurst-precursor Mons Officer Cadet School – sent an army of top-flight British lawyers to the Royal Courts of Justice in London to demand the ‘summary return’ of his children. The millionaire princess recruited her own fearsome legal squad.

The lifting of the veil of secrecy shrouding the case means the details of the extraordinary marital feud have burst into the open.

Just as humiliatingly for the sheikh, he also now has to suffer details being made public of his young wife’s extramarital affair with her British bodyguard, former infantry soldier Russell Flowers.

The relationship began at some stage in 2017/18. Matters did not come to a head until early 2019 when Haya claims her husband phoned her and said: ‘I have received bad news about you. I have heard that you are sitting in the palace with the British security (a reference to the bodyguard). I am starting to doubt you.’

The sheikh and Haya had long been a fixture in British high society and are independently both friends of the Queen. Pictured: The sheikh and Haya at Ascot in 2012

Sir Andrew said in his ruling: ‘The effect of this call on the mother (Haya) was chilling. She says, ‘I was terrified’.’

After she fled to Britain in May that year she claimed her husband sent her a message saying: ‘You and the children will never be safe in England.’

Haya asked the High Court for, and was granted, a ‘non-molestation order’ – a law designed to help victims of domestic violence.

The couple’s unprecedented London court clash cost £5.2million, it is estimated.

The sheikh hired Lady Helen Ward, who handled Guy Ritchie’s split from Madonna. On Princess Haya’s side was Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, known as the ‘Steel Magnolia’, who represented the Prince of Wales in his divorce from Diana, Princess of Wales.

As the case unfolded, Haya attended every hearing, flanked by flamboyantly-dressed Baroness Shackleton, and did not flinch when she climbed into the witness box to swear her oath on the Koran.

Even before his estranged wife took the stand, the sheikh was desperately looking for a way out. He had started the High Court case, but had rapidly lost control of it.

His children were formally made wards of the court, meaning all significant decisions in their lives were now in the hands of the judge.

He was apparently aghast at the prospect of being dragged into the court. As with most family court hearings, the judge wanted the father to give evidence in person.

Under no circumstances, the message came back loud and clear, was this Arab statesman going to subject himself to such a spectacle.

With reverse gears crunching, the sheikh tried to pull out of the case. It could not be reported at the time, but he completely abandoned his demand for the ‘summary return’ of his children.

Yet still the case went on, with Sir Andrew refusing his permission to withdraw and making clear he still had to make ‘findings of fact’ in order to inform future decisions about the children’s welfare.

During the ensuing ‘fact-finding’ hearing, Haya’s claims went uncontested because the sheikh’s entire legal team walked out of court.

Eventually the case would backfire on the sheikh spectacularly, leading him to lose his children, his wife – and his standing as an international statesman. 

How ‘£1m’ prizefighter QC fought for Dubai ruler against team led by Prince Charles’s divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton in ‘£5.2m’ courtroom battle royale

The ruler of Dubai hired ‘prizefighter’ top QC Lord Pannick for a bumper £1million, the Daily Mail understands.

The astonishing amount for Lord Pannick QC, one of the best lawyers in Britain, was agreed when he was recruited by the ruler to revive his case.

He is one of eight QCs hired by the billionaire Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s, along with five junior barristers and large teams of solicitors from two firms. 

The legal costs for all sides in the case – which has involved some 17 QCs – is estimated to be £5.2million.

Lord Pannick, described in a profile in The Times as a ‘prizefighting legal titan’ successfully represented businesswoman Gina Miller in her Supreme Court challenge last year about the government’s prolonged prorogation of parliament.

David Pannick QC arrives at the Supreme Court in central London, on the second day of the hearing into the decision by the government to prorogue parliament on September 18, 2019. He is one of eight QCs hired by the billionaire sheikh, along with five junior barristers and large teams of solicitors from two firms

When asked to comment on claims that he was receiving a £1million fee, Lord Pannick said to the Mail: ‘I never comment on my fees – whether what you have said is accurate or inaccurate.’

On the other side of the courtroom, Princess Haya, the Sheikh’s ex-wife and opponent, headed her team with Charles Geekie QC, a leading family law silk, with a focus on matters involving children. 

According to the Legal 500, a directory of barristers in the UK, Mr Geekie is ‘renowned for his handling of extremely complex and sensitive children matters.’

‘[He] routinely engages in cases relating to sexual, emotional and physical abuse,’ the review adds.  

Instructing Mr Geekie was Princess Haya’s solicitor, Baroness Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his 1996 divorce of Princess Diana.  

Baroness Shackleton’s fees for divorce cases have been reported at over £500 per hour.  

Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, the wife of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and her lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton arrive at the High Court in London, Britain at the end of February 

In addition to the royal divorce, Baroness Shackleton represented Sir Paul McCartney in his split from Heather Mills in 2008, where legal bills exceeded £100,000.

One of Shackleton’s former clients revealed the Baroness had charged £95,000 for advice on a child support case. The case was later dropped and the client paid his own costs. 

Princess Haya, 45, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, who is wealthy in her own right, was in court to apply for her children to be made wards of court. 

She also asked the High Court in London to make a series of findings of fact about Sheikh Mohammed, in particular in relation to the kidnap and forcible detention of two of his adult daughters from another marriage almost two decades apart. 

She was also applying for a forced marriage protection order in relation to Princess Jalila and a non-molestation order for her own protection.  

The princess studied philosophy and economics at Oxford University and is a keen equestrian, representing Jordan at the 2000 Olympics.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, who abducted and detained two of his adult daughters against their will almost two decades apart, a High Court judge has found

The mother-of-three attended almost every hearing, flanked by Baroness Shackleton and a security detail, but Sheikh Mohammed did not attend one. 

Sheikh Mohammed’s legal team insisted prior to the fact-finding hearing that the ruler ‘could not and would not’ attend to give evidence.             

Lord Pannick told the court that, if the fact-finding went ahead, Sheikh Mohammed’s lawyers would ‘play no active part in these proceedings’.

But Sir Andrew refused to allow him to withdraw, after Mr Geekie told the court that it would not be right that ‘the father’s wish to avoid the scrutiny of the court should deployed in order to reduce the protection that is available to the children’.   

Timeline of the legal battle between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussain 

The High Court in London has published rulings relating to the legal battle between Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his former wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussain of Jordan.

Here is a timeline of events in the case.

July 15, 1949 – Sheikh Mohammed is born in Dubai.

May 3, 1974 – Princess Haya born in Amman, Jordan.

August 15, 1981 – Princess Shamsa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is born to Sheikh Mohammed, who has several wives.

December 5, 1985 – Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is born.

Summer 2000 – During a visit to England, Shamsa runs away from her family and seeks immigration advice to try and stay in the UK.

August 2000 – Shamsa is taken from the streets of Cambridge by men working for her father. 

She is taken to her father’s home in Newmarket, before being taken by helicopter to France and then to Dubai. She has not been seen in public since.

March 2001 – A woman claiming to be Shamsa contacts Cambridgeshire Police, saying she has been taken from England to Dubai.

December 2001 – The Guardian publishes an article suggesting Shamsa has been abducted from the UK.

April 2004 – Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya are married.

December 2, 2007 – Al Jalila born.

January 7, 2012 – Zayed born.

February/March 2018 – A video of Latifa is uploaded to the internet, in which she gives a detailed account of important events in her life. She also describes what she knows about her sister Shamsa’s time in England and her subsequent abduction.

December 6, 2018 – The BBC broadcasts a documentary called Escape From Dubai: The Mystery Of The Missing Princess.

February 7, 2019 – Sheikh Mohammed divorces Princess Haya under sharia law without her knowledge. She says this date, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of her father’s death, is deliberately chosen to ‘maximise insult and upset to her’.

April 15 – Princess Haya travels to the UK with Jalila and Zayed.

May 14 – Sheikh Mohammed issues proceedings at the High Court in London seeking the summary return of his two children with Princess Haya to Dubai.

May 22 – First High Court hearing before Mr Justice Moor – the media, who are unaware of the hearing or even the proceedings, do not attend.

July 16 – On the eve of a ‘scoping hearing’ to consider media issues before Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division of the High Court, Princess Haya issues applications to make the children wards of court, for a forced marriage protection order and for a non-molestation order.

July 17 – Three journalists attend and lawyers for Sheikh Mohammed apply for them to be excluded. Sir Andrew says the hearing is relatively short while those in court ‘simply scope out what lies before us’ and to consider what information, if any, should be given to the media. The judge adds that the parties will issue a short statement explaining the nature of the proceedings.

July 18 – With the permission of the court, the parties release the following statement: ‘The parties to these proceedings are HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances.’

July 30 – At a hearing to work out issues, including the question of media reporting and to how to proceed to a final hearing to determine the welfare issues, Sir Andrew allows the media to report that Sheikh Mohammed has applied for the summary return of the children to Dubai, and that Princess Haya has applied for the children to be made wards of court, for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order.

November 12-13 – Sir Andrew conducts a hearing to make findings of fact in relation to Princess Haya’s allegations against Sheikh Mohammed.

December 11 – The judge delivers his ruling on the fact-finding hearing. However, strict reporting restrictions preventing its publication remain in force.

January 17, 2020 – The judge delivers a ruling on a series of ‘assurances and waivers’ given by Sheikh Mohammed to Princess Haya. He also conducts a hearing to determine whether his earlier rulings should be made public.

January 27 – Sir Andrew concludes that his earlier rulings should be published, but the publication is postponed pending a Court of Appeal challenge by Sheikh Mohammed to this decision.

February 26 – The Court of Appeal hears Sheikh Mohammed’s challenge.

February 28 – Three leading judges dismiss his appeal and refuse to grant him permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. The stay on publication remains in force to give the father chance to make a fresh challenge to the Supreme Court.

March 5 – The Supreme Court announces that it has refused permission to appeal and all previous rulings are made public. 

The judge’s conclusions are that Princess Haya was subjected to a sustained campaign of fear and intimidation by her former husband. He also finds that Shamsa and Latifa were abducted on their father’s orders.

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Coronavirus patient, 36, seen in bio-containment unit in Nebraska as US cases hit 447 with 19 dead – The Sun

SHOCKING images show a coronavirus patient, 36, being carried in a bio-containment unit in Nebraska as US cases hit 447 with 19 dead.

The woman was snapped being wheeled from an ambulance by two medics in biohazard suits at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha.

The victim reportedly traveled to England with her dad last month before feeling ill two days before flying home.

Doctors say they are still trying to piece together where she went and who she had contact with in the 10 days since she arrived back in the US.

The patient was the first to test positive for the disease in the state as the deadly bug continues to spread across the country.

Indiana, Minnesota and Pennsylvania also recently reported their first cases as the number swelled to 447, with cases in about half of the states.

The virus killed two in Florida as the US death toll surged to 19.

RISING DEATH TOLL

There have been 16 coronavirus deaths in Washington state, and the other fatality came in California.

A cabbie was yesterday confirmed as the 76th case in New York, with Governor Andrew Cuomo declaring an official 'state of emergency'. That number has since risen to 89.

The driver visited a Queens emergency room Tuesday with flu-like symptoms, but he left the hospital for a period because he wasn't diagnosed immediately with coronavirus.

He returned, however, when his condition worsened, according to the New York Times.

The delay in diagnosis led to more than 40 hospital staff members initiating a self-quarantine to try to prevent the spread from going further. The cabbie was also quarantined.





An attendee at a conference attended by Donald Trump and Mike Pence also tested positive for the virus.

Organisers of the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference insisted the patient did not come into contact with the president or vice president, nor did they attend events in the main hall.

The American Conservative Union added that the Trump administration "is aware of the situation" and will "continue regular communication with all appropriate government officials."

Extreme measures are now being taken to control the spread, including the NBA considering playing games without fans in attendance and the popular South by Southwest festival in Texas, otherwise known as SXSW, being cancelled.

Palm Beach health director Dr. Alina Alonso told the Palm Beach Post: "We expect that we will see the numbers will continue to rise.

"That's normal. That should not be alarming people."

Meanwhile, a stranded cruise ship quarantined off the California coast will finally be allowed to dock.

Twenty-one people on the Grand Princess tested positive for the deadly virus as the vessel remained at sea for more than two weeks.

The ship will dock in Oakland on Monday giving sick passengers a chance to receive medical treatment.

The nearly 3,000 passengers on board will be screened and taken to isolation facilities in their home states, authorities said.

Many of those on board said they didn't even know about the coronavirus cases in their midst until Vice President Mike Pence announced it during a news conference.






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Beware of scammers sending fake coronavirus emails and texts to try and steal your personal details – The Sun

SCAMMERS are cashing in on coronavirus fears by targeting people with fake emails that are designed to steal your bank details.

A cyber security company is warning that the fraudsters are using scaremongering tactics to get you to hand over your personal information.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

Security expert Javvad Malik from KnowBe4 warns that tricksters often use a serious global incident to increase "phishing" fraud.

This is where fraudsters pretend to be a reputable entity or person in an attempt to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails, texts and websites.

It can be a request from your bank or a note from someone in your company — all to make you click a link or download an attachment.

So far, the company has seen around a dozen different scams that have been sent to email addresses globally claiming to be from organisations such as The Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local hospitals.



The emails offer information about the spread of the virus and ask you to click on a link to find out more.

"Perhaps the most shocking phish that we've seen purports to offer a "vaccine" for the coronavirus," Javvad told The Sun.

"In reality, authorities say that a real vaccine may not be ready to another one to two years."

One of the emails claimed that the link directed the user to an "updated list of new cases around your city".

How to protect yourself from fraudsters

ACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:

  • When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
  • Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls – watch out for these.
  • You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.

Another, claiming to be from WHO, asked users to click through to find out safety measures in the local area.

In a bid to convince the user that the email is genuine, it has been signed from a Dr Shelia Chungong.

But in reality, these links take you to websites run by hackers in an attempt to get you to hand over your personal details.

One of the emails seen by the cyber security team claimed to be from tech giant Huawei, asking employees to "login" to an unknown system to let the company know that are safe.

The link looks genuine, until you hover over it with your mouse and see that the URL is completely different and untrustworthy.

Javvad added: "If anyone receives such an email, they should never click on any links or open any attachments in them. Nor should they reply."

Instead, you should report it to Action Fraud either by phone on 0300 123 2040 or online here.

There have been over 85,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, in countries including the UK, Spain, Thailand and France.

You can find out more information on the latest on the outbreak on our live blog here.

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Meghan Markle adopts styling trick used by Kate Middleton on tour

A grand union! Meghan Markle adopts styling trick used by Kate Middleton on royal tours by wearing the national colours of the British flag during her final official appearances

  • Meghan Markle, 38, has stepped out in red, white and blue outfits over last week
  • Paid homage to the national colours of the UK with her final royal appearances 
  • Comes after Kate Middleton, 38, showed off similar trick during Ireland tour 

Meghan Markle has adopted a styling trick used by Kate Middleton on royal tours by wearing the national colours of the British flag during her final official appearances. 

The Duchess of Sussex, 38, paid homage to the country as she stepped out in red, white and blue outfits over the past few days. 

She donned a turquoise Victoria Beckham dress for her first appearance back in UK since announcing her plan to step back from royal duty, opted for chic white and cream pieces while visiting patronages, and selected a bold red gown for the Mountbatten Festival of Music. 

The styling tactic comes days after Kate Middleton, 38, showed off a similar trick during her royal tour of Ireland. 

Meghan Markle, 38, adopted a styling trick used by Kate Middleton, 38, during royal tours as she paid homage to the national colours of the UK on her post-Megxit appearances (pictured, the Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour awards on Thursday night) 

During her last few public outings, the Duchess has tipped her hat to the UK’s national colours. 

On Thursday, Meghan made time to stop off at the National Theatre, which was one of the last places she visited before relocating to Canada in January. 

For her return to the venue, Meghan showed her support for the British high street by wearing a £29 white Topshop blouse with chiffon sleeves.

The royal wore the blouse tucked into a cream pencil skirt by Roland Mouret and  carried a Loewe handbag.

The Duchess has selected a number of red, white and blue outfits during her royal appearances over the last week as she prepares to step back from life as a senior member of The Firm (pictured, at the National Theatre on Thursday) 

And that evening she stepped out in a stunning £950 azure blue dress by Victoria Beckham and a navy Lucia Plexi Clutch by Stella McCartney for the Endeavour Awards. 

Meanwhile last night she wowed in a  red full-length £1,295 Safiyaa dress, jewelled Simone Rocha earrings, and gorgeous red Aquazurra heels for the Mountbatten Festival of Music.    

During her royal tour of Ireland last week, Kate showed off a similar trick and indicated she was in the Irish spirit by opting for a series of green outfits with Shamrock charm jewellery. 

And she adopted a similar tactic by wearing Pakistan’s national colours while visiting the Aga Khan Centre in London ahead of her visit to the country. 

Meanwhile she opted for a bold red gown while attending the Mountbatten Festival of Music Royal Albert Hall in London last night 

The tactic to pay homage to the country one is visiting has served Kate well over all manner of royal tours.

Honouring the country she’s visited with her sartorial choices is a trick Kate learned from the Queen, who has always given a nod to the national culture with her clothes, be it a brooch or the colour of her hat. 

Meanwhile Meghan has become famed for her love of chic and elegant monochrome clothing and simple styling. 

The styling trick is one used by Kate to pay homage to the country one is visiting with the Duchess of Cambridge adopting the tactic last week in Ireland (pictured in Dublin last Tuesday) 

The appearances over the last week have marked the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ first official trip to the UK since announcing they would be stepping back as senior royals.

The couple have had a number of appearances scheduled which will culminate tomorrow when they will join senior royals including the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Commonwealth Day service in London.

It is thought these will be Harry and Meghan’s last official duties before their royal roles officially come to an end on March 31. 

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Arsenal ‘keen on John Stones transfer with Arteta willing to meet Man City’s £50m fee for England defender’ – The Sun

ARSENAL are reportedly ready to meet Manchester City's demands for John Stones with Mikel Arteta keen to strengthen at the back.

TEAMtalk claim the Premier League champions are eager to recoup the £50million they spent on the England defender from Everton in 2016.

Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham and Stones' former side Everton have also been listed as registering an interest in the centre-back.

Arteta knows the 25-year-old well from his time as Pep Guardiola’s No 2 at City, but the move would prove a major U-turn for the Spaniard.

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Chinese takeaway begs people not to stay away over coronavirus fears

Chinese takeaway begs customers not to stay away over coronavirus fears with sign reading ‘not been to China in over 20 years’ as UK cases hit 209

  • Pearl River in Reading, Berkshire, displayed sign due to a slump in business 
  • Comes after schools in the county closed due to teacher having Covid-19 
  • The diagnosed teacher worked at Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley
  • Prompted others to close down to carry out precautionary deep cleans  

An Asian takeaway restaurant has put up a sign begging customers not to stay away amid coronavirus fears.

The Pearl River in Reading now displays a notice reading ‘not been to China in over 20 years’.

It comes after a 75-year-old woman was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Wednesday with Covid-19 symptoms.

Pictured: The sign that Pearl River is displaying as Covid-19 fears grip the community in Reading, Berkshire 

A 10-minute drive from the hospital, the business is one of many Chinese takeaways reporting a sharp drop in takings since the virus broke out in Wuhan.

The Pearl River’s sign reads: ‘Important Notice. The staff and owners of Peal River have not been to China for over 20 years’. It adds: ‘All ingredients are sourced within the UK from an EU source.’

A loyal customer of Pearl River posted a picture of the poster on social media asking people to ‘please continue to support a local Chinese takeaway’.

The post continued: ‘When I picked up our order tonight, Pearl River in Emmer Green has posted this at their premises, due to a drop off in business, thanks to unnecessary prejudice around coronavirus.’

Pearl River (pictured) in Reading, Berkshire, has suffered a slump in business due to the coronavirus fears 

A teacher at Willow Bank Infant School four miles away in Woodley has tested positive for coronavirus.

Willow Bank Infant School and Willow Bank Junior School have since been closed to allow for a deep clean.

The confirmed case of coronavirus has prompted other schools to close in the area including Aldryngton Primary School in Earley, Reading, and Great Hollands Primary School in Bracknell which have closed for a ‘precautionary’ deep clean.

China town in Soho, central London, (pictured) has also suffered in recent weeks but customers have started to return to the food hub 

  

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Harry Potter and Call The Midwife star admits she’s "p****d off with being fat"

Miriam Margolyes, who is currently starring as Sister Mildred in Call The Midwife, reveals the biggest lessons she's learnt in life, in her own words:

I don’t think I’ve changed in my central personality since I was a kid.

When I was younger I was naughty, mischievous, rude, greedy. And I still am.

People think I’m a funny little person, but I’m not.I’m terribly serious, actually.

I worry about the world and life and me and the future and I get angry about things. They don’t see the melancholy.

One of the problems about being on amusing shows is you’re expected to be amusing all the time, and life isn’t amusing all the time.


  • Call The Midwife could run for another 10 years, producer says

  • Miriam Margolyes swears live on air describing being scolded by the Queen

I’ve never planned anything. It’s all been frightfully haphazard.

The only thing I ever planned was a one-person show, because I decided I wasn’t being appreciated enough as an actress.

If nobody else was going to employ me, the only way was to employ myself.

People are my therapy. When I’m with people I feel happy, positive, interested, and taken out of myself.

Every interaction you have with other people leaves some residue in you, nobody is untouched by social intercourse.

The way we react to each other refines and defines us.

I’m lucky in that what I do has enabled me to meet real people who have different sorts of lives from mine.

I don’t care about what people think aboutsomethings – like my politics – because I know I’m right.

If they think I’m ugly they’re wrong, because I’m not. I know that. I’m not beautiful and I’m not even pretty, but I’m not ugly.

If they say, ‘She’s got a fat tummy,’ how can I care? It’s true. But people thinking I’m giving a good performance? That, I care about.

I’m p*ssed off with being fat. I always thought it was my fault, but I’m not sure now.

I think it’s something in my head. I’m really uncomfortable in my own skin.

But I don’t see there’s any point going around being a moaning Minnie about it.

My biggest regret is I didn’t lose weight young and I still haven’t lost it.

I shouldn’t be fat at 79. It’s absurd.

I care about my health, I don’t care about looks, because I don’t expect people look at me below the t*ts.

They look at my face, eyes, hair, my energy, and listen to my voice. Those are the things I’ve managed to maintain.

I’ve been with the same woman for 52 years, I really love her and that’s a great anchor in my life.

The secret is not living together.

We did for a short time, but mostly we haven’t because she works in Holland. It’s worked for us, because we’re both involved in what we do and have no children.

I never wanted kids. They’re a nuisance.

If I say c*** or f*** people can’t deal with it, and that’s a pity as I don’t think that’s a terrible thing. There’s a lot worse.

Harvey Weinstein is bad. My saying f*** is not.

I was the first person to say it on TV, on University Challenge. That was my Starter For 10.

Life is not the dress rehearsal.

Every night is the first night, so you have to be on top of your game every day and make the most of it. You can’t just sit back and expect something to happen.

If the only thing interesting in a job is the money, and you’re not poor, you mustn’t do it. I was offered Strictly Come Dancing. Ridiculous. I was asked if I wanted to be considered to take over from Sandi Toksvig on Bake Off.

I can’t think of anything I would rather do less than be in a room with a frying pan and a saucepan.

I’m not interested in cooking. I love being asked to supper, but to have anything to do with the preparation?

It was kind of them to think of me, but no.

You worry less about what people think of you when you’re old. I always wanted to be liked. And I am liked, so what was I worrying about?

If you go on gabbling and talking, in the end there’s nothing left. That’s a bit of a worry.

It’s something I fight against. I love being on Graham Norton’s show, but it’s scary because I never know what I’m going to say. Last time I talked about foreskins. I never would have imagined such a thing.

But hell, I’m grateful that I can shout my wares and people will listen.

On my tombstone will be ‘A woman of valour’, a Jewish expression about courage, facing up to whatever life puts in front of you. It’s got a bite to it, hasn’t it?

My Secret Snapshot

My mother was an absolutely colossal influence on my life, a huge personality.

She was a businesswoman, she could sing and dance and act in an amateur capacity.

She was in the finals of the Golden Voice competition of 1936, which was like The Voice in those days.

She was passionate and loved me with all her heart, she gave me confidence and I’m sure none of this would have happened without her.

We were three, just Mummy, Daddy and me, and she said, ‘You tell me everything and you don’t speak about anything outside the house, we are a fortress.’ Not a particularly healthy way of carrying on, but that’s what she was like.

When I look at this photo I weep. Everybody but me is dead. Whisky my dog is dead and Mummy is dead. She had a stroke and it felled her, it was awful.

She died in 1974 and a bit of my life just shut down after that. I absolutely adored her.

She would have been overjoyed about my success, but it didn’t happen until she was long dead.

Miriam's Big Fat Adventure starts on Monday, 9pm, BBC2

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Tennessee tornado claimed life of ‘hero’ dog whose last act was alerting pastor and family to deadly twister – The Sun

A HERO dog saved the lives of his loving family before dying in the havoc caused by deadly tornadoes in Tennessee.

Darrin Crockett's dog, Doc, kept incessantly barking during the early hours of Tuesday morning and woke up the pastor, who then prayed to God asking for the family dog to be quiet.



"I remember praying, 'Lord, I know you're sovereign over all things, so could you please make our dog quit barking and make him shut up'," he told the Baptist and Reflector.

"But I think the Lord had other reasons for the dog barking."

Moments later, Crockett's phone buzzed and he noticed an alert warning for the storm.

He quickly ushered his wife and three daughters to safety in the laundry room of their home before a second alert was issued five minutes later – this time, it was a tornado warning.

"We heard it coming and suddenly the house began to shake," he said.

"Next thing I remember is I felt grass underneath me.

"The tornado must have picked up the entire house dropped it in the yard with us buried underneath it."

A two-by-four board that fell across a turned-over washer and dryer is what saved his family from being crushed, Crockett said.

The family of five escaped with minor scrapes and bruises, but unfortunately, Doc didn't survive.

Although the Crocketts are grateful to be alive, they're now grieving the loss of their beloved pooch in the aftermath of the killer twisters.

"He will go down as a hero," the pastor said.

"We will celebrate him and talk about him for a long time."

Crockett shared a heartfelt post to his fallen furry friend on Facebook Friday morning.

"Missing this guy…" he wrote.



"Supercell" tornadoes ripped through the Nashville area on Tuesday, killing at least 25 people and injuring more than 150 in its path of destruction.

The carnage in Music City marked the deadliest tornado event in the US since 23 people were killed in Lee County, Alabama exactly a year before in 2019.

Several celebrities, including Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton, showed their support for Tennessee's capital city shortly after the devastating news broke.




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Spoilers: Romantic Summer Bay wedding coming up in Home and Away

Alf (Ray Meagher) and Martha (Belinda Giblin) have been in a good place lately, although Alf has been thinking about how short and precious life is after recent tragedy in the Bay with Robbo (Jake Ryan) and Mason (Orpheus Pledger) passing away. The two organise a candlelit vigil to mark the events.

As they watch the vigil, Alf turns to Martha and asks how she’d feel about marrying him again. He is stunned when Martha turns snippy and says it’s a big decision to make, walking away and leaving him alone and confused.

Later, Roo (Georgie Parker) is confused when Martha and Alf are acting strangely. When she finds out Alf asked Martha to marry him, she is overjoyed, but confused when she discovers Martha didn’t give him an answer.

Roo gets her mother alone, and Martha tells her Alf didn’t ask her very romantically – it was more like he was asking for a cup of tea. She reveals she doesn’t think Alf really meant it, and was just emotional due to all the events in the Bay at the moment.

Roo gets to Alf and tells him that Martha was caught off guard and doesn’t think his proposal was genuine. Alf says it was pretty obvious he did mean it, but Roo says they just need to talk it through.

Alf tells Martha he’s been thinking about proposing for months now, and realises he needed to pick the time and place more wisely. After some heartfelt words, he makes a second proposal, dropping to one knee…

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