Kim Wall: Pint-sized journalist who packed a punch

Kim Wall's Facebook profile pictureImage copyright Facebook Image caption Kim Wall "never made a spectacle of the characters she reported on"

It is a "black irony" that Kim Wall - the journalist whose remains have been found off Denmark - should have met her end while working in such a familiar and seemingly safe area, say friends and family.

The 30-year-old freelance journalist had travelled the world in pursuit of her stories - from Uganda to Cuba to the Marshall Islands to Kenya to New York City.

At one point she even "slipped into" North Korea.

"Kim has worked as a journalist in many dangerous places, and we have often been worried about her," her family wrote in a letter to Danish TV[1] while their daughter was still missing.

"That something could happen to her in Copenhagen, just a few kilometres from the childhood home, we could not imagine at all."

Ms Wall's "pint-sized" physical presence and personal humility were misleading - the redhead was a formidable person and a driven journalist, say those who knew her.

She was born in 1987 and grew up in a close-knit community in the small town of Trelleborg in southern Sweden, just across the strait dividing Denmark from Sweden.

She studied international relations at London School of Economics and went on to gain a place on the rigorous masters programme of Columbia University's School of Journalism - described as the "Oxbridge of journalism".

Even within her cohort she was top of the class, winning honours in her year, her classmate and friend Anna Codrea-Rado told the BBC.

'Rock-solid reporting'

"What made her journalistic abilities so exceptional was that she looked for quirky stories but with a bigger narrative," she said.

"She reported them deeply - she never made a spectacle of the characters.Her reporting was rock-solid."

Her interest in people and stories made her a great party guest.

"She was very bubbly and warm, the kind of person who had fantastic stories about the things she was working on - you could jump straight past the small talk.

"She was intellectual, so well-travelled and had such varied interests.She was interested in quirky and eccentric stories.If you were at a party you'd end up passing hours just chatting to her."

This admiration has been echoed by numerous friends.

Ms Wall wrote "about subcultures, about a globalised world in rapid change", says Victoria Greve in Sweden's Expressen newspaper[4]."About life in a huge shopping centre in Kampala's Chinatown, about Cuban's underground internet providers who download and disseminate new episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians to people from all walks of life in Havana.We made a report together about the wealthy women in New York who voted for Donald Trump."

But she and others also highlight the effort and pluck needed to succeed at this genre of journalism in today's media.

Image copyright Ritzau Foto Image caption Mr Madsen and Ms Wall were photographed just before departing on 10 August

"As news organizations grapple with shrinking budgets, they increasingly rely on freelancers, who cost less and are often willing to take on the attendant risks reporting in places they wouldn't send their staff to," writes Sruthi Gottipati in the Guardian[5].

"Even against this backdrop, the competition is fierce to place stories and female freelancers work hard to ensure their gender isn't calculated as a liability.So they clam up about the dangers they face and sometimes report before being commissioned to do so."

This pressure to secure good material before there is even a formal commission could explain why no news organisation has confirmed it gave Ms Wall the assignment she died carrying out.

Friends and family have urged the world not to let the nature of her death overshadow her life.

"Please don't remember her as the murdered Swedish journalist who died in a grisly horror straight out of a crime drama," Ms Codrea-Rado said on Twitter[6].

"Remember her work."...


  1. ^ a letter to Danish TV (
  2. ^ Who is DIY submariner Peter Madsen? (
  3. ^ What we know (
  4. ^ in Sweden's Expressen newspaper (
  5. ^ in the Guardian (
  6. ^ said on Twitter (

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Wayne Rooney: England striker retires from international football

Breaking news

England's all-time leading scorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the England squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.

The Everton striker, 31, was asked by national coach Gareth Southgate to be involved in the games against Malta and Slovakia.

"Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out," Rooney said.

Rooney scored 53 times in 119 games.

Rooney's statement in full

It was great Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches.I really appreciated that.

However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me.

Playing for England has always been special to me.Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me.But I believe now is the time to bow out.

Leaving Manchester United was a tough call but I know I made the right decision in coming home to Everton.Now I want to focus all my energies on helping them be successful.

I will always remain a passionate England fan.One of my very few regrets is not to have been part of a successful England tournament side.Hopefully the exciting players Gareth is bringing through can take that ambition further and I hope everyone will get behind the team.

One day the dream will come true and I look forward to being there as a fan - or in any capacity.

More to follow....

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The League of Gentlemen to return to BBC Two

The League of Gentlemen Image caption The original members of The League of Gentlemen are reuniting The League of Gentlemen is to return to BBC Two for three special new episodes. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the comedy, which began on BBC radio before moving to TV from 1999 to 2002. Its comeback isn't a massive surprise - Mark Gatiss hinted at it[1] last year.BBC Two controller Patrick Holland described it in Edinburgh on Wednesday as a "much anticipated return". He also confirmed that Alan Partridge would return to the channel - but didn't give away any details. All four of The League of Gentlemen's original creators - Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Jeremy Dyson, and Reece Shearsmith - will reunite for the new specials. Pemberton told The Daily Mirror[2]:"I think there is still an appetite for it, people still remember it, we are all still great mates and I see no reason why not.We won't rush it, it's something we want to go get it right." Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents.If you have a story suggestion email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..[3][4][5][6]


  1. ^ hinted at it (
  2. ^ The Daily Mirror (
  3. ^ Facebook (
  4. ^ @BBCNewsEnts (
  5. ^ bbcnewsents (
  6. ^ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (

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Northern Ireland floods: More than 100 people rescued

Flooded roadImage copyright Johnny Gallagher Image caption A flooded road between Strabane and Clady in County Tyrone

More than 120 people had to be rescued in Northern Ireland after being trapped by overnight flooding.

The north west was worst affected, particularly Londonderry, as well as other parts of the county and Tyrone.

Firefighters rescued 93 people who were trapped by flood water in their cars or homes.At one point, the fire service got an emergency call every 45 seconds.

Image copyright Daniel O'Connell Image caption Flooding in Whitehouse near Londonderry

The Met Office confirmed that 63% of the average August rainfall fell within a 8-9 hours period.

The coastguard rescued more than 30 people, with helicopters being brought in from Scotland, Wales and Sligo.


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionDozens trapped in cars during flooding in Londonderry

Other people were helped by the police, ambulance service and other agencies.


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionRoads in Londonderry and the north west were hit by serious flooding

The Department for Infrastructure said a "multi-agency conference meeting" was held on Wednesday.

In a statement the Department said:"Agencies deployed all available resources, working together to respond to a very high volume of calls from the public needing assistance and distributed sandbags.

Image caption Cars stacked on top of each other in Drumahoe, County Londonderry

"As a result of houses being flooded and motorists stranded, Derry City and Strabane District Council opened several centres to temporarily accommodate affected members of the public.

"These centres remained opened throughput the night.The Red Cross and the Western Health and Social Care Trust assisted in these centres during the night.

"The scheme of emergency financial assistance, which is administered by Councils is open to all residents significantly affected by flooding within their homes."

The heavy rain on Tuesday night came after a yellow weather warning was issued for many parts of Northern Ireland.

Image copyright Johnny Gallagher Image caption Flooding in County Tyrone

All flights to and from City of Derry Airport are cancelled on Wednesday.

The fire service said it received 402 emergency 999 calls between 19:00 BST and 04:00 and during a peak period between 21:00 and 23:00 BST, they were getting an emergency call every 45 seconds.

Image copyright John O'Neill Image caption A fallen sign pointing the way to Belfast and Dungiven

"Firefighters worked in extremely challenging circumstances to reach people," Alan Walmsley of the fire service said.

"A number of roads were impassable due to flooding and crews had to take alternative routes to attend some incidents."

Ryan Gray, from the Coastguard, said:"Flood water up to 6cms in depth will take a human being off their feet and if it does so, it's very unlikely that the person will be able to stand up again," he said.

Image copyright My Omagh Image caption A landslide due to the heavy rain at the Gortin Glens in County Tyrone

"This was a metre and a half of flood water - it was lifting vehicles up and taking them down, the current of the water

"There was a little bit of panic, thankfully the rescue teams are very well trained and they managed to calm the scene down and rescue people.

Image copyright My Omagh Image caption Brookmount Road, Omagh, was severely flooded on Tuesday night

"All the emergency services - the police, fire and ambulance and Coastguard and the voluntary agencies all worked extremely well together last night in extremely challenging conditions."

Bridges collapsed on the Camlough Road near Carrickmore, County Tyrone, and on Church Steet in Claudy, County Londonderry.

Image copyright Press Eye Image caption A bridge has collapsed on the Camlough Road near Carrickmore

Dawn Grieve and her two young sons were rescued from their home[2] in the Ivy Mead area of Derry by tractor.

"I had to leave the house, I actually got a tractor ride out of there by two local boys - their mum lives at the top of our street," she said.

"I have two young boys, one is four and one is two, and we had to get out of there at about half three this morning.

"It was too bad for them - they were scared."

Image caption Storm damage at the park and ride in Drumahoe

Paul Duddy, a motorist caught up in the flooding, told BBC News NI he had "never seen anything like this in all my life".

"It was terrifying, particularly whenever I seen the water coming up over the bonnet of the car.I don't know how the car didn't stall completely."

Brigid Mullan, from Claudy, told BBC News NI she was stranded on the Victoria Road in Derry.

"We met a woman from Plumbridge who was very, very distressed so I offered to try to get her to Plumbridge.

"We didn't get near Plumbridge, we got halfway there and the roads were flooded.We had to turn.

"And it is now exactly 11.15, and we are sitting slightly above the Everglades Hotel.There is nobody to come up and advise people the length of time it is going to take."

End of Twitter post by @columeastwood

SDLP leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood tweeted that the flooding was "shocking".

"Families and businesses struggling to cope and big questions for statutory agencies.Where was the preparation?"

The Foyle Arena was opened from 23:00 BST for those affected.

The Roads Service say the following roads remain closed on Wednesday morning[5]:County Londonderry:A5 Victoria Road between Strabane and Derry, Gregg Road, Lower deck Craigavon Bridge, Drumnahoe Road, A2 Clooney Road (between Maydown and Eglinton), Ballynamee Bridge in Claudy has collapsed, Hall Road, Coleraine, Duke Street Slip Road,, Old Letterkenny Road, Strabane Old Road, Woodside Road, Church Brae, Cregg Road, Church Street, Clumber Road, Lisdivin Road, and the Ballylintagh Road.

County Tyrone:Drumeen Road, Donaghanie Road, A505 Cookstown Road, Camlough Road, Whitebridge Road, Plumbridge - bridge closed, Crockanboy Road, Grenagh Lane.

County Antrim:Dunluce Road (landslide).

Roads reopened are:Maghermason, Skeoge, Cross Border Road/Donegal, Letterkenny Roundabout, Buncranna, Glenshane Pass, passable with care, A5 Ballygawley Road, B48 Gortin Road.

Translink has said there is severe disruption on the Coleraine to Antrim railway line due to the weather.

Bus substitutions are being provided.

There are also delays to some bus services in the north west[6].

Full details are on the Translink website[7]....

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