Malta journalist death: Caruana Galizia's son hits out

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Media captionDaphne Caruana Galizia was a pillar of Malta's democracy, her friend says

The son of an investigative journalist killed in a car bomb attack in Malta has denounced what he called the country's "mafia state".

Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died in an explosion shortly after she left her home in Bidnija, near Mosta, on Monday.

She was known for her blog accusing top politicians of corruption.

"My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it," said her son Matthew, who was close to the blast.

In a lengthy Facebook post published hours after he attempted to save his mother from the burning vehicle, he accused Maltese police of incompetence and the government of "impunity".

"When the institutions of the state are incapacitated, the last person left standing is often a journalist," wrote Matthew Caruana Galizia, who is also a journalist.

He also took aim at Malta's projected image as a liberal Western nation.

"Yes, this is where we are:a mafia state where you can now change your gender on your ID card (thank God for that!) but where you will be blown to pieces for exercising your basic freedoms," he said.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Daphne Caruana Galizia was one of Malta's best-known journalists

A government spokesman, Kurt Farrugia, denied the government operated with impunity, and promised a "very tough" and thorough investigation.

Panama Papers

Daphne Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of the government and effectively triggered an early election this year by publishing allegations linking Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to the Panama Papers scandal.

Mr Muscat and his wife denied claims they used secret offshore bank accounts to hide payments from Azerbaijan's ruling family - and he was returned to power in the election, despite the controversy.

Caruana Galizia's popular blog had also targeted opposition politicians, calling the country's political situation "desperate" in her final post.

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Media captionDebris was strewn over the road and a nearby field

After her death, Mr Muscat denounced the killing, calling it an attack "on the freedom of expression in our country."

In other developments:

  • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange offered a €20,000 ($23,500) reward for information leading to a conviction.
  • The European Commission condemned the murder, calling her "a pioneer of investigative journalism in Malta".
  • The Malta Independent says that a magistrate assigned to the case requested it be taken up by someone else, because she had been the target of Caruana Galizia's writing in the past.
  • The Times of Malta reports that a police officer who celebrated Ms Galizia's murder in a post on Facebook has been suspended and is under investigation.

In his statement, Matthew Caruana Galizia said he would never forget "running around the inferno in the field, trying to figure out a way to open the door".

"This was no ordinary murder and it was not tragic.Tragic is someone being run over by a bus.When there is blood and fire all around you, that's war," he wrote.

He is a developer and data journalist at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The organisation, which won the Pulitzer Prize this year for its work on the Panama Papers, said it was shocked by Caruana Galizia's death, and "deeply concerned about freedom of the press in Malta".

Police have opened a murder inquiry and Malta has asked for international assistance - including from the FBI - with the investigation....

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Mike Samwell death: Stolen car 'driven backwards and forwards' over victim

Mike SamwellImage copyright GMP Image caption Former submarine officer Mr Samwell died in hospital from his injuries on 23 April

An ex-Royal Navy officer was run over and crushed to death trying to stop thieves stealing his car as his wife looked on, a court has heard.

Mike Samwell, 35, had been woken in the early hours by a break-in at his home in Chorlton, Manchester, in April.

He had run out of the house, and when his wife followed she found him on his back with tyre marks on his chest.

Manchester Crown Court heard he had been run over twice by Ryan Gibbons, 29, who denies murder.

"One of the rear wheels was actually on his chest.He was screaming," Alistair Webster QC, prosecuting, told the court.

He said Jessica Samwell saw her husband between the front and back wheels of the Audi S3 sports car.

"So it must have been reversed farther back over him.She could see tyre marks on his chest," he told the court.

"The car was then driven back over him before being driven away."

'Catastrophic' injuries

Mr Webster said Mr Gibbons, despite his denial, must have known he had driven over Mr Samwell.

Audio captured by a CCTV camera near the scene, recorded a "yelp.A shriek, a large crash, a small crash.Female screams, harsh engine acceleration and shouts for help", Mr Webster said.

The court heard Mr Samwell, a nuclear engineer, suffered 39 separate external injuries, with "catastrophic" damage to his chest and heart.

Mr Gibbons, of Steven Court, Chorlton, admits burglary and aggravated vehicle taking without consent, but denies murder and manslaughter.

Others involved

Co-accused Raymond Davies, 21, of Castlefield Walk, Manchester, also admitted a count of burglary but denies manslaughter and aggravated vehicle taking without consent.

He is alleged to have transported Mr Gibbons to the scene of the crime and helped him escape afterwards.

The jury was told police believe two other men were involved in the burglary but have never been traced.

Stacey Hughes, 28, of Steven Court, Chorlton, is also on trial and denies a charge of assisting an offender.

The trial continues....

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Kent fire service's Dirty Dancing parody is a hit

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Media captionKent firefighters in Dirty Dancing parody

A fire safety video featuring a Dirty Dancing-inspired version of the fireman's lift has been a hit.

The parody video features two members of Kent Fire and Rescue Service performing the famous move from the 80s classic as a novel way to test a smoke alarm.

It was shared on Twitter[1], with the message:"Nobody puts fire safety in the corner".

Since its release on Saturday, the video has had more than 1,300 retweets.

In the video, watch manager Joanne Gilham and firefighter Nathan Pavey take the places of Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze.

The video urges people to "keep having the time of your life - test your smoke alarm weekly".

Image copyright KFRS Image caption Watch manager Joanne Gilham and firefighter Nathan Pavey show their dance moves

Live:More news from Kent[2]

Kent Fire and Rescue said it was "a simple yet serious message" - although warned the public not to attempt the unusual method themselves.

Ian Thomson, head of community safety, said a "quick check" of smoke alarms every week could make a difference to lives.

"We really want people to make it part of their weekly activity.

"If you have difficulty reaching for the smoke alarm then you could use a broom handle or ask a relative or neighbour to help.

"These life-saving devices are vital in every home," he said.

Image copyright KFRS Image caption The video urges people to test their smoke alarms on a weekly basis

It is the latest in a series of similar film parodies created by the fire service.

Last month, a parody of horror movie IT urged the audience:"Don't be a clown", while in December 2015 a parody of Star Wars:The Force Awakens advised:"You don't have to be a Jedi to keep your home and family safe from fire."...

References

  1. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
  2. ^ Live:More news from Kent (www.bbc.co.uk)

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Thieves pretend to be police in Llay to target couple

wattsDyke2Image copyright Google

Thieves stole a "substantial quantity of cash" from an elderly couple's home by pretending to be police officers.

The two thieves said they needed to turn the water stop-cock off because of damage from Storm Ophelia[1] around 19:45 BST on 16 October.

After they left the couple, who live in Llay, Wrexham, noticed money missing and their closet had been searched.

Det Insp Mark Hughes described it as a "particularly mean crime against an elderly couple in their own home".

North Wales Police is searching for the two men[2] and has warned residents to "be aware of cold callers"....

References

  1. ^ Storm Ophelia (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ searching for the two men (www.north-wales.police.uk)

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Thieves pretend to be police to target elderly couple

wattsDyke2Image copyright Google

Thieves stole a "substantial quantity of cash" from an elderly couple's home by pretending to be police officers.

The two thieves said they needed to turn the water stop-cock off because of damage from Storm Ophelia[1] around 19:45 BST on 16 October.

After they left the couple, who live in Llay, Wrexham, noticed money missing and their closet had been searched.

Det Insp Mark Hughes described it as a "particularly mean crime against an elderly couple in their own home".

North Wales Police is searching for the two men[2] and has warned residents to "be aware of cold callers"....

References

  1. ^ Storm Ophelia (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ searching for the two men (www.north-wales.police.uk)

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