Mild bump to head increases risk of psychiatric problems and early death

first_imgSuffering even a mild bump to the head can leave people at greater risk of psychiatric problems and early death, a study shows.Researchers at the University of Oxford and Imperial College studied more than a million people born since 1973 in Sweden and followed them to see how head injuries impacted their lives in the coming decades.They found that people suffering even a mild traumatic head injury – defined as leaving them feeling dazed or confused – were 60 per cent more likely to have died in the studied period than people who had no injury.They were also 91 per cent more likely to have been hospitalised for a psychiatric problem, 55 per cent more likely to have done less well in education and 52 per cent more likely to have needed disability benefit.Around one in 10 people are thought to have suffered from some kind of head injury when they were children or in early adulthood.The study authors say that parents should keep a close eye on their children following a head injury to make sure they are not falling behind at school and contact doctors if the start noticing any unusual behaviour.They also recommend that individuals who have suffered serious injuries should receive close follow-up interventions after medical care. Young boys play rugby  Children offer suffer head injuries in contact sports like rugby Prof Seena Fazel, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford said: “People who have very mild head injuries can still have persistant problems later on.“We know that at the time there are the external forces are changing the structure of the brain. You can see it twisting and turning inside of the brain and that can cause all kind of damage. Stretching and damage to the nerve cells themselves. It does change levels of neurostransmitters“There needs to be some systems in place for follow up of individuals. In children it may well be that where there are deviations from their educational trajectory or health trajectory that people seek advice about what measures can take place.” Around one million people attend hospital in Britain each year following a head injury.  The risk of a poorer outcome in later life seemed to be greater in those injured when 15 years old or older, suggesting that until then the brain may be better at repairing damage.The team found that as injuries got worse so did outcomes. Those with the most severe head injuries were twice as likely to be hospitalised with psychiatric problems and died early. “One of the implications of these findings is the importance of developing preventive interventions for early exposure to head injuries,” the authors conclude.“In toddlers and preschoolers, these interventions should ideally be targeting improved parental supervision, as falling is the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in this group.“Prevention of sports-related concussions in older children could focus on changes to rules so that the risks of players colliding their heads with each other and with equipment, eg, heading soccer balls or getting hit in the head by a racket, bat, or stick.”Prof Huw Williams, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Exeter, said: “This does not mean we should be banning children from playing contact sports but care is needed, especially in managing a child’s return to play, so that they don’t get injured again“We also need to make sure the rules are followed – more than 20% of concussion injuries in rugby appear to happen during foul play.”The research was published in the journal PLOS Medicine.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Brain injury graphic  One million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries last_img read more

Police who use position for sexual gain may face new criminal sanctions

first_imgNew criminal sanctions aimed at targeting police who use their position for sexual gain are being considered as an investigation revealed the potential scale of abuse.More than 150 cases of alleged sexual misconduct are currently being investigated by forces across England and Wales, while 400 complaints have been made in five years, it has been revealed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In terms of prevalence, my impression is that most of the forces have had some sort of investigation into these serious crimesDetective Superintendent Ray Marley Retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight this week Detective Superintendent Ray Marley, the standards manager for the College of Policing, told the paper “most” of the 43 forces in England and Wales have had “some sort of investigation into these serious crimes, where there has been abuse of position relating to a vulnerable person”.He said when compared with the 124,000 total number of officers, the number of cases was low but added: ​“These cases, where you have got vulnerable people and abuse of them from within the service… are grossly inappropriate and have a significant impact on public confidence.”The Law Commission, which reviews and recommends reform of law to Government, launched its second public consultation on the law of misconduct at the beginning of September.A spokesman for the Commission said:  “We are currently out to consultation and are keen to hear views.”Our proposals clearly seek to take into account this issue and a number of case studies are included in the consultation. We also ask the question about whether there should be wider reform of the Sexual Offences Act in relation to sexual exploitation of vulnerable people more generally.” The figures, which were revealed by The Times following a series of Freedom of Information requests, include officers who have been accused of raping victims after they reported a crime. Some of the alleged offences, which also include harassment and sexual assault, took place in police stations.The investigation by the paper also revealed some officers faced minor sanctions for serious alleged sexual misconduct, while others resigned from their posts before misconduct hearings were organised.It comes as The Law Commission revealed it was debating whether the law of misconduct in public office should be strengthened in relation to officers who abuse their position.The Times was told a law punishing police officers who embark on relationships with victims of crime is being considered. Retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight this weekCredit: West Midlands Police This week, retired West Midlands Police sergeant Allan Richards was convicted of 40 sex offences against children as young as eight in a catalogue of abuse spanning four decades.Birmingham Crown Court heard Richards twice used his trusted position to lure youngsters to a police station and attacked his first victim when he was running a football team as a teenage Scout leader in the 1970s.The 54-year-old was convicted on Friday of carrying out nine indecent assaults against six boys aged between 11 and 15 at camps, swimming baths and other locations, between 1982 and 2003.For the first time it was also be reported that Richards had already been found guilty earlier this year of a further 31 sex offences against other boys, including two rapes, going back as far as the 1970s. These cases have a significant impact on public confidenceDetective Superintendent Ray Marleylast_img read more

Drunken girl gang jailed after posting sex attack of amateur footballer on

first_imgI sentence three people for glorifying in the humiliation and degradation of a fellow human beingJudge Graham Knowles A drunken gang of girls who took Snapchat photos and videos of a “ritualised humiliation” sex attack on an amateur footballer has been jailed.Brogan Gillard, the 26-year-old ringleader of the group, was filmed dancing around the victim’s naked body as she cut his hair, sliced onions over him and sexually assaulted him with a pair of scissors.Paige Cunningham, 22, and Shannon Jones, 20, also posed for “trophy photographs” with the unconscious 19-year-old victim and a Snapchat post showed one girl holding the man’s penis. In another she makes a gun with her fingers and points it at him. Mother-of-three Gillard ignored the crying of her children upstairs as she and the co-accused sexually demeaned their victim, whose mother phoned his mobile during the attack and heard “girly screams”.The court heard in his victim impact statement that he has flashbacks and suicidal thoughts and feels anxious.Gillard has a string of previous convictions, including arson, false benefits claims, harassment of a neighbour, theft, and drink driving. Cunningham, a mother of two, has previous for battery, theft, shoplifting and assaulting a police officer.All three pleaded guilty to sexual assault. Gillard also pleaded guilty to unrelated child cruelty charges.Mitigating for Gillard, Sharon Watson, said her client had been drunk and did it as a joke, but admits it is “deeply unpleasant, disturbing and upsetting”. Two of her children have now been adopted, it was added. Mitigating for Cunningham, Mike Brady, said she is remorseful and “it was a sexual assault in unique circumstances”.Brian Williams, for Jones, who has no previous convictions said she has little memory of that night because she was very drunk and had taken drugs. “She was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people,” said Mr Williams.All three must sign the sex offenders register and are subject or restraining orders. The purpose of the drunken exploits was to demean and humiliate for their own pleasureFrancis McEntee The drunken girls picked up the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, in a bar in Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.Prosecutor Francis McEntee said the victim had met his girlfriend in Barrow on November 28, 2015, but after an argument he continued drinking alone in Healey’s Bar.The three girls met him and lured him back to Gillard’s home in Keith Street, where they plied him with vodka until he lost consciousness. They stripped him by shredding his clothes.The next he recalled was waking up naked apart from his shoes on his doorstep at 5.25am, where his mother found him clutching his shredded jeans over his private parts.“His hair had been cut off in clumps and he literally fell in through the front door,” said Mr McEntee.He was said to be semi-conscious and screaming “get them off”. He had no clear recollection of the evening, but felt “significant pain”, the court heard. Paige Cunningham, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison Shannon Jones arrives at Preston Sessions House Courtcenter_img The video was shared on social media and was seen by their victim’s girlfriend, Preston Crown Court heard. Gillard then joked about using carrots and onions in the sex assault on Facebook.Judge Graham Knowles QC said he sentenced as if it had been three men on a female.“I sentence three people for glorifying in the humiliation and degradation of a fellow human being,” he said. He said the video and images were “profoundly disturbing”.He sentenced Gillard to 31 months and Cunningham to 10 months imprisonment. Jones will be sentenced at a later date.Judge Knowles said they “entirely dehumanised” their victim. Shannon Jones arrives at Preston Sessions House Paige Cunningham, who was sentenced to 10 months in Paramedics and police were called and the “dazed and confused” man was taken to hospital.Later that day, his girlfriend told his mother she had seen the video on social media.Police investigated and found photographic and video footage on Gillard’s white Samsung mobile. She told police: “I cut his hair and clothes because he’s a d–k.”They stripped him naked and as he lay in the foetal position on a kitchen floor, while Gillard sheared off his hair egged on by the other two.“Gillard performed what might be described, by her dancing, a ritual humiliation, encouraged by Jones and Cunningham,” Mr McEntee said.All three posed individually for “trophy photographs” beside their naked victim. “The purpose of the drunken exploits was to demean and humiliate for their own pleasure,” said Mr McEntee.As the video and some of the 40 stills were shown in court, Gillard broke down in tears. They showed Gillard, sporting a bare midriff,  giving a “V” sign for victory in front of a full frontal nude of the footballer. Other Snapchats showed her in “gangster style” poses and dancing provocatively.Judge Graham Knowles QC described Gillard as “gloating”. “She is smirking, thrusting her own backside towards the camera, beer in hand, and one finger characteristic of people in gangster pose,” he said.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Revealed Labour MP faced criminal charges over election expenses but it was

first_imgIn a statement this week, the CPS announced that Tory politicians would not be facing charges in a move that dominated the day’s news bulletins. However it made no mention of the fact that a former Labour MP and their electoral agent had also been cleared.  A former Labour MP was facing criminal charges over election expenses at the same time as Tory politicians but it was never made public, The Telegraph can reveal. The Crown Prosecution Service was handed police files on the Labour politician and their electoral agent earlier this year. This week the CPS decided not to bring charges but – unlike Tory politicians in a similar situation –  made no public comment about the case. The revelation has triggered fresh claims that the election watchdog unfairly targeted Tory politicians and was not “politically neutral”. However sources at the Electoral Commission last night said the specific issue was a police matter and it was up to them to decide whether to go public. The so-called “Tory expenses scandal” refers to whether spending during the 2015 general election – especially on campaign buses – was counted as local or national. Candidates have a strict limit on how much they can spend on trying to get into Parliament which is distinct the amount parties can invest on campaigning nationwide. Theresa May has faced questions from critics, including SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, as to whether she called an early election to distract from the row. This newspaper has learned that while the CPS was considering charges for more than a dozen former Tory MPs, they were also looking into the case of a former Labour MP. It is understood the case referred to the same issue – whether any laws were broken by counting local spending as a national expense – although it is thought not to involve a campaign bus.  Sources at the CPS said that the case was not already in the public domain and therefore it would not have been appropriate to issue a statement. Karl McCartney, the Tory candidate who had been investigated but was told no charges would be brought this week, criticised the handling of the case. He said: “It is shocking to now learn that a Labour MP was being investigated over election expenses from the 2015 general election but that this fact was never made public by either the Electoral Commission nor CPS.”A CPS spokesperson said: “We received a file from police in respect of an allegation relating to expenses incurred by a candidate during the 2015 General Election campaign.“We have now considered the file and concluded there is insufficient evidence for any criminal charges to be brought.”END Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Muslim man seen comforting elderly Jewish woman at Manchester memorial

first_imgCredit:REUTERS/Darren Staples REUTERS/Darren Staples  A Muslim man named Sadiq Patel comforts a Jewish woman named Renee Rachel Black next to floral tributes in Albert Square in ManchesterCredit: REUTERS/Darren Staples  A Muslim man named Sadiq Patel comforts a Jewish woman named Renee Rachel Black next to floral tributes in Albert Square in Manchester A terrorist blew himself up outside an Ariana Grande concert, killing children and their relatives who had accompanied them to the concert or come to pick them up.Vigils were also held in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Belfast, Coventry, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Bolton, Swindon, Leeds and Tarleton in Lancashire, where the vigil was attended by the mother of victim Georgina Callander. Georgina lived in the village and another of the victims, eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos, went to school there. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The evening sun shone over Manchester’s Albert Square tonight, as the city came together to mourn those who lost their lives in Monday’s attack. The square was packed with thousands of people, many of them girls around the age of the young people who were killed, who had rushed here from school and work to pay their respects. The pair comforted each otherCredit:Darren Staples/Reuters A minute’s silence followed words from mayor Andy Burnham, Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and poet Tony Walsh, many of which moved members of the crowd to tears.  A Muslim man was seen comforting an elderly Jewish woman next to floral tributes at Albert Square in Manchester.Renee Rachel Black and Sadiq Patel comforted each other by the tributes which were laid at the vigil on Tuesday evening.The people of Manchester came together that night to remember the 22 who died in the Manchester attack, and all those injured and missing. The pair comforted each otherlast_img read more

Escaped prisoner on the run from police armed with a razor blade

first_imgPolice officers and dogs are searching the area and a helicopter is also assisting in the search.Inspector Martyn Sweett said: “My officers are doing everything they can to find Kisier and we will keep the community updated.”We ask that the public are vigilant and call us on 999 with any sightings but it is important that you do not approach him.”Kisier’s real name is Michal Kisiel and he sometimes uses the spelling Michael. Kisier is described as white, 5ft 6in tall with blonde hair and of medium build with tattoos on his neck. He was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black t-shirt with blue trainers.Wiltshire Police said Kisier is believed to have a razor blade in his possession and is considered to be dangerous.”The public are advised not to approach him for their own safety. If anyone sees a man matching the description they should call 999 immediately,” a force spokeswoman said. Michal KisierCredit:PA / Wiltshire Police  Michal KisierCredit:PA / Wiltshire Police  Michal Kisiercenter_img Police are hunting for a “dangerous” prisoner – believed to be armed with a razor blade – who has escaped from a hospital.Michal Kisier, 30, gave his guards at Salisbury District Hospital the slip at 7pm.He was in the hospital receiving treatment for a head wound. Michal Kisier Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Richard Hammonds car crash will affect The Grand Tour says Jeremy Clarkson

first_imgJeremy Clarkson has said that that new series of The Grand Tour will be affected by the injury on Saturday to fellow presenter Richard Hammond, who was seconds from death after the electric supercar he was driving crashed and burst into flames in Switzerland. Writing on DriveTribe, a digital platform for car enthusiasts, Clarkson, 57, said: “Many of you have been asking if Hammond’s broken knee will affect the filming for season two of the Grand Tour.”And the short answer is: yes.”As I write, James May is sitting in the hell hole that is Gatwick Airport waiting for a budget airline to take him to a shoot that Hammond should have been doing.”Meanwhile, I’ve been up since dawn, rewriting all of the scripts and ideas we had to accommodate the fact that Hammond can’t drive for the next few months.”Meanwhile, he is lying in a bed in the Swiss Alps, while pretty nurses attend to give his every need, and give him drugs.” It was the biggest crash I’ve ever seen and the most frightening but incredibly, and thankfully, Richard seems to be mostly OK.— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) June 10, 2017 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He said Hammond was referred to as a “body” following the incident and that he did not want to see him, “not after a crash that big”. “I could see the screen. I could see the paramedics behind it. I couldn’t see Hammond. I didn’t want to see him. Not after a crash that big.”Clarkson said they were then told Hammond was fine by their security man, and that he is sure his co-host will share further details “when the lucky sod feels up to it”. Clarkson wrote on Drive Tribe: “I don’t know what went wrong. Hopefully, when he comes out of surgery and is feeling up to it, he will be able to tell us.”What I do know is that I genuinely thought he was dead.” The 47-year-old climbed out of the car before the fire and suffered no serious injury, although he will need surgery to fix a broken leg.Yesterday, Clarkson told of the “coldness” he felt when he realised the crash had happened to his co-host, adding that his knees turned to “jelly”. Clarkson said he had finished filming for the day and was waiting for Hammond and fellow presenter James May to complete a hill climb when he learned that a test driver had had an “off” in one of the cars. He mistakenly thought it was a Lamborghini Aventador that had crashed and not the Rimac Concept One that Hammond had been driving. the car which was involved in a crash where Richard Hammond escaped serious injury, in Switzerland Initially angered, Clarkson said it quickly became obvious that something serious had happened.He wrote: “And as I stood there, waiting for news, it dawned on me that the burning car was not yellow, as the Aventador was. It was white. Hammond’s Rimac had been white.”And I can feel it now; the coldness. My knees turning to jelly. It was Hammond who’d crashed.”I was joined at this point by James who’d arrived on the scene just before me in his Honda NSX. He was in a right old state, his arms waving frantically, his eyes wide. ‘Hammond’s in there,’ he was screaming.” Richard Hammond  Hammond has apologised to his wife and children and joked that he is “not dead” in a video filmed from his hospital bed.A spokesman for The Grand Tour thanked paramedics for their “swift response” after the accident, adding that the cause is being investigated. Richard Hammond was referred to as a ‘body’ following the incident, Jeremy Clarkson saidCredit:Eric Gaillard/Reuters Clarkson added: “Then came news from a nearby marshal that he wasn’t. That he’d got out before the fire started. And that ‘his body’ – that’s what they said – was behind a screen at the bottom of the hill. Car crashing into a fence on the side of the road where Richard Hammond escaped serious injury This video still shows Hammond’s car veering off a hillside bendCredit:Nature Pictures/YouTube The remains of the car Richard Hammond was drivingCredit: Freuds/PAlast_img read more

M25 road rage killer Kenneth Noye to be transferred to an open prison

first_imgHe went on the run after killing Mr Cameron and was arrested in Spain in 1998.A plan will now be drawn up for the timing of the transfer, which is expected to take place within six weeks, while officials will also weigh up which establishment Noye will be moved to.Open prisons have lower security than “closed” jails.Transfers from higher security categories to open conditions are generally part of a long-term path towards release, depending on the prisoner’s progress in a number of areas.Offenders’ suitability for returning to the community are tested by exposing them to conditions more similar to those they would encounter on the outside.Noye would be assessed again by the Parole Board before he can be released. Cameron, 21, who was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriendCredit: PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Stephen Lee Cameron, 21, who was stabbed to death in front of his girlfriend by Kenneth Noyecenter_img Road-rage killer Kenneth Noye is to be transferred to an open prison after the Justice Secretary rubber-stamped a recommendation from the Parole Board.Noye, now 70, was convicted of murder in April 2000 and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years, after stabbing 21-year-old electrician Stephen Cameron to death in an attack on the M25 in Kent in 1996.Last month the Parole Board said it was not directing Noye’s release, but recommended that he be transferred to “open conditions”.The advice was passed to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) for the final decision, and the department confirmed on Tuesday that Justice Secretary David Lidington had accepted the recommendation.An MoJ spokesman said: “Public protection is our top priority and transfers to open conditions are made after a thorough, expert risk assessment carried out by the independent Parole Board.” In September 2015 the Parole Board recommended Noye be moved to an open jail, but this was blocked by then justice secretary Michael Gove.Earlier this year Noye won a High Court challenge against the refusal decision, which his counsel argued was “unlawful and irrational”.One of Britain’s most notorious criminals, Noye had been jailed for handling bullion stolen in the infamous 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery and was released two years before the M25 attack.last_img read more

UK weather Met Office issues red risk to life snow warning

first_imgAround 500 extra beds in shelters, hostels and churches have been made available in the capital through local authorities, charities, faith and community groups after a Swep (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) plan was triggered.In response to the bitter conditions, St Mungo’s homeless charity and the City of London have opened a new emergency shelter – in the Guild Church of Saint Mary Aldermary – which took in seven people on its first night.St Mungo’s has said London is experiencing its most prolonged period of freezing conditions for seven years, which could prove deadly for people sleeping outside. A stranded car covered in snow in Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear A woman was forced to give birth on the storm-battered A66 near Darlington when she became stranded in terrible conditions.Sienna Waring was delivered by her father Andrew as he tried to get her mother Daniella to hospital. She was born near Stockton-on-Tees moments before paramedics arrived at the scene.Mr Waring, from Catterick, North Yorkshire, said: “Having been present at the birth of our two other children, I just copied what I had seen then.”I opened the passenger door and knelt in the snow.” Some parents have let their children dress up regardless, whereas others have sent them into school in ‘weather-appropriate’ costumesCredit:Twitter 'The Couple' a sculpture by Sean Henry on the coast at Newbiggin-By-The-Sea in in Northumberland Emergency vehicles manoeuvre past stationary traffic on the M80 Haggs in Glasgow, Virgin Trains East Coast asked passengers “not to travel” on Thursday or Friday across the entire East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.ScotRail halted all operations in the affected red area until late morning.London Paddington, the UK’s seventh busiest station, was closed at 8am. Long distance services are starting and terminating at Reading. A bicycle covered in snow outside The Colosseum in RomeCredit:Simona Granati/Corbis News A bicycle is covered in snow outside The Colosseum in Rome Newly wed couple Chris and Vicky Robinson at Glasgow Airport In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon criticised transport company bosses who had continued to send drivers out on to the roads despite official warnings to avoid non-essential journeys.Army and Royal Air Force personnel were called in to ferry health workers through blocked roads in Lincolnshire and in Scotland. Ten RAF 4×4 vehicles with 20 airmen began transporting health staff from dawn in Lincolnshire after an urgent request from local police. Commuters at Plaistow station facing travel disruptions Conditions to worsen as ice set to form on snowThe extreme weather shows no sign of letting up, with fears snow in the south west could turn into freezing rain on Friday – making conditions “even more treacherous”.Heading into Friday the snow in the south west might turn into freezing rain and could give a glaze of ice on top any lying snow – making conditions even more treacherous.Video: Latest Met Office weather forecast The M876 to Glasgow is closed due to snow as storm Emma Elsewhere, a young boy had a lucky escape when he was rescued from a frozen lake.Firefighters rescued the youngster, who tried to run to the middle of a frozen lake and got trapped when the ice broke up at Laindon near Basildon, Essex on Wednesday afternoonHe was said to have been cold but otherwise unhurt.Dozens die in freezing European weatherFresh heavy snowfalls and icy blizzards are also expected to continue lashing large swatches of Europe as the continent shivers in a deadly deep-freeze that has gripped countries from the far north to the Mediterranean south. A stranded car covered in snow in Whitley Bay in Tyne and Wear on ThursdayCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA A council worker breaks the ice on the fountain in Trafalgar Square in London A council worker breaks the ice on the fountain in London’s Trafalgar SquareCredit:Henry Nicholls/Reuters Commuters at Plaistow station in east London facing travel disruption on Thursday morningCredit:Gustavo Valiente/i-Images  he M90 near Newbridge Midlothian In severe conditions, the civilian authorities can call on the military for help, in situations such as #StormEmma ❄️ Experienced drivers of No 2 MT Sqn from @RAFWittering1 have been assisting the emergency services.— Royal Air Force (@RoyalAirForce) 1 March 2018 A woman battles wintry conditions on a housing estate in Alexandria, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Due to the current weather & road conditions, we are being assisted by members of the RAF. This kind chap was able to get through the snow & help one of our 999 control room colleagues get in today, helping to protect the county.— Lincs Fire & Rescue (@LincsFireRescue) March 1, 2018 Jock the Shih Tzu plays in the snow in Alexandria, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty The Couple, a sculpture by Sean Henry on the coast at Newbiggin-By-The-Sea in NorthumberlandCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA Some parents have let their children dress up regardless, whereas others have sent them into school in weather-appropriate costumes #NHS #QueenElizabethUniversityHospital Salute to the NICU staff Queen Elizabeth University Hospital 4 staying for the night after a 12 hr day shift to cover 4 those who couldn’t make it to work due to the weather.I have no words to appreciate & thank u all hats off a BIG THANK U— Dr Asma Anwar (@MrsAnwar) March 1, 2018 The victims also include 18 people killed in Poland, six in the Czech Republic, five in Lithuania, four each in France and Slovakia, two each in Italy, Serbia, Romania and Slovenia and one in Spain.How well prepared was Britain for the snow? Join the debate by leaving a comment below. ⚠️Important update⚠️Paddington Station will close from 0800 on 01/03/18 owing to severe weather conditionsAll High Speed Services will start and terminate at Reading Further updates to follow as and when information becomes available— GWR Help (@GWRHelp) March 1, 2018 On top of these, yellow snow warnings have been issued for vast swathes of southern, central, and northern England, Northern Ireland and Wales – in place for most of Thursday.The prolonged cold spell will collide with Storm Emma, which is hitting southern and western parts of the UK. Blizzards, strong winds and travel disruption are predicted for southern, western and central England, as well as parts of Wales and Northern Ireland. National Grid warns of gas supply shortageThe National Grid has issued a “gas deficit warning”, as fears mount that supplies could run empty amid extreme weather conditions across Britain.The power operator said the warning has been issued in response to a series of “significant supply losses resulting in a forecast end-of-day supply deficit”.Household supplies are not expected to be affected, but shortages could hit industrial users as the Grid attempts to balance supply and demand into Friday.It plans to do this by limiting industrial use and buying in more gas if necessary. According to the National Grid’s forecast, there is a shortfall of around 50 million cubic metres. It said in a statement:”National gas demand today is high and due to the extreme weather conditions, there have been gas supply losses overnight.”At 5.45am this morning we issued a ‘Gas Deficit Warning’ to the market.”This is an indication to the market that we’d like more gas to be made available to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the national gas network. “We are in communication with industry partners and are closely monitoring the situation.”The stark warning came as snowfall brought parts of Britain to a standstill, trapping motorists on roads and threatening air, rail and road journeys across the country.Roads, rail and air travel – latest updatesSevere weather has caused another day of travel disruption on the roads, to flights and to trains. Travellers were urged to check the latest situation before setting off on their journeys. Here are some of the latest reported issues:RoadsIn Scotland, 300 motorists remained stuck on the M80. Around 1,000 were there overnight as heavy snow fell.The motorway was closed southbound between junctions 8 and 9.Police Scotland warned people not to travel unless they were an emergency worker. Police said they were also carrying out a “rescue operation” to help people stranded in their vehicles across Somerset, including about 100 vehicles stuck in snow on the A303 at Ilminster.In Greater Manchester, dozens of volunteers have been battling through snow to take supplies to people stranded on the M62 motorway. Police say wind speeds over the Rakewood Viaduct in Greater Manchester have reached 90mph.Eleanor Kelly, 19, said local residents in Milnrow, Rochdale, had been taking hot drinks, food and blankets to those stuck on the carriageway – including to a father with a baby and toddler in the car.The South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, which provides services in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire, has appealed for help  from 4×4 owners to move its staff around in the adverse conditions. Mr Swinney told BBC Radio Scotland the country was experiencing “the most significant snow incident we’ve had since 2010”. And he said the M80 had been a “particular pinch point” after traffic ground to a halt.Speaking on the Good Morning Scotland programme, the Deputy First Minister said: “The M80 has presented much more significant challenges to us overnight and there has been a very strong operation to try to gain traction over the course of the night.”Although many people were stuck for a long time we did get the road moving quite significantly, but there are people who have been stuck there for a long time.”That’s a combination of the intensity of the snow, but also the fact that we have had quite a number of jack-knifed lorries on that particular stretch of the road and the minute that happens the road gets blocked and nobody can get through.” Meanwhile, it has emerged that a Glasgow surgeon walked for eight miles in the snow to operate on a cancer patient.The unnamed medic walked from Anniesland to Paisley so she could get to work on Thursday morning.Her colleague, Glasgow-based colorectal surgeon Andy Renwick, told BBC Radio Scotland: “I won’t give her name because she would be genuinely upset with me.”She walked from Anniesland to Paisley – it took her two hours and 50 minutes. I saw her come in, she had snow goggles on, Gortexed up, top and bottom, snow shoes and walking poles. ​ Girlfriend off to work with extra uniforms & toiletries so she can work through the night/sleep there incase hospital staff can’t get in due to the weather, so that patients still get the care they need. Nurses/NHS workers are a different breed. #NHS @NHSMillion #NHSSleepover— chris (@crsklte) March 1, 2018 Several other roads in Lincolnshire have also been shut, including the A17 and the A15 between the M180 and Lincoln. A car is covered in snow in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, as motorists in parts of Britain are urged to only travel if necessary Mr Snell warned: “Generally many places on Thursday will struggle to get anywhere near -1C, a few people will come up above, but many of us will be firmly below freezing.”What the different weather warnings mean Several sports fixtures have been disrupted by the weather conditions including the postponement of four Super League rugby league games and the Premier League Darts in Exeter being cancelled.Seven-year-old girl dies in collision in CornwallDevon and Cornwall police confirmed that a seven-year-old girl died in Looe, Cornwall.In a statement the police said: “Police were called at around 2.30pm today to reports of a Nissan car colliding with a house on Bodrigan Road.“A seven-year-old girl, believed to be a pedestrian, suffered life-threatening injuries and was declared deceased at the scene.“Her next of kin has been informed. Localised closures area in place as emergency services attend this incident.”Elsewhere a 75-year-old woman has been found dead in a snowy street in Leeds. She was found partially hidden beneath a car in the Farsley area of the city.Royal Air Force drafted in to help relief effortsThe Royal Air Force (RAF) has been drafted in to help relief efforts in snow-hit Lincolnshire, with 10 4×4 vehicles and some 20 staff aiding emergency services.A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The RAF is assisting in helping to transport health staff to hospitals and support health workers in visiting vulnerable people in the community in Lincolnshire following heavy snowfall. Panic-buying and snowbound delivery lorries left supermarket shelves empty of food in some parts of the country.Theresa May has been forced to move her long-awaited Brexit speech from Newcastle to London, while households are being urged to “carry on cooking” after the National Grid issued a “gas deficit warning”, prompting fears of a shortage. Frozen Britain: Snowy scenes around UK Emergency vehicles manoeuvre past stationary traffic on the M80 in GlasgowCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA One person was taken to hospital after a crash involving 16 vehicles on the M66 southbound between the Ramsbottom and Bury junction. This is crazy. Hoping that we can all get home soon! #m27 #A31 #Traffic— Francesca Goodall (@frangoodall) March 1, 2018 A woman makes her way through the snow in Balloch, ScotlandCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty The force said they were unable to move the vehicles off the carriageway for “at least the next few hours”, but were working to evacuate the most vulnerable people from the scene. If you see rough sleepers out in the snow during daytime hours, please remember that you can use our app to locate the nearest day centre so that the individual can get into the warm, and get some food and advice on how to end their homelessness.— Street_Link (@Tell_StreetLink) March 1, 2018 Temperatures plunged to a widespread low of between -6C (21F) and -4C (25F) overnight, and forecasters have warned it could feel as cold as -11C (12.2F) during the day as the winds continue to strengthen. Gusts of up to 60mph could also bring “blizzard-like conditions”.Storm Emma, which wreaked havoc in Spain and Portugal before moving up over the Atlantic, is expected to dump up to 50cm (15in) of snow by Friday.”If you don’t have to go anywhere over the next few days, stay at home,” warned Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge.The storm, a band of low pressure, will mix with freezing temperatures and strong winds brought to Britain by the “Beast from the East”.As the storm hits, there is a chance of freezing rain and black ice, adding to the already dangerous driving conditions. Motorists reported being stuck for up to 13 hours, with some spending the night in their cars, and others abandoning their vehicles on the motorway.Emergency responders and volunteer agencies, including mountain rescue teams, checked on stranded drivers, with some good samaritans also handing out food. He said the “overwhelming majority” of Scots had heeded warnings to stay at home. Around 50 stations in Kent and East Sussex were closed on Thursday as operator Southeastern advised commuters to work from home if possible.Northern said the severe weather had left several routes blocked, with delays and cancellations across the whole network.FlightsAirports have been severely affected by the conditions, with hundreds of flights cancelled.Heathrow was badly hit, with airlines forced to reduce schedules on Thursday and Friday following discussions with airport officials and air traffic control provider Nats. A frozen canal in Little Venice, north LondonCredit:Ben Cawthra/LNP  A man has died in hospital after being pulled from the water at Danson Park Virgin Trains East Coast asked passengers “not to travel” today or tomorrow across the entire East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland.London Paddington, the UK’s seventh busiest station, was closed for several hours from 8am, meaning long distance services had to start and terminate at Reading.Hundreds of flights were also cancelled.Video: Weather so cold even the sea freezes over Newly wed couple Chris and Vicky Robinson at Glasgow AirportCredit:Paul Ward /PA A gritter on the M9 “Many people have responded to those warnings very significantly but we do face challenges at particular pinch points, and the M80 has been our most difficult situation to try to manage,” he said.”I assure members of the public there has been an extensive operation in place to try to maintain traction on that road and to get motorists on the move as quickly as possible.”He also stressed people should stay at home today unless they are essential workers.Driver stuck in West Yorkshire films treacherous conditions  woman poses for a photograph in a car on a housing estate on March 1, 2018 in Alexandria, Scotland Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, said: “Our service personnel are showing great dedication and a spirited sense of duty as they support local authorities and keep the British people safe.”Meanwhile energy minister Claire Perry was forced to try and downplay the National Grid’s gas deficit warning, as she told people: “Do carry on using your gas heating and cooking meals as normal.”An unusual red weather warning, the second in 24 hours, was issued for south-west England and south Wales as Storm Emma moved in with strong winds, “blizzard conditions” and “severe drifting”. The warning, valid until the early hours of Friday, is just the third issued in seven years and means “widespread damage, travel and power disruption and risk to life is likely”. Some parts of the south west could see up to 50cm (1ft 8in) of snow.Met Office forecaster Sophie Yeomans said: “Things could yet get worse, there is more snow on its way. The problem will be when the snow gets trodden down and compacted and turns to ice.”Meteorologically, it’s the first day of spring but winter is clinging on and giving us a right old kicking. The Met Office said the highest temperature in the UK on Wednesday was 1.7C (35F) recorded in Katesbridge, County Down and the coldest in Braemar, Aberdeenshire at -5.3C (22F). The M90 near Newbridge, in Midlothian, on Thursday morningCredit:Katielee Arrowsnmith/SWNS Queuing traffic stuck on the M80 in Scotland overnightCredit:Gavin Rodgers/Pixel  Petra Salva, director of London’s rough sleeper services, said that deaths on the streets over the bitterly cold snap were “a horrific possibility”. I’m making sure nobody has to sleep out in the cold. My team here at City Hall are working hard with charities and councils to make sure emergency shelters are open across London and everyone can be cared for properly. One way you can help is by donating:— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) February 28, 2018 Traffic is directed as the M876 to Glasgow is closed due to heavy snowCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA A woman makes her way through the snow on March 1, 2018 in Balloch, Scotland “It’s still in control.” She said: “If we don’t act, then people could die and… we don’t know yet what the consequences of this prolonged cold weather has been.”She said her mouth had “dropped open” after she walked into the church and saw a homeless person her team have been working with for four years, who, until now, had not accepted offers of a bed inside.She said: “If tonight, he was the only one who came in, it would make it worthwhile.”How to help rough sleepers in cold weatherCouncils across the country have implemented Severe Weather Emergency Protocols for rough sleepers, meaning if passers-by report concerns to their local authority, they will send someone from the Rough Sleeper Team to help.Check with the local council for individual contact details or speak to Streetlink. This is also activated across London, meaning local authorities have a duty to offer emergency shelter to any rough sleepers.  Queuing traffic stuck on the M80 in Scotland overnight Jock the Shih Tzu plays in the snow on March 1, 2018 in Alexandria, Scotland A frozen canal in Little Venice, north London Icicles form on seafront railings at Penzance in Cornwal A rough sleeper sheltering near Westminster Cathedral in LondonCredit:Teilo Colley /PA Road conditions remain dangerous with motorists across much of the UK warned against driving unless absolutely essential.The AA said £10 million worth of damage has been done to cars in just three days with an estimated 8,000 collisions, two thirds of them due to snow and ice.In Hampshire, police declared a “major incident” on Thursday night as motorists were stranded for several hours on the A31. Schools are shut and weather agencies predict the brutal cold will continue as the death toll from the freezing snap rose to around 48 since last Friday, with icy conditions causing accidents and endangering vulnerable rough sleepers. The A66 in Cumbria was closed in both directions between Scotch Corner and Brough, due to “severe snowfall”, while the A56 in Lancashire was likely to be closed for “several hours” due to a lorry crash between the M65 and A680.Highways England said the A1 remained closed in both directions glasgbetween the  A192 and the Scottish border and shared images on Twitter of lorries stranded in  the snow on the stretch of road. Northumbria Police said the A68 was closed between Corbridge and Ridsdale. In Derbyshire, the Woodhead Pass was shut in both directions between Tintwistle and Flouch. A gritter on the M9 in ScotlandCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA British Airways cancelled more than 180 flights, affecting long haul and short haul routes.Other airlines to cancel flights at the west London hub include Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa and Flybe.A total of at least 76 flights serving London City Airport were cancelled on Thursday. “There’s been more information this morning, I know it’s been tricky for (the airport) because of maybe a lack of workers and it’s difficult for everyone.” A&E departments face ‘perfect storm’A “perfect storm” of appalling weather, persistently high hospital admissions due to flu and a renewed spike in norovirus put accident and emergency departments under considerable pressure last week, with the prolonged cold conditions set to put them under even more strain.NHS England warned that the current bout of freezing weather could increase health risks for vulnerable patients such as the very young, very old or those with chronic diseases.Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the severe weather is an “added burden on top of the recent ‘usual’ winter” and hospitals are likely to be forced to cancel routine procedures. So much respect for the NHS this evening. My neighbours, both doctors, are choosing to leave their kids at home with friends to sleep at the hospital & cover colleagues who are affected by snow. They aren’t obliged, they just care, how lucky are we?!— Lucy Oliver (@LucyOliver_7) February 28, 2018 Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said two fire engines and an off-road vehicle were sent to the scene at 11.25am.TrainsNearly all train operators across the UK are suffering cancellations and disruption on Thursday.All cross-border trains between England and Scotland were suspended.The West Coast Main Line was closed until at least midday between Carlisle and Scotland, with no trains or replacement buses. Cheshire Police said there were around eight miles of tailbacks on the M62 as officers with 4x4s, Highways England patrols, contractors and snowploughs attempted to clear snow between junctions 21 and 22 eastbound.By 8.30am on Thursday morning the AA said it had already answered calls from more than 100 drivers stuck in snow, with East Anglia and the North East the worst-hit regions.AA president Edmund King compared driving on many “atrocious” UK roads to skating on ice rinks, and said they had added extra patrols and 4x4s to cope with the severe conditions. A homeless man sheltering near Westminster Cathedral in London And the page was flooded with messages of gratitude. One person wrote: “What dedication! The NHS wouldn’t run without people like you all.”Paediatric nurse Lisa Gerrett, 38, from County Durham, was brought in to work by a volunteer driver in a 4×4 and will stay over at the hospital so she can work on Friday.The mother of four said: “I am on shift today and tomorrow and even if I could get home tonight, I would still have to manage to get in again in the morning, and I’d be relying on another 4×4 driver.”If I stay, it means the driver can collect other nurses. It also means I can cover for night staff who cannot get in, if necessary.”Staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital were praised by the public and  fellow medics alike:  Thursday’s low temperatures set a record for the UK’s coldest spring day. In Tredegar in Wales, the mercury never got above -5.2C, beating the previous record low of -4.6C at Cassley in Sutherland, Scotland, on March 2 2001.Nearly all train operators warned of cancellations and disruption and all cross-border trains between England and Scotland were suspended. Lincolnshire Police warned overnight that the A52 was “impassable” between Boston and Skegness due to drifting snow, and warned that drivers faced becoming stranded.”We are not in a position to recover you,” the force tweeted.The fire and rescue service added that even a snowplough was unable to get through to clear the route. Man dies after being pulled from icy lakeThe Metropolitan Police named the man who died after being pulled from the water at Danson Park, near Welling, south east London on Wednesday, as Stephen Cavanagh.A statement said: “In respect of the death of a man following an incident in Danson Park, Bexley on Wednesday, 28 February, the deceased has been formally identified as Stephen Cavanagh, 60, who lived locally.“The family of Mr Cavanagh have requested that they are not contacted by the media at this difficult time. We ask the media to please respect their wishes.” Icicles form on seafront railings at Penzance in CornwalCredit:Ben Birchall /PA “She is operating today on someone who has bowel cancer, she knew that had to be done and so she has made extra effort to get in here to make sure that was actually delivered.”Record number of rough sleeper alertsA record number of homeless alerts have been sent to a major charity. More than 3,600 alerts were sent to the app StreetLink, which connects the homeless to local services, between Monday and Tuesday morning – the highest total ever for a 24-hour period.This app allows concerned pedestrians to alert local authorities about people sleeping rough in the cold weather. Streetlink has asked concerned pedestrians to report the time, place and appearance of anyone sleeping rough in these temperatures.A volunteer will then seek out the rough sleeper and offer them a warm bed for the night.Either download their app or contact them online using the link above or call their 24-hour hotline on 0300 500 0914. He added: “Today and the next few days will particularly stretch trusts, with staff struggling to get to work and ambulance trusts having immense problems getting patients to and from hospital.”A lot of hospitals will cancel routine work over the next few days as a consequence of both of these. Overall NHS staff are pulling together and making immense efforts to keep people our hospitals safe.”The latest data shows more than 12,300 patients had to wait longer than 30 minutes to be seen after arriving at A&E units in ambulances last week, with more than 2,870 patients having to wait more than an hour, both down on the week before.’What dedication!’ NHS staff camp out on wards to defy snow – and surgeon walks eight miles for cancer operationNHS staff who slept in wards to ensure patient services could continue despite the weather have been praised by the public.Medical staff stayed overnight at Sunderland Royal Hospital, while others who were brought in by 4×4 volunteer drivers will do so on Thursday night into Friday.When the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust posted a message about its staff and asked for the public to thank them, more than 20,000 people “liked” it. Seven-year-old girl is latest victim of extreme weather RAF helps with relief efforts as roads, trains and flights halted and schools closedRed alert for south Wales and south west EnglandMajor rescue operation underway in HampshireNational Grid warns UK will not have enough gas to meet demandChangeable weather could fuel rise in heart attacks, study suggestsPanic buying leads to empty supermarket shelvesThe Armed Forces have been forced to step in as police and hospitals struggle to cope with freezing weather sweeping across Britain.Nearly every part of the country was hit by snowfall and gales as the Met Office said Thursday was the UK’s coldest spring day on record.Forecasters are warning of life-threatening conditions and said winter “is still in control” as Storm Emma arrived with the country already in the grip of Siberian cold air nicknamed the Beast from the East.The death toll from the storms rose to 10 after a seven-year-old girl died whilst playing in the snow in Cornwall when a car hit a house.More than 1,000 schools were closed during disruption which is being described as the worst “in a generation”, and hospitals cancelled non-urgent operations and appointments. The Environment Agency activated five coastal flood warnings urging the public to take ‘immediate action’, with two in Cornwall, one at Swanage in Dorset, and others for the Tyne Estuary and one for the North Sea at Whitley Bay.Sixteen further flood alerts have been issued telling people to ‘be prepared’ across South West and North East England due to strong winds combined with high tides. Weather map for Thursday and week ahead A car is covered in snow in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, as motorists in parts of Britain are urged to only travel if necessaryCredit:Mercury Press and Media  World Book Day costumes wasted as schools closedParents who toiled over making costumes for their children have spoken of their dismay as the snow meant many World Book Day events were cancelled across the country, reports Helena Horton.Some schools remained open, but called off the dressing-up event because they feared pupils would get too cold in their fancy dress outfits.Others have closed and some parents said they were worried the effort that had gone into the costumes was wasted.But some parents let their children dress up in their costumes anyway during their “snow days” at home, setting up activities at home such as themed painting. Click here to read more. “If their flight is in the European Union or their airline is an EU carrier, customers will be entitled to food, refreshment and overnight accommodation or a refund of proportionate costs and will be flown home as soon as is possible at their airline’s expense.”Honeymoon couple heading for Maldives among hundreds stranded in airportA newlywed couple are having an unexpected honeymoon – stranded in Glasgow Airport amid the wild weather.Chris and Vicky Robinson, from Stranraer, got married last weekend and were looking forward to a luxury holiday in the Maldives when heavy snow closed the airport on Wednesday.Instead of enjoying 30C heat in the Indian Ocean, they spent the night in chairs in Glasgow Airport’s main terminal – catching a few hours sleep as they waited for news on a rescheduled departure.Mr Robinson, 29, said: “We were about to board the plane yesterday at 1pm, and 15 minutes before we were to take off they cancelled it and we’ve been here since (in the terminal), slept here with a lack of information through the night.”It was very subdued, people were quiet and a bit confused because there wasn’t much information. We’d heard about camp beds and blankets, but we got no information about that. “There are three UK standby battalions held at high readiness to respond to UK contingencies and emergencies, including support to local authorities.”We have the right people with the right training to respond to a range of contingencies.” Glasgow Airport announced it will remain shut for the second day in a row due to heavy snow.The closure had originally been expected to last until 11am on Thursday, which was then extended until 3pm. However, continuing extreme conditions have forced the airport to close for the rest of the day. Edinburgh Airport tweeted that most airlines had cancelled services until lunchtime. There were also cancellations and delays at Gatwick Airport.The runway at East Midlands Airport was temporarily closed on Thursday morning, and travellers were warned it could affect flights.Ryanair said it has cancelled all flights to and from the following airports for the rest of Thursday: East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cork and Kerry. The low cost airline also cancelled a number of flights serving Dublin Airport.Here are the number of flights cancelled at some airports in the UK and across Europe, according to flight data website Flightradar24:Dublin: 194Heathrow: 157Edinburgh: 129Glasgow: 105Geneva: 96Gatwick: 77Amsterdam: 69London City: 67Bristol: 48Charles de Gaulle (Paris): 41A spokesman for travel trade organisation Abta said: “Customers who are overseas and whose flight arrangements are delayed or cancelled should liaise with their tour operator or airline regarding changes to their travel itineraries and new flight arrangements. A man has died in hospital after being pulled from the water at Danson ParkCredit:Danson_WSC/Twitter Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mrs Robinson, 27, said she had shed a few tears on Wednesday.”If we don’t get away by tonight then we’ll probably not go because it’s only a week we’re going for and it’s too far to go for any less than that really,” she said.”There was tears to start with but there’s not much you can do. We had the perfect wedding so you can’t ask for everything.”My suitcase isn’t going to work out for this weather in Glasgow for a week so we might need to go home.”The airport said it has faced an unprecedented weather situation. Many staff also stayed at the airport overnight to help with the situation, and runway teams have been working since Tuesday night to try to clear flight paths.Drivers stuck for up to 13 hours as good samaritans hand out foodExtreme weather and jack-knifed lorries combined to cause “significant challenges” on one of Scotland’s main roads where motorists were stranded overnight.Deputy First Minister John Swinney said there had been an “extensive operation” taking place to try to get traffic on the M80 motorway – which links Glasgow and Stirling – moving again. As well as the red alerts, amber warnings have also been issued for the north-east of England and the central belt of Scotland, in place between 10am and 8pm on Thursday, and for south west England and south Wales from 12pm until 8am on Friday. A motorway in Glasgow covered in snow is closed to traffic on Thursday, as more sub-zero temperatures are forecastCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA Soldiers from 3rd Bn The Rifles and 2nd Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland transported staff from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Western General. Traffic is directed as the M876 to Glasgow is closed due to heavy snowlast_img read more

Meghan and Kate fan wars reignite after Sussexes call on Instagram users

The Sussex’s invitation comes in the fourth month of their project to unfollow and refollow accounts on Instagram to raise awareness of their favourite issues. Themes until now have included mental health, LGBT pride and the environment.  Yesterday, they published a new post saying: “We want to know who YOUR Force for Change is….  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Insiders had feared the launch of a separate social account for the Sussexes would only embolden #TeamKate and #TeamMeghan camps.In March, the Royal Family published rules for followers of its online channels, warning that anyone who posts offensive comments will be blocked or reported to the police in the wake of escalating abuse. Meghan's "Forces For Change" Vogue cover The Duke and Duchess of SussexCredit:Mark Cuthbert When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex invited their 9.2million Instagram followers to nominate their own “Forces for Change”, they no doubt hoped to learn more about worthy charities and social media influencers that could fit with their brand.Instead, the first day of their charity drive descended into controversy after they inadvertently offered a platform for warring fans of the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex. The SussexRoyal Instagram feed was taken over by rival camps of admirers, with nominations for the “Duchess of Cambridge”, “Kate Middleton”, and “the future Queen” inspiring offensive comments about both Duchesses. Other comments were heavily dominated by followers purporting to be from Russia, and a selection of charities and “influencers” who had instructed their well-meaning fans to write on the royal online feed. The post had received more than 20,000 comments in its first 12 hours, more than any other work-related post since the account opened, with hundreds of small organisations and unsung volunteers amid the negativity.  A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex declined to comment on whether staff would be monitoring or deleting inappropriate messages. Meghan’s “Forces For Change” Vogue coverCredit:PA “Over the next few days please add your suggestions into the comments section: someone you look up to, the organisation doing amazing work that we should all be following, an account that inspires you to be and do better (or that simply makes you feel good), or the handle that brims with optimism for a brighter tomorrow. “We will choose 15 accounts and follow them next Monday, as we spend the month of August acknowledging the Forces for Change in all of our lives.”A typical response, each followed by a barrage of insults from fans of each Duchess who view them as rivals, read:  “Catherine, Duchesse of Cambridge, who behaves with royal dignity at all times, and does not preach at her subjects.”The post reignited the serious challenge faced by aides, who have previously had to dedicate hours to cleaning up racist, sexist and unkind messages from Instagram posts with the help of the platform.  read more