A brain-damaged girl will suffer “physical degradation” if doctors keep providing life-support treatment, the High Court has heard.
Five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb has been on life support since she had a traumatic brain injury in February.
Doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say further treatment will not work and it is in her best interest to be allowed to die.
But her parents want to move her to Italy where she has been offered care.
Katie Gollop QC, representing Barts Health NHS Trust which runs the hospital, told the court one specialist thought Tafida was in a condition “consistent with a vegetative state”.
She said the girl might have a “very small amount of consciousness”, but experts believed she felt no pain, had no awareness and had no prospect of recovery.
More treatment would mean “invasive operations” and “physical degradation”, Ms Gollop said.
Her parents’ legal battle with the trust to be granted the right to take her to Genoa in Italy for treatment reached its final day on Friday.
Lawyers representing Tafida have argued she is being denied her right to free movement under European Union law.
Vikram Sachdeva, who is leading Tafida’s legal team, told Mr Justice MacDonald: “One needs to put oneself, so far as one can, in the position of the patient and ask what the patient would have wanted.”
He said there was “really very little on the downside” to prolonging the girl’s life, adding that on the “upside” there was the “sanctity of life”.
The judge finished analysing evidence earlier and said he aimed to deliver a ruling in the next few weeks.
Mike Brown says it was “heartbreaking” to miss out on England’s Rugby World Cup squad and believes he is still the country’s best full-back.
The 34-year-old, who won the last of his 72 caps in 2018, was involved in pre-World Cup training camps but was not named in Eddie Jones’ 31-man squad.
“I tried to put everything I had on the training field, but it wasn’t enough in the end,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“That’s the nature of team sport and selection – it’s one man’s opinion.”
Brown last played for England last summer but believes he remains capable of performing at the highest level.
“I feel like I’m the best English full-back, and I think I showed that last season,” he said.
“I still think my game is changing and evolving all the time, and my body still feels good.
“All I can do is show on the field the player I am and the character I am. That’s what I did last year [for Harlequins], so I will just keep going.”
‘Brown will stick to team ethos’
Brown was also involved in an off-the-field altercation with centre Ben Te’o during a team social on a training camp in Treviso, but is reluctant to go into details out of respect for the rest of the squad.
Both Brown and Te’o were dropped from the squad shortly after, although head coach Jones has yet to explain whether the incident had any bearing on their axing.
“I don’t feel comfortable going into details when the guys over there are preparing for a massive tournament,” Brown explained.
“People who are close to me – my friends and family, the ones who really matter – know what happened and that’s the most important thing for me.
“There will be a time when I will speak about what happened. But at the moment I have always tried to stick to the team ethos.
“It’s not for me to take attention away [from England’s World Cup preparations] and speak about other things that went on.”
‘Playing for England is amazing’
Having just turned 34, Brown is unlikely to play for England again, but reflects fondly on the emotional highs and lows of an international career.
“It is amazing. For any rugby player it is the best job in the world,” he said.
“We get paid incredibly well and we get to experience such amazing things doing this job.
“But what comes with that is the scrutiny and the heartache of working so hard and not getting selected for something. But that’s the nature of it.”
Brown also says he has no regrets about anything that went on in the training camps, insisting he did all he could to gain selection for the showpiece in Japan.
“I went into pre-season camps in the best shape I have ever been in, and trained every second of every minute. So I have no regrets at all about the past year,” he added.
“On the plus side it has given me some amazing memories and quality time with my family, getting to spend more time with my son and my wife, which I haven’t been able to do over the last eight years.
“You have to look at those positives. I have also become a lot closer with my Quins team-mates, which is hard to do when you are playing for England.
“I would love to have been involved with England, but I got to go on the [pre-season bonding] trip to Ibiza with the Quins guys, and be part of an environment that has grown really strong.”
Heavyweight Dereck Chisora threatened to pull out of next month’s fight with Joseph Parker during an extraordinary news conference in London on Monday.
Chisora, 35, produced an expletive-filled rant as he demanded more money.
The fight on 26 October at London’s O2 Arena is the chief support to the world title bout between super-lightweights Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis, in the final of the World Boxing Super Series.
“Give me main event or pull me out of the show,” said an angry Chisora.
“I’m not going to sell out the O2 for them guys to be the main event. I’m being serious, you want me to sell it out to the London crowd, my London fans, then put these little guys that no-one knows about on my show and mug me off.
“I’m taking the main stage, if not I want more money.”
Before the recent world lightweight title bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Luke Campbell at the O2, promoter Eddie Hearn announced the event for 26 October, with the headline contest being between Scotland’s Taylor and American Prograis.
Both men are unbeaten with Taylor holding the IBF super-lightweight world title and Prograis the WBA and WBC belts in a fight that also acts as the final of the World Boxing Super Series – an eight-man, year-long tournament.
The first news conference to promote the show was held at the Park Plaza London Riverbank hotel with Chisora and his promoter David Haye sitting on a top table alongside Sky Sports’ head of boxing Adam Smith, promoters Hearn and Kalle Sauerland as well as Taylor and Prograis and their trainers.
Twenty minutes into the news conference, Hearn asked Chisora his thoughts on the fight and the Londoner asked “who is the main event of this fight?”
Hearn replied by saying “the gentleman sitting next to you” (meaning Prograis) and Chisora said: “That’s not going to work for me.”
At one stage, Prograis himself interrupted Chisora by saying that he and Taylor were the top two boxers in the super-lightweight division and Chisora replied: “Don’t get me started.
“No-one cares about you,” he added. “I’m tired of selling shows and not making money so give me some of the money you are making. Boxing is thriving with the heavyweights, the big guys in the top 10.
“Let them box in Glasgow and they can sell it out there.”
Swindon moved up to fourth in League Two following a well-deserved victory over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.
Keshi Anderson put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute. The 24-year-old was fouled and sent his free-kick into the wall but reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and curl into the far corner past Dean Brill.
Richie Wellens’ men continued to maraud forward and their attacking intent paid dividends again two minutes before the break, with Rob Hunt’s audacious side-foot from the corner of the box taking a telling deflection off Orient left-back Joe Widdowson and flying past a surprised Brill.
The game was then over in first-half stoppage time when Lloyd Isgrove provided his sixth assist of the league season.
The former Southampton winger darted through the centre of the pitch before laying off to Jerry Yates, who cut onto his right foot before finishing with aplomb.
Jordan Maguire-Drew curled home brilliantly from 20 yards to give Orient hope with 16 minutes of normal time left but Swindon held on to send their fans home happy.
Report supplied by PA Media
Fulham have agreed a deal to sign Chelsea defender Michael Hector in January 2020 for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old has not made a senior appearance for the Blues since joining the Premier League club from Reading in September 2015.
He has subsequently spent time back on loan with the Royals and has had stints with German side Eintracht Frankfurt, Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday.
Hector has signed a contract with the Whites until the summer of 2022.
The west London club have the option to extend the Jamaica international’s stay at Craven Cottage by a further 12 months.
Hector will begin training with Fulham immediately ahead of his move.
“Although Michael can’t officially join until January, what’s important is he’s now a member of Fulham,” vice chairman and director of football operations Tony Khan told the club website.
“Michael will help us challenge for promotion and make us better in the second half of the season at a time when depth, experience and quality will be at a premium in the Championship.”
Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
Hammersmith Bridge could cost £120m to repair, engineers have estimated as the first stage of work begins.
The 132-year-old bridge was closed indefinitely to motorists in April after “critical faults” in the cast iron casing were found.
Transport for London (TfL) has financed the first £25m of the project but the main funding source has yet to be decided.
The work is expected to take three years to complete.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is working with TfL to secure funding for the next phase of repairs in spring 2020.
The £120m estimate could change due to the “unknowns, complexities and challenges” of the bridge, the authority said.
Council leader Stephen Cowan said there had been “significant failings” in the bridge structure which has seen cracks appear in some of the pedestals.
“We’re focused on getting the bridge reopened to cars and buses as quickly as possible”, he added.
Some flights to and from the UK are facing delays and cancellations due to problems affecting French airspace.
British Airways said an air traffic control “outage” had hit flights going through French and Spanish airspace.
EasyJet said it was experiencing disruption due to a “partial failure of French air traffic control systems”.
Paris Airport tweeted that a “national computer failure related to the centralisation of flight plans” on Sunday morning was now resolved.
But it warned that delays were still expected.
National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said it does not know how many flights have been affected but it is working with airlines in the UK to try to minimise disruption.
Gatwick Airport said passengers should check with airlines on the status of their flights before heading to the airport.
EasyJet said it has been forced to cancel 180 flights out of just under 2,000 scheduled to take off on Sunday.
Affected passengers were contacted directly and given the option of transferring their flight for free or receiving a refund, it said.
The airline added it was seeing significant delays and recommended all its passengers, regardless of their destination, check the status of their flight at www.easyjet.com/en/flight-tracker for real time information before going to the airport.
British Airways also urged customers to check the status of their flights online and said it expects disruption to services to France and Spain, as well as those which fly over these countries on the way to other destinations.
Some passengers told the BBC their British Airways flights had been cancelled.
The airline said it would not release any cancellation figures but added any affected customers had been notified directly.
It said it would offer flexible rebooking options for anyone who wants to change their dates of travel as a result of the disruption.
Ryanair advised customers on its website there had been a “serious French ATC [air traffic control] equipment failure” early on Sunday morning.
It said delays of “up to three hours are being suffered”.
Travel expert Simon Calder said: “France is absolutely at the heart of European air traffic control – some 60% of all EasyJet flights to anywhere go over French territory.
“This appears to be some kind of malfunction which has greatly reduced the flow rate [of flights] so there’s reports of pilots in Lisbon, for example, trying to get to the UK telling passengers we could be five hours late.”
He said affected passengers will not be eligible for compensation, explaining: “It’s not the airlines’ fault.”
But he said the airlines have a strict duty of care, which means they must provide meals and if necessary accommodation to passengers.
He added: “They also have to rebook you on the first available flight, ideally on the same day, even if it means paying money to a rival to get you home.”
The disruption is having a wider knock-on effect in the UK, with some flights from Scotland to England cancelled.
Richard Martin was due to fly from Edinburgh to London Stansted when EasyJet texted to say his flight had been cancelled.
“We are booked on another flight tomorrow but I’m due to be back at work,” he said.
“The queues at the airport and everything are crazy and we’ve had some family members say something similar has also happened to them.”
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Up to 100 residents are being forced out of their homes for up to three years due to “potentially combustible insulation”.
Residents of the award-winning Bridport House in London have been told they will have to re-locate within 12 months due to “serious” structural errors.
Hackney Council confirmed legal action will be taken against Willmott Partnership Homes, who built the block.
One resident said: “It’s disgusting the way we’ve all been treated.”
The resident, who did not want to be named, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We’ve all lived here for years, and you don’t want to be moving out and moving back in again.”
Pauline Millgate, another resident, said she was “annoyed” about how the council have handled the property.
She said: “We’ve been here for eight years and we’ve had nothing but ongoing problems with leaks, holes in the roofs and holes in the floor.”
Michael Jones said he felt “like a prisoner” in his own home.
“The scaffold has been up for nearly 18 months and we’ve been told we can’t go out on the balcony,” he said.
The 41 families living in the property will be offered another temporary or permanent home in the borough while the work is carried out, but they could be displaced for up to three years.
Families moving permanently are to be offered a one-off home loss payment of £6,300 alongside other financial incentives.
Bridport House on the Colville Estate won awards awards for design and engineering when it opened in 2011.
Since then the building has suffered a litany of problems including falling roof tiles, crumbling bricks and flooding.
Investigations have now revealed more serious defects including missing fire barriers and flawed brickwork, balconies and windows.
Heat insulation was found to be “a combustible material”, but cannot be tested.
Hackney Council claimed the London Fire Brigade had concluded the building remained safe for residents, but the brigade has denied this.
The council will now open a procurement process for the £6m repair works.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “We are sorry for the failures in the construction of Bridport House, and for the huge disruption residents continue to face.
“Moving residents from homes we all hoped would be new and permanent is not an easy decision, but our first priority is their safety.
“We will be taking legal action to hold those responsible for these failures to account. We also should have done a better job.”
Willmott Partnership Homes said it was “disappointed at the way the problems at Bridport House have been portrayed by Hackney Council”.
The builders said they could not comment fully “in view of the threat of legal action”.
A spokesman said: “This is an extremely complicated matter, significantly exacerbated by various aspects of the Building Regulations recently being reinterpreted following the Grenfell tragedy.
“We too want to say how sorry we are that matters have turned out in this way, and of course for the concern this will have caused to the residents at Bridport House.”
In a quiet corner of London, one of India’s most venerated “founding fathers” continues to leave his mark.
The city’s affluent Primrose Hill neighbourhood has been home to generations of celebrities, from model Kate Moss to actor Daniel Craig.
But hundreds of visitors – including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – have flocked from around the world to one particular townhouse.
“Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Indian Crusader of Social Justice lived here 1921-22,” proclaims a blue plaque outside the house.
Step through its doors, past a bust of Dr Ambedkar draped in garlands, and guests can see rooms reconstructed in his memory, with legal documents strewn across a dining room table. His glasses lie next to dog-eared books on the bedside table.
But there’s a problem: two neighbouring residents are opposed to the museum which, according to the local council, should not exist.
Next month, the fate of the house will be decided at a council hearing. Its owners could be forced to convert it back into a residential property and close its doors to visitors, diluting the legacy of a man whose influence still reverberates in India to this day.
Known as Ambedkar House, the building was bought by the government of Maharashtra, a state in western India, for more than £3m ($3.65m) in 2015.
Since its inauguration by Prime Minister Modi in 2015, it has operated as a free-to-visit attraction, dedicated to Dr Ambedkar, who is known as the architect of India’s constitution.
The home has attracted hundreds of guests, and three neighbours told the BBC that, during this time, visitors came and went without any disturbances. One resident, who lived across the road, said they did not even know it existed.
But in January 2018, Ambedkar House was reported to Camden Council for a planning breach, and the council found that the building did not have permission to operate as a museum.
In February 2018, the property’s owners retrospectively applied for permission to use the building as a museum. But in October 2018, the council rejected the claim, arguing that it would amount to an “unacceptable loss” of residential space.
Two residents have also complained to the council, in north-west London, about alleged disturbances caused by “coach loads” of visitors making “noise day and night”.
The government of Maharashtra has appealed the decision and a public inquiry is scheduled for 24 September.
Maharashtra’s government refused to comment on the case. But in a statement to the BBC, India’s High Commission – its embassy in the UK – said the property “holds a special significance for a huge section of Indians”. It said a planning application was submitted to Camden Council to convert the house into a memorial.
Dr Ambedkar – a Maharashtra native who died in 1956 – was a legal scholar, a passionate civil rights activist and the man tasked with drafting the country’s constitution after its independence in 1947. He was also India’s first law minister.
He was born a Dalit – the so-called “untouchables” of India’s caste system – and became the most important and revered political leader for the community, which has faced social and economic discrimination for centuries.
He fought for women’s rights, an end to caste discrimination, and reserving jobs in government and schools for disadvantaged groups. He is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest political leaders.
Before his his political career, Dr Ambedkar briefly lived in Primrose Hill, from 1921-22, while studying for a doctorate degree in economics at the London School of Economics.
That’s why, at the suggestion of a UK-based charity – the Federation of Ambedkarite and Buddhist Organisations (ABO) – the government of Maharashtra bought the property in 2015.
When the house came up for sale, local resident and former UK civil servant Santosh Dass convinced the state to buy it.
She told the BBC that the property was in a dilapidated state at the time, and said the renovation work had given the home, and the community, a new lease of life.
“We’ve done the neighbourhood a favour,” said Ms Dass, president of the FABO.
She said that discussions had been held about getting permission to turn the house into a formal museum, but organisers “underestimated how much time the whole thing would take”.
“We really want it to be a proper memorial so people can come and visit,” said Ms Dass. “Some people see it as a pilgrimage.”
About 50 people are estimated to visit Ambedkar House every week, including enthusiasts who travel from far away. Outside the building, one family told the BBC they had travelled from India to visit the home, which was top of their sight-seeing agenda in London.
Goutam Chakraborty, a FABO committee member, was sanguine about the future of the property as a museum because “eminent people support us”.
A letter in support of the museum has been written to the borough council by Lord Richard Harries, a former bishop of Oxford. Some neighbouring residents, however, do not share his enthusiasm.
One local resident, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: “It’s supposed to be residential, not a museum.”
The resident claimed that Ambedkar House “went ahead with the renovations without permission”, adding that “crowds of people come here now”.
During Camden’s public consultation, one resident also complained that visitors “arrive in coach loads taking photos and making noise”.
Bonnie Dobson, who lives on King Henry’s Road, told the BBC she considered the objections “puzzling and upsetting”. The 78-year-old Canadian folk singer said she had lived in Primrose Hill since 1969 and made a concerted effort to know her neighbours.
“To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever been disturbed by the fact that the house is now a little museum,” she said.
Ms Dobson said she liked the idea that tourists were coming to see Ambedkar House but disputed ever seeing “coach loads” of visitors. “If there were coaches coming up and down my road I’d know it,” she added.
Regardless of what residents think, it is Camden Council’s Planning Inspectorate that will have the final say.
If Ambedkar House lost the appeal, its owners “would be required to return the property to its lawful use as residential”, a council spokeswoman told the BBC.
In a report on the planning application, the council said the conversion of the building into a museum was, in theory, permissible. However, it was the loss of residential space that breached policy and led to the rejection, the council said.
“In terms of balancing the loss of residential floor space against the cultural benefits, there is nothing to suggest that an alternative site could not be found,” the council said.
Mr Chakraborty insisted that most neighbours had been supportive of Ambedkar House.
“They tell us that some of their relatives remember when Ambedkar lived there 100 years ago,” he told the BBC. “So they seem really happy that a unique thing is happening here.”
Inside the building, a quote from Dr Ambedkar is printed on one of the walls. “Democracy is essentially an attitude of reverence towards our fellow men,” the quote reads.
The council’s reverence for Ambedkar House, it seems, remains an open question.