Katie Price and Kris Boyson go on spending spree at Gucci and Prada days before her bankruptcy hearing

KATIE Price and Kris Boyson went on a lavish spending spree at Gucci and Prada – days before her bankruptcy hearing.

The 41-year-old star and her toyboy lover splashed the cash as they hit the shops at Bicester Outlet Village in Oxfordshire.

Katie looked casual in a camo-print tracksuit, trainers, and a metallic puffer jacket to keep away the cold.

Her long dark hair was loose around her shoulders, and the former glamour model looked pleased with herself after making the purchases.

Kris, 30, wore a jumper, jeans, and trainers – and was weighed down with shopping bags as he did the majority of the heavy lifting.

While Katie was spotted carrying a tiny bag from food chain Pret-A-Manger, Kris was holding several purchases.


Many of these were from big name designer stores, including Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Gucci.

The Sun online previously revealed that the mother-of-five could be made bankrupt before Christmas after allegedly failing to keep up with her monthly payments.

She is being pursued by creditors and entered into a Individual Voluntary Agreement over her estimated £250,000 debts to the High Court.


The star was supposed to be paying off £12,000 a month to her creditors but hasn't done so.

In September, a bankruptcy charge was laid on Katie's mucky mansion and last month Judge Sally Barber ordered her to be served with a draft petition notice within seven days.

According to the Mirror, she will have to return to the Insolvency and Companies Court on November 27 to learn whether or not she will be made bankrupt.

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Trump impeachment inquiry to hear from 8 more witnesses next week

The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee will hold public hearings for three days next week in its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, the panel’s chairman, Representative Adam Schiff, said on Tuesday.

The witnesses for the committee’s hearings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week have already given closed-door depositions, Schiff, a Democrat, said in a statement.

The first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry begin on Wednesday. The probe centers on whether Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

Next week, National Security Council official Alexander Vindman; Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence; former U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and National Security Council official Tim Morrison will testify on Nov. 19.

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Human Ken Doll Rodrigo Alves gets fake six-pack removed and put in his bum

Rodrigo Alves has undergone a dramatic surgical procedure to remove his fake six-pack and have it put into his bum to make it look bigger.

The former Celebrity Big Brother star – better known as the Human Ken Doll – has gone under the knife dozens of times in a bid to completely transform his look.

But in one of his most radical moves ever, the 36-year-old has had his infamous fake six-pack taken out and the fat inserted into his backside to give him a Brazilian Bum Lift.

And he did it all on camera for a German TV documentary.

The reality personality told MailOnline that eight years on from his Abdominal Etching procedure in Brazil, he decided he was done with his six-pack.


He said: "As much as people thought that it was amazing I don't think that it passed on the right message since I didn’t work out for it I just payed for it.

"Also, the six-pack didn’t match the rest of my body and started to look a bit silly!"

Rodrigo visited the Comfort Zone surgery clinic in Istanbul, where Dr Serkan Balta performed a five-hour liposuction operation to remove his fake abs, taking out between three and five litres of fat from his belly and back.


The fat was then inserted into his bum and hips to give him a fuller-looking derriere.

Rodrigo added: "I see all my plastic surgeries as an evolution of me as a person! I never wanted to look like a Ken Doll or to be a Ken Doll. I just wanted to be unique and to show the world that in life anything is possible."

He said he also wanted to prove that people don't have to live forever with the looks they're born with if it makes them unhappy.


But he says that as he approaches 40, he's starting to see the world in a new light.

He said he's still changing, "not just aesthetically but inside".

Rodrigo said last month that he hopes his latest surgery will put him in the Guinness World Record book.


He said that Guinness want to make a movie about him and his history of plastic surgery, and that they're trying to get hold of all the doctors who have worked on him over the years.

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Amy Hart admits she fumbled her words during ‘awkward’ run-in with ex Curtis Pritchard at ITV Palooza

Love Island’s Amy Hart joined a host of other stars at the ITV Palooza in London on Tuesday night, while Curtis Pritchard was interviewing on the red carpet for a segment for Lorraine.

Curtis, 23, pulled his ex Amy in for a chat on the red carpet, with the former lovers sharing a hug.

Speaking to The Sun after coming face-to-face with professional dancer Curtis, who is now dating Maura Higgins, Amy admitted she “fumbled her words.”

The 26 year old said: “He grabbed me for an interview because he's working the red carpet.

“I fumbled my words because I didn't expect to see him.

“It was a bit awkward. It always is when you bump into an ex – never mind getting interviewed by them!”

Despite the less than ideal meeting with ex Curtis, Amy looked sensational in a silver sequinned wrap dress teamed with slip-on silver heels.

The former air hostess flashed her pins in the short number, while she also showed off a hint of cleavage thanks to the gown’s low-cut neckline.

Curtis, meanwhile, matched girlfriend Maura in a black ensemble with a floral pattern.

Maura, 28, stunned in a floral lacy plunging gown that was cinched in at the waist with a black belt, while Curtis – who is set to have his own reality show with Tommy Fury – looked dapper in a black velvet floral suit.

Amy was left heart broken during the most recent series of Love Island after Curtis couldn't promise he'd be faithful to her, despite being her "half boyfriend."

However, she has now admitted that Curtis' savage behaviour isn't the cruelest blow she's been dealt, and she has suffered a worse dumping before.

Holly Willoughby, Amber Gill and many more stars ooze glamour on the red carpet of the ITV Palooza

Speaking to Spice Girls singer Mel B on The Truth Flirts podcast in association with Badoo, Amy discussed her break-up woes.

When asked by the Spice Up Your Life hitmaker: "What’s the worst way you’ve been dumped?," Amy joked: "On national television…"

She then went on: "The worst one was, I used to work in cabin crew and I was texting this guy, really liked him, met up with him a couple of times, he’d messed me around a bit anyway but because I’m a mug I still really liked him.

"He was going to New York, and the last message I ever got from him was him moaning at me because I hadn’t got him an upgrade on his flight to New York.

"But he was going out there to see the other girl that he was seeing.

"It was only when I started seeing stuff on Instagram of them together, I was like, so he wanted me to get him an upgrade on a flight and he was going out to see the other girl he was seeing."

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World War 2: Churchill’s secret underground bunkers still hiding beneath London MAPPED

During World War 2, the German high command orchestrated a brutal bombing campaign that saw UK towns and cities decimated by the Luftwaffe – with London and Coventry bearing the brunt of the destruction. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered for the creation of more bunkers, which had previously been used in World War 1, for weapons facilities, Government command and control centres, and storage facilities across the UK. However, the most important of these networks were built in the capital, around the London Underground, with secret tunnels linking them together and with key Government buildings.

The most famous is not a secret at all today, in fact, the Churchill War Rooms under the Treasury in Westminster, have been made into a museum after they were opened to the public in 1984. 

This Cabinet War Room was first constructed in 1930 and became a Government headquarters days after World War 2 broke out.

Churchill had his own office and bedroom added to the compound and live-in guards manned the rooms round-the-clock.

However, Whitehall is host to some bunkers that have remained secret, including Pindar – the codename given to the site deep below the Ministry of Defence.

This room would serve as a modern-day war room in the event of World War 3 and is said to be linked to Downing Street and the Cabinet Office via underground tunnels and possibly Embankment Underground station, too.

Oxgate Admiralty Citadel is the name given to a military bunker constructed between 1937 and 1940, for the Admiralty, on the corner of Edgware Road, in north London.

The citadel was designed to be an away-from-Whitehall base for admiralty operations, useful in the event of a need to evacuate the centre of London.

The citadel comprises a three-storey building above ground, with an upper basement and a specially protected lower basement.

The tunnel network below Whitehall is extensive and today is known as Q-Whitehall – a 12-foot diameter tunnel that ran parallel to the Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly Line, known as Trunks Kingsway. 

The project was later dubbed “Post Office scheme 2845” and was equipped with huge amounts of BT telecommunication equipment, providing protected accommodation for the lines and terminal equipment serving the most important government departments, civil and military, to ensure the command and control of the war could continue despite the heavy bombing of London.

It is said to connect with Charing Cross station, the Cabinet War Rooms and Marsham Street.

The idea of moving the Government’s emergency headquarters away from the capital led to a secondary Cabinet War Room – codename Paddock – to be constructed below the Post Office Research Station of Dollis Hill in 1939.

However, it was only used twice and was abandoned in 1944.

During World War 2, London Transport also built eight deep-level air-raid shelters below Camden Town, Belsize Park, Goodge Street, Chancery Lane, Clapham Common, Clapham North, Clapham South, and Stockwell.

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There were also plans for a further two at St Paul’s and Oval.

Another Tube station that saw secret war service was Down Street, even though it closed in 1932. 

Located between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly line, it was developed as an underground bunker in 1939. 

Elsewhere, the Goodge Street shelter was used by Dwight D. Eisenhower – who served as Supreme Allied Commander – and his staff. 

This one had two entrances – one on Chenies Street, the other next to the American International Church on Tottenham Court Road.

The RAF also had a headquarters in Uxbridge, on the very edge of Zone 6, and it was here that the Battle of Britain was orchestrated.

Other Government departments also moved to the suburbs, including the Admiralty, who build one in Cricklewood, below a nondescript building called the Admiralty Chart Establishment on the Edgware Road, just south of Staples Corner.

Meanwhile, the Air Ministry had a bunker in Harrow, underneath the Stationery Office, too.

Meanwhile, the Royal Family had their own escape plans mapped out, too.

What many people do not know is the story of the Coldstream Guards – a special British Army unit established in 1940 with the sole purpose of evacuating King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and their immediate family.

The operation, which came to be known as the Coats Mission, was led by Major Coats and later Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Coats.

Four county houses in remote locations around the UK would be used to smuggle the Royal Family to the north, before reaching the docks of Liverpool, where they would board a boat set for Canada.

Major Malcolm Ernest Hancockcompany commander of the Coldstream Company, was one of the lucky few tasked with protecting Her Majesty and previously revealed their locations.

He added: “Whenever the Royal Family left London if they went to Sandringham, the Coats Mission would accompany them.

“There were four houses, I can only remember three, unfortunately. 

“One was Madresfield Court which was near Malvern, which was where Lord and Lady Beauchamp lived. 

“Another was Pitchford Hall which I think was on the borders of Shropshire, occupied by Lady Grant, a sister of Lord Rosebury. 

“The third one was Castle Howard, I think it’s Yorkshire, I’m not quite sure is it Yorkshire? 

“The fourth one I can’t remember but I think it must have been somewhere in Cambridgeshire. Anyway, we occasionally used to have to go round to these various houses.”

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NHL broadcaster Don Cherry says he would have done one thing differently after firing

Don Cherry on being fired for immigration comments

Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry speaks out about his firing on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

Fired NHL broadcasting legend Don Cherry told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday that he would have changed one thing about the mini rant about honoring Canada's troops that got him fired.

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"If I had it to do over again, I would have said 'everybody.' … If I had been smart and protected myself, I should have said 'everybody' should be wearing a poppy," Cherry said. "Fair enough, the whole thing, it's the two words that got it: 'you people.' As you know people are very sensitive about that."

Sportsnet fired Cherry, 85, on Monday over what's been described as anti-immigrant comments. He criticized "you people" in cities for not wearing poppies to honor military veterans ahead of the Remembrance Day holiday. Cherry hosted the "Coach's Corner" segment on Sportsnet's "Hockey Night in Canada," one of the highest-rated segments on Canadian television.

CANADIAN HOCKEY ANALYST DON CHERRY FIRED OVER ANTI-IMMIGRANT COMMENTS

"This Saturday will be the first time in 38 years that I've never been on a 'Hockey Night in Canada,'" Cherry told Fox News.

Hockey commentator Don Cherry does a television interview before the Tampa Bay Rays MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 13, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Sportsnet holds exclusive rights to broadcast NHL games in Canada. In a statement announcing Cherry’s dismissal, the network said his comments were "divisive" and "do not represent our values or what we stand for."

Cherry said he was not trying to be offensive.

"We're all immigrants and the whole deal," he said. "Nothing happened that night. Nobody said anything that night, they ran it that night and they ran it later and the whole deal. … I heard it the next day."

He said a "silent majority" is with him.

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"The silent majority, as you know, are always silent. The police are with me, the forces are with me, everybody's with me and the firefighters, the whole deal," Cherry said. "It doesn't make any sense. I was brought in, and I was told that I was fired after 38 years. You know, I stand by what I said, and I still mean it."

"All I was saying is in Toronto, wear your poppy. These soldiers died for our way life … I had a grand-uncle and an uncle who died," Cherry said.

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FOX Business' Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.

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Arizona YouTube mother accused of beating her children dies

Mom accused of beating and starving her seven adopted kids to force them to perform for YouTube videos DIES while awaiting trial for the abuse

  • Machelle Hobson was charged with abusing seven of her adopted children
  • She was accused of starving and beating the youngsters in Maricopa, Arizona
  • Children made to appear in lucrative YouTube channel with 250 million views
  • It was alleged Hobson pepper sprayed them and also used a lighter or stun gun
  • Hobson, 48, died at hospital in Scottsdale yesterday morning, officials said

Machelle Hobson was accused of abusing seven of her children. She died in hospital yesterday morning 

A mother accused of abusing her seven adopted children in order to force them to perform in lucrative YouTube videos has reportedly died in hospital.

Machelle Hobson pleaded not guilty to charges she beat, starved, pepper sprayed and even locked her seven children to make them take part in clips for her Fantastic Adventures channel.

The 48-year-old was due to face a trial on 24 counts of child abuse, five counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault.

But she died at hospital in Scottsdale yesterday morning, Ricardo Alvarado, a spokesman for Maricopa Police Department said.

No details were given of Hobson’s cause of death, according to AZCentral.com.

Hobson, who goes by her maiden name but is also known as Hackney, operated the YouTube channel Fantastic Adventures, which had 800,000 subscribers and more than 250 million total views.

She is accused of using pepper spray on a child’s genitals, applying a lighter or stun gun to a victim’s genitals, arm or other body parts, and causing the children to become malnourished.

Authorities have previously said Hobson locked up the children in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom. 

Police say Machelle Hobson used cruel methods to force her adopted children (above) to perform in YouTube videos, including forced ice baths and pepper spraying their genitals

The videos featured the children (above in a clip) perform in whimsical scripted scenarios and Nerf battles for the YouTube channel that had 250 million views

She was also alleged to have hit them with a clothes hangers and made them take ice baths.

The child’s ages ranged from six to 15, and they were seen performing in a variety of whimsical scripted adventures often involving Nerf battles and ending with the children facing the camera and asking viewers to ‘like and subscribe’. 

The channel could have taken in roughly $2.5 million in total ad revenue, according to some estimates, of which YouTube would have typically kept $1.125 million and the rest potentially going to Hobson. 

When police raided the home one hungry child was found to be fearful of eating a bag of chips that police gave her because she did not want Hobson to smell them on her breath.

The adopted children told police that Hobson beat and locked them up if they failed to remember their lines or perform as demanded in the videos. 

Investigators also said the children were taken out of school so they could keep filming the video series and had not been in education for years. 

The adopted children told police that Hobson beat and locked them up if they failed to remember their lines or perform as demanded in the videos


Hobson’s two adult biological sons, Ryan (left) and Logan (right) Hackney, were initially charged with seven counts of failing to report child abuse, but the charges were later dropped

Hackney used pepper spray on the kids’ faces and bodies, the children told police. 

‘I either get beat with a hanger or belt…or a brush…or get pepper sprayed from head to toe,’ one of the kids told police in a probable cause statement. 

Hobson’s biological daughter, who is an adult, alerted police of the abuse on March 13, prompting officers to visit Hobson’s home in the city of Maricopa, about 35 miles south of Phoenix. 

The Arizona Department of Child Safety removed the seven children from Hobson’s custody and they’re now in foster or group homes.

YouTube has since terminated Hobson’s channel, which featured skits about children stealing cookies or a boy with superpowers, after determining the channel violated its guidelines.

Her two biological sons, who were arrested over the allegations, will not be charged in the case, police later confirmed.

Logan and Ryan Hackney were arrested soon after the allegations came to light for allegedly failing to report their mother’s abusive behavior toward five of her seven adopted children. 

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The Golf Course Is Built Where? Are Those Baboons?

The idea to build a golf course on top of a dormant volcano next to a game preserve was absurd, but Sol Kerzner, a South African hotelier, had a plan.

“The first helicopter flight with Sol Kerzner into the vast open bushveld was interesting,” Gary Player said about the plan to build his namesake golf course in Sun City, South Africa, his home country. “I thought to myself, there is no way a golf course, let alone a world-class resort, could be built here.”

Because the course was on top of a crater, Player said, the rock was extremely hard to break through. There was also no water, requiring engineers to build a pipeline to pump water from miles away. The rock, lack of topsoil and mountains of vegetation made shaping the course nearly impossible. But Kerzner was a visionary, Player said. “He made things happen.”

By 1979, the Gary Player Country Club was ready for play. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the course has solidified its reputation as it hosts the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which begins on Thursday.

The tournament was called the Million Dollar Challenge when it debuted in 1981, bringing together the golf greats Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller. It came down to Ballesteros and Miller, with Nicklaus a stroke behind after missing a putt on his final hole. Miller beat Ballesteros in a playoff.

At about 8,000 yards, the par 72 is one of the world’s longest golf courses. Its sprawling, flat fairways meander through the brush and lakes and lead to slick bentgrass greens.

That is if players can manage the effects of the wind, tight fairways, altitude and the tricky grass.

“I like the clingy grass,” Branden Grace of South Africa, who won in 2017, said last year. “It’s the grass we grew up playing on. A lot of golfers from Europe or America have a hard time with it and aren’t very keen on it. They find it a little bit tricky and sticky, and thick at times. For us growing up, we had to get used to it.

“Also, there in Sun City, with being so high up in altitude and the heat, the ball goes forever. You can hit a 7-iron 200 yards without even thinking about it. Some guys don’t even play with a driver. You have to be accurate and keep it on the short stuff, and aggressive when you should be off the tee.”

It was the wind that Lee Westwood of England remembers from last year.

“It’s not such an easy golf course when the wind is in the direction it was, and it was swirling as the day went on,” he said, after shooting a 64 on his final round and winning the tournament.

The former champions Retief Goosen, Martin Kaymer, Grace and Henrik Stenson described the course as tough but fair in a joint statement this year.

“This golf course is often set up like a major championship during the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” said Goosen, of South Africa, who also said the wind was tricky. “The fairways are narrow, and the rough is sometimes four inches deep.”

Kaymer, a German, said you had to hit the fairways.

“They can make it tight here, and once you miss fairways it’s very difficult to hit the greens because the ball sits down in the rough,” he said. “Even then, to get it back on the fairway you can struggle. So driving is key.”

Stenson, of Sweden, also said hitting the fairways was important.

“If you were to miss the fairway, you’ve got a bit of rough, and after that it’s bush and maybe a new ball,” he said. “So you’d better be on your long game.”

Grace said the course tested all elements of play.

“Pretty much everything in your game must be on song here,” he said. “It’s a brutal test, especially when the wind starts swirling. You think it’s coming off the left and then it’s off the right.”

And then there is the wildlife.

“Not many places will you have a herd of elephants peering down and adding extra pressure to sink your putt,” Player said.

The course borders Pilanesberg National Park, home to more than 7,000 animals. Player said that the golfers and the animals have coexisted peacefully.

For the most part that’s been true. A fence separates the course from the park and generally keeps the animals from meandering onto the fairways, yet a few have made appearances.

In 2016, there was a mongoose invasion. Play was briefly suspended when about 20 arrived on the 16th green and inspected Victor Dubuisson’s ball.

An agitated baboon charged Luke Donald of England in 2014 during an approach shot. Donald ran for cover behind his caddie, Johnny McLaren. “The fact that my caddy, Johnny, didn’t even flinch makes my reaction look even more pathetic!” Donald said later.

Another time a baboon wandered onto the course and picked up a ball, leaving judges puzzled over how to rule the interference.

Ernie Els of South Africa, who won the tournament in 1999, 2000 and 2002, returns this year.

“It’s always a pleasure to play in South Africa and particularly at the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” he said. “I’ve got some great memories of the tournament — particularly from my three wins.”

Last year, Westwood powered through to a three-stroke victory over Sergio García of Spain to take the tournament for the third time after back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.

Els joins his countrymen Louis Oosthuizen and Grace, whose 2017 win was one of his most memorable golf experiences.

“When I won, I relived those moments of watching Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman winning the tournament,” Grace said. “So, when you get the chance to do that, it’s pretty special. Just walking up the 18th hole past the grandstand and hearing the applause the way I did last year was one of those moments you never forget in your life.”

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Lebanon slips deeper into turmoil, no sign of new government

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Protesters barricaded main roads across Lebanon on Wednesday after President Michel Aoun enraged demonstrators by urging them to end their revolt against corruption and cronyism in the political establishment.

His remarks in a television interview late on Tuesday ignited demonstrations overnight in which a protester was shot and killed after an altercation with Lebanese soldiers at a roadblock south of Beirut.

The killing marked a bloody twist to the crisis that has gripped Lebanon for nearly a month, heightening tensions in a country trapped in a deep political and economic crisis.

The man was a follower of Walid Jumblatt, a veteran Druze politician and former civil war militia leader, who has urged his supporters to remain calm.

Protesters said Aoun’s comments, including a warning that the revolt risked “catastrophe”, showed leaders were out of touch.

“It is as if they are detached from reality, as if the people have no opinion, no voice,” said Marwan al-Amine, one of dozens of protesters gathering near the presidential palace.

In a remark widely understood to mean that Aoun was telling protesters to emigrate if they didn’t like how the country was run, the president said that if decent people could not be found to lead the protest movement they should leave the country.

A 33-year-old protester, Linda Boulos Mikari, blocking a road in Beirut’s Nahr al-Kalb area, said Aoun had talked to the protesters as if they were children. “Respect us a little,” she said. “Respect this people sleeping in the streets for a month.”

Schools and banks were closed for a second straight day. They have been shut for much of the four weeks since the start of the protests against political leaders seen as venal and unable to rescue Lebanon from rising poverty and unemployment.

One banker said all transfers were frozen for now.

“The reaction (to Aoun) was very spontaneous. People felt we have to ramp up the pressure … We will not stop,” said Joelle Petrakian, protesting at a blocked highway in central Beirut.

Several dozen protesters watched by troops and police sat blocking the normally busy road. Nearby lay smouldering debris ignited during protests overnight triggered by Aoun’s remarks.

In his interview, Aoun indicated there was no breakthrough in talks over forming a new government to replace Saad al-Hariri’s coalition cabinet. Hariri, who quit on Oct. 29, was hesitant about being prime minister again, he said.

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  • Breakdown of trust in financial system deepens crisis in Lebanon
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Aoun also said a purely technocratic government, as demanded by many protesters, would not be able to govern Lebanon and so it should include politicians.

Addressing protesters in his interview, he said, “If you continue in this way, you will strike Lebanon and your interests … If they keep going, there is a catastrophe.”

Caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri called the head of the army and the police and stressed the need to protect citizens and ensure the safety of the protesters.

DOLLARS “UNDER THE PILLOW”

Aoun said on Twitter economic conditions were deteriorating further due to country’s current circumstances, although the start of oil and gas exploration – expected soon — would help improve things gradually.

Aoun met French diplomatic envoy Christophe Farnaud, who delivered a message from President Emmanuel Macron affirming France’s readiness to help Lebanon in the current circumstances, the Lebanese presidency said.

Commercial banks, seeking to avoid capital flight, have been imposing tight restrictions on financial transfers out of Lebanon and U.S. dollar withdrawals. The authorities have not however announced official capital controls.

Banks, which were closed for half of October during the protests, shut their doors on Tuesday and again on Wednesday in strike action by bank employees who are concerned about security risks posed by depositors demanding their money and protesters.

Aoun called on Lebanese not to rush to the banks, saying their money was safe. He also said Lebanese were keeping dollars “under the pillow”, referring to money kept at home.

Hariri, who is aligned with Western and Gulf Arab states, wants to be prime minister of a technocratic cabinet that he believes would be better placed to secure urgently needed international financial support, political sources have said.

But the heavily armed group Hezbollah and its ally Amal believe Hariri aims mainly to keep Hezbollah out of government, a source familiar with the two groups’ view said on Sunday.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist group by the United States.

The main road in Khalde, the scene of Tuesday’s shooting, was blocked with burning tyres lain by mourners.

“He is Lebanon’s martyr … his blood is the responsibility of everyone occupying a post from the president on down,” said a demonstrator. “Today, here, it is civil disobedience.”

“We won’t back down at all, especially since we are facing authorities who don’t see and don’t hear,” said a 50-year-old protester, Atef, in the southern city of Sidon.

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Ledge where James Le Mesurier fell to his death seen for first time

Ledge where British White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier fell to his death is seen for the first time as post mortem report says there were ‘no signs of struggle’ at his home

  • Istanbul ledge from where White Helmets founder fell to his death is pictured
  • Preliminary post mortem report said there was no sign of a struggle at his home  
  • Wife of James Le Mesurier seen at Istanbul morgue Wednesday after his death 
  • James Le Mesurier OBE was a former army officer who founded Mayday Rescue
  • Good Samaritan was found dead outside his flat in Beyoglu district, Istanbul   

A post mortem report in to the death of British White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier has found that there were ‘no signs of struggle’ at his Istanbul home.

Mr Le Mesurier, an ex-Army officer who helped to found the civil defence group in Syria, plunged 50ft from his apartment in the Beyoğlu district of the Turkish city on Monday. 

A preliminary post mortem report released by Istanbul’s Adli Tip Kurumu forensic medicine institute stated that the 48-year-old’s death was caused by ‘general trauma’, adding that there were no signs of a struggle.

It comes as pictures showed the ledge where he fell to his death. The images appear to show evidence of fingerprint dusting by investigators on the top-floor window.  

This morning, Mr Le Mesurier’s wife Emma Winberg was pictured leaving the institute in Istanbul after visiting his body. 

She was flanked by police officers and British Consulate staff and is understood to have brought flowers as she made preparations to repatriate her husband’s body to the UK. 

Turkish security sources have said the death is being treated as a suspected suicide, but suspicions have also be raised that it was a state-sponsored hit. 

Days before he died he was accused by Russian authorities, critical of his work in the Middle East, as being a spy, which has fuelled speculation about a cause of death. 

The ledge in the centre of Istanbul from where White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier fell to his death in the early hours of Monday morning 

The ledge from which Le Mesurier fell. Turkish security sources said his death is being treated as a suspected suicide, but there are claims it was a state-sponsored hit

Emma Winberg (pictured, left), the wife of ex British army officer Le Mesurier, enters a car as she leaves the Forensic Medicine Institute on Wednesday 

Mr Le Mesurier, pictured, was a former British Army officer who founded Mayday Rescue, which helped train the White Helmets when it began in 2013

Mr Le Mesurier’s body was discovered by worshipers on their way to morning prayer early on Monday morning.    

The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday an autopsy and other procedures were underway at Istanbul’s Forensic Medicine Institute to determine ‘the exact cause’ of his death. 

It said police were still in the process of gathering security camera recordings near the scene and assessing them.

Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters: ‘Our chief prosecutor’s office, our police are engaged in multifaceted efforts to shed light on the incident.’

According to an account given to police by Ms Winberg, he had gone to sleep at 2.30am on Monday but awoke at 4.30am.

She said that he gave her a sleeping pill with a glass of water and they both went to bed. However, just an hour later Ms Winberg was woken up by police after her husband’s body was found lying on the street outside. 

The ledge from which the ex-Army officer who helped to found the civil defence group in Syria fell from on Monday morning

The front door to Le Mesurier’s home in the Beyoglu district where he lived with his wife

The ledge in the centre of Istanbul where Le Mesurier fell to his death is pictured, with journalists gathered outside 

Emma Winberg, wife of former British military intelligence officer James Le Mesurier, departs the Institution of Forensic Medicine on Wednesday, November 13

Police spent much of yesterday forensically searching the ivy-clad property including dusting for footprints on the roof and for finger prints on the third floor windows. 

They found nothing of interest and a subsequent check of five nearby CCTV cameras also uncovered nothing untoward. 

Detectives believe Mr Le Mesurier, who according to local press reports had been taking anti-depressants for 10-years, killed himself by climbing out of a third-floor window onto a ledge and jumping down onto the street below. 

Officers are said to have concentrated on the third window furthest right during their search yesterday. Mr Le Mesurier suffered a fractured skull, broken nose and had fractures to his hands.

Mr Le Mesurier’s wife, Emma Winberg (pictured in 2005), is the director of Mayday Rescue. She revealed yesterday that her husband had been the target of a years-long smear campaign orchestrated by the Russian government

His body was discovered by passers-by between the front door to his apartment and the Kilic Ali Pasha mosque.

Speculation that his death may have been foul play has arisen from claims made just last week by the Russian foreign ministry that he was an MI6 spy who worked in the Balkans. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Mr Le Mesurier, 48, of being a former British agent working in the Balkans and the Middle East. 

She claimed he was a ‘former agent of Britain’s MI6’ and working for the agency in the Balkans, Middle East and Kosovo. 

His family have denied the claim.

Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, also denied those allegations, saying: ‘The Russian charges against him, that came out of Foreign Ministry that he was a spy, are categorically untrue.’

She also said Britain would be ‘looking very closely’ at the Turkish authorities’ investigation.  

Turkish police do not believe anyone entered his home on the day he died. Yet Mustafa Bayram, a retired murder detective, visited the scene today and told reporters that there were still unanswered questions.

He said: ‘The distance he fell is unlikely to have killed him outright.

‘If the preliminary post mortem report is saying no signs of struggle, police should perhaps focus on whether he was poisoned or took any drugs.

‘And if there are any traces of drugs in his bloodstream they should check thoroughly inside the property for any such substances.

‘If there is any poison they should maybe look at where he went to eat or drink in the final moments of his life.’

Mr Le Mesurier had been living for many years in a house on Buyukada, an island in the Sea of Marmara an hour ferry ride from central Istanbul before moving to the capital.

Police secure tape near Mr Le Mesurier’s home on Monday morning in Istanbul, Turkey, after his death

A police seal hangs from the door of the house of Mr Le Mesurier on Monday morning in Istanbul

He is believed to have recently moved to an apartment he had above the offices of Mayday Rescue, a charity he was director of that trained members of the Syria Civil Defence – known as the White Helmets because of their distinctive head wear.

The group, which has had more than 3,000 volunteers in opposition-held areas, says it has saved thousands of lives since 2013 and documented Syrian government attacks on civilians and other infrastructure.

The group has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The move was apparently sparked by a desire to be near a hospital as concerns grew for his mental health amid reports he was under ‘intense stress’ from his work made worse by Russian smears.

BBC journalist Mark Urban reported that there was a ‘good level’ of suspicion that his death may be ‘murder by a state actor’ – but he added that others had suggested he may have taken his own life. 

Mehmet Tunc, a local cafe worker, said he last saw Mr Le Mesurier last Wednesday.

He said: ‘He ordered a kebab and sat at a table. He looked deep in thought.

‘He would eat here quite a bit and we took deliveries over to his office and home.

‘To be honest, I didn’t talk to him all that much as he didn’t seem to speak much Turkish and my English is quite limited.’

Mr Le Mesurier was the founder and chief executive of May Day Rescue, which established and trained the White Helmets, also known as the Syria Civil Defence, a group of local humanitarian volunteers.   

Outside the home of Le Mesurier in central Istanbul, where his body was discovered by passersby on Monday 

The sealed entrance of the home where Mr Le Mesurier was found dead, photographed Monday morning. Mr Le Mesurier’s body was found while his wife lay asleep in bed

The White Helmets group confirmed his death on its Facebook page, and offered ‘deepest condolences’ to his family. 

The Istanbul governor’s office has launched a ‘comprehensive administrative and judicial investigation’ into Mr Le Mesurier’s death. 

The White Helmets expressed their ‘deepest condolences and ‘sorrow’ to his family, as well as their ‘solidarity’ in a post on Twitter yesterday morning. 

‘We have learned with shock and sadness the news of the death of James Le Mesurier, founder and director of the humanitarian organisation Mayday Rescue, early on Monday at his home in Tophane in Istanbul, Turkey’, they said on Twitter.

‘The Syrian Civil Defense family extends its deepest condolences to the James family, and we express our deepest sorrow and solidarity with his family.

‘As we also must commend his humanitarian efforts which Syrians will always remember.’ 

In this image taken from file video, showing James Le Mesurier, founder and director of Mayday Rescue, talks to the media during training exercises in southern Turkey, March 19, 2015. Known officially as Syria Civil Defence, the White Helmets are a voluntary search-and-rescue group formed to respond to bombings by Syrian government forces

The Mayday Rescue team, which was headed by Mr Le Mesurier as its CEO, said it was ‘heartbroken’ to confirm that its founder had died and called for ‘restraint’ in speculation as to the cause of his death.

‘Please give James’s family, friends, colleagues time and space to grieve the terrible loss to his family, Mayday and the world,’ they said.

‘Remember James as the great leader, visionary, friend, father, husband and son that he was.’

The Director of Doctors Under Fire campaign group and personal friend, Hamish de Bretton-Fordon, told the BBC that his death is ‘absolutely tragic’ as he is ‘one of the few people who have made a humanitarian footprint in Syria’. 

Who are Syria’s White Helmets?

Founded in 2013, the Syria Civil Defence, or White Helmets, is a network of first responders that rescues the wounded in the aftermath of air strikes, shelling or explosions in rebel-held territory. 

The White Helmets have rescued an estimated 100,000 civilians that were trapped under rubble or caught up in fighting in battered opposition-held zones along various fronts of Syria’s seven-year conflict.

Since its formation, when Syria’s conflict was nearing its third year, more than 252 of its volunteers have died and more than 500 have been wounded.

The group’s motto — ‘To save one life is to save all of humanity’ — is drawn from a verse in the Koran, although the White Helmets insist they treat all victims, regardless of religion.

A wounded White Helmets volunteer evacuates his injured colleague following a reported air strike on the rebel-controlled town of Hammuriyeh in 2017

Some members have received training abroad, including in Turkey, returning to instruct colleagues on search-and-rescue techniques.

The group receives funding from a number of governments, including Britain, Germany and the United States, but also solicits individual donations to purchase equipment such as its signature hard hats.

Three years ago, a Netflix production called ‘The White Helmets’ won an Academy Award for best short documentary.

A second film on the group, named ‘Last Men in Aleppo,’ was nominated for an Oscar in 2018.

 

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