• Mum Charged With Murdering Disabled Children

    A mother arrested over the deaths of her three disabled children in south London has been charged with their murders. Tania Clarence was arrested after her four-year-old daughter and three-year-old twin sons were found dead at the family's £1.2m house in New Malden. Post-mortem examinations are being carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital on the three children, who are understood to have had spinal muscular atrophy. The children's father, Gary Clarence, was in his family's native South Africa with his eight-year-old daughter when he heard about the deaths.

    Sky News
    • Putin: Ukraine 'Crime' Will Have Consequences

      Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned there will be "consequences" if Ukraine has used its army against pro-Russian activists. The warning came after Ukraine's interior ministry said "up to five terrorists" had been killed during an operation to clear checkpoints in the eastern town of Slavyansk. Separatists have taken control of several roads in eastern Ukraine, where they have also seized public buildings. The Ukrainian government regards them as terrorists.

      Sky News
      • UKIP Member Suspended Over 'Repellent Views'

        A UKIP member who appeared in the party's latest election broadcast has been suspended after allegedly expressing "repellent views" on Twitter. Andre Lampitt apparently posted racist and anti-Islamic tweets, including inappropriate remarks about Labour leader Ed Miliband. Mr Lampitt's Twitter account has also been suspended. A UKIP spokesman said: "We're deeply shocked Mr Lampitt has expressed such repellent views.

        Sky News
        • Women Urged To Stop Britons Fighting In Syria

          A sharp rise in the number of people being arrested for travelling to Syria has prompted a new campaign. The campaign comes after several Britons are thought to have died in Syria in the last few months. Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years to train in camps or take part in the fighting, with an estimated 20 having died. Senior National Co-ordinator Counter-Terrorism Helen Ball, said: "We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or are intending to travel to Syria to join the conflict.

          Sky News
          • RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away From UK

            Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter. They were turned away from Britain when a Typhoon fighter was scrambled from RAF Leuchars in Fife. Aircrew stationed at the base are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment's notice. Dutch fighter jets were also dispatched on Wednesday when the two Russian planes entered their airspace.

            Sky News
            • 'Agoraphobic' Travelled The World On Benefits

              A woman who received nearly £50,000 in benefits by claiming she had agoraphobia was secretly travelling the world writing books. Tracy Johnson claimed to be so unwell that she could not leave her own house but spent time travelling in India and America, a court was told. As well as a four-month stint in India, Johnson enjoyed shopping sprees in New York and Madrid. She spent six months working in Argentina as a tour guide while receiving cold winter payments from the British taxpayer.

              Sky News
              • UK School Confirms US Paedophile Abused Pupils

                A prolific paedophile who taught at a London school was a "very popular" teacher who never showed any hint of wrongdoing, the school's chair of governors has told Sky News. Sir Chris Woodhead confirmed pupils at the Southbank International School had been abused by William James Vahey, a 64-year-old American who taught in schools around the world. His suicide came two days after FBI agents filed for a warrant to search a computer thumb drive containing abuse images of at least 90 children dating back to 2008. Sir Chris told Sky News he discovered children at his school had been targeted after receiving information from the Met Police, who were informed by the FBI.

                Sky News26 mins ago
                • Tory wind farm plans 'disastrous'

                  Energy Secretary Ed Davey has warned that Tory plans to put an effective moratorium on new onshore wind farms will be "disastrous for business and jobs".

                  Press Association52 mins ago
                  • Pictured: RAF Jets Intercept Russian Bombers

                    Pictures showing the moment two Russian bombers were chased away from Britain by RAF fighter jets have been released. They were turned away off the coast of northeast Scotland by two Typhoon fighters scrambled from RAF Leuchars. The images, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), were taken by one of the RAF pilots as he flew alongside one of the Russian planes. Similar incidents happened near Britain eight times last year, according to a spokesman for the MoD.

                    Sky News
                    • Tea time again in London as Unilever brews up a drinks revival

                      By Martinne Geller LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer goods giant Unilever opened its first European tea shop in London on Thursday, aiming to cash in on the growing appeal of unusual and luxury cuppas and ignite fresh enthusiasm for the national drink. A new generation of Britons drink more coffee than tea since the arrival of the mighty Starbucks, and a host of imitators that now crowd high streets. But with Starbucks opening a tea bar in New York last October and talking about a $90 billion (53.5 billion pounds) global market, the tide may be turning. Unilever, whose Lipton brand is the world's top-selling tea, bought Australia's T2 tea chain - where the menu ranges from a 5.75 pound box of English Breakfast to Japanese Gyokuro teas costing upwards of 25 pounds a tin - in September and hopes to appeal to the same consumers interested in upscale coffee that fuelled the last drinks boom.

                      • Starbucks suffers first UK sales drop after tax criticism

                        By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - Starbucks suffered its first ever drop in UK sales last year, a period in which the company became the subject of boycotts and public criticism over its tax practices. Accounts for the group's main UK subsidiary, Starbucks Coffee Company (UK) Ltd, showed turnover fell in the year to the end of September 2013 to 399 million pounds from 413 million pounds the previous year. Starbucks said the result was not because of weakness in the business but reflected the closure of unprofitable stores. "The UK business is moving in the right direction: gross profit is up 13 percent ... We are confident this performance will continue as we continue to reduce costs," a spokesman said, adding that the group plans to open 100 news stores across the country this year.

                        • Museum housing Henry VIII's flagship up for British award

                          A museum in the British city of Portsmouth that displays the salvaged hulk of King Henry VIII's flagship "Mary Rose", which sank in an attack on a French invasion fleet in 1545, is among the six finalists named on Thursday for a 100,000-pound prize. The Mary Rose Museum made the shortlist for Museum of the Year, the Art Fund charity said, for its "extraordinary and elegant" exhibition of the ship, which was rediscovered in 1971 and salvaged in one of the costliest such operations in history. Other finalists for the award, whose winner will be announced in July, are the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft in the English county of East Sussex, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, Tate Britain in London and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Norwich. Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, and chairman of the judges, said in a statement that given the quality of the competition for the prize, it is "no wonder that the international reputation of UK museums is riding so high".

                          • Costa Rican 'miracle' woman was key to John Paul's sainthood

                            By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Floribeth Mora Diaz does not care if people think she is crazy. She is convinced - and so is the Vatican - that she owes her life to a miracle cure because she prayed to the late Pope John Paul. "I have experienced the mercy of God in my own life and I am grateful," she told a news conference at the Vatican on Thursday explaining what Church investigators believe was a miracle attributed to John Paul's intercession with God. Pope Francis will elevate John Paul to sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday at a ceremony expected to draw more than one million people to the Vatican.

                            Reuters18 mins ago
                            • U.S. seeks $700,000 in illegal proceeds traced to ex-South Korea leader

                              The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it has sued in court to recover $700,000 (416,567 pounds) in alleged corruption proceeds traced to former South Korean President Chun Doo-Hwan. The money, seized from a California bank account, comes from the sale of a home in Newport Beach, California, that Chun's son bought in 2005 using funds allegedly traced to his father's corruption, the department said. Chun, a general who seized power in a 1979 coup, was convicted in South Korea in 1997 of receiving more than $200 million in bribes. He and his relatives laundered some of the money through shell companies in South Korea and the United States, the Justice Department said.

                              Reuters19 mins ago
                              • Three US Doctors Shot Dead At Kabul Hospital

                                An Afghan security guard has opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians. A US nurse was also wounded in the attack, which took place at the Cure International Hospital in the west of the Afghan capital. The third one was a doctor who had worked in Kabul for seven years, said Health Minister Soraya Dalil. A family member identified one of the victims as a paediatrician from Chicago who moved to Afghanistan in 2005.

                                Sky News25 mins ago
                                • Chemical weapons watchdog weighs chlorine attack probe in Syria - sources

                                  By Anthony Deutsch AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The head of the global chemical weapons watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria's toxic stockpile is considering launching a fact-finding mission on his own initiative to investigate reports of chlorine gas attacks there, sources said. Syria became a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) last year as part of a deal with Russia and the United States to destroy its chemical weapons programme. OPCW head Ahmet Uzumcu has the authority to launch an investigation into alleged use of chemical weapons in member states, including Syria, without the need to seek a formal request from a member state, sources told Reuters on Thursday.

                                  Reuters38 mins ago
                                  • Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid

                                    By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel on Thursday suspended U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians in response to President Mahmoud Abbas' unexpected unity pact with the rival Islamist Hamas group. The United States had been struggling to extend the talks beyond an original April 29 deadline for a peace accord. "The government of Israel will not hold negotiations with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas, a terror organisation that calls for Israel's destruction," an official statement said after a six-hour meeting. Asked to clarify whether that meant the talks were now frozen or would be called off only after a unity government was formed, a senior Israeli official said: "They are currently suspended." In Washington, a U.S. official said the United States would have to reconsider its assistance to Abbas' aid-dependent Palestinian Authority if the Western-backed leader and Hamas formed a government.

                                    Reuters42 mins ago
                                    • Iran dismisses U.S. criticism of its election to U.N. NGO committee

                                      Iran on Thursday rejected U.S. criticism of its election to the United Nations' committee on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), saying Washington's rebuke came from "baseless accusations" and violated the spirit of cooperation needed at the world body. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power on Wednesday said, "The unopposed candidacy of Iran, where authorities regularly detain human rights defenders, subjecting many to torture, abuse, and violations of due process, is a particularly troubling outcome." Hamid Babaei, spokesman for Iran's U.N. mission in New York, vehemently rejected Power's remarks. "Iran categorically rejects baseless accusations raised in the statement of (Power) regarding status of human rights and civil liberties in the Islamic Republic of Iran and find these assertions both unconstructive, obstructive and against the spirit of cooperation between sovereign member states," he said.

                                      Reuters48 mins ago
                                      • Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border

                                        By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - U krainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east, and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. The Ukrainian offensive amounts to the first time Kiev's troops have used lethal force to recapture territory from the fighters, who have seized swathes of eastern Ukraine since April 6 and proclaimed an independent "People's Republic of Donetsk". Ukraine's acting president accused Moscow of supporting "terrorism at the state level" against his country for backing the rebels, who the government blames for kidnapping and torturing a politician found dead on Saturday. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said its forces backed by the army had removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled city of Slaviansk.