All Threads

Oh, Teenage girls missed out on their trip to Barcelona over Thomas Cook booking confusion

These three teenage girls from Salford have missed out on their trip due to a package holiday booking confusion.

According to her mother, Daisy Shea booked a holiday last year with her friends to Barcelona through Thomas Cook.

A few days later the travel agents went bust and her mother claims Daisy and her friends assumed the holiday would be cancelled.

Her mother told the Manchester Evening News that Daisy and her friends believed they would receive a refund as the booking was ATOL protected.

After following instructions on what to do through the Thomas Cook helpline, Daisy's mother says that she and her friends waited for a refund that never came.

When they called back, they found out that the holiday wasn’t cancelled as Thomas Cook had booked through Thomas Cook but offered by Expedia.

That is something her mother says they were unaware of at the time of booking.

After being approached by the MEN, Expedia have offered a refund to the girls as a 'goodwill gesture'.

The holiday had been and gone and the girls missed out on their three-day stay in Barcelona.

Daisy's mother, Victoria Shea, 49, had been in contact with Expedia about the refund but she claims the travel agent were initially refusing to reimburse them.

"The money may not be a lot to some people but it was for them. They were on minimum wage working all summer for the holiday." Victoria told the MEN.

"It was the first holiday without their mums and dads too, so you can imagine they were excited.

"For one of the girls it was also suppose to be a present for her 18th so that has been ruined too.

"I can’t go any further with this, we’re just going nowhere and nobody is taking any blame.

"But it wasn’t the girl’s fault, we’re not travel agents. We don’t know anything about certificates and bookings, somebody should have told us.

"I’ve been into other travel agents and they said this has happened to thousands and thousands of other people."

Victoria told the MEN that scenes of stranded holiday makers on TV was another reason why Daisy and her friends did not go on the holiday.

"Expedia told us that because they didn't hear anything from them we should have guessed that the holiday was still on." Said Victoria.

"People on the telly were getting turned away from their hotels or being locked in and asked to give thousands of pounds.

"I'm sorry but, they’re 17-year-old girls. There was no way I was letting my daughter go through that."

A spokesperson for Expedia said: "As this particular package was booked via Thomas Cook but was actually offered by Expedia, it would not have been affected by the Thomas Cook Insolency.

"Consequently the customer could have continued with their original travel plans.

"However, as a goodwill gesture, we have refunded the total amount paid by the customer."

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority said: "As the consumer’s package holiday was provided by Expedia, who protected the holiday under their own ATOL licence, they unfortunately do not have a valid Thomas Cook ATOL claim.

"It is very important that consumers check their ATOL certificate or booking documentation and confirm which travel company is responsible for their package holiday."

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Driver accused of causing death of step-daughter Chloe Kerr in crash after wedding reception

A driver has been accused of causing the death of his step-daughter in a horror crash in Warwickshire.

Paul Hampson has been charged over the tragic death of Chloe Kerr, a 22-year-old trainee teacher.

He is accused of smashing his Mercedes into a tree after a family wedding while under the influence of drink or drugs.

Chloe was a passenger in the 45-year-old’s Mercedes C220 when it crashed in Wishaw, Warwickshire.

The tragic incident unfolded just after midnight on October 7, 2018.

She died in hospital six days later after suffering devastating injuries.

Hampson appeared before Warwick Crown Court on Friday where he pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

He also denies causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs and failing to allow a blood sample to be taken for analysis.

His wife Emma, Chloe’s mum, was also in the car and was badly hurt – and he pleaded not guilty to a further charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Hampson, of Water Orton, Warks, was granted bail and will go on trial at the same court on October 19.

Judge Anthony Potter heard the family had been at a wedding reception prior to the crash, which occurred near Moxhull Hall Hotel.

The court was told as the car went across a junction at 50mph, it hit a tree on the opposite on the road.

Regan Peggs, defending, said Hampson, who suffered broken ankles in the crash, was left in shock and "can’t recall very much at all about the immediate aftermath".

Speaking at the time of her death, Chloe's mum paid tribute to her "beautiful sweet angel".

She wrote on social media: "My heart has been left with a hole unfixable, my baby my best friend my third leg and my side kick is now watching us from above.

“The impact so far seems far from real and I’m yet to be brave enough to read anything written.

"My girl has and always will stole hearts, made people laugh, cry and sing when they didn’t want to!!

"Chloe is the most beautiful sweet angel I could ever be a mother to and I am so deeply proud of her from the moment I laid eyes on her 22 years ago.

"My heart will always ache Chlo but I know ur never far and as I can’t believe I’m writing this I will cling on to every moment and memory I cherished with u until we meet again!"

Chloe's former school Water Orton Primary, where she had returned as part of her teacher training, also paid tribute.

Headteacher Carl Lewis said: "Chloe was a very capable young person who had a love of life and was very caring about others.

"She worked incredibly hard and was a natural talented teacher, even taking part in residential visits with Year 6 in her own time."

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Parents are arrested for kidnapping their seriously-ill newborn daughter from a hospital while she was still connected to an IV and driving her 400 miles away

Two parents were arrested after removing their newborn baby girl with a life-threatening condition and who was connected to an IV,  from a Louisiana hospital on Sunday, prompting authorities to launch a a missing child advisory.

Louisiana police located the child more than 400 miles away in Alabama. 

The Louisiana State Police said Shaun Levy, 39, and Brittany Parrie, 28, were at the Sabine Medical Center in Many, when their newborn baby arrived around 1am on Saturday. 

Baby Levy was born with an undisclosed medical complication and was set to be transported to a hospital less than two hours away in Shreveport for medical intervention. 

However, Shaun and Brittany left the hospital with Baby Levy nearly three hours later in a 2002 Cadillac Escalade for an unknown reason. 

Both the mother and the child still had intravenous drip feeds (IVs) connected to them at the time of departure. 

Soon after leaving, the Louisiana State Police issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory on behalf of the Many Police Department.  

They cautioned that the couple could have a Texas license plate despite having recently registered in Alabama. 

'The Cadillac may be displaying a Texas license plate or a personalized Alpha Phi Alpha Alabama license plate. Levy recently registered the vehicle in Alabama on January 7, 2020, so it is possible the Texas plate is still displayed on the vehicle,' they wrote. 

What's more, Shaun was considered by authorities to be 'armed and dangerous.'   

Meanwhile, the parents drove more than 400 miles from Louisiana to Monroeville, Alabama.  

Officers were able to track down the couple within 48 hours and arrested the pair on charges that are still pending. 

Baby Levy was transported by an ambulance in Monroe County, where she is currently in stable condition.

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Woman reveals how she escaped stepdad abuser

A woman kidnapped by her stepfather at the age of 11 has revealed how she managed to escape by befriending a couple in the supermarket. Rosalynn McGinnis, now 33, was abducted from school by Henri Piette, 65, and taken to Mexico, where he then forced her to ‘marry’ him and fathered nine children with her. For almost two decades, she was repeatedly physically and sexually abused while living in a filthy tent, undetected by US authorities. It wasn’t until 2016 when she met married couple, Lisa and Ian, living in Oaxaca, Mexico, that she managed to make her escape, as the pair realised ‘something’ wasn’t right with the family. During a new interview on The Dr Oz Show, Rosalynn described how she and Piette had stood in front of the couple at a supermarket with their ‘bunch of kids’.

She said: ‘[They noticed] the age difference and all the children. Actually, we were short on the bill to pay for the groceries and they paid it for us. ‘They asked where we lived. It started like that. Henri was the type that always kept people away. But they knew something wasn’t right.’

The couple befriended Rosalynn and when Piette later forced the family to move location, they made sure to find out where she’d gone. Rosalynn said: ‘We moved and they found out where we were and she’s like I know there’s something wrong. If you can ever get away, I’ll help you.’ Lisa previously described how the children had been ‘skinny as rakes’ and were all living in ‘three cubicles that were little more than walk-in closet size’.

The children also told her that Piette ‘didn’t love any of them’, she said. Lisa then worked out how old Rosalynn must have been when she had her oldest child with Piette and alarm bells started ringing.

She later found a missing person’s poster from 1997 with Rosalynn’s name on it. This caused her to offer to help, resulting in the mum-of-nine later fleeing to her house with eight of her children, as the eldest boy had already run away. During The Dr Oz Show, Rosalynn explained how she only told the children the ‘truth’ about her abuse when they escaped from Mexico.

She said: ‘They were really shocked. They’ve been through [a lot], especially my older children. ‘The reason I didn’t tell them, of course, was because what I knew inside was how much it’s damaged me. I didn’t want them to grow up knowing that.’ She continued: ‘[Piette] would tell them they’re animals. He would treat them like animals. That the only reason that they’re alive is because your mother’s here. ‘Otherwise, if she wasn’t there, I’d kill all of you. He would hit them and then I would step in and it would just be horrible.’ Piette abducted Rosalynn as a form of revenge on her mum, who he had abused in their marriage. Earlier this year he was found guilty of kidnapping and travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile. He has also been charged with lewd molestation, child abuse and first-degree rape. If found guilty, he is likely to face life in prison.

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Blogger, 24, who quit her job and ditched her boyfriend to travel SOLO around the U.S. in a van with her dog

A woman ditched her boyfriend and defied warnings about her safety to travel solo in her self-converted van, with only her beloved pet pooch for company. 

Sydney Ferbrache, 24, is a blogger, freelance web designer and virtual assistant, who has been traveling around the states in her van with just her golden retriever, Ella, one, for company.  

The Indianapolis, Indiana-native explained that she had yearned to travel her whole life, but after figuring out that her boyfriend wasn't right for her while on the road with him, she took off for the adventure by herself.

'I was the driving force behind all of this. I'd wanted to travel my entire life but wasn't in a place to do it financially,' she said. 

'I introduced my boyfriend at the time to the idea of van life and he was totally up for it. We moved on board in September 2017, but we weren't meant to be and we separated in April 2018 when at my family's home.'

'There isn't any crazy intense story here, we just realized that we were better off finding our own paths instead of sharing the same one,' she clarified.  

After the couple split, Sydney and her then-partner agreed that he would take the 2011 Mercedes Sprinter van they had invested in together. 

'Like most breakups it wasn't any fun at all, but after I felt free because I knew it was the right thing to do. We agreed that he would take the van. I'd paid half towards everything, but I just really wanted a clean slate and new chapter when we broke up.'

Sydney then sold everything she owned and took on three jobs - plus side hustles - to save enough for a new mode of transport to fulfill her dreams. 

'I sold everything I owned, did lots of little side gigs and three jobs. One was stuffing envelopes, another working as a nanny and also designing websites freelance. I worked so hard, but it was really worth it in the end,' she said.  

Sydney purchased an empty 2017 Ford Transit High Roof 148' Wheelbase van for $24,000 in May 2018.

Her first adventure was flying to Atlanta to pick it up and excitedly driving it back home to Indiana ready to kit it out into a beautiful home. 

The empty van was completely renovated to her own style for $10,000 - making it fully prepared for a solo adventure of a lifetime. 

'I found my new van online and paid a $6,000 deposit to get it on finance and roughly $10,000 for the materials to renovate it,' she explained. 

'The van has solar powered electricity, a kitchen, bedroom, office space and gives me everything I need to live an abundant life full of happiness and exploration.

To fund her life on the road, she earns an income from her website, affiliate marketing, advertising, and offer a mentorship program for anyone trying to build a website and make money from it, she explained on Instagram

Before she hit the road, she found herself 'miserable' working 70 hour weeks for 'the devil himself as an event coordinator' in Chicago, further convincing her that there was more to gain out of life than working a traditional job. 

Sydney said that her beloved Ella joined her as a puppy. 

'We just celebrated her first birthday. I've got to admit she's a bit of a wild child. She just has so much energy and she can be a little bit crazy, but she is the most fun partner I could have ever asked for. She is truly the light of my life.' 

To date, the adventurous creative has hopped all over the U.S. in her van convert. 

She has been to Yellowstone, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, San Diego, California, Oregon and even north across the border to Quebec in Canada. 

Since she's explored each corner of her native country, she now plans on taking her mini home south and into Mexico when winter kicks in. 

Her biggest complication hasn't been her safety as a solo female traveler, but that of other people always assuming that she should fear for her safety. 

'One of the things that gets to me is people always telling me I'm absolutely crazy for traveling on my own,' she said. 

'People are always telling me they fear for my safety because of my gender. I may be a woman, but I also love to travel, and I am making that happen. I'm not weak, incapable or any different than any man who travels. 

'I'll be honest, there is no shower on this van, so I need to shower at local gyms, but there is a toilet and it's really lovely having that. 

'Besides that, my mail needs to go to my parents' house, and I go pick it up a few times a month,' she added.

Sydney encourages other women to ignore the negative comments they might hear about traveling as a woman on their own.

'Never allow others to make you feel small, weak or anything but the strong individual that you really are,' she said. 

'I have never felt fearful for my life not even once while on the road. You can't allow yourself to be emotionally paralyzed your entire life because of some of the things you hear people say. 

'You have to get out there and try it for yourself in order to really know what the world really has in store for you. Get to know yourself deeply, experience the world however you want to and don't ever hold back. Basically, just go and do it!'

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Couple Sell £350k Home, Quit Their Jobs And Take Children On World Tour

A couple who grew tired of the rat race have revealed how they quit their jobs and sold their £350,000 family home to travel the world with their young kids.

Former stock market trader Andre Baldeo, 45, originally from Enfield, north London, says he thought he was 'happy and healthy' with his financially rewarding but high-octane career but says a friend's terminal cancer diagnosis made him realise he was simply 'going through the motions' rather than living life to the full.

Andre, who now lives in Cape Town, South Africa, said he decided it was time to show his children, Rico, 12, and Tiana-Mae, ten, there was 'more to life than suburbia', and convinced wife Becky, 44, to uproot the entire family and satisfy his wanderlust. 

The couple both quit their jobs, sold their belongings and bought a one-way ticket for an 18-month trip of a lifetime.

They've since travelled 51,000 miles across 13 countries in South America and Asia, visiting 48 cities, staying in hotels, youth hostels and jungle lodges. 

The family spent Christmas in Tokyo, hiked the Andes, walked up volcanoes, and explored the Amazon forest.

They swapped days at school and work for stints conserving turtles, working on farms and even football coaching, 'home-schooling' the kids along the way.

Now back home they are unemployed and living in rented accommodation - but said the £65,000 trip was worth every penny. 

Andre said: 'It was time for a change and I rehashed one of my life long dreams to Becky - to travel the world and experience as much as we could as a family of four.

'It really hit home how we have to make the most of our lives. Working long hours stuck in front of six monitor screens, studying graphs and looking at news can become very lonely and extremely depressing.

He adds: 'It became suffocating. We needed a change and needed to do something different. I wanted to show our children there is more to life outside of suburbia.

'It was completely life-changing and incredibly inspiring but it was the scariest thing I've ever had to do.'

Speaking about the life-changing decision, he explains: 'We broke down all the security we had at home and literally gave up everything. I do feel proud to have done it and it is the best £65,000 I have ever spent. We now have the most amazing memories to keep forever and nothing will change that. I gave up our family home and I don't regret it for a second.'

'It was the trip of a lifetime and coming back home has been very strange. It's going to take a while for us to get used to normal life again. I know when on my deathbed, I'll have a head full of amazing experiences and memories and won't have any regrets to what we sacrificed to make them happen.'

Andre lived and worked in London as a trader for nine years, where he met South African native, Becky, a PA.

They moved to Cape Town together in 2007, had Rico and Tiana-Mae, and lived a comfortable life, with Andre earning around £35,000 a year.

However, in September 2016, Andre said he realised he was getting tired of 'going through the motions'.

He felt as though his family were in a '9-5 working life rut' and wanted to find a way of 'broadening horizons' for his kids so they could 'learn from the world around them'.

THe family finally made a decision to change their lives when Andre heard a close friend in the UK who had a brain tumour had been given a matter of weeks to live.

During 18 months of planning they sold their Cape Town home and put all their belongings into storage.

Andre said they had no idea how long the trip would last for but boarded a one-way flight to Sarawak, in Borneo, in April 2018.

The family stayed in jungle lodges and bamboo lodges as they set their sights towards Malaysia and the Philippines - climbing the 4,100m tall Mount Kinabalu along the way.

They did turtle conservation work and volunteered in animal sanctuaries.

Andre said they planned their route as they went along, and next up was Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.

'Another volunteering opportunity arose in Japan, this time for me to dust of my boots and help coaching football at an academy', said Andre.

'We lived with a Japanese family who had three small children.

'Food and board was provided in exchange for our help - me coaching football, and Becky helping around the house.

'Christmas was spent in Tokyo with an old friend of mine and his family, from my home town Enfield, North London.'

In February the family flew to Colombia and spent five weeks working at a foundation with local children.

After two months they flew to Ecuador for three weeks walking up volcanoes, exploring the Amazon and hiking in the Andes.

The last leg of the journey took the Baldeo's down the eastern side of South America with visits to Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

Andre said the highlights of South America were a three day, 40km hike in the Andes mountains to Lake Quilotoa, in Ecuador, and visiting Machu Picchu.

Their last calling point was San Jose, in Costa Rica, where they boarded a plane back home, arriving back in Cape Town on October 29.

He said it was the best experience of his life - but admits it wasn't always easy.

He said: 'A lot of people think that this way of life is glamorous and essentially a glorified holiday.

'It is very difficult being together, just the four of us 24/7. No one gets any personal space at all.

'My guilty pleasure when we packed our rucksacks to come away was my running shoes, so thankfully I got away for some time alone a few times a week.

'Becky's guilty pleasure was her hair straighteners - but she has only used them once. To be honest living out of bags, having cold showers, long bus journeys and constantly moving and not having familiar surroundings got draining.

'But the amazing experiences that we had cancel out the negatives.

'We realised we were coming towards the end after about a year and four months. We were getting very tired and planned out way back home.'

The family are now renting a fully-furnished family home while they get back on their feet. Rico and Tiana-Mae will start back at school in a few weeks time.

'It already feels like a distant dream but we have a different outlook on life now and we are all better people for it', said Andre.

'We met some incredibly poor people and we have taken so many life lessons out of it.'

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Police forced to remove 'abusive' passengers from easyJet plane at Manchester airport

Two passengers were removed from a flight by police after their rowdy behaviour forced the captain to turn the plane around before it even reached the runway.

The easyJet flight from Manchester to Amsterdam had already left the gate when the pilot decided to turn back at around 11.30am today.

It was met by police, who boarded the plane before escorting two people off.

All other passengers also had to disembark and return to the gate while the incident was dealt with.

It is not clear exactly at this stage what happened, however easyJet said in a statement it would 'not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board'.

Photographs from a witness show police on the plane and at the gate.

The flight had been due to take off at around 11.30am but was delayed by several hours as a result of the trouble.

It eventually departed for Schiphol Airport just before 2pm.

A spokesman for easyJet said: 'We can confirm that flight EZY1837 from Manchester to Amsterdam was required to return to stand and met by police due to two passengers behaving disruptively onboard.

'Our cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

'Whilst such incidents are rare, we take them very seriously, do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board.

'The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always our highest priority.'

Greater Manchester Police have been approached for comment but are yet to respond.

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Five children killed in church van heading to Disney World after two big rigs collided and ignited, as it's revealed one of the truck drivers had received several traffic tickets

The five children killed in a horror crash heading to Disney World in a church van have been pictured for the first time.  

Their photos emerged as it was revealed that the truck driver at the center of Thursday's crash that killed him, another trucker and the five children received several traffic tickets over the years. 

Court records show 59-year-old Steve Holland of West Palm Beach was ticketed between 2000 and 2014 in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia for violations including speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, driving an overloaded vehicle and not carrying proof of insurance.  

Holland was traveling north on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Thursday when he veered into another car, lost control and went through the center divider, striking the southbound church van that carried the five children and another truck.  

The children killed were Joel Cloud, 14, Jeremiah Warren, 14, Cierra Bordelan, 9, Cara Descant, 13, and Briana Descant, 10.  

Horrifying footage from the scene showed the huge fire engulfing several vehicles, with flames so intense they damaged parts of the road. 

'Once those semis struck, they both caught fire,' Louisiana Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan said.

He said a fifth vehicle came through and either struck people who had been ejected from the vehicle or debris. 

Some 50 gallons of diesel spilled, fueling the fire that also damaged the road in some spots.

At least eight people were sent to the hospital with injuries. Two tractor trailers, a van and a midsize sedan were involved in the mid afternoon crash.

Vinnie DeVita said he was driving south at the time and narrowly escaped the crash - he said it saw it happen in the rearview mirror, immediately behind him, according to WKMG-TV.

'If I had stepped on the brake when I heard the noise, undoubtedly, I would have been in that accident,' DeVita said. 'And then within probably 15 to 20 seconds of it all, it exploded. I mean, just a ball of flames.'

The aftermath closed part of the highway in both directions, causing massive delays along the busy north-south corridor. 

Authorities opened the northbound lanes around 8pm but all but one southbound lane remained closed Friday morning.  

Investigators said they were treating the crash as a homicide investigation.

Nicole Towarek was traveling northbound with her family when they came across the scene. 

She told the Gainesville Sun that black smoke billowed, people were laid out near vehicles, there were long skid marks across the roadway and emergency workers were converging on the area.

'We kept seeing these little explosions and fire,' she said. 'The heat, it was insane.'

It was the worst accident on I-75 in Alachua County since January 2012, when 11 people died in a chain reaction crash attributed to heavy fog and smoke on the roadway, which crosses Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. 

Officials were criticized then for not closing the road due to worsening conditions, and later installed cameras, sensors and large electronic signs to help prevent similar crashes.

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A Hunt for second lorry driver who was caught on CCTV dropping off container in Belgium with 39 doomed migrants.

Police in Belgium have obtained CCTV footage of the haulier who transported the 39 migrants in a freezing container to the UK, after he was filmed ten times at the Zeebrugge site.

Cameras at the port terminal in Belgium snapped the vehicle as it went through the security port terminal, carrying 31 men and eight women.

The terminal is managed by Luxembourg-based company C.RO which is believed to have handed footage to police - a development which could reveal who transported the migrants on the continental part of their ill-fated journey.

One lorry driver has also been arrested on suspicion of murder. Mo Robinson, 25, remains in custody after a warrant of further detention was granted yesterday. 

Also yesterday, the owners of the lorry carrying 39 migrants who froze to death were arrested after police swooped on their £400,000 Cheshire home. 

Joanna Maher, 38, and her husband Thomas, also 38, from Warrington, are understood to have been held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter.  

The Maher's had previously told MailOnline they sold the lorry cab a year ago to a company in Ireland - but police officers investigating the tragedy raided their property yesterday before searching the couple's beauty salon around the corner, New Hair Don't Care.

The trailer carrying the 39 frozen trafficking victims is believed to be owned by a rental firm in Dublin.

The refrigerated unit arrived in Zeebrugge at 2.49pm on Tuesday before being placed on a ferry which got to Purfleet, Essex at 1am on the Wednesday morning. It was then picked up by Maurice 'Mo Robinson' who has since been arrested in connection with the investigation.

According to The Times, police are now focusing their attentions on the driver who delivered the container to the Belgium port and the CCTV footage may be able to identify them.

Dutch language newspaper Het Nieuwsblad quoted one source, thought to have been a Belgium official as saying: 'We hope to catch him soon. His truck was filmed ten times at the port site'. 

The driver who delivered the unit is thought to have dismissed normal protocol and failed to identify himself, or provide a waybill upon arrival at the port.

A waybill is a document obtained by hauliers which shows their contract with the shipping firm they have an agreement with. 

It raises questions about the security of ports across Europe, as the UK are believed to have sent equipment to terminals such as Zeebrugge in order to thwart people smuggling.

Speaking last night a Belgian police officer said there were 4,000 lorries and containers that go through Zeebrugge every day without being seen on camera, and claimed that migrants placed in containers regularly got through to the UK.

He added that smugglers put migrants in lorries in places such as Germany and Luxembourg before getting them across to the UK.

In response to this Zeebrugge port said that it had put sniffer dogs and detection devices in place to spot body heat on lorry trailers, however they claimed that this did not work on refrigerated units.

The units are thought to undergo a 'camera check' by guards to see if plastic seals have been broken, if this is the case, officers are then alerted.

Commenting on the developments, Belgian politician Franky Demon told The Times that the question for officials in Belgiam is whether or not the country is lagging behind in terms of technology.

'Have they found a back door for their smuggling with transport via refrigerated containers?' 

This latest development comes as a 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and suspicion of manslaughter.

This brings the arrest list to four, after Warrington couple Joanna Maher and her husband Thomas have been held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter.

Lorry driver Maurice 'Mo' Robinson was also arrested on suspicion of murder and police were also given extra time to quiz the 25-year-old.

On Friday it was also revealed that six of the possible victims may have been Vietnamese. 

A woman named Pham Thi Tra My had text her family as she died on the container, messaging her mother and telling her she couldn't breathe.

This is while the family of a 20-year-old man named Nguyen Dinh Luong, who was travelling from Vietnam to France, has also not been heard from in days.

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Desperate 'migrants' spotted fighting for air through hole in back of M25 lorry

Two men who appear to be migrants have been photographed peeking through a hole in the side of a lorry's canopy as it travelled on the M25.

The photograph, taken in the same week 39 migrants from China and Vietnam died in the back of a lorry entering the UK, appears to show the extent of the crisis facing British border officials.

The extraordinary photo shows the two men taking in their new surroundings as one pushes an arm outside of the vehicle while the other perches his hands on the frame of the canopy. Both were seen looking out and waving at other cars as they passed.

The driver who took the images told the Mirror: 'It was in the middle of the day last Wednesday, just before the turn-off for the M40.

'It was a strange sight. It was hard to tell how many were inside, but it looked like they were crammed in tight.'

Migrants are regularly picked up having fled lorries at service areas on the M25, Britain's busiest motorway which services the Home Counties.

Cobham Services in Surrey has seen a spate of incidents. In a single year some 117 people were arrested there on suspicion of immigration offences.

On Wednesday, 39 victims' bodies were found in the back of a lorry in Grays, Essex sparking a national outcry. 

All of the victims have now been moved from the truck in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.

It is said police have begun looking through bags and mobile phones belonging to the migrants. 

The belongings form part of more than 500 pieces of evidence that Essex Police are sifting through in a bid to identify the victims.

It was initially believed the victims were all Chinese nationals, but Vietnamese men and women are now feared to be among the dead. 

Vietnamese ambassador to the UK, Tran Ngoc An, spoke to Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday night before meeting investigators from the National Crime Agency and Essex Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday that the ambassador had visited the Civic Centre in Grays to pay tribute to the victims.

DCI Pasmore said the nationality of the victims is not yet known, but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community - although 'there may be other nationalities involved'.

He said there were 'very, very few' identity documents recovered and that police will share fingerprints with Vietnamese authorities in a bid to identify the bodies. 

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said she would give no more details about the nationalities of the victims until formal identification had taken place.

Police have charged truck driver Maurice Robinson with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people in connection with the deaths.

Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday. 

He was the first of those arrested to be charged in what is seen as one of the U.K.'s biggest cases of people smuggling.

Four others have been arrested in the case. U.K. police are struggling to identify the victims, who are believed to have come from Asia, and autopsies are being performed. 

The Vietnamese Embassy in London has set up a hotline for families to call about missing family members.

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Interesting, Backpacker, 29, was living her dreams and travelling the world when she suddenly fell into a coma and lost her memory

A backpacker who was living her dreams by travelling the world with her fiance suddenly fell into a coma and lost 95 per cent of her memory, and often has to ask how she met the love of her life.

Nataya Demarchio, 29, fell in love with Australia when she travelled to Queensland with her fiance, Bruno Meira, in 2016, where she worked on farms and lived in a tent.

Since then, the couple have travelled the world and returned to Mildura, Victoria, on February 27 this year with new working visas, excited about what the year would bring.

Ms Demarchio and her fiance were working at a grape-picking farm in July when she came down with a fever, and Mr Meira watched her health quickly deteriorate.

'After three days of fever, she was found by her beautiful partner and I neurologically unresponsive,' her roommate, Victoria Campbell, wrote on Facebook.

She was then taken rushed to Melbourne's The Alfred Hospital where she went into a coma as doctors attempted to piece together what had gone wrong.

'Nataya is in a stable coma but still looks very sick but she has plenty of pretty complex exams still to do,' Mr Meira wrote on Facebook on August 2.

'Please don't ask me what she has... I can only give information little by little.' 

For nine weeks, doctors studied Ms Demarchio desperate to find what was wrong as her fiance slept on couches and on the floor by her side.

After four weeks in a coma and ten weeks of constant tests and a hospital bill of more than $350,000, Ms Demarchio was finally diagnosed with New Onset Refreactory Status Epilepticus (NORSE) disease.

'This is an exceptionally rare and grim disease, often death or ongoing seizures and memory loss result,' a GoFundMe page for her recovery reads. 

'She defied expectations after being in a four week coma, but is still seriously in the grip of this disease.'

When Ms Demarchio woke up on August 17 at 3pm, she had lost 95 per cent of her memory and was overcome with emotion when she struggled to remember who she was.

She fails to remember most of her eight years with Mr Meira and often asks him the same questions every day.

'She is upset, but sometimes it is like watching a movie when she watches the pictures and it is always something new,' Mr Meira told the Herald Sun.

'We have been together eight years and eight months now, but she asks me sometimes how we met.'

'She knows me always, but she can't remember how we met, she can't remember our travel for the past three years.'

NORSE causes immune systems to attacks healthy brain cells, which leads to inflammation in the brain.

Unfortunately, the longer it takes to discover the disease, the harder it is to undo the damage that is already done. 

Luckily for Ms Demarchio, Melbourne was undertaking one of the first major studies in the world to tackle the condition, which was only discovered 12 years ago with one case per year in Australia.

Ms Demarchio is suffering severe short-term memory loss, so she finds it jarring every morning as she doesn't recall waking up from the coma.

While she can recognise the names of many people in her life, she still has trouble with names and recalling experiences over the past five years. 

The 29-year-old has now learnt how to eat, stand, walk and talk and was finally returned to Paris on October 6 on a medevac aircraft via Bangkok.

Mr Meira took to Facebook grateful that the worst was behind the young couple.

He said: 'Even if you don't remember all our secrets, adventure, how we met... no matter we can start again and we will meet again and meet friends. We will dream, we will dream, even with all our struggling we always have a way.'

While the community has generously donated $13,000 to the couple, it is still not enough to cover the medical bills as well as the $39,000 medevac flight.

Mr Meira is only planning on staying in hospital with his fiance for a couple of weeks before returning to Australia to work and start paying off the debt.

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Austistic boy 'abducted' and taken to Russia by his mum

A father is desperately fighting to be reunited with his eight-year-old son who he claims was 'abducted' by his mother and taken to live in Russia.

Ian Kettlewell, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, said his 'worst fears became reality' when his son Myles was taken out of school by his mother who then fled to her native Russia with him. 

Courts had denied her permission to take Myles to Russia because he has Autism and does not speak the language. 

Instead, she took him on holiday then refused to return Myles' passport to Mr Kettlewell.  

The 35-year-old telecoms engineer said his son was last seen at Heathrow boarding a plane on September 30, despite his attempts to block his passport and stop him being taken out of the country. 

Mr Kettlewell said his life has 'been turned upside down.'

He added: 'It's something that happens in a film. I keep waking up and wishing it was just a bad dream. It is better for me to think he is having an adventure and is enjoying it. It is heart-wrenching and I feel helpless.'  

Mr Kettlewell was granted 50/50 access of his son in September 2018 after he and his mother split in 2013. He then obtained a court order to stop Myles from leaving the country. 

He said: 'To prevent parental child abduction, and Myles leaving the UK without my permission, specific issue orders made by the court were put in place. One of which entitled me to hold both Myles' passport, as I posed no risk of abducting my own son.'

Myles' mother was denied another request to move to Russia with him in June, but granted permission to take him on holiday in July.  

Mr Kettlewell added: 'Despite raising my natural concern regarding his safety, I was given little choice by the court but to agree to this. She therefore took Myles on holiday, and returned, albeit a day later than what had been agreed. 

'Since returning to the U.K. she retained Myles' passport and refused to hand it back to me. Once more, I had no choice but to apply to the court for an enforcement order to guarantee the safe return of his passport to me. 

'A date was then scheduled with the court on October 3 for this to be settled. Little did I know that this date would not be met and my son's passport would not be the only thing snatched from my life.'  

In a bid to take his son's passport back, Mr Kettlewell went to his ex's home - but found someone else living there after she 'moved out under the cover of midnight' days earlier.

He added: 'I thought she must have moved house so I phoned the school to get their help delivering the papers and they rang back to say his mother had taken him out.

'I didn't know what to do. I put my shoes on and ran out the door but I didn't know where I was going.

'I knew he had been taken from school and she would be attempting to go to the airport but I thought there was a block on his passport so I was quite confident and hoping I would get a phone call from the police to say she had been stopped and was in custody, but that was when they told me he was on a flight the night before. 

'The toughest thing is that we almost stopped her.' 

Mr Kettlewell added: 'Myles was diagnosed in 2017 with autism and is lucky to be in a mainstream school that supports his needs brilliantly. 

'For Myles, stability is quite simply all about being at home where he is able to enjoy the simplest of pleasures.

'Comfort for Myles is certainly not about flying to an unfamiliar country and being dumped in a land of strangers where he is unable to speak the language. 

'On the morning of September 30, I did not know that this would be the last time I would be dropping my son at school, or that this kiss goodbye would be our last. I did not know that I would not be collecting him from school because he would not be there.

'It was only when I contacted the school to arrange a meeting at the end of the day between myself, Myles' mother and a member of staff that the real nightmare began. 

'My beautiful son was boarding his plane bound for Russia at 10.45pm and was being abducted.

'My son is a not a possession; he is a human being with rights and feelings.. I miss him. I fear for him. And I desperately want him back home where he belongs and where he can be himself.'

A spokesperson for Suffolk Police confirmed they were investigating a reported abduction. 

GoFundMe page has now been set up to help Mr Kettlewell raise the legal fees to fight for his son in Russia.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous confirmed he is liaising with the Foreign Office and has written to foreign secretary Dominic Raab to seek assistance in bringing Myles back to the country.

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Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults, who landed plane safely after passenger was sucked out of window

The pilot who safely landed a Southwest Airlines flight after an engine exploded, smashing a window and killing a passenger who was sucked out of the aircraft, says she still faces sexism despite her heroic actions.

Tammie Jo Shults calmly landed Flight 1380 in Philadelphia on April 17, 2018, when disaster struck just 22 minutes into the journey from New York to Dallas.

The veteran pilot has now revealed how, despite being compared to Captain Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger, who landed a plane on the Hudson River in a 2009 emergency, saving all passengers on board, she never achieved his status - because she is a woman.

'I recently gave a talk and a woman came up to me and said, "Well, you're no Sully, but I'm excited to hear you speak." It's one example of a thousand sexist things said to me in 35 years of flying.' Shults admitted to 'After my talk, she came up to me and said, "Actually Sully is no you." It's all about perspective and how much information you have.

'Other people have said, "The only reason people are making a big deal about this is because you're a woman. You weren't even successful, because somebody died on the plane." I landed the plane safely though and I don't need to address it further. I did it. People can take the facts and work it out for themselves. Let them connect the dots.'

Shults had a phone conversation with Captain Sullenberger the day after the horror and the pair spoke about what she could expect in the future in terms of media.

She tells her story in new book Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings, and Faced My Greatest Challenge, which was released this week.

Shults also told Sully faced the same media onslaught we did when he landed his flight. We had reporters coming to our house and calling us nonstop, so I asked Sully, "What did you wish you knew that you figured out later?" Then we just talked about our experiences and what I could expect in the future in terms of media.' 

Despite regretting 'not a thing' in terms of response to the emergency where Jennifer Riordan, 43, died, the pilot wishes she had given her sweater to the victim.

'The only regret I have is that when they brought Jennifer forward, instead of sitting back to let the medical team just do what they do, I wish I could have helped cover her a little better,' Shults admitted.

'I prayed there was still life in her, and I remember thinking, "She has got to be freezing." It bothered me that I didn't go get my sweater to put on her. It's small, but stepping in and extending a hand to help always makes a big difference.'

Shults added: 'It's difficult, because when you lose a passenger, it has a completely different posture than when you don't. I was grateful that we made a successful landing and I was in a position to know, more than anyone, that that wasn't a guaranteed fact when everything happened, even until we touched down. When there's a loss of life, it isn't eclipsed by all the good that happens.'

Shults doesn't claim all the credit for her life-saving actions in the event where she and First Officer Darren couldn't even hear each other after the aircraft was struck by a violent shudder and they couldn't focus their eyes as smoke filled the cockpit.

The pilot said a retired nurse on board gave a fellow passenger CPR and another traveler tied the shoelaces of someone who had their hands full.

Shults said that after a burst of adrenaline she was determined to land the plane safely and when they reached the ground she continued as normal by putting away her oxygen mask, collecting her headset and other belongings, then shaking hands with the passengers as they exited.

Shults' pilot husband Dean was supposed to fly that day but she switched with him so he could attend their son's game.

'Then I texted [my husband] Dean a picture of the busted engine and said, 'I flew this',' she shared.

Three weeks later she was back in the cockpit and flew to Puerto Vallarta and back.

'It was great,' she said about her return to work. 'They gave us as much time as we wanted, but sometimes you need a slice of normal in life.'

I had this burst of adrenaline that made me think so fast and remain so calm. I was thinking to myself, 'I don't think everything is going to stay on this aircraft for us to land, but I'll do everything in my power to make sure we land safely.'

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Dramatic moment stranded sailors are overcome with emotion as they watch a cruise ship arrive to rescue them

Dramatic photos have revealed just how close two Australians and a British man came to disaster after their boat began to sink in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Cousins Chris and Kevin Doran, along with their shipmate Ben Johnson, were travelling from Vanuatu to the Gold Coast when their boat struck a tug rope waters off New Caledonia on Thursday morning.

As their yacht started taking on water, the three sailors were forced to flee into a tiny life raft before sending out a desperate mayday call.

The calls were picked up by officials who notified the nearby Pacific Dawn cruise ship, plucking the sailors out from the ocean and bringing them back home to Brisbane for an emotional reunion with their families on Saturday morning. 

Speaking with reporters on Saturday morning, Chris and Kevin Doran said they couldn't wait to be reunited with their families after the traumatic ordeal.

'Never been happier to get home,' Chris said.

Despite being cramped onto the life raft, the seasoned sailors were confident they would be able to keep afloat.

'There's always a risk there, but I believe the risk was fairly low as we were very confident in our safety equipment and our procedures,' Mr Doran said. 

Initially we thought we might have hit a reef but that wasn't the case,' Chris Doran told AAP.

'We found quite a large ship's rope, there was about 50 metres of it and it wrapped around both propellers causing a breach in the hull, the boat started taking on water.'  

Once onboard the cruise ship, the men were treated like celebrities as dozens of passengers asked for photos and were even given shoes by the ship's crew.

The heroic captain of the Pacific Dawn said it was a 'no brainer' to rush to the rescue of the striken sailors.

'It was a no-brainer, we had to go and help them, but fortunately they were on the route so we didn't have to turn back,' Captain Alan Dockeray said.

'It was good fortune that we were so close and that the operation was so well coordinated by the marine rescue authorities in Noumea,' he said. 

The hotel operations team has also done a wonderful job making our unexpected guests as comfortable as possible following their ordeal. 

'We couldn't be happier than to be returning them to their families safe and well.'

Chris Doran had spent years travelling on the yacht, Liberty, including a recent visit to Hobart with his cousin Kevin.

At the time of the sinking, Mr Doran said he knew he had no choice but to abandon his beloved yacht, throwing food and safety equipment into the raft.

'I wasn't worried about the boat because we couldn't save it, there was no way we could've saved it,' he said, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

'(There's) a lot of memories with the family and it was a beautiful boat,' Chris said.

'Sad to see it go.' 

The Pacific Dawn had 2000 holidayers on board at the time of the rescue. 

The sailors were found bobbing in an orange life raft around 100 metres from their submerged yacht. 

Once on board, they phoned their families to tell them they were safe.

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Family on holiday with young baby 'told to pay £1,000 Thomas Cook debt' at Tenerife hotel or get out

A devastated mum claims she is being forced by her hotel in Tenerife to cough up £1,000 owed to them by Thomas Cook or be booted out on the streets.

Stacey Robinson broke down in tears when staff at the beach resort of Playa de las Américas reportedly informed her she had two hours to stump up the cash.

She was halfway through her holiday with partner Ste and nine month-old daughter, Olivia, when the tour operator collapsed, reports Manchester Evening News.

The 28-year-old from Bolton says she woke up to find a note under the door to her hotel room on Monday morning, telling her to contact reception immediately.

She claims that hotel reception staff handed her a piece of paper with a sum of £1,038 written on it, believed to be owed by Thomas Cook.

Stacey says she was told to pay the sum within two hours, or face being chucked out of their room.

The travel giant went into liquidation after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad.

A major repatriation process is currently underway to ensure all 150,000 Brits stranded abroad can return home.

Stacey says she checked her situation, and is booked onto a return flight with the Civil Aviation Authority on September 30.

But now she faces being kicked out of her hotel a week early if they cant stump up the extra cash, despite having forked out £1,600 for the original holiday.

Speaking from her hotel room, Stacey said: "We went down to reception this morning and it was absolutely manic.

"The receptionist asked if we were Thomas Cook and I said yes - the next thing he handed me a piece of paper with a sum of £1,038.

"He said if we didn't pay the money Thomas Cook owed within two hours we would be thrown out of our room.

"I was in tears as we don't have that kind of money."

Stacey says she has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, who advised her she was allowed to stay at the hotel, and confirmed they were in contact with several hotels to sort the issue.

"The problem is we have no idea how long that is going to take," she said.

"I have a nine month-old baby so we can't just be waiting around with nowhere to go until our flight back.

"We are just sat waiting in our room because we are scared if we leave we will end up being locked out."

She added: "We have family back home that could book us another place to stay but this is our little girls' first holiday abroad and I don't want to ruin it.

"They are not bothered at reception, there are older couples and other families who are in the same position, it's just a waiting game now."

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Dog owner blames United Airlines for animal's alleged heatstroke death: 'They literally fried him'

Florida family has claimed that their beloved dog 'literally fried' to death while flying inside a United Airlines cargo hold. 

John Paul Ciancimino, 45, of Florida, told The Sun that his family's Belgian Malinois, Rock, died during an August 2017 United flight from Boston to Fort Lauderdale, while the pet was being transported in the plane's cargo hold.

During a stopover at New Jersey's Newark Airport, the airline was said to have discovered that there had been an 'an emergency' situation involving the dog.

The airline told the New York Post that workers 'discovered that the dog injured itself while chewing through and escaping his kennel during the flight.'

United said that Rock was taken straight to a local animal hospital for treatment, but that he died anyway. 

Ciancimino said that Rock died because the cargo hold was too hot. 

'He was fried – they literally fried him,' told The Sun. 'He was completely blind by the time they found him.”

A necropsy obtained by the New York Post, via Ciancimino's lawyer, Evan Oshan, revealed that Rock - a trained protection dog - 'had an antemortem body temperature of 106 degrees F' and that the findings suggested 'heatstroke led to the death of this dog.' 

The dog was said to have been in agony when it collapsed, prior to his organs shutting down. 

United said that it was 'saddened by Rock's passing' and a spokesperson denied that the cargo hold was excessively hot, noting that Rock had been traveling in a temperature-controlled cargo hold at the time of the incident. 

The airline said that it's PetSafe team is committed to the safety and comfort of all the pets that travel with us' and noted that, in 2018, United had overhauled its PetSafe program in conjunction with American Humane, in an effort 'to find ways to improve safety.' 

After Rock died, the airline said that it reached out to the Ciancimino family and 'refunded the travel costs, as well as covering all related veterinary bills.'

However, Oshan told the New York Post that the family had not received any reimbursement yet. 


Ciancimino described Rock as having been a 'member of the family' and 'very loving and affectionate.' 

He said that his children, Jon, nine, and Alysse, five, are 'devastated' by the dog's death and that Jon 'always talks about him. He was heartbroken.'  

Ciancimino said that 'one in a million' Rock - was flying back from Boston, where he had been receiving training as a protection canine, to the family's home in Fort Lauderdale at the time of the incident. 

All told, Ciancimino said that he had spent at least $68,000 on the dog's training fees, but that he isn't speaking out about the money, which he hasn't been reimbursed for yet.  

'It’s not a matter of money,' he told The Sun. 'It’s the fact that there was never an acknowledgement of what they’ve done. They treat your pets – your loved ones – as a piece of luggage.'

Oshan is asking United to 'do the right thing' by the family, because 'no living things should die the way Rock died.' 

In 2017, the US Department of Transportation found that 18 pets died while traveling on United. Only two pets per airline died while flying on American Airlines, Delta and Alaska Airlines.

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Ohio woman is 'caught trying to smuggle a newborn BABY out of the Philippines by concealing him in her carry-on luggage'

An American woman was allegedly caught trying to smuggle a newborn baby boy out of the Philippines by concealing him in her carry-on luggage.

Jennifer Talbot, 43, from Ohio, had checked in for a flight to the US when airport officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila found the undocumented baby inside 'an oversized belt bag' around her waist.

She tried to get through airport security and immigration checks but police pounced as she sat in the departure area this morning.

Talbot is now being questioned by police while they check the identity of the infant and how she came to have him.

Bureau of Immigration deputy spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said the baby boy, believed to be a six-day-old Filipino, does not have proper documents or a plane ticket.

He said staff from Delta Airlines alerted airport police when Talbot had checked in.

Talbot was held by the Bureau of Immigration and later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation for questioning.

The undocumented baby was taken to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while investigations are on-going.

Immigration chief Melvin Mabulac said: 'American citizen was supposed to leave the country for the United States when airport officers at Naia Terminal 3 discovered the undocumented infant in her bag around 6:20 a.m.'

Mr Mabulac said the baby was hidden in an 'oversized belt bag' and 'was not declared nor presented to the immigration inspector during departure formalities'.

Mr Mabulac said they could not confirm if Talbot is the mother or guardian of the baby since authorities did not find any travel document to indicate the infant's information.

He added: 'The suspect was not able to provide any documents showing she had the authority to take the baby onboard the plane.'

The baby was in 'good health' and medics are now carrying out checks to confirm the nationality and exact age.

Talbot has been detained for questioning.

Mr Mabulac added: 'We cannot identify the child because there is no travel document so other departments will investigate this. The NBI will also look into other violations.'

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Kevin Hart Suffers Major Injuries In Car Crash

American stand-up comedian, actor and producer Kevin Darnell Hart who is better known as Kevin Hart has sustained serious injuries after he got involved in a serious car crash early Sunday morning in the Malibu Hills.

According to a report by a local report, the renowned comedian and two other people drifted into a ditch in Malibu Hills just before 1 a.m Sunday morning,1st September 2019.

Reports indicate that although Kevin Hart was not the one driving, he and the driver sustained major back injuries.

The third person in the vehicle is a woman who did not require hospital treatment.

Crash scene video shows Kevin Hart’s Plymouth Barracuda deep in a gully about 10 feet off the road.

It was learnt that Hart was able to exit the wreckage himself and was picked up by his personal security team.

The other two passengers of the car have not been identified and the police reportedly said the driver of the car was not drunk at the time of the incident.

The Hollywood star had bought the vintage muscle car as a 40th birthday present to himself back in July.


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Brave mum reveals how she fought off Moseley carjackers while her son, 3, was inside car

A brave mum who fought off three carjackers has said her only instinct was to protect her young son.

Her three-year-old boy and her friend were still inside the £55,000 car when a gang armed with a crowbar tried to steal it.

But the plucky mum, who did not want to be named, told BirminghamLive how she "did everything in her power" to stop them.

The drama happened in Oakland Road, Moseley , at around 6pm on Friday, July 26.  Watch the incredible video showing her bravery above.

The 24-year-old woman said she had just pulled up in the road and was unloading her Audi SQ5 with her son in the back and friend in the front passenger seat when the terrifying incident unfolded.

"They didn't come out of nowhere, I'd noticed them in their car in the road just minutes before but didn't think anything of it." she said.

"I don't know if they'd been following me, were waiting for me or if it was just random.

"But I was out of the car when three of them came rushing up to me with their faces covered.

"They had a crowbar and started shouting first at my friend to give them her handbag and to me screaming for the keys.

"My friend said she didn't have anything in her handbag so they turned to me screaming 'Give us the keys, give us the keys."

The woman, who is a full-time mum, said instinct then took over.

"Immediately my instinct was to protect the two people with me and I did everything in my power to do that," she said.

"They had a crowbar but weren't hitting me with it, and didn't have knives or guns so I thought, well if they were going to hit me they'd have done it by now.

"One of them had got into the car and was trying to start it and I shouted 'my son's in the car - leave him alone!

"The car wouldn't start and they were still screaming for the keys.

"I tried shutting the car door on the one who had got inside but he managed to move just before I could.

"So I moved away, put my handbag up against the wall and a plant pot and and sat on it so there was something between them and my keys.

"They had pushed my friend over and she was yelling at me to just give them the keys, but I said I can't because my baby's in the car.

"I kept thinking, if they were going to use that crowbar they would have by now so just sat there refusing to hand over the keys.

"I also knew that my friend had phoned the police and other people in the road had as well so I knew help wasn't very far away."

She said eventually the gang ran away and she rushed over to get her son out of the car.

"I figured they weren't professionals because they were only armed with a crowbar - if they'd meant business they'd have got knives or even a gun," she said.

The mum, who used to work in recruitment, said it was the second time in less than a year that thieves had targeted her and her partner's car.

In October 2018 both of their Audis had been stolen from the driveway of their home - and one of them had been later used in a ram raid and someone had been prosecuted over it.

"We've been told our Audis are very desirable by gangs and robbers because they're high speed and also very valuable for parts as well," she said.

"All our friends and family say to us, why don't you just check a cheaper car?

"My instinct is to do that, but then I think, why should we?  They're our cars, we love them and worked hard for them."

he mum, who lives in the Moseley area, said she and her son were unharmed in the incident, but that he had been left traumatised by the ordeal.

"He 's always asking me, mum, are the bad men coming back?  I tell him, no, they're in a cage and won't be coming back."

Police are still appealing for information about the attack to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Mother and daughter pilots for Delta go viral after photo of them flying together posted online

Every little girl should be raised to believe that she can do anything she puts her mind to. But for many, the lack of role models presented in the media and the world around them can make that difficult to truly believe.

That sentiment is what got so many people excited when they saw a smiling picture posted of Capt. Wendy and First Officer Kelly Rexon in March of 2019.

The two women pilots, who flew a Boeing 737 from Los Angeles to Atlanta together, are a rare enough sight already; according to an estimate by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots in 2018, the number of female pilots at the largest commercial airlines in the world only adds up to somewhere between 3 percent and 6 percent of the overall pilot staff.

What makes them even more inspirational, though, is that they weren’t just an all-female flight crew—they’re also a mother-daughter team.

“Just flew with this mother daughter crew on Delta from LAX to ATL,” shared John R. Watret, the Chancellor of the Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus, who happened to be on that particular flight and decided to post about it on social media. Watret is also a pilot and a self-described “aviation geek.”

The photo went viral immediately, with over 18,000 people retweeting the photo and an additional 52,000 liking it. Over 600 people commented on the image, expressing their delight at seeing such an inspirational flight crew—something that Watret himself explained was his reason for posting it.

“There has to be more diversification in the industry,” Watret said, in an interview with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical News. “It’s crucial and one of the key factors we focus on. When there are more opportunities, everyone wins.”

Watret learned about the unique pair who were piloting his flight when a mother and daughter sitting near him asked if they could take a look around the cockpit. He was intrigued when the flight attendant granted them permission, explaining that they would be surprised by what they found—and when they returned to their seats, he heard them talking about who the pilots were upon popping in to say hello.

Watret then asked to go up and visit them himself, and he later shared the picture of when he got a chance to chat with them.

As chancellor of an aeronautical university with campuses across the globe, Watret knew that he had an opportunity to make a difference by sharing the story of the Rexons with the world. So even though he admitted that he’s not a frequent tweeter, he sent the picture off into the social media sphere in hopes that it would inspire more women to get involved in aviation.

Embry-Riddle has been doing its part as a university to make the concrete effort to get more women into aviation. Just before the photo of the Rexons was snapped, the university wrapped up its 30th annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Long Beach, California, and they hosted a “STEM event during Girls in Aviation Day” to give 300 girls between the ages of 7 and 17 a chance to learn more about aviation and how to get into a flight career themselves.

Delta was delighted that Watret shared the story, tweeting out that the pair are “flight crew goals!”

One person’s response summed it up perfectly, though.

“This gives new meaning to a ‘mother talking her daughter under her wings!’” they wrote.

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