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News in brief: Falkland beaches open as mines are cleared

FALKLAND Islanders have flocked to beaches after they were finally declared free of mines. Hundreds turned out to explore Yorke Bay and Gypsy Cove — off-limits since the Falklands War in 1982. After specialists from Zimbabwe spent more than a decade clearing thousands of mines, children helped detonate the last ones (below).

PICS: SWNS

Simon Benjamin, 37, said: ‘It was an emotional day. For many of us, it was our first time on the beach. We could look before but couldn’t touch.’

Ten people died grilling with cooker door shut

TEN people have been gassed to death by using a grill with the door of their Beko cooker closed, an inquest heard. Five in Cornwall and another five around the country died that way between 2009 and 2013. The Truro inquest is into the Cornish deaths — of a family of three in Camborne and two housemates in Saltash. Coroner Geraint Williams said no criminal charges would follow over the carbon monoxide poisonings. Parent firm Arcelik’s instructions stated to keep the door open. The firm said: ‘No one foresaw the grill might be used with the door shut.’ The hearing continues.

Diplomat praised after saving student in river

A BRITISH diplomat in China has been praised for jumping into a river to save a drowning student. Video on social media shows Chongqing consul general Stephen Ellison removing his shoes and diving in to save the woman, who had slipped on rocks and fallen into the water on Saturday. A bystander then threw a lifebuoy to the pair. Mr Ellison told the BBC: ‘She was unconscious, she was not breathing and for a short time we feared the worst. But as we got back to the side, she started breathing again.’ The British Embassy in Beijing tweeted it was ‘immensely proud’ of him.

Charity removes name of anti-abortion Stopes

A LEADING abortion provider has changed its name to distance itself from Marie Stopes, deeming her views on eugenics in ‘stark contrast’ to the charity’s values. Marie Stopes International will now be called MSI Reproductive Choices to show that it does not have a ‘meaningful connection’ to the woman who founded Britain’s first birth control clinic in 1921. Stopes offered contraception but opposed abortion and thought ‘unfit parents’ should be sterilised. n 1976, long after her death, the charity was founded when Dr Tim Black bought the lease to her clinic in central London, after hearing it was at risk of closure.

Mosque knifeman begs for jail ‘to learn Koran’

AN ATTACKER who stabbed a prayer leader in the neck at a mosque wants to be jailed so he can memorise the entire Koran, a court has heard. Daniel Horton, 30, has admitted stabbing Raafat Maglad, 70, at the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park on February 20. Mr Maglad fears being attacked again and, due to his injuries, can no longer lift a spoon to his mouth with his right hand alone. Horton, of no fixed address, wants to be ‘punished’, his lawyer Sam Blom-Cooper told Southwark crown court. ‘He wants to learn the Koran off by heart,’ he added. Sentencing was delayed until next month for psychiatric reports.

300BC Hermes bust dug up in Athens sewage works

Message from past: Head of Hermes PICTURE: AP

A STATUE of the Greek god Hermes dating back to 300BC has been found just 4ft below street level in Athens. The bust, unearthed during sewage works, would originally have served as a street marker but was later built into the wall of a drainage duct, the Greek Culture Ministry said. Unusually, the fleet-footed Hermes — who carried messages from the other Gods — is depicted at ‘a mature age’. The bust is in the style of sculptor Alcamenes, who flourished in the second half of the fifth century BC.

‘Largest ever’ crop of dross competes for Turnip Prize

A RECORD 120 entries have been received for this year’s Turnip Prize — the annual spoof award for ‘crap art’. Organiser Trevor Prideaux said he has ‘ordered a second skip’ after being deluged with works. Among those shortlisted are Rock on Tommy, a rock on top of a tomato by The Very Reverend Canon Ball; and Shut the D**k Up, a duck with gaffer tape over its beak by Doug Tunn. Winners of the competition will receive an actual turnip on a wooden base. It began in 1999 in response to modern art’s famous Turner Prize.

Premier Inn resting easy with 50,000 pillow sales

THE little things people miss during lockdown include bedding down at the Premier Inn, it seems. The budget hotel chain has revealed it is selling almost 150 of its Hypnos pillows each day. It has shifted more than 50,000 in 12 months, with 57 per cent of buyers opting for the soft variety and 43 per cent going for firm. Premier Inn said: ‘While we have missed being able to welcome our guests over the past few weeks, we’re pleased so many are still benefiting from the comfortable pillows found in our hotel rooms in their own homes.’

NEWS BITES

■ SPACEX has launched astronauts to the International Space Station on the first taxi flight for NASA by a private firm. The four on board are expected to arrive early today.

■ AT LEAST seven people died and 11 were injured in a fire at a Hong Kong restaurant. Candles lit to mark Diwali may have sparked the blaze at the venue in an apartment block.

■ SCIENTISTS are calling for labels similar to that on alcohol after cannabis has become 24 per cent stronger over 50 years, leading to a greater risk of addiction and psychosis, University of Bath found.

■ A MARIO KART-STYLE electric buggy, a third the size of a normal car, has been created from plastic on a 3D printer. With a top speed of 45mph, The Chameleon could be ideal for short trips, says Swindon engineering firm Scaled.

■ MOST side-effects from statins may be from the ‘nocebo effect’ — thinking it will make them ill, an Imperial College London study finds. Around 8million people in the UK take statins to lower cholesterol.

■ A PLANE hit and killed a brown bear while landing in Alaska. No crew or passengers were hurt in the accident at Yakutat airport, and the bear’s cub was uninjured.