INDEPENDENT 2024-02-29 22:34:17


Texts allegedly sent by Red Bull boss Christian Horner leaked

WhatsApps allegedly sent by Christian Horner to a female colleague have been leaked to the press, leading to the Red Bull team principal to reiterate his denial of allegations made against him. It could prove to be an embarrassing development for Horner, just 48 hours before the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain.

Horner spoke out publicly for the first time since he was cleared of an allegation of inappropriate behaviour towards a female colleague on Thursday, after arriving at the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of the season-opening race at Sakhir. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I’m just pleased the process is over,” adding that Red Bull had “never been stronger”.

The complaint, first publicised on February 5, alleged “inappropriate, controlling behaviour” against the Red BullF1 team principal. Horner strongly denied the allegations, both initially and in public at Red Bull’s 2024 F1 car launch in Milton Keynes.

But after an investigation was conducted by an external lawyer, who interviewed Horner for nearly 10 hours on February 9 in London, the world champions’ parent company Red Bull GmbH confirmed that the “grievance” against Horner has been dismissed and he will continue as Red Bull F1 team principal and CEO. Follow the latest news from F1 below.

Si King leads tributes as Dave Myers dies aged 66 – live

TV chef Dave Myers, one half of the Hairy Bikers, has died at the age of 66, according to a statement shared this morning by his co-star and close friend Si King.

He found fame alongside King, his best friend and work partner of 30 years, as part of the motorcycle-riding cooking duo. Together, they have toured the UK – and the world – in search of new recipes, and adventures.

Myers, born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, first announced he was receiving treatment for cancer in May 2022, but did not specify what type.

In a tribute, King said: “I will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime.”

“I wish you god’s speed brother; you are and will remain a beacon in this world. See you on the other side. Love ya.”

Stars from across the worlds of TV and food have also paid tribute to Myers, with Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood sharing he was “gutted” by the news, while Myers’s former Strictly Come Dancing partner Karen Hauer called him “brilliantly inspiring and kind”.

This Morning Live presenters Kym Marsh and Gethin Jones fought back tears as they announced the news, calling Myers “a gorgeous human being”.

At least 43 killed in fire in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka

A fire in a six-storey commercial building in the Bangladeshi capital has killed at least 43 people and injured dozens of others.

The blaze began in a restaurant on the first floor of the building, and many people were trapped by the flames, firefighters said.

Bangladeshi health minister Samanta Lal Sen said the fire broke out in the building in Dhaka’s Bailey Road area, in a busy commercial district at the heart of the capital.

Fire crews rescued survivors and pulled out dead bodies, and by early Friday at least 43 people had died and 22 others were being treated, he said.

Mr Sen said at least 33 people, including women and children, were declared dead at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

At least 10 others died after being taken to the Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery.

More than a dozen firefighting units were deployed to douse the blaze that broke out at the Green Cosy Cottage shopping centre, according to General Brigadier General Main Uddin, the fire service and civil defence director.

At least 75 people, including 42 who were unconscious, were rescued from the building, crews said.

Luxury glamping site shut down after furious neighbours complain of noisy tent sex

A glamping site has been refused planning permission after neighbours reported having to listen to couples having sex in the thin tents as well as disturbance caused by karaoke parties.

Secret Garden Glamping in Lymington had applied for retrospective permission from New Forest District Council to continue running the site consisting of two five-metre tents in the garden of a semi-detached house in Shrubbs Avenue in the Hampshire town.

But after a number of neighbours complained about the level of noise during previous summers, the local authority has refused to grant permission to the applicant Liz Feay to run the site between May and September.

One resident wrote to the council: “I live directly behind this garden and see the tent top from my windows.

“I bought this house last year, thinking it was in a quiet cul de sac.

“That is until people come to stay there.

“The noise from this garden/field in the summer is too much often past midnight.

“There is music, loud chat, sex in the thin tents we all awkwardly hear and swearing.”

Another wrote: “All through the summer months the tents are right next to our gardens and the noise is constant especially at night as the people glamping don’t always treat the site with the neighbours in mind.

“They are on holiday, right in our back gardens and making the kind of noise they want to on holiday, which is very disruptive for those living nearby.

“There is frequent noise from children and groups of adults late into the night.

“Also the glamp site supplies a bonfire or fire pit which is dangerously close to the trees that line that border between Shrubbs Avenue and May Avenue.

“This cannot be safe, and is very antisocial.”

Another stated: “Most upsetting perhaps is that on several occasions we have had to close the window to block out the sound of a couple engaging in acts of a sexual nature, which the fabric walls of a tent clearly did not, and do not contain.

“There was a karaoke machine there for a time and on one notable sunny afternoon whilst trying to enjoy our garden with friends, we had to instead listen to a couple blaring out Islands In The Stream over and over, deluded in thinking they were Dolly and Kenny.

“This same karaoke machine was used top volume at 6am by a child yelling into the microphone.”

The Secret Glamping Lymington website advertises the site as “perfect for romantic escapes and family adventures”.

It adds: “Located just out of view, at the end of our family’s garden, follow the path to discover an archway hidden amongst the hedgerow that will lead you to your very own glamping retreat – which offers utter peace and tranquillity and which really does feel like it’s a million miles from anywhere!”

Detailing the reasons for the council’s rejection of the application, David Norris, service manager for development management planning, wrote: “The proposed use of the site for ‘glamping’ would result in a material intensification in the use of a quiet rear garden area, which would result in a level of noise and disturbance that would significantly exceed what would typically be expected within a predominantly residential area.

“As such, the proposal would be harmful to the living conditions of neighbouring occupiers.”

He adds that it would “increase recreational pressures” on “sensitive European nature conservation sites” including the impact on air quality.

Secret Garden Glamping in Lymington has been approached for comment.

Jimmy Kimmel gives Trump blunt reality check about Biden’s health

Jimmy Kimmel gave Donald Trump a blunt reality check about President Joe Biden’s health during his show on Wednesday night.

Mr Trump and his allies have repeatedly attacked Mr Biden for his age and gaffes throughout the election campaign – despite the fact that the former president is around the same age and is also prone to major gaffes himself, such as confusing Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi.

But, on Wednesday, Mr Biden completed his annual physical at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where his physician declared that the 81-year-old “continues to be fit for duty”.

Later that day on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Mr Kimmel questioned Mr Trump’s campaign tactic for attacking his rival – given that he, and perhaps other voters, had already made up their mind about who they are going to vote for, regardless of concerns over both candidates’ ages and cognitive abilities.

“People act like the results of Biden’s physical are somehow gonna influence who we vote for, I don’t care if he comes out that doctor’s office in an iron lung,” Mr Kimmel admitted.

“I would be fully OK with a Weekend At Bernie’s type White House situation if it means no Trump,” he added, referring to the movie in which two employees get an invitation to their boss’s beach house only to find him dead upon their arrival.

Concerns surrounding Mr Biden’s health were heightened last month when he was characterised as “an elderly man with a poor memory” in a scathing report by Special Counsel Robert Hur.

The report also claimed that Mr Biden did not remember what year his son, Beau Biden, died from brain cancer, and described part of an interview in which the president had trouble keeping track of the years during which he served as vice president.

Mr Biden called a press conference following the report’s publication in an attempt to put the allegations to rest, but sparked further questions about his memory when he appeared to confuse Mexico with Egypt.

The president’s various gaffes have been capitalised on by the Trump campaign, which last month published a spoof advert depicting the White House as a “senior living” establishment where “residents feel like presidents”.

How to help create a smokefree generation

“Some people can just stop and then never smoke again, but for most it’s hard,” says Tim Eves a 45-year-old father of three from West Sussex.

“It’s just getting through those initial tough few months. Once you do the benefits hugely outweigh the stress of giving it up.”

Tim was a smoker for around 12 years, but gave up with help from a local support group who introduced him to nicotine patches and gum.

“I won’t pretend it isn’t hard,” he adds. “The first few months, you have it in your head that you’d love to have just one cigarette. But now, if we happen to be in the pub it doesn’t even enter my head.”

Taking the first step to go smokefree may sound daunting, but quitting smoking offers significant health benefits – and can save you money.

Tobacco is the single most important entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability and death in this country, responsible for 80,000 deaths in the UK each year.

It causes around 1-in-4 cancer deaths in the UK and is responsible for just over 70 per cent of all lung cancer cases.

Smoking also substantially increases the risk of many major health conditions throughout people’s lives, such as strokes, diabetes, heart disease, stillbirth, dementia and asthma.

Smoking increases the chance of stillbirth by almost half and makes children twice as likely to be hospitalised for asthma from second-hand smoking.

And a typical addicted smoker spends £2,400 a year.

Jo Howarth, 52, from St Helens, Merseyside, finally kicked her addiction after 20 years of on-and-off smoking.

“I was quite anti-smoking as a young teenager, but I started when I was 16 because I wanted to fit in with the cool crowd,” she says.

“I knew it was bad for me, but it was so hard to give up. I tried cold turkey, hypnotherapy and at one point I had a staple in my ear, but I never lasted more than about six months.

“After I got married, I wanted to conceive so I cut down to one a day but the moment I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I stopped.

“As soon as the reason outweighed the addiction, I found a reason to stop and as a hypnotherapist I know that pinpointing why you’re addicted is the key to stopping.

“I used to think that smoking calmed me down, but now I realise that’s a myth – it was just the deep breaths I was taking while I did it. Without it I’m so much healthier and I’m determined to stay smokefree for my kids.”

Smokers lose an average of 10 years life expectancy – around one year for every four smoking years.

Smokers also need care on average 10 years earlier than they would otherwise have – often while still of working age.

‘’Smoking is based on addiction and most people wish they had never taken it up,” says Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer.

“They try to stop and they cannot. Their choice has been taken away. As a doctor I have seen many people in hospital desperate to stop smoking but they cannot.”

The government is now working on creating a smokefree generation.

The new proposals give citizens more freedom. Smoking is not a choice, it is an addiction, and the large majority of smokers and ex-smokers regret ever starting in the first place.

Creating a smokefree generation will be one of the most significant public health measures in a generation, saving thousands of lives and billions of pounds for our NHS and the economy, and levelling up the UK by tackling one of the most important preventable drivers of inequality in health outcomes.

New laws will protect future generations from ever taking up smoking as well as tackling youth vaping by:

Alongside the Bill, there will be new funding to support current smokers to quit by doubling the funding of local ‘stop smoking services’ (to nearly £140 million) as well as £30m of new funding to crack down on illicit tobacco and underage sale of tobacco and vapes.

What’s behind the crisis in council services – and can Labour fix it?

England’s councils are in financial crisis and many will collapse in the coming years, according to the Local Government Information Unit. It warns that, unless the funding system is reformed, more than half the councils who responded to its survey will be unable to balance their books over the next five years.

Two-thirds of councils say they are cutting services, and many are pushing council tax and charges higher. All of which is on top of the deep cuts suffered during the “age of austerity” after 2010.

The problem has been highlighted by the plight of Birmingham City Council, which last year had to issue a Section 114 (s114) notice, in which a local authority’s finance director is required by law to give notice the council can no longer afford to keep operating. It refers to the relevant part of the 1988 Local Government Finance Act. The widening crisis will not be easy to contain.

MPs must be free to speak and vote without fear of violence and abuse

It is a sad necessity that members of parliament need the kind of enhanced personal protection that they are now to be offered. As the home secretary, James Cleverly, says, no politician should have to accept threats or harassment as “part of the job”. Yet they do, and, in the age of social media “pile-ons”, the abuse can be intense. Though there never was some golden age of genteel debate in the rumbustious world of politics, the time is right to guarantee that every member of parliament can speak and vote without fear of such consequences. Recent events in particular confirm that urgent need.

For some MPs, it has meant a rowdy mob surrounding their home. A group of activists protested outside the Dorset residence of Tory MP Tobias Ellwood – accusing him of being “complicit in genocide” and calling for him to demand “an immediate and unconditional ceasefire” in Gaza.

There is, of course, no policy difference that can justify such close-quarters intimidation. Yet it is not so unusual. Recently, Anneliese Dodds, chair of the Labour Party, was barracked in visceral terms in the street and, much more grievous, the office of Mike Freer, the justice minister and MP for Finchley and Golders Green, appears to have been the subject of an arson attack, most likely because of his opinions about Israel. He’s revealed he now wears a stab vest when attending public events.