Day: June 12, 2017


Theresa May took the blame for the Tory election disaster tonight as she appeared in front of Conservative MPs for the first time.

As she battled to cling to No 10 after her gamble on an early election backfired spectacularly, the PM said: ‘I got us into this mess and I’m going to get us out of it.’

The Prime Minister repeatedly apologised to her MPs as she insisted she had served the party since she was 12 and would stay on ‘as long as you want me to’.

Mrs May was greeted to the meeting with around 25 seconds of table-banging and a brief cheer as she arrived at the crunch meeting in Parliament. She left more than an hour later to applause.

But amid fury from her MPs at the ‘dreadful’ campaign the reception was far from the hero’s welcome she might have enjoyed had she returned with a healthy majority.

Mrs May’s appearance in front of her MPs came hours she met her reshuffled Cabinet for the first time.

The Premier was declared to have ‘overwhelming support’ from her ministers to carry on as the party closed ranks in the aftermath of the shock election results.

Theresa May holds meeting with Martin Schulz at Downing Street

Theresa May (pictured leaving No 10 tonight) took the blame for the Tories election disaster tonight as she appeared in front of Conservative MPs for the first time

Mrs May promised her MPs she would stay on and serve for as long as they want her as she apologised for the calamitous decision to call an election

Mrs May's motorcade swept into the Palace of Westminster tonight (pictured) as she headed to the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs 

Mrs May’s motorcade swept into the Palace of Westminster tonight (pictured) as she headed to the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs

At the tense meeting, one MP said May was ‘contrite’ and added: ‘There wasn’t much of the MayBot.’

She told the ’22 she had been a Conservative all her life, and was dedicated to doing the right thing for the party.

Asked if the MPs had ‘full confidence’ in Mrs May, the backbencher replied: ‘The party has confidence in her.’

Another Tory backbencher said the reception for the PM was ‘good’.

Mrs May apparently said sorry several times during her speech, which was interspersed by MPs banging on desks.

She apologised for colleagues losing their seats, and said she took responsibility for the calamitous decision to call an early election.

And at tonight’s meeting, Mrs May vowed: ‘I will serve you as long as you want me to.’

The Tory leader took dozens of questions at the session and departed the meeting to applause.

She offered ‘support’ to MPs who lost their seats – which the Telegraph tonight said was interpreted by some as an offer of financial help.




Pregnant Serena Williams proudly modeled her bump in a new swimsuit from a discount store.

The 35-year-old tennis star, whose net worth was list at $150 million by Forbes last year, revealed she picked up her new bathing costume from Target after struggling to find one that would fit her changing shape.

She proudly showed off her bump in the new purchase while filming herself in the mirror for her Snapchat followers.



Matthew Goodwin, a professor and co-author of Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union, tweeted last month that he would happily eat his book if Labour did well under Jeremy Corbyn.



Labour ended up doing better than expected in the election, getting 40% of the vote, and people demanded Goodwin live up to his promise.

Goodwin said that people were screaming at him to eat the book.


Then he announced he would eat his book live on TV.

And said he would donate the fee from Sky to charity. He went on air and people were glued to their screens. People began to lose hope because he was just talking about the election, and not eating the book


But then he delivered, tearing a page out of the book and putting it in his mouth, chewing happily.

And the internet rejoiced.

Though he did not eat the whole book.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 general election.


Todd Kohlhepp, the former real estate agent, who was arrested last fall after a South Carolina woman was found on his property “chained like a dog” pleaded guilty in a Spartanburg courtroom Friday morning to killing seven people.

With a chain around his waist, Kohlhepp, 46, dressed in an orange jumpsuit with county jail written on the back, stood before Judge Derham Cole and pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including seven murder charges, kidnapping and sexual assault.

He quietly said “yes sir” as Cole read aloud each of his charges and said he understood the penalty that the charges carried.

Kohlhepp agreed to receive seven consecutive life sentences and waived his right to parole.

The solicitor agreed in exchange for the guilty pleas not to seek the death penalty.

The judge told Kohlhepp: “The term life means … until your death in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.”

Kohlhepp also received 30 extra years on the criminal sexual conduct charge and 30 years for kidnapping.

Related image

This photo made available by the Spartanburg, S.C., County Sheriff’s Office shows Todd Kohlhepp of Moore, S.C. Kohlhepp pleaded guilty 14 charges, including seven murder charges Friday, May, 26, 2017, in Spartanburg, S.C. (Photo: Spartanburg County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office)

Kohlhepp’s attorney Shane Gorenson: “There are no other victims. Mr. Kohlhepp has come clean.”

Cole also asked Kohlhepp and his attorneys whether he had sufficient opportunity to talk about the case and if he had a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings.

Three of the killings happened on Kohlhepp’s Woodruff, S.C., property where Kala Brown was found alive and chained in a storage container. Charles David Carver, Brown’s boyfriend, and Johnny and Meagan Coxie were unearthed from shallow graves.

Watch video of shocking police rescue of woman chained to wall

Solicitor Barry Barnette said before Meagn Coxie was shot in the back of the head, she was held in a shipping container for days just like Brown.

Brown’s cellphone pinged on the Woodruff property up to two days after she was last seen by friends Aug. 31, 2016, according to Anderson police.



Brown did not attend Friday’s hearing. Dozens of family members of Kohlhepp’s victims filled one side of the courtroom.

In a new detail, Brown told deputies that Kohlhepp told her about killing four people at Superbike Motorsports in Chesnee, S.C.

The Superbike shootings happened in 2003. Kohlhepp shot to death Scott Ponder, Beverly Guy, Brian Lucas and Chris Sherbert at Superbike Motorsports in Chesnee, S.C.

Ponder’s widow, Melissa Ponder Brackman, said her son, Scott Jr., never got to experience his father cheering him on for making the honor roll or the way a father jokes with his son.

Brackman said she was put through “living hell” in the days after the Superbike murders. “I have lost so much,” she said.

Through tears, Brackman said, “there truly isn’t justice when a victim is murdered. … There is no closure.”

Scott Jr. told the court: “I have lived 13 years without a father.”

Brown and Carver, who shared an apartment in Anderson, S.C., went to Kohlhepp’s property in Woodruff late last August believing he wanted them to do some cleaning and clearing for him, according to investigators. The couple was missing for more than two months before deputies found Brown.

Before Kohlhepp was charged with murder last year, he bought and sold real estate in Upstate South Carolina for a decade, and many people never knew he already had a criminal history.




As a teen in Arizona, Kohlhepp was living with his biological father, William Sampsell, when Kohlhepp lured his 14-year-old neighbor away from home and raped her at gunpoint, according to police records.

He was tried as an adult and sentenced to 15 years in prison for felony kidnapping.

After his release, Kohlhepp moved to South Carolina and received his real estate license, working as a broker for a Spartanburg real estate company before starting his own real estate business, TKA Real Estate.


Two brothers who kept their mother and sister as slaves and beat them with belts have been jailed for more than two years.

Faisal Hussein, 25, and Arbaaz Ahmed, 19, told their family members they were not allowed to turn on the taps and gave them just a small bucket of water to wash in.

During the ‘appalling and disgraceful’ 18-month period of abuse, the two women were given £1 a month to spend on essential sanitary products.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court, West Yorkshire, said the violent assault on their 30-year-old sister was ‘almost unimaginable to any decent human being.’

Faisal Hussein, 25, and Arbaaz Ahmed, 19, gave their mother and sister just £1 a month so they could buy essential sanitary products, Bradford Crown Court (pictured) heard 

They made their mother and sister wash with just 1 bucket of water and gave them just £1 for sanitary products

Faisal Hussein, 25, and Arbaaz Ahmed, 19, gave their mother and sister just £1 a month so they could buy essential sanitary products, Bradford Crown Court (pictured) heard

The brothers used the buckle of a belt, a wooden spoon and a shoe during the sustained and repeated assault on their sister.

The judge added that to treat another human in that way was unforgivable, more so because it was their sister and mother.

He said the mother and the sister ‘were essentially your slaves’ and the assault on their sister involved ‘absolutely appalling violence’.

Hussein and Ahmed, both of Bradford, admitted assaulting their sister Ruhee Hussein on May 16 this year.

The pair also admitted using controlling and coercing behaviour on her and their mother, Nasara Hussein, 53, between January 1, 2016 and May 16, 2017.

Judge Jonathan Rose said: ‘It culminated in a violent assault upon your own sister which is almost unimaginable to any decent human being.’

On the day of the assault, Ruhee felt unwell but was made to clean the bathroom and was not allowed any breakfast, the court heard.

She was then ordered into the living room, where both brothers slapped her head, face and ear.

Ahmed armed himself with a metal-buckled belt, wrapped it round his hand and struck his sister with the buckle.

He hit her so hard with a wooden spoon that it broke. Hussein struck her with her own shoe.

Ahmed kicked his sister to the floor, where they continued to punch and slap her. She suffered excruciating pain and felt as if she was going to die.

She was thrown out of the house and was seen in a distressed state by a member of the public who contacted police.

Ahmed’s barrister, Nick Worsley, said the teenager had witnessed similar contact between his father and female members of the family, which may have made it appear acceptable to behave in such a way.

He would do anything to make up for his mistakes and promised to do nothing like it again.

Andrea Parnham, representing Hussein, said he was utterly ashamed and sorry for what he had done.

Hussein was jailed for 32 months and Ahmed was sentenced to the same time in youth custody.

Both were made subject of a five-year restraining order prohibiting them from contacting the complainants.



An elderly Indonesian banana seller has had a sudden upturn in fortune after strangers rushed to donate to his family when he was robbed and left destitute at the side of the road.

Suratman, 94, who is known only by one name, was found distressed and crying last week by his roadside banana stall in the province of Jambi on Sumatra island, by Tommy Reza, a passing motorcyclist.

Mr Reza stopped to help after he heard the man shouting that he had been robbed.

Suratman explained that he had been asked by three men to get into their car to sell them fruit.

They claimed that they were too embarrassed during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to be seen openly buying food. But when he entered the car, they forced him to hand over his wallet.

Supporters all over Asia chipped in 
Supporters all over Asia chipped in 

Suratman said that he had lost his savings of over 1 million Rupiah, the equivalent of £59, which he had needed to buy new furniture.

But Suratman’s sad tale had a heartwarming end when Reza posted a video and explanation of what had happened on Facebook, asking for donations to help.

The post chalked up over 85,000 views and so many were outraged by the old man’s treatment that money started to flow from as far afield as Hong Kong and Malaysia.

Mr Suratman had been saving the money to buy furniture
Mr Suratman had been saving the money to buy furniture

A few days after the viral post, over 37m Rupiah [ £ 2,189] had been donated. The local governor also gave 5m Rupiah [ £ 295] and bought his remaining banana stock.

A picture of a happy-looking Suratman and his wife, receiving the money from Reza, was later posted by the BBC.

“He was very grateful and he was praying. I told him that I was only the messenger,” Mr Reza said.


A woman travelling through Cairo airport may find her sanitary products confuse and alarm security staff, writes the BBC’s Claire Read.

Cairo airport’s security screening starts at the door to the terminal buildings. Only passengers are allowed in. Even before check-in, they have to put their belongings through the large scanners, have their tickets and passports checked and walk through a scanner themselves.

It was at this point that a female british journalist was pulled aside for a pat-down. A uniformed woman ran her hands down her body and legs and came back up to find a lump in the journalist’s right-hand jeans pocket. It was small and bullet-shaped.

The bemused journalist recanting her embarassing experience wrote:

“The guard pointed and said, in Egyptian Arabic, “What’s that?”

“Oh nothing”, I said, “it’s just…” Thinking it was a tissue, I pulled it out… then realised that to my horror, I was waving a tampon in her face. She raised her eyebrows, apparently oblivious to my embarrassment, then looked perplexed.

“What’s that?” She said again.

Now I raised my eyebrows.

“Um,” I started, unsure where to begin. “It’s for, you know, that time…”

A chemistsSanitary pads are much more common in Egyptian chemists than tampons

Feeling a bit short of the right words, the reporter who says she has questioned an Egyptian presidential candidate and government spokespeople in Egyptian Arabic but here felt stumped. “It’s for that time every month,” she continued, to her ongoing frown and the slight shake of the head Egyptians give when they want you to explain.

“It’s for the monthly period, the monthly bleeding,” I said, resorting to modern standard Arabic.

“Oh the beeriod?” She said, using the English word. “How do you use it?”

Here my faint embarrassment turned to a full blush and I thanked the heavens I was travelling alone. I explained that it stops the flow of blood and she once again looked perplexed by how this small white object could do such a thing.

My suitcase, meanwhile, had emerged from the scanner and another guard, this one male, was waiting to question me about all the wires and microphones in there.

I asked the female guard if she’d like to see the instructions from the box of tampons I had in my suitcase, and she looked askance, saying “You’ve got more?! We’ll have to put them through the scanner by themselves.”

This encounter is in fact typical of many Egyptian women’s reactions to being presented with a tampon, or the idea of one. I had previously had a similar exchange with a colleague caught short at the office who turned down my offer of a tampon after she understood what it was. I had shown her an instructional online video that made her eyes bulge. And when retelling this story to Egyptian friends and other foreigners living in Egypt, I heard plenty of similar tales of Egyptian security guards’ bafflement and many questions from curious women.

Misinformation abounds. Sex education is left mainly to parents and when puberty is covered at school it can be after some girls have already started their periods. Even the language reflects the extent to which this subject is ma’ib as they call it in Egypt, loosely meaning “shameful”. Women prefer to use English words and no true Egyptian colloquial expressions have developed, leaving only terms from modern standard Arabic or foreign languages.

Tampons are not discussed as an option because of the fear that they take a girl’s virginity, or rather, break the hymen.

This even extends to advice from pharmacies. A friend told me she was once asked whether she was married before being shown the tampons. The national press too stirs the misunderstandings – for example, a recent article featured three mothers fearfully discussing the dangers of tampons.

TamponsA woman’s hymen can tear when playing sports, riding a bike or inserting a tampon

But, as the British-Egyptian author and women’s rights advocate Shereen El Feki points out, a huge number of issues are bound up in tampon use – control of the body, mobility and the fear surrounding pre-marital loss of virginity. She believes the extent of their use should be used as a measure of women’s emancipation by the UN.

Back at the security gate in Cairo airport, the male guard wanted to go through my radio kit piece by piece but the female guard had a more pressing matter for him. She thrust my box of tampons into his hands crying, “Look at these things she’s got! I think we should put them back through.” He rifled through them and nodded his approval. As the tampons were re-examined in the suitcase X-ray machine, the female guard pored over the instructions.

She handed me back the box, which had now cleared security, and leaned in close. She asked conspiratorially, “Can you get these in Egypt?”

I told her with delight that indeed you can, and suggested she keep the instructions. She did, and I wish I had given her some of the tampons. But I’m minded now always to keep a tampon in my pocket at airport security to bring more women into the fold.