NEWS
19/10/2019 21:14 BST | Updated 21/10/2019 14:06 BST

Five Massive News Stories From The Weekend That Have Nothing To Do With Brexit

A Westminster-free zone.

As you’re no doubt aware, it’s been a rather big weekend for all things Brexit – but if you’re looking for the latest from parliament, you’re in the wrong place (you should be here fyi).

Instead, here are five pretty huge stories that have nothing to do with Boris Johnson, the EU or demonic Dominic Cummings effigies...

1) Family killer Jeremy Bamber hopes phone evidence could free him

Murderer Jeremy Bamber, who has spent 33 years in jail for killing his family, believes new evidence has come to light which could help free him.

Bamber, 58, believes an unearthed police telephone record could help prove he did not carry out the killings at White House Farm, Essex, in which his parents Nevill and June, both 61, were shot, along with his model sister Sheila “Bambi” Caffell, 26, and her six-year-old twins Daniel and Nicholas in August 1985.

Bamber is serving a whole-life tariff for the killings, PA Media reports.

PA Wire/PA Images
Undated handout file photo of Jeremy Bamber, as the murderer, who has spent 33 years in jail for killing his family, believes new evidence has come to light which could help free him.

His legal team suggests the telephone note which allegedly refers to a call made by Bamber on the night of the killings shows he was not at the scene at the time, according to the Daily Mirror.

Bamber’s legal team at Quality Solicitors Jordans, who said work is under way to try and secure an appeal, described the case for appeal as “complex”, but said if successful it “would be one of the UK’s most notorious miscarriages of justice”.

Bamber had argued two calls were made to police on the night of the murders, one from himself and another from his father, but the prosecution at his trial had alleged there was only one which was made by Bamber at 3.26am from the scene.

The new note is said to refer to a call, timed at “approximately 3.37am”, from Bamber.

His legal team argue it shows Bamber could not have made a 3.26am call from the farm and returned to his home 3.5 miles away in Goldhanger to make the second call, the newspaper said.

2) Clinton email probe finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information

A US State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.

The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican US Senator Chuck Grassley’s office, centred on whether Clinton, who served as the top US diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardised classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.

Clinton turned over roughly 33,000 emails from her private server in 2014, and the State Department probe found “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

Star Shooter/MediaPunch/IPx
Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, join the National Constitution Center as they unveil their new book, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience at America's Town Hall program at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pa October 7.

The investigation did find that Clinton’s use of a private server increased the risk of hacking, Reuters reports.

The controversy figured prominently in the 2016 presidential election, which Democrat Clinton lost to Republican President Donald Trump, who suggested during the campaign that Clinton was trying to hide something by using a private network.

Then-FBI Director James Comey announced five months before the November 2016 election that no charges would be filed against Clinton, but he found her actions “extremely careless.”

The FBI reopened the probe just days before the election after some of her emails were found on a laptop belonging to the husband of a close aide. Clinton has said the decision to reopen the probe badly damaged her campaign.

 

3) The high-street isn’t quite as doomed as feared

Hair and beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops and funeral directors are booming on the UK’s high streets amid concerns for the future of some major retailers, a study by Which? has found.

Many high streets are moving away from being “carbon copies of one another” towards a model familiar to older generations with flourishing personal services, markets, and food specialists, according to analysis by the consumer group.

Which? analysed almost 1.5 million Ordnance Survey (OS) records to compare Britain’s retail and services landscape from 2014 to 2019, finding that businesses offering personal services that cannot be replicated easily online are thriving.

moomusician via Getty Images
Glasgow, United Kingdom - September 17, 2016 : People walking on Buchanan shopping street

Of the 10 sectors that have seen an increase in premises on UK high streets, six are categorised as “eating out and services”, with the biggest increase since 2014 seen in banqueting and function rooms (114%).

This was followed by markets, one of the few sectors categorised as a retailer in the top 10, which saw an increase of 52% between 2014 and 2019, PA Media reports.

Tattooing and piercing services increased their presence on the high street by 44%, cafes, snack bars and tea rooms by 35% and hair and beauty services by 31%.

4) Barcelona mayor appeals for calm after violent protests

The mayor of riot-stricken Barcelona has called for calm after violent protests by Catalan separatists rocked Spain’s second largest city once again.

Mayor Ada Colau said that “this cannot continue. Barcelona does not deserve it”.

Colau said Friday’s violence was worse than that of the four preceding nights.

Jon Nazca / Reuters
Riot police try to remove Catalan demonstrators during a protest in central Barcelona, Spain, October 19, 2019..

Protesters have been angered by Monday’s Spanish supreme court verdict that sentenced nine separatist leaders to prison.

Radical separatists have clashed with police each night in Barcelona and other Catalan cities following large peaceful protests.

Outnumbered police used tear gas and water cannon on Friday night to battle rioters in Barcelona, a major tourist destination.

“The images of organised violence during the night in Barcelona have overshadowed the half a million people who demonstrated in a peaceful and civic manner to show they rejected the verdict,” said Catalan interior chief Miquel Buch, who oversees the regional police.

5) Kurds and Turkey blame each other over continued fighting on Syrian border

Syrian Kurdish-led forces and Turkey have blamed each other over continued fighting despite a US-brokered ceasefire in north-eastern Syria.

The Kurds have appealed to American vice president Mike Pence to enforce the deal.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkey has failed to abide by the ceasefire, refusing to halt the siege of Ras al-Ayn, a key border town.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from a fire in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

The group said that 30 hours after the five-day pause went into effect on Thursday, there were still reported clashes inside the town and medical personnel could not enter to help the wounded.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters encircled Ras al-Ayn just before the ceasefire came into effect, trying to crush Kurdish resistance inside.

Throughout much of the day on Friday, fighting was reported there and in neighbouring villages which came under attack by the Turkish-backed forces.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkey-backed Syrian fighters have prevented a medical convoy from reaching Ras al-Ayn since Friday.

It said a medical convoy arrived outside the town but Turkey-backed factions closed the road ahead and behind, leaving it stuck outside Ras al-Ayn.

Turkey’s defence ministry said it was “completely abiding” by the accord.