A flash of flame… then blood on the walls: Thirty minutes of terror that left 200 people dead

The Cinnamon Grand

The suicide bomber queued up patiently for the five-star hotel’s breakfast buffet before mercilessly detonating his explosives.

He had checked in the night before, under the name of Mohamed Azzam Mohamed, giving a false address and saying he was there on business.

The terrorist had a plate in one hand and had just reached the front of the queue when he detonated the device, which was strapped to his back.

A total of eight bombs exploded at various locations in Sri Lanka during the attacks. A ninth device was later discovered at the country's main airport and was disposed of

A total of eight bombs exploded at various locations in Sri Lanka during the attacks. A ninth device was later discovered at the country's main airport and was disposed of

A total of eight bombs exploded at various locations in Sri Lanka during the attacks. A ninth device was later discovered at the country’s main airport and was disposed of

The hotel’s Taprobane restaurant was having one its busiest days of the year and packed with families.

Describing the ensuing panic, a hotel manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It was 8.30am and it was busy. It was families. He came up to the top of the queue and set off the blast.

‘One of our managers who was welcoming guests was among those killed instantly. There was utter chaos, but we rushed all the injured to hospital in a very short time. About 20 people were seriously wounded and we sent them to the National Hospital.’

The Shangri-La

A MILE up the coast, a London professor narrowly avoided death by going back to his hotel room for his debit card.

Kieran Arasaratnam, a director at Imperial College London’s business school, was in his room on the 18th floor when the bomb went off.

It ripped through the hotel’s Table One restaurant, on the third floor, at 9am, shortly after the Cinnamon Grand explosion. Professor Arasaratnam, 41, a Sri Lankan who moved to the UK as a refugee 30 years ago, said he heard a sound like ‘thunder’. He had initially left his room at 8.45am.

A gaping hole in the side of The Shangri-La hotel's restaurant following the blast

A gaping hole in the side of The Shangri-La hotel's restaurant following the blast

A gaping hole in the side of The Shangri-La hotel’s restaurant following the blast 

‘Something distracted me so I went back to the room to grab my debit card, opened the curtain and switched off the ‘do not disturb’ sign… and a big blast went off,’ he said.

‘Everyone just started to panic, it was total chaos. I looked to the room on the right and there’s blood everywhere.

‘Everyone was running and a lot of people just didn’t know what was going on. People had blood on their shirts and there was someone carrying a girl to the ambulance. The walls and the floor were covered in blood.’

Many of the restaurant’s windows had been blown out of their panes and electrical wiring could be seen hanging from the ceiling.

The Kingsbury

Pictures showed the shattered window panels and smashed lightshades of the hotel’s Ocean restaurant, which had been serving breakfast when the blast struck.

The hotel later released a statement on its Facebook page which said: ‘On behalf of the entire Kingsbury team we share in the shock, grief and mourning of our entire nation in the aftermath of the recent attack.

‘Medical evacuation and treatment of the injured guests and employees were handled immediately.’

The hotel said it had been ‘isolated’ for further safety checks.

Dining tables and chairs can be seen in the restaurant of The Kingsbury hotel, which was bombed as staff served breakfast to guests

Dining tables and chairs can be seen in the restaurant of The Kingsbury hotel, which was bombed as staff served breakfast to guests

Dining tables and chairs can be seen in the restaurant of The Kingsbury hotel, which was bombed as staff served breakfast to guests 

St Anthony’s Shrine

The terrorist blast at the church – one of the best-known Christian sites in Colombo – was captured on a dashcam video.

The shocking footage, posted online, shows vehicles travelling along St Anthony’s Street in the Kochchikade district alongside the city’s port. As the towers of St Anthony’s Shrine come into view, seen from the south, a huge plume of grey dust and debris is projected rapidly into the air.

There is also a brief flash of orange flame. A column of smoke continues to rise far above the church towers.

Security staff pick through the wreckage as they are surrounded by dead bodies covered with sheets following the bombing at St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo

Security staff pick through the wreckage as they are surrounded by dead bodies covered with sheets following the bombing at St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo

Security staff pick through the wreckage as they are surrounded by dead bodies covered with sheets following the bombing at St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo

As onlookers stare in the direction of the church, cars, tuk-tuks, mopeds and other vehicles turn around and begin to drive away from the disaster scene.

A shopkeeper who rushed in to help described a ‘river of blood’.

Witnesses later said bodies were left strewn across the floor of the church, covered in patterned scarves and white sheets, some of them stained with blood.

Shattered roof tiles and shards of glass littered the floor, along with chunks of plaster blasted from the walls. At least 160 people were killed or injured when the bomb went off at about 8.45am, as they celebrated Easter Sunday mass.

N. A. Sumanapala, a shopkeeper who works near the church and ran inside to help, said: ‘It was a river of blood. Ash was falling like snow.’ A statue of the Virgin Mary lay smashed on the ground next to bodies covered by clothing.

St Sebastian’s Church

At least 62 were killed at this Roman Catholic church in Negombo, a city on the west coast where – unlike most of Sri Lanka – Christians form a majority. Pictures of the aftermath of the blast show a statue of Christ splattered with blood.

Dismembered bodies were lying on the ground partly covered by tiles which had fallen from the roof. Many of the pews were completely shattered and the church’s white floor was marked with blood.

The church posted a message on Facebook shortly after the blast which read: ‘A bomb attack to our church, please come and help if your family members are there.’

About two thirds of Negombo’s population are Roman Catholics.

At least 62 worshippers were killed when a bomb devastated St Sebastian's Church during the Easter Sunday service

At least 62 worshippers were killed when a bomb devastated St Sebastian's Church during the Easter Sunday service

At least 62 worshippers were killed when a bomb devastated St Sebastian’s Church during the Easter Sunday service

Stunned survivors sit in shock in the aftermath of the blast at St Sebastian's Church

Stunned survivors sit in shock in the aftermath of the blast at St Sebastian's Church

Stunned survivors sit in shock in the aftermath of the blast at St Sebastian’s Church

A statue of Christ at St Sebastian's Church is spattered with blood following the bombing

A statue of Christ at St Sebastian's Church is spattered with blood following the bombing

A statue of Christ at St Sebastian’s Church is spattered with blood following the bombing

Zion Church

Simon Whitmarsh, a retired doctor from Wales, was cycling near the city of Batticaloa, on the east coast, when he saw ‘smoke billowing into the sky’. The 55-year-old former consultant, who was on holiday, said he heard a ‘big bang’ and smoke about half a mile away.

‘Then we saw the ambulances, people crying, and we were told to leave the area.’

He said he went to volunteer at the local hospital but it was heavily guarded by the army. ‘By that stage, they had activated emergency protocols,’ he said.

At least 27 people died in the blast at Zion Church on the east coast city of Batticaloa

At least 27 people died in the blast at Zion Church on the east coast city of Batticaloa

At least 27 people died in the blast at Zion Church on the east coast city of Batticaloa

‘The hospital was heavily guarded by the army, who were stopping most people going in.

‘All the streets around it were closed. It seemed very well organised. All I did was find someone senior to see if I could help.’

At least 27 were reported killed at this church.

Devastated locals outside a mortuary in Colombo in the aftermath of the terror attacks

Devastated locals outside a mortuary in Colombo in the aftermath of the terror attacks

Devastated locals outside a mortuary in Colombo in the aftermath of the terror attacks

Did ISIS help plot the carnage? The Sri Lankan bombings bear all the hallmarks of the terror group 

After living through a bloody civil war that dragged on for three decades, the people of Sri Lanka are no strangers to terror.

But the carnage that unfolded yesterday saw the country’s enemies take on new depths of depravity.

It had all the hallmarks of the barbaric Islamic State group – executed meticulously and without mercy.

Within minutes of yesterday’s blasts, MI5 was trying to establish if there were any British links to those who could be behind the plot. There were no immediate claims of responsibility, nor any established motive for the attack, although 13 suspects had been arrested by last night.

Early evidence pointed to the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a relatively unknown radical Islamist group said to have formed in Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated town in eastern Sri Lanka, in 2014. 

Alex and Anita Nicholson photographed in London in 2015. Both were killed in the bomb blast in the Shangri-La hotel

Alex and Anita Nicholson photographed in London in 2015. Both were killed in the bomb blast in the Shangri-La hotel

Alex and Anita Nicholson photographed in London in 2015. Both were killed in the bomb blast in the Shangri-La hotel  

Last photo: Shantha Mayadunne (second left) and her daughter Nisanga (right) were among the victims of the Sri Lanka bomb attacks on Sunday. The family posted this picture of their Easter breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel just before the blast there

Last photo: Shantha Mayadunne (second left) and her daughter Nisanga (right) were among the victims of the Sri Lanka bomb attacks on Sunday. The family posted this picture of their Easter breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel just before the blast there

Last photo: Shantha Mayadunne (second left) and her daughter Nisanga (right) were among the victims of the Sri Lanka bomb attacks on Sunday. The family posted this picture of their Easter breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel just before the blast there

A map showing where the eight blasts went off today, six of them in very quick succession on Easter Sunday morning

A map showing where the eight blasts went off today, six of them in very quick succession on Easter Sunday morning

A map showing where the eight blasts went off today, six of them in very quick succession on Easter Sunday morning  

ISIS militants marching in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014. This year the fundamentalists were driven from the last land they occupied but security experts have warned of 'pop up' terror cells

ISIS militants marching in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014. This year the fundamentalists were driven from the last land they occupied but security experts have warned of 'pop up' terror cells

ISIS militants marching in Raqqa, Syria, in 2014. This year the fundamentalists were driven from the last land they occupied but security experts have warned of ‘pop up’ terror cells

It has no history of mass fatality attacks.

In fact, its only mention appears to be last year when it was linked to the vandalism of Buddhist statues.

Sources in the Muslim community in Sri Lanka claim the group has publicly supported Islamic State. They also say that Zahran Hashim, named in reports as one of the bombers, was its founder.

Although intelligence files on the group are small, there is no doubt the warning signs were there.

On April 11, Sri Lankan police circulated a document entitled ‘Information of an alleged plan attack’ which said they had been warned by an unnamed foreign intelligence agency that the NTJ was plotting suicide attacks on churches in Colombo.

It added that intelligence pointed to any of the following methods: suicide attack, weapon attack or truck attack.

The original warning is most likely to have come from Australia – one of the ‘five eyes’ with a close intelligence-sharing relationship with Britain – that has kept watch on the rise of extremism in the region.

Documents show that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara then issued an intelligence alert to top officers, specifically warning that suicide bombers planned to hit ‘prominent churches’.

Sri Lanka's defence ministry has now ordered curfew with immediate effect 'until further notice', and the Sri Lankan government said it had shut down access to social media messaging services, sources say

Sri Lanka's defence ministry has now ordered curfew with immediate effect 'until further notice', and the Sri Lankan government said it had shut down access to social media messaging services, sources say

 Sri Lanka’s defence ministry has now ordered curfew with immediate effect ‘until further notice’, and the Sri Lankan government said it had shut down access to social media messaging services, sources say

Hospital staff push a trolley with a casualty after an explosion at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Hospital staff push a trolley with a casualty after an explosion at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Hospital staff push a trolley with a casualty after an explosion at a church in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

A crime scene official inspects the site of a bomb blast inside a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which lost half its roof tiles with the force of the blast

A crime scene official inspects the site of a bomb blast inside a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which lost half its roof tiles with the force of the blast

A crime scene official inspects the site of a bomb blast inside a church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, which lost half its roof tiles with the force of the blast

Documents even named six individuals as likely suicide bombers, including Hashim. Yesterday, the seemingly far-fetched plan became frighteningly real.

Why the police did not sound the alarm earlier will remain a mystery. Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted that information about the attacks had been received in advance but denied having direct knowledge himself. ‘We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the ministers were kept informed,’ he said following intense anger in the community.

Whichever group was behind yesterday’s attack, it was most certainly inspired by the tactics used by IS. The suicide bombings explicitly targeted civilians, designed to create maximum terror for maximum effect – like the Manchester Arena bombings and the London Bridge attack.

They also chose iconic locations packed full of people, including many foreigners.

IS – which lost its final sliver of territory in Syria just weeks ago – also has a history of staging attacks against Christians on holy days, notably Christmas and Easter.

British military chiefs and ministers have long warned that the defeat of the terror group in the Middle East does not mean it has been vanquished.

They have referred to a ‘pop-up’ IS involving the group emerging elsewhere, often in states where they can exploit a vacuum. They have specifically warned of the rising threat from such diehard jihadis in south-east Asia.

IS fostered a brand which was so effective other terror groups wanted to be associated with it.

Some radicalised Muslims travelled from Sri Lanka to Syria to fight in that country’s civil war.

In 2016, the justice minister said 32 Sri Lankan Muslims from ‘well-educated and elite’ families had joined IS in Syria.

The recent loss of its last territory makes it even more likely that foreign fighters from countries such as Sri Lanka may now be returning home.

Terrorism expert Raffaello Pantucci says the demise of the group’s ‘caliphate’ could have persuaded extremists to stay in their countries and mount attacks there instead. ‘Think how big Islamic State’s footprint is,’ he said. ‘This means it has a reverse effect as well – their ideas are going out to a big pool of places.’

Sri Lankan military stand guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa,with police tape keeping out bysanders

Sri Lankan military stand guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa,with police tape keeping out bysanders

Sri Lankan military stand guard near the explosion site at a church in Batticaloa,with police tape keeping out bysanders

Security forces inspect the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo

Security forces inspect the St. Anthony's Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony's Church in Kochchikade in Colombo

Security forces inspect the St. Anthony’s Shrine after an explosion hit St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade in Colombo

State minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said investigators have identified the culprits behind the 'terrorist' attacks (pictuerd: Shangri La hotel, Colombo)

State minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said investigators have identified the culprits behind the 'terrorist' attacks (pictuerd: Shangri La hotel, Colombo)

State minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said investigators have identified the culprits behind the ‘terrorist’ attacks (pictuerd: Shangri La hotel, Colombo)

Yesterday’s bombings end a decade of relative peace in Sri Lanka following the end of its civil war in 2009. Terrorist bombings were common during the brutal 25-year struggle during which the Sri Lankan government fought Tamil separatism.

But despite the period of calm, much bitterness and grievance has remained in the country, riven by ethnic disputes.

Sri Lanka, which is mainly Buddhist, does not have a recent history of persecution of its Christian minority, which comprises 7 per cent of the population.

Yet its relations with others, including Hindus and Muslims, have not always been easy. Over the years there has been an increasing rise of discontent among Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, which make up 10 per cent of the population.

In November 1990, many were expelled from their homes in the north and have since been living as ‘displaced’ in the southern part of the country, under the patronage of the state.

Whatever the motives behind yesterday’s attack, there is little doubt that the brutal tactics used by Islamic State will continue to inspire others.

DOMINIC LAWSON: It’s elementary! Watson’s U-turn on Brexit is a blatant pitch for the top job

As Sherlock Holmes would put it: ‘Elementary, my dear Watson.’ For the manoeuvre yesterday by Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson — to insist that, in all circumstances, his party commits to a so-called ‘confirmatory referendum’ on Brexit — is indeed transparent.

First of all, it signals (in case anyone had failed to notice) that the MP for West Bromwich East is applying for the post currently held by Jeremy Corbyn.

Although Watson’s own constituency voted solidly to Leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, a recent internal poll of Labour Party members showed that three-quarters are active supporters of a second referendum and 88 per cent would vote to stay in the EU, given that chance.

Tom Watson's challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit is a clear pitch for his job

Tom Watson's challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit is a clear pitch for his job

Tom Watson’s challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit is a clear pitch for his job

Watson is not speaking to the millions in the country, but to those hundreds of thousands whose votes he would need to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The second purpose of Watson’s pellucid plot is to sabotage the talks being held between Labour and the Conservative Government to find agreement over the terms of Britain’s departure from, and future relationship with, the EU.

Trouble

The one thing that would ensure a collapse of those talks — designed to break the parlimentary deadlock — is Labour insisting that the discussions be conditional on a ‘confirmatory referendum’.

Theresa May and the Conservatives are in enough trouble as it is: to agree to that would set them not just against the overwhelming majority of their own party membership, but also those who voted Tory in the last election.

Jeremy Corbyn is pushing Prime Minister Theresa May for a guarantee the UK will remain in a customs union with the EU

Jeremy Corbyn is pushing Prime Minister Theresa May for a guarantee the UK will remain in a customs union with the EU

Jeremy Corbyn is pushing Prime Minister Theresa May for a guarantee the UK will remain in a customs union with the EU

It may be that the odds are, in any case, stacked against such an agreement between Corbyn’s team and May’s. The former have pressed for some sort of commitment to remain in a customs union with the EU, which would cross one of the PM’s ‘red lines’.

Labour’s team also want ‘better protection’ for workers’ rights in any deal made by the Conservatives with the EU (which is odd, since any future Labour government would be able to pass whatever legislation it wanted on this issue).

But if agreement were reached, what would be the point of then calling a referendum with the option to remain in the EU? As Corbyn himself told reporters after the first round of talks with Mrs May: ‘I said this is the policy of our party, that we would want to pursue the option of a public vote to prevent crashing out or to prevent leaving with a bad deal.’

In other words, if an agreement can be reached with May to avoid both those ‘bad’ outcomes, then there’s no need for a referendum on the matter.

Theresa May is in talks with Corbyn's Labour in an attempt to break the parliamentary deadlock

Theresa May is in talks with Corbyn's Labour in an attempt to break the parliamentary deadlock

Theresa May is in talks with Corbyn’s Labour in an attempt to break the parliamentary deadlock

It’s interesting to examine the language used by advocates of a second referendum. The main campaign for this attempt to overturn the result of the first one — which at the time politicians on both sides accepted would be final — calls it a ‘people’s vote’.

The term is itself a pathetic piece of propaganda, which implies that the referendum of 2016 was not a true expression of democracy or of the wishes of the British people.

Tom Watson had originally scorned this movement. Two years ago he vehemently attacked the Liberal Democrats for supporting a second referendum to overturn Brexit: ‘People feel that politicians who campaigned against Brexit are still trying to stop it happening, ignoring the clear decision the British people made.

‘I have to say those fears aren’t completely unfounded. Unlike the Lib-Dem Brexit deniers, we believe in respecting the decision of the British people. To do any less is to fail to respect the British people themselves.’

He might have added that Sir Vince Cable, the Lib-Dem leader calling for a second vote, had declared after the 2016 referendum: ‘The public have voted, and it’s seriously disrespectful and politically utterly counterproductive to say, ‘Sorry guys, you got it wrong, we are going to try again’. I don’t think we can do that.’

So, in order not to seem like the Lib-Dems — or indeed like the People’s Vote campaign which is a little too close to Tony Blair for Watson’s comfort — the Labour deputy leader and his allies insist instead on describing it as a ‘confirmatory referendum’.

Refuted

The term is designed to persuade people that this would be a vote simply to endorse the deal struck by Mrs May with the EU and subsequently amended to meet Labour’s demands. If that were truly the case, then Remain would not be a choice on the ballot paper. But it will be.

More than that, Watson would clearly back the option to rescind the 2016 referendum result.

The truth is that no one is advocating a second referendum without the express intention of re-running the first one, hoping for a different result.

I do not know of a single MP who backed Leave in the 2016 referendum and who now advocates a second ‘confirmatory’ ballot. One reason for this is that the scare tactics that dominated the Remain campaign of 2016 have been comprehensively refuted. That campaign, which resented being described as Project Fear, asserted, as a fact, that if Britons cast their ballot collectively for Leave, then in the ‘best case’ our economy would shrink by 3.6 per cent and unemployment would soar by over half a million.

Keir Starmer supports calls for a second referendum

Keir Starmer supports calls for a second referendum

Emily Thornberry is another member of the shadow cabinet pushing for a second Brexit vote

Emily Thornberry is another member of the shadow cabinet pushing for a second Brexit vote

Sir Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry are among the members of the shadow cabinet who are pushing for a second referendum on Brexit

Note that this was their claim of what would happen immediately, just as a result of voting the wrong way, and long before we actually negotiated our departure and left the EU.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The British economy has continued to grow: and, in the most recent quarter, year on year, at a rate greater than that of all other major EU countries, including Germany.

The employment rate in the UK is now standing at a modern record of 76.1 per cent. The unemployment rate is below 4 per cent, the lowest since 1975. Annual wage growth is running at 3.5 per cent — significantly higher than the current inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.

Divided

Bear in mind that all these outcomes are a reflection of the decisions of business and consumers investing in the knowledge that the UK is leaving the EU. Indeed, the most recent figures for foreign direct investment in the UK showed an annual rise of almost £150 billion, to a new record high.

These statistics, dry as they seem, are a monumental reproof to the second referendum campaigners, given that their endlessly repeated message is that those who voted for Brexit had no idea, you ignorant fools, what damage it would do.

None of this means that Watson, and others of the same persuasion in the shadow cabinet, such as Emily Thornberry and Sir Keir Starmer, won’t continue to press for their ‘confirmatory’ referendum designed solely to reject any and all possible means of exit from the EU.

This will be catnip for Nigel Farage and his new Brexit Party, as it seeks to gain representation in Labour’s northern heartlands, which voted overwhelmingly Leave in 2016.

And it explains, in turn, why MPs representing those constituencies, such as the party chairman Ian Lavery (chosen by Corbyn to replace Tom Watson in that role) are vehemently opposed to Labour identifying itself as a Remain party.

It underscores the point that while the Conservatives are taking a beating over the failure to leave the EU by the date that Mrs May had promised (more than 100 times), Labour is more bitterly divided on the fundamental issue.

It is actually sensible of the Labour leader to hope that Brexit happens, so that the issue is resolved and the party can concentrate on matters that unite it.

And, as Watson knows as well as anyone, Jeremy Corbyn is as pro-Brexit as the most convinced Tory Eurosceptic, having voted against every single EU treaty that came before the Commons since he became an MP in 1983.

No wonder he and his deputy hate each other. It doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to work that out, either.

Two men are arrested as ‘pregnant’ pony collapses outside sports stadium in Cardiff

Heartbreaking footage shows a pregnant horse ‘collapse with heatstroke’ after it had been pulling a cart outside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in the searing sun.

The animal, aged between three and four, lay on the ground for up to three hours as it struggled to get over the potentially ‘fatal’ injury on Westgate Street at 7pm on Saturday.

After being seen by a vet and having buckets of water thrown over it, the pony recovered enough to stand and was taken to Whispering Willows Sanctuary in South Wales.

The black pony lies helplessly on the ground after it allegedly suffered heatstroke outside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff

The black pony lies helplessly on the ground after it allegedly suffered heatstroke outside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff

The black pony lies helplessly on the ground after it allegedly suffered heatstroke outside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff 

The black mare has been described as doing well but is being monitored.

She has been examined by a vet who believes she is carrying a foal.

Two men, aged 21 and 25, were arrested by police at the scene on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Both are in custody.

A spokesman from Swansea-based Whispering Willows said they are hopeful the horse will make a full recovery and is being monitored by both sanctuary staff and independent vets.

‘We took her back last night. When we arrived she was suffering from heatstroke.

‘When we arrived the horse was lying on the floor, she had been there for about three hours.

‘Normally in that situation you would rub glucose on their gums, it gives them a bit of a boost.

‘We did what we could and got her up.

‘We took her back and a vet has looked at here and they suspected she is in foal.

‘We are hopeful for her and now it is a case of just watching her.’

The mare, aged between three and four and believed to be pregnant, lay on the ground for up to three hours as it struggled to get over the potentially 'fatal' injury at 7pm on Saturday

The mare, aged between three and four and believed to be pregnant, lay on the ground for up to three hours as it struggled to get over the potentially 'fatal' injury at 7pm on Saturday

The mare, aged between three and four and believed to be pregnant, lay on the ground for up to three hours as it struggled to get over the potentially ‘fatal’ injury at 7pm on Saturday

Former veterinary nurse Jeanette Cook was one of those who helped out at the scene before the sanctuary staff arrived. 

She said: ‘I was driving into Cardiff for a gig with my partner.

‘The horse was in an awful state. Someone had thrown a bucket of water over it but I told them not to do that because it was so hot it can send the animal into shock.

‘A few of us tried to get it to stand but it just had no strength, it couldn’t move its legs.

‘It is just awful.’ 

But after having water thrown on her and her feet rubbed to boost circulation, she gained enough strength to stand up and was taken to Whispering Willows Sanctuary in South Wales. Two men have been arrested under the Animal Welfare Act

But after having water thrown on her and her feet rubbed to boost circulation, she gained enough strength to stand up and was taken to Whispering Willows Sanctuary in South Wales. Two men have been arrested under the Animal Welfare Act

But after having water thrown on her and her feet rubbed to boost circulation, she gained enough strength to stand up and was taken to Whispering Willows Sanctuary in South Wales. Two men have been arrested under the Animal Welfare Act

A police spokesman said: ‘South Wales Police responded to numerous calls reporting concern for the welfare of a horse on Westgate Street, Cardiff, shortly before 7pm last night.

‘On arrival, officers found the animal collapsed on the street.

‘Alongside members of the public, the officers tended to the horse while making contact with Whispering Willows Sanctuary, who subsequently arrived and took over care of the horse.’ 

It is the second time the sanctuary were called out to assist a horse over the Easter weekend.

On Friday, the group went to help an animal in a Lidl car park in Queensferry. They were returning from that when they found the Cardiff incident.

Since she was found on Saturday night, hundreds of messages of support have flooded in to support the horse and people who looked after it.

Model who went viral over photobomb bikini shoot reveals it’s not the first time its happened

An Australian model who went viral after posting a video of a scantily-clad senior citizen photobombing her raunchy bikini shoot has said it’s not the first time its happened.

Kristina Mendonca, who is based in Sydney, shared the hilarious moment on Bondi Beach with her 591,000 Instagram followers, quickly garnering more than 20 million views.

‘I just hope that people don’t hate and know that this video was posted for the simple fact that this beautiful, sweet man had no idea he was photobombing a photo shoot and he looked like he was having the best day ever,’ the 21-year-old told Yahoo Lifestyle.

Around the same time the viral video was shot an older man was spotted walking behind her at the iconic Sydney beach (pictured), this time wearing a white cap and boardshorts

Around the same time the viral video was shot an older man was spotted walking behind her at the iconic Sydney beach (pictured), this time wearing a white cap and boardshorts

Around the same time the viral video was shot an older man was spotted walking behind her at the iconic Sydney beach (pictured), this time wearing a white cap and boardshorts

But this isn’t the only time a pensioner has joined her on a photo shoot. 

Around the same time an older man was spotted walking behind her at the iconic Sydney beach, this time wearing a white cap and boardshorts.

Kristina can be seen smiling for the portrait before poking out her tongue cheekily.

‘Usually the photographer will edit people out of the background but I like to show everyone on my Instagram what things are really like,’ she told the publication.

Despite this the Aussie brunette continues working her best angles, seemingly unaware that the elderly man behind her is stealing her limelight

Despite this the Aussie brunette continues working her best angles, seemingly unaware that the elderly man behind her is stealing her limelight

Seemingly oblivious to the photoshoot currently underway, the mystery man wanders straight into the video's frame with a beaming smile plastered across his face

Seemingly oblivious to the photoshoot currently underway, the mystery man wanders straight into the video's frame with a beaming smile plastered across his face

The original photobomb, which was uploaded to the photo sharing site on March 6, showed a sun-kissed elderly gentleman exiting the water behind Kristina

‘Instagram is flooded with so many of the “perfect shots”, I say show more of the behind the scenes moments and real photos.’

The original photobomb, which was uploaded to the photo sharing site on March 6, showed a sun-kissed elderly gentleman exiting the water behind Kristina.   

Seemingly oblivious to the photoshoot currently underway, the mystery man wanders straight into the video’s frame with a beaming smile plastered across his face.

Despite this the Aussie brunette continues working her best angles, seemingly unaware that the elderly man behind her is stealing her limelight. 

'Instagram is flooded with so many of the "perfect shots", I say show more of the behind the scenes moments and real photos,' she said

'Instagram is flooded with so many of the "perfect shots", I say show more of the behind the scenes moments and real photos,' she said

‘Instagram is flooded with so many of the “perfect shots”, I say show more of the behind the scenes moments and real photos,’ she said

However, not everyone could spot the obvious photobomb, with some social media users asking what they were looking for

However, not everyone could spot the obvious photobomb, with some social media users asking what they were looking for

However, not everyone could spot the obvious photobomb, with some social media users asking what they were looking for

Many social media users praised the man, who was wearing skimpy black swimming trunks.

One of his fans branded the clip ‘the greatest photobomb of all time’.

Another said: ‘Look at his face! Proud as punch’, while one wrote: ‘Superb! He’s magnificent!’.

However, not everyone could spot the obvious photobomb, with some social media users asking what they were looking for. 

One wrote: ‘Sorry what photobomb – did I miss it?’ and another said: ‘Watched this numerous times and still can’t see it.’ 

Temperatures to soar to 79F to finish record-breaking Easter weekend but thunderstorms on their way

Forecasters believe today could be the hottest Easter Monday on record, as the Bank Holiday heatwave continues.

Brits have been flocking to the coast to take advantage of the sizzling temperatures at the weekend, and it’s set to be another scorching day on Monday with temperatures of up to 26C (79F) expected in southern England. 

The current Easter Monday record is 24C (75F), set in Hampshire in 2011.  However, the weather is set to break down with thunderstorms and possible flooding on Wednesday. 

Yesterday fell short of the record for the warmest Easter Sunday since records began in 1910. 

The highest temperature in England yesterday afternoon was 25C (77F) recorded at Wisley in Surrey, just short of the 25.3C (77.54F) record.

The evening sky over Chesil Beach, Isle of Portland, Dorset on Sunday evening. It's set to be another scorching day on Monday with temperatures of up to 26C (79F) expected in southern England

The evening sky over Chesil Beach, Isle of Portland, Dorset on Sunday evening. It's set to be another scorching day on Monday with temperatures of up to 26C (79F) expected in southern England

The evening sky over Chesil Beach, Isle of Portland, Dorset on Sunday evening. It’s set to be another scorching day on Monday with temperatures of up to 26C (79F) expected in southern England

People enjoy the sunshine at Boscombe beach, Dorset, as Britain is set for a sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, that could break national records

People enjoy the sunshine at Boscombe beach, Dorset, as Britain is set for a sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, that could break national records

People enjoy the sunshine at Boscombe beach, Dorset, as Britain is set for a sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, that could break national records

Crowds of beach goers took to Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, today to enjoy the hot weather and bask in the sun

Crowds of beach goers took to Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, today to enjoy the hot weather and bask in the sun

Crowds of beach goers took to Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, today to enjoy the hot weather and bask in the sun

A dog enjoys a game of fetch as the hot weather continues on the Bank Holiday weekend at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

A dog enjoys a game of fetch as the hot weather continues on the Bank Holiday weekend at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

A dog enjoys a game of fetch as the hot weather continues on the Bank Holiday weekend at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

The beach goers donned their bikinis as they basked in the glorious sunshine at Fromby beach and took in some vitamin

The beach goers donned their bikinis as they basked in the glorious sunshine at Fromby beach and took in some vitamin

Thousands of visitors take to the beach in Brighton and Hove as sunny and hot weather is hitting the seaside resorts on the Easter Bank Holiday Sunday

Thousands of visitors take to the beach in Brighton and Hove as sunny and hot weather is hitting the seaside resorts on the Easter Bank Holiday Sunday

Thousands of visitors take to the beach in Brighton and Hove as sunny and hot weather is hitting the seaside resorts on the Easter Bank Holiday Sunday

The warm conditions are set to last until Wednesday although the sunshine is likely to be hazier in the South today and there is the chance of showers in the South West.

The Devizes to Westminster canoe marathon, a gruelling 125-mile Easter challenge that tests competitors’ physical and mental stamina to the limit, took place over the sweltering weekend.

But this year, those taking part in the three-day race had a new lively obstacle to deal with – an irate swan.

The bird became spectacularly enraged when the hundreds of entrants began paddling through its territory – dive-bombing them and even knocking some into the water.

It also managed to land on the backs of some kayaks, making them capsize.

Paddle faster! Two competitors in the Devizes to Wesminster race get a wriggle on as the furious swan bears down on their canoe in Wiltshire

Paddle faster! Two competitors in the Devizes to Wesminster race get a wriggle on as the furious swan bears down on their canoe in Wiltshire

Paddle faster! Two competitors in the Devizes to Wesminster race get a wriggle on as the furious swan bears down on their canoe in Wiltshire

The swan circles a canoeist after causing him to capsize. The bird became spectacularly enraged when the hundreds of entrants began paddling through its territory

The swan circles a canoeist after causing him to capsize. The bird became spectacularly enraged when the hundreds of entrants began paddling through its territory

The swan circles a canoeist after causing him to capsize. The bird became spectacularly enraged when the hundreds of entrants began paddling through its territory

Peter Strong captured these images as the angry swan launched attack after attack on a stretch of canal in Marden, Wiltshire. The retired IT worker said: ‘I saw about ten boats pass, the swan went for each of them. Apparently if you are aggressive towards it then it stays away'

Peter Strong captured these images as the angry swan launched attack after attack on a stretch of canal in Marden, Wiltshire. The retired IT worker said: ‘I saw about ten boats pass, the swan went for each of them. Apparently if you are aggressive towards it then it stays away'

Peter Strong captured these images as the angry swan launched attack after attack on a stretch of canal in Marden, Wiltshire. The retired IT worker said: ‘I saw about ten boats pass, the swan went for each of them. Apparently if you are aggressive towards it then it stays away’

Carol Vincent had been out on West Bay Beach in Dorset, south west England, when a seagull decided to steal her ice cream. She later said: 'I only had three licks and it was gone'

Carol Vincent had been out on West Bay Beach in Dorset, south west England, when a seagull decided to steal her ice cream. She later said: 'I only had three licks and it was gone'

Carol Vincent had been out on West Bay Beach in Dorset, south west England, when a seagull decided to steal her ice cream. She later said: ‘I only had three licks and it was gone’

Two surfers took to the sea with the surf boards at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, as the hot weather continues to take over the country

Two surfers took to the sea with the surf boards at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, as the hot weather continues to take over the country

Two surfers took to the sea with the surf boards at Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, as the hot weather continues to take over the country

Peter Strong captured these images as the angry swan launched attack after attack on a stretch of canal in Marden, Wiltshire. The retired IT worker said: ‘I saw about ten boats pass, the swan went for each of them. Apparently if you are aggressive towards it then it stays away.

‘As the canoe goes past the swan goes into a low-level swoop, and it’s perfected this thing where it perches on the back of the boat and then flaps its wings.’

Most of the canoeists in the Wiltshire to London race managed to escape unscathed, but some weren’t so lucky.

One man tried to get the swan off the back of his canoe and lost his balance, falling in the water. Given the temperatures, the unscheduled dip may have been a godsend.   

People taking to Britain’s national parks are also being warned to avoid lighting barbecues or dropping cigarette butts, and to take their litter home due to the risk of fire.

An intense blaze broke out on 50 acres of Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire, on Saturday which firemen were still damping down yesterday.

At the height of the blaze, 14 fire engines were at the scene and nearby residents were told to remain inside their homes.

The attacks on canoeists in Wiltshire are not the first case of swans turning angry towards people invading their territory. Between 2010 and 2012, a swan on the River Cam, in Cambridge, became notorious for attacks on rowers and was even nicknamed ‘Mr Asbo’ after the Anti-Social Behaviour Orders issued by UK courts at the time.

Ornithologists say swans can behave fiercely, especially during the spring nesting season between April and June.

It’s flaming April! Wildfires erupt in Yorkshire and County Down causing evacuations as emergency services battle to bring the blazes under control

Wildfires erupted in Yorkshire and County Down causing evacuations as emergency services battled to bring the blazes under control.

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire’s famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

A helicopter was brought in on Sunday to drop tonnes of water onto the smouldering moorland just to the south of the town in West Yorkshire.

The helicopter was seen scooping water from a small nearby reservoir and dropping it on the scorched ground.

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

 The blaze was not far from the Cow and Calf rocks, which are the focal point of one of the most popular recreation areas in the region.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the fire in sweltering conditions at its height on Saturday afternoon.

 In a statement issued on Sunday, West Yorkshire police confirmed that arrests had been made in relation to the fire.

It said: ‘West Yorkshire Police can confirm that three men have been arrested in connection with a fire on Ilkley Moor yesterday.

‘The men, who are aged 19, 23 and 24, remain in custody at this time and enquiries are ongoing with the fire service to establish if this incident is linked to the larger blaze.

‘The fire service are continuing to tackle the blaze and members of the public are advised to avoid the area.

‘The blaze is believed to now be under control, but we would like to remind members of the public that this recent hot weather may have made some moorland areas tinder dry, which means that even small fires may spread rapidly in these conditions.’

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire's famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire's famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire’s famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Police believe that the flames have now been contained but warned that the baking hot weather will make fires prone to spreading.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland a huge fire broke out at around 8.30pm on Sunday on the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

More than 50 firefighters are battling the blaze which is more than a mile long.

Guests at a nearby caravan park and residents on Tullybrannigan Road have been evacuated.  

Jim Beattie, who has a caravan in Bonny’s Caravan Park, told the BBC: ‘It was at the edge of the house here when it diverted and there are at least five fire crews here that I can see and they are starting to evacuate the homes,’ he said.

‘We don’t know where people are being told to go.

‘There is no sense of panic but residents are naturally concerned and haven’t been told where to go, simply to get out. It is really raging now.’

The dry, sunny and very warm temperatures have brought high risk of wildfires in Yorkshire and north-west England, and a moderate likelihood for Wales and south-west England, according to the Met Office.

 

Wildfires erupt in Yorkshire and County Down causing evacuations

Wildfires erupted in Yorkshire and County Down causing evacuations as emergency services battled to bring the blazes under control.

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire’s famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland.

A helicopter was brought in on Sunday to drop tonnes of water onto the smouldering moorland just to the south of the town in West Yorkshire.

The helicopter was seen scooping water from a small nearby reservoir and dropping it on the scorched ground.

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Firefighters tackle a blaze on moorland above the village of Marsden, northwest England, on April 21

Earlier today a helicopter was sent in to help tackle the large fire which is continuing to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

Earlier today a helicopter was sent in to help tackle the large fire which is continuing to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

Earlier today a helicopter was sent in to help tackle the large fire which is continuing to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

The helicopter sprays water over the area as the large fire continues to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

The helicopter sprays water over the area as the large fire continues to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

The helicopter sprays water over the area as the large fire continues to burn on the famous Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

A helicopter swoops over Ilkley Moor with a water bomb in an attempt to put out the West Yorkshire fire today

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire's famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire's famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

As most people basked in Easter sunshine, firefighters tackled a large wildfire on Yorkshire’s famous Ilkley Moor, and a blaze on the Mourne Mountains, in County Down, Northern Ireland

The blaze was not far from the Cow and Calf rocks, which are the focal point of one of the most popular recreation areas in the region.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the fire in sweltering conditions at its height on Saturday afternoon.

 In a statement issued on Sunday, West Yorkshire police confirmed that arrests had been made in relation to the fire.

It said: ‘West Yorkshire Police can confirm that three men have been arrested in connection with a fire on Ilkley Moor yesterday.

‘The men, who are aged 19, 23 and 24, remain in custody at this time and enquiries are ongoing with the fire service to establish if this incident is linked to the larger blaze.

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

A Met Office spokesperson said it is likely to be the warmest Easter Sunday since 2011, and the warmest Easter weekend since 1949

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

Arrests have been made over the 50-acre wildfire that ripped through Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, suggesting that police are treating it as deliberate

‘The fire service are continuing to tackle the blaze and members of the public are advised to avoid the area.

‘The blaze is believed to now be under control, but we would like to remind members of the public that this recent hot weather may have made some moorland areas tinder dry, which means that even small fires may spread rapidly in these conditions.’

Police believe that the flames have now been contained but warned that the baking hot weather will make fires prone to spreading.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland a huge fire broke out at around 8.30pm on Sunday on the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

More than 50 firefighters are battling the blaze which is more than a mile long.

Guests at a nearby caravan park and residents on Tullybrannigan Road have been evacuated.  

Jim Beattie, who has a caravan in Bonny’s Caravan Park, told the BBC: ‘It was at the edge of the house here when it diverted and there are at least five fire crews here that I can see and they are starting to evacuate the homes,’ he said.

‘We don’t know where people are being told to go.

‘There is no sense of panic but residents are naturally concerned and haven’t been told where to go, simply to get out. It is really raging now.’

The dry, sunny and very warm temperatures have brought high risk of wildfires in Yorkshire and north-west England, and a moderate likelihood for Wales and south-west England, according to the Met Office.

Teen who sparked school climate strikes is cheered by eco mob who crippled London

The teenage climate activist who inspired a series of classroom walkouts ignited a fresh fire under the belly of London’s eco-warriors this evening as she hailed their disruptive protests.  

Greta Thunberg, 16, whipped up a crowd of animated Existence Rebellion demonstrators as she vowed to fight back against world leaders who she accused of standing idly by while an ‘ecological crisis’ unfolds. 

The Swedish campaigner said: ‘For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis.

‘But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.’ 

Her intervention to bolster the Existence Rebellion protest – which stretched into its seventh day yesterday – came as the movement’s ringleaders agreed to ‘pause’ their rallies which paralysed the capital’s transport system last week.   

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Greta Thunberg, 16, whipped up a crowd of animated Existence Rebellion demonstrators as she vowed to fight back against world leaders who she accused of standing by while an 'ecological crisis' unfolds

Greta Thunberg, 16, whipped up a crowd of animated Existence Rebellion demonstrators as she vowed to fight back against world leaders who she accused of standing by while an 'ecological crisis' unfolds

Greta Thunberg, 16, whipped up a crowd of animated Existence Rebellion demonstrators as she vowed to fight back against world leaders who she accused of standing by while an ‘ecological crisis’ unfolds

The teenage climate activist who inspired a series of classroom walkouts hailed their disruptive protests

The teenage climate activist who inspired a series of classroom walkouts hailed their disruptive protests

The teenage climate activist who inspired a series of classroom walkouts hailed their disruptive protests

A spokesperson said there would be no escalation of activity on Bank Holiday Monday, but warned that the disruption could get ‘much worse’ if politicians were not open to their negotiation requests.

Olympic gold medallist arrested in Extinction Rebellion protests 

Etienne Scott was carried away by police officers on Sunday evening

Etienne Scott was carried away by police officers on Sunday evening

Etienne Scott was carried away by police officers on Sunday evening

Olympic gold medallist Etienne Stott was one of the activists arrested on Waterloo Bridge as police cleared the final section of carriageway on Sunday evening.

The London 2012 canoe slalom champion was carried from the bridge by four officers at around 8.30pm as he shouted of the ‘ecological crisis’.

On Twitter at around 10.50pm, the Nottingham branch of XR confirmed his arrest and said they were awaiting his release. 

The group will no longer hold a picnic on the Westway by Edgware Road Underground station, which would have stopped traffic on the busy A-road on the last day of the long Easter weekend.

Yet Greta’s rallying cry to demonstrators may pave the way for renewed enthusiasm to continue with the protests.

Addressing climate activists at Marble Arch, she said: ‘Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take.

‘How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?

‘We have gathered here today, and in many other places throughout London and across the world too, we have gathered today because we have chosen which path we want to take and now we are waiting for the others to follow our example.’ 

But Extinction Rebellion’s grip on London’s roads is already being loosened by police who are dismantling the camps set up during this week’s protests.

Officers have started clearing banners, tents and even a skate ramp from Waterloo Bridge where the eco-activists have been demonstrating. 

Key routes through the capital were brought to a standstill as the protesters chained and glued themselves to structures – and even trains – throughout the rallies.

Yet Greta's rallying cry to demonstrators (pictured at Marble Arch) may pave the way for renewed enthusiasm to continue with the protests

Yet Greta's rallying cry to demonstrators (pictured at Marble Arch) may pave the way for renewed enthusiasm to continue with the protests

Yet Greta’s rallying cry to demonstrators (pictured at Marble Arch) may pave the way for renewed enthusiasm to continue with the protests

Greta said: 'Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take'

Greta said: 'Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take'

Greta said: ‘Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take’

But after 831 arrests, which saw 42 people charged, the climate change activists have suggested they are finally ready to end their demonstration.

And although police are still clashing with some defiant protesters – including Olympic gold medal-winning canoeist Etienne Stott – Extinction Rebellion’s equipment is being stripped from the bridge. 

Tents, placards and chains were seen being carried away by officers, some of which carried pliers, this afternoon.

Their clear-up comes as the protest movement announced they are switching disruptive tactics for political negotiations as they enter a second week of campaigning to have the government declare a climate emergency. 

Yet many eco-activists are still lining London’s Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them. 

Police have begun removing the chains which Extinction Rebellion activists used to strap themselves to Waterloo Bridge

Police have begun removing the chains which Extinction Rebellion activists used to strap themselves to Waterloo Bridge

Police have begun removing the chains which Extinction Rebellion activists used to strap themselves to Waterloo Bridge

The protesters have been camped on the bridge for the past week but today officers started clearing the road of their tents

The protesters have been camped on the bridge for the past week but today officers started clearing the road of their tents

The protesters have been camped on the bridge for the past week but today officers started clearing the road of their tents

Many eco-activists are still lining London's Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them

Many eco-activists are still lining London's Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them

Many eco-activists are still lining London's Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them

Many eco-activists are still lining London's Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them

Many eco-activists are still lining London’s Waterloo Bridge, with photographs of the scene showing police officers forcefully removing them

Police remove Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in Londo

Police remove Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in Londo

Police remove Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in Londo

Farhana, the group’s political circle co-ordinator, said: ‘Today marks a transition from week one, which focused on actions that were vision-holding but also caused mass disruption across many dimensions (economic, cultural, emotional, social).

‘Week two marks a new phase of rebellion focused on negotiations where the focus will shift to our actual political demands.’

She added: ‘We want to show that XR is a cohesive long-term, global force, not some flash in the pan. 

‘Being able to ‘pause’ a rebellion shows that we are organised and a long-term political force to be reckoned with. This will give XR leverage as we enter into negotiations with those in power to make headway on our three demands.’

A police officer clears potted plants which had been laid across the bridge by the activists as part of the road block

A police officer clears potted plants which had been laid across the bridge by the activists as part of the road block

A police officer clears potted plants which had been laid across the bridge by the activists as part of the road block

Some defiant young campaigners remain on the bridge in the scorching weather, waving placards urging environmental protection

Some defiant young campaigners remain on the bridge in the scorching weather, waving placards urging environmental protection

Some defiant young campaigners remain on the bridge in the scorching weather, waving placards urging environmental protection

Police reinforcements arrive to keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London

Police reinforcements arrive to keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London

Police reinforcements arrive to keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London

Police have begun dismantling the banners and placards erected by Extinction Rebellion activists on Waterloo Bridge

Police have begun dismantling the banners and placards erected by Extinction Rebellion activists on Waterloo Bridge

Police have begun dismantling the banners and placards erected by Extinction Rebellion activists on Waterloo Bridge

A woman plays the flute as she joins the Extinction Rebellion group demonstration in London

A woman plays the flute as she joins the Extinction Rebellion group demonstration in London

A woman plays the flute as she joins the Extinction Rebellion group demonstration in London 

Climate change protesters hold signs as they sit across Waterloo Bridge in the UK's capital

Climate change protesters hold signs as they sit across Waterloo Bridge in the UK's capital

Climate change protesters hold signs as they sit across Waterloo Bridge in the UK’s capital

People raise their hands in support to a speaker addressing the crowd in London on Waterloo Bridge

People raise their hands in support to a speaker addressing the crowd in London on Waterloo Bridge

People raise their hands in support to a speaker addressing the crowd in London on Waterloo Bridge

A man sits next to the makeshift garden set up by protesters on Waterloo Bridge on Sunday

A man sits next to the makeshift garden set up by protesters on Waterloo Bridge on Sunday

A man sits next to the makeshift garden set up by protesters on Waterloo Bridge on Sunday

The group hopes to negotiate with the Mayor of London and Metropolitan Police to agree that they be allowed to continue their protests at Old Palace Yard, in Westminster, and leave other sites.

The skate ramp, cooking tents, and much of the infrastructure which has been supporting the XR movement during their protest is slowly being removed from Waterloo Bridge.

Officers have been seen carrying items including a large gnome into a waiting lorry, as they work to clear the River Thames crossing.

Activists on Waterloo Bridge have begun the task of removing their collection of trees and plants, and could be seen carrying and wheeling them to a nearby church at around 3.40pm.

Plans to block one of London’s busiest roads have been cancelled by XR after it announced it would pause its disruptive tactics in favour of political negotiation.

Police move in to clear Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion from London's Waterloo Bridge

Police move in to clear Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion from London's Waterloo Bridge

Police move in to clear Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion from London's Waterloo Bridge

Police move in to clear Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion from London's Waterloo Bridge

Police move in to clear Climate protest group Extinction Rebellion from London’s Waterloo Bridge

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in London on Easter Sunday

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in London on Easter Sunday

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators on Waterloo Bridge in London on Easter Sunday 

Police keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London on Sunday

Police keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London on Sunday

Police keep a watch over climate change activists on Waterloo Bridge in London on Sunday

The group had planned to hold a picnic on the Westway, part of the A40, and peacefully block the road near Edgware Road Underground station on Bank Holiday Monday.

A spokeswoman said the picnic would no longer be going ahead.

Speaking about the protests, Sadiq Khan, said more than 9,000 police officers had been responding to the protests, which had proved ‘extremely challenging for our over-stretched and under-resourced police’.

He said: ‘I share the passion about tackling climate change of those protesting, and support the democratic right to peaceful and lawful protest.

‘But this is now taking a real toll on our city – our communities, businesses and police. This is counter-productive to the cause and our city.’ 

Writing on Twitter to the capital's force and Mr Sadiq Khan, Extinction Rebellion said it wanted to 'talk and work out a way forward'

Writing on Twitter to the capital's force and Mr Sadiq Khan, Extinction Rebellion said it wanted to 'talk and work out a way forward'

Writing on Twitter to the capital’s force and Mr Sadiq Khan, Extinction Rebellion said it wanted to ‘talk and work out a way forward’

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Cressida Dick

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Cressida Dick

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan

The group has called for an ‘urgent meeting’ with the Metropolitan Police (pictured left, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Cressida Dick) and the Mayor of London (pictured right) in the hope of ending ‘the disruption to Londoners’

Mr Khan added: ‘I’m extremely concerned about the impact the protests are having on our ability to tackle issues like violent crime if they continue any longer. 

‘It simply isn’t right to put Londoners’ safety at risk like this. My message to all protesters today is clear: you must now let London return to business as usual.’ 

Over the past week protesters have stopped traffic in Oxford Circus, set up camp in Marble Arch and created a temporary garden on Waterloo Bridge. 

Members would commit to not disrupting other areas in exchange for Sadiq Khan speeding up the implementation of the Declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency and considering setting up a London Citizens’ Assembly. 

Officers sat across from the pink boat in Oxford Circus earlier this week

Officers sat across from the pink boat in Oxford Circus earlier this week

Officers sat across from the pink boat in Oxford Circus earlier this week 

They will also set up a political taskforce to take forward public negotiations with the government, warning that they are prepared to scale up action depending on how much progress is made.  

The group called for an ‘urgent meeting’ with the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan, in the hope of ending ‘the disruption to Londoners’.

In a since deleted tweet, the organisation said: ‘Can we talk and work out a way forward? We request an urgent meeting so sites can be cleared with consent. Please contact us.

‘We want to continue our peaceful rebellion against the UK Government but are willing to end the disruption to Londoners.’ 

The group Extinction Rebellion called for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change

The group Extinction Rebellion called for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change

The group Extinction Rebellion called for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change

Police officers arrest and carry away a climate change activist from a demonstration blocking Waterloo Bridge in London on Saturday

Police officers arrest and carry away a climate change activist from a demonstration blocking Waterloo Bridge in London on Saturday

Police officers arrest and carry away a climate change activist from a demonstration blocking Waterloo Bridge in London on Saturday

Climate change activists dance as demonstrators continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

Climate change activists dance as demonstrators continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

Climate change activists dance as demonstrators continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

This week's Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests closed key routes through the capital and resulted in at least 750 arrests

This week's Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests closed key routes through the capital and resulted in at least 750 arrests

This week’s Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests closed key routes through the capital and resulted in at least 750 arrests

The announcement comes on the seventh day of the protests, with the teenager who inspired the climate change school strikes due to join crowds later on Easter Sunday.  

Greta Thunberg is expected to address Extinction Rebellion members on Easter Sunday ahead of meeting senior British politicians next week.

The 16-year-old Swedish activist has already met Pope Francis and spoken at the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, addressing the crowd at Waterloo Bridge, TV presenter Chris Packham said: ‘In the coming weeks we will enter a different phase. Because of our force, we will be asking for negotiation to meet our objectives.

‘What do we want? We want a declaration of climate and ecological emergency declared by our Government. Our Government has been on holiday but tomorrow they come back full of Easter eggs.

‘And before they press that blasted Brexit button again, we must ask them to think about something altogether more pressing: saving our planet.’

Police officers had to administer emergency CPR after a person collapsed on Waterloo Bridge. Shocked with a defibrillator, it is unclear whether the individual was part of the Extinction Rebellion protest.

Police officers had to administer emergency CPR after a person collapsed on Waterloo Bridge

Police officers had to administer emergency CPR after a person collapsed on Waterloo Bridge

Police officers had to administer emergency CPR after a person collapsed on Waterloo Bridge

Shocked with a defibrillator, it is unclear whether the individual was part of the Extinction Rebellion protest

Shocked with a defibrillator, it is unclear whether the individual was part of the Extinction Rebellion protest

Shocked with a defibrillator, it is unclear whether the individual was part of the Extinction Rebellion protest

One witness, who did not want to be named, said the man had been sat close by her, and had been in the shade.

‘Minutes later I could see it looked like he was fitting, his body was so rigid,’ she said. She added she did not think he was part of XR as he did not have any visible stickers or signs on him, but she could not be sure.

Officers worked quickly to help the man before an ambulance arrived.  

After fierce criticism of their ‘softly-softly’ tactics, police officers yesterday finally broke-up the Oxford Circus protest site. 

Meanwhile, the teenager who inspired the climate change school strikes is due to join protesters in London as they enter a seventh day of demonstrations

Meanwhile, the teenager who inspired the climate change school strikes is due to join protesters in London as they enter a seventh day of demonstrations

Meanwhile, the teenager who inspired the climate change school strikes is due to join protesters in London as they enter a seventh day of demonstrations 

Dame Emma Thompson (pictured above) also joined in with the protests in Oxford Circus this week

Dame Emma Thompson (pictured above) also joined in with the protests in Oxford Circus this week

Dame Emma Thompson (pictured above) also joined in with the protests in Oxford Circus this week 

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick condemned last week’s ‘miserable disruption’ which has led to more than 750 people being arrested, with 28 charged. 

Hundreds of officers from other forces have been drafted in to help quell the ongoing disruption.

Police have been trying to confine the protests to one site in London, at Marble Arch, but protesters have ignored the threat of arrest and continued to block roads across the capital.

Ms Dick said: ‘I have never – I’ve been a police officer for 36 years – I have never known an operation, a single operation, in which over 700 people have been arrested.’  

Protesters were pictured tonight in Parliament Square after a day of demonstrations across the capital

Pink paper boats are seen as climate change activists continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

Pink paper boats are seen as climate change activists continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

Pink paper boats are seen as climate change activists continue to block the road at Oxford Circus in London on Saturday

She said she was ‘not embarrassed’ about the length of time it is taking officers to clear the streets, defending their ‘determination and the resilience and the courage that they are showing in the face of quite a lot of difficulty’.

Ms Dick predicted that large numbers of people would be ‘furious’ if the demonstrations affect the London Marathon, which will take place next Sunday.

The Commissioner said she will be talking to the Government and criminal justice colleagues to see if changes to the police’s powers should be made to help officers deal with non-violent demonstrators when they are acting unlawfully.

‘That is the dilemma and if our powers are insufficient, if we don’t have sufficient deterrents in the criminal justice system, then I will certainly be asking for changes.’

Police officers were pictured trying to remove climate activists at the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Parliament Square

Police officers were pictured trying to remove climate activists at the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Parliament Square

Police officers were pictured trying to remove climate activists at the Extinction Rebellion demonstration in Parliament Square 

One woman smiles as she is arrested and taken away by police officers attending the demonstrations in Parliament Square

One woman smiles as she is arrested and taken away by police officers attending the demonstrations in Parliament Square

One woman smiles as she is arrested and taken away by police officers attending the demonstrations in Parliament Square 

The group has pledged to continue causing disruption until its demands are met.

It wants the Government to declare a climate emergency and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

There are increasing fears that protests by XR, which boasts more than 100 regional groups, could spread nationwide. 

Leaked minutes from a meeting of activists in Devon earlier this year reveal plans to ‘educate children and infiltrate the school system’ along with the use of puppets and street theatre to blockade streets.

Our Lady’s in our thoughts: French Marines form up in the shape of Notre Dame cathedral

France‘s Navy, Marine Nationale, paid respects to the recently fire ravaged Notre Dame tweeting out an aerial photo of marines lining up in the shape of the cathedral.  

The building was engulfed in flames and partially destroyed by a blaze last Monday, leaving a nation to mourn its iconic landmark as the world watched.

Navy sailors of the French Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle decided to form the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral from personnel while deployed in the Indian Ocean on Saturday.

Over the last week billionaires have donated millions to help repair the 850-year-old gothic masterpiece, with donations now exceeding €1billion to rebuild Notre Dame and passing €650million in the first day.

It is thought the building can be restored, despite parts of the roof and steeple collapsing in the fire.

Navy sailors of the French Navy's flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean forming the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral which was partially destroyed after a fire

Navy sailors of the French Navy's flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean forming the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral which was partially destroyed after a fire

Navy sailors of the French Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean forming the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral which was partially destroyed after a fire

Marine National, the French Navy, took to Twitter to share the impressive pictures

Marine National, the French Navy, took to Twitter to share the impressive pictures

Marine National, the French Navy, took to Twitter to share the impressive pictures

The French Navy's flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean - with Marines in uniform forming the shape of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the word Paris in the colours of the French flag

The French Navy's flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean - with Marines in uniform forming the shape of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the word Paris in the colours of the French flag

The French Navy’s flagship aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle deployed in the Indian Ocean – with Marines in uniform forming the shape of the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the word Paris in the colours of the French flag

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Monday April 15 as flames and smoke rise from the Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Monday April 15 as flames and smoke rise from the Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Monday April 15 as flames and smoke rise from the Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris

France’s richest man pledged 200 million euros (£170m) towards the restoration after last Monday night’s inferno.

Bernard Arnault of luxury goods group LVMH doubled the 100 million euros pledged by Hollywood actress Salma Hayek’s husband Francois-Henri Pinault.

Other heavyweight donors include the Bettencourt family – owners of cosmetics giant L’Oreal – who have given 200 million euros and the French oil giant Total who donated 100 million on Tuesday.

Multi-billionaire Arnault and fashion tycoon Pinault made their generous pledges after President Emmanuel Macron launched an appeal on Monday.

Pinault, who is boss of Kering, said: ‘This tragedy impacts all French people’ and ‘everyone wants to restore life as quickly as possible to this jewel of our heritage.’

This was followed by another 100 million euro donation from multinational oil and gas company Total, which is headquartered in Paris.

CEO Patrick Pouyanne tweeted that Total was making ‘a special donation of 100 million euros’ and added the slogan ‘fluctuat nec mergitur’ (tossed but not sunk), a motto on the old Paris coat of arms.

Smoke is seen around the alter inside Notre Dame cathedral on Monday evening. Miracolously the cross and altar have managed to survive the inferno

Smoke is seen around the alter inside Notre Dame cathedral on Monday evening. Miracolously the cross and altar have managed to survive the inferno

Smoke is seen around the alter inside Notre Dame cathedral on Monday evening. Miracolously the cross and altar have managed to survive the inferno

 

 

Son of a prolific crystal meth dealer has penned a book on his amazing story

A son has written about the ‘surreal nightmare’ of finding out his 72-year-old father was a prolific crystal meth dealer.

James Lubbock, 41, has written a book about his real-life Breaking Bad story of how his father dealt drugs from two penthouse apartments in Limehouse, east London.

A police raid found Britain’s biggest haul of crystal meth with a street value of £1.5million in the properties owned by 72-year-old Richard.

James Lubbock, 41, has written a book about his real-life Breaking Bad story of how his father dealt drugs from two penthouse apartments in Limehouse, East London

James Lubbock, 41, has written a book about his real-life Breaking Bad story of how his father dealt drugs from two penthouse apartments in Limehouse, East London

James Lubbock, 41, has written a book about his real-life Breaking Bad story of how his father dealt drugs from two penthouse apartments in Limehouse, East London

James told The Mirror: ‘I still can’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it when it was happening, I just had to try to get through it.

‘And now looking back on it, it feels like a surreal nightmare.’

James even shared a meth pipe with his father while he was in a drug fuelled haze.

His father Richard says: ‘The worst part is when I gave him drugs.

‘There is nothing worse you can do as a father. But I couldn’t see there was anything wrong with it. It just makes my whole stomach turn over.’ 

Titled, Breaking Dad, the book will tell the story of Richard's split from his wife Marilyn in 2003 - when they revealed they had been living a lie and were both gay

Titled, Breaking Dad, the book will tell the story of Richard's split from his wife Marilyn in 2003 - when they revealed they had been living a lie and were both gay

Titled, Breaking Dad, the book will tell the story of Richard’s split from his wife Marilyn in 2003 – when they revealed they had been living a lie and were both gay

James added:  ‘It was quality father and son time. I don’t regret that as I didn’t know how long I had left with him.’

Titled, Breaking Dad, the book will tell the story of Richard’s split from his wife Marilyn in 2003 – when they revealed they had been living a lie and were both gay.

Throwing himself in to the gay scene to meet men, Richard soon found himself taking drugs to help his confidence.

James says: ‘The first thing I noticed was that he started smoking. He had always hated cigarettes.’

Not unlike Walter White (Bryan Cranston), in the TV drama Breaking Bad, Richard began a drug empire.

Throwing himself in to the gay scene to meet men Richard soon found himself taking drugs to help his confidence

Throwing himself in to the gay scene to meet men Richard soon found himself taking drugs to help his confidence

Throwing himself in to the gay scene to meet men Richard soon found himself taking drugs to help his confidence

He said: ‘He says: ‘The whole thing went crazy. Friday and Saturday nights I was like a prisoner in my flat as I was so busy. It was ­ridiculous, I never expected this to happen.’

When police raided Richard’s flat in 2009 he admitted dealing and was jailed for eight years. 

He missed his son’s wedding day and the birth of ­granddaughter Mia.

But James insists the arrest is the best thing that happened to his dad.

He added: ‘Getting caught saved his life. After a few weeks when he called me from prison, he sounded like his normal self again.’ 

Breaking Dad by James Lubbock published by Mirror Books is out on 25 April.