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Iran plane crash: Tributes to three British nationals killed

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi

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Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board

Tributes have been paid to three British nationals who died when a Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran.

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners, BP engineer Sam Zokaei and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board the flight.

They were among the 176 people from seven countries who died in the crash.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

The airline said the plane underwent scheduled maintenance on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesman said the UK was “working closely with the Ukrainian authorities and the Iranian authorities” over the crash, and there was “no indication” the plane was brought down by a missile.

As well as the three Britons, the victims in the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians – including all of the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans, Ukraine foreign affairs minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.

Tributes were paid locally to Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh, 40, who ran a neighbourhood dry cleaners in Hassocks, West Sussex, and had a nine-year-old daughter.

Steve Edgington from the pet shop next door said he had known Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh for 14 years, and described him as a lovely, hardworking man who was good at his job and loved by staff.

Savvas Savvidis, 36, who rented a room in Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s home in Brighton, said he was a “super-nice person”.

“It’s so sad. Before he left we had a conversation, he told me that he spent all his life working, working really hard, and now finally he wants to start to enjoy life a bit more.”

Mr Savvidis described Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh as a humble man who loved his daughter very much.

The dry cleaners closed on Wednesday, with neighbouring businesses telling the BBC that staff were too upset to stay open.

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A sign on the window of Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s dry cleaners in Hassocks

Meanwhile, in a statement, BP said “with the deepest regret” that its employee Mr Zokaei, 42, from Surrey, was among the passengers.

Mr Zokaei had been on holiday. He had worked for BP for 14 years and was based at the company’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends,” BP said.

A friend of Mr Zokaei, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC they were “still in shock”.

“He was a highly accomplished person. Very clever and very friendly. Always smiling and full of positive energy. He will be sorely missed.

“He was always trying new adventures. He cycled and toured Europe on bikes a few times. He also loved travelling to interesting far out places.”

Also killed was Mr Tahmasebi, 35, who worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rourke in Dartford.

Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also named as having died in the crash.

“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by this very tragic news,” said Laing O’Rourke.

“Saeed was a popular and well respected engineer and will be missed by many of his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time and we will do all we can to support them through it.”

‘Humble and generous’

Mr Tahmasebi – whose full name was Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi – was also a part-time PhD student at Imperial College London’s Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “We are deeply saddened at this tragic news. Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi was a brilliant engineer with a bright future.

“His contributions to systems engineering earned respect from everyone who dealt with him and will benefit society for years to come.

“He was a warm, humble and generous colleague and close friend to many in our community. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both said their thoughts were with the families of those killed.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman has said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.”

They said it was “urgently seeking confirmation” about how many British nationals were on board and would be supporting any families affected.

Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.

Ukraine’s state aviation service has forbidden its national airlines from using Iranian airspace from Thursday, with the restrictions in place until an investigation into the cause of the crash has concluded.

Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran and Iranian state television both initially said technical issues caused the crash.

But the embassy later removed this statement and said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.

Ukraine said its entire civilian aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.

The country’s president warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.

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Flowers were laid outside the Canadian embassy in Kiev in remembrance of the 63 Canadians on board the flight

Ukrainian International Airlines said the flight disappeared from radar just a “few minutes” after take-off.

The Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were “clarifying the exact number”.

“The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” a statement said.

The airline, which is investigating the crash, said the aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.

There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”.

A statement from Boeing said its “heartfelt thoughts” were with all those affected following the “tragic event”.

There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC.

This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.

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Brighton 1-1 Chelsea: Jahanbakhsh’s stunning effort earns Seagulls point

Alireza Jahanbakhsh has scored two goals in his last two games for Brighton, having failed to find the net in his first 26 for the club in all competitions

Alireza Jahanbakhsh said he has started 2020 “in the best way possible” after his spectacular overhead kick earned Brighton an unlikely point against Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.

The Iranian substitute, who scored his first goal for the club on Saturday, brought the home support to their feet in the 84th minute with an early contender for goal of the month.

“When I was about to go on, I had a feeling I could have an impact on the game,” he told Match of the Day.

“When I saw the ball, I just tried to hit it as hard as I could and the bicycle kick was the only option. I’m going to watch it a couple more times.

“It has been a really tough time for me. I have been training well and working hard to get my chance. Luckily, it has gone the way I wanted.

“2019 didn’t go as well as I wanted. I tried to end the year as well as I could and I’ve started 2020 in the best way possible.”

Cesar Azpilicueta gave the Blues the lead with his third goal of the season when he fired in from close range after Tammy Abraham’s shot was blocked by Aaron Mooy.

‘Courage, effort & quality’ – Potter on Brighton draw

Brighton’s attacking threat was largely nullified by Chelsea’s defence, although aside from the goals they produced the clearest chances – both thwarted by the brilliance of keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Spaniard produced a one-handed stop to deny Aaron Connolly and then saved Neal Maupay’s low drive with his feet.

The point extends fourth-placed Chelsea’s advantage over Manchester United in fifth to five points. Brighton move up a place to 13th, above Burnley on goal difference.

Big blow for Lampard’s side

Cesar Azpilicueta has scored three goals in his past 11 games in all competitions, as many as in his previous 118

This result is another setback for Frank Lampard and his side, who looked assured of an eighth league win on the road this season.

Prior to Jahanbakhsh’s goal his defence had suffocated Brighton’s attack.

Having been accused of being sloppy at times this season, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Reece James and skipper Azpilicueta were at their dogged best – rarely allowing an opposition ball to find its way into the six-yard area.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Chelsea: We didn’t take our chances – Lampard

Youth graduate James shone the brightest, and manager Lampard has a potential diamond. Aside from providing support for his centre-backs, the 20-year-old was exceptional as an attacking force down the right.

Brighton’s Dan Burn will not want to face him too soon having left the pitch with a fractured collarbone in the 22nd minute following a collision with the England Under-21 player.

The Blues, however, were as poor as Brighton in attack, and keeper Mat Ryan had less to do than his opposite number. The only time he was called into action in the second half was to make a routine low save from Christian Pulisic.

Jahanbakhsh steals the headlines again

Tears of joy to a look a disbelief – what a week it has been for Jahanbakhsh.

A lack of first-team opportunities had frustrated the Iranian since he made a £17m move from AZ Alkmaar in July 2018, so the outpouring of emotion when he opened his Brighton account against Bournemouth last weekend came as no surprise.

Manager Graham Potter did not reward the 26-year-old winger with another start, but having watched his other attackers fail to make much of a dent in the Chelsea defence he threw on Jahanbakhsh in the 68th minute.

Connolly came close to beating Arrizabalaga with a low drive before Jahanbakhsh tried the more unconventional method and, with his back to goal, he found the Chelsea bottom right with a superb acrobatic effort.

Man of the match – Reece James (Chelsea)

Reece James (left) regained possession 11 times – more than any other player from his side

‘Lack of consistency is a concern’ – reaction

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard: “It was frustrating for different reasons.

“In the first half, the game was there to be won. We weren’t ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had the possession, but we just didn’t kill the game off.

“We allowed them to stay in the game. In the end it was a wonder goal but we were lucky not to lose the game.

“In the end, the tactics matched up for both teams but they were better than us. We have to take that on the chin.

“[The lack of consistency] is a concern. It’s something we absolutely have to look at.

“We have to look at the game today. It’s a point, but I’m not happy with the performance.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter: “I thought our play was really brave and we got our reward.

“Everyone is delighted for Jahanbakhsh. He’s worked so hard and waited so long, and to have his freshness off the bench was the thinking and he popped up with a great strike.

“He’s had to be patient, but he’s got qualities and he’s getting his reward.

“I’m really proud of the performance. We need to carry that forward and get some more points.”

Brighton’s super subs – the stats

  • Brighton earned their first ever point in a league game against Chelsea in what was their 10th match against them.
  • This was Chelsea’s first away Premier League draw this season – the Blues had won seven and lost three of their 10 previous games on the road this term.
  • Chelsea have scored more goals in 11 Premier League away games this season (25) than they managed on the road in the whole of 2018-19 (24).
  • Azpilicueta has scored three goals in his last 11 games in all competitions for Chelsea, as many as he had in his previous 118.
  • Jahanbakhsh became the fifth different Brighton player to score a Premier League goal as a substitute this season, more than any other side in the competition.
  • Despite only coming on as a 68th-minute substitute, no Brighton player had more shots (three) or created more chances (three) than goalscorer Jahanbakhsh.

What’s next?

Brighton are at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Saturday (15:01 GMT) and the following day Chelsea host Nottingham Forest in the competition (14:01 GMT).



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London’s City Hall provides Christmas meals for homeless

Sadiq Khan hands out food

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Sadiq Khan helped serve 100 Christmas Dinners to guests at City Hall

Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.

Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.

Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.

“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.

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Claire said she had been “looking forward” to the Christmas Dinner

Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.

“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”

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Guests were treated to rendition of carols by the London International Gospel Choir

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Around 100 people who use London’s homeless services were invited to City Hall

Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.

But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.

“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.

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Sadiq Khan said “it is shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do”

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Guests were given a three-course Christmas Dinner

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.

“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.

“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.

“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”

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Free opticians services were put on by charity Humanity First

Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.

There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.

Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.

Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.

“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”

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Jaden Moodie murder: Man jailed for gang killing

Jaden Moodie

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Jaden Moodie was stabbed by rival gang member

A man has been jailed for murdering a 14-year-old boy in a targeted “violent and frenzied” attack.

Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and repeatedly stabbed by rival gang member Ayoub Majdouline in Bickley Road, Leyton, in January.

The drug dealer was found guilty of the murder on 11 December after his DNA was found on the murder weapon.

Majdouline, 19, of Wembley, was sentenced at the Old Bailey to life with a minimum term of 21 years.

As Jaden’s family left court, his father Julian Moodie said he was happy with the sentence, adding: “British justice has been done.”

Sentencing Majdouline, Judge Richard Marks said he could not “ignore the evidence” about Jaden’s drug dealing and other criminal-related history.

“That he became so involved starting at the age of 13 is truly shocking but none of that means he deserved to die, still less in the circumstances in which he did,” he said.

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Ayoub Majdouline was found guilty of Jaden’s murder by majority of 11 to one

Majdouline was one of five men linked to the stabbing who drove around east London in a stolen Mercedes looking for members of a rival gang to attack on the night of 8 January, the court heard.

The group, linked to drug gang the Mali Boys, had covered their faces and two of them, including Majdouline, wore yellow rubber gloves to avoid being identified.

The killing was caught on graphic CCTV, which was shown at the trial.

Once the group spotted Jaden, he was knocked off his moped by the car.

Gang members then got out of the car and stabbed him while he lay on the ground.

Jaden, who was dealing drugs for rival gang the Beaumont Crew, suffered nine stab wounds and bled to death in the road as the attackers ran back to the car and sped off, the court heard.

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CCTV of the moment Jaden was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death was shown to jurors

In a victim impact statement, Jaden’s mother Jada Bailey said her son was a “loving and caring, family-orientated little boy” and described his murder as “barbaric”.

Ms Bailey said she felt “let down” by organisations she had turned to for help.

She told the BBC she had complained to social services about her son being groomed by gangs, and moved 140 miles from Nottinghamshire to Waltham Forest in east London to escape trouble.

“I feel like all this could have been avoided,” she said.

“No parent should have to bury their child before themselves.”

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Blood-stained rubber gloves worn by Majdouline were found near the crime scene

Majdouline had a “non-existent childhood” and was particularly traumatised by the murder of his father, the court heard.

Three years after his father’s death, Majdouline was identified by the National Crime Agency as a victim of “modern slavery”.

His lawyer James Scobie QC told the court: “He had significant disruption by experiences of trauma and exposure to certain ideologies that no-one of any age should be exposed to.”

Giving evidence in the trial, Majdouline said he had turned to county lines drug dealing “to survive”.

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Premier League footballer Jordon Ibe accused over Bentley crash

Jordon Ibe at Bromley Magistrates' Court

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Jordon Ibe pleaded not guilty at Bromley Magistrates’ Court to failing to stop at the scene of an accident

A Premier League footballer accused of crashing his Bentley into a coffee shop and driving off is to face trial.

Jordon Ibe, 23, is alleged to have crashed into The Pantry on Plaistow Lane in Bromley, London, on 30 July.

At a court hearing, the AFC Bournemouth midfielder denied failing to stop after an accident but did not enter a plea to a second charge of careless driving.

Bromley magistrates ordered him to attend a trial at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on 10 February.

George Crivelli, prosecuting, said Mr Ibe’s white Bentley Bentayga 4×4 was significantly damaged in the crash, at about 04:50 BST.

‘Car part in rubble’

He said: “The defendant has been involved in a collision – his vehicle has left the road, collided with a parked car and crashed into a shop front.

“The vehicle remained for a short period before driving off.”

Part of the car was left behind in the rubble, while the coffee shop’s front had to be removed from its foundations to be made safe, the court heard.

Jonathan Morrissey, defending, said the player had waited at the scene for a reasonable length of time but no-one was available to exchange details with.

Mr Ibe was charged by postal requisition on 29 October.

He signed with the Dorset club from Liverpool in 2016 for a reported £15m fee.

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Bob Willis: Former England captain dies aged 70

Only James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ian Botham have taken more Test wickets for England than Willis’ 325

Former England captain Bob Willis has died at the age of 70.

The fast bowler took 325 wickets in 90 Tests from 1971 to 1984, claiming a career-best 8-43 to help England to a famous win over Australia at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes.

He captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals before his retirement from all cricket in 1984.

Willis subsequently worked as a summariser on BBC TV before joining Sky Sports as a commentator in 1991.

He continued to work for Sky and was part of their coverage of this summer’s Ashes series.

Willis represented Surrey for the first two years of his professional career before spending 12 years at Warwickshire, finishing with 899 wickets from 308 first-class matches at an average of 24.99.

In a statement on Twitter

Bob Willis career record
MatchesWicketsAverageBest
Tests9032525.208-43
ODIs648024.604-11
First-class30889924.998-32
List A29342120.187-32