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Long-lost Picasso worth £11m seized by Italian police

A long-lost Picasso painting worth almost £11 million has been seized by Italian police who suspect it was being illegally deported.

The artwork, entitled Violin and Bottle of Bass, was created in 1912 and shows a cubist image of a violin and a beer bottle. Its existence was only known about as it was mentioned in the 1961 Zervos catalogue of the artist's work.

An officer from the Italian Carabinieri stands guard by the valuable painting Credit: Reuters

A retired frame-maker claims he was given the artwork in 1978 as a gift from an elderly client as a thank you for repairing a picture of his late wife for free.

Not knowing it was a Picasso, the man had stored it for almost 40 years without much care, police said, until he "by chance" realised it was an original by the Spanish artist.

Suspicions were raised when Sotheby’s auction house tried to get official permission to export it, with an estimated value of £1m.

Investigators have verified that the painting is genuine, but say they are still trying to determine whether the man its rightful owner.

Pilots' association: Lubitz had 'no business' in a cockpit

The co-pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a plane carrying 150 people into a mountainside in the Alps had "no business" being in a cockpit, the German pilots' association has said.

It comes after prosecutors revealed they had found torn-up sick notes given to Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, including one which was valid for the day of the crash, amid reports he had been suffering from depression.

Markus Wahl, of the German pilots' association, said Lubitz had 'no business' being in the cockpit Credit: Reuters

But Markus Wahl, spokesman for the Cockpit association, rejected the idea of regular psychological assessment of pilots, saying it "doesn't make sense".

Someone with a sick note has no business being in a cockpit. I cannot comprehend that.

[But] our colleagues cannot go to a psychologist before every flight. For one, that cannot work in real life.

Constant supervision is neither possible as far as we are concerned, nor is it necessary.

– Markus Wahl, Cockpit pilots' association

Unite donate further £1m to Labour ahead of election

Trade union Unite has announced a further £1 million donation to Labour, bringing the total given to Ed Miliband's party to £3.5 million since December.

Unite has upped its donations to the Labour party. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The union's executive has previously expressed their concern the current Government could be re-elected on a "tide of big business cash" while Labour remained under-resourced.


Rugby World Cup chief quits for personal reasons

Debbie Jevans has resigned. Credit: PA

The woman in charge of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Debbie Jevans, has resigned due to personal reasons.

With just six months to go before the start of the tournament, the decision has come as a bombshell.

This is the right decision for me to make at this time. I am immensely proud of the team and all that we have achieved in the time that I have been Chief Executive.

Everything is in place to ensure that this is the best Rugby World Cup ever, and I am confident my team will deliver an exceptional tournament.

The organisation is strong, there is a great team in place and I am really looking forward to watching the Rugby World Cup as a fan later this year.

– Debbie Jevans

Hundreds of human remains brought down from mountain

Between 400 and 600 pieces of human remains have been retrieved from the Alps where a Germanwings plane crashed earlier this week, according to The Associated Press.

Citing French police, recovery workers have reportedly not found any intact bodies at the site.

Col Patrick Touron, of the gendarme service in the town of Seyne-les-Alpes, said DNA samples had been taken from objects provided by the victims' families - including toothbrushes - to help identify the 150 people killed in the crash.

Nurse 'just felt tired' not ill before her Ebola diagnosis

Ebola-free corporal Anna Cross has described how she dealt with the shock of being diagnosed with the potentially deadly virus in Sierra Leone, having not felt particularly ill but just "tired".

She said it "was hard for a few hours and then something in my mind just kicked in as it does in difficult situations and it said 'I have a job to do', which is to get myself back well, and I started to really focus on the people around me".

Corporal Anna Cross described the team at the Royal Free as the 'best in the world' after successfully undergoing an experimental treatment. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The 25-year-old was full of praise for the medics at the Royal Free Hospital in London as well as her fellow volunteers in Africa who helped her through the initial stages.

I was looked after by the colleagues that I had worked with and that gave me such confidence because they're total professionals and they were really dedicated to getting me home, to getting my health optimised, to get me on the flight, which they did within less than 24 hours of me being diagnosed, and a fantastic RAF team brought me home.

– Corporal Anna Cross

Plane crash co-pilot attended health clinic for 'diagnosis'

The co-pilot thought to be behind a plane crash in the Alps attended Dusseldorf University Clinic earlier this month, the health centre has confirmed.

A total of 150 people, including Lubitz, were killed when the plane crashed into a mountain en route between Spain and Dusseldorf.

A spokesman for the clinic confirmed that Lubitz had attended in both February and March this year for a 'diagnosis'.

They would not confirm details due to privacy laws, but denied that he had received treatment there for depression.

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