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Tributes paid to Hot Chocolate frontman

Tributes have started to appear online to Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown.

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Among those paying tribute was singer Beverley Knight who said: "I am so gutted. Errol Brown was such a charismatic performer" and musician and producer Nile Rodgers.

Bookmakers William Hill also tweeted their respects for Brown, who was known to have owned a number of racehorses including one called Gainsay.

Baltimore requests police review after custody death

A mural of Freddie Gray is painted on a building in Baltimore Credit: PA

Officials in Baltimore have asked the US Justice Department to investigate its police for civil rights violations after the death of Freddie Gray whose death in custody sparked days of protests and unrest.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said today the review will look into police practices such as frisks, street stops of suspects, arrests and searches to see if they violate the US Constitution.

"We cannot be timid in addressing this problem and I am a mayor that does not shy away from our city's big challenges," Rawlings-Blake said.

25-year-old Freddie Gray died of spinal injuries last month after being arrested by police.

Six officers were charged last week in Gray's death in a case that is the latest in a series of deaths of unarmed black men involving police officers across the United States.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is considering Rawlings-Blake's request, the Justice Department said in a statement


Errol Brown's manager: There was always music around wherever he was

There was always music around wherever he was, Errol Brown's manager said in tribute to the star.

Brown, who is survived by his wife and two daughters, died at home in the Bahamas, Phil Dale said.

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Paying tribute to Brown, who was made an MBE in 2003, Mr Dale said he was "a wonderful gentleman".

He added: "There was always music around wherever he was. I've been with him in the middle of Australia and he has got an idea for a song and started writing.

"Errol was a lover of life and obviously music. I never went into his home, car or a hotel room without music playing. And it always played constantly in his dressing room before a concert.

"Errol was a gentleman and was a personal friend of mine who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. His greatest legacy is that his music will live on."

'Fraud' targeting elderly linked to UK extremists

Police are investigating a fraud targeting elderly people that is linked to extremists travelling to Syria Credit: PA

Counter-terrorism police investigating a "large scale" alleged fraud linked to extremists travelling to Syria have arrested seven people.

Six men and one woman have been arrested after raids on seven addresses in London and Luton as part of a probe into allegations that vulnerable and elderly victims are 'cold-called' by someone impersonating a police officer and scammed out of money.

The men, all in their 20s and 30s, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and a 32-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

A 46-year-old woman was also arrested during a property search in north London on suspicion of a separate offence under the Child Abduction Act in relation to a young girl travelling to Turkey whose whereabouts remain unknown.

She has been bailed until June alongside two women, aged 20 and 21, who were previously arrested in relation to this inquiry.

Officers are investigating a large-scale fraud linked to UK extremists travelling to Syria.

The arrests today form part of an ongoing fraud investigation, whereby unsuspecting vulnerable and elderly victims are 'cold called' on their home phone by a suspect impersonating a police officer.

Members of the public are strongly advised, if you receive a call like this about your bank account from someone claiming to be a police officer, hang up the phone, wait at least five minutes to make sure the phone line has cleared, or use another phone line, before ringing the phone number on your bank card.

– A Scotland Yard spokesman

Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown dies

Errol Brown Credit: PA Wire

Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown has died aged 71, his manager said.

The singer, famous for hits including You Sexy Thing and It Started With A Kiss, died at home in the Bahamas.

His manager, Phil Dale, said he had suffered from liver cancer.

Brown scored his first success with Hot Chocolate in 1970 with the top 10 track Love Is Life and went on to have more than 20 top 40 hits.

You Sexy Thing made it into the top 10 three times - helped along in 1997 by its use in the film The Full Monty - and the band had their only number one with So You Win Again in 1977. It Started With A Kiss also charted three times.


Viewers will not be affected by strike, says ITV

A spokesman for ITV has said that viewers will be unaffected by proposed industrial action by production staff on May 14 and that contingency plans are in place to ensure programmes will continue to be broadcast.

Technicians' union Bectu said its members had voted in favour of industrial action by 67% in protest at a 2% pay award.

Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: "There is a huge disparity between the pay offered to staff and the bonus package to executives as well as shareholder dividends."

But the spokesman for ITV said that pay increases over the last four years are "some way ahead of other media sector pay awards".

We are fully prepared to maintain an open dialogue with union representatives following the ballot result today, which has seen 232 union members voting to strike out of a UK workforce of 3,000 employees. We have contingency plans in place to ensure that our programmes will continue to be broadcast and are confident that viewers will be unaffected by the proposed industrial action on May 14.

We have made an above inflation one year pay increase of 2%, effective from January 1, which is on top of the 11.5% of pay rises over the last four years, some way ahead of other media sector pay awards. We are also the only UK broadcaster to pay the living wage. Eligible colleagues also received the maximum £1,200 bonus in their pay packets in March and we have increased the 2015 bonus opportunity to its maximum £1,500 which would be paid next year.

ITV continues to make good progress but our focus on costs remains incredibly important across the business as we balance the need to continue to invest in growing the business, our people and the programmes that we create and broadcast.

– ITV spokesman

Former Liverpool man Suarez surprises cancer patient

Luis Suarez surprised a young Barcelona fan suffering from cancer by pretending to be a doctor before revealing his true identity.

Matthew, a patient at the Pérez Scremini Foundation, thought he was receiving advice from a medical practitioner until Suarez left him in tears of happiness by appearing on screen.

In the video, Suarez promises to give Matthew one of the Barcelona shirts he will wear in an upcoming match, only if the patient listens to doctors' advice during his road to recovery.

Pérez Scremini is the only foundation in Uruguay with a mission to cure childhood cancer.

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