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EU countries poised to restrict passport-free travel

Migrants are cleared by German police officers after crossing the Austrian border. Credit: Reuters

European Union countries could restrict passport-free travel for two years due to the migrant crisis, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Documents seen by AP show that the EU is poised to invoke an emergency rule over fears that some member countries are failing to protect its borders.

The documents apparently show that EU policymakers are poised to declare that Greece is failing to sufficiently protect its border with some 2,000 people arriving daily from Turkey.

Each of the 26 countries in the Schengen Area is allowed to put up border controls for a maximum of six months but this can be extended for up to two years if a member nation is found to be failing to protect its borders.

Five-storey building among two to collapse in Istanbul

Two buildings - one of which was a five-storey - have collapsed in Istanbul close to the Turkish city's main shopping area.

At this stage there has been no report of casualties.

Local governor Vasip Sahin told CNN Turk no one is believed to have been killed or injured.

The buildings collapsed in a street near Istanbul's busy Istiklal Avenue in the central Taksim area. Credit: APTN
The area around the five-storey building was roped off as firefighter teams inspected the rubble. Credit: APTN
Clouds of brown dust was reported to have swept into the surrounding streets after the collapse. Credit: APTN


Court hears of Johnson's first encounter with girl fan

Details of Adam Johnson's first face-to-face encounter with the schoolgirl he is alleged to have had sexual activity with have been heard in court.

Adam Johnson arriving at Bradford Crown Court. Credit: PA Wire

Johnson, 28, who denies two counts of sexual activity with a child, met up with the girl on January 17 near a Chinese takeaway close to the girl's home, prosecutor Kate Blackwell told the jury.

She said the teenager got into the footballer's black Range Rover and he signed shirts.

After the meeting, the pair allegedly exchanged further texts talking about whether Johnson deserved a thank you kiss for the shirt-signing "or more".

Arthur Simpson-Kent charged with Sian Blake murder

Arthur Simpson-Kent, 48.

Arthur Simpson-Kent has been charged with the murders of former EastEnders actress Sian Blake and her two children, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The 48-year-old will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates' Court later today.

Ms Blake, 43, and sons Zachary, eight, and Amon, four, were found buried in the garden of their home in Erith Kent on 5 January, having been reported missing weeks earlier.

A post-mortem found the three had died from neck and head injuries.


Footballer Adam Johnson 'knew young fan was underage'

Adam Johnson arrives at Bradford Crown Court with with partner Stacey Flounders. Credit: PA

Footballer Adam Johnson "abused his revered position in society" by having sexual contact with a girl he knew was underage, a court has been told

The 28-year-old former Sunderland player, who denies two counts of sexual activity with a child, went on trial today.

The jury at Bradford Crown Court heard that the school girl, a passionate Sunderland fan, would often "hang around" the ground in the hope of seeing Johnson, "her favourite player" whose name she had emblazoned on the back of her shirt.

Prosecutor Katie Blackwell QC said Johnson contacted the girl after she had made a Facebook friend request to him.

In the subsequent messages, the girl made clear that she was a Year 10 student one month past her 15th birthday, the court was told.

Miss Blackwell said the winger, who has represented England 12 times, had been brought to the courtroom by a "sexual desire for [the girl], an excessive arrogance and an unwarranted level of expectation".

Harris to be charged with seven indecent assault counts

Entertainer Rolf Harris will be charged with seven counts of indecent assault, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

The CPS said the alleged offences date from 1971 to 2004 and relate to seven complainants, who were aged between 12 and 27 at the time of the alleged offending.

The veteran Australian entertainer will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court next month. Credit: PA Archive

A spokesperson confirmed Harris is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 17 March.

We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Rolf Harris.

Having completed our review in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with seven counts of indecent assault.

– CPS spokesperson
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