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Richard III - case closed after 529 years

An international research team has confirmed today that the skeleton discovered under a car park in Leicester is the remains of King Richard III, closing what is probably the UK’s oldest forensic case.

Richard III

Scientists carried out key parts of the analysis at the University of York and the research team included members of the Department of Biology at York.

Led by Dr Turi King, from the University of Leicester, the research which is published in Nature Communications, traced seven living relatives of Richard III – two by the female line and five by the male line.

The researchers collected DNA from Richard III’s living relatives and analysed several genetic markers, including the complete mitochondrial genomes, inherited through the maternal line, and Y-chromosomal markers, inherited through the paternal line, from both the skeletal remains and the living relatives.

While the Y-chromosomal markers differ, the mitochondrial genome shows a genetic match between the skeleton and the maternal line relatives.

The former result is not unsurprising as the chances for a false-paternity event is fairly high after so many generations.

This paper is also the first to carry out a statistical analysis of all the evidence together to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Skeleton 1 from the Greyfriars site in Leicester is indeed the remains of King Richard III.

The researchers also used genetic markers to determine hair and eye colour of Richard III and found that with probably blond hair and almost certainly blue eyes Richard III looked most similar to his depiction in one of the earliest portraits of him that survived, that in the Society of Antiquaries in London.

“Our paper covers all the genetic and genealogical analysis involved in the identification of the remains of Skeleton 1 from the Greyfriars site in Leicester and is the first to draw together all the strands of evidence to come to a conclusion about the identity of those remains.

"Even with our highly conservative analysis, the evidence is overwhelming that these are indeed the remains of King Richard III, thereby closing an over 500 year old missing person’s case.“

– Dr Turi King

“It’s amazing how much we can deduce from ancient DNA today. Making inferences about hair or eye color of a person just from some DNA snippets obtained from a skeleton would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.”

– Professor Michi Hofreiter, Honorary Professor of Biology at York

“The University of York is immensely proud of its contribution to the Richard III project.

" These exciting results are testimony to the positive collaboration between two great historical cities associated with Richard - Leicester and York – and the crucial part they have played in identifying and commemorating England’s last Yorkist king.“

– Professor Mark Ormrod, of the Department of History at York

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Four arrested in international computer hacking investigation

Four people, including three in Leeds, have been arrested in the UK as part of an international operation to combat computer hackers.

Four arrested in international computer hacking investigation Credit: Press Association

Another 11 suspects were also arrested in Estonia, France, Romania, Latvia, Italy and Norway in a series of cross-border raids, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

The operation targeted suspected users of tools known as Remote Access Trojans (RATs), which allow cyber-criminals to gain control over computers, including being able to turn victims' webcams on and off and access banking or other personal information.

Three men were arrested on Thursday in Leeds, aged 33, 30 and 33, while a fourth man was detained in Chatham, in Kent, the NCA said. A search warrant was used on a 19-year-old man, from Liverpool, who was brought in for voluntary questioning.

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Mobile phone network director fined for data offences

A company director has been fined after illegally accessing one of Everything Everywhere’s (EE) customer databases.

Mobile phone network director fined for data offences Credit: Press Association

Matthew Devlin, 25, from Halifax, Yorkshire, used details of when customers were due a mobile phone upgrade to target them with services offered by his own telecoms companies.

He had impersonated a member of EE’s security team during calls and emails to the phone company, in an attempt to obtain passwords and login details to their customer database. He succeeded on one occasion, and was able to access the records of 1,066 customers.

Devlin, a director of three marketing and telecoms companies, appeared before Calderdale Magistrates’ Court today. He was fined £500, ordered to pay £438.63 costs and an £50 victim surcharge.

Personal data is a valuable commodity. Devlin lied and manipulated to access this information for his own profit and now he’s facing a fine and a criminal conviction. EE swiftly alerted us to this breach and their security procedures allowed the ICO to identify Devlin as the perpetrator.

– ICO Head of Enforcement Stephen Eckersley

Fines like this are no deterrent. Our personal details are worth serious money to rogue operators. If we don't want people to steal our personal details or buy and sell them as they like, then we need to show them how serious we are taking this. And that means the prospect of prison for the most serious cases.

– Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner

MP welcomes plans to improve mobile phone coverage

The MP for Lincoln has welcomed new steps being taken by the government to improve mobile coverage and end ‘partial not-spots’ – areas where there is coverage from one or more but not all of the four mobile networks – in Lincolnshire.

15.6 per cent of Lincolnshire suffer from partial not-spots Credit: Press Association

Currently 15.6 per cent of Lincolnshire suffer from these partial not-spots making it harder for people to communicate and businesses to operate, and putting growth and jobs at risk.

Karl McCartney MP says he is working with mobile operators to find voluntary solutions but says he could consider legislation to improve coverage.

Currently 15.6 per cent of Lincolnshire has poor mobile coverage which is causing frustration for people trying to make a call or send a text and making it more difficult for businesses to operate and grow. Conservatives are not prepared to let this continue. That is why we are now looking at how we can eliminate ‘partial not-spots’ and make it easier to communicate in our County. As part of this we will continue to work with mobile companies as well as considering changing the law so that people can use a different mobile network if they can’t get a signal with their own network. Ensuring people and businesses in Lincolnshire can get good mobile coverage is a key part of our long-term economic plan that will help businesses to grow and more jobs, giving people greater financial security and peace of mind.

– Karl McCartney MP

"Crime-fighting cube" will tackle congestion at crash scenes

New crime-fighting equipment piloted by Humberside Police will be unveiled at an event in Scunthorpe today - ahead of it being rolled out across the UK.

Dubbed "the cube", it can glean information from cars involved in accidents - including speed and brake application at the point of collision.

John Rusted, Senior Collision Investigator for Humberside Police, explains it will reduce congestion at the scene of a crash:

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