Live updates

Pressure mounts for German investigation into Yorkshire student's death

Pressure is growing for a thorough investigation into the death in Germany of a student from Huddersfield.

20,000 people have now signed an online petition calling on the German authorities to do more to find out exactly what happened to 19 year old Jane Khalaf.

Local Labour MP Barry Sheerman has also raised the matter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Chris Kiddey reports.

Cellino to comply with League ban - pending his appeal

Leeds United's Italian owner Massimo Cellino has said he will stand down as a director of the club to prevent the club from incurring sanctions during his appeal against his Football League disqualification.

Leeds United owner massimo cellino is to stand down as a director of the club pending his appeal against his Football League disqualification Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Cellino was disqualified by the League on December 1 after the governing body annunced that he was in breach of its Owners and Directors test due to a tax conviction in Italy.

Cellino told Calendar he is to appeal against his disqualification , which would run until March 18 2015 - the date on which his conviction is spent under UK law.

Advertisement

New online service to improve English skills

A new online service to help people learn English as they settle in to life in Leeds has been officially launched.

The Learning English in Leeds (LEL) website is designed to give providers and learners information about finding the right classes to help with key language skills.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor David Congreve performed a digital ribbon cutting to officially launch the new site Credit: Leeds City Council

The site also aims to help them integrate into their communities and gives those in established communities who want to improve their English more opportunities to learn.

The launch event, hosted by Leeds City Council at the Civic Hall, was attended by learners from the council, The University of Leeds, Leeds City College and Leeds Language College.

Those attending the launch saw a demonstration of the new site, took part in a quiz, and got the chance to talk to other learners about their experiences of learning English as a second language.

Family of murdered Leeds Uni student issue statement

The family of murdered Leeds University student David Miller who was killed with fellow British backpacker Hannah Witheridge on the Thai holiday island of Koh Tao in September have issued the following statement after two Burmese men were charged with the murders earlier this week.

David Miller Credit: ITV Yorkshire

"We would like to express our relief that progress is being made in Thailand and this case is finally coming to court.

"We would like to reiterate our gratitude to the UK Metropolitan Police, who received the co-operation of the Royal Thai Police in undertaking an independent review into the investigation.

"The evidence collected by the Royal Thai police will be presented at court and we hope the suspects are granted a fair and transparent trial. We are thankful of the over-sight of pressure groups such as Reprieve and Amnesty.

"In the meantime however, we ask that the speculative theories circulating on social media are not taken as fact. These interpretations are based on incomplete evidence and substantial conjecture.

"The increasing sensationalism of this story in the media is emotionally hurtful to us and appears to be wide of the mark.

"The support for the Myanmar suspects has been strong and vocal, but please do not jump to conclusions until you have considered the evidence from both sides in full.

"From what we have seen, the suspects have a difficult case to answer. The evidence against them appears to be powerful and convincing. They must respond to these charges, and their arguments must be considered with the same scrutiny as those of the prosecution.

"Please remember that this is above all a story of two wonderful young people, David and Hannah, killed in the prime of their lives in a senseless and brutal way.

"Further speculation should be put aside until all the evidence is made public and appropriate conclusions can be drawn.

"We remain united with the Witheridge family in our shared grief."

– Ian, Sue & Michael Miller

Dutch man guilty of £16 million 'James Bond style' cocaine plot

A Dutch man has been found guilty of a "James Bond"-style plot to smuggle more than £16 million of cocaine into the UK.

Dutch man guilty of 'James Bond style' cocaine plot Credit: Press Association

Henri Van Doesburg, 68, planned to remove 108kg of the drug from a ship in Scotland.

The jury at Leeds Crown Court are still considering verdicts on Van Doesburg's son Roderick Van Doesburg, grandson Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg and a fourth defendant, Arnold Van Milt.

The defendants deny a charge of conspiracy to import illegal drugs into the UK.

The four-week trial heard that the men planned to use a "James Bond"-style Seabob underwater vehicle to remove the drug from the Columbian ship.

Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, told the jury that the men were arrested after customs officers found more than 50 packages of extremely high purity cocaine in the rudder space of the Cape Maria vessel at Hunterston, near Largs, Ayrshire, on May 9.

He said the "enormous" amount of the drug had a potential street value of around £16.2 million.

Van Milt, 49, Roderick Van Doesburg, 23, and Darryl-Jay Van Doesburg, 22, were arrested in Seamill the same evening.

Henri Van Doesburg was arrested in Aalsmeer, in the Netherlands, the next day.

Celebration of Nelson Mandela's life

The life of Nelson Mandela will be celebrated in Leeds today, to mark the first anniversary of his death. There will be a poetry reading and the laying of floral tributes in Mandela Gardens, before a specially-commissioned film documenting Mandela's legacy in Leeds is shown on the big screen on Millennium Square.

Celebrating Mandela's life

Advertisement

  1. National

Burmese pair charged with British tourists' murder

British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, who were found dead on the Thai island of Koh Tao.

ITV News understands that two Burmese nationals have been charged with the murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller

The pair were found dead on the island of Koh Tao in September this year.

  1. National

Koh Tao murder suspects to face five charges

The two Burmese men suspected of murdering British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller will face five charges, Thai prosecutors have said.

Thawatchai Saengjaew, chief of the Public Prosecution's Region 8 Office, told the Bangkok Post that authorities will indict Zaw Lin, 21, for the murder of Mr Miller, the rape and murder of Ms Witheridge, illegal entry into Thailand and staying in the country without permission.

Win Zaw Htun, also 21, faces the same charges and an additional count of stealing a mobile phone and sunglasses from Mr Miller.

Grand Depart gave region a £102m economic boost

A report out today on the economic and social impact of this summer's Tour De France's Grand Depart , which started in Leeds and went through West, North and South Yorkshire over two days, will reveal that it produced a £102 million boost for Yorkshire.

Around two and half million spectators lined the route over the first two days.

Tour De France Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Yorkshire teen competing to join crew on world yacht race

A teenager from West Yorkshire has made it down to the last two in a competition to find the final crew member for part of a round the world yacht race starting next year.

Yorkshire teen competing to join crew on world yacht race Credit: Clipper Race

Heather Thomas, 18, from Otley, West Yorkshire is one of two finalists to be selected by legendary sailing duo Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Ben Ainslie to win a crew place on the challenging Pacific Ocean leg of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race, following a national contest.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first man to ever sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69. He donated the prize, worth more than £10,000 to the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation and founded the Clipper Race.

Heather impressed myself and Sir Ben with her dedication to the local sailing community, and her never ending willingness to help and motivate others. As Heather has donated so much of her time and energy to encouraging others to push their boundaries, she deserves the chance to find out how far she can push her own.

– Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Clipper Race founder

The finalists will both attend the Clipper Race HQ in Gosport, Hampshire at the end of March, 2015 for a selection process which includes extensive on the water training. Following assessment from their skipper, one person will then be announced for the overall prize which includes three further levels of race training and return flights to China for the start of that race, and return from the race finish in the USA. The runner up will also be given the opportunity to complete the full Clipper Race training, worth £5,000 alone.

Heather is one of two people left with a chance of joining the crew Credit: Clipper Race

When I was first told the news that I had got through to the final two places of the competition, I was overwhelmed. I never thought when I sent my application that I would get this far. I can hardly believe that I may have the possibility to sail across the Pacific and take part in such a prestigious event. I am really looking forward to the Clipper Race training, meeting new people and learning the skills required for yacht racing. I feel extremely honoured to have been given this opportunity by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.

– Heather Thomas, Yorkshire sailor

Heather was nominated by Norman Stephens, senior instructor and trustee from Otley Sailing Club, in recognition of all the hard work and commitment she has shown from an early age to actively encourage sailing for all ages and abilities.

Heather is one in a million and is so deserving of this incredible opportunity. She started sailing with us at the age of seven and became a dinghy instructor by age 16. She is always enthusiastic and gives a lot of her spare time to volunteer with everything from the kids club to the adult and disability courses, and has been instrumental in increasing the family membership of our club.

– Norman Stephens, Otley Sailing Club
  • The Clipper 2015-16 Race starts next August and will be the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race
  • The only event of its kind in the world for amateur sailors
  • Twelve teams race against each other on board the world’s largest matched fleet of Clipper 70 ocean racing yachts
  • Over 670 people from more than 40 nationalities took part in the last race
  • The overall route is 40,000 nautical miles long and includes up to 16 individually scored races, covering six continents
  • The Pacific Ocean leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is 5,500 miles long
  • It will take around a month to complete
  • It starts in Qingdau, China in March 2016 and ends on the USA's West Coast
  • Crews battle towering waves, howling winds, and high speed surfs
  • At times they will be so remote, the nearest humans will be in space
Load more updates