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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
  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
  1. Tyne Tees

MP criticises Cologne police over 'murder' of Northumbria student

Jane Khalaf died after her drink was allegedly spiked with ecstasy during a carnival in Germany. Credit: Mercury Press

A British woman was murdered after having her drink spiked, a Labour MP has claimed as he criticised German police for not investigating the death.

Nineteen-year-old Jane Khalaf reportedly died on November 20, eight days after she was put on a life-support machine after collapsing at Cologne's St Marien Hospital.

Read More: Northumbria student dies after 'drink spiked' on a German exchange trip

Speaking in the Commons, Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman hit out at the handling of the case by police in Cologne as he called for help from the Foreign Office.

Raising a point of order following Foreign Office question time, Mr Sheerman told Speaker John Bercow:

I wonder if you could give me some guidance. A young girl in my constituency has been tragically murdered in Cologne.

There is no police investigation although there is every evidence that her drink was spiked - she was poisoned.

There has been no police investigation and no help for the family. There's not another Foreign Office questions for another month. How do you advise me that I can raise this issue in the House?

– Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman

Mr Bercow replied that Mr Sheerman could write to a Foreign Office minister, adding: "You have effectively raised your point through ruse of the use, and some would say the rather gentle abuse, of the point of order procedure. Foreign Office ministers will have heard your utterance."


Yorkshire student dies after drink spiked at German carnival

A student from Yorkshire collapsed and died after her drink was allegedly spiked with ecstasy during a carnival in Germany.

Jane Khalaf, 19, collapsed at St Marien Hospital in Cologne after telling friends she believed somebody had laced her drink with deadly drugs.

Student Jane Khalaf who died after her drink was spiked Credit: Mercury Press

Jane Khalaf, 19, collapsed at St Marien Hospital in Cologne after telling friends she believed somebody had laced her drink with deadly drugs.

Her condition deteriorated and she was put on a life support machine after being transferred to the Kliniken der Stadt Koln on November 12.

Her parents, restaurant owners Rojin and Khalil, travelled from their home in Shelley, Huddersfield, West Yorks, to be by their daughter's bedside.

They had only discovered she was ill after finding out on Facebook and are angry no authorities tried to contact them.

Student Jane Khalaf who died after her drink was spiked Credit: Mercury Press

Jane died eight days later and tests found amphetamine and ecstasy in her blood.

Her body has been flown back to the UK where Home Office pathologists will carry out a post mortem examination.

Jane, a first year politics student at Northumbria University, was in Cologne on an exchange trip after being selected for her aptitude.

She began her studies in September and had only been away from home for two months before she died.

Her distraught parents, who own the Med One restaurant in Huddersfield, are furious at the way they were treated by German authorities.

"The way we were treated and the way her case has been dealt with in Germany was appalling.

"No one rang to tell us that she had been taken ill in hospital despite the fact she had her driving licence on her as ID.

"We found out through Facebook.

"She was a very sensible girl and very anti drugs so we are confident that her drink was spiked.

"A horrendous experience has been made so much worse by the frustration they've caused us and we just want answers.

"It's terrible and we can't believe what has happened.

"When we found out how serious the situation was we just hoped for a miracle. But it didn't happen.

"She was such an intelligent, ambitious, funny and happy person who was so full of life and hoped to become involved in politics and was good at everything.

"But really there are no words that can properly describe her."

– Rojin Khalaf, mother of Jane

"We can confirm that one of our students has tragically passed away while studying at a partner university in Germany.

"Representatives from Northumbria University have met with the family and we continue to offer support at this difficult time.

"We are in contact with the authorities in Germany and the UK, and stand ready to assist further where we can."

– Northumbria University spokesperson

Exclusion zone at East Yorks duck breeding farm remains in place

The six mile excluson zone placed around a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire after the discovery of bird flue on the premises two weeks ago is due to remain in place for at least another week.

Exclusion zone remains in place around East Yorkshire duck breeding farm Credit: Press Association

Experts from DEFRA say the zone, which bans movements of all poultry, products and waste within the area, must remain in place for at least another seven days despite the culling of six thousand ducks at the farm at Nafferton, near Driffield, was completed ten days ago.

Read: Culling of 6000 birds continues in Nafferton

One of world's most famous Christmas trees lands in Immingham

One of the world's most famous Christmas trees has been in our region today.

The tree which goes on display at Trafalgar square comes from Norway to Britain via Immingham docks. The Trafalgar Square tree is an annual gift from the city of Oslo to the people of London as a mark of thanks for Britain's support during the Second World War.

Sean Potter DFDS Managing Director who at Immingham Docks told ITV Calendar that everything had 'gone to plan'.

  1. Tyne Tees

East Coast: the facts and figures

East Coast train Credit: East Coast

Here are some key facts and figures about East Coast main line rail company.

It has been announced that a consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach will run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.

  • Passenger journeys have increased by 1.1m in the past five years.
  • Journeys between Scotland and London have increased by 23%.
  • Customer satisfaction has increased from 89% in 2009 to 91% in 2014.
  • Revenue has increased from £581.3m in 2008-2009 to £652.6m to 2013-14.
  • East Coast invested £48m since 2009.
  • The taxpayer has received £1 billion back in premium payments and profits.
  • In partnership with Network Rail, redeveloped Newcastle station through an £8.6 million investment
  • East Coast - based in York - employs 2,800 people based at stations, depots and offices from London to Inverness.
  • East Coast’s Highland Chieftain service is Britain’s longest single continuous train journey operating daily between London and Inverness, a distance of 581 miles, and taking 8 hours and 6 minutes.
  • Since the spring of 2011, East Coast has been recognised by numerous industry organisations, and the Company has been the recipient of 55 such awards
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