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Family flee war-torn Syria for Yorkshire sanctuary

The Yorkshire region is to take in 1,500 refugees, who are fleeing the war in Syria, over the next few years with 21 local councils agreeing to help.

It is part of what the government has described as our "moral responsibility" to those living in camps on the border with the war-torn country.

Around 100 have already arrived and our correspondent Katie Oscroft has been to see one Syrian family who are settling in to life in the Calendar region.

Leeds' man's Thailand holiday death fall

A man from West Yorkshire has died after falling from a balcony while on holiday in Thailand.

Naami Keyghobad, 28, from Leeds, is believed to have fallen from the fourth floor of a guest house where he had been staying in the popular holiday resort of Pattaya.

His family have now confirmed that Naami had traveled to Thailand on December 4 and was due to spend Christmas abroad, before returning to the UK just before New Year.

It has been reported that four transgender women have been arrested by Thai police in connection with his death, which happened at around 7.30pm on Tuesday.

He was reportedly found in an alleyway and taken to a local hospital where he later died.

"Naami, who was 28 years old, travelled to Thailand on holiday on December 4 and was due to return on December 30.

"We are obviously very distressed by the news of his death and are concerned that there will be unhelpful speculation about the circumstances in which he died.

"We are asking the media to consider carefully the impact that reporting such speculation can have on us at what is a very difficult time.

"We are requesting that the media allow us complete privacy to deal with our grief and should recognise that any contact from them will be unwelcome."

– Family statement

"We are providing support to the family of a British national who died in Thailand on 15 December, and are also in contact with local authorities regarding the death."

– Foreign Office spokesperson


Dewsbury man avoids jail for terrorism offences

A man from Dewsbury has escaped prison after being found guilty of terrorism offences.

Editorial Image Credit: Press Association

35-year-old Adeel Amjad was given a 12-month suspended sentence when a jury at Leeds Crown Court found him guilty of possessing a record of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism - under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act.

Amjad was charged by the North East Counter Terrorism Unit in April 2015 after 'material of a terrorist nature' was discovered at his home.

Adeel Amjad was found to be possession of literature that is designed to influence the reader to support terrorism.

This is a serious offence and we hope that today's verdict/sentence sends out a clear message that anyone caught having this type of material in their possession can expect to be brought before the courts.

– North East Counter Terrorism Unit

Mother told to expect "substantial" prison sentence for attempting to take children to Syria

A woman has been told to expect a substantial prison sentence after she admitted trying to take her two children from Bradford to Syria.

A mother has admitted trying to take her children from Bradford to Syria Credit: Press Association

The 34-year-old woman, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of her children, appeared before Leeds Crown Court on Wednesday afternoon.

She was arrested in Turkey after her husband discovered documents at their home which suggested she was on her way to Syria.

By the time police arrived at Manchester airport she was already airborne with her children. When she was arrested, the woman told officials she wanted her children to be brought up under Sharia Law.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC said he would examine all recent cases before sentencing, adding :"I will focus on the harm to the children and it is difficult to imagine greater harm."

The case was adjourned until January 8th.


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Benn: Thoughts with brave men and women of RAF

Hilary Benn today said his thoughts are with the "brave men and women of the RAF" after being praised for his Commons speech calling on Labour to back extending military action against IS in Syria.

Speaking outside his home, the shadow foreign secretary refused to comment on the praise he had received for Wednesday night's speech, which Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said would "go down as one of the truly great speeches made in this House of Commons".

Hull MP gives 'unconditional support' to armed forces - despite voting against Syria bombing

Hull's MP says she will give her full backing to armed forces carrying out airstrikes in Syria - despite voting against them in the Commons tonight.

Diana Johnson was among around 223 MPs who voted against the raids after a 10 hour debate in the commons.

  1. National

Benn cheered for 'outstanding' speech backing airstrikes

Hilary Benn received huge applause and cheers from all sides of the House of Commons following his speech in favour of carrying out airstrikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria.

Britain has a "moral and practical duty" to carry out airstrikes against IS in Syria, the shadow foreign secretary told MPs.

Mr Benn asked MPs whether they could stand aside and refuse to act fully, passing the responsibility for defending the UK's national security to other nations, when "we know they (IS) are plotting more attacks".

The Labour MP said: "I believe we have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria.

"We must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria."

Mr Benn said MPs should not "walk by on the other side" and must show solidarity with Britain's allies.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond praised Mr Benn's "outstanding" speech, saying it would "go down as one of the truly great speeches made in this House of Commons".

Mr Benn received huge applause at the end of his speech. Credit: HOC
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