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Tunisia inquest to hear critical evidence of travel firm

Families said tourists were told it was safe to travel to Tunisia after a terror attack in the country's Bardo National Museum. Credit: AP

The inquest into the deaths of 30 British tourists in the Tunisia beach massacre will hear evidence critical of TUI, the travel company that owns tour operator Thomson, the inquest's counsel has said.

Some of the families of those killed in the Sousse beach attack said their loved ones were assured by Thomson it was safe to travel to Tunisia after a terror attack in the capital Tunis earlier in 2015.

The Sousse massacre came three months after 24 people were killed in an attack at the Bardo National Museum.

The Bardo Museum reopened just over a week after the attack on 18 March 2015. Credit: AP

Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest, said witnesses speaking on behalf of TUI would also be heard at the inquest.

An earlier hearing was told that many families feared the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) may have failed in its responsibilities to thousands of British tourists.

The Government, which is also represented at the inquest, has applied for certain elements of the latest hearings to be kept private, citing concerns over national security.


Saltburn Pier still closed after storm damage

Saltburn Pier remains closed due to damages after the strong winds and stormy weather on Friday 13th January.

Redcar and Cleveland Council are carrying out an assessment of the damage, and expect that there may be further debris at Redcar and Saltburn because of the high tides.

They will be carrying out daily clean ups of the areas.

Saltburn Pier Credit: Neil Squires/Press Association Images
  1. National

Tunisian security 'delayed their arrival' at attack hotel

Local investigators criticised police for a slow response to the killing in front of the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel. Credit: PA

Tunisian police "deliberately and unjustifiably" delayed their arrival to the scene of the Sousse terrorist attack in which 30 Britons were killed, the inquest into the June 2015 massacre has heard.

Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest, said a report by Tunisian Judge Akremi had identified failings by local units that could have ended the slaughter earlier.

Police arrived and shot extremist Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi dead after he had claimed the lives of 38 tourists on the beach outside the five-star Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel.

The hearing packed with relatives of the victims at the Royal Courts of Justice in London heard an unnamed interior minister had told the judge some Tunisian security officers stalled on purpose.

He said the units that should have intervened in the events deliberately and unjustifiably slowed down to delay their arrival at the hotel.

They had the ability to put an end to the attack before the police arrived but wasted a considerable amount of time in getting to the hotel.

– Samantha Leek QC, counsel to the inquest


Dog walker, 86, found on moors with hypothermia

The woman was lost on the North Yorkshire moors for three hours Credit: PA

An 86-year-old woman was found on the edge of a North Yorkshire moor suffering from hypothermia.

The woman had left home earlier on Sunday to walk her dog. But when the dog returned home alone, the alarm was raised.

Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team spent around three hours searching for the woman, who was eventually found near her home, in Goathland on the edge of the moor by a North Yorkshire Police dog handler.

She had fallen, injured her arm and was suffering from hypothermia and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Twenty one team members spent just over three hours searching for the woman

Week long Arthurs Hill ASBO operation

Police are kicking off a week long operation to tackle anti-social behaviour in the Stanhope Street area of Arthurs Hill, Newcastle.

Officers have seen an increase in reports of anti social behaviour and criminal damage in the last few weeks.

Operation Divert aims to put a stop to it.

High visibility police and patrols will be carried out every day this week.

Police officers will try to identify those responsible for causing problems. Dispersal notices will be issued and arrests could possibly be made too.

Council staff will be looking to deal with and take action against offences such as littering and graffiti.

"Local people have told us that they are becoming increasingly concerned about a number of offences in the Stanhope Street area of Arthurs Hill and we are taking action.

"We've teamed up with the local council and other partners and are committed to getting to the heart of these problems and resolving issues.

"Residents will see lots of activity all throughout the week and we really want the community to get involved and work with us. Speak to officers if you see them. Tell us about your concerns and your problems and we will see what we can do to fix them.

"ASB has a devastating impact on local areas and communities. It can make peoples' lives a real misery and we are committed to tackling it and taking action against those responsible."

– Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Davison
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