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Foreign Office: UK strongly opposes the death penalty

The Foreign Office says it's recently made representations to the Indonesian Government about the death penalty. It is offering consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford who is sentenced to death by firing squad in Bali.

“We continue to offer consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford and her family at this difficult time. The UK strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances without exception. We have recently made representations about the death penalty to the Indonesian government, and we will continue to do so.”

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Drugs smuggler 'weeks from death by firing squad'

A British woman convicted of smuggling drugs onto the Indonesian island of Bali may only be weeks away from facing the firing squad, according to reports.

Lindsay Sandiford, 58, was convicted in December 2012 Credit: PA

Lindsay Sandiford, who is originally from Redcar, was given a death sentence after she was found smuggling cocaine worth £1.6m from Thailand.

A Sunday newspaper quotes her sister, Hilary Parsons, who said Sandiford is due to sign an official warrant formally confirming her death sentence tomorrow (Monday, 26th January). It could mean her death is imminent.

Indonesia's new President, Joko Widodo, is known to have a firm stance on foreign drug smugglers. In the last week, five other foreigners and an Indonesian national have been executed by firing squad.

Boris Johnson meets the Indonesian President Joko Widodo in November 2014 Credit: PA


Kitten 'covered in anti-freeze' fighting for its life

A four-month-old kitten is fighting for its life after being covered in a substance, believed to be anti-freeze, outside its owner's home in Redcar.

The owner let the kitten out of the house last Tuesday evening (October 14) and said it was 'very obviously unwell' when it came back indoors.

The kitten is still receiving treatment for life-threatening poisoning.

It's the second time in five weeks one of the owner's cats has been poisoned.

Another of his cats was apparently caught in a snare and had an acid-like substance poured over its back. The cat has now recovered but is scarred for life.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101.

Work begins to repair 'rusty' Redcar Beacon

Workers are abseiling down Redcar's 'vertical pier' to remove its exterior panels, because the £1.6m structure has started to rust after just 18 months.

The Redcar Beacon was built as part of the refurbishment of the Redcar seafront

The Redcar Beacon opened in spring 2013 on the town's seafront, housing shops and a café. The panels have recently started to rust after mixing with metal particles in the sea air.

Maintenance work is due to take five weeks.


It's 'no secret' SSI is in tough financial position says Redcar MP

The steel firm SSI, which employs 1,800 people on Teesside, has reported massive losses for 2013.

The Thailand-based company, which operates a plant in Redcar, made a loss of more than £193m, although that is an improvement on the previous year, when global losses were £275m.

Ian Swales, MP Redcar, says it is "no secret" that SSI is in a tough financial position, but he does have confidence in the company:

Redcar steel timeline

The latest financial results from SSI UK are another twist in the turbulent history of the Redcar steel plant.

  • 1972 UK Government invests £1,000 million in a new integrated plant at Redcar capable of producing 12 million tons of steel per annum
  • 1974 Work begins on the site
  • 1979 The blast furnace is lit in November
  • 1980 UK steel industry employs 250,000 people, 33,000 in Teesside
  • 1988 British Steel is privatised
  • 1999 British Steel Ltd merges with Koninklijke Hoogovens to become Corus
  • 2003 Teesside Steel deemed surplus to Corus’s requirements
  • 2004 Teesside Cast Products thrown lifeline of 10-year deal with international consortium of buyers
  • 2007 Tata Steel buys Corus
  • 2009 Consortium ends agreement
  • 2010 Friday, February 19, Redcar blast furnace mothballed
The blast furnace is relit on April 15, 2012 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
  • 2011 SSI signs a $469m deal with Tata Steel to buy Teesside Cast Products, and renames it SSI UK
  • 2011 Redcar Blast Furnace is relined, giving it a life of 15 to 20 years.
  • 2012 April 15, steel making returns to Teesside. The blast furnace is relit
  • 2014 Steel industry employs 19,000 nationally, 3,300 in Teesside
  • 2014 July sees SSI UK’s first monthly profit
  • 2014 Redcar Blast Furnace is the second biggest in Europe and can produce 10,000 tonnes per day.
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