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Zimbabwe on edge ahead of presidential vote announcement

Both sides claim victory in the country’s disputed election, as it is confirmed six people have now died in post-poll violence.

The military have flooded the streets of the capital to disperse protesters
The military have flooded the streets of the capital Harare to disperse protesters

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has told the opposition it should “lose graciously”, as the presidential challenger also claimed victory in the country’s disputed election.

The result of the presidential vote is due to be announced at 9pm UK time, with the aftermath of polling day marred by deadly protests and clashes.

Paul Mangwana, a spokesman for the ruling Zanu-PF party, said supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were responsible for the violence in the capital Harare on Wednesday that left six people dead and 14 injured.

The violence saw the military sweep in and use live rounds to disperse protests over alleged vote rigging in Zimbabwe’s first elections since the departure of dictator Robert Mugabe.

'We are going to have to go to war': Election fallout

‘We are going to have to go to war’: Election fallout

For supporters of the MDC, this was a day they had been dreading – the moment their dream of election victory was crushed.

Mr Mangwana, who has blamed the MDC for the violence, said “it is not entirely true protesters were not armed” and urged Zanu-PF supporters to “celebrate our victory with restraint”.

The unrest took a fresh turn on Thursday when police entered the MDC’s offices and detained 18 people, according to a Reuters witness.

The Associated Press news agency reports that Mr Chamis is under investigation by police for inciting violence.

As well as electing a new president, Zimbabweans also cast ballots for members of parliament.

Supporters of the MDC in Zimbabwe 4:08

Video: Warning to avoid capital as violence flares

Zimbabwe’s electoral commission said earlier this week that Zanu-PF had won a majority in parliament, with the vote described as free and fair.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power last November when Mugabe stepped aside, said his government has contacted opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in an effort to ease tensions.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Mr Mnangagwa said “we have been in communication” with Mr Chamisa and that “we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear”.

But Mr Chamisa said he had received no such communication and claimed that he was in fact the victor, claiming the delay in releasing the result was because Mr Mnangagwa knew he had lost.

Movement for Democratic Change protesters took to the streets of Harare after the parliamentary election result 3:38

Video: Three dead in as president blames opposition

Earlier on Thursday, the MDC leader visited a Harare hospital where some of the injured and the three dead were taken in the wake of the post-election unrest.

Mr Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, hit out at Zimbabwe’s “violent government”, saying: “We have unarmed civilians being attacked. Is that normal even in a banana republic?”

He called for calm and reiterated his confidence that “we are forming the next government”.

International election observers have called for the result of the presidential vote to be released as soon as possible to ease tensions, saying delays will add to any speculation the result was manipulated.

preview image 0:46

Video: Mugabe casts his vote in election

A credible vote is seen as paramount if international sanctions imposed during the Mugabe era are to be lifted, giving Zimbabwe’s moribund economy the chance to recover in the process.

Elections during Mugabe’s more than three decades in office were marked by violence against the opposition and allegations of fraud.

By law, the electoral commission has five days from the vote to release the results.

Both observer and the opposition have questioned why the presidential results were counted first but are being released last.

Britain’s ambassador to Zimbabwe has met government ministers and “made clear that the military should be removed from the streets of Harare”.

Acting president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, Nelson Chamisa
 Nelson Chamisa claims the MDC won the presidential election

In a statement, the embassy condemned the “excessive use of force by the security forces towards demonstrators”.

International election observers from the European Union, US, Commonwealth, African Union and others have expressed “grave concern” over the violence and denounced the “excessive use of force” used to quell protests.

It urged Zimbabwe’s army and police to use restraint.

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Katy Perry performs surprise gig for fan recovering from brain surgery

After an operation on her brain, Grace couldn’t make the gig she’d been looking forward to all year – so Katy brought it to her.

Katy Perry made a sick fan’s day when she turned up unannounced to play a gig in her living room.

Eight-year-old Grace Moores, who had recently undergone surgery for a brain tumour, thought she was going to have to miss the concert.

A selfie with a popstar for Grace
A selfie with a popstar for Grace

She was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April.

The Australian KatyCat, who has been a Perry fan since she was three, had been given the tickets for her birthday more than a year ago.

The original post received more than 21,000 retweets.

Perry, 33, posted a video of her visit, during which she performed her hit song Firework at Grace’s flat in Adelaide, titling it “The Power Of The Internet”.

Perry tells fan that her mum's nickname for her is turtle
 Perry tells fan that her mum’s nickname for her is turtle

She told fans: “Today is one of those days when I actually feel like a unicorn. That’s because I get to use my powers for good.

“I’m going to meet someone called Grace who wasn’t able to come to the show. And so I just figured… we’d bring the show to her.”

In the video, Grace’s sister also shows her own closely cropped hair, which she shaved to raise $2,100 Australian dollars (£1,184) for her sibling.

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Apple becomes first trillion dollar US-listed company

The company founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak was worth $3bn when Jobs returned to revitalise Apple in 1996.

Apple logo
Apple’s third-quarter earnings exceeded Wall Street’s expectations

Apple has become the first US-listed company to be valued at a trillion dollars.

During the day, the share price of the iPhone maker jumped by 2.8% to $207.05, passing the $1tn (£762bn) mark in New York trading.

Its stock has soared 9% since Tuesday when Apple’s third-quarter earnings exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

The company, which was started in a garage in Palo Alto by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, has transformed the way people communicate with its ubiquitous iPhone.

Apple shares soar in after-hours trade as earnings beat expectations

Apple shares soar in after-hours trade as earnings beat expectations

Apple, the maker of the iPhone X, exceeded Wall Street’s expectations with its latest earnings, partly due to selling pricier mobile phones.

When the iPhone was introduced in 2007 it kicked off a smartphone revolution, leaving the giants of the mobile phone industry Nokia and Blackberry struggling for survival.

Alphabet, the parent of Google, scrambled to provide its Android software to power mobile phones, making sure Apple didn’t steal a huge march on rivals.

That helped Samsung to become the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer, while China’s Huawei overtook Apple to become the second-largest smartphone seller this week.

Apple has turned to the courts to protect its advantage and won multi-million dollar payouts from Samsung for allegedly copying some of its technology.

Mr Jobs, who returned to revitalise the company in 1996 when Apple was worth $3bn, died in 2011.

Before the release of the iPhone, Apple was reporting revenue of less than $20bn and profits of less than $2bn from the sale of its Mac personal computers in 2006.

Last year, sales had risen to $229bn and profits to $48.4bn, making it the most profitable public-listed US company.

Apple's iPhone unveiled by Steve Jobs 10 years ago

Apple’s iPhone unveiled by Steve Jobs 10 years ago

The iPhone – the device that redefined the mobile phone and made Apple the world’s most valuable company – was unveiled on this day 10 years ago.

Apple, which has seen its stock surge more than 50,000% since its stock market listing in 1980, has struggled to produce a product that replicates the success of the iPhone.

While Apple is the first company to hit the trillion dollar mark, it is likely to be followed by Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft. Amazon is currently worth $875bn, Alphabet is valued at $850bn and Microsoft $823bn.

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Family border separations a ‘low point’ of time at White House, Ivanka Trump

Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser says she is “vehemently against” separations and experienced them in an “emotional” way.

preview image 0:35

Video: Ivanka Trump: Family separations ‘low point’

Donald Trump’s daughter has said that she regards the separation of families at the US border as a “low point” in her time at the White House.

Ivanka Trump said she felt “very strongly” about the splitting up of families, which prompted widespread condemnation after more than 2,500 children were split from their parents and placed in detention on the southern US border in June.

“I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children,” she said.

It was last week revealed that more than 700 children were still separated from their parents, including 431 whose parents have been deported, with officials unable to clarify when they would be reunited.

A judge on Friday ordered that an independent monitor would look at the conditions children were detained in at the border, amid accounts of a lack of food and water, freezing accommodation and alleged abuse, including sexual abuse.

Ivanka Trump listens to her father Donald
Image: Ivanka Trump serves as an adviser to her father

Ms Trump had kept largely silent as children were separated from their families and detained in border camps as a hardline policy that prosecuted people entering the US without papers was implemented.

It was reported that the 36-year-old, who serves as an adviser on employment to her father, had privately urged Mr Trump to find a solution to the policy and tweeted thanks when he signed an executive order ending it.

But while some viewed her comments as a rare and significant case of dissent within the White House, many US critics were unimpressed by Ms Trump’s admission of concern.

Calling it “shameful”, organisers of the anti-Trump Women’s March tweeted that Ms Trump should take “action”.

“Imagine being complicit in the horrifying kidnapping of children, the separation of families, and the detention of immigrants in inhumane conditions-and commenting about how hard this has been for *you*,” they said.

Ms Trump made the comments in an interview on Thursday, at an event run by US media outlet Axios

She also said that that while she had “some sensitivity” with her father’s criticism of the press and accusations of “fake news”, she did not believe the media to be the “enemy of the people”.

In a conversation titled “women, leadership and the workforce”, she acknowledged she was the daughter of an immigrant to the United States but stressed that her mother, Ivana Trump, came to the US legally.

“These are not easy issues, these are incredibly difficult issues,” she said. “Like the rest of the country I experience them in a very emotional way.”

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Parts of Spain and Portugal braced for 47C heatwave

Hot air moving north from Africa is bringing temperatures in the mid to late 40s to parts of the southern European countries.

Parts of Spain and Portugal braced for 47C heatwave

Hot air moving north from Africa is bringing temperatures in the mid to late 40s to parts of the southern European countries.

A woman fans herself as the temperatures soar above 40C
 A woman fans herself as the temperatures soar above 40C

Parts of the Iberian peninsula are bracing themselves for a surge in temperatures amid warnings of the first heatwave of the year.

The mercury is expected to hit the mid to late 40s in Spain and Portugal, and there could even be a new record breaking top temperature of 48C.

The current highest temperatures were hit on 13 July 2017 in Montoro, Spain, when the mercury reached 47.3C (117F) and in Amareleja, Portugal, on 1 August 2003 when the temperature reached 47.4C (117F).

But the all-time highest record for continental Europe is 48C (118F) set in Athens, Greece, on 10 July 1977.

Two backpackers stop to buy hats in Madrid
Two backpackers stop to buy hats in Madrid

Portuguese authorities have issued a countrywide health warning, and alerts are also in place in 40 of Spain’s 50 provinces.

Beja, in Portugal, is expected to record a peak of 47C on Saturday.

The temperature surge is down to a mass of hot air moving from Africa, and has been referred to as the first heatwave in the region this year.

A dog jumps for a ball in a public fountain in Vienna, Austria
A dog jumps for a ball in a public fountain in Vienna, Austria

However, climatologist Fatima Espírito Santo of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, told the Observador that the increase is not a heatwave, because the spell of higher temperatures will only last three days, not five.

She added heatwaves will likely occur every two years because of the impact of climate change.

Members of the Italian Civil Protection (Protezione Civile) distribute water bottles to people and tourists in front of the Ancient Colosseum, in central Rome
 Members of the Protezione Civile distribute water bottles in central Rome

The warm weather has had an geological impact on Sweden, where the country’s tallest peak will change as the ice on top of it melts.

A glacier on Kebnekaise mountain is melting, meaning the 2,111m (6,925ft) peak will not be the tallest for much longer.

People refresh themselves in a fountain at Plaza de Espana, in Sevilla
 People refresh themselves in a fountain at Plaza de Espana, in Sevilla

In Poland, high temperatures have forced power plants into emergency mode and in Germany, there are fears of serious harm to crops as some wheat fields have been devastated by high temperatures.

In Italy, some parts of the country reached 38C (100F) with tourists staying close to fountains to keep cool.

Parched land besides a low river Danube in Germany
 Parched land besides a low river Danube in Germany

The Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa and the eastern parts of Andulusia, are the only parts of expected to be spared the warmer weather.

Sky weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said: “The heat is on for Iberia this week, especially on Saturday and Sunday when temperatures could get close to 50C (122F). This is due to very hot and dry air from Africa.

“It is likely that the all-time continental Europe temperature record of 48C (118F) set in Athens back on 10 July 1977 will be broken. This will also mean Spain and Portugal’s highest temperatures ever will be beaten, which are 47.3C (117F) and 47.4C (117F) respectively.

“In turn the heat across Iberia will indirectly affect parts of the UK next week.

“Currently high pressure over the south of the UK is allowing for largely dry, sunny and increasingly warm conditions across many central and southern parts of Britain. Temperatures could locally peak at around 31C (88F) in East Anglia and the South East this weekend.

Many people flocked to the waterside in the hope of cooling down
Many people flocked to the waterside in the hope of cooling down
Ice creams have also been a popular choice
 Ice creams have also been a popular choice

“Next week the high pressure over the UK will start to drift away eastwards, allowing for southerly winds to develop which will suck up the heat from France, Spain and Portugal. This doesn’t mean the UK will see the same extreme temperatures as western Europe because the hot air flow will ‘cool’ down as it travels over the land.

“However it will probably give a slight boost to temperatures over most of England and Wales, so they could be slightly higher than this weekend but unlikely to beat the highest temperature of the year so far set last Thursday at Faversham in Kent at 35.3C (96F).”

Two women paddle to cool off in the soaring temperatures
Two women paddle to cool off in the soaring temperatures

However, she warned Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the north and west of England will experience cloudy skies and spells of rain, even thundery downpours, with hail and lightning possible.

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Elsie Scully-Hicks: Review finds chances were missed to save murdered baby girl

The 18-month-old, who suffered bruising and leg fractures before her death, was killed a fortnight after she was adopted

save murdered baby girl

The 18-month-old, who suffered bruising and leg fractures before her death, was killed a fortnight after she was adopted.

Elsie was killed by her adoptive father Matthew Scully-Hicks in 2016
Elsie was killed by her adoptive father Matthew Scully-Hicks in 2016

Opportunities were missed to save a baby girl who was murdered by her father two weeks after he formally adopted her, a review has found.

Matthew Scully-Hicks easily passed the rigorous process allowing him to adopt 18-month-old Elsie Scully-Hicks, and professionals viewed his care of her as “very positive”.

The 32-year-old fitness instructor, who had previously adopted another child, violently shook Elsie and threw her to the floor at their home in Llandaff, Cardiff, on May 25 2016.

Her death came after Scully-Hicks had inflicted a catalogue of injuries on her in the months before.

She suffered a bruise in December 2015 which lasted for eight weeks, and on another occasion her leg was left fractured in two places.

Two social workers and an independent reviewing officer saw the bruise and described it as a “real shiner”, but failed to make any reference to it in their notes.

A health visitor also spotted the bruise and advised Scully-Hicks to seek medical attention.

He lied and said he already had.

Matthew Scully-Hicks was described as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character by a judge
 Matthew Scully-Hicks was described as a a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character

An extended child practice review said workers saw Elsie’s injuries in isolation, and lacked “professional curiosity” when they accepted what Scully-Hicks told them.

The report states: “The observations and recording of the large bruise to the child’s forehead both by children’s services and health was absent.

“This resulted in the large bruise becoming ‘invisible’ to professionals and did not form part of the building an overall picture of what was happening to the child before the final report to the court prior to the adoption order hearing being made.”

Elsie suffered a further bruise to her forehead in January 2016, which Scully-Hicks gave no explanation for.

An ambulance was called to the Sully-Hicks family home in March 2016 after Elsie apparently fell down the stairs.

She was taken to hospital but allowed to return home four hours later.

The report states: “The significance of the injuries that the child sustained were minimised to be compliant with the professional’s view that the child was an active toddler and receiving good care.

“The explanations provided by the parents were considered by health professionals as being consistent with accidental injury.”

A family court that approved Elsie’s adoption on May 12 2016 was not aware of concerns that she was developing a squint.

Scully-Hicks, of Delabole, Cornwall, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years after being convicted after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court in 2017.

wn Court in 2017.

Scully-Hicks was found guilty of murder after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court
Scully-Hicks was found guilty of murder after a trial at Cardiff Crown Court

High Court judge Mr Justice Moor ruled that he had shaken Elsie on three occasions – when she broke her leg, when he claimed she fell down the stairs and when she suffered fatal injuries.

The judge described Scully-Hicks, who referred to Elsie as “Satan dressed up in a babygrow” in text messages, as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character.

All of Elsie’s injuries took place when she was alone with Scully-Hicks, who was known to be “under stress” caring for the little girl and her adoptive sibling, the report said.

His husband was frequently working away from home in his role as a company director.

Lance Carver, director of social services at Vale of Glamorgan Council, apologised for errors in Elsie’s case at a press conference in Cardiff on Thursday.

He said: “The findings do indicate that social workers and staff from all agencies saw the adoption as very positive.

“They perceived the adoptive family as a really positive solution for Elsie.

“The report identifies issues that ‘that positive lens’ meant that they were not looking in the way they should have been.

“That’s something as an organisation that we should have recognised and taken that fully on board.”

A judge said Scully-Hicks shook Elsie at least three times whilst she was in his care
 A judge said Scully-Hicks shook Elsie at least three times whilst she was in his care

Mr Carver said no disciplinary actions had been taken against any members of staff as the report did not “indicate that it would be appropriate”.

Elsie, named Shayla O’Brien by her birth family, was born in November 2014 and was taken into care five days later.

The baby was placed with Scully-Hicks and his husband, Craig, in September 2015, when she was aged 10 months.

She was referred to an orthopaedic outpatient clinic by her GP two months later after suffering an injury to her leg, which had not been weight-bearing for five days.

A registrar examined her X-ray and identified a fracture to Elsie’s lower leg but failed to spot another one to her upper leg.

Sarah McGill, of Cardiff and Vale Safeguarding Children Board, apologised on behalf of all agencies involved for the missed opportunities in Elsie’s case.

She said: “Had both fractures been recognised on the X-ray this would have raised safeguarding concerns that would have instigated the child protection process.”

When asked if Elsie’s murder could have been prevented, she said: “I think that is a very, very difficult question to answer.

“When you look back at the pattern of injuries, particularly between the period of November 2015 and March 2016, you can see that had there been one agency or one worker that had all of that information, potentially there would have been an opportunity to raise safeguarding concerns.”

Scully-Hicks called emergency services to the family home claiming that he had found Elsie unresponsive on 25 May.

She died in hospital four days later.

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Sky News host told to ‘pack up’ in SHOCK on-air interaction with Love Island’s Dr Alex

A SKY NEWS host was told to “pack up” as his “time on Sunrise” was over after a hilarious interaction with Love Island star Dr Alex George.

Sky News host Sarah-Jane Mee interviewed the Love Island star Dr Alex George alongside Jonathan Samuels just two days after Dr George left the villa.

He discussed a range of issues during the interview, ranging from his NHS job to avoiding sunburn in the villa, as well as mental health advice once leaving the show.

Sky News presenter Sarah-Jane Mee asked Dr George and Mr Samuels to pose towards the camera with a “smouldering” look on their faces, before she “re-coupled” with one of them.

She joked: “This is the re-coupling part of the show where I either pick my loyal TV husband Jonathan Samuels and ‘stay loyal babe’… or whether I re-couple with Dr Alex.

Sky News hosts and Dr Alex George

“I am going to ask you both to smoulder and that will be the basis of my decision.”

Both Dr Alex George and Samuels posed towards the camera before Mee chose to “re-couple with Dr Alex”.

Samuels swiftly responded by simply saying: “unbelievable”.

Mee added: “I am sorry Jonathan, your time here on Sunrise is done.

“Please pack up and leave the studio.”

Love Island: Finalists arrive back in UK to HUGE crowd

Dr Alex George chipped in adding: “You have got 10 minutes to pack your stuff up and say your goodbyes.”

All three on camera were left laughing at the hilarious interaction.

The Love Island contestant faced some online criticism after taking time away from his job as an NHS doctor to take part in the show.

He said: “The opportunity came up to go on the show, and I had been single for a long time, and I thought, do you know what? Why not.

“It is something completely different to anything I have done before, a new challenge, and I thought if I come out with a girlfriend, amazing.”

He added: “When it came to me I thought is it the right thing to do? But then after thinking it is just such an amazing opportunity to dos something completely different, I have not taken hardly any time off the last three years, and I thought I am going to be in a beautiful villa and place and meet amazing people and hopefully find love so it was a great chance.”

Speaking about his reaction since leaving the show, he said: “It’s been an absolute whirlwind really because you are in this bubble, and basically have no idea what is going on in the outside.

“Since I have landed at the airport the reaction has been amazing. People have been so lovely, to be honest.

Love Island’s Wes Nelson reunites with Dr Alex

“You are always a bit unsure about what people are going to think about you and what they are going to say but it’s just been fantastic so far.”

Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer won the ITV2 reality TV show Love Island.

Jack, 26, and Dani, 22, each walked away with £25,000 after they won, choosing to split the prize money. They coupled up on the very first day of Love Island 2018 were fans favourites from the start.

Monday night’s episode was watched by 3.6 million viewers, which is the biggest audience for ITV2 ever and up one million on last year’s final.

This year’s final was also up 2.2 million viewers on series two’s conclusion and 2.8 million more than the first series climax.

Love Island dominated its time slot across all channels last night making it the most watched programme for 9pm, as well as being the most watched programme for 16-34’s, with an audience of 1.6 million for the age group.

In a statement for ITV speaking about the success of this year’s series, Paul Mortimer, ITV’s Head of Digital Channels and Acquisitions said: “Love Island was once again the must-see show of the summer.

“At ITV2, we were thrilled with the level of younger viewer engagement to the extent that it broke all our previous audience records and is now firmly established as the biggest series in the multi-channel space.”

This is the re-coupling part of the show

Sky News host Sarah-Jane Mee

Dr Alex George chipped in adding: