|Womens Champions League|
|Venues: Prague/Manchester Date: Wednesday 16 October Kick-off times: Slavia Prague v Arsenal (17:30 BST), Manchester City v Atletico Madrid (19:00 BST).|
|Coverage: Live text/reports on BBC Sport website|
Skipper Steph Houghton says the key to Manchester City Women maintaining their 100 per cent start to the 2019-20 season is keeping clean sheets.
City have edged above of Arsenal at the top of Women’s Super League, ahead of the two clubs’ Champions League last-16 ties on Wednesday.
And England defender Houghton is proud of City’s defensive efforts, in not having conceded a league goal so far.
“We’re in a good place. We couldn’t ask for a better start,” she said.
“To have had the clean sheets and wins we’ve had, we should be very proud of ourselves. But we still feel we have a lot more to give.
“We pride ourselves on making sure there’s a zero against the opponents’ name. That’s the basis of who we are as a team.
“We have very good attacking players but ultimately, for us defenders and the way we’re structured, we have to make sure we keep as many clean sheets as we can.”
“I don’t think it’s a case of getting revenge against Atletico,” said Houghton, ahead of the first leg at the Academy Stadium.
“It’s more for us as a team – we want to progress our season. But we know that our performance over the two legs against Atletico last season was not good enough.
“We fully respect them – they’re a very good team – and we have to make sure that come Wednesday, we’re defensively organised and that when chances come, we take them.”
To add to the sub-plot, Houghton will this time be up against her England team-mate Toni Duggan.
This will be Duggan’s first meeting with her former club since leaving City in 2017 for Barcelona, where she spent two years, winning a Champions League runners-up medal last season, before moving to Madrid this summer.
England defender Demi Stokes is back in the City squad, but striker Ellen White is still out injured, and midfielder Laura Coombs and goalkeeper Karen Bardsley are not ready to return to action.
Although Georgia Stanway trained on Tuesday, she will miss the Atletico game, but should be back for Sunday’s WSL Cup derby with Man United.
The return leg in Madrid will be on Wednesday 30 October.
Arsenal fully focused on Prague
City and Arsenal, who are playing in the Champions League for the first time since 2013, are united in their ambition to end the four-year long domination of the competition by six-times winners Lyon.
The closest City have come to silverware was successive semi-final defeats by Lyon in 2017 and 2018, but Arsenal have at least lifted the trophy.
The Gunners now take on Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic capital, but do so on a bit of a down following Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea.
It was only their second defeat in their last 14 competitive games, but it cost them their leadership of the WSL to City, who now have the only remaining 100 per cent record.
“Obviously we’re a bit deflated. We need to turn it around quick in the Champions League. That’s where our full focus goes to now.
“There’s nothing better than having a game so soon after a game like Sunday’s,” defender Lisa Evans told Arsenal.com.
“Obviously, recovering players is going to be a big one,” added Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro. “We’ve only had a three-day turnaround to work with.
“Most of our players played two games with their national teams so some of them haven’t had much recovery, but that’s football. That’s the way it is. There’s no excuses. We want to be in the professional game.”
Their return leg will be at Meadow Park on Thursday 31 October.
BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women’s sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women’s sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.
Extinction Rebellion activists intending to continue protesting in central London “must” go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest, police have warned.
Police enforced a Section 14 notice to stop “serious disruption” to communities, after officers removed those camped out in Westminster.
Police have made 471 arrests over the two days of protests.
The prime minister has described the activists as “unco-operative crusties”.
But campaigner and TV presenter Chris Packham said they are “the concerned people of the world.”
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney, and are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Protesters say they are occupying 11 sites in central London and people have travelled from across the UK to take part in the demonstrations.
Activists glued themselves to a government department and to the underside of a lorry outside another.
A protester who attached himself to the top of a van with a bike lock for more than 28 hours in Trafalgar Square was arrested and removed from the area by five police officers.
The Metropolitan Police said at 15:20 BST on Tuesday there had been 471 total arrests over the two days, including 152 on Tuesday.
Police have enforced a Section 14 Notice of the Public Order Act 1986, forcing those who wish to continue protesting to move to the pedestrianised area around Nelson’s column in Trafalgar square.
Anyone suspected of breaching the condition – which has no time limit – could be arrested and prosecuted, police said.
A Section 14 order allows the police to impose conditions on a static protest – where campaigners are gathered in one place, rather than marching.
To impose the condition, police must have evidence that serious disruption is being caused to communities.
Activists have attached themselves to the underside of a lorry, which is blocking the road outside the Home Office.
The vehicle is parked on Marsham Street, where hundreds of protesters set up camp overnight. One activist climbed on top of the lorry and set up a tent.
There was a large police presence in the area on Tuesday, with pictures showing officers removing activists from the lorry.
Protesters have also glued themselves to the Department for Transport building – a tactic used in similar protests in April.
Two activists have attached themselves to the doors of the building, while others demonstrate outside.
Meanwhile, a group have placed 800 potted trees outside Parliament, in Old Palace Yard, as they call on the government to plant billions of trees across the UK.
Trees have been dedicated to MPs, and protesters hope they will use them to reforest the country.
Sean Clay, 36, from Newcastle, told the BBC: “Planting trees would go a long way to restore the habitats we have lost as well as absorbing carbon emissions.”
Asked about Boris Johnson’s description of demonstrators, Packham told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “I was there yesterday. I met farmers, I met teachers, I met scientists, I met lawyers, I met grandparents, I met mothers and fathers, and I met children.
“These are the concerned people of the world.”
Mr Johnson had suggested while attending a book launch on Monday that the demonstrators should abandon their “hemp-smelling bivouacs” and stop blocking roads.
Protester Claudia Fisher, 57, from Brighton said campaigners would like to discuss their views with the prime minister.
Responding to his description of activists as “unco-operative crusties”, Ms Fisher said: “We are a little bit crusty, I’ll put my hands up to it, after a night sleeping out on the grounds of Whitehall, but we’re not uncooperative.
“We’re actually very cooperative. We… would really like to hear what he has to say, and we’d really like him to… hear what we have to say.”
John Curran, a 49-year-old former detective sergeant for the Metropolitan Police, was one of the protesters who camped overnight.
Mr Curran, who has a three-year-old daughter, says he was arrested while protesting with Extinction Rebellion in April, and is willing to be arrested again.
He said: “Clearly there is some frustration (for the police) that they probably have better things to be doing, and I agree, but the responsibility for that must lie with the government.
“Take action, and we won’t have to be here.”
Activists camped at Smithfield Market overnight, but say they allowed traders to operate.
‘A last resort’
By Becky Morton, BBC News
The only rush hour traffic around Parliament this morning came from cyclists, who were cheered as they passed encampments of protesters dotted around Westminster.
Roads have been blocked by tents and gazebos, with protesters from all over the country camping overnight.
Bowls of porridge were served from food trucks, while volunteers said some local businesses had donated pastries.
One of those who spent the night here is Mikaela Loach, 21, who travelled down by bus from Edinburgh with a friend.
She said taking part in this week’s action was a “last resort”.
“I’ve spoken to my local MP, I’ve taken part in protests, I just feel like I haven’t been listened to,” she said.
“I have been changing things in my lifestyle for a long time to try and be more eco-friendly, but I had a realisation a few months ago that it doesn’t matter if I go vegan or zero waste if the government doesn’t do anything.
“There need to be big structural changes.”
In an update at 14:44 BST on Tuesday, Transport for London (Tfl) said road closures included the Strand in both directions between Lancaster Place and Trafalgar Square; Trafalgar Square itself and Whitehall in both directions.
Also closed are Parliament Square; Marsham Street; Horseferry Road; and Millbank in both directions between Parliament Square and Horseferry Road.
All bridges remain open, however there is no access from Westminster Bridge into Parliament Square.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April, which saw more than 1,100 people were arrested.
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025year when the group aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives has been convicted of murder after a three-and-a-half-year international manhunt.
Shane O’Brien slashed 21-year-old Josh Hanson’s neck after a brief conversation in RE Bar in Hillingdon, west London, in October 2015.
The 31-year-old was on Interpol and Europol’s “most wanted” lists before he was extradited from Romania in April.
An Old Bailey jury deliberated for 55 minutes before finding him guilty.
Council worker Mr Hanson was stabbed in front of his girlfriend and suffered a 37cm (14.5ins) wound from his left ear to the right side of his chest on 11 October 2015, the court heard.
O’Brien walked calmly out the bar before enlisting the help of his friend “Vanessa” to secure a private plane to take him from Biggin Hill airport to the Netherlands, the jury was told.
He grew long hair and a beard and got a tattoo of his child’s name covered over.
He then used false identity documents to travel to countries including Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Friends helped O’Brien avoid police after he was added to both Europol and Interpol’s most wanted lists, his trial heard.
Despite being arrested in Prague in 2017 for assault, he managed to flee when he was released on bail and began using the alias Enzo Melloncelli.
O’Brien told jurors he had felt threatened by Mr Hanson’s “very aggressive body language” on the night of the attack. He said he felt Mr Hanson was “ready to attack”.
At bar closing time he approached his victim and asked him, “what’s your problem?”, before pulling the knife from his jacket pocket and fatally slashing him.
He claimed he wanted to “pretend to attack” Mr Hanson in a bid to “scare him”.
“From the bottom of my heart, I did not mean to touch him with that blade,” O’Brien added.
Commenting on the verdict, Mr Hanson’s mum Tracey said: “The aftermath of Josh’s murder has left us broken beyond repair as Josh was taken from us in the most horrific way possible – suddenly, abruptly, viciously and violently.
“Nothing will ever erase the CCTV footage of Josh’s final moments from our minds as he was struck with a knife so horrifically and callously, along with his suffering as he tried to fight for his life.”
Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, of Met Police, said in a statement: “This is the day I, and certainly Josh’s family, almost feared would never come – O’Brien finally convicted of that unprovoked and vicious attack in a bar in Eastcote close to four years ago. And we still do not have a clear answer – why?
“O’Brien is an extremely dangerous individual who murdered a young man in the prime of his life in a packed bar for no reason whatsoever.”
He will be sentenced on 17 October.
The government is ready to fly holidaymakers back to the UK if tour operator Thomas Cook collapses, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.
Mr Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show contingency planning was in place to make sure no-one would be stranded.
But he dampened hopes of a government rescue bid for the firm.
Ministers did not “systematically step in” when businesses went under unless there was “a good strategic national interest”, he said.
Mr Raab said he did not want to undermine the rescue talks that Thomas Cook is currently conducting with its biggest shareholder and creditors in the City of London.
The tour operator’s financial difficulties have mounted over the past year, culminating in a refinancing plan in August led by its biggest shareholder, Chinese company Fosun.
But banks now want the company to raise extra funds and it could fall into administration within days unless it finds £200m.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union, which represents Thomas Cook staff, is urging the government to step in with a bail out amid fears the company’s collapse could leave about 150,000 British tourists stranded.
Thomas Cook customers have been reminded on social media that they have Atol protection – a fund paid for through industry levies – “in the event that Thomas Cook goes into administration”.
The travel firm also reassured customers on Saturday night that flights continue to operate as normal.
Katie Prescott, business correspondent
This meeting is crucial for Thomas Cook’s survival.
If there is no agreement, then the decision to wind up the company will be taken at a Board meeting this evening. It’s likely (looking at the precedent of Monarch’s collapse) that any announcement about that will be made late at night, once all planes are on the ground. But the company doesn’t have to announce anything until the markets open at 07:00 BST on Monday.
It’s low season at the moment, the time of year when Thomas Cook has to pay its suppliers for the busy summer season just gone. Hoteliers are paid on 60 to 90-day terms, once travellers have already taken their holidays. The nightmare scenario is that hoteliers who don’t think they will get paid might turn out the people staying with them.
However, it is worth re-stating that the company is still trading. People are still holidaying with Thomas Cook. And while we can assume the company is reining back marketing activity around last-minute deals and offers, until any announcement is made, it is business as usual.
The foreign secretary said he did not want talk of contingency planning to become “a self-fulfilling prophecy”.
He told the BBC the government had learned lessons from the collapse of the Monarch airline in 2017. The UK’s consular authorities abroad were ready to assist, he said.
A government spokesperson described the situation as a “worrying time for holidaymakers and employees”.
They added: “The financial circumstances of individual businesses are a commercial matter, but the government and the Civil Aviation Authority are monitoring the situation closely.”
As Thomas Cook customers anxiously wait to see if and how their holidays might be affected, some say they have already found themselves in “horrible” situations abroad.
Customers at a hotel in Tunisia say they were prevented from leaving the property on Saturday unless they paid extra fees – thousands of pounds in some cases – to cover what the resort says it is owed by the tour operator.
“We’re being held hostage,” said Ryan Farmer, from Leicestershire, one of those staying at Les Orangers resort in Hammamet, near Tunis.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live the hotel asked everyone who was due to leave that day to come to reception, where they were asked to pay “additional fees, obviously because of the situation with Thomas Cook”.
Gary Seale, who is also at the resort, said he was hoping to catch a flight back to Manchester – but refused to pay the additional fees and was not allowed to leave.
“It’s been very fraught but it hasn’t got to fisticuffs yet,” he said.
There are currently 600,000 Thomas Cook customers on holiday, of which 150,000 to 160,000 are British.
One of the world’s largest travel companies, Thomas Cook was founded in 1841 to operate temperance day trips, and now has annual sales of £9bn.
It employs 22,000 staff, 9,000 of whom are in the UK, and serves 19 million customers a year in 16 different countries.
In July, Thomas Cook produced a business plan saying that it needed £900m in refinancing, up from a previous estimate of £150m. The £900m would come from China’s Fosun, the group of creditors and some other investors.
The group of lenders then commissioned an independent investigation. Its financial advisers said Thomas Cook would require an additional £200m on top of the £900m already required, which would bring the total refinancing needed up to £1.1bn.
Thomas Cook succeeded in finding a backer to provide the additional £200m, but the BBC understands it has since pulled out.
The firm has blamed a series of problems for its profit warnings, including political unrest in holiday destinations such as Turkey, last summer’s prolonged heatwave and customers delaying booking holidays because of Brexit.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes has called on Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom to help Thomas Cook “no matter what”, saying it would save thousands of jobs.
Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, said: “Ministers need to step forward and take responsibility for the sake of passengers and staff.
“There is a real risk that if the worst comes to the worst proper arrangements may not be in place for the repatriation programme and staff are still working while not knowing if they have a job or will even get paid for this month.”
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said “the government must consider stepping in and taking an equity stake to avoid this crisis”.
What are your rights?
If you are on a package holiday you are covered by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (Atol).
The scheme will pay for your accommodation abroad, although you may have to move to a different hotel or apartment.
Atol will also pay to have you brought home if the airline is no longer operating.
If you have holiday booked in the future you will also be refunded by the scheme.
If you have booked a flight-only deal you will need to apply to your travel insurance company or credit card and debit card provider to seek a refund.
When Monarch Airlines collapsed in 2017, the government organised to bring home all the stranded passengers, whether they were covered by Atol or not.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
Thousands of people are protesting across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day.
Millions are taking part around the world with rallies in British cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging “climate justice”.
Students let off alarm bells at 13:00 BST to “raise the alarm” for the climate.
Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were “being heard”.
However, he said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part.
Jake Woodier, campaign co-ordinator at UK Student Climate Network said: “We understand it’s simply not feasible for many employees to take a day off to participate in a strike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a voice.”
Demonstrations have also been organised in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Birmingham.
Sebastian, a pupil from John Stainer Community School in Brockley, south-east London, said he joined the protests to help fight global warming.
“They, the government, don’t understand that we’re going to go through it and they are not,” he said.
Eight-year-old Sohan and Nayan, five, also from south-east London joined protesters with their mother, Celine.
Sohan said: “We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help.”
Student Jessica Ahmed, 16, emailed her school to warn that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class.
Speaking at a protest in Westminster, Miss Ahmed, of Barnet, north London, said: “If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognised the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school.”
Dozens of pupils from John Stainer Community Primary school in Brockley, south-east London, are among those taking part in the capital.
Head teacher Sue Harte said the school had decided to take part because “climate change is clearly a big issue” and “children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest”.
Hundreds of climate activists – including children in school uniform – have staged a mass “die in” in Belfast, where they lay down in the city centre.
One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.
She said: “Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike.
“We are grieving for our future. I don’t feel happy about having children the way our climate is going.”
Extinction Rebellion ‘solidarity’
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has addressed the group’s rally outside Westminster.
Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.
It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.
Some trade unions, including the TUC, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the “strikes”.
Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.
The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.
The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.
Mr Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast that although he could not support children leaving school, he did support “their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously”.
British Airways pilots have called off the next strike in their dispute, which had been scheduled for 27 September.
Last week, a two-day stoppage called by the pilots’ union, Balpa, forced BA to cancel almost all its flights.
The strike followed failed negotiations between the union and the airline over a pay offer of 11.5% over three years.
Balpa said the strikes on 9 and 10 September had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots.
It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute “escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand”, the union said.
Balpa said it hoped BA would “now change its approach and negotiate seriously” with a view to ending the dispute.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA, the pilots have decided to take the responsible course.
“In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on 27 September.”
However, Balpa said it retained the right to announce further strike dates.
Sadiq Khan’s former policing adviser has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying his children were no longer safe in London due to rising violence.
Leroy Logan, a former police superintendent, said he quit the Labour Party over the London mayor’s failure to “grasp” knife crime.
Mr Logan will now become policing adviser to the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.
Mr Khan said he was wished Mr Logan “all the best of luck in the Lib Dems”.
“I think lots of parents, me included, are concerned about safety in London and across the country,” the mayor added.
“One of the things I’ve been keen to do since I became mayor is to persuade the government to realise that their cuts over the last nine years have consequences.”
Speaking at the Lib Dem’s conference, Mr Logan said: “I’ve seen my children and their generation grow up in fear.
“It’s so tangible. It’s been normalised to such an extent it can happen anywhere, not just small pockets of deprived areas.”
Mr Logan said the mayor “doesn’t really understand” knife crime, and had “isolated himself” on the issue.
“He’s surrounded himself with people who think they are problem solvers, but are creating more problems on the street because they’ve lost touch with what is going on.”
Mr Logan previously criticised the choice of Lib Peck to run London’s Violence Reduction Unit – a role he had also applied for.
Ms Benita, who is running in London’s 2020 Mayoral election, said: “Sadiq has wasted his mayoral term in not addressing this issue with the urgency it needs.
“While he continues to blame other people, our young children in London continue to be traumatised, petrified and at risk. There is so, so much more we can do.”
West Bromwich Albion maintained their unbeaten Championship record as they came from behind to rescue a point with a draw in the south west London sunshine at Fulham.
Both goals owed a good bit to fortune, as Semi Ajayi’s controversial late headed equaliser cancelled out an attempted cross from Anthony Knockaert which deceived Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and dipped in at the far post.
Knockaert’s 49th-minute goal – his second in three home games – looked likely to earn all three points for the hosts at Craven Cottage.
But, from deadline signing Matheus Pereira’s 80th-minute corner, home keeper Marcus Bettinelli was distracted by Albion striker Charlie Austin attempting to lay his hands on him on the line.
The indignant Bettinelli and could only parry the ball tamely, allowing Ajayi to nod in at the far post for his first goal for the club.
Fulham had the better chances before the break as Tom Cairney evaded the linesman’s flag to get free inside the box and latch onto Harrison Reed’s pass, but his left-foot strike was touched onto the bar by the fingertips of Johnstone.
Reed was then also denied by the West Brom keeper, who reacted sharply to keep out his close-range header.
Austin, still to score his first league goal for Albion, volleyed over, then could only direct a tame header straight at Bettinelli.
And they were second best before the second-half introduction of Slaven Bilic’s three substitutes Flip Krovinovic, Kyle Edwards and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Bilic’s Baggies have won the most points from losing positions in the Championship this season (12), having gone behind in six of their seven games and lost none.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day three):|
|Durham 147& 191: A Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49|
|Middlesex 143 & 151: S Robson 765; Carse 6-26|
|Durham (19 opts) beat Middlesex (3 pts) by 44 runs|
Durham boosted their promotion chances and dented Middlesex’s hopes of a place in Division Two’s top three with a 44-run victory at Lord’s.
Pace bowler Brydon Carse took a career-best 6-26 as the home side were bowled out for 151, having been set a target of 196.
Resuming on 21-0, they lost three wickets in the first nine overs of play, including skipper Dawid Malan.
Sam Robson made 65, but Carse cleaned up the tail to seal Durham’s win.
The north-east county picked up 19 points to move into the third and final promotion place, although results in other games will decide whether they stay there, and put them 27 clear of Middlesex, who only earned three.
And they may need to win their last two games against unbeaten leaders Lancashire and Derbyshire to have a chance of returning to Division One in 2020.
Durham were soon among the wickets at start of play with Nick Gubbins and Stevie Eskinazi quickly back in the pavilion, followed by Malan, who was lbw to Ben Raine.
Robson put on 51 with Max Holden, and reached his half-century off 87 balls, only to edge Rushworth to the keeper to leave Middlesex on 107-5.
And after Carse had George Scott caught behind for 14 and bowled James Harris second ball, Durham had the match in their hands.
John Simpson made 15 before chopping a ball from the paceman into his stumps and Carse ended the game by comprehensively bowling Tim Murtagh.