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Iran plane crash: Tributes to three British nationals killed

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi

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Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, Sam Zokaei and Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board

Tributes have been paid to three British nationals who died when a Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran.

Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners, BP engineer Sam Zokaei and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board the flight.

They were among the 176 people from seven countries who died in the crash.

Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

The airline said the plane underwent scheduled maintenance on Monday.

A Downing Street spokesman said the UK was “working closely with the Ukrainian authorities and the Iranian authorities” over the crash, and there was “no indication” the plane was brought down by a missile.

As well as the three Britons, the victims in the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians – including all of the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans, Ukraine foreign affairs minister Vadym Prystaiko said.

Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.

Tributes were paid locally to Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh, 40, who ran a neighbourhood dry cleaners in Hassocks, West Sussex, and had a nine-year-old daughter.

Steve Edgington from the pet shop next door said he had known Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh for 14 years, and described him as a lovely, hardworking man who was good at his job and loved by staff.

Savvas Savvidis, 36, who rented a room in Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s home in Brighton, said he was a “super-nice person”.

“It’s so sad. Before he left we had a conversation, he told me that he spent all his life working, working really hard, and now finally he wants to start to enjoy life a bit more.”

Mr Savvidis described Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh as a humble man who loved his daughter very much.

The dry cleaners closed on Wednesday, with neighbouring businesses telling the BBC that staff were too upset to stay open.

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A sign on the window of Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s dry cleaners in Hassocks

Meanwhile, in a statement, BP said “with the deepest regret” that its employee Mr Zokaei, 42, from Twickenham, was among the passengers.

Mr Zokaei had been on holiday. He had worked for BP for 14 years and was based at the company’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends,” BP said.

A friend of Mr Zokaei, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC they were “still in shock”.

“He was a highly accomplished person. Very clever and very friendly. Always smiling and full of positive energy. He will be sorely missed.

“He was always trying new adventures. He cycled and toured Europe on bikes a few times. He also loved travelling to interesting far out places.”

Also killed was Mr Tahmasebi, 35, who worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rourke in Dartford.

Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also listed as a passenger on the plane.

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Mr Tahmasebi, pictured here last Valentine’s Day, recently married his partner

“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by this very tragic news,” said Laing O’Rourke.

“Saeed was a popular and well respected engineer and will be missed by many of his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time and we will do all we can to support them through it.”

‘Humble and generous’

Mr Tahmasebi – whose full name was Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi – was also a part-time PhD student at Imperial College London’s Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation.

A spokeswoman for the university said: “We are deeply saddened at this tragic news. Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi was a brilliant engineer with a bright future.

“His contributions to systems engineering earned respect from everyone who dealt with him and will benefit society for years to come.

“He was a warm, humble and generous colleague and close friend to many in our community. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both said their thoughts were with the families of those killed.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman has said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.”

They said it was “urgently seeking confirmation” about how many British nationals were on board and would be supporting any families affected.

Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.

Ukraine’s state aviation service has forbidden its national airlines from using Iranian airspace from Thursday, with the restrictions in place until an investigation into the cause of the crash has concluded.

Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran and Iranian state television both initially said technical issues caused the crash.

But the embassy later removed this statement and said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.

Ukraine said its entire civilian aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.

The country’s president warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.

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Flowers were laid outside the Canadian embassy in Kiev in remembrance of the 63 Canadians on board the flight

Ukrainian International Airlines said the flight disappeared from radar just a “few minutes” after take-off.

The Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were “clarifying the exact number”.

“The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” a statement said.

The airline, which is investigating the crash, said the aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.

There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”.

A statement from Boeing said its “heartfelt thoughts” were with all those affected following the “tragic event”.

There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC.

This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.

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Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: Gunners secure first win under Mikel Arteta

Nicolas Pepe scored his fifth goal of the season and also hit the post before he was substituted

Mikel Arteta earned his first win as Arsenal boss as the Gunners produced a powerful first-half performance to beat a lacklustre Manchester United.

The visitors, who were without the injured Paul Pogba, actually began brightly, but the game took a different turn on eight minutes when Nicolas Pepe steered in his fifth goal of the season after Sead Kolasinac’s cross was deflected to him.

That led to a first half in which the hosts were in control and Pepe hit the post before they doubled their lead when his corner was smashed in from close range by Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side came into the game with one loss in their previous nine games, and although they improved after the break, they rarely tested Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

It was characteristic of a stop-start season in which they are yet to win three Premier League games in a row.

The defeat leaves them fifth in the table, five points behind Chelsea, who drew with Brighton earlier in the day.

Victory for Arsenal ended a run of seven home games without a win in all competitions and lifted them to 10th place, four points behind United.

But they remain closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: Mikel Arteta reflects on ‘perfect’ first win

Pepe peps up Arsenal

There has been evidence of a lift in Arsenal’s three performances since Arteta was appointed, but without a win, questions remained as to whether he was the right man to take over from former boss Unai Emery, given his lack of experience as a manager.

Arteta was just an onlooker in the stands for the lifeless draw at Everton, but that was followed by a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on Boxing Day and a crushing late defeat by Chelsea at home last Sunday.

This was a different game altogether, though, as Arsenal put the pieces together. With Granit Xhaka, who has been linked with a move to Hertha Berlin, restored to the midfield, the Swiss and Lucas Torreira were quicker to the tackle than their opponents.

Pepe was also at the heart of their attacking endeavour as they were roared on by their fans.

After scoring early on, he sent United left-back Luke Shaw halfway down the Holloway Road with a sharp turn before setting up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who sliced a volley over.

The Ivorian then fed Alexandre Lacazette, who somehow hit his shot out for a throw-in from about six yards out, before Torreira went close from another Pepe pass.

The hosts had to withstand greater pressure from Solskjaer’s side in the second period but in contrast to the Chelsea defeat, when they conceded twice in the last seven minutes, Arteta’s side managed the game well.

Their only concerns were injuries to Kolasinac and Lacazette, who were both taken off in the second half.

Arsenal 2-0 Man Utd: United were too slow in first half – Solskjaer

Pogba-less United show further cause for concern

Manchester United improved after the break, but it would have been hard not to do so after a poor first half.

Marcus Rashford had tested Bernd Leno in the first minute, but once they went behind to Pepe’s opener, they struggled to match Arsenal’s superior energy in midfield.

Jesse Lingard, who returned to the starting line-up, was hardly involved while Nemanja Matic could not get to grips with Mesut Ozil, Torreira or Xhaka, who were often one step ahead.

It was another game where Solskjaer’s team missed the influence of Pogba, who has not started a game in three months. After the game, the United boss said the French midfielder had picked up an ankle injury which would need an operation that would keep him out for “three or four weeks”.

Prior to the game, it had been hinted that Pogba would be fit to play.

United did lift their game once Lingard was substituted, with his replacement Andreas Pereira almost making an instant impact as he hit the side netting.

There were also chances for Fred and substitute Mason Greenwood, but without the injured Scott McTominay, and the ongoing problems with Pogba, United looked short on creativity in midfield and need to find solutions quickly should they want to maintain a top-four challenge.

Man of the Match – Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe scored, hit the post and set up several good chances, which made his 62nd substitution surprising

Arsenal finally beat top half team – the best stats

  • This was Arsenal’s first Premier League win this season against a team currently in the top half of the Premier League (P10 W1 D4 L5).
  • Nicolas Pepe has scored all his five goals for Arsenal in all competitions in London – four at the Emirates and one at London Stadium.
  • Arsenal have scored eight goals via corners in the Premier League this season, two more than any other team.
  • Manchester United have now lost four of their past five away Premier League visits to Arsenal (W1).

What next?

Arsenal host Leeds on Monday, 6 January in the FA Cup third round (kick-off 19:56 GMT), while Manchester United travel to Wolves on Saturday, 4 January (kick-off 17:31) in a repeat of their quarter-final defeat last season.



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London’s City Hall provides Christmas meals for homeless

Sadiq Khan hands out food

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Sadiq Khan helped serve 100 Christmas Dinners to guests at City Hall

Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.

Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.

Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.

“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.

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Claire said she had been “looking forward” to the Christmas Dinner

Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.

“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”

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Guests were treated to rendition of carols by the London International Gospel Choir

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Around 100 people who use London’s homeless services were invited to City Hall

Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.

But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.

“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.

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Sadiq Khan said “it is shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do”

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Guests were given a three-course Christmas Dinner

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.

“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.

“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.

“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”

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Free opticians services were put on by charity Humanity First

Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.

There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.

Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.

Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.

“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”

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Mikel Arteta: Man City yet to agree compensation with Arsenal

Arteta made 150 appearances for Arsenal between 2011 and 2016

Manchester City are yet to agree compensation with Arsenal that would allow the Gunners to name Mikel Arteta as their new manager.

Arsenal are finalising the paperwork for City’s assistant manager, 37, to replace Unai Emery.

Arteta was at Oxford on Wednesday night for City’s Carabao Cup quarter-final but it is expected Arsenal will be able to appoint him later this week.

However, City are growing increasingly agitated by Arsenal’s conduct.

It is understood there has still not been formal contact between the clubs, with a seven-figure release clause yet to be agreed.

Arteta has kept Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola fully informed of the situation.

A Manchester City source said: “It’s surprising to hear that plans are being made by Arsenal to unveil our coach as their head coach on Friday on the basis that no contact has been made by the club to discuss this matter.”

Speaking after City’s 3-1 win over Oxford United, Guardiola said: “This season he’s [Arteta] been with us, we prepare the game as best as possible, before and during.

“I don’t have any comment, there is no news. Yesterday I had 48 questions about Mikel, when there’s news I will answer it but there’s no news.

“I answer the questions, I don’t answer any more.”

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Naturalist and presenter David Bellamy dies at 86

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Conservationist David Bellamy died on Wednesday, the foundation he formed said

Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation he formed says.

London-born Bellamy, who became a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist, died on Wednesday, according to the foundation.

His colleague, David Shreeve, described him as a “larger-than-life character” who “inspired a whole generation”.

In later life Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.

In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.

Bellamy worked as a factory worker and a plumber before embarking on his broadcasting career.

David Bellamy

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Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”

He gained public recognition for his work as an environmental consultant over the Torrey Canyon oil spill, when a tanker was shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall in 1967.

He went on to present programmes such as Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.

And in 1979 he was awarded Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award, for best presenter of factual programmes.

His distinctive voice also inspired comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s catchphrase “grapple me grapenuts”.

In more recent years, Bellamy was criticised for his views on global warming.

In 2003, he told BBC News that he was sceptical about mankind being responsible for rising temperatures and suggested that they might be part of the Earth’s natural cycles.

He said: “We have got to get this thing argued out in public properly and not just take one opinion.”

Ten years later, he told the Independent newspaper: “It (global warming) is not happening at all, but if you get the idea that people’s children will die because of CO2 they fall for it.”

‘Canny broadcaster”.

Well-known figures have paid tribute to Bellamy, including comedy writer and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker, who described him as a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”, in a tribute posted on Twitter.

And actor David Morrissey tweeted that Bellamy “cared about nature and our environment deeply.”

Former England footballer Stan Collymore called him a “childhood icon”, adding that he “learnt about botany and shrubs and trees as a kid because of this man’s love and infectious enthusiasm.”

Bellamy’s wife Rosemary, with whom he had five children, died last year

David Bellamy

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Conservationist David Bellamy died on Wednesday, the foundation he formed said

Naturalist and broadcaster David Bellamy has died aged 86, the Conservation Foundation he formed says.

London-born Bellamy, who became a household name as a TV personality, scientist and conservationist, died on Wednesday, according to the foundation.

His colleague, David Shreeve, described him as a “larger-than-life character” who “inspired a whole generation”.

In later life Bellamy, who lived in County Durham, attracted criticism for dismissing global warming.

In 2004 he described it as “poppycock” – a stance which he later said cost him his TV career.

Bellamy worked in a sweet factory and as a plumber before embarking on his broadcasting career.

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Reuters

Image caption

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”

His scientific began when he got a job in the biology department of a technical college in Surrey, he told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme in 1978.

It was there that he met his future wife and mother of their five children, Rosemary.

But it was on a trip to Scotland where he discovered his love for plants, he told the programme.

“I got really turned on by plants and I found out that if somebody told me what a plant was, I just couldn’t forget it,” he said.

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PA Media

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Bellamy won Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award in 1979

He gained public recognition for his work as an environmental consultant over the Torrey Canyon oil spill, when a tanker was shipwrecked off the coast of Cornwall in 1967.

He went on to present programmes such as Don’t Ask Me, Bellamy On Botany, Bellamy’s Britain, Bellamy’s Europe and Bellamy’s Backyard Safari.

And in 1979 he won Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award, for best presenter of factual programmes.

His distinctive voice also inspired comedian Sir Lenny Henry’s catchphrase “grapple me grapenuts”.

In more recent years, Bellamy was criticised for his views on global warming.

In 2003, he told BBC News that he was sceptical about mankind being responsible for rising temperatures and suggested that they might be part of the Earth’s natural cycles.

He said: “We have got to get this thing argued out in public properly and not just take one opinion.”

Ten years later, he told the Independent newspaper: “It (global warming) is not happening at all, but if you get the idea that people’s children will die because of CO2 they fall for it.”

‘Canny broadcaster”.

Well-known figures have paid tribute to Bellamy, including comedy writer and fellow broadcaster Danny Baker, who described him as a “truly brilliant and canny broadcaster”.

Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan said Bellamy was a “brilliant naturalist, broadcaster & character”, in a tribute posted on Twitter.

The Walking Dead actor David Morrissey tweeted that Bellamy “cared about nature and our environment deeply.”

And former England footballer Stan Collymore called him a “childhood icon”, adding that he “learnt about botany and shrubs and trees as a kid because of this man’s love and infectious enthusiasm.”

Bellamy’s wife Rosemary, with whom he had five children, died last year

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Jaden Moodie: Accused killer ‘carried knife for safety’

Jaden Moodie

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Jaden Moodie was allegedly dealing drugs for a gang when he was targeted by a group of men

A man accused of murdering a 14-year-old boy sold drugs for a London gang so he could “survive”, and would carry a knife for “safety”, a court has heard.

Jaden Moodie was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in Leyton, north-east London, on 8 January.

Ayoub Majdouline, who is accused of being one of five men who carried out the attack, told the Old Bailey he had sold drugs since he was 16 years old.

The 19-year-old, from Wembley, denies murder and possession of a knife.

Jaden had been out drug dealing for the Beaumont gang when he was attacked by alleged members of rival drug gang the “Mali Boys”, the court heard.

The teen was hunted down and repeatedly stabbed to death in a 14 second attack.

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The jury was shown CCTV of the attack, still of which Jaden’s parents asked to be published

The day before, Mr Majdouline was caught on CCTV at a Travelodge hotel in Walthamstow, with distinctive Nike Air Max trainers he was wearing during the knife attack on Jaden, jurors were told.

Majdouline was also wearing yellow rubber gloves, one of which was later found to have traces of the victim’s blood and the defendant’s DNA, it is claimed.

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Ayoub Majdouline was captured on CCTV in a hotel in Walthamstow, the day before the murder

Jurors heard the defendant had a troubled upbringing in Leyton and his parents had split up when he was seven.

While living with his mother, he was abused by his stepfather so went to live with his aunt, the court was told.

However, that relationship broke down and he ended up in foster care. His father also died in 2015.

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Met Police

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Blood-stained rubber gloves allegedly worn by Mr Majdouline were found near the crime scene

The court was told he had been identified as a victim of modern slavery by the National Crime Agency (NCA) over concerns he was being exploited by older youths.

Giving evidence, Mr Majdouline said he sold drugs “for and with” the Mali Boys gang, including as part of county lines dealing in Basingstoke, Ipswich and Andover.

He told jurors he was previously jailed for drug and knife offences but went straight back to dealing “to survive”

“At the time I did not feel like I was being supported by social services and I never lived by myself before,” he said.

He added that he got “confused” sorting out jobseekers’ allowance when he turned 18 and dealing had been “the only way I knew how to make money”.

Explaining why he carried a knife, Mr Majdouline said he had been “sliced” on one occasion in Basingstoke so carried a blade “for my own safety”.

The trial continues.

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Julia Quenzler

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Ayoub Majdouline denies murdering the teenager and possession of a knife

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‘Tube saviour’ hopes her story can inspire others

Asma Shuweikh and jewish father

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Asma Shuweikh

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Asma Shuweikh said she hopes her story can inspire others to “come together”

A woman who was praised for intervening to stop anti-Semitic abuse said she hopes her story can inspire others.

Asma Shuweikh, was reunited with the father of the family that was racially abused while travelling on the London Underground.

“We spoke about our common ground,” she told the BBC “we should learn to get along in this multi-faith world.”

A man has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence.

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Chris Atkins/PA

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Asma Shuweikh has been praised online for intervening and trying to stop the abuse

In a video shared on social media a man was filmed reading Bible passages which are interpreted as being anti-Semitic to two boys in skullcaps travelling on the Northern Line.

Ms Shuweikh, who was widely praised for confronting the man in the video, said she “wouldn’t hesitate to do it again” and wished more people had intervened.

“The kids looked terrified. I’m a mother and I couldn’t just stand by,” she said.

“As a practising Muslim I can’t see injustice and not intervene. It goes against what we are taught.”

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Media captionAsma Shuweikh said she “wouldn’t hesitate to do it again”

Meeting with the father, who has chosen not to be named, was “really, really nice,” she said.

“We spent an hour talking. At the end of the day we all need to get along as we all live in this country.

“That’s what’s nice about Britain. it’s a multi-cultural society.”

“I hope that people see this story and realise when you go through these things we can come together and something good can come from it.”

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Chris Atkins/PA

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The video was recorded on a Northern Line service on 23 November.

Previously the father said that without her intervention, he thought the abuse might have escalated to physical violence.

He said: “We are certain that without her intervention and distraction, he would have continued his abuse.

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Jose Mourinho: Tottenham’s new manager says he will bring passion and happiness

Mourinho took training for the first time on Wednesday

New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has promised to bring “passion” and “happiness” to the club.

The Portuguese, 56, was appointed on Wednesday morning, following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino on Tuesday night.

Former Chelsea and Manchester United boss Mourinho praised the quality of Spurs’s squad and their “world class” stadium and training ground.

“I couldn’t be happier and look forward to the challenge,” he said.

In his interview with Spurs TV – his first since being appointed – Mourinho said: