Root & Burns hit centuries as England fight back against NZ




Root’s century was his slowest in Test cricketSecond Test, Seddon Park, Hamilton (day three of five):New Zealand 375: Latham 105, Mitchell 73; Broad 4-73England 269-5: Root 114*, Burns 101England trail by 106 runsScorecardJoe Root returned to form as he and Rory Burns hit centuries for England on day three, but the second Test against New Zealand remains in the balance.Root made 114 not out from 278 balls – his first Test century in 15 innings – as England closed on 269-5, 106 behind.Captain Root put on 177 with opener Burns, who reached his second Test ton before being run out for 101.New Zealand fought back with two wickets after tea before rain ended play 45 minutes early in Hamilton.Ben Stokes edged Tim Southee to slip to fall for an attractive 26, while debutant Zak Crawley was caught behind for one off Neil Wagner.England will still hope to bat beyond the Black Caps’ first-innings 375, before attempting to bowl their hosts out cheaply.However, further rain is forecast on the final day, with England needing to win the match to draw the two-match series.Root hits welcome hundredRoot made two and 11 in the first-Test defeat at Mount Maunganui and was averaging 27.40 from 10 matches in 2019, form which had seen him drop out of the top 10 of the Test batting ranking for the first time since 2014.He began the day on six and batted very patiently, not playing in his trademark busy fashion until a flurry of boundaries when he reached the nineties.Root did not play many memorable shots but did not offer a chance either, the only scare coming when he was given out caught down the leg side on 47. The decision was overturned when replays showed the ball flicked his pad.That said, Root reached his slowest Test hundred in fortuitous fashion, bottom-edging a cut past his stumps then over wicketkeeper BJ Watling for four.The century, his 17th in Tests, has come on a very flat pitch but it will also quieten questions around his batting since taking the captaincy – for a while at least.This is his sixth hundred as captain and his longest innings in terms of balls faced since he succeeded Alastair Cook as skipper.As England faltered late in the day, Root held firm and will likely need to push on on day four to set up a chance of victory.More to follow



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London Bridge attack sparks terrorists' jail release review


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Media captionMet Police: London Bridge attacker was ‘complying’ with license conditions
An urgent review of the licence conditions of terrorists freed from prison has been launched by the Ministry of Justice following Friday’s London Bridge attack. Two people were killed and three were injured by Usman Khan, 28, a convicted terrorist who served half of his time.PM Boris Johnson claimed scrapping early release would have stopped him.But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will blame budget cuts for “missed chances to intervene” in a speech on Sunday.As many as 70 convicted terrorists released from prison could be the focus of the government review.Khan, 28, who was shot by police on Friday after carrying out the attack, was jailed over a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange in 2012. He was sentenced to indeterminate detention for “public protection” with a minimum jail term of eight years.This sentence would have allowed him to be kept in prison beyond the minimum term.But in 2013, the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term of which Khan should serve half in prison. He was released on licence in December 2018 – subject to an “extensive list of licence conditions”, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.”To the best of my knowledge, he was complying with those conditions,” he added.

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Media captionUsman Khan speaking to the BBC in 2008: ‘I ain’t no terrorist’
As part of his release conditions, Khan was obliged to take part in the government’s desistance and disengagement programme, which aims to rehabilitate people who have been involved in terrorism.Khan was living in Stafford and wearing a GPS police tag when he launched his attack inside Fishmongers’ Hall, where he was attending a conference hosted by Learning Together, a prisoners’ rehabilitation programme.The attack then continued onto London Bridge itself.

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Media captionVideo footage shows moment London Bridge attacker was apprehended
Khan had taken part in the Learning Together scheme while in prison and was one of dozens of people – including students and offenders – at the event.He appeared as a “case study” in a report by the initiative. Identified only as “Usman”, Khan was said to have given a speech at a fundraising dinner after being released from prison.

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Learning Together

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Usman Khan appeared as case study in a report by Learning Together

He was also given a “secure” laptop that complied with his licence conditions, to allow him to continue the writing and studying he began while in jail.Khan contributed a poem to a separate brochure, in which he expressed gratitude for the laptop, adding: “I cannot send enough thanks to the entire Learning Together team and all those who continue to support this wonderful community.”Jack Merritt, a course coordinator for Learning Together from Cambridge, was one of two people fatally stabbed on Friday.

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Media captionListen to Jack Merritt speak on a BBC podcast about his work helping inmates at a prison to study law.
A woman who also died has not yet been named. NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said three victims remained in hospital following the attack – two in a stable condition and one with less serious injuries.Mr Basu said officers had been working “flat out” to try to establish the “full circumstances” of the stabbing.On a visit to the attack site, the prime minister said the practice of cutting jail sentences in half and letting violent offenders out early “simply isn’t working”.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel visited the scene at London Bridge

Mr Johnson vowed to “toughen up sentences” if the Conservatives win the general election on 12 December.”If you are convicted of a serious terrorist offence, there should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years – and some should never be released,” he said.”Further, for all terrorism and extremist offences, the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served – these criminals must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions.”In a speech in York on Sunday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to say that budget cuts over the past ten years have left “gaps” that can result in “missed chances to intervene in the lives of people who go on to commit inexcusable acts”.

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He will also say that, under a Labour government, police will be able to use “whatever force is necessary” to protect and save lives.”If police believe an attacker is wearing a suicide vest and innocent lives are at risk, then it is right they are able to use lethal force,” he will say.How the law on early release changed?Rachel Schraer, BBC Reality Check

2003 – The Criminal Justice Act meant most offenders would be automatically released halfway through sentences, but the most “dangerous” would have their cases looked at by a Parole Board. Sentences with no fixed end point, called Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP), were also introduced.2008 – Criminal Justice and Immigration Act removed review process by Parole Boards, meaning more offenders were released automatically halfway through sentences. Judges could still hand down life sentences or IPPs for dangerous offenders.2012 – Usman Khan was handed a sentence with no fixed end date because of the risk he posed to the public. In the same year, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act scrapped IPPs and reintroduced the role of the Parole Board for extended sentences of 10 years or more – this time after two-thirds of the sentence has passed. But that did not mean those already serving IPPs would have them lifted.2013 – During an appeal, Lord Justice Leveson ruled that Khan’s indeterminate sentence should be substituted for an extended sentence with automatic release at the halfway point.A row erupted on Saturday between Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Labour government minister Yvette Cooper over Khan’s early release.Ms Cooper said the government was “warned about the risks” of ending Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) – which was introduced by Labour to protect the public from dangerous prisoners, but was scrapped by the coalition government in 2012.But Ms Patel blamed the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act brought in by Labour in 2008, and said the law was changed “to end Labour’s automatic release policy”.



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General election 2019: Labour say NHS figures show decline in GP services


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Labour has highlighted NHS figures which it claims show a decline of GP services under the Conservatives.The figures show that in October there were six million GP appointments – out of 31 million – for which patients had a wait of more than two weeks. Labour said it was “yet more damning evidence of the crisis our NHS is in after a decade of Tory cuts”. The Tories responded by highlighting their plans to deliver 50 million more GP appointments by 2024-25 if elected.The figures, from NHS Digital, do not distinguish between those patients who were content to wait for a more routine meeting at their local surgery and those who wanted a more immediate appointment and could not get one.The latest data from NHS Digital show that 2.45 million patients waited between 15 and 21 days in October to see a GP or other practice clinician, which was 8.3% of the total number of appointments, compared with 8% in October 2018.Another 1.69 million waited between 22 and 28 days for a GP appointment while 1.66 million waited more than 28 days. In both cases there was an increase in the percentage of patients affected compared to October last year. The overall number of appointments increased to 30.8 million in October 2019 from 29.7 million in the same month the year before.

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Media caption”You can’t get an appointment” – patients and staff at one GPs’ practice
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “More families are struggling to get a GP appointment after the Tories have allowed the numbers of family’s doctors in our communities to fall.”He said Labour had a £40bn rescue plan to invest in general practice which would see more doctors recruited and provide millions more GP appointments.Labour also quoted new figures on the GP workforce in England which show that the number of fully qualified doctors in general practice had fallen by more than 1,600 since September 2015 to just under 27,000 in September this year. The Conservative government had promised in 2015 to add 5,000 GPs by 2020.However, the Tories refer to a different measure which includes qualified doctors training to be GPs – this group has increased by about 400 since September 2015.
Conservatives pledge to boost GP numbers
Labour vows to outspend Tories on the NHS
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “It’s great news that we’ve seen an increase in the number of GPs, and that more people are getting a GP appointment the same or next day.He said: “A Conservative majority government will create 6,000 more GPs and deliver 50 million more GP appointments – to make sure everyone can get the care and treatment they need faster.”Labour has pledged, if elected, to increase the number of GP training places in England from 3,500 to 5,000 a year. The Conservatives say they would raise training places to 4,000 and recruit more GPs from abroad along with measures to boost retention.The Liberal Democrats say they want to end the GP shortfall within five years, with more training and what they say will be easier foreign recruitment if the UK stays in the EU.



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Canadian islanders angry over US mail searches


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Former US president Franklin Roosevelt used to holiday on Campobello

Campobello, a small Canadian island on the southwestern tip of New Brunswick, is only accessible year-round by bridge from the US state of Maine. US Customs agents have recently begun intercepting mail sent by Canada’s postal agency to the island, leaving residents frustrated – and worried about their privacy. It was late summer when packages began arriving at the post office in the Campobello village of Welshpool with bright green labels declaring they’d been inspected by US customs. Packages, envelopes, it didn’t matter, they were checked at the border. “Anything that arrives at the border is subject to being searched – that means anything,” postmaster Kathleen Case told the BBC.Some days every item of mail – which are placed in a bonded truck in Canada and then sent about 80km (50 miles) through Maine and over the international Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge to Campobello – is inspected. Some packages have been seized. “Here we are, a symbol of US-Canada friendship, and this is going on,” says resident Steve Hatch. The former journalist has lodged a complaint with Canada Post, arguing the security of the mail destined for the island’s 800 residents is being compromised and their privacy unprotected. “Anything you order, [US border patrol agents] are going to know about,” Mr Hatch told the BBC. It’s not just Mr Hatch who’s frustrated. There are confidentiality concerns about private medical and financial documents sent via the post. Some residents say there have been long delays in getting their packages delivered, inspected or not. And there are worries that someone could receive mail or a package with content that could get them banned from entering the US. Cannabis New Brunswick, the government-run marijuana retailer, has temporarily halted the deliveries to the island. Both recreational and medical cannabis is legal in Canada but remain banned under US federal law.

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Franklin Roosevelt (centre) hosts Canadian guests on the beach at Campobello Island

A November council meeting was “tumultuous, sometimes rancorous” as residents expressed frustration at the mail issue with their municipal politicians, reported The Quoddy Tides, a Maine-based newspaper that covers the region. The region’s Conservative MP, John Williamson, says he’ll be raising the issue in Ottawa when Parliament returns. “It’s not just a small matter dealing with people’s Christmas cards [being looked at],” he says. “It’s pushing on Canada’s sovereignty.” New Brunswick’s intergovernmental affairs department said it had concerns with respect to privacy issues and will be reaching out to the federal government as well. Campobello Island is home to the Roosevelt Campobello International Park, named after the former American President Franklin Roosevelt who spent holidays sailing, swimming, and fishing on the bucolic island, once popular as summer resort destination for wealthy families along the east coast. The park an enduring symbol of the relationship between the United States and Canada, countries that share the longest undefended border in the world and deep economic, cultural and diplomatic ties. Row as storm sweeps US landmark to CanadaThe bridge that connects Campobello to the fishing village of Lubec, Maine was built in 1962 and since then has been the only option for islanders to travel into Canada for most of the year. A private ferry brings Canadian passengers to the island during the summer months. Campobello residents cross into the US regularly for everything from filling up their car with petrol – Campobello has no bank, gas station, or hospital – to driving an hour through Maine to New Brunswick for access to government and medical services. “Since that bridge was built the very viability of Campobello Island I has hinged on that goodwill between the US and Canada – the common understanding that people from Campobello have to drive through the states to get back from Canada,” says island resident Justin Tinker.

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Cars cross the International Bridge between Lubec, Maine (L) and Campobello Island, Canada

“That common goodwill was there – until now it isn’t.” He says the mail inspections mean “you’re throwing away half of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because you can’t receive a package in the mail without unjust search forfeiture”. Why is this happening?It’s unclear. Some think Canada’s legalisation of recreational cannabis last year prompted the change.US Customs and Border Protection hasn’t confirmed that’s the case. It released a statement saying the agency’s officers possess broad search authority to ensure the safety and admissibility of all goods entering the US.

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Campobello Island is draw for tourist’s in the region

“This includes the ability to inspect and search all persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in – and transiting through – the United States,” says spokesman Michael McCarthy. Canada Post confirmed that US agents have the right to stop and search any truck at their discretion and detain or seize inadmissible items – and says it’s working on a solution. Dale Calder, a lifelong resident of Campobello is also a retired Canadian border agent. He’s had six packages inspected so far, which “personally infuriates me”, he says. He recalled something similar happening in the late 1990s but it was quickly dealt with at the time by Canadian officials. Twenty years later it’s an issue again. Ms Case says Canada Post has helped her ensure mail is delivered to residents when the green US inspection stickers cover the address labels – a frequent occurrence. But she says US agents are “well within their right” to search the mail.”Realistically, we’re lucky they’re letting anything come at all,” the postmaster says. “I don’t want to put it on them. We’re very fortunate they’re providing us with a way to get anything here. There is no other way. If it weren’t for the US, we’d get nothing. We’re completely dependent on them.” Residents the BBC spoke to tended to agree – the border agents are doing their job – but said the mail issue is just the latest frustration in growing hassles and delays they’ve been facing crossing the border. ​Mr Tinker is among the residents pushing for year-round ferry access to the island. Supporters argue it would help them build a more self-sufficient community, boost the island’s economy, and help prevent population decline. “Campobello is the only place in Canada where you can’t get there from here without going through the States,” says Mr Tinker. “That’s become a tougher and tougher pill to swallow.”



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Angela Merkel ally's loss casts doubt on German coalition


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Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken are from the leftist contingent of the SPD

The future of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition has been thrown into doubt after her deputy chancellor lost the leadership race of his party.Olaf Scholz, who is also finance minister, lost his bid to become leader of the centre-left SPD.The party is now expected to vote on whether to stay in the coalition with Ms Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU.Mr Scholz’s joint challengers, Norbert Walter-Borjans und Saskia Esken, have been highly critical of the coalition. Elsewhere on Saturday, the far-right AfD, which is the biggest opposition party in the German parliament, elected Tino Chrupalla, a lawmaker from eastern Germany, to lead the party along with Joerg Meuthen.What happened in the vote? Mr Scholz and his running mate Klara Geywitz, who back staying in the coalition until 2021, received just 45.3% of the vote, while their challengers won 53%. Mr Walter-Borjans and Ms Esken, relative unknowns from the party’s leftist contingent, have said they want to renegotiate the coalition deal with Ms Merkel’s conservatives to focus more on social justice and investment.
Is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Merkel 2.0?
Merkel bids emotional farewell to party
Mr Scholz said the SPD must now “stand behind the new leadership”.

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Media captionHow Angela Merkel rose to power to lead Germany
Paul Ziemiak, general secretary of the CDU (whose Bavarian sister party is the CSU), said “the decision today has changed nothing” about the alliance.Poor election results and mixed views of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who replaced Ms Merkel as CDU leader in 2018, have led to discontent within the party.

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Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer replaced Angela Merkel as CDU leader in December 2018

Some have said a snap election or a minority government could be on the cards. Mrs Merkel has said she will not run again in 2021 after 14 years at the helm of the country. Last week, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer called for unity while threatening to stand down as CDU leader if the party failed to back her, which prompted a lengthy ovation at the annual congress.Who is the AfD’s new leader?Mr Chrupalla is a former painter and decorator from Saxony.

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Tino Chrupalla will jointly lead the AfD

He replaces one of the party’s founders, 78-year-old Alexander Gauland, who gained international attention for a series of controversial remarks, including one comparing the Nazi era to a speck of bird droppings on German history. “If we want more success we need to change,” Mr Chrupalla said. “We want to move toward the centre. This will work because the CDU keeps moving to the left.”

Joerg Meuthen was re-elected joint leader of the far-right party.



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London Bridge: Who was the attacker?


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Police have named the London Bridge attacker as Usman Khan, who was previously part of a group that plotted to bomb the city’s stock exchange.Khan, 28, was out on licence from prison when he killed two people and injured three others in the stabbing attack on Friday, before being shot dead by armed police.Since being released in December 2018 – his conditions requiring him to wear an electronic tag – Khan had been living in Stafford.He also took part in the government’s ‘Desistance and Disengagement Programme’, the purpose of which is the rehabilitation of those who have been involved in terrorism.In 2012, he was sentenced to indeterminate detention for “public protection” with a minimum jail term of eight years after pleading guilty to preparing terrorist acts.The sentence would have allowed him to be kept in prison beyond the minimum term, should the authorities have deemed it necessary.In a reference to Khan and two other defendants, the trial judge said: “In my judgment, these offenders would remain, even after a lengthy term of imprisonment, of such a significant risk that the public could not be adequately protected by their being managed on licence in the community, subject to conditions, by reference to a preordained release date.”He added that the “safety of the public in respect of these offenders can only adequately be protected if their release on licence is decided upon, at the earliest, at the conclusion of the minimum term which I fix today.”But in 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the sentence, replacing it with a 16-year-fixed term of which Khan should serve half in prison. He was then released automatically at that point.Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Khan was originally jailed along with eight others, who were arrested in 2010.The nine, inspired by al-Qaeda, had been under surveillance by MI5.The men – who were from Stoke, Cardiff and London – were engaged in several plans, one of which involved a plot to place a pipe bomb in the London Stock Exchange.Those from Stoke were overheard discussing potential attacks in their city, including leaving explosive devices in pubs and clubs.Khan described members of the public as “kuffar” and “dogs”.

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West Midlands Police

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Usman Khan, circled, with his fellow defendants in a surveillance image released by police in 2012

At one point Khan was monitored in conversation about “how to construct a pipe bomb” from a recipe in an al-Qaeda magazine.The men had also been funding a proposed madrassa – a college for Islamic instruction – abroad, which was to be used for firearms training and would have been attended by Khan.The court of appeal judgement said: “The groups were clearly considering a range of possibilities, including fundraising for the establishment of a military-training madrassa in Pakistan – where they would undertake training themselves and recruit others to do likewise – sending letter bombs through the post, attacking public houses used by British racist groups, attacking a high-profile target with an explosive device and a Mumbai-style attack.” It added that they had “serious long-term plans” to send Khan and other recruits for “training and terrorist experience”.”Should they return to the UK, they would do so trained and experienced in terrorism,” the judgement continued.Another man from Stoke who was jailed alongside Khan – Mohibur Rahman – was later fconvicted of another terrorist plot following his release from prison.Khan had spent years proselytising in Stoke on so-called “dawah stalls” linked to the proscribed terrorist organisation al-Muhajiroun, which was once led by the hate preacher Anjem Chowdhury.After Khan was jailed, the Daily Star quoted Chowdhury saying that the Stoke plotters “were students of mine” and “I knew them for quite a while.”In 2008 Khan’s address was one of five properties in Stoke raided by counter terrorism police. None of those investigated were ultimately charged.

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Media captionUsman Khan speaking to the BBC in 2008: ‘I ain’t no terrorist’
Speaking at the time, Khan publicly complained about being under suspicion, saying: “I’ve been born and bred in England, in Stoke-on-Trent in Cobridge.He said “all the community knows me” and that “I ain’t no terrorist.”After leaving prison, Khan appeared as a “case study” in a report by the education initiative whose event he later so brutally attacked.The report focused on work done by Learning Together at HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, where Khan was imprisoned,Identified only by his first name, Khan was said – since leaving prison – to have given a speech at a fundraising dinner and been provided with a “secure” laptop that complied with his licence conditions.Khan contributed a poem to a separate brochure in which he expressed gratitude for the computer, stating: “I cannot send enough thanks to the entire Learning Together team and all those who continue to support this wonderful community.”



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Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta businessman charged with complicity in murder


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Yorgen Fenech has been repeatedly questioned

Maltese businessman Yorgen Fenech has been charged with complicity in the murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017.He pleaded not guilty to that charge and four others others including membership of a criminal gang. Relatives of the assassinated blogger were present in the court in Valletta.The investigation into Caruana Galizia’s death has rocked the island’s government. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is under pressure to resign. His chief aide, Keith Schembri, quit this week amid reports he was being questioned by police, while Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi also resigned and Economy Minister Chris Cardona took the decision to suspend himself.Three people are awaiting trial for Caruana Galizia’s murder in a car bombing but the police investigation is now focusing on who ordered the killing and why.Who is Yorgen Fenech?He has been repeatedly questioned over the killing since trying to leave the island on his yacht on 20 November, and sought a pardon in return for providing information but his request was rejected.Maltese media allege he was familiar with Melvin Theuma, a taxi driver with links to criminal enterprises who has been described in local media as a potential “middleman” in the murder.

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Caruana Galizia reported on allegations relating to the Panama Papers before her death

Mr Fenech is a well-known figure in Malta who has served as head of the Tumas business group and a director of energy company Electrogas but recently resigned from both positions.He was identified last year as being the owner of a mysterious Dubai-registered company, 17 Black.The company was listed in the Panama Papers – confidential documents leaked from a Panamanian law firm in 2016 which revealed how the wealthy and powerful use tax havens to get around the law.Caruana Galizia had written about 17 Black eight months before her death, alleging it had links to both Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi.

‘Muscat must resign’By Damian Grammaticas, BBC Europe correspondent, VallettaSuch has been the sensitivity of this case that Malta’s main courthouse was opened specially, late in the evening for this hearing. Yorgen Fenech, one of Malta’s richest men, was brought in under police guard. The family of the murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, her parents, her sister, her husband and three sons were all in court. They heard Mr Fench deny charges of complicity in Ms Caruana Galizia’s murder, of membership of a criminal gang, and conspiracy in planting the car bomb that killed her. Outside court Ms Caruana Galizia’s family said it was now time for Mr Muscat to resign as the allegations of shady dealing stretch to those around him. So far though Mr Muscat has refused to go.

Why have events come to a head? Investigations into Caruana Galizia’s murder intensified when Mr Theuma was pardoned on Monday.The prime minister told parliament he was being given immunity in return for information about the killing. Maltese reports suggested he had audio recordings linked to the case.

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Media captionPaul Caruana Galizia says his mother’s critics investigated her murder
On Tuesday, Konrad Mizzi resigned and Chris Cardona took the decision to suspend himself after being questioned by police. They deny involvement. Mr Schembri, who had previously been named in the Panama Papers, quit. Caruana Galizia alleged that Mr Schembri and Mr Mizzi had benefited from secretive “shell companies”. Both deny wrongdoing. What do we know about the murder inquiry?Three men – brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio and their friend Vincent Muscat, all in their 50s – have been charged with triggering the bomb which killed Caruana Galizia near her home in October 2017. They were arrested in December 2017 and pleaded not guilty in pre-trial proceedings.

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Caruana Galizia (pictured in 1989) was survived by her husband and children

Vincent Muscat later told police the bomb had been placed in Caruana Galizia’s car while it was parked outside the walled compound where she lived. The killings earned the trio 150,000 euros (£132,000), Reuters news agency reports.



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