04/06/2014 North West Tonight


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in advance of the general election. That is all


Welcome to North West Tonight with Roger Johnson and Annabel Tiffin.


The murder of Rania Alayed was an organised honour killing.


Today a judge jailed her husband for at least 20 years.


Ahmed didn't like that and he wanted to control her every


In an exclusive interview, Rania's family in the Middle East tell us


their regret about encouraging her to stay with her violent husband.


TRANSLATION: I did not try to reconcile her with him.


I wish I had pushed her to divorce him long ago.


Also tonight Backing for fracking in the Queen's Speech.


A lawyer says a Rabbi who was killed by a speeding


driver should share the blame for not wearing reflective clothing.


How the Mersey ferries played a key role in an audacious


Rania Alayed wanted a life away from her abusive husband.


Instead, the mother of three young children was murdered


Police have tonight described it as an orchestrated honour killing.


Rania's husband, Ahmed Al Khatib, has been jailed


for life with a recommendation he serve at least 20 years.


After killing Rania in a Salford flat, he stuffed her corpse


in a suitcase and dumped it on a roadside nearly 90 miles away.


Abbie Jones joins us now from the tower block in Salford


Rania wanted what most of us took for granted, to go to college, to


wear the clothes she wanted but this drove her abusive husband Ahmed Al


Khatib crazy with jealousy and anger. Last June he murdered her at


a flat in a tower block behind me before dragging her body down in a


suitcase to the road below here. Police said today they have no doubt


her murder was an honour killing. Ahmed didn't like that


and he wanted to control her every After she was killed here, her


husband understood the help of his two brothers, to dispose of her


body. They were both jailed for four years and three years respectively.


Mohammed was cleared of her murder. After they buried her body, Ahmed Al


Khatib staged an elaborate deception to cover his tracks.


Rania Alayed married Ahmed Al Khatib aged just 15 in Syria for love.


But her husband was jealous, violent and controlling.


When she eventually walked out, he lured her and their children to


a Salford flat and then killed her while they were inside.


I told Rania's eldest son his mother was in heaven with God.


He asked me for a large pair of binoculars because he believed


he would be able to see his mother between the stars.


Her son also wanted someone to wear a mask of his mother's face so


Rania complained of years of domestic abuse living


in the north`east when she first came to the UK.


She asked for help from police and a solicitor.


When she moved to Manchester last year, she started attending college


to learn English, making female and male friends.


She was asked to come here to her brother`in`law's Salford


Although her husband did all he could to pretend otherwise.


CCTV shows Ahmed Al Khatib leaving the flat wearing a headscarf to


He messaged Rania's friends and family trying to convince them


But instead of going to the police, he and his brother, Mohammed


Mahmoud Al Khatib, drove Rania's body north to Yorkshire, burying her


She was to have no funeral, no dignity.


How far up there are we going to take this?


Police from two forces have been searching for the mother of three


for months using helicopters, sniffer dogs but so far, no trace.


I've had some sleepless nights about this.


It may sound silly, I've had dreams, dreams, far`fetched.


But the ghost of Rania is telling me.


It sounds stupid but that's where it gets into your psyche.


The jury accepted Rania's brother`in`law Mohammed had nothing


to do with her murder but it didn't believe Ahmed Al Khatib when he said


he was mentally ill when his killed his wife, seeing her as a spirit.


TRANSLATION: He is a murderous monster.


He picks and chooses when he wants to be sane.


All her family want now is to bury her body.


Rania's murder has been particularly hard for her family still


Her parents have been desperately trying to get visas to come to


Manchester to see their grandchildren but have been refused.


Her family say they're also full of regret at encouraging Rania to work


through her marriage, little knowing she'd pay for that with her life.


They spoke exclusively to North West Tonight.


Thousands of miles from Manchester, in Lebanon, Rania's family is still


They've had to follow her murder, the search for her body


At least if we had found the body and given her a burial,


Rania grew up in Syria in a refugee camp.


It was there she met her husband to be, a blacksmith.


Her brother remembers Ahmed Al Khatib was violent even then.


It used to sometimes happen in front of me.


My sister would tell me, "It's OK, tomorrow he will change.


If I hadn't memorised my homework he used to beat me up with his belt.


Once he beat me up until my body was blue.


Rania and her family hoped her husband would change, that a move to


England would mean a safer happier life, but by the time she was in


Manchester, he was haranguing her brother on Facebook, complaining


about Rania wanting to live life away from her in`laws.


Chillingly, he wrote, "I swear, if she doesn't come back to her


senses, I swear on my daughter that we will all be sorry."


We'd tell her to be patient in the hopes that he'd change


We would tell her he is still your husband and the father


I wish I did not try to reconcile her with him.


I wish I had pushed her to divorce him long ago.


Now all the family want is to take care of Rania's children.


We want to help them close and raise them so they wouldn't make


This isn't the end of Rania Alayed's murder.


Greater Manchester Police are currently being investigated by


the police watchdog over how they handled her domestic abuse case.


And of course her body is still out there somewhere.


The police have promised they will keep searching for Rania Alayed.


An engineer has given evidence that there was serious overcrowding


at Hillsborough seven months after the tragedy which caused


The new inquests heard that the overcrowding happened during


a derby match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.


Stadium engineer John Strange said efforts had been made to re`assess


the capacity of each pen, but the calculations had been based


The man set to become Rochdale Council's new leader says he'll


press ahead with an independent inquiry into an alleged cover`up of


Richard Farnell, who's due to be confirmed


as leader tonight, says he never saw reports highlighting abuse at Knowle


View School when he previously led the Council in the early 1990s.


The family of a woman from Blackpool who died after falling 30 feet


from a wall in Menorca are raising money to bring her body home.


Kay Flitcroft, who was 30, was on holiday with her husband when she


Her relatives say she didn't have travel insurance.


If you thought fracking couldn't get any more controversial,


In today's Queen's Speech, the coalition Government outlined


its plans to make it easier to frack under people's homes.


A proposed infrastructure bill will change trespass laws,


so shale gas companies don't need permission from homeowners to drill


Opponents of fracking say today was about pomp and circumnavigation,


allowing shale gas companies to sidestep trespass laws.


The bill will enhance the United Kingdom's energy independence and


security by opening up access to shale gas and other sites. It came


as no surprise at all for that we knew they had moved the goalposts.


They tried bribing communities. As a resident of Singleton, I'm not


interested in that. We don't want it.


If passed, the new infrastructure bill would remove a huge stumbling


As it currently stands, we would have to negotiate with each


individual landowner. It's quite different for utility companies,


Telecom or coal miners, which don't have to do that. It will bring it


into line with mining and telecom companies.


Fylde coast resident Karen Ditchfield is one


of thousands who last October joined a Greenpeace campaign to block


shale gas drilling beneath their properties by using trespass laws.


Today's new proposals she says need challenging.


I am talking about educating yourself. Writing to your MP.


Writing to all the politicians, informing people. Getting


communities back together again so that they can say, no, this is not


what we want. There will still be the established system for planning


consensus, permits to drill. Environmental assessments. All that


will remain in place to provide protections which of course we


understand from the local community. Greenpeace said 74% of the British


public were opposed to these changes in the trespass laws. Greenpeace


says it will do all it can to block the proposals.


An elderly man killed by a speeding driver should share


That's the controversial claim made by a


lawyer who defended the motorist who received a suspended jail sentence.


He admitted his careless driving caused the death of Hyman Steinberg,


According to the lawyer, Mr Steinberg's orthodox Jewish


And he would have been safer if he had worn something reflective.


Rabbi Steinberg was dressed as a traditional Orthodox Jew,


all in black, when he was knocked down and killed.


Simon Martins says he didn't see Mr Steinberg until it was too late.


Rabbi Steinberg was crossing this road on his way to the synagogue


when the accident happened. The driver was travelling at 42 mph in a


30 zone and had sent a text message at all `` a short time earlier


pleaded guilty. driving. The text message was no


part of it. Is it not a bit insensitive to shift the blame onto


the man who died? Possibly, some people may view that but we say it's


We've had two deaths at the Isle of in everybody's


We've had two deaths at the Isle of Man TT which is pondered some strong


words from a pretty well`known rider who was taken part.


Yes, Scott Redding, a Moto GP rider, says he won't be taking part


Karl Harris died in a crash on Tuesday


after Bob Price had been killed in an accident the day before.


Scott tweeted this after the second death.


All the riders that finish are relieved to finish in one piece


He was a particularly good friend of Bob's who was a mentor to him


and has since explained he won't be there on Friday, not because he says


I have anything against the Isle of Man TT, but because I prefer to


mourn Bob in the places where I knew him best. Not the place


The organisers of the event have stressed they do try to make


the races as safe as possible but concede there will always be a risk.


I've heard people say the TT is too dangerous. These bikes are getting


faster. Each year, we carry out a full risk assessment with the riders


themselves so this is carried out on an annual basis. And we improve it


throughout the year. On a much more positive note,


Morecambe's John McGuiness has won He's now just five wins short


of Joey Dunlop's all`time record. John has been riding with


a wrist injury and says it was probably his best chance to notch up


a victory this week. Lancashire's cricketers had


the weather to thank after their County Championship


match against Somerset ended The Red Rose, who were following on,


needed another 122 to make But rain prevented any play


on the final day. An international football tournament


is already under way and The Isle of Man's team,


Ellan Vannin, are in the quarterfinals of their


first Conifa World Football Cup. The team were outsiders


for the tournament but have caused a big surprise by winning both


of their opening games in Sweden. Ostersunds in Sweden doesn't scream


international sporting venue at you, but it is currently home to a World


Cup and this one is a bit different. This is the World Cup for peoples


and regions outside FIFA and We're only 80,000 people yet we are


getting the opportunity to play against possibly Kurdistan,


population of 25, 30 million. We don't know but it's putting


the Isle of Man out there. In doing so, they help the team


of refugees get here too. The Manxmen fundraised so


Darfur United could fly in The first match


against Nagorno`Karabakh, and for these players,


a step into the sporting unknown. After some warming up,


time for some teeing up. We want to show people all


around the world that we can play. The Nagorno`Karabakhans, from a


disputed area in the former Soviet Union were odds`on favourite to


win and it soon became clear why. 2`0 up in little more than half


an hour but, watched by their Darfuri friends,


the Manxmen got one back before the break, equalised late on, and even


later on secured a bit of history. Frank Jones's winner made


waves back to the Irish Sea. They went on to win their group


for the game against the odds. Next up, the champions Kurdistan


in the the Well, that quarterfinal between


Ellan Vannin and Kurdistan It is 1`0. Thanks very much. The


real World Cup is not far away now. Very good. Thank you.


The First World War saw millions of ordinary people pitched into


As we continue our commemorations of the centenary of the start of


the Great War, tonight we tell the story of two little ships and their


In the latest in our series looking at the war's impact on the home


front here in the North West, I went along to find out more about


The Mersey Ferry is as much a part of Liverpool is football,


They've been shuttling passengers across the water for hundreds


But long before Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Mersey ferries


had another spectacular moment of fame when the Iris and the Daffodil


gave up the mundane commuter routine to become warriors.


One night in April 1918, they quietly sailed out of


These two little ships, along with many of their regular crew,


had been drafted in to take centre stage in one of the most audacious


The plan was to block Zeebrugge Harbour.


An important U`boat base by deliberately sinking three


Now if the ships were to get through,


the German guns along the mile`long stone jetty had to be taken on.


The Iris's and the Daffodil's job was to land


They were tubby little ferry boats that could glide over the German


minefields that had been laid outside Zeebrugge Harbour.


And they were sub`divided into so many different compartments,


And, as you can see on this modern ferry,


which almost replicates what they were like, they were a high`density


passenger` carrying ship so you could cram lots or soldiers


on board. The idea was to put up smokescreen to get


the Royal Marines off to attack the


U`boat base. The wind blew in the


opposite direction so they were


terribly exposed and unfortunately, the


Iris was shelled and a bomb went through


her deck and killed something like 49 of


the 56 Marines that were there. Terrible


carnage. The Daffodil suffered


two shells going through the engine


room, so they suffered very badly.


The battered ferries limped back across


the Channel and, a few weeks later,


Pathe newsreel cameras recorded


their triumphant return to the


Mersey. Civic dignitaries queued


up to view the bullet holes and


shrapnel damage. When these two


little ships, which I suppose you could


see them as the Davids against the


Goliaths of the German Imperial


Navy, went over and did their bit in


Zeebrugge, they were welcomed like


nothing before. So they were put on


display in Canning Dock. They were open


to the public. The two boats were in a


terrible state when they came back but


they were restored and then put back


into public service. The two ships were


scrapped in the 1920s. Their


glorious past couldn't save them


from the breaker's yard. But their


exploits earned them the prefix Royal.


Today's Iris and Royal Daffodil still


bear that royal title. A living


memorial to the two little ships and


their crews who, for a few terrifying


hours off the coast of Belgium, swapped


the humdrum for the I had no idea Mersey ferries were


involved. You picked a drizzly day to film it. , yes, we did,


unfortunately. The Dutch painter Mondrian was one


of the most important abstract You might recognise


his most famous works by their Now the largest ever British


exhibition of his neo`plastic paintings is being


assembled at the Tate Liverpool. It includes some never seen


in this country But the exhibition's curator


Francesco Manacorda has given us Mondrian played


an incredible role in setting up He was one


of the pioneers who invented how canvas and painting could be used to


invent a new reality. Here we are inside the


reconstruction of the studio that Mondrian had in Paris in the 20s and


30s which has been put here inside Tate Liverpool as a starting point


of an exhibition which looks at how the painter used this place


and which works he produced in There are two quite important


connections between Mondrian The first one has to do with these


two paintings that we put side`by`side because they were here


in 1936 at an exhibition, which created an audience


for Mondrian in this country. Which also was one of the reasons


why he decided to migrate to London The second reason, most importantly,


is in this. We can see the list of passengers


of the Cunard ship that left from Liverpool, from that very pier we


can see from this window and in this Essentially, the connection


between Liverpool and Mondrian is a very important one because he


left Europe, not just this country, but this country and moved to


the US from that very pier. He had an incredible influence


on architects and fashion designers and his legacy is incredible still


today with people referencing his ability to create quite


remarkable and dynamic compositions We are incredibly proud here


in Liverpool to have an exhibition that gathers the highest number


of abstract works that has never Interesting. You turned into a


snake. Anaconda. There was a time when weather forecasters didn't have


computer`generated graphics. They had things on the back of the screen


to stick on. How I long for that because I've worked all day on it


and in the last five minutes, the whole thing is disappeared.


Everything you do is reversed on the chart. Somebody else made an error.


The F slipped down the chart and you may find it offensive. Some


significant changes. This has been the picture for us today. It has


been grey, overcast and at times, fairly wet. The West has been best


today. The worst of the rain away from the coast. What we are


expecting to happen for the next couple of days is a much warmer


conditions to move in from the south. As they bump into a line of


weather on Saturday, the Met Office 's warning potentially we could have


some very, very thundery downpours so we're looking ahead to that.


There will be spots of rain through the night school, 9`12. Tomorrow,


not the best of starts. It doesn't last for long. It will clear very,


very quickly and it on improving picture for tomorrow. Writer skies


through the afternoon. 16 Celsius. 20 by Friday. My age.


Thank you. We believe that there. Hopefully it's working again at


10:30 p.m.. At night. `` good night. When the first travellers crossed


America, they were faced with this - The very nature of


the American personality was defined. Ray Mears explores


the land behind the Hollywood legend and discovers the wild


that made the West.


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