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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.