from BBC News for Staffordshire
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Liverpool will host Everton in the third round of the FA Cup, while Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United will travel to Arsenal.Holders Manchester City will welcome League Two side Port Vale and Manchester United go to Wolves in a repeat of last season’s quarter-final.National League side AFC Fylde, the lowest ranked team definitely through to the third round, will travel to Premier League Sheffield United.
The ties take place from 3-6 January.Boston, of the sixth-tier National League North, will host Premier League opposition in Newcastle United, if they can come through a replay against Rochdale on Tuesday, 10 December.Fellow non-league sides Hartlepool and Eastleigh also face replays, but could meet Oxford United and Barnsley respectively should they progress.Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton meet on Wednesday night in the Premier League, with both sides in wildly differing form.Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are eight points clear at the top of the league, while Everton sit two points above the relegation zone with pressure mounting on boss Marco Silva.All three of the most recent meetings between Leeds and Arsenal have come in the third round of the FA Cup, the Gunners winning 1-0 in 2012 and also prevailing 3-1 in a replay in January 2011, following a 1-1 draw.Wolves reached their first FA Cup semi-final in 21 years by beating Manchester United in last season’s quarters, while Manchester City will be wary of falling victim to lower-league Port Vale after going out to then-League One side Wigan in the fifth round in 2018.Draw in fullLeicester City v Wigan AthleticQPR v Swansea CityFulham v Aston VillaChelsea v Nottingham ForestWolves v Manchester UnitedCharlton Athletic v West BromRochdale or Boston United v Newcastle UnitedCardiff City v Forest Green Rovers or Carlisle UnitedOxford United v Exeter City or Hartlepool UnitedSheffield United v AFC FyldeSouthampton v Huddersfield TownLiverpool v EvertonBristol City v Shrewsbury TownBournemouth v Luton TownBrighton v Sheffield WednesdayBristol Rovers or Plymouth Argyle v Coventry City or Ipswich TownEastleigh or Crewe Alexandra v BarnsleyManchester City v Port ValeMiddlesbrough v TottenhamReading v BlackpoolWatford v Tranmere RoversPreston v Norwich CityMillwall v Newport CountyCrystal Palace v Derby CountyRotherham United v Hull CityBrentford v Stoke CityFleetwood Town v PortsmouthArsenal v Leeds UnitedGillingham v West Ham UnitedBurton Albion v Northampton TownBurnley v Peterborough UnitedBirmingham City v Blackburn Rovers
Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v RangersVenue: Pittodrie Date: Wednesday, 4 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMTCoverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online, updates on the BBC Sport websiteDerek McInnes admits Aberdeen’s players may be sold for “the right offer”, but says there have been no discussions with Stoke City over Sam Cosgrove.Reports indicated the English Championship club had been given a £4m valuation for the striker, 23.The Pittodrie boss insists his club are in a “strong position to say yes or no” to offers for any players in January.
“There has been no conversation with any Championship club,” manager McInnes said. “If a bid gets put in for any of our players it’s up to our board to consider but from my conversations with the board we all know how important Sam is to us. If the right offer comes in for any of our players, players will be sold, that’s the way it is.”But we’re confident enough that we want to make sure the right offers come in. We can’t do anything about that – all we can do is if the offer comes in be in a strong position to say yes or no, and I think we are in a position to say yes or no and that’s not always the case.”The English striker – who celebrated his birthday on Monday – struck his 18th goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 win over St Mirren.Cosgrove up there with anybody – McInnes
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George Boden denies the gross negligence manslaughter of four of his employees in a blast in Cheshire.
The Mayor of London is among those expected to attend a vigil for the victims of the London Bridge attack in the capital later.Jack Merritt, 25, and Saskia Jones, 23, will be honoured in a remembrance service at Guildhall Yard in the City.It will pay tribute to those who were injured, the emergency services and members of the public who responded.It comes amid an urgent review of the licence conditions of convicted terrorists released from prison.A book of condolences will be opened at Guildhall Art Gallery, and members of the public will be invited to lay flowers outside nearby Mansion House.The service will take place at 11:00 GMT, less than a mile from Fishmongers’ Hall, where convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, launched his attack on Friday.Khan, who was released from prison in December 2018 after serving half of his sentence, was later shot dead by police on London Bridge.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that 74 people jailed for terror offences and released early will have their licence conditions reviewed.Later that day, Staffordshire Police said a 34-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts – but added there was no information to suggest the man was involved in the London Bridge attack.Mr Merritt and Ms Jones were both University of Cambridge graduates, and had been attending an event for the university’s Learning Together programme – which focuses on prisoner rehabilitation – when they were attacked.Their families have paid tribute to their loved ones.Ms Jones’ family said their daughter, from Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, had a “great passion” for supporting victims of criminal justice.”Saskia was a funny, kind, positive influence at the centre of many people’s lives,” the family statement read.”She had a wonderful sense of mischievous fun and was generous to the point of always wanting to see the best in all people.”She was intent on living life to the full and had a wonderful thirst for knowledge, enabling her to be the best she could be.”This is an extremely painful time for the family. Saskia will leave a huge void in our lives and we would request that our privacy is fully respected.”In a statement, Mr Merritt’s family described him as a “talented boy” who “died doing what he loved”.”Jack lived his principles; he believed in redemption and rehabilitation, not revenge, and he always took the side of the underdog.”Jack was an intelligent, thoughtful and empathetic person.”We know Jack would not want this terrible, isolated incident to be used as a pretext by the government for introducing even more draconian sentences on prisoners, or for detaining people in prison for longer than necessary,” the statement read.
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Cambridge University’s vice-chancellor said he was “devastated to learn that among the victims were staff and alumni”.Prof Stephen J Toope said: “What should have been a joyous opportunity to celebrate the achievements of this unique and socially transformative programme, hosted by our Institute of Criminology, was instead disrupted by an unspeakable criminal act.”Among the three people injured, whose identities have not been publicly released, is a member of university staff.”Our university condemns this abhorrent and senseless act of terror.”Speaking to the BBC, Prof Toope said the fact Mr Merritt was killed by someone he was trying to help “is the greatest tragedy of all”.”I have profound sadness for the family,” he added.”This is an attack on our community and it was intended, in such, to produce a form of terror and sadness – and it has clearly done that.”London Bridge itself was cordoned off for most of the weekend to allow forensic work to be carried out but has now been reopened to traffic.
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Toby Williamson, chief executive of Fishmongers’ Hall, praised the bravery of his staff who intervened to stop the attacker, hailing their actions as “extraordinary things done by ordinary people”.”There was a scream, there was blood. People thought it was an exercise at first,” Mr Williamson told the BBC. He recounted how two men, named as Lukasz and Andy, “used fire extinguishers, chairs and narwhal tusks ripped off the wall” to fend off Khan and drive him out of the building.”They took a decision, one that enough was enough. They were determined it wasn’t going to go on.””They are two of the most humble people… but in the heat of the moment, people do extraordinary things.”I am very proud to know them.”The vigil at Guildhall Yard follows a service for the victims on Sunday at Southwark Cathedral, which was attended by hundreds.The Dean of Southwark Cathedral, the Very Reverend Andrew Nunn, said many people were struggling with what happened.On Friday, the cathedral was put into lockdown as people ran away from London Bridge.As crowds ran towards the cathedral, the dean recalled having “that sense of déjà vu”, adding that it brought back memories of the nearby attack in Borough Market two years ago, which left eight dead and 48 injured.Speaking at Sunday’s service, the dean said “memories have been stirred and wounds have been re-opened”.He added: “What seemed to have been put to the back of people’s minds has now been brought to the fore.”We have to stand with them. We have to help bear their pain but also speak to that pain with words of hope.”He also praised the bravery of the people who confronted Khan as he carried out his attack.”Every event of this nature produces stories of such selfless acts of bravery.”Dr Vin Diwaker, medical director for the NHS in London, gave an update on the conditions of the three people who were injured in the attack.He said: “One of the people injured in the London Bridge incident has now been able to return home. “Two people remain in a stable condition and continue to receive expert care in hospital.”
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Friday’s attack comes after the UK’s terrorism threat level was downgraded on 4 November from “severe” to “substantial”, meaning that attacks were thought to be “likely” rather than “highly likely”.The terror threat level is reviewed every six months by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, which makes recommendations independent of government.
Stoke City striker Benik Afobe says he and his family are “devastated and heartbroken” after his two-year-old daughter Amora died on Friday.The 26-year-old, who is on a season-long loan deal with Bristol City, released a statement on Sunday.”Amora was taken to hospital for treatment after unexpectedly developing a severe infection,” it said.
“Unfortunately she then suffered a number of serious complications and, despite doctors doing absolutely everything that they could, Amora passed away peacefully with the love of her family by her side.”The entire family have been left totally devastated and heartbroken, and would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this incredibly difficult time.”Bristol City have dedicated their 5-2 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday to Afobe.Afobe is likely to miss the rest of the season after sustaining a serious knee injury in September.Football pays tributeStoke tweeted their condolences to Afobe, saying: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Stoke City are with Benik Afobe following this morning’s tragic news.”We’ll be with you, Benik.”His former club Wolverhampton Wanderers also sent a message of support, tweeting: “Our hearts break for Benik Afobe and his family following the tragic news of his daughter’s passing this weekend.”The Wolves family are with you, Benik.”Afobe’s former Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere said: “Benik, my brother, my words will never mean enough to express how deeply sorry I am for your loss, and I know that no words will heal the pain in your hearts right now, just know I am here for you, Lois and your family always. “Amora’s infectious smile will live on in our hearts forever. I love you my friend. Stay strong.”View more on twitter
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50589207
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50589179
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50589158
Police have named the London Bridge attacker as Usman Khan, who was previously jailed for his part in a plot 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 he was shot dead by armed police.He had been living in Stafford since being released from prison on licence last December, the BBC has been told.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.At the time, Lord Justice Leveson said: “There is an argument for concluding that anyone convicted of such an offence should be incentivised to demonstrate that he can safely be released; such a decision is then better left to the Parole Board for consideration proximate in time to the date when release becomes possible.”Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Khan was originally jailed along with eight others.The men, inspired by the ideology of al-Qaeda, had been under surveillance by MI5.The group of nine had been engaged in several plans, one of which involved a plot to put a pipe bomb in the London Stock Exchange.Khan and other plotters from Stoke had also been heard discussing potential attacks in their city, including leaving explosive devices in toilets in pubs and clubs in the Stoke area.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 which 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.”They engaged with the others who were contemplating short term attacks in the UK but rightly considered themselves to be more serious jihadis than the others.”
A 26-year-old man has set up an organisation to support young people leaving care after his own struggles with it.Bernardo Pezo, from Stoke-on-Trent, was getting arrested on a weekly basis by the time he turned 18 – squarely blaming it on a lack of support and guidance.He managed to turn his life around and founded 4UProgress, which has already helped dozens of young people.Bernardo would like to see a new government make radical changes to the care system.Video journalist: Louise Brierley