In pictures: Life after the Army

Photographer Ed Gold interviewed soldiers who served in Afghanistan and asked them about their experiences of adjusting to civilian life. Soldiers Callum Wright, Scott Meenagh, Geoff Dunn, Dan Eccles and Terry Jones all served in the Parachute Regiment, known as the Paras. Ed worked with the Paras as a photojournalist in the UK and in Afghanistan, taking thousands of images of army life. The photos shown here document the Para soldiers between July 2010 and July 2011 and when he caught up with them again in 2018 after they left the Army. Callum Wright Initially, Callum wanted to be a tank transporter like his two older brothers but then decided he would rather be in the “nitty gritty” of combat …

Hospital infection inquiry begins at Holyrood

They want to examine whether infection control is adequate and whether more can be done to improve patient safety. Image copyright Andrew Cowan Image caption Lewis Macdonald wants to understand the scale of the problem The Cryptococcus which was found is believed to be from pigeon droppings located in a plant room on the hospital’s roof. Prosecutors are also investigating the death of a third patient at the QEUH. A 63-year-old woman was one of two patients affected by the fungal infection Mucor in January. Separately, 23 children contracted bloodstream infections in the cancer wards at the Royal Hospital for Children – which shares the Queen Elizabeth campus – between January and September last year. The infections were thought to …

Grime music being ‘stifled’, MPs say

They called on the government to come up with new guidelines for police and local authorities, which would “ensure that urban music acts are not unfairly targeted”. As part of its investigation, the committee invited rapper ShaoDow to tell them about his experiences and he explained that he had faced frustrations when attempting to put on shows in London. “I had a venue cancel on me on the day that I was meant to go there,” he said. “I was booked for a performance in a club and called them ahead of time to say, ‘I am on my way’, and they said, ‘Oh, by the way, we were just listening to your music. You make hip-hop’. “I said, ‘Yes’, …

Irans threats to BBC Persian staff must be confronted

Shocking harassment of journalists and their families should get wider media attention Tyrannical regimes seek to control what their populations read, see and hear, lest the people obtain information that might encourage them to question the power that subjugates them. Some go to extraordinary lengths, reaching far outside their borders, to prevent that happening. One obvious example was the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabias consulate in Turkey last October. A single, bloody act, it made headlines around the world. As it should have. By contrast, sadly, too little attention has been paid to an insidious long-run campaign of persecution by the Iranian authorities against the staff of the BBC Persian service. It is marked by cowardice and …

The story behind the Sala transfer flights

From the beginning of December through to a few days before the fatal crash, a succession of journeys were made between the UK and France by the various parties involved in the transfer deal. Football agent Willie McKay, who brokered the deal, has said he and his family arranged and paid for these flights. What do we know about these flights? A BBC Wales investigation has found the flights were conducted by three different companies or individuals. We understand that all were filed on flight plans as “general aviation” – therefore private, rather than commercial flights – and that none flew under an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) An AOC is a licence which charter companies obtain from the CAA – …

Fans and players celebrate Grand Slam

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWales won an emphatic 25-7 victory over Ireland at the Principality Stadium on Saturday Hundreds of rugby fans joined the Wales national team in Cardiff Bay to celebrate winning the Grand Slam. Celebrations after victory over Ireland to win the Six Nations continued throughout the weekend. They included a special event at the Senedd to mark a fourth Slam in 14 years. Receiving big cheers from the crowd, head coach Warren Gatland said how he has “really loved his time here.” Live updates: Celebrations at Cardiff Bay after Wales’ Grand Slam victory He added that when he joined the team: “There was no way to go but up.” Image caption First Minister …

Women’s football looks to the future

International team manager Alfie Wylie says the traditional stereotypes and prejudices – that football is a game for boys and men – no longer apply. He said the game now has an infrastructure to allow the best players to flourish. “There has been fantastic development in the women’s game over the last 17 years,” he told BBC News NI. “The women’s game is very much accepted now and the IFA has continued to lead and develop the women’s game at all levels,” he said. Image copyright IFA Image caption Developing talent is now a key objective for the sport’s governing body Caoimhe McLaughlin has been with Derry City since she was 13 and is now both player and assistant manager. …

Outpouring of support from UK after NZ attack

Image copyright PA Image caption A man hands out flowers to Muslims as they leave Birmingham Central Mosque as Friday prayers finish Report End of Twitter post by @sandwellcouncil People gathered for prayers at mosques across the UK, including at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, which urged its community to “be more vigilant than ever”. Meanwhile, Finsbury Park Mosque, whose worshippers were targeted in a terror attack in June 2017, shared a picture of flowers and a note of support which it had received from members of the local community. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionLondon imam Mohammed Mahmoud calls for a crackdown on far-right extremism Mohammed Mahmoud, who made headlines when he stood …

Prisoners in England to be taught code

The hope is that the trials will eventually lead to a network of coding workshops in UK prisons. The programme is modelled on the Last Mile project in the San Quentin prison, in California, which has helped almost 500 offenders find jobs after release, with none of those taking part reoffending. That compares with a national reoffending rate in the US of 55%. Reoffending in the UK is estimated to cost around £15bn, according to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Minster for Digital Margot James said: “The government is committed to stopping the cycle of reoffending and a valuable asset to prevent recidivism is employment. “Equipping offenders with coding skills will help them into life-changing work and …

Jaguar Land Rover recalls 44,000 cars

The affected models are: Some two-litre 2016 to 2018 Land Rover Discovery and Discovery Sport cars Certain two litre Range Rover Evoque, Sport, and Velar cars Jaguar E-Pace, F-Pace, F-Type, XE and XF cars. Most models are petrol, while some are diesel. Some of the models will need physical repairs in a dealership, while some will need software updates, the spokeswoman said. “The modifications made to affected vehicles will be made free of charge and every effort will be made to minimise inconvenience to the customer during the short time required for the work to be carried out,” the firm added. In January the firm confirmed it is cutting 4,500 jobs, with the substantial majority coming from its 40,000 strong …

Johnson comments on child abuse ‘horrific’

Man City launch abuse victim payment fund ’80 coaches convicted of child sex abuse’ Who is Barry Bennell? Chris Unsworth, director of the Offside Trust, the organisation set up by survivors of child sexual abuse in football in the wake of the football abuse scandal, said Mr Johnson’s comments were “ignorant, dangerous, disgraceful and unbelievably distasteful”. “Not only has he caused untold upset and offence among survivors and their families affected by child abuse, he has failed to understand that learning mistakes from the past is critical to keeping our children today safe. “Boris Johnson clearly has no understanding whatsoever of the issues involved. On behalf of the thousands of people impacted by child abuse we demand an apology.” Report …

What links fairies and free school meals?

Image caption Scotch barley broth was spooned out at Green Lane Primary by head teacher Jonathan Priestley, father of Bradford writer JB Priestley Bradford is believed to have been the first UK city to offer its poor children free school meals. The first meal, of scotch barley broth and fruit tart, was served to pupils at Green Lane Primary School in Manningham on 28 October 1907. Image caption Prof David Sharpe demonstrating the Bradford sling with BBC Countryfile’s John Craven Prof David Sharpe was a newly-qualified plastic surgeon when a fire broke out at Bradford City’s Valley Parade ground on 11 May 1985, killing 56 people. He treated many of the injured in the immediate aftermath and went on to …

BBC investigated over pay discrimination

“We try to be the gold standard of what everyone wants from society – openness, respect and equality. We may not always succeed, but I am confident that we are a decent and fair employer. And, of course, if there’s more we can do, we will.” The EHRC said it “suspects that there has been unlawful pay discrimination by the BBC… in the period prior to the introduction of these recent reforms. “The Commission recognises the BBC’s commitment to reform and its desire to work collaboratively in ensuring that the reforms are fully refined and embedded. Against that background, the Commission wishes to review whether such reforms have fully corrected any potential historic unlawful pay discrimination.” Follow us on Facebook, …