Tributes have been paid to three British nationals who died when a Ukrainian plane crashed in Iran.
Mohammed Reza Kadkhoda Zadeh, who owned a dry cleaners, BP engineer Sam Zokaei and PhD student and engineer Saeed Tahmasebi were all on board the flight.
They were among the 176 people from seven countries who died in the crash.
Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 crashed just after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).
The airline said the plane underwent scheduled maintenance on Monday.
A Downing Street spokesman said the UK was “working closely with the Ukrainian authorities and the Iranian authorities” over the crash, and there was “no indication” the plane was brought down by a missile.
As well as the three Britons, the victims in the crash included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians – including all of the crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans, Ukraine foreign affairs minister Vadym Prystaiko said.
Rescue teams have been sent to the crash site but the head of Iran’s Red Crescent told state media that it was “impossible” for anyone to have survived the crash.
Tributes were paid locally to Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh, 40, who ran a neighbourhood dry cleaners in Hassocks, West Sussex, and had a nine-year-old daughter.
Steve Edgington from the pet shop next door said he had known Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh for 14 years, and described him as a lovely, hardworking man who was good at his job and loved by staff.
Savvas Savvidis, 36, who rented a room in Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh’s home in Brighton, said he was a “super-nice person”.
“It’s so sad. Before he left we had a conversation, he told me that he spent all his life working, working really hard, and now finally he wants to start to enjoy life a bit more.”
Mr Savvidis described Mr Kadkhoda Zadeh as a humble man who loved his daughter very much.
The dry cleaners closed on Wednesday, with neighbouring businesses telling the BBC that staff were too upset to stay open.
Meanwhile, in a statement, BP said “with the deepest regret” that its employee Mr Zokaei, 42, from Twickenham, was among the passengers.
Mr Zokaei had been on holiday. He had worked for BP for 14 years and was based at the company’s site in Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic loss of our friend and colleague and all of our thoughts are with his family and friends,” BP said.
A friend of Mr Zokaei, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC they were “still in shock”.
“He was a highly accomplished person. Very clever and very friendly. Always smiling and full of positive energy. He will be sorely missed.
“He was always trying new adventures. He cycled and toured Europe on bikes a few times. He also loved travelling to interesting far out places.”
Also killed was Mr Tahmasebi, 35, who worked as an engineer for Laing O’Rourke in Dartford.
Last year, Mr Tahmasebi married his Iranian partner, Niloufar Ebrahim, who was also listed as a passenger on the plane.
“Everyone here is shocked and saddened by this very tragic news,” said Laing O’Rourke.
“Saeed was a popular and well respected engineer and will be missed by many of his colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time and we will do all we can to support them through it.”
‘Humble and generous’
Mr Tahmasebi – whose full name was Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi – was also a part-time PhD student at Imperial College London’s Centre for Systems Engineering and Innovation.
A spokeswoman for the university said: “We are deeply saddened at this tragic news. Saeed Tahmasebi Khademasadi was a brilliant engineer with a bright future.
“His contributions to systems engineering earned respect from everyone who dealt with him and will benefit society for years to come.
“He was a warm, humble and generous colleague and close friend to many in our community. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Saeed’s family, friends and colleagues, as well as all those affected by this tragedy.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions earlier, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both said their thoughts were with the families of those killed.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman has said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in the plane crash in Iran overnight.”
They said it was “urgently seeking confirmation” about how many British nationals were on board and would be supporting any families affected.
Melinda Simmons, British ambassador to Ukraine, said her thoughts are with those affected.
Ukraine’s state aviation service has forbidden its national airlines from using Iranian airspace from Thursday, with the restrictions in place until an investigation into the cause of the crash has concluded.
Ukraine’s embassy in Tehran and Iranian state television both initially said technical issues caused the crash.
But the embassy later removed this statement and said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.
Ukraine said its entire civilian aviation fleet would be checked for airworthiness and criminal proceedings would be opened into the disaster.
The country’s president warned against “speculation or unchecked theories regarding the catastrophe” until official reports were ready.
Ukrainian International Airlines said the flight disappeared from radar just a “few minutes” after take-off.
The Ukrainian national carrier said according to preliminary data there were 167 passengers and nine crew members on board but its staff were “clarifying the exact number”.
“The airline expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the air crash and will do everything possible to support the relatives of the victims,” a statement said.
The airline, which is investigating the crash, said the aircraft – a Boeing 737-800 – was built in 2016 and had its last scheduled maintenance on Monday.
There was no sign of any problems with the plane before take-off and the airline’s president said it had an “excellent, reliable crew”.
A statement from Boeing said its “heartfelt thoughts” were with all those affected following the “tragic event”.
There are several thousand Boeing 737-800s in operation around the world which have completed tens of millions of flights. They have been involved in 10 incidents, including this crash, where at least one passenger was killed, aviation safety analyst Todd Curtis told the BBC.
This is the first time a Ukraine International Airlines plane has been involved in a fatal crash.
Crystal Palace substitute Connor Wickham scored a late equaliser awarded by video assistant referee to deny bottom side Norwich a much-needed victory at Carrow Road.
Wickham’s strike after turning in Wilfried Zaha’s cross was initially disallowed for offside, but a check by VAR showed the striker was being played on by an outstretched Norwich boot.
Palace had struggled to create against a resolute Canaries defence – who remain without a clean sheet at home this season – after Todd Cantwell put the hosts in front after only four minutes.
But Norwich ultimately paid for not scoring a decisive second, having come close several times, with Emiliano Buendia drawing a fine save from Palace keeper Vicente Guaita and Kenny McLean hitting the underside of the crossbar.
A renewed Palace surged forward in search of a late winner but Norwich held firm to avoid further damage.
But the Canaries are now five points adrift at the bottom of the table following Watford’s win over Wolves earlier on Wednesday.
More to follow
Christmas dinners have been served to Londoners who are reliant on the city’s homelessness services.
Hairdressers and opticians were also made available at City Hall before guests were given a three-course meal.
Last year, 8,855 people were seen rough sleeping in London, an 18% increase since last year, and more than double the number in 2010.
“Events like this help bring a sense of community back in to London,” Claire, a former rough sleeper, told the BBC.
Claire, who spent 30 years either living on the streets or in prison, said: “It’s the type of event that does matter. It forms partnerships and builds bonds.
“If it wasn’t for the support of St Mungo’s, I’d either be dead or doing what I was before.”
Guests were chosen from the thousands of Londoners that currently receive assistance from services funded by City Hall and delivered by charities St Mungo’s and Thames Reach.
But Claire said services were still “hit and miss”.
“Where I live I’m still waiting for support with my mental health,” she added.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “St Mungo’s and Thames Reach are struggling with finances.
“Since I became mayor we’ve more than doubled the amount of money we’ve spent on rough sleeping and the size of our outreach team.
“But we’re just scratching the surface. We’ve not got the money or the resources to do much more – as it is I’m criticised for going outside my remit and my power.
“It is both heartbreaking and shameful that in one of the richest cities in the world we still have the levels rough sleeping that we do.”
Last year 15,470 people were accepted as being homeless by London councils.
There were 55,000 families living in temporary accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels.
Hundreds more people are estimated to be sleeping on London’s night buses.
Petra Salva, Director of Rough Sleeper Services at St Mungo’s, said: “It’s wonderful that the Mayor has opened the doors of City Hall for this festive event.
“Christmas can be a time of mixed emotions for clients in our services and our staff work hard to support those who stay with us over the holiday period.”
The streets of Westminster have some of the highest number of rough sleepers in the UK.
But, the borough council’s outreach team is out every night of the year finding those people and offering them support to get them off the street, hopefully for good
BBC London spent the evening with Robert White, who leads Westminster’s outreach team.
A survivor of the Hyde Park bombing has described the explosion which killed four of his fellow soldiers.
Simon Utley was 18 years old and on his first guard duty with the Household Cavalry when the car bomb exploded on 20 July 1982.
Mr Utley was speaking during the civil action against John Downey brought by the daughter of one of those killed.
In 2014, a criminal prosecution against Mr Downey collapsed in controversial circumstances.
It did so after it emerged that Mr Downey had received an assurance from the government that he was not wanted in connection with any offence.
Mr Downey is not being represented at the civil case.
The 1982 blast killed Squadron Quartermaster Cpl Roy Bright, 36, Lt Dennis Daly, 23, Trooper Simon Tipper, 19, and L/Cpl Jeffrey Young, 19.
L/Cpl Young’s daughter, Sarah Young, is bringing a High Court action on behalf of a number of the victims’ relatives against Mr Downey.
Giving evidence in London on Wednesday, Mr Utley’s voice wavered with emotion as he told the court what happened at the time of the blast.
“I was riding along, it was my first guard so I was excited,” he said.
“I remember I was talking to the guy to my left, just asking about what I would be doing later on … and then the bomb went off.
“It was a noise that I can’t describe, but it was a painful noise because it took my eardrum out.”
Finger print evidence
Earlier on Wednesday, the court was told that fingerprint evidence links Mr Downey to the IRA car bomb used to murder four soldiers at Hyde Park in London 37 years ago.
Five prints were found on two parking tickets relating to the car on days leading up to the attack in July 1982.
However, the court heard he has denied involvement in the Hyde Park attack.
A lawyer for the relative bringing the case told the court the “fingerprint evidence is damning”.
“[Mr Downey] has no answer to it,” added the lawyer.
The attack was described as “precision murder”.
A 20lb (9kg) bomb packed with nails and placed in the boot of a car was detonated by remote control as the soldiers rode past on the way to Whitehall.
The lawyer said its objective was “cold-blooded killing with vicious brutality and maximum harm – [Mr Downey] is liable for this”.
So-called “on-the-run” letters were issued as part of the Northern Ireland peace agreement in 1998.
The judge in the criminal trial ruled the letter guaranteed Mr Downey would not face trial and that to proceed was an abuse of executive power.
The civil proceedings are due to last for three days and are similar to a landmark case brought in 2009 by relatives of those killed in the 1998 Omagh bomb.
Civil cases have a much lower burden of proof than in criminal prosecutions, with a judge reaching a verdict based on the balance of probabilities.
Mr Downey is remanded in custody at Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland facing other charges.
The 67-year-old from Creeslough in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland is accused of murdering Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) soldiers Alfred Johnston and James Eames in an IRA bomb attack in Enniskillen in County Fermanagh in 1972.
Who are the “on-the-runs”?
The Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement of 1998 meant anyone convicted of paramilitary crimes was eligible for early release.
However, that did not cover those suspected of such crimes, nor did it cover people who had been charged or convicted but who had escaped from prison.
Negotiations continued after the signing of the agreement between Sinn Féin and the government over how to deal with those known as “on-the-runs”.
Sinn Féin sought a scheme that would allow escaped prisoners and those who were concerned they might be arrested to return to the UK but a formal legal solution proved difficult to establish in the face of strong unionist opposition.
Against that backdrop, the IRA had still not put its weapons beyond use and Sinn Féin needed grassroots republicans to continue supporting the peace process.
Former England captain Bob Willis has died at the age of 70.
The fast bowler took 325 wickets in 90 Tests from 1971 to 1984, claiming a career-best 8-43 to help England to a famous win over Australia at Headingley in the 1981 Ashes.
He captained England in 18 Tests and 29 one-day internationals before his retirement from all forms of cricket in 1984.
In a statement, Willis’ family said he had died “after a long illness”.
“We are heartbroken to lose our beloved Bob, who was an incredible husband, father, brother and grandfather,” the statement continued.
“He made a huge impact on everybody he knew and we will miss him terribly.”
Willis subsequently worked as a summariser on BBC TV before joining Sky Sports as a commentator in 1991.
He continued to work for Sky and was part of their coverage of this summer’s Ashes series.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said it was “deeply saddened to say farewell” to a “legend of English cricket”.
“We are forever thankful for everything he has done for the game,” it added. “Cricket has lost a dear friend.”
Willis represented Surrey for the first two years of his professional career before spending 12 years at Warwickshire, finishing with 899 wickets from 308 first-class matches at an average of 24.99.
In a statement on Twitter, Surrey said the club was “devastated” by the news of Willis’ passing.
The Sunderland-born bowler made his international debut aged 21 in the 1971 Ashes after being called up to replace the injured Alan Ward and played the final four Tests of the seven-match series as England won 2-0.
Despite needing surgery on both knees in 1975, he became one of the finest fast bowlers of his generation, playing another nine years and claiming his 325 wickets at an impressive average of 25.20.
At the time of Willis’ retirement, only Australia fast bowler Dennis Lillee had taken more Test wickets.
James Anderson (575), Stuart Broad (471) and Ian Botham (383) are the only England bowlers to have since surpassed Willis’ tally.
|Bob Willis career record|
The pinnacle of Willis’ international career was arguably the stunning 18-run victory against Australia in the third Test of the 1981 Ashes at Headingley.
England, trailing 1-0 in the series, were forced to follow on and needed Botham’s spectacular 149 not out to force Australia to bat again, setting them 129 to win.
With his Test career on the line, Willis produced a devastating spell, taking a Test-best 8-43 as Australia were dismissed for 111.
England went on to win the series 3-1 and Willis finished with 29 wickets at 22.96 in six matches.
He was appointed captain for the 1982 India tour of England after Keith Fletcher was sacked.
Willis oversaw a weakened team during his tenure, after the likes of Graham Gooch, Geoffrey Boycott and Derek Underwood were banned from international cricket for three years from 1982 for taking part in a rebel tour to South Africa.
He finished with a record of seven wins, five defeats and six draws from his 18 Tests in charge before he was sacked and replaced with David Gower prior to what proved to be Willis’ final Test series against West Indies in 1984.
In 29 ODIs under Willis, England won 16 and lost 13.
Willis made his ODI debut in 1973 and played in the 1979 World Cup but sustained a recurrence of his knee injury in the semi-final win over New Zealand and missed the final, which West Indies won by 92 runs.
He captained England at the 1983 World Cup where his side were beaten by eventual winners India in the semi-finals.
Willis played his final ODI in 1984, finishing with a record of 80 wickets from 64 matches at an average of 24.60.
Willis moved into commentary soon after his playing career ended and worked alongside former team-mates Botham and Gower.
After moving away from live commentary and summariser duties in 2006, Willis continued to work as a pundit on Sky Sports programmes such as The Debate and The Verdict.
He was frequently firm in his criticism of current players, which was seen by some as being unfair.
Yet Willis also played up to his persona and had a humorous side, telling current captain Joe Root he would “have you back in the dock” with bared teeth after the England batsman’s impersonation of Willis during the 2015 Ashes.
Middlesex have re-signed Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for next season’s Twenty20 Blast campaign.
The 18-year-old took seven wickets in 10 games last season and will be available for all 14 of their group stage matches in 2020.
Mujeeb made his debut for his country at the age of 16 and featured in this year’s World Cup.
“I enjoyed my time at Middlesex so much, so I am very pleased to be coming back,” he said.
Meanwhile, the club have awarded England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan a testimonial year in 2020.
The 33-year-old made his debut for the county’s first XI in 2005.
A security guard who raped and sexually assaulted girls stopped for shoplifting has been jailed for 14 years.
Zia Uddin, 27, of Manor Park, Newham, east London, attacked four 15-year-old girls at the Kingston Primark in 2017.
He threatened to call the police and inform their parents if they did not perform sexual acts on him in the control room of the store.
Uddin was convicted of rape and four counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He has also been banned from working with children.
During his trial, Kingston Crown Court heard his colleagues had noticed his strange behaviour, which included making requests to delete CCTV and not properly completing paperwork on shoplifting.
He was also known to keep condoms in the control room where he attacked his victims, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
He threatened to call the police if they did not comply with his demands, it added.
Prosecutors said one girl only did as he asked because “there was no other choice” and it was the only way out of the situation.
Graham Partridge, of the CPS, said Uddin “preyed on young girls in a vulnerable situation”.
“Having worked in security, Uddin was also well aware of the CCTV camera ‘blind spots’ and took advantage of these in order to carry out his offending.”
After the sentencing a Primark spokeswoman said: “This has been a horrendous ordeal for the victims and their families and we are truly sorry for what they have suffered. Our thoughts are very much with them.”
An “angry pig” confronted engineers in a London street, delaying their repair of a burst water main before it was led away with a bag of crisps.
The pipe burst on Lamberts Road, Surbiton, damaging nearby railway equipment, which caused train delays.
Thames Water said their efforts to reach a valve to cut the water were initially hindered by “a large pig” which was “acting aggressively”.
It is not known what flavour crisps were used to lead it away.
Damage caused by the flooding of tracks and signalling equipment meant limited trains have been able to run along the line.
Disruption is currently expected to last until 16:00 GMT although Network Rail said engineers were carrying out inspections.
Thames Water said engineers “were quickly on site” to deal with the burst 120cm (48 in) pipe, but they had been unable to initially carry out the work because of the pig, which is thought to be someone’s pet.
A second man has admitted trying to rob Arsenal footballers Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac in a moped ambush.
Jordan Northover, 26, pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to attempting to steal watches from the pair in Hampstead, north-west London.
His co-accused Ashley Smith, 30, of Archway in North London, admitted his role in the crime in October.
CCTV footage showed Bosnian defender Kolasinac chasing off the two masked attackers on 25 July
In the video, that circulated on social media, 26-year-old Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.
He can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.
In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at full-back Kolasinac.
World Cup winner Özil can also be seen in his black Mercedes G class jeep before he reportedly took refuge in a Turkish restaurant.
Kolasinac and Germany midfielder Özil were left out of the Arsenal side ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League campaign after the incident.
Judge Rosa Dean said Smith would be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday.
Northover will be sentenced at a later date.
Özil told the Athletic sports site that he was scared for his wife Amine as the attackers pursued his car.
“Sead’s reaction was really, really brave because he attacked one of the attackers,” he said.
“I tried to move the car, block them, escape, but each time they would be there. My wife was extremely scared.”