Today’s latest news headlines


Jerry Collins, who has been killed in a car crash along with his wife



Former All Black killed in crash

Former All Black forward Jerry Collins has died in a car accident in France in the early hours of Friday morning, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed.

Thirty-four-year-old Collins was travelling near the town of Beziers in southern France when his car was involved in a collision with a bus at 4.30am local time (3.30am BST).

French newspaper Midi Libre reported that Collins was travelling with his wife Alana Madill and their infant daugher Ayla.

A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been advised of a serious vehicle accident in France in which All Black rugby player Jerry Collins was killed.”

Most still undecided on referendum

The referendum on Britain’s EU membership remains wide open, with fewer than a third of voters having firmly made up their mind which way to vote – and seven out of 10 remaining open to persuasion, according to a new poll.

But the survey of almost 4,000 voters for thinktank British Future suggested that some of the most passionate advocates of the In and Out causes might actually put off more people than they persuade.

Almost six out of 10 (59%) of those questioned by pollsters Survation said that they distrusted europhile former prime minister Tony Blair when he speaks about the EU, while 56% said they did not trust Ukip leader Nigel Farage on the issue. Just 28% said they trusted Blair and 36% Farage on the issue.

Experts warn on bogus allergy tests

Children are at risk of malnutrition from unnecessarily strict diets because their parents have been fooled into thinking they suffer from an allergy, it has been claimed.

Home testing kits which are not backed by science were among the reasons being blamed for the over diagnosis and self diagnosis of allergies, according to newly-published guide Making Sense of Allergies.

Food intolerances and some difficult-to-diagnose conditions have also been confused with allergies, says the guide by Sense About Science which draws on information from allergy specialists and charities.)

‘Only two of 10’ jailed over Malala

Only two of 10 men supposedly jailed for the attempted assassination of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai have actually been convicted during the secret trial, it has been alleged.

The Mirror newspaper said eight men escaped justice following the court case, despite all 10 supposedly being given a 25-year sentence.

A senior security source in Pakistan accused officials of lying over the trial and convictions and claimed the eight were released “quietly, to avoid a media fuss”.

Court to rule on disabled benefit

The High Court is to give judgment on complaints that the introduction of vital new welfare benefits for the disabled has been too slow.

A judge was told at a recent hearing that vulnerable people have been forced to turn to loan sharks and food banks because of the “unlawfully long time” taken to provide them with personal independence payments (Pips).

The payments are replacing the disability living allowance (DLA) in sweeping Government reforms of the benefits system. They are designed to help disabled adults meet the extra costs caused by disability.

Man faces sentence over explosives

A carpenter will be sentenced later for having a stash of explosives at his house.

Benjamin Harris, 30, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two counts of having an explosive substance and one count of making an explosive substance.

Police uncovered Harris’s hoard when they raided his home in Highcroft Crescent, Heathfield, East Sussex, on March 13 2013.

UK veterans make D-Day pilgrimage

Dozens of British veterans have made a cross-Channel pilgrimage to Normandy to honour the legacy of comrades killed in the D-Day landings 71 years ago.

Around 150 ex-servicemen have travelled to northern France to attend events commemorating the military invasion on June 6 1944 which changed the course of history, the Spirit of Normandy Trust said.

Among those heading over is Penny Howard Bates, daughter of the late Major John Howard, who famously led a glider-borne assault on Pegasus Bridge, which was immortalised in the 1960s film The Longest Day.

Civil service cuts ‘leave risks’

Whitehall has failed to plan properly for the potentially-damaging consequences of dramatic cuts to the civil service or the implications of reductions to come, the public spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said squeezing recruitment as part of an austerity drive that has seen staff numbers slashed by 18% since 2010 had created a “generational gap” that could result in a serious skills shortage.

And it warned that Government departments had failed to implement proper strategies in preparation for the next round of public spending cuts being demanded by Chancellor George Osborne.



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