Divers off the coast of Thailand believe they have found the wreck of a US Navy submarine that was lost 77 years ago in World War II.
The divers – including one of the team who rescued the Thai cave boys two years ago – have sent photos from their six dives to the US Naval History and Heritage Command to verify that they have found the USS Grenadier.
The 1,475-ton, 307ft long Grenadier, one of 52 US submarines that were lost in the war, was scuttled by her crew after bombs from a Japanese plane nearly sent them to their graves in 1943.
All 76 crew survived the sinking, but they were tortured, beaten and nearly starved in a two-year ordeal in Japanese captivity which four of them did not survive.
The USS Grenadier off the New Hampshire coast in 1941, shortly after the US entered the war and a little over a year before she was scuttled under Japanese bombardment
A map showing the Grenadier’s final journey in 1943 which ended in its sinking in the Malacca Strait while under Japanese bombardment
The final journey of the USS Grenadier
The Grenadier set off on her sixth and final war patrol in March 1943, sailing from Fremantle, Australia into the Strait of Malacca between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
After sinking a small freighter off the Thai coast on April 6, she remained in the area until her final encounter two weeks later when she sighted two vessels on the horizon.
Sailing on the surface for the sake of speed, she was spotted by a Japanese plane which battered the Grenadier with bombs as she tried to go underwater.
The vessel was struck at 130ft underwater, causing a fire on board and leaving the crew battling with smoke.
Thirteen hours later, the Grenadier managed to resurface but she was fatally wounded and her propulsion system irreparably damaged.
The crew made a last-ditch effort to rig up a sail so they could reach shore and hide in the jungle, but it proved fruitless.
The submarine’s captain also decided against another dive into 280ft of water with no power.
The Grenadier made its final stand by fending off a Japanese plane with machine guns before the crew opened her vents and watched her sink to the bottom of the Strait of Malacca.
Not until November did word reach Australia that any of the crew had survived, albeit suffering brutal treatment from their Japanese captors.
The 68 enlisted men and eight officers were taken to Penang where they were interrogated and beaten and then sent to other camps.
The men were taken from camp to camp on the Malay Peninsula and eventually to Japan itself.
Four of them – Justiniano G. Guico, Charles F. Linder, Charlie Doyle and George W. Snyder Jr – died in Fukuoka prison camp in Japan before the survivors were freed at the end of World War II.
The wreck lies 270ft underwater in the Strait of Malacca, about 92 miles south of Phuket, Thailand.
It was discovered by Singapore-based Jean Luc Rivoire and Benoit Laborie of France, and Australian Lance Horowitz and Belgian Ben Reymenants, who live in Phuket.
Reymenants was one of the divers who took part in the dramatic rescue of a dozen boys and their soccer coach who got trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018.
The Belgian has been researching possible locations for shipwrecks for many years, while Rivoire had a suitable boat to explore the leads he found.
Reymenants would ask fishermen if there were any odd spots where they had lost nets, and then the team would use sonar to scan the sea floor for distinct shapes.
When they dived to look at one promising object, it was a lot bigger than expected, so they dug back into the archives to try to work out which lost vessel it could be.
‘And so we went back looking for clues, nameplate, but we couldn’t find any of those,’ recalled Horowitz.
‘And in the end, we took very precise measurements of the submarine and compared those with the naval records.
‘And they’re exactly, as per the drawings, the exact same size. So we’re pretty confident that it is the USS Grenadier.’
The Navy’s Underwater Archaeology Branch typically receives two to three requests a year from searchers like the Grenadier divers, said its head, Dr Robert Neyland.
‘A complete review, analysis, and documentation may take two months to a year to complete,’ he said, adding that it will likely take a few months in this case.
The Grenadier left Pearl Harbor on her initial war patrol on February 4, 1942, having been launched in New Hampshire in 1940.
Her first five missions took it to Japanese waters, the southwest Pacific, the South China Sea and the Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies.
She sank six ships and damaged two, before sailing on her sixth patrol from Fremantle, Australia, on March 20, 1943.
The commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander John A. Fitzgerald, recorded what happened in a report written after being freed from a Japanese POW camp in 1945.
On the night of April 20, the submarine glimpsed two small freighters and set course to intercept them the next morning, sailing on the surface for speed.
In the morning, a plane was sighted and an immediate crash dive was ordered, but the ship did not descend far enough or fast enough.
Blasts from two bombs battered the sub, key parts of the vessel were mangled, power and lights were lost and a fire broke out.
Divers including Belgian Ben Reymenants (right) take an underwater picture in the Strait of Malacca on one of their six expeditions
An image on a sonar screen shows a silhouette shape of a submarine lying on the ocean floor somewhere in the Strait of Malacca last October
The top hatch of a conning tower can be seen from a submarine wreck somewhere in the Strait of Malacca, believed to be the remains of the USS Grenadier
When it surfaced after 13 hours it was clear the Grenadier was too crippled to flee or fight, with two ships on the horizon closing in as dawn broke.
The desperate crew tried to rig makeshift sails on a periscope to reach shore before blowing up the vessel, but the wind was obstinately calm.
Codebooks and sensitive equipment were destroyed as preparations were made to scuttle the submarine.
A Japanese plane made a run at the ship, but was fought off with machine guns, dropping a bomb harmlessly about 200 yards away.
Finally, the Grenadier’s crew opened all her vents and watched the submarine sink to the bottom of the Strait of Malacca as they abandoned ship and were hauled aboard an armed merchant vessel, which took them to Penang on the Malayan peninsula.
The crew were taken to a Catholic school requisitioned by the Japanese for use as a prison, where their ordeal soon worsened.
‘The rough treatment started the first afternoon,’ wrote Fitzgerald.
‘They were forced to sit or stand in silence in an attention attitude. Any divergence resulted in a gun butt, kick, slug in the face or a bayonet prick.
‘In the questioning room, persuasive measures, such as clubs, about the size of indoor ball bats, pencils between the fingers and pushing of the blade of a pen knife under the finger nails, trying to get us to talk about our submarine and the location of other submarines.’
After a few months, all the crew were transferred to camps in Japan, where the ‘sadistic’ treatment continued. Four died from a lack of medical attention.
‘This was an important ship during the war and it was very important to all the crew that served on her,’ diver Horowitz said last week.
‘When you read the book of the survivors, that was, you know, quite an ordeal they went through and to know where she finally lies and rests, I’m sure it’s very satisfying for them and their families to be able to have some closure.’
A rheostat – an electric resistor used to control current – with the inscriptions Ohmite and Chicago is recovered by a group of divers from the submarine wreck
Thai soldiers help to rescue a missing soccer team and their coach from a cave in 2018 – an operation which involved one of the divers who believe they have found the Grenadier
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Coronavirus UK: SAGE say lockdown on elderly could save economy
Britain could avoid another full-blown lockdown by cocooning the elderly, scientists advising the Government say.
The strategy would see ministers encourage those most at-risk of coronavirus, including patients with underlying health conditions, to stay home and shield.
It would allow young and healthy Brits to continue enjoying freedoms like going to restaurants and pubs – which would also bolster the flailing economy.
Documents released today by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shows experts advising Number 10 are considering the tactic.
Scientists admit the move would be ethically questionable but say ‘there are ‘no easy options’ when trying to juggle saving lives and keeping the economy afloat.
The idea was pondered in a scientific report handed to SAGE, which then presents the findings to the Government to help inform public health policy.
Other scientific documents suggested forcing businesses to have to earn a ‘Covid secure’ mark of approval before opening their premises.
Britain could avoid another full-blown lockdown by cooping away the elderly, scientists advising the Government say (file)
The scientific papers handed to SAGE in recent months found:
Britain could run out of PPE again if its hit with a bad bout of flu
PPE shortages could once again wreak havoc across the NHS, SAGE warned in its 47th meeting on July 16.
Minutes said with high certainty ‘there will be co-infection with influenza over the winter’, confirming fears of a ‘double whammy’.
And with both illnesses rife in the community, this could cause ‘logistical challenges around PPE usage’.
PPE, which includes face masks, goggles and gloves, are vital for protecting hospital staff and patients from outbreaks.
PPE shortages could once again wreak havoc across the NHS, SAGE warned in its 47th meeting on July 16 (file)
The disposable, one-use items are thrown away between patients to avoid viruses spreading from one patient to another.
But shortages crippled the NHS during the height of the pandemic due to a sheer lack of preparedness to stock up by the Government.
A repeat of the chaos could be even more dangerous this winter with two viruses —both of which can be fatal — in hospitals.
Children and young people could be exempt from restrictions, advice suggests – but not adults
The idea of Covid-19 rules based on age was pushed further in the 47th and 48th SAGE meetings, on July 16 and July 23 , respectively.
Scientists said there was ‘merit’ in giving out different rules to abide by depending on people’s age, but gave no examples.
The most vulnerable in society, and their closest friends or family, would most likely face stricter guidelines than those who are young and healthy, its suggested.
SAGE acknowledged that, given houses are made up of parents, teenagers, children and the elderly, most families in England would have to continue being careful anyway for the sake of the higher-risk individuals in their home.
Children and young people could be exempt from restrictions, advice suggests. Pictured, a group of revellers in Leeds
South Asian population driving new wave of cases, SAGE says
A ‘significant and growing’ proportion of the new Covid-19 cases are among the South Asian population, SAGE said in July.
South Asians make up eight per cent of the population in England, but the data suggests cases are disproportionately high in these communities.
It’s been previously speculated why this may be, including if English is not someone’s first language, they may not be aware of the symptoms of Covid-19 or the guidelines on self isolation.
The minutes said: ‘SAGE noted Covid-19 has followed a familiar path to previous large epidemics in which is proves challenging to reduce incidence among harder-to-reach populations.’
It could also be because those of ethnic minorities are more likely to work in key worker roles, have underlying health conditions and live in crowded houses — all risk factors of Covid-19.
But SAGE warned of a stigmatisation towards these groups if they are blamed for the Covid-19 crisis.
It said ensuring ‘culturally appropriate’ messaging would be vital to help drive down cases before the winter hit.
Ministers told AGAIN that visors are useless
Ministers were told again that visors (like the one pictured) are useless
ARE FACE SHIELDS PROTECTIVE?
In a scramble to find ways to protect people from catching the coronavirus, masks, goggles, visors and gloves have all been touted as possible layers of protection.
Some people have even been seen with homemade attempts, such as wearing lunchboxes or water bottles over their faces.
But do visors work?
Some research has shown that people are at risk of becoming more seriously ill with COVID-19 if they receive a larger ‘viral load’ – the first dose of viruses that they are infected with.
Epidemiologist Dr Eli Perencevich and a team of scientists at the University of Iowa said a visor could reduce the amount of virus someone inhaled by up to 92 per cent form 2m away from the source.
They said: ‘Face shields… should be included as part of strategies to safely and significantly reduce transmission in the community setting.’
Dr Robert Glatter, a doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that early data was ‘promising’.
But research carried out before the pandemic does not show any clear benefits of using visors on their own, other scientists say.
A study by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) done in 2016 found there is no proof to back up claims that face shields work on their own.
He said viruses or bacteria could come in through around the edges of the visor and still cause infection — and said they should only be used in addition to other PPE.
Lawrence Young, a virologist and oncologist, University of Warwick, told MailOnline: ‘I don’t know of any systematic studies properly evaluating the benefits of face shields.’
He noted an ‘interesting’ review led by the University of Hong which comprehensively explored the different types of facial protection measures, including masks.
The team highlighted the fact that ‘strong evidence is lacking in terms of the effectiveness of face shields against the transmission of viral respiratory diseases’.
Writing in the journal Oral Diseases, the team add: ‘Because most face shields do not form a tight seal around the side of the face and chin area, they do not offer protection against aerosols leaking in from the margins of the face shields.’
SAGE warned that face visors, worn by hairdressers, beauticians and barbers, are useless at protecting against Covid-19 – and its not the first time.
These workers have been told by the government that clear visors are adequate enough to protect against Covid-19. It is not clear what this guidance was based on.
Face visors are ‘likely’ to protect the wearer against large droplets — the most common route of Covid-19 transmission — but there is no hard proof that this is the case, SAGE has previously said.
Similarly, there is no evidence — and it is ‘unlikely’ — that face shields are an effective control against aerosol transmission.
Findings from the SAGE Environment and Modelling Group, whose research recently said there were limitations of face shields.
This week a study by the Riken Centre in Japan found plastic face shields allow nearly 100 per cent of tiny airborne droplets — released when talking or breathing — escape through visors.
And half of larger droplets measuring 50 micrometres in size — given off by coughs and sneezes — found their way into the air, posing a risk to others. One micrometre is one millionth of a metre.
Virus may be evolving and immunity lasts just four months – but having a common cold in past may offer some protection
Immunity against the coronavirus may last just four months after infection, scientists warned in an update of the research given to SAGE.
When someone is infected with the bug, they build an immune response against it. It is unclear how long this lasts for the coronavirus, whether that be weeks, months or years.
Professor Wendy Barclay and colleagues discussed a recent report of a 33-year-old man in Hong Kong who caught the coronavirus twice. He was found to test positive the second time after returning from a holiday abroad.
They said it could either be explained by two things; the first is that the man’s antibody status waned in the four months between the two bouts of illness.
Research has suggested that antibodies decline three months after infection — meaning only a fraction of true cases during the peak of the crisis in March and April may have been spotted with antibody testing, and people are still vulnerable to the disease.
The second possibility is that the coronavirus has evolved and therefore human’s can have immunity against one strain, but still be infected by another, possibly in another country.
This could be problematic or vaccine development. It would mean jabs needed to be changed to reflect what strains are circulating — like the flu jab.
The paper also concluded there may some ‘cross-over’ in protection from Covid-19 from other coronaviruses, such as the common cold.
T-cells, white blood cells that help clear viruses from the body, that were triggered in response to another coronavirus may recognise SARS-CoV-2 as a threat and immediately start to attack it.
Mortality rate of patients in hospital may now be three times lower than it was in the peak
The mortality rate of Covid-19 in Britain has been slashed over the past six months, evidence suggests.
The COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) collates information from NHS hospitals across England, Wales and Scotland to give an idea of the symptoms, characteristics and outcomes of the sickest patients.
A report dated September 16 states that of those admitted after August 1, 12 per cent died compared with 31 per cent over the course of the pandemic.
‘However this may be falsely low given the number of patients still receiving on-going care (could rise to maximum of 29 per cent),’ the paper said.
Fewer people are needing mechanical ventilation now (left) compared to the pandemic as a whole (right)
Experts believe it is becoming clear doctors are getting better at treating the disease, and note medics are less keen on putting patients on ventilators amid concerns they could make the illness worse.
It’s hoped survival rates will improve further still after a number of cheap steroids, including dexamethasone and hydrocortisone, were proven to treat severe Covid.
Hospitals are also far less busy than they were in April and May, meaning doctors and nurses can spend more time with virus patients. Staff sickness rates are also lower.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist and oncologist at the University of Warwick, told MailOnline earlier this month that although cases are on an upward trajectory, ‘it is becoming increasingly clear that people are less likely to die if they get Covid-19 now compared with earlier in the pandemic, at least in Europe’.
He said: ‘Possible explanations include that a larger number of younger people — 15 to 44 year olds — are now being infected compared to the first peak in cases in April and this group are less likely to get severe disease.
‘Two; there is now more effective treatment for patients with Covid-19 with far fewer needing mechanical ventilation; and three; less aggressive variants of SARS-CoV-2, particularly the D614G variant, are more prevalent – these remain very infectious but are less likely to cause severe disease.’
Indeed the CO-CIN report said: ‘Patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 after 1st August are younger than the overall cohort. There are fewer patients requiring non-invasive/invasive ventilation.’
It backs reports from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre (ICNARC) shows that survival rates for the sickest Covid-19 patients in England have improved by 10 per cent.
Its most recent analysis of NHS records shows that, in July, 34 per cent of ICU patients with Covid-19 were dying. This was a considerably higher 44 per cent in March.
Co-infection with flu does NOT raise risk of dying… despite health chiefs saying it does
Co-infection with Covid-19 and flu does not raise the risk of dying, data suggests, despite Public Health England warning it does this week.
The CO-CIN looked at whether hospital patients who had a positive test for both flu and SARS-CoV-2 had worse outcomes than those who just had one virus.
In both groups, a quarter of patients died, suggesting neither infection exacerbated the other.
However, the researchers noted a number of caveats that could have affected results; they stressed that during the time of data collection — between February and June — the flu was not circulating at high levels and most elderly people would have been vaccinated against it.
Thomas Drake and colleagues did point out in their paper, dated September 23, that patients struck with both bugs had more than twice the length of hospital stay — 16 days on average compared to seven days for those only had Covid-19.
Mortality rates in women (left) and men (right) who had either Covid-19 alone (red line), or Covid-19 with flu (blue line). There were no differences in death rates
It comes after Public Health England warned people who catch Covid-19 and flu at the same time are in ‘serious trouble’ after analysing data in almost 20,000 people who were tested for both Covid-19 and flu in the UK between January 20 and April 25.
Findings from the government agency’s research showed the risk of death was 2.3 times higher for patients who had caught both viruses, compared to being infected with Covid-19 alone.
Analysis also showed the handful of hospitalised patients who had both infections simultaneously during the pandemic were around six times more likely to die than those who tested negative for both infections.
Officials have urged the public ‘not to be complacent’ over the flu by declining the offer of a free vaccination this autumn.
Is shortness of breath the most common symptom? Analysis of hospitalised patients show it is more common than a cough or fever
Shortness of breath appears to be the most common Covid-19 symptom among those infected who need hospital care, data shows.
The COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) database reveals just over half (51 per cent) of 990 patients who attended hospital with the disease complained of breathing difficulties.
This was more than fever (about 50 per cent) and cough (about 45 per cent) — the two main symptoms of the disease listed by the NHS, along with a loss of smell and taste, which was not noted by the report at all.
When looking closer at age brackets, only those under the age of 50 did not report shortness of breath as the top symptom. It was third, following fever first and cough second.
The COVID-19 Clinical Information Network (CO-CIN) database reveals just over half (51 per cent) of hospital patients complained of breathing difficulties
The World Health Organization says Covid-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.
But ‘serious’ symptoms include shortness of breath, as Covid-19 is a disease that affects the lungs and airways.
In the most critical cases, it can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which can be fatal and needs mechanical ventilation,
The NHS does not mention breathing difficulties on its coronavirus symptom page at all, and has chosen to keep its list very short in comparison to other major health agencies.
According to King’s College Symptom Study app, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 in adults — both mild and severe together — are fatigue (87 per cent), headache (72 per cent), loss of smell (60 per cent), persistent cough (54 per cent) and sore throat (49 per cent).
‘Covid secure’ marks of approval for premises could come into action
At SAGE’s meeting on July 17, scientists pondered the idea of forcing businesses to earn a ‘Covid secure’ mark of approval before being allowed to open.
Since May, the UK Government has warned only premises that can keep people socially distanced and supply clean, fresh air are allowed to be open.
But there are fears that some businesses – such as pubs – have not been enforcing the rules.
SAGE pondered the idea of a mark of approval but admitted it is ‘not straightforward’.
Scientists said at the time: ‘It is theoretically possible to quantify relative risk for particular settings/environments, but this may not be meaningful given the complex and varied interactions and activities of people in those settings.’
Britain could avoid another lockdown if shielders are kept safe and people who come into contact with them are regularly tested
A second devastating lockdown may not be needed if the most vulnerable people of society and their closest contacts are protected.
The strategy would work by first identifying each ‘high risk individual’ using an algorithm accounting for age, ethnicity, and health conditions.
Then, a relative or carer of the high-risk person nominates themselves to be their ‘shielder’.
This person is trusted to avoid places they could pick up the coronavirus as much as possible, whether that be a hospital, large indoor social gathering or town that has a high infection rate.
A team at Edinburgh University led by Mark Woolhouse, a professor of, proposed the idea to SAGE on August 4. It’s called ‘segmentation and protection’.
The benefits are that the whole of society do not need to go into lockdown if cases rise, leaving those who are healthy and of working age to keep contributing to the economy, while high-risk individuals do not need to completely lock themselves away in isolation.
However, it depends almost entirely on the shielder remaining free from infection.
And it would be ethically difficult to tell one part of society to carry on shielding while allowing others to go back to normality, after everyone’s’ lives were so drastically impacted by the lockdown.
Professor Woolhouse write: ‘Segmentation and protection raises ethical questions as some measures are targeted at subsets of the population.
‘However, lockdown also raises ethical questions as the benefits are felt mainly by those same subsets of the population. It needs to be understood that here are no easy options available.’
Local lockdowns may need to turn into regional ones
In SAGE’s 50th meeting, on August 6, the Government’s scientists endorsed the idea that local lockdowns may need to be broadened to truly keep a lid on outbreaks.
As it stands, the Government is putting certain towns and cities under harsher measures on a weekly basis if their case rates get too high.
But there are concerns that people in these places can simply venture to the neighbouring town and enjoy more freedoms – potentially spreading the virus further.
SAGE suggested broadening local measures to cover larger parts of counties, regions or boroughs to counteract the problem.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
County lines drug lord who used child slaves jailed for 11 years
A county lines drugs lord who used 12 children as slaves in a £2million crack cocaine racket has been jailed for 11 years.
Zain Khan, 21, boasted to police, ‘I earn more than you in my sleep’, as detectives cracked down on his gang.
Khan and his brother Junaid, 20, forced children as young as 14 to push drugs on the streets – often just after they had finished school and were still in their uniforms.
But when police began dismantled the pair’s 15-month drug operation known as the ‘AK Line,’ remorseless Zain shamelessly turned up at the home of one of his team during a raid and began taunting police claiming he and brother were ‘untouchable.’
Zain Khan (left), 21, and his brother Junaid (right), 20, of Burnley, Lancashire, forced children as young as 14 to push drugs on the streets – often just after they had finished school and were still in their uniforms
In a rant at officers he bragged: ‘Yeah, you know you can’t touch us. Search us, do what you want I don’t carry nothing’ whilst Junaid boasted: ‘I run these blocks and have done since I was about 15.’
Both were arrested later following a major police operation against them.
Today the pair both of Burnley, Lancashire, were each jailed for 11 and a half years after admitting conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine. Seven other members of their gang were locked away for a total of 37 years.
The children used in the racket are now being counselled over their ordeals.
Officers recovered a silver Mercedes ‘stash car’, parked close to properties associated with the Khans, filled with drugs and money (pictured)
Officers also seized a Volkswagen Polo car used to store drugs and found £10,000 in cash. Pictured: Seized cash from the organised crime group
Sergeant Andrew Osbaldeston, of Lancashire Police, said after the hearing: ‘The Khan brothers thought they were untouchable and above the law but through dedicated police work and excellent surveillance, we have managed to bring them to justice and take the AK Line permanently offline.
‘I welcome today’s sentences and they send out a clear message that Lancashire Police will not tolerate organised crime groups operating in our communities and targeting and exploiting the most vulnerable in society.
‘What makes this case particularly abhorrent is that the gang not only knew they were using children to pedal their drugs, but they recruited them because of their age and vulnerability and the fact they were easy to exploit.
‘We need our communities across Lancashire to continue to alert us to potential drugs activity in their area so that we can investigate and bring organised gangs to justice, as well as safeguarding people, particularly children, who have been exploited and are victims.’
Alan Pickard (right), 49, was jailed for three years, Darren Catlow (left), 36, was jailed for four years
Preston Crown Court heard the Khan brothers directed a team of street dealers, including children, to sell crack cocaine and heroin on their behalf between May 2018 to August 2019.
During the conspiracy, drugs were distributed from Zain’s home to foot soldiers who in turn would bring back cash – at times stuffing bundles through his letter box.
Their gang also had a team of ‘lieutenants’ who were responsible for directing dealers where to sell drugs and ensuring they always had a ready supply. Two women and three men were recruited to supervise the children.
The teenagers, three aged just 14 and sometimes still in school uniform would arrive at a base used by the gang to collect drugs and then be dispatched by taxi to locations elsewhere in the Burnley area in order to conduct drug deals.
Preston Crown Court heard the Khan brothers directed a team of street dealers, including children, to sell crack cocaine and heroin on their behalf between May 2018 to August 2019. Pictured are drugs found in the ‘stash car’
The gang were placed under surveillance in an investigation named Operation Croatia. But whenever phones were seized, they would either quickly buy a new handset and register it under the same number or register a new number for the AK Line and then send out a message to customers advertising that they were ‘back in business’.
Significant quantities of heroin, crack cocaine and cash, as well as drug paraphernalia, drug dealer lists and mobile phones were seized from addresses and vehicles connected to the group.
On one occasion officers recovered a silver Mercedes ‘stash car’, parked close to properties associated with the Khans, filled with drugs and money.
Officers also seized a Volkswagen Polo car used to store drugs and found £10,000 in cash, as well as various amounts of crack cocaine and heroin pre-packaged for street deals. When police arrested an associate of the Khan brothers, both defendants turned up at the scene and began taunting officers.
Significant quantities of heroin, crack cocaine and cash (pictured), as well as drug paraphernalia, drug dealer lists and mobile phones were seized from addresses and vehicles connected to the group
Zain himself was arrested a few months later, on August 22, 2019, when officers conducted a series of raids at addresses across Burnley. He was found in possession of what was established to be the ‘AK line’ dealer phone and in excess of £10,000 cash in several packages.
Junaid was arrested on the same day at the home of a female member of the gang and a number of mobile phones were seized. Experts said at least 20kg of Class A drugs were peddled onto the streets of Burnley with an estimated value of £2million.
Police later contacted the local taxi licensing department over concerns about cabs being used to ferry youngsters to their drugs turf. Drivers were also warned to report suspected criminality and concerns about child criminal exploitation and told they could face prosecution if they knowingly played an active role in criminal activity.
Morgan Ellis (left), 21 and Gemma Jackson (right), 25, were each jailed for five and a half years
Sentencing Judge Simon Medland QC said: ‘It is plain to me on the general facts of this case that the impact of this offending has been both deep and very grave.’
Mohammed Jabbar, 22, was jailed for nine and a half years whilst Shohib Safdar, 20, got seven and a half years. They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
Morgan Ellis, 21 and Gemma Jackson, 25, were each jailed for five and a half years. Alan Pickard, 49, was jailed for three years, Darren Catlow, 36, was jailed for four years and Josh Jackson, 20, got two years. All five were convicted of conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine.
A warrant was issued for Tracey Brown, 49, who failed to come to court.
The gang, all from Burnley, either admitted drugs offences or were convicted by a jury. They will face a Proceeds of Crime hearing in March 2021.
Pictured: Drugs hidden in stash car and found by officers during a raid
Zain was found in possession of what was established to be the ‘AK line’ dealer phone
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: ‘This is a great example of the excellent work being done by Lancashire officers to keep drugs off our streets and keep vulnerable people safe.
‘This operation has led to dangerous criminals who were blighting our streets and exploiting young people facing the justice they deserve. I hope this sends a clear message to those who are getting involved organised crime that the police have the resources, skills and determination to crack organisations like this and bring their members to justice.
‘The public should be re-assured that this type of high level investigation work is taking place. While it is not always visible it is happening and achieving real results like those we have seen in court today. I want to pay tribute to the hard work and determination of Lancashire investigators that have helped remove this criminal gang from our streets.’
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
Pioneering Justice Ginsburg makes history again with…
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality, made history again on Friday as the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris joined officials, lawmakers and the justice’s grieving family including her daughter Jane and son James in paying their respects to the legal pioneer and champion of women’s rights at the memorial service held by a female rabbi Friday morning.
Mourners gathered at the socially distanced ceremony in National Statuary Hall, where Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket lay encircled by sculptures of prominent Americans.
Ginsburg, a stalwart liberal on the high court since 1993, died last Friday at age 87. Known simply as RBG, she was an icon to millions of Americans – including young girls – after a long legal career built on fighting for women’s rights.
Her family plans to hold a private burial next week at Arlington National Cemetery where she will be laid to rest next to her late husband Martin who died in 2010 after 56 years of marriage.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality, made history again on Friday as the first woman and the first Jewish person to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt gave a moving reflection at the service speaking of the challenges Ginsburg faced and overcame as a woman in the male-dominated legal profession
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden paid their respects at Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket after the short service
U.S. Congresswomen pay their respects as the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Biden and running mate Kamala Harris joined officials, lawmakers and the justice’s grieving family in paying their respects to the legal pioneer and champion of women’s rights at the memorial service held by a female rabbi Friday morning
The casket is carried through the rotunda to the Statuary Hall for the service in honor of the late judge
Denyce Graves sings as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket rests on the Lincoln catafalque in Statuary Hall
The icon’s flag-draped casket is carried up the steps to the Supreme Court where she served for 27 years
Sen. Tammy Duckworth saluted Ginsburg’s casket while wearing a face mask with white lace in a tribute to the justice’s iconic white lace and crochet collars
Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks with members of Congress and guests prior to the memorial service
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke first at the private service, giving a moving introduction where she told of her ‘profound sorrow’ at the liberal icon’s passing
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was one of many members of Congress attending the service
Ginsburg was only the second woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice
The service began at 10 a.m. with a joint services military honor guard carrying Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket up the steps of the Supreme Court and into the hall.
The officer leading the honor guard was a woman, a fitting tribute to the justice who championed women’s rights and equality throughout her career.
The casket was placed on the Lincoln catafalque in Statuary Hall alongside a portrait of Ginsburg and two wreaths, one reading House of Representatives and the other reading United States Senate, in blue, white and red flowers – the colors of the American flag.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke first at the private service, giving a moving introduction where she told of her ‘profound sorrow’ at the liberal icon’s passing.
‘It is with profound sorrow and deep sympathy to the Ginsburg family that I have the high honor to welcome Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to lie in state in the Capitol of the United States,’ she said.
‘She does so on a catafalque built for Abraham Lincoln. May she rest in peace.’
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington then gave an emotional reflection on the life of Ginsburg, speaking of the challenges she faced as a woman trying to break into a male-dominated profession.
‘I get out of law school with top grades, and no law firm in the city of New York will hire me,’ she quoted Ginsburg as saying one time.
Hotlzblatt, whose husband clerked for Ginsburg from 2014 to 2015, told how the justice overcome these challenges to rise to the highest court in the land.
‘Justice did not arrive like a lightening bolt, but rather through dogged persistence, all the days of her life.
‘Real change, she said, enduring change, happens one step at a time.’
She added: ‘As a lawyer, she won equality for women and men — not in one swift victory, but brick by brick, case by case, through meticulous, careful lawyering.’
Bryant Johnson, Ginsburg’s personal trainer, did three push-ups in front of her coffin in her honor
Ginsburg was a fitness enthusiast and worked out at the Supreme Court even after gyms shut down due to coronavirus and as she battled cancer
The casket is draped in a flag while a portrait of Ginsburg and two wreaths, one reading House of Representatives and the other reading United States Senate, in blue, white and red flowers – the colors of the American flag
Friends and family await the arrival of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside the court Friday
Joe and Jill Biden, dressed in black clothing and face masks, bow their heads and take a moment to pay tribute to Ginsburg
Mourners gathered at the socially distanced ceremony in National Statuary Hall, where Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket lay encircled by sculptures of prominent Americans
Biden pays his respects at Friday’s service. Ginsburg, a stalwart liberal on the high court since 1993, died last Friday at age 87
The casket is carried by procession into the hall soon after 10 a.m. for the memorial service ahead of a private family burial next week
Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington gave an emotional reflection. ‘Real change, she said, enduring change, happens one step at a time,’ she said
Music was provided by Denyce Graves, the mezzo-soprano and Ginsburg’s friend (pictured), and pianist Laura Ward who paid tribute to the justice with the songs ‘Deep River’ and ‘American Anthem’
Grieving family members watch as the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is carried by a joint services military honor guard to lie in state
Holtzblatt pointed out how Ginsburg was making history as the ‘first woman and first Jewish woman to lie in state’ – the latest in a long line of firsts for the justice and urged people to be inspired by the justice’s ‘strength.’
‘Even as our hearts are breaking, we must rise with her strength and move forward. She was our prophet, our north star, our strength for so very long,’ she said.
Music was provided by Denyce Graves, the mezzo-soprano and Ginsburg’s friend, and pianist Laura Ward who paid tribute to the justice with the songs ‘Deep River’ and ‘American Anthem’.
The beautiful, uplifting songs harked to Ginsburg’s love of opera while the words ‘America, America I give my best to you’ in ‘American Anthem’ were a fitting tribute to her decades of service to the nation.
Mourners including Ginsburg’s family members then approached the casket in turns to take a moment to pay their respects to the late icon.
Pelosi and Chuck Schumer approached Ginsburg’s casket and bowed their heads, with Pelosi doing the sign of the cross.
Female members of Congress leave the ceremony after paying their respects to Ginsburg
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shares an elbow bump with a guest following the service
Ginsburg’s casket is carried down the steps of the Supreme Court flanked by mourners following the service
Family members stand as they wait to watch the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being carried by a joint services military honor guard after Ginsburg lied in state at the U.S. Capitol
An armed services body bearer team carries Ginsburg’s casket into the Statutory hall
The casket reaches the bottom of the steps following the service where Nancy Pelosi paid tribute to Ginsburg
Joe and Jill Biden, dressed in black clothing and face masks, were also seen at the casket bowing their heads.
Biden said he had ‘wonderful memories’ of Ginsburg as he left the ceremony.
‘It was like when I met her when I did her hearing. I was the chairman of the committee when she was confirmed,’ he said. ‘Wonderful memories.’
Bryant Johnson, Ginsburg’s personal trainer, gave a personal tribute when he did three push-ups in front of her coffin in her honor.
Ginsburg was a fitness enthusiast and worked out at the Supreme Court even after gyms shut down due to coronavirus and as she battled cancer.
Representative Eric Swalwell brought along his young daughter Kathryn as they paid their respects
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper arriving to pay his respects as Ginsburg lay in state at National Statuary Hall
Female members of Congress line the steps and watch the iconic Supreme Court Justice being carried out of the capitol
Schumer, who has called for Ginsburg’s dying wish not to be replaced until after the November election to be respected, leaves the service Friday
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris were among other members of Congress who attended the moving service, where several people wiped tears from their eyes.
Senator Tammy Duckworth saluted Ginsburg’s casket while wearing a face mask with white lace in a tribute to the justice’s iconic white lace and crochet collars.
Harris spoke briefly after the service crediting Ginsburg for paving the way for her to also pursue her career.
‘Because she first of all made America see what leadership looks like and in the law, in terms of public service and she broke so many barriers and I know she did it intentionally knowing that people like me could follow,’ she said.
‘I was just with her family so at this point I’m really just reflecting on… All that she stood for.
‘I think it’s actually really it’s very important I think that in the midst of being 39 days away from the election that we honor one of the greatest Americans, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in terms of all that she did, all that she inspired, all that she empowered both legally and just in terms of the way she lived her life.’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was among those who visited to pay their respects to the justice Friday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving for the ceremony where she paid tribute to the legal pioneer
A seat reserved for Joe Biden for the moving ceremony that topped off a week of tributes to the justice
A portrait of the late justice in her black robes and signature collar is displayed at the socially distanced ceremony
With the U.S. Supreme Court building in the background, the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is carried by a joint services military honor guard to lie in state
Mourners paid their respects sitting six foot apart in the hall facing the casket of the iconic justice
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris talks with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand ahead of the service
Notably absent were Senator Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who, despite being invited and most other Congress members attending, chose not to pay their respects.
Donald Trump was also not in attendance however he visited Ginsburg’s casket alongside First Lady Melania Trump Thursday as the justice lay in repose under the Portico of the high court for two days this week.
Trump was greeted by boos from crowds Thursday with several people heard shouting ‘honor her wish’ and ‘vote him out’ as he stood at the top of the steps with his head bowed and face covered by a mask.
Ginsburg said her ‘most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed’ in the days leading up to her death Friday.
However Trump has vowed to plow ahead with appointing her replacement for the Supreme Court seat in a move that has sparked fierce debate, with many Democrats – as well as some Republicans – insisting the seat must not be filled until after the election.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ginsburg’s admirers have had to pay their respects outdoors at her coffin for two days of public viewing under the Supreme Court’s soaring portico.
The Capitol ceremony on Friday morning was also limited to invited guests because of concerns about the virus.
Biden is seen reading the order of service ahead of the memorial for the legal pioneer and champion of women’s rights
The service began with a joint services military honor guard carrying Ginsburg’s flag-draped casket up the steps of the Supreme Court and into the hall
Kamala Harris is seen at the ceremony where people gathered to pay respects to the late justice
The historical paying of respects, inside the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, was expected to provide a final unifying moment celebrating Ginsburg’s life and achievements before the coming battle over filling her seat.
The honor of lying in state has been accorded fewer than three dozen times, mostly to presidents, vice-presidents and members of Congress.
John Lewis, the civil rights icon, was the most recent person to lie in state after his death in July.
Henry Clay, the Kentucky politician who served as Speaker of the House and also was a senator, was the first back in 1852.
A pioneer until the end, Ginsburg is the first woman and Jewish woman given the honor, which was arranged by Pelosi.
Pelosi spoke of the honor her weekly news conference on Thursday.
‘We have a lot of cause for… observance of a historic time, for a historic woman who did more for the equality of women than anybody in our history,’ she said.
‘Her passing is like a death in so many families in our country because so many people pinned their hopes, heeded her guidance, admired her stamina, her love of the arts, bringing civility to her relationships in the court and in the country.’
The House Speaker released a statement on Ginsburg’s lying in state.
‘On behalf of the United States Congress, it is my sad honor to welcome so many who loved Justice Ginsburg to this celebration of her life here in the United States Capitol,’ it read.
‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg: petite in size, monumental in impact. Justice Ginsburg embodied justice, brilliance and goodness. Her passing is an incalculable loss for our democracy and for all who strive to build a better future for our children.
‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon, whose towering intellect, tenacity and devotion to our nation’s Founding ideals of equality and justice inspired millions around the world. We see that appreciation reflected in the countless letters, flowers and tributes that blanketed the front of the Supreme Court after her passing: an extraordinary outpouring of love and support from Americans from across the country.’
Rosa Parks is the only other woman who has lain at the Capitol but, because she was a private citizen, not a government official, she lay ‘in honor’.
A statue of Parks, placed in 2013, will overlook Ginsburg’s casket during the ceremony.
The lying in state usually occurs in the Capitol Rotunda, between the House and Senate, but Ginsburg is lying in the National Statuary Hall on the House side of the Capitol.
It is not clear why this is the case but the Democrats are in control of the House side of the Capitol while both chambers must agree and pass special legislation to allow someone to lie in the Rotunda.
The private ceremony at the Capitol brought to a close a week of public memorials for Ginsburg, as her body lay in repose on the Supreme Court steps on Wednesday and Thursday for politicians, family members and the general public to visit and pay their respects to the liberal jurist.
Crowds of mourners have flocked to the U.S. Supreme Court since Ginsburg’s death was announced last Friday, standing vigil and leaving flowers and signs.
A memorial was held at the court Wednesday which was also eulogized by Holtzblatt.
Statuary Hall was prepared for the ceremony by Thursday afternoon. Thick black ribbons were affixed to the colossal marble columns around the room’s perimeter, surrounding the area where a catafalque was to hold Ginsburg’s flag-draped coffin.
A worker cleans steps prior to the arrival of the casket of late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer await the arrival of the casket at the steps of the court
A Supreme Court Honor Guard salutes before moving the flag-draped casket of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg back into the court as Ginsburg lies in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Thursday
A program for the service of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is shown at the U.S. Capitol Friday morning
The Bidens travel to Washington, DC, to attend the ceremony for US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris talks with members of Congress and guests prior to the service
Final preparations being made in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Friday morning
President Donald Trump has said he will announce his nominee to succeed Ginsburg at the White House on Saturday – a move that many Democrats and some Republicans have slammed.
The crux of the debate centers around the move made by Republicans back in 2016 – and led by McConnell – to block then-President Barack Obama from appointing a new justice to the court nine months before the election.
Their argument at the time was that the position should not be filled until a new president was elected by the American people – a standard set by the Republicans that the Democrats now argue the party must continue to honor.
The leading contenders all are expected to take a dramatically different view of abortion rights and other issues – and would likely rule on Obamacare immediately after the election, in a case that could strike down the health law Ginsburg voted to uphold.
This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk
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