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JAN MOIR: In the Duchess Olympics, Kate gets the gold

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jan moir in the duchess olympics kate gets the gold

My gold medal for 2020, if there were a Duchess Olympics, would be pinned on the uncomplaining chest of the Duchess of Cambridge.

The past year has shown that Kate can ride the turbulent waters on the Windsor flume of fame and still keep her wits about her.

She can soar over the hurdles of royal scandal, jump clear of the whiny affronts lobbed her way from Team Sussex and somehow accomplish it all with a smile and a wave, while the world’s most perfect blow-dry remains intact.

Look at that thing! Is it carved from teak and glossed with gossamer by 1,000 hair elves on the minimum wage? How does it stay just so, even when she is toasting marshmallows with Scouts or playing hockey or attending a banquet in a gilded palace?

And how does she do it all? With grit, quiet determination and a tailwind of Elnett Max Strength, I suspect.

My gold medal for 2020, if there were a Duchess Olympics, would be pinned on the uncomplaining chest of the Duchess of Cambridge

My gold medal for 2020, if there were a Duchess Olympics, would be pinned on the uncomplaining chest of the Duchess of Cambridge

My gold medal for 2020, if there were a Duchess Olympics, would be pinned on the uncomplaining chest of the Duchess of Cambridge

Whether baking cakes with Mary Berry or colour co-ordinating her husband and her children in a rhapsody of blues for various photo opportunities, Kate has emerged as a perfectionist, a duchess of steel.

She is clearly a stickler, a woman whose cushions are always plumped and who never puts a foot wrong in her immaculate suede heels.

From Jigsaw to international draw, has any other lowly outsider embedded themselves so successfully into their royal role as this middle-class former accessories buyer from Buckinghamshire?

It is pretty remarkable, when you think about it. Most royal wives and husbands are drawn from the empathetic ranks of the aristocracy, while the lower born rarely fare thee well at the royal court.

Princess Anne’s brace of husbands kept to the shadows, while the Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs.

Princess Anne’s brace of husbands kept to the shadows, while the Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

Princess Anne’s brace of husbands kept to the shadows, while the Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

How insufferable it must have been for Kate to read the petty slights in Finding Freedom: the Sussexes biography in which she is accused of not ‘reaching out’ to Meghan and once failing to give her sister-in-law a lift to the shops

How insufferable it must have been for Kate to read the petty slights in Finding Freedom: the Sussexes biography in which she is accused of not ‘reaching out’ to Meghan and once failing to give her sister-in-law a lift to the shops

Princess Anne’s brace of husbands kept to the shadows, while the Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

Fergie seems to have found a fitting role for herself, wearing silly hats and reading children’s stories out loud every afternoon — shush, I know, but let’s just leave her be.

Meanwhile, the short tenure of the Sussexes was ended by their piping hot sense of pique and failure to understand royal protocol and the hierarchy stitched into the line of succession like an impregnable ermine flounce.

As we know, a chilly antipathy now exists between the two commoner duchesses following a battle for status within royal circles — a battle that only one woman could win: she who will be Queen.

How insufferable it must have been for Kate to read the petty slights in Finding Freedom: the Sussexes biography in which she is accused of not ‘reaching out’ to Meghan and once failing to give her sister-in-law a lift to the shops.

Fergie seems to have found a fitting role for herself, wearing silly hats and reading children’s stories out loud every afternoon

Fergie seems to have found a fitting role for herself, wearing silly hats and reading children’s stories out loud every afternoon

Fergie seems to have found a fitting role for herself, wearing silly hats and reading children’s stories out loud every afternoon

But the Duchess of Cambridge has risen above all this nonsense, neither complaining nor explaining and just getting on with the job. The only indication of her true feelings was her glacial demeanour at Westminster Abbey in March, her little red hat set to battle stations as she ignored the traitorous Harry and Meghan on their last public appearance as royals.

How I wished for a court painter like Holbein to do justice to this scene of magnificent royal seethe as the Duchess of Cambridge sailed down the nave, froideur incarnate in her red velvet cuffs.

These days she has been getting down to the meat and potatoes of royal life; holding an audience with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and First Lady Olena Zelenska at Buckingham Palace; donning an enviable Alexander McQueen trouser suit to announce the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards; and meeting medical experts at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology at Imperial College London.

She seemed typically thrilled to be doing all of this while even managing to look fabulous in a white lab coat; no mean feat.

The Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

The Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

The Countess of Wessex keeps a relatively low profile and an endless collection of twinsets and sensible skirts at her Bagshot Park digs

To be honest, I used to think that Kate was a bit boring, but have now had to reconsider and reshuffle my pack of royal favourites. In this modern world, amid the turbulence on social media and the clamour to matter, the Duchess of Cambridge manages to care about issues without making the issue about herself.

She pitches an image of intelligent interest in a cause instead of exuding howling self-interest and always hits the right note of raising public awareness instead of grabbing the moral high ground and lecturing the public. Unlike other royals I could mention.

Speaking of which, the defection of Harry and Meghan has had enormous implications for her family, leaving the Cambridges with a heavier burden. But she bears all this with a slightly wintry smile.

Of course she has help — and lots of it — but achieves all the above while being a hands-on mother. She’s no saint — who is? — but to have remained visible, cheerful and elegant throughout this difficult time makes her my duchess of the year.

Arise, D of C. You deserve it!

The bad news keeps on coming. Sharon White, the chairwoman of the John Lewis Partnership, says that in future the company will be a 60 to 70 per cent online business. No!

She says its shops remain important, but may need to be smaller, more flexible and local in future.

This is devastating. At times of personal crisis, I find it more soothing than I can say to visit Peter Jones in London’s Sloane Square and wander around the counters in a kind of reverie; groping the bath towels to compare Plush Supima with Silky Suvin, admiring the cleaning products in the basement (lemon oil for wood!), cruising the ribbons in haberdashery and perusing the storage solutions and then the unlikely lamps in the lighting department wondering who would pay £200 for one of those creepy monkey table lamps.

If things are really bad, I go to Selfridges and work my way down the store from the top floor, folding jumpers as I go. The soothe factor is off the scale.

If you take away department stores you take away my comfort zone.

Please don’t do it, Sharon.

The actress January Jones has taken to posing in a pink bra to promote something or the other, but mostly, one suspects, the great cause of being January Jones.

The actress January Jones has taken to posing in a pink bra to promote something or the other, but mostly, one suspects, the great cause of being January Jones

The actress January Jones has taken to posing in a pink bra to promote something or the other, but mostly, one suspects, the great cause of being January Jones

The actress January Jones has taken to posing in a pink bra to promote something or the other, but mostly, one suspects, the great cause of being January Jones

But it did remind me of something, which is this — when did bras get so complicated?

I tried to buy one last week, but was baffled by all the different types.

The Sports Bras, the Bralette, T-Shirt, Full Cup, Half Cup, Minimiser, Strapless, Plunge, Balcony, Total Support, High Impact, Long Line, Cami, Multi, Push Up, Swiss Designed, High Apex, Soft Touch, Bandeau, Balconette and Wireless.

Just twiddle the knobs for your station of choice?

They sound like a rap group or new members of Top Cat’s gang, not a piece of lingerie.

Why does everything have to be so confusing?

And aren’t they all supposed to be Total Support, otherwise what is the point?

Gossip issue of the week — are Dominic West and Lily James having an affair? Or do those photographs from Rome show an innocent flirt and nothing more?

A network of experts (my pals) have had their say. Luke says it was innocent flirting after a boozy lunch in the sun. But surely the image of Dominic’s hand on Lily’s bottom in the church was pretty damning? ‘It was her upper buttocks,’ pleads Luke, as if the higher reaches of bum de Lily were some kind of Nato no-man’s land.

It’s not virgin territory says Sally and no one argues. Victoria gasps at the paparazzi following the couple into a church in the Holy City of Rome, God forgive them and He probably will. But why were the couple there, is what I am wondering? Claire (She Who Knows Everything) says Lily likes her wine, but don’t we all, says Morwen on Zoom, uncorking her post-work magnum, and I don’t mean an ice cream treat. Claire says remember those reports that Lily had an affair with Ben Chaplin, the 51-year-old actor who played her father in that Disney film?

Well, listen, Dominic (also 51) plays her father in The Pursuit Of Love, which is what they have been recently filming, so Claire has decided Lily has a daddy complex, but I said perhaps she has just got a smokin’ hot dude complex because, we all agreed, both men are extremely attractive. Morwen said if it was a flirty date she hadn’t made much of an effort, scuffing about in those espadrilles, and Claire said they are Yves St Laurent and cost £195.

Gossip issue of the week — are Dominic West and Lily James having an affair? Or do those photographs from Rome show an innocent flirt and nothing more?

Gossip issue of the week — are Dominic West and Lily James having an affair? Or do those photographs from Rome show an innocent flirt and nothing more?

Gossip issue of the week — are Dominic West and Lily James having an affair? Or do those photographs from Rome show an innocent flirt and nothing more?

Luke says Dominic is ‘a really nice bloke’ but that he is very flirtatious. Tell us something we don’t know chorused all, while some of the more forward members added that he could flirt with them ‘any time he wanted’. Susie said his wife should hang onto him no matter what, because ‘why should another woman get all the fun of him?’

Regarding those photographs he and his wife Catherine posed for and the handwritten note assuring the world all was well with their marriage, Andy said if Mrs West had been a Tory wife she would have been out there in her best frock and pearls. I said it was molto aristo to pop out to face the cameras in ballerina flats and old jeans.

Ultimately, Mrs West seems to have taken a pragmatic view of her husband’s — shall we say — friendly nature and whatever happens next, we wish them all the best.

Still, wasn’t that note — written by him of course — absolutely cringe?

But he has got lovely handwriting, says Luke.

Former Blue Peter star John Leslie is in court this week. A woman, whose identity cannot be revealed, alleges he touched her breasts at a party in Soho in 2008. She was 30 years old at the time and went over to the television star to introduce herself.

Mr Leslie, 55, denies sexual assault.

The woman said she was shocked following the ‘solid grab’ that lasted for ‘a couple of seconds, I think’. Since being identified in 2002 by Matthew Wright as the alleged perpetrator of a sexual attack on Ulrika Jonsson — never confirmed by her — Leslie has been accused by several women of sexual assault, but despite several court cases, has yet to be convicted on any charge.

And now this. I don’t know if John Leslie is guilty or innocent of this latest offence (the trial continues). But a two-second grope at a party 12 years ago? Is this really a productive use of a court’s time?

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Philadelphia protesters attack DC police station as stores looted

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philadelphia protesters attack dc police station as stores looted

Protests over the deaths of two black men in Washington DC  and Philadelphia turned violent Tuesday with stores looted and tear gas deployed. 

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on a Revel scooter by police in the nation’s capital. Walter Wallace was killed Monday when Philadelphia police officers fired at him. Chief Police Inspector Frank Vanore said that police had received a call about a man screaming and that he was armed with a knife.

Pictures from both cities Tuesday showed continued unrest over the deaths.   

Windows were smashed by protesters at a police station in DC, NBC reports; one person was arrested and four officers are said to have suffered non life threatening injuries.  

Hylton’s mom was filmed outside the police station in the city Tuesday telling officers: ‘You know it was wrong.’ She later appears to have been maced by officers during protests. 

Other footage from the city shows tear gas has been deployed. Black Lives Matter DC tweeted: ‘We need all hands on deck @MayorBowser and @ChiefNewsham terror gang is literally at war with the community at 4D police station. They shooting teargas and rubber bullets.’  

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: ‘*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area.’ Police later urged residents to stay inside their homes. 

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management tweeted: ‘The Philadelphia Police Department is requesting that all residents in the 12, 16, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26th Districts remain indoors except when necessary. These areas are experiencing widespread demonstrations that have turned violent with looting.’ 

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours.  

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Philadelphia: A protestor confronts police during a march Tuesday in Philadelphia. Hundreds of demonstrators marched over the death of Walter Wallace, a black man who was killed by police in Philadelphia on Monday.

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation's capital

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation's capital

Washington DC: Washington Metropolitan Police Department officers stand near the fourth district police station in Washington, Tuesday after the death of Karon Hylton on a Revel scooter by police in the nation’s capital

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Washington DC: Demonstrators broke windows at the police station in protest over a fatal a crash involving a moped driver who died when he police were attempting to pull him over. The crash happened last Friday

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Philadelphia officials had anticipated a second night of unrest Tuesday, and a Pennsylvania National Guard spokesperson told The Inquirer that several hundred guardsmen were expected to arrive in the city within 24 to 48 hours

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

Protesters confront police during a march, Tuesday. Police shot and killed the 27-year-old Wallace on a Philadelphia street after yelling at him to drop his knife.

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. 

His family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention, their lawyer said Tuesday. 

Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokesperson.  

Throughout the day Tuesday, state and local officials called for transparency and a thorough investigation, including the release of body camera footage from the two officers who fired their weapons. 

Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday

Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday

The footage shot on a witness's smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

The footage shot on a witness's smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

Wallace was shot multiple times and killed around 4 p.m. Monday when officers were called out to reports of a domestic incident at Locust and South 61st streets in Cobbs Creek, West Philadelphia. The footage shot on a witness’s smartphone begins with Wallace walking between parked cars outside the front of some homes in the residential neighborhood. A woman, later identified as his mother, is following him trying to get hold of him as shouts ring the air

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation's capital

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation's capital

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday while being chased on his scooter by police in the nation’s capital

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34931880 8886849 image a 40 1603852406160

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34931882 8886849 image a 41 1603852409474

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Tuesday that she was still reviewing when and what information would be released to the public. The officers had not been interviewed as of Tuesday afternoon, she said. Neither had a Taser or similar device at the time of the shooting, Outlaw said, noting the department had previously asked for funding to equip more officers with those devices.

Outlaw said the officers’ names and other identifying information, including their race, would be withheld until the department could be sure releasing the information would not pose a threat to their safety. The officers were taken off street duty during the investigation.

Police officials said they could not confirm what information had been given to the responding officers, whether they were told about a possible mental illness or how many calls they had received for help at Wallace’s address Monday.  

Wallace’s father, Walter Wallace Sr. said Tuesday night that he is haunted by the way his son was ‘butchered.”It’s in my mind. I can’t even sleep at night. I can’t even close my eyes,’ he said. 

Wallace Sr. condemned the violence Tuesday night, adding: ‘They’re not helping my family, they’re showing disrespect. Stop this violence and chaos. People have businesses. We all got to eat.’ 

DC police say Hylton died after they saw him riding without a helmet. But the dad-of-one’s friend said: ‘They hit him in the back of his scooter and pushed him into the oncoming car.’  

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: '*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: '*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Images from Philadelphia shows stores in the city being looted. Philadelphia Police tweeted: ‘*Alert* A large crowd of appx 1000 is looting businesses in the area of Castor and Aramingo. Avoid the area;

Protestors hold a banner reading 'enough is enough' during a rally after the death of Wallace

Protestors hold a banner reading 'enough is enough' during a rally after the death of Wallace

Protestors hold a banner reading ‘enough is enough’ during a rally after the death of Wallace 

About 500 people had gathered at a West Philadelphia park Tuesday night and began marching through the neighborhood, chanting and demanding the names of the officers who opened fire. 

There were sporadic reports of arrests in other areas of the city Tuesday night around 9 p.m., as well as the video of people streaming into stores and stealing goods as they left. 

Hundreds of people had already taken to the streets in west Philadelphia Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday, with interactions between protesters and police turning violent at times, the Inquirer reported. 

Video showed many yelling at officers and crying.  

Dozens of protesters gathered at a nearby park, chanting ‘Black lives matter.’ 

Police cars and dumpsters were set on fire as officers struggled to contain the crowds. More than a dozen officers, many with batons in hand, formed a line as they ran down 52nd Street, dispersing most of the crowd.

The 52nd Street corridor was also the site of protests against police brutality at the end of May, after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. Those protests have been the subject of City Council hearings, with protesters describing harsh and unnecessary tactics, including tear gas and projectiles fired by police. 

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Wallace was shot before 4 p.m. Monday in an episode filmed by a bystander and posted on social media. Witnesses complained that police fired excessive shots. Officers said they found Wallace holding a knife and ordered him to drop the weapon several times. Wallace advanced toward the officers, who fired several times, said a police spokesperson

Police arrested at least 91 people during unrest Monday night and Tuesday morning in Philadelphia, with three people cited for failing to disperse and about a dozen charged with assault of an officer. 

Authorities had previously said 30 officers were injured in the unrest, most of them hit with thrown objects like bricks. 

One officer was still hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being purposely run over by a pickup truck, police said.  

In video filmed by a bystander and posted on social media, officers yell for Wallace to drop a knife. In the video, Wallace’s mother and at least one man follow Wallace, trying to get him to listen to officers, as he briskly walks across the street and between cars.

Wallace advanced toward the officers, who then fired several times, said police spokesperson Officer Tanya Little. Wallace’s mother screams and throws something at an officer after her son is shot and falls to the ground.

The video does not make it clear whether he was in fact holding a knife, but witnesses said he was. Police would not confirm any details about the weapon Wallace was alleged to be holding Tuesday, saying it is still part of the open investigation.

Wallace was hit in the shoulder and chest, Little said. One officer drove him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, she said.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Pokemon trading card haul ‘worth $375,000’ turns out to be fake

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pokemon trading card haul worth 375000 turns out to be fake

A record-breaking deal involving the purchase of Pokemon trading cards -livestreamed on the internet – ended in chaos when the rare first-edition haul turned out to be fake.  

Chris Camillo, a ‘social arbitrage investor’, had hoped to seal the deal with the $375,000 (£290,000) transaction, which reached its climax on YouTube channel Dumb Money on Tuesday.

Luckily for him, he had not yet parted with his cash and instead had it with him, in a silver briefcase filled with $100 bills on a table during the grand unsealing of the ‘treasured’ box.

Camillo, one of Dumb Money’s hosts, had watched the market for the Pokémon trading card game – which launched in 1999 – rise considerably recently and thought it would be a great investment opportunity, The Guardian reported. 

But as the packs were carefully removed from the ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’-labelled box, alarm bells began to ring.

Chris Camillo, a 'social arbitrage investor', had hoped to seal a deal - involving the $375,000 (£290,000) purchase of rare first-edition Pokemon trading cards - on YouTube channel Dumb Money on Tuesday

Chris Camillo, a 'social arbitrage investor', had hoped to seal a deal - involving the $375,000 (£290,000) purchase of rare first-edition Pokemon trading cards - on YouTube channel Dumb Money on Tuesday

Chris Camillo, a ‘social arbitrage investor’, had hoped to seal a deal – involving the $375,000 (£290,000) purchase of rare first-edition Pokemon trading cards – on YouTube channel Dumb Money on Tuesday

As the packs were carefully removed from the 'Gotta Catch 'Em All'-labelled box, alarm bells began to ring when onlookers soon realised the treasure haul was fake - with some packs unsealed and with worrying colour variations

As the packs were carefully removed from the 'Gotta Catch 'Em All'-labelled box, alarm bells began to ring when onlookers soon realised the treasure haul was fake - with some packs unsealed and with worrying colour variations

As the packs were carefully removed from the ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’-labelled box, alarm bells began to ring when onlookers soon realised the treasure haul was fake – with some packs unsealed and with worrying colour variations

Luckily for Camillo, he had not yet parted with his cash and instead had it with him - in a silver briefcase filled with $100 bills on a table during the grand unsealing

Luckily for Camillo, he had not yet parted with his cash and instead had it with him - in a silver briefcase filled with $100 bills on a table during the grand unsealing

Luckily for Camillo, he had not yet parted with his cash and instead had it with him – in a silver briefcase filled with $100 bills on a table during the grand unsealing

One observer said: ‘The colour’s different on that one and that one.’ Another chimed in with: ‘That’s not a first edition card.’

And when they then observed that one of the packs was already open, a man exclaims: ‘That’s a major f***ing issue.’

Someone then says: ‘I’m going to call the sellers… money back on that’ – and ‘Wow. This a resealed box! This is unacceptable.’ 

The sellers in question were headed up by Jake Greenbaum – who goes by the Twitter handle JBThe Crypto King and describes himself as ‘Trader. Builder. Blockchain Entrepreneur’. 

Greenbaum was also billed as well-known YouTube personality Logan Paul’s ‘personal Pokemon consultant’.

The vendors wanted to be paid in cash – hence the briefcase – with the idea that the buyers would check the contents of the box before giving them the money and selling the cards next year for charity. 

One observer at the Dumb Money event (above) said: 'The colour's different on that one and that one.' Another chimed in with: 'That's not a first edition card'

One observer at the Dumb Money event (above) said: 'The colour's different on that one and that one.' Another chimed in with: 'That's not a first edition card'

One observer at the Dumb Money event (above) said: ‘The colour’s different on that one and that one.’ Another chimed in with: ‘That’s not a first edition card’

The cards themselves are said to have been purchased from an unnamed third party.

Those involved with the transaction, on both sides, strongly dismissed suggestions that the whole epsiode was a stunt, according to the Guardian.    

The international Pokémon phenomenon is one of the most lucrative animation franchises in history.

Schools worldwide were forced to bring in strict gambling rules in the late 1990s as children incessantly fought over the collectible trading cards sold in shops, magazines, and fast food meals.

The cartoon series, launched in Japan in 1997, follows Ash and his friends Misty and Brock as they fight evil with monsters, ‘Pokémons’, they can store in a small ball.

Each Pokémon has its own special powers and different strengths.

In the show, owners pit their pocket monsters against each other – the winner keeps both.

As the slogan ‘Gotta catch em all’ suggests, the aim is to collect all the pocket monsters – a battle schoolchildren worldwide simulated using the collectible playing cards. 

Gotta catch ’em all! The colourful world of Pokemon

Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, started as a video game called Pocket Monsters in Japan in 1995.

An instant hit, it was commissioned as a TV series in 1997.

It was temporarily taken off air in 1998 after at least 700 viewers were hospitalised due to excessive use of strobe lighting and special effects in an episode on December 16 1997. People aged three to 58 suffered epilepsy symptoms for more than 24 hours.

Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, started as a video game called Pocket Monsters in Japan in 1995. An instant hit, it was commissioned as a TV series in 1997

Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, started as a video game called Pocket Monsters in Japan in 1995. An instant hit, it was commissioned as a TV series in 1997

Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, started as a video game called Pocket Monsters in Japan in 1995. An instant hit, it was commissioned as a TV series in 1997

After returning to Japanese screens in April 1998, and renamed Pokémon, the series was syndicated to America – and soon became an international phenomenon.

The franchise includes computer games, cards, TV shows, books, stickers, movies, toys, and even vitamins.

The Pokémons were released in ‘generations’.

The first generation, labelled Red and Blue, consisted of the ‘main’ 151 characters. These reside in the fictional region of Kanto – inspired by Japan’s Kanto district.

The franchise includes computer games, cards, TV shows, books, stickers, movies, toys, and even vitamins

The franchise includes computer games, cards, TV shows, books, stickers, movies, toys, and even vitamins

The franchise includes computer games, cards, TV shows, books, stickers, movies, toys, and even vitamins

The second generation, Gold and Silver, introduced 100 more Pokémon in 1999. 

In the past an ultra-rare Pokemon card featuring the character Pikachu has sold at auction for as much as $195,000.

The Pikachu Illustrator card was given in January 1998 to winners of the CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest and only 39 were ever made.

It’s believed only 10 of the cards in circulation are in mint condition and it is unclear how many are still privately owned.

The ‘Pikachu Illustrator’ first sold in the early 2000s for around $23,000.

The card, considered the most valuable and iconic Pokemon card among collectors, was designed by Atsuko Nishida, one of the chief graphic illustrators of the series.

It depicts the fan-favorite yellow rodent Pikachu, holding what appear to be drawing utensils.

Another card that could be worth a pretty penny is the first edition Shining Charizard, a fan favourite from the height of the Pokémon craze in the late 90s.

Cards in pristine condition regularly sell for around $1,000 or more on eBay.

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Migrant boat capsizes in English Channel: Children among four dead

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migrant boat capsizes in english channel children among four dead

Two children aged five and eight and two adults have died after a boat capsized off the French coast in stormy weather while trying to cross the Channel to the UK.  

Emergency services rushed to the scene after a frantic Mayday radio plea, which was received by a small fishing boat nearby, heard the migrants scream: ‘Help us, we’re sinking!’

Fifteen migrants have been saved so far after they were pulled from the waters near the Loon-Plage region of Dunkirk just after 9.30am.

The rescue and search operations were still under way until 5pm, when they were paused due to lack of light.   

Before darkness fell, one migrant was sensationally winched from the sea off the by the crew of a Belgian Air Force air sea rescue helicopter.          

The person, who has not been identified, was spotted despite stormy conditions and airlifted to hospital in Calais.

The regional administration for France’s Nord region said in a statement that the dead children were aged five and eight. It is believed the younger child died at sea and the second died in hospital. 

One woman and one man are also confirmed to have died and it is believed another child, a baby, may still be missing in the water. 

Last night sources told The Sun: ‘The boat had not left French waters but the conditions were pretty tough.

‘The radio message came in at about the same time a yachtsman had reported seeing the vessel in difficulties.

‘It was incredibly fortunate the alarm was raised quickly enough for a rescue operation to be mounted.’                         

Two children aged five and eight and two adults have died after a boat capsized off the French coast in stormy weather while trying to cross the Channel to the UK. Pictured: This photo of a ferry entering Dover on Tuesday demonstrates the stormy weather at the time of the incident

Two children aged five and eight and two adults have died after a boat capsized off the French coast in stormy weather while trying to cross the Channel to the UK. Pictured: This photo of a ferry entering Dover on Tuesday demonstrates the stormy weather at the time of the incident

Two children aged five and eight and two adults have died after a boat capsized off the French coast in stormy weather while trying to cross the Channel to the UK. Pictured: This photo of a ferry entering Dover on Tuesday demonstrates the stormy weather at the time of the incident 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement posted on Twitter she was ‘truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in French waters this morning.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had offered ‘every support’ to French authorities as they investigate the ‘terrible incident’. 

Home Office Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said he was ‘deeply saddened’ to hear of the deaths and added there was ‘no way’ the boat was going to get across the Dover Strait. 

He said the weather was ‘appalling’ at the time, with wind speeds of 42 knots (around 48mph). 

It is believed to be the single biggest loss of life during the current migrant crisis, and brings the total number of deaths since 2018 to 10. 

Five French vessels and a Belgian helicopter were involved in the rescue searches after the migrant boat was reported in distress off the coast of Dunkirk, according to the regional French maritime agency. 

It had said earlier that 18 people were rescued and were receiving treatment in hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk. 

Survivors reportedly gave their nationalities as Iraqi and Kurdish Iranian.

The reason for the different numbers of rescued migrants was not explained.

The Prefecture Maritime for the English Channel and North Sea said that one migrant was spotted and then then rescued by a Caiman helicopter of the Belgian Air Force and evacuated to a Calais hospital.

But they added: ‘Despite the consequent system put in place, searches have not made it possible to find other possible castaways.

‘The maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea authorizes the stopping of searches with directed means at 6:00 p.m., due to nightfall and lack of new elements since morning.’

An investigation into the cause of the sinking was opened by the Dunkirk prosecutor. 

Ms Patel added: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones at this time,’ Patel said in a statement.

‘We are in touch with our French counterparts who are leading on the response and have offered whatever support they need as they investigate this incident,’ she added. ‘

‘This tragic news highlights the dangers that come with crossing the Channel and I will do everything I can to stop callous criminals exploiting vulnerable people.’

Mr Johnson echoed Ms Patel’s comments, saying: ‘My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives in the Channel today.

‘We have offered the French authorities every support as they investigate this terrible incident and will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journeys.’

Commander O’Mahoney added: ‘I’m deeply saddened by the tragic incident in the Channel this morning, my thoughts are with all those affected.

‘I have been in touch with our French counterparts to offer our support to their response and investigation.’

Retired coastguard officer Andy Roberts said: ‘It’s absolutely tragic. Something like this was always eventually going to happen and sadly it now has.

‘There is no way that boat was ever going to successfully cross the Dover strait.

‘The weather was appalling. There were 42 knots of wind in Dover which is around 48mph.

The major operation was launched this morning off Loon-Plage near Dunkirk after the boat capsized

The major operation was launched this morning off Loon-Plage near Dunkirk after the boat capsized

The major operation was launched this morning off Loon-Plage near Dunkirk after the boat capsized

A French SAMU rescue helicopter lands close to a rescue vessel during the search operation

A French SAMU rescue helicopter lands close to a rescue vessel during the search operation

A French SAMU rescue helicopter lands close to a rescue vessel during the search operation

‘We won’t know the full extent of what has happened until Wednesday afternoon as it is now dark now and thermal imagery on helicopters can only detect the living.

‘If people were in the water for more than two hours, there is every chance they will already be dead sadly.

‘It’s been a tragedy waiting to happen.’ 

Former child refugee Lord Alf Dubs, who was part of the Kindertransport which rescued children from the Nazis, said Tuesday’s  loss of life was ‘heartbreaking’.

The Labour peer wrote on Twitter: ‘Today’s tragic loss of life in the Channel, involving children, is heartbreaking. 

‘These deaths are a result of the increasing desperation of refugees as their legal routes to safety close. 

‘Without legal routes their journeys are dangerous and traffickers are the only winners. 

Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘This is truly awful news – and it is even more distressing that children should be involved in this tragedy.

‘The thought of children ending up in the cold waves is terrible.

‘These boats are incredibly dangerous. The criminal gangs who organise journeys in these precarious dinghies are profiting from putting lives at risk and from other people’s desperation.

‘The Home Affairs Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into Channel crossings and into the work that is urgently needed to prevent more lives being lost.’

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: ‘News that a five-year-old child has died at sea while trying to reach safety in the UK is the horror that we dreaded would come.

‘Where is the decency and common humanity of the UK Government?

‘How can they allow our children to perish in this way? It would be easy to create a legal route for refugees who reach northern France to seek asylum in the UK; there is no excuse for failing to act now.’

Mariam Kemple Hardy, head of campaigns at Refugee Action, said the incident was ‘absolutely heartbreaking’.

She added: ‘Our thoughts are with the people caught up in this horrible tragedy, their families, and the rescuers.

‘No-one wants to see people make dangerous crossings but the Government’s hostile rhetoric does nothing to help.

‘It must stop trying to look tough and urgently create more safe and legal routes for people to seek sanctuary in the UK.’

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds tweeted: ‘This is an absolute tragedy. Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and people who have been injured.

‘It is a heartbreaking reminder of the human cost of this crisis.’ 

The mayor of the port town of Gravelines between Calais and Dunkirk, Bertrand Rigot, earlier said that two children and several adults had died in the incident.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement posted on Twitter she was 'truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in French waters this morning'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement posted on Twitter she was 'truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in French waters this morning'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement posted on Twitter she was ‘truly saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life in French waters this morning’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had offered 'every support' to French authorities as they investigate the 'terrible incident'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had offered 'every support' to French authorities as they investigate the 'terrible incident'

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had offered ‘every support’ to French authorities as they investigate the ‘terrible incident’

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34919538 8884669 image a 17 1603843608333

He tweeted: ‘The assessment of the situation is tragic with the death of two children and several adults.

’18 migrants have been taken into the care of emergency services.’    

Eight of those who were rescued were in a state of hypothermia – including one considered serious – and were taken to hospitals in Calais and Dunkirk.  

La Voix Du Nord reported an English yachtsman sounded the alarm after seeing the Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) carrying around 20 people capsize. 

Local media reported that the migrants were Iraqis and Kurdish Iranians.  

The Dunkirk prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the incident.

Dunkirk public prosecutor Sébastien Pive said six migrants were taken into custody for interview. 

The major operation was launched this morning off Loon-Plage near Dunkirk after the boat capsized.  

The French Coastguard were alerted by the sailing boat Marbuzet of the presence of a migrant boat in difficulty in the Dunkirk channel.

The nearby fishing vessel Meuchik, Dunkirk pilot boat, lifeboat Notre Dame des Flandres of the national sea rescue society (SNSM) from Gravelines, the Garonne of the French Navy, Customs patroller Jacques Oudart Fourmentin (JOF) as well as a Belgian Air Force helicopter were all involved in the rescue.

French rescue workers stand next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

French rescue workers stand next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

French rescue workers stand next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

The French Prefecture Maritime for the English Channel and North Sea district earlier said in a news release: ‘Search operations are still underway.

‘At the same time, an operational PC was activated on land under the authority of the Dunkirk sub-prefect to coordinate the resources engaged by SDIS 59 and SAMU 59. 

Clare Moseley, founder of aid charity Care4Calais, said ‘Everyone here in Calais is utterly devastated by this news.

‘We are grieving for the victims, we stand in sympathy and solidarity with their families and friends.

‘It is cruel and horrifying that this time, young children are among the victims.

‘This unnecessary loss of life has to stop. No one should ever feel they have to get into a fragile craft and risk their lives crossing the Channel, least of all vulnerable children.

‘Refugees feel pushed to take these risks because of the policies of the French and British governments.

‘Living in miserable conditions on the streets of Calais, hounded by the police, and left with no clear, legal process to have their UK asylum cases heard, refugees feel they have no other option but to take huge risks to make it to Britain, and some pay with their lives.

‘Instead of trying to put in place better laws to protect refugees, the UK Government is currently planning to scrap legal protections that allow refugee children in Europe to be reunited with their families in the UK.

‘This loss of life should be a wake up call for those in power in France and the UK.

‘We have to provide a safe and legal process by which refugees can have their UK asylum claims heard, that’s the way to put an end to terrifying, dangerous sea crossings and stop tragedy striking again.’

Police officers stand near a police car at Dunkirk port as the search operation continues

Police officers stand near a police car at Dunkirk port as the search operation continues

Police officers stand near a police car at Dunkirk port as the search operation continues

Folkestone MP Damian Collins said: ‘This is an avoidable tragedy and shows how important it is for migrant boats to be intercepted at sea before they get to the UK side of the channel.

‘We must stop people traffickers from profiting whilst putting lives in danger.’

The Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea had issued a call for vigilance on Monday warning of difficult weather conditions at sea between Tuesday and Friday.

It expected an ‘active disturbance causing a strong strengthening of the wind’ to cross the Channel coast and North Sea this morning with its influence felt until the end of the week.

Southwest winds were predicted to reach 30 knots (34.5mph) with gusts as strong as 50 knots (57.5mph).

The French maritime agency warned the sea will be most rough near the coast while heaviest in the most exposed areas and offshore.

A spokesman for the French maritime agency said on Monday: ‘In view of these disturbed weather conditions, the maritime prefect strongly advises against any practice of water sports and calls on all users of the sea to be extremely careful.’ 

A policeman stands next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

A policeman stands next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

A policeman stands next to a rescue vessel during the search operation

‘It seems that one person, who might be an infant, is still missing,’ Tourmente said, noting that stormy conditions had made the attempted crossing especially perilous. 

Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke said: ‘It is terrible to hear that tragedy has struck in the Channel once again.

‘People traffickers have no regard for human life, no matter how old or young.

‘These perilous crossings must be stopped, once and for all, before more lives are lost in these stormy winter seas.’

Bridget Chapman, of Kent Refugee Action Network, tweeted: ‘I hope that everyone is safe. We need safe & legal routes now!’

A helicopter taking off from FREMM Frigate Normandie to help with the rescue of migrants from the Channel

A helicopter taking off from FREMM Frigate Normandie to help with the rescue of migrants from the Channel

A helicopter taking off from FREMM Frigate Normandie to help with the rescue of migrants from the Channel

A SAMU (French Urgent Medical Aid Service) helicopter lands at Dunkirk port in norther France

A SAMU (French Urgent Medical Aid Service) helicopter lands at Dunkirk port in norther France

A SAMU (French Urgent Medical Aid Service) helicopter lands at Dunkirk port in norther France

International refugee law specialist Dan Sohege, director of Stand For All, wrote: ’18 people we know of have suffered already because of this. We don’t know how many more may have done.

‘Whatever your view on people crossing the channel, remember these are people with names, with families, with hopes and dreams.

High of 7,565 Channel crossings so far this year 

There have been some 7,565 Channel crossings this year alone which have forced the Government to use former barracks as migrant camps. 

Just 1,850 migrants tried to make the crossing in 2019. 

A record-breaking 409 migrants made it across the Channel on September 2.

And the figure includes a single-month record of 1,954 in September.

So far this month, 436 migrants have been detained. 

Conservative Lee Anderson (Ashfield) told the Prime Minister the asylum system is ‘broken and being abused’, to which Mr Johnson replied in the Commons: ‘I have a great deal of sympathy with those who are so desperate as to put their children in dinghies or even children’s paddling pools and try to cross the Channel.

‘But I have to say what they’re doing is falling prey to criminal gangs and they are breaking the law. They’re also undermining the legitimate claims of others who would seek asylum in this country.

‘That is why we will take advantage of leaving the EU by changing the Dublin regulations on returns and we will address the rigidities in our laws that makes this country, I’m afraid, a target and a magnet for those who would exploit vulnerable people in this way.’ 

The massive rise comes despite a vow from Home Secretary Priti Patel last autumn to have made the crossings an ‘infrequent phenomenon’ by this point.

The Home Office has sought to blame French authorities and ‘activist lawyers’ for the increase and for difficulties removing asylum seekers once they arrive in Britain. 

The previous monthly record for migrant arrivals was 1,075, set in July. August’s arrivals saw 235 reach Britain on just one day – which was also a record.

Miss Patel is seeking a deal with French authorities that would allow migrant boats to be turned back in the Channel. No agreement has yet been reached.

At the beginning of September, the Mail revealed the taxpayer was hit with a £1billion bill for the asylum system last year. 

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‘They aren’t just statistics. Please show respect.’  

Tuesday’s tragedy in the Channel comes after a migrant drowned while attempting to make the crossing on Sunday, October 18.

The police and fire brigade were called to the beach at Sangatte near Calais at around 8am after his body was spotted in an orange life jacket.

Despite an autopsy last week confirming he died of accidental drowning while trying to reach the UK from France, his identity has not yet been revealed.

He is being referred to as ‘BB’ within migrant aid groups until his next of kin have been informed.

The man, who is understood to be aged in his 20s and was discovered by horrified rescue workers near the town hall, was identified by a friend to the medical examiner’s office.

Both police and the coroner are satisfied he was Iranian despite being found with no documents with him.

Humanitarian organisation Seeking Sanctuary paid their respects on Saturday by laying flowers at a plaque in Dover, Kent dedicated to all migrants who have died.

An autopsy last Tuesday found the latest migrant to have lost their life while attempting the crossing died of accidental drowning.

French news website France Bleu said rescuers found 50 Euros on the body of the man.

It is believed he died within hours of trying to make the treacherous 21 mile crossing of the Dover Strait.

A post mortem will be held in due course while an investigation is underway into the death.

The victim was the second to die this year making the treacherous crossing.

Sudanese national Abdulfatah Hamdallah, 28, drowned while trying to make the crossing in August in a 3ft dinghy.

Two people also died last year.

Iranian Mitra Mehrad, 31, drowned after falling overboard while saving a baby’s life, according to a friend.

She was travelling on a small dinghy carrying 19 other migrants – including a child and a baby – when she went missing in horrendous conditions on August 9.

A huge air search and rescue operation was launched by British authorities after three people went overboard wearing life jackets off the Kent coast.

Ms Mehrad had jumped into the water in a bid to reach a rescue rope from another boat as the one they were travelling on began to sink.

The other two were quickly recovered, but Ms Mehrad could not be tracked.

Her body was found on Dutch waters on August 18, and she is believed to be the first person to have died while making the perilous crossing.

An Iraqi man also drowned after attempting to swim over using plastic bottles as a life jacket and wearing diver fins.

A total of 7,565 migrants have now attempted to make the perilous crossing across the English channel this year compared to just 1,850 in 2019.

In September alone 1,954 made the crossing in small boats.

So far this month, 436 migrants have been detained. 

Sudanese national Abdulfatah Hamdallah (left), 28, drowned in August while trying to make the crossing in a 3ft dinghy

Sudanese national Abdulfatah Hamdallah (left), 28, drowned in August while trying to make the crossing in a 3ft dinghy

Iranian Mitra Mehrad, 31, drowned in the same month after falling overboard while saving a baby's life, according to a friend

Iranian Mitra Mehrad, 31, drowned in the same month after falling overboard while saving a baby's life, according to a friend

Sudanese national Abdulfatah Hamdallah (left), 28, drowned in August while trying to make the crossing in a 3ft dinghy. Iranian Mitra Mehrad, 31, drowned in the same month after falling overboard while saving a baby’s life, according to a friend

Mr Rigot wrote to French Interior minister Gérald Darmanin last month expressing his concerns about the theft of boats from Gravelines used to make crossings of the Channel and the resurgence in crossings using makeshift vessels.

He called on the French government to provide additional resources to help.

Max Williams, organiser of human rights campaign group Channel Rescue, said: ‘At least three people including a child have lost their lives after a boat capsized whilst they were trying to reach safety in the UK.

‘Others are missing and more have been taken to hospital.

‘Our thoughts go out to those currently in hospital and the families of the people who have lost their lives.

Pictured is the FS Garonne which aided Tuesday's search and rescue operation in the Channel

Pictured is the FS Garonne which aided Tuesday's search and rescue operation in the Channel

Pictured is the FS Garonne which aided Tuesday’s search and rescue operation in the Channel

‘This is a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, with men, women and children risking their lives in search of the protection offered to them under international laws that the UK have signed.

‘The government must urgently ensure safe and legal passage for those seeking safety.’

Detention Action director Bella Sankey said: ‘News that a five year old child has died at sea while trying to reach safety in the UK is the horror that we dreaded would come.

‘Where is the decency and common humanity of the UK Government? How can they allow our children to perish in this way?

‘It would be easy to create a legal route for refugees who reach Northern France to seek asylum in the UK; there is no excuse for failing to act now.’

Pictured is a French coastguard vessel similar to the one which was involved in Tuesday's rescue mission

Pictured is a French coastguard vessel similar to the one which was involved in Tuesday's rescue mission

Pictured is a French coastguard vessel similar to the one which was involved in Tuesday’s rescue mission

Phil Kerton, co-director of humanitarian organisation Seeking Sanctuary, said: ‘Desperate people have lost their lives in another tragic and distressing accident.

‘Our thoughts at ‘Seeking Sanctuary’ are with their families who are yet to learn of their loss and with with those of their companions who were lucky enough to be rescued, but who must now live with the memories of this tragedy.

‘Like everyone else, each of the dead had hopes for leading a future life in peace and dignity, all seeking to realise their innate potential.

‘We continue to urge that innovative solutions are found for the welfare of the world’s exiles and for their safe access to places where they may request asylum.

‘Solutions that do not involve more security measures such as patrols, walls and fences, but which see each of them as a human being in need of advice and help and with a genuine contribution to make to society.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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