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Shop security guards emerge as heroes following Chelmsley fire

A pair of quick-thinking security guards at a Solihull shopping centre helped to evacuate terrified residents after a fire tore through the roof of a nearby tower block . The fearless guards at Chelmsley Wood1 Shopping Centre were on patrol when they spotted the flames and smoke coming from the top of the building in nearby Moorend Avenue. As shoppers watched the drama in horror, the brave duo sprinted across to the block, which is managed by Solihull 2Community Housing (SCH) and alerted the concierge to the danger.

Smoke from the fire in Chelmsley Wood

The plucky twosome, who would not be named, swiftly took to the stairs and banged on the doors of the flats in the 10 storey building. Residents told the Birmingham Mail they had been unaware of the blaze which could be seen for miles away after the fire took hold at around 1.45pm. Twenty-five firefighters3 tackled the incident and gave oxygen therapy to one man who was injured.

Residents from the top two floors were evacuated.

The fire at the block of flats in Moorend Avenue Chelmsley Wood

One of the security guards said: There didn t seem to be a fire alarm in the block.

We tried to find one so that we could actually hit a panic button.

My colleague went to the top floor and I started on the fifth so we worked it between us.

We were there for about five to 10 minutes but it seemed longer.

We didn t think about it, we just went in to help . Then the fire brigade took over. Liberty Chester, who has a four year old daughter Lacie, said she didn t feel safe.

I m just glad Lacie wasn t there, she said.

If she had been she would not have gone back into the flat. The 24-year-old added: It was the security guards from the shopping centre who saw the smoke and ran over to tell us.

They tried to find the fire alarm but couldn t.

Then they began banging on all the doors to tell us.

We were waiting outside for maybe half an hour to 45 minutes.

We weren t told anything . Nobody knew what was going on.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service4 spokeswoman said one ambulance was at the scene.

One man was treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes after the blaze was extinguished at about 3pm.

Chloe Moore, 18 and her mum Michelle Thomas at the scene of the fire in Chelmsley Wood

Michelle Thomas lives on the third floor and her daughter Chloe Moore lives on the top floor of the building. Michelle said: When I got there I saw a roofer who was working there . He tried to put it out himself and his arm was covered in bandages.

Chelsea Lee has lived in the block for 3 years . The 23-year-old said: Everyone looks out for each other here. Peter Stoate, a spokesman for SCH, said: We are pleased to report that the fire on the roof of Cheshunt House was quickly extinguished by the fire services .

One contractor working on the roof was treated at the scene but no tenants were injured.

Some tenants had to leave their homes for a couple of hours while safety procedures were followed but all were able to return soon afterwards.

References

  1. ^ Chelmsley Wood (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Solihull (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ firefighters (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ West Midlands Ambulance Service (www.birminghammail.co.uk)

Turkey puts 200 suspected military coup plotters on trial amid heavy security

ANKARA Turkey put on trial 200 suspects on Monday including senior military officers accused of plotting and orchestrating last year’s failed coup, in a court case where prosecutors are calling for life sentences.

The defendants, among them President Tayyip Erdogan’s aide-de-camp, the former head of Turkey’s air force, and dozens of generals, colonels and majors, were paraded on their way to court past dozens of protesters who demanded the death penalty and threw nooses towards them.

Around 1,500 security personnel were deployed for security at the trial, state-run Anadolu news agency reported, which was held in a purpose-built courthouse in Sincan on the outskirts of the Turkish capital.

More than 240 people, many of them civilians, were killed in the failed coup on July 15, 2016, when a group of rogue soldiers commandeered tanks, warplanes and helicopters, bombing the parliament and attempting to overthrow the government.

Those on trial in Sincan included core suspects behind the coup who raided the state broadcaster and forced the presenter to read out an announcement saying the army had taken over and Turkey was being run by a committee they called “Peace at Home”.

Erdogan blames Fetullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric and a former ally, and his global network for orchestrating the coup, a charge Gulen denies . Turkish authorities have arrested nearly 50,000 people over alleged links with the preacher.

At the start of the hearing, families of the victims attending the trial screamed at the defendants, and one woman in the courtroom, whose son was killed during the coup, broke down.

“Kill these traitors, the murderers of my son,” she screamed before fainting . The judge called for a medical team to be brought into the courtroom.

From a total of 221 defendants, more than 200 are from the military and more than half of those were officers who held ranks from captains up to generals . All but 12 of the suspects, who are still at large, appeared in court . Gulen, who is among the defendants, is among those being tried in absentia.

Following confirmation of the suspects’ identity and the reading of a summary of the roughly 2,000-page indictment, suspects will be able to put forward their defence.

Hearings at the trial, one of the largest of several coup-related trials taking place across Turkey, are expected to last until June 16.

Citing the coup attempt as a grave threat to the state, Turkish authorities have also sacked or suspended around 150,000 civil servants, teachers, judges, prosecutors, police and soldiers and have shut down around 150 media outlets.

While the detentions may have been supported by some Turks in the immediate aftermath of the abortive putsch, criticism mounted as arrests widened to include groups of which many deny any connection to Gulen.

Many relatives of those detained or sacked since July say they have nothing to do with the armed attempt to overthrow the government, and are victims of a purge designed to consolidate Erdogan’s control.

(Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dominic Evans and Raissa Kasolowsky)

International hackers targeted Foreign Office, cyber security experts reveal

An international hacking group targeted the Foreign Office in a campaign lasting several months, cyber security experts have revealed. The Callisto Group are highly motivated and well resourced and thought to be involved in intelligence gathering about foreign and security policy. Cyber security firm F-Secure claimed the group s infrastructure has links with Russia, China and Ukraine, but did not offer any definitive conclusions about who was behind Callisto. The Foreign Office (FCO) was one of the organisations targeted by Callisto in 2016, with other targets including military personnel, government officials, think tanks and journalists in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. Erka Koivunen, chief information security officer at F-Secure said: We do not have enough data to determine what exactly the Callisto Group were doing with the FCO, or whether any activity concerning them was successfully executed. However, we do have indicators that the FCO were targeted by the Callisto Group.

International Hackers Targeted Foreign Office, Cyber Security Experts Reveal

The Government faces tens of thousands of cyber attacks every month and is aware of several established, capable state and state-sponsored groups seeking to penetrate UK networks. The active cyber defence (ACD) programme developed by the Government is aimed at blocking attacks before they reach their intended recipient. In a report on Callisto s activities, F-Secure said that in October 2015 the group used phishing techniques sending emails purporting to come from Google suggesting that their Gmail accounts were about to be closed to harvest security credentials. In early 2016 spear phishing emails with malicious attachments appearing to be from people known to the recipient were sent in highly targeted attacks aimed at government officials, military targets, think tanks and journalists.

The malware contained in the attacks would have enabled Callisto to gather basic information and screenshots but also install further software which could have given the group full remote access to the machine and its data. While the targeting would suggest that the main benefactor of the Callisto Group s activity is a nation state with specific interest in the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus regions, the link to infrastructure used for the sale of controlled substances hints at the involvement of a criminal element, the report said. One potential explanation was that Callisto is a cyber crime group with ties to a nation state, such as acting on behalf of or for the benefit of a government agency but it was not possible to make any definitive assertions , F-Secure concluded.

International Hackers Targeted Foreign Office, Cyber Security Experts RevealCyber security firm F-Secure claimed the Callisto Group s infrastructure has links with Russia, China and Ukraine (PA) A National Cyber Security Centre spokesman said: The first duty of Government is to safeguard the nation and as the technical authority on cyber security, the NCSC is delivering ground breaking innovations to make the UK the toughest online target in the world. Emails are the main path for most attacks and usually rely on an abuse of trust by spoofing well-known brands .

The Government s ACD programme is developing services to block, prevent and neutralise attacks before they reach inboxes.

These measures are being trialled on government systems to prove effectiveness before we ask industry to implement them.