Major acid leak creates vapour cloud over Hull

People living in Hull have been asked to close their doors and windows after a major acid leak caused a vapour cloud to form over a dock in the east of the city.

Humberside fire and rescue said 50 firefighters were called to a “major acid leak” in a tank containing 580 tonnes of hydrochloric acid at the King George dock, near the river Hull, late on Monday.

At about 2.30am the fire service said the wind was blowing a vapour cloud resulting from the leak away from houses in the area, but advised residents to close their doors and windows as a precaution.

The leak did not lead to any evacuations, as it was at the east end of the dock, which borders wasteland. Crews had contained the leak by 4.20am and were scaling down their operation.

On Tuesday morning, the fire service said the cloud had gone and declared the area near the dock safe.

The Environment Agency confirmed it had attended the site in the early hours of Tuesday. It said there appeared to be no leakage into the Humber or any other environmental impact.

Rolling Stone magazine up for sale

‘There’s a level of ambition we can’t achieve alone,’ says son of founder, who started publication in 1967 in California

Rolling Stone, the 50-year-old music and counterculture magazine, is putting itself up for sale amid an increasingly uncertain outlook, its founder said.

Jann Wenner – who started Rolling Stone in 1967 as a hippie student in Berkeley, California, and now runs it with his son Gus – told the New York Times the future looked tough for a family-run publisher.

“There’s a level of ambition that we can’t achieve alone,” Gus Wenner told the news paper in an interview on Sunday. “So we are being proactive and want to get ahead of the curve,” he said.

As well as being one of the most influential magazines covering rock music, Rolling Stone has also been a home for experimental writers such as the gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson.

But the magazine’s reputation – and finances – were badly damaged when it retracted a 2014 story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, with a review finding that Rolling Stone did not undertake basic journalistic procedures to verify the facts.

Rolling Stone last year sold a 49% stake to a Singaporean music and technology start-up, BandLab Technologies, which is headed by Kuok Meng Ru, the scion of one of Asia’s richest families.

It was not immediately known if Kuok would want to take a controlling stake in Rolling Stone.

This year, the Wenner family sold its other two titles – celebrity magazine US Weekly and lifestyle monthly Men’s Journal – to American Media, a publisher of supermarket tabloids including the National Enquirer.

If American Media, were interested in Rolling Stone, it would mark a sharp change in owners’ ideologies. The tabloid empire is led by David Pecker, an ardent Donald Trump ally, while Rolling Stone has a leftwing outlook and has featured lengthy interviews with Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Jann Wenner, 71, who is also a key force behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said he hoped to keep an editorial role at Rolling Stone but that the decision would be up to its new owner.

Georgia Tech police shoot LGBTQ student dead

Campus officers say Scout Schultz was advancing on officers with a knife when they opened fire outside a dormitory

Campus police at a university in the US state of Georgia have shot and killed an LGBTQ student activist who they say was advancing on officers with a knife.

Scout Schultz, 21, refused to put down a knife and kept moving toward the officers late on Sunday outside a dormitory at Georgia Tech, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The police used the person’s given name of Scott, but the computer engineering student used the name Scout and preferred the pronouns “they” and “them” rather than “him” or “her”.

“I’m bisexual, nonbinary and intersex,” Schultz wrote in a Pride Alliance profile.

WSB-TV reported that the knife, which was still on the ground when reporters arrived, appeared to be a half-open multi-tool without any of the tools extended.

The GBI said officers tried repeatedly to get Schultz to drop the knife, but they refused to do so.

The officer who opened fire has not been named. Shultz later died in hospital.

Two students gave the TV station video footage of the incident in which officers can be heard repeatedly shouting, “Drop the knife!”

Aaron Thurston told the station, “He was yelling, like, ‘Hey, shoot me!’” That could not be heard in the video footage.

“He took a couple more steps forward — it wasn’t a lunge; it was a couple more steps forward. And then the officer fired,” Thurston said.

A statement from Georgia Tech on Monday said: “Our hearts and prayers go out to Scout’s family, friends and colleagues as we mourn Scout’s life and the unrealised potential of what could have been.”

Schultz’s mother, Lynne, told the station that her oldest child was a brilliant student despite contending with numerous medical issues, including depression, and that they had twice attempted suicide.

The lawyer L Chris Stewart told the station that he thought Schultz “was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to do”.

He said he did not think Schultz was attempting “suicide by police”, and officers should have used non-lethal force. “The area was secured. There was no one around at risk,” Stewart said.

Most of Schultz’s stress was related to school, their mother said.

“Scout was always a perfectionist,” Lynne Schultz said. “They always worried they were going to fail a test but got all As and only two Bs at Tech.”

Parsons Green tube attack: arrested man named as Yahyah Farroukh

Suspect, 21, thought to be from Syria and had reportedly lived with other arrested man at Sunbury foster carers’ home

The second man arrested by police over the Parsons Green terrorism attack has been named as Yahyah Farroukh.

Pictures showed the 21-year-old man being stopped by officers outside a fried chicken shop in the Hounslow area of west London on Saturday night. Metropolitan police officers were still searching the area on Monday morning.

Officers were also searching an address understood to be Farroukh’s home in nearby Stanwell, in Surrey, only metres from the outer boundaries of Heathrow airport. Farroukh was the second person to be arrested over Friday’s attack; an as-yet unnamed 18-year-old man was stopped by officers near the port of Dover on Friday evening.

According to a Facebook profile thought to belong to Farroukh, he is originally from Damascus, in Syria, and studied English for speakers of other languages at West Thames college, near the Stanwell property. The college has not responded to a request for comment. His profile also claims that he worked for an events company in London.

Images of Farroukh on Facebook show him with family members and posing in front of a tourist site in central London.

It was reported that he and the 18-year-old had spent time with carers Penelope and Ronald Jones, whose home in Sunbury-on-Thames, in Surrey, was raided by armed police on Saturday morning. That address, as well as those in Stanwell and Hounslow, were all still being searched by counter-terrorism investigators on Monday morning.

Images published by the Sun on Sunday night appeared to show Farroukh being arrested by police in Hounslow after a struggle, and officers are understood to have begun searching the chicken shop soon after. Its owner has not responded to a request for comment.

The paper quoted an unnamed witness as saying: “The guy had just walked past the takeaway when three blokes and a woman came running past and he was rugby-tackled to the floor.

“My mates and I thought he was getting jumped. We were going to help him but they shouted ‘undercover police’ so we stepped back.

“The guy was screaming. When they took him down his phone went flying and he dropped his bag containing a drink can and a KitKat. The cops were shouting to get his phone. I guess because it holds important information.

“A forensic team wrapped his arms in plastic up to his biceps and his legs up to his thighs. They put plastic on his shoes then put him in overalls and plastic cuffs. They put him in a car which also had all the seats wrapped in plastic.”

ITV News released footage on Sunday evening showing a man leaving the Sunbury house on the morning of the attack. He was carrying a bag that resembled that photographed in the tube carriage, prompting speculation that he was the bomber.

 

YouTube shuts down North Korean propaganda channels

YouTube has shut down two North Korean propaganda channels that academics use to monitor and assess the regime’s missile programs.

Stimmekoreas, the number one YouTube channel on North Korea with more than 20,000 subscribers, and Uriminzokkiri, which had more than 18,000 subscribers, regularly posted of videos of state TV news clips and other footage, attracting millions of views.

On Friday they were terminated for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.

Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis uses these channels to analyze videos of missile launches and tours of factories, to better understand the regime’s nuclear capabilities. He urged YouTube to revoke its decision in the interest of national security.

“North Korea is a country with thermonuclear weapons sitting on ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] that can reach the United States. It is really important to understand them even if we don’t like them,” he said. “That starts by analyzing their propaganda. Even though it’s tendentious, you can learn a lot about a country from the lies they tell.”

Stimmekoreas is believed to be operated by a supporter of North Korea who lives outside of the country and posts very high resolutions videos of state propaganda from the Korean Central News Agency in a variety of languages.

Uriminzokkiri is directly tied to North Korea’s propaganda wing, and posts content that appears to target North Koreans living abroad.

Academics use official footage of missile launches to assess how powerful they are based on how quickly they are accelerating, he said. They can also learn about the weapons from machinery and parts visible in videos of factory tours by supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

“When he visits a factory in the middle of nowhere and stares at machine tools it provides an important insight into the progress they are making,” added Lewis, who is also director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Stimmekoreas’ very high resolution videos were particularly useful for this type of analysis.

Beyond the missile program, researchers can also learn about the people Kim Jong-un surrounds himself with and who is becoming more and less important in the DPRK’s notoriously precarious political sphere.

“North Korea uses YouTube as a primary distribution network for their propaganda,” said Lewis. “Often you don’t know something is important until later, so having all that information available and searchable was incredibly valuable.”

“Tracking and digitally reconstructing events is going to be more difficult as these accounts get deleted,” added Scott Lafoy, a Washington-based satellite imagery analyst, who spoke to NK News.

YouTube did not immediately respond to questions about why the channels were shut down, although it could be because the advertising revenue generated by the accounts would violate US trade sanctions.

“I know when I click on the videos I get ads,” said Lewis. “So perhaps they are nervous about sending that money on to the North Koreans. But honestly the YouTube ad revenues are not going to make or break the missile program.”

It’s not the first time that YouTube has targeted North Korean propaganda. In November 2016, the video sharing platform closed down KoreanCentralTV1. Several other channels including Chosun TV, NK Propaganda and KCTV Stream were also axed, according to NK News.