Welsh morning headlines: News, coronavirus and sport as reported chemical attack in Ukraine investigated

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We have put together a round-up of all the latest news, weather, and travel information for Tuesday, April 12, that will get you caught up and ready for the day as claims Russian forces used chemical agents in an attack in Ukraine are investigated. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss vowed to hold Vladimir Putin “and his regime to account” if it is proven.

She tweeted last night: “Reports that Russian forces may have used chemical agents in an attack on the people of Mariupol. We are working urgently with partners to verify details.

“Any use of such weapons would be a callous escalation in this conflict and we will hold Putin and his regime to account.”

Read more:Defendants in Logan Mwangi murder trial ‘behaving like rats in a bag’ says prosecutor

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a “mandatory” oil embargo against Russia to force the invading nation to halt its warnings over potential use of chemical weapons. He said upcoming sanctions being discussed by the EU must be strong enough “that even a word about weapons of mass destruction is no longer heard from the Russian side”. Read the Ukraine morning headlines here.

Wales news headlines

Huge fire on industrial estate

Firefighters battled a blaze at an industrial park near Bridgend on Monday evening.

South Wales Fire Service was called at 6.12pm to the Village Farm estate in Pyle.

The fire involved three “ISO” freight containers and two vehicles. Fire engines and two water bowsers were sent to the scene alongside two fire service officers in separate vehicles.



Fire at Village Farm industrial estate on April 11
The fire took two hours to bring under control

The fire at the industrial estate on Village Farm Road was believed to have been extinguished shortly after 8pm. South Wales Police have been approached for more information. Read more here.

Murder investigation launched

A murder investigation has been launched after the death of a 90-year-old man in Monmouthshire. Gwent Police said the pensioner was found unresponsive outside a house in Abergavenny on Tuesday (April 5).

The Welsh Ambulance Service were called to an address in a rural area between Llanover and Llanfair Kilgeddin. The man was taken to hospital, but died from his injuries on Friday, April 8.

A spokesman for Gwent Police said next of kin have been made aware and are being supported by specialist officers.

A 68-year-old woman from Abergavenny has been arrested on suspicion of murder and has been released on conditional bail.

Police have asked that anyone with information which could assist the investigation should call 101, quoting log reference 2200115123 or send us a direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Today’s forecast

Feeling warmer this week but a chance of occasional showers. Here is the full forecast for Wales:

Showery rain to begin the day, but turning drier through the morning. Staying rather cloudy but with some brighter spells developing. Isolated showers forming through the afternoon, potentially heavy and thundery, especially by the evening. Feeling warm in any sunshine. Maximum temperature 16 °C.

A few heavy showers continuing through this evening and only slowly fading away overnight. Drizzly outbreaks developing through the early hours with mist, low cloud and hill fog. Remaining mild. Minimum temperature 8 °C.

Here is how the roads and rail are affected at 7am

National news headlines

Tory ex-minister branded ‘disgraceful’ for querying conviction

A former Conservative justice minister has been branded “completely inappropriate” for questioning the jury conviction of his fellow MP Imran Ahmad Khan.

Crispin Blunt said Khan was the victim of a “dreadful miscarriage of justice” after the Wakefield MP was found guilty on Monday of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

Khan was thrown out of the Tory Party following the verdict.



Imran Ahmad Khan
Imran Ahmad Khan

Labour has condemned Mr Blunt’s defence of Khan and members of a cross-party LGBT group that the Reigate MP chairs have quit in protest, with one urging him to resign from his role.

Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party chairwoman and shadow equalities secretary, labelled Mr Blunt’s comments “disgraceful”.

She called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Tory chairman Oliver Dowden to “take action” against the former prisons minister and “distance their party from his comments”.

Members of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on Global LGBT+ Rights, including Rhondda Labour MP Chris Bryant and the SNP’s Stewart McDonald and Joanna Cherry, said they were quitting the cross-party body which Mr Blunt chairs.

Mr Bryant described the remarks as “completely inappropriate”.

Urging Mr Blunt to quit as APPG chair, Mr McDonald tweeted: “Parliament needs a respected and robust LGBT group and Crispin can no longer provide that leadership.

“He should stand down,” the MP for Glasgow South added.

Ms Cherry tweeted that Mr Blunt’s statement was the “last straw” for her membership of the group and that she intended to resign on Tuesday.

In a statement published on his website, Mr Blunt, who came out as gay in 2010, said the jury’s decision was “nothing short of an international scandal”.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court took about five hours to decide Khan, 48, was guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage boy, who is now 29.

The court heard how Khan, a gay Muslim elected to Parliament in 2019, forced the then-teenager to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him on to a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire in January 2008.

But Mr Blunt, who was at the London court on Monday, said the case “relied on lazy tropes about LGBT+ people” and argued the result had “dreadful wider implications” for LGBT Muslims “around the world”.

The Tory MP said: “I am utterly appalled and distraught at the dreadful miscarriage of justice that has befallen my friend and colleague Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield since December 2019.

“His conviction today is nothing short of an international scandal, with dreadful wider implications for millions of LGBT+ Muslims around the world.

“I sat through some of the trial. The conduct of this case relied on lazy tropes about LGBT+ people that we might have thought we had put behind us decades ago.

“As a former justice minister, I was prepared to testify about the truly extraordinary sequence of events that has resulted in Imran being put through this nightmare start to his parliamentary career.”

A Tory spokesman, when asked whether the party agreed with Mr Blunt’s view, reiterated that Khan had been expelled from Boris Johnson’s outfit.

“Our view is pretty clear,” he added.

Britney Spears announces pregnancy

Britney Spears has announced she is pregnant, months after she escaped the legal arrangement that gave her father control over many aspects of her life.

The singer told her 40 million Instagram followers she was having a baby with partner Sam Asghari last night.

The 40-year-old, who has two teenage sons, also revealed she suffered depression during a previous pregnancy.

In June last year, she told a judge her conservatorship prevented her from marrying or removing her birth control.

She has previously said she wanted a family with Asghari, a 28-year-old personal trainer.

But the form of legal guardianship known as conservatorship, set up by her father in 2008 after she experienced a public mental health crisis, meant she could not make her own decisions about her medical care.

Sport headlines

Cardiff Supporters’ Trust slam ‘appalling, shameful’ displays

Cardiff Supporters’ Trust have slammed their side’s “shameful” displays after the Arms Park side capitulated during a derby day thrashing from the Scarlets on the weekend.

A strongly-worded opinion piece called Cardiff’s recent displays an “insult” and “appalling” as they questioned how things had reached this point, as the Blue and Blacks squandered a 14-point lead to concede 49 unanswered points against the west Walians. Despite the odd high point, such as home victories over Leinster and Glasgow, such defeats have become a worrying trend as Cardiff have failed to win away from home once and have conceded an average of 30.8 points per game.



Cardiff team gather under the posts

Of course, the disruption caused by their disastrous trip to South Africa before Christmas, which resulted in most of the squad being forced into isolation, hasn’t helped matters. But this article from the supporters’ group CF10 Rugby Trust suggests that recent performances will only add to the growing sense of apathy.

“On Saturday, despite recent performances, the Arms Park was packed, perhaps more out of hope than expectation,” the piece read. “After the game, not many of the paying public will have still felt proud to associate themselves with the club.

“It will be very difficult to persuade many to return if we continue to be served up appalling, shameful displays like the one we witnessed on the weekend. Asking people to continue handing over money for performances like that is an insult.” Read more here.

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