ISIS releases video clip showing Syrian woman being stoned to death

Islamic State militants fighting in Syria and Iraq have released a sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men – including her own father.

The shocking footage is understood to have been filmed in the city of Hama and shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in Arabic and accusing her adultery while she pleads for her life.

The woman turns to her father and begs his forgiveness but he coldly rejects her, saying he would rather please God. He then turns to the men to give the signal for his daughter’s murder to begin.

Minutes later, as the men rain rocks down upon the helpless woman, her father steps forward with a large stone and the video fades to black.

It is believed he had been granted the barbaric ‘honour’ of being allowed end the life of the daughter he felt had betrayed both him and her religion.


It was so windy in Derbyshire yesterday a waterfall flowed uphill

A rambler has captured on camera the astonishing moment a small waterfall ceased to exist during strong winds.

“As storm force winds batter the Derbyshire Peak District, near Hayfield, the river Kinder is stopped in its tracks as it is blown back up onto Kinder Scout Plateau at the point where it would normally cascade 80ft down Kinder Downfall,” Rob Kirkpatrick wrote on YouTube.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning. The Mail’s investigation into the Welsh NHS enters its third day – “Condemned To Die By Waiting List Shambles” is today’s splash. Nearly 1,400 patients are waiting at least a year for an operation annually, compared to just 574 in England, which is 17 times larger than Wales.

“Tory bully-boy attacks”, Welsh Health Secretary Mark Drakeford tells the Guardian. Labour strategists on both sides of the border think they’re the victim of an organised campaign to blunt their advantage on healthcare. It’s a bid to distract from the unpopular Health and Social Care Bill, they say. On the other side, the Conservatives feel that the chaos in Wales is the best argument yet for Lansleycare; Wales is “what you get if you do not reform” as one Conservative put it to me last night.

Who’s right? Elsewhere, the Government is under fire for plans to pay family doctors £55 for every patient they diagnose with dementia. It’s an “ethical travesty”, Iona Heath, former president of the Royal College of GPs says – Laura Donnelly has the story.

It does seem to be drawn from the same bag of politically popular but intellectually bankrupt ideas as Labour’s “a cancer test within seven days” pledge. (The objections are remarkably similar: what test? Starting from what admission date? And what about the perverse incentives thrown up for doctors by the scheme? Etc, etc.)

Is the trouble in England too much reform and the problem in Wales too little? As neat as that seems it’s probably unlikely. Wales is one of the biggest losers from the Barnett formula – government funding breaks down to £9.8k per head compared to £10.1k for Scotland, although that country is far richer – coupled with additional demographic pressures, it’s no wonder that their health service is buckling under pressure. Ditto, for all the political heat that Mr Lansley’s reforms generated, the greatest problem in England is that the above-inflation spending increases increases that kept the NHS going under New Labour aren’t financially possible these days.

Meanwhile our politicians compete to find new ways to remind us that they love the NHS. Absent a grown-up conversation about our ageing population and our anaemic public finances, love may not be enough.


Ukip “do a lot of stuff that is absolutely vile”, Chuka Umunna told LBC last night. But enough about the Ukip calypso, what about their new allies in the European Parliament, eh? The Board of Deputies of British Jews says they are “deeply concerned” that Nigel Farage’s party has aligned itself with Robert Iwaskiewicz of the KNP. “I have found nothing at all in this guy’s background to suggest he is a political extremist at all,” says Mr Farage. Try page 2 of today’s Sun, Nige: “If Hitler had survived it would have been difficult to pin the Holocaust on him” is one winning line.


“Osborne’s tax cuts pledge in doubt as borrowing rises” is the FT’s headline. Despite the recovery, tax receipts continue to be disappointingly low, jeopardising both the timeline to get Britain back in the black and the revenue for the promised £7.2 billion tax cut thereafter. Robert Colvile explains what’s going wrong and why it’s so worrying for the Chancellor.


The first pages of the Liberal Democrat manifesto have been caught on camera after the party’s strategy supremo, Ryan Coetzee, was photographed carrying a copy as he left a meeting. The pledges include – a further increase in the personal allowance, waiting time targets for mental health, the deficit eradicated by 2018 and a qualified teacher in every classroom. “This just isn’t good enough,” Caron Lindsay, co-editor of LibDemVoice, writes on her blog. More “planet-saving, establishment-busting” stuff is required, she says.


“A sheep in Woolf’s clothing?” quips the Indy this morning. Fiona Woolf, the new head of the official inquiry into historic child sexual abuse, is under facing calls for her resignation after it emerged that she had attended dinner parties with Lord Brittan, the Tory grandee at the centre of the scandal. Speaking to the Commons Select Committee, Ms Woolf insisted she was “not a member of the establishment”, before insisting that her dinners with Lord Brittan were networking, not social affairs. “I was building my City network,” she explained. Simon Danzcuk’s not convinced: “In the world I come from, if you have people round for dinner you consider yourselves friends.”


The PM’s move to exclude Scottish MPs from voting went “against the spirit” of the campaign to save the Union, Chuka Umunna told his monthly radio show on LBC. The Shadow Business Secretary argues that prohibiting Scottish MPs from talking about devolved issues in Westminster is the same as preventing London MPs from discussing issues such as transport, which are devolved to the Mayor of London.


Sir Iain Lobban, the outgoing head of GCHQ, has warned that the Internet has become a refuge for the “worst aspects of human nature” in his farewell speech, Steven Swinford reports. The “Utopian dream” that the Internet remain a “totally ungoverned space” is flawed and that presenting it as a “sort of binary option – security or privacy – is to represent a false choice.”


David Cameron is more concerned with Ukip than doing right by the economy, while Ed Miliband has “zero interest” in helping businesses, according to 23 of Britain’s most successful businessmen. The comments come in a report by YouGov CEO Stephan Shakespeare, Sam Coates reports in the Times.


Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatch will join the House of Lords as a crossbencher. Credit to Sir Andrew for turning the conversation his way, says James Kirkup, now, how about a peerage for someone willing to make the positive case for immigration?


An Out vote would be defeated in the In/Out referendum as things stand, Out supporter Michael Fabricant has warned in an article for the Guardian. The In campaign would be led by a “consensual, passionate businessperson” while the Outers have “no leader who commands popular support”. The campaign would be led by “angry looking grey men who have been arguing the toss on Europe for years,” he says.


Frank Field’s having a pop at Ed Miliband again, the Indy reports. “A sizeable part of ex-Labour voters have been repelled by the policies promoted by a largely non-working class party elite with whom these ex-voters find it difficult to sympathise and vice-versa,” Mr Field says.

Teacher rapes girl, 4, in Bangalore school

BANGALORE: A four-year-old girl was raped allegedly by a teacher at her school in North Bangalore on Tuesday.

The girl, an LKG student of a private international school near Jalahalli Cross, off Tumkur Road, was subjected to medical tests and later admitted to a private hospital in Yeshwantpur.

Acting on a complaint filed by her mother, North division police headed by DCP TR Suresh interrogated six male teachers in the night. Two were found on the school campus, and the others were summoned from home, police said. No arrests or detentions were made. The incident came to light when the girl’s mother noticed wounds on her private parts after she returned from school in the evening, and questioned her.


Morning Briefing – The Telegraph

Good morning. Jose Manuel Barroso’s farewell tour is unlikely to have added many more names to his Christmas card list. “Despite being an unelected official, Mr Barroso feels no compunction in lecturing the UK and its leaders about what is best for the country,” Phil Johnston thunders. All Mr Barroso’s proved, spits Grant Shapps in City AM: “Europe’s bureaucrats are much too bossy, interfering and out of touch”, while Conservative MPs aren’t taking too kindly to being lectured by a man they see as a demob-happy Blair lackey.

The outgoing President’s interview with James Kirkup and Bruno Waterfield will do little to improve his standing. Margaret Thatcher would never have found herself in David Cameron’s position, Mr Barroso says. “It would be impossible to hear a Ukip speech coming from Margaret Thatcher, completely impossible,” he explains, before adding, helpfully: “She was for enlargement and for fighting protectionism. I don’t remember her defending labour market protectionism…she would not be surrendering to these arguments.”

In the FT, George Parker warns that the PM is “in danger of angering everyone while pleasing no one”, while that paper warns in its leader that the “government is fast losing friends and influence in the most important political and economic club to which it belongs”, a point that Rachel Sylvester makes in her column in today’s Times. Privately, it’s a point being made by pro-European Conservatives who are increasingly concerned that Britain is being gently inched towards the exit. Behind the scenes, some feel that these histrionics have proceeded each and every major victory for the PM. That’s true – but they also accompanied that chastening rebuff over Jean-Claude Juncker, and the stakes are getting higher.

Patients are so desperate to escape the Welsh NHS that they are crossing the border in their thousands for treatment or going private, Sam Marsden and James Chapman reveal in the Mail. The number of cancer patients travelling to England for treatment has quadrupled from 3,471 to 15,450 last year. “To suggest the NHS in Wales is somehow in every way in a more difficult state than in England is quite simply wrong,” Carwyn Jones, the First Minister, told reporters yesterday. But Kirsty Williams, the Liberal leader in Wales, describes the state of the devolved Health Service as “a national scandal”.


Ed Miliband conducted a minor reshuffle of his Opposition frontbench, following the resignation of Rushanara Ali over the vote on air strikes against Iraq, Yvonne Fovargue replacing Ms Ali as Shadow Minister for Young People, Ian Lucas moving from Foreign Affairs to Defence, and Gareth Thomas moving to fill his role, with former Blair aide Pat McFadden brought in as Shadow Europe Minister from the backbenches.


Alan Milburn, the government’s social mobility czar, has called for a national programme to improve parenting alongside a range of other measures to prevent Britain becoming a “permanently divided” society, James Lyons reports in the Mirror. “Effective parenting has a bigger influence on a child’s life than their wealth, their class or even their education,” Mr Milburn said.


“Sacking threat to prison whistleblowers” is the Guardian’s splash. Conservative MP Gavin Williamson warns that attempts to silence prison workers with concerns risked a scandal in prisons on a par with the Mid-Staffs affair in the NHS. Mr Williamson was approached by prison officers at HMP Featherstone, a prison in his own constituency of South Staffordshire, who are concerned about rising levels of violence at the prison and inadequate protection for prison staff.


In order to calm jitters over Labour’s proposals for a “mansion tax”, Ed Balls laid out the details in yesterday’s Evening Standard. The tax will cost around £250 a month for someone in a home worth between £2 and £3 million, and anyone on an income below £42,000 will be allowed to defer payment of the new tax until they die. Labour insiders insist that the number of people on anything close to that income affected by the tax is vanishingly small – it’s as much about reassuring jittery Labour London MPs/Mayoral hopefuls as anything else. On that score, Tessa Jowell welcomed the greater protections while David Lammy believes that a greater proportion of the tax’s revenues should be earmarked for Londoners.


An MEP who Marine Le Pen, leader of the hard right French National Front, described as “contrary to our values” has come to the rescue of Nigel Farage’s European parliamentary group, the Times reports. Robert Iwaskiewicz, of the Polish New Right party, caused controversy during the European elections when he said that Hitler was “not aware of the extermination of the Jews”. “No doubt, pointing out UKIPs latest far-right alliance will be called a slur,” Jamie Reed, a Labour frontbencher, tweeted, “Sadly, it’s a fact.”


Mark Carney has launched an investigation into the unexpected collapse of the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), delaying hundreds of billions worth of deals, both to homebuyers and from businesses, who also use the system to make payments. James Titcomb has the details.


Mike Read, the former Radio 1 DJ and Ukip supporter, has released a song called “the Ukip Calypso”, celebrating the rise of Nigel Farage’s party and performed in a cod-Jamaican accent (you can listen to it, plus five of my favourite political ditties here). It’s been endorsed by Nigel Farage, who has encouraged party members and supporters to propel the song to No.1. The bookies give it odds of 50/1. Matt Holehouse has the story – and the lyrics!

Turkey’s Boomerang War in Syria

Bashar al-Assad’s departure from power would illustrate to all countries in the world that that a regime unwanted by Turkey would not survive.

Both of Prime Minister Davutoglu’s references to Muslim prayers seem to symbolize his strong, inner desire for “conquest:” the “conquest” of Jerusalem by the Palestinians, and the downfall of al-Assad and the establishment of a Sunni, pro-Turkey regime there.

The Turkish interior minister was right when he said that legitimate states have a right to use proportionate violence when they face violence. But he is wrong to think that this right can only be enjoyed by his own country.


UK Votes Overwhelmingly for a Racist, Terrorist, Apartheid State

The House of Commons is filled with people who would like to flaunt their anti-racist credentials… and show they are tough on terrorists. Yet here they were trying to will into existence a state which in the words of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking last year, “would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands.” It is a pre-Mandela apartheid they are willing into existence.

“Our enterprise extends far beyond Palestine: Palestine in its entirety, the Arab Nation in its entirety, and the entire world.” — Mahmoud al-Zahar, speech, 2010. It is what the proxies and officials of al-Qaeda and Iran have said in European capitals for years and what they say every day.

All efforts to stop the mad rush to declare Palestine a state, without the Israel’s agreement as assured under international law, are dismissed as “Israeli propaganda.” The idea that sensible people can sensibly object is washed away.