Stowaways who caused havoc on ship jailed

Four stowaways have been jailed after they ran amok on a container ship as it navigated the world’s busiest shipping lanes. The men, from Nigeria and Liberia, waved metal poles and threw faeces and urine after being found hiding on the vessel in December 2018. When it reached the Thames Estuary bound for Tilbury docks, Essex, they demanded to be dropped off in Britain. The men were jailed for affray offences following a trial at the Old Bailey. Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21, were cleared of attempting to hijack the 78,000-tonne Grande Tema ship following the same trial. Image copyright Essex Police Image caption Joberto McGee was described as the group’s ringleader …

‘Confusion’ over free childcare in holidays

During the school holidays, when there is no early education, the offer provides 30 hours a week of childcare for up to nine weeks. This is provided by registered childcare providers, such as nurseries, child minders and playgroups, who have signed up to the scheme. An official research study for the Welsh Government shows that while it is saving families hundreds of pounds, there is still confusion about how the scheme works. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionParents share their experiences of paying for childcare. One parent said they were “extremely shocked” to get a bill for over £800 for childcare one month during the summer after not realising their entitlement had run out. Another said she …

M&S sales squeezed as men shun skinny trousers

The retailer said it ordered too much food in the final two weeks before the big day. Meanwhile, an overly complex supply chain meant that food spent more time in the delivery system and less time on shelves. John Lewis warns it may not pay staff bonus Christmas pudding sales burnt out in festive period Nevertheless, like-for-like food sales, which exclude takings from new stores, increased by 1.4% in the final 13 weeks of 2019. However, that growth was largely offset by a dip in the home and clothing departments at M&S. The firm said customers were also more conservative when giving presents over Christmas. ‘One-off issues’ M&S said fewer customers bought items from its gift range, which includes things …

Flooding brings travel disruption to South East

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionAerial footage shows the flooded M23 Flooding is causing travel disruption across the south east of England after heavy rain overnight. The M23 was closed between junctions 10 and 11 in both directions in West Sussex, but has now reopened. On the railways, Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express passengers have been advised not to travel, with disruption on the Brighton mainline. Southeastern said there were no trains between Strood and Maidstone West, and between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings. Motorist Ellis Hart was on his way to a work Christmas meal, but missed it when he got stuck in the M23 backlog for more than two hours. Image copyright Eddie Mitchell Image caption …