Four-metre python found dumped in lay-by

Officer Clara Scully, who went to collect it, said: “At 13ft long (almost 4m) it would stand almost as tall as a giraffe.” “This snake is in lovely condition so has obviously been a well cared-for pet. “It has been taken in by one of our officers who will offer a permanent home if no one comes forward to claim ownership,” she added. RSPCA scientific officer Stephanie Jayson, said: “Reticulated pythons have been recorded to grow up to 30 ft (9m) in captivity. “It is difficult to provide these snakes with enough space in a home environment. Owners may not realise how large these animals will grow when they first take them on and, sadly, large snakes may be abandoned …

‘Daily’ homophobic abuse for Big Brother winner

He says the same word was shouted at him in a central London hotel by a group of men who were getting into a lift. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBig Brother’s Cameron reveals he’s gay to the housemates “Somebody, somehow, got my number too. It’s a no-caller-ID and rings me every time I’m on an Instagram live. “They shout a barrage of homophobic remarks and you can’t get a word in edgeways.” Cameron has not reported any of the abuse to the police, even though a friend has advised him to. “The issue with the stuff in the streets is you can report but the likelihood is that it will never be traced back and it’s …

Upskirting to be crime after Lords back bill

“I was tired of ‘ignoring it’. I felt this was wrong and I was astounded to learn that upskirting wasn’t a sexual offence. I wanted to change this for everyone, because the least we deserve is to be able to wear what we want without non-consensual photos being taken of us.” Gina was waiting to watch The Killers perform at British Summer Time music festival in London’s Hyde Park when a man put his phone between her legs and took pictures of her crotch. Report End of Twitter post by @CarolineLucas Report End of Twitter post by @ginamartin_uk

London trams to get automatic brakes

You may also be interested in: Family had to sit on floor of plane Footballers pay tribute after sick boy dies Williams ‘blasting’ music to torment Page Mark Davis, Transport for London’s general manager of London Trams, said: “We will never forget the tragedy at Sandilands and from day one have focused our attention on preventing this type of incident from ever happening again. “Awarding the contract for a new automatic braking system is a first for trams in the UK, and not only will it improve safety for customers in London, but we hope it will lead the way for other tram operators across the country.” Automatic braking will operate alongside the driver protection system, launched in September 2017, …

‘Fairer’ deal for schools in tough areas

Ofsted to move away from exam results focus Ofsted admits some ‘outstanding schools aren’t that good’ It says that instead of taking exam results and test data at face value, inspectors will look at how those results have been achieved, whether they are the result of broad and rich learning – or gaming and cramming. And this could mean less good news for a school in a leafy suburban area that looks as if it achieves high results “but actually when you look beneath the bonnet they’re doing this by a narrowed curriculum” and “some naff qualifications”, said Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director for education. “Then actually they are going to get judged down because they should be doing better,” …

No escape as ‘snow day’ becomes ‘e-learning day’

They are known as “e-learning days”, which certainly sounds less fun than a snow day. ‘Let the kids enjoy it’ Teachers are also losing their snow days and instead will be expected to be on hand to take a virtual register and answer students’ questions online. A pilot programme in a school district in Anderson County, South Carolina has supplied students with electronic tablets loaded with assignments to complete in the event of a school closure. Image copyright Getty Images There are also so-called “blizzard bags”, with assignments that are sent home with children ahead of an expected snow closure. But Mr Roth says it is not sufficient as a replacement. “I think we still need the class time to …

Octavian: From the streets to the charts

He won a scholarship to the Brit School, which taught artists like Adele, Amy Winehouse and FKA Twigs, but eventually dropped out. His argument: “I don’t believe you can teach someone to be creative.” The friends he made at Brit School stuck with him, though, helping to produce the beats and visuals on Octavian’s melodic, genre-defying mixtapes 22 and Essie World (a reference to his SE London postcode). Skip Youtube post by BBC Radio 1Xtra Warning: Third party content may contain adverts Report His breakthrough came with 2017’s Party Here, whose ominous intro unexpectedly gives way to a euphoric chorus, where the 23-year-old promises himself: “You’re gonna blow, it’s just timing.” He couldn’t have been more correct. Weeks later, Drake …

What links Fiona Bruce to Robert de Niro?

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFiona Bruce takes over from David Dimbleby as Question Time host, but the music stays the same. Play for an excerpt A new year brings a new host to Question Time, with new topics to be debated. But through all the change, one thing stays the same – the programme’s music. Such is the legacy of its composer Stanley Myers, his cultural imprint is still felt in Hollywood as well as on British TV. But how does he link Fiona Bruce to Robert de Niro? Gone is David Dimbleby of Dimblebot and tie fame. Here comes Question Time’s first new host in 25 years, Fiona Bruce. When the BBC’s lively debate show …

Women storm the Brit Awards nominations

Former winner Florence + The Machine is joined newcomers Jorja Smith and Anne-Marie in that category; with singer-songwriter George Ezra and pop group The 1975 completing the shortlist. Brit Awards 2019: Full list of nominees Brits 2018: The real winners and losers Stormzy steals the show at Brit Awards Dua Lipa UK’s most-streamed female Ezra is undoubtedly the strongest contender: His feel-good second album, Staying At Tamara’s, was the biggest-selling new release of 2018, and the music industry will be keen to underline his arrival as one of Britain’s biggest talents. The 25-year-old is also up for best male and best single, for his summer anthem Shotgun. “It’s a bit nerve-wracking,” said the star on ITV’s nominations show The Brits …

Williams ‘blasting’ music to torment Page

The two stars live next door to each other in Holland Park – Williams’s Grade II-listed home used to belong to film director and restaurant critic Michael Winner. It is not publicly known who wrote the complaint, which is signed “Johnny”. Talking about the row in the Telegraph on Friday, a spokesman for Williams said the claims in the complaint were “a complete fabrication and nonsense”. Image copyright Owal Image caption A drawing from the planning application to develop the basement at the property The correspondent adds that Williams has also dressed up to imitate Plant by “wearing a long hair wig, and stuffing a pillow under his shirt in an attempt to mock or imitate Mr Robert Plant’s beer …

Olivia Colman’s film is Bafta favourite

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe 2019 Bafta nominations have been announced, Lizo Mzimba looks at the front runners Olivia Colman’s film The Favourite leads the race for this year’s Bafta Awards, with 12 nominations. The announcement comes days after Colman won a Golden Globe for playing Queen Anne in the period comedy-drama. It’s some way ahead of its nearest Bafta rivals Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, First Man and Roma, which have seven nominations each. Steve Coogan, Christian Bale, Claire Foy, Rachel Weisz and Richard E Grant are the other British acting nominees. Colman is nominated for best actress, while her co-stars Weisz and Emma Stone – who vie for the monarch’s affections in the …

Kate Bush: ‘I’m not a Tory supporter’

Her comments were interpreted at the time as an endorsement of Brexit and conservative policy. Kate Bush says Theresa May is ‘wonderful’ But writing on her website, Bush said her comments were quoted “out of context” and that she found the experience “deeply frustrating”. She continued: “At the time I discussed the idea of responding to it with close friends and we all agreed it was best to let it go.” However, the quote continued to resurface – most recently in coverage of her remastered back catalogue, and a book of her lyrics, which was published last month, prompting her to issue a clarification. “My response to the interviewer was not meant to be political but rather was in the …

Octavian wins the BBC Sound of 2019

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionA year ago he was penniless – now Octavian’s the BBC’s Sound of 2019 Maverick, genre-defying rapper Octavian has won BBC Music’s Sound of 2019. Endorsed by Drake, but entirely self-made, the 23-year-old has perked ears with a series of unpredictable EPs that juggle grime, house, pop and gospel. He beat pop singer King Princess and balladeer Grace Carter to take the title, which has previously gone to Adele, Sam Smith, Haim and Sigrid. “That’s lit,” said Octavian on finding out he’d won. “I don’t even know how to feel right now… Mum, I made it!” Read our full interview with Octavian Octavian is the first rapper to win the Sound Of… …

Flamenco star kicks off Sound of 2019

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSpanish artist Rosalia takes fifth place in the BBC Music Sound Of 2019 list Flamenco music has never troubled the UK charts – but that looks set to change with the arrival of Rosalía. The 25-year-old is turning flamenco on its head by tethering its vocal melismas and palmas (hand clapping) to the sounds and attitude of hip-hop. It’s earned the singer fifth place in the BBC Music Sound of 2019, which tips acts for success in the next 12 months. Born Rosalía Vila Tobella in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Spain, she’s already a big star at home. Her 2017 debut Los Ángeles spent 67 weeks in the Spanish album chart. Report End …

The big things to look out for in 2019

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Rihanna’s last album was released in 2016 Victoria might not be there but expect Girl Power to take over again as the Spice Girls go back on tour for the first time in more than a decade. The tickets sold out straight away and fans are really excited. She’s confirmed she’s been in the studio, so expect new music from Rihanna in 2019. There have been rumours that there could even be more than one album in the works. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer won the 2018 series of Love Island Applications are now open for Love Island, so if you’re not happy to just sit and watch, …

The real story being told in Manhunt

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Amelie Delagrange, left, and Marsha McDonnell Amelie Delagrange was a 22-year-old French student who had been living in Twickenham for three months when she was killed on 19 August 2004. Image copyright Surrey Police Image caption Milly Dowler was pretty, popular and intelligent What happened to the three victims? Det Ch Insp Colin Sutton became involved in the case when Amelie Delagrange was murdered. At the time, arrests had already been made in connection with the murder of Marsha McDonnell. The link to Milly Dowler’s death had not yet been found. There were fears a serial killer was on the loose. But it was the investigation into Amelie’s death that would lead to the …