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Tuesday briefing: Man charged with murder of Sabina Nessa

·8-min read
<span>Photograph: Metropolitan Police Handout/EPA</span>
Photograph: Metropolitan Police Handout/EPA

Top story: Eastbourne man to face court

Hello, I’m Warren Murray and here are the stories leading this morning’s news.

A man has been charged with the murder of Sabina Nessa, the primary school teacher who was found dead in a park close to her south London home. Koci Selamaj, aged 36, was arrested by police early on Sunday morning in Eastbourne, east Sussex, just over a week after the body of the 28-year-old teacher was found. He is due to appear at Willesden magistrates court today.

Nessa is believed to have left her home in Kidbrooke, south-east London, at about 8.30pm on Friday 17 September. Police believe she was heading to the Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, to meet a friend but never arrived. Officers were called at just after 5.30pm on 18 September after her body was discovered near the OneSpace community centre in Cator Park, Kidbrooke Park Road, close to her home.

The Metropolitan police said in a statement that Selamaj lived in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, the scene of police activity in recent days after the arrest. Two other men, aged 38 and 41, who were arrested by police investigating the teacher’s death have been released under investigation.

* * *

Fuel queues continue – Boris Johnson has ordered the army to remain on standby to refill petrol stations, as Keir Starmer and businesses called on him to get a grip on the shortages rippling across the economy. No 10 said army drivers would be ready to help deliver petrol and diesel on a short-term basis, but stopped short of an immediate deployment, even though some essential workers have not been able to carry out their jobs without fuel. Olaf Scholz, the German centre-left politician in pole position to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor after elections, has said Brexit bringing an end to freedom of movement brought about the petrol crisis. “We worked very hard to convince the British not to leave the union … I hope that they will manage the problems coming from that.”

* * *

R Kelly guilty – A jury has found the R&B singer R Kelly guilty of being the ringleader of a decades-long racketeering and sex trafficking scheme that preyed upon black women and children. The disgraced singer was found guilty on all nine counts on Monday afternoon in a major #MeToo victory. Multiple witnesses said the 54-year-old singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, had forced them to obey perverse and brutal whims when they were underage in a scheme that stretched back more than two decades. He won’t be sentenced until next May.

* * *

Crime and admonishment – The Labour conference will hear today that the Conservatives have been “soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime”. The shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, will announce community policing policies – partly based on video doorbells and WhatsApp groups – and a clampdown on antisocial behaviour that Labour would implement in government. David Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, has defended Angela Rayner for calling the Tory government “scum” at the conference, saying the Conservatives should get their house in order before criticising Labour for “fruity” language.

* * *

Diabetes in the jeans – People risk developing type 2 diabetes if they can’t fit into the jeans they wore at 21, according to Roy Taylor, a Newcastle University professor and expert on the disease. Taylor has told how study participants with type 2 but a “normal” body mass index (BMI) went on an 800-calorie per day diet of soups and shakes. Eight in 12 managed to “get rid” of their type 2 by losing 10% to 15% of their body weight. Taylor said the results, while preliminary, “demonstrate very clearly that diabetes is not caused by obesity but by being too heavy for your own body … If you can’t get into the same size trousers now, you are carrying too much fat and therefore at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, even if you aren’t overweight”.

* * *

Don’t pee on the eels – Scientists have found enough illegal drugs in the River Whitelake to harm rare water wildlife because of public urination on the Glastonbury festival site. After the 2019 festival, the amount of MDMA was 104 times greater downstream than upstream of the site, and rose to levels that could harm the life cycle of European eels, a protected species. Cocaine concentration was 40 times higher downstream, though not harmful to aquatic life. Ahead of the 2019 festival, Glastonbury’s organisers launched a campaign, Don’t Pee on the Land, to raise awareness of the environmental damage caused by public urination on Worthy farm. The organisers have said they are happy to work further with researchers.

Today in Focus podcast: Welcome back, Mr Bond

He’s a lucrative cultural export – and as unreconstructed as secret agents come. Now, as Daniel Craig’s final instalment finally hits the cinemas, many are calling for a new kind of 007 – but is the franchise too conservative to make the leap? Guardian film editor Catherine Shoard surveys the history of cultural institution worth billions.

Lunchtime read: Life in the meat grinder

Meat companies across Europe have been hiring thousands of workers through subcontractors, agencies and bogus co-operatives on inferior pay and conditions, a Guardian investigation has found. Workers, officials and labour experts have described how Europe’s £190bn meat industry has become a global hotspot for outsourced labour.

A slaughterhouse in Romania
A slaughterhouse in Romania. Photograph: Shutterstock

The Guardian has uncovered evidence of a two-tier employment system, with workers subjected to sub-standard pay and conditions to fulfil the meat industry’s need for a replenishable source of low-paid, hyper-flexible workers. A floating cohort of labourers, many of whom are migrants, are earning 40% to 50% less than directly employed staff in the same factories. Read some of their stories.

Sport

The London Marathon could leave the BBC for the first time in its 40-year history after the event director, Hugh Brasher, revealed he was in talks with other broadcasters. Manchester City will fancy their chances of more joy in Paris, with the hosts’ “PlayStation team” yet to become more than a balance-sheet success story. For the Brighton supporters who remained long after the final whistle, this was a night they will surely never forget. Trailing as the clock ticked into the fifth minute of injury time to Wilfried Zaha’s fifth goal in his last five matches against Crystal Palace’s bitter rivals, Neal Maupay’s deft finish with the last kick of the game somehow rescued a point for Graham Potter’s side. In the Women’s Super League, are Manchester United being left behind? Eidevall’s plans pay off for Arsenal while Brighton’s brief tenure at the top is over.

In the immediate aftermath of a record defeat by the United States, Europe’s players were probably delighted there are two years to run before another Ryder Cup. The flip side is that is a short period to implement a changing of the guard. Steve Stricker’s team, which mauled Europe 19-9, had an average age of 26. Europe, at 35, looked geriatric in comparison. The European Super League still represents “an ongoing existential threat to the foundations and future of European football”, Uefa has warned, as an aggressive court action originally brought by all 12 breakaway clubs continues to challenge its structure.

Business

Asian shares have mostly fallen amid concerns about power shortages in China and following on from a mixed finish on Wall Street. Futures trading predicts the FTSE will open flat to a few points higher. The pound is worth $1.370 and €1.172 at time of writing.

The papers

Our Guardian print edition leads with “Brexit to blame for UK’s fuel crisis, says frontrunner to succeed Merkel”. Below that, news from the Labour conference: Keir Starmer’s shadow employment secretary, Andy McDonald, has been accused of sabotage after he quit in protest over the leadership’s failure to support a £15-an-hour minimum wage, adding a backhander that the party was “more divided than ever”. Colleagues said the move was designed to overshadow a £28bn green spending pledge.

On to the fuel crisis, and the Telegraph has “Priority at pumps for key workers” who the Mirror and Times say must be allowed to “fill up first”. The i says “Army called up to tackle UK’s fuel crisis”, which might be seen as overstating the situation. The Metro moves the story forward quite nicely with “Britain gets back on board” as people turn to trains and buses instead.

The Financial Times offers “Fuel buying frenzy puts health services at risk, doctors warn”. “Queue what?” – that’s the Sun, which says motorists are confused over what the government is doing about the situation. But let’s not question Tory officialdom – the Express instead shames the fuel companies over their high prices, honking loudly: “How dare they make money out of misery”. The Mail continues its smart motorways safety campaign with “Boris orders proper inquiry” – unintentionally throwing a bit of shade on the paper’s own investigation.

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