Mail order knife site linked to murder

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Police believe a knife seen in Ashraf Hussan’s lap before the murder was bought from an online store

A mail order website selling machetes, swords and a knife “mystery box” has been criticised by police who believe one of its blades was used in a murder.

Ashraf Hussan was pictured with a knife police believe he bought from the website hours before he and a teenager fatally stabbed a man in Cambridge.

Det Ch Insp Alan Page, who investigated the murder, was “aghast” at how easy it was to buy dangerous weapons.

The store said: “All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

Hussan, 20, had purchased “numerous” knives from the website, including a folding knife on 13 July, Cambridgeshire Police said.

Twelve days later officers believe county lines drug dealer Hussan used that knife when he and Juned Ahmed, 18, both from Newham in east London, murdered Peter Anderson.

The pair are due to be sentenced later.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Peter Anderson was stabbed to death in Stourbridge Common, Cambridge, in July

The knife sales company, which is based in a residential estate in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, sells axes, “Rambo” knives and other weapons glamorised in films, such as Batman throwing knives.

It also offers the chance for customers who “can’t decide” to “make it a surprise” and purchase an unknown knife in a mystery box – a concept Det Ch Insp Page labelled strange.

“Surely if people are going online to buy a knife to use in gardening or some sort of maintenance they know what knife they are looking for,” he said.

Image caption The BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife using ID with a doctored age and a debit card

The website requires purchasers to prove they are 18 or over but the detective called for legislation to include further background checks when people purchase knives.

“Yes, people can get access to kitchen knives, but why make it so easy to get these “Rambo” knives and hunting knives?” Det Ch Insp Page said.

“Fair enough if someone is a tree surgeon and needs it for a legitimate reason, but someone who lives in a flat in London with no garden and no employment – you’ve got to ask yourself why do they need a knife such as that?

“I think it’s because they’re going to use it for a criminal purpose.”

The company asks for a driving licence and for payments to be made on a pre-paid credit card which can only be owned by those aged 18 or over.

But the BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife from the website using a licence with a doctored age and a debit card, which can be owned by under-18s.

Company director Joseph Wheeler said there were no flaws in the firm’s age verification process.

Image caption Det Ch Insp Alan Page called for more background checks on the sale of knives

The government has plans to ban the sale of bladed articles online to residential addresses and the knife sales site said it was “implementing delivery to collection points for age verification checks in person”.

In a statement, Mr Wheeler added: “Knives are used for thousands of legitimate purposes by law-abiding citizens.

“(We) are extremely careful with our age verification checks, this is our number one priority.

“Trading standards do regularly check this, and we follow all their age verification guidelines thoroughly. All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-47280242

3D-printing dad goes from arms to bikes

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption Adam Dengel was inspired to start helping other children through experiences with his son

A dad who builds 3D-printed arms in his garage workshop has created a specially adapted bicycle for children missing an upper limb.

Adam Dengel, 30, created his first DIY limb in his bedroom for son Thomas, four, who was born without a hand.

He has since set up a charity and made superhero-themed prosthetics free of charge for children around the world.

For his latest project, he plans to surprise four children with their own custom-made bikes.

They cost £220 to make and are fitted with an ergonomic cup which allows the rider to reach the handlebars without leaning.

Mr Dengel said the modification makes the bikes safer to ride than a normal model.

The parts, like the arms, are created on Mr Dengel’s 3D printer in the garage of his home in Royston, Barnsley, which he has converted into a workshop.

“These kids haven’t had the best start in life and we wanted to help boost their confidence,” he said.

“Plus this gets them outside, riding bikes with other youngsters, and helping them to make friends.”

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption The design means children with missing upper limbs do not have to lean to reach the handlebars

Mr Dengel, 30 and his wife Katie were inspired to help others through their experiences with their son.

Thomas was born with a short forearm and missing his hand due to amniotic band syndrome – a rare condition where stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs of an unborn baby and cut off blood flow.

Unhappy with the basic NHS prosthetic, the couple started looking at alternatives and found a charity which made Thomas his first mechanical arm.

This led him to buy his own printer and set about creating a number of colourful, comic book-inspired hands for his son – including his latest Batman-themed prosthetic.

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption The bike adaptations and arms are built by 3D printers
Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption Son Thomas has a selection of superhero arms thanks to his father’s efforts

Through the couple’s charity LimbBo Foundation, Mr Dengel has so far built 33 personalised arms for children, including youngsters in America and Holland.

“To say we the charity started out as an idea on the sofa we’re thrilled with how things have gone,” he said.

“We only ever wanted to help other kids like Thomas and it gives us so much pleasure to know we’re doing that.”

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-46607396

What films will you watch in 2019?

Image copyright Disney/Fox/Paramount
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Olivia Colman in The Favourite and Samuel L Jackson in Glass

As 2018 prepares to shuffle away like a pensionable usherette and 2019 gets ready to throw open its doors like a brand new 28-screen multiplex, it’s time to cast our eyes over next year’s cinematic offerings.

From Oscar hopefuls and musical biopics to superhero sequels and blockbuster remakes, there’s something for almost everyone over the next 12 months.

Here’s a by no means exhaustive preview of coming attractions.

January/February/March

With the Oscars taking place on 24 February, the first few months of 2019 will see a large number of film awards contenders jostling for attention.

It all kicks off on New Year’s Day with quirky royal drama The Favourite staking its claim as the one to beat.

It’s early days, but many are already tipping its leading lady Olivia Colman to be the latest queen-playing Brit to take home an Oscar.

Image copyright Fox
Image caption Emma Stone (left) and Rachel Weisz (right) compete for Colman’s affections in The Favourite

Other candidates in the mix include drug addiction tear-jerker Beautiful Boy, gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, Nicole Kidman crime thriller Destroyer, two racially-charged period pieces (Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk) and another royal saga in Mary Queen of Scots.

There is also a slew of biographical dramas tackling such diverse subjects as William Shakespeare (All is True), French author Colette, comedy duo Stan and Ollie, literary forger Lee Israel (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), war reporter Marie Colvin (A Private War) and ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (The White Crow).

Fans of American politics, meanwhile, can gorge on portraits of former US vice-president Dick Cheney (Vice), one-time presidential hopeful Gary Hart (The Front Runner) and supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (On the Basis of Sex).

Image copyright Disney
Image caption Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and James McAvoy as they appear in Glass

Elsewhere in January, director M Night Shyamalan will be hoping Glass proves as shattering as the previous two instalments in his Unbreakable trilogy.

And there’ll be more superheroics in March with the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first female heroine from the MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe to you) to get a stand-alone vehicle.

Image copyright Disney/Marvel
Image caption Brie Larson has a train to catch in Captain Marvel

Animation fans can look forward to two high-profile sequels in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, not to mention manga-inspired action in Alita: Battle Angel.

Another classic animation will get the big-budget live-action makeover treatment when Tim Burton brings Dumbo back to the big screen.

April/May/June

The superhero bandwagon rolls on into April with the debut of Shazam!, the return of Hellboy and Marvel’s Infinity War follow-up Avengers: Endgame.

May sees an evil superhero crash-land on Earth in Brightburn, while June brings us another batch of super-powered mutants in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Detective Pikachu’s yellow fur has been a hair-raising topic for many fans

Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu gets his own big-screen vehicle this spring, while the Men in Black will be back – minus Will Smith – in Men in Black International.

Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, meanwhile, will keep the little ones entertained – as will new animations Missing Link and Wonder Park.

Elton John’s rise to fame will be recreated in musical biopic Rocketman, while the music of the Beatles will infuse the latest (and still untitled) comedy fantasy from Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.

Image copyright Paramount
Image caption Taron Egerton plays Elton John in Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman

And then there is Aladdin, another live-action Disney remake starring Will Smith as the Genie. We knew he’d turn up somewhere, and he’s reassured fans he will be blue, just like his animated predecessor.

July/August/September

There are six letters in summer and six letters in sequel. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no doubt they go together like Wallace and Gromit.

You only have to look at this year’s offerings for proof, with everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home and Gerard Butler actioner Angel Has Fallen to It: Chapter 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw ensuring it will be déjà vu all over again at your local picture palace.

But wait! Who’s this? Why it’s only Quentin Tarantino, back to bring us a dose of Manson-era mayhem in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio dress to impress in Tarantino’s latest

There are also big-screen versions of two British telly favourites – Downton Abbey and Horrible Histories – plus yet another Disney remake in The Lion King.

Yes Sir Elton, we can feel the love tonight.

October/November/December

More TV staples reach the big screen towards the end of the year via new versions of Charlie’s Angels, The Addams Family and Masters of the Universe.

We’ll also see Joaquin Phoenix give his version of Batman’s nemesis in Joker, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest iteration of the Terminator franchise.

Image copyright Paramount Pictures
Image caption Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis and Linda Hamilton as they appear in the next Terminator film

Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX will bring down the curtain on what’s certain to be a bumper year for the Disney empire.

And we’ll end with something paws-itive and purr-tinent – the all-star film version of moggy mews-sical Cats, arriving on 20 December to ensure we’re all feline groovy next Christmas.

Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.

All release dates are subject to change.

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46596753