Cold weather stops more than just buses

By Tristan Purnell 

It would appear that the winter weather has stopped more than the buses this winter after a climate change expert had to cancel his trip to Leicester – because of the sudden cold snap.

Professor Matthew Hibberd, who has lectured and researched at institutions such as the University of Italian Switzerland and the University of Stirling, was due to come to De Montfort University (DMU) yesterday to give a lecture about the effects of climate change and crisis communications.

Unfortunately, in an ironic twist of fate, Professor Hibberd had to cancel his visit due to the harsh weather conditions, including snow and ice, on the roads.

Not all is lost however, Mr Hibberd has pledged that he hopes to re-schedule his visit, although no dates have yet been confirmed.

Forecast chills of down to -15C are enough for anyone to consider cancelling their plans and put the heating on. But why is Britain suddenly so cold?

Named the “beast from the east”, the source of the cold weather is an unusual phenomenon which has led cold Siberian air to flow over to the UK, bringing a blast of snow and ice.

Nevertheless, students at DMU demonstrated the British ‘can do’ and ‘get on with it’ attitude towards the weather.

One first year student at DMU, Jamal Amir, 20, said “The weather hasn’t affected me too badly, sure, I may leave the flat a little less when it’s really cold but whatever the weather, I’ve still things to get done for example, shopping.”

Another DMU student, John Farrell, 21, added: “Yes, the cold is quite uncomfortable but it’s not going to last forever.”

Even with this attitude, students and tutors alike are advised to stay in when the weather turns nasty.

The cold and dry weather is meant to last at least until Thursday, after which the ‘beast from the east’ is meant to retreat back to Siberia.

Spoof drugs video goes viral

By James Cannell

A spoof video about drug use was blown out of proportion as it hit over 52,000 views after being up for only a month.

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Alex Hudson, who made the spoof video

The video was posted to “Leedsfestspotted”, an Instagram page for graphic and controversial videos, back in late January. Since then it has gained just over 52,500 views and 2,800 likes.

DMU graphic design student Alex Hudson, who made the video and appears at the start of it, sent it to the page in early January, but it was not published until January 26.

The eight second long clip starts with Alex filming himself before flipping the camera to catch his  friend, Joe Grisley walking towards him and abruptly being asked ‘Are you doing drugs?’

Alex said: “I sent the video because I thought it was very iconic in relation to leedsfestspotted content.

“Comparing my video to the other videos on the page it didn’t really standout.”

The Leedsfestspotted Instagram page has over 86,000 followers in total, however many of their videos barely break the 40,000.

Alex said: “The page is very popular so I knew the video would get views, however I never expected it to break the 50k mark.”

Alex confirmed that the video was just a spoof and he had not taken any drugs when he made the video. He said: “It was mainly just alcohol consumption.”

His friend, Joe Grisley, who was the main star of the video, is currently travelling in Thailand and was unable to comment.

One of his flatmates, George Orpe, however, added: “I was there that night, he was just acting really drunk which isn’t surprising, he wouldn’t do drugs.”

If you would like to watch more of Alex’s videos you can follow his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWt3yW7SPjeVmzNSvPVgEDQ, or follow the Leedsfestspotted on Instagram.

 

Natterjacks bar opens its doors to the homeless

By Erik Dawson and Paschal Nnedu

The Natterjacks bar and restaurant in Braunstone Gate is opening its doors every Monday to the homeless, offering free drinks, snacks and a warm place to stay between 8am and 2pm.

 

In Leicester during 2017, there was a 64 per cent rise in homelessness and there has been found to be at least 36 rough sleepers on the streets of the city every night.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this charity work for around a year now” said the owner of Natterjacks, who said he was inspired to do this through seeing countless homeless people around him every day.

He added “We are just trying to make a difference in their lives.

“If God or the universe has made you fortunate enough, you should help the people around you who are less fortunate, some of them might just need a chat.”

A video promoting the project has since had a fantastic response on Natterjack’s Facebook page, with over 4,000 views and hundreds of shares on social media in under a day, with many people also offering to help out.

The next step for the charity work, Natterjacks hopes, is getting in contact with local supermarkets and progressing from just snacks and coffee to full meals.

Hinckley Road community pays floral tribute to Sunday’s explosion victims

By Ha Xuan Thao Doan and Panhchaka Meng

Floral tributes were being laid today for the five victims of Sunday’s explosion in Leicester’s Hinckley Road.

Leicestershire Police have not formally identified the bodies found at the scene of the destroyed supermarket but confirmed five people are still unaccounted for.

Police suspect the remains are probably those of Mary Rajoobeer, 46, and her two sons Shane, 18, and Sean, 17, who lived in the flat above the supermarket which was destroyed in the explosion.

Police today said the two possible other victims are Leah Beth Reek, 18, Shane’s girlfriend, and 22-year-old Viktorija Ljevleva who is thought to have been working in the supermarket at the time of the explosion.

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Hinckley Road remained closed today in both directions between the junction with Woodville Road and Bolton Road.

People in the community continued to mourn the victims by laying flowers at the base of a tree trunk about 200 metres from the scene, which was still condoned off with people not allowed in.

A woman who lives further down Hinckley Road brought a bunch of white roses to pay tribute to the victims. She said: “I’m not related to the victim. But, as a community, we just get together.”

 

Investigative journalists to debate legal issues and ethics at DMU Conference

By Krystian Cwirta

The workings of investigative journalists will come under the spotlight at a conference in Leicester this week.

A Roundtable discussion on Investigative Journalism will be part of Legality/Illegality: rules, regulations & resistance conference at De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester on Thursday (March 1).

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The main host of the event will be Dr Richard Danbury, Associate Professor and the chairman of Media Discourse Group at De Montfort University.

He will be joined in a panel by Gill Philips, Director of Editorial Legal Services at the Guardian and Richard Watson, Investigative Journalist on BBC Newsnight.

They will all be sharing their knowledge and experience to help students to get more understanding on this complex subject.

The two highly respected journalists will face the main question of the Conference which is ‘Can investigative journalists break the law? Should they?’.

They will be bringing their unique practitioners’ perspectives to bear on this problem.

The whole conference will take place on the third floor of the Clephan Building in Bonners Lane on the De Montfort University Campus.

The conference runs from 9 am to 4pm with the Investigative Journalism panel running from 3pm.

Entrance is free and no registration is required.