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The government’s Nationality and Borders Bill will only bring more “chaos and delay” to the UK’s “dysfunctional” immigration system, Amnesty International has said.

The bill passed its second reading in the Commons on Tuesday evening by 366 votes to 265.

It would allow the UK to send asylum seekers to a “safe third country” and to submit claims at a “designated place” determined by the secretary of state.

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent. Picture date: Monday July 19, 2021.
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Hundreds of people arrived on the shores of Kent on Monday, including this group at Dungeness

It would also mean anyone knowingly arriving in the UK without permission would be committing a crime, and Border Force officers would have the power to turn back migrant boats using “reasonable force if necessary”.

But Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty UK’s refugee and migrant rights programme director, said: “Criminalising people just for trying to reach a place of safety is morally and legally indefensible.

“People cross the Channel and put themselves in serious danger because there are simply no safe alternatives open to them.

“Unless MPs drastically amend this bill, we will end up with even more chaos and delay in our dysfunctional immigration system.”

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Home Secretary Priti Patel says the bill will address the UK’s “broken asylum system” as record numbers of migrants risk travelling on small boats across the Channel.

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Migrants tell Sky News why they’ve come to UK

Ms Patel is due to appear before the Commons Home Affairs Committee this morning to update MPs on the situation.

There have already been more people crossing the Channel on small boats this year so far than there were in all of last year, according to Home Office data compiled by the PA news agency.

At least 287 migrants reached the UK on Tuesday, bringing the year’s total to at least 8,452.

During 2020, 8,417 people crossed the Dover Strait aboard small boats.

On Monday, at least 430 people arrived by small boat in the UK, a new record for a single day.

Tim Naor Hilton, chief executive at Refugee Action, said the growing number of crossings “shows the government’s get-tough-quick schemes do not work”.

He added: “Criminal smugglers prey on refugees who have little choice than to put risk their lives in rickety boats because ministers refuse to create more routes to reach safety here.

“And the government’s cruel anti-refugee bill will do little to stop the boats. It is unworkable, unlawful and will end up an expensive disaster that criminalises people who are simply asking for our help.”

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6 July: New laws threaten asylum seekers

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine channel threat commander for the Home Office, said: “There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

“The government continues to take steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration through the Nationality and Borders Bill which will protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings.

“The government is also continuing to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK.”

Also on Tuesday evening, the Home Office announced that Britain is to give France another £54m to prevent crossing, following an agreement between Ms Patel and French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

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Jay Slater: Photographs show Tenerife property where missing British teenager was last seen

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Jay Slater: Photographs show Tenerife property where missing British teenager was last seen

Photographs show the Tenerife property where British teenager Jay Slater is believed to have been last seen before he went missing on Monday.

A Snapchat video shared by the 19-year-old on Sunday night appears to show the property he visited in the northwestern mountain village of Masca after attending the NRG music festival.

Mr Slater, from Oswaldtwistle near Blackburn in Lancashire, was holidaying with friends on the island before he went missing.

The property where Mr Slater is believed to have been last seen
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The property where Jay Slater is believed to have been last seen

His friend Lucy Law told Wednesday’s UK Tonight programme on Sky News that she spoke to Mr Slater on the phone at about 8.15am local time on Monday.

During the short phone call, he told her he had missed a bus trying to get back to his holiday accommodation so was attempting to walk instead – a journey that would take 11 hours.

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Missing British teen’s friend speaks to Sky News

She said he told her he had “cut his leg on a cactus“, didn’t know where he was and his mobile phone battery was down to 1%.

Ms Law also said Mr Slater told her he “needed a drink”.

He was able to send her his last live location which showed as the Rural de Teno Park – a mountainous area popular with hikers – before his phone cut out.

Ms Law said Mr Slater, an apprentice bricklayer, is “not a stupid boy” and would have flagged down any passing car or spoken to a passerby.

Soon after Mr Slater went missing, an American woman offered to drive Ms Law up into the mountains.

There was “literally no sign of him anywhere”, she said. “We drove around all day.”

Ms Law added that they “managed to find the house” where Mr Slater was last seen.

She continued: “I knocked on the door and there were two people there.”

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The property where Jay Slater is believed to have been last seen

They told Ms Law that Mr Slater had gone out for a cigarette before going back in and saying he wanted to go home.

“They told me he’d spoken to the next door neighbours and they’d told him there was a bus every 10 minutes back down to Los Cristianos.

“The bus stop was right next to the house. So obviously if he’d gone to get the bus he wouldn’t have got lost because it [the stop] was visible from the front door.”

Tenerife map for Jay Slater story
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Jay Slater’s phone’s last live location was Rural de Teno Park. The search has also focused on Los Cristianos

The teenager was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and was without food and water, she added.

“It’s very warm in the day and very cold at night,” Ms Law said.

“So in the day he’s going to be really warm without a drink, and then at night he’s going to be very cold without any suitable clothing.”

Read more:
Today is a ‘key day’ in search – local journalist says
Former Coronation Street star prays for his safe return

Jay Slater. Pic: Lucy Law
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Pic: Lucy Law

Pic: Reuters
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A rescue team searches the Masca ravine. Pic: Reuters

Earlier, she told the Manchester Evening News someone Mr Slater had met on the night out had driven him back to their apartment in a hire car without him realising how far away it was.

“He’s ended up out in the middle of nowhere. Jay was obviously thinking he would be able to get home from there,” she told the newspaper.

‘A living nightmare’

Mr Slater’s mother Debbie Duncan, who flew to the island and has joined mountain rescuers and the local civil guard in the search for her son, has called his disappearance “an absolute living nightmare”.

Search teams refocused their efforts on Thursday in the north of Tenerife, where Rural de Teno Park is located, after discounting a potential lead in the south of the island, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, a Tenerife-based journalist said today is a “key day” in the search for Mr Slater.

Clio O’Flynn told Sky News: “If he’s taken shelter, the hope is he’s waiting for help to come along,”

She added: “The problem will be ‘does he have a phone signal? Will people be able to locate him? Can he hear their cries?'”

Police officers search for a missing  Masca ravine on the island of Tenerife.
Pic: Reuters
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Police officers search the Masca ravine. Pic: Reuters

Ms O’Flynn said the search had been “very intense” with teams using all the resources at their disposal, including “mountain specialists, search dogs, drones and helicopters” and are “taking suggestions from his family, so it’s very coordinated”.

The area where he is believed to have gone missing is a “dry, arid, part of the island”, and, given its volcanic origins, has “ravines and gullies”, Ms O’Flynn said.

She warned there are “no lakes, rivers or streams, so it would be quite hard for him to access fresh water”.

Temperatures have been about 26C (79F), she said, but warned that “if you’re lost, 25C is very hot”.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Spain and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The Spanish Civil Guard told UK media they are “doing everything possible” to find Mr Slater.

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Spurs player Rodrigo Bentancur apologises for racist joke about teammate Son Heung-min

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Spurs player Rodrigo Bentancur apologises for racist joke about teammate Son Heung-min

Tottenham Hotspur captain Son Heung-min has said teammate Rodrigo Bentancur knows he “made a mistake” after making racist joke about him.

Bentancur was asked on Uruguayan TV for a Spurs player’s shirt, to which he replied: “Sonny’s? It could be Sonny’s cousin too, as they all look the same.”

Anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out said it had received a “significant number” of complaints.

The Uruguayan midfielder apologised on social media, describing it as a “very bad joke”, with Son later saying the pair were “brothers” and “nothing has changed at all”.

Tottenham said in a statement: “We fully support that our captain Sonny feels that he can draw a line under the incident and that the team can focus on the new season ahead.

“We are extremely proud of our diverse, global fanbase and playing squads. Discrimination of any kind has no place at our club, within our game or within wider society.”

In the same post, the club quotes Son as saying: “I’ve spoken with Lolo (Bentancur). He made a mistake, he knows this and has apologised.

“Lolo would not mean to ever intentionally say something offensive. We are brothers and nothing has changed at all.

“We’re past this, we’re united, and we will be back together in pre-season to fight for our club as one.”

Bentancur had previously posted: “Sonny brother! I apologise to you for what happened, it was just a very bad joke.”

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Spurs’s Premier League season kicks off at newly promoted Leicester City on 19 August, followed by games against Everton, Newcastle and arch-enemy Arsenal.

Bentancur is currently preparing to represent Uruguay at this summer’s Copa America in the US, which starts on 20 June.

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Woman admits manslaughter after riding away on mobility scooter, leaving owner in freezing temperatures

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Woman admits manslaughter after riding away on mobility scooter, leaving owner in freezing temperatures

A woman has admitted the manslaughter of a mobility scooter user who was found unresponsive in a Tesco car park.

Kimberley Ann Hawkins, 41, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to killing Neil Shadwick, 63, during a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Shadwick died following an incident in the car park of a Tesco superstore on Stratford Road, Stroud, on 22 January last year.

He was found unresponsive in the car park shortly before 6am and without his mobility scooter, which he used as his mode of transport. He died at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital the same day.

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An investigation found Hawkins rode away on the mobility scooter, leaving its owner in sub-zero temperatures, police said.

Detective Inspector Adam Stacey said: “Hawkins’ sickening actions had tragically fatal consequences for a man whom she knew full well to be extremely vulnerable.

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“I welcome her guilty plea, which has meant that Mr Shadwick’s family at least have not had to endure a lengthy trial in court.

“Our thoughts remain with his family at this very difficult time.”

Sentencing is expected to take place in August.

Hawkins has been remanded in custody.

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