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Florida school shooting survivors dread Parkland campus return

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The fire alarm, gunshots and piercing cries still ring loudly in Jake Glacer’s mind.

“There’s so much I still hear, I still see,” the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior told Fox News. “Four people in my class were shot. I couldn’t imagine going back into the building.”

A week after the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Parkland, Florida high school, students, administrators and lawmakers are now focusing on something more concrete: The future of Building 12, the three-story structure where 17 people were gunned down.

“I have four classes in that building, and I know that if I were to go back in there, all I would be able to think about is what we all heard and what we all saw,” student Kaelan Small told Fox News.

Some families are considering moving because it would be too “traumatizing” to step foot on campus again.

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Passersby pray outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just days after the Valentine’s Day massacre.

 (Fox News)

“It’s just something that makes you grow up really quickly, you know?” junior Josh Charo said.

The plan for now is to demolish the building, which has housed mainly the freshman class since it was built almost three decades ago.

“We’re working and have been working since we toured the site to tear down the building and put a memorial there,” said Florida State Sen. Lauren Book, R-Plantation.

Book described the building as a “war zone,” with blood smeared on walls and floors. She said keeping the infrastructure and just renovating the building is not an option.

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Two staff members and 15 students were killed in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

 (Fox News)

“We are tearing that building down,” she said.

The school shooting in Newtown, Conn. sparked similar concerns over the future of the building. More than five years later, a memorial is still in its design phase. It took three-and-a-half years to build a new, $45 million elementary school in Newtown, according to former First Selectman Patricia Llodra. She spearheaded the process to decide the future of Sandy Hook Elementary School, holding a series of meetings for the community and elected officials.

Llodra urges Florida lawmakers and the school district not to rush the decision-making process. Instead, she said, they should take the time to involve the people of Parkland.

“It’s one of the most critical decisions the community has to make,” Llodra said. “It’s the first step in the recovery process.”

“The last thing I would have to say is tell the loved ones that are around you that you love them.”

– Josh Gallagher, student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Aztec High School in New Mexico took a different approach after its December shooting. Instead of demolishing the entire school, officials agreed on gutting two classrooms and transforming them into a lounge/memorial.

But the shooting there was on a much smaller scale – two people died, as well as the gunman.

Superintendent Kirk Carpenter said the decision made efficient use of the district’s time, space and money.

“To get a project like this done in a month’s time was absolutely amazing,” Carpenter told Fox News. “No one’s going to change what we do at that high school, and that’s to make sure learning takes place.”

Book admits demolishing Building 12, erecting a new building and implementing a memorial park on campus is a daunting task, especially with Florida’s legislative session nearing its end. Estimates for the proposal come in around $25 to 30 million, which would come from state appropriations.

Not to mention the freshman building on Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ campus holds about 900 students, a quarter of the school’s population.

Map of MSD

Lawmakers are pushing to demolish Building 12 and implement a memorial park in its place.

 (Fox News)

The school, named after a women’s suffrage advocate, opened in 1990. It’s about two hours north of Miami.

Charo acknowledges it will be hard for the school to adjust without the building, saying it “doesn’t seem logical for them to tear it down.”

“I think going back to school is going to be helpful,” Glacer said. “We have to get used to the new normal.”

But, even considering this, Charo and Glacer can’t fathom returning to the place that carries memories of their worst day.

Lawmakers and school officials understand that.

The district is considering splitting up the school day into sessions to avoid using Building 12.

Students are expected to return to school on Feb. 27.

In the meantime, survivors said they are embracing each and every moment with their loved ones.

“The last thing I would have to say is tell the loved ones that are around you that you love them,” said junior Josh Gallagher. “Because you never know when it’s going to be cut short or life is going to be taken away.”

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Cross country runners at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized a walk/run in honor of the victims, in particular Coach Scott Beigel.

 (Fox News)

Emilie Ikeda is a multimedia reporter based in Atlanta. 

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Man ordered to pay mother £75m after assisting ‘schemes’ by billionaire father to hide divorce money | UK News

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A man has been ordered to pay £75m to his divorced mother after helping his father hide money and assets from her, a court has ruled.

Temur Akhmedov, 27, worked as his fathers “lieutenant” against Tatiana Akhmedova, 48, according to a High Court ruling.

In 2016, Ms Akhmedova was awarded a 41.5% share of 65-year-old Farkhad Akhmedov’s £1bn-plus fortune.

Temur Akhmedov said he was sure he could recover his initial losses through more trading
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Temur Akhmedov was ordered to pay £75m

This amounts to about £453m, and is thought to be the biggest award of its type.

However, judges have heard that so far only about £5m has been received by Ms Akhmedova – and her Russian businessman ex-husband has not “voluntarily” paid a penny.

Ms Akhmedova is pursuing her former spouse in courts in multiple countries as she says he is hiding money from her, using their son to help him.

The court heard the billionaire had moved the ownership of his £340m superyacht Luna into a trust in Lichtenstein.

Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles made the ruling against the couple’s son at the Family Division of the High Court in London, saying vast sums of money had been sent to him.

She said: “The wife has been the victim of a series of schemes designed to put every penny of the husband’s wealth beyond her reach.

“Their eldest son, Temur, confirmed in his oral evidence that the husband would rather have seen the money burnt than for the wife to receive a penny of it.

“Regrettably, those schemes were carried out with Temur’s knowledge and active assistance.

“I reject his case that he was a mere go-between for his father: the evidence indicated otherwise.

Tatiana Akhmedova was awarded £453m in 2016
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Tatiana Akhmedova was awarded £453m in 2016

“Temur told me in his evidence that he had helped his father protect his assets from his mother’s claims.

“He was, indeed, his father’s lieutenant.

“Temur has learned well from his father’s past conduct and has done and said all he could to prevent his mother receiving a penny of the matrimonial assets.

“He lied to this court on numerous occasions, breached court orders, and failed to provide full disclosure of his assets.

“I find that he is a dishonest individual who will do anything to assist his father, no doubt because he is utterly dependent on his father for financial support.”

The younger Akhmedov’s spokesman said: “Like millions of young people, Temur has been caught up in the break-up of his parents’ marriage. He never sought to take sides or get involved but inevitably found himself sucked into the vortex of a bitter family dispute.

“His subsequent actions were only ever motivated by his desire to end the war between his parents.

“While he fundamentally disagrees with this judgment, he would consider it a price worth paying for should it lead to a reasonable settlement between the parents he loves.”

Superyacht Luna owned by Russian billionaire Farkad Akhmedov is docked at Port Rashid in Dubai, United Arab Emirates March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike
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The superyacht Luna owned by Farkhad Akhmedov is thought to be worth around £340m

Ms Akhmedova said in a statement: “Today’s judgment is the inevitable conclusion given Farkhad’s failure to behave honourably in the first instance.”

And her ex-husband Farkhad Akhmedov said: “Entirely predictably, given its original wrong and misguided judgment, the London court has ruled in favour of visiting ‘the sins’ of the father on an innocent and loyal son.”

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Number 10 rejects Juventus chair’s claim Boris Johnson saw European Super League as ‘attack to Brexit’ | Politics News

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The chairman of Italian football giants Juventus – one of the clubs who attempted a breakaway European Super League – has suggested Boris Johnson was so opposed to the plan because it was viewed as “an attack to Brexit”.

Andrea Agnelli, one of the chief architects of the closed-shop competition for elite clubs, on Wednesday admitted the idea of a European Super League could no longer proceed.

It follows the decision by six English clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – to withdraw from the plan.

Spanish side Atletico Madrid and Italian rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan have also abandoned the scheme.

Andrea Agnelli has said that it the Super League can no longer go ahead without the involvement of the English clubs
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Juventus chair Andrea Agnelli was one of the chief architects of the scheme

The project turned into a humiliating spectacle for the clubs involved, with their plans collapsing within 48 hours of them first being announced amid a furious backlash from fans and politicians across Europe.

Mr Johnson had vowed to explore “every possibility” to stop the “very damaging” European Super League, as he mulled what new or existing laws could be used to put a halt to the plans.

And Mr Agnelli suggested the UK government’s intervention had pushed the six English clubs to withdraw.

“I have had speculation to that extent that if six teams would have broken away and would have threatened the EPL (Premier League), politics would have seen that as an attack to Brexit and their political scheme,” he told Reuters.

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Super League ‘not up and running’, says founder

However, Mr Agnelli added he remained “convinced of the beauty of that project”, despite the likelihood it would no longer proceed.

Asked about the Juventus chairman’s comments, Downing Street dismissed the suggestion that Mr Johnson’s opposition to the European Super League was linked to Brexit.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “I would reject that.

“The prime minister was very clear on why it was right for the government to step in and take action that contributed to these clubs stepping back from this proposal, which was the importance of football at the heart of communities up and down the country.”

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier on Wednesday, Mr Johnson had told MPs that “one of the most worrying features about the European Super League proposals is that they would have taken clubs that take their names from great, famous British towns and cities, English towns and cities”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions
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The PM branded the proposal ‘very damaging’

He added the new competition would have turned English clubs “just into global brands with no relation to the fans, to the communities that gave them life and that give them the most love and support”.

He promised that a “root and branch investigation into the governance of football” – to be conducted by former sports minister Tracey Crouch – would look at “what we can do to promote the role of fans in that governance”.

Conservative MP Saqib Bhatti has asked Mr Johnson to ensure that “football clubs must put fans at the heart of their decision-making”.

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Multi-millionaire, 90, conned out of £23m by phone scammers in Hong Kong | World News

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A 90-year-old multi-millionaire has been conned out of £23m after falling prey to a phone scammer.

The conman allegedly told the woman, from Hong Kong, that her identity had been used in a serious criminal case in mainland China and that she should transfer her money to a new bank account so officials could investigate.

According to the South China Morning Post, she is the biggest known victim of a phone scam in Hong Kong history.

Police arrested a 19-year-old university student late last month in connection with the crime and officers froze bank accounts containing HK$9 million (£830,000), but the rest remains missing.

According to the Central District Crime Squad, the woman received a call from a man claiming to be a mainland law enforcement official in July last year.

He told her once she had transferred her money and the investigation had been completed, she would get it all back.

So rife are phone and internet scams in Hong Kong that in 2017 a dedicated unit, the Anti-Deception Co-ordination Centre, was established in order to to pool police resources for tackling the crimes.

The South China Morning Post said reports of phone scams alone had risen by 18% to 200 in the quarter of 2021 with fraudsters pocketing more than HK$350 million (£32m) so far this year.

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