Son of Osama is dead, reports say

Hamza Bin Laden, the son of al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden, died in an air strike, US media outlets reported citing intelligence officials.

The place or date of death were unclear. The Pentagon did not comment.

Bin Laden, thought to be aged about 30, had released audio and video messages calling for attacks on the US and other countries.

As recently as February, the US government offered $1m (£825,000) for information leading to his capture.

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His death was widely reported by US media outlets including NBC News, the New York Times and CNN, citing unnamed US intelligence officials.

There was no confirmation from al-Qaeda.

The reports said Bin Laden was killed in a military operation in the last two years and the US government was involved, but the exact date and time were unclear.

President Donald Trump declined to comment when questioned by reporters on Wednesday, as did the White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Bin Laden had urged jihadists to avenge his father’s killing by US special forces in Pakistan in May 2011.

In 2018, in his last known public statement, he called on the people of the Arabian Peninsula to revolt. Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship in March.

He was believed to have been under house arrest in Iran but other reports suggest he also may have resided in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

The US state department said documents seized in the 2011 raid on his father’s house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, suggested Bin Laden was being groomed to take over the leadership of al-Qaeda.


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Chelsea ban fan over use of racist language

Chelsea have permanently banned one supporter from Stamford Bridge for the use of racially abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour during last season’s home game with Manchester City.

The Premier League club have also temporarily excluded five other supporters for periods of between one and two years for the use of abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour at the fixture on December 8.

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Chelsea, who have not released any names over the incidents, said they had delayed reaching a decision in the cases in order to ensure they did not prejudice the related police investigation.

The Crown Prosecution Service recently announced it had elected not to initiate any criminal prosecutions.

According to the club, all individuals sanctioned as a result of their investigation were offered the right to appeal and, where applicable, those appeals have been heard.

Referring to the supporter handed a lifetime ban from the ground, a club statement on Tuesday read: “While the club respects the decision of the CPS (not to charge the individual with a criminal offence), the question that it had to determine was not whether a criminal offence had been committed, but rather whether the individual acted in breach of the ticketing terms and conditions.

“In this regard, the club operates to the civil standard of proof, which is entirely different to the criminal standard.

“In reaching its decision, the club took into account the denial made by the individual as well as a range of other evidence, including video evidence and evidence from two lip-reading experts both of whom advised that the individual had used words that are racially abusive.”

The statement added: “In this case the behaviour of all six individuals crossed the line of what is acceptable.”

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Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal close in on £72m deal for Lille winger

Arsenal are hopeful of confirming the £72m club record signing of Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille later this week.

The 24-year-old has arrived in London and will have a medical on Tuesday before signing a five-year contract.

The Gunners are also in talks with a number of clubs over the possible departure of 27-year-old defender Shkodran Mustafi.

Nicolas Pepe: Arsenal close in on £72m deal for Lille winger

The German, who is under contract until 2021, wants to stay and prove himself.

Arsenal are keen to find an agreement for a loan or permanent transfer for Mustafi.

Another centre-back possibly heading out of the Emirates is 33-year-old Frenchman Laurent Koscielny, with talks continuing to resolve his future.

Last season’s captain is training with the under-23s and facing disciplinary proceedings after refusing to travel on Arsenal’s pre-season tour to the United States.

Koscielny has a year left on his contract and wants to be released on a free transfer, but Gunners boss Unai Emery saw the defender as part of his plans for the coming season and will only let him leave for a suitable fee.

Koscielny does not anticipate playing for Arsenal again and negotiations with interested parties are ongoing.

Arsenal technical director Edu met with the Stade Rennes president Olivier Letang and Koscielny’s representative Stephane Courbis in London on Monday.

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Russia Instagram influencer Ekaterina Karaglanova found dead in suitcase

A prominent Russian Instagram influencer has been found dead with knife wounds in a suitcase in her rented apartment in Moscow, police say.

Ekaterina Karaglanova, 24, was discovered on Friday after her family raised the alarm when she failed to contact them for several days.

Ms Karaglanova, who had more than 85,000 followers on Instagram, had also recently graduated as a doctor.

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Police said they were investigating jealousy as a possible motive.

Ms Karaglanova had recently started a new relationship and had planned a holiday to The Netherlands to celebrate her birthday on 30 July, according to Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets (MK).

But her parents grew concerned when attempts to contact her in the days leading up to her trip had failed.

They then contacted her landlord and requested access to her apartment, where they found a suitcase containing her body in the hallway. Her father requested an ambulance, but Ms Karaglanov was reportedly already dead with a slit throat.

Police said there was no evidence that any struggle had taken place at the apartment, and no weapon was found at the scene, MK reported (in Russian).

They added that CCTV footage had captured a former boyfriend of Ms Karaglanov briefly visiting her property in the days around her disappearance, but did not say if this was being investigated further.

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