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Tributes paid after BBC News journalist Hanna Yusuf dies aged 27

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Hanna Yusuf

BBC journalist Hanna Yusuf, whose recent work included an investigation into working conditions at Costa Coffee stores, has died aged 27.

The BBC’s Fran Unsworth, director of news, said Hanna was a “talented young journalist who was widely admired” and her death was “terrible news”.

Her family said they were “deeply saddened and heartbroken” and hoped her legacy “would serve as an inspiration”.

She wrote for the BBC News website, and had also worked as a TV news producer.

Hanna spoke six languages, including Somali and Arabic, and worked with, among others, whistleblowers and victims of serious crime.

Costa investigation

In 2018, she spoke to Zaynab Hussein, a mother of nine who moved to Leicester in 2003 after escaping violence and instability in Somalia. She told Hanna about the hate crime that left her with life-changing injuries after she was repeatedly run over by a 21-year-old stranger in the street.

Hanna’s article about Costa Coffee working conditions revealed employees’ complaints alleging managers’ refusal to pay for sickness or annual leave, working outside of contracted hours and the retention of tips.

A Costa Coffee spokeswoman said in August that an independent audit had been launched “given the serious nature of the allegations”.

Last year she also wrote about why some homeless people chose the streets over emergency shelter despite sub-zero temperatures.

Wearing the hijab

Hanna started at the BBC as a researcher on the News at Six and Ten in December 2017, before moving to the BBC News Channel and News at One and the website.

Before joining the BBC, Hanna wrote for publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Muslim News, the Pool and Grazia Magazine.

In 2015, she created a video for the Guardian about her decision to wear the hijab at the time, saying “it has nothing to do with oppression. It’s a feminist statement”, which was picked up by other websites including Teen Vogue and Everyday Feminism.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain after the European Court of Justice’s 2017 ruling gave employers the power to ban all political, religious and philosophical symbols at work, she told TV presenters Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid it would “disproportionately affect Muslim women”.

Born in Somalia in 1992, she received a Scott Trust bursary to do an MA in newspaper journalism at City, University of London in 2017, following her degree at Queen Mary, University of London.

In a statement, Hanna’s family said the death of their “beloved daughter, sister and niece” had come as a shock and asked for privacy.

“Many will know Hanna for her incredible contributions to journalism and for her work at the BBC.

“While we mourn her loss, we hope that Hanna’s legacy will serve as an inspiration and beacon to her fellow colleagues and to her community and her meaningful memory and the people she has touched for many years lives on,” they said.

They added that they would notify the community about funeral arrangements in due course.

Director of BBC News Fran Unsworth said: “This is terrible news that has left us all deeply saddened. Hanna Yusuf was a talented young journalist who was widely admired across the BBC and our utmost sympathies go to her family and many friends. Hanna will be much missed.”

Fellow BBC journalist Sophia Smith Galer said Hanna was “invariably the kindest, smartest and most captivating person in the room”.

“We have lost a fierce friend and a force for truth and light which stretched far beyond her journalism to the many lives she touched here at the BBC and beyond,” she said.

“We will make sure her legacy of compassionate storytelling rings loud and clear in the time to come and we are going to miss her so, so much.”

And BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet tweeted: “You left too soon a world where you shone such a bright light.”





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Children In Need 2019: Strictly, Star Wars and soaps help charity appeal

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Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli

Image caption

The Strictly Come Dancing judges in charitable mood

Stars from Strictly, Star Wars, Doctor Who and EastEnders are lending a hand to Children In Need to help raise funds in this year’s charity BBC TV appeal.

The five-hour telethon also features England football players, a celebrity edition of music quiz The Hit List and songs by Louis Tomlinson and Westlife.

They are all hoping viewers will donate to Children In Need, which supports 3,000 local charities and projects.

Last year, £50.6m was raised on the appeal night.

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The hosts: Marvin and Rochelle Humes, Mel Giedroyc, Tom Allen, Graham Norton, Ade Adepitan and Tess Daly

Children in Need is the BBC’s official UK charity and raises money for disadvantaged young people around the country, such as those experiencing poverty, with disabilities, or victims of abuse or neglect.

This year, comedian Tom Allen joins a presenting line-up that also includes Graham Norton, Tess Daly, Mel Giedroyc, Ade Adepitan and Marvin and Rochelle Humes.

EastEnders actors Ricky Champ (who plays Stuart Highway), Louisa Lytton (Ruby Allen), Maisie Smith (Tiffany Butcher) and Rudolph Walker (Patrick Trueman) swap Albert Square for the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom for the night.

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Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood appears in a sketch with EastEnders’ Ricky Champ and Rudolph Walker

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The EastEnders teamed up with Strictly professionals

Star Wars actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega challenge YouTuber Colin Furze to build a real working landspeeder [vehicle that hovers], helped by young people from Children In Need projects.

Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker also makes an appearance, and Norton gives three children the chance to be on his chat show sofa – and the power to tip joke-telling celebrities out of his famous big red chair.

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Graham Norton gives Julio, Iara and Emma control over his famous lever

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Will Julio like the jokes told by Anneka Rice in the big red chair?

Meanwhile, there are special versions of Mock The Week, Crackerjack and Dragon’s Den, along with performances from Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, plus the casts of Big, The Tina Turner Musical and Circus 1903.

England footballers Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling have been filmed surprising children from the England Amputee Football Association.

Image caption

England stars Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling with children from the England Amputee Football Association and presenter Mark Wright

A special edition of BBC One’s The Hit List features pop stars including rapper Wretch 32, ex-JLS singer JB Gill, Heidi Range from the Sugababes, Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle, Liberty X star Michelle Heaton and Blue’s Antony Costa.

Image caption

JB Gill and Wretch 32 on the special Hit List

Image caption

Marvin and Rochelle Humes host The Hit List

TV personality Rylan Clark-Neal has already raised more than £1m for the cause with his 24-hour karaoke marathon on BBC Radio 2.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionRylan’s karaoke challenge: The best bits

Children in Need is on BBC One at 19:30 GMT on 15 November

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email





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Al Murray: ‘Nephew needs a transplant before Christmas’

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Comedian Al Murray is urging people to sign up to a blood stem cell register run by the cancer charity DKMS.

His nephew Finley, aged six, has a rare and aggressive form of childhood leukaemia.

He is undergoing chemotherapy but his best chance of fighting the disease is a bone marrow transplant.

Watch the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two and BBC News Channel, 10:00 to 11:00 GMT – and see more of our stories here.



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Taylor Swift says AMAs performance in doubt amid music feud

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Taylor Swift performs at the MTV Video Music Awards in New Jersey, US, 26 August 2019Image copyright
Reuters

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Swift is being named Artist of the Decade at this month’s AMAs

Taylor Swift has said her performance at the upcoming American Music Awards (AMAs) is in doubt because she is being barred from performing her own songs.

In a message to fans on social media, the singer said music managers Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta would not let her perform songs from her past albums, which they own the rights to.

She said a Netflix documentary about her life had also been put in jeopardy.

Braun and Borchetta have not yet responded.

Swift made the allegations in a statement posted to Twitter with the caption: “Don’t know what else to do”.

“Right now my performance at the AMAs, the Netflix documentary and any other recorded events I am planning to play until November 2020 are a question mark,” she wrote.

Why is there a feud?

In June, Swift revealed that the masters of her early music had been sold to Braun by her former record label, run by Borchetta, and alleged that she was not told about it.

At the time the singer accused Braun, who also manages Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, of “incessant, manipulative bullying”.

  • Swift v Braun: Personal or strictly business?
  • Taylor Swift ‘bullied’ by man who now owns her music

Swift also accused Braun of attempting to “dismantle” her “musical legacy”. While he did not respond to her comments, he was supported by Lovato and Bieber, who claimed Swift was just out “to get sympathy”.

The singer confirmed in August that she planned to re-record music from her first six albums so she could own the rights to the new versions.

What about the AMAs and Netflix documentary?

Swift is set to be named Artist of the Decade at the AMAs later this month and said she had been planning to perform a medley of her hits.

But in her statement on Thursday, she said the two men had blocked her from performing her old songs on television, claiming that this would be re-recording her music before she is allowed to next year.

They also blocked the use of her older music or performance footage in the upcoming Netflix film, she claimed.

Swift alleged that Borchetta told her team she would only be allowed to use the music if she agreed “not to re-record copycat versions” next year and stopped talking about the two men.

“The message being sent to me is very clear. Basically, be a good little girl and shut up. Or you’ll be punished,” she wrote.

She went on to ask her fans to help to pressure Braun and Borchetta into changing their minds and to appeal to the artists they manage for help. She also asked for help from the private equity firm The Carlyle Group, which she said financed the sale.

Fans responded instantly, with the hashtags “IStandWithTaylor” and “FreeTaylor” trending on Twitter.



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