Britain has been branded the “cocaine capital of Europe” as it is estimated that usage has almost quadrupled in less than a decade. In 2011, the amount of cocaine trafficked into the country was 30 tonnes. Last year, Britons took 117 tonnes of the substance. It is believed that while the Class A drug has traditionally been seen as ‘middle class’, its actual use is far more widespread. Lawrence Gibbons, head of drugs threat at the National Crime Agency, said: “The UK is the biggest user of powder cocaine in Europe. “A lot of the consignments we see coming into Europe — through Spain, Belgium or the Netherlands mainly — a significant proportion is destined for the UK.” He added: “There has to be education and treatment — people need to understand the harm that is done to families, loved ones, children. “And users should learn about the reality of a trade that is run by criminal gangs who use guns, violence, trafficking and debt bondage.”

 

British Bible teacher and author David Pawson has died at the age of 90 after battling a number of health conditions. In recent years he'd suffered with bone cancer and a mild form of Parkinson's disease and was receiving care at a nursing home. Friends say he passed peacefully, without pain, on Thursday morning. Tributes have been shared across social media by those who've benefited from his ministry.  Pawson studied theology at Cambridge University before joining the RAF as a chaplain. He served as a Methodist minister before leading several Baptist churches. During his career, he authored 81 books and produced over 300 teaching videos. He was also a sought after preacher across the world. Pawson was known for his forthright teaching, often tackling controversial subjects such as hell, salvation, Israel and male headship. Steve Dally worked alongside him over the past decade. Speaking to Premier he explained why his message was so well received. "He wasn't afraid of tackling the controversial topics," he said. "And more than anything, he said, not to believe anything that he taught, unless you could read it for yourself in the Bible. All he wanted people to do was to read the Bible for themselves."

 

President Donald Trump said he has deemed churches and other houses of worship "essential" and called on governors to allow them to reopen this weekend despite the coronavirus threat. "Today I'm identifying houses of worship - churches, synagogues and mosques - as essential places that provide essential services," Mr Trump said during a hastily arranged press conference. He said if governors do not abide by his request, he will "override" them, though it is unclear what authority he has to do so. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention had prepared reopening guidelines for churches and other houses of worship weeks ago, but the White House refused to release them until Thursday when Mr Trump abruptly changed course. "I said 'You better put it out.' And they're doing it," Mr Trump said on Thursday at a Ford Motor plant repurposed to make ventilators in Michigan. "And they're going to be issuing something today or tomorrow on churches. We got to get our churches open."