Communications Engineer who funded NTJ detained

The Police said that 53-year-old Mohamed Zaheen Nasurdeen was arrested in Dehiwala today. A Communications Engineer who funded the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) has been detained.The NTJ leadership was involved in the Easter Sunday attacks.

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eBay furniture could bring treekilling Asian longhorn beetle back to Britain Defra

Furniture bought from online sites such as eBay could bring the tree-killing Asian longhorn beetle back to Britain just after it was eliminated, Defra has warned, as their chief plant health officer asks people to try and buy British.The pest is known for chewing through the bark of trees where they breed. Dozens of the bugs stay in the host plant until it is either over-colonised or dead, and then they move onto the next.They can also survive for quite some time in dead wood, and are brought from country to country in furniture, where they can lie dormant for years.When they escape, they can cause havoc in Britain’s gardens, woods and forests. Defra has spent years trying to eradicate the bug since 2012, and succeeded last week.Nicola Spence, who leads plant health at Defra, told The Telegraph that it could, however, return.She explained:  “Asian longhorn beetles, which we just eradicated last week, can survive for years in sofas and chairs.”The first sign is a 10mm exit hole. If you investigate you’ll then find larvae in the furniture.”She warned consumers to be careful where they buy their furniture, adding: “We know there were fake leather chairs on eBay, so buyers could not see the wood, or the exit hole, and an adult beetle popped out and started flying around the conservatory. If you’re not sure where it’s from, don’t buy it. Buying online can be risky.”Lord Gardiner, Defra’s head of biosecurity, agreed, adding:  “Increasingly, in a global  market, we must be much more careful about sourcing. We all need to be more vigilant.”He urged that people try and buy from British sources to stop pests coming from abroad and added: “We must make sure pests do not arrive – people must not bring things back from abroad. Don’t risk it. No plants, flowers, fruits or potatoes.”We are very keen on buying British. Monty Don even said it last week – if you don’t know where it’s from, don’t buy it.”They should be grown in this country. Plants and flowers are a wonderful source of food for our pollinators but we need to be careful about where we buy them from.”The team at Defra is currently trying to save the British oak tree, which has been at great risk in recent years from pests including the oak processionary moth.They have enlisted scientists who created pest resistant varieties of wheat and rice, and asked them to lend their skills to create a superior oak tree. Plant specialists at Kew Gardens are currently sequencing the oak genome so resilient trees can be bred.Lord Gardiner added: “The oak is home to 2,200 species. It is one of the most important trees we have. There are more ancient oaks in Britain than in the whole of Europe put together. It is our national tree.”The wheat genome and rice genome have all been done in order to produce resistant strains of food crops, so these scientists are now turning their attention to trees. This is the next frontier.”It is much more difficult, it is a challenge, as trees grow much more slowly.”Ms Spence said: “The UK is leading the world in this science; we were the first to sequence the genetic code of ash. Once we have a genetic map, we can do all sorts of things with it.”We can breed out the genes which make oaks more susceptible to pests. And it can become the basis of a selecting and breeding programme.””It’s so important as the French are coming over to Britain looking for oak to rebuild Notre Dame – oak is the main structure of most of our historic buildings.”We struggle with engagement when it comes to trees – but everyone recognises oak leaves and acorns.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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