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Poynter Court, site of the siege, as seen in 2022
Poynter Court, site of the siege, as seen in 2022

The Northolt siege was a hostage situation which developed in Northolt, West London, on 25 December 1985. After a domestic dispute, Errol Walker forced entry into his sister-in-law's flat in Poynter Court (pictured). He killed the woman, keeping her daughter and his own daughter hostage. He released his daughter, but held the other girl hostage. After more than a day, he ventured onto the communal balcony to pick up an abandoned riot shield. Armed officers tried to intercept him but he made it back to the flat. They threw stun grenades through the windows, their first use by British police, and climbed through the kitchen window. One officer found Walker lying on a sofa, holding the knife to the child, and fired three shots, the first shooting by the Metropolitan Police's Firearms Wing. Walker was shot twice, and was later given life imprisonment for murder and other offences. One historian of the unit felt that the incident showed that the police had an alternative for crises that could not be resolved peacefully. (Full article...)

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Himalayan salt

Himalayan salt is rock salt (halite) mined from the Salt Range mountains in the Pakistani region of Punjab. The salt is principally sodium chloride but has trace presence of calcium, iron, zinc, chromium, magnesium, and sulfate, minerals which give some veins of the salt a pink or reddish color. Himalayan salt is often used as a substitute for common table salt, sometimes being promoted as a healthier alternative, although there is no scientific evidence to support this. It has also been used as a material for serving dishes, baking stones, and griddles. This image of coarse white and pink grains of Himalayan salt, up to 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter, was focus-stacked from 23 individual photographs.

Photograph credit: Ivar Leidus

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