John Lennon’s sister Julia remembers late singer on his 80th birthday

John Lennon’s sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. 

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday , and told of the ‘close knit’ family unit in which she and John grew up. 

She told how their mother, who was also called Julia, always ‘encouraged’ the singer’s dreams, despite other parents they knew deterring their children from pursuing a career in music. 

John’s sister told how their mum would play the ‘washboard and the banjo’ as her son practised in their Springwood home, and that her brother and pal Paul McCartney had a ‘determination’ that other young musicians didn’t. 

John Lennon's sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. Pictured, John in 1963

John Lennon’s sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. Pictured, John in 1963

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend's 80th birthday

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday

‘We didn’t know any differently,’ said Julia. ‘John was our brother, we were always together. It was a very close knit family for the youngsters.’ 

When asked whether she always knew that John was special, she admitted that having a brother in a band was nothing special in their local community. 

‘Everyone had a brother that was in a group,’ she told. ‘But they all dropped off as they got to 15, their parents got them out, [they] went to university, they all wanted to do different things. But John and Paul had a determination the others never had.’ 

Speaking of her late mother she went on: ‘In our kitchen in Springwood in Liverpool, is where our mother not just encouraged and said you can have the kitchen to rehearse, it but joined in. 

John's sister, pictured with her brother as children, told how their mum would play the 'washboard and the banjo' as her son practised in their Springwood home

John’s sister, pictured with her brother as children, told how their mum would play the ‘washboard and the banjo’ as her son practised in their Springwood home 

Julia told that her brother and pal Paul McCartney (back row, right) had a 'determination' that other young musicians didn't. Pictured, The Beatles at the BBC Studios, London in 1963

Julia told that her brother and pal Paul McCartney (back row, right) had a ‘determination’ that other young musicians didn’t. Pictured, The Beatles at the BBC Studios, London in 1963

‘She played the washboard and the banjo, my mother wanted to be in the group herself I think.’  

Julia described her brother as ‘ a bit bossy’ but reminisced about memories of trips to the cinema and John helping her with school work. 

She said: ‘He’s six and a half years older than me, very much the older brother – a bit boss. He played with us, drew with us, practised our time tables with us, took us to the cinema to see Elvis and then the little picture and then Elvis again.’

John’s family always held a place in his heart, with Julia revealing he picked them out of the crowd ahead of the Liverpool premiere

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George Floyd Called Donald Trump’s Administration the ‘White Supremacist House,’ Sister Says

LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, told U.K. newspaper the Daily Mirror on Thursday that her brother held strong anti-Trump political views before his death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May.



a man wearing a suit and tie: LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, spoke out against President Donald Trump's reaction to the death of her brother on Thursday.


© Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty
LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, spoke out against President Donald Trump’s reaction to the death of her brother on Thursday.

George Floyd, a Black man, died earlier this year after members of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) attempted to place him under arrest. Derek Chauvin, a white officer who has since been fired from the MPD and charged with murder, was captured on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. George Floyd could be heard to say “I can’t breathe” in the footage which went viral. After George Floyd’s death, protests sprang up in many U.S. cities against racism and police brutality. Some observers have accused Trump of aligning himself with groups that adhere to white supremacist ideals.

Police Reform Across America Amid George Floyd And Black Lives Matter Protests

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LaTonya Floyd said that her brother “had Trump’s number. He’d speak to me of how divisive he was. In his mind, Trump didn’t live in the White House, but had made it the White Supremacist House.”

She insists the first debate proved that Trump has “never” been a good president.

“Leaders are defined by their characters, by their conviction, by their will to do what is right,” LaTonya Floyd told the Daily Mirror. “The only character Trump cares for is himself.”

Trump’s perceived hesitation to condemn the activities of far-right activists during Tuesday’s presidential debate drew criticism from both sides of the aisle. Trump specifically addressed the Proud Boys, which has been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. “Proud Boys,” Trump said, “stand back and stand by.”

On Wednesday, Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters that his message to white supremacy groups was to “cease and desist. That’s not who we are. This is not who we are as Americans.”

Violent incidents during some protests over George Floyd’s death caused Trump to call for a stronger police presence in cities where looting and rioting had occurred. After referring to George Floyd’s death as a “terrible thing” during remarks in May, Trump decried protests in the city of Minneapolis as “lawless anarchy and chaos.”

Before George Floyd’s funeral, Biden personally met with the family. Although he did not attend the service, Biden did provide a video message which was played during the proceedings. Trump declined to attend.

LaTonya Floyd criticized Trump’s response to her brother’s passing, questioning why the president did not condemn George Floyd’s death. “Not once has he joined those who are hurting,” LaTonya Floyd said. “Obama would have. George Bush would have. There isn’t a president alive who would not, except Trump.”

“If Trump is voted in for another four years,” LaTonya Floyd added, “we are all going to hell.”

Newsweek reached out to the Trump re-election

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Scots mum surprises terminally ill sister with heart-wrenching garden wedding because she won’t live to see big day

A Scots mum surprised her terminally ill sister with a wedding in her garden after doctors told her she wouldn’t live to see her big day.

Sandra Neilson and her family pitched in to give their sister Lorraine Cochrane the wedding day of her dreams after doctors told the 46-year-old she was dying.

Lorraine, of Falkirk, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2019 after doctors found a 14cm tumour on her ovaries.

After having a hysterectomy in March 2019 then months of gruelling chemotherapy Lorraine was given the all clear in September last year.



a person standing in front of a wedding cake: Lorraine is the picture of happiness on her wedding day


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine is the picture of happiness on her wedding day

But following a routine scan in January this year the family were dealt a heartbreaking blow when doctors revealed the cancer had returned to Lorraine’s liver, bowel and peritoneum – and she had less than two years left to live.

Devastated Lorraine decided she wanted to realise one final long-held dream – to walk down the aisle and marry partner of nine-years, Stephen Cochrane.



a woman in a wedding dress: Lorraine and Stephen share a kiss


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine and Stephen share a kiss

Not knowing how much time Lorraine had left, the couple hastily arranged their wedding in their local community centre for May this year – but the Covid-19 pandemic struck and Lorraine’s dreams were crushed once again.

However her family, led by sister Sandra Neilson, 41, decided Lorraine would get the big day of her dreams and Sandra hosted the surprise nuptials in her garden on September 11.



a man and a woman standing in front of a building: Lorraine and Stephen got married in her sister's garden


© Lorraine Cochrane
Lorraine and Stephen got married in her sister’s garden

Lorraine said: ” It was a very emotional day and one I didn’t think would ever happen because I’ve not got much time left.

“But it was the most amazing, perfect day. It was magical. It is incredible how generous everyone was. Everyone pulled together for me.

“When they told me I was terminal they said I had two years left. That was almost a year ago so after our original wedding was cancelled and with coronavirus restrictions and everything I just thought it would never happen.”



Bill Kirchenbauer in a suit holding a flower: The happy couple hastily arranged the wedding


© Lorraine Cochrane
The happy couple hastily arranged the wedding

But thanks to Lorraine’s incredible family including Sandra, other sisters Julie and Heather, nieces Caroline and Sarah-Jane, who all served as bridesmaids, the big day went off without a hitch.

Sandra said: “It rained all morning then at 2pm, when they were just about to get married the rain stopped and the sun came out and shone all day and night. It was perfect.

“We just decided to make it happen for them because we knew she was devastated at having to cancel the may wedding. She still had the dress and it was just a matter of finding somewhere to host it. My husband Colin had just done our garden up during lockdown so it was perfect.

“Friends, family and the community chipped in to donate flowers, photography, the cake, a buffet, everything. Even the registrar only took a donation. Everyone was

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