News stories from Thursday 18 January, 2018
A BUDDHIST accused of rubbing himself up against a woman’s back on a train has been cleared after claiming he was meditating.
Central News A Buddhist accused of rubbing himself up against a woman’s back on a train has been cleared after claiming he was meditating[/caption]
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But he told London’s Blackfriars crown court: “I never get those types of thoughts, I am always meditating.”
He said his dad had just died and as that was on his mind he would have been unable to get an erection.
The Sri Lankan, of Enfield, North London, had denied sexual assault.
A PETITION for a SAS hero to be given a helping hand after being left homeless has reached 70,000 signatures.
Bob Curry, 64, was a hero during the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege but has since faced life on the streets as the council failed to house him.The petition to support Bob Curry has reached more than 70,000 signatures
SAS legend Andy McNab launched a petition to give a home to the proud SAS hero, with it already received more than 70,000 signatures calling on the council to do more.
Thousands of Brits signed their name, urging Herefordshire County Council to find suitable, permanent accommodation for Bob, a hero who has repeatedly put his life on the line for his country.
Just one supporter wrote: “You are a Hero Bob you, deserve better from this country.”
Another added: “Surely every council has a responsibility to perfidy a home to a ex-service person who served their country.”SAS hero Bob Curry has been left penniless and homeless as his local council can’t find him a place to liveThe former SAS sergeant on dutyThe SAS hero, circled, was known as ‘Backdoor Bob’ after bravely storming the rear door of the Embassy whie comrades abseiled from the balcony
It comes after Bob, who helped free 19 hostages in London, warned: “This can happen to any veteran.”
The hero told of his despair at facing life on the streets – broke and homeless after decades of service to his country.
“It was as if the society I had fought for all my life had turned its back on me.”
He is temporarily in a B&B, paid for by charity handouts, because his local council says it cannot find him a home.
Ex-cop Trevor Lock said the council needed to “sort” it out after Mr Curry was found to be living in a B&B after falling on hard times.
Speaking from his home this morning, the 78-year-old told The Sun Online: “I’m very sad for him.
“He was the best of the best, and is now on that level. It needs to be sorted.”Trevor Lock said no military veteran deserved to be homelessRex Features
Trevor is just one to throw his support behind Bob, with Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, saying: “He should go to the front of the queue for council housing right now.
“He’s risked his life for this country — given a huge amount to defending her citizens.”
Bob is temporarily in a B&B, paid for by charity handouts, because his local council says it cannot find him a home.
Herefordshire County Council told him in November to fill in forms for a council house to see if he fitted criteria. He is still waiting.
The only place they could offer was a hostel containing ex-crooks, drug addicts and people with mental problems.
But Bob could only cope there for two nights. He said: “I was sleeping on a sofa in my daughter’s rental house for all of December.”
He swallowed his pride and asked the Royal British Legion and SAS Regimental Association. if they could help.
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They found B&B accommodation in Hereford but only for 28 days. Bob joined the Army as a boy soldier aged 15½ in 1968 before joining the SAS in 1979.
The Sun Online contacted Herefordshire county council today but they maintained their response the same.
They said: “We are continuing to work with the individual to help them secure appropriate housing.”
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s press conference with Emmanuel Macron
Q: How many unaccompanied minors will the UK accept? Why did you agree to do this deal?
May says no one wants more migrants at Calais. They want to reduce the numbers.
Q: The Calais deal looks as if it involves taking more migrants from France. Is that right?
May says the Calais deal is about securing the UK border. It is in the UK’s national interest.Continue reading...
A TOP cop was given a true blue farewell today after he died in a devastating smash on Christmas Day.
Dad-of-two PC Dave Fields, 45, was responding to a 999 call when he was killed in the head-on collision on the A57 in Sheffield.Hundreds paid their respects to PC Dave Fields, who died in a car crash on Christmas DayFacebook
The “passionate” officer was seen off with a guard of honour, which led 400 mourners into Grenoside Crematorium in South Yorks this afternoon.
The funeral was designed to be a celebration of life, said South Yorkshire Police, as a police helicopter flew over as a “nod” of respect.
Police bikes, a mounted horse unit and PC Field’s loyal dog Bertie also formed part of the procession, battling snowy conditions to honour the brave dad’s life.
PC Field’s family said they were “heartbroken” and “devastated” by their loss.PC Fields dog Bertie stands at the entrance to the crematorium at his owner’s funeralSWNS:South West News ServicePC Dave Fields was given a full police escort as his friends and families bid the offer farewellSWNS:South West News ServiceThe funeral at Grenoside Crematorium was a celebration of life, said South Yorkshire PoliceSWNS:South West News ServiceSouth Yorkshire Police pulled out all the stops as they paid respects to their friend and colleagueSWNS:South West News Service
“Dave was a loving husband and dad-of-two, who was a dedicated officer committed to his job,” his family said in a statement.
“We are heartbroken by our loss and ask that our privacy please be respected at this devastating time.”
PC Fields had been with South Yorkshire Police for 12 years and was “a passionate, professional and universally-liked officer”.
The officer had also featured in Channel 5 programme Police Interceptors.The dad-of-two had also featured in the Channel 5 programme Police InterceptorsPA:Press AssociationA police helicopter passed over as a ‘nod’ of respect to PC Dave FieldsSWNS:South West News ServiceOfficers paid tribute to a ‘passionate and dedicated colleague’SWNS:South West News ServiceLorraine Stephenson also died in the smash on Christmas DayPA:Press Association
PC Fields’ Sergeant, Lee Beck, paid tribute to their “best friend”.
“Dave was a joy to be around,” he said.
“He made work fun and even at the toughest of times, he could make his colleagues smile.
“For this, we are forever grateful to him.”
Lorraine Stephenson, 61, was also killed in the smash after suffered fatal injuries as she travelled as a passenger in the Citroen vehicle that collided with PC Fields’ BMW 3 Series at 8.15pm on December 25.
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PC Fields was pronounced dead at the scene, while Lorraine passed away from her injuries in hospital.
The inquests into their deaths of Ms Stephenson and PC Fields are due to take place at Sheffield Coroner’s Court tomorrow.
The crash has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
- Victim statements continue on third day of sentencing hearing
- Nassar rebuked after saying it was too hard to listen to victims
- Recess called after onlooker reportedly vomited in courtroom
Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually abusing more than 140 girls and women, was rebuked during his sentencing hearing on Thursday after telling a judge that it was too difficult for him to listen to the victim impact statements.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina read the six-page, single-spaced letter aloud in court on Thursday, in which Nassar stated he feared for his mental health amid the parade of women speaking out against him and accused the judge of grandstanding and turning the hearing into a “media circus” by placing him in the witness box to face his victims.Continue reading...
A FORMER British boxing champion is to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with a terrorism offence.
Anthony Small, 36, was charged with encouraging acts of terrorism under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 in connection with a video posted on social media in September 2016.
Getty Images - Getty Small celebrates winning the Southern Area Light Middleweight title on January 12, 2008[/caption]
Steve Finn Small quit the ring in 2010 as it clashed with his religious beliefs[/caption]
A Scotland Yard statement said: “A 36-year-old man from south-east London is to appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday January 24 charged with a terrorism offence.
“Anthony Small was charged with encouraging acts of terrorism under section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 in connection with a video posted on social media in September 2016.
“It follows an investigation by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.”
Small became British and Commonwealth light middleweight champion in 2009, but quit the ring a year later as it clashed with his religious beliefs.
Getty Images - Getty Small (right) has been charged with encouraging terrorism[/caption]
For the latest news on this story keep checking back at Sun Online, where we will bring you live updates as soon as they happen, before anyone else.
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Long ago, in a political galaxy far away, privatisation and outsourcing in public services were not always dogmas but instead acts that could involve a degree of pragmatism and some balancing of interests. After the postwar Attlee government and before Margaret Thatcher’s long reign in British politics, decisions about the relationship between the public and private sectors were often practical compromises, not ideological fixations. Government’s role was always and necessarily central, but it could be flexible about forms of ownership and systems of regulation and governance. At first, even Mrs Thatcher only argued that it was reasonable for private companies to compete to provide public services.
Since the Thatcher era, habits, assumptions and arguments have relentlessly ossified. Part of this is political – the post-Thatcher generation of politicians faced publics that could prefer private to public (in housing, notably), lower taxes to higher ones, and disliked overmighty trade unions. Part of it is economic – the decline of the industrially based, sometimes publicly owned, economy with strong collective bargaining and the growth, in its place, of a globalised and financially led service sector, often offshore, driven by shareholder value and characterised by hyper-rewards for management and low pay and insecurity for many employees. The upshot, nearly 40 years on, is that governments have behaved as though they are historically powerless to control the terms on which public goods are provided. In fact, only government is powerful enough to set those terms.Continue reading...
Britain may be an increasingly secular country, but that does not make it rational or atheist. Thank God, half the country will respond: a survey recently published by Tearfund, a Christian charity, shows that about half the population still prays more or less regularly, among them 20% of those who describe themselves as having no religion. This is in line with other recent ComRes surveys, such as the one showing that in 2013 25% of the population believed angels exist. Like those beliefs, the habit of prayer has far outlasted the habit of churchgoing, and even any form of conventional Christian belief, and is declining far more slowly through the generations – 45% of those under 35 still pray. So what do they think they’re playing at?
There can’t be one answer to that question, because prayer itself is an enormously varied activity. Some prayers are blessings, and some are maledictions; some, like the words to “God Save the Queen”, combine both requests. Prayer can be public or private, communal or individual; and these are not the same distinctions, since prayer can be performed as an individual with an audience, or in private by someone who believes themselves part of a much wider congregation. Public prayer can be a signal of virtue and a form of shameless manipulation; it can also be a genuinely humble acknowledgement of our lack of virtue, as when Willy Brandt dropped to his knees in front of the memorial at the Warsaw ghetto. For some people it is an act of attention: an attempt to hear the silence for long enough that a small voice may be heard as well. Some things are clear in this confusion. The first is that there is no scientific basis to believe praying for other people does them any good at all. This is not disproof. It is just one of those questions not susceptible to controlled experiment because it is impossible to set up an experiment in which it is certain no one is praying for the control group of people who are supposed not to be prayed for. On the other hand, there is evidence that prayer and religious belonging is beneficial to those who pray and believe.Continue reading...
They wander Westminster with staring eyes. “Repent,” they cry, “or be doomed. We are all doomed.” They are the second-referendum adventists, the priests of the afterthought, the prophets of the second coming. They meet with decrepit peers in cobwebbed attics. They mix potions and spells, and stick pins in plasticine Theresa Mays. They are mad. As mad as the flat-earth leavers.
Of course Britain could change its mind on Brexit by next March. May could evaporate. The Tory party could vanish in a cloud of waffle. Jeremy Corbyn could descend from the clouds on a golden swing, cooing gently and speaking French.Continue reading...
Torak recaptured after school placed on lockdown amid fears it would be shot
A wolf that escaped from a Berkshire sanctuary, prompting the mobilisation of police marksmen and local schools being put on lockdown, may have been deliberately freed as part of a protest, it has been claimed.
The UK Wolf Conservation Trust realised Torak, a 12-year-old male, was missing at 7.45am when Teresa Palmer, the founder of the sanctuary in Beenham, was called by a friend who said they had spotted a wolf on a footpath.
Surrogacy UK chair Sarah Jones says genetic parents should have legal authority over new babies
Campaigners have called for urgent reform of “old-fashioned” laws that make surrogate mothers the legal parents of the children they deliver.
Sarah Jones, four-time surrogate mother and chair of the charity Surrogacy UK, said current legislation was old fashioned and did not reflect the fact that surrogate mothers often “have absolutely no wish to keep the baby”.
British Association of Social Workers’ two-year inquiry calls for ‘significant rethink’ of adoption laws
Adoption has become a “runaway train” that is impossible for individual social workers to stop, according to an independent inquiry into adoption law in the UK.
The exhaustive two-year inquiry, which canvassed evidence from social workers, adult adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents across the UK, has raised the alarm over practices that favour adoption over alternative care options that seek to help children stay with their birth parents.Continue reading...
THERESA MAY’S offer of £44million to strengthen the Calais border is the SIXTH bailout handed to France in less than four years, The Sun can reveal.
The PM today agreed to hand over a new slice of cash to Emmanuel Macron’s government to shore up security at the Channel crossing – bringing the total to nearly £170million.Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May in Sandhurst todayAFP
But Tory MPs warned Mrs May that she should not continue to spend money on Calais indefinitely amid fears the latest payout could be seen as “a bung to Macron”.
Today’s announcement follows at least five previous offers of cash to the French since September 2014.
Each one was trumpeted as key to securing Calais and stopping the unrestricted flow of migrants from France to the UK.
In late 2014, Mrs May – then Home Secretary – signed a deal to spend £12million of taxpayers’ money on Calais.Britain has agreed to bail out Calais six separate timesReuters
The cash was due to be spent on new fences and a campaign to convince migrants they would not be able to build a better life in Britain.
A year later, in August 2015, Mrs May again visited Calais and pledged £7million to pay for migrants to return to their home countries.
In March 2016, David Cameron agreed to pay then-president Francois Hollande £17million to help the French police guarding the border, and move migrants away from the hotspot port.
Another handout came in September that year when Britain contributed £2million to a concrete wall along the Calais motorway, stopping migrants sneaking on to cross-Channel ships.David Cameron agreed a bailout of Calais in 2016AP:Associated Press
And the next month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a further £36million bailout for Calais.
She said the cash would be used to “maintain the security of controls, to support the camp clearance and to ensure in the long term that the camp is kept closed”.
The total amount spent by Britain on Calais security is nearly £170million over the past few years, including all of the bailout money.
French officials are believed to have spent around £440million on the port in the same period.Calais was previously home to the Jungle refugee campAFP
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke told The Sun: “There’s a pattern of giving the French money for Calais, and there needs now to be more investment in Dover.”
Tory Andrew Rosindell warned ministers: “If it starts to look like we are subsidising the French government to do things they should be doing themselves, there would be concerns.
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“What they have to is to justify why Britain is spending that money – it can’t just be a bung to Macron.”
Mr Macron today made his first official visit to the UK since become president of France last year.
He held talks on security with Mrs May at Sandhurst, the military academy in Berkshire.
Shares down 18% as number of UK property sales fall and surveyors reporting fewer inquires
Shares in the UK’s largest estate agent, Countrywide, have tumbled by nearly a fifth after the group issued its second profit warning in three months amid a stalled property market.
Countrywide, whose high street brands include Hamptons, Bairstow Eves, Taylors and Gascoigne-Pees, said it had had a disappointing last three months, especially in London and the south-east, with full-year revenues down £65m on a year earlier. It warned that 2017 profits would fall short of forecasts and be 22% below those for 2016. Its shares closed on Thursday down 18.6% at 110p.Continue reading...
Evan Hawksworth, 14, was 20 minutes into the second-half of an under-14s rugby league match when he tackled an opponent in possession of the ball.
Ben Lack Evan died playing the ‘sport her loved’ said his family[/caption]
Second-row player Evan was struck in the left temple by the opposing player’s “thigh or knee” and was left “laid out on the field” on July 9 last year.
After collapsing and being rushed into emergency surgery doctors announced there was nothing more they could do – just fours later.
He was moved to palliative care as the damage to his brain was too severe and died on July 11 – two days later.
Coroner Jonathan Leach read a statement out to Wakefield Coroners’ Court from Evan’s father Gary Hawksworth.
Ben Lack The teen pictured with dad Gary, mum Michelle and sister Eleni[/caption]
It read: “Evan’s death was a tragic accident in my opinion. It was a tragic set of circumstances – I do not blame the other player.
“Evan died doing the sport he loved. He was an inspiration to everyone he met – he was our hero.”
In his statement the grief-stricken dad of Wakefield, West Yorkshire., told how on the day of the accident, the teenager tried to continue playing. But he staggered and collapsed onto the pitch after just a few steps.
Gary lay with him protecting his neck while waiting for a paramedic – who attended Evan’s team Stanley Rangers’ club ground.
The dad drove him to nearby Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield under the advice of an the paramedic.
However, the teen lost consciousness after vomiting at Pinderfields Accident and Emergency and was rushed straight to Leeds General Infirmary for immediate surgery.
Though surgery to reduce pressure on Evan’s brain and bring a bleed caused by the injury under control was successful nothing could be done for him.
Four hours after the initial accident, operating doctors advised the primary injury to Evan’s brain had caused too much damage and nothing more could be done.
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Consultant paediatrician Dr Sundarara Jan told Wakefield Coroners Court: “We were able to relieve the pressure and control the bleeding but the damage had already been done.”
The doctor confirmed that it was decided after speaking with Evan’s family that it was better to stop active treatment and he was given palliative care.
Evan died two days later on July 11 of severe traumatic brain injury.
Coroner Jonathan Leach concluded Evan’s death was an accident.
Evan’s father wept as he embraced Dr Sundarara Jan when he left the inquest before its conclusion.
I have lived in the US for 10 years, and although I take the elevator down to the lobby from my apartment, when I go outside I walk on the pavement. My children wear diapers but, by and large, I fill the tank with petrol, not gas, and throw out the rubbish not the trash. I wish I still ate sweets, but I don’t; “sweets” to my ears sound childish and wilfully obscure and, while I may cringe when I say it, there’s no question that if I ask someone to pass me the Skittles, what I’m referring to in that instance is candy.
These differences, which have been on my mind as I go through copy edits for the UK and US editions of my book, are something I am probably in control of 70% of the time. It is a peculiarity of being in a foreign country in which the language is ostensibly the same, that it makes one’s pre-immigration self actually seem further away. If I had moved to France, my English would have remained unchanged. As it is, I fear the word “chemist” is lost to me for ever, or at least for the years it would take me to reprogram from “pharmacy”.Continue reading...
Court hears how one alleged victim of the ex-football coach felt ‘rigid with fear’
Former football coach Barry Bennell told police he had tried to kill himself after allegedly abusing boys because he was “out of control”, a jury has heard.
Liverpool crown court was told on Thursday that the former Crewe Alexandra coach had written a letter making a “veiled threat” to a complainant who had spoken about the alleged abuse. The jury heard a transcript of a police interview with the 64-year-old about allegations made by a complainant.Continue reading...
- Health agency creates conscience and religious freedom division
- Trump administration move may affect abortion and LGBT rights
The Trump administration is creating an office to protect the religious rights of medical providers, including those who may oppose abortion or transgender rights, in a decision that is likely to be a lightning rod for controversy.
The new division for conscience and religious freedom in the US Health and Human Services Agency will defend healthcare workers who, on religious grounds, refuse to treat patients or take part in procedures. The division will be part of the agency’s Office for Civil Rights.
TO be fair, it can’t be easy being a member of Generation Snowflake.
Their grad jobs are jokes, they’re broke and thanks to an over-reliance on Tinder, their love lives are D.O.A.The permanently offended members of Generation Snowflake have turned on Friends for being “homophobic” and “fattist”SUN
But that’s no excuse for the professionally-offended snowflake mob to turn on classic sitcom Friends, which has been discovered by a young, PC new audience after it was made available on Netflix.
Unfortunately for them, no one told them it was gonna be this way, and they’re outraged at the tongue-in-cheek jokes about Monica’s weight (“fat shaming”) and Chandler being ashamed of his drag-queen dad (“homophobia”).
Taking to Twitter, millennial viewers have slammed the sitcom’s off-colour moments, all of which are very clearly jokes, and complained that the show is too “dated” for today’s audiences.
This anti-comedy backlash is an alarming, new trend which has only cropped up in the past few years, and even though it’s no spring chicken, Friends is far from a dusty old relic of a TV show.
But if joyless snowflakes are somehow angry about light-hearted comedies like Friends, then what’s going to be left after they work their way through other recent sitcoms?
Thankfully, we’ve put together a guide so fretful millennials don’t need to put themselves through the misery of any more offensive comedies. Snowflakes, tune out now…If a sitcom like Friends is too much for some people, then what will they make of more adult comedies?Channel 4
Gavin & Stacey
The comedy about a blossoming relationship between a Barry girl and a Billericay boy is a repeat offender.
Not only are there off-colour jokes about uncle Bryn’s implied gay antics, but you could definitely class gags about the relationship between plus-sized lovers Smithy and Nessa as fattist.
And that’s before we get on to the fact that lots of the show’s light-hearted mockery is at the expense of the Welsh, so we can add racism to the list.
Definitely one to steer clear of.Jokes about Welsh people? Definitely racist, from the snowflake’s perspectiveSUN
Sex, drugs, rock and roll – everything about this show would offend a prudish, probably tee-total snowflake.
There’s a plot line where Jeremy befriends a racist – plus his housemate Mark definitely would’ve voted for Brexit.
Throw in a scene where the hapless losers kill and eat someone’s dog, endless references to Jeremy being gay and Mark’s stalker tendencies and you have a show worthy of a virtue-signalling protest march.
Oh, and just to add insult to injury, Mark actually owns his London flat – an achievement which is almost impossible for young people in today’s market.The comedy about two sad, socially-stunted blokes trying to navigate adult life is not safe for snowflakesSUN
A show about the exploits of sex-mad teenage lads at a British state school was never going to be all that PC.
Whether they’re trying to get laid at a party, calling people “bumders” or promoting binge drinking, there’s nothing funny about the Inbetweeners’ antics if you’re a fully paid-up member of the offence brigade.If you think Friends is bad, you should check out the schoolboy humour on The InbetweenersSUN
A misogynist boss? Jokes about race? Office banter?
Not in this climate.
One stand-out scene sees boss David Brent leering at porn on an office computer, while the rough-round-the-edges guys down in the stockroom make a point of never taking any women seriously.
An out-of-context racial slur even crops up in one episode, and the backwards boss puts his foot in it when it emerges he can’t tell the difference between his Asian members of staff.
It’s an employment tribunal waiting to happen.It would take some balls to make a high-risk mockumentary like The Office todayBBC
Just like The Office, Alan Partridge follows a reviled male character as he worms his way through the world of work, in this case as a radio DJ.
But even if he is a fictional anti-hero you’re not supposed to identify with, Alan is sexist, backwards and generally offensive… so the comedically-challenged would have a field day with this one.
The Norfolk radio DJ fancies himself as a bit of a James Bond, so he spends plenty of screen time trying (and failing) to bed women he doesn’t have any respect for, and he constantly belittles and patronises his doting assistant Lynn.
Throw in a scene where he physically wheels a wheelchair-bound woman out of his path and you’ve got a real Twitterstorm on your hands.Like The Office’s David Brent, Alan Partridge is a character who is supposed to be offensive, but that would definitely be lost on some peopleBaby Cow Productions
Will and Grace
Ignore the fact that this show did a lot for the LGBT movement, and you’ve got yourselves a very problematic sitcom on your hands.
Stereotypes about gay people punctuate the whole show, most notably with ultra-flamboyant, effeminate Jack.
Throw in a scattering of jokes about Jewish culture, particularly overbearing Jewish mothers, and Will and Grace definitely falls foul of today’s sky-high standards of political correctness.Gay jokes and stereotypes about Jewish people mean Friends’ critics would probably turn their noses up at Will and Grace as wellGetty - Contributor
Mrs. Brown’s Boys
Who cares if the comedy is tame when the central joke of the show is at the expense of a man in drag?
And even though its creator, Brendan O’Carroll, turned down a lucrative licencing deal in Russia because of the nation’s anti-gay stance, that hasn’t stopped Observer TV critic Euan Ferguson from claiming Mrs. Brown’s Boys is homophobic tele.
Bang out of order, this one – and definitely not snowflake-certified TV.Jokes about drag queens are too close to the line, according to Friends-bashing snowflakesBBC
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Storm lashes Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and parts of UK, uprooting power lines and trees
Violent gales have battered north-west Europe, killing at least seven people, toppling trees and trucks, bringing down power lines, grounding aircraft and halting road and rail traffic across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
All long-distance train services were cancelled in Germany after the Netherlands bore the early brunt of the second major winter storm this month, with Schiphol airport in Amsterdam suspending all traffic for two hours and closing two of its three departure halls as tiles flew off the terminal building.Continue reading...
A MUM was left fighting for her life after a tiny cut triggered a vicious “flesh-eating bug” – after doctors mistook pain for a pulled muscle.
Laura Hayes-Meerman lost the skin and muscle from the right side of her body after surgeons were forced to cut away the dead tissue.Laura Hayes-Meerman was left fighting for her life after a tiny cut triggered a ‘flesh-eating bug’SWNS:South West News Service
The 52-year-old was on holiday, skiing in Vermont when she began suffering severe shoulder pain.
Doctors suspected a pulled muscle, but unbeknown to them the deadly bug necrotising fasciitis was ravaging the mum-of-two’s body.
As the infection spread, she was left fighting for life as her body began to shut down.
Laura, a dance movement teacher, said the last thing she remembers is sitting in a hospital waiting room on December 23 2016.Laura was on a dream skiing holiday when she started to notice pain in her shoulderSWNS:South West News ServiceDoctors thought it could be a pulled muscle, but soon found she was battling necrotising fasciitisSWNS:South West News Service
She woke up six weeks later to find her body covered in scars and wounds from 14 surgeries to graft skin from the left side of her body onto her right.
Laura, of Encinitas, California, said: “When I saw my body for the first time I was devastated.
“I was being helped to the shower by a nurse and for the first time I saw my naked body in a mirror and I was heartbroken.
“But I’m alive and I have all my limbs and I see that as extremely lucky.”Laura was on a skiing trip with her 14-year-old sonSWNS:South West News Service
Laura has been told that she contracted the flesh-eating bug from a tiny cut on her right hand.
It got into her bloodstream and spread through the right side of her body.
But the first sign that something was wrong was pain in her shoulder, something doctors at a hospital in Bennington, Vermont, initially dismissed as a skiing injury.
“Nobody knew how sick I was. They were still treating my pain as if I had hurt something while I was skiing,” she said.The bug began to ravage Laura’s organs and she was left fighting for life as her body began to shut downSWNS:South West News Service
“But then my organs began to fail and my condition became critical.
“It wasn’t until my skin began to blacken and blister that they began to realise what was wrong with me.
“My blood tests confirmed that I was battling a strep A infection.
“At this point I was being prepped for surgery to address my bowels, which were failing, but my complete right side was blackening and blistering.
“Basically, this infection was eating away at my flesh.”When Laura’s organs began to fail her condition became criticalSWNS:South West News Service
Laura was transferred to Albany Medical Center where, over the next few days, doctors worked to remove the infected skin and muscle in more than five separate surgeries.
As they did so, her son, husband Hendrik, 55, a biochemical engineer, and daughter were told to say their goodbyes as doctors prepared them for the worst.
Laura said: “My son told me when they were all gathered around saying their goodbyes, my mom just refused.
“She said: ‘She’s not going to die and I’m not going to cry about her because she’s not going to die’.
“We’ve talked about it since and she said that she was definitely in denial because I was so sick at that point it really was touch and go.Laura’s husband Hendrik and their children were told to say their goodbyes to herSWNS:South West News Service
“My son will tell me every now and again that he’s lucky he still has me and that I’m not in the grave.”
Despite the odds Laura pulled through but is left with permanent scarring on both sides of her body thanks to the skin grafts.
She said: “I was lucky to keep my breast but I’ve lost a lot of my tummy, even my belly button, and all the way down to my female parts.
“I was very fortunate not to lose my arm, but as with the rest of my body, there was a lot of reconstructive grafting that needed to be done.
“Of course, the grafts were taken from the healthier left side of my body so I have scars on both sides now.”
Naturally, Laura’s illness was extremely traumatic for her family, who relocated to Boston to be closer to her.Laura returned to the hospital where she was treated in Albany, New York, to thank staff a year onSWNS:South West News Service
The family have since moved back to California where Laura has continued with her rehabilitation.
The family returned to Albany for their Christmas vacation in 2017 in what she calls a holiday ‘do-over’.
Laura visited Albany Medical Center during her time there to thank the doctors who saved her life.
She said: “Last Christmas was such a nightmare that we wanted a second chance.
“I guess I hoped that it would be a healing thing to visit on the anniversary of my illness and it was.
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“These doctors worked so hard to save my life and it felt right to go and thank them.”
Dr Luke Duncan who was responsible for Laura’s care in Albany said her recovery has inspired his colleagues.
“Seeing Laura in person was a great experience for the doctors and nurses that had spent so many hours caring for her.
“She has an indomitable spirit and to see her smiling, walking and enjoying her annual family tradition travelling to Vermont for the holidays was a wonderful reward.”
Move follows calls by campaigners for complete ban over sugar and caffeine content of drinks
Asda and Aldi have joined Waitrose in banning the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to children under 16.
Asda is the first of the “big four” supermarkets to announce an age restriction, which will apply to 84 products from 5 March.Continue reading...
- Serbian beats unseeded Frenchman 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3
- ‘I was right at the limit,’ admits six-times champion
Novak Djokovic confessed he was “right at the limit” of his physical and mental endurance beating Gaël Monfils in health-threatening heat on day four of the Australian Open and then made a heartfelt plea for the sport’s administrators to show more compassion for players.
“Our sport has become an industry,” he said after playing his part in entertaining the crowd in 39C heat on Rod Laver Arena for two hours and 45 minutes to put the Frenchman away in four sets (and six days after calling for more money from the slams, it might be recalled).Continue reading...
A drone helped save two teenage swimmers struggling in powerful surf on the Australian coastline, in what the local authorities called a 'world first'. A member of the public spotted the 16- and 17-year-old boys caught in a rip current in rough seas off Lennox Head, a beach popular with surfers about 466 miles (750 kilometres) north of Sydney. A Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver drone was quickly launched and directed to the boys' location where it deployed a life raft then used by the pair to get back to safety. Australia, whose 24 million people live mostly on the coast, had 291 drowning deaths in the year ending 30 June 2017Continue reading...
A TERRORIST jailed for his part in the Iranian Embassy siege made a cushy life for himself in London using benefits – while SAS hero Bob Curry can’t even get a home.
Fowiz Nejad, 61, avoided being sent back to Iran for fear of execution, instead relying on hand-outs – in stark contrast to hero Bob who is facing life on the streets.Fowzi Nejad made a cushy life for himself off the back of Government hand-outs, and now lives in a cushy London apartment
While Bob is struggling to find a roof over his head, terrorist Nejad has a modern council flat in trendy Peckham.
Chain-smoking Nejad was today approached outside his council accommodation by The Sun Online about Bob’s plight, but refused to answer questions as he climbed onto a bus.
The home is complete with a balcony and is just minutes from central London – despite Nejad having been sentenced to life behind bars for taking dozens of hostages in the six-day siege in 1980.
As recently as May coward Nejad was known to be raking in thousands of pounds a year in benefits living rent-free.
It is believed he remains on hand-outs – something the Department of Work and Pensions would not confirm today.SAS hero Bob Curry has been left penniless and homeless as his local council can’t find him a place to live
A pal previously told The Sun: “He lives off benefits and is on disability because he has a bad back.
“He also loves a night out in the West End and he has an eye for the ladies.
“He will say, ‘I went out, had a drink and got some p****’.
“It’s a proper playboy lifestyle and he loves it.”
Nejad was one of six gunmen who raided the embassy 38 years ago.
While the rest were killed six days later by SAS troops including Bob, Nejad was captured after pretending to be a hostage.
He was jailed for life at the Old Bailey for conspiracy to murder, false imprisonment and two charges of manslaughter.The former SAS sergeant on duty. He also served in during the Falklands War and in Northern IrelandNejad refused to answer The Sun Online’s questions when approached in South LondonPeter Jordan - The Sun
After his release in 2008, British authorities ruled they could not deport him to Iran because it would breach the Human Rights Act.
Nejad was pictured as public outcry grows over Bob’s plight, with more than 16,000 having signed a petition started by SAS legend Andy McNab calling for him to get a home.
Ex-cop Trevor Lock, who was a hostage in the siege, said the council needed to “sort” it out.
Speaking from his home this morning, the 78-year-old told The Sun Online: “I’m very sad for him.
“He was the best of the best, and is now on that level.
“It needs to be sorted.”The SAS hero, circled, was known as ‘Backdoor Bob’ after bravely storming the rear door of the Embassy while comrades abseiled from the balconyHe was one of six gunmen who raided the Iranian Embassy in South Kensington, West London in 1980BNPS.co.uk
Herefordshire County Council this afternoon confirmed they have still been unable to successfully re-home the veteran.
Speaking yesterday, Bob said: “This can happen to any veteran.”
The hero told of his despair at facing life on the streets – broke and homeless after decades of service to his country, saying: “It was as if the society I had fought for all my life had turned its back on me.”
Herefordshire County Council told Mr Curry in November to fill in forms for a council house to see if he fitted criteria.
He is still waiting.
The only place they could offer was a hostel containing ex-crooks, drug addicts and people with mental problems.
But Bob could only cope there for two nights. He said: “I was sleeping on a sofa in my daughter’s rental house for all of December.”
He swallowed his pride and asked the Royal British Legion and SAS Regimental Association. if they could help.
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They found B&B accommodation in Hereford but only for 28 days. Bob joined the Army as a boy soldier aged 15½ in 1968 before joining the SAS in 1979.
He left in 1985 and later worked for then Harrods owner Mohammed Fayed and guarded son Dodi. Bob stressed: “A lot of veterans struggle and need help and they are not getting it.”
Herefordshire county council said: “We are continuing to work with the individual to help them secure appropriate housing.”
SHAMED ex-minister Damian Green made an awkward gaffe today by naming an article he wrote ‘Commons touch’ after he was sacked following sexual harassment claims and having porn on his computer.
The MP wrote a new article for his website, but gave it an inappropriate title in light of allegations he touched an activist’s knee.Damian Green gave his new article an unfortunate name earlier todaydamiangreen.co.uk
He published ‘Commons Touch – An update on the NHS and the William Harvey hospital’ on his official website this evening.
And he sent out a message promoting it on his Instagram, but the post was later deleted.
The former First Secretary of State was forced to leave Government last month after admitting he lied about the presence of pornographic images on his House of Commons computer.
An investigation found claims he didn’t know about it were “inaccurate and misleading”.The MP promoted the blog with a message on Instagramdamiangreenmp/instagram
Writer Kate Maltby also accused him of making unwanted advances towards her and touched her knee during a meeting in a pub.
It left her so “angry” that he was “hitting on her when he offered a job” that she ignored him for a year.
Later she said he texted her to ask for a drink after having “admired [her] in a corset” in a newspaper.Kate Maltby accused Damian Green of putting his hand on her knee
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Ms Maltby claims Downing Street was aware of the “pattern of behviour” about the Prime Minister’s former right-hand man months ago.
In his resignation statement, Mr Green said: “I deeply regret the distress caused to Kate Maltby following her article about me and the reaction to it.
“I do not recognise the events she described in her article, but I clearly made her feel uncomfortable and for this I apologise.”
Henry Bolton hits back at critics after he is seen meeting former girlfriend who sent racist texts
Ukip has descended into virtual civil war after its embattled leader, Henry Bolton, accused members of plotting “an organised coup” against him after he was seen having dinner with his former girlfriend, who has been suspended from the party for racism.
Amid predictions Bolton could face a vote of no confidence by Ukip’s national executive this weekend, he insisted he would hold on to the post despite the controversy over his ties to Jo Marney, a 25-year-old activist and model, whom he said in an interview on Wednesday that he still loved and could get back together with.Continue reading...
Humans have long been considered poor at describing smells, but research on hunter-gatherers shows this is not the case for everyone
If describing a smell leaves you struggling to find the right words, it might be down to how you put food on the table.
Researchers studying two communities living in tropical rainforests have found that while a hunter-gatherer group could easily describe different odours, their plant-growing neighbours floundered – suggesting different ways of finding food could be behind humans’ proficiency, or lack of it, when it comes to putting a name to a scent.Continue reading...
Official data on spending reveals stark contrasts – one’s furnishing money is the other’s rent
There is little for the average household to cheer these days as inflation crushes paltry earnings increases. Inflation is running at 3% while wage rises can manage no more than 2.5%. Worse for the average household, the banks are beginning to turn off the lending taps that have allowed them to boost their incomes with cheap debt.
Things were better in the year to April 2017, according to the number crunchers at the Office for National Statistics, who have lifted the lid on Britain’s spending habits in their annual family spending report.
Public sector would become first choice to provide government services, says Labour leader
Labour will call a halt to the “outsourcing racket” exposed by Carillion’s collapse, by tearing up procurement rules to make the public sector the default choice for providing government services, Jeremy Corbyn has revealed.
Carillion’s collapse has emboldened Corbyn to press home his message that Labour rejects the “dogma of privatisation”.Continue reading...
PUTIN and Trump want to overhaul their already terrifyingly deadly nuclear arsenals and build smaller “tactical” nukes as tension between the former Cold war rivals grows.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu yesterday announced that his country’s ageing yet deadly nuclear stockpile should be given a high-tech overhaul after a leaked report revealed President Trump wants a new batch of smaller “low yield” nuclear warheads because his current nukes are too deadly to use.Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu (right) says Moscow must overhaul its nuke stockpileGetty - ContributorA Russian Iskander-K missile launched during a military exerciseAP:Associated Press
Shoigu said the proportion of state-of-the-art weapons in Russia’s nuclear arsenal should be at least 90% by 2021, reports TASS.
“The main focus should be made on further bolstering strategic nuclear power,” he said at a Russian Defence Ministry meeting.
“The share of advanced armaments in the Russian nuclear triad should constitute at least 90% by 2021,.
He added: “The army will be receiving more precision-guided weapons and cutting-edge systems of reconnaissance, communications and electronic warfare, as well as modern military gear.”An advanced Borei II-class Russian sub. Moscow is expanding its military mightckb-rubinTrump is demanding a new batch of smaller “low yield” nuclear warheads because his current nukes are too deadly to use
Russia has thousands of “Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons” – another name for “tactical” weapons that could be used on the battlefield.
In May General Curtis M. Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO and Commander of US European Command, said he was concerned by: “Moscow’s substantial inventory of non-strategic nuclear weapons in (Europe) and its troubling doctrine that calls on the potential use of these weapons to escalate its way out of a failing conflict.”
And Russian President Vladimir Putin last month said he wants “missile systems that are capable of confidently overcoming existing and even projected missile defence systems”.
The plans to develop lower-explosive warheads for US Trident missiles in a £30billion shake-up were revealed in a draft version of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).
It calls for “significant investment” in deterrence weapons that could actually be unleashed to combat the “unprecedented threat” from North Korea, Russia and China.Trump wants to expand America’s nuke capabilitiesGetty - Contributor
The new nuke policy, obtained by HuffPost, makes the case for an arsenal of more usable “low yield” nukes that would make enemies think twice before attacking.
“Expanding flexible US nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation and credible deterrence against regional aggression,” the report states.
“These supplements will enhance deterrents by denying potential adversaries any mistaken confidence that limited nuclear employment can provide a useful advantage over the US and its allies.
Handout - Getty A Trident Ii, Or D-5 Missile, is seen in this undated file photo[/caption]The report makes the case for a new arsenal of more usable ‘low yield’ nukes
“It will raise the nuclear threshold and ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear employment less likely.”
It claims the expansion of America’s nuclear capabilities is not intended to enable “nuclear war fighting”.
The moves are seen as a deterrent to North Korea, Russia and China.
But arms control advocates have voiced concern at the plans, arguing it makes a nuclear war more likely.
Alexandra Bell, a former senior adviser at the State Department, said: “Making the case that we need more low-yield options is making the case that this president needs more nuclear capabilities at his disposal.A Trident ballistic missile is deployed from a submarineAlamyNorth Korea is identified as the most urgent threat
“We have 4,000 nuclear weapons in our active stockpile, which is more than enough to destroy the world many times over.”
Jon Wolfsthal, who was special assistant to Barack Obama on arms control, said the new nukes are intended to deter Russia from using tactical warheads in a conflict in Eastern Europe.
But he said the modified version of the Trident D5 submarine-launched missiles, with just the primary (fission) part of its thermonuclear warhead, was “totally unnecessary”.
This is because the US already has low-yield weapons, B61 gravity bombs and air-launched cruise missiles, in its arsenal.
The US already has 1,000 nuclear warheads in its arsenal with low-yield options, according to reports.
Reuters Trump has called for ‘significant investment’ in deterrence weapons that could actually be unleashed[/caption]
The review attempts to make the case for expanding the US arsenal and loosening constraints on the use of nuclear weapons by discussing the “unprecedented” threat.
It states that there is increased uncertainty and risk from a range of threats, including chemical, biological, nuclear, space and cyber threats.
“While the US has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction.
“They have added new types of nuclear capabilities to their arsenals and engaged in increasingly aggressive behaviour, including in outer space and cyber space.
North Korea was branded the “most immediate and dire proliferation threat to international security and stability”.
The report raised fears that Kim Jong-un’s hermit kingdom could be “months away” from striking the US with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
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It is thought that the changes to the US nuclear program could cost as much as $40.9 billion (£30billion).
This is based on the government figures which stated it would make up 6.4 per cent of the Department of Defence 2018 budget.
In May last year, Trump proposed a budget of $639.1 billion for defence.
The nuclear posture review (NPR), the first in eight years, is expected to be published after Trump’s State of the Union speech at the end of January.
CASES of norovirus have soared to the highest levels in five years, new figures reveal.
NHS England revealed there had been a “marked increase” in cases of the winter vomiting bug in the last week.Rising cases of norovirus are putting pressure on hospitals amid the NHS winter crisisAlamy
There have been 2,768 confirmed cases of the highly contagious bug recorded across the country since July last year, up 217 from last week.
But there has been a fall in the number of hospital beds closed by the virus from 944 last week to 621 this week, suggesting outbreaks of the bug may be easing.
At the same time cases of flu have reached 8.3 million adding extra strain on the NHS.
As of this week 120 people have died from the flu this winter.The latest figures from NHS England show hospitals are under increasing pressure, with bed occupancy rates soaring – with 95 per cent of hospital beds now fullPA:Press Association
An NHS England spokesman said: “Raised levels of flu and norovirus continue to put pressure on busy A&Es and other frontline services but today’s figures show pressures abating somewhat compared to the prior week, and with hospitals generally continuing to cope.
“We are now entering the third week of this crisis which will not relent for weeks yet even if admission rates reduce.”
Nick Phin, national infection service deputy director at Public Health England, said: “Cases of norovirus have peaked and look to be stabilising although they are still at levels that we would expect to see around this time of year in winter which is traditionally the norovirus season.
“Most people will make a full recovery within one or two days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids during that time to prevent dehydration especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immunity.
“We advise people not to visit GP surgeries and hospitals with symptoms, however if they are concerned they should contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone.
“One of the best ways to protect against norovirus and to help prevent infection is by practising good hygiene.
“This includes thorough hand washing after using the toilet and before eating or preparing foods.”
Ambulance delays in the last week have dropped from the week before but the winter crisis is far from over.
There were 12,600 ambulance delays of more than 30 minutes this week, down from 16,700 last week.
Of these, 2,600 were delays of more than 60 minutes, down from 5,100.Norovirus can cause vomiting and diarrhoeaGetty - Contributor
Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, warned the strain on already-stretched services could last for many more weeks, putting NHS staff at risk of getting ill themselves.
“We are seeing a sustained period of exceptionally high demand on a service that is only being kept safe by dedicated staff going beyond all normal limits,” he said.
“This is sustainable only for a week or two and we are now entering the third week of this crisis which will not relent for weeks yet even if admission rates reduce such is the crowding in our hospitals.
“The NHS and individual trusts must now give thoughts on how they can help their staff cope and not succumb themselves to illness brought on by exhaustion, which is now a real danger.”New NHS figures show 944 beds were closed due to the winter vomiting bug, norovirus, compared with 731 the week before – a rise of 29 per centPA:Press Association
Prof Robert Dingwall, a flu expert at Nottingham Trent University, told The Sun Online, “Aussie flu” is likely to cause more severe symptoms than swine flu, which reached pandemic levels in the winter of 2009/10.
Overcrowding is also having a major impact on A&E performance.
Just 77.3 per cent of patients treated at major units – known as type 1 A&Es – were seen within four hours – the worst performance since records began in 2004.
Casualty wards are expected to treat 95 per cent of patients within the target four-hour window.
Across all A&Es, 85.1 per cent of patients were seen in the time period – a joint record low with January 2017.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS YOU COULD HAVE 'AUSSIE FLU'
Symptoms of Aussie flu are similar to those caused by normal flu but they are more severe. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Sore throat and cough
- Muscle ache
- Runny nose and sneezing
People should recover from normal flu within a week so, although the cough and fatigue may last longer.
So if you’re still really ill after seven days, it’s a good indication of something more serious.
Aussie flu can lead to pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications.
Those most at risk are the over 65s, pregnant women, young kids and those with chronic conditions – like diabetes, lung and heart disease.
The statistics were released last week, as the full extent of the strain on the NHS was laid bare and it was described as reaching a ”watershed moment” by one health boss.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) said it was “disappointing” to see just 77.3 per cent of patients at major A&Es treated within four hours.
Earlier in the year, NHS England advised hospitals to delay non-urgent planned care until the end of the month, to free up clinical time for emergency care.
NHS Providers – the trade body which represents NHS services – had previously warned the health service was “not where it would want to be” heading into winter amid concerns over a bad strain of flu.
Experts have also warned kids going back to school and a worsening flu epidemic in France was a “double-whammy”, that threatens to increase cases this side of the Channel.
A letter, written by the body’s chief executive Chris Hopson, calls for extra investment on a long-term basis – and help with the immediate financial impact of “exceptional winter pressures” – to address the “fragility of the wider NHS”.
Mr Hopson said: “Despite planning for winter more thoroughly and extensively than before, it hasn’t been sufficient. Rising numbers of flu cases and more respiratory illness have placed intolerable pressures on staff.Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has come under increasing pressure to increase funding to the health service, to help the NHS cope with the crisisAFP or licensors
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“The NHS is no longer able to deliver the constitutional standards to which it is committed. We need to be realistic about what we can provide on the funding available.
“If we continue to run the NHS at close to 100 per cent capacity, day in day out, permanently in the red zone, it’s not surprising that the service can’t cope when we get a high, but entirely predictable, spike in demand.”
The three-page letter calls for the Government to commit to increasing the NHS budget to £153 billion by 2022/23 – a sum which the Office of Budget Responsibility said was needed given projected increased demand for services.
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The charts were once dominated by pornified raunch, but in an era of identity politics and empowered women, a new kind of sexuality is emerging in pop – and warming cyberspace
When Robin Thicke and Pharrell released Blurred Lines on 26 March 2013, they had no idea (or claimed not to) that it would kickstart a debate about rape culture and misogyny in pop . The outraged response to its suggestive lyrics – particularly the refrain “I know you want it” – permanently changed the standards to which pop is held, and the way in which pop itself deals with sex.
That is not to say that sex has vanished from pop since the controversy. Jason Derulo and Bruno Mars are no strangers to objectification; ex-boybanders such as the former One Direction members are still breaking with their clean-cut pasts by letting you know in song exactly how much sex they’re having; while Brit awards nominee J Hus cackles in the face of good taste. In 2016, Ariana Grande released a classic of the form in the admirably brazen Side to Side, about the inability to walk straight after a long night at the coal face.Continue reading...
HE’S gone from standing six feet under to being perched on the edge of a waterfall 128 feet up, and Bren Orton is, understandably, on top of the world.
The 23-year-old kayak champ, from Warrington, set a British record back in December when he plummeted from Mexico’s Big Banana Falls and lived to tell the tale.Bren’s incredible plunge from Mexico’s Big Banana Falls earned him a British record for the longest kayak dropKEVIN KENNEDY
It was the second highest descent made by any kayaker in history – and the highest by any Brit – but it wasn’t the 128-foot fall which really scared him.
The scruffy-haired adventurer told Sun Online: “Big Banana Falls is a little bit unique in the world of waterfalls because you have to abseil into it.
“I’m not very skilled with climbing or ropes – that was new territory for me and I found that absolutely terrifying.
“I was way more scared of rappelling down into it than running the actual waterfall, although the impact at the bottom was humongous.”Bren used to work as a gravedigger and made money doing clinical trials before he became a pro kayakerBREN ORTONBren travels the world looking for the best white water rivers to hurl himself downHALVOR HEGGEM
Life on the edge
The descent itself, which only took a couple of seconds, would have ended in tragedy if Bren had been even slightly off his A-game.
Back when he was 18, Bren was lucky to swim away from an terrifying near-miss after he messed up the landing on a 20-foot drop.
Just after the plunge, the river fed into a much bigger, 60-foot waterfall, but Bren’s dodgy landing left him stuck inside a cave, and he had to abandon his kayak.
He said: “I was clinging onto a rock on the lip of the waterfall when my teacher managed to save me.”The huge plunge from Big Banana Falls is the second biggest in world kayaking historyWALKER DAVIES
Years of intense training later, and Bren does 60-foot drops for breakfast.
While he has perched on the lip of Big Banana Falls, where he set the British record, he wasn’t even thinking about the raging water below him.
Bren said: “The best mind state to drop a waterfall that big is not to be thinking at all.
“The only conscious thought I had came halfway down the waterfall when I was like: ‘Bloody hell, I’m still in the air and falling down this thing.'”The Brit kayaker has been in love with the sport ever since a school trip when he was just nine years oldADRIAN MATTERN
Labour of love
Bren first fell in love with kayaking on a school trip to the Lake District when he was just nine years old.
But it took years of hard graft – and a smattering of odd jobs – to get to where he is today.
He joked: “In the lead up to getting paid to go kayaking I think I’ve worked almost every job possible.
“I worked in a call centre, as a labourer on a building site, in a gym, at the national Watersports Centre and as a gravedigger. I did some medical trials to earn money as well.
“I only did the grave digging for a few months but the medical trials were the big one, even if they were a bit sketchy.”Bren’s next challenge is to become the joint holder of the world record for the longest dropHALVOR HEGGEMThe adrenaline junkie said rappelling down into the top of the waterfall was scarier than the dropBREN ORTON
The fall guy
Bren’s iron-man constitution would have helped with the trials.
A few years ago, he broke his back while he was flinging himself off a different Mexican waterfall – but he was so determined that he tried to ignore the pain and kayaked for days on a broken back.
He said: “I took a couple of big impacts and picked up a compression fracture. I tried to push through the pain, thinking it was muscular, but a few weeks later I couldn’t get out of bed.
“I tried to keep pushing through it but I wasn’t aware that I had broken my back – I was just in a lot of pain each day.
“I was back kayaking about four weeks after that, but it was eight weeks before I was running waterfalls again… and that was not on the doctor’s recommendation.”Bren broke his back four years ago, but he was so hell-bent on kayaking that he didn’t realise for daysDANE JACKSON
Clearly, nothing is going to keep Bren from his kayak – and it’s this drive which has helped him conquer some of the world’s biggest waterfalls and paddle away from the bottom relatively intact.
He claims the British record he recently picked up was “the icing on the cake”, while it was the hard work which went into his Big Banana plunge which made it so worthwhile.
But Bren has set his sights on another record already: equalling the biggest ever drop at the 198-foot Palouse Falls in Washington, America.
He said: “First I want to equal the record and then see whether I want to push higher than that.
“Waterfalls don’t always cooperate with the right levels and timing and weather, but I have a good window from March to April when I’ll be ready.”The impact at the bottom of the waterfall jolted Bren back to Earth after a few seconds of airtimeJAN LARRUE
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In a few months, he could be the holder of a joint world record for hurling himself off very tall places.
And after that, the sky’s the limit.
Property developers to be responsible for soundproofing when building near to venues
A campaign to stop grassroots music venues being threatened with closure when housing is built nearby has won support from ministers, who said developers must be responsible for soundproofing new-build properties.
Sajid Javid, the housing secretary, said he would work with the music industry to improve planning policy. The comments followed a campaign backed by Sir Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason.Continue reading...
A DISTRESSED wife is reported to have hanged herself after her husband postponed a planned shopping trip by a single day.
The woman’s husband Deepak Dwivedi says he told 23-year-old spouse Deepika on Saturday that he would not be able to go shopping on that day, according to reports.The young couple had only been married for a yearCentral European News
But Mr Dwivedi promised they would have to do the trip the next day instead.
He says his wife was so annoyed that she locked him out of her room at their home in the city of Lucknow in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
He was quoted in local media as saying: “Deepika’s cousin was going to get married the next month and she wanted to go shopping for the wedding.
“On Saturday, Deepika asked me to take her shopping but seeing I had too much work in the office, I postponed the shopping for the next day – she became upset at this.
“She was so upset about this that when I reached home from office in the evening, she locked the door of her room.”Deepika had been upset about the postponement of the shopping tripCentral European News
When Deepika didn’t open the door, he had to sleep in the lobby.
The next morning after knocking on the door and getting no response he broke down the door.
He said: “I saw her hanging. I informed the police soon after.”
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Mr Dwivedi, a civil servant in the local government’s education department, reportedly married a year ago and lived with his wife, brother and parents.
Police officer Cantt Tannu Upadhyay said that the family of the dead woman had not alleged any wrongdoing against her husband or in-laws.
He says they agreed to a post-mortem after some persuasion but the results are not yet available.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123 or 020 7734 2800.
Prisons inspector fears ‘further tragedies’ after eight deaths at east Midland jail in two years
The chief inspector of prisons has demanded the justice secretary, David Gauke, take immediate action to safeguard lives at Nottingham prison which he describes as “fundamentally unsafe” and “in a dangerous state”.
It is the first time Peter Clarke has invoked the urgent notification process requiring the justice secretary to respond publicly since it was introduced in November last year.Continue reading...
MINISTERS were last night accused of neglecting the condition of Britain’s “lethal” minor roads after figures revealed an 11 PER CENT plunge in investment.
Despite sky-high fuel duty and parking fines, the Department for Transport showed that spending on pothole-riven residential roads tumbled to the lowest levels for more than a decade in 2016-2017.Investment in minor roads has fallen over the past yearAlamy
The fall from £2.09billion to £1.87billion came despite an admission that maintenance was required on nearly one in five B, C or unclassified roads.
Furious bosses at the AA said too many motorists were enduring pothole-marked roads on the way to work or school.
They added that cost-cutting measures such as switching off street lights at night had already cost lives.
Campaigners said the figures were “inexcusable”.
Howard Cox, co-founder of FairFuel UK, said: “Drivers are sick to death of paying out the highest motoring taxes in the world, whilst seeing roads descend further and further into third world standards.”Chris Grayling’s Department for Transport is under fireReuters
AA President Edmund King stormed: “Most journeys start and end on local roads, so while there is an argument to keep the fastest roads in good condition, we should not be neglecting local streets.
“Cost-cutting on UK roads has already contributed to 11 people losing their lives with the switching off of street lights. Potholes have contributed towards at least three cyclists’ lives.
“A systemic downgrading of inspections and repair standards for potholes introduces a new level of potential lethality.”
The Treasury rakes in nearly £28 billion a year from fuel duty.
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Councils reported a £819 million profit from parking tickets and fines in 2016-2017. Yesterday’s DfT figures revealed that spending on motorways also fell in 2016-2017, from £976million to £896million.
Spending on ‘A’ roads rose from £1.2billion to £1.4billion.
A report a year ago claimed Britain’s roads were worse than poorer countries including Namibia and Ecuador. The Centre for Economics and Business Research placed Britain 27th in the world for road quality.
BRITAIN won’t be able to ditch the hated tampon tax until years after Brexit – as Brussels announced it would delay reforms to VAT law.
Eurocrats will give Member States more powers to lift sales tax on some consumer products in a bid to boost the bloc’s popularity, but not until long after we’ve quit the bloc.Tampons will be cheaper across the EU – but rules won’t come in for yearsAP:Associated Press
Countries will be allowed to levy rates of “between five and zero percent” on a wide range of named goods.
But booze and cigarettes will be exempted from the new measure, which won’t come in until at least 2022, as will oil and gas fuel and financial services.
And member states will be tied to charging an average VAT rate across all products of 12 per cent to prevent them cutting at will.
Francis Grove-White from the pro-EU campaign group Open Britain said the reforms were “just latest example of new Single Market rules that would benefit us”.5% extra is put on top of the cost of the products – due to a series of EU rulesAlamy
The reform comes following outrage in the UK over EU rules that forced the Government to levy at least five per cent VAT on sanitary products.
David Cameron secured an agreement with Brussels to end the hated tampon tax in March 2016, but it has taken eurocrats nearly two years to formalise that promise.
The move comes after MEPs accused the UK Government of taking the credit for EU policies, including reducing plastics waste and scrapping credit card charges.
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But in the UK some retailers have already said they will cover the cost of VAT.
Tesco, Morrisons and Waitrose have all vowed to save customers the 5 per cent cost until the EU gets its act together and puts in place the changes.
Supermarkets said they were acting early to show loyalty to customers and save them money.
DONALD Trump told a porn star that he had an affair with that she reminded him of his daughter Ivanka.
Stormy Daniels claims to have received the compliment after their alleged fling in 2005.Donald Trump allegedly had a fling with a porn star in 2005Reuters
She said: “He once told me that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter.”
According to InTouch Weekly, he described Stormy – real name Stephanie Clifford – as “pretty fascinating” and said they had “really good banter”.
The porn star spoke to the magazine in 2005, but was later paid around £95,000 in hush money by the billionaire.Stormy Daniels claims Trump chased her around a hotel room in his underpants
Trump’s personal lawyers have denied the magazine’s claims, and claim the porn star rejects them too.
The White House has strenuously denied claims that Trump chased the porn star around a hotel room while wearing “tighty whities”.
Officials also deny claims that the adult actress was paid any more just a month before the 2016 elections.Trump bizarrely compared the porn star to his daughter IvankaAP:Associated Press
Explosive allegations suggest Trump hooked up with the x-rated star at the Edgewood Tahoe golf tournament a year after he married third wife Melania.
Both she and the White House denied the affair but another porn star has since come forward to say Clifford told her about it.
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Alana Evans told the Daily Beast she was at the same golf event in Lake Tahoe and invited to “party” with the pair but decided against it.
She added: “Stormy calls me four or five times, by the last two phone calls she’s with Donald [Trump] and I can hear him.
“And he’s talking through the phone to me saying, ‘Oh come on Alana, let’s have some fun! Let’s have some fun!
“Come to the party, we’re waiting for you’. And I was like, ‘OMG it’s Donald Trump!'”
The bizarre revelations come after Trump saying he would have dated Ivanka if they weren’t related.
He further raised eyebrows after discussing the 36-year-old mother-of-three potentially posing nude for playboy.
Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368
Organisations with non-Australian members that undertake lobbying activities could be prosecuted for failing to register, inquiry warned
The government’s bill to require Australians to register if they are lobbying on behalf of foreign entities is “startling” in its reach and unsuspecting organisations will face criminal penalties for failure to register, a Senate committee has been warned.
The Australian Financial Markets Association has warned the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security that the registration scheme would have an “adverse impact on many organisations ... that should be functionally outside of its scope”.Continue reading...
A MACHETE gang were filmed breaking into a family home and threatening a mum and son in a terrifying raid.
Shocking CCTV footage shows one of the masked thugs marching a boy around the house before he was hit in the face.One of the gang wields a machete as the terrified 17-year-old boy is violently marched around the house while his mum is threatened with a knife in the kitchen
The clip starts with a raider wearing a balaclava and goggles forcing his way through the front door, before four other men burst inside.
One of the gang wields a machete as the terrified 17-year-old lad is forced upstairs in Ilford, East London.
The raiders are said to have hit the boy in the face with a machete handle and threatened his mum during the ordeal at 6.25pm on January 11.
Police are hunting the gang of three black men and two white men who arrived at the family home in a white Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck and a silver Ford C-Max.The clip starts with a raider in a balaclava and goggles forcing his way through the front door, before four other men burst insideOne of the victims was dragged upstairs during the terrifying robberyThe raiders are said to have threatened the mum and son during the ordeal at 6.25pm on January 11They fled the family’s home with a wade of cash and stash of electrical items
They fled the family’s home with a wad of cash and a stash of electrical items.
The boy was taken to hospital to have stitches on a head wound but his mum and two other younger residents were unharmed.
DC Jonathan Lam, of the Metropolitan Police Service, said: “This was a vicious aggravated burglary that left has left a family deeply traumatised by what has happened to them in their own home.
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“I am urging anyone who has information on this incident to contact me so these people can be taken off the streets.”
Anyone with information should contact DC Lam on 07785439725, or East Area CID on 0208 345 4329 quoting reference number 5851/11Jan.
Alternatively, call 101 or tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
People seeking help in England rose 153% in past fortnight, with Midlands and east hardest hit
The number of people dying from the flu has reached 120 already this winter – three times higher compared to the same period last year.
Thirty-five people died of flu-related symptoms last week across the UK, new figures released by Public Health England show.
Confidential settlement of cases against Sun and News of the World raises difficult issues for future hacking cases, judge says
Phone-hacking cases brought by Vic Reeves, Kate Thornton and two others against Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and News of the World have been confidentially settled, just as a six-week trial was due to hear allegations of a cover-up by senior executives at the media mogul’s British tabloids.
The last-minute deal on Thursday earned both sides a rebuke from Mr Justice Mann, who complained that issues important to another 47 hacking cases in the pipeline had not been determined in a case that would have heard allegations of wrongdoing by James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks.Continue reading...
THERE is no chance these Mad Men-era ads would pass advertising standards in their original form today.
But one artist has reversed gender roles in the sexist ads from the 1950s – with thought-provoking results.photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018.
In the photo series In A Parallel Universe, artist Eli Rezkallah, 31, takes vintage, sexist ads and flips the gender roles.
From disciplinary spankings to claims a woman’s place really is in the kitchen, the retro adverts are rife with sexism.
And after overhearing a sexist conversation recently, artist Eli Rezkallah, 31, decided to reproduce them with a twist for a photo series called ‘In A Parallel Universe’.
He said: “Last Thanksgiving, I overheard my uncles talk about how women are better off cooking, taking care of the kitchen, and fulfilling ‘their womanly duties’.
“Although I know that not all men like my uncles think that way, I was surprised to learn that some still do so I went on to imagine a parallel universe, where roles are inverted and men are given a taste of their own sexist poison.”
Eli hoped the images would spark a humorous conversation about gender roles – and they certainly highlight how outrageous some of the originals really were.
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This gender reversal highlights just how patronising the original advert is[/caption]
Don’t break a nail
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. Ad writers from the 1960s pondered whether a woman was capable of opening a bottle of ketchup[/caption]
Even a man can open it
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. Hopefully he doesn’t find it difficult to open this bottle of ketchup[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This ad is as creepy now as it was then[/caption]
This would get you fired
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. Hopefully men are safe to wear leotards without a mysterious hand groping them[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This ad is not pulling any punches about where it thinks a woman belongs[/caption]
Man of the house
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This man has become the little mister of the house[/caption]
ELI REZKALLAH Instagram This woman from an old advert has a lot of dishes to get through[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. He looks less than happy to be cleaning all these plates and pots[/caption]
50 Shades of domestic violence
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This man must be very particular about his coffee[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This gender reversal highlights just how sexist the original advert was[/caption]
Head in the sand
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This woman couldn’t control herself so had to be buried in the sand[/caption]
plastikstudios Instagram He couldn’t resist her slacks[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This woman takes breakfast in bed very seriously[/caption]
It’s a woman’s world
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. Her tie let her partner know who was boss[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This poor woman has a man’s foot on her head[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This man now knows his place[/caption]
All she wants for Christmas
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. Ad men from the 50s knew the way to a woman’s heart[/caption]
photography Eli Rezkallah, produced by Plastik Studios 2018. This man is very happy with his new Christmas hoover[/caption]
DONALD Trump isn’t coming to visit Britain because he doesn’t want to distract Theresa May from Brexit, a close ally of his has said.
Rex Tillerson said the US President didn’t want to get in the way of the UK’s important task of exiting the European Union.Donald Trump is no longer coming to the UK next month to open the US embassyReuters
Last week Trump said he’s cancelled his trip to open the new US embassy next month – citing concerns over selling the building for “peanuts” in a “bad deal”.
A state visit for him is still on the cards, but there are no details of exactly when this will be yet.
Today the Secretary of State Mr Tillerson told reporters: “As you know, President Trump was supportive of the U.K.’s exit from the EU, he still thinks that was the right decision for them.
“Britain needs to focus on those Brexit negotiations right now, which is really important to them, and I think the president realises that’s where Prime Minister May really needs to focus her attention.”Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is now understood to open the new US embassy in LondonAP:Associated Press
The visit is set to be hit with widespread protests when it happens.
Activists hailed it as a victory and said he “wasn’t welcome” in the UK.
And it was claimed last weekend that Trump cancelled his trip because he thought he “wasn’t loved enough” by Theresa May’s Government.
A US source said using the embassy’s location was “just an excuse” to scrap the trip, which was in the diary for February 26 and 27.
“He felt he had not been shown enough love by the British government,” the source said.President Trump is said to be upset about a possible poor reaction to his visitAFP or licensors
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“He started to believe that the British government thought the same way about him as Sadiq Khan [the mayor of London] and Jeremy Corbyn [the Labour leader], who have made clear their disdain for him and said he is not welcome in the UK.”
The paper also said that No10 officials were in the advanced stage of planning a trip that could have included lunch at Buckingham Palace.
Tillerson has said he hopes to visit the embassy during his visit to London next week.
A small detail in a photograph led police in Saskatoon to Cheyenne Rose Antoine, who has pleaded guilty to the murder of Brittney Gargol
Police in the Canadian city of Saskatoon say a selfie posted on Facebook was instrumental in solving a murder investigation that spanned nearly two years.
Cheyenne Rose Antoine, 21, pleaded guilty this week to killing Brittney Gargol, who was found fatally injured on a road in the outskirts of the city in 2015. It was later determined that she had been strangled to death.Continue reading...
Comics, including Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert, discuss the fallout from Trump’s remarks and his controversial physical exam
Late-night hosts took aim at Donald Trump’s history of racism linked to the fallout from his reported “shithole” comments last week.Continue reading...
BRITS believe an £508 a month is the key to happiness, a poll has revealed.
A poll of 2,000 adults revealed money really can buy you happiness but it doesn’t take millions of pounds to make a difference.
SWNS:South West News Service Money can buy happiness[/caption]
More than three quarters of Brits say they would be happier if they had more money to splurge on a holiday abroad, weekends away or day trip with the family.
The research also found Brits rate their current “level of happiness” at six out of 10, but 87 per cent agree a bit more cash would make things better.
It also emerged 68 per cent agree that worrying about money is what prevents them from achieving true happiness.
Michelle Pearce, chief investment officer at Wealthify, which commissioned the survey, said: “Our research came out with some fascinating results, proving the importance money plays in people’s lives, in helping to ease stress.
SWNS:South West News Service A bit of extra money can help people enjoy more out of life[/caption]
“But what people may not realise is, you don’t need piles of money in the bank to plan for a happier future – you can start with small sums and build it up with regular deposits in order to grow your finances and feel more in control.”
Researchers also found millions of Brits would spend extra cash on treats for their family, new clothes or dinners with friends to brighten their mood.
Others would spoil themselves with a massage, a new hairdo or even just nicer food to stock up the kitchen cupboards.
Just 13 per cent said they would put money aside to buy a house as they would prefer to spend extra cash on things to make themselves happier right now.Brits have revealed what they would spend their money on to make them happyIvan Chiosea / Alamy Stock Photo
The research also found three in ten agree spending money helps ease the worries of modern life, bringing happiness as a result.
Fretting over paying the bills, the rent or mortgage and getting out of debt are some of Brits’ biggest worries in life.
The study, conducted via OnePoll.com, also found financial worries cause arguments between Brits and their partners.
One in 10 say the act of spending money makes people happy, while 76 per cent said they would be less stressed if they had more cash in the bank.
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The study also revealed those with a disposable income of £1,251 or more a month rate their current happiness an eight out of 10, compared to those with less than £100 a month who gave their lives a happiness rating of just six out of 10.
It seems Brits could use some help when it comes to managing their finances, too – with more than 50 per cent agreeing they could be better with money.
To find out more visit – wealthify.com
What Brits would spend cash on to make them happy
1. A holiday abroad
2. A weekend away
3. Day trips with the family
4. Treats for my family like lunch out
5. Move house
6. New clothes
7. Put away for money for a pension
8. A car
9. Dinner with partner/friends
10. Pay off credit card debt
11. Nicer food for the home
12. A new kitchen
13. Pay off more off my mortgage
14. A laptop/computer
15. Going out for drinks
16. Put away money for a deposit for a house
17. Pay off loans
18. Decorate the living room
19. Decorate their bedroom
20. New shoes
Motion allows for a review to be conducted on whether there is a need for ‘comprehensive works’
A £4bn restoration of the crumbling Palace of Westminster could be kicked into the long grass after the government said MPs would get a vote this month on whether the cost of the repairs could be justified.
Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House of Commons, said MPs would be asked to vote on a motion authorising the repairs to go ahead but with a review before the end of 2022 on whether there was a need for comprehensive works.Continue reading...
BUSINESS leaders and politicians will descend on the small Alpine town of Davos next week for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF).
Let’s take a closer look at the event.
Where is Davos and when is the WEF?
AFP or licensors Davos is a small Alpine town in Switzerland which has held the WEF since 1971[/caption]
Davos is a small town in the Swiss Alps which is around 92 miles southeast of Zurich.
This year, the World Economic Forum will be held from January 23 until 26 and will welcome some of the world’s most powerful people.
The event was first held in 1971 and was originally named the European Management Forum before being renamed in 1987.
What happens at the WEF?
CEOs of multimational corporations mingle with world leaders and A-list celebrities to discuss a range of topics such as the global economy, commodity prices and environmental issues.
Attendees take part in panel discussions, on-stage interviews and listen to keynote speeches.
While economists, politicians and journalists are invited, businesses have to pay around $40,000 to send a single delegate to the event, CNN reported in 2014.
Is Donald Trump attending the 2018 World Economic Forum?
Reuters President Trump will give a speech on the last day of the annual event[/caption]
US President Trump is set to deliver a speech on the last day of the event.
The billionaire is to be among 70 heads of state or government who are expected to be on hand, along with hundreds of business executives, academics, government officials, and artists.
Other leaders attending are UK Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
A recent survey by the World Economic Forum appeared to criticise Trump and his ferocious brand of “strongman” politics.
The report said that more than nine in 10 experts are worried about worsening economic or political confrontation between world powers, amid a trend toward “charismatic strongman politics.”
WEF said four in five survey respondents expect rising risks “associated with war involving major powers.”
The report said geopolitical risks have been exacerbated by falling commitment to “rules-based multilateralism.”
It noted how President Trump “delivered on some of his unilateralist campaign pledges” by pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord and a trans-Pacific trade pact.
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It also said “identity politics” could fan geopolitical and domestic risks.
“Charismatic strongman politics is on the rise across the world,” said the report.
“In addition to the ‘America First’ platform of President Trump, variations on this theme can be seen in numerous countries from China to Japan, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and elsewhere.”
The report also said last year’s clash of “strong-state instincts” of Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “has created uncertainty about the strength of the norms created by decades of work to prevent nuclear conflict.”
If the US Congress fails to pass a spending bill by midnight on Friday many important government functions will come to a standstill
The US Congress is scrambling to avert a shutdown of the federal government amid fraught negotiations over a budget compromise.Continue reading...
SHOCKING footage from Australia shows a young boy being knocked out cold with a single punch.
The boy, who is outnumbered, is alleged to have been the victim of a local teen gang in Perth.Disturbing footage shows a 13-year-old boy being knocked out in Perth, Australia
The video shows him crashing to the ground and hitting his head on the floor after being hit.
The suspected teen attackers are often seen trashing restaurants and starting fights on the street, local business owners told 7 News.
Police rushed to the scene on William Street where they questioned a 13-year-old boy in connection with the attack, spokesperson Ros Weatherall said.
“Further investigation will be undertaken regarding the circumstances surrounding the assault,” she was quoted as saying on Bunbury Mail.The victim is hit with two punches from behind before another boy lands the knockout blowThe boy who filmed the attack said the victim, being helped up by his friend, was being racist
Whoever filmed the attack is believed to have taken to Facebook to claim the victim was “being racist”.
He said: “None off yous know the full story that guy was being racist but no one of yous care about that.
“He deserved it saying we will go nowhere in life.”
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Footage shows him exchanging words with a group of boys in the video but what they say is not clear.
The victim puts his burger down to fight moments before one of two boys land the knockout blow.
One of his friends is seen helping him to his feet as two of the suspected attackers flee.
WOODY Allen’s adopted daughter has described in graphic detail how he allegedly sexually assaulted her as a child while she played with a toy train – which he has strenuously denied.
Dylan Farrow made the claims in a TV interview and called actors who work in his films “complicit” in perpetuating a “culture of silence”.Dylan Farrow said she wants to ‘bring down’ Woody Allen in a TV interviewCBS
Allen, who has always denied the claims, issued a fresh denial in the wake of the interview, branding the allegations “discredited”.
The director was previously investigated over the claim he molested Farrow in the attic of her Connecticut home in 1992 when she was seven, but was never charged.
And he insisted Farrow had been coached by her “angry” mum Mia to make the allegations after her and Allen’s “contentious break-up”.
Farrow went into graphic detail over the alleged abuse in the harrowing interview.Allen was previously investigated over claims he molested Farrow but was never chargedEPA
She told CBS: “He instructed me to lie down on my stomach and play with my brother’s toy train that was set up.
“And he sat behind me in the doorway, and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted.
“As a seven-year-old I would say, I would have said he touched my private parts.
“As a 32-year-old, he touched my labia and my vulva with his finger.”
Woody Allen’s full denial of Farrow’s sex abuse claims
“When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare.
“They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place.
“Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup.
“Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator.
“It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.
“But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past.
“I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”
Farrow added: “With so much silence being broken by so many brave people against so many high-profile people, I felt it was important to add my story to theirs because it’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time.
“It was very momentous for me to see this conversation finally carried into a public setting.”
But Allen blasted the “cynical” move to use the Hollywood sex scandal against him.
He said in a statement: “The Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation.
“I never molested my daughter as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”The director is pictured holding Farrow when she was a child in 1988Rex Features
Allen also noted that Dylan’s older brother Moses has said he witnessed their mother coaching Dylan.
He said: “It seems to have worked and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.”
Farrow called Allen’s version of events that a distraught Mia Farrow coached her story “crazy”.
She told the interviewer: “What I don’t understand is how this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached is more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father.”
When a clip from a 1992 “60 Minutes” interview of Allen denying the allegation was played, Farrow began crying.
She said: “He’s lying, and he’s been lying for so long. And it’s difficult for me to see him and hear his voice.”
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In recent days, several actors who have worked with Allen have distanced themselves from the 82-year-old filmmaker.
Oscar-tipped actor Timothee Chalamet said on Tuesday that he did not want to profit from his role in Allen’s film A Rainy Day In New York.
He instead promised to donate his salary to three charities combating abuse and harassment, including Time’s Up.
Rebecca Hall previously apologised for her role in the film and said she would also donate her earnings to the celeb-backed initiative.
- Shortlist selected from 238 proposals includes one Canadian site
- Stiff competition for $5bn second HQ that could bring 50,000 jobs
Amazon released a list of 20 cities on Thursday which it is considering for its second headquarters, including established technology hubs like Boston and Pittsburgh as well as more surprising choices such as Columbus, Ohio.Continue reading...
Emmerson Mnangagwa reaffirms pledge for first democratic vote since Robert Mugabe deposed
Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced that elections will be held within “four to five months”, the first since the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule last year.Continue reading...
Taskforce of high street banks, trade bodies and businesses draw up measures to limit job losses as unions press government to act
High street banks have made more than £225m available to help businesses put at risk by the failure of Carillion, while companies have offered to take on staff who were working for the firm when it collapsed into receivership.
A taskforce of banks, businesses and construction industry trade bodies met with the business secretary on Thursday to discuss ways to contain the impact of Carillion’s collapse on jobs and the wider economy.Continue reading...
A 20-YEAR-OLD woman is trapped in the body of a child half her age due to a rare genetic condition that stops her from growing.
Michelle Kish was born was Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, a condition so rare that at the time of her birth there were only 250 known cases worldwide.Michelle Kish was born was Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, a condition that causes facial abnormalities and a short statureBarcroft Media
Symptoms of her condition include a distinct round, childlike facial features and a form of dwarfism that means Michelle is only as tall as her sister Sarah’s waist.
But determined Michelle refuses to let her disease hold her back and one day dreams of being a paediatric doctor.
Mother Mary, who is also Michelle’s carer, said: “When I was pregnant with Michelle everything was normal.
“There was no issue at all through the pregnancy or through the delivery.”Michelle was diagnosed by a geneticist but doctors at the hospital had never seen her condition beforeBarcroft MediaMichelle’s mum, Mary, said she was always a happy childBarcroft Media
But when Michelle was born doctors immediately realised something was wrong.
As her condition was so rare she was sent to a geneticist at another hospital who diagnosed her condition.
“When the doctor gave us the diagnosis of Hallermann-Streiff syndrome my heart sank,” Mary said.
“It was unknown what her prognosis was going to be.Michelle with her dog, PiperBarcroft Media
“They couldn’t tell us because they had never seen it before and it was devastating.”
Michelle, from Illinois in the US, requires round-the-clock medical care through the night, has a dedicated nurse to travel with her to school, and has frequent hospital appointments.
“I do have to go into the hospital a lot. It’s like a second home to me, basically,” she said.
Michelle suffers from 26 or the 28 symptoms of Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, including facial abnormalities, a small beak-like nose, a recessed chin, bilateral cataracts and frontal bossing of the forehead.Determined Michelle, pictured with her sister Sarah, refuses to let her disease hold her back and one day dreams of being a paediatric doctorBarcroft MediaMichelle pictured with her mum Mary, dad Brad, sister Sarah and dog PiperBarcroft Media
She also has a number of the secondary characteristics, such as dwarfism, cardiomyopathy (a type of heart disease), chronic pulmonary lung disease, short limbs, fragile bones and alopecia.
But she refuses to be held back by her condition, Mary said.
“Now Michelle is a 20-year-old young lady, she is smart as a whip and happy as ever,” she said.
“My favourite thing about Michelle is that she has high self-esteem, she loves herself and she really has a lot of confidence, she moves on every day with a happy heart and she makes me happy even when I’m down in the dumps.
“You don’t even have to say a word to her and she will say ‘mum, are you okay? Is there something I can do? You know I love you’.Michelle requires round the clock care to manage her conditionBarcroft MediaMichelle has always refused to let her condition hold her back from doing the things she lovesBarcroft Media
“She lights up people’s lives with how happy she is.
“She knows that she is different but it doesn’t bring her down.”
But Michelle admits there are some aspects of her condition that hold her back from doing what she wants to do.
“The most annoying thing being small is there are lot of amusement park rides that I want to go on and I can’t because they have a height restriction,” she said.
“Also my tracheostomy tube means I can’t go underwater, which sucks because I want to be a mermaid.
“I’ve never had a boyfriend, but I want one, because I am already 20 and Sarah had her first boyfriend at high school.
“I would love a boyfriend with lots of hair. I don’t care about the height because pretty much everyone is taller than me.
A RARE GENETIC CONDITION THAT CAUSES GROWTH ABNORMALITIES
Hallermann-Streiff syndrome is a rare genetic condition that causes abnormalities of the skull and facial bones and a short stature.
In some people it can also cause intellectual disability.
While it is a genetic condition almost all recorded cases appear to have occurred randomly and are thought to be caused by a new gene mutation.
People with Hallermann-Streiff syndrome suffer from a range of symptoms including:
- abnormalities in the skull and facial bones
- distinctive facial features
- eye abnormalities
- dental abnormalities
- short stature
- broad head
- prominent forehead
- underdeveloped jaw
- alopecia or sparse hair
- intellectual disability
The cause of the condition has not been identified, but it is believed to be caused by a genetic mutation.
Treatment depends on the specific symptoms of an individual.
There is no cure for the condition, treatment instead focuses on managing the symptoms.
Early disease management for infants may include monitoring of breathing, consideration of tracheostomy, and various measures to improve feeding and ensure sufficient intake of nutrients.
Management of the condition may also include surgical reconstruction of the skull and face bones.
“My dream job would be to be a paediatric doctor, but my two backups would to be a fashion designer or an actress.
For now Michelle is cared for in the family home but government proposals to change the Medicaid programme she is on, and her parents are worried her future is uncertain.
“Michelle requires private duty nursing in the home in order for her to stay at home, meaning she needs 24 hour care,” Mary said.
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“If the Medicaid cuts the waver program that she’s on, she’ll have to live in an institution and Michelle would not thrive in an institution.
“Michelle’s long term outlook is unknown at this point.
“We have had several close calls but overall she is fairly healthy at the moment and we pray to god that they don’t take our nursing away.”
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Kensington and Chelsea council members accused of being unfit to manage borough’s homes
Councillors in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) are facing a vote of no confidence over the way they are managing housing in the borough after the Grenfell Tower fire.
At a meeting of the council’s Grenfell recovery scrutiny committee on Thursday night, Joe Delaney – a local campaigner and coopted member of the committee – will propose a vote on the conduct of another council committee which has overseen the management of housing stock since the tenants’ management organisation handed back responsibility last month saying it could not meet expected standards.Continue reading...
Technology can help foster specific positive traits in plants but can also have potentially dangerous ‘off-target’ effects, say critics
The opinion may have far-reaching consequences for new breeding techniques that can remove specific parts of a plant’s genetic code and foster herbicide-resistant traits.Continue reading...
‘To you, that’s weird. To me, it’s just a day job,” says Elise Rainier, professional psychic. In the first Insidious film, in 2010, Elise died in the final act. But, this being a supernatural horror franchise in which death means never having to say you’re gone for ever, she was resurrected as a ghost in the 2013 sequel before the series looped back in time for a 2015 prequel in which, still alive and kicking, Elise is brought on to tackle an earlier case of demonic possession.
Now, in Insidious: The Last Key, Elise has been promoted to protagonist for yet another prequel, complete with flashbacks to her origin story. “There’s something evil in that house,” she says, before metaphorically rolling up her sleeves and getting down to her paranormal Miss Marple duties, which inevitably means going down into the basement to face her demons.Continue reading...
A “CROSSBOW killer” neighbour laid in wait to attack a couple after breaking into their property via a hole he fashioned in their dividing loft wall.
Twisted Anthony Lawrence, 55, broke into the home of neighbours Shane Gilmer, 30, and Laura Sugden, 27, and shot him dead. Pregnant Miss Sugden was seriously injured in the incident.
SWNS:South West News Service The homes of evil killer Anthony Lawrence, 55, who lived on the house on the left, and victim Shane Gilmer, 30, who lived on the house on the right[/caption]
And today disturbing details of Lawrence’s murderous rampage were revealed by a close relative.
The relative, who asked not to be named, said Lawrence had sought bloody revenge on the couple because he blamed them for getting him evicted.
He claimed that the couple told Lawrence’s landlord that he smoked cannabis in the property.
They also said the couple had complained about the excessive noise coming from Lawrence’s semi-detached home when their children were in bed.
The couple’s family said today that they wanted to make it clear that Shane and Laura were “entirely innocent” and just “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
SWNS:South West News Service Shane Gilmer and with Laura Sugden were attacked by their deranged neighbour over noise complaints[/caption]
The relative said: “About a year ago, the murderer was repeatedly playing loud music while their [Shane’s] kids were in bed.
“Shane knocked on the door and the murderer asked him to go around the back and he came out of the house threatening Shane and Laura.”
The family member said the couple heard nothing more of the incident for about a year, but recently informed Lawrence’s landlord that he was smoking cannabis.
They added: “Then recently, Shane and Laura could smell cannabis in their kids’ bedrooms coming from next door and reported him and the murderer was to be evicted for this.
“He told the couple that he blamed them for himself being evicted.
� Humberside Police / SWNS.com Sick killer Anthony Lawrence[/caption]
“He had removed part of the dividing wall [in the loft] and cleaned up so nobody would notice.
“We don’t know how long ago he had done that or how many times he had been inside their house.”
Shane’s family, who are from Goole, East Yorks, said Laura is just days away from leaving hospital after making a physical recovery.
The attack happened at around 9.25pm on Friday, January 12, and as Laura managed to escape, Lawrence went on the run.
Villagers in the sleepy hamlet-village of Southburn, near Driffield, were “in shock” over the killing – which is the first murder in the area for a generation.
The manhunt lasted just short of two days when a tip off led Humberside police officers to a camper van in Hackness in the tranquil North York Moors.
SWNS:South West News Service Police forensics investigating the murder Shane Gilmer, 30, in the village of Southburn, East Yorkshire[/caption]
The dead body of Lawrence was found inside.
Shane was described by his “heartbroken” family as “a fantastic son and brother”.
Paying tribute from her hospital bed, his partner Laura said: “My heart aches more and more every day – all our life plans gone within the blink of an eye.
“I will love you forever and always.
“I have memories that will last me a lifetime, love always your dream girl Laura.”
Shane’s mum and dad, Pat and Adrian Gilmer, and his brother Joe Gilmer, have also thanked the community in Goole for their support.
A statement released by the family read: “Shane was a fantastic son and brother and we were so proud of him.Flowers are left at the scene after the community was left in shock� SWNS.com
“He went through life like a whirlwind with his lovely smile and loud, barking laugh and was always there if anybody needed him.
“He was a great father to his beautiful children and had another baby on the way, which he was so looking forward to.
“There are no words to describe our utter devastation at the loss of Shane and life will never ever be the same again.
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“Thank you Shaneybobs for the 30 years of happiness, love and laughter that you gave us.”
Tributes have also been paid by Shane’s colleagues at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council where he worked as a housing officer.
Nick Dainton, acting media representative for the East Riding Tenants Association, said: “We’d like to extend our condolences and, of course, our sadness at this time.
“We have cancelled all upcoming tenants association meetings.”
Shane attended Kingsway Primary and Vermuyden High School, now known as Goole Academy, where he was a popular figure and made life-long friends.
AN ILLEGAL immigrant who brutally murdered two policemen in California laughed as he appeared in court and vowed to ‘break out of jail and kill more’
In a series of chilling courtroom outbursts, Luis Bracamontes grinned as he joyfully admitted slaying the cops in 2014.Illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes laughed in court as his murder trial beganAP:Associated Press
The 37-year-old shamelessly looked Judge Steve White in the eye as he said: “I wish I could have killed more of those motherf***ers.”
He then vowed: “I will break out soon, and I will kill more, kill whoever gets in front of me.”
Bracamontes has repeatedly asked for the death penalty as several hearings in the run up to his trial.
He laughed and smiles as prosecutor Rod Norgaard described the violent events that took place on the night of October 24, 2014, which culminated with the deaths of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr.
The smiling killer interrupted: “There’s no need for a f***ing trial.”Bracamontes repeatedly interrupted proceedings and admitted the murdersAP:Associated Press
In response to his outbursts, the judge halted proceedings briefly and ordered the jury temporarily out of the courtroom.
The defendant grinned, laughed and interrupted opening statements despite being warned to remain quiet.
He continued saying: “I don’t f***ing regret that s***. The only thing I f***ing regret is I only killed two.”
As he defied orders, his lawyer asked the judge if, based on his behaviour, he would reconsider if the defendant was even mentally competent to stand trial.Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Oliver was one of two officers fatally shot in 20142018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The trial is set to continue despite Bracamontes’ legal team accepting that he did kill the policemen.
The illegal immigrant is also charged with injuring another deputy officer and shooting at a motorist on the same day.
Public defence attorney Jeffrey Barbour’s defence rests on trying to prove that his client was high on methamphetamines at time of the murders, and therefore lacked the mental capacity to know what he was doing.
If proven to have been drug-fuelled, the death penalty would no longer be an option, and the maximum sentence would become life in prison.Placer County Deputy Michael Davis Jr. was the other office killedPlacer County Sheriff's Office
On the day of the murders, Bracamontes – a Mexican national – was driving around with his 41-year-old wife Janelle Monroy, a US citizen.
The pair allegedly left their Salt Lake City home and drove to Sacramento, with Bracamontes smoking methamphetamines and marijuana on the way.
His rampage began at a Motel 6 near the Arden Fair Mall and ended in Auburn, California.
He admits killing two police officers, injuring another and shooting a bystander in the head in an attempt to steal his car.The illegal immigrant keeps asking for the death penalty
According to prosecutors, he then locked himself in a home and turned on the stove’s gas burners in an attempt to start a fire.
He intended to kill himself and any officers who followed him into the property.
Bracamontes even wrote a suicide note, saying: “Forgive me, God. Please take me with you. I love you, Janelle.”
However, he eventually crawled out and surrendered.
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The defendant has a history of arrests and has been deported from Arizona twice.
His wife also faces the possibility of a life sentence after being accused of assisting him in his deadly attack by moving a firearm from car to car as they attempted to flee authorities over a 40 mile radius.
She will be tried by a separate jury.
Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 782 4368
In our series where musicians tell the stories behind what they regard as their greatest songs, the REM frontman reveals how glam rock, grunge and INXS inspired the band – and how internal divisions tore them apart
Michael Stipe is always, well, Stipeish. Meaning: particular, individual, unexpected. When he submits his eight favourite REM songs for this feature, there is not one from the first six albums (and none from 1992’s Automatic for the People, the album he is ostensibly promoting for its deluxe reissue). After the Guardian suggests it might be nice to have the 1980s represented, Stipe relents, and includes World Leader Pretend, from 1988’s Green.Continue reading...
Exclusive: Guardian investigation points to culture of impunity as UN employees allege offences including rape
The United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity, the Guardian has been told.
Dozens of current and former UN employees described a culture of silence across the organisation and a flawed grievance system that is stacked against victims.
A MODEL conned by a nurse who tricked women into sending nude photos has said she has “no words to describe” her ordeal.
Abbie Draper was targeted by perv Adele Rennie, 27, who was treating her sick granddad in hospital.Abbie Draper, 27, was targeted by perv nurse Adele RennieRex Features
The medic, who worked at Crosshouse Hospital near Kilmarnock in Scotland, posed as a male doctor using a voice changing app.
She spotted ex-Miss Scotland finalist Abbie when she visited stroke victim John Draper, 80, and sent her Facebook messages from a fake profile.
Posing as hunky alias Dr David Graham, Rennie even said she wanted to hire Abbie to dance at an NHS charity ball.
Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women today, Abbie, 27, said: “‘He’ asked about payment and everything and I basically said I would do it for free.”Medic Adele Rennie posed as male doctor in sordid picture plotAbbie eventually tracked down sinister truth about nurse Rennie
But she luckily figured out she was being fooled by the nurse before she could fall victim to the nudes scam — which fooled up to 20 women into sending intimate snaps.
Abbie added: “My story’s very different to a lot of other women’s, but my granddad was very heavily involved.
“When I found out who she was, I said, ‘She works on the ward, she’s looking after my granddad’.
“I have no words to describe what she did. I had to move my granddad out of the actual hospital as well.”Abbie told of her ordeal on Loose Women todayRex FeaturesThe nurse created three different men’s names to lure in victims
Rennie pleaded guilty in November to 18 separate offences over her scam between 2012 and 2017 after targeting women through dating sites and social media.
Abbie earlier told The Sun of her experience with “unhinged” Rennie, revealing that she would follow her family.
She said: “Adele ended up in the same places as my mum and the only way she could have known where she was going was by listening to her conversations at my granddad’s bed.
“She would pop up at the gym, supermarket, following her down the aisle — it was all just so creepy.”The pair exchanged messages
Salesman Craig Dunn had his photos stolen by Rennie to use in the fake doctor profile.
The 27-year-old told the Loose Women panel: “Initially I had a phone call from the police and I thought it was a wind up so I put the phone down.
“They rang me back five minutes later to say look Craig, you’re involved here in a catfish case, it’s quite severe.
“A couple of days later they came to my house and showed me profile pictures, profiles that she’s created. Basically, whatever I posted she copied.
“It’s not a nice thing to be linked with, obviously she had been doing it for quite some time.”
Rex Features Craig Dunn’s photos from social media were stolen and used in a fake profile[/caption]
But Craig, from Sunderland, said that sick Rennie “needed help”.
He added: “I don’t know what this woman is capable of.
“I said it before, I told the police, I could have gone on a night out in Glasgow and I could have bumped into any of the 18 victims and anything could have happened.”
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Rennie was caged for 22 months in December for her sick five-year hoax.
Sheriff Elizabeth McFarlane slammed her “incredibly strange and abusive behaviour”.
She said: “I’ve no idea why someone from a good family, job and education would throw it all away inexplicably.
“This was planned with astonishing precision in a cold, calculated manner.
“This caused harm and humiliation to multiple victims, who did not deserve this.”
BRITS could face even more rip-off ticket prices in future as touting website Viagogo ramps up its operations in the UK, The Sun can reveal.
The site has been slammed by MPs and artists for selling on tickets at vastly inflated prices, and allowing them to exchange hands against venue rules.Viagogo make profit as users sell tickets, but the tax the company pays is minimalAlamy
20 job descriptions for positions in London and Birmingham were put on LinkedIn and the company’s website last month – and eight more in Limerick, Ireland.
MPs reacted with fury and astonishment – telling The Sun it would be bad news for punters.
Viagogo are advertising for a range of roles including operations associates, product analysts, developers and software engineers.
They are also looking to take on two part-time sales assistants to help support their “last minute sales” business – which will allow customers to pick up tickets for on-the-day events.Tickets bought through viagogo to Ed Sheeran’s concerts are not valid – but the website still sells themRex Features
But the company are currently facing court action after offices in London were raided last year as part of a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority, who says they have “widespread concerns” about the firm.
Thousands of fans have claimed they were missold tickets to events and gigs – and have been left out of pocket as a result.
Complaints range from fans not receiving tickets, getting ones which were invalid, soaring costs at the last stages of the transaction, not being shown the full amount of fees, or not being told about the terms and conditions of the tickets.
The sites are legal, but critics claim not enough is being done to stop them being used by touts, and breaking consumer laws.
In March the committee heard that Viagogo said that they could not attend the hearing as they do not sell tickets – and they don’t have a UK presence.
The Sun revealed last year that the firm had raked in £24million in sales – but paid just £2,300 in corporation tax.Tickets reaching £8711 on Viagogo for a single ticket to see Liam Gallagher
MPs demanded Google reconsider letting the website advertise with them – as paid searches which come up at the top of searches were “misleading” customers.
Chris Bryant said music fans would be “fuming” at the news.
He told The Sun: “Companies like this spend all their time trying to get around the rules and the law to rip off punters.
“It’s not as if this adds a single penny to the musicians, the singers, the people who run the arts venues, nor a single jot of pleasure to all the fans.
“It’s just a parasitical leeching off people’s loyalty.”A trip to Viagogo’s offices produced no results for a group of MPs and campaigners. From left: Sharon Hodgson MP, Kevin West and Kerry West from Victim of Viagogo, Nigel Adams MP, Claire Turnham, Annabella Coldrick, Music Managers Forum, Stuart Galbraith from Kilimanjaro Live
And Sharon Hodgson said she would be writing to them immediately to demand a fresh meeting with MPs.
She stormed: “What on earth are they planning now? Fleecing more people? I can’t see how this will be good news for consumers.
“We hope they will try to make good and change their ways – but if it is more of what we’ve seen already, there will just be more victims.”
Ian Lucas, who sits on the Culture Select Committee, said MPs would be keeping a “close eye” on the firm in future.
And Nigel Adams said ministers were keen to clamp down on rogue ticketing sites – and hoped the firm would now “get itself in order” now it had more staff based here.
“They are literally hundreds of victims of Viagogo and I would like to think some of these new staff will provide a decent customer service to those who feel they have been feel ripped off,” he said.
“It would be helpful if Viagogo did answer questions from MPs into their business practises, rather than their previous position of hiding behind their overseas HQ.”Andrea Grant was ‘gutted’ after £700 tickets bought through Viagogo were cancelled and she was refused a refundSWNS:South West News Service
The job applications say the “size and scope of our business is continually expanding” and they are “just getting started” on their “mission to revolutionise” the ticket-buying process.
And it says new recruits can “expect to be in a managerial position within 12 months and leading a department within 2 – 3 years”.
Viagogo moved its HQ to Switzerland but still have offices in the UK and last year increased UK-based staff from 24 to 32.
LinkedIn searches show the company currently has at least nine staff who say they are working at Viagogo in London – including two recruiters, a content translator, a business associate and a director of operations.
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The Sun Online tried to contact Viagogo for a comment but it did not receive a reply.
But after a recent investigation by the BBC, it gave this comment:
“Viagogo clearly displays the full and final price, including all booking fees, before customers complete their purchase.
“It is legal to resell tickets in the UK for Ed Sheeran or any other concert.
“In fact, 2015 consumer protection legislation makes it illegal for event organisers to unfairly cancel tickets that have been resold.
“Despite this, some event organisers continue to make false claims that viagogo customers will not gain entry to events.
“Buyers who purchase tickets from viagogo can be confident that they will see the show.”
• ‘I can rest up now,’ said O’Sullivan who was feeling unwell
The defending champion and seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan is out of the Masters after he was beaten 6-1 in the quarter-final by Mark Allen at Alexandra Palace.
O’Sullivan won the first frame with a break of 75, despite calling a foul on himself as he cued over a red to attempt a difficult black. However that was as good as it got for the five-time world champion as Allen responded to take the second frame with a break of 65.Continue reading...
If the intention of VAR was to put an end to the ritual of football fans, players and managers bellyaching about incorrect decisions against their teams made by referees, then The Fiver can only applaud the overwhelming success of its not entirely successful recent trial during the FA Cup third round. Following Wednesday night’s ding-dong between Chelsea and Norwich City, any bellyaching about mistakes referee Graham Scott might have made has been comprehensively drowned out by the loud grumbling about the shortcomings of his video assistant referee, who failed to inform his man in the thick of the action that Willian should probably have got a penalty after being fouled by Timm Klose, rather than the yellow card he got for diving instead. Now that it’s become the controversial subject of the kind of vociferous pub debate it is being slowly introduced to put an end to, it is probably fair to say VAR in its current state is, depending on your point of view: a) in need of a few major tweaks; or b) an unworkable shambles for which mankind is not ready that should be buried in a garden hole and never spoken of again.Continue reading...
COPS found 13 children shackled to beds in their dirty home in California in a shocking discovery.
The two parents have been arrested following the disturbing find – but what do we know about them and the children?
Facebook The Turpins and the 13 children who cops allege were found shackled to beds[/caption]
Who are David Allen Turpin and Louise Anna Turpin?
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment.
The arrests were made after one of the 13 siblings called police and said her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive.
She was so emaciated cops thought she was 10 years old at first.
The 17-year-old told police some of her siblings were bound with chains and padlocks.
Handout - Getty Louise Anna Turpin, who was arrested by police in California on January 14[/caption]
What did cops find at the California home?
Police said when they arrived at the property in Perris, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, they found children shackled to their beds in “dark and foul-smelling surrounds”.
The shocking discovery was made on January 14 in the US state.
A statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office said: “Deputies located what they believed to be 12 children inside the house, but were shocked to discover that seven of them were actually adults.
“The victims appeared to be malnourished and very dirty.”
Neighbours told local media they had no idea there were children in the house, while others said they only saw them at night.
The six children were transported to the Riverside University Hospital System (RUHS) for medical examinations and admitted for treatment. The seven adult children were taken to Corona Regional Medical Centre for an examination and treatment.
Pictures were later made public which showed an unkempt garden, dirty carpets and doors with scratches on.
Handout - Getty David Allen Turpin was arrested and charged with nine counts of torture and 10 counts of child endangerment[/caption]
What do we know about Mr and Mrs Turpin?
David Turpin’s parents, James and Betty, from West Virginia, said they were “surprised and shocked” at the allegations.
After the pair’s arrest pictures emerged of them and the 13 children posing on various day trips.
One showed the couple and the kids at Disneyland, wearing matching T-shirts.
Another showed the Turpin’s getting married in a Las Vagas style ceremony – complete with Elvis impersonator.
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The children were gathered around the couple wearing matching dresses and suits.
The girls all had matching hair cuts and the boys all sported bowl cuts.
The family were said to be big fans of Disneyland and went on holidays to the theme park.
Some residents said they saw the kids picking up rubbish around their home and digging for food in bins, according to CBS2 News.
Neighbours have also told how they would rarely see the children – with one claiming to have been unaware there were any living at the house.
Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, told the Press Enterprise: “I had no idea this was going on. I didn’t know there were kids in the house.”
Neighbour Andria Valdez said her family had joked the Turpins reminded them of the family of vampires from the Twilight book and film series.
The aunt of the kids told Good Morning America when she lived with her sister and brother-in-law she felt uncomfortable with Mr Turpin’s alleged behaviour towards her.
The parents are due in court on January 18.
Building inspired by Scottish cliffs will house Beano art and feature ocean liners exhibition
The £80m V&A Museum Of Design Dundee on the banks of the Tay, housed in a dazzling building inspired by cliffs on the east coast of Scotland, is to open in September.
Details were announced on Thursday for what will be the V&A’s first outpost outside London, and Scotland’s first design museum. Chief among those was the opening date of 15 September, revealed by the gallery’s director, Philip Long, who said he was thrilled.Continue reading...
THE dates for the Easter holidays change every year, so keeping track of the holiday could help you secure a few extra days away from work.
Alamy Unlike Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday changes every year[/caption]
When is Easter 2018 and how is the date decided?
The death of Jesus occurred around the Jewish Passover, which is traditionally held on first full moon following the vernal equinox.
As the full moon can vary in each time zone, the Church said that they would use the 14th day of the lunar month instead – the Paschal Full Moon – and host Easter Day on the following Sunday.
Once the date of that moon is known, Easter Day and the Easter holidays can be determined.The Easter weekend in 2018 kicks off on Good Friday, which next year will be on March 30
Christians celebrate Easter on a Sunday as it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, following being crucified on a Friday two days before.
Centuries ago in 325, it was determined by a council of Christian bishops that Easter Day would always be on a Sunday to commemorate the happy occasion.
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Why does the date of Easter change each year?
In Western Christianity, Easter Sunday must always fall on the next full moon after Spring Equinox.
Easter can fall as early as March and as late as April or May, depending on the year and calendar used.
Christians in the east who use the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar may have a different date.
The date of Easter changes because the full moon can fall on different days in different time zones.
A LITTLE lad blinded in one eye and left with broken bones after being tortured in black magic rituals is facing a pain free future with a new family.
The six-year-old boy, who also had damaged testicles and toenails ripped out, was abused by his adopted family over a nine month period between 2015 and 2016.The pain the boy experienced when aged just four was beyond beliefFocus On News
The evil abusers now all face up to 70 years in prison for the sickening abuse they carried out on the child who was just four at the time.
The five offenders, a grandmother, two uncles, an aunt and a teenage cousin, have been convicted of torture, corruption of minors and failure to exercise parental authority.
Detectives said the boy, named as Marcus, was subjected to sustained and horrendous attacks up to four times a week at night.
The child, who thought his torture and pain was “normal”, has been left psychologically traumatised.Even his foot bears scars following nine months of tortureFocus On NewsThe vile torture instruments and substances used by the devil worshippersFocus On NewsA doctor treats the poor lad who suffered months of violence and crueltyFocus On NewsScars from the painful abuse are all over his bodyFocus On News
But he also bears physical scars and lesions all over his body, blindness in one eye with the risk of losing his sight in the other and broken bones which have calcified.
According to Detective Priscilla Anuda Quarti, the victim, who was aged four at the time, was adopted after being abandoned by his biological parents who were drug users.
The evil child abusers confessed they had taken custody of the toddler in May 2015 with the intention of “using him in black magic rituals” and planned to eventually “offer him as a sacrifice”.One of the evil abusers being arrested by policeFocus On News
The cult members claimed the infant was possessed by a demon and the entity promised “prosperity and wealth”.
The devil worshippers admitted they felt “compelled to perform the voodoo ceremonies” to reap their rewards.
The little one was labelled a “nuisance” and an “intruder” in the family by one of the wicked uncles who admitted taking “great pleasure in inflicting pain” on the child because he was jealous of the boy’s presence.Marcus, pictured here in his Spiderman costume, is now happy with his new familyFocus On News
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Det Quarti said: “The child lived in fear and suffered near daily abuse.
“When we asked (the boy) about the attacks and rituals, he simply lowered his head and was silent.”
The victim’s catalogue of injuries left hardened police officers in tears and medical staff in distress.
Magistrate Silvio Luis da Silveira Lemos, said: “The boy has wounds and lesions all over his body from punches and kicks.
“He was whipped with cables and beaten with broomsticks.
“He has multiple scars covering his face, neck and torso where he has been burned with cigars and hot rum. Boiling water was poured over his head during the black magic rituals.
“We found he had an old injury of a broken arm which had been undiagnosed and untreated. “This has led to calcification in his wrist.”
• The quartet of runners are at Chepstow and Musselburgh
Four horses will carry the letters ‘WS’ against their name on Friday’s racecards, the first day of the British Horseracing Authority’s controversial new regime which requires trainers to declare when a horse has undergone a wind operation since its latest start.
One runner at Chepstow – Alberobello in the 3.20 race – has been declared as having had wind surgery since his last start on 25 October, as have three more on the card at Musselburgh: Dancing Amy (1.45, last race on 29 November 2017), Dr Hooves (4.00, last race 5 April 2017) and Wimpole (4.00, last race on 29 November 2017).Continue reading...
A BRAVE victim of domestic abuse has relived the horrific six-hour-long assault by her lover where she was repeatedly strangled and hit with a plank of wood.
Kirby Weegram begged beast Jonathan Graham to let her write a final letter to her family as she feared she would die at his hands.
North News and Pictures Kirby Weegram has relived the horrific six-hour assault at the hands of her abusive partner[/caption]
The brutal attack left the 22-year-old with lacerations and bruises over her entire body, as well as black eyes, and a popped nose and a haemorrhage in her left eye from the lack of oxygen due to strangulation.
On the night of the attack on August 19 last year carer Kirby bumped into Jonathan on an evening out before heading to his flat in Hartlepool, Co Durham, where her ordeal took place.
She said: “When we got in, I went straight into the toilet and he followed me in and punched me to the side of the head.
“I fell to the ground and he started kicking and punching me.
North News and Pictures Kirby was repeatedly strangled and hit with a plank of wood during the sickening attack[/caption]
North News and Pictures Kirby begged beast Jonathan Graham to let her write a final letter to her family as she feared she would die[/caption]
North News and Pictures The brutal attack left the 22-year-old with lacerations and bruises over her entire body, as well as black eyes[/caption]
“I tried to escape into the bedroom but he followed me and pushed me onto the bed and tried to suffocate me under the duvet. He strangled me about six or seven times.
“He said ‘you are never leaving this flat, I’m going to kill you tonight’.
“I was in pain all over my body. I was trapped for six hours whilst he abused me both physically and mentally.
“He spat and me and threw things at me.
North News and Pictures Kirby suffered a haemorrhage in her left eye from the lack of oxygen due to strangulation[/caption]
North News and Pictures On the night of the attack on August 19 last year carer Kirby bumped into Jonathan on an evening out[/caption]
North News and Pictures Kirby told how the attack began with her being punched to the side of the head[/caption]
“I genuinely thought that I was going to die. I begged him to let me write a final letter to my family, but he said that I didn’t deserve to do that.
“He told me ‘you should be lucky that I’m not a sexual deviant or I would rape you’.”
The 32-year-old bit into a wine glass and started chewing the glass whilst telling his terrified victim “this is how indestructible I am”.
He also told her that he was going to kill himself and frame her for his murder.
It wasn’t until Kirby told Graham that she had a shift at work that he decided to let her go.
North News and Pictures Kirby was punched and kicked repeatedly as she cowered on the floor[/caption]
North News and Pictures Thug Graham told Kirby: ‘I’m going to kill you tonight’[/caption]
North News and Pictures Graham strangled Kirby on at least half a dozen occasions[/caption]
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At Teesside Crown Court Graham, of, Hartlepool, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and threats to kill and was jailed for 21 months.
Kirby is now hoping to raise awareness of Clare’s Law – a scheme which allows people to check from the police if their partner has a history of domestic violence.
It’s named after 36-year-old Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.
THE twisted parents who allegedly kept their 13 kids starved and shackled in their house of horror were allowed to eat only one meal a day and shower just twice a year.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested after the siblings, aged between two and 29, were found shackled at the family home in Perris, California.David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested and each charged with nine counts of torture and ten counts of child endangerment
Reuters The shocking case has sparked headlines around the world[/caption]
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the case also told NBC News the rooms inside the brown-and-beige four-bedroom house were filled with urine.
The broadcaster also reported that the kids are now receiving antibiotics, vitamins and nutrients and doctors are concerned about them going into shock from being malnourished.
And a source told the Mirror that David and Louise Turpin were “getting ready to leave town” on Saturday.
They said: “They said they needed to say ‘goodbye’ because they were getting ready to leave town.”Police say the 13 children were taken to hospital for treatment after claiming to be ‘starving’
They added: “They didn’t say where or when they were going.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw their pictures on the TV two nights later.”
Meanwhile, the grandparents of 13 starved children say their son’s family looked happy and healthy when they last visited California six years ago.
“They were just like any ordinary family,” said Betty Turpin, the 81-year-old mother of David Turpin.
“And they had such good relationships. I’m not just saying this stuff.
“These kids, we were amazed. They were ‘sweetie’ this and ‘sweetie’ that to each other.”
The 17-year-old daughter who raised the alarm told cops she was terrified they would kill her if she got caught.
She climbed out of a window to alert police of her and her 12 siblings dire plight and was so malnourished cops told a press conference she physically appears more like a 10-year-old.
Riverside County sheriff’s Capt. Greg Fellows said: “The conditions were horrific.
“If you can imagine being 17 years old and appearing to be a 10-year-old, being chained to a bed, being malnourished, and injuries associated with that, I would call that torture.”
According to The Mirror the starving teen was in fear for her life when she finally broke free and alerted the police.
Reuters The girl is said to have jumped from a window to alert police[/caption]
She snuck out of a window of the unassuming family home at around 6am on Sunday, fleeing to safety before using the deactivated phone she took from the house to call 911.
After the phone call, cops raced to the scene and stunned residents has they led the troop of terrified kids out of the bungalow in the typical suburban street.
The conditions inside were said to be “horrific” with the victims given little access to food or water.
What we know so far:
- David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, were arrested after cops found their 13 kids chained up in “dark and foul-smelling surrounds”
- The siblings, who cops said were “very dirty”, were so malnourished that officers thought seven adults were CHILDREN
- The starving kids begged police for food when they were found shackled to their beds
- The parents were each charged with nine counts of torture and ten counts of child endangerment
- The alarm was raised when one of their children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped and called the police
- One neighbour said the Turpins reminded her of the family of vampires from the Twilight book and film series
- The parents are due in court on Thursday, with their bail set at £6.5million each
Neighbours have told how they would rarely see the children – with one claiming to have been unaware there were any living at the house.
Police say Louise was “perplexed” about why authorities had arrived at their home.
Mr Turpin’s parents James and Betty, who live in West Virginia, added that their son and his wife are “deeply religious” and believed God had “called on them” to keep conceiving.
They told ABC News the children were given “very strict homeschooling” but thought when they visited they seemed like a “happy family”.Louise Anna Turpin was arrested on Sunday evening by police in Perris, CaliforniaRiverside County Sheriff’s Department
The family moved to the area from Texas in 2010 and it is unclear how long the children had been kept shackled.
Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, told the Press Enterprise: “I had no idea this was going on. I didn’t know there were kids in the house.”
Neighbour Andria Valdez told the newspaper: “They only came out at night. They were really, really pale.”
Some residents said they saw the kids – who were so malnourished that cops thought the seven adults among them were children – picking up rubbish around their home and digging for food in bins, according to CBS2 News.
A few years ago, Robert Perkins said he and his mother saw a few family members constructing a Nativity scene in the Turpins’ front garden and complimented them on it, but “they didn’t say a word”.
And Wendy Martinez, 41, told reporters she saw four of the 13 siblings in their front garden at night in October looking emaciated and pale.
She said their mother was standing in the doorway but nobody replied to her when she tried to strike up a conversation.
Cops rescued the children after one tortured teen managed to escape on Sunday.Horrified neighbours took to the streets in disbelief after details of the horror story emerged overnightGetty Images - GettyPolice were called to Muir Woods Road in Perris, California, after a teenager claimed her siblings were being held there on SundayReuters
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The emaciated 17-year-old girl, who was so malnourished officers initially thought was just ten, managed to call police from a mobile phone she had taken from the house, authorities said.
She told the operator that her 12 brothers and sisters were being held captive by her parents and that some were bound with chains and padlocks.
When police arrived at the property, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, they discovered several children shackled to their beds in “dark and foul-smelling surrounds”.
Citing a whistleblower, Labour’s Clive Lewis claims ambulance service failed to seek extra help
Twenty people died while waiting too long for ambulances in the east of England after the ambulance service there failed to seek outside help during the busy period over Christmas, a Labour MP has said, citing a whistleblower.
Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, used a point of order in the Commons to highlight what he said was an “exceptionally serious issue” with the East of England ambulance service, highlighted by the whistleblower.Continue reading...
A VICTIM scarred for life by Arthur Collins in a horror acid attack has blasted Ferne McCann for still visiting the thug in jail.
Now a victim scarred for life by Collins in the horror acid attack has hit out at Ferne – but said she “isn’t that surprised”.
The student, who doesn’t want to be named, told Sun Online: “It really doesn’t shock me to be honest.
“Ferne is in the media industry and she has a career to keep up and that can only be done by saying she is finished with that criminal.
“She is just lying – especially with that TV show she was on where she cried and said it was so hard being alone.
PA:Press Association A victim has said she ‘isn’t surprised’ by Ferne’s ‘lies’[/caption]
PA:Press Association She was left with horrifying injuries after Arthur Collins threw the corrosive substance over a packed dance floor[/caption]
Snapchat Ferne McCann with her ex-boyfriend and father of her newborn child Arthur Collins[/caption]
“She claimed she had nothing to do him but it was all lies.”
It was revealed yesterday as Collins was handed a further eight months in jail for smuggling a mobile phone into prison that Ferne had been visiting him in jail.
The reality star told Collins “this is the last time you will see us” when she visited him at Belmarsh shortly after their daughter’s birth in November.
She told The Sunday People at the time: “I went to see Arthur and I took Sunday with me.
“This was because I am very angry about what has happened and I needed to communicate that and wanted to hear what Arthur had to say.Ferne McCann has reportedly been visiting her jailbird ex Arthur Collins in prisonFlynet - SplashNewsArthur’s lawyer made the admission when defending his possession of a mobile phone, two SIM cards and two memory sticks while behind barsPA:Press Association
“I thought it was important that Arthur see Sunday and see exactly what his actions have led to him missing out on.”
The pair had an on-off relationship for a year before Collins went on the run following the acid attack that left 16 people injured.
She posted pictures on social media app Instagram of them on holiday together in Dubai before the incident.
And viewers watched the Towie star sob in November on Ferne McCann: First Time Mum as she described her life since Collins’s arrest as “hell, absolute hell.”The victim told how she initially feared she was caught up in a terror attackPA:Press Association
The victim said: “There’s absolutely no sympathy there for us, the victims. She’s always talking about Arthur and how hard it has been for her and we barely get a mention.
“I get that there’s a lack of understanding there as she herself isn’t a victim but maybe she needs to think carefully about speaking out if she doesn’t mean any of it.
“But as I said, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It’s like how she claims she never knew what Collins was like as a person when she clearly did.
“She’s a reality star and makes money from her life – if she never said anything then no one would care about her.”
Ferne was slammed by acid attack victims in December who accused her of “cashing in on their misery” after she released a TV show about her pregnancy.Ferne McCann shared an image of her being heavily pregnant on Instagram days before giving birth to Collins’ childInstagram
Viewers watched the TOWIE star sob on Ferne McCann: First Time Mum as she described her life since Collins’s arrest as “hell, absolute hell.”
She said in a statement after Collins was convicted: “Ferne’s thoughts are of course with the innocent people caught up in the events at Mangle last April. No-one should ever be faced with violence on a night out.
“Having given birth a month ago, Ferne is focusing on being the best mother she can be.
“She long ago accepted that she would be doing this alone and is determined to provide the best possible future for her daughter.”
The victim was celebrating her 23rd birthday when Collins threw the acid across the packed dancefloor at Mangle E8 in East London on April 17.
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She bravely stood up in court to face the thug as he was sentenced for 20 years for the attack that left 16 people injured.
The student, who initially feared she had been caught up in a terror attack, told him: “I mourn the old [me]. I grieve for her every day.”
She added: “You couldn’t find a shred of human decency to admit what you had done. I have been given a life sentence by you.”
Sun Online has contacted Ferne’s people for comment.
One actor after another is coming out denouncing the director. When did the honour of being in one of his films lose its lustre?
I wonder when historians will pinpoint the exact moment that working for Woody Allen flipped from being an absolute honour for any actor to a matter of obvious shame, for which they would be donating their fee to charity. To the untrained eye, it seems to have been sometime last week, despite his daughter’s Dylan Farrow’s claims that Allen sexually abused her when she was seven having been known about for many years. (The director denies the allegations.) First to say she wouldn’t be working with him again was Greta Gerwig, and the actor and director has now been followed by Mira Sorvino, Rebecca Hall, and Timothée Chalamet.
Whenever the precise date falls, the director’s insistence on making a film approximately every 10 minutes means two things. One, that the much-vaunted “honour” has been somewhat diluted. Contrary to actors’ usual humblebrags, there are about three people in Hollywood who haven’t worked with Woody Allen, so much so that he’s down to honouring former Disney kids with roles. Once Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake are having the most extraordinary creative experience of their career, or whatever the standard line is, you have to realise that Woody’s only a couple of rehashed melodramas away from casting the guy who plays Goofy at the Anaheim theme park as a romantic lead.Continue reading...
MAYOR of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has twice failed in his bid to become Labour leader – but is still considered to be a politician on the up.
Here’s what we know about the man who was apparently nicknamed ‘Bambi’ in the House of Commons due to his good looks.Andy Burnham gives the thumbs up after being voted in as the first mayor of Greater ManchesterGetty Images
Who is Andy Burnham? What’s his background?
Andy Burnham, 47, was born in Liverpool to a telephone engineer dad and receptionist mum, and is an avid supporter of Everton FC.
Burnham has been a member of the Labour Party since the age of 14, after reportedly becoming “radicalised” by the miners’ strike in the mid-80s.
He was elected MP for Leigh in 2001, a post he held until resigning to run for the position of mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017.
He has attempted to become Labour leader on two occasions – once running against Ed Miliband in 2010, and again against Jeremy Corbyn in 2015.
He has been praised in the past for his campaigning work for the Hillsborough families and his determination to solve homelessness in Manchester.
The former Health Secretary is now involved in the contaminated blood scandal after he threatened to go to the police with “serious allegations” if the Government failed to act.
Theresa May has since launched a public inquiry into the scandal which claimed 2,400 lives.
When did Andy Burnham become mayor of Manchester?
Burnham was elected as mayor of Greater Manchester on May 5, 2017.
Just weeks later, his city was targeted by terrorists in an explosion which killed 22 people and injured 59 others.
At the time Burnham announced he would hold a vigil from victims, adding: “These were children, young people and their families that those responsible chose to terrorise and kill.
“It is hard to believe what has happened here in the last few hours, and to put into words the shock, anger, and hurt that we feel today.
“This was an evil act.”Andy Burnham has held top jobs during his career before being made the first Mayor of Greater ManchesterGetty Images
Who is Andy Burnham married to?
The former MP has a Dutch wife called Marie-France van Heel.
They married 2000 after meeting at the University of Cambridge.
The pair now have a son and two daughters and live in Warrington, Cheshire.
What jobs has Andy Burnham had in his career so far?
Burnham’s political career began back in 1998 when he became a special advisor to Chris Smith, Secretary of State for culture, media and sport.
Just three years later he was elected MP in the safe Labour seat of Leigh.
Burnham had spells as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Home Secretary David Blunkett and Education Secretary Ruth Kelly.
After the 2005 election, he was promoted to serve as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and, a year later, to Minister of State at the Department of Health
In 2007, Burnham was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in Gordon Brown’s first cabinet, and promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in early 2008.
In June 2009 he was appointed Health Secretary, and became Shadow Secretary following Labour’s election defeat in 2010.
Under Labour leader Ed Miliband, Burnham served as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and, under Jeremy Corbyn, as Shadow Home Secretary.
He was due to appear on Question Time on January 18.
What has Andy Burnham done to help victims of Hillsborough?
Burnham campaigned with Hillsborough victims’ families for a new law which compels public officials to be truthful at inquiries and ensures legal aid for bereaved families.
He said they had been failed while introducing a draft legislation adding they had “not just been denied legal funding, but have had their characters denigrated by lawyers [working] for public bodies”.
He was praised for his support to victims’ families after calling for full disclosure on the tragedy.
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Data shows the year was also one of the hottest three ever recorded, with scientists warning that the ‘climate tide is rising fast’
2017 was the hottest year since global records began that was not given an additional boost by the natural climate cycle El Niño, according to new data. Even without an El Niño, the year was still exceptionally hot, being one of the top three ever recorded.
The three main global temperature records show the global surface temperature in 2017 was 1C above levels seen in pre-industrial times, with scientists certain that humanity’s fossil fuel-burning is to blame.Continue reading...
MANY smokers have swapped traditional cigarettes for of e-cigs in recent years.
Vaping devices are designed with the goal of helping smokers quit and are billed as a healthier alternative. Here’s all the info on vaping and e-cigarettes…Modern e-cigarettes have been the subject of much debateAlamy
What is vaping?
Vaping is the process of smoking e-cigarettes, allowing a person to inhale nicotine without other harmful substances in tobacco.
Millions of Brits now get their nicotine hit via the devices, and they are growing in popularity.
The first modern e-cigarettes were developed by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik who wanted to create a safer alternative to smoking.
E-cigs and vaping pens come with a tiny sensor and computer chip that activate a heater, which warms up the nicotine inside every time a person takes a draw.Experts say that the best way to protect your health is to give up smoking completelyGetty Images
When the liquid nicotine warms up it vapourises, creating a vapour that users can then suck through the mouthpiece.
But, e-cigarettes are still relatively new, and much more research is needed to explore the true effect they have on a vaper’s health.
While some studies have shown they are – in many ways – better for smokers than cigarettes, other studies have raised concerns they are encouraging a new generation of smokers.
Legislation brought into law on May 21 2017 restricts the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids.
As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke.
Unlike normal cigarettes, the devices don’t produce tar and carbon monoxide.
But, that does not mean the vapour produced is free of harmful chemicals.
Studies have found it contains some toxic chemicals, that are also found in cigarette smoke, at lower levels.
What are the laws on the sale of e-cigarettes?
Vaping laws were created to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids.
The new guidelines include:
- Refillable tanks must have a capacity of no more than 2ml
- E-liquids can not be sold in quantities greater than 10ml
- Unless registered as a medicine e-liquids can not have a nicotine strength of more than 20mg/ml
- E-liquid packaging must be child-resistant and tamper evident
- Additives including colouring, caffeine and taurine are banned
- All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before they can be sold
- Stricter labelling requirements
It comes after an undercover investigation found that almost nine tenths of British vape shops are willing to sell e-cigarettes to non-smokers – against the industry code of conduct.Recent studies have warned vaping is as bad for your heart as regular smokingGetty Images
Is vaping harmful and does it damage your lungs?
E-cigarettes are not risk free, the NHS has warned.
But, experts believe based on current evidence, that vaping is less risky than regular smoking.
Public Health England’s independent review of the latest evidence, published in 2015, found e-cigarettes are around 95 per cent safer than smoking.
But experts have warned vaping is a new trend and, as a result, scientists are still learning about the effects vaping can have on the body.
Last summer, top Greek professor Charalambos Viachopoulos, told the world’s largest gathering of heart experts in Rome the devices are “far more dangerous than people realise”.
The study he was referring to warned vaping could be as bad for your heart as puffing on fags.
Tests found they damaged important blood vessels, which could lead to long-term harm.
Known as arterial stiffness, it is the main predictor of heart disease.
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SMOKE SCREENEDWe reveal the countries where vaping is BANNED - and could even get you chucked in prison
Prof Viachopoulos, of Athens Medical School, said: “E-cigarettes are less harmful than traditional cigarettes but they are not harmless.
“There could be long-term heart dangers.
“I wouldn’t recommend them now as a method to give up smoking.
“I think the UK has rushed into adopting this method.”
Another study, published in February, warns vapers may be at greater risk of a life-threatening stroke than smokers.
Mice exposed to e-cig vapour for 10 to 30 days suffered more severe strokes, and greater nerve damage than those exposed to tobacco smoke.
While results have yet to be confirmed in humans, the warning signs are there, the researchers said.
The team at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said: “Vaping is not safer than tobacco smoking and may pose a similar, if not higher, risk for stroke severity.”
Meanwhile another study published last year also shows that electronic cigarettes also have a immediate harmful effect on the lungs.
Researchers found after using the devices, people’s airways became obstructed and their lungs became inflamed – with the symptoms most severe in asthmatics.
The dignity of the presidential office has plummeted to a new improbable low with the revelations from the adult film star. Obviously this column is clearing its diary to hear the whole story
Even for a messy president who lives for the drama, it must have hurt that Donald Trump’s inaugural Fake News awards were so completely overshadowed by a kiss-and-tell trailer containing the phrase “she talks about what he’s like down there”.
I mean … no offence, Mr President, but the 14-month-old Paul Krugman column you’re trying to get my attention with now desperately needs to contain speculation about bottoming-out that is unrelated to post-election markets. Does Krugman make some fanciful claim about how you guys met, and how he had to tolerate some horrendous, although mercifully very brief, discussion about economics with you, in which you maintained one position throughout, and were “textbook generic”? Does he claim you got him to sign a copy of his Nobel prize citation? Because, otherwise, I need you to pipe down while I listen some more to Miss Stormy Daniels.Continue reading...
A WOLF that was captured after going on the loose in Berkshire may have been deliberately released from its sanctuary by an intruder.
Armed police were scrambled to track down the beast and a primary school was placed on lockdown this morning.Topak the wolf was put back on its lead this afternoon after being capturedPA:Press Association
The beast, named Torak, escaped from the Wolf Conservation Trust in Beenham, Berks, near Kate Middleton’s family home.
It was initially thought that ferocious winds caused by Storm Fionn damaged a fence that allowed the animal to escape.
But staff at the sanctuary said this afternoon that there were no breaches of the barriers.
Tsa Palmer, founder and director of the sancturary said: “We’re still investigating but there has been no breach of the fence.
PA:Press Association A handler walks with the wolf after its dramatic escape was brought to an end[/caption]
PA:Press Association The wolf was loaded into a trailer to be taken back to its Berkshire sanctuary[/caption]
“Someone rang me in the village this morning at around 7.30 to say they’d seen a wolf, as has happened over the years – but this was different.”
She added that another wolf called Maisy made an “alarm bark” — which could have been aimed at an intruder.
Ms Palmer said: “I came over checked the perimeter fencing and there were no fallen trees after last night’s high winds.
“We are investigating a possible breach that someone may have deliberately done this. We are looking at footage now, it definitely wasn’t a hole in the fence.”
Police were stationed outside Beenham Primary School today to make sure pupils arrived safely after the alarm was raised by a dog walker at 8am.Armed police were hunting the wolf this morningLondon News PicturesThe wolf was on the loose in Beenham, BerksPA:Press Association
Thames Valley Police said the wolf, which was recaptured unharmed this afternoon, travelled around eight miles to Curridge.
Ms Palmer, 62, helped to encourage the 12-year-old wolf into a caged trailer before it was taken back to its home.
She said: “The fact he went through a field of sheep on his way shows he would never be a threat to the public.”Armed police were at the scene near the sanctuaryPA:Press AssociationPolice were looking for the wolf after it was thought Storm Fionn damaged its enclosureLondon News Pictures
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A local told Newbury Today there was a police officer outside Beenham Primary School this morning informing people of the wolf scare.
He added: “I asked why they were there and she said a wolf had escaped because the wind had damaged the sanctuary.
“The sanctuary has been there for years, we all support it and even the school kids have an emblem of a wolf on their jumpers.”
Donald Trump's first year as US president has seen a daily battle with the media, a federal investigation into his campaign team and a series of domestic and diplomatic bust-ups. In his own inimitable way he describes the events as he sees themContinue reading...
Cabin crew members ask pontiff for a blessing but Francis instead conducts marriage ceremony
The bride had walked down the aisle countless times before, usually pushing a trolley of drinks or reheated food. She wore a neat uniform with a name badge instead of a white dress, and probably checked the guests had fastened their seat belts before the ceremony.
Love was definitely in the air when Pope Francis married two cabin crew members in an impromptu wedding on a flight taking the pontiff and his entourage between two Chilean cities.Continue reading...
Spare a thought for the million-odd UK citizens living in Europe.
The Conservative manifesto of 2015 promised to scrap the rules barring those who had lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. Still, long-term British expats were denied the chance to vote in the EU referendum the following year.Continue reading...
Man says he is ‘overwhelmed, shocked, elated and humbled’ by Civil Aviation Authority’s rule-change
The Civil Aviation Authority has cleared a man with HIV to start training as a professional airline pilot after reversing its previous ban.
The man, known as Andrew, came forward last year to disclose that the CAA had refused to allow him to start training as a pilot for EasyJet because he was HIV positive.Continue reading...
TV presenter admits he ‘made a mistake’ after driving home from pub while over the limit
Chris Tarrant has been fined £6,000 and banned from the roads for a year after admitting drink-driving after a lunchtime pub visit.
The television presenter, 71, got behind the wheel of his Mercedes on 16 December after drinking in the Bladebone Inn in Bucklebury, a mile and a half from his home in Berkshire.Continue reading...
Falling sales and the lengthening time taken to sell a home is hurting traditional estate agents
Plot the share price of Purple Bricks against Countrywide over the past few years and it tells you all you need to know about where estate agency is heading.
Purple Bricks, the internet upstart offering fixed-price home selling for £849, has seen its share price more than quadruple from 95p at its start of trading on 18 December 2015 to 422p now. On that same day shares in traditional estate agency Countrywide were changing hands at 400p. Today they are 113p after yet another warning about disappointing profits.Continue reading...
MEGHAN Markle wowed crowds in Cardiff today as royal fans flocked from 6am to queue and meet her.
The couple have attended a Welsh culture festival inside Cardiff Castle before heading to a sports centre which runs community programmes for young people.
Meghan-mania saw royal supporters queuing outside the castle from 6am this morning – seven hours before the couple are set to arrive.
Among those in line were university student Jenna Quilter, 18, from Cregiau, near Cardiff, who brought a bunch of flowers to present to Meghan.
She said: “I’m a big fan of the Royals. Mainly the Duchess of Cambridge but I adore Prince Harry.
Rex Features During their tour, Prince Harry and Ms Markle will hear performances from musicians and poets[/caption]
Getty Images - Getty They will also meet leading sportsmen and women, and see how organisations are working to promote Welsh language and cultural identity[/caption]
“I think Harry and Meghan represent a more modern society and it keeps some of the British traditions alive.
“I’ve got some roses for Meghan too.
“It’s fascinating that she’s not the typical person you’d expect to become a future duchess and it’s just really interesting to see the public reaction to her.”
Meghan-lookalike Haley Johnston, 26, from Charlotte, North Carolina, has another thing in common with her fellow American – she also married a British soldier.
Rex Features Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Cardiff earlier today[/caption]
She said: “I just think Meghan and Harry are a fantastic couple, they look like the kind of people you’d want to be friends with.
“I’ve just been told I look like Meghan – I’ve never heard that before but that is the highest of compliments as she’s absolutely gorgeous.
“I’m so excited to see them and I hope I get the chance to talk to them. I’m also from the States and I married a British soldier so we have a few things in common.”
American Abbie Smith, who is visiting Cardiff from Louisiana, said: “It’s really exciting. In America this is like a fairytale.
Getty Images - Getty Excited members of the public awaiting the arrival of Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle at Cardiff Castle[/caption]
“I think it’s really cool that she’s from the States and gets to experience the royal lifestyle as well.”
Ian Leyshon, 41 of Cardiff, said Meghan and Harry would get a warm welcome in the Welsh capital.
He said: “I think Harry and Meghan are great and Cardiff will love them – she can be our princess of Wales.
“It’s very fitting that they are visiting the castle. I wish that they could stay longer.”
And sisters Anne Daley, 60, and her sister Judy, 53, of Llandaff, Cardiff, said they wanted to ask Meghan to have her hen party in Cardiff – along with their dog Camilla.
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Former air stewardess Anne said: “We have brought a bride-to-be sash and veil for her and some L-plates and we can take her on a tour of all the Cardiff nightclubs.
“We are very excited and we hope we get the chance to talk to them.
“We could get a new Duke and Duchess of Abergavenny or somewhere – it should hopefully strengthen our relationship with America.”
TRAGIC Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan will be buried alongside her late father, it has been claimed.
The rock star, who was found dead in a London hotel on Monday, will reportedly join Terence O’Riordan in a cemetery near her hometown of Friarstown, Co Limerick, Ireland.
Getty - Contributor Tragic Dolores O’Riordan died unexpectedly at the age of 46 on Monday[/caption]
He died from from cancer aged 68 in 2011 before being laid to rest at the Caherelly cemetery.
Parish priest Father Walton is reported to have said plans were being drawn up to accommodate a large number of media for the service, which is expected to take place next week at the St Ailbhe’s church – two miles from the graveyard.
He told the Daily Mail: “I met Delores when she came to the church with her mother. There were no airs and graces about her being a celebrity and all that.
“She was a perfectly nice woman and blended into the church.”Tributes have poured in from around the world for the Irish singerGetty - ContributorTragic O’Riordan was in a relationship with rocker Ole Koretsky at the time of her death
Ole Koretsky, who played with O’Riordan in alternative rock band D.A.R.K, paid tribute to her in a statement on the group’s website.
He said: “My friend, partner, and the love of my life is gone.
“Dolores is beautiful. Her art is beautiful. Her family is beautiful. The energy she continues to radiate is undeniable.
EPA O’Riordan was found in her room at a Hilton hotel in central London[/caption]
“I am lost. I miss her so much. I will continue to stumble around this planet for some time knowing well there’s no real place for me here now.”
The couple’s D.A.R.K. bandmate, Andy Rourke – former bassist of The Smiths – added he was “devastated” by her death.
He said: “I have truly enjoyed the years we spent together and feel privileged to call her a close friend.
“It was a bonus to work with her in our band D.A.R.K. and witness firsthand her breathtaking and unique talent. I will miss her terribly. I send my love and condolences to her family and loved ones.”
The Singer was in the capital for a short recording session when she passed away suddenly in the Hilton London on Park Lane.
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The star revealed last year how she had been battling depression and mental health problems and even attempted suicide in 2013.
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are not treating her death as suspicious and said the case has been handed to the coroner’s office.
Fans honour the stylish star with tweets and memories
Writers, celebrities and cult TV enthusiasts are among those paying tribute to the actor Peter Wyngarde, who has died aged 90.
From wartime internment alongside JG Ballard to Klytus. With No.2, Baron Gruner, Professor Norman Taylor, Peter Quint and Gloucester bus station in between. What a life. What a legend. Jason King is dead. Long live Jason King! #peterwyngarde pic.twitter.com/GX6AENMRZYContinue reading...
A year since women marched across the world in protest of Trump, many view his presidency as ‘the worst we’ve ever seen for women’
On the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States last January, millions of women took to the streets in pink-knitted “pussy hats” in protests that marked the birth of the so-called “resistance” to the incoming administration.
One year later, the #MeToo movement has spawned a moment of reckoning around sexual misconduct and gender equality. The unprecedented dialogue has brought down powerful men from entertainment, media and politics, while signaling the beginning of a transformational period for women in the workplace that has been decades in the making.Continue reading...
A PAIR of Australian swimmers today became the first people to be rescued in the ocean by a DRONE.
The flying unit dropped a safety device to teens in distress caught in rough seas off Lennox Head in New South Wales.The drone dropped a flotation safety device on the two struggling swimmersCaters News AgencyDrones are being rolled out at beaches across AustraliaCaters News Agency
In what is believed to be a world-first drone surf rescue, two boys got caught in 10-foot swells while swimming.
Beachgoers onshore raised the alarm to the lifeguards who then alerted the drone pilot, and the aerial lifesaver was deployed in moments.
“I was able to launch it, fly it to the location, and drop the pod all in about one to two minutes,” lifeguard supervisor Jai Sheridan told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“On a normal day that would have taken our lifeguards a few minutes longer to reach the members of the public.”The teens got into trouble in rough surf off Lennox Head, New South WalesCaters News AgencyTwo teenage girls raised the alarm – and the drone was deployedCaters News Agency
Other than a little weary from their experience the pair were reportedly unharmed.
Australia is leading the use of the technology in surf lifesaving, with dozens of drones being trialled on beaches around the country.
Along with their ability to spot swimmers in trouble and deliver life saving devices faster than traditional lifesaving techniques, like launching surfboards or rubber dinghies, drones are being used in Australia to spot underwater predators like sharks and jellyfish.
Artificial intelligence is being developed using thousands of images captured by a drone camera to build an algorithm that can identify different ocean objects.The pair were reportedly unharmedCaters News AgencyDrones are being used in Australia to spot underwater predators like sharks and jellyfishCaters News Agency
The software can differentiate between sea creatures, like sharks which it can recognise with more than 90 percent accuracy, compared to about 16 percent with the naked eye.
Some beaches in Australia have shark nets, but a government report last year called for their phasing out in favour of exploring a range of alternatives, including sonar technology and aerial patrols.
The inquiry found that nets did not guarantee public safety any more than other deterrents but caused significant damage to marine life.
GRAVES of British WW2 heroes smashed to bits by “ISIS” fanatics in Libya have been rebuilt after the evil jihadis were banished from the area.
Islamist extremists ran amok in Benghazi War Cemetery in 2012 after dictator Colonel Gaddafi was defeated the previous year.British WW2 graves are seen in Benghazi War Cemetery after being repaired
The cemetery is the final resting place for some of Montgomery’s Eighth Army heroes that helped drive Hitler’s armies out of North Africa.
Radicals flourished in the power vacuum after Gaddafi was toppled – many of which went on to pledge allegiance to ISIS in the following years.
Masked terrorists filmed themselves smashing more than 200 headstones of British and Commonwealth soldiers with hammers and kicking them over.
They even used ladders to reach up and destroy a large cross at the head of the cemetery ion sickening scenes.Evil jihadis desecrated the cemetery in 2012, kicking over headstonesExtremists smashed a huge cross at the front of the graveyard with hammersWorkers from the CWGC have been repairing the damage to the graves
Images of the desecration caused outrage in the UK as well as in New Zealand and Australia where some of the 1,214 dead were born.
But the graves have now been fixed after jihadis were driven from the Libyan port city, where rows of pristine headstones now sit in the immaculate grounds.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) announced the repairs, sharing images of the revamped cemetery.
And it has vowed to put right the destruction wrought on WW2 war graves in Mosul, Iraq, while the city was under ISIS control – as soon as it is deemed safe enough.Shocking images show the damage caused to the cemetery by extremists
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The CWGC is responsible for just over 64,600 commemorations at 19 locations across Iraq.
A spokesman said: “We are under no illusions that the situation facing us in Iraq is challenging but there is hope and we are taking positive steps.
“It is our aim to increase our operational presence in Iraq as the security situation allows and we have a number of measures planned – including improved security and the enhancement and development of our horticultural work in Basra.
“At present all advice indicates the security situation in the north of the country and at Mosul is too unstable to attempt work.
“However, the Commission would like to reassure you that we have not forgotten or abandoned the cemeteries in Iraq and as the situation permits, we will restore them to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those buried and commemorated there.”
Two sites in Yemen damaged when headstones were pushed over are also ear-marked for restoration as soon as the situation is less dangerous.
Inquiry criticises management of some Anglican buildings and urges CoE to ask for state funds
A significant number of England’s 42 historic Anglican cathedrals are at “severe financial risk” and some have ineffective and under-resourced management, an investigation set up by the archbishops of Canterbury and York has found.
The Church of England should begin discussions with the government about the possibility of state funding for the country’s most venerated ancient buildings, it recommended.
Farrow repeats claim that her father sexually assaulted her as a child in interview with CBS This Morning
Dylan Farrow has denied that she was “brainwashed” or “coached” into accusing her father Woody Allen of sexual assault, in her first televised interview about the allegations.
In the interview on CBS This Morning, Farrow detailed her version of the events of 4 August 1992, when she alleges Allen assaulted her as a 7-year-old, and denied that her mother had influenced her. “What I don’t understand is how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father?” she said.Continue reading...
FOR over 25 years Woody Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow has claimed that the Oscar winning filmmaker molested her.
In the wake of the MeToo revolution, sparked to counter sexual harassment, Dylan has once against hit out at Allen, 82, saying she wants to “bring him down.”
Rex Features Dylan Farrow claims her adopted father Woody Allen molested her in 1992[/caption]
Who is Dylan Farrow?
Born in 1985, Dylan was adopted by actress Mia Farrow when she was two-weeks-old.
At time Farrow was in a long term relationship with revered filmmaker and comedian Allen – appearing in more than a dozen of his movies from 1982 until 1992.
In 1991, Dylan was co-adopted by Allen along with her adopted brother Moses.
Meanwhile, Annie Hall director Allen was having a secret affair with Soon-Yi Previn – the daughter Mia adopted with her second husband composer André Previn.
What are the allegations which Dylan has made against Allen?
Mia and Allen split in 1992 after she found nude photos of Soon-Yi taken by Allen and realised they were having an affair.
He and Soon-Yi, who was aged 20 at the time the affair was uncovered, are still together despite their 35-year age gap.
Later in 1992, Dylan told a doctor her father had touched her in the attic of Mia’s Connecticut mansion. The doctor alerted police.
Allen has never been charged with any crime and said in a statement that “no credible evidence of molestation was found.”
A team of therapists found the sexual abuse did not take place.
But the presiding judge in the custody battle said he found the therapists’ evidence inconclusive and felt their report had been “sanitised” and “coloured by loyalty to Mr Allen”.
He concluded Allen’s behaviour towards Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her”.
A housekeeper working for Mia claims she saw Allen with his head in Dylan’s lap on the day the alleged abuse is said to have taken place.
Another staff member claims she noticed that Dylan was not wearing any underwear on the day she was allegedly molested.
Mia has claimed that Allen was attending therapy to deal with his behaviour towards Dylan before the alleged abuse took place.
Getty Images - Getty Filmmaker Woody Allen, pictured with his wife Soon Yi, has always denied the allegations against him[/caption]
Rex Features Mia Farrow, Woody Allen and daughter Dylan Farrow pictured in New York City in 1987[/caption]
Allen’s only biologihcail child with Mia, journalist Ronan Farrow also spoke about his father’s “strange behaviour” towards his sister.
In a column, he wrote: “I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her and, even at five years old, was troubled by our father’s strange behaviour around her.
“Climbing into her bed in the middle of the night, forcing her to suck his thumb, behaviour that had prompted him to enter into therapy focused on his inappropriate conduct with children prior to the allegations.”
Woody Allen has always vehemently denied the allegations calling them “untruthful and disgraceful.”
Responding to an open-letter by Dylan in 2014, Allen said: “Of course I did not molest Dylan.
“I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s wellbeing.”
Moses, who is now estranged from Mia, has also defended Allen, saying: “My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister.
“And I hated him for her for years. I see now this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi.”
When did Dylan write her latest open-letter?
In December 201, Dylan, 32, wrote another op-ed in the Los Angeles Times under the headline “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?”
In a follow-up interview with CBS – her first on TV – she said she felt “outrage” at her claims being ignored for so many years.
She said: “Why shouldn’t I want to bring him down? Why shouldn’t I be angry? Why shouldn’t I be hurt?
“Why shouldn’t I feel some sort of … outrage that after all these years, being ignored and disbelieved and tossed aside?”
Asked why people should believe her, a tearful Dylan replied: “I suppose that’s on them, but all I can do is speak my truth and hope … that someone will believe me instead of just hearing.”
MORE than a hundred people have lost their lives to flu so far this winter, new figures reveal.