November 3, 2017

German police find ‘WW2 bomb’ was big courgette –
A German man feared a monster courgette he found in his garden was an unexploded World War Two bomb and called the police. The 5kg (11-pound) courgette had probably been thrown over a hedge into the 81 year old’s garden, police said. Luckily no evacuation was required in Bretten, a town near Karlsruhe in south-west Germany. The 40cm (16-inch) vegetable – also called zucchini – “really did look like a bomb”, police said. Once police had reassured him following the early morning call-out, the pensioner disposed of the courgette himself. [BBC]

 

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November 6, 2017

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Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed –

A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen’s private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens. Donald Trump’s commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US. The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance. [BBC]

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November 7, 2017

Twitter is giving everyone longer tweets, but you probably won’t use them –
The test is over — 280-character tweets are here for good. Twitter announced on Tuesday that it’s rolling out longer tweets to virtually* all of its users, doubling the traditional 140-character limit to 280 characters. Twitter has been testing longer tweets since September, and claims the test proved out the company’s theory — that giving more people room to tweet results in more engagement. Twitter has been thinking about longer tweets for years, but got cold feet the last time it considered expanding the limit in early 2016. When Twitter first announced that it was testing longer tweets this fall, the service’s users freaked out, worried that giving people more room to write would ruin the brevity that makes Twitter Twitter. Shockingly, it looks like that reaction was overblown. Twitter says that just 5 percent of tweets sent by users in the test group were longer than the traditional 140-character limit. Only 1 percent of those tweets actually used all 280 characters. [Recode]

Paddington swear? Marks & Spencer Christmas advert raises eyebrows –
Marks & Spencer has been forced to defend its Christmas advert starring Paddington Bear after complaints it contains bad language. In the 90-second ad, Paddington And The Christmas Visitor, the duffle coat-wearing bear unwittingly thwarts a burglar stealing presents on Christmas Eve. After forcing the thief to return the gifts, Paddington gives him a marmalade sandwich and receives a hug in return. But the response he gets from actor Mark Benton has been heard by some viewers as less than polite. Thirlwall 14 wrote on Instagram: “Something doesn’t sound right in this new M&S advert.” Rob Souza tweeted: “I swear the burglar says “F*** you little bear” to @paddingtonbear.” As festive adverts jostle for attention, both on the screen and on social media, it is unlikely to be the sort of reaction the family-friendly retailer was hoping for. But a Marks & Spencer spokesperson told Sky News: “He’s saying, ‘thank you little bear’. We think it’s really clear. We wouldn’t change the ad.” [Sky News]

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M&S Christmas TV Ad 2017 | Paddington & The Christmas Visitor #LoveTheBear

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