Top Story –
Avatar becomes the fastest movie ever to achieve $1bn (£625.6m) in ticket sales around the world according to 20th Century Fox and it’s done it in just 17 days. Apparently it is the most expensive film ever made. The film Lord of the Rings – The Return of The King was the highest grossing film in the last decade only making $1.12bn in total. Avatar Poster (copyright 20th Century Fox)
Top Stories – Baa-urp – pardon me –
Scientists in Australia trying to create a new way to tackle greenhouse gases – the burp-free sheep. The Australian Sheep Co-operative Research Centre is conducting experiments with 700 sheep from 20 different genetic lines.
Pretty tough woman –
The University of California interviewed 156 female students to gauge their temperament and how they handled conflict and found women who rated themselves as pretty displayed a “war-like” streak when fighting battles to get their own way. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Top Stories – Virginia shootings –
Eight adults have been shot and killed by a lone gunman in the US state of Virginia. Police say seven bodies were found at one home, while an eighth shooting victim was found at the side of the road and died on the way to hospital. Officers say they have surrounded a suspect in woodland just outside the central town of Appomattox.
Take your tablets –
“Tens of millions” of tablet computers will be sold in 2010, according to technology analysts at Deloitte. A report says keyboard and mouse-free devices are likely to be a top trend among consumers and describes tablets as “the Goldilocks of devices (not too big, not too small)”. HP Tablet PC
Top Stories – Brangelina rumour –
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are set to separate according to reports. The unmarried couple are said to have been in talks with lawyers to agree a £205 million split deal. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Pirate’s plunder blunder –
Single-mum Jammie Thomas-Rasset found guilty of sharing 24 songs over the internet has had her fine slashed from $2m (£1.23m) to $54,000 (£33,420) following an appeal. The American was accused of pirating almost 2,000 tracks but the record companies sought damages for only 24 of them.
X-files factor –
Lord Rees, the president of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, says the chance of discovering life on other worlds is greater than ever. He says “Were we to find life, even the simplest life, elsewhere that would clearly be one of the great discoveries of the 21st Century.”
Top Stories – Apple introduce the “iPad” –
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs introduces the “iPad” a new tablet with no keyboard or mouse. Designed for browsing the internet, it is 0.5 inches (13mm) thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds (680g). The iPad, which will launch in March for $499 (16Gb version), includes 12 new apps and will run most of the 140,000 apps in the App Store. Jobs described the iPad as “a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” Steve Jobs with the iPad
Throw out the running shoes –
Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University reveals that running barefoot is better than wearing running shoes. The researchers found that people who run barefoot tend to land on the ball or the middle of the foot, moving smoothly, but those who run in shoes tend to land on the heels, sending shockwaves through the body.
Bubble Wrap hits middle age –
Bubble Wrap is 50 years old. It was first invented by Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding as textured wallpaper and there are more than 250 dedicated Facebook pages. Sealed Air who owns the patent and manufactures Bubble Wrap makes more than $4bn a year.
Top Video –
The first Mackintosh commercial (1984)
Australian banker caught ogling pictures of semi-naked model on TV keeps job –
Macquarie Group broker David Kiely, who was seen live on television opening an email carrying pictures of model Miranda Kerr, will remain at the investment bank. After initial speculation that he had been sacked, it emerged that he had been holed up in his Sydney home on suspension while Macquarie Bank, known locally as the “millionaire’s factory’, undertook an investigation into the embarrassing incident. The subject of the semi-naked photos – model Miranda Kerr – backed a campaign to save Mr Kiely’s job. [Daily Telegraph] Miranda Kerr
Honda recalls thousands of cars amid fire fears
Honda has become the latest car manufacturer to recall thousands of vehicles amid fears that one of its models could catch fire. The Japanese motor company has recalled 171,372 of its Jazz models in Britain, as part of a larger worldwide recall, after several accidents including one in which a South African child died. Honda’s recall comes after Toyota called in at least 180,000 cars amid concerns over faulty accelerator pedals and means that more than 350,000 cars have now been recalled in Britain due to safety fears in less than a week. [Daily Telegraph]
Scientists invent wafer-thin plastic that can store electricity –
The battery, which has powered our lives for generations, may soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. British scientists say they have created a plastic that can store and release electricity, revolutionising the way we use phones, drive cars – and even wear clothes. It means the cases of mobiles and iPods could soon double up as their power source – leading to gadgets as thin as credit cards. Dr Emile Greenhalgh, from Imperial College London’s Department of Aeronautics, said the material is not really a battery, but a supercapacitor – similar to those found in typical electrical circuits. His team’s prototype – which is around five inches square and wafer-thin – takes five seconds to charge from a normal power supply and can light an LED for 20 minutes. [Daily Mail]
Higgs boson: scientists 99.999% sure ‘God Particle’ has been found –
The historic announcement came in a progress report from the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. Professor John Womersley, chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London: “They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson. “Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It’s a momentous day for science.” Scientists say it is a 5 sigma result which means they are 99.999% sure they have found a new particle. Finding the Higgs plugs a gaping hole in the Standard Model, the theory that describes all the particles, forces and interactions that make up the universe. [Daily Telegraph]
Prof Stephen Hawking said Prof Higgs deserved a Nobel Prize for his work, but admitted the discovery of the new particle had come at a cost. He said: “I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn’t be found. It seems I have just lost $100.” [Daily Telegraph] The CMS detector at the Large Hadron Collider
Tom Cruise to file rival divorce case against Katie Holmes –
Tom Cruise will file a rival divorce case against Katie Holmes, his lawyer has said, adding that they were letting the “other side play the media until they wear everyone out”. Bret Fields told BBC Radio 1 that for the moment Cruise’s camp is content to let Holmes have the spotlight. “We are letting ‘the other side’ (Katie and her team), play the media until they wear everyone out and then we’ll have something to say,” he said.
“Tactically we can’t say where Tom will file a divorce case and if he’ll be seeking joint custody of [daughter] Suri.” Tom Cruise with Katie Holmes in 2009
Ecstatic reaction as Rosetta spacecraft mission lands on comet –
The Rosetta spaceship, which was launched in 2004, has landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in a mission which could reveal the origins of life on Earth. The spacecraft’s thrusters failed to work during the mission prompting fears that the lander could simply bounce off the comet and back into space. But the Philae landing craft managed to land safely. The small probe took pictures as it descended as well as monitored chemical levels. The European Space Agency’s ground-breaking £1 billion mission to chase, orbit, and execute a soft landing on a moving comet has been called one of the most extraordinary achievements in space history. [Daily Telegraph] See Video of the Day Artist’s impression of the Philae lander
Video of the Day –
Philae Lands On Comet! – Mission Control Celebrates | Video
Five Diana dresses sell for half a million dollars –
Five dresses designed for and worn by Britain’s late Princess Diana have been auctioned off by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles for a total of nearly half a million dollars. British dressmaker Catherine Walker had made three of the gowns and all fetched within or just above their estimated price of between $60,000 and $80,000. The other two dresses were made by Caroline Charles and Zandra Rhodes. Diana, Princess of Wales
Two-headed cat lives to be 15 years-old –
A cat that was born with two faces has died at the age of 15 in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Called Frank and Louie – ‘Frankenlouie’ the birth defect is known as a Janus cat, named for a Roman god with two faces and expected to die very young due to congenital defects. While blind in his center eye, both his outer eyes worked fine, and while he had two noses and mouths, Frankenlouie had only one brain.
Orion capsule successful first mission –
The US space agency’s new Orion crew capsule has completed its maiden, unmanned voyage with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. Orion is designed to take humans to destinations such as the Moon and Mars. The flight was intended to test its critical technologies and took four and a half hours. Orion capsule
Christiano times it right for Christmas –
Christiano Ronaldo has given each of his Real Madrid team-mates a Bulgari watch worth £6,500. Each watch is engraved with the recipient’s name, the motif CR7 (he wears shirt number 7) and the words ‘La Decima’, to celebrate Real Madrid winning their 10th European Cup last season. Christiano Ronaldo
New female boss of Santander –
Baroness Shriti Vadera is appointed chair of Santander UK, making her the first woman to chair a major British bank. Vadera, a former Labour minister, will receive £650,000 a year for a three-day week. She will also continue her roles as a non-executive of drugs group AstraZeneca and mining company BHP, two of the largest companies in the FTSE 100. Baroness Shriti Vadera
No returns accepted –
US firm Astobiotic launches the first postal service to send items to the moon – with prices ranging from $460 to $26,000.
The firm, which calls the service MoonMail, says it can give over entire missions for larger items that need more shipping space and hopes to fund the development of its lunar landing by offering to take items. (See video of the day)
Ben Haenow wins X Factor 2014 –
Ben Haenow has been named this year’s UK X Factor winner after going head-to-head with Fleur East in the 2014 final at Wembley Arena. The singer from Croydon, south London, was chosen by a public vote with over 10 million votes cast. Mel B the former Spice Girl and one of the four judges, missed the final due to illness. Tulisa Contostavlos stood in as her replacement. Mel B
FIFA dismiss complaints over report –
A complaint by US lawyer Michael Garcia who spent two years investigating World Cup corruption claims for Fifa has been dismissed by football’s governing body. Garcia’s findings were released as a 42-page summary by FIFA-appointed independent judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. Garcia said his summary was “incomplete and erroneous”. There have been calls to release the full report in the wake of Garcia’s complaint, but FIFA president Sepp Blater has said it cannot do so for legal reasons. Sepp Blatter at the 2014 FIFA Tournament Announcement in 2007
Indecent proposal –
A Dutchman’s attempt at a romantic wedding proposal using a mobile crane has resulted in the crane falling over and smashing into a neighbour’s roof. The man had rented a crane in the central town of Ijsselstein to descend in front of his girlfriend’s bedroom window, play her a song and ask her to marry him. Despite the disaster, in which no-one was hurt, his girlfriend accepted his offer.
Half a million going to university in UK –
In 2014, for the first time, the number of UK university entrants passed 500,000. Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were allocated university places, compared with 26% of men, the widest ever gap, making women a third more likely to enter higher education than men, Ucas admissions service figures show.
Extreme deep sea fishing –
The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor, on an international expedition to the Mariana Trench has discovered a strange-looking creature, new to science, 8,145m beneath the waves, beating the previous depth record by nearly 500m.
Rotten to the core –
Senior Apple executive Jeff Williams says the company is “deeply offended” by a BBC Panorama investigation into conditions for workers involved in manufacturing its devices. Rules on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were routinely breached, the programme witnessed.
Shootings at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris –
Gunmen have attacked the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killing 12 and wounding 4. Witnesses report the gunmen shouted “we have avenged the Prophet. Editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier is among the dead. Stephane Charbonnier
Second shooting in Paris –
Possibly connected with the Charlie Hebdo attack, a gunmen has killed a policewoman and seriously injured a civilian in the south of Paris.
LA Galaxy get their man –
Los Angeles Galaxy have confirmed that Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard will the club in July 2015. The former England midfielder, 34, will play for the Major League Soccer club after his contract at Anfield expires. Gerrard, is the second England captain to join LA Galaxy, after David Beckham played for them between 2007 and 2012.
Fast charger –
A new kind of battery charger has been revealed by Israeli start-up Storedot CEO Doron Myersdorf at the CES exhibition in Las Vegas that can recharge a modern smartphone in less time than it takes to boil a kettle. However the phone needs to have a completely new type of battery, which contains specially synthesised organic molecules so existing phones cannot be used.
Frantic Swiss franc trading –
The Swiss franc has increased in value over the Euro by 30% from 1.20 to the euro to 0.80 in just 30 minutes before settling back at 1.03 Swiss francs to 1 euro. The frantic trading that caused this was a result of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoning the cap linking the two currencies together that had been in place since September 2011. At the same time SNB reduced a key interest rate from -0.25% to -0.75%, effectively increasing the amount investors have to pay to hold Swiss deposits with no return on investment.
Google glaze over –
Google announce that they are to stop making the $1500 Google Glass smart glasses and start developing “future versions of Glass”. Google Glass was originally launched in the US in 2013.
Ginola for President? –
Former French football international and hair product model David Ginola announces he will run for the presidency of FIFA against Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein but he will need the support of 5 football associations to enter the race. Ginola is being paid £250,000 by betting firm Paddy Power, who deny the campaign was a publicity stunt. David Ginola
Date a Neanderthal –
A science centre in Bristol, England is to host a “Neanderthal speed dating” event and is looking for two actors to improvise “early hominids” and will supply “suitable wigs and fur”. The adult-only Valentine’s evening would give visitors a chance to think about whether they would date “homo neanderthalensis”.
Zayn Malik solo track taken down after angry response from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson –
A song featuring Zayn Malik without the rest of One Direction has been taken down, less than a day after it was shared on Twitter. Producer Naughty Boy posted a link to the track early on Tuesday, with the words “let the music do the talking”. It came less than a week after Zayn confirmed he was quitting 1D. Earlier on, the band’s Louis Tomlinson accused Naughty Boy of being “inconsiderate” to fans after he retweeted a video about Zayn. [BBC] Louis’ tweet
Top Gear: Richard Hammond and James May no longer work for the BBC –
James May and Richard Hammond are out of contract with the BBC from midnight, after declining to sign new deals to present the next series of Top Gear. The pair are now free agents, meaning rival broadcasters can approach them with job offers. Hammond has tweeted that he is “not ready for retirement”. May does not seem in a great hurry to find new employment, he is making a shepherds pie. [Daily Telegraph]
Google Maps launches PacMan on real streets –
Google has launched an April Fool’s Day version of Google Maps that allows users to play the classic arcade game Pac-Man on real streets. Google Map users can access the Pac-Man version by clicking on the icon in the bottom corner of the screen and then using their keyboard to play the game. The game is accessible on desktop computers and on the Google Maps app. It allows users to play the famous game around the world’s most recognisable streets or your own neighbourhood. At some famous locations, such as the area around the Taj Mahal and the Arc de Triomphe, Google has added a Pac-Man marker that also launches the game because the areas appear perfectly matched to the original Pac-Man layout. [Daily Telegraph]
Elon Musk’s $1bn tweet: news of secret product line sees Tesla shares soar –
Elon Musk, the billionaire technology entrepreneur, has announced a “major” new Tesla product line that is “not a car”, in a cryptic tweet which has left millions guessing. The CEO’s news sparked the hashtag #TeslaNewProductGuesses, with guesses ranging from a time machine to a real-life Iron Man suit. Shares in the electric car jumped to nearly 4 percent in just 10 minutes – adding a staggering $900 million (£600 million) to the company’s market cap in just 115 characters. The tweet went out to his 1.9 million followers and had thousands of retweets within an hour. [Daily Telegraph] Elon Musk
Video of the Day –
David Beckham and James Corden’s New Underwear Line
Madonna ‘snogs’ Drake during his set at Coachella 2015 –
This year’s event was headlined by AC/DC, Jack White and Drake. It was some of the unannounced acts that got people talking though. Madonna made an appearance during Drake’s headline set after he performed his track called Madonna, which was released on his If You’re Reading This mixtape. She then sang Human Nature and Hung Up. And, not being one to make an appearance without attracting headlines, she then kissed Drake, A LOT, said the words “I’m Madonna” and walked off the stage. [BBC] Madonna
Robbie Williams abandons basement plans to appease Jimmy Page –
Robbie Williams has scaled back plans to revamp his multi-million pound home following a public spat with neighbour Jimmy Page. The 41-year-old star has ditched the proposal for a two-storey basement extension under the garden and glass studio at the top of his house. The Take That singer angered the veteran rocker with ambitious proposals for the 46-room mansion, which was previously owned by the late film director Michael Winner. [Daily Telegraph] Robbie Williams
Marco Rubio ‘announces US presidential bid’ –
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has told donors that he will run for the Republican nomination for US president in 2016, US media report. Mr Rubio, 43, said on a conference call he was “uniquely qualified” to bring the party into the future. He is the third Republican to officially announce a candidacy after Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Mr Rubio is expected to make a formal announcement at a political rally in Miami later on Monday.
It comes a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would stand for the Democratic nomination. [BBC] Marco Rubio
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, win University Challenge –
255-105: The Cambridge college beat Magdalen College, Oxford, in the BBC’s quick fire quiz’s grand final. Ted Loveday wearing a cream cable-nit jumper proved the star resulting in tweets like this-
Uptown Funk credits Oops Up Side Your Head writers –
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars have given The Gap Band a writing credit on their huge hit Uptown Funk, due to its similarities with their 1979 track Oops Up Side Your Head. Uptown Funk, which topped the UK chart for seven weeks and the US chart for 14, originally had six songwriters. The five writers of The Gap Band’s hit were added earlier this week, according to RCA documents seen by Billboard. It’s said to have followed a claim from publisher Minder Music on their behalf. The much-publicised Blurred Lines court case in March saw a jury order the track’s writers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate $7.4m (£4.8m) in damages because of its similarities with Gaye’s 1977 hit Got to Give It Up. [BBC] See Videos of the Day Bruno Mars
TV star Sofia Vergara in battle over frozen embryos –
Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara is in a legal battle with her former fiance, who wants to have children from the couple’s frozen embryos.
Nick Loeb said he wants a surrogate to carry and give birth to two embryos he and Vergara created through in vitro fertilisation before they split up. He said the actress, who plays Gloria in the ABC comedy, has refused. Vergara, who has been named the highest-earning actress on TV for the last three years, declined to comment. [BBC] Sofia Vergara
Ben E King: R&B legend dies at 76 –
Ben E King, the soul and R&B singer best known for the classic song Stand By Me, has died aged 76. His publicist confirmed to The Telegraph that he died of natural causes on Thursday. The singer, loved around the world for the 1961 hit, rose to fame in the late 1950 with The Drifters, with songs including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me. The R&B singer went on to further success with Spanish Harlem, I (Who Have Nothing), and Don’t Play That Song (You Lied). [Daily Telegraph] (See List of The Day)
Videos of the Day –
Uptown Funk compared with Oops Upside Your Head –
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Salman Khan: Bollywood star guilty in hit-and-run case –
An Indian court has found Bollywood star Salman Khan guilty of killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run driving incident in Mumbai. The man was among five people who were run over in the incident. The actor was charged with culpable homicide. Khan had said his driver was behind the wheel, but the judge said the actor was driving the car and was under the influence of alcohol at the time. His sentence is still to be announced. Khan faces up to 10 years in jail. Legal experts say the actor is bound to appeal against the verdict and the case is likely to go on for many more years. [BBC] [Later in the year Khan was cleared of the charges] Salman Khan
Django Unchained actress to apologise to police –
An actress investigated by police after a report she had sex in a car in public must apologise to officers, after admitting disturbing the peace.
Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts had initially claimed police actions last September were racially motivated. Watts was handcuffed and briefly detained during the incident, after LA Police responded to a call about “indecent exposure”. Prosecutors made a deal to drop charges of committing a lewd act in public. The pair had been facing up to six months in jail and a $1,000 (£659) fine if convicted of committing a lewd act in public. [BBC]
Kitchen microwaves baffle Australian space scientists –
After 17 years of fruitlessly searching the galaxy, Australian scientists have discovered the source of mysterious radio signals hitting a telescope. It turns out the source was their own kitchen microwaves. PhD student Emily Petroff made the discovery at the Parkes telescope, after noticing that the signals were only received during business hours. The rays, known as “perytons”, were emitted when impatient staff opened the microwave door prematurely. [BBC]
50 Shades of Subterfuge: Rape charges as ‘male model’ offering sex in dark turns out to be balding 68-year-old –
A Frenchman masquerading as a 37-year old “male model” offering women 50 Shades of Grey-type sex dates in the dark is facing rape charges after they belatedly discovered he was a short, fat and balding 68-year old. A man calling himself Anthony Laroche attracted much female interest on several dating websites after depicting himself as a young, mysterious prince charming with a photo highlighting his smouldering gaze, square jaw and designer stubble. Adding spice to the proceedings, “Anthony” proposed a “blind” date in which the two total strangers had sex in the dark on their first encounter at his flat in Nice, southern France. [Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
Arnold Acts Out His Films In 6 Minutes – The Late Late Show with James Corden
British Election 2015: Exit poll puts Tories close to majority –
The Conservatives are set to be the largest party in the Commons but just short of a majority, according to the general election exit poll. The survey taken at polling stations across the UK suggests the Tories will get 316 MPs to Labour’s 239 when all the results have been counted. It suggests the Lib Dems will get 10 MPs, the SNP 58, Plaid Cymru 4, UKIP 2 and the Greens two. The exit poll was conducted by NOP/MORI for the BBC, ITV and Sky. [BBC] See List of the Day for previous election actual results BBC Exit Polls
Putin’s new tank designed to ‘outclass the West’ breaks down –
A new Russian tank announced with much fanfare as superior to Western machines stalled during a dress rehearsal for Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on Thursday. The T-14 Armata, making only its second public appearance, ground to a halt on Red Square, opposite Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia’s defence minster, was reportedly forced to approach the tank to find out what had happened; servicemen then tried to hook it up to another military vehicle and tow it away. [Daily Telegraph]
Sam Smith to have surgery on vocal cords –
Singer Sam Smith has told his fans he needs “surgery” on his vocal cords. The 22-year-old singer pulled out of the rest of his Australian tour last week, after doctors discovered a haemorrhage on the vocal cords. Smith has since flown to the United States to see a specialist. In a post on Twitter, he said: “I am very upset to announce I have been battling to get my vocal cords better [over] the last 10 days but unfortunately they haven’t recovered and I’m going to need surgery.” [Daily Telegraph] Sam Smith
Rogue Russian spacecraft burns up in Earth’s atmosphere –
The Russian space agency says that its out-of-control spacecraft has burnt up as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Re-entry was over the Pacific, it said, and only a few fragments were expected to hit the sea. The unmanned cargo ship was launched from Kazakhstan on 28 April, but control was lost soon afterwards. The Progress M-27M was carrying more than three tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station. A Roscosmos spokesman told Reuters that the loss was valued at 2.59 billion roubles ($50.7m; £32.9m). [BBC] The International Space Station
Nigella Lawson: US show The Taste axed by ABC –
Nigella Lawson’s US cookery show The Taste has been axed by TV network ABC after two series, following a dramatic ratings slump. The cooking competition lost more than half its viewers, falling from highs of seven million to less than three million viewers on New Year’s Day. Channel 4 axed the UK version of The Taste last year after just one series. [BBC] Nigella Lawson
Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record –
Picasso’s Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $179.3m (£115m) at Christie’s in New York. Eleven minutes of prolonged bidding from telephone buyers preceded the final sale – for much more than its pre-sale estimate of $140m. The evening sale also featured Alberto Giacometti’s life-size sculpture Pointing Man, which set a record as the most expensive sculpture, at $141.3m. The buyers chose to remain anonymous. The Picasso oil painting is a vibrant, cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a 15-work series the Spanish artist created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A to O. [BBC] See Video of the Day Picasso’s Women of Algiers
Ukip rejects Nigel Farage’s resignation as party leader –
Nigel Farage is to stay on as leader of the UK Independence Party after the party’s ruling board rejected his resignation. Mr Farage quit as Ukip leader last Friday, delivering on a pledge to resign if he failed to be elected as leader of South Thanet. The news risks making Ukip into a laughing stock because Mr Farage had raised the stakes about his future by insisting he would resign. Mr Farage’s decision to stay on also raises questions over whether Douglas Carswell, Ukip’s only MP, will quit the party to become an independent MP after he suggested Mr Farage should not lead Ukip again. Mr Carswell later repeatedly refused to endorse Mr Farage’s return to the Ukip leadership after speaking at an event in central London. [Daily Telegraph] Nigel Farage
James Corden can’t believe the Late Late Show is still on the air –
James Corden’s appearance at the Bafta TV awards was just a flying visit. In fact, his time on home soil (19 hours) was less than the time he spent in the sky travelling to and from Los Angeles for it (23 hours). “I’ve genuinely had some of the best nights of my life at this event,” he told us on the red carpet. Since he took over the Late Late Show in March, America’s latest chat show host has been grabbing headlines with his big name guests and viral videos. But he admitted to Newsbeat that it’s “mostly mystifying” as to why the show is still on the air. “No-one could have predicted the show would be received in such a manner. It’s beyond all of our wildest dreams.” [BBC] James-Corden
David Cameron unveils ‘blue collar’ Cabinet –
David Cameron has unveiled his “blue collar Cabinet” as he promoted the son of a milkman, the daughter of a garage-owner and the Tory Party’s “champion of the people” to senior Government roles. In a bid to put making the Conservatives “the real party for working people” at the centre of the next five years of Government, Mr Cameron promoted Robert Halfon, Sajid Javid, Greg Clark and Priti Patel to senior ministerial roles. It means that 43 per cent of Cabinet ministers were educated in comprehensive schools – a rise from 21 per cent in Mr Cameron’s first Coalition Cabinet in 2010. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day for the complete Conservative cabinet.
Video of the Day –
The bidding for the most expensive painting in the world –
Record fines for currency market fix –
Five of the world’s largest banks are to pay fines totalling $5.7bn (£3.6bn) for charges including manipulating the foreign exchange market.
Four of the banks – JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup and RBS – have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges. The fifth, UBS, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates. Barclays was fined the most, $2.4bn, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators. Barclays is also sacking eight employees involved in the scheme. [BBC]
Chinese professor accused in ‘Breaking Bad’ drugs plot –
Police in China have arrested a chemistry professor for his part in producing a psychoactive drug in a case that has been likened to US crime drama Breaking Bad. State agency Xinhua said 17 people were arrested including a Xian university professor alleged to have helped provide the recipe for methcathinone. Police seized 128kg (282lb) of the drug and more than 5m yuan ($806,095; £519,450). The drug lab was raided last year. [BBC]
David Letterman saluted by stars on final Late Show –
Four US presidents have joined stars including Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld and Foo Fighters to pay tribute to TV host David Letterman on his final late night talk show. Letterman has bowed out after 33 years and 6,028 late-night broadcasts.He joked that physicist Stephen Hawking had calculated it “works out to about eight minutes of laughter”.He gave emotional thanks to his family, crew and viewers, saying: “There’s nothing I can ever do to repay you.”The 68-year-old began his late-night career on NBC in 1982, before moving to CBS’s Late Show in 1993.[BBC] See Video of the Day and List of the Day. David Letterman
Video of the Day –
Celebrity Top Ten Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say To David Letterman
List of the day –
David Letterman’s final Top Ten list – “Top 10 things I’ve always wanted to say to Dave:”
10. Alec Baldwin: “Of all the talk shows, yours is the most geographically convenient to my home.”
9. Barbara Walters: “Did you know you wear the same cologne as Muammar Qaddafi?”
8. Steve Martin: Your extensive plastic surgery was a necessity…and a mistake.”
7. Jerry Seinfeld: “I have no idea what I’ll do when you go off the air. You know what, I just thought of something: I’ll be fine.”
6. Jim Carrey: “Honestly Dave, I’ve always found you to be a bit of an over-actor.” (He gesticulated wildly).
5. Chris Rock: “I’m just glad your show is being given to another white guy.” (Dave: “You know, I had nothing to do with that.”)
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus: “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.” (Seinfeld smirks). (Dave: “I had nothing to do with that either.”)
3. Peyton Manning: “Dave, you are to comedy what I am to comedy.”
2. Tina Fey: “Thanks for finally proving men can be funny.”
1. Bill Murray: “Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you.”
Sweden wins Eurovision Song Contest –
Unabashed commercial dance music triumphed over kitsch and politics, as Sweden swept to its sixth victory in Eurovision, making it the most successful country in Eurovision history behind Ireland. Måns Zelmerlöw, a leather trousered hunk, with his pop anthem Heroes, beat off stiff competition from Russian (bolstered by some neighbourly votes from Eastern European nations) and Italy. Sweden won 365 points, while Russia, in second, got 303. [Daily Telegraph] Unfortunately after Eurovision went off air it was revealed that two countries had been disqualified. Montengro and Macedonia’s voting results have been disqualified after it was discovered the two countries used votes from the televoting to account for 100% of the country’s votes, rather than 50% with 50% coming from a jury, as is required. [Daily Mirror] See Video of the Day and List of the Day Måns_Zelmerlöw from Sweden
Ireland becomes first country to legalise same-sex marriage by popular vote –
Ireland has voted by a huge majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by popular vote in a move hailed as a social revolution and welcomed around the world. Some 62% of the Irish Republic’s electorate voted in favour of gay marriage. The result means that a republic once dominated by the Catholic church ignored the instructions of its cardinals and bishops. The huge Yes vote marks another milestone in Ireland’s journey towards a more liberal, secular society. Out of an electorate of more than 3 million, 1,201,607 backed gay marriage, while 734,300 voters said No. The result prompted a massive street party around the gay district of central Dublin close to the national count centre. [The Guardian]
Spanish La Liga ends with Barcelona on top but Cristiano Ronaldo with 61 goals –
Cristiano Ronaldo finished with a season’s best goals tally of 61 as his first-half hat-trick helped Real Madrid end their season by hammering Getafe 7-1. The Portuguese forward’s haul is one more than the 60 he scored in 2011-12. Barcelona had already won the title and said adios to their captain Xavi Hernández who has won eight La Liga titles with the side after joing the club aged 11 in 1991. See List of the Day 2 Xavi Hernández
Banned number plates revealed: VA61ANA banned but PEN15 allowed –
The DVLA has revealed its entire catalogue of forbidden car number plates – including some amusing selections as well as surprising omissions. It seems motorists can drive a PEN15, but not a VA61ANA, and while BL03 JOB is forbidden ORG45M is fine. The list of personalised plates the DVLA believes to be in poor taste runs to 46 pages and includes religious or homophobic words. [Daily Telegraph] Banned number plates – how they might look
Video of the Day –
Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes (Sweden) – LIVE at Eurovision 2015 Grand Final
Fifa officials corrupted football – US prosecutors –
US prosecutors have accused several officials from football’s governing body Fifa of racketeering, fraud and money laundering involving tens of millions of dollars over 24 years. Prosecutors said they had discovered a dozen schemes, including one awarding the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.
Fourteen people have been indicted, with seven held in Zurich on Wednesday. Those indicted in the US case are accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated at more than $150m (£97m) over a 24-year period beginning in 1991. [BBC] President Sepp Blatter has not been implicated by the US Presecutors. In December 2014 a complaint by US lawyer Michael Garcia who spent two years investigating World Cup corruption claims for Fifa was dismissed by football’s governing body. Sepp Blatter at the 2014 FIFA Tournament Announcement in 2007
London is getting a cannabis-inspired restaurant –
Grub Club and the chefs at Grub London have teamed up to create ‘Cannabistro’, a two night pop-up event coming to London in June.Diners at London’s first weed-themed restaurant will be treated to a four-course gourmet meal of dishes inspired by “hazy memories of teenage years combined with the clichés of getting high – ‘The Way Up’ – and coming down – ‘The Munchies’.” [Daily Telegraph]
SpaceX cleared for US military launches –
Billionaire Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX has won long-waited approval from the US Air Force to launch military satellites, opening the way to a lucrative market that has been a virtual monopoly for a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture. With the certification, California-based SpaceX can now compete against the United Launch Alliance – the giant Boeing-Lockheed joint venture – for defence contracts valued at about $9.5bn over the next five years. In January 2015 Musk announced that he will build a test track for his “Hyperloop” transport system that could theoretically travel at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour. [news24.com] Elon Musk
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A Guy’s Understanding of Women’s Underwear – Robbie Sherrard
At least 12 people, associated with the Kangleyuan Rest Home in the Chinese city of Pingdingshan in Henan province which was destroyed by fire with the loss of 38 lives, are detained for questioning. (AP)
Sir Christopher Lee death announced –
In one of his final interviews, Sir Christopher Lee declared his intention never to retire. “When I die, I want to die with my boots on,” he said.
The actor remained true to his word. He was preparing for his latest film role – a drama called The 11th, co-starring Uma Thurman – when he died on Sunday morning [June 7, 2015] at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Sir Christopher was one of the greats of the 20th century, but his career hit new heights in the last 15 years of his life. He will be best remembered by those of a certain age for playing Count Dracula in his Hammer Horror days, but to younger film fans he was a star of two of the biggest franchises ever made: Saruman in Lord of the Rings and Count Dooku in Star Wars. [Daily Telegraph] He appeared in over 200 films (See List of the Day) Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)
Female scientists post ‘distractingly sexy’ photos –
Female scientists have been sharing “distractingly sexy” photos of themselves after a feminist website encouraged them to respond to comments by a Nobel laureate. Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt was roundly criticised when he detailed his thoughts about the “trouble with girls” at a conference of science journalists. “Three things happen when they are in the lab,” he said, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” He said his comments were meant to be “light-hearted, ironic comment”, but whatever the intention, it went over like a heavy metallic dirigible in a field with some widely acknowledged gender issues. Hunt has now resigned from his position at University College London. On Thursday the hashtag #DistractinglySexy began taking off, with more than 10,000 tweets in a matter of hours. [BBC Trending] See Top Twitter Trends (UK)
Video of the Day –
Saruman the White – from Lord of the Rings [from Youtube]
List of the Day –
Sir Christopher Lee film appearances (including voiceovers) [List from Wikipedia]
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Ashkelon region fell short and did not land in Israel with Palestinian sources indicating it may have hit a house. There were no immediate reports of injuries, or claims of responsibility. (Times of Israel)
Federal Interior Ministry of Pakistan has sealed the offices of the NGO Save the Children in Pakistan and issued order for its foreign staff to leave the country within 15 days on account of the NGO’s anti-Pakistan activities. (Express Tribune).
Cambridge University professor of Lego proposed –
A professor of Lego could soon be in post at Cambridge University. The Lego Foundation has provided the university with £2.5m to fund a Lego Professorship of Play in Education, Development and Learning. It has also provided £1.5m to support a play research centre in the education faculty, which will be led by the Lego professor. The Lego professorship post would be “open to all those whose work falls within the general field of the title of the office”, the university said. [BBC]
Texan wrestling star Dusty Rhodes dies at 69 –
One of wrestling’s most colourful stars, Dusty Rhodes, the self-styled “American Dream”, has died aged 69. The death of Virgil Runnels, which was his real name, was announced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). His long and glittering career, which began in the late 1960s, earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. “Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit,” said WWE. [BBC] Dusty Rhodes
Spain Princess Cristina loses title amid fraud inquiry –
King Felipe VI of Spain has removed the title “Duchess of Palma” from his sister, Princess Cristina, who is to go on trial charged with tax evasion. She was granted the title in 1997 when she married Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player who is also accused of tax evasion. Princess Cristina had asked the king to remove her title, her lawyer said. But the royal palace said the king made the decision before seeing her request. She denies the tax fraud charges. [BBC] Princess Cristina
White woman ‘posed as black civil right leader’ in years-long deception –
The name of a local civil rights leader in the US northwest is trending worldwide after her parents told the media that she is a white woman who has been passing herself off as black for years. [BBC Trending] See Top Twitter Trends.
Rachel Dolezal, 37, has been the head of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, or NAACP, in Spokane, Washington, since January. But her parents said Ms Dolezal is of German, Czech, and Swedish descent with a smattering of Native American ancestry. Mr and Mrs Dolezal said their daughter had black siblings who were adopted and that she went to school in Mississippi, where the family were part of a mainly black community. But they said she only began to claim African descent after divorcing her husband, who was also black, in 2004. Her mother, Ruthanne, said Ms Dolezal began to “disguise herself” in 2006 or 2007. [Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
Dave Grohl, Lead singer of the Foo Fighters breaks his leg in a fall on stage in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Israel Defense Forces Advocate General has announced criminal investigations into three more incidents from Operation Protective Edge. Of the 190 incidents reported to the IDF, investigations have been completed on 105, with seven leading to criminal investigations.(YNet)
The death toll from the South Korean MERS outbreak rises to 11 with 126 people now diagnosed with the disease but the number of people inquarantine falls slightly to 3,680. Two hospitals have closed as a result of the outbreak and the Bank of Korea has lowered interest rates due to concerns about effects of the outbreak on the economy. (Yonhap), (CNN)
Apple Music changes policy after Taylor Swift stand –
Apple Music has reversed its payment policy, a day after the singer Taylor Swift said she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989. In an open letter to Apple, Swift said she was withholding the record as she was unhappy with the three-month free trial offered to subscribers. Now Apple says it will pay artists for music streamed during trial periods. “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple,” tweeted executive Eddy Cue. Mr Cue said he did not know if the Shake It Off singer would now make her album available on Apple Music – but he praised her for taking a stand. “When I woke up this morning and I saw Taylor’s note that she had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change,” he told Associated Press. [BBC] Eddie Cue Tweet
Skinny jeans given health warning –
A 35-year-old woman had to be cut out of a pair after her calves ballooned in size, they described in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. She had spent hours squatting to empty cupboards for a house move in Australia. By evening, her feet were numb and she found it hard to walk. Doctors believe the woman developed a condition called compartment syndrome, made worse by her skinny jeans. Compartment syndrome is a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within an enclosed bundle of muscles – in this case, the calves. The condition caused the woman to trip and fall and, unable to get up, she then spent several hours lying on the ground. [BBC]
Vine’s Carter Reynolds pressures his ex for oral sex in leaked video –
An x-rated video of Vine star Carter Reynolds leaked Sunday that purportedly shows him pressuring his ex-girlfriend for oral sex, raising issues of consent and spurring Internet backlash. The video is filmed from Reynolds’ point of view, with his pants pulled down and his erect penis exposed. His ex-girlfriend, Instagram celeb Maggie Lindemann, tells him “I don’t think I can” and repeatedly stresses “I am really uncomfortable.” Reynolds tells her to “do it,” and “just pretend (the camera) isn’t there.” Lindemann eventually curls up and stops looking at the camera. It ends with Reynolds saying, “Oh my gosh, Maggie.” Lindemann is 16 years old, and Reynolds recently turned 19, leaving issues of consent and statutory rape on the table depending when and where the clip was filmed, as well as child pornography issues depending on how old Reynolds is in the video. [Daily Dot] “Carter” tops Twitter trends Worldwide – See Top Twitter Trends below Carter Reynolds Tweet @Carterreynolds
At least 20 people are killed after a female suicide bomber attacks a fish market in Nigeria’s north-eastern city of Maiduguri. The militant Islamist group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack. (BBC)
Robot kills man at Volkswagen plant in Germany –
A robot has killed a man at a Volkswagen car factory in Germany. The 22-year-old worker died from injuries he sustained when he was trapped by a robotic arm and crushed against a metal plate. The man, who has not been named, was part of a team that was setting up the automated machinery at the factory in Kassel, north of Frankfurt, according to Volkswagen. The robot in question is a mechanical arm that moves car parts into place, said Heiko Hillwig, a spokesman for the company. [Daily Telegraph]
Wimbledon 2015: Rafael Nadal dumped out of tournament by inspired Dustin Brown –
Wimbledon has a new cult hero. Dustin Brown, in a blur of flying dreadlocks and pure inspiration, on Thursday night produced one of the most thrilling upsets ever witnessed on these lawns by defeating the great Rafael Nadal in four breathlessly brilliant sets. With a combination of Sampras-esque serving and improvised groundstrokes that would not have looked out of place on the local park courts, the Jamaican-born German, who enraptured Centre Court by his Rastafarian cool, found an abundance of raw adrenalin to close out his astonishing 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph. [Daily Telegraph] See Top Twitter Trends Dustin Brown
Selfies to replace passwords in Mastercard online payments trial –
Mastercard is testing new app that could allow customers to make purchases online by taking a selfie rather than entering a password. Currently, Mastercard customers use a system called SecureCode to verify their identity while shopping online. This requires them to enter a password at the point of sale. Participants in Mastercard’s trial will be prompted to snap a photograph of their face using the Mastercard app on their smartphone at the online checkout point, rather than entering a password. This app then converts the photo into 1s and 0s using facial recognition technology, and transmits it over the internet to MasterCard, which compares it with a stored code representing the cardholder’s face. If the two codes match up, then the purchase will be approved. [Daily Telegraph]
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Wingsuit Flight Through 2 Meter Cave – Uli Emanuele By GoPro Original Productions
The Kim Nirvana ferry capsizes off the Philippines en route from the city of Ormoc to Camotes island with 173 people onboard. So far at least 33 people are confirmed dead while at least 50 people have been rescued. (AFP via ABC Online), (BBC)
Windows 10 launch: Microsoft releases new operating system –
Microsoft starts rolling out its new operating system, Windows 10, to customers around the world today, with members of its ‘Insider’ programme being the first to receive the free upgrade. Following a hostile reception to Windows 8, which launched in 2012 and introduced the concept of ‘live tiles’ for touch-based computing, Microsoft decided to bypass Windows 9 and jump straight to Windows 10, combining what it describes as the “best elements” of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Live tiles still feature in Windows 10, offering shortcuts to the user’s favourite applications, but are far less obtrusive than in Windows 8. Microsoft has also brought back the Start menu from Windows 7, allowing users to browse through a list of their most-used programs. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day
Gerard Depardieu banned from Ukraine for supporting Russia over Crimea –
Gerard Depardieu has been banned from Ukraine for five years for making public comments suggesting he supported Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The Ukrainian Security Service, the country’s main successor agency to the KGB, said the 66-year old French film star had been added to a blacklist of public figures considered hostile to Ukraine in its on-going confrontation with Russia. “The SBU has decided to ban Mr Depardieu for 5 years on the recommendation of the ministry of culture,” agency spokesman Elena Gitlyanskaya said. [Daily Telegraph] Gerard Depardieu
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1 Man + 12 Hairstyles
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Windows Operating Systems history [from Wikipedia]
Malik Ishaq, leader of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, is killed during a shootout in which supporters of the group ambushed a prisoner convoy. The shootout killed 13 of the attackers, injured six police officers, and also killed two of Ishaq’s sons. (New York Times)
Disasters and accidents
The Wragg Fire in Northern California continues to burn at 80% containment with over 6,991 acres being destroyed and mandatory evacuations.(KQED)
Iran city hits suffocating heat index of 165 degrees, near world record –
Wherever you live or happen to travel to, never complain about the heat and humidity again. In the city of Bandar Mahshahr (population of about 110,000 as of 2010), the air felt like a searing 165 degrees (74 Celsius) today factoring in the humidity.
Although there are no official records of heat indices, this is second highest level we have ever seen reported. To achieve today’s astronomical heat index level of 165, Bandar Mahshahr’s actual air temperature registered 115 degrees (46 Celsius) with an astonishing dew point temperature of 90 (32 Celsius). [Washington Post]
Nuns lose court bid to block convent sale to Katy Perry –
Judge says California nuns’ attempt to sell the $15 million property to a restaurateur, instead of the pop star, is “invalid”. A pair of nuns have suffered a major setback in their legal battle to stop the sale of their convent to pop star Katy Perry. Sisters Rita Callanan, 77, and Catherine Rose Holzman, 86, dressed in blue habits, looked disappointed as the ruling was given in the very temporal surroundings of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The bespectacled Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary had objected to a plan by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, to sell the eight-acre property to Miss Perry, purveyor of risque hits like I Kissed A Girl. [Daily Telegraph]See July 1 2015 Katy Perry
MH370 search: key questions as plane debris ‘found’ –
A metallic object described as six to nine feet long and three feet wide was found on a beach on the east coast of Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The object had the code number “BB670” on it. Locals said the object had shells on it and appeared to have been in the water for some time. There are two main reasons investigators are confident the part comes from the missing MH370 aircraft. First, aviation experts say the object appears to be from a Boeing 777 – and no other such aircraft is believed to have gone missing in the region. If the object is from MH370, it will mark the first sign of the Boeing 777 since it disappeared on March 8 2014. But such confirmation will come as difficult news for the families of the 239 passengers who were on aboard. [Daily Telegraph]
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Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters Rockin1000 Official Video
1000 musicians play Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters to ask Dave Grohl to come and play in Cesena, Italy