Petra Kvitova wins Wimbledon Ladies title –
Czech Petra Kvitova beats Canadian Eugenie Bouchard to win the Wimbledon Ladies singles title in just 55 minutes 6-3 6-0. >Petra Kvitova Eugenie Bouchard
Sexy tennis dress sold for £15,000 –
Items featured in the 1970s Tennis Girl poster that sold over 2 million copies have been auctioned for £15,000. The tennis racquet from the photo, the dress, a 1979 poster and a 1980s limited edition canvas print had a guide price of just £2,000. The picture of Fiona Butler lifting her tennis dress to reveal her bare bottom was taken by her then boyfriend Martin Elliot at Birmingham University in 1976 and sold by Athena.
The original Tennis Girl image. Copyright is owned by Martin Elliott
Scottish referendum takes place –
Scotland independence referendum takes place with the result looking very uncertain. Tennis player Andy Murray used Twitter to back the Yes vote along with actor Sean Connery. Those backing the No vote and wanting Scotland to remain part of the UK include Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Mick Jagger, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, comedian Eddie Izzard, actresses Helena Bonham-Carter and Dame Judi Dench, Simon Cowell, and Stephen Hawking all of whom signed a letter urging Scotland to stay in the union. The result will be known tomorrow. Andy Murray tweet.
Ig Nobel prizes announced –
The annual Ig Nobel prizes awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research have picked out some classic scientific investigations again. Researchers who measured the slipperiness of banana peels, why pork strips appear to stop nosebleeds, and how reindeer react to humans in polar bear suits were among the winners. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS 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.
US Central Command twitter account hacked –
The Twitter and YouTube accounts of US Central Command (US Centcom)have been hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State. A message signed by Isis said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.” and military documents appeared on the feed. The Twitter account was later taken down.
Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or –
Real Madrid’s Christiano Ronaldo has been awarded football’s Ballon d’Or or World Player of the Year Award. Votes are cast by the coaches and captains of all international teams and some selected journalists. The top three players were: Cristiano Ronaldo: 37.66%; Lionel Messi: 15.76%; Manuel Neuer: 15.72%. The winner of the women’s title was Nadine Kessler, the Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder. The Puskas award for goal of the year was awarded to Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez for his volley against Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Joachim Low the manager of World Cup winners Germany won coach of the year. Christiano Ronaldo
Branson rescues sailor –
Four-time Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie and his new wife Georgie Thompson have been rescued by Sir Richard Branson. The couple, who were sailing around Branson’s Necker Island, got into trouble when their boat developed a problem with the sail.
US Cop gets 14 million hits singing to Taylor Swift in car –
A policeman with Dover Force in Delaware has received over 17 million views of a YouTube video showing him singing along to the Taylor Swift song “Shake It Off”. The video (see below) has gained mix reactions but Taylor Swift gave it her seal of approval through her Twitter account to her 51 million followers:
Actress Anne Kirkbride dies –
She played Deidre Barlow in the British soap Coronation Street since November 20th 1972 and died at the age of 60.
Takes a hack to spot a hack –
Two newspapers, The New York Times and Germany’s De Spiegel report that the US knew North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures hack because it had secretly infiltrated the country’s computer networks in 2010. The NY Times believe that software planted by the US intelligence in North Korea’s computers alerted them to hacking activity on Sony.
Sun drops Page 3 topless images –
For 44 years the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun has by synonymous with a large topless picture of a model but that has come to an end today when a picture of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing lingerie appeared. The paper is reported to be planning to reinstate the topless feature if sales drop. Among those who found fame were Linda Lusardi, Jilly Johnson and Samantha Fox. Samantha Fox
Patriots win the Super Bowl –
The New England Patriots become the first team in Super Bowl history to trail by double digits in the second half and win Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots took the lead from the Seattle Seahawks with two minutes left and held on for a 28-24 victory. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who completed a Super Bowl record 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions, was named Super Bowl MVP. The half-time show was fronted by Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot. Tom Brady
Djokovic defeats Murray to win Aussie Open again –
Novak Djokovic wins his fifth Australian Open, beating Andy Murray 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0. Andy Murray’s fiancee Kim Sears laughed off the controversy over her colourful language caught on camera during Murray’s semi-final against Tomas Berdych on January 29th 2015 in Melbourne by wearing a ‘Parental Advisory: Explicit Content’ t-shirt at the Australian Open final.
Adding insult to injury –
Democratic Republic of Congo footballer Gabriel Zakuani is run into by the stretcher buggy during his team’s semi final against Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations. The defender was already injured when the buggy hit him. DR Congo went on to win 4-2 without Zakuani who also plays for Peterborough United in the UK, but he was not badly hurt.
America’s longest-serving innocent prisoner receives $1m for 39 years in jail –
An Ohio man freed last year after spending 39 years in jail for a murder he did not commit will receive more than $1 million from the state for his wrongful imprisonment. Ricky Jackson, the longest-held US prisoner to be cleared of a crime, will receive just over $1 million (£680,000) following an order from an Ohio Court of Claims judge on Thursday. The 39 years Mr Jackson spent in jail was the longest time a prisoner had been held before being exonerated. [Daily Telegraph]
‘Breathtaking’ solar eclipse witnessed by millions –
Millions of people in the UK and northern Europe have glimpsed the best solar eclipse in years. A great swathe of the Earth’s surface was plunged into darkness as the Moon came between us and the Sun. From an aeroplane above the Faroe Islands, a BBC camera crew captured startling footage of the event reaching totality at 09:41 GMT. The deep shadow formed first in the North Atlantic and then swept up into the Arctic, ending at the North Pole. See video of the day [BBC]
Martin Guptill hits highest World Cup score in New Zealand victory –
New Zealand’s Martin Guptill smashed the highest score in World Cup history with 237 not out against West Indies to send his team into the semi-finals. The 28-year-old’s 163-ball innings featured 11 sixes and 24 fours and beat the 215 made by West Indies’ Chris Gayle earlier in the tournament. Guptill hit 137 from his last 52 balls to help his side post 393-6. Trent Boult then took four early wickets as New Zealand bowled out the Windies for 250 to seal a 143-run win. [BBC] Martin Guptill
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
Video of the Day –
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)
Qantas crew don All Blacks jerseys after World Cup defeat –
Australian airline Qantas has settled its wager with Air New Zealand after Australia’s Rugby World Cup defeat. The crew of Monday’s Sydney to Auckland flight wore All Blacks jerseys, honouring a bet born on Twitter. The wager was inspired by some social media sparring – an earlier suggestion was for the losing airline to repaint its fleet in opposition colours. The Kiwis became the first team to defend the Rugby World Cup on Saturday, defeating the Wallabies 34-17. [BBC] Qantas on Twitter
NASA reveals that Antarctica is actually gaining more ice than it is losing –
NASA scientists have shattered the conventional wisdom that Antarctica’s ice surface is shrinking and revealed that the amount of ice is in fact growing. Though accepting that glaciers are still shrinking because of man-made global warming, the new study published in the Journal of Glaciologysuggests that recent gains more than offset losses elsewhere. The findings challenges previous research including the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 study, which concluded that the sea is rising by 0.27 millimeters annually because of melting in Antarctica. [Daily Telegraph]
Guinness goes vegan: Stout agrees to stop using animal bladders in brewing process for first time in 256 years –
The famous Irish stout is to become vegan friendly for the first time in its 256-year history, as the company halts the use of fish bladders in its brewing filters. The new system is due to be installed sometime in 2016. A Guinness spokesman said: “While isinglass is a very effective means of clarification and has been used for many years, we expect to stop using it as the new filtration asset is introduced.” The news follows a longstanding campaign and several online petitions from beer-loving vegans, with many highlighting the fact Guinness and other breweries are not required to state the use of isinglass on the bottle. [Daily Telegraph]
Nepali police shoot dead an Indian citizen at a border checkpoint as they attempt to clear protesters whose blockade has crippled Nepal’s fuel supplies and badly damaged relations between the neighboring countries. (Reuters)
The Vatican police arrest Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, members of a former papal commission charged with studying financial operations of the Holy See, for allegedly leaking confidential documents to the media, a crime since 2013. (New York Times)
Skier’s Close Call As Drone Camera Crashes –
A skier has narrowly avoided serious injury after a drone being used to film the event he was competing in crashed to the ground. The drone hit the snow just centimetres away from Austria’s Marcel Hirscher during the alpine skiing World Cup slalom in Italy. “This is horrible,” Hirscher, who finished second in the event, said. A skier has narrowly avoided serious injury after a drone being used to film the event he was competing in crashed to the ground. The drone hit the snow just centimetres away from Austria’s Marcel Hirscher during the alpine skiing World Cup slalom in Italy. “This is horrible,” Hirscher, who finished second in the event, said. [MSN News] See Video of the Day Marcel Hirscher
Madonna goes to court to force 15-year-old son to return to New York –
Madonna has gone to court to force her 15-year-old son Rocco to return to New York, after his father Guy Ritchie insisted that he wanted to stay in the UK for Christmas. The singer appeared before a judge in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, where she won her bid to have her son forced to board a plane from London. Mr Ritchie, a film director who has two children with Madonna, argued through his lawyer that Rocco preferred to spend Christmas with his father, the New York Post reported. Judge Kaplan ordered that Rocco should talk with Madonna, and then revisit the issue of which parent he prefers. The judge told a smiling Madonna that Rocco must also present himself to court in the United States for the case to be decided. “I’m directing the child to be returned to New York. If he wants to stay with his father, he must return to his mother.” [Daily Telegraph] Madonna
Video of the Day –
TV drone crashes during ski race – Marcel Hirscher at Madonna di Campiglio
Amnesty International reports at least 200 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria, indicating “serious failures by Russia to respect international humanitarian law”. Moscow denies causing civilian deaths. (BBC)
An overnight raid by suspected Boko Haram militants on Niger‘s southern border town of Abadam, kills two Nigerien Army soldiers and three civilians. And, separately, a suicide-bomb attack on Lake Chad killed three of the attackers but no one else. A military convoy was also ambushed by militants in northern Cameroon, although there were no reported deaths. (Reuters)
Hacktivist collective Anonymous declares a cyber-war on Turkey, and claims responsibility for the major week-long cyber-attack between 14 and 21 December on Turkey, which it accuses of supporting the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and threatened additional attacks in case the alleged support continues. “We will continue attacking your internet, your root DNS, your banks and take your government sites down,” it said. “After the root DNS, we will start to hit your airports, military assets and private state connections. We will destroy your critical banking infrastructure,” the group added. (Hurriyet Daily News)(Independent)
Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or over Ronaldo & Neymar –
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time. The 28-year-old Argentine had 41.33% of the vote, with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo (27.76%) second and Barca’s Neymar (7.86%) third. Either Messi or Ronaldo, who became a three-time winner last year, have won the past eight awards. United States midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final, won the women’s award. England coach Mark Sampson was beaten to the women’s football coach of the year award by USA boss Jill Ellis. [BBC] See List of the Day Lionel Messi
Video of the Day –
EHANG184, world’s first Autonomous Aerial Vehicle
List of the Day –
Past Ballon d’Or winners
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo
2012: Lionel Messi
2006: Fabio Cannavaro
2011: Lionel Messi
2010: Lionel Messi
2009: Lionel Messi
2003: Zinedine Zidane
Messi’s 2015 in numbers
61 games, 52 goals and 26 assists.
A goal every 101 minutes and an assist every 202 minutes.
Best minutes-per-goal rate – 80 – of anyone scoring a minimum of 10 goals across Europe’s top five leagues during 2015.
Directly involved in 49 goals in La Liga – 34 scored and 15 assists – which was the joint-most with Ronaldo in 2015 across the top five European leagues.
Scored in all six club tournaments in 2015, as Barcelona won five of them.
Armed militiamen, also known as the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, who are occupying the USFWS administered Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, tear down a part of a fence that they claim was erected by the federal government in order to allow privately owned cattle to graze on the adjacent public land. USFWS condemns the actions through a written statement which states that, “Removing fences, damaging any refuge property, or unauthorized use of equipment would be additional unlawful actions by the illegal occupiers. Any movement of cattle onto the refuge or other activities that are not specifically authorized by [the Fish and Wildlife Service] constitutes trespassing.” (The Guardian), (The Oregonian)
Thousands of protesters in Leipzig demonstrate against a record refugee influx they blame for mass sexual violence at New Year’s Eve events in Cologne and other German cities. Many chanted ‘We are the people’, ‘Resistance!’ and ‘Deport them!’. The rally was organized by a local chapter of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident). Six Pakistani men and one Syrian man were also attacked by so-called vigilantes in Cologne, following calls on social media for “revenge” in the wake of the New Year’s Eve assaults. (Daily Mail)