Top Stories – Talk to your TV –
Web-based phone company Skype agrees a deal with LG and Panasonic for them to embed the Skype technology in television models with Internet connections, and will sell separate Web cameras that have built-in microphones for TV viewers who want to use Skype.
Time to join the gym (again) –
About 5,000 members of website BeautifulPeople.com – the networking site for attractive individuals – have been placed back in the “rating” section for putting on weight over Christmas. The United States has the most members who got kicked out (1,520), followed by the U.K. (832) and Canada (533). Top Video –
John Terry affair gagging order released –
The British High Court has lifted a press silencing order preventing the public from learning details about England Captain John Terry’s alleged affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend. The ‘super-injunction’ was originally granted by a High Court judge under human rights laws but was lifted today. Chelsea captain Terry claimed that exposing his alleged infidelity would be a breach of his right to a ‘private and family life’. John Terry
The car in front… still won’t slow down –
Toyota is now recalling up to 1.8 million cars across Europe following an accelerator problem. The car maker will recall eight models including the Yaris, the Corolla (the biggest selling car ever – see list below) and the RAV4 sports utility vehicle. Last week it recalled 2.3 million cars in the US with faulty pedals.
Mais oui – the G-spot does exist –
French researchers have disagreed with English researchers at King’s College London who announced on New Years Day that the G-spot is a fallacy and does not exist. But French doctors the “G-Day” conference in Paris insist the G spot – supposedly a cluster of internal nerve endings – is far from a myth. “The English study is barking up the wrong tree,” said Sylvain Mimoun, France’s best-known gynaecologist.
Dog survives 24km trip on ice –
A dog stranded on an ice floe that had drifted 24km out to sea was rescued by the crew of a research boat off the coast of Gdynia in Poland. He is being called Baltic after the ship while a search is launched for his owners.
Putin’s point –
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a message of defiance and ire towards the West at an annual news conference in Moscow in the face of the financial turmoil that has gripped the country. Mr. Putin put the blame on “external factors,” including Western sanctions and falling oil prices, for the collapse of the ruble. Vladimir Putin
Closed lot –
Sony have cancelled tours of their Los Angeles studios after it was found pass codes were part of the hack recently discovered and blamed on North Korea.
Republican dig heels in on Cuba –
Republicans in Congress are trying to find a way to stop or at least slow President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The biggest obstacle to normal ties with Cuba is the 1996 embargo and with Republicans due to take control of both houses of Congress in January, the chances of changing this look unlikely.
Mandy Rice-Davies dies
Mandy Rice-Davies the woman who was at the centre of the so-called Profumo spy/sex scandal (along with her friend Christine Keeler) that threatened to topple Harold Macmillan’s government has died at the age of 70. Rice-Davies lived with Keeler, whose affair with war minister John Profumo prompted his resignation in 1963. She also claimed to have an affair with Lord Astor, but he denied it in court to which Rice-Davies famously replied “Well he would, wouldn’t he.”
Andy Murray and Kim Sears wedding: Hundreds of wellwishers flood Dunblane –
Hundreds of people turned out to see Andy Murray wed Kim Sears in Dunblane Cathedral this afternoon. The couple, who turned down all offers from celebrity magazines to cover their wedding, made sure that their wedding remained a private affair – with Sears’ careful arrival granting onlookers the barest of glimpses of her dress. Murray and Sears, an artist, married in Dunblane’s 12th century cathedral at 4pm before attending a small reception with family and friends. The pair met in 2005 when they were introduced by Sear’s father Nigel, a tennis coach. [The Independent] Kim Sears and Andy Murray (Photo by Stirling Council)
Grand National 2015: Many Clouds wins as McCoy finishes fifth –
Many Clouds won the 2015 Grand National to give jockey Leighton Aspell his second consecutive victory in the race. Champion jockey AP McCoy was denied a fairytale Aintree farewell, finishing fifth on favourite Shutthefrontdoor. The Northern Irishman had said he would retire immediately if he had won, but the 40-year-old could now race on until the Sandown meeting at the end of April. [BBC] A P McCoy
Boat Races 2015: Oxford women and men beat Cambridge –
Heavy favourites Oxford beat Cambridge to win the historic first staging of the Women’s Boat Race on the same course and same day as the men. They finished six-and-a-half lengths ahead over the four-mile, 374-yard stretch from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge in London on Saturday. The Dark Blues were half a length up after the first minute and pulled away ruthlessly to finish 19 seconds clear. Oxford also won the men’s race for the sixth time in eight years. In doing so, president Constantine Louloudis became just the 15th man to triumph for a fourth time. [BBC]
Capitol Building on lockdown after shots fired –
Shots were fired near the front of the US Capitol Building in Washington, according to police. The seat of Congress was immediately put on lockdown.
It later emerged that a man had committed suicide by shooting himself, sparking the alert. “The suspected shooter has been neutralised but the US Capitol Building has been locked down as a precautionary measure,” said Lt Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police, adding that no-one was being allowed to enter or exit. Police said they were also investigating a suspicious package on the lower West Terrace of the building, believed to be the man’s suitcase. [Daily Telegraph]
Adele’s album 25 breaks US record previously held by *NSYNC –
It’s not that much of a surprise, it was widely predicted, but Adele’s new album is doing quite well (understatement.) It’s broken the record for first week album sales in the US, selling 2.4 million copies since Friday.
The record was previously held by boy band *NSYNC and their second album, No Strings Attached, from 2000. Adele won’t be making the album available on music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music for now.
It takes a powerful artist to still do well despite not being on the big streaming services. Taylor Swift did it last year, withdrawing her material from Spotify. [BBC Newsbeat] Adele
The condom challenge is the latest bizarre trend sweeping the internet –
It’s been at least a few weeks since the last ridiculous internet trend, so let us introduce the condom challenge. In apparent homage to the long-forgotten Ice Bucket Challenge, the new trend involves people filling up condoms with water and dropping it on the head of a friend, significant other or loved one. Videos of people dropping condoms full of water have been flooding social media feeds in recent weeks. [Daily Telegraph] Condom Challenge
Queen asks judges to decide if DNA evidence can ‘uncover affair’ in Scottish hereditary title dispute –
Accountant Murray Pringle, 74, of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and Simon Pringle, 56, a businessman who lives near Hastings, East Sussex, both lay claim to the baronetcy of Pringle of Stichill. The Queen has asked senior judges to make a decision on the dispute under a piece of legislation dating back more than 150 years. The men are both members of a Scottish family fighting over the rights to the baronetcy. Seven judges are now analysing evidence at a hearing of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. The hearing was expected to finish on Wednesday but judges, who are all Supreme Court justices, are not expected to publish a ruling until next year. [Daily Telegraph]
Russia‘s Gazprom halts gas supplies to Ukraine until the Ukrainian government pays in advance for future supplies to replenish the current supplies of gas that it has used up; Ukraine says it has stopped buying from Gazprom because it can get cheaper gas from Europe. Roughly 15% of the gas used in Europe travels through Ukraine, and a previous cut-off of gas supplies in 2009 caused serious disruptions in shipments to EU countries at the height of winter. (Sky News)(BBC)
The Associated Press reports that Russia’s crackdown on Muslims is fueling their exodus to ISIS. For example, Russia’s southernmost republic of Dagestan keeps devout Muslims under surveillance, routinely raids their homes, and hauls them to police stations to give DNA samples and fingerprints. Regional police say nearly a third of the estimated 3,000 Russians who are believed to have gone to fight alongside IS militants in Syria are from Dagestan. The AP added, “Few efforts are made by Russian authorities to stop young men from leaving.” (AP)