Top Stories – Hope for Haiti raises $57 million –
Organisers of last nights “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon say it has raised more than $57m (£35m) for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
The event set a new record for disaster relief telethons, according to Lisa Paulsen, head of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Many stars donated including Madonna who gave $250,000 (£155,000), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave $1m (£620,000) and supermodel Giselle Bundchen gave $1.5m (£0.93m). George Clooney who organised the event donated $1m during the telethon. Giselle Bundchen
Itchy and scratchy –
Research carried out by the University of Worcester has discovered that Britons are likely to be sleeping under duvets which are full dust mites and dead skin. Tests carried out on 10 duvets at the University of Worcester found they held up to 20,000 live house dust mites. House dust mite – dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
One in the eye –
The Black Eyed Peas were the victims of an error when they were mistakenly named best international group at France’s top music awards, the NRJ Awards in Cannes. The stars were originally declared winners but it was later revealed that an error had been made and German band Tokio Hotel were announced as the real victors. The Black Eyed Peas Tokio Hotel
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.”
Angelina Jolie: Ed Miliband’s mansion tax ‘could put me off’ buying home in UK –
Angelina Jolie said she would like to move to England but Labour’s proposed mansion tax could put her off. The actress addressed rumours that she was looking at properties around London and had recently viewed a £25 million Marylebone penthouse close to the Chiltern Firehouse restaurant. But Jolie hinted that Ed Miliband’s plan to levy a tax on people who own houses worth more than two million pounds could discourage her from buying a British home. The actress told Channel 4 News: “I’m quite responsible about money” and that the tax “could put me off” moving to the UK. [Daily Telegraph] Angelina Jolie
Peruvian man gets married to tree for second time on ‘green tour’ –
A Peruvian man has married a tree for the second time in a bid to raise awareness about man-made environmental problems around the world. Serial tree-hugger Richard Torres tied the knot in front of a small crowd at a national park in Bogota, Colombia. After the symbolic ceremony, involving the placing of fruit offerings at the base of the tree, the environmental activist called for rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces to plant trees instead of starting war. The actor also called for Colombians to care more their green surroundings and promised to keep spreading the message in other Latin America countries. Mr Torres married his first tree bride in Argentina in 2013. [Daily Telegraph]
Did North Korea order hack on Sony Pictures computers? –
Sony Pictures Entertainment is said to be investigating whether North Korea was behind a hack of its computer network, over a Hollywood film depicting a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The hermit state’s anger over the comedy about CIA plans to kill its leader may have been behind the attack on the company’s system, according to tech news website Re/code. A group calling itself #GOP (Guardians of Peace) posted a warning on employees computers on Monday saying “If you don`t obey us, we’ll release the data shown below to the world”, giving a deadline of 11:00 the same day and listing five data links. #GOP said Sony Pictures had been warned before but did not detail its demands. North Korea had threatened “a strong and merciless countermeasure” against the US if it released the Sony Pictures’ film The Interview.
Angelina Jolie ‘set to become a peer’ –
The dusty old House of Lords has been considerably enlivened in the past few weeks when a number of half-famous people have been officially sworn in as members of Parliament’s second chamber. But the most excitement came last week when Arminka Helic – best known as a highly-regarded special adviser to former foreign secretary William Hague – was formally welcomed into the House of Lords as Baroness Helic of Millbank. Elderly Parliamentarians dozing off a good lunch were startled to glance up to the public gallery and spot actress Angelina Jolie, an old friend of Lady Helic, gazing down benignly. Now tongues are wagging in Westminster that Miss Jolie is being lined up herself set on a seat in the House of Lords. The idea is not so far-fetched. Last month Miss Jolie was made an honorary dame by the Queen for her campaign work fighting sexual violence and for services to UK foreign policy. And last week it emerged that Miss Jolie has decided to retire from acting and focus her energies on her humanitarian work.[Daily Telegraph] Angelina Jolie
Winning tickets in the nearly $1.6-billion Powerball lottery were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee, officials said on Thursday, leaving at least three people to split the record-setting jackpot. California Lottery officials confirmed that the winning six numbers had been purchased at a convenience store outside Los Angeles, as well as at locations in Florida and Tennessee. The identity of the winners was not yet known. Lottery officials said it could be several hours before it is known whether there are other winners in the 44 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories where Powerball is played. In Chino Hills, a suburb east of Los Angeles, crowds descended on a 7-Eleven store where the winning ticket had been bought, snapping pictures and congratulating staff. The store will receive a $1-million bonus for selling the ticket. The odds of picking a winning combination were 1 in 292 million. [Daily Mail]
Three winning Powerball lottery tickets are sold in the U.S. states of California, Florida, and Tennessee. Each will share the estimated jackpot of US $1.6 billion dollars, the largest lottery jackpot in world history. (ABC News)
Subtropical Storm Alex is located 785 miles (1,260 km) south-southwest of the Azores. Alex is one of just four tropical or subtropical storms to occur in January since 1851, the first year records were kept. The hurricane season begins on June 1 of each year. Alex is expected to hit the Azores on Friday with average rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches. (The Washington Post)(NHC)