Malala and Kailash Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize –
Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The teenager was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK. Malala said she was “honoured” to receive the award, saying it made her feel “more powerful and courageous”. She revealed she found out the news after being called out of her chemistry class at her school in Birmingham. [BBC] Malala Yousafzai
Barack Obama gets a job offer at Paltrow fundraiser –
A technology entrepreneur has offered President Barack Obama a job for after he leaves the White House. With speculation mounting abut what Mr Obama will do when he exits the presidency Ariel Jalali became the first employer to make an offer of a new post. The offer was made during a fundraising event at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s house in Los Angeles. Paltrow told the crowd she was one of the president’s “biggest fans, if not the biggest” and gushed: “You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.” [Daily Telegraph] Gwyneth Paltrow
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
Christmas Truce remembered –
100 years since the famous Christmas truce when soldiers from England and Germany fighting in France laid down their weapons and played games of football. The English Football Association has held a number of events to commemorate the event.
This is going to go well –
In the US, 300 independent cinemas screen “The Interview”, a film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, turned up to a screening of the movie at a theater in Los Angeles. Seth Rogen
Sony hit again –
Hackers calling themselves Lizard Squad take down Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox servers following threats to do so if the film was released.
Putin cancels Christmas –
Russian President Vladimir Putin cancels Christmas, at least for his government, but setting a meeting on Christmas day. Vladimir Putin
Video of the Day –
UEFA marks 100th anniversary of World War One truce
North Korean issues wide-ranging advice-
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un issues a new set of 310 patriotic slogans including battling rhetoric “Long live the great victory in the war against Japan!” to practical advice “Grow vegetables extensively in greenhouses!”. Some make it sound as if the leader has been watching episodes of Star Trek “Let us model the entire army on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism!”
Can you change the oil, a nappy and a light bulb?
Betting company William Hill release a list of 50 things every man should be able to do. They range from the date of his wedding anniversary to how to fix a toilet (easy call a plumber) and what exactly is the offside rule (in soccer). It was produced from a survey of 2,000 adults. Full list below.
An investigation by the Canada’s commissioner of official languages finds that tweets by former Foreign Minister John Baird and Public Security Minister Steven Blaney fell foul of the law because they were mainly in English. Now Canada’s most senior politicians must now tweet in both French and English. Over the course of two months, 181 out of 202 of Mr Baird’s tweets were only in English but about 30% of the Canadian population can speak French, with more than seven million describing it as their mother tongue.
South Korea spy kills himself amid hacking scandal –
An employee of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) spying agency has been found dead in his car after apparently taking his own life on a mountain road, police say. His death comes as a scandal over phone-hacking gathers pace. The man left a suicide note admitting that he had deleted important information about the hacking. It has emerged that mobile phones were tracked and monitored just before the presidential election in 2012. [BBC]
North Korean elections – not too close to call –
Worker’s Party expected to fare well in polls this Sunday with only one name on ballot paper and punishment for anyone who fails to endorse Kim Jong-un’s policies. To indicate support for the approved candidate, the voter goes into a booth and carries out his democratic duty. Anyone who does not agree with the name on the ballot paper must go to a different booth and cross out the candidate’s name. With the every move closely scrutinised, it would be an act of extreme bravery in a nation that is not known for tolerating dissenting voices for that to happen. [Daily Telegraph] Kim Jong-un (sketch)
Bratz are back after Barbie owner fails to kill franchise –
After almost a decade of a back-and-forth legal battle between Mattel and Bratz-owner MGA, the spunky dolls are back and ready to take on an already weak Barbie. Years before toys of Frozen characters knocked Barbie off her perennial perch, a gaggle of ethnically-diverse fashionistas known as Bratz temporarily toppled the word-famous doll – and now they’re back after winning a protracted legal battle with Barbie-owner Mattel.
Bratz, which first came to market in 2001, is relaunching this weekend with a revamped look, an extra character and new range of accessories in an attempt to regain its place at the top of toytown. [Daily Telegraph]
In a failed suicide blast, a security guard intercepted a suicide bomber clad in female clothing attempting to enter Quetta’s Hazara town, who then detonated their device that contained 6 to 7 Kg of explosive material, killing themselves and the guard. (Dawn).
China blasts: Shipment explodes in Tianjin port –
Massive explosions have hit China’s northern port city of Tianjin, reportedly injuring many people. According to Chinese state media, the blasts occurred when a shipment of explosives blew up at about 23:30 (16:30 GMT). Pictures and video shared on social media showed flames lighting up the sky and damage to nearby buildings. Latest reports in state media suggest that hundreds of people have been taken to hospital. The first explosion was followed by another 30 seconds later. [BBC] See Video of the Day
Twitter takes the chains off Direct Messages by removing 140-character limit –
Twitter is fairly conspicuous by its absence among the big messaging players. The service has allowed its users to send private messages back and forth for years, but for a long time, the feature seemed like an afterthought, with bugs such as unreliable notifications. This is slowly changing. On Wednesday, Twitter finally removed a 140-character limit on Direct Messages (DMs), meaning users can send up to 10,000 characters (which roughly allows space for 2,000 words). Sachin Agarwal, Twitter’s DM product manager, said this had been one of Twitter users’ most commonly-requested features. [Daily Telegraph]
RIP to LOL – the history of laughing out loud –
A Facebook study suggests that people are choosing to use “haha” and emojis over “LOL” to express laughter. The research claims more than half (51.4%) opt for “haha”, while just 1.9% are LOLers, although it didn’t look at direct messages. LOL was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in 2011, but the origin of the phrase can be traced back to the 1980s. The Facebook study suggests a third of people use emojis for laughter. [BBC Newsbeat]
Video of the Day –
Massive explosions have hit China’s northern port city of Tianjin
France train shooting: Americans overpower gunman –
Three people have been hurt after a heavily armed man opened fire on a train in northern France, before being overpowered by American passengers. The incident happened on the high-speed Thalys service near Arras, and the attacker was arrested at Arras station. US President Barack Obama praised the passengers, who included two off-duty US military personnel. [Later named as Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and non-military friend Anthony Sadler] The man arrested was a 26-year-old Moroccan. Anti-terrorist officers have taken over the case. The weapons were said to include a Kalashnikov, a knife, an automatic pistol and cartridges. French authorities said three people were injured, two of them seriously – one with a gunshot wound, the other a knife wound. [BBC]
One Direction release space-themed Drag Me Down video –
One Direction have released their first music video without Zayn Malik and it’s out of this world, kind of. Niall, Liam, Louis and Harry play astronauts in their video for Drag Me Down. Astronauts. Drag Me Down. Gravity. Space. Get it? Anyway, Nasa let 1D film the video at their headquarters in Houston, Texas. Libby Jackson, an astronaut flight education programme manager for the UK Space Agency, reviewed the promo for Newsbeat. “The guys went out to Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre and filmed at their facilities there – so it’s a fairly accurate portrayal of some of the elements of human spaceflight. “It’s obviously impossible to fit an entire astronaut’s training into a three minute video, but they’ve certainly given a flavour. “You see One Direction trying out a prototype Mars rover, which astronauts would need to learn drive for their missions,” she said. [BBC Newsbeat] See Video of the Day and Top Twitter Trends.
Malala celebrates string of top GCSEs –
Among those celebrating exam success is girls’ education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai who gained a string of As and A*s in her GCSEs. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, took to Twitter to list Malala’s grades which include A*s in GCSE and iGCSE maths. “My wife Toor Pekai and I are proud of Malala getting 6A*s and 4As. #education for every child,” wrote Mr Yousafzai. Malala was shot by the Taliban after writing a diary about life under their rule in North-West Pakistan. Last year, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. [BBC] Malala Yousafzai
North Korean all-girl band ‘created by Kim Jong-un’ –
Seven-strong group to serve as ‘ideological scouts, the bugles of revolution and ideological flag-bearers’. A new all-girl band that North Korean state media says was created by Kim Jong-un has made its debut in Moscow. The female vocalists of the Chongbong Orchestra have been tasked with “creating music for the masses”, North Korean state media reported. The singers and their brass backing band play “light music” and are a “revolutionary art organisation that represents and leads the era”, North Korean television reported, adding that the group was set up as part of the “grand plan” of the “respected Kim Jong-un”. [Daily Telegraph]
Egyptian billionaire offers to buy an island off Italy or Greece to rehouse refugees –
If Greece or Italy sell him an island, Naguib Sawiris, the 10th richest man in Africa, says he will host the migrants and offer them jobs in the new country. Naguib Sawiris, the 10th richest man in Africa, announNaguib Sawirisced the initiative on Twitter, but said that he had not yet approached the Italian or Greek governments about his plan. “Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” he wrote. [Daily Telegraph] Naguib Sawiris is the founding member of Al Masreyeen Al Ahrrar political party. Naguib Sawiris tweets
Hatton Garden jewelry heist: Four men admit part in £10m Hollywood-style robbery of ‘impenetrable’ London vault –
Four men have admitted their involvement in the £10m Easter weekend Hatton Garden Safety Deposit raid, at Woolwich Crown Court. John Collins, Daniel Jones, Terry Perkins and Perry Reader all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle the Hatton Garden deposit. The admission does not mean the men carried out the burglary but that they participated in an agreement or encouragement of the offence. The pleas come after Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company went into liquidation after falling into insolvency. A law firm representative said the company owed money “to companies and people”. The dramatic raid of Hatton Garden Safety Deposit, near the City of London, happened over the Easter Weekend when a masked gang used power tools, including an angle grinder, concrete drills and crowbars to break into the facility on Thursday, 2 April. [International Business Times] Hatton Garden road sign
Video of the Day –
Что будет если в Колу добавить ПРОПАН ? Coca Cola + propane = Mega ROCKET
Five Bahraini soldiers are killed on the Saudi-Yemeni border while taking part in a military operation against Yemen-based Houthi militants. (Reuters)
Clashes in and around Tajikistan‘s capital Dushanbe kill at least 17 people. Government representatives blame the attacks against security forces on former Deputy Defense Minister Aduhalim Nazarzoda, who fought against government forces in the Tajikistan Civil War. (BBC)
Hairy panic sets in as homes are swallowed in masses of tumbleweeds –
Bizarre images have emerged of houses inundated with tumbleweeds in rural Victoria after extreme dry conditions cover homes in clouds of ‘hairy panic’. Residents have been left frustrated and exhausted trying to rid their properties of the ghost-like weed, which has engulfed front and back yards, gardens and garages. Named hairy panic, the weeds of Wangaratta are world-class, holding their own against Texas tumblers. Locals say the tumbleweed has been around for a couple of years but, with dry conditions, this summer is by far the worst. They suspect it’s coming from a nearby paddock that a farmer has failed to maintain. The council can’t help because the situation is not considered a fire risk, which has left homeowners to clean up indefinitely. [Yahoo News Australia]
‘Unauthorised trousers’ kill Canadian zoo’s otter –
A Canadian zoo is under scrutiny following the death of an otter which had been given a pair of trousers to play with in its enclosure. Logan, a 12-year-old American river otter, drowned at Calgary Zoo after being given the article of clothing as an “unauthorised enrichment item”, the Calgary Sun newspaper reports. The zoo’s general curator, Colleen Baird, says Logan got trapped in one of the trouser legs, and two employees have subsequently been disciplined following an investigation into the incident. “It was human error and we take animal deaths very seriously,” she tells the paper, but refuses to be drawn on who was responsible. “It’s irrelevant how exactly the pants got in there, it’s more that the pants got in there in the first place.” [BBC]
Voters in Uganda go to the polls for a general election to elect a new President of Uganda as well as for parliamentary and local elections. The Presidential race with eight candidates including incumbentYoweri Museveni and seven challengers is tipped to be the closest in the nation’s history. (BBC)
Ninjas wanted as Japan region promotes ‘warlord tourism’ –
Sharpen your shuriken, Japan’s Aichi prefecture is looking to hire six ninjas in a bid to boost tourism. The roles are full time and the pay is ¥180,000 ($1,600; £1,100) a month, the job ad says (in Japanese). Physical fitness and acrobatic skills are a must says Aichi prefecture, which hopes to promote “warlord tourism”. Ninjas were 15th Century Japanese mercenaries specialising in espionage, assassination, sabotage and other forms of irregular warfare. [BBC]
Saudi Arabia: All female Brunei crew in historic flight –
Three Royal Brunei Airlines pilots have made history by being the company’s first all-female flight crew, making their first journey to Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive. The women flew the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Brunei to Jeddah. The milestone coincided with Brunei’s National Day to celebrate independence. February’s flight Captain was Sharifah Czarena, assisted by Senior First Officers Sariana Nordin and Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem. Captain Czarena trained in the UK and in December 2013 became the first Royal Brunei pilot to fly out of London Heathrow in its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner. [BBC]
Siam Commercial Bank reports eight people were killed and seven others injured in the basement of its Bangkok, Thailand, headquarters during an upgrade of the building’s fire safety system Sunday evening. It appears that workers mistakenly activated a system that released pyrogen, a chemical that deprives a fire of oxygen. (AP)(BBC)
Mariah Carey stormed out of 2016 with a technical meltdown –
Mariah Carey had a very public and very embarrassing end to 2016. She had a massive technical meltdown during her performance at a New Year’s Eve party. And it wasn’t exactly an intimate gig – it was the New Year’s Eve party in Times Square in New York. Thousands of people watched there, millions more saw it on American TV. She said: “We’re missing some of these vocals, but it is what it is. “We didn’t have a sound check, but it’s New Year’s baby. That’s ok.” It didn’t look ok though. She half-heartedly mimed a few bars and then decided not to bother. “I’m going to let the audience sing, OK?” she said. Her male dancers carried on, as she diva-strutted across the stage. At one stage she asked “I wanted a holiday too, can I not have one?” As the song ended, she said “That was…. amazing.” Finally, she told the audience: “It just don’t get any better”, and walked off stage. [BBC] Mariah Carey
A suicide car bomb explosion and gunmen attack in Iraqi al-Qadisiya town situated in west of Najaf, kills at least 7 people and injures more than 17 others. Yesterday, 29 people were killed in a bomb explosion at a busy market in Iraq’s capital Baghdad. ISIS claims responsibility. (Reuters), (Tasnim News Agency)
Spanish and Moroccan authorities clash with migrants on the Moroccan-Spanish border along Ceuta, as they attempt to climb and rush the border fence. (Express UK)
Police arrest Anthony K. Boisvert after a foot chase in Lebanon, New Hampshire, charging him in the setting a fire which destroyed an abandoned building on January 2016, and two other fires, one which destroyed the historic First Baptist Church on December 2016 and stabbing two at a condominium complex December 29. (The New Hampshire Union Leader)
Authorities seek three men after they rob $6 million on New Year’s Eve from the offices of high-end jewelry designer Gregg Ruth in New York City. (ABC NYC)