Top Stories – Not like clockwork –
A Swiss millionaire is given a record speeding fine of $290,000 (£180,000) after he caught driving a red Ferrari at 137km/h (85mph) through a village. The penalty based on the unnamed motorist’s wealth – assessed by the court as $22.7m (£14.1m) – and because he was a repeat offender.
New Brand for Perry –
It’s revealed that Russell Brand and Katy Perry got engaged when on holiday in India. Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Top Stories – Democrat, see? –
Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, defeated the Democrat, Martha Coakley, in the race to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by Edward M. Kennedy Scott Brown
Snug as a bug –
Orlando Bloom’s model girlfriend Miranda Kerr appears naked in the US edition of GQ magazine. Not news but a great picture. Miranda Kerr
My password is “PleaseHackMe” –
According to a new analysis by Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data.
Top Story –
New figures show an 80 per cent rise in breast reduction operations carried out on men. The annual audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reveals its members carried out 581 male breast reductions last year, up from 323 in 2008. Five years ago just 22 such procedures were performed on men. The procedure is now the third most popular cosmetic operation for men behind nose jobs and eyelid operations to remove fat. [Daily Telegraph]
Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east –
Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami. Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels. Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher. In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found. The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists. Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate. [BBC] See Video of the Day
Royal pregnancy: Hoax call fools Duchess of Cambridge hospital –
The hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge says it “deeply regrets” giving information about her to hoax callers from a radio station. Australian DJs posing as the Queen and Prince Charles got details from a nurse at King Edward VII hospital in central London. The hospital said confidentiality was taken seriously and telephone protocols are under review. 2Day FM said it was surprised to be put through but “sincerely apologises”. [BBC] Duchess of Cambridge
Frankie Dettori banned for six months after failing drugs test –
Jockey Frankie Dettori has been given a six-month ban from racing after failing a drugs test in France. The 41-year-old, who has more than 3,000 career wins, tested positive for a banned substance on 16 September 2012. The suspension imposed by French racing authority France Galop will run until 19 May 2013, and will apply worldwide for the three-time champion jockey. [BBC] Frankie Dettori
American businessman John McAfee is arrested in Guatemala following an alleged illegal entry after leaving Belize where he is wanted for questioning over the death of fellow American Gregory Faull. (Reuters)
Cricketer Phillip Hughes dies –
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes has died 2 days after being struck by a ball at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Hughes was making a fine case for his Test recall, unbeaten on his old home ground at the SCG on 63 when he missed an attempted hook at Sean Abbott and was hit on an area of his lower head and neck which was unprotected by his helmet as he swivelled. He fell to the ground, and was rushed to hospital where he never regained consciousness. [Daily Telegraph] Phillip Hughes in 2010
Twitter misrepresents the real world, computer scientists warn –
Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook should not be used to gauge human behaviour or trends because they are too biased, scientists have warned. Increasingly, social researchers and media organisations use sites to glean information about public views and interests. But computer scientists at McGill University in Montreal and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh warn that the data omits the opinion of large portions of the population who are either under-represented, or who choose not to engage in social media. [Daily Telegraph]
Sheep flock to Eiffel Tower as French farmers cry wolf –
French farmers flocked to the Eiffel Tower on Thursday, sheep in tow, to express their frustration over increasing attacks by wolves which some say have been “overprotected” by the government. Sheep lazily grazed at the foot of the French capital’s most famous monument as the farmers gathered under grey skies to demand an effective plan to stop the wolf attacks. “Today farmers, tomorrow unemployed,” read one banner, while one of the protesters dressed as a wolf carried around a lamb. [Daily Telegraph] The Eiffel Tower
Henry leaves NY Bulls –
Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry leaves New York Red Bulls after four-and-a-half years with the MLS club. He is still Arsenal’s all-time top goal scorer with 228 in all competitions. He is to move into television, initially as a pundit on Sky TV in the UK. (See List of the Day and Video of the Day below) Thierry Henry
Prince Harry confession for charity –
Prince Harry has revealed that he gets extremely nervous before making any public speech. He made the revelation as part of a campaign run by his Sentebale charity to help reduce the stigma associated with HIV on World Aids Day. The prince co-founded the charity in 2006 in Lesotho after travelling around the southern African country which has the third highest HIV/Aids prevalence in the world. Prince Harry
Brand protest –
Russell Brand joins around 400 residents of Hackney’s New Era estate to protest against US property owner Westbrook, which is threatening 93 families with eviction before marching to 10 Downing street where a petition signed by 294,000 was handed in. Russell Brand
Cyber Monday breaks records –
Today is Cyber Monday and in the US $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) is expected to be spent. In the IMRG Experian predicts that UK consumers will spend £649.6 million today or £451,000 a minute showing a 26 per cent increase on last year.
(Nasty) Thought for the day –
Professor Stephen Hawking, the British scientist who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. The BBC quotes him as saying “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate but humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” Stephen Hawling
Scarlett gets secretly married –
Scarlett Johansson has revealed that she and her partner Romain Dauriac got married in secret on October 1st 2015 in Philipsburg, western Montana. Scarlett Johansson
Strike that off the list –
The UK Government has introduced legislation banning sex acts like spanking and caning from online porn videos filmed in the UK. A list of sex acts are now on a list of ‘harmful’ content that has been prohibited and paid-for online porn videos must now stick to the same rules as content produced for sex shop-type videos. (See List of the Day)
Foggy wins down under –
Former motorbike rider Carl Fogarty, four time winner of the World Superbike Championship, has won the British “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” in Australia. The 49-year-old known as Foggy beat former X Factor contestant Jake Quickenden and TV presenter Melanie Sykes in the final of the ITV show. Carl Fogarty
LA Galaxy win MLS again –
Californian soccer team LA Galaxy have won a fifth Major League Soccer (MLS) title with a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the championship-deciding MLS Cup. LA have won three of the last four league titles and Irish striker Robbie Keane grabbed an extra-time winner to give the Galaxy the victory after New England’s Chris Tierney had cancelled out Gyasi Zardes’ opener for LA. (See List of The Day) Robbie Keane
Royal US visit starts –
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in New York for a tour of the east coast of the United States during which Prince William will meet President Barack Obama. The Royal couple previously met the Obama’s after their wedding in 2011. The Royals meeting the President and Mrs Obama in London in 2011
Not out of the woods yet –
Tiger Woods return to competition golf ends badly as he finishes last in the 18 player Hero World Challenge tournament in Florida and is physically sick on the fairway. He has not played competitively for four months due to back pain. Tiger Woods
Korean Air boss nut allergy –
Cho Hyun-ah, a Korean Air executive, is under investigation over claims she delayed a plane over the way she was served nuts. Ms Cho, a vice-president of the firm and daughter of the Korean Air president demanded the removal of a crew member from a flight for failing to serve nuts on a plate, forcing the Incheon-bound flight to taxi back to the terminal in New York.
London mayor asked to pay tax in US –
The new American ambassador in London, Matthew Barzun, says London Mayor Boris Johnson should settle a six-figure tax bill in the US on profits on the sale of his home in London in 2009. The London Mayor, who was born in New York and has dual citizenship, revealed last month that he is being pursued by the US tax authorities. Boris Johnson
London mayor asks US embassy to pay charges in London –
Previously Boris Johnson has praised the new ambassador for his diplomatic abilities but wants him get the US to pay the £6 million outstanding in congestion charges run up by diplomats which the embassy refuses to pay.
Hamilton is Sports Personality of the year –
Lewis Hamilton, winner of the 2014 Formula One world championship is voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year by the British public. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy is given a Lifetime Achievement award and Christiano Ronaldo wins the overseas award at the ceremony held in Glasgow, Scotland. Lewis Hamilton
Petsmart sells for $8.7bn –
The pet supply company PetSmart has signed a deal to sell itself to an investment group led by BC Partners for about $8.7 billion in the largest buyout of a US company in 2014.
Penultimate climate ultimatum –
United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change by setting national pledges for a summit due to be held in Paris in 2015. The document was signed after a two week meeting took place in Lima, Peru, hosted by Peru’s environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal. Environmental groups criticised the document, saying the proposals were nowhere near drastic enough.
New York police shot –
A gunman has shot dead two police officers sitting inside a patrol car in New York before killing himself. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot by a Ismaaiyl Brinsley who apparently made online statements suggesting that he planned to kill police officers.
Sony hack: Is Idris Elba the next James Bond? –
The latest leaked memo from Sony Entertainment has revealed that Idris Elba, the British-born star of cult TV series The Wire and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is a Sony executive’s favourite to replace Daniel Craig as 007. According to the Daily Beast, Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in an email that Elba, 42, “should be the next Bond”. [Daily Telegraph]
Ticking the boxes –
Real Madrid have beaten San Lorenzo 2-0 to win the Club World Cup which means that Cristiano Ronaldo has now won the same eight trophies with two different teams Real and Manchester United. He became the first player to achieve the feat and his manager Carlo Ancelotti equalled the record for the most European and international club competitions won by a manager. Christiano Ronaldo
Hanging around –
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (@GovChristie) was left hanging after a Dallas Cowboys win on Sunday, when his high-5 appeal was ignored. Political commentators have decided that it will damage his chances of becoming a Republican presidential candidate.
Google extends Chromecast to audio –
The Chromecast dongle is now able to plug into amplifiers and powered speakers to “cast” music from any music app. Similar to the video service, users use their phone to control the music, which is then played directly through the speaker from a wi-fi router. Apps already compatible include Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio and TuneIn. Spotify is currently included.
Ghost in the Shell –
Scarlett Johansson to play Motoko Kusanagi in the film version of Ghost in the Shell Scarlett Johansson
Prince Ali challenges for FIFA presidency –
Fifa vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the leadership of world football’s governing body on 29th May 2105. The Jordanian Prince, son of the late King Hussein and the late Queen Alia will stand as a candidate at Fifa’s presidential election where Blatter, 78, will seek a fifth term of office. Prince Ali said: “It is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport. “The headlines should be about football, not about Fifa.” Former diplomat Jerome Champagne, who joined Fifa in 1999, is the only other challenger to run for the presidency. Prince Ali bin Al Hussein
This is Quite Interesting –
QI presenter Stephen Fry is to marry his partner, Elliott Spencer. The 57 year-old has given formal notice to wed Mr Spencer, 27, at a registry office in Dereham, Norfolk, near where he grew up. He confirmed it to his 8 million plus followers on Twitter (@StephenFry) after The Sun newspaper revealed the marriage plans. Fry said: “Oh. It looks as though a certain cat is out of a certain bag. I’m very very happy of course but had hoped for a private wedding. Fat chance!”
Footballing giant –
His football (soccer) team lost 2-1 to Liverpool in yesterday’s FA Cup but Adebayo Akinfenwa (@daRealAAkinfenwa), Wimbledon FC centre forward not only scored but set Twitter alight with over 39,000 related tweets. The 5’11”, 16 stone (224lb) striker known as the Beast is the world’s strongest player according to the FIFA 15 game. Before the match, the man who can bench press 180kg (392lb) warned team-mates “I want Steven Gerrard’s shirt,” he said before the match. “I’ve told the boys that if anyone gets his shirt before me we are going to have a problem.” He got Gerrard’s shirt.
Lance Percival dies –
Actor Lance Percival, who starred in British hit comedy in Up Pompeii, has died at the age of 81.
Nike shoes accepted as bail –
A man in the US state of Massachusetts has avoided jail for failing to pay court fees by leaving a pair of $85 (£55.94) Nike trainers as a bail bond. Judge Douglas Stoddart offered Jason Duval, who is charged with drug offences, the chance to “be creative”. He can get the shoes back by paying $100 or doing 10 hours of community service.
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
Fifty Shades of Grey tying firemen up in knots –
The film version of the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson premières in London and the London Fire Brigade are expecting a “spike” in people being stuck or trapped in handcuffs or rings. In November, firefighters were called by doctors at King’s College Hospital to cut two steel rings from a man’s genitals, which he had been unable to remove for three days and the brigade was called by a woman whose husband had become locked in a chastity belt. Jamie Dornan at the world première of “Fifty Shades of Grey” Double decker bus saves naked man from fire –
A man trapped in a house fire in Braintree, Essex UK may have had his life saved after a bus driver managed to manoeuvre his double decker bus close enough for the man to jump onto the roof. The man had been taking a shower and jumped from the third-floor window naked onto the bus. After throwing him some clothes the man managed to climb down with minor injuries.
Bonham Carter strips for fish –
Helena Bonham Carter has also got naked and hugged a 27kg tuna between her legs despite claiming to have a fish phobia. The photoshoot was in aid of a Blue Marine Foundation campaign against over-fishing. Bonham Carter separated from her partner Tim Burton on December 24th 2014. Helena Bonham Carter
American Pie lyrics sell for $1.2m –
The original manuscript of Don McLean’s American Pie has sold for $1.2m (£806,000) at a New York auction. The 16-page draft had been expected to fetch as much as $1.5m (£1m) at the Christie’s sale. McLean had hinted in February the original manuscript would reveal the song’s lyrical meaning – which had always been kept a mystery. “The writing and the lyrics will divulge everything there is to divulge,” he said. The 69-year-old previously acknowledged the beginning of the song is about the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper – Jiles P Richardson – in a plane crash, but has remained elusive about the rest of the track. (See List of the Day) [BBC]
Lindsay Lohan Attempts to “Break the Internet” With Her Clothes On in Racy Jumpsuit –
Step aside, Kim Kardashian, there’s another former Hollywood party girl looking to effectively “break the Internet.” On Saturday, March 7, Lindsay Lohan posted a shot of herself in Paris on Twitter, wearing a revealing black lace jumpsuit and hat. [US Magazine] Lindsay Lohan Tweet – copyright @LindsayLohan Twitter
US judge strikes out Prince Andrew sex claims –
Claims that a woman was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 are to be struck from the record of a civil case in the US, a judge has said. The Duke of York was named in court papers in Florida by a woman alleging financier Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with the duke three times. But Judge Kenneth Marra said the “lurid” claims were “unnecessary” to decide the civil case. Buckingham Palace has previously “emphatically” denied the allegations. [BBC]
Rand Paul announces 2016 White House bid –
Senator Rand Paul has announced he is launching a 2016 presidential election campaign on the Republican ticket. “Today begins the journey to take America back,” he said in a campaign event in Kentucky. Mr Paul, a Kentucky senator, stands out from the Republican pack because of his comparatively libertarian views. He becomes the second Republican to enter the contest that concludes in November 2016.
Apple wants to stop fans queuing outside stores for its watch –
Internal memo urges staff to tell customers to order Apple Watch online instead of waiting outside stores. Apple wants to stop hundreds of people queuing outside stores when its smartwatch goes on sale later this month. The technology giant has adopted a “significant change in mindset” and urged staff to tell customers to order the Apple Watch online, an internal memo stated. [Daily Telegraph]
When carp attack: Watch fish jump at rowers –
As the Washington University in St. Louis men’s rowing teams practiced Friday morning, a school of Asian carp showed their apparent displeasure with the activity by leaping frantically from the waters of Missouri’s Creve Coeur Lake. Junior Benjamin Rosenbaum, a captain of the varsity team, captured the aquatic onslaught on video. Rosenbaum says practices on the lake aren’t normally so eventful, but recent heavy rains and flooding may have brought more of the fish to this particular area. He had seen this activity once before, in 2013, when he was in a boat rather than on the banks. (See Video of the day) [USA Today]
Soul singer Percy Sledge dies aged 73 –
US soul singer Percy Sledge, famed for his song When a Man Loves a Woman, has died aged 73. Steve Green from talent agency Artists International Management Inc confirmed to the BBC that he died at his home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday. Sledge’s debut single When a Man Loves a Woman reached the top 10 twice in the UK and topped the US Billboard chart for two weeks in 1966, when it also got to number four in the UK chart (See List of the day). During an interview for the the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, he recalled his first recording of it. “When I came into the studio, I was shaking like a leaf. I was scared,” he said, adding that it was the “same melody that I sang when I was out in the fields. I just wailed out in the woods and let the echo come back to me”.
Ben Affleck asked broadcaster to hide slave-owning ancestor –
Ben Affleck asked television producers not to reveal one of his ancestors was a slave-owner, leaked emails suggest. The actor was taking part in a US series called Finding Your Roots, where experts research a celebrity’s family history, when the discovery was made. The broadcaster, PBS, says in a statement that they didn’t censor the slave-owner details. It is “very common” to find slave-owning ancestors during research, the show’s host says. “For any guest, we always find far more stories about ancestors on their family trees than we ever possibly could use,” Prof Henry Louis Gates says in a statement sent to The Associated Press. The details of Affleck’s slave-owning family member were not included when his episode of Finding Your Roots was broadcast. [BBC] Ben Affleck
Miley Cyrus Recounts Wanting to Have Sex with Joan Jett, Inducts Her Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame –
Miley Cyrus isn’t one to shy away from shock factor, not even if she’s on stage to induct her idol Joan Jett at the 30th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Last night in Cleveland, Cyrus started off her speech to induct Jett and the Blackhearts into the Hall of Fame by going back in time and reminiscing: “Thank you guys so much. I’m going to start off this induction with the first time I wanted to have sex with Joan Jett. We were doing Oprah together, and I went up to Joan’s hotel room. Joan opens the door, and I come in, and Kenny Laguna is laying in bed. I don’t know what the fuck is going on. There’s towels shoved underneath all the door cracks, shower caps around all the smoke detectors. Joan is running around spraying orange-smelling cleaner to mask the smell of the pot (that’s what you guys call it)”. Miley Cyrus
25 pregnant Navy sailors airlifted from ships –
More than two dozen female sailors have been airlifted home from Royal Navy warships after becoming pregnant in the past nine years, official figures show. A total of 25 expectant women were forced to leave on emergency flights, though the actual number who have gone home because of pregnancy is thought to be higher. The figures reported in The Sun were released under the Freedom of Information Act and follow the disclosure last year that 200 women were flown home from the Iraq and Afghan conflicts after commanders were told they were pregnant. A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the Navy operates a strict “no touching” rule at sea, even for those already in a relationship and sources said most of the women are likely to have conceived before setting sail, or while on leave. [Daily Telegraph]
Benedict Cumberbatch commissions Kick Ass 2 replica sculpture –
Benedict Cumberbatch has commissioned the celebrity artist Schoony to reproduce a sculpture that appeared in Kick Ass 2. The Imitation Game star paid £7,000 for a gold rendering of Boy Soldier by his friend, the Hertfordshire-born artist Schoony. The original artwork appeared in Hollywood blockbuster Kick Ass 2, starring Jim Carrey and Chloe Moretz, and was located in the villain’s lair. [Daily Telegraph]
Demi Lovato Wishes Joe Jonas ‘Happy #420’ –
To honor 4/20 (See Top Twitter Trends), the day famously celebrated by weed connoisseurs, Demi Lovato decided to post a little message for her friend Joe Jonas. She took to Instagram to share a photoshopped image of herself with Jonas and Miley Cyrus. “In honor of our former escapades, I thought you’d like this to remember your first blaze.. Happy #420 @joejonas. #disneyhighclassof09,” she captioned the eye-popping image. [Billboard.com]
Russia: Police stage mayor’s disappearance to thwart killing –
Police in Russia have staged the disappearance of a city mayor to prevent his contract killing, it’s reported. Pavel Plotnikov, the mayor of Yoshkar Ola in central Russia, was reported missing on Saturday, after apparently failing to meet his wife as planned a day earlier. “All police patrols, criminal investigators – practically all police in Yoshkar Ola” were looking for the mayor, the city’s police spokeswoman Olga Plotnikova told the media at the time. But early on Monday, the mayor’s own website issued a statement saying that his disappearance had actually been staged. “The mayor’s ‘disappearance’ was necessitated by operational activities of Russia’s Interior Ministry staff,” the statement says. “They implemented measures to prevent a planned killing of the mayor and his family.” Later in the day, Mr Plotnikov gave a news conference to shed more light on what had happened. Because of his “principled position”, the mayor said, he was supposed to have been killed in a forest some time between Friday night and Saturday morning. Thanks to swift action by the security services, the would-be killers and those who took out a contract on the mayor have been arrested, Mr Plotnikov told the news conference, adding: “Many thanks to the police for saving my life.” The police have simply said that the mayor “has been found” and that “he’s alive and well, and is currently with his family”. [BBC]
U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal over Arizona ‘fish pedicures’ –
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by the owner a Phoenix-area spa that ran afoul of Arizona state regulations that barred her from providing pedicures in which clients have their feet nibbled by small fish to remove dead skin. The high court’s action, made without comment by the justices, ends a years-long case over fish pedicures, which have become a popular alternative to exfoliation for some spa-goers in recent years but are banned in some U.S. states for health and safety reasons. In 2009, Vong was told by the Arizona Board of Cosmetology that the treatment violated the agency’s safety standards, and that she could face criminal charges. The board said any tool or equipment used in a pedicure must be stored and disinfected in a specific way, and that she could not disinfect the fish coming in contact with clients’ skin. [Reuters] Garra Rufa – the pedicure fish species
Traffic chaos on M74 ‘due to a dog taking control of a tractor’ –
A busy stretch of motorway was left in chaos on Wednesday “due to a dog taking control of a tractor”. The bizarre incident was reported by Traffic Scotland at J13 of the M74 near Abington in South Lanarkshire. The transport body tweeted it was “not joking” and a farmer and police were at the scene with the vehicle after it crashed into the central reservation. The dog – believed to be a sheepdog – was unhurt after reportedly leaning on the controls of the tractor, taking it from a field on to the road. [Daily Telegraph]
Traffic Scotland later tweeted that the dog was OK. @Traffic Scotland on Twitter
Man shoots computer in Colorado Springs alley, gets revenge he wanted – and a citation –
When ctrl + alt + delete doesn’t work, just shoot the darn thing. That’s what one man did on Monday night, according to Colorado Springs police. Lucas Hinch, 37, was cited for discharging a weapon within city limits after he took the fight with his computer outside and got the revenge most of us only dream about. “He got tired of fighting with his computer for the last several months,” Lt. Jeff Strossner said. “He was having technology problems, so he took it out in the back alley and shot it.” Strossner tweeted Hinch “executed” his computer in an alley on the 2200 block of West Colorado Avenue. The penalty for the citation will be up to a judge, police said, adding that Hinch was good-natured about the citation and hadn’t realized he was breaking the law when he went Wild West on that useless piece of technology. Hinch shot it eight times, Strossner said, “effectively disabling it.” The computer is not expected to recover. [The Gazette] The shot computer – Image from the Colorado Gazette
Google launches Project Fi mobile phone network –
Google has detailed its plan to run a mobile phone network in the US. The firm will rent voice and data capacity from two existing operators – Sprint and T-Mobile – and use existing wi-fi hotspots, rather than build new infrastructure from scratch. Initially, Project Fi will only be offered to Nexus 6 handset owners. Sundar Pichai, chief of Google’s Android platform, first mentioned the company’s plan to create a phone network in February, but provided little detail at the time. The company has now revealed that its subscribers will be automatically switched between 4G signals provided by Sprint and T-Mobile, depending on whichever is stronger at the time. They will also be able to make calls over wi-fi without having to use a special app, similar in nature to the Wi-fi Calling facility recently introduced by EE in the UK. [BBC] Sundar Pichai
Video of the Day –
The first video posted on YouTube – 10 years ago today –
Hatton Garden heist: £20,000 reward offered by police –
A £20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gang responsible for the Hatton Garden heist. On BBC One’s Crimewatch, Det Supt Craig Turner, head of the Flying Squad, appealed for witnesses to the burglary, which took place over Easter. New CCTV images of the thieves entering and leaving Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd have been released. The contents of 56 safe deposit boxes were taken in the raid. Items were removed from the premises in wheelie bins and bags during the raid in Central London. No arrests have yet been made. [BBC] Hatton Garden road sign
Student continues Sahara marathon on broken leg but still beats Sir Ranulph Fiennes –
A student broke his leg while competing in the ‘toughest race on earth’ – but still kept going for another 100 miles to overtake the explorer Ranulph Fiennes. James Tuffnell, 20, stumbled down a sand dune on the fourth day of the six-day Marathon Des Sables, a 155 mile ‘ultramarathon’ across the Sahara desert, shattering his ankle and fracturing his tibia. Despite his injuries he carried all his own supplies including food, water and sleeping materials for the length of the race in 50 degree heat. [Daily Telegraph] James Tuffnell [@JamesTuffnell – Twitter]
Japan: Low-level radiation in drone found on PM’s roof –
A drone carrying a tiny amount of radioactive material has been found on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo. The four-propeller device was found on top of the building on Wednesday morning [22 April], and was carrying a container of liquid which was marked with a radiation warning symbol, the public broadcaster NHK reports. The 50cm (20in) wide drone was also equipped with a small camera. Police say “minute” levels of radiation were detected on the drone, which they think is likely to be radioactive caesium, but that the amount is too low to be harmful to human health. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wasn’t in the building at the time, as he’s currently in Indonesia. [BBC] In January 2015 the prime minister called the footage of Islamic State hostage Kenji Goto apparently holding a photograph showing the body of fellow captive Haruna Yukawa “outrageous and unacceptable”. Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe
Android peeing on Apple logo spotted on Google Maps –
Rivalry between Google and Apple has always been fierce, but now Google Maps appears to have been emblazoned with the image of the Android mascot urinating on an Apple logo. The image, discovered by a Hacker News user, appears on a patch of land just south of the city of Rawalpindi in Pakistan, at coordinates 33°30’52.5″N 73°03’33.2″E. The origin of the image is unclear. Some have suggested it could be Google’s idea of an Easter Egg (hidden joke), while others claim it was added by a user. The image is most likely a result of a user abusing Map Maker, the tool that allows users to contribute to Google Maps. One Hacker News user claims to have tracked down the culprit – a user called nitricboy. [Daily Telegraph]
Native American actors walk off Adam Sandler film set over ‘insults’ –
Nearly a dozen Native American actors have walked off the set of a Hollywood film starring Adam Sandler complaining that the script was offensive to their culture. The actors had been hired to take part in filming of The Ridiculous Six, a satirical Western based on The Magnificent Seven. They said the script, which was co-written by Sandler, included offensive names for female Native American characters such as “No Bra”. [Daily Telegraph] Adam Sandler
Drop Dead Sexy –
During this year’s Spring Festival holidays, a man surnamed Zhang watched a strip show somewhere he didn’t expect, at a funeral in his hometown in Cheng’an county, Hebei Province. “Two strippers wearing revealing clothes danced on a stage at a public square in our village at night on February 15. They first danced passionately and then took off their clothes piece by piece. Behind them, an electronic screen was displaying a picture of the deceased with elegiac couplets on either side.”Behind the stripper, an electronic screen hung from a backdrop showed a picture of the deceased. Text at the bottom of the screen read, “we offer profound condolences for the death of Mr Chang.” Zhang said that the show cost 3,000 yuan ($480) as it was held during the Spring Festival holidays, saying that the shows are cheaper at other times of the year. During the performance, the host also announced to the public that the show was sponsored by Chang’s daughter, “as a way to show off his large family,” said Zhang. [Global Times]
‘Embryologic twin’ tumour discovered in student’s brain –
Doctors in California have removed a tumour they have described as an “embryologic twin” deep inside the brain of a young woman. Yamini Karanam, 26, a PhD student in Indiana, had been experiencing difficulties with drowsiness, reading and concentration. The discovery was made when doctors performed a newly-developed form of surgery to remove the tumour. The growth, known as a teratoma, had bone and hair. Ms Karanam, a student at Indiana University, jokingly described the tumour to KNBC, a California TV station, as her “evil twin sister who’s been torturing me for the past 26 years”. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Five Stages of Watching A Marvel Movie – HISHE Features: OnlyLeigh
Nepal hit by 7.9 magnitude earthquake –
More than 718 people across a swath of four countries were killed on Saturday – the majority in Nepal – following the worst earthquake in the country’s recent history. The quake, which was measured at 7.9 on the Richter Scale, destroyed historic buildings in the capital Kathmandu, including the capital’s 19th Century Dharahara Tower landmark, where more than 50 people are missing in the rubble. Many of them were scaling the 200 feet structure for the best view of the city when the earthquake struck. The city’s historic Darbar Square and many temples were also damaged. Officials said 688 people were confirmed dead in Nepal. Another 20 were killed in India, six in Tibet and two in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border. Given the scale of the destruction, the death toll is almost certain to rise, said Laxmi Dhakal, Home Ministry official. [Daily Telegraph] Nepal
3-Olympian Bruce Jenner makes transgender history by identifying as a woman –
Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Bruce Jenner said on Friday that he identifies as a woman, becoming the most high-profile American to come out as transgender. The 65-year-old Jenner made the declaration in a wide-ranging interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, nearly 40 years after his record-breaking Olympic gold-medal win in the decathlon that gave him the unofficial title of “World’s Greatest Athlete.” At the outset of the taped interview, Sawyer asked “Are you a woman?” and Jenner responded, “Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman.” [Reuters] Bruce Jenner
Couple plan to be oldest newlyweds –
Two elderly lovebirds from East Sussex, England are set to become the world’s oldest newlyweds when they tie the knot in June.
George Kirby, who is 102, finally proposed to 91-year-old Doreen Luckie after they had lived together for 25 years. [BBC]
Nepal earthquake: International aid effort increased –
The international aid effort for Nepal is gathering pace, with Saturday’s massive earthquake now known to have killed 3,726 people and injured 6,500. China, India, Pakistan and Britain are among the countries contributing to the effort, alongside major aid agencies. Nepal has asked for more help, saying it needs everything from helicopters and blankets to paramedics and drivers. At least 200 climbers have now been rescued around Mount Everest, after the quake triggered avalanches. Foreign climbers on Everest and their Nepalese guides were caught by the tremors and a huge avalanche that buried part of the camp (See Video of the Day). At least 18 were killed by avalanches. China has meanwhile announced a halt to all spring expeditions to Mount Everest from the north face of the mountain on its side of the border, state media reports.
Rich List 2015: Super rich’s wealth soars as new money floods in from abroad –
he combined wealth of the 1,000 richest men and women in Britain has more than doubled in the last ten years, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. (See List of the Day) The wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of £547.126 billion, up from £249.615 billion in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade. Plain old millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich, with a fortune of £100 million now required to make it into the top 1,000. That is £15 million higher than last year’s minimum, while in 1997 it took a personal wealth of ‘just’ £15 million to make the grade. The list includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.131 billion and 80 of them are based in London. It means the capital has more sterling billionaires than any other city in the world. [Daily Telegraph] Roman Abramovich – Owner of Chelsea FC and 10th richest man in Britain
Paula Radcliffe runs the London Marathon for the last time –
Briton Radcliffe, 41, ran the 26.2-mile course in two hours 36 minutes 55 seconds, less than three years after surgery on a serious foot injury.
“It was just amazing the whole way round,” the world-record holder said. “I wore the sunglasses to keep a lid on my emotions and they definitely hid some tears along the way,” she added. Radcliffe won the London Marathon in 2002, 2003 and 2005, and her 2003 winning time of 2:15:25 remains the world record. Paula Radcliffe
Apple says tattoos can cause watch problems –
Apple has said some of the functions on its new smartwatch may not work properly when its worn over tattoos. Darker-coloured artwork and even changes in darker coloured skin types can fool the light sensors on the back of the watch. The problem is not exclusive to the Apple Watch, which performed well in independent tests. But it does show the manufacturer has not solved the sensor problem. “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can… impact heart rate sensor performance,” Apple said on a support page on its website. “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.” [BBC] The Apple Watch range
Tesla’s $3,000 Powerwall Will Let Households Run Entirely On Solar Energy –
Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk unveiled ‘Tesla Energy’ — a new business arm that is focused on ending our dependence on grid power and switching instead to solar energy. The first Tesla Energy product is ‘Powerwall Home Battery,’ a stationary battery that can power a household without requiring the grid. The battery is rechargeable lithium-ion — it uses Tesla’s existing battery tech — and can be fixed to a wall, removing much of the existing complexity around using a local power source. For one thing, the company’s batteries cost $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh. They are open for pre-orders in the U.S. now; the first orders will be dispatched “in late summer.” [Techcrunch.com] On March 31 2015, Musk tweeted about a new product and 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. Elon Musk
Messenger’s Mercury trip ends with a bang, and silence –
Nasa’s Messenger mission to Mercury has reached its explosive conclusion, after 10 years in space and four in orbit. Now fully out of fuel, the spacecraft smashed into a region near Mercury’s north pole, out of sight from Earth, at about 20:00 GMT on Thursday. Mission scientists confirmed the impact minutes later, when the craft’s next possible communication pass was silent. Messenger reached Mercury in 2011 and far exceeded its primary mission plan of one year in orbit. That mission ended with an inevitable collision: Messenger slammed into our Solar System’s smallest planet at 8,750mph (14,000km/h) – 12 times quicker than the speed of sound. The impact will have completely obliterated this history-making craft. And it only happened because Mercury has no thick atmosphere to burn up incoming objects – the same reason its surface is so pock-marked by impact craters. [BBC] Artist’s rendering of the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury Date Source
Video of the Day –
Biggest Trick In Action Sports History – Triple Backflip – Nitro Circus – Josh Sheehan
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