Tahrir square battles intensify in Egypt –
At least 7 anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo died after night of violence as they fought to hold Tahrir square against pro-government fighters. Separately Vodafone claims the Egyptian authorities forced it to send pro-government text messages during this week’s protests.
Fry avoids Japan after joke –
Stephen Fry pulls out of going to film a documentary in Japan after comments he made about a survivor of the two atomic bombs during the second world war in the programme QI caused upset. Fry told the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who was on business in Hiroshima when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb on 6 August 1945. After surviving and spending a night in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi travelled by train back to his home town, Nagasaki. That city was bombed on 9 August as Yamaguchi was explaining his earlier near death experience to his manager. Fry had commented: “Well, this man is either the unluckiest or the luckiest, it depends which way you look at it.” Stephen Fry CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Earthquake stirs the west country –
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale strikes the Bristol Channel off the west coast of England the strongest to hit Britain in six years. The last significant earthquake was on February 27, 2008 at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, measuring 5.2.
Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19 billion –
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook buys messaging service WhatsApp for around $19 billion. The deal consists of Facebook shares worth $12billion for the purchase and another $3billion of restricted stocks as a windfall for WhatsApp’s co-founders and their 50 employees. About 450m people around the world use the instant messaging service each month. Mark Zuckerberg CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
The Obama’s light up –
President Barack Obama, wife Michelle and their daughters, Malia and Sasha switch on the lights of the Christmas Tree at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington DC. 2014 National Christmas Tree
Psy’ched out –
Psy’s Gangnam Style video has been watched so many times that the YouTube’s counter is being upgraded from 32-bit to 64-bit. The old 32-bit system only counted up to 2,147,483,647 views with Gangnam Style hitting 8,000 more than that. The mew 64-bit system will count up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 views (around 9 quadrillion). (See Video of the Day and List of the Day below)
Apple accused of wiping competitors tunes –
A US district court has heard lawyers accuse Apple of “deleting” songs from rival services from some iPods in 2007-09. Users with non-iTunes music received a message telling them to restore devices to their factory settings when they tried to sync them. Apple said that the move was a legitimate security measure. The case has been going on for more than a decade and could result in Apple paying out $1bn in damages.
Nobel Prize medal sells for $4.75m –
The Nobel Prize medal of American geneticist James Watson sold for $4.75 million at auction in New York today. It is the first time a Nobel Prize of a living laureate has been sold and almost doubled the estimate price. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr Watson in 1962 for his discovery of DNA’s double helix structure in 1953. Dr James D Watson
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.
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
NYPD arrest go-slow –
Police in the New York Police Department (NYPD) have dramatically reduced the amount of arrests and other actions since the shooting of two of their officers on December 20th 2015. Citations for traffic violations have fallen by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587; summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination are down by 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300; parking violations drop 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241 and drug arrests by cops dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
I “emoji” you –
The most popular word of 2014 is not actually a word at all but a symbol meaning love – the ’emoji’ heart symbol was the most widely used character in blogs, Twitter and Facebook and in 250,000 global news outlets in the last 12 months, according to a list compiled by the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas.
3 wheels on my airliner –
A Virgin Atlantic passenger plane landed safely at London’s Gatwick Airport after discovering a problem with part of its main landing gear. Virgin flight VS43 was travelling from Gatwick to Las Vegas when it had to return and land on slightly less than the full number of wheels.
No such thing as bad publicity –
The Interview, the film about the spoof assassination of the North Korea Leader becomes Sony’s biggest download film ever. It’s been downloaded more than two million times since its release on 27 December, making back a third of its $44m (£28m) budget.
Broken Bono –
U2 lead singer Bono says that a crash on his bicycle last November resulted in multiple left arm fractures, a broken should and hand and a fractured eye socket. He now has a titanium elbow and fears that he may never play guitar but his band-mates have reminded him “that neither they nor western civilization are depending on this.”
Cancer due to bad luck –
A new piece of research by a team at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US has found that most types of cancer can be put down to bad luck rather than risk factors such as smoking. The research printed in the journal “Science”, showed 66% of the cancer types analysed were caused just by chance mutations rather than lifestyle.
Taking a bite out of Apple –
Miami residents Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara are suing Apple over the amount of storage space the Apple iOS 8 uses on mobile devices.They claim it uses up such a large amount that it forces owners to pay for iCloud storage. They are suing in California for millions of dollars.
Prince Andrew named in court papers –
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has been named in Florida court papers by a woman who says she was forced to have sexual relations with the prince in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by his fried Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “This relates to long-standing and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party. As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue”.
Hit and miss snow fun –
New York “dodged a bullet” according to Mayor Bill de Blasio after the huge expected snowfall skirted the city. All vehicle movement apart from emergency vehicles had been banned and the subway was shut down. However in Massachusetts the Emergency Management Agency (Mema) shut down the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth “due to loss of offsite power”.
Auschwitz remembered –
70 years since the day that the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland was liberated in 1945 sees ceremonies performed at the camp and around the world. Birkenau Gate, Auschwitz
Twitter gets video and group DM –
Twitter launch a video function so 30 second mobile video uploads can be played directly in timelines. The platform is also adding a group direct messages function. The video function uses the devices build in camera to produce Vine style clips but longer.
And Snapchat become a “news” outlet –
Snapchat is making content from the news sevices of Vice Media and CNN available to its users and DailyMail.com will offer Snapchat users 10 to 15 of its “highly addictive stories” news, showbiz and lifestyle stories selected by a special editorial team. Each edition will be available for 24 hours.
Zoella leaves dressing room for kitchen –
Zoe Sugg the YouTube vblogger with 7 million subscribers is to appear on the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off. Zoella as she is known online (@ZozeeBo with 2.6m followers on Twitter) recently featured on Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. Zoe Sugg A.K.A. Zoella
AKB48 proposed to open Olympic ceremony in 2020 –
The big debate in Japan today is whether to allow J-pop group AKB48 to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Their creator, Yasushi Akimoto, proposed choosing the best of the 48 girls (who rotate according to social media popularity) to appear but the idea was ridiculed by Japanese TV celebrity and columnist Matsuko Deluxe, who said the group (named after the Akihabara district of Tokyo) would be “an embarrassment”. The group have sold more than 30m records and had sales exceeding $128m (£85m) in 2013.
Big United beat little United –
Despite the support of 6,000 away fans Cambridge United are finally beaten by Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Man Uniteds starting 11 cost £231m in transfer fees, Cambridge’s cost £0. By forcing a repeat two weeks ago the small club will get around £1 million for their share of the attendance fee which the chairman intends to spend on upgrading the toilets at their ground.
Cut down on your jog life –
A report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that people who jog at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week were least likely to die over a 12-year period that was studied. Those who ran more than four hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates.
One underscores the other doesn’t score –
Father Michael Duffy a New York priest has been receiving Twitter messages congratulating him on signing for Celtic Football Club. In fact another Michael Duffy who was transferred to the Scottish football champions from Derry City club has the same twitter handle as the priest, but the footballer has an underscore at the end. Father Duffy has gained many new followers and today tweeted:
Painting sells for $300m, a world record –
One of French artist Paul Gauguin’s most famous paintings showing to Tahitian ladies is sold for $300m (£197m), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold. Entitled Nafea Faa Ipoipo, or When Will You Marry?, was painted in 1892 by the French Post-Impressionist and has apparently been sold to a museum in Qatar.
Phantom of the Opera apprehended –
Austrian police arrest a 63-year-old man who has become known as the Phantom of the Opera at the Vienna State Opera House. Security guards have been trying to catch the man, who buys a cheap ticket and then sits in expensive seats, for months. When he was seen in the best seat in the house, the police were called, but he made a run for it and then punched one of the police officers after he was cornered in the Gustav Mahler Hall. He was arrested and given a ban from all future performances at the State Opera.
Left shark designer hit with cease and desist order –
Fernando Sosa who is selling the design for a 3D-printer model of the “Left Shark” dancer from Katy Perry’s Super Bowl half-time show has received a letter from Perry’s lawyers saying, “Your unauthorised display and sale of this product infringes our client’s exclusive rights.” Left Shark became a viral hit after forgetting its steps during the performance of Teenage Dream and California Gurls. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Harrison Ford crashes his plane for third time –
US actor Harrison Ford has been injured in a small plane crash in Los Angeles. The 72-year-old, star of the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, reported engine failure and crash-landed his vintage plane on a Venice golf course. He was breathing and alert when medics arrived and took him to hospital in a “fair to moderate” condition, a fire department spokesman said. His son Ben, a chef in Los Angeles, later tweeted from the hospital: “Dad is OK. Battered but OK! [BBC] Harrison Ford
Delta Aircraft slides off New York runway –
A passenger airliner has skidded off the runway at LaGuardia airport in New York City, as a major winter storm bears down on a large part of the US. Emergency officials helped 127 passengers and five crew off the plane just after 11:00 local time (16:00 GMT), but no one was seriously injured. Snow and freezing rain has been falling from Texas to New England over the past several hours. The flight, Delta 1086, was attempting to land at LaGuardia after flying from Atlanta. It veered to the left shortly after making contact with the runway, but avoided crashing into nearby Flushing Bay. [BBC]
New York’s two billion dollar bunny battle –
Brooklyn woman accused of cruelty by keeping more than 170 rabbits in empty lot hits back with law suit against accusers. A New York woman has appeared in court over Easter charged with keeping 176 rabbits in filthy conditions. Dorota Trec, 35, has become known as the Rabbit Woman of Gowanus, after the Brooklyn neighbourhood where she lives with a rapidly proliferating collections of bunnies. She faces up to a year in jail if found guilty of two animal cruelty charges. Prosecutors allege her pets are suffering from diseases such as syphilis and have bite wounds from frequent fights. Trec, who is a piano teacher, is now accusing an animal welfare campaigner, Natalie Reeves, and others of a smear campaign and is seeking $2 billion in damages after the rabbits were taken away. [Daily Telegraph]
Ranulph Fiennes risks his life in 156 mile Sahara race –
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, has told how he is “putting his life on the line” by attempting to complete the Marathon des Sables.
Should the 71-year-old succeed, he will become the oldest Briton to complete the six-day ultra-marathon in the Moroccan desert. The explorer will face temperatures of 50C. “People say I must be mad, especially as I don’t like the heat,” he said. “I am putting my life on the line.” The Marathon des Sables covers 251km, including the distance of a marathon a day and a double marathon another day. Runners carry everything they need on their backs. Sir Ranulph will be raising money for Marie Curie. [Daily Telegraph] Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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]
Flawless 100-carat diamond sells for $22.1 million at NY auction –
An eye-popping, 100-carat diamond, the highlight of a magnificent jewels sale in New York on Tuesday, sold for $22.1 million, Sotheby’s auction house said. The perfect classic emerald-cut D color diamond, which is about the size of a walnut and was mined by De Beers in southern Africa, was purchased by an anonymous buyer via a telephone bid. It had a pre-sale estimate of $19 million to $25 million. Gary Schuler, the head of Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York, said the gem is the definition of perfection. The $22.1 million price, which includes the buyer’s premium, fell short of the $30.6 million world record price paid for a 118.28 carat white diamond in Hong Kong in 2013. Sotheby’s said only six perfect diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been sold at auction in the last 25 years. [Reuters]
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleads guilty to threat to kill –
Phil Rudd, drummer of Australian rock band AC/DC, has changed his plea to guilty on a charge of a threat to kill, at a court in Tauranga, New Zealand. The court heard he was unhappy about his album’s launch party and asked for a former employee to be “taken out”. He had previously denied the charge. He also pleaded guilty to cannabis and methamphetamine possession. Prosecutors dropped a second threat to kill charge, relating to the former employee’s daughter. [BBC] On April 1 2015 AC/DC won their first Grammy.
[Daily Telegraph] AC/DC
Japan maglev train breaks world speed record again –
A Japanese magnetic levitation train has broken its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji. The train beat the 590km/h speed it had set last week in another test. Maglev trains use electrically charged magnets to lift and move carriages above the rail tracks. Central Japan Railway (JR Central), which owns the trains, wants to introduce the service between Tokyo and the central city of Nagoya by 2027. The 280km journey would take only about 40 minutes, less than half the current time. However, passengers will not get to experience the maglev’s record-breaking speeds because the company said its trains will operate at a maximum of 505km/h. In comparison, the fastest operating speed of a Japanese shinkansen, or “bullet train” is is 320km/h. (See Video of the day). [BBC] The SCMaglev test track in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Video of the Day –
Yasukazu Endo, the head of the research centre run by Central Japan Railways, discusses the new maglev train. [Guardian]
Silk Road drug website founder Ross Ulbricht jailed –
The founder of online illegal drug marketplace the Silk Road has been sentenced to life in prison in the US. Federal prosecutors said Ross Ulbricht’s website, hosted on the hidden “dark web”, sold more than $200m (£131m) worth of drugs anonymously. The 31-year-old was found guilty in New York of charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking. The site was shut down in 2013 after police arrested Ulbricht. In February he was convicted of operating the site for nearly three years from 2011. [BBC]
Sepp Blatter wins FIFA President election –
Under-fire Sepp Blatter has been voted in for four more years as Fifa president – but only after his rival inflicted a ”bloody nose” on him.
More than a third of FIFA’s 209 associations voted for Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan as significant numbers turned against Mr Blatter following the crisis that has struck the world governing body this week. The Swiss bureaucrat, 79, won the first round by 133 votes to 73, but he failed to gain a two-thirds majority, and Prince Ali, the 39-year-old Sandhurst graduate, then withdrew from the contest rather than force a second round of voting. Sepp Blatter at the 2014 FIFA Tournament Announcement in 2007
Sepp Blatter will be ousted from Fifa, declares FA Chairman Greg Dyke –
Greg Dyke declared the fight to oust Sepp Blatter as Fifa president had only just begun after watching him defy the worst crisis in the world governing body’s history to sweep to a fifth term in office on Friday. Dyke, the FA chairman, said: “This is not over by any means. To quote the Attorney General, this is the beginning of the process not the end. I’d be very surprised if Mr Blatter was still in this job in two years’ time.”
Confirming the FA would consider joining any Uefa-led World Cup walkout, he added: “There would be no point pulling England out if everyone else stays in. But if you could pull Uefa out, that might have an impact.” Greg Dyke
Dozens of people are rescued in the US state of Texas. The death toll from floods in Texas and Oklahoma has reached 24 dead with 13 missing with another 15 people dead from tornadoes in northern Mexico and Texas. (NBC News)
Sepp Blatter is elected to a fifth term as president of FIFA after Prince Ali bin Hussein withdraws his candidacy before a second round of voting could take place. The first round of voting had ended with Blatter falling seven votes short of the 2/3 majority needed to win. (ESPN), (CNN)
News from Wikipedia – please support this valuable resource
Sir Christopher Lee death announced –
In one of his final interviews, Sir Christopher Lee declared his intention never to retire. “When I die, I want to die with my boots on,” he said.
The actor remained true to his word. He was preparing for his latest film role – a drama called The 11th, co-starring Uma Thurman – when he died on Sunday morning [June 7, 2015] at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Sir Christopher was one of the greats of the 20th century, but his career hit new heights in the last 15 years of his life. He will be best remembered by those of a certain age for playing Count Dracula in his Hammer Horror days, but to younger film fans he was a star of two of the biggest franchises ever made: Saruman in Lord of the Rings and Count Dooku in Star Wars. [Daily Telegraph] He appeared in over 200 films (See List of the Day) Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)
Female scientists post ‘distractingly sexy’ photos –
Female scientists have been sharing “distractingly sexy” photos of themselves after a feminist website encouraged them to respond to comments by a Nobel laureate. Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt was roundly criticised when he detailed his thoughts about the “trouble with girls” at a conference of science journalists. “Three things happen when they are in the lab,” he said, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” He said his comments were meant to be “light-hearted, ironic comment”, but whatever the intention, it went over like a heavy metallic dirigible in a field with some widely acknowledged gender issues. Hunt has now resigned from his position at University College London. On Thursday the hashtag #DistractinglySexy began taking off, with more than 10,000 tweets in a matter of hours. [BBC Trending] See Top Twitter Trends (UK)
Video of the Day –
Saruman the White – from Lord of the Rings [from Youtube]
List of the Day –
Sir Christopher Lee film appearances (including voiceovers) [List from Wikipedia]
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Ashkelon region fell short and did not land in Israel with Palestinian sources indicating it may have hit a house. There were no immediate reports of injuries, or claims of responsibility. (Times of Israel)
Federal Interior Ministry of Pakistan has sealed the offices of the NGO Save the Children in Pakistan and issued order for its foreign staff to leave the country within 15 days on account of the NGO’s anti-Pakistan activities. (Express Tribune).
Avengers star Patrick Macnee dies –
Actor Patrick Macnee, star of The Avengers TV series, has died in California at the age of 93. The Briton, best known for playing John Steed in the 1960s television spy series, died at home with his family at his bedside, his son Rupert said. Macnee also played roles in theatre, appearing on Broadway, and served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. A statement on the actor’s website read: “Wherever he went, he left behind a trove of memories.” He died peacefully at his home in California’s Rancho Mirage. [BBC] See List of the Day below Patrick Macnee in Lobster man from Mars
Clint Dempsey gets two-year US cup ban for outburst –
Clint Dempsey has been banned from the US Open Cup for two years after ripping up a referee’s notebook during a game. The Seattle Sounders forward, 33, flicked the notebook out of Daniel Radford’s hand, picked it up off the pitch and then tore it into pieces after a team-mate had been sent off. The ex-Fulham and Spurs man was duly sent off, as Seattle ended with seven men in a 3-1 loss to Portland Timbers. The US captain is banned for six games or two years – whichever is longer. [BBC] Clint Dempsey
France cracks down on Uber service after protests –
France’s interior minister has ordered a ban on the low-cost car-sharing service UberPOP after a day of nationwide protests by taxi drivers. Bernard Cazeneuve said the service was “illegal” and ordered police and prosecutors to enforce its closure. His announcement followed a day of sometimes violent protests by French taxi drivers, who say the US-based firm Uber is stealing their livelihoods. [BBC]
US spy chief James Clapper says China lead suspect in cyber hack –
China is the “leading suspect” in the massive hack of a US government agency holding the personnel records of millions of Americans, US intelligence chief James Clapper has said. He is the highest-ranking US official to publicly implicate Beijing since news of the data breach emerged. China always dismissed suggestions that it was behind the hacking. The statement comes after three days of high-level talks in which China and the US agreed to a “code of conduct”. “China remains the leading suspects,” said Mr Clapper at a conference in Washington DC, but “the US government continues to investigate” he added, according to his office. James_R._Clapper, US intelligence Chief
Matt Stonie beats Joey Chestnut in Fourth of July hot dog eating contest –
America’s Independence Day celebrations were overshadowed on Saturday by the shock defeat of the country’s champion hot dog eating star. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, 32, began strongly at the annual Nathan’s Famous contest in Coney Island, New York, before being overhauled and beaten by Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who polished off 62 frankfurters and buns in 10 minutes (to add to a bacon eating record he claimed earlier this year). Mr Chestnut, unbeaten for eight years, fell two short. He managed a smile as he conceded defeat in front of thousands of fans. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day Joey Chesnut
Chile beat Argentina on Penalties to win Copa America –
Chile secured the first major trophy in their history on home soil courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Argentina in the Copa America final.
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez slotted in the winning spot-kick after Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain fired over and Ever Banega was denied by Claudio Bravo.
Higuain had earlier missed from close range after 90 minutes of few chances. Sanchez came closest in extra time for Chile, who scored all four of their penalties in the shootout. [BBC] Alexis Sanchez (playing for Arsenal)
England finish third in the Women’s World Cup beating Germany 1-0 –
Fara Williams’s extra-time penalty ensured England beat Germany for the first time in 31 years to finish third at the Women’s World Cup. The performance was the second best by an England team following the 1966 win by the men’s side and eclipsed the 1990 men’s team, who finished fourth in Italy. The Lionesses had not beaten two-time World Cup winners Germany in 20 attempts but they more than matched their opponents and won the spot-kick in the second period of extra-time after substitute Lianne Sanderson was brought down by Tabea Kemme. Williams, who is England’s record cap holder and was homeless at one point in her England career, beat retiring German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer for her third penalty of the tournament. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Car Chase by Vania Heymann
List of the Day –
Joey Chesnut World Eating Records (as of July 4, 2015)
Deep Fried Asparagus Eating Championship in Stockton, California, May 2014: 12.8 lbs. deep fried asparagus in 10 minutes.
A rally of war veterans in Kiev calls for Ukraine to abandon the Minsk II ceasefire agreement and to declare war on pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. Despite two ceasefire agreements since September combat operations, including the use of heavy artillery and ballistic missiles, never stopped.(BBC)
Parking attendant ‘mistakenly gives away’ Grandmaster Flash’s car –
Hip-hop pioneer says he returned to garage to find his customised Dodge Charger had been given to someone “dressed like him”. When you leave your customised muscle car with a valet parking service in New York, you assume it is in safe hands.Particularly if you are a hip-hop superstar. But when Grandmaster Flash returned to the garage in Manhattan where he had left his Dodge Charger for two hours he was told by the attendant that his “whip” – slang for souped-up car – had been given to someone else. To make matters worse, he had left thousands of dollars of vintage vinyl in the car. [Daily Telegraph]
Has Kim Kardashian just fixed Twitter? –
Reality TV star wants to be able to edit misspelled tweets and Twitter co-founder says ‘great idea’. It is easily one of the most annoying things about Twitter: the inability to edit tweets that contain mistakes, spelling errors or just came out sounding a bit wrong. Instead, Twitter users have the delete the tweet, and repost a new version, which leads to all kinds of problems if the earlier tweet had been retweeted, and on it goes. But hopefully not for long. Enter Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star and unofficial queen of Twitter, who uses the site daily to communicate with her 33.8 million followers and promote herself. On Friday, Kardashian turned her attention to the workings of the site, asking why it wasn’t possible to simply edit tweets. Not long afterwards, she got a reply from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, which suggests a fix for the problem isn’t far off. [Daily Telegraph] Kim Kardashian Twitter fix with Jack Dorsey
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale file for divorce –
After almost 13 years of marriage, Gwen Stefani has filed for divorce from Gavin Rossdale. The No Doubt musician cited irreconcilable differences for their split. Stefani filed her petition for divorce on Monday 2 August, Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman Mary Hearn said. The former couple, who married in 2002, have three sons together, and are seeking joint custody of their children Zuma, Kingston and Apollo. [The Guardian] Gwen Stefani
A street-corner sized sinkhole forms at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 64th Street in Sunset Park in Brooklyn, New York City, ruining the street corner, around 7:30 AM. The northbound N Broadway Local train is delayed; there is at least one disconnected pipe and gas lines are being repaired by National Grid workers; and the police have cordoned off the area. No fatalities or injuries have been reported. (Business Insider, via MSN)
Blackjack-addicted Buddhist monk accused of stealing $150,000 –
A Buddhist monk with an expensive blackjack addiction has appeared in court in New York, charged with stealing around $150,000 (£97,000) in donations to fund his habit. Khang Nguyen Le, 45, was paid $1,000 a month for his role as the most senior monk at the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Southwest Louisiana, based in the town of Lafayette. But over the past four years he had found himself with a growing gambling addiction and, according to court documents, stole from the organisation to feed his habit. He is accused of spending up to $10,000 every two or three days at the blackjack tables, and hiding in the corners of the casino so no one would spot him. [Daily Telegraph]
Naomi Campbell tries to #freethenipple, fails –
Dislike button: Why Facebook wants to know what makes you sad –
It has finally happened. “Today is a special day” declared Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a live “in-person townhall” event. Almost casually, he dropped a bombshell that has ignited technology commentators overnight: Facebook is getting a new button. Yes, alongside “like” will be something else. It almost certainly will not be a “dislike” button. The widespread news is that Facebook will twin “like” with “dislike”, long one of the most popular suggestions from Facebook users. However, if you actually listen to what Zuckerberg said, he rules this out: “we didn’t wanna just build a dislike button…[where] people were voting up or down people’s posts…what they really want is an ability to express empathy”. [Daily Telegraph] Mark Zuckerberg
Wentworth golf club asks for six-figure membership fee –
One of the UK’s most exclusive golf clubs is to start charging £125,000 to new joiners. Wentworth, which was bought by the Beijing-based Reignwood Group in September 2014, has told existing members they must stump up £100,000. Annual fees on top of that are to rise from £8,000 to £16,000. James Wyatt said he and other members faced having to pay “an enormous amount”. The Surrey golf club said membership pricing “is a private club matter”. [BBC]
Working Enigma machine fetches world record price at New York auction –
An extremely rare and fully operational Nazi Enigma machine from Second World War has sold for $365,000 in New York, setting a new record at auction, Bonhams said on Thursday. The M4 machine, which was built between 1943 and 1945, is one of around 150 to have survived from an estimated 1,500 that were built as Nazi Germany fought to fend off the Allies. A spokeswoman for Bonhams said the $365,000 (£237,000) sale price set a new world record for an Enigma machine sold at auction. The purchaser at Wednesday’s sale was identified only as a private collector. [Daily Telegraph]
Rudely-named south-east London coffee shop ordered to remove its sign –
A crudely-named coffee shop in south-east London has been ordered by its landlord to remove the “offensive” sign bearing its name. Fuckoffee tweeted a picture of a letter it received from the landlord’s lawyers:
The letter read: “We are instructed that you have either erected or allowed your sub-tenant to erect an offensive sign on the exterior of the buliding… without the permission or authority from our client to do so and this constitutes a trespass.” According to the letter, the Bermondsey Street coffeeshop could face legal proceedings or the forfeiture of its lease if it does not remove the sign. It will also have to cover the costs of the legal steps taken so far. [Daily Telegraph]
Chilean officers start to grant civil unions licences to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, marking the first time a same-sex relationship is officially recognized in the country. (BBC)(The Guardian)
Indian Railways holds disabled recruitment drive on top floor – with no lifts –
A bid to recruit more disabled employees to work on India’s railways has ended in farce after test centres were set up on the top floors of buildings with no lifts or ramps. Many candidates who arrived at recruitment offices across India on Thursday either had to be carried or drag themselves up the stairs to their designated computers. Some were forced to abandon their applications entirely. [Daily Telegraph]
Vengeful surfer vows to eat the shark that bit him –
Don’t get on the wrong side of Allen Engelman – he has exacted the ultimate revenge on a shark that bit him. The Florida surfer was bitten by a shark, so the next day went out on a vengeful hunt. He killed a shark which he believes to be the same one that bit him. Not only did he kill it, but he now vows to eat it in order to punish the animal for the bite inflicted upon him. The surfer received 15 stitches, and from then on he was hell-bent on revenge. Him and his five-year-old son went back to the beach the following day and caught a shark with the same markings as the one which bit him. [Daily Telegraph]
New York follows UK in banning ‘hoverboards’ in public places –
New York has become the latest city to ban self-balancing scooters, known as “hoverboards”, warning that anyone caught riding them in public places could face a fine of up to $500. The two-wheeled electric vehicles, which use gyroscope technology to keep the rider upright, have exploded in popularity over the last few months – with celebrities including Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Lily Allen and Jamie Foxx all spotted riding them. However, according to the the New York City Police Department, hoverboards are prohibited by New York state law since they are considered “motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles”. [Daily Telegraph] October 21 2015 was the Back to the Future Day that featured real hoverboards
Fugitive ISIS gunman Salah Abdeslam called three friends saying he is hiding in the Brussels area and is desperately trying to get to ISIS territory in Syria. He said local ISIS members are unhappy with him since he failed to detonate his suicide vest. His brother Mohamed Abdeslam has publicly pleaded with Salah to turn himself in. (ABC News)
Sweden‘s national security service Säpo are questioning terrorist suspect Moder Mothama Magid, a 22-year-old Iraqi, who is accused of planning to launch a terror attack on the Swedish capital Stockholm. (Local)
USPlabs and S.K. Laboratory are indicted following a U.S. Department of Justice investigation finds synthetic ingredients manufactured in China were added to workout boosters and weight-loss products the firms claimed to be natural. Supplements from these companies were previously implicated in consumer illnesses and death. Several other defendants from the companies face additional charges. (Military Times)
Russianpole vaulterYelena Isinbayeva, who has two Olympic gold medals and 30 world records, told Sky News she is going to fight for what she believes to be her right to compete at the 2016 Olympics. She calls on the IAAF, at the world governing track and field organization’s annual meeting on 26 November, to rescind their ban on clean Russian athletes. (Sky News)
X Games biker and BMX star Dave Mirra dies –
Police in the US say X Games biker Dave Mirra has died aged 41. Officers in North Carolina say his body was found early on Thursday with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Dave Mirra was a former BMX champion and one of the most decorated athletes in X Games history. He won a medal every year from 1995 to 2008, picking up 14 golds. His one-time record of 24 career medals was only broken in 2013 by Bob Burnquist. Only Shaun White has won more X Games gold medals than him. [BBC Newsbeat] See Top Twitter Trends (UK) Dave Mirra in 2010
New York crane collapse kills at least one person –
A large construction crane has collapsed in lower Manhattan in New York City, killing one person and injuring at least two others. The Fire Department of New York confirmed the fatality and is on the scene responding to the accident. The collapse happened along West Broadway early on Friday morning in the Tribeca neighbourhood. The downed crane, which filled the street, fell onto numerous parked cars. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the victim was sitting in a parked car at the time of the accident, and that it was caused by high winds. Workers were in the process of lowering the crane due to the high winds when it collapsed. No workers were injured. [BBC] See Video of the Day
1957 Ferrari 335 S Spider Scaglietti breaks auction sale for racing car at $32 million –
A 1957 Ferrari driven by the great British motor racers of the 1950s broke the record for the world’s most expensive racing car sold at auction after fetching just over €32 million (£24.7 million) on Friday. Despite the stratospheric price at the Artcurial auction in Paris, the buyer cannot use the vehicle on the roads as it was designed purely for racing. Only four Ferrari 335 S Spider Scagliettis were ever produced, and this one had been in the hands of a private French collector for more than 40 years – hence the feverish excitement at the Rétromobile classic car show in Paris, where the auction took place. The 335S is purely a racing car, unlike the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, which was a dual purpose vehicle also homologated for road use.[Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day
Video of the Day –
Crane collapse in New York – original footage by Glenn Zito
Copyright Glenn Zito.
List of the Day –
Cars sold at auction for over $10 million (source Wikipedia]
Finding Dory breaks US box office record –
Finding Dory has taken $136.2m (£93.3m) on its opening weekend – making it the most successful launch for an animated film in US box office history. The sequel to Finding Nemo has unseated Shrek the Third – which took $121.6m (£83.1m) on its release in 2007. It is also the second most successful opening weekend of 2016, behind Marv el’s Captain America: Civil War. Ellen DeGeneres voices the lead character in Finding Dory. [BBC] Ellen DeGeneres (and others)
Video of the Day –
Why Don’t We Ever See Baby Pigeons? | Dolan Life Mysteries
Bahraini authorities strip Isa Qassim, the kingdom’s most influential Shia cleric, of his citizenship after they accused him of promoting “sectarianism and violence”. (BBC)
According to an environmental report by Global Witness, 2015 was the deadliest year ever for environmental activists, with the reported deaths of 185 activists, as a result of falling commodity prices prompting forceful land grabs by mining and foresting companies. (Deutsche Welle)
BRITAIN VOTES FOR ‘BREXIT’ IN HISTORIC REFERENDUM –
Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, defying its prime minister and confounding most analysts’ expectations. The result raises questions over the future of Prime Minister David Cameron, and over the future of Scotland within the United Kingdom. The results expose a British electorate deeply divided by age, class and geographical location. Most large urban centers elected to stay part of the European Union, particularly in London, where many local authorities delivered vast majorities for the pro-EU campaign. Polls completed before the vote suggested the young were significantly more likely to back EU membership than the old, and that poorer, less-educated voters were likelier to be Brexiters. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Wales surprised many observers by voting in favor of a “Leave” vote, with just over 850,000 Welsh voters choosing to leave the bloc, and a little more than 770,000 voting to Remain. [Newsweek] See List of the Day
Solar plane lands in Spain after three-day Atlantic crossing –
An airplane powered solely by the sun landed safely in Seville in Spain early on Thursday after an almost three-day flight across the Atlantic from New York in one of the longest legs of the first ever fuel-less flight around the world. The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 touched down shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time in Seville after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2.30 a.m. EDT on June 20.
The flight of just over 71 hours was the 15th leg of the round-the-world journey by the plane piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. [Reuters] See Video of the Day
Video of the Day –
Solar Impulse Airplane – Leg 15 – Flight New York to Seville
List of the Day –
How the home nations voted in the EU Referendum [BBC]
Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered only by the sun, lands safely in Seville, Spain, shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time after a flight of just over 71 hours. The 15th leg of the round-the-world journey had been expected to take up to 90 hours. (Reuters)(Reuters²)
US election 2016 result: Trump beats Clinton to take White House –
Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee’s victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton. The battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset. Global markets plummeted, with the US dollar diving and gold prices surging. Mr Trump’s shock victory in Wisconsin put him over the 270 out of 538 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, after a gruelling and rancorous campaign. The US president-elect took to the stage with his family at his victory rally in a New York hotel ballroom and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory.” [BBC] President elect Donald Trump
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)
French cyclist Robert Marchand sets new record aged 105 –
He may not be the fastest cyclist round a velodrome, but he is easily one of the oldest. Robert Marchand has clocked up 105 years and now a new record for the furthest distance cycled in one hour. The French cyclist managed 22.547km (14 miles) at the national velodrome, taking the top spot in a new category – for riders over 105. Mr Marchand already holds the record for those aged over 100 – 26.927km – set in 2012. He “could have done better”, he says, but missed a sign showing 10 minutes to go. “My legs didn’t hurt,” he told BFMTV. “My arms hurt but that’s because of rheumatism.” [BBC] Robert Marchand (centre) in 2012
Climate change: Heatwave made ‘at least’ five times more likely by warming
Last week’s record breaking heatwave across much of Europe was made “at least five times” more likely to happen by climate change, say scientists.
Their rapid attribution study says that rising temperatures “super-charged” the event, making it more likely to happen than through natural variability alone.
Heatwaves in June are now about 4C hotter than they used to be, the researchers said.
Globally, the average temperature for June was the highest on record.
The immediate cause of the heatwave was the weather, with hot air drawn in from northern Africa, caused by high pressure over central Europe and a storm stalling over the Atlantic.
By lucky coincidence, the authors of this new study happened to be in Toulouse, France, at a conference on climate change and extreme events.
The researchers, members of the World Weather Attribution Group decided to use the opportunity to analyse the link between human-induced climate change and the heatwave.
They defined the heatwave as the highest three-day averaged daily mean temperature in June, arguing that this is a better indicator of health impacts than maximums or minimums.
The researchers compared the observations of temperatures recorded during the month of June with climate models that can show how the world would be without the human influence on the climate.
They found that, over France, the probability of having a heatwave had increased by at least a factor of five. However, the researchers say that this influence could be much higher still, by a factor of 100 or more.
“We are very confident that this lower boundary of factor five is valid – but we are not confident we can say much more than that,” said Dr Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, senior researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
“The reason we are fairly careful is because we found fairly large discrepancies between the modelled properties of heatwaves and the observed properties of heatwaves. They all show stronger heatwaves but the trend in the observations is much larger than in the trends in the model.”
According to those involved with this study, this trend in heatwaves is likely to get worse.
“We experienced a heatwave whose intensity could become the norm in the middle of the century,” said Dr Robert Vautard, Senior Scientist, CNRS, France.
“The new record of 45.9C set in France last Friday is one more step to confirmation that, without urgent climate mitigation actions, temperatures in France could potentially rise to about 50°C or more in France by the end of the century.”
The researchers believe that if global warming continues to the 2C level envisioned in the Paris climate agreement, heatwaves like the one experienced last week will become the norm in June.
Islamist militants attack a Niger Armed Forces base in the village of Inates, near the border with Mali, with two car bombs and gunmen, killing 18 soldiers. They also kidnapped four Nigerien soldiers and stole dozens of vehicles. (BBC)
Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir says his country will work with Japan and other nations to come up with a plan to ensure that ships can safely transit the Persian Gulfregion. Jubeir also calls for “action” on Iran. (NHK)
China warns the United Kingdom that “no country has the right to intervene on the issue of mass protests in Hong Kong“, as it considers the problems of this self-governed city an “internal problem”. For China, the agreement by which the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong is nothing more than “a historical document of no practical importance” and “that European country no longer has any responsibility over Hong Kong”. The British chancellery, for its part, dismissed the Chinese opinion, and has said that “it is the right and obligation of the United Kingdom to work to enforce the agreement”, which, in theory, guarantees a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong for 50 years until 2047 without Chinese interference. (Sky News)