It’s snow fun –
After the worse start to the Europe ski season for over ten years due to very little snow, a large drop in temperature and a snowfall of over 12 inches (30 cm) in 12 hours causes chaos in the French Alps.
Fallen Fernando –
Once the world’s top striker Chelsea’s Fernando Torres is expected to be bought by Italy’s AC Milan in January but then loaned out to Atletico Madrid so ending up back in his native Spain. Fernando Torres
Taxing issue –
The UK overtakes France as the fifth largest economy in the world after the money made from prostitution and drugs was counted in the GDP figure for the first time.
Britain’s economy is expected to be worth a total £1.86 trillion in 2014 – up from £1.63 trillion the previous year.
First manager sacked in EPL –
Neil Warnock is the first English Premier League manager to be sacked this season after Crystal Palace dispensed with his services for a second time. It is the latest a manager has been fired in the season since 1996 (January 2nd)
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.
Paris gunmen killed after 2 sieges –
The 2 gunmen who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre on January 7th 2015 have been killed by French police after a brief siege at a warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, 35km (22 miles) north of Paris. Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi were shot dead as they came out of a warehouse building firing at police. Two officers were injured. Simultaneously, Amedy Coulibaly, the man who killed a policewoman on 7th January, was shot dead at a kosher supermarket in Paris after he had killed 4 hostages – 15 hostages were rescued. Coulibaly knew one of the brothers and their respective partners had spoken on the phone more than 500 times. A total of 17 people plus the 3 gunmen have died in the 3 days.
Brand and Rascal to be studied –
The exam board Oxford, Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts (OCR) plan to include evidence given by Russell Brand to a Commons select committee inquiring into drugs and an interview between Dizzee Rascal and Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman as part of the English A-level syllabus as from this September. The plans have been approved by exams regulator Ofqual amongst 37 new specifications for GCSEs and A-levels put forward by the exam board. Dizzee Rascal
AirAsia tail section recovered –
The tail section of AirAsia flight QZ8501 that crashed while flying from Surabaya in Indonesia to Singapore has been recovered from the seabed using inflatable devices. Although the flight recorders are positioned in the tail it appears that the “black boxes” have been separated from it and the search continues.
The Indonesian navy has retrieved from the seabed the tail of the AirAsia plane that crashed two weeks ago.
Lucky he was a Dolphin –
Former Miami Dolphins running back Rob Konrad swam nine miles to shore after falling off his boat while fishing and his boat, which was on auto pilot, drifted away from him off the South Florida coast. Konrad, who played 82 games for the Dolphins between 1999-2004, was treated for hypothermia after it took 12 hours to swim to shore.
Saturn centre pinpointed –
Scientists have located the centre of the planet Saturn to within just 2 miles using ten antennae, known as the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), spread over an area from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands. The antenna assembly uses signals sent by the Cassini probe to monitor the position of the gas giant. Previously estimates of the positions of Saturn and its satellites used data received by tracking Cassini’s radio signal during its communications with Earth but the new calculations are about 20 times more accurate.
Politician admits trampolining naked with a dog –
Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president in Northern Ireland, claims that he trampolines naked along with his dog. Mr Adams explained that his house is “ring-fenced”, so he wasn’t affecting the neighbours, or can be snapped by the papparazzi. Gerry Adams
Russian hackers steal £650 million –
Investigators from Kaspersky Lab uncovers what is thought to be the biggest ever cybercrime with more than £650 million ($1 billion) going missing from banks around the world. A group of Russian hackers spent two years infiltrating the internal computer systems of over 100 financial institutions world-wide using malware.
Ski jump 250m barrier broken twice in two days-
The world ski jump record has been broken by Slovenian jumper Peter Prevc by travelling 250m (274 yards) at a World Cup event in Vikersund, Norway. But this is beaten by Anders Fannemel who travels 251.5m (276.14 yards). See Video below.
The Brit Awards sees Madonna wardrobe malfunction
The Brit Awards sees Ed Sheeran take the awards for Best Male Solo Artist and Best British Album for “X”. Palomo Faith is Best Female Solo Artist and Mark Ronson (ft Bruno Mars) wins best British Song with Uptown Funk. But the biggest memory of the night was Madonna being dragged down a flight of steps by one of her dancers when the neck cord of her cape didn’t release. See video below.
Top Gear France smashes channel ratings in first episode as critics give it the thumbs up –
Around a million viewers tuned in to Top Gear France – the best ever rating for the channel broadcasting the show, made by BBC Worldwide France reportedly for up to €400,000 per programme. The Gallic version features comic actor Philippe Lellouche, driving ace Bruce Jouanny and car expert Yann Larret-Menezo and The Stig. [Daily Telegraph] See Video of the Day. Philippe Lellouche
Zayn Malik leaves One Direction tour after being signed off with stress –
Zayn Malik has left One Direction’s tour of Asia and has returned to the UK after being signed off with stress. A statement said: “Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. “The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta.” On Wednesday the singer declared his love for his fiancee, Little Mix star Perrie Edwards, after photos emerged of him with his arm around another woman. [BBC] Zayn Malik
Russia: Gold found in roadside socks lands man in court
A Russian man has been found guilty of illegally possessing more than a dozen pieces of gold he found in some socks by the roadside, it’s been reported. Bagaudin Estermirov, from the Amur Region in Russia’s Far East, found 18 ingots of gold worth 10.5 million rubles ($171,000; £116,184), wrapped in three black jersey socks in bushes in the town of Zeya last October. A Russian district court on 17 March handed down a two-year suspended sentence for “illegal possession of a precious metal” after Estermirov fully admitted his guilt. The gold, which weighed about 8kg, was handed over to the state. [BBC]
Charlie Sheen hurls racist Twitter rant at Barack Obama –
Charlie Sheen, once the highest paid actor on US television before his career unravelled because of his drug addiction, has launched an attack on Barack Obama. The son of Martin Sheen and former star of Two and a Half Men, posted a garbled attack on the US president in the early hours of the morning on Twitter. “Barry Satera Kenya u won’t attend a soldier’s funeral uhkros da street that u kild yet u hav time 4 brackets? s a d.” Sheen’s anger appeared to be a reference to the funeral of Major General Harold Greene, a two-star general killed in Afghanistan. [Daily Telegraph]
Tag Heuer teams up with Google and Intel for Android watch –
Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced it is to build an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. The firm – which is part of the luxury goods-maker LVMH Group – is forming a partnership with Google and the chipmaker Intel to create the device. Switzerland dominates the high-end watch sector. This marks the first of its companies to join Google’s wearable tech ecosystem. [BBC]
Jeremy Clarkson dropped from Top Gear, BBC confirms –
Jeremy Clarkson’s contract will not be renewed after an “unprovoked physical attack” on a Top Gear producer, the BBC’s director general has confirmed. Tony Hall said he had “not taken this decision lightly” and recognised it would “divide opinion”. However, he added “a line has been crossed” and he “cannot condone what has happened on this occasion”. Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, following what was called a “fracas” with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. The row, which took place in a Yorkshire hotel, was said to have occurred because no hot food was provided following a day’s filming. An internal investigation found that Mr Tymon took himself to hospital after he was subject to an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack”. [BBC]
Jeremy Clarkson changed his Twitter profile from “Presenter on the BBC2 motoring show,Top Gear” to “I used to be a presenter on the BBC2 motoring show,Top Gear”
Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction and group continues as four-piece –
Zayn Malik has left One Direction, the band said in a statement today. They will continue as a four-piece for their world tour and to record their fifth album later this year. Malik said: “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. “I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right.” Malik quit the band’s world tour last week after being signed off with stress. [BBC] Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik solo track taken down after angry response from One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson –
A song featuring Zayn Malik without the rest of One Direction has been taken down, less than a day after it was shared on Twitter. Producer Naughty Boy posted a link to the track early on Tuesday, with the words “let the music do the talking”. It came less than a week after Zayn confirmed he was quitting 1D. Earlier on, the band’s Louis Tomlinson accused Naughty Boy of being “inconsiderate” to fans after he retweeted a video about Zayn. [BBC] Louis’ tweet
Top Gear: Richard Hammond and James May no longer work for the BBC –
James May and Richard Hammond are out of contract with the BBC from midnight, after declining to sign new deals to present the next series of Top Gear. The pair are now free agents, meaning rival broadcasters can approach them with job offers. Hammond has tweeted that he is “not ready for retirement”. May does not seem in a great hurry to find new employment, he is making a shepherds pie. [Daily Telegraph]
Google Maps launches PacMan on real streets –
Google has launched an April Fool’s Day version of Google Maps that allows users to play the classic arcade game Pac-Man on real streets. Google Map users can access the Pac-Man version by clicking on the icon in the bottom corner of the screen and then using their keyboard to play the game. The game is accessible on desktop computers and on the Google Maps app. It allows users to play the famous game around the world’s most recognisable streets or your own neighbourhood. At some famous locations, such as the area around the Taj Mahal and the Arc de Triomphe, Google has added a Pac-Man marker that also launches the game because the areas appear perfectly matched to the original Pac-Man layout. [Daily Telegraph]
Elon Musk’s $1bn tweet: news of secret product line sees Tesla shares soar –
Elon Musk, the billionaire technology entrepreneur, has announced a “major” new Tesla product line that is “not a car”, in a cryptic tweet which has left millions guessing. The CEO’s news sparked the hashtag #TeslaNewProductGuesses, with guesses ranging from a time machine to a real-life Iron Man suit. 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. The tweet went out to his 1.9 million followers and had thousands of retweets within an hour. [Daily Telegraph] Elon Musk
Video of the Day –
David Beckham and James Corden’s New Underwear Line
One Direction, Robert Pattinson help out in first Red Nose Day in America –
One Direction, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Pattinson were among British stars who helped raise money for the first Red Nose Day in America.
The three-hour TV show opened with a monologue from host Seth Meyers. He announced his plans to trump the UK version of the fund-raising marathon.
“I don’t want the British doing anything in front of the cameras,” said the late night talk show host. “They are famously terrible actors so they are all working backstage.” Cameras cut to Simon Cowell in the director’s chair, Orlando Bloom at the sound board, Naomi Campbell operating a camera, Sir Ian McKellen working the teleprompter, Cumberbatch struggling with cue cards and Dame Helen Mirren making tea. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was left with the task of wishing people good luck while Pattinson struggled with valet parking and crashed the first car given to him.[BBC]
Highlight of the night was Cold Play creating a musical version of Game of Thrones with many of the cast appearing including John Snow (Kit Harrington). See Video of the Day. Kit Harrington
Thousands of new words added to Scrabble dictionary –
Thousands of new words – including slang terms lolz, shizzle and obvs – have been added to the latest Scrabble word list, its publisher has said.
About 6,500 words have been added to the latest Collins Scrabble Word List, including a number of slang terms used on social media and in text messages. New words include twerking, emoji, bezzy and ridic – short for ridiculous. One the highest scoring new entries is quinzhee – an Inuit snow shelter – which scores 29 Scrabble points. Other new words now acceptable in the board game include onesie, devo – short for devolution – vape, and shootie, meaning a fashionable shoe that covers the ankle. [BBC]
Kim Jong-un’s ‘brat pack’ brother jets in to London for Eric Clapton concert –
Kim Jong-chol, allegedly passed over as heir to the North Korea regime because he has a weak character, was seen entering the Royal Albert Hall with a female companion and wearing a leather jacket. Wearing a leather jacket, T-shirt and sunglasses, Kim Jong-chol was caught on film by a camera crew from Japan’s TBS channel entering the venue with an unidentified woman. South Korean media reported that Kim was staying at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel and was scheduled to board a flight from London to Moscow on Friday. Rooms at the hotel cost up to £2,184 a night. Mr Kim, 33, was passed over by his father, Kim Jong-il, as heir to the North Korean regime because he has a weak character, according to South Korean intelligence reports. To compensate, he has taken on the mantle of the unofficial leader of the North’s “brat pack” of children of the regime’s elite.[Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
Red Nose Day – Game of Thrones, Coldplay’s New Musical (Episode Highlight)
One Direction to meet Leah Washington after Alton Towers crash –
The stars of One Direction have filmed a video message and offered to meet a teenage girl whose leg was amputated following a rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers. Leah Washington, 17, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was one of five people who suffered severe injuries on the Smiler ride on 2 June. A Twitter campaign – #Get1DToLeah – called for the pop band to contact her. Friends said Ms Washington would be “elated” at the news. [BBC]
Naked rambler Stephen Gough appears nude via video link from prison –
A man known as the naked rambler made legal history after appearing nude via prison video link at the Court of Appeal. Stephen Gough lost an appeal against a conviction for the breach of an Asbo. He appeared from Winchester Prison where he is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence for breaching the order banning him from being naked in public. His counsel Matthew Scott argued Gough should have been allowed to appear naked at the original trial. Lady Justice Rafferty refused Gough’s appeal. Clive Coleman, the BBC’s legal affairs correspondent, said Gough, 56, almost certainly made legal history by appearing in his natural state.
HSBC announces plans to cut 8,000 jobs in the United Kingdom, one-sixth of its U.K. workforce, via “natural attrition” as it restructures its banking business. A total of 25,000 jobs could be axed globally. (BBC)
Floyd Mayweather tops the 2015 Forbes Celebrity Rich List –
Since 1999 Forbes have been ranking the wealth and influence of the world’s biggest stars. Factors taken into account include income, Google hits, fan base, press clips and magazine covers. But for the the first time, this year’s list has ranked the world’s top earning entertainers by annual income only. Mayweather’s $300 million year shatters the record for athlete earnings, which was previously held by Tiger Woods who banked $115 million in 2008. Mayweather earned an estimated $180m from his fight with Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015. Katy Perry has been crowned the highest earning female celebrity. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day below Floyd Mayweather
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris top highest paid couple list –
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris have become the highest paid celebrity couple, overtaking Beyonce and Jay Z. The relatively new romance of Swift with her superstar DJ boyfriend see them top this year’s Forbes list; with a combined income of $146m (£92m). It means Queen Bey and her rapper husband slip down to second place with earnings of $100m (£70m). The power couple have been number one on the list since 2013. [BBC] Taylor Swift
Video of the Day –
Avril Lavigne says having Lyme disease has been the ‘worst time’ of her life –
Avril Lavigne has opened up about her struggle with Lyme disease, calling it the “worst time” of her life. The 30-year-old singer contracted the disease, spread by infected ticks, whilst touring last year. The Canadian says she became “bedridden” in October but is now expected to make a full recovery. She told Good Morning America: “I was seeing every specialist and every doctor. They’d say ‘chronic fatigue syndrome?’ or ‘are you depressed?’ “I woke up and had night sweats and felt like I had the flu. She says it took took months for someone to finally figure out that she had Lyme Disease. [BBC Newsbeat] Avril Lavigne
The Turkish military is reportedly preparing for an imminent invasion of northern Syria following a National Security Council meeting. The aim is to establish a buffer zone for refugees and drive back Islamic State militants. The Kurdish militia group YPG have said they will oppose any Turkish intervention in Syria. (Telegraph)
Four Israelis were shot and injured in a drive-by shooting attack near Shilo, as a manhunt begins for the suspects. (YNet)
Chinese state-run media reports the Great Wall losing around 30% of its structure due to natural conditions and human activities. (AFP via Discovery)
The Israeli Navy intercepts and takes control of the lone ship still involved in Freedom Flotilla III and pilots it to Ashdod. The other three ships involved had already turned back after being intercepted. Israel offered all ships to unload their humanitarian aid cargo in Israeli ports and transport it into Gaza for free but the ships refused. (Israel National News)(Times Of Israel)
One Direction release surprise single, Drag Me Down –
It’s a good day to be a Directioner. The four boys have surprised fans with their first single since Zayn Malik left the band. The song, Drag Me Down, premiered on iTunes and Spotify at 6.30am UK time. There’s no suggestion of *who* might have been dragging them down. Twitter, the home of any self-respecting One Direction fan, erupted. The hashtag #DragMeDown has been tweeted two million times in the seven hours since its release. [BBC Newsbeat]
Duchess of Cambridge qualifies as advanced diver –
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has taken an advanced diving course that means she can keep up with her husband when he goes shark-diving in Mustique. The Duke of Cambridge has been diving for much of his life, encouraged by his father the Prince of Wales, whom he succeeded last year as president of the British Sub-Aqua Club. The Duchess’s pursuit of advanced diving qualifications, to enable her to dive to the same depth as the Duke, has until now remained a secret. Kensington Palace confirmed to The Telegraph that the Duchess has passed a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Advanced Open Water Diver qualification, meaning she can dive to a depth of 30 metres (98ft). [Daily Telegraph] Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
George Cole, Arthur Daley in Minder, dies at 90 –
Stars of stage and screen have been paying tribute to “immaculate” and “unforgettable” Minder actor George Cole following his death at the age of 90. Cole, whose showbusiness career spanned 70 years, is best remembered for his portrayal of small-time wheeler dealer and crook Arthur Daley in the TV show Minder, alongside his likeable bodyguard Terry McCann, played by Waterman. He died yesterday in hospital with his family at his side after a short illness, it was announced today. [Daily Telegraph]
One Direction number one breaks streaming records –
One Direction have topped the UK singles chart with their new single Drag Me Down. The track broke streaming records, earning the highest first-week streams for a single in the UK with 2.03m plays. Drag Me Down is One Direction’s first single as a foursome since the departure of Zayn Malik. Its release came a surprise to fans who had not been expecting a new single. [BBC Newsbeat] One Direction in 2013 before Zayn left
North Korea sets up own time zone in rebuke to ‘wicked Japanese imperialists’ –
The hermetic communist state of North Korea is often said to be locked in a Stalinist time warp. But it is now turning the clocks back – by 30 minutes a day – by official decree. The state news agency has announced the creation of a new Pyongyang time zone as a rejection of the legacy of “wicked Japanese imperialists”. North Korea will step back in time by half an hour on Aug 15th – the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean peninsula from Japanese rule at the end of the Second World War. [Daily Telegraph]
France train shooting: Americans overpower gunman –
Three people have been hurt after a heavily armed man opened fire on a train in northern France, before being overpowered by American passengers. The incident happened on the high-speed Thalys service near Arras, and the attacker was arrested at Arras station. US President Barack Obama praised the passengers, who included two off-duty US military personnel. [Later named as Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and non-military friend Anthony Sadler] The man arrested was a 26-year-old Moroccan. Anti-terrorist officers have taken over the case. The weapons were said to include a Kalashnikov, a knife, an automatic pistol and cartridges. French authorities said three people were injured, two of them seriously – one with a gunshot wound, the other a knife wound. [BBC]
One Direction release space-themed Drag Me Down video –
One Direction have released their first music video without Zayn Malik and it’s out of this world, kind of. Niall, Liam, Louis and Harry play astronauts in their video for Drag Me Down. Astronauts. Drag Me Down. Gravity. Space. Get it? Anyway, Nasa let 1D film the video at their headquarters in Houston, Texas. Libby Jackson, an astronaut flight education programme manager for the UK Space Agency, reviewed the promo for Newsbeat. “The guys went out to Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre and filmed at their facilities there – so it’s a fairly accurate portrayal of some of the elements of human spaceflight. “It’s obviously impossible to fit an entire astronaut’s training into a three minute video, but they’ve certainly given a flavour. “You see One Direction trying out a prototype Mars rover, which astronauts would need to learn drive for their missions,” she said. [BBC Newsbeat] See Video of the Day and Top Twitter Trends.
Malala celebrates string of top GCSEs –
Among those celebrating exam success is girls’ education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai who gained a string of As and A*s in her GCSEs. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, took to Twitter to list Malala’s grades which include A*s in GCSE and iGCSE maths. “My wife Toor Pekai and I are proud of Malala getting 6A*s and 4As. #education for every child,” wrote Mr Yousafzai. Malala was shot by the Taliban after writing a diary about life under their rule in North-West Pakistan. Last year, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. [BBC] Malala Yousafzai
Italian chess player ‘cheats’ using Morse code and spy pendant –
An Italian chess player has been expelled from one of Italy’s most important tournaments after he allegedly used Morse code and a spy pendant containing a hidden camera to communicate with an accomplice. Arcangelo Ricciardi entered the International Chess Festival of Imperia ranked 51,366 in the world, but astonished rivals as he breezed through the early stages of the competition to reach the eighth and penultimate round. Jean Coqueraut, who refereed the tournament in Liguria, northern Italy, said he began to suspect something was wrong early on in the competition. “In chess, performances like that are impossible,” he told La Stampa newspaper. “I didn’t think he was a genius, I knew he had to be a cheat.” Tournament organisers then asked the 37-year old to pass through a metal detector and a sophisticated pendant was found hanging around his neck underneath a shirt. The pendant contained a tiny video camera as well as a mass of wires attached to his body and a 4cm box under his armpit. Mr Ricciardi claimed they were good luck charms. It is thought the camera was used to transmit the chess game in real time to an accomplice or sophisticated computer, which then suggested moves for Mr Ricciardi through a series of signals received in the box under his arm. [Daily Telegraph] In August two Israeli men were accused by their team mates of cheating in international Bridge competitions.
SeaWorld will no longer accept stolen whales after plea from One Direction star, Harry Styles –
The SeaWorld marine park has announced it will no longer accept whales stolen from the wild after a barrage of criticism, most recently from Harry Styles of One Direction. In a concert in San Diego, which hosts one of SeaWorld’s attractions, the pop star urged fans to boycott the company. SeaWorld was heavily criticised in Blackfish, a documentary released in 2013. The company had been waiting for US government approval for the import of 18 beluga whales which were captured in Russia. Several of the whales were due to be taken to SeaWorld’s own facilities. But earlier this week, SeaWorld said it was no longer willing to receive them. Harry Styles
Sam Smith tweets Bond theme tease featuring mysterious ‘Spectre ring’ –
Sam Smith has all but confirmed that he will sing the theme tune for the new James Bond film, Spectre. The singer tweeted a picture of a finger with a ring featuring the movie’s logo. He had been tipped for the soundtrack several times but previously denied any involvement in the project. Sam Smith/Twitter
‘Biggest’ Stonehenge site discovered –
Archaeologists have found around 100 huge standing stones buried near Stonehenge. Experts think the discovery could be the ‘biggest’ prehistoric monument ever built in Britain. Using special equipment to scan below the Earth’s surface experts were able to find evidence of seventeen previously unknown wooden or stone structures. The results suggest Stonehenge – which is 5,000 years old – did not stand alone. Scientists think the newly discovered sites were related to Stonehenge. One big surprise the research found was traces of up to 60 huge stones or pillars – part of an ancient “super henge”, about 1.5km wide.[BBC]
Turkish jets strike PKK militant positions across south-east Turkey and northern Iraq and deploy special forces to the Iraqi border following a deadly PKK attack which left at least 16 Turkish soldiers dead. (Reuters)
Business and economy
The patent office in IndiarejectsPfizer’s petition for a patent on an arthritis drug, tofacitinib, re-affirming their rejection of the same drug in 2011. The drug is a chemical reformulation of the active compound in the medicine and thus the Indian Patent Office says that the company would have to establish that the compound for which it is seeking a patent is therapeutically more effective than the active compound. (Reuters)
Disasters and accidents
Five people are killed as a small plane crashes in the western part of the American state of Colorado. (USA Today)
Hundreds of people, tired of waiting for promised transportation, broke out from Hungary’s first migrant holding center near the Serbian border, past police overwhelmed by their numbers, to start the march north toward Budapest. The asylum seekers / migrants, now accompanied by groups of police, advanced along the edge of the main highway to the capital. (AP via Global News)
In an education scandal in Egypt, a top student, Mariam Malak, says she’s a victim of corruption and fraud with the school or the examination board swapping her final exam papers with another pupil, thus assigning her a “Zero”-grade for each of the seven subjects. 40,000 online rally for her via a Facebook support page while another top student reporting the same complaint. (BBC)
Justin Bieber’s lawyers demand nude photos are removed from US news website –
Justin Bieber’s legal team is demanding that media websites who have published naked photos of the star remove them immediately. The Hollywood Reporter claims to have seen a lawyer’s letter sent to the New York Daily News, which originally published the pictures of the star on holiday in French Polynesia. The photos of the singer in Bora Bora are still live on the US website. Bieber’s legal team says the publication of the photos represent a breach of the singer’s publicity and privacy rights. The photos also, according to the letter, infringe Bieber’s trademarks. The legal document is demanding action within 12 hours of receipt. [BBC Newsbeat] Justin Bieber
One Direction announce new single “Perfect” and release date –
One Direction’s next Made in the A.M. single’s accidentally been announced as ‘Perfect’ thanks to a classic tweet-and-delete scenario from those crazy critters at Apple Music. Awkies. Yup – we already knew the Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson-penned tune had been registered; but now it looks like the track’s gonna be the second proper single off of the fifth album following ‘Drag Me Down.’ And ‘Infinity,’ if you wanna count that. [Sugarscape]
Video of the Day –
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES – Official UK Trailer #1 (2016)
United States suspends its 500 million dollar Syrian rebel training program. The new strategy will shift toward supplying military aid “to a select group of vetted leaders and their units so that over time they can make a concerted push into territory still controlled by ISIL,” a U.S. official said. (CNN)(ABC News)
Israel Defense Forces kill six Palestinian protesters and wound 60 at the Gaza Strip border, according to Gaza medics. The protesters attempted to destroy the “border” fence between Gaza and Israel and IDF soldiers “responded with fire on the main instigators in order to prevent them progressing and to disperse the riot,” according to the IDF. (Reuters)(CNN)
Iraqi police officials say at least 35 people have been killed following a mortar bombardment of villages near the eastern city of Baqubah, capital of the Diyala Governorate. Officials did not speculate on who may be responsible for the attack, however theIslamic State group has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks in the volatile province. (AP via ABC News)
One person is killed and another wounded, with a person in custody, in a shooting at an apartment complex near the Texas Southern University campus in southeast Houston, Texas. This is the second shooting involving TSU this week. A man is in serious, but stable, condition after being shot on the campus’s Tiger Walk on Tuesday. (Houston Chronicle)(Reuters)
The southern German state of Bavaria threatens to take the Federal German government to court if it fails to take immediate steps to limit the flow of migrants to Germany. Over 200,000 migrants are estimated to have entered Germany since the beginning of September, the vast majority over the Austrian border into Bavaria. (Reuters)
News from Wikipedia – please support this valuable resource
New Zealand hails ‘phenomenal’ All Blacks –
New Zealand media toasted the All Blacks’ victory over Australia in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final, hailing the achievements of a “phenomenal” team many are calling the best of all time. Directed by the “magic” of flyhalf Dan Carter, the All Blacks fended off a gallant Australia 34-17 at Twickenham, a gripping final deservedly rated the tournament’s best ever. Carter was named man-of-the-match for his 19-point effort, a fitting swansong for one of the game’s finest flyhalves who was sidelined by injury when his team mates edged France to win the 2011 final on home soil. [Reuters] See List of the Day Dan Carter
One Direction play the final gig of their world tour in Sheffield –
One Direction have played the final gig of their world tour before their self-proclaimed extended break. After more than 80 shows across 20 countries, their On The Road tour came to an end in Sheffield. From this point on, the band only have a few one-off appearances at music awards shows before they go their separate ways in March 2016. But 1D insist they’re not splitting up and instead want to focus on solo projects. [BBC] One Direction
Adele’s Hello is number one after smashing various chart records –
Adele is back at the top of the Official Singles Chart with her monster comeback single Hello. She’s smashed records all over the place, with other artists basically competing for the scraps left in her wake. So, here are the numbers that put Adele firmly back on top of the music world.
Hello sold a whopping 333,000 in a week – That includes a staggering 259,000 downloads – and makes it the biggest number one single for… well, only three years actually.
But streaming was even more mind-bending – 7.32 million plays – That’s almost double the previous record held by Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean? which had 3.87 million plays in a week last month.
Her video got 27.7 million views in one day – That worked out as one million views an hour on YouTube in the first two days of it being released.
[BBC] See Video of the Day Adele
The wife of co-pilot Sergei Trukachev says, in a call with their daughter before the flight, he complained that the technical condition of the aircraft left much to be desired. According to Egyptian officials, while in the air, the pilot told traffic controllers the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and he intended to try and land at the nearest airport. (AP via New Jersey Herald)
A large space rock 2015 TB145, thought to be a dead comet, passes close to the earth. (Time)
According to a new NASA (U.S.) study, ice sheet gains outweigh losses on the continent of Antarctica. An increase in snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago outweighs increased losses from the continent’s thinning glaciers. In 2013,Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change findings suggested gains were not keeping up with losses. NASA glaciologist Jay Zwally said, “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies … (except) ice gain in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica exceeds losses in the other areas.” (UPI)(NASA)
Panama Papers: Iceland PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigns –
Iceland’s prime minister has resigned – the first major casualty of the leaked Panama Papers that have shone a spotlight on offshore finance. The leaks, from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, showed Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife but had not declared it when he entered parliament. He is accused of concealing millions of dollars’ worth of family assets. Mr Gunnlaugsson says he sold his shares to his wife, and denies any wrongdoing. He is one of dozens of high-profile global figures mentioned in the 11.5 million leaked financial and legal records, which were first published on Sunday. [BBC] Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson
Doncaster Rovers fans angry at 1D star Louis Tomlinson’s competition win –
Doncaster Rovers fans have reacted angrily to One Direction star Louis Tomlinson and his grandfather winning a competition to design the football club’s new away kit. The club revealed the ‘Story Of My Life’ singer was behind the design on Monday after the poll had closed. In the wake of the announcement some fans have criticised the club and questioned the credibility of the vote. Doncaster Rovers say the voting process “was all was fair and above board”. Writing on Twitter one fan said: “I wonder if the vote was rigged or that shirt actually won??? #drfc.” [BBC] Louis Tomlinson
Pfizer Inc. decides to terminate its $160 billion merger with Allergan, Plc as officials in Washington crack down on corporate inversions. Pfizer will need to pay a $400 million fee to Allergan for expenses relating to the deal. (Bloomberg)
Due to concerns about an increasingly anti-Mexican climate across the border, Mexico unexpectedly changes two of its top officials responsible for U.S. relations. Foreign MinisterClaudia Ruiz Massieutold local media, “We have been warning that our citizens have begun to feel a more hostile climate. This (anti-Mexican) rhetoric has made it clear that we have to act in a different way so that this tendency being generated doesn’t damage the bilateral relationship.” (Reuters)
Peruvians protest in five cities, including the capital Lima, against the presidential candidacy of Keiko Fujimori, daughter of imprisoned ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who exactly 24 years ago this day carried out a coup by shutting down Congress and taking over the courts with the support of the military. Keiko Fujimori is the front runner in Sunday’s April 10, 2016, election. Yesterday, Fujimori committed to respect democratic liberties and the rule of law, and to work against corruption, which some opponents have rejected. The Organization of American States says the election could lack credibility unless two recently-disqualified candidates are allowed to run. (NBC News)(AP via The Washington Post)(Prensa Latina)
Rangers F.C., the association football club with the most domestic league titles in the world, earn promotion to the Scottish Premiership, returning to the nation’s top division for the first time since their triple relegation for financial reasons in 2012. (BBC Sport)
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