Top Stories – Apple introduce the “iPad” –
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs introduces the “iPad” a new tablet with no keyboard or mouse. Designed for browsing the internet, it is 0.5 inches (13mm) thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds (680g). The iPad, which will launch in March for $499 (16Gb version), includes 12 new apps and will run most of the 140,000 apps in the App Store. Jobs described the iPad as “a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” Steve Jobs with the iPad
Throw out the running shoes –
Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University reveals that running barefoot is better than wearing running shoes. The researchers found that people who run barefoot tend to land on the ball or the middle of the foot, moving smoothly, but those who run in shoes tend to land on the heels, sending shockwaves through the body.
Bubble Wrap hits middle age –
Bubble Wrap is 50 years old. It was first invented by Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding as textured wallpaper and there are more than 250 dedicated Facebook pages. Sealed Air who owns the patent and manufactures Bubble Wrap makes more than $4bn a year.
Top Video –
The first Mackintosh commercial (1984)
Hollywood director Kevin Smith kicked off plane for being ‘too fat’ –
The Hollywood film director Kevin Smith has launched a blistering attack on an airline which kicked him off a plane for being “too fat”. Smith, 39, the director of films including Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Clerks, had purchased two tickets to comply with Southwest Airlines policy that requires larger passengers to buy two seats. He then decided to go standby for an earlier flight and was seated on a plane on which there was only one seat left. He was then ejected from the plane. Southwest’s “Customer of Size” policy requires that travellers must be able to fit safely and comfortably in one seat. [Daily Telegraph] Kevin Smith
Tiger Woods is ‘being treated for sex addiction’ in U.S. clinic, new reports claim –
Tiger Woods is being treated for sex addiction at a clinic in Mississippi, according to US reports. The shamed golfer has checked into the Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services clinic in the town of Hattiesburg, according to RadarOnline.com. Woods, who admitted cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren last year, has not been seen since his infamous November car crash outside his home in Florida. [Daily Mail] Tiger Woods
Jailed for bad choice of film –
A South Carolina woman is held overnight in jail after the Sheriff’s office in Pickens County discovered there was a warrant for her arrest for not returning a video she had rented nine-years previously. Kayla Finley had rented the 2005 film Monster in Law starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez and the video store owner had filed a complaint when she failed to return it. Finley was bailed for $2,000. Jennifer Lopez in 2004
Self-hijacking to Switzerland –
Hailemedehin Abera Tagegn the co-pilot of a plane flying from Addis Ababa to Rome hijacks his own plane and flies it to Geneva, Switzerland. He shut the pilot out of the cockpit, told air traffic control that he had a problem and needed to fill up with jet-fuel in Switzerland. He set off a distress signal indicating the plane was hijacked, before saying he had engine trouble. A few minutes after landing at the Swiss airport, he climbed down a rope he had thrown out of the cockpit window and gave himself up to authorities. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Air Malaysia flight goes missing –
An Air Malaysia aircraft flight MH370 with 239 people on board has gone missing after taking off from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing. No distress messages were received and no sign of the plane has been found.
Brian O’Driscoll almost bows out –
Rugby Union’s Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll makes his final match in Ireland’s 46-7 win over Italy. It was his 140th cap making him the most capped international rugby player of all time. Brian O’Driscoll CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Google gets down with the kids –
Google reveals it is developing child-friendly versions of some of its products and is likely to include the Chrome browser and YouTube (which it bought for $1.65bn (£883m) in October 2006). The intention is to make the internet safer for under-12s.
Boris plays peacemaker –
London mayor Boris Johnson attempted to calm down an abusive passenger on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow but the crew had to handcuff the man and strap him to his seat. The man was arrested when the plane landed. Boris Johnson
Pope dismissing head guard –
Colonel Daniel Anrig, the commander of the 110 Swiss Guards that protect the pontiff is losing his job when his commission ends at the end of January 2015. Although no official reason has been given, Pope Francis is apparently unhappy at the officer’s strict authoritarian style.
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.
Another tragedy in the skies? –
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing with 162 people on board. It was later found to have crashed into the sea in bad weather.
And at sea –
An Italian ferry catches fire on route to Italy with 478 people on board and is being evacuated amid choppy seas and high winds. At least ten people lost their lives.
Bad idea debate –
Three rival hacking groups call a ceasefire after admitting their Christmas attack on Xbox and Playstation gamers ‘took it too far’. Lizard Squad, rival hackers from the Anonymous group, Finest Squad group, and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom discussed the attack in a YouTube video.
Girl survives plane crash –
A seven year-old girl who survived the plane crash that killed her parents in Kentucky, US, managed to walk a mile through dense woodland to raise the alarm. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Piper PA-34 aircraft after the pilot reported engine problems.
Fancy a quick test drive? –
Former Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell now runs a Mitsubishi dealership on the British island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. The 1992 world champion raced for Renault Williams, Ferrari and Lotus as well as winning the CART title in the US in a Lola-Ford. He is running the franchise with his son.
Worth its weight in gold –
A fish owner in Norfolk, England paid £300 in vets’ fees when his pet goldfish became constipated. He took his fish to Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in North Walsham where vet Faye Bethell used anaesthetised water to knock out the goldfish before removing the blockages.
Elvis’ planes under the hammer –
A pair of jets that Elvis Presley called “Lisa Marie” and “Hound Dog II” are being auctioned off in Beverley Hills, California. The Convair 880 and Lockheed Jetstar were owned by Presley from 1975 just two years before he died. Neither can fly but the successful bidder has an option to buy a few acres of land by Graceland to display them.
Russian planes buzz UK airspace –
Britain’s Foreign office have said that two Russian Tu-95 Bear H aircraft came within 25 miles of UK airspace in the last 24 hours. They travelled from the north, past the west coast of Ireland and to the English Channel before turning and going back the way they had come. British typhoon fighters were scrambled after the the bombers did not file a flight plan, did not have their transponders switched on and “weren’t talking to air traffic control”.
Taylor Swift trademarks lyrics –
Taylor Swift has trademarked phrases from her current album, 1989 in the United States. The phrases include “this sick beat” and “we never go out of style”, and the trademark ruling stops the use of the lyrics on merchandise. Rihanna successfully sued Topshop earlier this month for using her image on a t-shirt.
Murray’s girlfriend tells it like it is –
Tennis player Andy Murray’s fiancé Kim Sears is caught on camera apparently swearing about Murray’s semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych’s. Lip readers allege she said “Take that you flash Czech fucker”, when Murray won a crucial point. Murray later defended Sears, saying: “In the heat of the moment, you can say stuff that you regret.”
Plane crashes into Taipei river –
Dramatic video footage has been captured on a car dashboard camera of a TransAsia turboprop plane crashing into a river in Taiwan shortly after taking off from Taipei airport. The plane was carrying 58 people, mostly Chinese tourists, and initial figures show that 31 died, 15 survivors were pulled from the wreckage and 12 people remain missing.
Kim Kardashian tries to break the internet again –
A new picture of Kim Kardashian apparently leaked from a future edition of Love magazine, shows the reality star standing in a doorway, totally naked and glistening with baby oil. Her previous attempt on total internet meltdown was a naked shot on the cover of New York’s Paper magazine in November 2014. Kim Kardashian
Scherzinger and Hamilton split for fourth time –
The on-off romance between Pussycat Doll’s lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton is officially over… again. The have been together for about 7 years and this is the fourth time they have split up, this time apparently over Hamilton’s refusal to settle down with her and start a family. Nicole Scherzinger
I don’t want a guinea pig, I want a Josephoartigasia monesi –
Researchers from York in the UK and Montevideo in Uruguay reveal that a 1000kg bull-sized cousin to the guinea pig known as Josephoartigasia monesi had huge front teeth like tusks and its bite was as strong as a tiger. Named Josephoartigasia monesi it died out around two million years ago, so you can’t have one as a pet.
Google starts to search tweets –
Twitter has done a deal with Google to make tweets part of the results from a web search. Tweets will immediately be included in searches as Google will have access to Twitter’s firehose the datastream of tweets created by Twitter’s 284 million users.
Owl attacks in Nederlands –
Residents in the northern Dutch town of Purmerend have been advised to take umbrellas out at night after a spate of attacks by an owl. Dozens of residents have suffered head injuries over the past three weeks at the claws of the rogue European eagle owl. Two runners were attacked on Tuesday, with one requiring stitches for five separate head wounds. The European eagle owl’s usual prey are small mammals and birds. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Pilot successfully crash lands historic fighter plane
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]
French sports stars die in reality TV accident –
Prosecutors in France have opened a manslaughter investigation after two helicopters crashed in Argentina, killing eight French nationals. Three well-known French sports personalities were among those killed in the collision, which also claimed the lives of the two Argentine pilots. French President Francois Hollande said it was “a cause of immense sadness”. Both helicopters were involved in the filming of TV survival show Dropped, which airs on French channel TF1. On the show, celebrities are flown into rough terrain and filmed while they attempt to find food and shelter. Yachtswoman Florence Arthaud, Olympic swimmer Camille Muffat and Olympic boxer Alexis Vastine were the show’s celebrities on board at the time of the crash. They all died. [BBC] Camille Muffat
Solar powered plane still on target –
Solar Impulse is back in the air on the second leg of its historic attempt to fly around the world. After the briefest of lay-overs, the prop-driven plane took off from Muscat in Oman at 06.35 (02:35 GMT). It is heading across the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad in India. Project chairman, Bertrand Piccard, is now at the controls, having taken over from Andre Borschberg, who flew the first leg on Monday from Abu Dhabi to Muscat. The second leg will cover about 1,465km (791 nautical miles), and should take about 16 hours.
US tycoon murder suspect Durst says he ‘killed them all’ –
US tycoon Robert Durst has been arrested on a murder charge just before the finale of a TV show investigating the alleged crime. He was detained in New Orleans after a warrant was issued by Los Angeles police investigating the murder of mobster’s daughter Susan Berman. Mr Durst has always maintained his innocence in the murder in 2000. But HBO’s The Jinx catches him on tape apparently confessing to three killings, saying “[I] killed them all”. The show suggested in a previous episode that Mr Durst had written a letter only Ms Berman’s killer could have sent. [BBC]
Sir Elton John boycotts Dolce & Gabbana after row over same-sex families –
Sir Elton John has called for a boycott of fashion label Dolce & Gabbana after the legendary designers criticised same-sex families. In a scathing post on picture sharing site Instagram, the furious singer branded Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana “judgmental” and “archaic”. It followed an interview with the designers in Italy’s Panorama magazine in which the pair said: “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”
In response to their latest comments, Sir Elton, who married his long-term civil partner David Furnish in December 2014, wrote: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. “And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. [Daily Telegraph] Sir Elton John
British Airways flight to Dubai forced to return to Heathrow due to ‘smelly poo in toilet’ –
A British Airways flight to Dubai was forced to return to Heathrow Airport when a “smelly poo in the toilet” became unbearable for passengers.
The pilot announced that the long haul flight had to be aborted, after cabin crew were unable to prevent the pungent odour emanating from an overflowing toilet. Around 30 minutes in the seven-hour flight, the plane returned to London amid health and safety concerns.
Hertsmere councillor Abhishek Sachdev, who represents Potters Bar Parkfield was on the plane and said it was “insane” that passengers had to wait 15 hours for another flight due to a “smelly poo in the toilet”.
Germanwings plane 4U 9525 crashes in French Alps – no survivors –
A Germanwings plane carrying 150 people has crashed in the French Alps on its way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. The Airbus A320 – flight 4U 9525 – went down between Digne and Barcelonnette. There are no survivors, officials say. The “black box” flight recorder has been found, the French interior minister says. The cause of the crash is not known and the plane did not send a distress signal. Among the passengers were 16 German pupils returning from an exchange trip. [BBC] Germanwings A319 plane
Nash Grier offer ignites Twitter –
Nash Grier asks for selfies to be posted on his Twitter feed with the hashtag #BartAndNashsContest for a chance to be in his next Vine video. Result is top trending for the hashtag. (see Top Twitter Trends). Nash Grier Twitter
Jaguar Launches the XF on a high wire –
The new lightweight Jaguar XF tackles a London water crossing via a 28mm wide high-wire suspended 18 metres above the city. Movie stuntman, Jim Dowdall was at the wheel in an attempt at the world’s longest high-wire water crossing by car. (See Video of The Day)
China orders square dancers to walk the line –
Chinese officials say they will introduce guidelines to regulate square-dancing in the country. The dance is wildly popular with elderly Chinese women and is performed en masse at night in public squares. However, Chinese authorities say the “over-enthusiasm of participants has dealt it a harmful blow, with disputes over noise and venues”. Fitness authorities plan to introduce 12 authorised routines and also permissible times and music volume. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
The Jaguar #NewXF performs the world’s longest high-wire water crossing –
Zayn Malik departure dominates Twitter –
Zayn Malik’s decision to leave One Direction 20 years after Robbie Williams left Take That dominates Twitter with #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik being tweeted 884,400 times and retweeted 3,907,000 times today. (See Top Twitter Trends) Zayn Malik
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot ‘wanted to destroy plane’ –
The co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, named as Andreas Lubitz, appeared to want to “destroy the plane”, officials said. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, citing information from the “black box” voice recorder, said the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit.
He intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out. Mr Robin said there was “absolute silence in the cockpit” as the pilot fought to re-enter it. He said air traffic controllers made repeated attempts to contact the aircraft, but to no avail. Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, he added. Details are emerging of the German co-pilot’s past – although his apparent motives for causing the crash remain a mystery. [BBC]
Russian army TV channel invites Jeremy Clarkson to present motoring show –
Russia’s army TV channel has issued an offer to Jeremy Clarkson to present a motoring show, noting his interest in tanks, aircraft carriers and other hardware. The official military television station of the Russian Armed Forces, Zvezda (Star), said it had invited the axed BBC celebrity to visit Russia to discuss the proposal next month. “Dear Jeremy, the Russian Armed Forces Broadcasting company Zvezda expresses deep honour to you and kindly asks for cooperation,” the channel said in the text of an email it said it had sent to Clarkson, published on its website. [Daily Telegraph] Jeremy Clarkson
King Richard III laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral –
A service to mark the reburial of King Richard III has taken place at Leicester Cathedral. The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev Justin Welby, presided over the service with local senior clergy and representatives of world faiths. Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were among the guests. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Twitter launches live-streaming video app Periscope –
Twitter has launched its own live-streaming video app for iOS, on the same day that similar service Meerkat received $12m (£8m) in venture capital funding. Once you have installed Periscope you can begin live-streaming video footage from your camera to anyone who wishes to view it online.
As soon as you start a broadcast an optional alert can be sent to all of your Twitter followers. They can then watch your video live, comment on it and send “hearts”. It is also possible to “lock” a broadcast so that only certain people are able to view it.
Zoella turns 25 and Lady Gaga hits 29 –
Zoe Sugg gets a surprise cake party for her 25th birthday and tops the UK Twitter trend chart with #HappyBirthdayZoe. She shares her birthday with Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga who is 29 today. Zoella birthday party Lady Gaga
Eiffel Tower goes dark in symbolic move for Earth Hour
The Eiffel Tower has gone dark briefly to mark Earth Hour, the campaign to raise awareness about climate change.The five-minute dark-out on Saturday night was a symbolic gesture in the City of Light. Cities around the world also marked the event, with other landmarks like the Kremlin and the Empire State Building going dark.France has been preparing for months to host an international climate conference in Paris at the end of the year, pressing nations to set attainable goals for reducing greenhouse gases and mobilizing international finances to fight climate change. [Daily Mail]
Andreas Lubitz planned spectacular gesture that would go down in history, claims ex-girlfriend –
Airbus crash pilot Andreas Lubitz had been planning a spectacular gesture to make everyone “remember” who he was, it has been claimed. An ex-girlfriend of the Germanwings pilot who crashed his plane in the French Alps, killing all 149 others on board, described him as “tormented” and able to hide secrets. Maria, 26 (not her real name), told Bild newspaper that when she heard about the crash she remembered that he had said he was going do something “that would change the system” and “make everyone remember” him. [Daily Telegraph]
Chelsea Manning begins tweeting from prison –
Former army intelligence analyst, serving a 35-year sentence for leaking US secrets, says she will be dictating tweets by telephone. Chelsea Manning, the US soldier serving a 35-year prison sentence for passing a trove of secret documents to WikiLeaks, started posting on Twitter on Friday, with help from supporters. Within minutes of her first tweets, Ms Manning had recruited more than 5,000 followers under the handle @xychelsea. In her initial tweets, Ms Manning acknowledged she had no Internet access behind bars and that she was dictating comments to a communications company by telephone. [Daily Telegraph]
Gadget which turns all traffic lights green trialled in UK –
The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles. A device which switches all red traffic lights to green has been launched in Newcastle to prevent cars from ever needing to stop. The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles, which would be linked to traffic lights so that fully-automated convoys could pass quickly through urban areas. The new gadget, which attaches to the windscreen like a Sat Nav, detects traffic lights from around 100 metres away and requests priority so that they switch to green as soon as the car arrives. It also tells drivers of the speed they should be driving to make sure they always hit a green light in the event of traffic. [Daily Telegraph]
Paris aims to become ‘world bike capital’ –
Paris’s mayor has announced plans to double the number of cycle lanes. Paris is to double the number of cycling lanes by 2020 as part of its Socialist mayor’s push to turn the city into “the world’s bike capital”. The 150 million-euro project will increase the number of safe bike lanes from the current 700 kilometres (435 miles) to 1,400 kilometres within five years. Paris town hall hopes the new lanes will help triple the number of journeys made on a bike from five per cent to 15 per cent in that time.
Lorry full of honey bees overturns in Washington State –
A lorry carrying honeybees has overturned in the US state of Washington, spewing bees across a motorway. The accident scattered boxes “containing millions of live bees across the highway”, KIRO 7 News reported. Each of the boxes contains about 5,000 live bees, some were crushed in the accident while others were freed. Beekeepers used smoke to try and calm the bees before the sun rose, which would raise temperatures and agitate the bees. At daybreak many of the boxes remained on the road and the bees became more active. The fire brigade was called to spray the bees with foam, which resulted in their death. [BBC]
All Nippon Airways Announces ‘Star Wars’ Project With R2-D2 Painted Jet –
In honor of the iconic movie series, the airline will paint one of its brand-new Boeing 787s with an R2-D2 motif. An apparent video rendering of the R2-D2 plane, released on YouTube Thursday, shows the nose of the plane decorated with R2-D2’s signature blue and white stripes, along with graphics depicting the robot’s various ports. A massive “Star Wars” logo dominates the rear of the plane. The R2-D2 jet marks the start of five-year All Nippon Airways “Star Wars” project, which will include “a range of novel initiatives,” the airline announced on its website. (also see Video of the Day) [The Huffington Post]
Japan’s magnetically levitated vehicle train sets new speed record –
Japan’s magnetically levitated (maglev) train has set a new speed record, hitting 366.61mph on a test track. Central Japan Railway Co., which is developing a vehicle that it sees as the long-distance, mass transportation system of the future, is aiming to break the 600km per hour (372.82mph) in more tests scheduled for next week. The seven-car maglev surpassed the previous record, which it sent in December 2003, for a period of 19 seconds on JR Central’s test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, on Thursday. The company is pushing ahead in its development of the maglev, which uses magnetic pulses to propel the carriages, doing away with the need for wheels, axles and bearings, after being granted approval to construct a track between Tokyo and Nagoya. [Daily Telegraph] The SCMaglev test track in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
James Anderson breaks Sir Ian Botham’s England wicket record –
English cricketer James Anderson surpassed Sir Ian Botham as England’s highest Test wicket-taker with his 384th dismissal in his 100th match. Anderson, 32, had West Indies’ Denesh Ramdin caught at first slip on the final day of the first Test in Antigua. The seamer, who began the Test on 380 wickets, was mobbed by his team-mates as his family celebrated in the crowd. [BBC]
Kate Moss escorted off flight ‘for being disruptive’ –
Supermodel Kate Moss has been escorted off a plane at Luton airport after reportedly being disruptive. The Easyjet flight had arrived from Bodrum in Turkey on Sunday afternoon. In a statement, Bedfordshire Police said they “were called to assist staff in escorting a passenger from a flight arriving into Luton airport this afternoon”. No formal complaints were made against her and she was not arrested. [BBC] In February 2010 Calvin Klein said of Moss – while “a great model,” she was a “difficult” person to work with. Kate Moss with photographer Mario Testino
Bradley Wiggins breaks UCI Hour Record at Lee Valley Velopark –
Sir Bradley Wiggins has broken the iconic hour record by completing a distance of 54.526km (33.88 miles). The 35-year-old smashed the record previously held by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett of 52.937km (32.89 miles), which was set in May. Roared on by a capacity crowd at Lee Valley VeloPark in London, Wiggins became the sixth rider to claim a Tour de France title and the hour record. “I’m just glad it’s done. It was torturous,” he said.
“That’s the closest I have ever come to what it’s like to a have a baby,” Wiggins, who becomes the fifth person in the past nine months to break the record, joked. The multiple Olympic and world champion on track and road surpassed Dowsett’s 212 laps, set in Manchester, with 1min 42secs to spare and eventually completed 219 laps.[BBC] In January 2015, Wiggins launched his own cycling team, Team Wiggins, to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Bradley Wiggins
Dame Helen Mirren reigns at Tony theatre awards –
Dame Helen Mirren has been named best actress in a play at the Tony theatre awards in New York. She took home the prize for her portrayal of the Queen in The Audience. Dame Helen, a previous Oscar-winner for The Queen, accepted the award saying: “Your Majesty, you did it again.” Other wins included Alex Sharp for best actor and Marianne Elliott for best directing of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was also named best play. [BBC] See List of the Day
Actor, Sir Christopher Lee dies, aged 93 –
See full story on June 11, 2015 when his death was announced. Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)
WINNER: Michael Cerveris, Fun Home Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town
Best leading actress in a musical
WINNER: Kelli O’Hara, The King and I Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Chita Rivera, The Visit
Best leading actor in a play
WINNER: Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Best leading actress in a play
WINNER: Helen Mirren, The Audience Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations
Best featured actor in a musical
WINNER: Christian Borle, Something Rotten! Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris
Best featured actress in a musical
WINNER: Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home
Best featured actor in a play
WINNER: Richard McCabe, The Audience Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play
Best featured actress in a play
WINNER: Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway
Best book of a musical
WINNER: Fun Home, Lisa Kron An American in Paris, Craig Lucas
Something Rotten!, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
The Visit, Terrence McNally
Best original score (music and/or lyrics) for the theatre
WINNER: Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron The Last Ship, Music & Lyrics: Sting
Something Rotten!, Music & Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit, Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb
Best director of a play
WINNER: Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God
Best director of a musical
WINNER: Sam Gold, Fun Home Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
Best scenic design of a play
WINNER: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It With You
Best scenic design of a musical
WINNER: Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home
Voters in Turkey go to the polls for a general election with the ruling AKP seeking enough votes to enable them to change the constitution. However, early projections show that they will lose their majority in the new parliament. (BBC), (New York Times)
Tom Holland is announced as the new Marvel Spider-Man –
Tom Holland, who was in Wolf Hall and the stage musical Billy Elliot, has grabbed the lead in the franchise reboot. Marvel and Sony confirmed the news in a statement on their website. The 19-year-old takes over from Andrew Garfield for the new film which is due out July 2017. In a statement posted on their website, Marvel said: “Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are proud to announce that after a full worldwide casting search, Tom Holland will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next Spider-Man film.” The statement also said: “The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in The Impossible, Wolf Hall, and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, and by a series of complex screen tests.” [BBC Newsbeat] He celebrated with some acrobatic videos on his Instagram account Tom Holland
Titanic composer James Horner dies in plane crash –
The composer James Horner, who won Oscars for the theme song and score for the film Titanic, has died in a plane crash in California. He was 61. His credits included numerous other high-profile films, among them Avatar, Braveheart and Aliens. He was alone in his two-seater plane when the accident happened. [BBC]
Formula 1: US-Qatari investors ‘to bid for sport’ –
The Miami Dolphins American football team owner Stephen Ross is reportedly working with investors from Qatar to buy a stake in Formula 1 racing. RSE Ventures and Qatar Sports Investments plan a bid for CVC Capital Partners’ 35.5% stake in the holding company that owns F1. The Financial Times and Reuters said the deal could be worth up to $8bn, and help build F1’s presence in the US. [BBC]
Iran city hits suffocating heat index of 165 degrees, near world record –
Wherever you live or happen to travel to, never complain about the heat and humidity again. In the city of Bandar Mahshahr (population of about 110,000 as of 2010), the air felt like a searing 165 degrees (74 Celsius) today factoring in the humidity.
Although there are no official records of heat indices, this is second highest level we have ever seen reported. To achieve today’s astronomical heat index level of 165, Bandar Mahshahr’s actual air temperature registered 115 degrees (46 Celsius) with an astonishing dew point temperature of 90 (32 Celsius). [Washington Post]
Nuns lose court bid to block convent sale to Katy Perry –
Judge says California nuns’ attempt to sell the $15 million property to a restaurateur, instead of the pop star, is “invalid”. A pair of nuns have suffered a major setback in their legal battle to stop the sale of their convent to pop star Katy Perry. Sisters Rita Callanan, 77, and Catherine Rose Holzman, 86, dressed in blue habits, looked disappointed as the ruling was given in the very temporal surroundings of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. The bespectacled Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary had objected to a plan by the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, to sell the eight-acre property to Miss Perry, purveyor of risque hits like I Kissed A Girl. [Daily Telegraph]See July 1 2015 Katy Perry
MH370 search: key questions as plane debris ‘found’ –
A metallic object described as six to nine feet long and three feet wide was found on a beach on the east coast of Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean. The object had the code number “BB670” on it. Locals said the object had shells on it and appeared to have been in the water for some time. There are two main reasons investigators are confident the part comes from the missing MH370 aircraft. First, aviation experts say the object appears to be from a Boeing 777 – and no other such aircraft is believed to have gone missing in the region. If the object is from MH370, it will mark the first sign of the Boeing 777 since it disappeared on March 8 2014. But such confirmation will come as difficult news for the families of the 239 passengers who were on aboard. [Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters Rockin1000 Official Video
1000 musicians play Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters to ask Dave Grohl to come and play in Cesena, Italy
Pierce Brosnan tries to board plane with 10-inch knife –
Pierce Brosnan, the former James Bond actor, has been stopped by airport security as he tried to board a plane in America with a large knife. The star had the 10-inch hunting blade confiscated from his hand luggage after it showed up during screening at Burlington International Airport, in Vermont. Brosnan, 62, was reportedly left embarrassed and angry when the knife was taken away by US Transportation Security Administration agents. [Daily Telegraph] Pierce Brosnan
Mormons reveal Seer Stone for first time –
The Mormon Church released photographs on Tuesday of a so-called “seer stone” that members believe was used by the Utah-based faith’s founder, Joseph Smith, to write the Book of Mormon, its principal sacred text. Photos of the egg-shaped, chocolate-brown rock are in a new publication that also carries images of the first printer’s manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which Smith said was based on ancient records and include an account of a visit to America by Jesus Christ. The LDS Church teaches that Smith found gold plates engraved with ancient Egyptian symbols in upstate New York 185 years ago. [Daily Telegraph]
Natalia Molchanova: Freediving champion feared dead –
Russian freediving champion Natalia Molchanova is feared dead after going missing on Sunday. The 53-year-old was diving for fun off Formentera, a Spanish island near Ibiza, when she failed to surface. Search efforts have been continuing but it is feared she may have been caught up in strong underwater currents. She became “the most decorated competitive freediver in the world”, with 41 world records, said her family and the global freediving federation AIDA in a joint statement. [BBC] See List of the Day. On May 14, 2015 Peter Colat, a Swiss freediver, held his breath underwater for 19 minutes and 21 seconds, smashing the world record. Natalia Molchanova in 2009
Video of the Day –
The Lexus Hoverboard: It’s here
List of the Day –
AIDA recognised freediving records (as of May 15, 2015)
Examination of the part is being carried out, under the direction of a judge, at the Balma, France, aeronautical test facility in the Toulouse area to identify everything they can from the metal: damage, barnacles, etc. (UPI)(Deutsche Welle)(MSN)
Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson makes emergency landing as plane runs low on fuel –
Bruce Dickinson, the Iron Maiden frontman, was forced to make an emergency landing at a Royal Air Force airfield when his replica war plane started to run low on fuel. The heavy metal star pilot made an unexpected appearance in his Fokker triplane at RAF Halton, near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Dickinson took advantage of the Strasser Scheme, set up thanks to the work of Charles Strasser, the vice president of the Aircraft Operators and Pilots Association. It was established so that aircraft in can divert with no extra charge in the event of an emergency. All Ministry of Defence airfields, as well as 99 per cent of the UK’s civilian airfields, are signed up to the scheme. [Daily Telegraph] Bruce Dickinson
Google unveils Alphabet… but that’s already trademarked by BMW –
The general reaction to Google’s announcement that it would create a new holding company called Alphabet, of which Google would be a subsidiary, was one of surprise and approval.
But perhaps the most surprised recipient of the news was BMW, which already runs a registered business called Alphabet. The German carmaker told WirtschaftsWoche, the German business magazine, that it will be “necessary to examine the legal trademark implications” of the name of Google’s new parent company. BMW also said it had not been contacted by Google before the surprise restructuring on Monday. In his announcement, Google co-founder Larry Page said Alphabet’s website would be http://abc.xyz, a decision that may have been influenced by the fact that alphabet.com is owned by BMW’s subsidiary, which operates in 18 countries and supplies 530,000 vehicles to corporate customers. [Daily Telegraph]
In Puyallup, Washington, a gunman on a mass shooting spree shot and killed a man, then fired at homes and people before driving a stolen SUV through the garage door, crashing into several cars and shooting at police until stopped when his SUV was rammed by a police car. (KIRO)
Debris from a Buk surface-to-air missile is found at an unspecified location in eastern Ukraine. According to the Dutch Safety Board and the Dutch prosecutor overseeing the criminal investigation, it may have come from a Buk (possibly of Russian origin) fired by rebel fighters, accidentally or purposefully, in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The investigation remains classified. (AFP, via MSN)
Georgia accuses Russia of cutting off its citizens from their farmland by installing border signposts demarcating the breakaway South Ossetia region, calling on Moscow to refrain from “escalation”. (The Daily Star)
Spain to teach bullfighting in schools –
Spain’s education ministry has drawn up plans to create courses in bullfighting as an optional subject in state schools. For the first time, bullfighting, as well as other subjects related to the spectacle, will be available for students aged 16 and older who move into vocational training after finishing their compulsory education. The move appears to represent a final attempt to defend the activity by Spain’s conservative government before elections in December. Students who complete the course will receive a professional training certificate in “Tauromachy – bullfighting – and Auxiliary Livestock Activities” after they have learned the skills of bullfighting, the regulations applied to the event and the rules on breeding Spain’s fighting bulls. The full-time, two-year courses will be offered at a number of high schools around the country. [Daily Telegraph]
Big Ben’s clock ‘needs £40m of work’ to keep bongs sounding –
The taxpayer faces a bill of up to £40 million to keep the famous “bongs” of Big Ben sounding, according to a report. Parliament’s Great Clock is said to be so dilapidated that it could grind to a halt unless drastic repairs are carried out. A report presented to the cross-party Commons Finance Committee has set out a £29.2 million plan for fixing the issues. It would see the mechanism shut down for four months – believed to be the longest stoppage in its 156-year history. The document, seen by the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times, said: “The clock currently has chronic problems with the bearings behind the hands and the pendulum. “Either could become acute at any time, causing the clock to stop – or worse.” [Daily Telegraph] Cleaning Big Ben in 2007
Slow-moving Koppu weakened after blowing ashore with fierce winds in the northeastern Philippines leaving at least two people dead and at least six missing, displacing 16,000 villagers, and knocking out power in entire provinces, according to authorities. (AP via NBC News)(UPI)
At least four people are killed and a dozen injured after a small plane crashes in a residential area of the Colombian capital Bogota. (AP)
A San Francisco-boundSouthwest Airlines flight returned to Los Angeles after an apparent altercation on the plane. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the fracas may have begun after one passenger reclined her seat, and the passenger behind her allegedly “started choking her.” One passenger was removed from the flight. The airline moved the remaining passengers to a different plane to resume their journey to San Francisco. (USA Today)(NBC News)
Brazilian prison inmates using a mouse to courier drugs –
As prison guards in one of Brazil’s notoriously overcrowded and chaotic jails, the officers in Barra da Grota prison probably thought they had seen it all. But last week they saw something that shocked even their hardened heads: a mouse, they noticed, was being used by inmates to courier drugs. The animal was seen scurrying along the corridor with tiny bags of drugs tied to its tail, running between the cells. Gean Carlos Gomes, director of the central Brazil prison, 1,100 miles inland from Recife, said the mouse was being used as a “bridge” between cells. “They attached a hook to the mouse’s tail and then used it to carry the drugs and other goods from one cell to another,” he said. “When the animal arrived at its destination, the prisoner took the mouse and removed the hook from its tail.” [Daily Telegraph]
Vladimir Putin is Forbes magazine’s most powerful person in the world –
Vladimir Putin has been named the world’s most powerful person for the second year running by Forbes magazine. Of the 73 listed, 28 are billionaires. Thirty of the individuals are Americans. And only nine are women – the same number as last year. The 63-year-old Russian president has, unsurprisingly, retained his position at the top of the Forbes ranking of the world’s most powerful people. Forbes says the decision is made on the amount of money they control; the number of people they impact; their total spheres of influence; and how actively they wield their power. And in all areas Mr Putin has triumphed; he dominates one of the world’s largest countries, and his actions in Ukraine and Syria are changing the course of history. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day Vladimir Putin
WARNING: Do Not Post Your Winning Ticket On Social Media –
Chantelle from Perth won $900 [Australian] by betting on 100-to-1 shot Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup yesterday… Like many punters around the country Chantelle celebrated the win by posting a selfie with her victorious ticket on Facebook. Little did Chantelle know, the photo of the barcode could be used at an automated machine to claim the cash – which is exactly what someone did. “To the low life who is obviously my friend on Facebook and used my photo to claim our winnings. You’re a massive dick. You ruined my day,” Chantelle wrote on Facebook. Chantelle told Triple M that police were able to track where the money was claimed and are confident of finding the person responsible. [Triple M] Chantelle winning ticket Facebook post
Video of the Day –
Armed with unguarded ambition and the vision to push boundaries beyond the unthinkable, Jetman Dubai and Emirates A380 take to the skies of Dubai for an exceptional formation flight.
The United States says that last month’s airstrikes in Kunduz hit three locations, mistakenly including the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) (MSF) hospital where at least 30 were killed. Afghan commanders, whose forces were actively engaged with the Taliban, requested the attacks. The Washington Post reports a warehouse and a mansion in two densely populated residential areas were “pulverized” without loss of civilian lives. According to residents, earlier their neighborhoods had been conflict zones, but no militants were there the time of the attacks. “Together, the three attacks raise questions about the quality and reliability of the intelligence that Afghan security forces are providing to their American partners, as well as U.S. decisions to act on that intelligence,” writes the Post. (Washington Post)
Médecins Sans Frontières held memorials around the globe Tuesday, the one month anniversary of the bombing, to reaffirm their request for an independent investigation. U.S. officials resist an independent probe, pledging that the three investigations underway, by the Pentagon, NATO, and Afghan officials, will be thorough and transparent. Thomas Nierle, head of MSF Switzerland, told AFP that he had little hope the inquiries would ultimately see any wrongdoers punished. (The Hill)(DW Akademie)(AFP via Yahoo News)
James Tran of Sacramento County is arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide in the October 8 stabbing of Airman Spencer Stone near a bar in Sacramento California. Stone had helped foil the 2015 Thalys train attack but officials believe it was just a drunken bar fight. (MSN)
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcome new baby arrival –
Kim Kardashian has given birth to a baby boy. The news was announced on the reality television star’s website, with a short note that said: “Kim Kardashian West and her husband, Kanye West, welcomed the arrival of their son this morning. Mother and son are doing well.” The couple are already parents to daughter North who was born in June 2013. [Daily Telegraph] Kim Kardashian
Actor Morgan Freeman in plane scare –
A private plane carrying Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman was forced to make an emergency landing, but the star and his pilot were unhurt. The plane blew a tyre on take-off from Clarksdale, Mississippi, on Saturday.
The SJ30 jet made a forced landing in Tunica, about 40 miles (65km) away, where it went off the runway. In a statement, the Shawshank Redemption star said: “Sometimes things don’t go as planned and a tyre blew on take-off, which caused other problems.” He continued: “But thanks to my excellent pilot Jimmy Hobson we landed safely without a scratch. [BBC] Morgan Freeman
Three suicide bombers at Lake Chad kill at least 30 people and injure at least 80 others. Three women carried out the attack at a weekly market on an island on the Chadian side of the lake. No group claims responsibility; officials suspect the attacks were carried out by members of the Boko Haram militant group from neighboring Nigeria. (Al Jazeera), (BBC)
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announces the discovery of the SpanishgalleonSan José which sunk off that country’s coast over 300 years ago. The discovery was a joint venture between Colombia and U.S. firm Sea Search Armada, which filed a lawsuit when Colombia claimed the wreck as a heritage site. The wreck’s cargo is placed somewhere in the $4 to $17 billion range. (NPR)
Skier’s Close Call As Drone Camera Crashes –
A skier has narrowly avoided serious injury after a drone being used to film the event he was competing in crashed to the ground. The drone hit the snow just centimetres away from Austria’s Marcel Hirscher during the alpine skiing World Cup slalom in Italy. “This is horrible,” Hirscher, who finished second in the event, said. A skier has narrowly avoided serious injury after a drone being used to film the event he was competing in crashed to the ground. The drone hit the snow just centimetres away from Austria’s Marcel Hirscher during the alpine skiing World Cup slalom in Italy. “This is horrible,” Hirscher, who finished second in the event, said. [MSN News] See Video of the Day Marcel Hirscher
Madonna goes to court to force 15-year-old son to return to New York –
Madonna has gone to court to force her 15-year-old son Rocco to return to New York, after his father Guy Ritchie insisted that he wanted to stay in the UK for Christmas. The singer appeared before a judge in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, where she won her bid to have her son forced to board a plane from London. Mr Ritchie, a film director who has two children with Madonna, argued through his lawyer that Rocco preferred to spend Christmas with his father, the New York Post reported. Judge Kaplan ordered that Rocco should talk with Madonna, and then revisit the issue of which parent he prefers. The judge told a smiling Madonna that Rocco must also present himself to court in the United States for the case to be decided. “I’m directing the child to be returned to New York. If he wants to stay with his father, he must return to his mother.” [Daily Telegraph] Madonna
Video of the Day –
TV drone crashes during ski race – Marcel Hirscher at Madonna di Campiglio
Amnesty International reports at least 200 civilians have been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria, indicating “serious failures by Russia to respect international humanitarian law”. Moscow denies causing civilian deaths. (BBC)
An overnight raid by suspected Boko Haram militants on Niger‘s southern border town of Abadam, kills two Nigerien Army soldiers and three civilians. And, separately, a suicide-bomb attack on Lake Chad killed three of the attackers but no one else. A military convoy was also ambushed by militants in northern Cameroon, although there were no reported deaths. (Reuters)
Hacktivist collective Anonymous declares a cyber-war on Turkey, and claims responsibility for the major week-long cyber-attack between 14 and 21 December on Turkey, which it accuses of supporting the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and threatened additional attacks in case the alleged support continues. “We will continue attacking your internet, your root DNS, your banks and take your government sites down,” it said. “After the root DNS, we will start to hit your airports, military assets and private state connections. We will destroy your critical banking infrastructure,” the group added. (Hurriyet Daily News)(Independent)
Rat on a plane: Air India flight returns to Mumbai after rodent spotted on board –
An Air India plane flying to London was forced to return to Mumbai after passengers spotted a rat on board, the airline said on Thursday. Though the rat was not found, the pilot returned to Mumbai on Wednesday keeping passenger safety in mind, Air India said in a statement. Passengers were later flown by a separate aircraft to London. The aircraft would be fumigated and checked before it is returned to service. Maintenance workers would have to make sure that the rat did not damage equipment or chew any wires and the plane is certified to be rodent-free, an airline official said. [Daily Telegraph]
China’s new two-child policy law takes effect –
Married couples in China will from Friday (Jan 1) be allowed to have two children, after concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country’s controversial one-child policy. The change, which was announced in October by the ruling Communist Party, takes effect from Jan 1, 2016, Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency reported over the weekend. The “one-child policy”, instituted in the late 1970s, restricted most couples to only a single offspring through a system of fines for violators and even forced abortions. For years, authorities argued that it was a key contributor to China’s economic boom and had prevented 400 million births. [Channel News Asia]
Paris St-Germain score 9 as they win French title –
Paris St-Germain were crowned French champions with two months to spare as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four in a 9-0 demolition of bottom side Troyes. Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore and Adrien Rabiot put them 3-0 up inside 19 minutes before Ibrahimovic struck three within 10 minutes in the second half. Matthieu Saunier scored an own goal and Cavani made it 8-0 before Ibrahimovic added his fourth. [BBC]
Paris St-Germain won the league with 62 days and eight games to spare, a record for any of Europe’s ‘big five’ domestic leagues.
In 115 appearances in Ligue 1, Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has 102 goals and 35 assists.
This win was the sixth time this season that PSG have scored four goals or more in a Ligue 1 game.
This title is PSG’s sixth overall and their fourth in a row
Ecuador earthquake of 7.8 magnitude kills dozens –
A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador has killed at least 77 people and injured more than 500, Vice-President Jorge Glas says. The quake, Ecuador’s largest since 1979, hit at 18:58 on Saturday (23:58 GMT) near the northern town of Muisne. Widespread severe damage is reported, with a bridge destroyed as far south as Guayaquil about 300km (190 miles) away. President Rafael Correa, who is flying back from a trip to Italy, has decreed a state of emergency. He said: “This is a very painful test. I ask the country to be calm and united… Let’s be strong; we will overcome this.” He added: “Roads and hospitals can be rebuilt; you cannot recover lost lives. That’s what hurts the most.” [BBC]
Army approves 22 women as infantry, armor officers –
The Army approved requests from 22 women to become the first female infantry and armor unit officers, opening leadership and ground combat positions previously only available to men. The Army said throughout the coming weeks 13 women will enter the armor branch and nine others will enter infantry as second lieutenants. They will be the first females to serve in the traditionally all-male front-line combat branches since the U.S. Department of Defense opened all combat roles in the U.S. Armed Forces to women. [UPI]
Prince rushed to hospital after emergency plane landing –
Prince has been rushed to hospital after his plane made an emergency landing.According to TMZ, the singer’s private jet was forced to make an unscheduled stop in Illinois.It happened just hours after he’d performed on stage in Atlanta. Prince was immediately taken from the plane in an ambulance and treated at a nearby hospital.He was released after a few hours. [BBC] Prince in 2008
According to a police chief, at least 40 Taliban fighters are killed after launching an offensive against Afghan security forces to seize the strategic northern city of Kunduz while four security force personnel are also killed. (Al Jazeera)
AMISOM soldiers kill four Somali civilians in the town of Bulla Marer, southwest of Mogadishu. The AU Mission said scared soldiers opened fire when the car the civilians were driving failed to stop at a roadblock. (BBC)
German police report an apparent deliberate explosion at a Sikh temple in Essen while a wedding was being celebrated, has injured three people, one in serious condition. Police say there is no indication this was a terrorist incident. (AP)
A second earthquake hits southern Japan with a magnitude of 7.1 killing at least 32 people with the death toll from both earthquakes rising to 42. The new quake traps even more people. In Kumamoto a landslide occurs as well as a bridge collapse. (AFP via Yahoo! News)(AP)(AP via Yahoo! News)
EUForeign policy chiefFederica Mogherini holds the highest-level talks between the EU and Iran in decades to mark a new phase in relations between the two. Both sides are keen to focus on trade, energy and the environment as possible areas of cooperation. (BBC)
Iraq’sParliament cancels its third session in a week to discuss political reforms as some MPs dispute the legitimacy of speaker Salim al-Jabouri to chair the meeting. Also, protesters gathered in the streets ofBaghdad to protest the growing political deadlock in the country. (Al Jazeera)
As protesters continue to take to the streets of Skopje, Macedonia, lawmakers confirmed that a snap election will take place on June 5 despite the protesters being angry at PresidentGjorge Ivanov’sdecision to halt investigations into more than 50 public figures, including top politicians embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal. Zoran Zaev, the main opposition leader, vowed to boycott the election. (The Guardian)