BBC Comic Relief raises £78 million –
A record-breaking £78million was raised for Comic Relief by the end of Red Nose Day 2015. The total was revealed during the live television spectacular on BBC One. The charity also revealed that more than a billion pounds has been raised for Comic Relief since the charity was set up 30 years ago. Comic Relief founder Richard Curtis said he was “enormously proud” of the charity’s achievements. Rowan Atkinson brought back Mr Bean. Dawn French starred in one-off Vicar of Dibley special. Bond stars Daniel Craig and Roger Moore teamed up for a special 007 sketch, while Professor Stephen Hawking appeared in Little Britain. Victoria Wood triumphed in the celebrity Bake-Off. Star-studded sketch saw Liam Gallagher named a national treasure. [BBC]
Putin missing mystery magnifests –
The mystery over the whereabouts of Vladimir Putin deepened on Saturday as Russian state media broadcast – then retracted – reports that he had hosted an official visit from the President of Kyrgyzstan. Mr Putin has remained hidden from public view for nine days. Levels of fear and uncertainty in Moscow have been rising as rumours fly over what could be behind Putin’s lengthy disappearance.The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that there is anything amiss with the Russian leader, batting away suggestions that he is ill, dead, victim of a palace coup or in Switzerland to be by his girlfriend’s side as she gives birth. [Daily Telegraph] Vladimir Putin
Massive cyclone hits island of Vanuatu –
Dozens are feared dead after a ferocious tropical cyclone suddenly switched direction and smashed through the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, causing landslides, flooding and sea surges and widespread destruction. Cyclone Pam, one of the worst recorded in the southern hemisphere, is believed to have destroyed entire villages as it swept across the Pacific archipelago with winds of more than 200 miles an hour. Aid workers warned of “complete annihilation” in Port Vila, the capital, where some observers estimated 90 per cent of houses had been destroyed. “It felt like the world was going to end,” Alice Clements, from Unicef, told ABC News. [Daily Telegraph]
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”.