More than three million take part in French unity rallies –
Huge crowds have taken part in a rally in Paris to commemorate the 17 people who died in gun attacks in the city in 3 days of attacks earlier in the week. More than 40 world leaders joined the start of the unity march, linking arms in an act of solidarity and an estimated 1.6 million marched in the capital. The rally was led by relatives of the victims of last week’s attacks and began at the Place de la Republique. The French government said the rally turnout was the highest on record.
Boyhood wins Golden Globe Awards –
At the Golden Globe ceremony “Boyhood” won best drama movie with Patricia Arquette getting best supporting actress in the film.
Winners of all categories at the bottom of the post. Patricia Arquette
Actress Anita Ekberg dies –
The actress Anita Ekberg,has died aged 83. A former Miss Sweden, she was branded a “sex goddess” for her performance in Federico Fellini’s 1960 movie La Dolce Vita. The scene where Ekberg walks through the waters of Rome’s Trevi Fountain in a black strapless dress is considered one of cinema’s most iconic scenes. A quote attibuted to her in her later years is: “I don’t know if paradise or hell exist, but I’m sure hell is more groovy.”
First woman president in Croatia –
In elections in Croatia, opposition challenger Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has become the first female president of the country. The voting was extremely close with Grabar-Kitarovic receiving more than 50% of the vote for her Croatian Democratic Union party, with more than 49% for Ivo Josipovic who had been president since 2010. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Whitney Houston’s daughter accident –
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of late American singer Whitney Houston is found unconscious in a bath in a house in Roswell, Georgia. She was taken to a hospital in Roswell where she was said to be breathing. Her mother was found dead in a bath on February 11th 2012 of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine use and heart disease.
Bobbi Kristina Brown and Whitney Houston in 2009
Cumberbatch and Fry sign petition to pardon gays –
Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry sign an open letter requesting the government to pardon 49,000 men who were prosecuted for being gay. Family members of the World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 (and later committed suicide in 1954) also signed the petition. Cumberbatch played Turing in the film “The Imitation Game”.
Balloon flight record broken –
Balloon pilots American Troy Bradley and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev complete their crossing of the Pacific in a helium filled balloon with a sea landing off Mexico after 6 days flying from Japan. They claim to have beaten the world distance and duration records by flying for more than 137 hours and travelling more than 5,209 miles (8,383km).
Serena Williams wins 19th grand slam title –
Serena Williams beats fellow American Maria Sharapova to win the Australian Open tennis title. Williams’ 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) victory gives here a 19th grand slam crown out of 23 finals – the best percentage performance in either the men’s or women’s game.
Madonna ‘snogs’ Drake during his set at Coachella 2015 –
This year’s event was headlined by AC/DC, Jack White and Drake. It was some of the unannounced acts that got people talking though. Madonna made an appearance during Drake’s headline set after he performed his track called Madonna, which was released on his If You’re Reading This mixtape. She then sang Human Nature and Hung Up. And, not being one to make an appearance without attracting headlines, she then kissed Drake, A LOT, said the words “I’m Madonna” and walked off the stage. [BBC] Madonna
Robbie Williams abandons basement plans to appease Jimmy Page –
Robbie Williams has scaled back plans to revamp his multi-million pound home following a public spat with neighbour Jimmy Page. The 41-year-old star has ditched the proposal for a two-storey basement extension under the garden and glass studio at the top of his house. The Take That singer angered the veteran rocker with ambitious proposals for the 46-room mansion, which was previously owned by the late film director Michael Winner. [Daily Telegraph] Robbie Williams
Marco Rubio ‘announces US presidential bid’ –
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has told donors that he will run for the Republican nomination for US president in 2016, US media report. Mr Rubio, 43, said on a conference call he was “uniquely qualified” to bring the party into the future. He is the third Republican to officially announce a candidacy after Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Mr Rubio is expected to make a formal announcement at a political rally in Miami later on Monday.
It comes a day after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would stand for the Democratic nomination. [BBC] Marco Rubio
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, win University Challenge –
255-105: The Cambridge college beat Magdalen College, Oxford, in the BBC’s quick fire quiz’s grand final. Ted Loveday wearing a cream cable-nit jumper proved the star resulting in tweets like this-
Nicolas Sarkozy ‘insists his name must be printed larger than rivals’ on rally invitation –
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has insisted on having invitations to a political rally reprinted to show his name twice as large as those of his rivals for the presidential nomination of his centre-Right party, The Republicans. Mr Sarkozy reportedly bristled when he saw his name on the original invitation in the same size letters as those of Alain Juppé and François Fillon. The two former prime ministers intend to run against Mr Sarkozy in a party primary next year. [Daily Telegraph] Nicolas Sarkozy
Kanye says he’s serious about becoming president –
Kanye West says he’s totally serious about becoming US president in 2020.
In an interview with Vanity Fair he says he’s had lots of support since announcing plans to run for election. He says people are “really into the idea” because they think he’s “extremely thoughtful” and “probably the most honest celebrity we have”. One possible spanner in the works of his political ambitions, though: he “hates politics”. “I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings. I just want everyone to win, that’s all I can say, and I think we can,” he says. [BBC Newsbeat]
[BBC Newsbeat] Kanye West
Spieth caps season with $11.48 million double win –
Jordan Spieth capped a brilliant season in sensational style as he scored a four-stroke victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday that also won him the FedExCup playoffs title for an $11.48 million pay day. Spieth shot a closing one-under-par 69 at East Lake Golf Club for a nine-under total of 271 and his fifth win of the season, including the Masters and U.S. Open. The prize money haul included the $10 million jackpot bonus for winning the season’s FedExCup points competition, virtually clinched him Player of the Year honours and returned the 22-year-old American to the number one world ranking. [Reuters] Jordan Spieth
Progressive rock legend Emerson dies –
Keith Emerson, the co-founder and keyboardist of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 71, according to his former band mates. “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles,” read a statement on the band’s Facebook page. Yorkshire-born Emerson was one of the top keyboardists of the prog rock era. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Santa Monica police confirmed to the BBC. His death was being investigated as a suicide, police added. [BBC] Keith Emerson performs on his Hammond and Moog synthesizer during the Emerson & Lake Tour 2010.
Apple customer goes to the top for iPhone battery answer –
The head of Apple’s operating system iOS confirmed that open but unused apps do not affect iPhone battery life after a customer emailed boss Tim Cook. The customer from Ohio, known as Caleb, asked Mr Cook whether closing down “multitasking apps” improved battery life and whether it was something the chief executive did himself. Senior vice-president Craig Federighi replied “no and no”. However, other smartphone batteries can benefit from app closure. While many Apple users do shut down apps in the belief it extends the iPhone battery this is not advice explicitly given by the firm itself. It only recommends disabling apps from carrying out background refreshes in a list of tips about saving power. [BBC]
Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United appoint Spaniard as Steve McClaren’s successor –
Rafael Benitez has been named as Newcastle’s new manager, following the sacking of Steve McClaren. The former Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Valencia boss takes over with the Magpies a point from safety with 10 games left. The Spaniard, 55, has signed a three-year contract, which is understood to contain a break clause should Newcastle be relegated at the end of the season. “C’mon Toon Army. The club and I need your total involvement,” he said. [BBC] Rafael Benitez
American veterans’ nonprofit charity The Wounded Warrior Project board of directors removes chief executive officer Steven Nardizzi and chief operation officer Al Giordano after an independent investigation confirms earlier news reports about lavish spending on employee perks, high overhead, and other perceived malfeasance. (The New York Times)
Syria civil war: Assad hails Palmyra recapture from IS –
President Bashar al-Assad has hailed the recapture of Palmyra from so-called Islamic State (IS) as an “important achievement” in the “war on terrorism”. A monitoring group has backed the Syrian government’s claim that the city was recaptured overnight by the army. Military sources say the Syrian army now has “full control”. It had been gaining ground for several days, supported by Russian air strikes. President Assad said this showed the success of the army’s strategy. His comments, to a group of visiting French parliamentarians, were carried on state TV. IS seized the Unesco World Heritage site and modern town in May 2015. When IS seized the city it destroyed archaeological sites, drawing global outrage. Two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers were left in ruins. The jihadist group, which has also demolished several pre-Islamic sites in neighbouring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous. [BBC] Temple of Bel in 2011
Cat accidentally sent 260 miles away survives eight days in the post –
A Siamese cat had a very lucky escape when its owners accidentally posted her 260 miles away to West Sussex. Cupcake’s owners were sending some DVDs to a buyer in Worthing but failed to spot their pet was asleep in the cardboard box. The feline spent eight days in the post but miraculously survived the traumatic journey from Falmouth in Cornwall. “Imagine how surprised the recipient was when, along with the anticipated DVDs, an elegant Siamese cat emerged from the box,” explained the Grove Lodge Veterinary Group, who helped track down Cupcake’s owner. “This person was somewhat startled as they were not expecting to receive a free cat along with their order of DVDs.” The stunned buyer contacted the RSPCA who collected the cat and brought her to Grove Lodge for a health check. [Daily Telegraph]
According to a new poll, two-thirds of Venezuelans think PresidentNicolás Maduro should end his presidency this year or be removed via a recall referendum amid a worsening economic crisis. In the event of a referendum, 52.1 percent of Venezuelans would vote to remove him from office, up from 44.5 percent in January, according to the poll. (Reuters)
Police in Brussels, Belgium forcibly break up an apparent far-right demonstration with water cannons after they joined a crowd of people paying tribute to the victims of the bombings. The demonstrators claim to have marched against terrorism but police intervened when the demonstrators confronted Muslim women and made Nazi salutes. (Euronews)(BBC)
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US basketball star Kobe Bryant shines in final game –
One of basketball’s biggest stars, Kobe Bryant, has retired from the sport after a career spanning two decades with a stunning final performance. He scored 60 points to help the LA Lakers make a dramatic comeback against the Utah Jazz in Los Angeles. Bryant, 37, spent his entire career with the Lakers, winning five NBA titles and recording the third highest total number of points in the sport. Tickets for his final match changed hands for up to $27,500 (£19,315). Bryant scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to help his team overcome a 15-point deficit to win the game. [BBC] Kobe Bryant
The U.S. company Microsoft has sued the United States, alleging that it has been prevented from disclosing warrants to the company’s customers in violation of the company’s constitutional rights. (NYT)
Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir impose a curfew around the capital of Srinagar, Handwara, and neighbouring villages as protests turn violent. People began to protest last Tuesday when allegations were circulated by residents in Handwara that an Indian Army soldier tried to sexually assault a teenage schoolgirl. (Al Jazeera)
Thousands of opposition supporters rally in Harare, Zimbabwe, against PresidentRobert Mugabe and the deteriorating economy. The rally was banned by the police, however, it went ahead after a ruling by the High Court sanctioned the protest. (BBC)
Cavaliers become first team to rally from 3-1 series deficit in NBA Finals –
LeBron James cradled the shiny gold trophy and struggled to sum up what might be his sweetest championship yet, the one he is so proudly bringing home to his native northeast Ohio just as he promised to do when he returned to the Cavaliers two summers ago. Later, flanked by his three children on Father’s Day, a cigar between his lips and winning net as a necklace with the lingering stench of champagne, James began to understand the magnitude of his accomplishment for Cleveland after a half-century wait. James and his relentless, never-count-them-out Cavs pulled off an improbable NBA Finals comeback, and Cleveland is title town again at long last. James delivered on a vow to his home state and brought the Cavs back from the brink as they became the first team to rally from a 3-1 Finals deficit, beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 93-89 on Sunday night to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland. [ESPN] LeBron James
Thousands of people are reported to have spontaneously marched in southern China’s village of Wukan in Guangdong province over the arrest of the village’s democratically elected leader, 70-year-old Lin Zuluan, who had been planning meetings and protests about corruption, illegal land grabs, and the government’s failure to return land to the people, per the 2011 agreement. (AP)(South China Morning Post)
City of Lufeng prosecutors said in a statement that Lin was being held on suspicion of taking bribes. Renmin University’s Zhang Mingin, a political science professor, says the bribery charge was “strange” since a village chief does not have the authority to approve projects that could result in kickbacks. (U.S. News & World Report)
Plainclothes policemen and policemen in riot-control gear establish checkpoints, guard government buildings, and increase patrols on the streets of Wukan. The earlier operation to arrest Lin included hundreds of police. (South China Morning Post)(The Scotsman)
US election 2016 result: Trump beats Clinton to take White House –
Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee’s victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton. The battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset. Global markets plummeted, with the US dollar diving and gold prices surging. Mr Trump’s shock victory in Wisconsin put him over the 270 out of 538 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, after a gruelling and rancorous campaign. The US president-elect took to the stage with his family at his victory rally in a New York hotel ballroom and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory.” [BBC] President elect Donald Trump
‘Fart’ in parliament: Row blows up in Canada –
A row has blown up in the Canadian parliament – over the word “fart”. When Conservative MP Michelle Rempel accused the government of treating the province of “Alberta like a fart in the room” over jobs, Green Party leader Elizabeth May took exception. However, it was not the accusations of inaction which riled Ms May. “I heard her say a word I know is distinctly unparliamentary, and I think she may want to withdraw it,” the shocked Ms May said. “The word was f-a-r-t,” she continued, spelling it out clearly so as not to repeat the offending term. Ms Rempel, who has represented Calgary Nose Hill since 2011, became equally incensed. “Is my colleague actually serious? I just gave an impassioned speech about Alberta jobs, and that’s what the leader of a political party has to say? No, I don’t withdraw it.” Ms May was not letting it go, however. “Decorum is important, and respect is important in this place,” she scolded. Unsurprisingly, the row has caused great hilarity on social media – especially in light of the political upheaval taking place just across the border. “With all eyes on Trump’s destruction of US politics and civil society, a silent but deadly political scandal in Canada,” tweeted Josh Greenberg, director of one of Canada’s leading journalism schools. [BBC] Josh Greenberg tweet
Video of the Day –
STOMP makes rhythm with the Harlem Globetrotters –
Eight performers from the international sensation STOMP took to an outdoor basketball court in New York City’s Greenwich Village with four stars from the world famous Harlem Globetrotters to celebrate the team’s 90th year.