Top Story – Ultimate Lock-in –
About 30 guests celebrating new year at the Tan Hill Inn in North Yorkshire, the highest pub in England, finally left today after heavy snow left them stranded for three days. The Tan Hill Inn
Top Stories – That’s a lot of chocolate –
Despite a campaign by the Daily Mail to “Keep Cadbury British”, the confectionery company finally accepted a takeover bid from Craft food in a deal worth $19 billion.
More than a wee dram, then –
Adults in Scotland are drinking the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka each in a year, a study has suggested. The research based on industry sales data and analysed by NHS Health Scotland showed an average of 12.2 litres of pure alcohol per person over the age of 18.
BBC apologise as Scotsman bares all on live TV –
Police have launched an investigation after a Scottish rugby fan exposed himself on a live BBC show. The Scot dropped his kilt on Friday’s evening news programme BBC Wales Today, ahead of Scotland’s clash with Wales yesterday afternoon. The clip has become a YouTube hit and had received more than 40,000 views by Sunday morning. Scotland were defeated 31-24 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. [Daily Telegraph]
Katherine Jenkins turned down £1 million Playboy shoot to keep mum happy –
Katherine Jenkins has revealed she turned down £1 million to strip naked for Playboy because she did not want to upset her mum. The Welsh mezzo-soprano is revered for her curvy figure almost as much as for her classical singing talent. She has become the darling of red carpet photographers with her large bust and slim waist squeezed into figure-hugging dresses. The 29-year-old blonde once posed in a revealing basque for upmarket men’s magazine GQ in November 2008. But she has never completely flashed the flesh despite doing some modelling work when she was in her late teens to help pay for her musical studies. [Daily Telegraph] Katherine Jenkins
Scottish referendum takes place –
Scotland independence referendum takes place with the result looking very uncertain. Tennis player Andy Murray used Twitter to back the Yes vote along with actor Sean Connery. Those backing the No vote and wanting Scotland to remain part of the UK include Sir Paul McCartney, Sting, Mick Jagger, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, comedian Eddie Izzard, actresses Helena Bonham-Carter and Dame Judi Dench, Simon Cowell, and Stephen Hawking all of whom signed a letter urging Scotland to stay in the union. The result will be known tomorrow. Andy Murray tweet.
Ig Nobel prizes announced –
The annual Ig Nobel prizes awarded by the Annals of Improbable Research have picked out some classic scientific investigations again. Researchers who measured the slipperiness of banana peels, why pork strips appear to stop nosebleeds, and how reindeer react to humans in polar bear suits were among the winners. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Britain hit by “weather bomb” –
High winds and huge waves have affected north-western parts of the UK as bad weather hit power supplies and travel. The “weather bomb” brought hundreds of lightning strikes, temporarily cutting power across the Western Isles. Wind speeds of 144mph was recorded on the St Kilda islands, with gusts in excess of 80mph elsewhere.
Bully bashed by brilliance –
Louisa Manning (@xo_louisa_ox) whose letter to a former school bully who called her “manbeast” went received over 18,000 likes on Facebook has described the response as “crazy and overwhelming”. Miss Manning, a student at Oxford University, wrote the note after being invited on a date by her former tormentor when they met 10 years later in a restaurant.
Senate reports on CIA interrogations –
The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in the CIA interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects. President Barack Obama said it was now time to move on. The summary of a classified Senate report says that the CIA carried out “brutal” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects after the 9/11 attacks on the US and misled other officials about what it was doing.
Boston time-capsule discovered –
A time capsule thought to have been buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795 has been discovered in Massachusetts, USA. The container was found during repair work at the state house in Boston. See video of the day.
Australia unveils 35-year plan to save Great Barrier Reef –
Australia has released a long-term blueprint to try to stem the decline of the Great Barrier Reef following warnings that the famous 1,500-mile stretch of delicate coral reefs could be wiped out by extreme weather and pollution. The 35-year plan is designed to improve the poor water quality and prevent the loss of coral cover in the area, which received a world heritage listing in 1981 and is regularly listed as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. But the area’s deterioration has worried scientists and led to warnings by the United Nations heritage body that it may downgrade the reef’s heritage status to “in danger”. [Daily Telegraph]
Photoshop disaster over a disappearing umbrella in Burma –
Ridicule is raining down on government spin doctors in Burma after they released a publicity shot of a top government minister in which an umbrella had been photoshopped out but a telling shadow gave away their dastardly intervention. The picture is question showed Su Su Hlaing, the country’s deputy minister, disembarking from a plane on Tuesday afternoon at Kaw Thaung airport in the country’s south. It was posted on the Ministry of Information’s official Facebook page in an apparent attempt to boost the minister’s profile. However, internet users almost immediately spotted a glaring mistake. An umbrella-shaped shadow around the minister’s toes suggested she had been standing in the shade of a parasol, yet there was no parasol to be seen in the photograph. The reason for the deletion of an apparently harmless umbrella was not immediately clear. However, the most likely explanation was that a man shielding a woman with his umbrella was something “considered embarrassing for the former in male-dominated Burmese culture,” the The Irrawaddy website speculated. [Daily Telegraph] @JonahFisherBBC
Six Nations 2015: Ireland title glory delights coach Joe Schmidt –
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said he is “delighted and relieved” after his side retained the Six Nations title. A 40-10 win over Scotland gave Ireland the title on points difference ahead of England and Wales on a thrilling final day of the championship. Wales briefly led the Six Nations standings after hammering Italy 60-21 in Rome, resulting in Ireland needing to defeat the Scots by 21 points to go top. England required a 26-point winning margin over France to deny the Irish back-to-back titles for the first time since 1949, but they came up just short in a 55-35 victory to complete a dramatic triple-bill of action. See List of the Day. [BBC]
Mieko Nagaoka: 100-year-old Japanese swimmer sets 1,500m record –
A Japanese woman has become the first 100-year-old to complete a 1,500m freestyle swim in a 25m pool. Mieko Nagaoka, who only took up swimming at the age of 82, already holds the record in her age category for the same distance in a 50m pool. She completed the latest feat in just over one hour and 15 minutes, using backstroke all the way. She was the only person taking part in her age range – 100 to 104 – at the competition in Matsuyama on Saturday. Nagaoka already dominates the world record board for her age group, as awarded by the international swimming federation (Fina), holding 24 titles over both short and long distances. [BBC]
Smartphones could be charged in 60 seconds with new battery –
An iPhone 6 takes around two hours to charge but could be full of power in a minute if fitted with a new aluminium battery. Smartphones could be charged in less than one minute after scientists at Stanford University invented an aluminium battery so powerful it could revolutionise the industry. The new rechargeable battery can go from flat to full in a fraction of the time it currently takes to pull in enough electricity to fully charge a phone, laptop or tablet. While an iPhone 6 takes around two hours to fully charge its in-built battery, if it was fitted with the aluminium power source it would be completely topped up in around 60 seconds. And it will keep going for more than seven times as long as a lithium-ion battery. A traditional battery can be recharged around 1,000 times, while the new one can withstand 7,500 cycles. [Daily Telegraph]
Biggest American Indian tribe in US introduces country’s first junk food tax –
As diabetes and obesity spiral out of control on their vast reservation, Navajo Nation harks back to a healthier time and starts taxing Spam and crisps. In times gone by, Navajo Indians ate whatever mother nature was generous enough to bestow, their existence intimately and spiritually bound up with the land on which they lived. Their food would have been the envy of any modern dietitian as they foraged for pinyon nuts and wild potato, and nibbled on sumac berries, yucca fruit, prickly pears and beeweed greens. Today, life is very different in the Navajo Nation, the largest American Indian reservation in America, which covers an area of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah that is the size of Scotland and has a tribal population of 300,000. The modern Navajo, who prefer to be called the Diné, are facing an intensifying health crisis fuelled by a complete transition to a diet based largely on fried potatoes, tortillas, cookies, crisps, sugary drinks and Spam. [Daily Telegraph]
May the Fourth (be with you) – see Video of the Day
Top News Stories –
Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Daughter’s Name Revealed – Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor –
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced the name of their new bundle of joy. Just two days after the birth of the fourth in line to the British royal throne, Kate Middleton and Prince William revealed the following piece of adorable baby news:
And how should you officially great [sic] the new princess, should you ever be so lucky to meet her in person? [Celebuzz]
World Snooker Championship: Bingham beats Murphy 18-15 –
Stuart Bingham beat Shaun Murphy 18-15 in a gripping final at the Crucible to win his first World Championship. Bingham began the final session with a 14-11 lead and won an epic 64-minute frame at 15-15 to close in on victory. The 38-year-old made a break of 65 to go 17-15 in front and clinched the title with a brilliant 88. Bingham, from Basildon, becomes the oldest snooker world champion since Welshman Ray Reardon won the title aged 45 in 1978. [BBC] (See List of the Day) Stuart Bingham
Video of the Day –
Giant Star Wars LEGO Super Star Destroyer Shattered at 1000 fps | Battle Damage
The Greens held their one seat of Brighton Pavillion
Microsoft to stop producing Windows versions –
Jerry Nixon, a Microsoft development executive, said in a conference speech this week that Windows 10 would be the “last version” of the dominant desktop software. His comments were echoed by Microsoft which said it would update Windows in future in an “ongoing manner”. Instead of new stand-alone versions, Windows 10 would be improved in regular instalments, the firm said. [BBC]
Ant and Dec repeat Bafta success –
Ant and Dec have picked up two prizes at the Bafta Television Awards for the second year in a row. The duo won best entertainment show and best entertainment performance for their ITV show Saturday Night Takeaway. ITV’s Coronation Street also won best soap in the year it celebrated its 60th anniversary. [BBC] For full winners list see List of the Day below.
Scotland tops gay equality league –
Scotland has been rated the best country in Europe in terms of legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Scotland came top of the Rainbow Index after meeting 92% of ILGA-Europe’s criteria for equality and human rights, ahead of the UK as a whole. Equality campaigners said the ranking recognised the country’s progressive measures. But they said more needed to be done to achieve full equality. [BBC]
Prince Harry does the Haka in New Zealand –
Prince Harry has taken part in a traditional Maori Haka during his tour of New Zealand. It was part of a day of activities at Linton Military Camp, the largest army base in the country. [BBC] In December 2013 Prince Harry led his Sandringham workers team to a 7-2 victory in a football (soccer) match against local villagers in Scotland. Prince Harry
China imposes smartwatch and wearable tech army ban –
China has forbidden its armed forces from wearing internet-connected wearable tech, according to reports. The People’s Liberation Army Daily, the Chinese military’s official newspaper, said security concerns had been raised after one recruit had received a smartwatch as a birthday gift. News site NBC said its sources had confirmed a ban was now in place. [BBC]
Prince Charles’s private letters published –
Private letters sent by the Prince of Wales to Labour ministers a decade ago have been published after a lengthy legal battle. Clarence House said the move would “only inhibit” the prince’s ability to express concerns. In one letter to the prime minister, the prince said the armed forces were being asked to do a challenging job “without the necessary resources”. Release of the letters follows a decade-long campaign by the Guardian. [BBC] See Top Twitter Trends Prince Charles
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)
Bruce Springsteen signs late note for schoolboy –
As excuse notes go, it is a step up from the “dog ate my homework”. But not all teachers would be impressed with a letter explaining a nine-year-old’s late arrival in class was down to being at a rock concert the night before. So Xabi Glovsky had it signed by Bruce Springsteen. He went to the concert in Los Angeles with his father, Scott, a life-long fan of the Boss. They went armed with a homemade sign. “Bruce, I will be late to school tomorrow. Please sign my note :-)” it said. At the end of the three-and-a-half-hour show, and well after Xabi’s bedtime, Springsteen sent a security guard into the crowd at the Los Angeles Sports Centre to invite father and son backstage. He asked Xabi for the name and spelling of his teacher, before whipping out pen and paper for the note. It read: “Dear Ms. Jackson, Xabi has been out very late rocking & rolling. Please excuse him if he is tardy.” [Daily Telegraph] Bruce Springsteen
Six Nations 2016: England win Grand Slam with France victory –
England have their first Grand Slam in 13 years after holding out to secure a historic victory in Paris. First-half tries from Danny Care and Dan Cole had given them a five-point half-time lead, only for the relentless penalty precision of Maxime Machenaud to keep France within touching distance. But a third try in three matches from Anthony Watson calmed rising nerves before a brace of late penalties from Owen Farrell allowed the travelling support to sing their heroes home. It marks a remarkable turnaround for new head coach Eddie Jones, coming just six months after the humiliation of a home World Cup exit at the group stages before he took control. [BBC] See List of the Day
Flydubai Boeing 737-800 Flight FZ981, en route from Dubai for about four hours, crashes during landing in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, killing all 62 on board. It appears the jet crashed in poor visibility, some 50–100 meters left of the runway, during the second approach. Rostov-on-Don Airport will remain closed until at least 9:00 am Moscow time. (RT)(Airways News)(Reuters)
Labour’s Sadiq Khan elected London mayor –
Sadiq Khan has been elected the new Mayor of London – boosting Labour after it slumped in Scotland’s elections. Mr Khan is the city’s first Muslim mayor, after beating Tory Zac Goldsmith by 1,310,143 votes to 994,614. The result bolsters leader Jeremy Corbyn after Labour was beaten into third in Scotland by the Tories and lost some English councillors.
In Scotland, the SNP said it would form a minority government after winning its third election in a row. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is celebrating what she said was an “emphatic” victory, her first as party leader, after the SNP emerged as the largest party at Holyrood with 63 seats, ahead of the Conservatives on 31 and Labour on 24. But she played down talk of another independence referendum after falling short by two seats of an overall majority. In Wales, Labour remains as the largest party, with 29 out of 60 seats, but was denied a majority as Plaid Cymru and UKIP both made notable gains. [BBC] Sadiq_Khan
China bans ‘erotic’ banana-eating live streams –
Chinese live-streaming services have banned people filming themselves eating bananas in a “seductive” fashion. New regulations mean that live-streaming sites must monitor all their output round-the-clock to ensure nothing untoward is going on, keeping an eye out for any “erotic” banana-eating, according to New Express Daily. It’s not just fruit that’s on their radar though – the paper adds that wearing stockings and suspenders while hosting a live stream is now also forbidden. The move is the authorities’ latest attempt to clamp down on “inappropriate and erotic” online content, state-controlled CCTV reports. In April, the Ministry of Culture announced it was investigating a number of popular live-streaming platforms for allegedly hosting pornographic or violent content that “harms social morality”. Despite the government’s concerns, such sites are attracting more and more users in China. Particularly popular are webcam sessions where young women – and sometimes girls under 18 – entertain a predominantly male audience, often singing Chinese songs or chatting to their viewers. [BBC]
A man is killed, and two others are injured (a man in critical condition and a woman with non-life-threatening injuries), in the parking lot of Westfield Montgomery Mall in Potomac in Montgomery County, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. Soon after, a woman is killed at a grocery store some miles away. Police suspect that the same shooter may be behind both crime scene incidents. Police in both Montgomery County and neighboring Prince George’s County are also examining whether this person is the same as the male involved in the fatal shooting the previous day of a woman, Gladys Tordil, who was allegedly shot (a bystander who tried to help was also wounded) by her estranged abusive husband, tentatively identified as Eulalio Tordil, 62, a former Federal Protective Service officer. (MSN)(CNN)
BRITAIN VOTES FOR ‘BREXIT’ IN HISTORIC REFERENDUM –
Britain has voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, defying its prime minister and confounding most analysts’ expectations. The result raises questions over the future of Prime Minister David Cameron, and over the future of Scotland within the United Kingdom. The results expose a British electorate deeply divided by age, class and geographical location. Most large urban centers elected to stay part of the European Union, particularly in London, where many local authorities delivered vast majorities for the pro-EU campaign. Polls completed before the vote suggested the young were significantly more likely to back EU membership than the old, and that poorer, less-educated voters were likelier to be Brexiters. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Wales surprised many observers by voting in favor of a “Leave” vote, with just over 850,000 Welsh voters choosing to leave the bloc, and a little more than 770,000 voting to Remain. [Newsweek] See List of the Day
Solar plane lands in Spain after three-day Atlantic crossing –
An airplane powered solely by the sun landed safely in Seville in Spain early on Thursday after an almost three-day flight across the Atlantic from New York in one of the longest legs of the first ever fuel-less flight around the world. The single-seat Solar Impulse 2 touched down shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time in Seville after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 2.30 a.m. EDT on June 20.
The flight of just over 71 hours was the 15th leg of the round-the-world journey by the plane piloted in turns by Swiss aviators Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. [Reuters] See Video of the Day
Video of the Day –
Solar Impulse Airplane – Leg 15 – Flight New York to Seville
List of the Day –
How the home nations voted in the EU Referendum [BBC]
Solar Impulse 2, a plane powered only by the sun, lands safely in Seville, Spain, shortly after 7.30 a.m. local time after a flight of just over 71 hours. The 15th leg of the round-the-world journey had been expected to take up to 90 hours. (Reuters)(Reuters²)
Lionel Messi announces international football retirement after Argentina loses Copa America final –
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi says he is finished with the national team after the side’s loss to Chile in the Copa America final. The five-time world player of the year announced as much in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s gut-wrenching loss to Chile, 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Monday. “The national team is done for me,” Messi told reporters. The 29-year-old was booked for simulation and sent his attempt over the crossbar in the decisive shootout as he fell short for the fourth time in a major international final. “It’s difficult, it’s a hard moment for any analysis. In the dressing room I thought that the national team is not for me,” he added. [ABC] In April Messi scored his 500th career goal. Lionel Messi
Video of the Day –
Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog – Guinness World Records
Americans finally break through to end Ryder Cup frustration –
This was not eight years in the making. It was two decades. Two decades worth of frustration was pent up inside the American team room when it arrived to Hazeltine National this week for the 41st Ryder Cup. And two decades worth of relief was released with the force of popping champagne corks when the Americans put the finishing touches on a 17-11 rout of the Europeans Sunday, capturing the Ryder Cup for the first time since 2008 and only the third time since 1999. After eight losses in the last 10 Ryder Cups, including the last three, the Americans decided enough was enough. [New York Post] [See list of the day]
Voters in Hungary go to the polls for a referendum on whether to accept mandatory European Union quotas on relocating migrants. While an overwhelming majority of voters reject the EU’s migrant quotas, turnout was too low to make the poll valid. (BBC), (Reuters)