Sony hit by “Guardians of Peace” hack –
Sony Pictures Entertainment is targeted by computer hackers in an attack when a skull appeared on computer screens with the hashtag #GOP (Guardians of Peace – a hackers group) along with a message threatening to release data “secrets” if undisclosed demands were not met. Sony have shut down it’s corporate network to resolve the issue.
Russian caught defacing Colosseum –
A Russian man has been fined €20,000 (£15,800) for carving his initial into the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The tourist used a stone to carve a 25cm “K” into a wall inside the amphitheatre and was caught in the act by a guard and arrested by police, before being fined and given a four-month suspended prison sentence. The Colosseum CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Did North Korea order hack on Sony Pictures computers? –
Sony Pictures Entertainment is said to be investigating whether North Korea was behind a hack of its computer network, over a Hollywood film depicting a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un. The hermit state’s anger over the comedy about CIA plans to kill its leader may have been behind the attack on the company’s system, according to tech news website Re/code. A group calling itself #GOP (Guardians of Peace) posted a warning on employees computers on Monday saying “If you don`t obey us, we’ll release the data shown below to the world”, giving a deadline of 11:00 the same day and listing five data links. #GOP said Sony Pictures had been warned before but did not detail its demands. North Korea had threatened “a strong and merciless countermeasure” against the US if it released the Sony Pictures’ film The Interview.
Angelina Jolie ‘set to become a peer’ –
The dusty old House of Lords has been considerably enlivened in the past few weeks when a number of half-famous people have been officially sworn in as members of Parliament’s second chamber. But the most excitement came last week when Arminka Helic – best known as a highly-regarded special adviser to former foreign secretary William Hague – was formally welcomed into the House of Lords as Baroness Helic of Millbank. Elderly Parliamentarians dozing off a good lunch were startled to glance up to the public gallery and spot actress Angelina Jolie, an old friend of Lady Helic, gazing down benignly. Now tongues are wagging in Westminster that Miss Jolie is being lined up herself set on a seat in the House of Lords. The idea is not so far-fetched. Last month Miss Jolie was made an honorary dame by the Queen for her campaign work fighting sexual violence and for services to UK foreign policy. And last week it emerged that Miss Jolie has decided to retire from acting and focus her energies on her humanitarian work.[Daily Telegraph] Angelina Jolie
(Nasty) Thought for the day –
Professor Stephen Hawking, the British scientist who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. The BBC quotes him as saying “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate but humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” Stephen Hawling
Scarlett gets secretly married –
Scarlett Johansson has revealed that she and her partner Romain Dauriac got married in secret on October 1st 2015 in Philipsburg, western Montana. Scarlett Johansson
Strike that off the list –
The UK Government has introduced legislation banning sex acts like spanking and caning from online porn videos filmed in the UK. A list of sex acts are now on a list of ‘harmful’ content that has been prohibited and paid-for online porn videos must now stick to the same rules as content produced for sex shop-type videos. (See List of the Day)
Star Wars character names posted by director –
The names of characters in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to be released in December 2015 have been revealed in a mocked-up set of trading cards. John Boyega will be Finn, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron and Daisy Ridley’s character is called Rey. Director JJ Abrams confirmed the names via some old school trading cards, in reference to when the Star Wars films were first released in the 1970s. Oscar Issac
World’s longest ship launched –
Shanghai-based marine-shipping company China Shipping Container Lines has launched the world’s largest container ship, the “CSCL Globe”. The ship is more than 400m (1,312ft or a quarter of a mile) long, 56.8m (186ft) wide, 73m (240ft) high and 186,000 tonnes gross. The ship, which is longer than four football pitches, is making its maiden voyage from Shanghai to Europe. The CSCL Globe
Marriage proposal fail –
A Dutchman’s attempt at a romantic wedding proposal using a mobile crane has resulted in the crane falling over and smashing into a neighbour’s roof. The man had rented a crane in the central town of Ijsselstein to descend in front of his girlfriend’s bedroom window, play her a song and ask her to marry him. Despite the disaster in which no-one was hurt, his girlfriend agreed to marry him.
Pope avoids Dalai Lama meeting –
Pope Francis will not meet the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama because of the “delicate situation” with China, according to the Vatican. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet and China describes him as a separatist. The Vatican does not want to jeopardise improving relations between itself and China. Pope Francis
US and Cuba talking again –
After 53 years of diplomatic estrangement, diplomatic relationships between the US and Cuba have been re-established. The deal was aided by a personal appeal from Pope Francis, who persuaded Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, to agree to the freeing of the American aid worker Alan P. Gross. The pope, officials said, acted as a “guarantor” that both sides would live up to the terms of a deal reached in secret. Alan P. Gross
Smelling the money –
Fragrances from stars such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Jay Z are outselling established fragrance brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci in some UK stores. Britney’s perfumes outsell DKNY by three to one at UK store Superdrug, and Hugo Boss by two to one. Jay Z’s Gold is the best selling celebrity fragrance. Britney Spears
Interview cancelled –
“The Interview” the film that is possibly the catalyst in the Sony Pictures hacking scandal has had its Christmas Day release cancelled after major cinema chains decided not to screen it in the US.
Michael Garcia resigns from FIFA –
Fifa’s independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia has quit in protest over the handling of his report into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia said he lost confidence in the independence of judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, an ethics committee colleague after his report was summarised.
New York police shot –
A gunman has shot dead two police officers sitting inside a patrol car in New York before killing himself. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot by a Ismaaiyl Brinsley who apparently made online statements suggesting that he planned to kill police officers.
Sony hack: Is Idris Elba the next James Bond? –
The latest leaked memo from Sony Entertainment has revealed that Idris Elba, the British-born star of cult TV series The Wire and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is a Sony executive’s favourite to replace Daniel Craig as 007. According to the Daily Beast, Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in an email that Elba, 42, “should be the next Bond”. [Daily Telegraph]
Ticking the boxes –
Real Madrid have beaten San Lorenzo 2-0 to win the Club World Cup which means that Cristiano Ronaldo has now won the same eight trophies with two different teams Real and Manchester United. He became the first player to achieve the feat and his manager Carlo Ancelotti equalled the record for the most European and international club competitions won by a manager. Christiano Ronaldo
Tough to chew –
Netflix is to release a documentary film in 2015 which affirms that Michael Rockefeller, the youngest son of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, was eaten by cannibals in New Guinea in 1961.
Tornado chaos in south USA –
At least five tornadoes were reported in the southern United States, leading to four deaths and fifty people injured. The twisters also caused massive damage to homes, commercial buildings and vehicles. Mississippi was among the worst hit. If the tornadoes are confirmed, it will be the deadliest December tornado outbreak since 1953. [The Weather Channel]
Smithy OBE –
It’s announced that James Corden known for his role as Smithy in Gavin and Stacey, presenting Sky TV’s In A League of Their Own and now taking on hosting The Late Late Show in the US is to receive an OBE (Order of the British Empire) gong for his charitable work. Ruth Jones & James Corden
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton separate –
Helena Bonham Carter has announces that she has split from the film director Tim Burton after 13 years together and having 2 children. Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter
Gloves off –
In the US Amazon and Walmart sell out of DVDs of Team America which parodied the former North Korea leader Kim Jong-il. The reason? Another film – The Interview – is about to get its cinema release after a major hacking situation at Sony. President Obama apparently approves of the delayed Christmas Day premiere. Kim Song, a North Korean diplomat to the United Nations, called the movie an ‘unpardonable mockery of our sovereignty and dignity of our supreme leader.’
Cash grab –
In Hong Kong a van carrying HK$35m – about $4.5m or £3m – in used notes crashed on a motorway – cue dozens leaving their cars and grabbing a bundle. About HK$15 disappeared.
You’d let him win wouldn’t you? –
Prince Harry led his Sandringham workers team to a 7-2 victory in a football (soccer) match against local villagers in Scotland sponsored by the Black Horse Inn. Top royal endorsement. Prince Harry
Shaken and stirred –
In Russia vodka prices have been rising so much that President Vladimir Putin calls on his government to curb price rises on the spirit. Half a litre costs 220 roubles (about $4.10)
Feel good moment –
A homeless man is given $100 and hidden cameras follow him into a liquor store where he buys food which he shares with other homeless people. 12 million hits on YouTube (see Video of the Day)
Pub crawl goes viral –
And a fancy dress pub crawl in Old Conwyn, North Wales featuring made up props from the classic BBC comedy show Only Fools and Horses went viral(ish) on YouTube
Time 100: Emma Watson makes first appearance in the world’s most influential list –
Emma Watson has been recognised as one of the world’s 100 most influential people together with Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the former Argyll salmon farmer who founded the charity, Mary’s Meals. The actress has recently won praise for her United Nations campaign on women’s rights. The former Harry Potter child star is one of four Britons named in the new Time magazine list of the world’s most influential people in for 2015. (See List of the Day) [Daily Telegraph] Emma Watson