Tahrir square battles intensify in Egypt –
At least 7 anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo died after night of violence as they fought to hold Tahrir square against pro-government fighters. Separately Vodafone claims the Egyptian authorities forced it to send pro-government text messages during this week’s protests.
Fry avoids Japan after joke –
Stephen Fry pulls out of going to film a documentary in Japan after comments he made about a survivor of the two atomic bombs during the second world war in the programme QI caused upset. Fry told the story of Tsutomu Yamaguchi who was on business in Hiroshima when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb on 6 August 1945. After surviving and spending a night in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi travelled by train back to his home town, Nagasaki. That city was bombed on 9 August as Yamaguchi was explaining his earlier near death experience to his manager. Fry had commented: “Well, this man is either the unluckiest or the luckiest, it depends which way you look at it.” Stephen Fry CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Bulldog puppy thief –
Police are hunting thieves who stole one of Britain’s rarest and most valuable puppies worth a whopping £16,000 – because it’s purple. The cute eight-week old British bulldog puppy called Lila is so valuable because of her lilac colouring. Officers say it was snatched from his breeder by a man who was pretending to buy the puppy. The black man with short afro hair grabbed the pup when the specialist breeder’s back was turned and ran out of the home – knocking a female relative to the ground. [Daily Mail]
Volkswagen to recall over 580,000 cars in China: government –
Volkswagen AG told China’s quality watchdog that it planned to recall more than 580,000 cars in the country, after the agency launched an investigation in August. Volkswagen AG’s joint venture in China, FAW-Volkswagen Automobile Co Ltd, will recall 563,605 New Sagitar models produced between May 2011 and May 2014 due to a problem with the rear axle arm of the cars, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement on its website. Volkswagen is also recalling 17,485 imported Beetles due to the same axle problem. [Reuters]
Parisian vandals destroy 24ft art sculpture that resembled a ‘giant sex toy’ after claims it ‘humiliated’ the city –
Vandals today destroyed an art sculpture in central Paris ‘because it looked like a giant sex toy’. Looming above the city’s Place Vendome, the 24ft tall piece, created by American artist Paul McCarthy, was meant to look like a green inflatable Christmas tree. But the artwork, simple entitled ‘Tree’, raised eyebrows in the French capital because of its uncanny resemblance to a certain type of sex toy. Today it was left as a giant pile of deflated plastic after vandals apparently took a number of sharp objects to it overnight. The incident came after claims that it ‘humiliated’ the French capital. [Daily Mail] See Video of the Day
Video of the Day –
US artist Paul McCarthy brings giant inflatable ‘Tree’ to Paris
Comet probe Philae shuts down, but not before transmitting valuable secrets –
Controllers have powered down the comet probe Philae after its batteries fell to dangeously-low levels – though the craft still managed to transmit reams of crucial data. The comet probe Philae appears to have reached the end of its historic mission after its batteries ran out of power, but only after it managed to transmit a treasure-trove of scientific data back to Earth. Mission controllers put the European Space Agency (ESA) lander to sleep after the power in its solar-powered batteries fell to dangerously low levels following its landing at a spot in the shadow of a crater wall, shrouded in darkness. An ESA blog post said: “Philae has fallen into ‘idle mode’ – a possibly long silence. In this mode, all instruments and most systems on board are shut down.” [Daily Telegraph]
Rik Mayall ‘Bottom’ bench unveiled in Hammersmith –
A street bench like one that featured in the BBC sitcom Bottom has been officially unveiled in memory of comedy legend Rik Mayall. It followed an online campaign by more than 7,000 of his fans. Mayall, who starred in a string of TV comedies, said before his death, aged 56, in June that he had been saddened by the removal of the bench. It had appeared in the opening credits of Bottom, in which he starred with Adrian Edmondson. [Daily Telegraph]
Canberra Christmas lights set world record –
A Christmas lights display in the Australian capital, Canberra, has set a new world record. Almost 1.2 million LED lights on 120km (75 miles) of cables have been strung in the shape of three interconnected giant, wrapped Christmas presents. Guinness World Records confirmed it was the largest-ever LED image display. The display in the Petrie Plaza mall was the result of months of planning by Canberra lawyer David Richards and a team of volunteers. [BBC] See Video of the day
Sony’s latest wearable is a watch made of electronic paper –
The Wall Street Journal has uncovered Sony’s clandestine involvement in a smartwatch project. Under the name Fashion Entertainment (FES), the company has thrown an electronic paper watch into the wearable product scrum. All credit to Sony, the watch itself is very slick looking. It overcomes many of the problems existing smartwatches on the market present – namely that they are overly bulky and have naff battery lives. Electronic paper, which is famously used in ebook readers to provide them with long-lasting battery, should ensure that this device can keep running for weeks on a single charge, rather than just a day or two. Sony secretly put the watch on a crowdfunding site in September, not taking ownership of the product until this week. The device surpassed its 2 million yen goal (£108,000), raising 3.5 million yen (£188,000) in total. [Wired.com]
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
US boy missing for four years found alive hidden behind fake wall –
A 13-year-old boy reported missing by his mother four years ago was found hidden behind a false wall in his father’s home. After a tip-off police raided a detached suburban house with an immaculately kept garden in Jonesboro near Atlanta, Georgia. They discovered the fake wall behind some towels and it disguised a passage to a space above the garage. The boy’s father Gregory Jean, 37, and stepmother Samantha Joy Davis, 42, and three other people in the house, were charged with obstruction, false imprisonment and cruelty to children. [Daily Telegraph]
‘Hot Selfie’ competition dubbed Facebook’s most narcissistic challenge CANCELLED after one hopeful is ‘intimidated’ after posting their photo –
A ‘hot selfie’ competition where posers paid to enter in the hope of winning $10,000 has been shut down before a winner could be chosen.
The narcissistic photography challenge was abandoned after ‘entrant tampering’, according to the competition’s website.Brisbane-based company Serious Selfie set up the competition which offered a cash prize for the best pout. A statement on the Hot Selfie website said: ‘It was with regret that Serious Selfies PTY. LTD. terminated the Hot Selfie Competition, ahead of its end date, as a result of entrant tampering. ‘Unfortunately, one of our entrants had been contacted and intimidated outside of the Facebook platform.’ [Daily Mail] Entrant in the Hot Selfie Competition
(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)
Glitch grounds UK flights –
A major glitch in the UK air-traffic controllers system has affected flights in and out of nearly all of Britain’s airports including 89 flights cancelled at Heathrow. National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said a technical fault in the flight data system at its Swanwick centre caused the problem. Heathrow Terminal 5
Amazon beefs up Prime
Amazon Prime launches 4K (UHD) streaming for its Amazon Prime service following Netflix into the 4K market.
Oz helping out Global Warming issues
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will contribute A$200 million over four years into a U.N. fund to help poor nations cope with global warming. Tony Abbott with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi
In the club (sandwich)
The British Sandwich Association has named chicken and bacon has been named the nation’s favourite sandwich filling – overtaking the BLT. (See List of the day) A chicken and bacon sandwich aka a club sandwich
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.
Half a million going to university in UK –
In 2014, for the first time, the number of UK university entrants passed 500,000. Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were allocated university places, compared with 26% of men, the widest ever gap, making women a third more likely to enter higher education than men, Ucas admissions service figures show.
Extreme deep sea fishing –
The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor, on an international expedition to the Mariana Trench has discovered a strange-looking creature, new to science, 8,145m beneath the waves, beating the previous depth record by nearly 500m.
Rotten to the core –
Senior Apple executive Jeff Williams says the company is “deeply offended” by a BBC Panorama investigation into conditions for workers involved in manufacturing its devices. Rules on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were routinely breached, the programme witnessed.
Future arrests –
A former trader at Royal Bank of Scotland becomes the first UK banker to be arrested on suspicion of rigging the £3.5 trillion a day foreign exchange market. Six banks, including RBS and HSBC, were fined a total of £2.6 billion by UK and US regulators last month for the role they played in fixing the futures market.
Sir Elton John and David Furnish marry –
Sir Elton John and David Furnish have married at a ceremony, 9 years to the day after they had a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor’s Guildhall. David and Victoria Beckham, musician Ed Sheeran and actor David Walliams were among the guests at the wedding at the couple’s house, also in Windsor. Elton John
Billie Whitelaw dies –
Actress Billie Whitelaw has died aged 82. Her film career started in 1954 in The Sleeping Tiger and last appeared in 2007 in the iconic Hot Fuzz alongside Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Sony hack an act of terrorism? –
President Barack Obama says the US is considering putting North Korea back on its list of terrorism sponsors after the hacking of Sony Pictures.
NYPD arrest go-slow –
Police in the New York Police Department (NYPD) have dramatically reduced the amount of arrests and other actions since the shooting of two of their officers on December 20th 2015. Citations for traffic violations have fallen by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587; summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination are down by 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300; parking violations drop 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241 and drug arrests by cops dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.
I “emoji” you –
The most popular word of 2014 is not actually a word at all but a symbol meaning love – the ’emoji’ heart symbol was the most widely used character in blogs, Twitter and Facebook and in 250,000 global news outlets in the last 12 months, according to a list compiled by the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas.
3 wheels on my airliner –
A Virgin Atlantic passenger plane landed safely at London’s Gatwick Airport after discovering a problem with part of its main landing gear. Virgin flight VS43 was travelling from Gatwick to Las Vegas when it had to return and land on slightly less than the full number of wheels.
No such thing as bad publicity –
The Interview, the film about the spoof assassination of the North Korea Leader becomes Sony’s biggest download film ever. It’s been downloaded more than two million times since its release on 27 December, making back a third of its $44m (£28m) budget.
Beagle 2 probe found on Mars –
Pictures taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted the missing Mars robot Beagle2, identified its landing location and it looks to be in one piece. The probe designed an promoted by the late Professor Colin Pillinger landed on Mars on 25th December 2003, but no radio contact was ever made with the probe. It was assumed to have crashed but it now seems that for some reason two of the solar panels did not deploy and the radio signal was consequently blocked. Replica of Beagle 2 at the London Science Museum
Britain’s oldest person dies age 114 –
Ethel Lang has died at the age of 114. She was believed to be the last person living in the UK who was born in the reign of Queen Victoria. The oldest person in the world is thought to be Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman who celebrated her 116th birthday in March 2014.
Elon Musk proposes 700 mph test track in Texas –
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) the billionaire founder of PayPal tweets that he will build a test track for his “Hyperloop” transport system that could theoretically travel at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour. He tweets the most likely location for the test track that works in a partial vacuum using magnets is in Texas, USA. Elon Musk in 2013
Fake US tweets of start of World War 3 –
The New York Post and United Press International (UPI) have had their Twitter accounts hacked and fake tweets on economic and military news posted. On UPI’s Twitter feed the Pope was quoted as saying that “World War III has begun” and the NY Post had a tweet that hostilities had broken out between the United States and China. The attacks follow the ones on US Central Command on 12th January 2015.
Stephen Fry gets married –
Comedian, actor and QI presenter Stephen Fry (57) marries his 27-year-old partner Elliot Spencer and announced it in a tweet:
His “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” comedy partner and star of House M.D. Hugh Laurie responded with his own tweet:
Plans for the wedding at Dereham Registration Office in Norfolk were revealed on January 6th 2015
New running on water record –
Shi Liliang, a monk from Quanzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province, has broken his own record for running on plywood sheets floating on water. He managed a distance of 120 meters in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province breaking his previous best of 118 meters that he had kept.
US Cop gets 14 million hits singing to Taylor Swift in car –
A policeman with Dover Force in Delaware has received over 17 million views of a YouTube video showing him singing along to the Taylor Swift song “Shake It Off”. The video (see below) has gained mix reactions but Taylor Swift gave it her seal of approval through her Twitter account to her 51 million followers:
Actress Anne Kirkbride dies –
She played Deidre Barlow in the British soap Coronation Street since November 20th 1972 and died at the age of 60.
Takes a hack to spot a hack –
Two newspapers, The New York Times and Germany’s De Spiegel report that the US knew North Korea was behind the Sony Pictures hack because it had secretly infiltrated the country’s computer networks in 2010. The NY Times believe that software planted by the US intelligence in North Korea’s computers alerted them to hacking activity on Sony.
Sun drops Page 3 topless images –
For 44 years the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun has by synonymous with a large topless picture of a model but that has come to an end today when a picture of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing lingerie appeared. The paper is reported to be planning to reinstate the topless feature if sales drop. Among those who found fame were Linda Lusardi, Jilly Johnson and Samantha Fox. Samantha Fox
Islamic State terrorists execute Japanese hostage –
Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe has called the footage of Islamic State hostage Kenji Goto apparently holding a photograph showing the body of fellow captive Haruna Yukawa “outrageous and unacceptable”. On January 20th 2015 Islamic State said it would kill the two men unless Japan paid a ransom of $200m (£130m) within 72 hours. Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe
Where are the richest 1% in the world? –
According to Credit Suisse anyone who has assets worth over $798,000 (£530,000) is one of 1% of the richest people in the world. 18 million of the top 47 million richest people are in the US, 3.5m in France, 2.9m in the UK and 2.8m in Germany. Ten percent of Swiss residents, a total of 800,000, are in the top 1%.
50 years since the death of Winston Churchill –
Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister of England through World War II died 50 years ago today. He was Conservative prime minister from 10 May 1940 – 26 July 1945 and again in 26 October 1951 – 6 April 1955. Winston Churchill
FA Cup upsets return –
In England and Wales the fourth round of the FA Cup sees some of the most surprising results for many years. Premier League leaders Chelsea are beaten on their own ground 4-2 by Bradford City after leading the League One team 2-0. Manchester City who are second in the Premier League also lose at home to Championship side Middlesborough. This followed Cambridge United holding on for a 0-0 draw against Manchester United yesterday. Jose Mourinho
Greek parties form anti-austerity coalition –
The winner of yesterday’s election in Greece, the far-left Syriza party won 149 seats, just two short of an absolute majority. It has formed an anti-austerity coalition right-wing party, the Greek Independents led by Panos Kammenos. Panos Kammenos, leader of the Greek Independents
Greek F-16 crashes at Spanish airbase –
A Greek F-16 jet “lost power” during take-off at the Los Llanos airbase in Albacete in central Spain and crashed into a number of parked planes and ground crew. Ten people have died including the two pilots of the plane.
Demis Roussos dies –
Demis Roussos, a Greek singer who sold more than 60 million albums worldwide most during the 1970s and 1980s has died aged 68 in Athens. He was best known for solo hits including Forever and Ever, Goodbye and Quand je t’aime as well as writing the soundtrack to the film Abigail’s party.
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.
Moving to the BEET? –
UK communications giant Telecoms group BT buys the mobile operator EE for £12.5bn, with the deal covering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. Deutsche Telecom will hold 12% in the new combined business and have a seat on the board. Orange will receive a 4% stake, as well as about £3.4bn in cash. BT says it plans to raise £1bn through a placing of new shares to fund the deal.
Argentine President Chinese faux pas –
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has tweeted an old joke during her visit to China, making fun at how the Chinese speak. She made reference to how some Chinese struggle to pronounce the letter “r”. Tweeting in Spanish, she wondered whether those at an event about trade were there for “lice” and “petloleum” which refers to critics accusing her supporters of attending party events only so they can get a free sandwich and a soft drink. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
Homocide of young muslims in US ignored by press –
Three young American muslims are shot and killed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US by a lone gunman but there is very little coverage in the local or national press, causing a reaction on social media with #ChapelHillShooting trending worldwide. The dead are Deah Barakat (aged 23), his wife Yusor Abu-Salha (21), and her sister Razan Abu-Salha (19). A man suspected of the shooting is arrested.
Premier League TV rights go for £5.136 BILLION!!!
The right to show live English Premier League (EPL) matches in the UK for three years starting in 2016 is shared between Sky TV and BT Sport. Sky have bid £4.176bn to keep the maximum possible number of matches – 126 – almost double the £2.28bn it paid two-and-a-half years ago. BT Sport bid £960 million for 42 games (after paying £897m for Champions League rights in 2014). The average cost of a televised game is £10.2 million. Sky have satellite boxes in over 10 million UK homes. Manuel Pellegrini with the Barclay’s Premier League trophy
R&A reveals first women members –
The first seven female members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club are announced. Princess Anne receives an honorary membership despite her well known dislike of the game, while former golfing champions Laura Davies, Swede Annika Sörenstam, Americans Louise Suggs and Renee Powell, France’s Lally Segard and Scotland’s Belle Robertson make up the exclusive club. For 260 years the Royal and Ancient golf club also known as St Andrews has not accepted female members, but this was overturned on September 18th 2014. Annika Sörenstam
Mugabe punishes bodyguards for his slip-up –
The Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe allegedly suspends 27 bodyguards after they failed to stop him falling down steps at the country’s Harare airport last week. The 90-year-old was apparently unhurt physically but upset by the media humiliation. President Robert Mugabe
Video of the Day –
Pharrell Williams performing “Happy” at yesterday’s Grammy Awards show
Haitian carnival accident kills 16 –
At least 16 people are killed when a power-line connected with a carnival float in Haiti’s capital Port au Prince. Some died through electrocution, others in the panic that ensued. Around 78 others were injured.
Where there’s make-up, there’s brass –
YouTube beauty blogger Zoe Sugg, known as Zoella, buys a five-bedroom £1 million home in Hove, East Sussex, England, with her boyfriend Alfie Deyes. Zoella has seven million subscribers on her beauty blogs and charges advertisers £20,000 a month to place ads on her vlogs. She also features in the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off. Zoe Sugg A.K.A. Zoella
Sony start taking orders for SmartEyeglass –
Sony announce that their “augmented reality” smart glasses will go on sale in ten countries in March 2015 and pre-orders for the SmartEyeglass, costing $840 (£620), are now being taken in the UK and Germany. The glasses work with recent Android operating systems but also come with a software kit so developers can design apps for it. It includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, electronic compass, brightness sensor and two microphones. Sony SmartEyeglass
Apple Watch not that exclusive –
Apple orders between 5 and 6 million Apple Watches to be produced in time for their release in April 2015. The Apple Watch is the first unique product Apple has launched since the iPad in 2010. There are 3 versions – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.
Eastenders is 30 –
Eastenders the UK soap set in the fictional London Borough of Walford in the East End of London is 30 years old today. Based around the pub The Queen Vic the character with the most appearances is Phil Mitchell (played by Steve McFadden) with 2,525 episodes out of the 5,018 transmitted followed by Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) who has been in it since the first episode. The Queen Victoria pub
Niagara falls freezes –
Parts of the Niagara Falls freeze over after a fourth winter storm in a month blew through the area. One of the coldest winters on the US eastern seaboard has seen people in Boston jumping into snowdrifts in their underwear. Niagara Falls CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
The Brit Awards sees Madonna wardrobe malfunction
The Brit Awards sees Ed Sheeran take the awards for Best Male Solo Artist and Best British Album for “X”. Palomo Faith is Best Female Solo Artist and Mark Ronson (ft Bruno Mars) wins best British Song with Uptown Funk. But the biggest memory of the night was Madonna being dragged down a flight of steps by one of her dancers when the neck cord of her cape didn’t release. See video below.
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
Lesbian banned from Nutella label –
Customers have been enjoying creating a digital custom made jar of the famous chocolate spread – emblazoned with their own slogan to share on social media. You can create your message and share it with those you love. But the word “lesbian” has been banned by the parent company of Nutella – deemed too offensive for labels. The list of banned words is actually quite extensive. Muslim and Jewish are not allowed. So presumably the message ‘Jews and Muslims can live in peace with each other’ would fall into the net of naughtiness. ‘Christian’ on the other hand is OK.
8ft coffin for Britain’s tallest man –
A bespoke coffin for the funeral of a former Britain’s tallest man has been made measuring 8ft-long. Christopher Greener, who grew to 7ft 6ins before surgical intervention stopped him growing, will be laid to rest in a casket carried by 10 pallbearers. Funeral directors have calculated that 30st Mr Greener’s coffin will just about squeeze into the hearse before he will be buried in a double-sized plot of land on Monday. Mr Greener, who held the record for being the UK’s tallest man for more than four decades, died aged 71 on February 11 and will be buried near his home in Bromley, south-east London. [Daily Telegraph]
Bill Gates has been declared the richest man in the world for the 16th time by Forbes magazine’s annual ranking of global billionaires. The Microsoft founder once again beat Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to the top spot. Mr Gates’ net worth rose by just over $3bn (£1.94bn) in the year to 13 February, to $79bn. There are a record 1,826 billionaires in the world, Forbes said, an increase of 181 in the past 12 months. See list below. [BBC]
New image for Queen on coins of the realm –
A new portrait of the Queen to appear on coins has been unveiled, but it might be some time before the new money starts appearing in people’s wallets. The effigy, designed by Jody Clark, is only the fifth definitive coin portrait to have been created during the Queen’s reign and the first since 1998.
The new coin
The new portrait is revealed at a ceremony in London’s National Portrait Gallery. Coins carrying the design will now begin being struck, the Royal Mint said. [Daily Telegraph] New Zealanders confiscating bad drivers keys –
Police are urging motorists not to take matters into their own hands, following the latest removal of car keys from drivers allegedly driving dangerously. While police are encouraging the use of *555 calls, the growing trend of motorists confronting bad drivers and removing keys is on the rise nationally – almost one a day during the past week. [New Zealand Herald]
Terry Pratchett, author of Discworld novels dies –
Sir Terry Pratchett, fantasy author and creator of the Discworld series, has died aged 66, eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. “The world has lost one of its brightest, sharpest minds,” said Larry Finlay of his publishers Transworld.The author died at home, surrounded by his family, “with his cat sleeping on his bed”, he added. Sir Terry wrote more than 70 books during his career and completed his final book last summer. His death was announced on his Twitter account with a tweet composed in capital letters – which was how the author portrayed the character of Death in his novels – read: “AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.” [BBC] Terry Pratchett
Spider that can give men four-hour erections found in Tesco bananas –
A mother was scared stiff after opening a bunch of supermarket bananas and finding rare spiders whose bite can give a man a painful four-hour erection. Maria Layton, 43, spotted the arachnids after opening the bag of yellow fruit she bought from Tesco. She found the bananas, shipped from Costa Rica, were infested with eggs from the Brazilian Wandering Spider – the most deadly in the world. [Daily Telegraph] The Brazilian Wandering Spider
Rumours are swirling in Moscow over the health of Vladimir Putin after the Russian president disappeared from view and put off a foreign visit.
Mr Putin has not been seen in public for a week and an official in Kazakhstan told reporters that he postponed a visit to the central Asian country on Wednesday because he had fallen ill. He will also not appear at an annual meeting of high-ranking officers from the Federal Security Service on Thursday, which he has attended in past years. Reporters last saw the president when he met Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, on March 5. Vladimir Putin
On 18 March 1985, Neighbours was first broadcast in Australia. Thirty years on it’s still going strong and broadcast to more than 50 countries around the world. Kylie Minogue
Boris’ Dad bets on him being next PM –
Boris Johnson’s father has bet £20 on his son becoming the next prime minister. Stanley Johnson, 74, said his son is the “best man for the job” and predicted he would beat other rivals to become the next Tory leader. Bookies would have to pay out if the London Mayor entered Number 10 after Mr Cameron steps doing – potentially as early as 2017 – following an election victory next May. “Next Prime Minster After Cameron. Boris Johnson. 5/1,” read the betting slip seen by The Sun. [Daily Telegraph] Boris Johnson
Top Gear France smashes channel ratings in first episode as critics give it the thumbs up –
Around a million viewers tuned in to Top Gear France – the best ever rating for the channel broadcasting the show, made by BBC Worldwide France reportedly for up to €400,000 per programme. The Gallic version features comic actor Philippe Lellouche, driving ace Bruce Jouanny and car expert Yann Larret-Menezo and The Stig. [Daily Telegraph] See Video of the Day. Philippe Lellouche
Zayn Malik leaves One Direction tour after being signed off with stress –
Zayn Malik has left One Direction’s tour of Asia and has returned to the UK after being signed off with stress. A statement said: “Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. “The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta.” On Wednesday the singer declared his love for his fiancee, Little Mix star Perrie Edwards, after photos emerged of him with his arm around another woman. [BBC] Zayn Malik
Russia: Gold found in roadside socks lands man in court
A Russian man has been found guilty of illegally possessing more than a dozen pieces of gold he found in some socks by the roadside, it’s been reported. Bagaudin Estermirov, from the Amur Region in Russia’s Far East, found 18 ingots of gold worth 10.5 million rubles ($171,000; £116,184), wrapped in three black jersey socks in bushes in the town of Zeya last October. A Russian district court on 17 March handed down a two-year suspended sentence for “illegal possession of a precious metal” after Estermirov fully admitted his guilt. The gold, which weighed about 8kg, was handed over to the state. [BBC]
Charlie Sheen hurls racist Twitter rant at Barack Obama –
Charlie Sheen, once the highest paid actor on US television before his career unravelled because of his drug addiction, has launched an attack on Barack Obama. The son of Martin Sheen and former star of Two and a Half Men, posted a garbled attack on the US president in the early hours of the morning on Twitter. “Barry Satera Kenya u won’t attend a soldier’s funeral uhkros da street that u kild yet u hav time 4 brackets? s a d.” Sheen’s anger appeared to be a reference to the funeral of Major General Harold Greene, a two-star general killed in Afghanistan. [Daily Telegraph]
Tag Heuer teams up with Google and Intel for Android watch –
Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced it is to build an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. The firm – which is part of the luxury goods-maker LVMH Group – is forming a partnership with Google and the chipmaker Intel to create the device. Switzerland dominates the high-end watch sector. This marks the first of its companies to join Google’s wearable tech ecosystem. [BBC]