Oscar Pistorius charged with murder –
Oscar Pistorius the South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete is arrested and charged with the murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his apartment in Pretoria, South Africa. Police said Steenkamp had been shot 4 times and died at the scene. A 9mm pistol has been recovered. Oscar Pistorius competing
Apple gives cider shop a bad name –
A family run shop In Norfolk, England that sells cider is forced to change its name after 20 years because it is called The Apple Shop. Geoff Fisher, who runs the Wroxham Barns shop said it received up to 24 calls a week from people wanting them to fix broken Apple devices. From Easter The Apple Shop will be known as The Norfolk Cider Shop instead. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Google gets down with the kids –
Google reveals it is developing child-friendly versions of some of its products and is likely to include the Chrome browser and YouTube (which it bought for $1.65bn (£883m) in October 2006). The intention is to make the internet safer for under-12s.
Boris plays peacemaker –
London mayor Boris Johnson attempted to calm down an abusive passenger on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow but the crew had to handcuff the man and strap him to his seat. The man was arrested when the plane landed. Boris Johnson
Pope dismissing head guard –
Colonel Daniel Anrig, the commander of the 110 Swiss Guards that protect the pontiff is losing his job when his commission ends at the end of January 2015. Although no official reason has been given, Pope Francis is apparently unhappy at the officer’s strict authoritarian style.
The Obama’s light up –
President Barack Obama, wife Michelle and their daughters, Malia and Sasha switch on the lights of the Christmas Tree at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington DC. 2014 National Christmas Tree
Psy’ched out –
Psy’s Gangnam Style video has been watched so many times that the YouTube’s counter is being upgraded from 32-bit to 64-bit. The old 32-bit system only counted up to 2,147,483,647 views with Gangnam Style hitting 8,000 more than that. The mew 64-bit system will count up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 views (around 9 quadrillion). (See Video of the Day and List of the Day below)
Apple accused of wiping competitors tunes –
A US district court has heard lawyers accuse Apple of “deleting” songs from rival services from some iPods in 2007-09. Users with non-iTunes music received a message telling them to restore devices to their factory settings when they tried to sync them. Apple said that the move was a legitimate security measure. The case has been going on for more than a decade and could result in Apple paying out $1bn in damages.
Nobel Prize medal sells for $4.75m –
The Nobel Prize medal of American geneticist James Watson sold for $4.75 million at auction in New York today. It is the first time a Nobel Prize of a living laureate has been sold and almost doubled the estimate price. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr Watson in 1962 for his discovery of DNA’s double helix structure in 1953. Dr James D Watson
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
Another tragedy in the skies? –
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing with 162 people on board. It was later found to have crashed into the sea in bad weather.
And at sea –
An Italian ferry catches fire on route to Italy with 478 people on board and is being evacuated amid choppy seas and high winds. At least ten people lost their lives.
Bad idea debate –
Three rival hacking groups call a ceasefire after admitting their Christmas attack on Xbox and Playstation gamers ‘took it too far’. Lizard Squad, rival hackers from the Anonymous group, Finest Squad group, and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom discussed the attack in a YouTube video.
US Central Command twitter account hacked –
The Twitter and YouTube accounts of US Central Command (US Centcom)have been hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State. A message signed by Isis said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.” and military documents appeared on the feed. The Twitter account was later taken down.
Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or –
Real Madrid’s Christiano Ronaldo has been awarded football’s Ballon d’Or or World Player of the Year Award. Votes are cast by the coaches and captains of all international teams and some selected journalists. The top three players were: Cristiano Ronaldo: 37.66%; Lionel Messi: 15.76%; Manuel Neuer: 15.72%. The winner of the women’s title was Nadine Kessler, the Wolfsburg and Germany midfielder. The Puskas award for goal of the year was awarded to Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez for his volley against Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Joachim Low the manager of World Cup winners Germany won coach of the year. Christiano Ronaldo
Branson rescues sailor –
Four-time Olympic sailing champion Sir Ben Ainslie and his new wife Georgie Thompson have been rescued by Sir Richard Branson. The couple, who were sailing around Branson’s Necker Island, got into trouble when their boat developed a problem with the sail.
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
Suge Knight arrested after fatal car incident –
Marion “Suge” Knight who founded Death Row Records with Dr Dre in 1991, gives himself up for arrest after a fatal hit-and-run incident in Compton, Los Angeles. Police and witnesses said Knight drove his truck over two men in the car park of a restaurant killing one (his friend Terry Carter, a record label owner in Compton) and injuring the other (Cle “Bone” Sloan). Bail is set at $2m. In 1996 Knight was driving a BMW in Las Vegas in 1996 when gunmen in another vehicle shot his passenger, the rapper Tupac Shakur who later died. Suge Knight
Jay Z takes on Dr Dre in world of streaming –
Rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z who earned over $60 million in 2014 places a $56m bid for Scandinavian company Aspiro, the company behind streaming services WiMP a direct rival to Spotify in Scandinavia. Aspiro also have a higher-resolution version called WiMP HiFi that was rebranded as Tidal when it launched in the UK and US in October 2014. If Jay Z succeeds in the bid he will be competing with Dr Dre’s Beats Music, the streaming service bought by Apple as part of a $3bn acquisition of its parent company Beats Electronics in 2014. Jay Z
Out of the woods but into a cactus –
Tiger Woods records the worst round of his professional career with an 11-over-par 82 in the second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Woods carded six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies and left the ball in the middle of a cactus. Tiger Woods
David Ginola pulls out of the Fifa presidential election –
David Ginola fails to secure the backing of five football associations, a requirement for standing in the FIFA presidential election and hpulls out of the challenge. Ginola was paid £250,000 by betting firm Paddy Power, which denied the campaign was a publicity stunt. David Ginola
Zoella leaves dressing room for kitchen –
Zoe Sugg the YouTube vblogger with 7 million subscribers is to appear on the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off. Zoella as she is known online (@ZozeeBo with 2.6m followers on Twitter) recently featured on Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain. Zoe Sugg A.K.A. Zoella
AKB48 proposed to open Olympic ceremony in 2020 –
The big debate in Japan today is whether to allow J-pop group AKB48 to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Their creator, Yasushi Akimoto, proposed choosing the best of the 48 girls (who rotate according to social media popularity) to appear but the idea was ridiculed by Japanese TV celebrity and columnist Matsuko Deluxe, who said the group (named after the Akihabara district of Tokyo) would be “an embarrassment”. The group have sold more than 30m records and had sales exceeding $128m (£85m) in 2013.
Big United beat little United –
Despite the support of 6,000 away fans Cambridge United are finally beaten by Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Man Uniteds starting 11 cost £231m in transfer fees, Cambridge’s cost £0. By forcing a repeat two weeks ago the small club will get around £1 million for their share of the attendance fee which the chairman intends to spend on upgrading the toilets at their ground.
Cut down on your jog life –
A report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that people who jog at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week were least likely to die over a 12-year period that was studied. Those who ran more than four hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates.
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.
‘Buy button’ to be added to Google search results –
Google has confirmed that it is to introduce a “buy button” to its search results imminently. The button would give Google Search users the option to purchase without needing to visit a separate website. The company’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, said he wanted to reduce “friction” for users so they buy more things online. Google faces significant competition from Amazon, where many people now begin their search to buy products. [BBC]
Hashtag is ‘children’s word of year’ –
Hashtag has been declared “children’s word of the year” by the Oxford University Press. OUP analysed more than 120,421 short stories by children aged between five and 13 years old, submitted to the BBC’s 500 Words competition. According to the OUP, new technology is increasingly at the centre of the children’s lives but how they are writing about it is changing fast. Words including email, mobile and Facebook are in decline, it said.
They are being replaced by the likes of Instagram, Snapchat and emoji. And the word television has now been superseded by phone. The report also notes a sudden new arrival in children’s sentences. The use of the hashtag symbol # to add an extra meaning or comment at the end of a sentence has become commonplace. #IblameTwitter #AndInstagram. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
The A-Z of YouTube: Celebrating 10 Years | #HappyBirthdayYouTube
Eton launches online lessons for China –
Eton College is going to launch online lessons for schools in China. From this autumn, the leading UK independent school is going to provide classes in leadership to Chinese students, using live online tuition. The school has formed a partnership with a technology firm to create a company called EtonX. The school, in Berkshire, says any income raised by the international project will be used for bursaries to cover pupils’ fees. Percy Harrison, director of information technology at Eton College, says the school would be able to reach a wider number of pupils, without setting up an overseas campus. [BBC] The Eton College Coat of Arms
Star Wars: The Force Awakens second trailer sets YouTube world record –
The second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially the most viewed film trailer on YouTube in a 24-hour period. Guinness World Records says the clip, released in April, was watched more than 30 million views in a day. The trailer sees the return of Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford again, alongside co-pilot Chewbacca. The Force Awakens, the first instalment of the franchise’s new trilogy, will be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. [BBC Newsbeat] See Video of the Day and List of the Day
Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones films, when confronted with the possibility of having a baby, says he’ll “visit him at Eton on St Andrew’s Day. The Darcy men have been going to Eton for five generations.”
Google unveils surprise restructuring under Alphabet –
Google has unveiled a surprise restructuring, creating a new parent company called Alphabet Inc. Under the rebranding, Google will retain its best-known businesses, such as search, apps, YouTube and Android. Some of the newer entities, such as the investment and research divisions, the “smart-home” unit Nest, and the drone arm will be run under Alphabet. Google founder Larry Page said it would create a simpler structure for what had become a diverse group of businesses. The name Alphabet was chosen for two reasons, Mr Page said. It represents language, “the core of how we index with Google search”, and because Alpha-bet means “investment return above benchmark, which we strive to do”. [BBC]
Tom Davies, 19, becomes ‘youngest person to cycle the world’ –
A British teenager is thought to have become the youngest person to cycle around the world. Tom Davies, 19, from Battersea, England, finished an 18,000-mile journey on Sunday raising more than £50,000 for several charities. Around 100 of his family and friends welcomed him home. During the six months he was away, he had to run away from a group of monkeys, was chased by dogs in Albania and raced an emu in Australia.
Taylor Swift sued over Shake It Off lyrics –
Pop star Taylor Swift is being sued for $42m (£27m) for allegedly stealing the lyrics to her hit 2014 song Shake It Off. US R&B singer Jesse Braham has claimed in legal papers Swift stole the words from a song he wrote in 2013 called Haters Gone Hate. As well as the monetary compensation, Mr Braham also wants his name added as a writer on the track. Representatives for Swift have yet to officially comment on the legal case. Shake It Off topped music charts around the world and reached number two in the UK. The video for the song has been watched more than 1.1 billion times on YouTube. [BBC] Taylor Swift
Australia drops knights and dames from honours system –
Australia will no longer appoint knights and dames under the honours system, PM Malcolm Turnbull has said. Mr Turnbull said the titles were “not appropriate” in modern Australia, and that Queen Elizabeth had accepted the cabinet’s recommendation to drop them. Former PM Tony Abbott reintroduced knighthoods and damehoods in 2014. His controversial decision to grant Prince Philip a knighthood in January was widely seen as one of the factors which ended his term as leader. [BBC] Mr Turnbull became Australia PM in September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull
Four gymnasts share asymmetric bars gold –
Fan Yilin, Viktoriia Komova, Daria Spiridonova and Madison Kocian shared an unprecedented four gold medals at the gymnastics world championships on Saturday when the judges could not decide between their asymmetric bars routines. With the giant television screen confirming that there were indeed four champions from the eight-woman final, the gold medalists stood with their arms around each other in a straight line as the crowd gave them a standing ovation. The Russians were still in shock after a prolonged medals ceremony featured three national anthems being played and the master of ceremonies making four announcements starting with “Winner of the gold medal and the 2015 uneven bars champion is….” Organizers also had to abandon the flag-raising ceremony as there was no room for three flags on the same horizontal pole. While so many gold medals have never been given out in one event before, there was a five-way tie for silver at the 1922 championships on the pommel horse. [Reuters] Daria Spiridonova
Islamic State fighters seize control of Mahin, a town in Syria‘s central Homs province, following clashes with government forces which left about 50 dead. Fighting was also reported to be taking place on the outskirts of Sadad, a nearby town mostly populated by Christians. (Reuters)
Since the beginning of October, nine Israelis, 67 Palestinians – around half of them alleged attackers – and an Arab Israeli have been killed in this wave of violence. (AFP via Yahoo.)
The fate of slain Palestinians is fueling a new feud with Israeli authorities. The Israeli defense minister says Israel is refusing to return the bodies of Palestinians killed during this month-old surge of violence unless the Palestinian side agrees to keep theirfunerals “modest.” (Reuters)
An Israel Defense Forces inquiry concludes the death of a Palestinian woman at a checkpoint in Hebron last month was unnecessary, finding the teenager could have been detained and not killed. (Haaretz)
Kanye West appears to have torrent site Pirate Bay open in a photo he’s tweeted –
Kanye West is in trouble over his tweets – again – after the background to a photo he posted made it look like he was illegally downloading files. He sent out a picture on Twitter showing him listening to a Sufjan Stevens track on YouTube, but fans quickly spotted other tabs he had open. One of them says “Xfer Records Serum”, but is next to others saying “Pirate Bay Torrent Xfe” and “MediaDownloader”. Deadmau5 hit out at Kanye, saying: “@kanyewest – can’t afford Serum?” Kanye’s original tweet simply said “Day 3” alongside the photo. [BBC Newsbeat]
In September 2015 West announced he will be running for US President in 2020. Kanye West
Emirates A380 makes longest non-stop flight as airlines launch long-haul battle –
An Emirates superjumbo touched down in Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday, after spending more than 17 hours in the air from Dubai – making it the world’s longest commercial scheduled flight. The Emirates A380 covered a route of about 8825 miles, before turning around and doing it all again on the way home. It beat the previous record – Qantas’s Dallas to Sydney route – by about 250 miles. [Daily Telegraph]
Jordan says an overnight raid on an ISIL cell in the city of Irbid has left seven militants and one security officer dead, with five others injured. Those killed were planning to blow up civilian and military targets in the country, according to the General Intelligence Directorate (GID). (BBC)
Depp’s wife Amber Heard avoids Australia dog-smuggling conviction –
Actress Amber Heard has avoided a conviction for illegally taking her dogs into Australia. Ms Heard, married to actor Johnny Depp, had pleaded guilty in court to making a false statement on her immigration card about the couple’s Yorkshire terriers. But the Queensland judge gave her a one-month good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded. If she breaks the bond she must pay A$1,000 ($770; £540). The authorities also released an unusual video apology from the couple. In the video, which was shown in court and made public by the Department of Agriculture, the couple expressed remorse and advised travellers to respect Australian quarantine laws. [BBC] See Video of the Day Amber Heard
Three-day working week ‘optimal for over-40s’ –
Workers aged over 40 perform at their best if they work three days a week, according to economic researchers. Their research analysed the work habits and brain test results of about 3,000 men and 3,500 women aged over 40 in Australia. Their calculations suggest a part-time job keeps the brain stimulated, while avoiding exhaustion and stress. The researchers said this needed to be taken into consideration as many countries raise their retirement age. [BBC]
YouTube live-streams in virtual reality and adds 3D sound –
YouTube is introducing live-streamed 360-degree videos on its service. The Google-owned platform said select concerts from California’s Coachella festival would be the first to use the virtual reality facility. In addition, it announced videos on its service could now be enhanced with “spatial audio”, which simulates the effect of sounds coming from different directions and distances. One expert said the innovation could greatly enhance VR experiences. The announcements were timed to coincide with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas, where several new virtual reality products are being launched. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: Australian biosecurity
A bomb explosion in Jerusalem set two buses on fire and injured 21 people with ball bearing and nails. Israelipolice say they believe the incident was a suicide bombing but no group has claimed responsibility. (Euronews)(Ynetnews)
According to the government of Ethiopia, the death toll from a raid carried out by attackers from South Sudan has risen to 208 from a figure of 140 a day earlier, with 108 children being kidnapped in the process. Ethiopian forces killed 60 of the attackers and says it would cross the border into South Sudan to pursue the assailants if necessary. (Al Jazeera)
Violent storms cause floods across Uruguay with seven people killed and more than 2,000 left homeless. Four of those were killed by a tornado that struck Dolores. Four million people in the Chilean capital ofSantiago were left without tap water as heavy rains triggered landslides. This led to the fouling of the city’s water supply. (Al Jazeera)