Sunday, 31 December 2017
With bird-eating Giant Trevally fish and surfing dolphins, it is the spellbinding nature programme which had 10.5million viewers glued to their armchairs. So it will come as no surprise to viewers that Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II has been named the best TV programme of 2017. The seven-part sequel to the 2001 series beat tough competition for the number one spot, including fast-paced thrillers and period dramas, to become the first nature programme crowned the winner by television bible Radio Times, based on its own critics’ reviews.
Hundreds of practitioners of Brazil's Afro-Brazilian Candomble and Umbanda faiths have gathered at Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach to honor the sea goddess Yemanja in a traditional New Year tribute. A large statue of the goddess in flowing white and blue robes was carried by truck to the beach on Friday.
Worshippers were mostly dressed in white as they launched their offerings to Yemanja: small boats with flowers and bowls with candles and fruits. Night-long music and dancing follow the offerings. Candomble was brought to Brazil by West African slaves at the beginning of the 19th centuries. Umbanda is an Afro-Brazilian religion that blends African traditions with Roman Catholicism and indigenous American beliefs.
A gunman today opened fire at a church in south of Cairo, killing at least nine people before policemen shot him dead, officials and state media said. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman who was shot dead had killed nine people and wounded others, including a police officer. The gunman had tried to storm the building when police shot him dead, police officials said. State television reported that a second assailant who escaped had been arrested.
Transgender people will be allowed for the first time to enlist in the U.S. military starting on Monday as ordered by federal courts, the Pentagon said on Friday, after President Donald Trump's administration decided not to appeal rulings that blocked his transgender ban.
Two federal appeals courts, one in Washington and one in Virginia, last week rejected the administration's request to put on hold orders by lower court judges requiring the military to begin accepting transgender recruits on Jan. 1.
A 27-year-old woman from the Ivory Coast has been arrested on the Thai island of Phuket after an airport X-ray found more than 1kg of cocaine in her stomach wrapped in scores of small packets. The woman was stopped by officials late on Wednesday night at Phuket's international airport after landing on a flight from Doha. An X-ray revealed more than 60 small packages in her stomach, filled with 1.2kg of cocaine, according to Sirinya Sitdhichai, secretary-general of Thailand's Office of Narcotics Control Board.
The drugs were likely bound for wealthy clients in Bangkok, he added. "Unlike methamphetamine, cocaine and ice (crystal meth) are for a very niche group of rich customers," he told AFP.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has been fined $250 after he was photographed driving a dingy while not wearing a lifejacket. Mr Turnbull issued an apology on Facebook after The Australian newspaper published the photos of him in a motorised inflatable raft near his home in Sydney Harbour. The Liberal politician, who owns a waterside mansion in the affluent neighbourhood of Point Piper, in east Syndey, said the rules around maritime safety were "very technical" but that he had "learned" his lesson.
Saturday, 30 December 2017
On Thursday, a judge ruled against two Christian bakers who refused service for a same-sex couple. Now, according to NBC News, the owners of the now-closed Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery will have to fork over a $135,000 fine for their discrimination. The incident occurred back in 2013 when Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of the Oregon bakery, refused to make a wedding cake for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer.
A Chinese man who killed a caged and endangered black bear with a machine gun claimed that he did it out of curiosity during a sightseeing tour in Myanmar. The man said he shot the bear dead after having gained permission from the government in Myanmar's Wa State, which borders China, according to Beijing News. The man, whose name has not been revealed, also claimed his weapon had been provided by the local government. An expert has identified the bear in the video to be an Asiatic black bear, an endangered animal species.
Dr. Phil and his staff have been accused of plying addicts appearing on his show with drugs and alcohol. Former guest and “Survivor: China” winner Todd Herzog was battling alcohol addiction when he appeared on Dr. Phil McGraw’s CBS show “Dr. Phil” in 2013. He told STAT and the Boston Globe that he was flown to Los Angeles for the show’s taping and was sober when he arrived. Then, he found a bottle of vodka in his set's dressing room.
Norway is to become the first Scandinavian country to decriminalise drugs as it focuses on treatment rather than punishment. The majority of the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, backed the historic shift which was supported by the Conservatives (Hoyre), Liberals (Venstre), the Labor Party (Ap) and the Socialist Left (SV). They directed the national government to reform its policies on drugs.
Sveinung Stensland, deputy chairman of the Storting Health Committee, told Norwegian publication VG: “It is important to emphasise that we do not legalise cannabis and other drugs, but we decriminalise. "The change will take some time, but that means a changed vision: those who have a substance abuse problem should be treated as ill, and not as criminals with classical sanctions such as fines and imprisonment.”
Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo has been announced Best European Sportsperson of the year. This is the second year in a row he would be snagging the award.
Ronaldo who also became winner of the 2017 Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo got 159 points, beating Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton (143) and tennis players Roger Federer (124) and Rafa Nadal (113).
Kids seem to spend endless hours on smartphones, games consoles, computers and tablets these days. Playing on electronic devices certainly doesn't help their waistlines, but do you ever wonder what regular device use is doing to their eyesight? While there isn't much research out there yet about the impact of screens on eyesight - after all the iPhone was first unveiled by Apple in only 2007 - experts are concerned about growing levels of short-sightedness in children. And they suggest the best thing parents can do to prevent it is to encourage youngsters to spend more time outdoors in the sunlight.
South African rapper AKA and his media personality girlfriend Bonang Matheba are no longer in a relationship.
The rapper shared the news on his twitter page late last night saying;
"Myself and Bonang have decided to call it quits. I feel like I need to put this out there so we can both move on. I wish her all the best and I will always love her. ❤️"
Vin Diesel has been named the top-grossing actor of 2017 by Forbes. His takings were listed at $US1.6 billion , largely in part to being the face of the Fast and the Furious franchise. The 50-year-old actor also appeared in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and voiced the alien Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Fast and the Furious also boosted Dwayne Johnson to the No. 2 spot on the Forbes list, with a gross of $US1.5 billion. “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot came in at No. 3 with $1.4 billion gross, while Emma Watson followed close behind at $1.3 billion.
Here’s the full list of 2017’s top 10 grossing actors:
Listeners in the country will now have to choose between DAB (digital audio broadcasting) signal or not having the radio on at all. Except some rebellious radio stations, including Oslo’s Metro Group, have defied the order and are continuing to broadcast despite the government order. The switchover was completed when many of Norway’s most remote regions had their digital signals switched on, allowing the government to order that the traditional signal must be switched off. Even the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic has now been moved over to DAB.
North Korea releases stamps celebrating 'perfecting the nuclear forces' after the test-launch of Hwasong-15 missile
North Korea has released a set of postage stamps which celebrate a nuclear launch earlier this month - even though the missile broke apart. Officials said the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile would be powerful enough to reach the U.S. mainland. But the weapon broke up as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere, flying 600 miles before splashing down in waters near Japan. The commemorative stamps show the missile launching into space as well as the country's leader Kim Jong-un inspecting the military hardware.
Friday, 29 December 2017
Up to 800 passengers have been stranded at Gatwick Airport for five days after an airline cancelled its flights. Many of the travellers, who were due to travel to Lagos with Nigerian airline Med-View, have been sleeping on the floor since Friday, and may not get a flight until the new year. Med-View blamed technical problems which are said to have put one of its three planes out of action. The airline also claimed it arranged for three planes to evacuate at least 700 people on Wednesday but one of these had to be cancelled after passengers became unruly. But furious customers, some of whom paid more than £1,000 for a ticket, accused the company of 'abandoning' them.
A North Korean nuclear scientist who defected to China hs committed suicide after being forced to return to his country, RFA reported Thursday. The defector was a researcher at the physics center in the State Academy of Sciences in Pyongyang, but he never told his captors who he was. According to RFA. the scientist was identified as Hyun Cheoi Huh. but RFA clarified it wasnt sure if that was his real name. The man reportedly took a leave of absence from his job at the academy before defecting.
He was sent back to North Korea Nov. 17.
At least 12 people, including a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, have died in a massive apartment fire in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday night. At least 12 people, including a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old, have died in a massive apartment fire in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday night. Five people were pronounced dead on the scene, while seven later died in area hospitals. Four children were killed in the fast-moving blaze, including girls aged 1, 2 and 7. Police said a young boy was also killed, but had yet to be identified. The 1-year-old was found with her mother in a bathtub, city officials said.
First dates can be awkward, even nerve-wracking. But the last thing a Texas attorney expected when he went out with a freelance court reporter was that the evening would end with red wine splashed across valuable paintings in his home, including a work by pop artist Andy Warhol.
Anthony Buzbee's date with Lindy Lou Layman was by any measure a disaster. The 29-year-old woman had become "heavily intoxicated" while at Buzbee's home in the city of Houston, according to a prosecutor's account in court.
A South African student is reportedly crying foul after she was impregnated by former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe's son, Russell Goreraza, 33, before he turned his back on her. The state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Friday that, Goreraza, who is Grace's son from her first marriage to Stanley Goreraza, allegedly fell in love with Dineo Gwendoline Kekana, 22, in 2016. Kekana then fell pregnant in July and when she broke the news to Goreraza, he started "playing hide-and-seek games" and was no longer responding to her calls.
Freight trains have killed more than 100 Norwegian reindeer in just three days. Torstein Appfjell, a reindeer herder in Helgeland county, said it was "totally tragic" and "unprecedented" for so many reindeer to die in such a way. He told the Associated Press a total of 106 reindeer have been killed since last Thursday. The worst accident happened on Saturday, when 65 animals were mown down.
Mr Appfjell represents four families in the area with a total of around 2,000 reindeer. He said at least 250 animals have been killed in train accidents over the last 12 months.
Apple is scrambling to make things right after “battery-gate”. The tech giant on Thursday apologized to customers after admitting it deliberately slowed down older iPhone models to offset battery wear, and said it will slash the price of replacement iPhone batteries to $29. In a letter published Thursday, the tech giant said it wanted to clear up a “misunderstanding” about the mea culpa, which has spurred at least eight federal class-action suits from angry customers nationwide since last week.
Norway’s footballers have signed an equal-pay agreement that will see all international senior male and female players paid the same wages. The women’s team will receive a pay rise of 2.5 million kroner (£225,651) meaning that, as of next year, both sides will now be paid six million kroner (£541,823) each, the Norwegian FA confirmed. Norway's male players agreed to take a wage cut to help achieve parity, with the £44,739 they previously received from commercial activities directed to the women’s team.
Before she died, Baba — dubbed the “Nostradamus from the Balkans” — left predictions up to the 51st century, when she believed the world would end.
For 2018, she foresaw two world-changing events. They were that China will become the world’s next “superpower,” taking over from the US, and “a new form of energy” will be discovered on Venus.
How often do you bung a plastic container or plate in the microwave and set the dial to 'nuke' without giving it a second thought?
If this sounds like you, then according to food and nutrition experts, it needs to stop. In fact, by doing so you could be placing yourself and your family in harm's way . Lindsey Malone, dietitian and manager of nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic told WBRC : "You want to look on the container, and see if it has a microwave safe label.
The Indian government on Thursday introduced a bill in parliament aimed at prosecuting and jailing Muslim men who divorce their wives through the “triple talaq”, or instant divorce.
Indian muslim women have complained that ‘triple talaq’ violates their right to equality. In August, the Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional , the religious practice which allows Muslim men to divorce their wives simply by uttering the word “talaq” three times.
A shopping mall in northern China is kicking off the Lunar New Year with an enormous statue of a dog that bears a remarkable resemblance to President Donald Trump. The statue was installed at Fashion Walk Mall in Taiyuan, the capital of China’s northern Shanxi province, to commemorate the coming Year of the Dog. The canine has the President’s characteristic golden coiffure and eyebrows and wears a stern expression while it extends one finger in a classic Trumpian gesture. It’s even sporting a red scarf reminiscent of the President’s trademark power ties.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Brisbane International due to his ”late start of preparation” for the new season. Brisbane International tournament director Cameron Pearson said Thursday that he had received word of Nadal’s withdrawal earlier in the day. The joint ATP and WTA tournament begins Sunday at Pat Rafter Arena.
A woman jailed as a teenager for a crime she did not commit has finally been released from prison after serving 22 years. Tyra Patterson was convicted in 1994 for being an accomplice to murder because she witnessed her friend kill another girl. Now 42-years-old, Patterson was reunited with her family on Christmas Day after celebrities joined a long-running campaign to free her. She has always maintained her innocence after being convicted in the murder and robbery of 15-year-old Michelle Lai in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Presidency has dismissed as ‘fake news’ an online story that the President’s son, Yusuf Buhari was flown out of the country early Thursday morning following his severe head injury in a bike accident. An online media outfit, TheCable, on Thursday reported that Buhari had been flown to Germany over the head injury he sustained following a bike accident on Tuesday night.
“As previously reported by TheCable, he is being flown to Germany for specialist care.
“The family is said to have decided on Germany. “He was driven to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, in an ambulance with oxygen support.
“An orthopaedic consultant with specialisation in head injuries was also on the flight to monitor his progress,” TheCable reported
However, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in a text message on Thursday in Abuja, said Buhari was still being treated at a private hospital in Abuja.
A woman has shared horrific photos of a botched nose job that left a silicone implant poking through her skin. The brave patient wanted to send a warning to others considering the surgery after she was left in agony when her new nose began protruding from between her eyes. The woman – who has not been named – went under the knife in Thailand’s southern city of Hat Yai. But according to reports, she opted for a cheap rhinoplasty at a clinic that has since refused to help her. Following the procedure – intended to give her a more pronounced nose – the woman began suffering from infections and later inflammation around the area of her face where the surgery had taken place.
Thursday, 28 December 2017
Posh residents have been slammed by environmentalists after fitting trees with 'anti-bird' spikes - to stop pigeons pooing on their cars. The spikes - which are normally used to stop birds resting or nesting on buildings - have been nailed to two trees in an exclusive suburb of Bristol. They have been installed along branches which overhang a car park used by a number of expensive BMWs and Audis.
A local Green councillor says the spikes "look awful" and have left the beech trees "literally uninhabitable to birds".
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "The spikes are solely to protect the cars, there is no other reason.
Yusuf Buhari was flown out of the country early Thursday morning following his severe head injury in a bike crash. The president’s only surviving son also broke his limb in the Tuesday night accident (You can read the story here).
As previously reported by TheCable, he is being flown to Germany for specialist care.
The family is said to have decided on Germany. He was driven to the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport, Abuja, Nigeria in an ambulance with oxygen support, sources in the know said. He was then flown out in an air ambulance, secured by the family, under the care of a Nigerian doctor and three paramedics. An orthopaedic consultant with specialisation in head injuries was also on the flight to monitor his progress.
Video: Company forces underperforming female employees to ‘slap’ each other across the face to 'build team spirit'
Bizarre footage has emerged showing female employees being forced to SLAP each other hard across the face during their company's end-of-year gala. The women, who all work for the beauty and skin care company Nanchang Jinhuayuan Meiye, are said to have underperformed throughout the year. Their boss reportedly made the employees punish each other in order to keep their jobs. The extreme punishment was meted out on stage during the business' end-of-year gala, which was held to celebrate the company's 14th anniversary.
Watch the video after the cut
South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a 12-year prison term for Samsung’s jailed billionaire heir, Lee Jae-yong, who maintained his innocence during an appeal of his conviction on bribery and other charges. In August, a lower court sentenced Lee to five years in prison for offering bribes to former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her confidante while Park was in office. Both Lee and prosecutors, who earlier had requested a 12-year prison term, appealed that ruling.
Woman spends £18,000 to look like a porcelain doll and gets special clothes and shoes shipped from Japan
A woman who is obsessed with looking like a porcelain doll will spare no expense when it comes to her image. Dressed in a frilly pink dress with knee high socks, a furry headband around her platinum blond hair and full eyelashes, 21-year-old Jade Smith wants to look like a real life 'Lolita' doll. Jade, from Wallington, Surrey, estimates she’s spent £10,000 to date on her doll-like outfits, £8,000 on shoes, not to mention the extra money spent on accessories, wigs, key chains and toys. She even has a monthly £20 glitter budget.
Jade wears circle contact lenses to enlarge the appearance of her eyes and admits to getting up at 4am on some occasions so she has time to get ready
Angola now has its first satellite in space, with the launch of AngoSat-1 from the Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. The communications satellite, which went into operation on Tuesday, is a partnership between Angola and Russia. The joint project commenced in 2009 and has cost about $300m, according to Angola's government. The lifespan of AngoSat-1 is expected to be about 15 years, and Angola will be responsible for mission control during this period. The satellite will mean a lot more than just better reception for mobile phone users, officials say.
Bomb rips through St Petersburg supermarket injuring ten Christmas shoppers in suspected terror attack
Ten people have been hospitalised with injuries after an explosion ripped through a supermarket in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Wednesday evening. The explosion occurred at the Perekrestok market in northwest St Petersburg. No one was killed. The explosion was caused by a homemade bomb packed with pieces of metal with a force equivalent to 200 grams of TNT, investigators said. They have opened a criminal case on the grounds of attempted murder.
A new batch of Turkish soldiers have arrived at Turkey's military base in Qatar as part of a joint defence agreement between the two countries. Qatar's defence ministry announced on Tuesday the arrival of the reinforcements at the Al Udeid airbase in the capital, Doha. The group, including soldiers from the Turkish Joint Forced Command, will join Turkish troops already based at the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in southern Doha.
WhatsApp will stop working on some phone operating systems after December 31, 2017. The popular messaging app made the announcement earlier in the year and explained that it is looking ahead to the iOS and Android platforms, so this is just a reminder.
"As we look ahead to our next seven years, we want to focus our efforts on the mobile platforms the vast majority of people use," the company said.
Wednesday, 27 December 2017
A son of legendary Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham shot himself to death just days ahead of the national release of a movie about her role in the “Pentagon Papers” exposé — and in a manner eerily reminiscent of his dad’s suicide more than 50 years ago. William Graham, 69, died Dec. 20 at his home in Los Angeles, according to a Washington Post obituary, which quoted his brother Donald as saying the cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
British troops in Afghanistan have reportedly only been given £1 a head for Christmas celebrations by penny-pinching defence chiefs. American soldiers have reportedly been sent 8 Christmas trees, turkeys, decorations and gifts – and have even organised a special screening of the new Star Wars film. But 500 British troops in Afghanistan, the largest British deployment overseas, have been given a total of £500 for their Christmas celebrations – just £1 per person.
Search for missing Argentine submarine with 44 on board winds down as international parties pulls out
The United States is ending its search next week for the Argentina submarine that disappeared six weeks ago, the Navy has said. ARA San Juan went missing on November 15 with 44 crew members on board in the South Atlantic, with an explosion being detected near the time and location from which it vanished. The submarine's disappearance triggered an international search for the ship and crew members, who have been presumed dead for weeks. The Argentine Navy announced on Wednesday that with help from Russia, it is continuing its search for the ship. The United States has decided, however, to end its search for the ship in January and instead will help from North America with data and planning analysis.
Jo Parkes is celebrating being slim and ‘elfy this year after she grew fatter than Santa. The 32–year-old mum of two, was shamed into slimming after mortifying snaps of her with Father Christmas showed she was rounder than the man himself. After other humiliating pictures showed that at a size 30, weighing 23 stone, Jo was also bigger than a giant snowman– she vowed to lose weight. She signed up to a diet plan and has now lost a huge 10 stone.
Egypt has hanged 15 militants who were convicted of carrying out attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula in 2013, authorities say. The executions were carried out on Tuesday at two prisons in the north of the country, where the men were held.
Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton has apologised after being called out for telling his nephew on SnapChat that it was unacceptable for a boy to dress as female.
Lewis Hamilton shared a video of himself telling his nephew "boy's don't wear princess dresses" and this sparked outrage. He has now apologised on Twitter for any offence he caused after posting a Snapchat update on Christmas Day. He wrote, “Yesterday I was playing around with my nephew and realised that my words were inappropriate so I removed the post. I meant no harm and did not mean to offend anyone at all. I love that my nephew feels free to express himself as we all should.”
Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday the loss of a 2.6bn-rouble ($45m) satellite launched last month was due to an embarrassing programming error. Russian space agency Roscosmos said last month it had lost contact with the newly launched weather satellite – the Meteor-M – after it blasted off from Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome in the country’s far east.
Speaking to Rossiya 24 state TV channel, Rogozin said the failure had been caused by human error.
Russian election officials have banned Putin's main opposition rival from running for president prompting calls for it to be boycotted. The Central Election Commission has decided unanimously that anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny is not eligible to run. He is implicitly barred from running for office because of a conviction in a fraud case which has been viewed as political retribution. He could have run if he was given a special dispensation or if his conviction was quashed. Vladimir Putin is running for a fourth term in office and is widely expected to win the March 18 election.