Saturday, August 20, 2016

And I Fall Right Into The Path Of A Lightning Bolt

Don't you just wish, dear blog reader, that they still made movie posters like this
Especially as, if you've ever seen Beat Girl, you'll know it was nowhere near as racy as this poster suggests! Well, it was 1962, whaddya expect? Anyway, on with the latest bloggerisationisms.

The BBC's revival of Till Death Us Do Part will feature 'a full-throttle version' of Alf Garnett, the BBC's head of comedy commissioning has said. The Johnny Speight sitcom ran for seven series between 1966 and 1975 and starred the late Warren Mitchell as Garnett, Una Stubbs as his daughter Rita, Tony Booth as her Randy Scouse Git of a husband, Mike and Dandy Nichols as his long-suffering wife, Else. The new episode, which will feature The Fast Show and A Life In Rock With Brian Pern's Simon Day playing Garnett, is based on a 1967 script - A Woman's Place Is In The Home - by the show's creator Speight which was filmed and broadcast but has since been lost from the BBC archives. The show poked fun at Garnett's bigoted attitudes to women, minorities and modernity in general and used language which was considered borderline unacceptable even then. Albeit, some viewers infamously didn't 'get' the joke and laughed with Alf's horrid viewers rather than, as intended, at them. Asked on Radio 4's The Media Show whether Garnett's character had been toned down to suit modern sensibilities, Shane Allen said that it had to be true to the original writing. 'These are classic bits of writing they are very crisp and timeless,' he said. 'Alf Garnett, there has been a debate that's raised that he is a horrible bigot, sexist, racist, whatever, but Johnny Speight was using them to lampoon. You can make jokes that are comments on racism and sexism without the piece itself being racist or sexist.' Asked whether the reincarnation of Garnett would be 'full-throttle' Allen said: 'You will get full Alf through the prism of Simon Day.' The new episode is part of the BBC's sitcom season which will also see the return of Steptoe & Son, Hancock's Half Hour, Porridge, Are You Being Served? and Good Night, Sweetheart, as well as a prequel to Keeping Up Appearances. Most of the episodes feature newly-written scripts - and the Porridge one, despite being by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, looks awful - but the revivals of Steptoe and Hancock are, like Till Death Us Do Part, based on original material.
The BBC has announced that the two leads of Doctor Who will be attending this year's Comic Con in New York. Both yer actual Peter Capaldi and new companion Pearl Mackie her very self, will be at the event as well as show-runner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) and executive producer Brian Minchin. They will be joined by the cast of Class, the forthcoming Doctor Who spin-off due to be broadcast this autumn. The Class panel includes actors Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah, as well as writer, creator and executive producer Patrick Ness. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan will also be attending the event, which takes place at the Javits Center in New York, between 6 and 9 October.
ITV is switching off all seven of its channels for an hour to encourage people to get off their sofas and take part in sport following the British team's outstanding Olympics successes. ITV will stop broadcasting from 9:30am on 27 August as part of the I Am Team GB campaign. The move, organised in conjunction with the National Lottery, will also see thousands of sports clubs open to let people try new sports for free. Olympic medallists, including long jumper Greg Rutherford, will also take part. The Bank Holiday weekend event is part of the celebrations to welcome home the British Olympic team from Rio. The Coronation Street and Emmerdale sets will be hosting events, along with the Copper Box Arena in London, Glasgow National Hockey Centre and Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff. Rutherford, who won a bronze medal in Rio, urged people to get involved, adding: 'You don't have to be an Olympian to be part of Team GB.' ITV would usually show Murder, She Wrote at the time of the blackout, with the Coronation Street omnibus on ITV2. So, no great loss there, then. A statement from I Am Team GB described the day as 'a homecoming for our lottery-funded Olympic athletes when they return from Rio, inspiring everyone, no matter what their level of fitness, to come together with Olympic heroes and famous faces from ITV in the biggest ever UK-wide sports day.'
And, so to the Olympics its very self.
Yer actual Usain Bolt only went and won the men's two hundred metres in the early hours of Friday morning to claim his second Rio gold, his eighth at an Olympics and keep alive his hopes of an unprecedented 'treble treble.' Or 'three-peat' as some American-type people have been describing it. That's one of the - many - things this blogger loves so much about Americans, dear blog reader. It's not the size of the completely made-up word that's important, it's what you do with it that really counts. The Jamaican colossus ran 19.78 seconds to come home ahead of Canada's Andre de Grasse and France's Christophe Lemaitre. Britain's Adam Gemili clocked the same time as Lemaitre, but was agonisingly denied his first Olympic medal in a photo finish, coming fourth by millimetres. Bolt, who said in February that he would retire after the 2017 World Championships in London, has won all eight Olympic finals in which he has appeared. 'The fact I came here and executed what I wanted to is a brilliant feeling,' he told BBC Sport. 'I wasn't happy with the time when I crossed the line but I'm excited I got the gold medal - that's the key thing.' Only US sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis and Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi had, at that stage, won more Olympic gold medals in athletics that Bolt - nine. The man is, quite simply, a phenomena.
        And, of course, he did win that ninth medal on Saturday in the relay. Was there ever any doubt that he would?
There's a superb piece on Bolt by the BBC's Tom Fordyce which is well worth a few moments of your time, dear blog reader. Check it out here. 'When Usain Bolt leaves his sport, it will feel like the moment the lights suddenly come on in a nightclub. We all know it must come to an end. We have tried to imagine otherwise all the same. Keep dancing along, keep relishing every transcendent moment. One more tune, one more collective rush ... In a flawed era, Bolt has been flawless. In a yellow vest, unbroken gold. No-one could touch him, from first race to last.' Word.
God, Usain is fantastic - although NBC seem to have found the one person on Earth who isn't a fan. This blogger loves the fact that Bolt was disappointed with his time in the two hundred metres and yet he still won the race by a street and a half. Every time this blogger sees him run Keith Telly Topping is reminded of a particularly good Mad Frankie Boyle line from Mock The Week when Usain first burst on the scene back in 2008. 'The only way that could have been any more embarrassing for the rest of the guys in the field would've been if Bolt had stopped on the line, got his phone out and said "hurry up, you lot, I want to get us all in on this!"'
Earlier, during the two hundred metres semi-finals, Usain and Andre de Grasse's blossoming 'bromance' seemingly captivated the world after the two crossed the line with matching grins on their faces. There were puns galore afterwards as people tried to work out what Usain might have being saying to Andre. Though rumours they were laughing at the fact that twice-convicted drug-cheat Justin Gatlin failed to make the final cannot, at this time, be confirmed or denied.
Now here's a statistic for you to chew on, dear blog reader. When you include preliminary rounds, Usian Bolt has spent only three hundred and twenty five seconds - a little under five-and-a-half minutes - on the Olympic track over the past eight years, according to the Associated Press. That means he has picked up a gold medal for every thirty six seconds spent running.
British Cycling shared this photo of the team's 'unsung heroes' on Twitter, adding: 'Just some of the team behind the team.'
Alistair Brownlee retained his Olympic men's triathlon title to win Britain's twentieth gold medal of the games on Thursday, with his brother, Jonny, claiming the silver. Alistair, pulled away from Jonny around halfway through the ten kilometre run in sweltering conditions. The Yorkshire duo were close throughout the swim, cycle and road-race stages, with Alistair walking over the line six seconds ahead of his sibling. Henri Shoeman of South Africa claimed the bronze medal. Alistair is the first athlete to win successive Olympic triathlon titles, while Jonny improved on the bronze medal he won at London 2012.
Following the observation, widely used a couple of nights ago in the media, that the Kenny-Trott household in Manchester had - at that stage - won more medals at the Rio Olympics than Belgium, as of Thursday, the Brownlee household in Leeds had - at that stage - won more medals than India. All 1.1 billion of them. That takes some doing.
Indeed, as the Manchester Evening News was jolly keen to point out, if Manchester was a country - which, you know, it isn't just in case you thought it might be - it would be fourth in the Olympic medal table ahead of Germany, France and Australia. (Actually, it would be third, because it would be ahead of Britain as well!)
And, what was going through the minds of the British public as they watched Alistair and Jonny win triathlon glory on Thursday? Some of the most asked questions on Google included: 'How fast can Alistair Brownlee run ten thousand metres?' 'Which Brownlee brother is older?' And, 'is Alistair Brownlee single?'
Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark won gold in the women's four-seventy sailing event. The pair, silver medallists at the 2012 Olympics, only needed to finish the medal race on Thursday to win gold and came in eighth. It was Britain's second gold in sailing after Giles Scott's win in the men's Finn class. New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie won silver and Camille Lecointre and Helene Defrance of France took bronze. Hannah and Saskia, held a twenty-point lead going into the medal race after winning three times and never finishing below eighth in the ten races in the first series. The medal race had been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but was postponed for twenty four hours because of a lack of wind meaning that, for the first time since the second day of competition, a day went by where Britain didn't, actually, win any medals at all. Interestingly, exactly the same thing happened in London four years ago on day twelve. Such has been the success of the British team at the last three Olympics that what was once a normal occurrence for several days out of each Olympics is now a news-worthy rarity! Only a disqualification or a technical problem could have denied Mills and Clark, fourth in the world rankings, their gold and they stayed well out of trouble. Slovenia won the final race but it was not enough to earn them a medal. The United States were in bronze medal position until a late mistake dropped them down to last place in the medal race, and seventh overall.
Little Welsh ball of incandescent fury Jade Jones magnificently retained her Olympic taekwondo title. The twenty three-year-old won a thrilling final sixteen-seven to defeat Spain's Eva Calvo Gomez in the fifty seven kilogramme category. Two head kicks in the third round sealed victory for Jade - who has now won both Britain's taekwondo golds since its introduction as a medal sport in the 2000 Olympics. 'I'm still young so to be double Olympic champion already is crazy to be honest,' she told BBC Sport. 'I started crying before the semi-final because I was just so nervous and felt so much pressure. But I pulled it off when it mattered so I'm just so happy. I obviously knew I'd feel some pressure as the reigning Olympic champion but I didn't realise how much it would be. The support has been amazing here and I just want to thank everyone. It means the absolute world to win again.' Jade is also the current European champion and she had to battle through four fights on Thursday to retain her Olympic crown. She comfortably saw off Morocco's Naima Bakkal with a twelve-four victory before a seven-two success against Raheleh Asemani of Belgium in the quarter-finals. Her dominance continued with a nine-four success over Sweden's Nikita Glasnovic in the semi-final to set up a fight against world number two Calvo Gomez. Jones took a six-nil lead in the first round with two head kicks to exert her authority on the contest. The Spaniard fought back in the second round to close to seven-six. The pair traded cut kicks at the start of the final round before Jones connected with two head kicks in quick succession to secure gold.
Jade's team-mate, Lutalo Muhammad suffered an agonising last-second defeat in the men's eighty kilometre final - losing eight-six to Cheick Sallah Cisse of Côte d’Ivoire. World number four Muhammad, led six-four but was hit by a reverse turning kick with the last action of the final. 'I'm so distraught,' said a tearful Muhammad in a heartbreaking interview raw with emotion with the BBC just after his defeat. Cisse won the Ivory Coast's first Olympic gold and just their third medal at any games. Earlier, Muhammad's former British team-mate Aaron Cook suffered a shock fourteen-two loss to Wei-Ting Liu. Muhammad was controversially selected ahead of Cook for London 2012, with Cook then getting all stroppy about it and electing to fight for Moldova in 2015. Cook's hopes of making the repechage ended when Liu was beaten in the quarter-finals by eventual bronze medallist Oussama Oueslati of Tunisia.
Twenty four hours later, Lutalo appeared much more cheerful in interviews he did with the BBC, helped, no doubt, by receiving a very nice tweet from yer actual Eddie Izzard.
Nick Skelton won a gold in the individual Olympic show jumping after a six-way jump-off. The fifty eight-year-old spent two years away from the sport after breaking his neck when falling from a horse in 2000. He becomes Britain's second-oldest Olympic gold medallist behind sixty one years old Joshua Millner, who won shooting gold in 1908. The oldest British Olympic medallist - in fact, the oldest Olympic medallist for any country - remains John Copley who, at seventy three, won a silver in 1948 for engraving. True story. Skelton's is Britain's first individual show jumping medal since Anne Moore's silver in 1972, and adds to Skelton's gold in the team event at London 2012. Peder Fredricson of Sweden won silver, and Canada's Eric Lamaze took bronze. Skelton, riding Big Star, went clear in both opening rounds and, after doing so again as the first to go in the jump-off, his gold medal was confirmed when Lamaze clipped the penultimate fence.
Great Britain's women won a first Olympic hockey gold medal by beating defending champions the Netherlands in a dramatic penalty shootout. The enthralling final finished three-three in normal time, with Britain's keeper Maddie Hinch making a string of truly remarkable saves. And the Dutch, the current world champions, could not beat Hinch in the shootout, which Britain won two-nil. Helen Richardson-Walsh and Hollie Webb scored the decisive penalties to win Britain's twenty fourth gold at Rio. 'It's difficult to put into words what this means,' said Richardson-Walsh. 'Seventeen years ago, when I started my career, we were so far off this. It has taken so much hard work and it means absolutely everything.' Webb's winning penalty sparked celebrations from the British team - bronze medallists four years ago - after they survived long periods of pressure at the hands of their feted opponents. The Netherlands are the world's number one team, have won gold at the two previous Olympics and are the reigning world champions. And while they showed their quality for much of the game, they were repelled by a spirited British performance, summed up by the heroics of Hinch. Great Britain captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and her partner, Helen Richardson-Walsh, became the first married couple to win gold for Britain since Cyril and Dorothy Wright in the sailing in 1920. 'To win an Olympic medal is special,' said Kate. 'To win an Olympic medal with your wife there next to you, taking a penalty in the pressure moments is so special. We will cherish this for the rest of our lives.' Now thirty six, Kate confirmed 'one hundred per cent' that it would be her final GB appearance having already announced her intention to retire after the tournament. 'I will retire as a reigning European champion with England and an Olympic champion with Great Britain,' she said.
It was all a bit too much for Princess Ariane and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, it seemed. And, in De Telegraaf, columnist Jacques Brinkman referred to the Dutch silver medals being 'like acid' and said that their defeat to the Great Britain, effectively ranked seventh in the world to the Netherlands' number one, was 'embarrassing.' Sorry Dutchies, this blogger thought you probably deserved to win too but, in the immortal words of Barry Davies the last time Great Britain won an Olympic hockey title, 'Frankly, who cares?'
Magic Mo Farah successfully defended his Olympic five thousand metre title on Saturday night as Great Britain won their sixty sixth medal to surpass their haul from London 2012. Magic Mo's victory added to his gold in the ten thousand metres as he repeated the distance double he won four years ago, only the second man to do so in Olympic history after Lasse Viren. Mo's medal was GB's sixty fifth before - shortly afterwards - a bronze for the women in the four by four hundred metres relay took Britain past the haul from London. Wins for Nicola Adams and Liam Heath had earlier helped take GB's gold tally to twenty seven as they won six medals in all on Saturday.
Adams successfully defended her flyweight boxing title, while Heath won the kayak single two hundred metres sprint on the penultimate day in Rio. Adams won a unanimous points decision to beat France's Sarah Ourahmoune and become the first Briton to retain an Olympic boxing crown since middleweight Harry Mallin in 1924. Heath, who won silver in the two hundred metres K2 alongside Jon Schofield earlier in the week, went one better on Saturday as he held off France's Maxime Beaumont to claim gold in 35.19 seconds. Heath, a London 2012 bronze medallist, succeeds compatriot Ed McKeever as Olympic champion. The final medal total will be at least sixty seven, with boxer Joe Joyce guaranteed a gold or silver in Sunday's super-heavyweight final. This was already Britain's most successful overseas Olympics - eclipsing the forty seven medals won in Beijing in 2008 - and is the best medal return at any games since the one hundred and forty six amassed in London in 1908.
It is also the first time since the modern Olympic era began in 1896 that a country has increased its medal tally at the summer games immediately following one that it hosted.
Vicky Holland and Bianca Walkden were the other British medallists on day fifteen. Holland won bronze in the women's triathlon, while taekwondo fighter Walkden took bronze in the sixty seven kilogramme category. Holland was, seemingly, more concerned afterwards with the feelings of her best friend and housemate Non Stanford who came fourth, just behind Holland, following a sprint finish. Walkden's success secured Britain's third taekwondo medal in Rio - after Jade Jones and Lutalo Muhammad. Britain's third bronze of the day - and their landmark sixty sixth overall - arrived in the women's four by four hundred metres relay. Eilidh Doyle, Anyika Onuora, Emily Diamond and Christine Ohuruogu finished in three minutes 25.88 seconds to win Britain's first athletics relay medal since 1992.
Elsewhere, South African Caster Semenya won the women's eight hundred metres final and hosts Brazil won the men's football gold in a penalty shootout against Germany. That sixth gold medal made it Brazil's most successful ever Olympics. Allyson Felix clinched a record sixth career Olympic gold as the United States won the four by four hundred metres relay for a sixth straight games, while the US also claimed a sixth straight women's basketball title by beating Spain. Niger became the eighty seventh competing nation to win a medal in Rio - a new record for a single Olympics - when Abdoulrazak Issoufou Alfaga won silver in the men's eighty kilogramme taekwondo final. Britain look set to beat China to claim second place in the final overall medal table, behind USA, thanks to their return of at least twenty seven gold medals. 'It's been outstanding,' said UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl. 'We knew we had potentially seventy nine medal shots - and our target was at least forty eight - but really we were aiming for sixty six, one more than London. It shows that the system is working here in the UK. Yet those of us involved know that there's a huge amount more that can be improved, more potential to come. So, as we look ahead to Tokyo, it's looking really exciting.' While there was success elsewhere, diver Tom Daley saw his medal hopes slip away in the ten metres platform semi-finals. BBC analyst Leon Taylor described Daley's last-place finish as 'unbelievable' and 'the biggest turn-up.' Daley, the 2012 bronze medallist, set an Olympic record in winning Friday's preliminary round, but produced a slovenly, error-strewn display that scored 403.25 points, well off the 571.85 he managed twenty four hours earlier. 'I've no idea what went wrong,' claimed Daley. Meanwhile Russian swimmer and convicted drug-cheat Yuliya Efimova told BBC Sport that being at the Rio Olympics was 'awful' and 'a war.'And, we're supposed to, what, feel sorry for her? The twenty four-year-old convicted drug cheat won two silver medals in Rio but was constantly booed by spectators and criticised by her rivals after she was allowed to compete, having initially been banned by the International Olympic Committee because of two failed drug tests.
Here is a map showing the medal achievements of each country during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Gold represents countries that won at least one gold medal. Silver represents countries that won at least one silver medal. Bronze represents countries that won at least one bronze medal. Blue represents countries that did not win any medals. Red represents countries that did not participate. And, the big black circle with an arrow pointing to it represents The Federated States Of Micronesia. Obviously.
Things were learned watching the Olympics on the BBC this week, number eight: Wor Geet Canny Brendan Foster - well-known life-long supporter of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies - seemingly, enjoys nothing more than viciously ribbing his old mucker Steve Cram when the latter's beloved (though, equally unsellable) Blunderland aren't doing so well. As ably demonstrated during the men's marathon on Sunday when Crammy was, seemingly, in addition to commentating on the race, also keeping one eye on the score of The Mackem Filth's Wear-Tees derby with The Smoggies at The Stadium of Plight. Nice one, Bren!
Olympic bantamweight prospect Shakur Stevenson says that he took the advice of his idol Floyd Mayweather - who was ringside as the American beat Tsendbaatar Erdenebat to reach the semi-final - rather than his coaches. 'I got like "dang, Floyd is here,"' he added.
Michael Phelps has paid tribute to another swimming legend, Mark Spitz, by mimicking his fellow American's iconic 1972 pose with his haul of Olympic gold medals.
The queue for the free fast food in the athletes' village remains one of the longest in Rio. US swimming gold medallist Kevin Cordes says: 'It breaks the monotony.' Montenegro water polo player Aleksandar Radovic added: 'Our food in the village is so boring.'
The French fencer Enzo Lefort inexplicably kept his smartphone in his pocket while facing off with Peter Joppich of Germany. Predictably, it fell out during the bout and tumbled across the floor as the two men lunged and parried. Lefort did not win, but he was a good sport about the whole thing.
A Haitian athlete literally fell at the first hurdle after a Usain Bolt-style pre-race build up. Jeffrey Julmis had a cheeky look at the cameras as he pointed at his watch before his heat, but crashed straight away after his start. Impressively, however, he got up and finished the race. Sadly, he came last. But, remember, it's not the winning that's important rather the taking part. Although, to be fair, winning is quite nice if you can manage it.
American Ashton Eaton's victory in the Olympic decathlon earned every baby born at a medical centre in Portland, Oregon on Thursday a free pair of Nike trainers.

German twins Anna and Lisa Hahner joined hands as they crossed the finish line well down the field in the women's marathon on Sunday which, most commentators found rather touching. But, their country's track and field officials were not so enamoured of the sisterly gesture as everyone else was, accusing them of 'publicity-seeking' and treating the race 'like a fun run.' Miserable gits.
Do you want to know what the world has been searching for in the last forty eight hours on Google, dear blog reader? Well, as it happens, you're totally in luck ...
The Sydney Morning Herald - a newspaper that, like much of the Australian media, was never shy of using the old standby phrase 'whinging Poms' whenever their cricket team used to regularly give England a bloody good hiding back in the last Century - describes Australia's lack of medals in Rio as 'something of an expensive failure.' Yeah, That sounds about right. 'Australia's underwhelming performance in Brazil is set to come at a cost of as much as eleven million Australian dollars per medal to the taxpayer,' it whinges. 'While Team GB, with two hundred and seventy four million pounds pledged to their Olympic sports between 2013 and 2017, are still enjoying the afterglow of London by punching well above their weight here, the jury is still out for Australia's programme.' Actually, this blogger thinks you'll find the jury has retired, considered its verdict, come back in and the judge, is, currently, putting a black hankie on his head for sentencing. As Keith Telly Topping is sure his cousins out in Brisbane and Caloundra would readily agree.
       In a separate report, the paper said that when Cycling Australia boss Kevin Tabotta was asked what made British cycling so good, he replied: 'If I had the blueprint, I'd be using it myself.' Well, you have got a blueprint, mate. It's called hard work. Why is that so difficult for you and the French and the Germans to understand? It's not rocket science.
Reports emerged earlier in the week that Australia's Olympic team captain - and From The North cult favourite - Anna Meares had 'raised her eyebrows' at Britain's success in the cycling, stating: 'It's not just the Australian team that have questions.' But, Meares swiftly posted on Twitter to deny that she had suggested 'any impropriety' from the British team. Which is good although it does, rather, raise the question of what, exactly, Anna did mean by her comments and what these 'questions' that the Australian team allegedly have are. If you want to accuse someone of something, Anna, at least have the courage to come out and say what you're alluding to.
Three-time Tour De France winner Chris Froome captured a BBC graphic telling the impressive story of British cycling achievement in Rio. Just, you know, to rub in the noses of whinging Australians, French, Germans et cetera. Which was jolly nice.
After losing out on gold and silver in the men's Keirin event, Azizulhasni Awang, the Malaysian cyclist, along with fellow cyclist Fatehah Mustapa, criticised a prominent Malaysian politician for 'not helping' the pair prepare for the games. 'To the Terengganu chief minister, we would still like to express our thanks even though you did not agree to help us, two Terengganu natives, to compete on the global stage at this Olympics,' Awang wrote on Facebook. Awang made history by clinching Malaysia's first ever Olympic Games cycling medal after he finished third behind Jason Kenny, but said that he believed he could have done better, had he had 'more support' during training. He added that it was unfortunate his home country was 'not big on cycling,' adding: 'We only have two velodromes and one is broken and the other one is going to be demolished.'
The British women's cycling team have enjoyed remarkable success, including gold in that thrilling team pursuit. Could this be, partly, thanks to instructions that they received about - and this blogger is very uncomfortable in typing out the following - pubic hair? Some time ago, reportedly after a number of the riders had complained about saddle soreness, British Cycling - as is their want - organised 'a conference of experts' to find a solution. The advice included tilting the saddles at a slightly different angle and, also, encouraging the athletes to stop waxing or shaving their bikini lines. Pubic hair, it turns out, helps to protect lady cyclists against friction and remove sweat from the skin. Issuing these instructions made for some uncomfortable conversations, though, as you can probably imagine. 'It was a tricky one to broach,' Phil Burt, British Cycling's long-time physiotherapist, admitted to the Gruniad Morning Star. But it seems to have worked as Burt suggests the medal-winners haven't had a saddle sore between them 'for six months.'
It's no wonder that Laura Trott, Jo Rowsell and the rest of the ladies' team have got a smile on their face for so much of the time, is it? It's not all about gold medals.
Nigerian athletes in Rio received their Olympic kits only on day thirteen of the games, the BBC has reported. Most of them had already finished competing by the time the outfits arrived.
After suffering defeat in the first round of the women's doubles with her tennis partner Caroline Garcia, France's Kristina Mladenovic launched a scathing attack on the 'incompetent' French Tennis Federation. Mladenovic was reportedly 'furious' after arriving on court for a doubles match only to be told that the pair were 'dressed in inappropriate uniforms.' Appearing in outfits provided by their sponsors ‒ Mladenovic in white and Garcia in blue ‒ the players were warned that they 'risked disqualification' if they did not change in order to participate in identical kits. The issue was fixed after Mladenovic provided a spare outfit for her partner, who had to wear it inside out due to sponsorship issues and they returned to court dressed in white. However, they were defeated after losing in the third set and Mladenovic took to Twitter to voice her disdain at the FFT. She accused the body of incompetence for 'failing to pass on the official rules,' causing 'unnecessary stress' that, she claimed, had resulted in the players 'walking away without a medal.' She later said that she 'did not regret' her comments and accused the FFT of 'ruining this important sporting moment in our careers.'
Olympic diver He Zi said that her feelings were 'complicated' when fellow Chinese diver Qin Kai proposed to her after she won a silver medal in from of the television cameras of the world.
Judging by his reaction in this photo, Qin's feeling were somewhat less complicated. Something along the lines of 'yes. I'm gonna get a triple forward lunge, with pike tonight.' Just guessing.

Kyrgyzstan weightlifter Izzat Artykov has become the first Rio medallist to test positive for a banned substance and has been very stripped of his bronze. Artykov finished third in the men's sixty nine kilogramme weightlifting competition. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said the twenty two-year-old's 'medal is forfeited' and 'he is excluded from the games' after testing positive for strychnine. Yes, it is a poison but, in small doses, it's a ... performance-enhancing poison, apparently. Didn't you see that episode of Qi about the several marathon runners at the 1904 Olympics that were caught on strychnine? The reallocation of the bronze medal is the responsibility of the weightlifting federation and the IOC. Colombian Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano would be the weightlifter to move into the bronze medal position, having finished fourth.
The head of the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee, who intends to resign after the Games, has apologised after athletes' T-shirts shrank and then disintegrated after being washed. Alin Petrache expressed his 'regret' at the 'questionable quality' of some of the Romanian team's kit.
Back-story of the games so far? Brazil's Isaquias Queiroz Dos Santos celebrated after claiming bronze in the men's two hundred metres canoe sprint, won by Ukraine's Yuriy Cheban. One suggests he had every right to. At the age of three, Isaquias suffered significant burns to his body after a pot of boiling water fell on him. Two years later, he was kidnapped and offered for adoption before eventually being returned to his mother and then, at the age ten, he fell out of a tree after trying to get a better look at a snake and ended up losing a kidney. Now, he's an Olympic medallist.
Russia made it through to the women's handball final after beating the 2012 gold medallist - and From The North favourites - Norway thirty eight-thirty seven in the last seconds of extra-time. Obviously, none of the Russian ladies were pumped full of drugs, it's very important to make that point.
Who knew that toilet fishing was 'a thing?' Apparently it is. And, it's one that the Olympic authorities are keen to discourage. US basketballer Elena Della Donne posted a photograph of a sign warning of forbidden lavatory activities in the Olympic village. One of them shows a stick figure holding a fishing rod. 'Guess I won't be toilet fishing today,' ran Elena's caption.
And, now what is fast becoming the story of these Olympics, Lohcte-robbery-gate. The United States Olympic Committee has grovellingly apologised for the behaviour of four of its swimmers involved in a bizarre incident at a petrol station in Rio. Two of the four, Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, had claimed that the group was 'robbed at gunpoint' after their taxi was stopped in downtown Rio. But, CCTV footage appears to prove that the story was a load of lies, seemingly invented by the swimmers after one or more of them had vandalised the petrol station lavatory door and then clashed with security staff.
Feigen is currently still in Brazil but the other three have now left the country. Lochte returned to the US on Monday. The other two, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, were pulled off a flight in Rio on Thursday night but were, later, allowed to leave. They denied any involvement in the false robbery claims. Lochte had, initially, claimed the four were 'robbed at gunpoint' by men disguised as police officers, while returning from a party to the Olympic Village by taxi. But Rio's civil police head Fernando Veloso said that the four had, in actual fact, not been robbed or anything even remotely like it. Indeed, they had lied about the whole thing. 'No robbery was committed against these athletes. They were not victims of the crimes they claimed,' he said. He told reporters that 'one or more' of the athletes had, instead, 'vandalised' a toilet door in a petrol station and then offered to pay for the damage. The Americans paid and left after armed security guards intervened, he said. One guard had, justifiably, drawn his gun after one of the swimmers 'began behaving erratically,' Veloso added. He warned that the swimmers, who had repeatedly changed their accounts of what happened several times could, 'in theory', face charges of giving false testimony and vandalism. But later on Thursday, the men's lawyer, Sergio Riera, said that Bentz and Conger had both been allowed to leave the country by a special Olympic court. 'They are on their way to the airport,' Riera said. Feigen, meanwhile, had 'provided a revised statement this evening with the hope of securing the release of his passport as soon as possible,' said the US Olympic Committee. The USOC statement confirmed the version of events given by Veloso and, added that 'the behaviour of these athletes is not acceptable, nor does it represent the values of Team USA.' Predictably, after having initially believed the men's story - as, indeed, this blog did along with most of the media having no reason to doubt the veracity of their claims or suspect that they were telling a pack of porkies - the US press were incandescent in their fury, most of their ire being directed towards the most famous of the four, Lochte. 'Maybe he's just a lunk, or a doofus, or a Faulknerian idiot man-child, or the real-world analogue of Moose from Archie' said the Washington Post. 'There are all sorts of unflattering descriptors that might apply to Ryan Lochte.' 'There is a special category of obnoxious American "bro" that Lochte represents, in his T-shirt and jeans and expensive suede footwear, which he showed off on Instagram that night at the party along with the price tag. "We're six thousand deep here," he captioned it. Is there anything worse, in any country, than a bunch of entitled young drunks who break the furniture and pee on a wall?' added the San Francisco Chronicle. 'It doesn't matter what else Lochte has done in his Olympic career. This cemented his legacy: most embarrassing Olympic athlete,' fumed the New York Post. Earlier, a Rio 2016 spokesman had tried to make light of the case. 'These kids tried to have fun, they tried to represent their country to the best of their abilities,' Mario Andrada told reporters. 'They competed under gigantic pressure. Let's give these kids a break. Sometime you take actions that you later regret. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.' Before it emerged that Lochte had already fled the scene as quickly as he could, a judge had ordered that the four should have their passports confiscated 'pending further police questioning,' amid 'reports of inconsistencies' in the men's accounts of the alleged - and, as it turns out, fictitious - 'robbery.' Bentz and Conger were, literally, dragged from a US-bound plane at Rio airport on Wednesday. Back in the US, Lochte had admitted on the same evening to 'some inaccuracies' in his original account of being robbed at gunpoint in the early hours of Sunday, but vehemently denied making the story up, something he was still sticking to up to - and beyond - the moment when the entire fiasco unravelled before the world's astonished eyes. 'I wouldn't make up a story like this nor would the others - as a matter of fact we all feel it makes us look bad,' he told US network NBC. But, it turns out that he had and, on Friday, he finally coughed up a - somewhat miserably half-hearted - apology for not being 'more careful of candid.' Or, lying, in other words. He claimed that he had waited to issue the statement until it was clear his team-mates would be returning to the US. Lochte is one of the most successful swimmers in history, with twelve Olympic medals and, he once had his own reality television show in the US. In Rio, he swam in two events, winning gold in the fur by two hundred metres freestyle relay. Feigen won gold in the four by one hundred freestyle relay. Bentz competed in the four by two hundred metres preliminaries, but not the final though he still received a gold medal after the US team's win. Accounts of what happened to the swimmers were confusing from the beginning and it appears they did not immediately alert either the Brazilian police or the Olympic authorities about the alleged - and, as it turns out, fictitious - 'robbery.' In fact, news of the incident only emerged after Lochte's mother had told the US media about it. Lochte himself gave an initial account of the events to NBC on Sunday, saying that he and the other swimmers had been in a taxi returning from a club in the early hours when they were pulled over by men wearing police badges. He claimed that they the men had pulled a gun and told the swimmers to get on the ground. 'I refused and then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead.' Lochte has since altered his account, telling NBC on Wednesday that the taxi had not been asked to pull over - they had been robbed while making a stop at a petrol station - and, he said the gun had not been pointed directly at his forehead. He called the inconsistencies 'a traumatic mischaracterisation' caused by 'the stress of the incident.' Or, a pack of lies, as most people who aren't Ryan Lochte would call them. These 'inconsistencies' reportedly included the time at which the swimmers left the party and how many alleged gunmen they were allegedly confronted by. Police at first said that they had not been able to track down the driver whom the swimmers say drove them back to the village. And then, CCTV footage of their return to the athletes' village emerged which appeared to show the swimmers laughing and joking and handing over their wallets, phones and accreditation, as they went through the security screens. The judge said that they had 'not show signs' of being affected by a robbery. On Thursday, police sources in Rio told the BBC that the swimmers had 'invented' the story about the robbery. They said that the four athletes arrived by taxi at a petrol station in Barra Da Tijuca, sixteen kilometres from the Olympic Park, where one of the athletes broke down a toilet door. The gas station attendants asked the Americans to pay for the damage, according to the police and 'a verbal dispute' ensued. The athletes then, reportedly, paid the staff and left before police arrived. Police said that they had 'identified the recording' of the phone call from the gas station and the security guard at the station has given a statement to police. Feigen has now, reportedly, agreed to pay eleven thousand dollars to a Brazilian charity over his involvement in the discredited story, whilst back in the US, Bentz decided to grass up Lochte as the 'brains' behind the entire fiasco. Oh, snitched him up good and proper like a Copper's Nark, so he did!
As to what really happened during the incident, perhaps we'll never fully know - or, indeed, care - although, as ever, Twitter believes it has the answer
Have you ever 'done a Ryan Lochte' dear blog reader? If you're an American, here is how the US consulate can help if you do something really frigging stupid in a foreign country, as reported by US Today.
And, speaking of naughty Olympians, two very naughty Australian swimmers have been given a curfew after failing to return to the Olympic Village on Tuesday following a night out with team-mates. Josh Palmer and Emma McKeon, who have also been banned from participating in the closing ceremony, must now remain in the Village between 8pm and 8am until further notice. They will only travel to sporting events in official Rio 2016 transport. Australia's chef de mission, Kitty Chiller, described the pair's behaviour as 'unacceptable.' McKeon, twenty two, won four medals at the games, while twenty five-year-old Palmer finished fifth in his one hundred metres breaststroke heat. The group left a nightclub in Copacabana in the early hours of the morning, with McKeon and Palmer's team-mates heading back to the Village and not breaking any rules. McKeon reportedly chose to stay the night 'with swimming friends' in the Copa district without informing team management, while Palmer 'headed to a beach kiosk with a friend' and continued drinking. Palmer later told officials that after his friend left he was 'approached by a man' who forced him to withdraw one thousand dollars in cash from a nearby machine. However, he has chosen not to make a formal complaint to police about the - alleged - robbery. All of which sounds a bit familiar. Both athletes have apologised for their naughty behaviour and begged not to be caned as they were, they claim, 'led astray by older boys.' Australian officials have now imposed a 2am curfew on all of their athletes for the remainder of the games. 'Given the security problems we have encountered over the past few weeks, I find the behaviour of the disciplined athletes disrespectful to the remainder of the team,' added Chiller.
Meanwhile, 'several' Australian Olympians have reportedly been questioned by police after allegedly tampering with their accreditation to allegedly gain entry to a basketball match. Allegedly. Not the basketball match, that wasn't alleged, that actually happened. The athletes are allegedly said to have allegedly attempted to allegedly 'get better seats' for Australia men's semi-final against Serbia. Fiona De Jong, the chief executive of the Australian Olympic Committee, said that 'no one has been arrested.' Video footage was shared by Seven News purporting to show the athletes being released on Friday night. De Jong said that the athletes had entered the arena by 'mistake' and added that Australian team officials were 'working through issues' with Brazilian authorities.
A British athlete has been robbed while returning to their accommodation at the Olympic. No, this one really did happen. We wouldn't lie about that sort of thing, we're British. The Gruniad Morning Star reported that the victim - who has not been named - had been held up at gunpoint while 'enjoying a night on the town' in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The news has caused 'deep shock' among British athletes and officials – many of whom were looking forward to enjoying Rio’s nightlife after finishing their competitions. It has also led to an unprecedented warning to the British team members that it is 'not worth the risk' to leave the athletes village because of fears they might be targeted if they are seen wearing a British kit. A spokesman for the British Olympic team confirmed an 'incident of theft,' adding: 'All members of our delegation, including the individual concerned, are accounted for, and are safe and well.' Britain took three hundred and sixty six athletes to Rio. They have since been reminded of security protocols, including not to wear official kit outside of the Olympic Village and not to take local taxis, according to the Gruniad. It said that a letter from officials stopped short of issuing a curfew on athletes - unlike the Aussies - but warned them not to carry valuables and to inform team management of any plans to stay in Rio overnight.
Has North Korea's secretive, over-weight and completely mental mass-murdering dictator Kim Jong-un (and his very small penis) been enjoying a holiday in Rio? The Glorious Leader has been 'spotted' several at the Olympic stadium. But all is, of course, not what it seems as the Daily Lies explains. This is, in fact, Howard a Kim-Jong-un lookalike, who has been snapping selfies with various athletes, posing with the Olympics security teams and generally generally the Brazilian sunshine. Nice work if you can get it. Until, of course, the North Koreans invade at which point it might be time for Howard to head for the hills.
Of the eleven thousand plus athletes competing in Rio, at least one hundred and twenty have served suspensions or had to return medals for doping and were reinstated in time for this year's games according to the New York Times. At least twenty five of those athletes have won medals in Rio - including twice-convicted drug-cheat Justin Gatlin, of course. As of Friday, twenty eight of the seven hundred and seventy three medals that had been awarded were won by athletes who had served suspensions for doping.
Now, bet you didn't know this, dear blog reader. If a gymnast's coach thinks that the judges should have awarded more points, he or she can appeal. But it costs money. Under the Olympic rules, accredited coaches on the competition floor have four minutes to lodge an inquiry and submit a three hundred dollar fee. If they submit a challenge on a second event, it's a five hundred bucks fee and on a third it's a grand. The charges are, the IOC state, 'intended to prevent spurious challenges.' However, no amount of money will help you in boxing if you think a decision has gone against you unfairly. Under controversial new rules, there are no appeals in this Olympics. BBC boxing expert Steve Bunce believes at least two decisions that would have been appealed and overturned in previous tournaments were allowed to stand. But high jumper Robbie Grabarz only had to walk up and talk to someone to successfully appeal against a decision he had go against him. In one jump, Grabarz - who finished a very creditable fourth - rattled the bar, but it initially stayed in place. A couple of seconds later, however, it fell down - but by this time the white flag had been raised to signal a successful jump. The judges initially ignored the flag and marked the jump as a failure, but reversed their decision after Grabarz asked then, nicely. See, politeness - it gets you a long way.
Tajikstan claimed their first ever gold medal in Olympic history on Friday, with Dilshod Nazarov winning the men's hammer.
Adam Gemili may have raised his international profile after finishing fourth and fifth in the men's two hundred metres and four by one hundred metres relay respectively, but one official still couldn't manage to spell his name correctly.
France's race walker Yohann Diniz became something of an Internet hero in Friday's fifty kilometre event. The thirty eight-year-old, who has never won an Olympic medal, led the race by a minute at one point but eventually finished eighth - having suffered from some rather nasty 'gastric problems' en route that eventually caused him to collapse, before resuming. Diniz, who was taken away in a wheelchair afterwards, was hailed for his bravery on social media.
In the same race, Canadian Evan Dunfee - who stopped to encourage Diniz on - came fourth, then third, then fourth again after Japan's bronze medallist Hirooki Arai was disqualified but later reinstated. Dunfee chose not to challenge, saying: 'Arai was in the same world of hurt as me. I had to ask myself, if I got this medal, would I be proud of it, and be able to sleep at night?' Dunfee added. 'I couldn't honestly take away from him what he did.'

Russian wrestler Inna Trazhukova claims she was 'hit in the face' by the head of the Russian team after losing her bronze medal match on Thursday. Trazhukova said that when she met Mikhail Mamiashvili after she lost the match, he was 'drunk, rude and said obscenities' to her. Trazhukova said Mamiashvili also hit her in the face twice and there was a witness present. She intends to file charges with a prosecutor upon her return to Moscow. 'He embarrassed me in public,' Trazhukova said. 'I want to stop this so female athletes in the future don’t suffer because of him.'
No bombing, no diving, no petting - you wouldn't think Olympians would need to be told all this. Or that Adam Peaty or Simone Manuel might need rescuing from the deep end. But, Brazilian law insists that all swimming pools over a certain size are watched over by lifeguards. There are about seventy five on duty at the various Olympic centres during swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo and white-water kayaking events. Some one hundred and fifty lifeguards were also in attendance same at the London games in 2012. But, of course, there isn't really very much for them to do and, onlookers have commented how bored many of them look. You may think they would be pleased to have a prime seat for the games, on the other hand it's reported they get paid just two hundred and sixty smackers for a fortnight's work. Blimey, you get more than that at Sports Direct.
At previous Olympics, athletes who made the podium were usually handed a bouquet of flowers. But for this year's games the flowers have been scrapped, apparently because they are 'not very sustainable.' It seems that most were just tossed in the nearest dustbin after the medal ceremony. Now, along with their medal, competitors are handed a small multi-coloured object with a green base. At first this baffled spectators, and some competitors, such as Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui. There was much speculation on social media. Was it a paperweight? A napkin holder? In fact, it's a 3D model of the official Rio Olympics logo and it reportedly doubles as a medal holder. Although there have been some reported that, in fact, the medals are too big for item. Still, it looks more than capable of weighing down a sheaf of A4 or, keeping the lavatory door open.
A man relieving himself, a hen party invasion - BBC Olympics presenter Dan Walker has seen it all at the Rio 2016 Olympics. One imagines that he never expected to be interrupted by a couple seemingly fornicating on a beach behind him, though. 'And for those asking me what's going on in the background on social media now, it's not that, it's just a hug,' Dan explained, trying to downplay the rampant pair's sexy antics. 'They are reading a book, apparently they are reading a book. They are reading a book ... in a strange pose. We'll find out what the book is maybe, a little bit later on. We're not gonna go any closer than that though. So, some live basketball for you ...' Ah, the perils of live TV!
Dan has, reportedly, become something of a celebrity in Brazil since he interviewed bride-to-be Maria De Cezar on BBC4 and, subsequently, received an invitation to her wedding. Most recently a group of Brazilians reportedly asked for a picture with him, calling him 'the Maria man.'

Olympic glory comes at a cost - if you're American, at any rate. Michael Phelps's five gold medals from Rio, plus his one silver, could cost him up to fifty five thousand dollars in in taxes, it has been estimated. This is mainly because the US Olympic Committee awards prize money to medal winners - twenty five thousand dollars for a gold, fifteen thousand for silver and ten thousand for bronze - and this is considered taxable income by the IRS. Many other countries give medal bonuses - for instance Singapore's Joseph Schooling, it's reported, will get seven hundred and fifty three thousand dollars for his gold. However, in the US the medals are also given a value and taxed, based on the value of the materials they are made of. According to Forbes magazine, a five hundred gramme gold medal from Rio is worth five hundred and sixty four dollars, because it is mostly silver, plated with only six grammes of gold. Silver medals are worth roughly three hundred dollars and bronze medals, which are mostly made of copper, only about four dollars. Members of the US Congress have apparently made several efforts to make athletes' medal payments tax-exempt in the past but, as yet, to no avail.
Battersea Dogs Home has reportedly called two of its residents Kenny and Trotty, in homage to champion cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott according to the Bolton News.
Pat Hickey, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, has temporarily stood down from all his roles after his arrest in Rio over allegations of illegal ticket sales. The Irishman was taken to hospital following his arrest, after requesting medical attention. Brazilian police claim that he was involved in a scheme to resell Olympic tickets at higher than their face value. They said that the scheme could have had profits of ten million Reals. Hickey will be replaced as President of the European Olympic Committees by his deputy, Janez Kocijancic. The Olympic Council of Ireland said in a statement that Hickey was 'stepping aside until this matter is fully resolved' and would continue to co-operate and assist with all enquiries. Acting OCI President William O'Brien said the council would 'defend ourselves to the hilt' after the arrest. Hickey, a former judoka, has been a member of the fifteen-strong executive board of the International Olympic Committee since 2012, making him a prime mover in the world of international sports. Brazilian police said that when officers went to Hickey's hotel room on Wednesday morning, they found his wife there with his Olympic credentials. Mrs Hickey told them her husband had left Rio de Janeiro for Ireland at the weekend, they said. 'We noticed that there was another room in the hotel under his son's name, so we went to that room and we found Hickey by himself,' Detective Ronaldo Oliveira told a press conference. 'There wasn't much in that room, not even any of his clothes. He was in his bathrobe.' Speaking later on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, O'Brien said: 'His medical condition has been checked. He is stable at the moment and it will be monitored over the next twenty four hours.' Police said the arrest was 'related' to that of a fellow Irishman, Kevin James Mallon, on the day of the Olympic opening ceremony. More than seven hundred tickets organised in envelopes clearly marked for sale were found in a safe with Mallon, Detective Ricardo Barbosa told the BBC. Police 'had evidence' of a plan to sell tickets 'illegally masked as hospitality packages,' Barbosa said. Irish broadcaster RTE reports that Hickey faces three potential charges: facilitating ticket touting, forming a cartel and 'ambush' or illicit marketing. In an interview with RTE last week, Hickey denied any wrongdoing in relation to ticket sales. He is currently being held in a maximum security jail in Rio.
The International Boxing Association has dropped a number of officials after a review of their decisions at the Olympics. AIBA said that, after two hundred and thirty nine bouts in Rio, 'less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected.' The body has admitted that it is in 'a transition process,' but said that results of bouts already contested will stand. The reaction to Irish fighter Michael Conlan's controversial defeat - he went off it, basically - prompted action from AIBA. Not that it helped Conlan much. Conlan lost by unanimous decision to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin when most observers felt that he had won the bout comfortably. 'We have a lot of educating to do and a lot of evaluating to do,' AIBA official Tom Virgets told the BBC. 'Along the way we have to sharpen the blade with our officials, with more training, more evaluation.' The federation has since confirmed: 'The concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.' What's made matters worse for Conlan is that Nikitin has since pulled out of his semi-final bout, citing injury, but nonetheless will return to Russia with a bronze medal. AIBA, which governs amateur boxing, has changed several rules for the Rio games - allowing professionals to compete, removing the head-guard, scrapping the appeals process and changing the scoring system. Five officials judge each bout and a computer randomly selects three whose scores are counted. Traditionally, judges would use a computer scoring system to count each punch. But now the winner of each round is awarded ten points and the loser a lower number, based on a criteria which includes the quality of punches landed, effective aggression and tactical superiority. 'We're getting better but Rome ain't built in a day and we're going to continue to raise that bar of excellence,' insisted Virgets, a member of AIBA's executive board and chairman of its disciplinary committee. Asked about the judges in Rio, Virgets said: 'We're changing them from being robots who press the button to being analysts of the bout.' There was also controversy when Russian world champion Evgeny Tishchenko was awarded all three rounds in his favour against Kazakhstan's Vassiliy Levit in the men's heavyweight final, despite a cut to his head and seemingly spending much of the bout on the back foot. Tishchenko was booed by the crowd after being given the unanimous points decision. Irish official Michael Gallagher was one of the judges in the heavyweight final. An enraged Conlan said after his defeat: 'I came for gold and I've been cheated. I'll not do another Olympics. I would advise anybody not to compete for AIBA.' Virgets said of his reaction: 'I can understand that frustration is heightened when there is a significant amount of media who also believe that he should have won. We will continue to evaluate to where the media is educated, the coaches are educated as to the criteria better and the officials are constantly getting better so that hopefully we will come to an Olympics in the future and one hundred per cent of the bouts will be accepted by coaches, media, athletes and officials.'
Meanwhile, a five-year-old boy from Dublin has written to the Belfast bantamweight Conlan to express his sadness at the controversial unanimous loss to Nikitin. In a touching letter, Finn McManus told Conlan: 'You should have won because you are the best boxer in the world,' and enclosed the medal he had himself won at a recent school sports day. The boxer replied with a tweet regarding young Finn, which reads: 'Very warming message from this young lad. If anyone knows who he is, could they please tell him I have a gift for him.'
Defending champions United States reached the women's Olympic four by one hundred metres relay final at the second attempt after dropping the baton in their heat. The Americans ran on their own in the Olympic Stadium after successfully arguing they were obstructed in the first race earlier on Thursday. This led to one track and field podcast making this joke.
Want something to remember Rio by, dear blog reader? Organisers are auctioning off used equipment from the games. The British flag from the opening ceremony - presumably the one that was carried by Andy Murray - will set you back upwards of a grand, while a tennis ball used by Brazil's Bruno Soares has topped the fifty knicker mark.
And now, dear blog reader, the first of a new semi-regular From The North series, Cats Watching The Olympics. Number one.
Followed, logically, by number two.
And, number three.
Harsh, perhaps, but probably fair. Next ...

Would you like to see a post-Brexit analysis of the Rio Olympics from the Torygraph's Zoe Strimpel, dear blog reader? You got it.
With the world's best athletes descending on Rio over the past fortnight, a group of naturists have taken it upon themselves to stage a 'naked Olympics'. And, why not?
Team Sky have confirmed the signing of Olympic team pursuit champion Owain Doull. The Welshman along with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Steven Burke and Ed Clancy beat world champions Australia to claim gold in Rio. Doull, twenty three, will join up with Team Sky for the rest of the 2016 before turning professional full-time on the road in 2017. 'It's always been a bit of a boyhood dream to try and join Sky,' Doull said. 'So to finally be at a stage where I'm about to start racing for the team and then joining the team properly in 2017, is a bit surreal.' Doull joined Team Wiggins in January 2015, but will now link-up with fellow Welsh riders Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe at Team Sky. Team Sky Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: 'Owain has consistently put in excellent performances on the track and the road and we think he has the potential to be an important part of the team.'
What, apart from cycling, obviously does Great Britain beat the rest of the world at? Optimism, unwavering politeness and making excuses among others, apparently according to Buzzfeed. This blogger isn't sure any of those are true, actually. Well, except for making excuses, we're world dominant at that. Others that do ring true include 'being embarrassed by our mums', 'underplaying things because we don't want to make a fuss' and 'calling a spade a spade ... and a cunt a cunt.' Yep, sounds about right. Also, 'trolling Americans.'
A survey by the Brazilian government has, reportedly, found that almost eight eight per cent of tourists say they would like to return to Rio. Of the twleve per cent that wouldn't, four of those were American swimmers who said they couldn't come back, 'for personal reasons.'
A television sports presenter is in a coma with malaria in a Rio hospital following a three thousand-mile charity cycle ride. Charlie Webster, who has worked for Sky and ITV, became unwell after watching the Olympic opening ceremony. Sky said that Webster's agent had confirmed she was in a coma on life support with a rare strain of the disease. The former Sky Sports News presenter fell ill after completing the three thousand-mile cycle from London. She was admitted to hospital on 6 August the day after watching the opening ceremony, having arrived in Rio a few days earlier. Initially doctors thought she was dehydrated following the gruelling six-week Ride To Rio challenge. However, her condition deteriorated after developing a severe complication from a bacterial infection. The thirty three-year-old tweeted the day after being admitted to hospital: 'Six weeks on the road ends in this. Very rough day, severe dehydration and infection - two drips and antibiotics.' Just two days later she wrote: 'I'm getting there. Awful few days with serious infection.' Webster made no more posts and a statement on her Facebook and Twitter profiles on 11 August revealed how her condition had worsened. It said: 'Charlie has updated you all throughout her cycle and we know her silence was causing concern. On Saturday, 6 August, Charlie became unwell and was admitted to hospital in Rio de Janeiro. What was initially thought as dehydration, caused by her riding to Rio, has since been diagnosed as a severe complication caused by a bacterial infection. Charlie is receiving great care and we will update when we can.' The Ride To Rio campaign wished Webster a speedy recovery, describing her as 'a tough lady.' A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We are providing support to a British woman who is in hospital in Rio.'
New Zealand Rugby says that a Sydney hotel room where the All Blacks held meetings was bugged before their first Bledisloe Cup match against Australia. The New Zealand Herald reported that a 'sophisticated listening device' found on Monday had been hidden in a chair. The All Blacks are due to play Australia's Wallabies on Saturday. The CEO of New Zealand Rugby, Steve Tew, said in a statement that Australian police and the Australian Rugby Union had 'been informed.' Saturday's game is the first of three in the annual Bledisloe Cup between Australia and New Zealand - which the All Blacks have not lost in thirteen years. Tew said: 'We are taking this issue very seriously, and given it will be a police matter, it would not be prudent to go into further details.' The New South Wales Police Force said in a statement that they had become aware of the allegation on Saturday and had attended a hotel in the Double Bay area of Sydney. Superintendent Brad Hodder told local media that a forensic team were looking at an 'electronic device.' Tew added that he had spoken to ARU chief Bill Pulver who was 'just as shocked as I was,' but added that it was not 'a catastrophic issue' for Saturday's match. 'We haven't made any accusations of anybody so there's no room for denials,' said Tew. Pulver told the New Zealand Herald that the idea of a bugging was 'ludicrous' and said the ARU was not involved in no buggery. He said: 'Mate, of course [the ARU is not involved]. I just think it's a ludicrous concept that there are listening devices being placed in team rooms. I don't know how that could happen.' The paper reported that hiding the bug 'was a highly skilled and meticulous act and whoever put it there would have needed a significant amount of time to have pulled off such an accomplished job.' Indications are that the device was working and would have transmitted conversations about the All Blacks' strategy for Saturday's match. The game is the only one in this year's tournament scheduled to take place on Australian soil. The other two games are scheduled to be held in New Zealand cities. The All Blacks have won the Cup forty three times while the Wallabies have won twelve times. The hotel where the All Blacks were staying has started its own investigation into the incident, the statement by New Zealand Rugby said.
One of the fastest bowlers in cricket history has made an unlikely career move - starring in a romantic comedy. The film UnIndian was shot in Sydney and will open across three hundred screens on the cricket-mad sub-continent after a red-carpet premiere on 19 August. Australian cricket legend yer actual Brett Lee plays an English teacher - an Australian one, obviously - who falls in love with a single mother played by Bollywood star Tanishtha Chatterjee. Lee - who is hugely popular in India (and, in Britain for that matter after his exploits in the wonderful 2005 Ashes series) - told the BBC that he has always seen himself as 'something of an actor. On the cricket field, I'm totally different on the field to what I am off the field,' Lee said. 'It came naturally to be in front of the camera.' Since his playing days ended, Lee has built a presence in India - appearing in a string of TV commercials and even releasing a pop single. He also established some Bollywood connections playing in the Indian Premier League - for the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Kings XI Punjabs. The cricketer was offered the leading role in movie after meeting with the director over a cup of coffee. 'He showed me the script, which I loved - an Australian film with a bit of Bollywood flavour, a bit of Bollywood culture and beautiful message through the film - that love has no boundaries.' In the film, Chatterjee plays a divorced single mother with a career whose family want her to find 'a nice Indian man.' Instead she meets Lee's character, who may be nice but is definitely not Indian. 'She's an absolute sweetheart to work with, a consummate professional,' Lee said. 'Very, very funny when the camera's not rolling. Very, very funny when the camera is rolling.' The Bollywood star even coached the former test cricketer through the film's bedroom scenes. 'It's embarrassing but she made me feel very comfortable and it was done in a very tasteful way,' Lee claimed. Although tame by western standards, the sequence was re-edited at the request of India's censorship board. A letter from the board requests for the: 'Sex scene to be shortened and toned down, especially removing the sideways visual and end climactic shot.' It was a restriction that frustrated the director, who points out that India was the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra. 'In India, censorship is just ornamental,' Anupam Sharma said. It's a topic that makes Lee appear to choose his words carefully. He said: 'I think the best way to answer that is we did shoot it as an Australian film and it was shot by an Indian producer and director Anupam Sharma who does live in Australia. The lead actress is Indian. So, I guess I'll leave it at that.' The cricketer acquired an appreciation for the Indian way of life, having travelled there several times a year for more than a decade. 'I think the common goal and common thing that we do have is a passion for music and a passion for film and a passion for life,' he said. The film opens on hundreds of screens across India next week, followed by a release in the Middle East and the US. As for Lee, his cricket career is over. Will a second innings in show business follow? 'If people enjoy watching me and Tanishtha in UnIndian and they like what they see, well then, who knows what might happen?' Let's hope that Brett's media career is a wee-bit more successful than his mate Freddie Flintoff.
The writers behind The Missing have insisted that the upcoming second series won't 'damage or spoil' the original 2014 hit. Viewers were hooked on the first series, which saw Tony Hughes (played by yer actual James Nesbitt) hunt for his lost son across eight addictive episodes. The sequel, though, will follow a new missing persons investigation - with Tchéky Karyo the sole returning cast member as detective Julien Baptiste. 'Anything that affects the story you're telling for the sake of getting another one is a really bad idea,' co-creator Jack Williams told the Digital Spy website. 'That's really cheap, I think. I get why people do it, because I guess you make more money. But this is a whole new story. We could've had Nesbitt looking for his dog. It would've been way easier and people probably would've watched it. But it would've been terrible!'
Paul Hollywood has denied ill-informed tabloid rumours that he is to replace Chris Evans on Top Gear. After the Daily Lies tweeted 'Is Paul Hollywood heading to Top Gear?' the Great British Bake Off judge responded: 'No ...!' Well that's that, then - thanks for clearing it up, Paul.
Miranda Hart will not be returning to her role as Chummy in BBC1's Call The Midwife, as was reported in April. The comedian and actress said that it was 'with a heavy heart' she had to call-off her comeback to the series. 'Having shared Chummy's return to CTM, I've not been able to birth (pun) the schedule to make it work,' she tweeted. It had been hoped that Chummy Noakes would return for the 2016 Christmas special and the sixth series of the popular period medical drama, expected to be shown in 2017. Hart, who left the show during its fourth series due to other work commitments, said that she was 'truly sad not to be playing Chummy this year.' But, she said fans were 'in for a treat' with the addition of Dame Harriet Walter as a cast member 'and more besides.' Hart's character was last seen moving to a mother and baby unit. Based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, Call The Midwife tells of midwives working in East London in the 1950s and 1960s. Hart received a BAFTA nomination in 2012 for her work in the series, which also stars Jenny Agutter, Helen George and Judy Parfitt. Dame Harriet is set to play a new character, Sister Ursula, when the show returns next year.
EastEnders actress Rita Simons, who plays Roxy Mitchell, is to leave the BBC soap after nine years. A statement issued of Friday said that she would join on-screen sister Ronnie (Samantha Womack) in 'an unmissable exit' from the show. Simons and Womack have played the Mitchell sisters since 2007. It was revealed last week that Womack would say goodbye to Albert Square next year. Producers said that the pair had 'created one of the most iconic duos EastEnders has ever seen.' The statement added: 'Alongside Samantha, Rita was recently offered to take part in the same big storyline that will see the Mitchell sisters depart Walford. We're keeping details of what's in store firmly under wraps for now, but there are still lots of twists to come before they leave our screens.' In May, Dame Barbara Windsor said her farewell to EastEnders with her character Peggy Mitchell taking her own life in a controversial departure.
Dame Diana Rigg has told BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur about playing the role of Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game Of Thrones and the importance of 'making roles believable.' 'I wasn't aware I was getting involved in something so huge. I really had no idea,' she said, adding that her character is 'pretty evil, I'm good at evil. After a career spanning almost six decades, including her role as Emma Peel in The Avengers, Dame Diana says that the secret to great acting is 'to measure the distance between yourself and that part and you have to fill it, fill it with truth", bringing to bear experience and understanding of the human condition.'
The BBC has pledged to keep its best-known weather presenters on-screen after announcing the forecaster that will replace the Met Office after ninety four years. The corporation said hiring MeteoGroup would save the corporation 'millions of pounds' over the next 'seven years or so.' The BBC's Nigel Charters indicated that 'most' weather staff, who are employed by the Met Office and the BBC, will make the transition. 'We know how fond people are of our weather presenters,' he said, in a blogpost explaining the implications of the new contract. 'We have taken steps so the vast majority of our well-known and much-loved presenters will continue to front BBC weather.' Carol Kirkwood, one of the BBC's best known weather presenters, is unaffected by the change as she is directly employed by the BBC rather than subcontracted. However most others such as Tomasz Schafernaker, John Hammond, Helen Willetts, Alex Deakin and Louise Lear, are employed directly by the Met Office. A BBC spokeswoman said that any presenters who are currently employed by the Met Office will 'have the option' of transferring to the BBC. 'You may not have heard of MeteoGroup, but it has more customers in the UK than any other commercial weather company,' said Charters. 'They already provide weather services for major UK clients such as the National Grid, the majority of those who maintain the UK Roads network, as well as the UK press and Channel Four and Sky News.' The BBC said that shifting the contract would mean viewers will get 'a better experience' including upgrading the BBC's weather app. 'Audiences can expect to see a more personalised website with clearer and more searchable graphics and more information on screen and on air,' said Charters. 'We'll also be using MeteoGroup's graphics system so that our brilliant weather presenters can easily design and manage content themselves creating great images for TV and online.' The BBC said that it was 'forced' to review the Met Office contract 'by law' and that the tender process involved 'several stages' and was awarded to the 'most economically advantageous tender.' Or, in other words, the lowest bidder. 'We have taken forward the strongest bid, based on best possible service and value for money for the licence fee payer,' said Charters. The contract is believed to have made up a sizeable share of the thirty two-and-a-half million smackers the Met Office receives from commercial organisations. The BBC said that it will still continue to 'work closely' with the Met Office severe weather warnings. The Met Office hasn't always got it right, of course, with one of the most famous examples occurring in 1987 when Michael Fish sought to calm fears that a severe storm was brewing, saying that a viewer had called the BBC to say that there was 'a hurricane' on the way. 'Don't worry – there isn't,' he said. Actually, there was. Hurricane-force winds promptly swept across the South of England, killing eighteen people, knocking down trees and cutting the power supply to millions of people. Up until 2013 MeteoGroup, which is headquartered in the UK, was owned by PA Group, the parent company of the Press Association news agency. PA Group, which has shareholders including the owners of the Daily Scum Mail and the Daily Mirra and regional newspaper publisher Johnston Press, sold MeteoGroup to General Atlantic for one hundred a sixty million quid in 2013. 'MeteoGroup is honoured to have been chosen to partner with the world's leading broadcaster,' said Richard Sadler, chairman of MeteoGroup. 'The BBC is dedicated to offering the best possible weather service to its audience and it has been a demanding selection process.'
US pastor Tony Perkins, who believes that natural disasters are sent by God to punish gay people, has fled his flooded home in Louisiana. Time for another round of How Ironic Is That? In 2015 Perkins caused controversy when he agreed with a statement that natural disasters are 'sent by God as punishment for abortion and gay marriage.' Perkins has revealed that he was forced to escape his property in a canoe with his family. He shared photos on Facebook and discussed his experience in a podcast. 'This is a flood of near-biblical proportions,' he said in an interview with the Family Research Council. Maybe this was God's punishment for those who fail to comply with Matthew 7:1, mate? Just a thought.
One of two girls accused of stabbing a twelve-year-old classmate to please the online horror character Slender Man has pleaded not guilty in a US court on the grounds of mental illness. A judge in Wisconsin has now appointed two doctors to evaluate Morgan Geyser. She and Anissa Weier, both now aged fourteen, are being tried as adults, charged with attempted murder. The girls could face decades in The Big House if convicted. Their victim was stabbed nineteen times in May 2014 but, thankfully, survived. She was found crawling from woods by a cyclist near the city of Waukesha. She had stab wounds to her arms, legs and torso. Weier pleaded not guilty last year. Investigators say that the two girls had been 'plotting for months' to kill their victim in 'dedication' to Slender Man, a fictional horror website character. The pair spoke of their 'desire' to become the paranormal figure's 'proxies' by killing to demonstrate their loyalty, police said. The schoolgirls involved in the attack in Waukesha say there were 'inspired' after reading about Slender Man in a 'creepypasta,' a short online story. Last month, an appeal court in Wisconsin confirmed an earlier decision by a lower court that it was 'reasonable' to try both girls as adults because the crime was 'planned and violent.' Their lawyers had argued for the case to be heard in juvenile court, saying both teenagers were 'suffering from mental illness.' Following the attack, both suspects were found walking near a local highway, and a knife was found in one of their backpacks, police said. The girls had planned to stab their friend during a sleepover at Geyser's house where they had been celebrating her birthday. But instead they decided to commit the crime the next morning in a nearby park. After the murder, they reportedly intended to walk to Slender Man's mansion, which they believed was situated in Wisconsin's Nicolet National Forest. The victim has recovered and returned to school.
A court in Texas has stayed the execution of a convicted accomplice to murder, ordering a review of testimony of a witness dubbed 'Doctor Death.' Jeffery Wood, forty three, was to be executed on Wednesday by lethal injection. Doctor James Grigson, a witness renowned for testifying against those facing execution, said that Wood 'would be violent' in the future but that he had not examined him. Wood did not fire the gun in the 1996 shop robbery but Texas allows for accomplices to be convicted of murder. The Death Penalty Information Center monitoring group says that ten murder accomplices have been executed in the US since 1976, five of them in Texas. Wood was in a car outside when his friend, Daniel Reneau, shot dead the thirty one-year-old store worker. Wood then entered the store to help with the theft. Reneau was very executed in 2002. The role of Grigson, a forensic scientist who appeared for the prosecution, was a key factor in the latest ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Grigson earned the nickname Doctor Death for his willingness to testify against those facing execution. Grigson, who died in 2004, was expelled from the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association for making diagnoses of murder defendants without examination. Wood's lawyer, Jared Tyler, said: 'Three former jurors have said they feel the government's presentation to them of a discredited psychiatrist who predicted with certainty and without evaluating Mr Wood, that Mr Wood would be criminally violent in the future was unfair. The jurors no longer support a death sentence.' Tyler added: 'I am not aware of a case where a person has been executed with so minimal culpability and with such little participation in the event.' The court ruled seven-two to stay the execution.

Keira Knightley is to star as the Sugar Plum Fairy in a new Disney live-action version of The Nutcracker. The Pirates Of The Caribbean and Atonement actress will join Morgan Freeman and Mackenzie Foy in the cast, according to reports from Hollywood. The Sugar Plum Fairy did not feature in ETA Hoffmann's original Nutcracker story, written in 1816, but first appeared in Tchaikovsky's 1892 ballet adaptation. Is is not known whether Knightley will be required to dance in the movie. Though, to be honest, this blogger - a big fan - doesn't particularly care; frankly, she can just stand there and look pretty and Keith Telly Topping will be happy enough. According to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, the cast will also include Misty Copeland, who last year became American Ballet Theatre's first African-American female principal dancer.
In world of constant bad news, dear blog reader, there are some - occasional - chinks of light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, on Friday it was reported that Channel Four have told Noel Edmonds there will be no new deal for game show Deal Or No Deal. And, lo, there was happiness throughout the land. The Beard of Despair has hosted the show, in which contestants open red boxes to win money, since 2005. Channel Four said that the studio-based show will end this autumn but further episodes will be filmed on tour around the UK at the end of the year. The broadcaster would not confirm whether the touring version would continue beyond that.
A number of Egyptian news anchors have reportedly been told to lose weight or lose their jobs. Wow, harsh.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, from Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown: Sean Lock's new book - a reworking of an old classic - seems to be the perfect gift for children. Not your children, obviously.
Astronomers have captured rare images of a tiny star before, during and after it exploded as 'a classical nova.' In this type of binary system, a white dwarf sucks gas from a much bigger partner star until it blows up - about every ten thousand to one million years. Now, a Polish team has caught one in the act using a telescope in Chile. The observations, reported in Nature, were made as part of a long-running sky survey that was originally aimed at detecting dark matter. The consistent stream of images snapped for that project, the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment, allowed the researchers to go back and see what the star system looked like before the explosion brought it to their attention in May 2009. Even though it is twenty thousand light-years away - a terribly faint pinprick of light barely visible among brighter stars, even in magnified images - this was a rare opportunity to study the build-up and aftermath of a classical nova. 'Thanks to our long-term observations, we observed the nova a few years before and a few years after the explosion,' Przemek Mróz, the study's first author and a PhD student at the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory, told the BBC. 'This is very unusual, because generally novae only attract attention when they are very bright - when they are in eruption.' These violent but poorly understood events begin with a white dwarf, the dead remnant of an average star like our Sun, is locked in tight orbit with a regular, active star. 'The distance between those two stars is very small - actually one solar radius,' Mróz said. 'Imagine that inside the Sun, you have two stars that are orbiting each other.' So tight is their orbit, which in this case takes just five hours, that the dwarf steadily steals gas from its larger companion. That extra matter builds up on the surface of the white dwarf until it kicks off a runaway, explosive thermonuclear reaction. Crucially, however, this blast only rips off the extra material; the white dwarf is left behind. 'The entire system survives the nova explosion so the whole process starts again,' said Mróz. 'After thousands of years, our nova will awake and explode again but no one will be able to see it.' This is in contrast to a type Ia supernova, which starts with a similar situation but destroys the white dwarf completely in a much bigger explosion. Mróz's key observations came from studying the light emitted by the system - which is an indication of the mass being stolen by the white dwarf - before and after its dramatic brightness spike in 2009.
North Korea has branded a UK-based diplomat who defected to South Korea as 'human scum.' Thae Yong-ho, deputy envoy in London and his family are now under the protection of the South. Without listing his name, the North's Korean Central News Agency said that the envoy had been 'accused of leaking secrets, embezzlement and child rape.' Blimey. What a terrible man. And, of course, one instinctively believes what the North Korean Central News Agency says because they sound so plausible. It said that the UK had been told about Yong-ho's naughty ways in June and had been asked for his return but instead handed him to South Korea. In a commentary, the KCNA said '[the fugitive] should have received legal punishment for the crimes he committed, but he discarded the fatherland that raised him and even his own parents and brothers by fleeing, thinking nothing but just saving himself, showing himself to be human scum who lacks even an elementary level of loyalty and even tiny bits of conscience and morality that are required for human beings.' The KCNA accused the UK of 'handing over the fugitives without passports to the South Korean puppets and neglecting its duty to protect diplomats living in its own country.' Britain's Foreign Office has not commented on the affair. Thae is thought to be the highest-ranking North Korean official ever to defect.

In a case of canine/feline role reversal, seven pit bulls were set upon by a cat on Monday night — sending a dog and an owner for medical treatment. According to media reports, the cat came out of a yard, said Kyla Grover, who was with the walking group called Pit Bulls of Victoria. 'The dogs were walking by, completely minding their own business,' she claimed. 'The cat just goes at all of the dogs, not backing down.' The pit bulls and pit bull crosses were leashed and none of them fought back, Grover said. They just began barking after the attack began. Del Thompson said the sight of all the dogs would have been intimidating for his cat, Baby. 'She's a watchdog and doesn't know it,' he said. 'Cats and dogs don't get along too well sometimes.' Betty Jean Thompson, who was gardening at the time of the incident, said Baby was 'being protective' because the dogs 'were nearby.' Grover said the dogs didn't know how to react. 'The cat is swiping at them and latched onto one of the dog's faces,' she said. 'I got bit and scratched in the process of trying to separate them. I spent the whole night at emergency because cat bites are nasty.'
Two children and a man have died in the Indian capital after their throats were slit by glass-covered strings used for flying kites during Independence Day celebrations. The tragedies prompted the Delhi government to this week issue 'an immediate ban' on the production, sale and storage of the razor-sharp strings which are used to try to cut down competitors' kites. The Government said that anyone caught with the strings, known locally as manjha, faced a five-year jail term and a one hundred thousand-Rupee fine. The children, aged four and six, died in separate incidents in New Delhi after they looked out of the sunroof of their cars. 'The children were looking out of the sunroofs when they entangled in the deadly threads,' Pushpender Kumar, West Delhi's deputy police commissioner, said. A twenty two-year-old man also died in the same way while he was riding his motorbike on a flyover in the capital, another officer said. No-one has been arrested over the deaths. Another five-year-old child and a policeman were badly injured in other incidents involving the strings, reports have said. Kite flying is hugely popular on Independence Day in India, with the sky dotted with kites often painted in the colours of the Indian flag and attached to long strings. The Delhi High Court last week directed the city government to 'raise awareness' of the dangers of the razor strings, saying there had been 'a raft of deaths' in recent years in Delhi and two neighbouring states. Some states have already banned such strings following accidents.
An Israel man has made a claim that a Chilean border official has drawn a penis and wrote 'Viva Palestinia' on his passport because he is a Jewish. Tal Y'aakobi's, from Rosh HaAyin, said that he received 'a hostile treatment' from Chilean border officials after crossing from Argentina. 'From the first moment, the guy at the border was hostile and threw my passport in front of my face. They then detained us for an hour-and-a-half on purpose until we moved. There was no reason to do this, only because I am Jewish.' Because of the scribble, Y'aakobi has to spend twelve hundred and thirty Shekels on replacing his passport when he returned to Israel after his holiday.
An Ohio man has been accused of exposing himself and 'inserting his genitals in the grill of a red van' which was parked on the street, according to a Dayton police report. Police believe Michael William Henson was 'high on some type of narcotic' when he was very arrested on a public indecency charge on Tuesday evening. Police said that officers responded to a report of a man who was 'acting strange.' The suspect then briefly passed out in a yard before getting up and walking away after he 'violated' the van, according to witnesses statements. Police said that officers found Henson walking along Deanwood Avenue and 'he appeared to be under the influence.' Police said officers found the owner of the van and asked him if he had witnessed 'the sex act,' to which the man said that he had not. Henson is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail.
They must all be bloody weirdos in Ohio; two teens were arrested after they reportedly robbed a woman walking home with groceries, then took potatoes she just bought and threw them at her, police say. The woman was walking home Thursday afternoon when the teens, dressed in black, stole the groceries along with her wallet, money and cigarettes, the Dayton Daily News reports. The woman called 911 and told the dispatcher that the teens didn't have any weapons, but they did throw the potatoes at her. 'Other than the potatoes, did they have any weapons, like a gun or knife?' the 911 dispatcher asked. 'No, but those potatoes hurt,' the woman replied. The two boys, ages fourteen and fifteen, were very arrested about two hours later by Dayton police.
An argument about a popular TV drama in Bangladesh erupted into a mass brawl involving hundreds of people, with fifteen people 'badly injured,' police say. Villagers in Habiganj district had gathered in a cafe to watch Indian-made Bengali fantasy drama Kiranmala. But, when two men 'disagreed about the plot,' others took sides and soon hundreds of people were fighting with sticks and knives. Yeah. You sometimes get that over Coronation Street as well. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Kiranmala, an SF drama about a warrior princess who saves mankind from evil, is wildly popular in Bangladesh. The brawl erupted in the cafe in Dhol village, one hundred miles North of Dhaka. Local police chief Yasinul Haque told the BBC's Shyadul Islam: 'Two men were involved in an argument over the episode, which turned into a group clash. There were hundreds of people attacking each other with sticks and knives. Police had to fire nine rubber bullets and five shells of tear gas to control the crowd, and at least fifteen people needed hospital treatment.' Haque said the brawl began on Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning. Despite being made in India, Kiranmala is the most popular TV drama in Bangladesh in recent years and is widely watched. Last year, local media linked the suicides of two Bangladeshi teenage girls to the programme, after their parents reportedly refused to buy them the dress worn by the princess.
Sky News consumer affairs correspondent Poppy Trowbridge is leaving the network to become 'a special adviser' to the chancellor, Philip Hammond. In an e-mail to colleagues at Sky, Trowbridge said: 'I've decided to take up a position as special advisor [sic] to the chancellor of the exchequer.' In other news, Eamonn Holmes now to be appointed special adviser to the minister for food. Allegedly.
Amber Heard is to donate her seven million dollars divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to two charities that work with abused women and ill children. Heard will give half to the American Civil Liberties Union to prevent violence against women and the other half to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. The actress said she hoped to 'help those less able to defend themselves.' She earlier accused Depp of striking her and throwing a mobile phone during a fight. He denied the allegations. Depp's lawyer claimed she had made the accusations in order to obtain a more favourable settlement. One or two people believed him.
Blackburn Vindaloos defender Shane Duffy was having another match to forget in a painful run for club and country in midweek. Just days after his own goal in a defeat to Wigan Not Very Athletic, the Republic of Ireland defender has found the wrong net again. The twenty four-year-old netted two own goals in the first twenty minutes of the game against Cardiff City as Blackburn lost two-one. His misery was complete when he was sent off in the dying seconds of the game after the frustrated defender received a second yellow card for kicking the ball away. Now, that's a bad day.

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