Monday, December 25, 2017

Twice Upon A Time: 1966 And All That ...

'You can't say things like that.' 'Can't I? Says whom?' 'Just about everybody you're going to meet for the rest of your life!'
'I've got a suggestion for you. Don't die. Because if you do everyone else in the universe might just go cold.'
'Previously on Doctor Who ...'
'We do have one little advantage.' 'What advantage?' 'There's two of us!'
'Over to you, Mary Berry!'
'This is impossible. Have I been burgled?' 'Technically, that is your TARDIS. See, it's about seventy feet away. Always remember where you parked, it's going to come up a lot.'
'Look at it, it seems to have ... expanded.' 'Well, it's all those years of "bigger-on-the-inside." You try sucking your tummy in for that long!'
'Sorry, I don't suppose either of you is a doctor?' 'Are you trying to be funny?'
'What was that?' 'To be fair, they cut out all the jokes!'
'I may have snuck a glass sometime during the last fifteen hundred years. It's been a bit rock and roll!'
'I knew you couldn't be dead, you don't have the concentration!'
'Do what you always do; serve at the pleasure of the human race.' 'Here is what's going to happen. First, I am going to escape.' 'Escape is not possible.' 'It is possible and it is happening! And I'm taking Bill and the Captain with me.' 'Why are you advertising your intentions? Can't you stop boasting for a moment?' 'Oh, and Mister Pastry too, I could do with a laugh!'
'If I hear any more language like that from you, young lady you're in for a jolly good smacked bottom.' 'Can we just pretend that never happened?' 'I'm a broad-minded girl!'
'Oh! It's not an evil plan. I don't really know what to do when it's not an evil plan!'
'There is good and there is evil. I left Gallifrey to answer a question of my own; by any analysis evil should always win. Good is not a practical survival strategy, it requires loyalty, self-sacrifice, love. So, why does good prevail? What keeps the balance between good and evil in this appalling universe? Is there some kind of logic, some mysterious force?' 'Perhaps there's just some bloke wandering around putting everything right when it goes wrong?' 'Well That would be a nice story wouldn't it?' 'That would be the best.' 'But, the real world is not a fairy tale.' 'You dash around the universe trying to work out what's holding it all together and you really don't know?' 'You know me in the future, do I ever understand?' 'No, I really don't think you do!'
'What's wrong with the lights?' 'It's supposed to be like this. It's atmospheric.' 'Atmospheric? This is the flight deck of the most powerful space-time machine in the known universe, not a restaurant for the French!'
'Out there is the most comprehensive database of all life, anywhere. There is just one little problem.' 'Which is ...?' 'It wants to kill me!'
'Shall we go for one last stroll, Miss Potts?' 'You know what the hardest thing about knowing you was?' ''My superior intelligence? Dazzling charisma? My impeccable dress-sense?' 'Letting you go.'
'There it is. The silly old universe. The more I save it, the more it needs saving ... '
'Can't I ever have peace? Can't I rest?' 'We understand.' 'No, you don't. You're not even really you, you're just memories made of glass. Do you know how many of you I could fill? I would shatter you. My testimony would shatter all of you. A life this long, do you understand what it is? It's a battlefield, like this one. And it's empty, because everyone else has fallen. Thank you both, for everything that you were to me. What happens now, where I go, now, has to be alone.'
'Well, I suppose one more lifetime won't kill anyone. Except me. You wait a moment, Doctor, let's get it right. I've got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first: Never be cruel, never be cowardly, never ever eat pears. Remember, hate is always foolish and love is always wise. Always try to be nice, never fail to be kind. Oh, and you mustn't tell anyone your name. No one would understand it anyway. Except children. Children can hear it, sometimes. If their hearts are in the right place and the stars are too, children can hear your name. But, nobody else! Ever! Love hard, run fast, be kind. Doctor, I let you go!'
'Madness was never this good.'
Well, dear blog reader, this may come as something of a major (by which this blogger means brigadier-general) surprise to all of you but yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought that was bloody great. A proper, dignified and beautiful ending - for Peter and for Steven - and a new beginning. Doctor Who in a nutshell, same as it ever was. 'Everybody's important to someone, somewhere.'
Farewell then yer actual Peter Capaldi. Farewell The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) his very self. You will be much missed by this blogger. And ... Hello Mister Chibnall. Hello Jodie. 'Oh, brilliant!'
One-in-three Christmas TV viewers tuned-in to the 2017 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special, overnight ratings figures show, making the BBC1 comedy programme the top-rated broadcast on a single channel on Christmas Day. BBC1 - as usual - dominated the Christmas ratings, with eight of the ten most popular broadcasts, also including the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas episode, Call The Midwife, EastEnders and Doctor Who. The six most popular programmes of the day were all broadcast on BBC1 - a second successive day of dominance for the channel, which also broadcast the top four rated overnight programmes on Christmas Eve. An average of 6.8 million viewers - a 32.6 per cent share of the available television-watching public - tuned-in to Mrs Brown's Boys to be introduced to a new Rory following the departure of the actor Rory Cowan from the cast. Creator Brendan O'Carroll had accounted for the character's sudden change of appearance with a storyline involving cosmetic surgery. It was followed by four more BBC1 shows - Strictly Come Dancing with six-and-a-half million viewers and Call The Midwife with 6.3 million. EastEnders' Christmas Day episode attracted 6.3 million overnight viewers whilst Jodie Whittaker's debut in Doctor Who, was at number five on the list, watched by an overnight average of 5.7 million with a peak of just short of six million during the regeneration sequence. The Queen's Christmas message was watched by 5.3 million on BBC1 and a further 1.9 million on ITV. BBC1 out-rated ITV from midday to midnight with Coronation Street the only programme on the commercial channel to break four million overnight viewers. ITV's big evening drama, a Christmas episode of Victoria, had an audience of but 2.74 million. Coronation Street (eighth) and Emmerdale (tenth) were the commercial broadcaster's only programmes to make the overnight top ten, with 4.8 million and 3.5 million overnight viewers respectively. The BBC's afternoon children's highlight, The Highway Rat, attracted four million overnight viewers. The Great British Bake Off on Channel Four was watched by 2.8 million. Once Christmas catch-up viewing on iPlayer and various forms of video on demand are taken into consideration, it is likely that an average of at least two million punters can be added to most of the top ten shows. With so much choice on 25 December, viewers often opt to watch some shows live, while saving others to watch later. For example, this year there was a significant overlap between three of TV's most popular programmes - Call the Midwife on BBC1, Coronation Street on ITV and The Great British Bake Off on Channel Four. Overall, live viewing figures for many shows do seem to be dropping year-on-year, but that is probably inevitable with the increasing amount of choice available on traditional channels and from on-demand services like Netflix and Amazon. Something which even the Gruniad Morning Star seems to have finally cottoned on to. The BBC called the success of its BBC1 festive schedule 'a triumph.' Charlotte Moore, the director of BBC content, said: 'Millions of people chose BBC1 on Christmas Day and came together to enjoy the top six most popular programmes from comedy, drama and entertainment, with Mrs Brown's Boys returning to the top spot.'
During an Access All Areas special to promote Twice Upon A Time on BBC Radio 2 broadcast last week, yer actual Peter Capaldi directly linked his own portrayal of The Doctor to past incarnations in discussing how he'd like to be remembered by fans. 'I haven't created him, I've just been stuck on the end of fifty years of churning creativity,' he said. 'All of what has gone before is visible in him, I hope. What I hope people would think is that I, maybe, connected him to his past. That's why it's so amazing seeing David [Bradley] as William Hartnell because, to me as a six or seven-year-old, he was Doctor Who.' Earlier this month, Peter wrote a moving message to fans who attended an early press screening of Twice Upon A Time to thank them for their support during his years in Doctor Who. 'I'd like to thank everyone who loves the show for sharing it with me and sharing the boundless generosity of spirit that it embodies,' he wrote. 'I wish Jodie [Whittaker] and the new TARDIS team all the best for the future, and the past, and everything in between, and look forward to watching them journey to new and wonderful places. For me, it's been an amazing trip. I went to the end of time, I met fantastical creatures ... and I blew them up. But now it's over. Time I was off.' A class act, Peter Capaldi. And a great Doctor.
There's a rather sweet article in Radio Times reflecting on The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE)'s eight years on Doctor Who that's worth a few moments of your time, dear blog reader. If only because you absolutely know for certain that it will cause a bunch of The Special People to be gurning into their turkey and sprouts in incandescent fury and self-righteous anger and that. Which, let's face it, is never less than hilarious. 'My very last Doctor Who ever and I'll be gone before the end,' Steven told his Facebook chums on Christmas Day morning. 'At which point, the bit everyone is showing up for starts. But, please watch the first fifty nine minutes too, for old times sake! Merry Christmas.'
Mark Gatiss his very self is a big fan of the idea of yer actual Jodie Whittaker becoming Doctor Who's first-ever ladygirl lead. Mark was talking about the Doctor Who Christmas special on The ONE Show last Tuesday. 'I think she's a brilliant choice,' Mark said. 'I've been lobbying for a female Doctor for a very long time. It's well overdue. I think she's a brilliant choice, and it's very exciting to think of where [Doctor Who] might go next.'
Meanwhile there's a fascinating - and surprisingly well-researched - piece in the New Statesman on another Christmas, long ago and far away.
Amanda Abbington has revealed the details of a Sherlock scene which viewers will never see. The actress spoke about a scene which would have been part of The Six Thatchers, had it not ended up on the cutting room floor. 'There was a really lovely dinner scene with John and Mary, when they have this really lovely talk about how scared she is about being pregnant or having a baby and that they're drifting apart,' Abbington told Radio Times. 'It's a lovely three-page dinner scene that we did and we loved it and it never made it, I think because it was running about four hours and they had to get it down to an hour-and-a-half. They'd just come back off the plane - or Mary was just about to go off on her journey – and she was just saying that she's flying out of control and she doesn't feel like she's grounded because she's trying to tell him who she really is and she can't and he's drifting off and they're not really communicating. It's a really lovely scene but it never made it and I know why because sometimes you don't need that – less is more. But we loved doing it.'
'We live somewhere between life and death, waiting to move on, and in the end we accept it. We shake hands with the Devils and we walk past them.' The apocalyptic finale of series four of Peaky Blinders brought whole plethora of glorious reviews, which you can check out here, here, herehere and here. So, we end at a 1927 by-election with Thomas Shelby (OBE) - bookmaker, boxing promoter, undercover establishment spy, respectable businessman and colleague of Alphonse Capone and settler of necessary scores - declared the new Labour MP for Birmingham South. 'Tell your boss what you saw here today. Tell him you don't fuck with the Peaky Blinders!'
Meanwhile, Peaky Blinders will return for a fifth series in 2019, its creators have announced. Although, a fifth series had already been commissioned last year at the same time as the fourth, the first news of the likely broadcast date was confirmed via the show's Twitter account just after the series finale on Wednesday evening.
Great news everyone! From The North favourite Spiral (Engrenages) is back this week on BBC4. Which is jolly marvellous. The acclaimed and award-winning French série policière is back for its sixth (and, probably final) series on 30 December. If you've never seen it before - then, where the Hell've you been? It's been running since 2005 - the plot is, essentially: 'Le cadavre d'une jeune femme est retrouvé dans une benne à ordures. Sous la direction d'un juge d'instruction opiniâtre, un groupe de policiers mène l'enquête.' Which should explain everything, hopefully.
For possibly the first time ever, dear blog reader, this blogger managed to get an Only Connect question right on the first clue without needing to see the other three! Then again, it is sort of his specialist field.
As hinted at in a previous bloggerisationisms update the final episode of the fifth series of Dave Gorman's Modern Life Is Goodish was, indeed, the last episode of the show. Dave explains his reasons for ending the show at what is, probably, its peak in a very touching and dignified post on his own blog which you can check out here. The last episode was a critical summation of all of the many aspects that made Modern Life Is Goodish such a wonderful amusing experience over five years and thirty six episodes, mixing pithy observational comedy with genuinely perceptive and precise deconstructions of media (national and social) obsessions. The last ever 'found poem' concerning the bottom half of the Internet's views on the remake of Thomas The Tank Engine was particularly brilliant. The good news which can be gleamed from Dave's blog post is that Dave will be touring during 2018 and that he has already announced he and Dave (the channel,that is) are 'actively exploring' working together again on some future project. Once Dave (Gorman) comes up with a format which doesn't take a hundred hours a week to create.
The stars and creative team behind the revival of The X-Files seemingly really want those fans who were disappointed by the 2016 revival to know that series eleven is back on form. That point is hammered home again and again in a declassified preview of the ten upcoming episodes, as David Duchovny and From The North favourite Gillian Anderson address the issue ... without actually addressing it. Which is a good trick if you can manage it. Be prepared for X-treme possibilities.
Craig Johnston has become the youngest ever winner of MasterChef: The Professionals. Johnston, who comes from Slough and was twenty one at the time of filming, cooked a 'stunning' three-course meal in the final to take home the big prize. He works as a sous chef at The Royal Oak, a Michelin-starred gastro-pub in Maidenhead. Johnston told the BBC that despite the win he will still be working on Christmas Day. 'It's a downside to some chef jobs, but you're going to brighten up someone's Christmas by making their life easier,' he said. Scowly-faced Monica Galetti, who judges the show with Gregg Wallace and Marcus Wareing, told the BBC: 'To show that much skill at that age for a chef is a dream come true.' Johnston presented the judges with a torched mackerel starter, roast squab pigeon for the main course and sauterne and yoghurt mousse with crumble for dessert. 'That is just stunning,' said Wareing. 'It's just perfect. I am speechless.' Wallace said that Johnston 'ticks every box,' while Wareing added: 'You don't come across cooks like this very often. We've just found a star of the future. What a fabulous talent.' Johnston, who started out as a chef when he was sixteen, beat fellow finalists Louisa Ellis and Steven Lickley to become the programme's eleventh champion.
Tasked with finding the facts and questions for From The North favourite Qi are a team of writers and researchers collectively known as The Qi Elves. This year's Qi Christmas special will be broadcast on Boxing Day and the team have also just released their latest fact book, One Thousand Four Hundred & Twenty Three Qi Facts To Bowl You Over. Available from all good bookshops. And some bad ones too.
There's a really good interview with the Godlike genius that is Bill Bailey in the Gruniad in which the comedian discusses quad bikes, sponge cakes, Brexit and the thrill of performing live.
Although at its heart, Feud is about Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, the FX series also does a great job in giving the secondary characters their own time in the spotlight. This week's two episodes sees the spotlight fall on two of these, Crawford's maid Mamacita and Robert Aldrich's assistant, Pauline. So, with all the history the show is covering, you may be wondering if Feud's Pauline Jameson is a real person. The answer to that is both yes and no, according to the actress who plays her, Alison Wright in an interview with Bustle.
'It is a tribute to Rowan Atkinson's acting that he's managed to rearrange his features from their indelibly familiar comedy purpose to convince wholly as the lugubrious Inspector Maigret,' wrote some smug, irritating smear of no consequence in the Gruniad. They really do think they're bloody it, those twatty Middle Class hippy Communists, don't they?
Rounding off the year with Channel Four's The Last Leg Christmas special, Adam Hills unveiled the coveted Dick Of The Year award. No prizes for guessing which US President (and hairdo) won. The President (and hairdo) in question had, in fact, been runner-up in the same competition for the last successive years (losing out to The Vile & Odious Rascal Hunt in 2015 and, erm, 2016 in 2016). So, it's third time lucky for him.
The BBC has released some first-look photos for Troy: Fall Of A City, an eight-part drama which chronicles the Greek siege of the city of Troy. David Threlfall, has been cast as King Priam, while Louis Hunter plays his son Paris. Helen is played by Bella Dayne. The cast also includes Johnny Harris as Agamemnon and Jonas Armstrong as Menelaos. The script is by The Night Manager's David Farr.
Kit Harington has revealed his nerves ahead of the eighth and final series of Game Of Thrones. Harington said he feels 'pressure' for the final series to satisfy fans. 'There's a certain pressure I've not felt before,' he told Deadline. 'Whereas before, every year there's always been a bit of pressure, this season is one where we could easily let people down. Obviously, we don't want to do that so we're very much stepping up everyone's game which is very apparent, at least to me,' he added. 'We're all growing a bit and I think everyone's attention is very focused on what we're doing in a way that it's always been, but it may be more apparent. I love it, you know. It's also I think that thing of just trying to get everything you can out of it while we're still doing it. Really kind of explore every inch of it.'
The law firm Appleby is reported to be taking legal action against the BBC and the Gruniad Morning Star over their reporting of leaked documents detailing offshore tax-avoidance schemes, known as The Paradise Papers. It is suing for breach of confidence and wants the documents to be disclosed. Appleby said confidential information had been taken in 'a criminal act.' The BBC and the Gruniad said that they would 'vigorously' defend the revelations, which were in the 'highest public interest.' The leak of financial documents revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy secretly invest cash in offshore tax havens. The papers contained details about investments made by the Queen's private estate and a tax avoidance scheme used by three stars of the BBC sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys. They also showed that Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton avoided tax on his sixteen million smackers luxury jet. About half of the thirteen million plus leaked documents were from Appleby, one of the world's largest providers of offshore legal services. Panorama led research for the BBC as part of a global investigation involving nearly one hundred other media organisations in sixty seven countries, after the records were passed to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The BBC said that it 'does not know' the identity of the source. Appleby claims that the data was 'taken by hackers.' Appleby is also seeking a permanent injunction stopping any further use of the information and the return of all copies of the documents. In a statement, it said that its 'overwhelming responsibility' was to its clients and colleagues. The BBC said that its 'serious and responsible journalism' had revealed matters which would 'otherwise have remained secret' and that authorities around the world were 'taking action as a consequence.' The Gruniad Morning Star said the legal action was an 'attempt to undermine responsible public interest journalism.'
The BBC has announced plans to make 'the definitive documentary' about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The feature-length BBC2 film will be directed by Ursula Macfarlane. It promises interviews with 'the many actresses who have been brave enough to tell their stories,' plus reporters and 'other Hollywood insiders.' As well as exploring how Weinstein was able to abuse his power and cover his tracks in his - alleged - naughty doings, it will 'chart the rise of a culture of exploitation' in Hollywood. With the working title Weinstein, the film pledges to 'illuminate Hollywood's deep-rooted sexism' and examine how - since the dawn of the studio system in the 1930s - the mixture of money and power has led to 'exploitation and abuse.' BBC commissioner Tom McDonald said that it would 'ask difficult and challenging questions about complicity, the price of silence and the corrosive effects of power.' He said: 'This film promises to be the definitive take on the Weinstein scandal. As well as revealing the inside story of the past few months in minute detail, it will also look to the past to tell the story of abuses of power within Hollywood since its very origins and chart the rise of Harvey Weinstein himself over many decades.' BBC2 controller Patrick Holland said: 'The breaking of silence over Harvey Weinstein is a watershed moment for the creative industries and for wider society. Ursula is a brilliant film-maker and is perfectly placed to make the definitive documentary, piecing together the story of just how he abused his power and position.' The Hollywood film producer has 'unequivocally denied' any allegations of non-consensual sex. He said that there was 'never any retaliation' against women for refusing his advances and that he believed all of his relationships 'were consensual.' One or two people even believed him. UK police are currently investigating a series of sexual assault allegations against Weinstein from seven women and New York police said in November that they had a viable case against him.
The BBC has pledged to 'raise our game' on religion by increasing the portrayal of all faiths in mainstream shows. The corporation said that it would 'enhance' the representation of religion on TV and radio dramas and documentaries. It said it would also create a new global religious affairs team, headed by a religion editor, in BBC News. The BBC will also keep Thought For The Day on Radio 4's Today programme - despite presenter John Humphrys saying that the slot is often 'deeply, deeply boring.' The corporation has just published the conclusions of a review into its coverage of religion and ethics. Director General Tony Hall said that 'audiences of all faiths and none' have said that they want to learn more about those topics. 'They recognise that, if we truly want to make sense of the world, we need to understand the systems of belief that underpin it,' he said. He added that he wants the corporation 'to do more about Christianity and other beliefs as well.' The report pointed to programmes like Boy With The Topknot, Broken, Muslims Like Us and Radio 4's Living With The Gods as recent examples of how it had tried to 'address' stories about a range of religions 'in engaging ways.' The plans include: There will be more about non-Christian festivals like Diwali, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan and Eid on mainstream programmes like The ONE Show, The Chris Evans Breakfast Show and Newsround; there will be landmark programmes to 'explore religion in all its forms,' including a major TV series about the world's sacred sites, a Radio 4 series on morality in the Twenty First Century and a Radio 2 initiative to 'encourage' young people to discuss issues about peace; 2019 will be 'A Year of Beliefs,' with programmes looking at how people make 'big decisions' and where they get their moral values from; there will be more 'people-led stories that have warmth and depth,' such as observing vicars working in local communities; there will be tie-ins with music and comedy and more digital-first video and social media content. Also the role of the religious affairs correspondent - currently Martin Bashir - will be upgraded to Religion Editor, leading BBC News's new global religious affairs team. BBC News will also broaden the range of interviewees and contributors to represent a wider range of opinions and practices.
The Advertising Standards Authority has reportedly received an unspecified number of whinges following Poundland's Christmas-themed posts showing an elf toy in a range of adult situations, which were branded 'vulgar' and 'inappropriate.' By a bunch of people on Twitter that you've never heard of.
Damian Green, one of Theresa May's closest allies, has been extremely sacked from the cabinet after an inquiry found he had 'breached the ministerial code.' Or, in the words of one of his cabinet colleagues, Jeremy Hunt, 'lied.' Green was 'asked for quit' after he was found to have made 'inaccurate and misleading' statements about what he knew about claims that pornography was found on a computer in his office in 2008. In his resignation letter, Green grovellingly apologised for his actions. In her written response, May expressed 'deep regret' at his departure. Green, who as First Secretary of State was, effectively, the PM's deputy, had been under investigation regarding allegations of inappropriate and naughty conduct. He denied suggestions that he made 'unwanted advances' to a female journalist, Kate Maltby, in 2015 and that he had viewed pornography on a computer in his Commons office in 2008. An official report by the Cabinet Office found that statements he had made about being 'unaware' pornographic material had been found on his computer were 'inaccurate and misleading' and, as such, 'fell short of the ministerial code.' Green's political future had been in question since journalist and Conservative activist Maltby suggested that he had 'behaved inappropriately' towards her in an article last month for The Times. She claimed that the minister 'fleetingly' touched her knee in a pub in 2015 and in 2016 sent her a 'suggestive' text message which left her feeling 'awkward, embarrassed and professionally compromised.' Green, who is an acquaintance of the journalist's parents, said that the claims were 'hurtful' and 'completely false.' But they were, nevertheless, referred to the Cabinet Office for investigation by a top civil servant - who is examining other claims which emerged during a swirl of allegations about harassment and other misconduct at Westminster. The inquiry was subsequently expanded to consider claims that - legal - pornography was found on a computer removed from Green's office in the House of Commons in 2008. The computer was one of a number of possessions seized by the police during an inquiry into the leaking of official documents by a civil servant to Green, at the time a shadow Home Office minister under oily David Cameron (remember him?) The report also found that although there were 'competing and contradictory accounts of what were private meetings' between Green and Maltby, the investigation found her account 'to be plausible.' Suggesting, although not confirming, that they found his account not to be. Her parents, Colin and Victoria Maltby, said in a statement that they were 'not surprised' to find the inquiry found Green to have been 'untruthful as a minister, nor to that they found our daughter to be a plausible witness.' They praised their thirty one-year-old daughter for her 'courage' in speaking out about the 'abuse of authority.' In his letter, Green snivelled that he 'accepted' statements he made about what he knew about the pornography investigation 'could have been clearer,' conceding that his lawyers 'had been informed' about the original discovery in 2008 and that the police 'had raised the matter' with him in a phone call in 2013. 'I apologise that my statements were misleading on this point,' he said.
Political website The Canary has been found very in breach of press regulator Impress's code over an article it wrote about the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg. In September, the website reported that the BBC's political editor was 'listed as a speaker' at the Tory Party conference. The Canary went on to claim that this 'raised questions' about her impartiality - and the BBC's. The BBC made it clear that Kuenssberg would not be speaking and was at the event 'to report, impartially, for BBC News.' According to press regulator Impress, The Canary 'did not correct this significant inaccuracy with due prominence' in an updated version of its article. It also breached its code by 'misrepresenting facts' and 'failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy prior to publication.' The Canary has now published a - frankly rather mealy-mouthed - correction via Impress, the body which was established by press reform campaigners with government backing in 2016. The correction was required to be published at the top of the homepage of The Canary for forty eight hours in the same-sized font as the original article.
Cutting plastic pollution is the focus of a series of proposals being considered by the UK environment secretary, the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove, who has said he was 'haunted' by images of the damage done to the world's oceans shown in David Attenborough's Blue Planet II series. The government is due to announce a twenty five-year plan to improve the UK's environmental record in the new year. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove is understood to be planning to introduce 'refundable deposits' on plastic drinks bottles, alongside 'other measures.' The environment Secretary is also understood to be 'considering' a proposal to 'encourage' retailers to use fewer types of plastic, as well as another to move councils towards a standardised recycling policy. The current patchwork of regimes means that many types of plastic are not collected from households, depending on where in the country those households are. Together, the two measures will seek to ensure that a greater proportion of the packaging used in the UK can be recycled. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove wants 'an improvement' in the rate of recycling, which has reportedly been slipping recently. 'The Secretary of State wants to make recycling as easy as possible for households. That is why we will look to accelerate making local authority recycling schemes as consistent as possible through the resources and waste strategy,' a spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said. The department indicated that the rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove was planning to 'overhaul' the system of recycling targets to focus more on environmental impact than on the weight of material collected. And the drinks bottle deposit scheme would form part of an expected attack on single-use plastics, such as straws and coffee cups, which will seek to reduce the overall amount of plastic being used. The news came as a coalition of animal welfare and environmental charities warned that more than one hundred thousand tonnes of plastic packaging would be thrown away and not recycled this Christmas. The charities, which include Friends of the Earth, the RSPCA, the National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts, estimated that the UK would use three hundred thousand tonnes of card packaging. The rat-faced loathsome wretched odious nasty slavver-merchant, George Formby lookalike (and tit) Gove has told journalists he was 'moved' by the scenes in Blue Planet II, which featured marine life struggling to cope with the amount of plastic litter pumped into the seas and oceans by humans. According to The Times, he is planning to 'shift the focus' of recycling targets towards materials such as plastic and aluminium by moving away from the weight-based measurements favoured by the EU. The environmental campaign group Greenpeace welcomed the proposals, which are due to be formally set out next year. Its spokeswoman, Louise Edge, said: 'It's a good sign that Michael Gove is thinking about a multi-pronged approach which includes cutting disposable plastic at the source while also making it easier for people to collect and reuse it.' Martin Tett, from the Local Government Association, told BBC News that the standardised recycling regulations would not work on their own. 'What we need is packaging that is easily recyclable – this would not only make waste disposal easier for our residents, but save considerable amounts of money and energy, while protecting our environment,' he said.
The broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom, a politically appointed quango, elected by no one, is reportedly 'investigating' Alex Salmond's new television programme on the Kremlin-backed RT network. The Alex Salmond Show - imaginative title - hosted by the former Scottish first minister, began broadcasting last month on the RT channel, previously known as Russia Today. Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether the political show broke accuracy rules and is also assessing a series of tweets which were presented as written by members of the audience. Guests on the 16 November episode, which is under particular investigation, included the deposed Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, the Tory MP Crispin Blunt and the Labour peer Helena Kennedy. An Ofcom spokeswoman said: 'We are investigating whether this programme breached our rules on due accuracy.' Over the course of the programme, Twitter posts from members of the audience were featured. However, viewers pointed out that the alleged 'audience members' seemed to be connected to the programme. Of the four Twitter accounts quoted, one appeared to be linked to Salmond's production team. The account, @lastjohn, apparently belongs to Luisa St John, who is listed in the show's credits and whose LinkedIn profile describes her as 'series director' of The Alex Salmond Show. Salmond's decision to host a programme on the Russian network has been criticised by opposition politicians as well as by his successor, Wee Jimmy Krankie, who said that she would have 'advised against RT and suggested he seek a different channel.' Jackson Carlaw, the deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has said it 'beggars belief' that Salmond would work with RT. When the programme launched, Salmond said it would 'take the news out of the Westminster nexus.' Whateer the Hell that means. A spokesperson for RT claimed: 'Per Ofcom guidelines we are unable to comment on its inquiries and, as Ofcom advises, it is important to note that an investigation by Ofcom does not necessarily mean the broadcaster or service provider has done anything wrong.' Russia Today launched internationally in 2005. It was rebranded as RT in 2009 and RT America launched in 2010. There are increasing concerns about Russia's influence on media and social media around the world, with particular questions around RT's activities. British MPs have received substantial fees for appearing on RT in recent months. According to the parliamentary register of interests, the Conservative MP Nigel Evans has been paid fifteen hundred knicker this year, while the Monmouth MP, David Davies, received two thousand two hundred and fifty quid in the same period for appearing on Sam Delaney's News Thing, another RT programme. Labour's Rosie Duffield received five hundred smackers. According to his register of interests, Crispin Blunt listed a payment of two hundred and fifty notes to 'an unspecified non-governmental organisation' by Slàinte Media at the time that his interview was broadcast on RT. Slàinte Media produces The Alex Salmond Show. A spokesman for Slàinte Media said: 'This is an investigation by Ofcom into a single complaint in relation to tweets and messages used on the first edition of The Alex Salmond Show. As we said when the complaint was first made public on 17 November, we will be happy to co-operate with the Ofcom investigation and are confident of a satisfactory outcome.' The spokesman added that the Ofcom Bulletin which includes the investigation into The Alex Salmond Show also lists nine additional investigations into other broadcasting organisations spanning a two-week period. Ofcom is also investigating an interview by BBC Radio 4's Today programme in August. The investigation follows complaints about an interview with the former chancellor Lord Lawson (like his daughter, he has his knockers) about climate change. The BBC recently upheld complaints it received about the interview but, because it is the second time in three years that a similar issue has arisen, Ofcom is also investigating the issue. An Ofcom spokesperson said: 'We are investigating whether this interview, which followed a similar interview in 2014, breached our rules on due accuracy and due impartiality.'
Betting company Ladbrokes has grovellingly apologised for posting an 'ill-judged' tweet which mocked the Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark during his presenting of the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace. Alongside a screenshot of Clark during the event, Ladbrokes wrote: 'Dave Clark looks like he's caught the whiff of something nasty and wants to murder the person who's caused it.' Clark soon picked up on the tweet and later called the account out for its 'insensitive' comment by pointing out that he has Parkinson's. 'That'll be the chronic degenerative neurological condition that will eventually rob me of the ability to walk, talk and smile,' he replied, with great dignity. Clark was diagnosed with the disorder in 2011 and first spoke about the diagnosis publicly in 2013. Ladbrokes has since apologised to Clark, acknowledging its tweet was 'inappropriate' - no shit? - and adding that it would be donating to Parkinson's UK in response. Sadly, they did note state what action they intend to take against the worthless, sneering shat who posted the tweet in the first place.
FAUX News host and Trump cheerleader Laura Ingraham is concerned about the growing number of women who are coming forward to report incidents of sexual assault and harassment. She is, apparently, particularly worried that they might 'ruin' office Christmas parties this year. 'Is the #MeToo movement becoming a spoiler for this season's Christmas parties?' Ingraham asked Friday evening during a segment on The Ingraham Angle. Speaking with comedian Jimmy Failla, Ingraham said that she was 'worried' women who feel 'empowered' to report sexual misconduct might 'ruin' the holiday season by making office Christmas parties less festive.
Christmas is the season to make merry. But not for Father Christmas according to Scrooge doctors. Children should not leave sherry for Santa Claus this Christmas Eve because he is 'an overweight binge-drinker at risk of mental health problems,' the head of the Royal College of GPs has warned.Jolly old Saint Nicholas is famed for his rotund stomach, rosy cheeks and, according to The Night Before Christmas, keeps a pipe glued to his lips at all times. But Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the RCGP, claimed that his poor diet and lifestyle had left Santa at risk of host of debilitating conditions. It is likely, suggested Professor Stokes-Lampard, that Santa is suffering from alcoholism, work related stress, gout and sleep deprivation. He may even have contracted Lyme disease from spending too much time with his reindeers, which could be infested with disease-bearing ticks. And the pressure of working night-shift will also have exacted a heavy health toll. In fact, unless Santa gets a handle on his drinking, over-eating and lack of exercise, it could be the last year he will be dropping presents down the chimney. 'He's overweight and all of us do our bit to add to his obesity by leaving mince pies and cookies for him and milk or alcohol,' said Professor Stokes-Lampard told the Press Association. 'He may have gout, he may have alcoholism - there's a real bit of binge drinking going on. There are also issues with sleep deprivation, work stress, his mental health. Lyme disease is another potential one as reindeer can carry ticks.' But, Professor Stokes-Lampard offered advice on how Father Christmas could shed pounds by running between houses rather than taking a ride on his sleigh. She added: 'Although he sets a brilliant example of good behaviour and teaches the importance of giving rather than receiving, he could probably do more to encourage healthy lifestyles - something youngsters and adults alike can benefit from. Santa is almost certainly living with multiple morbidities which, if left untreated, can become increasingly distressing and debilitating. If Mister Claus was a patient at my practice, I would be encouraging him to adopt a vastly healthier diet and take more exercise in the new year. I'd also be keen to address his binge drinking, something which many people - perhaps even unknowingly - tend to do while celebrating Christmas.' She added: 'The human body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour, which means excessive consumption could make Santa drunk very quickly. This not only increases the likelihood of him slipping in the snow or mixing up important presents, but could also lead to long-term issues affecting his mood and mental health. In the meantime, I would recommend that Santa gives the sherry a miss this year - and maybe asks Rudolph if he can share his carrots.'
The Jólasveinarnir are figures from Icelandic folklore, portrayed as being mischievous pranksters, but who have in modern times also been depicted as taking on a more benevolent role similar to Santa Claus, dear blog reader. Their number has varied over time, but currently there are said to be thirteen. They put rewards or punishments into shoes placed by children on window sills during the thirteen nights before Christmas; leaving gifts for good children and potatoes for bad ones. So, to sum up then, if you're bad throughout the year, you get chips.
And now, dear blog reader ...
A snowball fight which was billed as the largest in the world was cancelled Saturday ... because of the snow. Six Flags Great Adventures in Ocean County, New Jersey, had planned a 'Snow Day' on Saturday, but instead the park closed as the region experienced the first snowfall of the year. As part of the Snow Day, the theme park was planning to break the world record for the largest snowball fight.
A man who is believed to have the world's largest penis has been registered as disabled because he can't wear uniforms or kneel. Mind you, this is according to the Metro, so it's probably a load of old shite. Roberto Esquivel Cabrera's huge throbbing dong measures eighteen inches and reaches his knees. The fifty five-year-old from Saltillo in Mexico, has dangled weights off his penis for his entire life to increase its size and there was talk of him going into the porn movie industry at one point. However, he has now receiving benefits to help him live while he tries to find a solution to his enormous problem. He said: 'I cannot wear a uniform like anybody in the companies and also I cannot get on my knees. I cannot run fast and so the companies think badly of me. They say that they will call me, but they never do.' Roberto first hit headlines when he smashed the unofficial world record held by US actor Jonah Falcon, whose penis was nine-and-a-half inches flaccid and thirteen-and-a-half inches when erect. Yet despite being super-endowed, Roberto's chopper has, allegedly, caused him 'a number of health problems,' including frequent urinary tract infections because not all his urine escapes his foreskin. Despite these issues, he refuses to have a penile reduction, as per his doctor's recommendation, as he wants his 'gift' to be recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records. He said: 'They don't recognise this record. I am famous because I have the biggest penis in the world. I am happy with my penis, I know nobody has the size I have.'
Deputies in Pinellas County say that an attorney was caught with his pants down while planning to record himself having sex with an inmate as part of a project to make a - presumbly tasteful and artistic - video called Girls In Jail. According to the sheriff's office, detectives 'received a tip off' last month that Andrew Spark was paying female inmates for sexual acts at the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater. They say Shauna Boselli, a twenty five-year-old inmate, claimed Spark visited her in jail, even though he is not her attorney. She claimed that Spark offered to put money in her commissary account in exchange for oral sex and bragged about meeting another inmate earlier that day. Boselli declined the alleged offer, but detectives later confirmed that Spark met privately with twenty eight-year-old inmate Antoinette Napolitano that same day. After investigating, deputies say the two had sex inside the Pinellas County Jail at least six times between June 2017 and December 2017. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said that Spark would begin his 'interview' by filming Napolitano in her jail uniform and ask her to narrate sexual fantasies before filming her performing sexual acts. When police received information that Spark was scheduled to arrive at the Pinellas County Jail to meet with Napolitano, detectives say they entered the attorney visitation room and caught him with Napolitano just as the two were about to begin a sexual act. Spark's penis was 'fully exposed' when detectives entered the room, the sheriff noted. Spark was very charged with exposure of sexual organs, introduction/possession of contraband into a county detention facility and soliciting for prostitution. Deputies say Spark did not speak to detectives and requested an attorney.
This year, the American Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was given a somewhat unusual Christmas: a box full of plop. The present was discovered after a neighbour spotted 'a suspicious package' near Mnuchin's Bel-Air home and alerted authorities, the Los Angeles Police Department told multiple media outlets. The package was wrapped in holiday-themed paper and was addressed to Mnuchin, police said. When authorities opened the package, they found a 'pretty good quantity' of horse manure, the LAPD told the New York Daily News. Authorities do not believe the package 'posed any serious threat. ' According to the Daily News, the LAPD said 'the Secret Service would be picking up the box of faeces on Sunday.' Which, one imagines, they will enjoy greatly.
A Pakistan International Airlines flight from Karachi to Gwadar was stopped from taking-off after a cat was found on board. According to Express News, the flight was ready to take off when the pilot issued a risk notification. During a search of the plane, a cat was found in the cockpit. As the staff tried to catch it, the terrified animal left the cockpit and went into the cabin. After several tries, the cabin staff was able to catch the cat after which it was taken off the plane.
David Huggins is a seventy four-year-old man living in Hoboken, New Jersey. Huggins claims to have lost his virginity to a female alien at the age of seventeen. 'This is the woman I never told anyone about,' he says in the trailer for a new documentary about his life. 'When I was seventeen I lost my virginity to a female extraterrestrial, and that's all I can say about it.' Which will, on presumes, make the documentary quite short. Huggins has, he claims, dedicated his life to proving his story is true. He paints pictures of the scenes he claims to be remembering on a daily basis. Huggins said: 'I was walking in the woods and I see a woman sitting under a tree – and she gets up and she starts coming towards me. I become very aroused sexually; I couldn't get my pants down fast enough. I fall back on the ground and I'm lying there and she's looking at me and I reach my climax, which was quite painful, actually; it was very intense. And then I'm looking in her eyes and I pass out. Virginity lost.' He continued: 'Why did these being choose me? I was living a perfectly normal life until I started remembering things. It was just image upon image upon image. It just wouldn't stop. I was so scared. Why do we have Christmas crackers and where do they come from? They just hit the ground running, straight towards me. And we floated up to some kind of craft. I said "you hurt me, you hurt me."' Brad Abrahams, director of Low & Saucers, said that he is 'inclined to believe' Huggins claims because of his 'matter-of-fact' tone. Abrahams first heard about Huggins' story while listening to a podcast.
A Florida man complaining about his dinner to police has landed himself in big trouble. The fifty one-year-old man was charged with misusing the emergency nine-one-one line after he reportedly called dispatchers twice to whinge about the size of the meal served to him at Crabby's Seafood Shack in Stuart. TCPalm.com reported that Nelson Agosto was very arrested on Monday after the second call. Police told the newspaper that he had whinged the clams he was eating were 'so small that he didn't want to pay for them.' In a nine-one-one call released by the police department, Agosto told the dispatcher, 'I ordered something and it was extremely so small.' The dispatcher told Agosto to call a non-emergency line, but he told police that he had forgotten the number. Agosto was not taken to jail after his arrest and is scheduled to appear in court in January.
Pueblo Police said that officers arrested twenty six-year-old Jeremy Aragon, the man caught on surveillance video robbing a Family Dollar store in Pueblo while his pants were in the process of falling down. The video of the robbery reportedly 'went viral' after a witness caught a man, later identified by police as Aragon, stealing speakers and took out her phone. 'I would have jumped in if I thought he was going to hurt her. I wanted to have my camera out there because police need evidence,' said Marcie Story, the woman who took the video. 'He took her ring too. He had pulled it off her finger and her hands were all bloody.' In a Facebook post, Pueblo Police thanked the public for their help in identifying Aragon, leading to his arrest.
A thirty six-year-old Staten Island man who claims to have had 'a lifelong phobia' of the Tasmanian Devil cartoon is accusing his wealthy father-in-law of 'making his life hell' by 'menacing' him with 'a bushy toupee' which, it is claimed, looks uncannily like the children's character. The situation has gotten so bad, supermarket mogul Yunes Doleh was arrested in November on felony charges for violating a restraining order by waving his 'Devil' hairpiece at son-in-law, Mazen Dayem, during a funeral. 'He walked in as I was already there,' Dayem told the New York Post. 'He removed his wig, made hand gestures. It's just a very large fear of mine, his damn wig. Him and his hair reminds me of The Tasmanian Devil hair. I truly have a large fear of wigs now. It's a genuine fear. I have nightmares.' Dayem claims that he has had a 'debilitating fear' of the Warner Bros character for as long as he can remember. 'It always made me very anxious,' he said. Court papers say that the situation ' which has been going on at least since 2013 - 'came to a head' at the funeral in Brooklyn last month, when Doleh 'stood in [Dayem's] direct line of sight and proceeded to grimace, snarl, gurn and gesticulate, which was made all the more menacing by the forward rake of [the father-in-law's] toupee.' Dayem's attorney, Robert Garson, confirmed that his client's 'unusual phobia' by comparing the hairpiece to an actual animal. 'Mazen is very scared of this guy who looks like he has a rabid badger on his head. It troubles him greatly,' Garson said. Doleh faces charges of criminal contempt and aggravated harassment for the 5 November incident. Two months earlier, Dayem got a restraining order against Dolah following 'a fracas' at a Staten Island eatery in which Doleh allegedly kicked Dayem's SUV. Doleh was charged with criminal mischief in Staten Island County court. He then sued his son-in-law for defamation after photos of his arrest from the parking-lot incident surfaced on social media - charges which Garson called baseless. 'It's a family dispute,' Doleh's attorney, Matthew Santamauro, said. 'I believe at the end of the day, the criminal cases will be dismissed and my client [will be shown to have done] nothing wrong.'
A woman accused of shoplifting from a Framingham store did not seem to be phased by the heavy police presence already there. Sixty-five uniformed police officers had filled a Target store for a 'Shop with a Cop' charity event with local children according to media reports. Melissa Allen walked into the store whilst the event was going on and spoke to some of the officers participating. According to police, she then filled a Rubbermaid bin with over one thousand dollars worth of items and tried to push her cart out of the store without paying. They said she was also carrying stolen jewellery. Allen was extremely arrested and charged with larceny, giving a false name to police and resisting arrest. Immediately following her arraignment on Wednesday, Allen was rushed to a hospital after she told police officers she swallowed bags of drugs. Prosecutors say she has criminal history and eight prior defaults. Her defence claimed she' is a 'victim of opiod crisis' and that she wants to go to rehab. She is currently living with a friend and has no money and has tried to go on job interviews, her lawyer added.
Southwest Airlines says it all started with a cigarette. A passenger was smoking in the bathroom somewhere between Portland and Sacramento on Saturday, according to the airline and had gone so far as to tamper with the smoke detector. A flight attendant barged in on the woman, according to KOIN 6. This at least got her out of the bathroom, but it did little else to improve the situation on Flight 2943. The woman ripped an oxygen mask out of the ceiling as crew forced her back to her seat, the station reported. 'I have a destination for myself!' the woman yelled as a passenger behind her looks up from his tablet and stares. 'I swear, if you don't land,' the woman says, as a flight attendant blocks her from the aisle, 'I will fucking kill everybody on this fucking plane!' A scuffle in the aisle ended the video. The woman had to be restrained by passengers and crew for the next half-hour. Meanwhile, the airline said, pilots called in an emergency and landed in Sacramento, more or less on schedule. Sheriff's deputies were waiting at the airport. They extremely arrested Valerie Curbelo, on a felony charge of making a death threat and jailed her on seventy five thousand dollars bail. So, it would appear that it's true what they say dear blog reader, smoking really is bad for you.
An Italian ambulance stretcher-bearer has been arrested on suspicion of injecting air into patients' veins to kill them and then, subsequently, 'selling' their bodies to a funeral parlour for three hundred Euros a stiff, in an operation with alleged links to the Sicilian mafia. Davide Garofalo from Sicily, is alleged to have killed at least three people with the injection method, and possibly up to fifty. In what has been dubbed the 'ambulance of death' investigation, Garofalo is accused of secretly injecting air as patients were transported, killing them by triggering an embolism - the obstruction of an artery, usually with an air bubble or clot of blood. Police are now analysing around fifty suspicious deaths which took place in the town of Biancavilla near Catania in Eastern Sicily in a four-year period ending last year. They are reported to be working on the theory that the stretcher bearer may have been working in cooperation with a local clan from Cosa Nostra. They believe Garofalo, a father of three, sent the dead patients to funeral businesses with links to organised crime, for which he was paid three hundred Euros per corpse. His alleged three victims were a fifty five-year-old man, an elderly man and an elderly woman. They were all reportedly terminal ill and the ambulance was taking them from the hospital to their homes so they could die in peace with their loved ones. Another three alleged accomplices are also being investigated by police. The gruesome practice emerged earlier this year from a television investigation, in which an alleged accomplice-turned-informant, a twenty eight-year-old local, said: 'People were not dying by the hand of God.' Raffaele Covetti, a senior police officer, said: 'This was a particularly cruel way for these people to die.' Before finding a job as ambulance crew, the suspect had worked on the slopes of Mount Etna, the hulking volcano overlooking Catania, picking oranges.
A Texas woman vacationing in Mexico decided to get a funny temporary tattoo with her family only to realise her new modification might be permanent. Reading 'No Ragrets' in giant letters across her chest, Ashley Burke says that it has been over a week since she got back from Cozumel and the Henna tattoo is still quite visible on her skin. 'Henna is not black. Never has been black, never will be black,' Burke told KHOU. 'If anyone is ever offering you black henna temporary tattoos, it can have lasting effects. Just protect your family and research everything.'
Blanca Velasco pleaded very guilty to three charges incurred due to skipping out on bar tabs, including one incident where she allegedly faked a seizure to avoid paying. She was sentenced to three consecutive sentences of twenty one days for each separate incident - a total of sixty three days in The Big House minus time already served—during Whitecourt Provincial Court on 12 December. Crown attorney Phil Lefeuvre said that Velasco incurred a fifteen hundred and seventy five dollar tab purchasing alcohol. She then appeared to have a seizure but a doctor later stated that one did not occur. 'She does have a lengthy record,' Lefeuvre added. Defence attorney Crystal McMahon said that the facts were admitted and submitted a very guilty plea on behalf of Velasco. McMahon explained that Velasco is currently unemployed, on social assistance and living in Grande Prairie. She added that Velasco is also suffering from 'a number of afflictions,' such as PTSD and alcoholism. However, presiding Judge John Higgerty was having none of it and said these kinds of offences take money from waiting staff. 'I take a very dim view of these things,' Higgerty said. 'That could be a number of hours of their wage disappear[ing] when she walks out that door.'
Authorities say that a Northern California man tried to burglarise a business by entering through the chimney only to become stuck. Police in the Sacramento-area city of Citrus Heights said on Friday that thirty two -year-old Jesse Berube was uninjured but now faces one count of burglary. According to police, Berube slid down the chimney of the business on Wednesday and then found himself lodged inside. He was able to reach his cellphone and dial nine-one-one for help. The Sacramento Fire Department responded and used 'special equipment' to extricate him. Police called Berube a 'criminal Santa' who 'does not have the same skills as the real deal.'
A twenty two-year-old Ohio student is accused of offering Sprite and chicken Alfredo in hopes of having sex with a fifteen-year-old boy, reports say. Albert Maruna was extremely arrested by police on Tuesday when he arrived at an arranged meeting place in Austintown, WKBN Channel 27 reports. Police were waiting because an undercover Austintown officer had been pretending to be the teen boy. When police arrested Maruna, he had with him an iPhone, a MAC book, three zip drives, a bottle of lubrication, Vaseline lotion, two bottles of Sprite and chicken Alfredo in a Tupperware container, WFMJ reports. The undercover officer began communicating with Maruna after creating a profile on a dating app. Although the officer claimed to be fifteen, Maruna responded, 'Age is a number. I don't believe in age. I'm okay if you [sic] okay with me.' Maruna is accused of sending explicit message and several nude pictures of himself. Police reportedly found other graphic conversations and nude photos on his phone from other people and are trying to determine their age, WFMJ reports. Police say he told investigators that he 'did not believe' having sex with a fifteen-year-old is wrong. But, it is.
A cheese shop which shut down at the start of the month with mountains of cheese still inside is now reported to be 'stinking up a block' of New York City. The store, called East Village Cheese, was no-frills fromage store which sold the usual classics along with some more exotic options. That was, until two weeks ago - when the owner disappeared into thin air. According to Susan, an employee at East Village Hats, which occupies the space next door to the cheese shop, ''they just didn't come back the next day.' But, as the three-week mark inches closer, it appears the owners aren't planning on returning at all and the cheese smell is threatening to turn into a problem. Susan told the media that she 'doesn't know what happened beyond that they didn't pay their rent and electricity,' but added that the smell is 'already seeping through into the shop. You can smell things through the walls and ceilings. Because we are right next door and the walls are so thin, the smell is getting stronger.'
A man reportedly defecating from a freight rail bridge in Paterson,New Jersey was forced into the Passaic River by an oncoming train on Monday evening. But, emergency workers fished the screaming victim out of the water and took him to the hospital for treatment, police said. A spokesperson for New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway confirmed that one of its trains 'hit someone' but they were unable to provide any further details about the incident. An employee on the relatively slow-moving train saw the man squatting on the tracks on a bridge with his pants down around his ankles and attempted to stop the train before striking him, authorities said. Police reports from the scene were 'not clear' on whether the man jumped into the river to avoid getting hit or if he was knocked into the Passaic by the train. Paterson Fire Department Deputy Chief Pablo Del Valle said a firefighter did sustain injuries to his leg during the rescue but was 'unsure' as to how serious the injuries were.
A pensioner has appeared at court in Grimsby after being caught with indecent images of children when he took his phone to a store to complain it wouldn't access websites when he spoke the words 'nude children' into it. A 'shocked' phone-shop salesman alerted the manager after the 'brazen' pensioner gave him the bizarre 'demonstration' of what was wrong with the phone. The pensioner repeated the spoken command 'nude children' in front of the manager, a court heard. Frederick Cunningham, seventy nine, admitted three offences of making indecent photographs of children and another of possessing extreme pornography 'involving a horse.' Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Cunningham went in to a Carphone Warehouse store in Scunthorpe on 23 December last year and 'reported a problem' with his mobile phone. He said it would not search for or access some websites. He gave a demonstration to a 'shocked' customer adviser. The phone was seized and the police were informed. Cunningham was arrested on Boxing Day and four other phones were obtained. Evans said that the reason the phone would not have carried out the search wanted by Cunningham was because the images would be on the 'dark web' and not mainstream search engines. 'One would have to access the dark web, which is not covered by main servers,' said Evans. 'If they are legitimate businesses, they don't have, or shouldn't have, such material.' Cunningham had convictions for over seventy previous offences, including fourteen for 'sexual matters' and his convictions stretched back sixty years. Ashleigh Metcalfe, mitigating, said that Cunningham made admissions and had 'kept himself out of bother' for some time. He was in poor health, had extremely poor eyesight and was registered as half-blind. Which would appear to prove that what your mother told you was correct about looking at that sort of thing. Judge Mark Bury said: 'You took in a phone that was having problems and you, in front of a member of staff, used the words "nude children" in a voice application. Hardly surprising that the police were called and you were arrested.' Cunningham was 'brazen enough' to go into the store but later claimed that the images must already have been on the phone because he had a sideline buying and selling phones, said Judge Bury. Cunningham was jailed for eight months.
An alleged 'birthday prank' landed two tourists from Minnesota behind bars. Katie Mager and Ryan Reiersgaard were very arrested after calling nine-one-one to report a fake robbery in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reported. According to prosecutors, Mager and Reiersgaard told Chicago police that three men robbed them at knifepoint, stealing a twelve thousand dollar engagement ring, a three thousand dollar Louis Vuitton suitcase, a Burberry purse, a laptop, a wallet, an iPad Mini and a three hundred buks suitcase. The pair, who said they were on North Columbus Drive when they were robbed, claimed that five thousand dollars in cash was also stolen. Mager and Reiersgaard's story quickly fell apart, however, when officers started questioning the pair about the robbery. According to police, Mager said that she could recognise one of their alleged attackers because he 'looked like a milk-dud or Fat Albert' and smelled like marijuana, but couldn't explain why she and Reiersgaard couldn't recall details about the items which were allegedly taken. Mager told authorities that she and Reiersgaard were 'trying to find their hotel' but 'got lost' while following the GPS. She also said she was 'supposed to meet a friend' in Evanston for a pizza, but could not remember the name of the restaurant. When she and Reiersgaard couldn't find the hotel, she told police that they parked their rental car, grabbed their luggage and started walking. Mager said that she was 'too stressed' to remember why they left their car and started walking. Police also found the whole story suspicious, particularly that the pair didn't try to locate their stolen Apple items by simply tracking them. Footage from the O'Hare International Airport in Illinois showed Mager and Reiersgaard arriving from Minneapolis without any luggage. The pair eventually confessed to police that the robbery never happened and they were just trying to 'have some fun' while celebrating Reiersgaard's birthday. Mager apologised to police saying she 'made a mistake, had bad friends and is sorry,' the Chicago Tribune reports. The pair were each charged with a felony disorderly conduct relating to the false report of a crime and are currently being held on a ten thousand dollars bond.
A Connecticut man was sentenced to a year in prison this week after telling authorities that he had sex with his dead girlfriend's corpse. Aaron Gaser, of Willimantic, told police in January that he decided to have sex with his girlfriend 'in attempt to wake her up' after finding her unresponsive with heroin needles in her lap, the Hartford Courant reported. Gaser claimed he believed having sex with the body 'might revive her' because his girlfriend hated sleeping with him, according to an arrest warrant. The report states that Gaser also tied the victim's ankles and wrists to the bedposts because it was 'a fetish of his.' After he finished, Gaser put the victim's pants back on and called a neighbour, who happened to be a former paramedic. She believed the body had been dead for some hours and an autopsy later confirmed that the woman was in fact dead when Gaser had sex with her, the paper reported. Gaser pleaded very guilty to fourth-degree sexual assault of a corpse.
A Nigerian couple, identified as Chigozie and Isioma Ezeofor have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command. This was after a neighbour alerted the Police for violating their househelp. The couple who were said to be living in Lagos are currently being interrogated. The husband, Chigozie was accused of constantly trying to penetrate a young girl, identified as Blessing Joseph. He would attempt sexual penetration on her up the anus, report says. The wife, Isioma is accused of beating up the girl 'at the slightest provocation.' She was arrested after a neighbour alerted the police to report her for pouring hot water on the girl.
A woman has been jailed for four years after her dog ran into a playground and attacked twelve children. Claire Neal had allowed her Staffordshire bull terrier, Marley, to escape from her home in Blyth before the attack reports the Gruniad. She had previously denied owning a dog that was dangerously out of control, claiming that the animal belonged to the courts, as there was a destruction order in place on it after two previous attacks on children. But after a trial was aborted part way through, she changed her plea to very guilty shortly before a second trial commenced. The prosecutor, Fiona Clancy, told Newcastle crown court that on 18 May 2016 the dog had been let into the front garden with no muzzle or collar and it squeezed under the front gate. A teenage girl came across it in the street when she was playing with friends and had wanted to take him home so her mother could contact the RSPCA. But the dog 'became vicious' as they passed the park in Burns Avenue, prompting neighbours to rush from their homes to help. The court heard how the attack unfolded, with the dog chasing children, jumping on them as they tried to flee and pinning them on the ground. Statements from the children were read out in court, with one girl saying she fainted after the dog closed its jaws on her. Another child said he saw a girl being dragged by the dog while screaming. One parent said their child's leg 'looked like Swiss cheese,' with puncture wounds and a gash. Jailing Neal for four years, the judge, Sarah Mallett, said that it was 'a sustained and repeated attack' and that Neal's actions were 'utterly irresponsible on every level.' She said Neal had 'failed to put in place' any control measures and the dog had been trained to be aggressive by Neal's partner. 'It was ridiculous to suggest Marley was not your dog. You were the owner and responsible for her at all times,' the judge said. 'It is clear from these descriptions there was serious injuries but it is also clear there was significant psychological harm.' She poured scorn on the argument that it had not actually been Neal's dog, saying it was her fault not that of the police or the animal. Neal was jailed for owning a dog that was dangerously out of control and banned for life from owning a dog. The dog was destroyed after the incident.
Heather North, the actress who was the voice of Daphne in Scooby-Doo for many years, has died at the age of seventy one. According to reports, she died at her Los Angeles home on 30 November after a long illness. North was the second actress to voice the danger-prone Daphne Blake in the Scooby Doo, Where Are You! TV series, making her debut in 1970. The California native continued voicing the role in various spin-offs until 2003. They included The New Scooby-Doo Movies of the early 1970s, The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour, the short-lived Scooby-Doo & Scrappy-Doo series and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries which were first broadcast in 1984. North's other roles included Kurt Russell's girlfriend in Disney's The Barefoot Executive and Sandy Horton in Days Of Our Lives. It was that role which led to her meeting producer Wes Kenney, to whom she was married from 1971 until his death in 2015. She also appeared in episodes of Gidget, Paradise Bay, The Fugitive, The Monkees, Green Acres, Ironside, The Wonderful World Of Disney and Captain Caveman & The Teen Angels. She was also briefly a regular, early in her career, on the quiz show The Hollywood Squares. Stefanianna Christopherson was the first actress to voice Daphne, the role Sarah Michelle Gellar played in the 2002 live-action film. Badly. Heather's survivors include her son, Kevin and daughter-in-law Stephanie; her stepdaughter Nina and her husband Brent; her stepson Wes and his wife Leslie and granddaughter Jocelyn. Another stepdaughter, Kara, recently died.
So, The Last Jedi then, dear blog reader? Having found himself with an unexpected free-day last Thursday, yer actual Keith Telly Topping went and paid a small fortune to go a see the latest Star Wars movie at The Gate. A few random thoughts, then: Firstly, the length. Just in case you didn't know, dear blog reader, it's long. Really, really long. Stupidly, completely bloody unnecessarily long. Over two-and-a-half hours long. For once this blogger's ageing and weakened bladder did manage to let him sit though an entire two-hours-plus movie without nagging Keith Telly Topping to get up and empty it (which was a blessing given that he was stuck in the middle of a row and would have had to disturb people to get out and back in again). But, nevertheless, for at least the last thirty minutes, Keith Telly Topping was fidgeting like mad as his arse had gone completely numb by that point and, as a consequence, that last quarter of the movie was rather spoiled for him as he couldn't concentrate on it without thinking 'when is this feking thing going to end?' about every five minutes. They could, easily, have shaved half-an-hour or more off that and it would, probably, have been a - slightly - better movie. That said, this blogger did enjoy it. The film it most reminded Keith Telly Topping of was The Empire Strikes Back which was both a good thing (Empire remains probably the best Star Wars movie of the lot even after all these years) but, also, a bad thing (since The Last Jedi is the second part of a trilogy, instead of having a beginning, a middle and an end, it has a middle, another middle and yet more middle). Don't get me wrong, although Keith Telly Topping slightly preferred The Force Awakens, he thought The Last Jedi was a very good (if overlong) movie; most of the reviews this blooger has seen from both friends and online have been positive (Keith Telly Topping was really surprised when his mate Christian expressed a few days ago how much he had not enjoyed it since that was, genuinely, the first negative review this blogger had seen of it. He was also rather taken aback when reading a piece on BBC News which called it 'the most divisive film ever.' Maybe that's just a case of Keith Telly Topping reading all the good reviews and missing all the bad ones.) Overall, then, not as good as IV, V and VII, better than I, II and III, roughly on a par with VI. But young Daisy was great in it!

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