Monday, July 09, 2018

Coming

The website for the agents Berlin Associates appears to confirm that their client Edel McDonnell will be editing this year's 'Christmas Special' of Doctor Who. Which is interesting since this would seem to be the first direct confirmation that there is actually going to be a 2018 Doctor Who Christmas episode. (Most people suspected that there probably would be but, thus far, actual details about the contents of series eleven have been remarkably few and far between. 'Leaks' notwithstanding.) Edel previously worked on last year's episodes The Empress Of Mars and The Lie Of The Land as well as the - extremely cancelled - spin-off Class in a CV which also includes Broadchurch, The Tunnel, Fearless and Moone Boy. The website also suggests that the episode will be directed by Wayne Yip.
The Sun reports that national heartthrob David Tennant will be one of the guests stars to appear with The Muppets at the O2 Arena in London later this month. David will reportedly perform in a Pigs In Space sketch. David's co-star in Voyage Of The Damned, yer actual Kylie Minogue, will also appear with The Muppets on Friday 13 July. These will be The Muppets first live shows ­outside the US. The Sun isn't clear about which shows David will appear at but The Muppets are performing at the O2 Arena at 8pm on Friday 13 July and at 2pm and at 8pm on Saturday 14 July. The comedian Kevin Bishop is also appearing and the band Steps (are they still going?) will perform on the Saturday night. So, that'll, obviously, be unmissable.
Meanwhile, here's a picture of David wearing his father-in-law's old Doctor Who costume. Which is both incredibly cool and also, more than slightly weird all at the same time.
Mind you, if you think that's more than slightly weird, what about a photo of Mister Pertwee - in the week of what would have been his ninety ninth birthday - shaking hands with That There Roy Wood out of The Wizzard Group?
Or, indeed, a photo of Mister Pertwee on stage with the late, great Keith Moon and odious little Communist Bill Oddie. Now that's proper more than slightly weird.
If you're wondering, these images come from a December 1973 Lou Reizner stage production of Tommy at The Rainbow Theatre in London. Mister Pertwee, of course, played the part of The Doctor - obviously - and sang 'Go To The Mirror' (the role was played by Jack Nicholson in Ken Russell's later movie adaptation). And, here's Mister Pertwee with another national treasure, the late Viv Stanshall from the same production.
This blogger wishes to draw your attention, dear blog reader, to a superb piece by Michael Seely at the always excellent We Are Cult website, When The Goodies Met Orson Welles about the unlikely collaboration between Welles and Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor in 1969 on a couple of, sadly unfinished, short films - most notably One Man Band.
And, speaking of The Goodies, the next time that anyone tries to convinced you that the BBC News website is not - tragically - becoming a victim of crass Twenty First Century 'dumbing down', please point them in the direction of this - not entirely uninteresting, let it be said - article, What happens if someone catches the Loch Ness Monster? Check out one of the images chosen to illustrate the piece. And the accompanying caption. This is 'news' for the Under Fives, presumably?
And now, dear blog reader ... Greatest! Picture! Ever!
For those struggling with the joke, this is a story from late last year which only came to this blogger's attention this week; a musical instrument shop in Brampton in Cumbria sadly suffered from an overnight visit by some extremely naughty tea-leaves who made off with forty grand's worth of gear. The local paper, the Cumbria News & Star reported the theft and the sub-editor used his creativity to reference the band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in the headline. Someone alerted the band's official Twitter site and OMD, at the time on tour in the UK and on their way North to a gig in Glasgow, made a quick detour to Carlisle and picked up a copy of the paper. Though, this blogger feels it's the fact that the great Andy McCluskey is also holding a packet of jelly babies and some caramel wafers (which, one presumes, he was about to buy and, subsequently, consume) that makes it art.
So, anyway, England are in the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990. This blogger will just repeat that, dear blog reader, since he is also having difficulty in processing this information. England are in the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1990 - thanks to Harry Maguire and Dele Alli headers against Sweden on Saturday. Thus, if one Harry doesn't get you, another one, seemingly, will. The majority of the country who expressed an interest in these shenanigans, promptly went completely bloody mental! (As a side note, this blogger had, briefly, thought about popping into Th' Toon and watching the game in Times Square on one of the big screens. If these pictures are anything to go by, he's beyond glad he stayed at home to watch the game as the dry-cleaning bill might have been a bit prohibitive!) Gareth Southgate's side will now face Croatia on Wednesday in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for a place in next Sunday's final. Or, failing that, a place in Saturday's third/fourth place play-off. So, just to correct the frequently-voiced assertion that 'England's coming home' - not yet they're not. They're going to be in Moscow for at least another week. Maguire - who, like Jordan Henderson and Kieran Trippier, was magnificent throughout - rose highest to thump home Ashley Young's first-half cross, the eighth of England's ten goals at this World Cup to come from a set-piece. Alli was unmarked to turn home Jesse Lingard's cross against a limited, but hard-working Sweden in Samara. England's keeper Jordan Pickford pulled off three fantastic saves in the second-half to keep Sweden out - first turning away a Marcus Berg header, then producing a low stop from Viktor Claesson and finally tipping Berg's shot over the bar. The Three Lions reached the last four for only the third time in World Cup history. They beat Portugal at Wembley in 1966 and then, of course, went on to win their home tournament but lost to West Germany on penalties in 1990 - before seventeen of the current twenty three man squad were even born. Ah, Gazza's tears. Indelible image, isn't it? (Full details of the quarter finals and other assorted World Cup-related malarkey can be found, as usual, at Keith Telly Topping's World Cup Trivia Blog, the latest update being this one.)
Meanwhile, Great Moments of the World Cup. Number seven - David Baddiel and Frank Skinner open their latest royalty statement!
This blogger remains to be convinced that England will actually get to the World Cup final, much less win the damn thing (they have to get past a very tough Croatia side first, then worry about France or Belgium if that happens). But there would, undeniably, be a certain element of karma involved in the highly unlikely event that England were to win it. Given the circumstances of Russia being awarded the job of hosting the 2018 tournament in the first place in a FIFA process which was not so much bent as U-shaped and involving a criminally corrupt bunch of hypocritical gangsters and appeasers of dictators willing to get into bed with any old Vladimir if the bung was big enough. Just, you know, for a bit of context.
Shortly after England's victory, ITV News reported that 'thirty million people' had been watching the BBC's live coverage of the England versus Sweden match. One is not entirely sure where they got that particular figure from given that the overnights and the iPlayer streaming figures would not be available until the next day and the consolidated '+7' ratings for another week after that but ... it was probably fair to say that 'lots' of people were, indeed, watching these goings-on. One would hope that a decent majority of them also caught the 'ten series of Doctor Who on iPlayer' trailer at the end!
In actual fact, as expected, the ITV News 'figure' (for which read 'total guess') was out by about ten million. England's decisive World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden was watched by nearly twenty million viewers on BBC1, according to overnight figures - although that does not take into account the many thousands who were watching on pubs and on big screens at various events around the country. An average of 15.8 million watched the whole match and a peak audience of 19.9 million viewers were watching as the match ended. It was also live-streamed online by 3.8 million people, making it the BBC's highest online-viewed live programme ever (despite reports that demand had caused iPlayer to crash towards the end of the match). The broadcast received an eighty nine per cent share of the available TV audience. The figures were lower than the 23.6 million who tuned-in for England's penalty shootout with Colombia earlier this week although, that was an evening kick-off. Match Of The Day host - and, the last man to score in a World Cup semi-final for England - yer actual Gary Lineker said: 'Humongous figures again for England. Football's coming to homes everywhere.' Oh, very good, Gary. Saw what you did there! The last quarter-final - between Russia and Croatia - was seen by an overnight average audience of 7.8 million viewers on ITV. The match -which Croatia won on penalties after Russia dramatically equalised in extra time - had a peak audience of 13.7 million during the shootout.
According to some Middle Class hippy Communist louse of no importance at the Independent, 'BBC viewers castigate Martin Keown after he tells people reading books during World Cup match to "get a life."' Which, as usual when the words 'BBC viewers' are used in any report, actually means 'a couple of dozen sneering malcontents on social media.' Ah, professional offence-takers, what would we do without them? The BBC has not commented upon the 'inevitable social media storm' although if they did, one would very much hope such a response would include the words 'oh, grow-the-fuck-up.' Of course, the BBC would never say that as they are far too polite to suggest any such thing. But, this blogger isn't.
Wor Geet Canny Alan Shearer seems to be having a great time out in Russia with the BBC team, as this clip of him doing a bit of Lionel Ritchie at dinner - and subsequently posted online by his amused colleagues - proves!
After England secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals, it was safe to say that World Cup fever was sweeping the country. Some of it, perhaps, more than a touch over-enthusiastic. On Sunday morning, Andrew Marr - who is, of course, Scottish - paid his own subtle tribute to England manager Gareth Southgate by wearing a version of Southgate's now-trademark waistcoat to present The Andrew Marr Show.
Game Of Thrones' Sophie Turner has 'reflected' on a tattoo that had everyone thinking she had spoiled the ending of the popular adult fantasy drama. Last month, Sophie's new tattoo featuring a dire wolf and the words 'the pack survives' was revealed on Instagram, somehow leading fans to jump to the conclusion that she had revealed the remaining Starks all survive series eight. The actress quickly confirmed that this wasn't the case and the quote from the last series is 'just a moral I like to live by.' Now she has told the Digital Spy website that it probably 'wasn't the best idea' to reveal her tat in the first place. 'I remember, a few years ago, I dyed my hair blonde for another role that I was doing. Everyone thought I was a Targaryen all of a sudden. So, they've used a couple of the slightest things [to form fan theories]. But it's actually really exciting. It keeps the excitement going, and it keeps people guessing,' she explained. 'Game Of Thrones is all about theories. So the more we can conjure up, the better it is. The more exciting it makes it, the more unpredictable it makes it. But yeah, definitely that tattoo was probably not a good idea, because everyone thought that I'd given away the end. But I haven't. It's a quote from last season.'
Maisie Williams has become the latest cast member to leave Game Of Thrones behind as the actress revealed that she had wrapped filming on her scenes for the eighth and final series. Taking to Instagram to bid goodbye to the hit HBO show, Maisie shared a picture of some very bloody shoes. 'Goodbye Belfast, goodbye Arya, goodbye Game Of Thrones,' Williams captioned the post. 'What a joy I've had. Here's to the adventures to come.' She also accompanied the post with the captions 'last woman standing' and 'barely.'
'Everything begins and ends at exactly the right time and place.' There is a very good piece by the i's Sarah Hughes on the BBC's forthcoming six-part adaptation of Picnic At Hanging Rock. It begins with Sarah voicing what could have been exactly this blogger's own thoughts on hearing about the project: 'When the news first broke of a television remake of Picnic At Hanging Rock, my initial thought was why? Both Joan Lindsay's 1967 chiller of a novel and Peter Weir's haunting 1975 film are so perfect that revisiting the story of the mysterious disappearance of a group of Victorian schoolgirls on a Saint Valentine's Day picnic seemed redundant. How could any TV series, even one starring the reliably watchable Natalie Dormer, possibly complete with either Lindsay's unnerving original story, with its notoriously ambiguous ending (Lindsay's publisher famously told her to drop a final chapter attempting to explain the fate of the missing girls), or Weir's shimmering vision in which a dark and somehow central truth seems to hover perpetually just out of sight?' Having read the piece, however and seen the first trailer, this blogger is slightly more optimistic that the TV version - adapted into six episodes by Beatrix Christian - will be worthy of our attention. 'Where the film depicts the severe headmistress as a symbol of repression, her age and rigidity deliberately contrasted against the youthful vitality of the missing girls, in the TV series Dormer's Hester is not much older than her charges, making the struggle for power between her and the girls' de facto leader Miranda less about the battle between old world and the new and more about the position of women in Victorian times,' writes Hughes. 'The Canadian director Larysa Kondracki, who cut her television teeth on The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul, also ratchets up the horror elements, ensuring that the characters appear as much menaced by the landscape as entranced by it, while suggesting that there has always been something very wrong at Mrs Appleyard's school, an underlying unease that the fateful picnic brings swimming to the surface.' Okay, sold!
Speaking of remakes, following in the wake of Doctor Who, The Avengers and Blake's 7, ITV's classic 1960s espionage thriller Callan is the latest TV series to be revisited on audio by Big Finish. The series, created by one of this blogger's heroes the South Shields-born author James Mitchell, was originally broadcast from 1967 to 1972 and starred the late Edward Woodward as David Callan, an MI5 agent and assassin. Big Finish's new audio plays will revisit Callan's murky world, with The Crown actor Ben Miles replacing Woodward and From The North favourite Frank Skinner playing his informer the small-time thief Lonely, the role played in the original TV series by Russell Hunter. 'They're sort of a rebirth of the original,' says Miles. 'I remember the original Callan TV shows and the scripts we have now certainly ring very true. They sound very authentic. It's like they're lifted verbatim from a screenplay of an episode. Considering they're new stories based on the original characters, they ring incredibly true in terms of the tone, the characters, the language used, the terminology. It's very succinct, the dialogue's really sharp and it's really vivid. Afterwards, I can always sort of picture where the scenes took place, as if I've done a day's filming. It translates incredibly well to audio, I think. It's going to be really atmospheric.' Despite being recorded at the Big Finish studios over three days in December 2017, the first release - Callan: Volume One - aims to recapture the feel of the period in which the original TV episodes were produced. 'It's got that period feel, like Mad Men,' Frank Skinner said. 'I think there's been a distinct attempt to recapture that sort of "dirty 1960s drama" feel. I've been acting in black-and-white all day!' It's a particular atmosphere that the two leads think helps set this Callan apart from modern spy thrillers. 'It's very true to its era,' suggests Miles. 'It's about characters, it's not about very intricate plots, and there's no fantastical idea involved. It's kind of local espionage within quite a contained world, with quite a small set of characters. Those key characters are very well drawn, interesting, oddball, believable so it's quite refreshing in that sense.' 'It's got the feeling that there's always something dark and dodgy going on,' Skinner adds. 'And we don't know about it, 'cos we live in our lovely cloud cuckoo world. These blokes are the ones doing the dirty work.'
In Willow and Tara, Buffy The Vampire Slayer had a groundbreaking relationship for its time. Tara, played by Amber Benson, was introduced midway through the fourth series of the popular Telefantasy drama and became a hugely popular character with fans. After forty odd episodes on the show, however, she was extremely killed off towards the back-end of series six, shot by a stray bullet. The moment set up the 'Dark Willow' storyline which dominated the rest of that series. Marti Noxon, the executive producer for Buffy's final two seasons and currently behind Dietland and HBO's Sharp Objects adaptation, commented on Tara's death as well as the sixth series of Buffy generally, admitting that she has some regrets. 'There were parts of season six where I feel we went too far,' she told Vulture. 'We pushed into some categories that almost felt sadistic and that Buffy was volunteering for things that were beyond just "bad choices" and were almost irresponsible for the character. That may have to do with my own history! The personal, right? It's personal. And, I think that killing Tara was – in retrospect, of all the people, did she have to die?'
Three people have been charged with kidnapping an actress from the Halloween film series, along with another actor - holding the latter for ransom. Two men and one woman have been charged with seventeen felony counts, including kidnapping and assault with a firearm. They are accused of kidnapping the actor Joseph Capone and Daisy McCrackin - who appeared in 2002's Halloween: Resurrection - from the actress's Los Angeles home. Capone is alleged to have been held captive for thirty hours without food. According to information released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, the drama began on 3 May 2017. The defendants - identified as Keith Andre Stewart, Johntae Jones and Amber Neal - are accused of going to McCrackin's home in South Los Angeles. There, Stewart allegedly struck Capone repeatedly with a firearm. The pair were then alleged to have been taken to Jones's home with black hoods over their heads. Official documents say that Capone was stripped naked and tied up in a bathtub, while McCrackin was driven to several banks, in her own car and told to provide at least ten thousand dollars for the release of her friend. According to the official news release, McCrackin was able to escape and alert police after being driven back to her home. Footage of one of the defendants being very arrested on Monday was captured on video and posted on Twitter. The defendants are expected to appear in court on 23 July for a pre-trial hearing. All three face life in prison if convicted. McCrackin also appeared in 2016 horror film She Rises and played the daughter of a murder victim in a 2003 episode of Cold Case.
A controversial overhaul of the EU's copyright law that sparked a fierce debate between Internet giants and content creators has been rejected. The proposed rules would have put more responsibility on websites to check for copyright infringements and forced platforms to pay for linking to news. A slew of high-profile musicians had backed the change, arguing that websites had 'exploited' their content. But opponents said that the rules would 'stifle Internet freedom and creativity.' The move was intended to bring the EU's copyright laws in line with the digital age, but led to protests from websites and much debate before it was rejected by a margin of three hundred and eighteen to two hundred and seventy eight in the European Parliament on Thursday. The proposed legislation - known as The Copyright Directive - was an attempt by the EU to modernise its copyright laws, but it contained two highly-contested parts. The first of these, Article Eleven, was intended to protect newspapers and other outlets from Internet giants like Google and Facebook using their material without payment. But it was branded 'a link tax' by opponents who feared that it 'could lead to problems' with sentence fragments being used to link to other news outlets (like this one, for instance). Article thirteen was the other controversial part. It put a greater responsibility on websites to enforce copyright laws and would have meant that any online platform which allowed users to post text, images, sounds or code would need a way to assess and filter content. The most common way to do this is by using an automated copyright system, but they are expensive. The one YouTube uses cost over fifty million knicker, so critics were worried that similar filters would need to be introduced to every website if Article thirteen became law. There were also concerns that these copyright filters could effectively ban things like memes and remixes which use some form of copyrighted material. The combined clout of Sir Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Placido Domingo and David Guetta wasn't enough to persuade MEPs to make sweeping changes to copyright law. They were among thirteen hundred musicians who urged politicians to enact a law forcing sites like YouTube and Facebook to use filters that would stop users illegally uploading their music. Musicians were being 'cheated' out of money, they argued, even though websites were making huge profits off their work. Critics said the laws would 'stifle creativity' - with Creative Commons chief Ryan Merkley observing that The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo for the 1960s, you might've heard of them) would have been prevented from performing cover versions under the proposed rules. In the end, MEPs decided the changes needed more debate and sent the proposals back to the Commission. The two sides will undoubtedly step up their campaigns in the meantime. Opponents of the Copyright Directive celebrated the news that MEPs had rejected it. Julia Reda, a Pirate Party MEP who had campaigned against the changes, tweeted: 'Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board.' Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales told the BBC that he hoped the music industry could find a way to compromise before the September debate. 'Don't think about filtering everything everyone uploads to the Internet. That's a pipe-dream but you are never going to get that,' he said. Instead, he added, they should 'look to renegotiating deals' with platforms such as YouTube to get 'fairer remuneration.'
Elvis Costello has revealed he was recently diagnosed with 'a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy' and has cancelled tour dates while he recovers from the subsequent treatment. Writing on his website, the singer-songwriter said: 'Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, "You should start playing the Lotto." He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery.' The message is the first time Costello has revealed he has cancer. He added: 'I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead.' Having been told he would need three to four weeks of recovery, Costello began the tour and played a number of concerts across Europe. But, he has been advised to cancel the remaining dates by his doctor. 'The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength,' Costello said, adding apologies to fans who bought tickets for the cancelled concerts, who are told they should go to 'point of purchase' for refunds. He alluded to the nature of his cancer - which is not specifically named - by addressing his male fans: 'Gentleman [sic], do talk to your friends - you'll find you are not alone - seek your doctor's advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.' Elvis is one of the UK's most celebrated songwriters - and a particular favourite of this blogger - starting out in the late 1970s by channelling the energy of punk into classic, melodic songcraft and going on to define the 'new wave' sound. As well as releasing twenty four solo LPs, he has collaborated with figures including Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint and hip-hop band The Roots. In his statement he also announced 'a magnificent new record of which we are truly proud,' recorded with his current band The Imposters and planned for release in October. His previous CD with the band was 2008's Momofuku and it will be Costello's first new music since his Roots collaboration, Wise Up Ghost, in 2013. Earlier this year, though, marked the first time versions of songs Costello recorded with Paul McCartney had been heard. These include demos they worked on for McCartney's 1989 solo LP Flowers In The Dirt, some of which Costello later recorded himself. 'In the continuity of Paul McCartney collaborators,' Costello said on their release, 'I'm the person that stands between Michael Jackson and Kanye West and Rihanna. You just didn't know that about me. And that's a pop fact with which you can probably win a bet.'
From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East to Southern California, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports the heat is to blame for at least fifty four deaths in Southern Quebec, mostly in and near Montreal, which endured exceptionally record high temperatures. In Northern Siberia, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean - where weather observations are scarce - model analyses showed temperatures soaring forty degrees above normal on 5 July, to over ninety degrees. 'It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I've ever seen for so far North,' wrote meteorologist Nick Humphrey. On Thursday, Africa may have witnessed its hottest temperature ever reliably measured. Ouargla in Algeria soared to 124.3 degrees (51.3 Celsius). If verified, it would surpass Africa's previous highest temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set in July 1961, in Morocco. No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world. Excessive heat has blow-torched the British Isles all week. The stifling heat caused roads and roofs to buckle, the Weather Channel reported and resulted in multiple all-time record highs. Not least, in this blogger's gaff.
A man had to be rescued by firefighters after he became stuck in melted tarmac. The unidentified twenty four-year-old dialled nine-nine-nine after his left leg sank 'thigh deep' into the road on a back lane in the Heaton area of Newcastle, leaving him unable to move. Fire officers had to dig around the chap - with a hammer and chisel - before they were able to ease out his trapped limb. They put his lack of injury to his foot or ankle down to him wearing 'his granddad's Doctor Martens.' A spokesman for the fire service blamed the current heatwave and said: 'During the good weather please be mindful things like this can happen - be more aware when you're walking around.' But Newcastle City Council insists that the hole was actually caused by 'a small existing void' and not the hot weather. 'We can confirm that the tarmac had not melted and no roads in the city have melted during the warm weather,' a spokesman said.
Melting bitumen has forced drivers in Australia - where, let's remember, it's supposed to be winter - to abandon their vehicles after the tyres became coated with tar. Up to fifty motorists may be entitled to compensation over the incident in Queensland on Tuesday, reports said. 'I have never seen anything like it and when the reports started coming through yesterday, it was just incredible,' local mayor Joe Paronella told the ABC. The incident has been blamed on 'a change in weather' - no shit? - and damage to the road after it was resealed last week. Local resident Deborah Stacey said 'big globs' of tar had stuck to vehicles, amid unseasonably hot weather which followed several cooler days and rain. 'We had a week of cracked windscreens then, as soon as the sun came out, it started sticking,' she told the Courier Mail. The tar meant tyres on several vehicles had to be replaced and it caused damage to bumper bars and panels.
A father reportedly died protecting his children in a rare polar bear attack in Canada's Northernmost territory of Nunavut. Aaron Gibbons was on Sentry Island, a popular fishing and hunting spot on the West coast of Hudson Bay, when he encountered the bear on 3 July. A relative said that he 'died a hero,' telling his daughters to run while he put himself between them and the bear. The children were unharmed, but Gibbons died in the attack. Another adult later shot and killed the bear. Dead. 'He was enjoying his day with his children,' Gibbons's uncle, Gordy Kidlapik, told Canadian media. 'They were surprised by a bear that had started to stalk or charge towards one of his children.' The father was unarmed at the time, police said, even though he would have had a rifle with him on the outing. One of the girls, who are described as primary school age, called for help through the boat's radio. 'We actually heard the call for help,' said Kidlapik. 'It was terrible to listen to.' Gibbons's death has shocked his hometown of Arviat, about six miles from the site of the attack, which has grown accustomed to seeing polar bears as they migrate North. 'It's really just incredibly sad,' said local lawmaker John Main on Canadian broadcaster CBC. 'We're a small community and when something like this happens, it affects the whole community.' With three hundred and eighty polar bear sightings in the hamlet in 2017, the predominantly Inuit community has become increasingly concerned for public safety. The number of polar bears in the Western Hudson Bay region remains stable at around eight hundred and forty, according to polar bear experts. However, they have noted a decline in the animals' body size and condition. Polar bear excursions hosted in the region have also removed the wild animal's fear of humans, Kidlapik alleged on Twitter, potentially resulting in more attacks on humans. The last death from a polar bear attack in Nunavut was in 2000, about one hundred and twenty miles up the coast from Arviat in Rankin Inlet, local authorities said.
From an incredibly sad and tragic 'death by wild animal' to another, far funnier and entirely deserved one. At least two suspected rhino poachers have been mauled to death and eaten by lions on a South African game reserve, officials say. Rangers discovered the remains of two, possibly three, people in a lion enclosure in the Sibuya reserve, near the town of Kenton-on-Sea. A high-powered rifle and an axe were also found. There has been a rise in poaching in Africa in recent years, to feed growing demand for rhino horn in parts of Asia. In China, Viet'nam and elsewhere, rhino horn is erroneously believed to have medicinal properties, even though it is made from the same material as human fingernails. Sibuya reserve owner Nick Fox said in a statement on the reserve's Facebook page that the suspected poachers entered the reserve late on Sunday night or early on Monday morning. 'They strayed into a pride of lions - it's a big pride so they didn't have too much time,' Fox told AFP news agency. 'We're not sure how many there were - there's not much left of them.' 'It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it,' added a spokeslion. An anti-poaching team arrived on the scene, where a hunting rifle with silencer, a long axe and wire-cutters - equipment generally used by rhino poachers - were also found. Several lions had to be tranquilised before the remains could be recovered, Fox added. So, a nice meal followed by some drugs. Sounds like a party at lion-central. Police have been patrolling the area in case any of the suspected poachers survived and we, you know, hiding for their lives. Nine rhinos were killed by poachers in Eastern Cape province, where the reserve is located, this year alone. More than seven thousand have been killed in South Africa in the past decade.
The longest total lunar eclipse of this century will be visible in India on 27 July. The celestial body will also be tinged with a reddish hue, a phenomenon popularly referred to as 'a blood Moon.' The eclipse would also be visible in parts of South America, much of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The total lunar eclipse will last for one hour and forty three minutes while partial eclipses, which would precede and follow the total eclipse, would last more than an hour. During the 27 July total lunar eclipse, the Moon has to pass through the central part of the Earth's shadow.
Two Hells Angels bikers launched an attack on a man that was 'so ferocious his eyeballs ruptured,' a court heard. Matthew Barnes of Hastings and Oliver Wilkinson of Saint Leonards-on-Sea, both deny grievous bodily harm with intent. The Old Bailey was told that Christopher Harrison was extremely injured in the attack outside The Carlisle pub on Hastings seafront in February 2016. He was allegedly targeted because he did not want to join the bikers' club, jurors heard. Opening the case, prosecutor Nicholas Cooper said that Barnes was the president of the Sussex Hells Angels motorcycle club and Wilkinson was part of the club's 'support crew.' They had gathered at The Carlisle with 'other members and associates,' where 'a band' was playing. Harrison was also present and, although a biker, was not a member of the Hells Angels, the court was told. The jury heard that at about midnight on 20 February, Harrison was 'invited outside' by Wilkinson and was asked if he was interested in becoming a member of the Hells Angels. Harrison said: 'I don't want to know, I'm too old, I really don't want to know.' The prosecution said that Wilkinson then went away and returned with Barnes, who said: 'Why wouldn't you want to wear these colours?' The jury was told Harrison replied: 'But it's neutral territory, we get all sorts of colours through here and I'm just not interested.' Barnes is then alleged to have said: 'I hate black and white, all black and whites should die,' before head-butting Harrison so hard that his head hit the wall behind him. Cooper said that punches then 'started raining in' and 'they knocked [Harrison's] legs from behind the knees so he fell to the ground.' The court heard Harrison knew Barnes was standing in front of him and had attacked him first with the head-butt. 'Harrison knew that Oliver Wilkinson was stood to his left and that no-one else was stood there and that ferocious punch came from that direction,' Cooper said. The trial continues.
A flasher who 'disturbed female joggers' by running around naked has admitted indecent exposure, after being caught by the bobbies thanks to an empty sweet packet. The eighteen-year-old man hid on a stretch of paths near the River Wear in Durham city centre and 'preyed on lone women.' Dressed only in trainers, he would run alongside the women after spying on them from bushes. The man, who has not been named by police, will take part in 'a four-month intervention programme.' A dozen women reported seeing him near Durham Rowing Club and the Maiden Castle sports complex between 18 April and 18 June. The breakthrough came when an officer found an area on a disused railway bridge which the man used to spot his victims. An empty Haribo packet and a shop receipt discovered nearby allowed police to pinpoint the moment that the sweets had been bought and scour CCTV for an image of the suspect. The force then traced him to a city centre address, where he was pinched by the fuzz and, later, extremely admitted the offences. Sergeant Kay Howarth, of Durham City Police, described it as 'an unusual case' and said his behaviour must have been 'very alarming' for his victims.
A woman has been charged in New Hampshire for stealing a laptop from a hacker who was trying to scam people into picking up and shipping the illegally-purchased computer. According to Associated Press, citing police reports, Jennifer Wozmak answered an online 'job' to ship the computer overseas. After picking up the laptop she then, instead of shipping it, sent a stack of magazines overseas. Wozmak sold the computer to someone else. In March Wolfeboro Police were contacted by a business owner who said that a hacker had used their account to buy the computer. The police tracked down Wozmak, who has now been charged with theft. Police Chief Dean Rondeau told AP that the woman had 'no affiliation with the original scammer,' other than the advertisement.
A 'curious' thirteen-year-old boy has had a USB cable removed from his penis by doctors after he inserted it up his urethra and it knotted in his bladder. Well, this blogger doesn't know about you, dear blog reader, but Keith Telly Topping's eyes are now watering at the very thought. According to the Metro, if not a real newspaper, the teenager - whose name was not revealed - inserted the cable 'about twenty centimetres up his penis' before realising he could not pull it out again. His parents took him to a local hospital in the county of Linkou in China's Heilongjiang province, where medics 'applied lubrication' in a bid to pull the cable out. That proved unsuccessful and left the boy in intense pain, so he was transferred to the Harbin Children's Hospital the next day. Doctor Xu Liyan, the facility's resident urologist, said: 'He cut off one end of the cable and inserted it into his urethra.' She added: 'The cable reached his bladder, where it tangled and ended up in a knot, so when he tried to pull it back out, it became stuck.' Doctor Xu added that she had 'no choice but to operate' on the boy. They cut into his bladder to find the knotted cable, snipped the tangled section and removed the remaining cord through his urethra the same way it went in. The boy claimed he was 'curious' about his genitalia and was discharged from hospital two weeks after surgery.

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