Friday, May 11, 2018

If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It!

Doctor Who has been very nominated in this year's BAFTAs. Albeit, it's in the 'must-see moments' category (otherwise known as the 'who-the-Hell-cares?' category) for its announcement of yer actual Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor. To quote the Time Lady her very self, 'Oh, brilliant!' The British Academy Television Awards will take place at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday 13 May. The ceremony will be shown on BBC1.
It has been claimed that Doctor Who narrowly avoided doing a crossover with another popular BBC drama, Casualty, during its last series. The episode The Lie Of The Land saw The Monks take over Earth and The Doctor (yer actual Peter Capaldi ... you knew that, right?) imprisoned, as Bill and Nardole try to save him and the world. However, the Dystopian world of The Monks still manages to broadcast classic TV dramas it would appear and, apparently, Casualty stars Amanda Mealing and Tony Marshall actually filmed a cameo for the episode. Which, all of sudden, explains those publicity photos of Mealing and Jaye Griffiths with Peter Capaldi that appeared in a few media outlets last year. In a deleted scene, as reported by Doctor Who Magazine (and, subsequently, by the Daily Scum Express), Mealing's character Connie Beauchamp asks: 'Have we got an ID on the driver yet?' Marshall's Noel Garcia admits that there is nothing on her, he adds: 'It's lucky that Monk was passing. He literally tore the door off and pulled her out before the car exploded.' 'Praise be to the benevolence of The Monks,' Connie agrees.
The Doctor Who Appreciation Society is holding an online auction for charity with a signed script from the last series of Doctor Who up for sale. The copy of Mike Bartlett's script for Knock Knock signed by yer actual Peter Capaldi, David Suchet, Pearl Mackie and Mike himself is one of seventeen items being sold to raise money for Denville Hall, the actors's charity supported by Lalla Ward and the Muswell Hill Syrian Refugees Relief Project supported by Peter and Elaine Capaldi. Other items include Big Finish scripts signed by cast members including Alex Kingston and David Bradley. The online auction follows a successful event at the DWAS Convention, The Capitol, which raised almost four grand for charities. Over the past three years the society has raised over nine thousand knicker for a variety of good causes. Full details of the auction can be found at the auction website.
In 2004, Hugh Grant was in line for one of the most iconic roles in British television. Russell Davies has confirmed that he did originally want Grant to play The Doctor when Doctor Who was revived by the BBC. The part eventually went to Christopher Eccleston - who was very good albeit, his constant whinging about the production since has somewhat soured his reputation amongst fandom - and it is unclear whether Grant turned down the role, or simply never knew about it. Speaking to the BBC Big Rusty, who is now working with Grant on the forthcoming BBC drama A Very English Scandal, told Radio Times: 'I have always wanted to work with Hugh Grant. I literally offered him Doctor Who in 2004. I told him that and he was like, "Really?!" He knew nothing about that. I love him. I think he's one of Britain's finest actors.' Seemingly, Huge is being a bit forgetful, as he has previously talked about being offered the role in a 2007 interview. 'I was offered the role of The Doctor a few years back and was highly flattered,' he said. 'It's only when you see it on screen that you think, "Damn, that was good, why did I say no?"' Huge did have a brush with the Time Lord. in 1999, when he was one of the incarnations of The Doctor in Steven Moffat's Comic Relief sketch The Curse Of Fatal Death.
The Daily Mirra - which used to be a real newspaper many, many years ago - has claimed Doctor Who Fans Boycott Official Magazine Over Young Age Of New Reviewer Team. Because, obviously, they asked all of us. In fact, this 'news' appears to have been based on a maximum of half-a-dozen postings on Twitter, that now being, it would seem, The Sole Arbiter Of The Worth Of All Things. A mere two of these Twatterings are actually quoted in the 'article' (and, one uses that word quite wrongly) one of whom - who 'blasted' the inclusion of Christel Dee in the new Time Team line-up - isn't even named. And, therefore, is quite possibly fictitious. The Mirra, to be fair, used to be a much more accurate sourse of information when they simply hacked people's phones to get their stories. At least they chose to end this breathless 'exclusive' with a comment from the magazine's former editor - and Keith Telly Topping's old mucker - the Godlike genius that is Gary Russell who defended the changes. 'This new Time Team is the single best thing to have happened in DWM in donkey's years. If it upsets a bunch of moronic "Doctor Who is only for those of us who’ve been there since the proper series," even better.'
A castle which dates back to the Twelfth Century and once featured in an episode of Doctor Who has been put up for sale. Not because it once featured in an episode of Doctor Who, obviously, the two things are probably unrelated. Penllyn Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, which is not open to the public, is on the market for a mere million smackers. As well as castle ruins dating back to 1135, it also features a Grade II-listed mansion house containing eight bedrooms. The seventy two-acre country estate near Cowbridge contains sprawling lawns, paddocks and a woodland. Anthony Clay, from estate agents Knight Frank, said: 'Penllyn Castle is one of the most important houses, if not the most important house, in the Vale of Glamorgan. It's a very handsome property, yet somewhat tired. It is too good a place not to be returned back to its former glory.' So, a fixer-uper, then. The original castle was built for Earl Robert of Gloucester's Sheriff Robert Norris. Parts of the original Norman castle, a courtyard, stables, coach houses, unused cottage and a water tower all remain. The property featured in the 2006 Doctor Who episode Tooth & Claw when it stood in for Balmoral.
Last year Doctor Who's Alex Kingston was cast in new drama, A Discovery Of Witches, a 'supernatural romance' adapted from Deborah Harkness's novel. This week, Radio Times has published the first images of Kingston's character, Sarah Bishop, the aunt of series lead Diana (played by Teresa Palmer) and a powerful witch and fierce protector of her family. A Discovery Of Witches was filmed in Cardiff's Bad Wolf studios earlier this year. The series is executive produced by Harkness and former Doctor Who execs Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner among others and will be broadcast on Sky One later this year.
In the wake of yet another brilliant episode of Gotham this week - One Bad Day - and before next week's series finale, there's a revealing interview with showrunner John Stephens which you can read here. Beware, it does contain spoilers.
The latest episode was particularly notable in that it, for once, let Harvey Bullock be the hero - whilst Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne are, for the most-part, otherwise occupied.
And, as for the cliffhanger ...
The BBC, Channel Four and ITV have 'held discussions' about joining forces to create a British streaming service to combat the increasing power of Netflix and Amazon in the UK. Mind you, this according to the Gruniad Morning Star so it may be a load of old horseshit. The 'early-stage talks' which, the Gruniad states, 'are also understood to involve NBC Universal, the US TV and film group that owns the maker of Downton Abbey,' are said to be focusing on how the UK's main broadcasters and makers of top shows can work together to create a streaming rival to the popular and deep-pocketed newcomers that have transformed broadcasting. 'All options are open, they are early conversations and no direction is firm yet,' one alleged - though suspiciously anonymous and, therefore, probably fictitious - 'source' allegedly 'with knowledge of the talks' allegedly said. 'But they know a video-on-demand platform play would be a true defence for the UK creative industries.' A second alleged - and, again, anonymous - 'source' allegedly described it as 'a public service broadcaster domestic competitor to Netflix.' Netflix has over eight million subscribers in the UK and over four British households are signed up to Amazon Prime Video, according to figures from BARB. The BBC, which has traditionally dominated the UK TV and radio landscape, recently said that it 'risked being overtaken by competitors' as viewers 'move inexorably towards on-demand viewing.' The corporation owns the UK's biggest and most recognisable video service, iPlayer, but has conceded that sixteen to twenty four-year-olds spend more time on Netflix weekly than on the various BBC services, including iPlayer. The broadcasters 'understand' the strategic benefits of some form of potential tie-up of their catch-up TV and on-demand services, the Gruniad claims, but 'history says it will be fraught with difficulty.' It is the third time in just over a decade that the BBC, ITV and Channel Four have endeavoured to set aside decades of rivalry to join together to secure a digital future for British TV. Previous efforts to balance the commercial and public service remits they follow have proved challenging. The broadcasters held similar talks two years ago but in the end only the BBC and ITV managed to collaborate on a US on-demand service called BritBox. ITV and Channel Four have since had a string of senior management changes, most notably in appointing new chief executives in Carolyn McCall and Alex Mahon respectively, both of whom are 'looking hard at the best strategic digital options for the future,' according to the Gruniad. The paper also claims that 'all options are on the table in the talks,' which also included the BBC's commercial arm, BBC Studios. The corporation has been keen to use the strength of iPlayer as the master brand, which has met - somewhat understandable - resistance from Channel Four and ITV, which have been driving their services, All Four and ITV Hub, with increasing success with viewers. Another option might be to revitalise a workable plan to expand BritBox and a third to launch a whole new brand and subscription video-on-demand service. The discussions bear similarities with the ill-fated Project Kangaroo, a video-on-demand service from the BBC, ITV and Channel Four that was set for launch in 2007 but became tangled in red tape and was ultimately blocked by the regulators two years later. Following the watchdog's ruling, the field was open for foreign rivals to take the front foot, as feared by the broadcasters. Kangaroo, which got as far as briefly appointing the former BBC, Microsoft and Johnston Press boss Ashley Highfield as chief executive, aimed to be 'an open venture' that also allowed TV production companies to join. The then head of the BBC's commercial arm, John Smith, said at the time that Kangaroo represented broadcasters 'taking control of our destiny.' This time, pay-TV providers, many of whom have a mix of free and pay-TV channels and content, could potentially offer some programming to a new service too. The original Kangaroo model looked to use a mix of free, advertisement-funded and paid-for viewing models. 'My understanding is that it is a bit of a dusting off of Kangaroo, which was a good idea that should never have been blocked. Look at where the market is now,' the alleged second alleged 'source' allegedly said. 'Think of it as Kangaroo-plus. Sort of a public service broadcaster domestic competitor to Netflix, but potentially with the flexibility to be broader than that.'
The BBC Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo - someone this blogger has always had a fair bit of time for - has voiced his discomfort with the corporation’s policy of publishing its presenters' earnings. Speaking alongside his new co-host for the revamped drive-time programme, Jo Whiley, Mayo also said that it would have been 'unusual and not wise' if he had been joined by another male presenter as part of the station's schedule restructure. The BBC revealed last June that Mayo earned between three hundred and fifty and four hundred grand. The presenter's previous drive-time programme, which finished last week after eight years, attracted about six million listeners per day. In the same set of figures on presenters' salaries, it was announced that Whiley earned between on hundred and fifty and two hundred thousand smackers in her role presenting a weeknight show on Radio 2 that specialised in new music. In an interview with the Radio Times, Mayo said he was 'concerned' that by publishing its talents' salaries, prompted by heightened media scrutiny, the BBC could be endangering its future as a public broadcaster. 'My worry is that it will become like a yearly turkey shoot and I think it's often used as a stick to hit the BBC with,' he said. 'The critics are saying, "Look at this, this isn't right" but, actually, their broader agenda is dismantling the BBC, so that's one of the reasons why it's so uncomfortable.' Mayo and Whiley will fill the new Radio 2 drivetime slot between 5pm and 8pm from Monday to Thursday and on Fridays from 5pm to 7pm. The station has already confirmed that both presenters will be paid the same amount for the show. Whiley, is the first female presenter on the station's weekday daytime output since Debbie Thrower's afternoon show ended in 1998. In the interview, Whiley said: 'It's ludicrous to think two people would be doing the same job and be paid different amounts of money because of their sex, that's just unfathomable. I don't like talking about money at the best of times, but if it's necessary to put things right, to correct the balance so that women are treated fairly and are paid fairly for the job that they are doing, then let's discuss it, bring it on.'
The BBC period drama The Last Post, starring Jessica Raine, has been cancelled after one series. Because it was shit and no one was watching it. A BBC spokesperson told Radio Times: 'The Last Post was a fantastic series but we can confirm it won't be returning. We are looking to bring new ideas to BBC1 and tell new stories. We'd like to thank Peter, the brilliant cast and production team for all their hard work on the series.' From BAFTA-winning writer Peter Moffat, The Last Post was set in Aden in 1965 and based on Moffat's own childhood memories of his father's career as an officer in the Royal Military Police. The six-part series ended in December and starred Raine, Jessie Buckley and Stephen Campbell Moore.
In other BBC news, the corporation's new drama The Split is making headlines for having women at the forefront: with Nicola Walker in the lead, writer Abi Morgan and female director and executive producer. Despite that - and despite high-stakes personal drama and sexual tension - all over the shop, a certain group of viewers are, seemingly, more hung up on the particulars. Stephen Mangan - who plays Nathan, husband to Walker's divorce lawyer Hannah - has said that it's 'crazy' that gender inequality in the TV industry is 'still an issue. What you always look for as an actor is to work with talented people - writers, directors, other actors... you just want to be around people who are at the top of their game. I feel lucky to be part of this, because there's such a smart, creative team at the head of it. And they're all women, which is great.'
According to a report in the Daily Scum Mail, Josh O'Connor, who plays Larry in ITV's The Durrells has been cast as the young Prince Charles in the third series of The Crown. O'Connor is set to play a Charles throughout his late teens and early twenties. The actor will be joining a line-up that already includes Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip and Olivia Colman as Her Maj. It was recently confirmed that series three of The Crown will be launching in 2019, where it will cover the era overseen by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, played by Jason Watkins.
ITV is strip scheduling the new thriller series Innocent across four nights next week. Lee Ingleby plays David Collins, convicted of his wife's murder, David is released from prison - after seven years – on a technicality, upsetting the lives of his family and former friends. 'It's about how he wants to reconnect with the world and his kids,' Ingleby told the Digital Spy website. 'But of course, more people than not are convinced that he's still guilty of what he did, so it's about him trying to work with that and there's also an ongoing case trying to prove that he did do it.' Convinced of his guilt, Tara's sister Alice (From The North favourite Hermione Norris) and her husband Rob (Adrian Rawlins) are now surrogate parents to David's children and are devastated by the prospect of his appeal and retrial. 'It's the impact of somebody being in prison for seven years for murdering his wife, my sister and then also the impact that has, psychologically, on everybody around,' explained Norris. 'I think as the chinks start to appear, with the possibility that it wasn't him, Alice just closes down. It's the threat of losing those children. It's just unbearable for her. She literally can't entertain it.' Ingleby and Norris both said that they found Innocent impossible to turn down after reading the 'brilliantly written' first script, with Norris having originally planned to take some time off after shooting the BBC's In The Club and the last series of Cold Feet back-to-back. 'I was all ready to go home, and then Innocent arrived in the in-tray,' she explained. 'I loved Alice: she's a complicated, quite emotionally fractured character. I thought she was a great antidote to Karen [from Cold Feet], who I'd just been playing. I think you always know it's good, don't you, when you're gripped by the first four or five pages?' Ingleby added. 'What I liked most was that it's a man who's trying to reintegrate into society. The town doesn't want him there. They're utterly convinced that he is the guilty man and here's a guy who just wants to reconnect with his children. It ain't gonna be easy.' How the story ends is, of course, a closely-guarded secret. But while Norris accepted the job after reading just the first two episodes, Ingleby was 'presented with the whole story' when he was offered the role of David. 'I knew where it was going to go and how it resolved itself,' he said, with Norris adding that Innocent is intended as a one-off serial with 'a beginning, middle and end.'
Nathan Fillion will make his return to series TV two years on from the extremely messy demise of Castle as the lead in ABC's new crime drama The Rookie, which was ordered to series this week. Fillion has been cast as John Nolan, the oldest recruit in the history of the LAPD. John is inspired to join the force following a life-altering incident, but instantly faces doubts from fellow officers and superiors. Much like Castle, The Rookie is a drama with some comedic flourishes. The series is a reunion with Castle executive producer Alexi Hawley. The ensemble cast for the procedural also includes Alyssa Diaz, Richard Jones, Titus Makin, Mercedes Mason, Melissa O'Neil and Eric Winter. Fillion is starring as well as executive producing The Rookie with Hawley and Mark Gordon, the latter of whom has worked on ABC hits Quantico, Grey's Anatomy and Designated Survivor. Following the end of Castle in 2016, Fillion has kept busy with guest stints on ABC comedy Modern Family as well as Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events and Santa Clarita Diet. This week, he will reprise his Firefly role for a cameo in an episode of ABC's American Housewife.
More than two hundred whinges about the male rape storyline on Coronation Street have been dismissed by watchdog Ofcom. A total of one hundred and eighty three viewers - with, seemingly, nothing better or more constructive to do with their time - complained about an episode on 16 March which saw Josh spike David's drink before throwing him onto his bed and beginning to undress. A further thirty one people whinged about an episode of the ITV soap which showed the fallout from the incident three days later. An Ofcom spokeswoman said that while it was 'uncomfortable viewing for some,' the episode(s) did not break broadcasting rules. The spokeswoman said: 'This storyline tackled a sensitive and challenging subject, which we appreciate was uncomfortable viewing for some. However, we considered that ITV took extensive steps to ensure it was handled sensitively and carefully. These included working closely with a victim support group, and repeatedly signposting the help available to anyone affected by sexual violence. We also considered that, although the offender's violent intentions were clearly implied, the scenes were neither explicit nor graphic. Finally, we took into account that clear warnings were broadcast before both episodes.' Tragically, Ofcom did not take to opportunity to name and shame the two hundred plus whingers or to publicly tell them to, you know, grow up. An opportunity missed, one could suggest.
Emmerdale, meanwhile, is to face an investigation over Tracy Metcalfe's sex worker storyline. On Tuesday, Ofcom revealed that it had received seven whinges viewers who objected to scenes 'containing sexual themes around the storyline of Tracy (played by Amy Walsh) being paid as a sex worker.' The episode in question was broadcast at 7pm on 21 February. An Ofcom spokesperson said: 'We are investigating whether this programme broke our rules on sexual material and offensive language being shown before the watershed.' The episode saw Tracy pretend that she was going to sleep with a previous client called Phil after he started blackmailing her about her past. It included scenes which saw Phil strip to his boxers and begin to unbutton Tracy's blouse. Tracy then handcuffed Phil to the bed and started taking pictures of him, threatening to send it to his wife just as her husband David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) stormed into the room. The episode also saw Tracy admit to David that Phil used to pay her for sex, which eventually led to the breakdown of their marriage.
Suranne Jones has said she is 'gutted' after pulling out of the West End play Frozen due to illness. She apologised to fans after she missed the last four performances of the show's run, which finished on Saturday. Jones, who played a mother whose child has been abducted, said the show subject matter was 'deeply affecting. I'm certain it has contributed to my feeling under the weather,' she added. Posting a message on her Instagram page, Jones said that she was unable to finish Thursday's matinee at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London after 'feeling dizzy' on stage. 'I came back after an illness and it was perhaps too soon,' she wrote. 'Anyone who knows the show knows it is a highly draining piece and after three months and a sickness I just wasn't able to end the run.' She said that she had hoped to return to the stage for the final performance on Saturday but was advised by her doctor that she should not 'put myself through it and risk getting ill again. This show has taken its toll on me,' she added. 'You as the audience experience it once and always say how you are moved and drained by it. We as performers always think we can push through and carry on but sometimes we just can't.' The BAFTA-award winner said that she plans to rest before filming begins for new (and, much anticipated) eight-part BBC series Gentlemen Jack later this month. The series, which is created and directed by Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright, will be filmed in West Yorkshire and Copenhagen.
In an unexpected twist, for once NCIS didn't kill off a departing female member of the cast, fan favourite Pauley Perrette in her final episode of the long-running navy crime drama. Though, it was touch and go for a while. Duane Henry's character wasn't so lucky, however.
There's a properly fascinating article at the BBC News website - written by Soutik Biswas - which suggests that Not all Indians think Apu is a racist stereotype. Among those whom the article quotes are Tunku Varadarajan, a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Apu's 'inauthentic accent' (voiced, of course, by Hank Azaria) does not matter because he's a caricature, like everybody else in the show. 'Are all caricatured accents racist? Should we ban "foreigners" from comedy shows altogether?' Varadarajan said that Hari Kondabulu's documentary, The Trouble With Apu, 'suffused with self-righteous indignation about the racism-by-caricature in Apu' and is 'to blame' for the recent kerfuffle. He also says 'this has happened at a moment of particular cultural sensitivity in liberal America, with the white intelligentsia being even more capitulative than before to accusations of racism. I guess the fact that Indians haven't traditionally been at the forefront of America's race-complaint industry has given this latest outrage over Apu added significance. But in my view, just because traditional non-whiners are whining doesn't mean that the whining is justified!' Shilpa Davé, a professor at the University of Virginia and author of Indian Accents: Brown Voice & Racial Performance in American Television and Film, believes that Apu has been 'a topic of conversation, interest and censure about the accent' long before the Kondabulu documentary. 'It's a made-up accent that makes Apu an object of racial humour because of the way he talks rather than what he is saying. The enduring characteristic that he represents is that all Indians talk with a funny and foreign accent, compared to US accents,' she said. Sanjoy Chakravorty, co-author of The Other One Percent: Indians In America, isn't even sure whether there is any wider 'outrage' over Apu beyond the 'media echo chamber' following Kondabolu's documentary. 'As I see it, there are two primary products that second generation Indian American comedians sell - the ridiculousness of their parents' "culture" (arranged marriage and "my son, the doctor" are the commonest tropes); and the racism of white Americans,' Professor Chakravorty, who teaches at Temple University in Pennsylvania, is quoted in the article as saying. 'It is not hard to see why these two lowest hanging fruits are plucked all the time. This is very standard fare. Apu is also very standard fare. What Kondabulu has done is nothing new. He picked almost the most identifiable Indian project possible in the US. And he plugged into the market for identity-based outrage.' Professor Chakravorty added that he 'loves The Simpsons. As far as I am concerned: Apu is one of three likeable characters in The Simpsons - Lisa and Marge are the others. Homer, a caricature of the ignorant, blue collar white male, is actually the most offensive.' Back in Apu's native land, fans of The Simpsons appear to have little problem with the character. 'I like Apu, in fact I love him. He has a PhD in computer science, but enjoys running his store, he is a valued citizen of Springfield, a ladies man and adores cricket and is funny,' Sidharth Bhatia, Mumbai-based founder-editor of The Wire, said. 'It reflects true American diversity. The controversy about the stereotyping is classist snobbery - Indians in America don't want to be reminded of a certain kind of immigrant from their country - the shop keepers, the taxi drivers, the burger flippers. They would rather project only Silicon Valley successes, the Wall Street players and the Ivy League products, with the proper accents, people they meet for dinner - by itself a stereotype. The millions of Apus in America, the salt-of-the-earth types, with their less "posh" accents, are an inconvenience to that self-image of this small group of Indian-Americans.'
Sheridan Smith will play 'an older adult film star' called Jolene Dollar whose world changes when a younger woman Amy enters the industry and Jolene's relationship with her sees her own career and complicated home life start to unravel in a series called Adult Material. The four-parter looks 'at how sex and money go hand-in-hand' and will film for Channel Four next year. The series has been written by Lucy Kirkwood, who wrote the hit plays Chimerica and The Children and the 2014 Sky One drama The Smoke. 'Adult Material tackles some really important topics, topics that I'm sure will resonate with people up and down the UK,' Smith said in a statement. 'I think its taboo-busting drama which not only confronts these questions head on but is also a brilliantly brave and unabashed story told with real heart. Thanks to broadcasters such as Channel Four and Lucy's thought-provoking and insightful writing, Adult Material gives Jolene the platform and voice she deserves and it feels like the perfect time to tell her story. I've played some truly fascinating women in my career, from all walks of life, and I can't wait to step into Jolene's shoes.' This is not the first time that Kirkwood and Smith have collaborated. Ten years ago, Sheridan played Vanessa in Kirkwood's play Tinderbox: A Revenge Comedy. 'She's not quite Jenna Jameson, but she has a following,' Kirwood told the Observer of Smith's character. She added on reuniting with Smith: 'I just think she's extraordinary - I've worked with her before and have the most enormous crush on her. She's like an old-school movie star. In the beginning I worried that she was a bit young for the role, but I also found it hard to imagine anyone else having her combination of soul and really precise technique. The character of Jolene is fairly informed by her, so like Sheridan she's warm and rude and funny and sharp.'
BBC presenter Andrew Marr will have an operation this week to remove a malignant tumour on his kidney. The former BBC political editor is expected to 'make a full recovery and will be returning to the airwaves soon,' his agent Mary Greenham said. The broadcaster will not be hosting his weekly Sunday programme, The Andrew Marr Show, while he recuperates. Marr told viewers at the end of last Sunday's show: 'I am going to be away for a couple of weeks or so.' He added: 'I'm having a small hospital operation and I will be back as soon as I possibly can, so be kind please to whoever is sitting in this chair next week.' In her statement, his agent added that Andrew and his family 'have asked for privacy at this difficult time.' The surgery comes five years after Marr suffered a stroke, which saw him take a nine-month break from broadcasting. He spent two months in hospital, followed by months of physiotherapy to help him walk again. Three months after his stroke, Marr gave an interview to his own programme, in which he said he was 'lucky to be alive.' A BBC spokeswoman said: 'Andrew is taking a period of time off for medical reasons. We wish him well and look forward to welcoming him back on our screens soon.'
Wet wipes, used for sticky fingers, removing eye make-up - and, in some cases, wiping the shit off ones arse - could themselves be wiped out over the next couple of decades. The government says that its plan to eliminate plastic waste 'includes single use products like wet wipes.' The wipes contain non-biodegradable plastic. Manufacturers will either have to develop plastic-free wipes or consumers will have to go without. Wet wipes are reported to be behind ninety three per cent of blockages in UK sewers, a key element of the infamous giant obstacles known as fatbergs, according to Water UK, the trade body representing all of the main water and sewerage companies in the country. That has prompted the government and industry to focus on persuading consumers not to flush them into the waste water system. 'We are continuing to work with manufacturers and retailers of wet wipes to make sure labelling on packaging is clear and people know how to dispose of them properly,' a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment said. However, DEFRA says it is also 'encouraging innovation so that more and more of these products can be recycled and are working with industry to support the development of alternatives, such as a wet-wipe product that does not contain plastic and can therefore be flushed.' The wet-wipe industry has flourished over the last decade with manufacturers offering an ever broader range of wipes, for sensitive skin, bottoms, removing make-up, applying insect repellent, deodorant or sunscreen. However most are made of polyester and other non-biodegradable materials. One manufacturer, Jeremy Freedman, managing director of Guardpack, has written to his MP to say banning them would be environmentally disastrous. Freedman told the BBC what he saw as their benefits: 'If you go to TGI Friday and Nando's, for example, you'll see our products there. These wipes are biodegradeable, take three millilitres of liquid on average. If they weren't able to use these, they would need to wash their hands, using on average one litre of water. They are also widely used in the medical industry and, for people with incontinence and disabled people, these wipes are critical to their lifestyle.' He said that many of the wipes he produced were made of one hundred per cent biodegradable materials, but warned that they were 'under no circumstances flushable.' DEFRA is in the process of exploring how changes to the tax system or charges could be used to reduce the amount of single-use plastics wasted. The government has also said it will consult over whether or not to ban plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers.
It has been claimed that the Premier League has 'secretly' been keeping the top six clubs apart on the opening and final weekends of the football season. According to a report published in The Times, the footballing body has 'arranged' fixtures that will ensure top teams only meet at either end of the season 'for commercial reasons.' The article claims that such shenanigans have been happening 'for years.' It is reported that the League is profiting from the fixtures, as putting the teams up against one another is thought to appeal to broadcasters and boost attendances at matches on the final weekend. The plan only recently emerged in a 'tender document' the Premier League provided to broadcasters for the 2019-22 period, though it is thought to have been an ongoing arrangement. In response, some supporters' groups have 'expressed concern' that this gives 'special treatment' and greater financial rewards to the bigger clubs. 'We are very concerned about this apparent designation of an elite group of top-six clubs,' said a spokesman for the Arsenal Supporters' Trust. The Arse are, of course, in the top six. Albeit, only just. The Football Supporters' Federation has also said that it was 'unaware' of the Premier League's arrangement.
Relegated Dirty Stoke need to look at their 'farcical' transfer dealings before signing the players needed to mount a return to the Premier League, according to their goalkeeper, Jack Butland. The Potters dropped into the second tier Championship following a home defeat by Crystal Palace last Saturday. England keeper Butland blamed 'players you cannot rely on' being signed by the club. 'The whole recruitment process needs looking at, to be honest,' he said. Meanwhile, Butland's team-mate Charlie Adam has told the BBC that 'four or five' of his team-mates have been 'getting away with murder for a long time.' Former Real Madrid forward Jese Rodriguez scored one goal in thirteen appearances during his loan spell from Paris St-Germain and has taken 'unpaid compassionate leave' for the remainder of his contract. Alleged forward Saido Berahino has started just eleven games since being signed from West Bromwich Albinos for twelve million notes in January 2017 and has never scored for the club. He is now training with the under-twenty three squad, as is defender Kevin Wimmer, an eighteen million smackers signing from Stottingtot Hotshots last summer. Record signing Giannelli Imbula, a midfielder who cost over eighteen million quid from Porto, has spent this season on loan at French side Toulouse. Meanwhile, two former Barcelona forwards, Ibrahim Afellay and Bojan Krkic, have been frozen out at the Bet365 Stadium, with the latter spending this season on loan at La Liga side Alaves. 'There's been transfers that aren't even part of the squad for all kinds of reasons, whether it be discipline, whether it be lack of performance,' Butland said. 'You've got to look at that - what decisions are being made and the type of characters.' He said midfielder Badou Ndiaye and defender Moritz Bauer, who joined in January, were 'two positive signings. But, you look at others and they're not even here to have an input. It's not because they were playing at the top of their game, because if they were they'd be here,' he continued. 'Too many of the recent investments - and over the years - are completely unused and that's unacceptable. So before anyone is signed and any changes happen that's got to be looked at because it's been farcical really.' Paul Lambert replaced Mark Hughes as manager in January following Dirty Stoke's FA Cup third round defeat at League Two Coventry City. However, Dirty Stoke have managed just one league win under the Scot. 'I believe Paul's had an extremely difficult job,' Butland said. 'He inherited a squad where, unfortunately, there was ill-discipline and players you cannot rely on. Despite those scenarios he's put together a really competitive side that's willing to work for him. I believe the manager is the right man for the job.'
Southampton boss Mark Hughes said 'the dark arts' which disrupted preparations for Tuesday's game at Swansea motivated his side to claim the victory that has all but secured Premier League safety. The squad stayed forty miles away from the Liberty Stadium after their hotel cancelled their booking at the last minute. Southampton beat Swansea thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini's late goal. 'It helped our focus. We used it as a motivating factor,' claimed Hughes. 'We suspected that maybe some of the dark arts were at work but we didn't let it affect us.' Victory lifted Southampton up to sixteenth in the table - level on thirty six points with Huddersfield - and left Swansea three points adrift of safety with one game remaining. The Marriott Hotel in Swansea defended its decision, saying that it 'cancelled large bookings' after 'some guests became ill.' Southampton stayed instead at the Vale of Glamorgan hotel near Cardiff on Monday night. Hughes added: 'I'm not for one minute suggesting Swansea had anything to do with that. Maybe it was over-zealous Swansea fans in positions to affect our hotel booking.'
England manager Gareth Southgate is considering new approaches to taking penalties at the World Cup, including whether players practise them at all. England have exited from six tournaments in penalty shootouts dating back to 1990. But England's World Cup-winning Under-Seventeens have been testing spot-kick techniques and have shared findings. They include rating the most eager takers before a game, whether takers need practice and ensuring players have several 'go-to' penalties. England begin their World Cup campaign in Russia on 18 June against Tunisia, but have lost on penalties in 1990, 1998 and 2006 tournaments. Southgate recently told an England fans forum broadcast on the Three Lions podcast: 'We have already started a couple of projects with the players and with our analysis team on successful and unsuccessful shootouts.' FA technical director Dan Ashworth said part of that would involve players being encouraged to take their time approaching the penalty spot, with research suggesting it leads to more success. But FA head of coach and player development Matt Crocker, who liaises with all England head coaches, said the under-Seventeen side had benefited from changes in approach in the space of five months. One of them was based on players saying they did not want to practise penalties every day. Crocker told BBC Sport: 'The head coaches meet once a week to discuss things like this and penalties is just one area we are looking to improve. Gareth and assistant coach Steve Holland are involved in everything that we do. They sit in on all our meetings.' Having lost the European Championship Under-Seventeen final on penalties against Spain a year ago, they tackled six key areas and beat Japan on penalties en route to their World Cup win against Spain in India last October. Crocker said the Under-Seventeen players were consulted at team meetings at the National Football Centre at St George's Park. That covered everything from whether they want to take a spot-kick through to practising more than one penalty based on the opposition goalkeepers knowing where previous penalties have been placed. 'Rather than thinking it's about the player practising penalties every day in training, some of the players told us "we don't want to practise them every day,"' Crocker said. 'Those who don't need it and just want to take it in a game, because that's their style, we tailor it specific to their needs. We then set up a loads of meetings with the players, where we said, "Here's a scale from number one and number ten. Number one is desperate to take a penalty. I thrive in that environment; I love it. Number ten was, as soon as the final whistle goes, I can't wait to be in the dressing room. It's just not me." Honestly, we asked them where they sat and some wanted to be sat in twelve or thirteen; there is a spectrum.' Crocker added: 'You have chats about four big areas. Going into extra-time, what are you thinking? Some players were saying they get nervous at the back end of extra-time because of penalties, so it's starting to affect their game. So what can we do to try and help you get better and overcome that? When the final whistle goes, it's about being organised and having a plan. We've already agreed who is responsible as a coaching staff on who is taking penalties based on the eleven left on the pitch, who is taking what and in what order. The third part is the walk - how is it going to feel? It's OK to feel nervous as hell. When you spot the ball, are you going to rush it? How do you keep your same routine and rhythm as you normally would in a game? Finally, it's your actual action in striking the ball. You might be on your third penalty of the tournament, so you might need to have more than one go-to penalty and how as a player are you going to manage those four stages? For the penalty shootout against Japan, we were organised and on the halfway line ready, while the Japanese guys were still running round with the players still deciding.'
The Russian Football Union has been fined twenty two grand for racist chants by fans in March's friendly with France. Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele and N'Golo Kante were said to be among those subjected to taunts in Les Bleus' three-one win over the World Cup hosts. The game was played at Krestovsky Stadium in St Petersburg, one of the host venues for this summer's event. Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out, called the fine 'pitiful.' He said: 'The organisation reiterates its belief that the lack of effective action from FIFA against the issue of racism in Russian football will likely result in the further abuse of black players in matches involving the country. Ultimately, with this outcome, Kick It Out has little confidence that FIFA can effectively deal with potential incidents of racism during this summer's World Cup and protect those black players, staff and supporters who will be in attendance.' A statement from football's world governing body claimed that FIFA has 'a zero tolerance approach' to discrimination. One or two people even believed them. 'Following a thorough investigation including the review of video evidence, after analysing all the specific circumstances of the case, in particular the gravity of the incident but also the limited number of fans involved, [FIFA has] decided that the Russian Football Union was liable for a breach of article fifty eight,' it added. The issue was first reported by photographers from news agency Agence France-Presse, who said that they heard chants when players went to take corners. It is the latest in a number of incidents of discrimination linked to Russia. Earlier in March, Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said: 'I do not think we have racism on a scale that needs to be fought.'
Moscow Chelski FC have been extremely charged by the Football Association after players surrounded referee Lee Mason at half-time during their draw with Huddersfield Town on Wednesday. The club are charged with failing to ensure their players 'conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.' Players were reported to be 'unhappy' when Mason blew the whistle for half-time before they could take a corner.
Basaksehir's on-loan Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan has been banned for an eye-watering sixteen games in his native Turkey for pushing an assistant referee. Turan, who has one hundred caps for Turkey, was very sent-off after confronting the official towards the end of his side's Super Lig draw with Sivaspor last week. Basaksehir were leading one-nil at the time but conceded a late equaliser after being reduced to nine men. The thirty one-year-old was also fined thirty nine thousand Turkish lira. And, told to grow the Hell up. Probably. Turan shoved the official with both hands after being unhappy with a decision and he continued his protest after being shown a straight red card. He was banned for ten matches for attacking the assistant referee, three matches for insulting him and another three for threatening him. Turan joined Basaksehir on a two-and-a-half-season loan deal in January having struggled for first-team opportunities at Barcelona following his twenty four million knicker move from Atletico Madrid in July 2015. Third-place Basaksehir are challenging for their first Super Lig title and are three points behind leaders Galatasaray with two games remaining.
Tommy Charlton is set to become the fourth member of his family to represent his country when he plays for England's over-sixties walking football team. The seventy two-year-old is the younger brother of Manchester United legend Sir Bobby and Leeds' Jack. In addition, their mother's cousin, Jackie Milburn also played thirteen times for England in the 1950s. Tommy will make his England debut as the first-ever walking football internationals are played on Sunday. 'I never in a million years thought I'd follow in the footsteps of my brothers and represent England,' Tommy said. The grandfather of six was just twenty when he watched his two elder brothers help England beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final but he was forced to retire from amateur football aged twenty four because of injury. He now plays for the Mature Millers walking football club in Rotherham and earned his own international call-up after impressing during a trial at Burnley in March. He is joined in the over-sixties squad by Alan Kennedy who won two European Cups with Liverpool, while an over-fifties side also faces Italy, with both games at Brighton's Amex Stadium. 'I was shocked when I got the call, but am delighted to be in the squad,' Tommy added. 'There are so many good walking footballers in this country and it will be an honour to play alongside them against a strong Italian side. When I get my boots and the England strip on I'm sure it will be a great feeling. I just hope we can put in a good performance against Italy and impress the fans who come out to watch us.' Walking football is played in thirty five countries and there are now over eleven hundred clubs and an estimated thirty five thousand players participating in the UK. As well as no running, there is either no or minimal physical contact permitted while there are over-head height restrictions and indirect free-kicks.
A ninety five-year-old woman in Daytona Beach, Florida, was reportedly arrested Saturday morning after she slapped her granddaughter in the face with a slipper and then called nine-one-one to get her out of the house. The five-foot-tall grandmother, Hattie Reynolds, told police that she was 'tired of her granddaughter staying in bed all day soaking up the air conditioning,' the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Reynolds said that her forty six-year-old granddaughter 'would not listen to her' and leave the bedroom, so she hit her granddaughter in the face with a slipper, the arrest report states. When officers arrived to the home, the granddaughter - who was not named - said that she did not want to press charges, but because of 'strict domestic violence laws' the fuzz arrested Reynolds and stuck her ass in The Slammer, according to News-Journal. 'If your wife reported that you threatened to hit her, you would be arrested because that is domestic violence assault,' a police chief said to News-Journal. 'I just feel bad for her but the officers did their job as required by the law.' Reynolds was reportedly released the next day on her own recognisance.
A Polish highway was shut down on Wednesday when a tanker truck full of liquid chocolate crashed and spilled its contents across the road. Clean-up efforts on the highway were being hampered because the chocolate was quickly cooling and solidifying on the six-lane surface. Crews at the scene reportedly said that they needed to ship in hot water to melt the chocolate and wash it away. Senior brigadier Bogdan Kowalski with the fire brigade of Slupca, a town in Western Poland, said, 'cooling chocolate is worse than snow.' Albeit, it tastes nicer. TVN24 reported from the site of the accident that the driver was taken to a hospital with a broken arm.
Kendra Jackson thought that she had bad allergies — at least, that's what her doctors told her when she complained of a runny nose. 'Everywhere I went I always had a box of Puffs, always stuffed in my pocket,' Jackson of Omaha, Nebraska, told KETV. '[It was] like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat.' For years, Jackson had been seeing doctors and specialists looking for answers. The sneezing, coughing and constant nose tickle began shortly after she got into a car accident in 2013. She recalls hitting her head on the dashboard, which would explain her chronic headaches — but not the cold symptoms. It wasn't until this year that Jackson learned the real reason her nose was always runny: she had a cerebrospinal fluid leak. She was losing about a half-pint of fluid per day, KETV reports. 'Cerebrospinal fluid from her brain was leaking out of her nose,' Nebraska Medicine wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a CSF leak occurs when fluid around the brain travels through a hole 'through the skull bone,' typically as a result of a traumatic injury. Symptoms can include a runny nose, liquid in the ear, headaches and vision loss, among others. The condition is rare - and often undiagnosed. About five in one hundred thousand people report CSF leaks every year, the CSF Leak Association, a UK-based charity to promote awareness for the condition, reports. Sometimes the CSF leak will repair itself with proper rest, but occasionally surgery is needed.
Three people were injured in Texas after two bobcat kittens were mistaken for domestic kittens. Animal Care Services said that a family living near Salado Creek discovered the felines at a back alley. The homeowner decided to bring them inside her home. 'She tried to feed them some kitten milk and during the process of doing that, three people were bitten,' said ACS spokesperson Lisa Norwood. 'Not bad bites but bites nonetheless. They're seeking medical attention right now.' Norwood said that the family decided to look online and noticed the kittens were, in fact, bobcats. 'Once they started taking a look at the kittens, seeing how big they were, how robust they were, how their tails were bobbed,' said Norwood. 'I think they started doing a little bit more research and educating themselves and thinking: "You know what, these don't look like your standard house cat. Maybe we should call somebody." Thankfully, they did.' An ACS officer took the bobcat kittens to the care of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation. The kittens are not injured and currently are under quarantine. A spokesperson for the rehab centre said that they will be monitored to make sure they can be released to a protected site.
A woman in Aurora, Colorado was cited by police officers on Thursday after allegedly damaging a microwave at a Seven-Eleven by placing a urine sample in the microwave, causing the urine to 'explode.' According to a report from the Aurora Police Department obtained by Nine News, officers cited Angelique Sanchez who was found waiting for a physical and urinalysis at a health clinic a half-mile North of the Seven-Eleven. The report states that Sanchez entered the Seven-Eleven and placed something in the microwave, but after a few seconds, the clerk heard 'a loud bang.' The clerk told police that she saw Sanchez exit the store immediately after the explosion and that there was 'yellow liquid dripping from the microwave and the smell was unquestionably urine.' The clerk demanded that Sanchez clean up the mess, but Sanchez simply 'wiped out the microwave onto the floor' and left the store. This prompted the clerk to call the police, who were able to locate Sanchez at the health clinic waiting for the tests for a future job. According to the report, Sanchez told an officer that 'she had cleaned up the mess and did not understand the problem.'
An award-wining film director was headbutted to death by a giraffe while shooting footage at a safari lodge in South Africa. Carlos Carvalho was taking close-ups of the animal - named Gerald - when it suddenly swung its neck and knocked him flying through the air. Carvalho died of his injuries that night after being flown to a Johannesburg hospital, said then filming agency, CallaCrew. He had been shooting scenes at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom, which is famous for featuring in the British TV series Wild At Heart. Richard Brooker, whose family owns the lodge, said that the bull giraffe would not be put down as he was not considered dangerous. 'When Carlos was standing in front of the giraffe, the animal spread its legs, bent its neck and swung its head at Carlos,' he said. 'Gerald will remain at the lodge. He did nothing wrong,' Brooker told the Torygraph. A spokesperson for Glen Afric also suggested that Carvalho had 'gone off on his own' and had ignored safety instructions not to approach the animals. Drikus Van Der Merwe, a member of the film crew, was standing next to Carvalho when the incident occurred on 2 May. 'The giraffe started chasing the boom swinger who joined our unit,' he told the Sun. 'We didn't feel threatened because he just seemed to be inquisitive. We started shooting closeups of its body and its feet. Then while Carlos was looking through the camera eyepiece Gerald swung his neck and hit him against his head. It came out of nowhere and Carlos didn't even see it coming. He wasn't aware of the danger. I knew he had a severe head trauma. But I never thought he would die.'
Authorities say that 'an extremely intoxicated man' who was 'attempting to have sex with the tailpipe of a car' in Central Kansas was 'subdued with a stun gun' after he refused an order to stop. Newton officer Scott Powell says that the twenty four-year-old - who was not named - was taken to hospital on Tuesday because of his life-threateningly high blood alcohol level and 'possible drug use.' Powell added that the man had a possible head injury and 'was completely oblivious to everyone standing around and telling him to stop.'
Two women were arrested on Tuesday after throwing ashes of a woman who died in police custody at Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck during a meeting at police headquarters, officials said. The women, identified by Black Lives Matter activists as Melina Abdullah and Sheila Hines-Brim, were arrested on suspicion of 'battery on a police officer,' the Los Angeles Times reported. Hines-Brim, the aunt of Wakeisha Wilson, who died in police custody in 2016, was the one who actually threw the substance at Beck, Officer Mike Lopez told the newspaper. Abdullah, a Cal State Los Angeles professor, was the one who assaulted an officer, Lopez added. Hines-Brim told KTLA that she threw the ashes at Beck to protest at the death of Wilson. She told reporters that she felt vindicated. 'I used her ashes so they could be with him, so he can feel her, because he murdered her,' she said. 'I feel satisfied, because I completed what Wakiesha told me to do.' Beck was not hurt in the incident - because, after all, ashes are really very hard - and officials did not immediately confirm the substance was Wilson's ashes, according to the Los Angeles Times. Beck called the incident 'disrespectful. This only created chaos and fear for any Angelenos who wanted to voice their opinion about policing in our city,' he said. The police account of Wilson's death had been challenged by activists. Police claimed that Wilson committed suicide while in a jail cell in March 2016. Activists contend that she actually died as a result of 'a confrontation' with police.
Karen Matthews has insisted that she is not the worst mother in Britain, ten years after she was jailed for kidnapping her daughter, Shannon. The forty three-year-old claimed she 'knew nothing' of the plot to kidnap the nine-year-old in Dewsbury in February 2008. Matthews told the Mirra: 'I'm not Britain's worst mum. I didn't kill anybody.' Because, obviously, 'not killing your kids' is something of a pre-requisite for good parenting. It is not known exactly how much Matthews was paid by the Mirra for this example of hard-hitting, quality journalism.
A family have been 'left devastated' after artificial grass was stolen by 'brazen thieves' from their front garden in the middle of the night. Sue Scorer was 'horrified' to discover her entire garden's AstroTurf taken and fence flattened when she awoke on Sunday morning. Though, one imagines selling the story to the Scotsman and the Mirra and the Metro and the Sun softened the blow, a bit. Sue said: 'I woke up on Sunday morning and was washing my hands when I looked out my window and saw that the trampoline was on the other side of the garden. I opened the window to see what was going on and saw all the grass was gone and the fence was down. I thought I was dreaming. I was in shock, I couldn't believe it. I called the police straight away to report what had happened.' Sue, a fitness consultant, has lived in the house for six years and had the four grand AstroTurf put down four years ago so that her two boys could play football without getting dirty.
An Arizona woman whom the New York Post claim described herself as 'the new Hitler' was extremely busted by The Fuzz this week for allegedly stalking a man and sending him over sixty thousand text messages in less than a year. And all this, after they went on a single date, according to reports. It must have been quite a date. Jacqueline Ades of Phoenix was very arrested on Tuesday and charged with threatening and intimating, stalking and harassment. A month ago, the unidentified man called Paradise Valley police when surveillance footage allegedly showed Ades taking a bath in his home when he was away on a trip. Ades, whom authorities said 'had a butcher knife in her car', was arrested but later released and did not appear for her court date. On Tuesday, she went to the man's place of work in Scottsdale and was subsequently escorted from the building. Paradise Valley officers were informed of the incident and arrested her. Ades - who allegedly told officers that she was the alleged victim's alleged wife - is currently being held without bond. According to court records, Ades 'became obsessed', visiting the man's home and office and inundating his phone with texts, sometimes five hundred in just one day, after she met him last summer through an online dating website. Last summer, the victim reportedly called the police when he found Ades parked outside his home. Officers escorted her from the property. Ades allegedly proceeded to send the man 'alarming' texts following the incident. According to the news outlet, Ades called herself 'the new Hitler' in one text. In another message, Ades alleged wrote: 'Don't ever try to leave me. I'll kill you. I don't wanna be a murderer.'
President Trump administration officials have grovellingly apologised to a Canadian cabinet minister after an airport security agent asked him to remove his turban during a security check at Detroit Metro Airport whilst he was on his way back to Canada last year. Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, who is a Sikh for whom wearing a turban is mandatory in the religion, said that he was 'repeatedly' asked to take his turban off and it was only when security agents realised who he was that they allowed him to travel. In the end, Bains did not remove his turban. 'I was very frustrated and disappointed that this occurred but ultimately I was allowed to fly,' Bains said, in comments delivered to a Group of Seven women's forum in Toronto on Thursday. 'But it was because of who I was and that should not be the case. It doesn't matter what your status is and what your position is. He told me to take off my turban. I asked him why I would have to take off my turban when the metal detector had worked properly,' the minister said. The US amended its travel policy in 2007, allowing Sikhs to keep turbans on while passing during the security inspection process. Bains said that when he travels, he rarely discloses his identity as a cabinet minister, in order to better understand the travel experiences and frustrations of people not afforded similar privileges however, on this occasion as the argument threatened to escalate, he produced his diplomatic passport. At which point, airport officials became surprisingly cooperative. Bains said that he recounted his experience to Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland who then complained to senior US transportation officials. Bains said the US officials 'expressed regret' and apologised and that he has accepted the apology. Mike England, a spokesman for the US Transportation Security Administration, said closed-circuit video was 'reviewed' and indicated that the officer conducting the screening 'did not follow standard operating procedures' and has 'received additional training.' But England added that security agents do have the right to search headwear. 'All persons wearing head coverings may be subject to additional security screening, which may include an officer-conducted or self-conducted pat-down. TSA does this to ensure that prohibited items or weapons are not concealed beneath any type of clothing and brought onto an aircraft. This policy covers all headwear and is not directed at any one particular item or group,' he said. 'We recognise that passengers may be unable or unwilling to remove items for religious, medical, or other reasons and should expect to undergo additional screening protocols.' Bains said that it is the first time he has been asked to take his turban off while travelling in the US.
They reportedly made a previously deal to stay out of jail, however, a couple who had sex at the Wisconsin State Fair last summer are now behind bars. They are being held in two different counties and for two different reasons. Desiree Anderson and Bobby Beasley, were extremely arrested for the act caught on camera. Anderson was fined and Beasley reached a plea deal to keep him out of jail. This week it has been reported that the married couple are now behind bars in separate jails. Beasley, is in the Milwaukee County House of Corrections. State officials say, his probation was reportedly revoked after he allegedly made contact 'with someone he was not allowed to.' As punishment, he must serve his once 'stayed' sentence for the State Fair incident of ninety days in The Big House. Anderson is in far bigger trouble. She is currently behind bars in Manitowoc County, after prosecutors say she was found in possession of a large amount of cocaine and pills.
A wildlife park has been fined after forgetting to tell the police that they were taking their bear out for ice cream. Discovery Wildlife Park in Alberta, Canada, drove Berkley the bear to a Dairy Queen to get ice cream and shared a video of him being fed through a window by the store's owner according to Sky News. According to the Canadian press, the zoo's permit requires them to alert authorities before moving animals out of the zoo. The owners of the park, Doug Bos and Debbie Rowland, were charged under the Wildlife Act and admitted that they had been 'busy' and 'made a mistake' in not telling the local officials about Berkley's trip. In a statement posted on social media, the park said: 'The conclusion of the investigation has resulted in us being charged under section twelve of the Wildlife Act. What we failed to do under this section was to notify Fish & Wildlife ahead of time that we were taking Berkley off-site. We have been in operation for over twenty eight years and this is the first time that we have failed to notify Fish & Wildlife before taking an animal off-site. The Alberta Zoo Standards fall under the Wildlife Act and are very strict and regulated. We appreciate that Fish & Wildlife follow these high standards to ensure the best care and well-being of the animals in our care. We will pay our fine and have already instituted changes to our protocols and put them into practice to ensure that these notifications are done every time without fail.'
The Sunday Torygraph has paid 'substantial damages' to the general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque after it entirely falsely portrayed him as 'a supporter of violent lslamist extremism' as part of a botched attempt to criticise the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. In March 2016 the newspaper published an article headlined: Corbyn and the mosque leader who blames the UK for Isil. The story tried to connect the Labour leader to extremist views allegedly held by Mohammed Kozbar, who runs the mosque in Corbyn's Islington North constituency and is also vice-chair of the Muslim Association of Britain. Kozbar successfully argued that the article was defamatory and the Sunday Torygraph has now removed the article from its website, published a ruling 'accepting' the article was defamatory and paid damages understood to be in the region of thirty grand to settle the case. This does not include the newspaper's costs. 'It was not just myself who was the target of this article, it was Jeremy Corbyn,' said Kozbar after the verdict. 'The aim was to damage the reputation of Jeremy and make his progress with the Labour party more difficult.' The piece, by the journalist Andrew Gilligan, claimed that the mosque administrator supported the use of violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict and blamed the UK government for the rise of Islamic State. It appeared alongside a picture of Corbyn shaking hands with Kozbar, detailed regular meetings between the two men and quoted the Labour leader as calling the mosque leader 'fantastic.' Finsbury Park mosque became infamous for hosting the radical preacher Abu Hamza before it was shut down by the authorities in 2003 over an alleged plot to produce the poison ricin. Kozbar says that he has since fought hard to rebuild the mosque's reputation and standing in the community and he was forced to fight the case against the Sunday Torygraph in order to take a stand against 'Islamophopic media coverage.' He insisted the article was 'not just an attack on me but also my faith community. This mosque went through very difficult times in the past and we managed to change the atmosphere from a hostile atmosphere to a welcoming community,' said Kozbar. 'We will not accept anyone who wants to destroy the reputation and the hard work that has been done with the community here at Finsbury Park mosque.' Corbyn appeared alongside Kozbar last summer following the far-right terrorist attack near the mosque, which resulted in the death of Makram Ali. Jonathan Coad of Keystone Law, who took up the case after Kozbar was unsatisfied with a ruling by the press regulator IPSO, said: 'While there are many responsible elements of the press, the demonising of Muslims in some parts of it is immensely destructive. These legal proceedings should never have been necessary. The article should not have been published.'