Monday, January 21, 2019

The Singular Adventures Of The Sanctimonious Sour Mardy-Faced Whinge-Merchants (And Their Annoying Ways)

Even though production for the next series - due for broadcast in early 2020 - has already begun (and, indeed, filming in reportedly under way in South Africa), for the first time in a while the latest From The North bloggerisationisms update is a Doctor Who-free zone. Well, apart from this bit, obviously.
'Scientists now theorise an infinite number of dimensions outside our own. Einstein said: "Past, present and future are all a stubbornly persistent illusion." Are you waking up to that illusion? Now, while things falls apart are you starting to see them clearly? And at the end of all things are you awakening to what you withheld? Did you confuse reacting with feeling? Did you mistake compulsion for freedom? And, even so, did you harden your heart against what loved you most?' The return-to-form of From The North favourite True Detective continues with the third episode full of beautiful location filming and poetic dialogue - of which the above quoted was, perhaps, the most outstanding example. A number good think-pieces on the series have been cropping up of later, with this blogger particularly recommending articles by Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson, Rolling Stone's Sean Collins and Time magazine's Eliana Dockterman for special consideration. The latest episode is also reviewed by the Den Of Geek! website's Tony Sokol here (contains spoilers, obviously, if you haven't seen the episode yet).
How nice it was to see the legendary Dog Leap Stairs just off the back of Newcastle's Quayside finally turning up for a bit of location filming on Sunday night's episode of Vera.
To think, it's only taken them the best part of nine series for the production to find a use for one of the most unusual and highly photogenic parts of Th' Toon!
The same Vera episode also included the current series' first major geographical error-type malarkey. The sequences which took place on the - entirely fictitious - 'Ferry Cross' estate were actually filmed in Gatesheed, as this beautiful panoramic tracking shot at the start of the scene clearly showed.
However, in another shot Brenda Blethyn was shown standing next to a sign for the Ferry Cross Estate which included an NE6 postcode, suggesting this was taking place in Newcastle's East End. NE6, for those who've never written Keith Telly Topping a letter (which, let's face it, is probably most of you), is the postcode covering the majority of the East of this blogger's home city including the suburbs of Heaton, Byker, Walker, Walkergate, St Anthony's, some parts of Wallsend and, indeed, Stately Telly Topping Manor its very self. Thus, we have an example of Vera's biggest geographical screw-up since that episode a couple of years ago where Joe and his daughter turned right coming out of St Nicholas's Cathedral and then found themselves, in the next scene, not on Mosley Street as they should have done but, instead, half-a-city away on Clayton Street West. As noted back then, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch Keith Telly Topping out when it comes to location-spotting in and around Newcastle, ITV!
From The North's TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Part The First. In Friday's Would I Lie To You?, David Mitchell's trademark angry logic once again reared its ugly-but-funny head when Alex Jones off The ONE Show was telling a story about her handbag being 'hijacked' by a - one-armed - monkey during a trip to the zoo. What sort of monkey was it, asked Rob Brydon? Alex, not unreasonably, replied that she had no idea since she's not David Attenborough. Rob suggested that it may, perhaps, have been a chimpanzee at which point, David noted that chimpanzees are not monkeys. 'Even though a chimp, in every meaningful way, is obviously a monkey it's not a monkey. It's a special place that's been made by biologists for pedants to reside so that whenever anyone refers to a chimpanzee as a monkey like you did then, a pedant like me says "Oh no, a chimpanzee isn't a monkey." And, I've started to hate myself for that!' Quick as a jolly quick thing, presenting Lee Mack with a twenty four carat comic open goal. Which, of course, he took: 'Nice of you to join the rest of us!'
From The North's TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Part The Second. From the same Would I Lie To You? episode, the great Henning Wehn's extremely tall tale about, as a child, being denied chocolate. And, as a consequence, running around the garden 'hunting the Easter Onion!'
From The North's TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Part The Third. A glorious moment in the latest Qi episode - Potpourri. 'Why would you say The Pope's name three times and then whack his ring with a hammer?' asked Sandi Toksvig. 'Because he forgot the safe word,' suggested Phill Jupitas in the first every recorded Qi answer which ended with the panellist being high-fived by the host.
From The North's TV Comedy Moment Of The Week, Part The Fourth. From the same Qi episode, Rhod Gilbert being given a cardboard periscope which contained no mirrors in it specifically because on his last appearance on Qi he had continued to insist that it's not possible to see anything in Scandinavia because it's dark all the time. 'About two years ago - for a joke - I said there was no sunshine in Denmark and you've been waiting two years, sitting there biding your time!' As Sandi reflected that revenge is a dish best served cold, Rhod added: 'Mind you, I say two years, it's been two years for me it's probably the next day for you!'
In what is rapidly becoming a - terribly self-important - weekly boast, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping managed to get but one question on this week's episode of From The North favourite Only Connect before either of the teams did. And yes, as usual, it was the music round.
Although, to be fair to him, this blogger also managed to get one at exactly the same time as one of the teams! So, we'll take that as a half-point.
That football grounds question on The Wall was an absolute bitch though, wasn't it? I mean, that was pure evil. This blogger has been to all six of the potential right answers and even he didn't get the correct four. He had a pretty good idea that Stamford Bridge was one of the red herrings and belonged in with the other 'battles' but after that, it was a four-out-of-five toss up and this blogger was still screaming 'Deepdale's not from Game Of Thrones, Preston play there!' as the time ran out for the Time Ladies. Still, at least they won in the end.
There was another terrific episode of From The North favourite Gotham this week featuring 'Bruce and Selina's adventures in The Dark Zone.' And, posed more questions than it provided answers, as noted by this piece at the Screen Rant website. There's also a splendid review of the episode here.
Emilia Clarke has discussed her feelings after finishing work on Game Of Thrones' final series. Clarke has been a major force on HBO's fantasy epic since its debut, shifting from a timid heiress into a ruthless leader of dragons over seven series. Come this April - when Thrones finally returns - Daenerys could even end up as Queen of the Gaff. The English actress has discussed how the experience of finishing Thrones was 'very emotional' for her. She told the Daily Scum Mail: 'It's over and I cried like a baby on the last day. I felt completely lost. It was very strange and wonderful to get [Last Christmas, her upcoming film]. This part couldn't be more opposite, because dragons ain't funny. Ten years is a long time. It's like losing an actual limb. I was twenty two - a child - when I first walked on the Game Of Thrones set. I grew up with her.'
Filming on Peaky Blinders series five concluded on Friday of this week. The production team shared an Instagram image of Cillian Murphy and director Anto Byrne as filming finally ended. The news comes days after the cast were spotted filming scenes for the highly anticipated new series on the streets of Stockport. The scenes being filmed involve a street protest taking place outside a political rally with around one hundred and twenty extras re-enacting the protest. The acclaimed BAFTA award-winning drama began filming in Manchester in September, before moving to film in Stoke-on-Trent in November. The creator of the Birmingham-based show revealed in November that the Shelby family will take on a Glasgow crime boss in series five. Steven Knight added that all our old favourites will take on a Glasgow gang boss based on the head of The Billy Boys. 'We have someone playing a fictionalised version of a real Glasgow character who was around in East Glasgow, Billy Fullerton. Truth be told the Glasgow gangs were pretty much the most feared so I thought it was time we went North of the border. It's due to be aired in late spring. It'll be the best yet.' Hunger Games's Sam Claflin will be joining the series as Baronet Oswald Ernald Mosley, leader of The British Union of Fascists, who may come into conflict with Tommy. Anya Taylor-Joy will also be joining the cast 'as a feisty new gangster's moll.' Brian Gleeson, Neil Maskell, Kate Dickie, Emmett J Scanlan, Cosmo Jarvis, Charlene McKenna, Andrew Koji, Elliot Cowan and Daryl McCormack will also feature in the new series.
Despite previously starring in BBC dramas including Doctor Foster and Thirteen, it's From The North favourite Killing Eve that propelled Jodie Comer to international fame. With series one of Killing Eve currently reaping awards success and a highly-anticipated second series due for release this year, Jodie is one of the world's most talked-about talents and in-high-demand for interviews and public appearances. Jodie has spoken about finding it 'difficult' to adjust to some elements of her new-found fame. Speaking on the acting-focused Two Shot podcast, Jodie said: 'The job I do doesn't end when the camera stops rolling, there's this whole other world.' She referenced an appearance she made on an American talk show and how she 'stupidly watched it and read the YouTube comments' some of which criticised the Liverpudlian actor for 'losing her accent.' 'I know all the people who comment on YouTube are aliens anyway, but I was speaking as myself and they were saying I'm losing my accent. I'd adapted it a little bit because it's an American audience and a lot of time people are like: "What is she saying?"' she explained. 'That's a whole other world to me. That side of things I can find difficult,' she added. Internet gobshites aside, Jodie has a lot to look forward to this year, particularly the broadcast of Killing Eve series two, which she has revealed some information about. Speaking to ELLE she said: 'The story picks up right from where we left off. Obviously Eve stabbed Villanelle, let's not forget that, but what's going to be really interesting for the audience is how Villanelle reacts to that. It may not be as they suspect it will be. She's never just straight-up upset about anything. She sees the world in a different way, so it would have a different impact on her I think,' she added.
'Sometimes it's wise to keep our expectations low, that way we're never be disappointed.' The first series of Star Trek: Discovery started slowly last year but got much better as it went along - making it into From The North's favourite TV shows of the year list - and ended on a seismic cliffhanger, with the titular ship receiving a distress signal from Captain Pike of the USS Enterprise. You might have heard of it, it was quite famous. Fans have waited with for almost a year to get a glimpse of the show's take on the original series character and they got it this week when Anson Mount beamed on-board as Pike in the series two premiere. The episode warped the audience back to where the previous series left off, with Pike and a small team of Enterprise officers - but, intriguingly, not Michael Burnham's foster-brother, Mister Spock - coming onto the Discovery to take command. The revelation shocks the Discovery crew, who were previously on their way to pick up a new captain on Vulcan. Pike tells the crew that he wanted to deliver the message personally, showing them (and the audience) that he is much more understanding and warmer than the ship's previous captain, completely mental bastard Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs). Mount was able to pull from personal experience to depict Pike's most noteworthy characteristic. 'I've been fortunate enough to have had the experience of teaching before,' he told The Hollywood Reporter at the Discovery premiere in New York. 'You learn eventually that the power of self-deprecation is very important.' Pike continues to show this warm attitude on the bridge of Discovery, when - with a bit of help from fan-favourite Ensign Tilly - he puts his Starfleet file up on the screen for all to view, expressing that he is an open book. 'I know this is a hard left turn,' he tells them and he understands their doubts given their recent track record with captains. But Pike is plain about it. 'I'm not him. I'm not Lorca.' The full Hollywood Reporter preview and interview with Mount can be read here. The episode itself was a little like a microcosm of the entire first series - a bit slow to start with but, rapidly getting its shit together.
From The North favourite yer actual Gillian Anderson is reportedly set to play former Prime Minister and well-known milk-snatcher Margaret Thatcher in the fourth series of Netflix drama The Crown. The X-Files actress, who is currently playing a sex therapist in another Netflix show, Sex Education, will play The Iron Lady when the series moves into the 1970s, according to The Times. However, she won't be appearing for some time, as the third series of the royal drama has yet to air on Netflix. The new series sees a cast shake-up, with Olivia Colman replacing Claire Foy as Her Maj and Tobias Menzies taking over the role of Prince Philip from yer actual Matt Smith. Helena Bonham Carter plays the Princess Margaret, while Ben Daniels has the role of her husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones. According to creator Peter Morgan, the third series will take place between the years 1964 and 1976 – meaning that Anderson is likely to appear in the fourth series.
After an agonisingly long wait following the series one finale - and, more back-stage shenanigans than most long-running series manage in a decade - American Gods' second series is finally almost here. Now we've got a new trailer and it looks proper tasty. With Mister Wednesday (Ian McShane) revealed as Odin, Amazon Prime's trailer teases a world where full-out war between the Gods is brewing. The Neil Gaiman drama's second series picks up hours after Wednesday declared war following the epic showdown at Easter's party and sees him continue his quest to pitch the case for war to The Old Gods whilst Mister World (Crispin Glover) plans his revenge for Wednesday's attack. With Shadow (Ricky Whittle), Laura (Emily Browning) and Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) all joining Wednesday, it's not long before a council at The House On The Rock explodes into chaos, sending deities, both Old and New, on quests across America that will converge on Cairo, Illinois. 'Shadow will begin to understand this strange world of the Gods and carve out a place in it as a believer in order to survive,' the synopsis reads. 'But change will require sacrifice.'
There's a very good piece by James Coorey Smith in The New Statesman on the reasons behind one of the most common whinges about BBC iPlayer, that it doesn't contain more archive content which dear blog readers are advised to have a gander at.
We are only a couple weeks into the year, dear blog reader, but we already have a trailer for what may very well turn out to be one of the worst TV shows on 2019, Vicky Pattison: The Break-Up. In which, if the trailer is anything to go by, Vicky - a Geordie Shore-type person with no other obvious abilities to justify her continued existence - cries a lot because she and her fiancé have, very sadly (and, this blogger means that entirely sincerely) split up. And, she's decided to make a television series about it. Nice work if you can get it. TLC, dear blog reader, the TV channel that takes all of the messy dignity out of life.
Michelin-starred TV chef Tom Kerridge avoided a potential driving ban, thanks to his involvement in an upcoming show which will see him embarking on a US road trip. According to the Sun, Kerridge was in court over a speeding ticket, clocked up in his one hundred and thirty grand Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. He was caught doing forty seven miles per hour in a forty miles per hour zone on the M4 in West London and reportedly has twelve points from previous speeding offences dating back to 2016. In his defence, Kerridge's lawyers claimed that a driving ban would cause a planned TV show being filmed in the US later this year to be cancelled and that he also needs to be able to drive to take his son to weekend football practice. At no stage, seemingly, was it pointed out that if Kerridge can afford a one hundred and thirty grand Porsche, he can also, presumably, afford to hire someone to drive him around in it. It was also argued that Kerridge 'needs to be able to drive' to oversee his restaurants, which include Michelin-starred pubs in Buckinghamshire. 'My days are normally eighteen-hour days. Work-life balance is difficult to strike,' he reportedly told magistrates. And, the Beak bought this nonsense. Of the forthcoming series, his lawyer Benjamin Waidhofer claimed at Lavender Hill Magistrates Court: 'He has to be the driver. The effect of a disqualification would not be to push back that filming, it would practically be to destroy it. There are deadlines and if it's not done in that time, it can't be done.' Kerridge was handed a five hundred knicker fine for speeding, along with a fifty quid victim surcharge and sixty five smackers costs, after it was judged that a ban would cause the chef 'exceptional hardship.'
To Catch A Predator host Chris Hansen was arrested on Monday after he allegedly wrote bad cheques to a vendor to whom he owed money, according to police. Hansen turned himself in to the Stamford Police Department in Connecticut after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a felony charge of issuing a bad cheque, Sergeant Sean Scanlan said. In the summer of 2017, Hansen bought about thirteen thousand dollars worth of promotional items, like hats, shirts and mugs from a local company and paid for them with a cheque which, subsequently, bounced Scanlan told NBC News. 'The owner and Hansen go back and forth for a period of time' and in April of 2018, Hansen gave the business owner another cheque, Scanlan added. That one bounced, too. Police issued a warrant for Hansen's arrest after he refused to speak with them, Scanlan said. Hansen hosted NBC's Dateline series To Catch A Predator until it was very cancelled in 2008. He also hosted spin-offs To Catch An ID Thief" and To Catch A Con Man. Though, tragically not To Catch A Bouncing Czech. In 2015, Hansen launched a kickstarter to fund a new show, Hansen Versus Predator. Mugs and T-shirts were listed as incentives for donating. Hansen has reportedly been released without bond and promised to appear in court to answer for his allegedly naughty bouncing ways.
A prominent American anchor on Iranian state television's English-language service has been arrested in the US on undisclosed charges, according to her employers at the state-backed TV channel Press TV. Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin of New Orleans, appears on the English-language news channel backed by the Iranian government which regularly promotes the worldview of the Middle Eastern state to an international audience. Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, criticised the arrest, which comes at a time of heightened tensions with the US – and as Iran faces increasing criticism over its own arrests of dual nationals. 'The arrest of Marzieh Hashemi by America is an unacceptable political act that tramples on freedom of speech,' Zarif told state-run Al-Alam TV. Because, of course, freedom of speech is such a big thing in iran, isn't it? 'The Americans must immediately end this political game,' he added. Press TV claimed that Hashemi was arrested at St Louis airport on Sunday and transferred by FBI agents to a detention centre in Washington DC, where she was held for two days before managing to contact her family. Press TV also claimed that she has yet to be charged or informed of the reason for her detention, saying that Hashemi was made to remove her hijab and expose her forearms for a photograph. The channel claimed she has been denied halal food and was instead offered pork products to eat, leaving her malnourished. The FBI declined to comment and it has not been possible to independently verify any the claims made by Press TV. 'Her relatives were unable to contact her and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest,' the channel said in a statement. 'Press TV would like to hereby express its strong protest at the recent apprehension and violent treatment of Ms Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin in the United States, who is currently serving as an anchor for the English-language television news network.' Hashemi converted to Islam and moved to Iran after being inspired by the 1979 Iranian revolution. She was reportedly visiting family members back in the US when the arrest was made. Press TV broke into its planned broadcasting to cover the arrest and has published more than a dozen statements of support on its website, including from Lauren Booth - the sister-in-law of Tony Blair - who describes Hashemi as 'a personal friend.' The channel, whose presenters have included George Galloway and Comrade Jeremy Corbyn, lost its licence to broadcast on television in the UK in 2012 after being found very guilty ofnumerous breaches of the Ofcom code. The channel had previously been fined one hundred grand for broadcasting an interview 'conducted under duress' with an imprisoned journalist. Corbyn reportedly earned twenty thousand knicker for various appearances on Press TV over several years, including a brief stint hosting a phone-in on the channel. However, the channel continues to be active on social media in the UK, earning attention when it covered an attempt to deselect the Labour MP Joan Ryan, who is chair of Labour Friends of Israel. Last week, Iran confirmed it is holding US navy veteran Michael R White at a prison in the country, making him the first American known to be detained under Donald Rump's administration. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, told state TV that Hashemi's arrest 'indicates the apartheid and racist policy' of the Rump administration. 'We hope that the innocent person will be released without any condition,' Ghasemi said. Subsequently, the US media suggested that Hashemi was 'being held as a material witness' and that she is expected to be released from a Washington detention facility after she testified 'before a grand jury investigating violations of US criminal law, court documents released on Friday claimed. So, not arrested then, merely 'helping the FBI with their enquiries.'
Risible pie-loving This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes has whinged that he has been 'left feeling vulnerable and suspicious of everyone' after being swindled out of sixty grand. The Irish presenter and full-of-his-own-importance berk says that he was scammed out of the hefty sum in 2014 by a conman. He revealed to the Sun that an online scammer had hacked into his bank account and 'gone on a lavish spending spree.' 'The effect it has on you is that it makes you suspicious of everyone and everything and you feel very, very vulnerable,' he snivelled. He added that the fraudster had purchased a twenty five grand fireplace as well as having posed as Holmes 'on several international holidays.' The scammer, revealed to be one Jay Cartmill, also targeted Stephen Nolan. He was subsequently arrested but did not serve any jail time for his naughty and wicked offences. He was, instead, given a two-year suspended sentence. And, that appears to have got right up Holmes's snitch. 'It was the most ridiculous situation but the scandalous thing is that when it went to court the judge said it was a victimless crime because they will say the bank will reimburse me and I could afford it,' Holmes explained. It's nice to see that the judiciary has a sense of humour though, isn't it? Have a pie, Eamonn and calm the smeg down, that'll make everything look much better.
BBC Asian Network's head of news has been found not guilty over the naming of a sexual abuse victim during a live radio broadcast. Arif Ansari checked and approved a reporter's script which named the woman, believing that the name was a pseudonym. Victims of sexual offences are given lifetime anonymity by law. After a two-day case Ansari was found not guilty by a district judge at Sheffield Magistrates' Court, who said that the broadcast was 'an honest mistake.' Ansari was on trial accused of breaching the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992. He denied the charge. A BBC spokesman said: 'From the start we have accepted that mistakenly naming a victim of sexual abuse during a live broadcast last February was a serious mistake. The CPS had a choice to charge the BBC and/or the editor. We firmly believe that it should have been the BBC itself answering in court for this mistake, rather than the individual editor. We are relieved with the court's decision today.' The charge related to a live radio broadcast on 6 February last year. The journalist involved in the broadcast, Rickin Majithia, had gone to Sheffield Crown Court to hear evidence in a trial linked to the Rotherham sex abuse scandal when a victim's real name was used, the court heard on the opening day of Ansari's trial. Majithia told the district judge, Naomi Redhouse, that he wrongly thought the name used was a pseudonym. His report, including the name which was described as a pseudonym, was broadcast as part of a live news bulletin and the woman - who was a victim of the Rotherham abuse - was listening to the radio when her name was read out. She said that she went 'into full meltdown,' the court heard. The charge was brought against Ansari, in his capacity as editor. Ansari had the role of checking and approving the script before it was broadcast, the court heard. Giving evidence to a judge sitting at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on Friday, Ansari said that he considered reporter Majithia to be 'an excellent colleague' who was very driven. 'I trusted his journalism,' Ansari said. 'He was a good journalist. This was not a complex legal issue. This is as basic as it gets. This is what journalists are taught at journalism school.' Ansari added: 'It just struck me as one hundred per cent accurate. Rickin was a senior journalist, one of my senior reporters. He had a background, professional relationship with the victim in question. I didn't. I had never met her. I was in London. Furthermore, I knew that he knew that he could not name her, use her real name. Put all these factors together, it did not occur to me that this could be wrong. I trusted my reporter and the reason I sent him to Sheffield was to make sure he got it right.' Ansari added that he regarded Majithia as 'a loose cannon' at times, but only because of 'a lack of co-ordination' about what he was doing. After the live on-air news report was broadcast and named the victim on 6 February last year, Ansari said that Majithia called him 'in a state of panic' saying: 'I've got the name wrong, it wasn't a pseudonym, it was her real name.' Ansari told the court that the pair met in a pub in London later that evening, where Ansari says he was 'shocked' to realise that Majithia had never reported from a court before. 'I remember being somewhat shocked that he hadn't previously told me that,' he told the court. Ansari described Majithia as 'very badly shaken' by the incident and 'in a really bad way' when he returned to London. Previously on Thursday - the first day of the trial - the court heard a witness statement from the woman who said she was 'panicking and crying.' She said that she had found the process of giving evidence in the sex abuse trial at Sheffield Crown Court 'difficult' and added: 'To then have my name given out as a victim of rape on a BBC radio station was unbelievable and made me feel sick.' The court also heard how Majithia had sent Ansari his script for approval at about 4:35pm and it was broadcast live at 5pm. Majithia explained to the court how the woman gave evidence in court from behind a screen and he, wrongly, assumed that when her forename was used in court it was a pseudonym. The reporter said that he had 'a number of previous dealings' with the woman as he investigated the Rotherham abuse scandal and had 'become confused,' thinking that the name he had always called her was her real one, when it was, in fact, not. The prosecution had said that it accepted Ansari did not know or suspect the victim's real name was in the script but said he had 'good reason' to suspect the name which was used 'might be wrong' because Majithia was inexperienced. It is the first time a BBC editor had been charged under this Act.
Under-fifteens will no longer be able to go to see films which 'depict rape and other sexual violence' under new rules set by Britain's film ratings body. The British Board of Film Classification surveyed more than ten thousand people and found it to be among parents' 'main concerns.' Those of us who aren't parents are, frankly, less bothered. Any film showing 'sexual violence' will now get 'at least' a fifteen rating rather than a twelve or a twelve-A. The BBFC also wants its ratings to appear 'on all streaming services.' BBFC chief executive David Austin said that a film like Keira Knightley's 2008 drama The Duchess, which was classed as a twelve at the time, would be made a fifteen today because it included a rape scene. 'What parents told us was, that's too much for twelve-year-olds,' he told BBC News. 'It's enough that a twelve-year-old knows that a rape has taken place. They do not need to see it, no matter how discreetly it's filmed.' In the survey, parents said that they were 'worried' about the 'sexualisation of society and what they called the pornification of society,' according to Austin. 'They are worried about children growing up being exposed to too much too soon, and they want to hold onto their children's childhood as far as they can,' he said. 'That's another one of the reasons why from now on we will not be classifying any depiction of sexual violence at twelve2. We will limit it to fifteen.' The BBFC also looked at other 'real life' scenarios like 'self-harm, mental health and suicide,' but said that its existing rules were 'in line with the public's views.' For example, viewers were 'happy' that Netflix's To The Bone, about a young women dealing with anorexia, was given a fifteen. 'Parents and children said we were right to do this because that issue is not suitable when it's shown in that way for twelve-year-olds,' Austin claimed. Viewers were 'less worried' about 'less realistic action violence,' such as that seen in James Bond or Marvel films, the survey found. Meanwhile, ninety five per cent of teenagers surveyed said that they want online streaming services to carry the same age ratings as cinemas and DVDs. They already appear on many Netflix shows and films, but Austin said they were 'working with Netflix' to make it one hundred per cent - as well as working with other services. He said: 'We are going to be working in 2019 with some of the big platforms to fulfil what the public has asked us to do, which is to ensure those ratings are consistent when you view something at the cinema, whether you view it on DVD or whether you view it on a tablet in your bedroom.' The new guidelines will come into effect on 28 February.
Mariah Carey's ex-personal assistant has accused the singer and her former manager of subjecting her to 'severe sexual harassment and discrimination.' Lianna Shakhnazaryan has filed a legal case against the pop star and Stella Bulochnikov in Los Angeles. She accuses Bulochnikov of calling her 'a whore' and urinating on her and Carey of 'physical and emotional abuse.' It is the latest twist in a legal battle between Carey and her former assistant. On Wednesday, it was revealed that the singer had sued Shakhnazaryan, also known as Lianna Azarian, for breaking a nondisclosure agreement, negligence and theft. Carey and Bulochnikov parted ways in 2017 and were also reportedly embroiled in their own lengthy legal battle, which was settled last year. The new legal case from Shakhnazaryan says she worked for the chart-topping US singer and her manager between 2015 and 2017. She accuses Bulochnikov of 'yelling racial insults' at her, 'slapping her buttocks and breasts,' 'holding her down and urinating on her' and allowing her 'to be urinated upon in the presence of others.' Such behaviour took place in Carey's presence, but the singer did not take any action to stop it, Shakhnazaryan claims. The case also says that she reported Bulochnikov's behaviour to Carey in October 2017, but was fired the following month. She says that the singer herself also committed acts of 'physical and emotional/psychological abuse,' but the case doesn't go into any detail.
We are looking at Saturn at a very special time in the history of the Solar System, according to scientists. They have confirmed that the planet's iconic rings are 'very young' in cosmic terms - no more than one hundred million years old, when dinosaurs still walked the Earth. The insight comes from the final measurements acquired by the American Cassini probe. The satellite sent back its last data just before diving to destruction in the giant world's atmosphere in 2017. 'Previous estimates of the age of Saturn's rings required a lot of modelling and were far more uncertain. But we now have direct measurements that allows us to constrain the age very well,' Luciano Iess from Sapienza University of Rome told BBC News. The professor's team has published an account of its work with Cassini in Science magazine. There has long been a debate about the age of Saturn's rings. Some had argued these loops of icy particles 'most likely' formed along with the planet itself, some four-and-a-half billion years ago. Others had suggested they were a more recent phenomenon - perhaps the crushed up remains of a moon or a passing comet that was involved in a collision. The US-European Cassini mission promised to resolve the argument in its last months at the gas giant. The satellite's end days saw it fly repeatedly through the gap between the rings and the planet's cloudtops. These manoeuvres made possible unprecedented gravity measurements. Cassini essentially weighed the rings and found their mass to be twenty times smaller than previous estimates about two-fifths the mass of Mimas the Saturn moon that looks like the 'Death Star'. Knowing the mass was a key piece in the puzzle for researchers. From Cassini's other instruments, they already knew the proportion of dust in the rings and the rate at which this dust was being added. Having a definitive mass for the rings then made it possible to work out an age. Professor Iess's team say this could be as young as ten million years but is certainly no older than one hundred million years. In terms of the full age of the Solar System, this is effectively 'yesterday.' The calculation agrees with one made by a different group which last month examined how fast the ring particles were falling on to Saturn - a rate that was described as being equivalent to an Olympic-sized swimming pool every half-hour. This flow, when all factors were considered, would probably see the rings disappear altogether in 'at most one hundred million years,' said Doctor Tom Stallard from Leicester University. 'The rings we see today are actually not that impressive compared with how they would have looked fifty to one hundred million years ago,' he told BBC News. 'Back then they would have been even bigger and even brighter. So, whatever produced them must have made for an incredible display if you'd been an astronomer one hundred million years ago.' Except, of course, that there weren't any. Cassini's investigations cannot shed too much light on the nature of the event that gave rise to the rings, but it would have been cataclysmic in scale. It was conceivable, said Doctor Stallard, that the geology of the moons around Saturn 'could hold important clues.' Just as rock and ice cores drilled on Earth reveal debris from ancient meteorite and comet impacts, so it's possible the moons of Saturn could record evidence of the ring-forming event in their deeper layers.
The appearance of a single green leaf hinted at a future in which astronauts could grow their own food in space, potentially setting up residence at outposts on the Moon or other planets. However, barely after it had sprouted, the cotton plant onboard China's lunar rover has died. The plant relied on sunlight at the Moon's surface, but as night arrived at the lunar far side and temperatures plunged as low as minus one hundred and seventy degress, its short life came to an abrupt end. Professor Xie Gengxin of Chongqing University, who led the design of the experiment, said that its short lifespan had been anticipated. 'Life in the canister would not survive the lunar night,' Xie said. The Chang'e-Four probe entered 'sleep mode' on Sunday as the first lunar night after the probe's landing fell. Night time on the Moon lasts for approximately two weeks, after which the probe would wake up again. Its rover, Yutu-Two, has also been required to take a 'midday nap' to avoid overheating while the sun was directly overhead and temperatures could reach more than one hundred and twenty degrees. Unlike Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to buffer extreme temperature variations. The plants and seeds would gradually decompose in the totally enclosed canister and would not affect the lunar environment, according to the China National Space Administration. Although astronauts have cultivated plants on the International Space Station, this was the first time any have grown on the Moon. 'We had no such experience before. And we could not simulate the lunar environment, such as microgravity and cosmic radiation, on Earth,' Xie said. The experiment also included potato seeds, yeast and Arabidopsis, or rockcress, a small, flowering plant of the mustard family, but none of these showed signs of having sprouted. Fruit fly eggs were also placed in the canister. The hope was that a micro-ecosystem would form, in which the plants would provide oxygen to the fruit flies, which would feed on the yeast and produce the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis. The space agency did not confirm whether the fruit fly eggs had hatched. 'Fruit flies are relatively lazy animals. They might not come out,' Xie told the Chinese news website, Inkstone, on Tuesday. If they failed to hatch, they have probably now missed their window of opportunity.
Stargazers have been scanning the skies for sightings of a highly unusual lunar eclipse, which began on Sunday night. During the spectacle, known as a 'super blood wolf Moon,' the Moon appears to glow red while seeming brighter and closer to Earth than usual. The event was initially visible from North and South America, as well as areas of Western Europe. In parts of the UK clouds mostly obscured the view. The next total lunar eclipse is expected in two years, on 26 May 2021. 'A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth's atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth,' says Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University. 'This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it.' This kind of eclipse occurs when the Earth passes precisely between the Sun and the Moon. In this situation, the Sun is behind the Earth, and the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow. The rare celestial event gets the 'super' part of its name from the fact that the Moon will be near to its closest approach to the Earth - when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than normal.
This blogger genuinely can't remember the last time that his beloved (though still, tragically, unsellable) Magpies scored seven goals in a week, dear blog reader. It certainly wasn't any time recently. Nevertheless, Newcastle lifted themselves out of the relegation zone and leapfrogged Cardiff City as they secured a much-needed win over Neil Warnock's side. Fabian Schär proved the difference as his first two goals for Th' Toon lifted some of the gloom around St James' Park where Rafael Benitez's team have lost eight times in the league this season. The Swiss international centre back was only in the side to replace Ciaran Clark, injured in Wednesday's hard-fought extra-time four-two victory in the cup at Blackburn Vindaloos, but Schär took full advantage midway through the first when he was allowed to run from the right touchline before curling left-footed into the bottom corner. As fine a goal as it was, the Cardiff defending was non-existent. Schär's second was more straightforward as he found himself in the right spot to bundle in Matt Ritchie's corner. Ayoze Perez added some gloss in injury time from Salomon Rondon's low cross as Newcastle scored three goals for the first time in the league this season. Victory ended a five-game winless run in the league for the Magpies and lifted them two points clear of their opponents, who only have Fulham and Huddersfield beneath them. Benitez targeted this game against one of their relegation rivals as a 'crucial' one and his team appeared to rise to the occasion with stellar performances all over the pitch. Schär's goals were as well taken as they were unexpected, but there were fine displays from the likes of academy graduate Sean Longstaff in midfield and Rondon, who was a true workhorse in attack. The Magpies also added a threat down the flanks that Cardiff struggled to deal with as Ritchie and Christian Atsu combined down the left, with DeAndre Yedlin offering a constant outlet on the right. Schär's opener also came from that flank as he operated on the right side of a back three and was willing to break forward before calmly slotting past Neil Etheridge. The home fans knew they were witnessing something special in the context of this season when Schär added his second - only the second time The Magpies have scored two home goals in a game this season. The players, too, seemed to be lifted as they found an extra yard of pace and defended superbly as Cardiff finally stirred. And, when Perez added a third - his fourth of the season - late on, it gave them hope that despite ongoing issues around the ownership of the club, they might yet see Premier League football again next season. Stranger things have happened, dear blog reader. Though, with games against Sheikh Yer ma City, Stottingtot Hotshots and Wolverhampton Wanderings to come in the next month, the chances of United ending February out of the relegation zone are not good.
A Sheikh Yer Man City fan from Wakefield has spoken of his considerable surprise after he was asked by a TV reporter whether he was becoming the new manager of Huddersfield Town. Martin Warhurst was in the crowd for the Premier League game at the John Smith's Stadium when cameras zoomed in on him, in the belief that he was, in fact, Jan Siewert. A Sky Sports reporter, Patrick Davison, was shown - although not heard - asking Warhurst if he was the new German manager. He replied: 'I'm Martin from Wakefield.' Siewert, a coach at Borussia Dortmund, has been tipped to take over the job of managing Huddersfield after David Wagner resigned last week. Warhurst told the Press Association: 'It was bizarre. Basically what happened is I was sat in the crowd and suddenly I was aware of a guy coming towards me from the right hand side. He said "Are you Jan, the new manager?" I laughed and said: "No, no, that's not me. I'm Martin from Wakefield."' He added: 'That was all I heard of it and then suddenly everybody's phones and my phone started going crazy, saying "I've just seen you on telly." There was lots of reaction from people in the crowd - just people coming up and having selfies and people patting me on the back and wishing me luck.' Warhurst acknowledged his -vague - likeness with Siewert but added: 'I'm a much more attractive guy.' He said that he would follow the progress of his 'doppelgänger' should he get the gig and even offered some footballing wisdom. 'My tip, if I were the Huddersfield manager playing against a team like Manchester City, I think if they played a formation of five-five-five they might actually stand a chance!' Sheikh Yer Man City won the game three-nil.
Eleven Championship clubs have reportedly written to the English Football League asking 'for a more thorough inquiry' into the Dirty Leeds 'spygate' revelations. Head coach Marcelo Bielsa admitted that he sent a member of his staff to 'spy' on a Derby County training session the day before the two clubs played each other. Bielsa then held a press conference to present the analysis that he claims he gathers on all of Dirty Leeds' opponents. The EFL is already investigating Bielsa after Derby filed a geet stroppy whinge about the affair. BBC Sport's Mark Clemmit claimed on Twitter that eleven clubs have written to the EFL since Bielsa's PowerPoint presentation to journalists on Wednesday. Which, if true, presumably means that the other twelve Championship sides don't, actually, have a problem with it. In a statement, the EFL confirmed that it has 'received a communication' on behalf of 'a number' of clubs 'in regard to the current matter.' The statement continued: 'The request attributed to eleven Championship clubs will be considered as part of the current investigation that has commenced.' After the spying allegations first emerged, Bielsa freely admitted in a television interview before kick-off against Derby on 11 January that he was responsible for the member of staff found 'acting suspiciously' outside the Rams' training ground. Dirty Leeds later won the match at Elland Road two-nil. Bristol City's owner Steve Lansdown called on Friday for a points deduction for Leeds to be 'seriously considered.' Dirty Stoke boss Nathan Jones, however, said that analysing other teams was 'not revolutionary,' and added: 'I would invite him down to watch our training sessions if he wanted to come down here.' Dirty Leeds subsequently formally apologised to Derby for their naughty spying ways and Bielsa was 'reminded of the integrity and honesty' of Dirty Leeds. Which is almost certainly the first time in history that the words 'integrity', 'honesty' and 'Leeds' have been used in the same sentence.
Moscow Chelski FC manager Maurizio Sarri claimed that his players are 'extremely difficult to motivate' as he heavily criticised their performance in defeat at The Arse. The Blues lost two-nil in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Saturday and only had one shot on target during the game. Moscow Chelski FC have only won two of their past five Premier League matches and are now just three points clear of The Gunners in fifth and sixth-placed The Scum. 'I'm really angry about the approach that we adopted today,' Sarri said. 'It's an approach we can't really accept.' In a remarkable news conference after the defeat, Sarri claimed that he wanted to speak in his native Italian rather than English 'because I want to send a message to my players and I want my message to be very clear. I have to say, I'm extremely angry. Very angry indeed,' said the sixty-year-old, who succeeded compatriot Antonio Conte at Torpedo Stamford Bridge in the summer. 'This defeat was due to our mentality, more than anything else. This is something I can't accept. This group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.' Sarri's starting line-up against The Arse included seven players who won the Premier League under Conte in 2017, before going on to finish fifth the season after. The Italian said: 'This is not a team that is going to be well known for its battling qualities but we need to become a team that is capable of adapting, possibly suffering for ten or fifteen minutes then playing our own football. You can find yourself in difficulties from time to time, but we need to react to those difficulties a lot better than we did today.'
Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws' boss Herr Klopp is well-known for his often brilliant responses to questions, whether they are measured, witty or plain daft. But he has never had to deal with the type of question aimed at fellow German Imke Wubbenhorst, who made history in December by becoming the first woman to manage in Germany's fifth tier when she took over at BV Cloppenburg. She told Welt how one journalist had asked her whether she had warned players to put their pants on when she entered the dressing room. 'Of course not, I'm a professional,' she responded, sarcastically. 'I pick my players based on their penis size.' Wubbenhorst, who is former German youth international, is not the first female coach to face condescending or sexist questions from journalistic scumbags. When former Sweden women's team manager Pia Sundhage was asked in 2014 whether a woman was able to coach a men's team, she replied: 'Well Angela Merkel runs a whole country.' Sundhage had already won two Olympic golds as manager of the United States. Fortunately, Cloppenburg's owners appear to be somewhat more forward thinking. 'It was an easy decision to let go of gender in the evaluation process,' said board member Herbert Schroder. 'We only looked at quality.' Wubbenhorst had been in charge of Cloppenburg's women's team but the club decided she would be better-placed helping the relegation-threatened men's side after they sacked their previous manager. The team are still bottom of the league, but hopefully questions will be posed about players abilities rather than the contents of their pants as she tries to drag her team up the table.
The lawyer of Kathryn Mayorga, who has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in 2009, will travel to London to meet a woman who claims to be the Juventus forward's ex-girlfriend. Leslie Stovall says that he has spoken to British model and reality TV-type individual Jasmine Lennard, who claims she dated Ronaldo ten years ago and has offered to 'assist' Mayorga's case against the Portugal captain. Ronaldo denies American Mayorga's claims and his legal team say he has 'no recollection' of ever meeting Lennard either. Lennard appeared on Z-List Celebrity Big Brother and earlier in January the thirty three-year-old targeted Ronaldo with several social media posts but has since deleted her Twitter account. A statement from Ronaldo's layers said: 'Mister Ronaldo has no specific recollection of meeting Ms Lennard ten years ago or at any point. He has not had a relationship with her and he has not had any contact with her, whether in the last eighteen months as Ms Lennard suggests, or otherwise. The voice notes posted by Ms Lennard on social media are not of Mister Ronaldo. Mister Ronaldo will take appropriate legal action in due course.' The rape allegation against the former Real Madrid and The Scum striker relates to an alleged incident which allegedly took place in a Las Vegas hotel. Police in the American city have since issued a warrant for a DNA sample from Ronaldo as part of their investigation, but his lawyer told BBC Sport it this was 'a very standard request.' Peter Christiansen said: "Mister Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation.' Larissa Drohobyczer, who is part of Mayorga's legal team, said: 'I can confirm that Leslie Mark Stovall has spoken to Ms Lennard regarding Cristiano Ronaldo. Mister Stovall's travel to London, England will be based upon his discussions with London lawyer Jonathan Coad and his client Jasmine Lennard.'
The BBC's former television news chief has whingingly criticised the corporation after it chose to continue showing an FA Cup match on BBC1 rather than covering the soon-to-be-former prime minister's Brexit address to the nation. Theresa May's Downing Street speech on Wednesday night was upstaged by the match at Southampton, as television viewers chose the conclusion of an FA Cup third-round replay rather than tune in for the soon-to-be-former prime minister's latest update on the UK's political future. About 3.3 million overnight viewers were watching BBC1's live coverage of Southampton versus Derby at 10pm as both sides pushed for a winner, with the soon-to-be-former prime minister attracting but 2.5 million for live coverage of her address on BBC2. Roger Mosey, a former head of BBC television news - emphasis on the word 'former' - whinged: 'No matter the bad luck of extra time in the football, the BBC News should have been on BBC1 tonight at 10pm. The issues facing the country are more important than a third-round FA Cup replay.' One or two people even agreed with him. In a sign of tension, Mosey's tweet on the subject was 'favourited' by Huw Edwards, the soon-to-be-former News At Ten anchor, who was forced to stand in the cold outside parliament for an extra half-hour to ensure viewers could watch the match go to penalties. Although, to be fair, he was getting paid for it and - if the last BBC set of salaries were accurate, getting paid bloody well. May had scheduled her Downing Street speech to hit the top of the 10pm news bulletins, a slot coveted by politicians due to its substantial audience. Except on this occasion where more people preferred the action at the St Mary's Stadium. However, Downing Street aides were, according to some Middle Class hippy Communist scum of no importance at the Gruniad Morning Star, 'left frustrated' when Derby's Martyn Waghorn equalised to push the match into extra-time and then penalties, meaning it would not finish before the scheduled news broadcast and the soon-to-be-former prime minister's speech. In which she said nothing of any consequence. As usual. BBC1 controllers decided to stick with the game until its conclusion rather than switch the sports coverage to BBC2. As a result, the main News At Ten bulletin was postponed until 10.35pm, with Edwards instead introducing a rapidly scheduled special programme on BBC2, which covered May's call for all parties to 'put aside self-interest' and take part in Brexit discussions. Viewing figures suggest only about six hundred thousand punters switched over from the football to the news coverage. A BBC spokesperson defended the decision to stick with the football: 'When the match went to extra-time and penalties, we provided a live news special on BBC2 and pointed viewers to this with on-air and in-vision signage. We also made clear that the news would begin straight after the match's conclusion.' The broadcast was also covered live by Sky News, the BBC News Channel and ITV News. The latter ended up almost doubling its normal audience to 3.3 million, giving the commercial channel a rare main bulletin overnight ratings victory over its BBC rival.
The first full assessment of risks to the world's coffee plants shows that sixty per cent of one hundred and twenty four known species are 'on the edge of extinction.' More than one hundred types of coffee tree grow naturally in forests, including two used for the coffee we drink. Scientists say the figure is 'worrying,' as wild coffee is 'critical' for sustaining the global coffee crop. About one in five of the world's plants is threatened with extinction and the sixty per cent figure is 'an extremely high' one. 'If it wasn't for wild species we wouldn't have as much coffee to drink in the world today,' said Doctor Aaron Davis of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 'Because if you look at the history of coffee cultivation, we have used wild species to make the coffee crop sustainable.' Research published in the journal, Science Advances, found conservation measures were 'inadequate' for wild coffees, including those considered 'critical' for long-term global coffee production. The study found that seventy five wild coffee species are 'considered threatened' with extinction, thirty five are not threatened and too little is known about the remaining fourteen to make any judgement. Furthermore, it was found that twenty eight per cent of wild coffee species grow outside protected areas and only about half are preserved in seed banks. A second study, in Global Change Biology, found that wild Arabica coffee can be 'classed as threatened' under official IUCN Red List rankings, when climate change projections are taken into account. Its natural population is likely to shrink by up to fifty per cent 'or more' by 2088 because of climate change alone, according to the research. Wild Arabica is used to supply seeds for coffee farming and also as a harvested crop in its own right. Ethiopia is the home of Arabica coffee, where it grows naturally in upland rainforests. 'Given the importance of Arabica coffee to Ethiopia and to the world, we need to do our utmost to understand the risks facing its survival in the wild,' said Doctor Tadesse Woldemariam Gole, of the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa. Many coffee drinkers are unaware that we only use the coffee beans from two species - Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta - in the thousands of different blends of coffee on sale. In fact, there are one hundred and twenty two coffee species on top of those which occur naturally in the wild. Many of these wild coffees do not taste good to drink, but may contain genes that can be harnessed to help coffee plants survive in the future, amid climate change and emerging diseases that attack coffee trees. In the longer term, we will need to call on wild species to safeguard the future of the world's coffee crop, say researchers. 'We will call on those wild resources time and time again,' said Doctor Davis. Globally, about one in five plants is threatened with extinction, compared with sixty per cent for coffee. As a comparison, about half of wild tea and mango species are threatened with extinction, six per cent of hazelnuts and nine per cent of pistachios.
US Democratic politicians say they will investigate allegations that President Rump 'directed' his long-time personal lawyer to lie to Congress. A Buzzfeed News report alleges that President Rump directed Michael Cohen to lie about plans to build a Rump Tower in Moscow. Cohen has already admitted to lying about when the business project ended. Rump has not yet responded directly to the report's allegations - but he has previously denied ever directing his former lawyer to break the law. One or two people even believed him. The intelligence committee of the House of Representatives will investigate the claims, says its new chairman, Adam Schiff. 'The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date,' Schiff wrote on Twitter. 'We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true,' he added. Another member of the committee, Texas representative Joaquin Castro, suggested Rump should 'leave office' if the allegations are true. Cohen was sentenced to The Slammer last month after he pleaded extremely guilty to lying to Congress over the plan. He has also admitted campaign finance violations and tax evasion. In court he snivelled that his 'weakness was a blind loyalty to Donald Trump' whose 'dirty deeds' he felt 'compelled' to cover up. Buzzfeed claims its report is 'based on testimony' from two - unnamed - law enforcement officials 'involved in investigating the matter.' The story alleges Rrump, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner 'received regular updates about a plan' to build a Rump development in Moscow at a time when they denied having any business ties to Russia. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election, and if Trump campaign figures were complicit, has already revealed that Cohen lied about the date the Moscow Rump Tower project ended. Cohen told Congress talks over the plan took place 'between September 2015 until January 2016' but criminal complaint documents have said they lasted until at least June 2016. Cohen claimed the plan was halted earlier 'in an attempt to minimise links between the Moscow Project and Individual One' during the presidental erection campaign. 'Individual One' has previously been identified by Cohen as Rump. Buzzfeed claims Cohen has told investigators that Rump 'personally instructed him to lie' about the date negotiations ended 'in order to obscure Trump's involvement.' The report claims that Mueller had 'other evidence,' including from interviews with other Rump organisation staff and internal company e-mails, 'to corroborate Cohen's version of events.' The report also suggests that Rump allegedly 'encouraged' Cohen to plan a trip to meet President Vladimir Putin during the erection campaign. Some Democrats have reacted with righteous anger to the report which they say, if proven, would amount to obstruction of justice by the president. Democratic representative Ted Lieu is among those calling for Congress to investigate the claims and other allegations surrounding Rump. Mueller's investigation is still ongoing and it is unclear when - or if - he will submit his findings to the attorney general, the top legal official in the US. It will then be up to the attorney general to notify Congress and decide if the report will be released publicly. William Barr, Rump's nominee for the attorney general position, is currently going through a confirmation process. Under congressional questioning earlier this week, Barr said that he would 'consider' a president, or any person, instructing a witness to change their testimony as obstruction of justice. So far Mueller's investigation has led to charges against over two dozen Russians, as well as several people connected to Rump himself, including his former national security advisor and the former chairman of his election campaign. A number of them, including Cohen, are known to be co-operating with Mueller's probe. Cohen, who was Rump's personal lawyer for more than a decade, was sentenced to thirty six months in The Big House last month. Among the naughty crimes he admitted to was the payment 'hush money' to two women who claimed they had The Sex with Rump. Those payments, financed in the run-up to the 2016 election, constituted campaign finance violations. Cohen must report to The Slammer by 6 March but, before that, he has agreed to testify before the House Oversight Committee in February. Robert Mueller has disputed the claims. Mueller's office said the report by Buzzfeed was 'not accurate.' Responding to the special counsel's statement, Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith tweeted that he stood by the story.
A GP has praised the receptionist at a Glasgow surgery for silencing a ignorant racist bigot of a patient who said that they did not want to see an 'Asian doctor.' Doctor Punam Krishan took to Twitter to express her pride in her team and described the subsequent 'positive response' to her post as 'uplifting.' She said that the receptionist had explained Doctor Krishan was Scottish, only to be told: 'She doesn't look Scottish.' Which, if you Google the term 'ignorant racist bigotry' you'll find that one pretty close to the top of the list. The receptionist then asked the ignorant racist bigot patient: 'What do Scottish people look like?' Doctor Krishan said that this 'silenced' the ignorant racist bigot patient, who took their appointment card and scuttled off with their ignorant racist bigot tail firmly between their ignorant racist bigot legs. She told BBC Scotland that this was 'not the first time' she had experienced 'such attitudes.' Doctor Krishan added: 'I am aware that it happens across the board but we rarely talk about it. There is no reason or place for it.' Last summer she wrote a column for The Scotsman about GP burnout, but the comments on the newspaper's website had to be disabled after it was targeted by ignorant racist bigot comments. Doctor Krishan described the ignorant racist bigoted backlash in a follow-up article for The Huffington Post in which she admitted being 'haunted' by some of the ignorant racist bigot remarks. However, she said that she had been 'encouraged' by the reaction to her latest post, which has received more than fifty four thousand likes and been retweeted more than eight thousand times in twenty four hours. 'I have had a very positive response which is so uplifting,' she said. 'Scotland is my home. It is a beautiful, multicultural, diverse nation and ultimately we all need to work together for something like the NHS.Disease does not pick a gender and disease does not pick a colour. When you strip it back we are all human.' Her tweet was praised by NHS Million, which describes itself as 'a grassroots campaign' to 'celebrate the NHS.' It tweeted: 'NHS staff deserve respect at all times regardless of whether they are Scottish, Asian, or anything else. Please [retweet] if you agree and let's show racist people that their utter nonsense will not be tolerated.' Some comments suggested that the individual should have been told to find a new GP practice. Or, to find a new mind as the one they currently have is clearly narrow and full of shit. However, Doctor Krishan said she 'did not discriminate' - unlike the ignorant racist bigot patient - and 'has a duty of care' to her patients. 'It is important to treat the person before me and see that they are safe and well,' she added. 'It is not right to turn someone away who needs help. My receptionist put this person in their place and they left with some food for thought.' Nevertheless, dear blog reader, this rather sad little story is one more illustration that there are some good people in the world, there are some bad people, most of us are somewhere in the middle just trying to get through life quietly without really bothering anyone else too much. And the, there are some people who are, quite simply, scum.
Girl Scouts of America is now offering girls as young as five a badge in cybersecurity. It is part of a drive to get more girls involved in science, technology engineering and mathematics from a young age. An event in Silicon Valley gave scouts an opportunity to earn the first patch in the activity, with the help of some eggs.
Norfolk Police claim they have 'spoken' to the Duke of Edinburgh after he was pictured driving without a seat belt, forty eight hours after being involved in a crash near Sandringham. A spokeswoman said 'suitable words of advice have been given to the driver.' Quite why Phil wasn't arrested for clear breach of the law, the fuzz did not reveal. Though, we can probably guess. Meanwhile, Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist in the crash, has told the Sunday Mirra that the Duke has not apologised. A Palace spokesman has claimed that 'contact was made' with the occupants of the car to 'exchange well-wishes.' The crash on the A149, in which Prince Philip's Land Rover Freelander landed on its side after a collision with a Kia, occurred on Thursday. Two days later, pictures in the Daily Scum Mail and the Sun appeared to show the Duke driving alone on a road near the entrance to the Sandringham estate in a replacement Freelander, without a seat belt. A spokeswoman for the Norfolk Constabulary said the force was 'aware' of the photographs and had 'spoken' to the driver. 'This is in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images showing this type of offence,' she claimed. One or two people even believed her. The force said earlier it was 'standard policy' to breath test drivers involved in collisions and both had provided negative readings. Fairweather, who was a passenger in the car being driven by her friend, snitched to the Mirra: 'I'm lucky to be alive and he hasn't even said sorry. It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family,' she added. Blimey, you're about the only one that would, love. She alleged that she had 'not heard' from the royal household but had got a call from a police family liaison officer. 'The message he passed on didn't even make sense. He said, "The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you,"' she said. 'That's not an apology or even a well-wish.' No indeed, it's more of an invitation to look at the picture on a five pound note. Buckingham Palace claimed on Saturday that 'a full message of support was sent to both the driver and the passenger.' So, either the spokesperson is lying or Fairweather is, one of the other. This blogger will leave it up to you, dear blog reader, as to which one you trust. Meanwhile, it had been reported that some of the alleged crash debris from the incident is being offeredd for sale on eBay! Only in Great Britain, dear blog reader.
Low-level letterboxes should be banned to prevent postal workers straining their backs or being bitten by dogs, a Conservative MP has said.Because, of course, politicians haven't had anything more important to talk about this week, have they? Proposing new legislation - just before MPs began debating a no-confidence motion in the government over Brexit - Vicky Ford said it was 'a key issue.' Which, it really isn't. It's not entirely unimportant, particular to those postal workers to whom it effects, clearly but, 'a key issue? Poverty is a key issue. The future of the NHS is a key issue. The future of the welfare state, the standard of education, resources given to the poor - these are all key issues, Ms Ford. Postal workers having to bend down to do their jobs, really is not. The MP called for all new letterboxes to be installed between seventy centimetres and one hundred and seventy centimetres from the ground. The Communication Workers Union is currently campaigning for new buildings to meet EU letter box height standards. And, for what it's worth, this blogger thinks they're right. The CWU, which represents postmen and women, said it did not expect private households or businesses to change their doors immediately, but for the measurements to become a new building regulation in the UK and to cover replacement doors as well. The union started its campaign to raise the level of letterboxes in 1958 and, while it was agreed by the British Standards Agency, it was never enshrined into building standards law. A similar campaign by its sister union in Ireland saw low-level letterboxes banned outright in 2001 and the CWU believes 'the time has come' to replicate this in the UK. Moving the bill in the House of Commons, Ford 'revealed' there were over sixteen thousand 'back-related spells of absence' in the Royal Mail last year. 'There are over ninety five thousand postmen and women working for Royal Mail,' she added. 'They deliver to thirty million address, they serve each of our communities six days a week, every week of the year and when I asked postal workers what I could do for them, they asked me to look at low-level letterboxes. This bill simply wants to stop developers from building swathes of homes each with a letterbox placed near to the ground and I hope that this will be a moment of unity in British politics.' The bill will come back to the House of Commons for a second reading in March, although it has little chance of becoming law. Particularly if Ford's fellow Tory, Christopher Chope - a notorious wrecker of private members' bills by means of filibustering - happens to be in the House at the time.
That said, one bill that Chope did his best to wreck did finally - and rightly - become law this week. A woman who launched a campaign against upskirting after being targeted at a music festival eighteen months ago has said 'we did it!' after legislation was passed to make it a crime in England and Wales. The new legislation, approved in the House of Lords and now only awaiting the formality of Royal Assent, will see offenders face up to two years in The Slammer for their terrible and pervy ways. Gina Martin said the decision was 'politics and society at its best.' Upskirting has been covered by legislation in Scotland since 2010. Speaking after the bill was approved, Gina said: 'Eighteen months ago I was upskirted at a music festival and I decided I wasn't going to brush it off. I was tired of "ignoring it." I felt this was wrong and I was astounded to learn that upskirting wasn't [already] a sexual offence. I wanted to change this for everyone, because the least we deserve is to be able to wear what we want without non-consensual photos being taken of us.' Gina was waiting to watch The Killers perform at the British Summer Time festival in London's Hyde Park when a man put his phone between her legs and took pictures of her crotch. After informing the police, she was 'shocked' to discover upskirting was not a specific offence. A few days later she posted a status update on Facebook detailing her experience. Her post went viral with other women sharing similar experiences. Soon an online petition to get her case reopened with the police had received fifty thousand signatures and she wrote a feature for the BBC News website explaining her battle. It recalled the dramatic moment when she chased after the man who had taken the unwanted photo. It wasn't long before the campaign was picked up by the Lib Dem MP Wera Hobhouse. Encouraged by government ministers, she brought a private members' bill backing the creation of an upskirting offence. Her bill was expected to make it through the Commons without any fuss, but parliamentary rules meant it only required one MP to shout 'object' to block its progress. And one MP did just that - neanderthal scum Sir Christopher Chope who, as noted, has a track record of objecting to private members' bills on a point of principle, because he does not agree with legislation being brought before Parliament on a Friday without enough time for a full debate. By shouting 'Object', this loathsome pondscum stopped this bill in its tracks - even though he later claimed that he actually backed what Gina Martin was doing. One or two people even believed him. The Christchurch MP's intervention was immediately met with shouts of 'shame' from other MPs - including, let it be noted, several from his own party - and a few days later an anonymous protester showed a more visible sign of dissent by hanging four pairs of knickers across the MP's office door at the Commons. But there was still hope for Gina and her campaign. Theresa May said she was 'disappointed' with Chope's actions and vowed that the government would take on the job of pushing the law change through parliament. She said it was necessary, describing upskirting as a 'hideous invasion of privacy which leaves victims feeling degraded and distressed.' Gina's campaign secured government backing on 15 July last year and the Voyeurism (Offences) (Number Two) Bill was put before Parliament days later. For Gina, it has been 'a steep learning curve' in how the political system works. She said: 'To the outsider, the ordinary person, law and politics are complex and daunting. But both are penetrable if you believe in yourself and find the right support.' Until the law is passed specifically naming and banning upskirting, victims and police in England and Wales are currently only able to pursue offences of outraging public decency or as a crime of voyeurism. Voyeurism only applies to filming actions taking place in private while outraging public decency usually requires someone to have witnessed the action but upskirting is often unobserved. Unlike other sexual offences, people don't have automatic right to anonymity. Upskirting has been an offence in Scotland since 2010 when it was listed under the broadened definition of voyeurism. Nine years later, the actions of one woman has finally ensured that England and Wales will soon be following suit.
Two patients have reportedly died after contracting a fungal infection caused by pigeon droppings at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that 'an elderly patient' died but from an unrelated cause. Another infected patient has also died but 'the factors' contributing to the death are 'still being investigated.' A non-public room, thought to contain machinery, was identified as a 'likely source.' An investigation is under way. A NHSGGC spokesman said: 'Our thoughts are with the families at this distressing time. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot share further details of the two cases. The organism is harmless to the vast majority of people and rarely causes disease in humans.' NHSGGC confirmed 'a small number' of 'vulnerable' paediatric and adult patients are 'receiving medication' to protect them against the airborne infection, which is a Cryptococcus species. Portable HEPA air filter units have been installed in specific areas as an additional precaution. Earlier on Saturday Teresa Inkster, the lead consultant for infection control, said: 'Cryptococcus lives in the environment throughout the world. It rarely causes infection in humans. People can become infected with it after breathing in the microscopic fungi, although most people who are exposed to it never get sick from it. There have been no further cases since the control measures were put in place.' Inkster said 'experts' are 'continuing to monitor' the air quality. She added: 'It remains our priority to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff.' Professor Hugh Pennington, of Aberdeen University, said he was 'surprised' to learn of the infection. The epidemiologist said: 'It is very unusual in the UK. It is quite common in other parts of the world, particularly in tropical parts and in the US and in countries like that, where they have more problems with this particular kind of fungus.' Professor Pennington said people with weak immune systems are most at risk. He added: 'When it gets into the blood stream a lot of people have fairly straightforward infections and it settles in the lungs but the big problem with this is that it can cause meningitis and, as we know, meningitis can be a very serious infection.' He added: 'Obviously they have stopped the pigeons getting into the machine room. It surprises me slightly that there was any there in the first place.'
A historic crossing under the River Tyne is now likely to be reopen four years later than first planned. The restoration of The Tyne Pedestrian & Cycle Tunnel has been dogged by setbacks and this month's expected completion has been delayed yet again. Renovations have now taken about two years longer than the tunnel's construction. Newcastle City Council claimed that fitting glass enclosures on the new inclined lift had been 'a challenging milestone.' A spokesman for the authority, which manages the tunnel on behalf of the North East Joint Transport Committee claimed that, otherwise, the tunnels were 'substantially complete. Once this is completed and the lift is operating correctly, we'll be able to announce the official re-opening date, which estimates show should open by April,' he claimed. One or two people even believed him. The work, which started in May 2013, was supposed to be finished by 2015, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said. But, the original contractor going into administration and the discovery of asbestos in the tunnel meant the reopening date has been pushed back several times. In 2018 it emerged that the cost of the project had spiralled from an estimated seven million knicker to an expected fifteen-and-a-half million notes. At the time, project bosses promised that work would be completed by the autumn of 2018, later revising that to December and then to 'the New Year.' The crossing opened in 1951, taking four years to build at a cost of eight hundred and thirty thousand smackers.
Any From The North readers in Minnesota - and, this blogger knows he has at least three - be aware; a man is reportedly driving around St Paul and pulling over his car in order to approach and assault random strangers. At least five people have been victimised since 12 December, at which point the man was driving a grey Toyota Tacoma. Lately, he has been seen in a blue or light grey Subaru Outback with stolen number plates. Victims have been slapped in the face, hit with a wrench and had Gatorade bottles thrown at them, according to St Paul Police spokesman Steve Linders, who concedes 'this is a new one' for the officers. 'We have road rage incidents from time to time,' Linders says. 'And, we have fights that break out and assaults that occur. But we've never had one person driving around randomly throwing things and slapping people. We've never encountered that in my time.' No one has been seriously injured by this man, but that doesn't mean he is not a danger to the community. Since posting the story of The St Paul Slapper to social media a couple days ago, Linders is not aware of any solid tips, which is curious since the man has a distinctive look: a blue teardrop tattoo under his left eye. He is white, in his thirties, heavy-set and wears a ski-mask as he does his naughty crimes. He has also damaged vehicles during his slapping rampage. Linders says this is 'hardly The Crime of the Century' but, nevertheless, this man's erratic and violent behaviour 'cannot be allowed' to continue. 'You just can't drive around St Paul throwing things and slapping people and hitting them with wrenches,' Linders says. 'It's important we find out what's going on,' Linders adds. 'He might need help and that's something we could help arrange with our mental health unit. Of course, we also want to hold him accountable for his actions.'
A young boy has been attacked by a group of dingoes on Australia's popular tourist spot of Fraser Island. One of the wild dogs bit the six-year old at a beach after he had been swimming with his parents. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and is, thankfully, said to be in a stable condition. Australia's dingoes are protected in some national parks but there have been rare instances where they have attacked people. 'The family had finished swimming when the young boy said he wanted to race up a sand dune,' Dan Leggat of the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Lifeflight rescue told local media. 'Unfortunately, when he got to the top, there was a pack of four dingoes. One of the dingoes attacked the boy and bit him on the leg.' Fraser Island, a World Heritage site, is the world's largest sand island and situated off the Southern coast of Queensland. It is home to what is regarded the purest dingo population in Australia and there are thought to be around two hundred of the animals on the island. The Fraser Island dingoes are said to be more curious and less wary of humans than mainland dingoes and authorities do warn visitors not to feed them and to walk in groups. In 2001, a nine-year-old boy was killed and his seven-year-old brother injured after being attacked by several dingoes on the island. Dingoes were also at the centre of one of Australia's most controversial trials, when Lindy Chamberlain was initially convicted of murdering her nine-week-old daughter Azaria in 1980. She spent three years in jail before a court quashed her conviction and ruled that her baby had been taken by a dingo from a campsite near Uluru, then known as Ayers Rock. The case later became the basis for the movie A Cry In The Dark. And, for the name of the band in the TV series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dingoes Ate My Baby. Dingoes were first introduced into Australia some three to four thousand years ago and are thought to be descended from a domestic dog brought in from Indonesia.
A former soldier is suing the Ministry of Defence after allegedly contracting Q fever in Afghanistan. Wayne Bass claims that his life 'has been ruined' by the army's failure to provide antibiotics which would have protected him from the disease. His case is the first to test the MoD's duty to protect against Q fever, an infectious disease linked to exposure to animal excrement. The MoD claims that it is 'not appropriate to comment' on ongoing legal cases. In 2011, Bass, then a private serving with Second Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was deployed to Helmand Province, to an area known for its heavy Taliban presence. Bass's platoon was responsible for reconnaissance and protecting other forces. It is there that he believes that he contracted Q fever, an infection caused by bacteria most commonly found in cattle, sheep and goats. Humans typically get Q fever when they breathe in dust from faeces of infected animals. 'To avoid enemy fire I was constantly having to dive into ditches on the ground where farm animals had been, there were animals all over the place,' he says. Initially, as is typical with the disease, he experienced flu-like symptoms and an army doctor diagnosed Q fever. Intravenous antibiotics failed to cure him and following periods in hospital and at the MoD's Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey, he was diagnosed with Q fever chronic fatigue syndrome. Normally, the fever is successfully treated with antibiotics and it is rare for it to develop into chronic fatigue syndrome. 'On some days I'm okay, I can walk a few hundred metres but often I get breathless, have aches and pains all over my body for which I have to take very powerful painkillers. The nerve pain in my lower back and legs means that my back can lock up and I'm immobile. On a less bad day it can take forty five minutes to walk six hundred metres,' he says. His condition means that he is unable to work, but the effects are not only physical: 'It has brought about a spike in my post-traumatic stress disorder, I have night terrors, I feel very low and isolated, very depressed. I am on anti-depressants. I can't see a future.' Justin Glenister, a partner at Hilary Meredith, the law firm acting for Bass, believes the case breaks new legal ground. 'This is the first case in which the question will be asked whether the MoD had a duty to protect soldiers against this known risk of Q fever, which we say was a preventable risk and what steps it ought to have taken to protect them. There are other similar cases being prepared.' The MoD's defence claims that two hundred personnel per year tested positive for Q fever between 2008 to 2011 and of those only a third were symptomatic. The MoD says the risk of contracting Q fever is 'very low' and it 'follows the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation which does not recommend vaccination for Q Fever.' Q-Vax, a vaccine against Q fever, is not licensed in the UK. Bass's case is that the army failed to provide the antibiotic doxycycline to guard against the risk of Q fever. But the MoD says that it would not have been 'reasonable' to use doxycycline due to its side-effects and because it would have compromised the effect of anti-malarial drugs given to troops. It denies that any action could have been taken to avoid him contracting Q fever. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at Reading University, says: 'Doxycycline is an anti-malarial. If given it could have protected against both malaria and Q fever. I am puzzled that the army did not give it as a prophylactic.' Bass, from Redditch, Worcestershire, says bringing the case is not about money. 'I'd take a cure over fifty million pounds in a second, I want other soldiers and officers to be made aware of the risks of Q fever and the devastating consequences it can have.' The five-day trial, starting on Monday at Central London County Court, will examine the extent of any duty owed by the army to Bass in relation to Q fever and whether that duty was breached. Its findings will be based in part on expert medical evidence, with judgement reserved to a later date.
A rural Alabama police department that used social media to scold community members for 'rejecting God' came under fire from a group which opposes mixing government and religious faith. A statement the Opp Police Department posted on Tuesday on Facebook blamed a spike in area homicides on the idea that young people have 'turned away from God' and 'embraced Satan.' The post followed two gunshot killings in as many days in Covington County on the Alabama-Florida border. But the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation said that police in the town of six thousand five people were 'wrongly promoting religion' with the social media message. It is illegal for a government entity to endorse or criticise religious belief, the group said in a statement.
Since 1984, residents of Moose Jaw have had one big thing about which they could boast: Mac The Moose. The Canadian city was long the proud owner of the world's tallest moose statue, a thirty two foot steel-framed creature, covered with metal mesh and cement. But a few years ago, a slightly taller moose statue was erected in Norway, beating Mac's record by some thirty centimetres. Now, Moose Jaw has launched a campaign to reclaim the crown. 'We're considered to be very mannerly and respectful, but there are things you just don't do to Canadians,' Fraser Tolmie, mayor of the prairie town, told the BBC. 'You don't mess with Mac the Moose.' Norway's Storelgen, or Big Elk, stands on a highway partway between Norway's capital, Oslo and the city of Trondheim. It was built in 2015 by artist Linda Bakke in partnership with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration in an effort to reduce traffic accidents. According to an article that appeared in the Daily Scandinavian, Bakke felt it was 'important that the elk was made higher than Mac the Moose.' Tolmie was recently alerted to the loss of the crown of having the world's biggest moose by Saskatchewan YouTubers Justin and Greg, who posted a video in January urging the city to add thirty one centimetres to Mac or to rename the city simply Jaw. The mayor said that the city has since 'fielded a number of suggestions from residents' on how to add to Mac's height. 'There's even been a suggestion about stilettos,' he said, but noted that the most popular suggestion so far has been to 'give Mac a bigger rack of antlers.' The city's tourism department claims that Mac remains one of the most photographed roadside attractions in Canada. A Facebook poll by Norwegian online newspaper Dagbladet, posted on Thursday, has Canada's Mac in the lead as the 'favourite' moose statue among sixty per cent of more than twenty thousand online voters.
A new study published in the Irish Medical Journal recounts the case of a thirty three-year-old man who was hospitalised after 'repeatedly' injecting himself with his own semen to relieve chronic back pain. 'This is the first reported case of semen injection for use as a medical treatment,' doctors in Dublin wrote in the case study, titled 'Semenly' Harmless Back Pain: An Unusual Presentation Of A Subcutaneous Abscess. The man's self-remedy was, reportedly, discovered when he showed up at a doctor's office complaining of severe back pain. While examining the patient, a physician noticed the man's right arm appeared swollen and inflamed. The explanation the man gave was one the doctor probably never expected. 'The patient disclosed that he had intravenously injected his own semen as an innovative method to treat back pain,' doctors wrote in the study. 'He had devised this "cure" independent of any medical advice.' The man reportedly said that he had purchased a hypodermic needle online and had been injecting himself once a month for the past eighteen months. Before visiting the doctor, he said that he hurt his lower back whilst lifting a heavy object and gave himself three doses, according to the study. The semen reportedly entered the man's blood vessels and muscles. An X-ray revealed air trapped beneath the man's skin and he was immediately hospitalised, according to the study. Doctors treated the man with intravenous antimicrobial therapy. His back pain reportedly subsided and he discharged himself without having the infected area drained. The report's doctors conducted 'a comprehensive review' of medical literature and were unable to find any other cases of intravenous semen injection. The study concludes with a warning that medical experimentation is dangerous and it's risky for untrained individuals to inject themselves with substances not intended for intravenous use.
An Indian woman, arrested for her involvement in what is described as 'a kidney-selling racket,' allegedly sold her husband's kidney in Singapore in 2016 and her sister's kidney in Sri Lanka, it has been claimed. Tara (last name unknown) from Malavalli had taken her husband, Nagendra, on a trip to Singapore and sold his kidney there without informing him. Nagendra learned about this recently when he was undergoing treatment in KR Hospital, Mysuru. Although quite how he hadn't noticed his lack of a kidney previously, media reports do not make clear. Because, it does rather strike one as the kind of thing you'd miss if you didn't have one. Nagendra reportedly committed suicide in the hospital after doctors decided to lodge a police complaint as his kidney was missing. Nagendra was hospitalised 'for health issues' and, when his body was scanned, the doctors found one kidney missing and told Nagendra that they would lodge a police complaint against him. According to the police, Tara also sold her sister Jyothi's kidney in Sri Lanka and had tried to sell the kidneys of other family members. The suspect confessed to her grizzly crime during the investigation, the police said.
A Russian man has reportedly begged a judge to let his girlfriend go free after she stabbed him thirteen times, almost killing him. He wanted her to be released so that they could get married. According to reports, he proposed to her in court, at her sentencing. At the time of the attack the man, named Shakur, managed to escape from his crazed, knife-wielding attacker. As she appeared a'fore the judge to be sentenced to, one presumes, much porridge, Shakur apparently proposed to the woman and begged the judge for leniency so that they could arrange their marriage. The judge reportedly postponed the sentencing.
A woman has been mauled to death by a pet crocodile in its enclosure on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Deasy Tuwo had reportedly been feeding the crocodile at the pearl farm where she worked and where the animal was being kept illegally. The seven hundred kilogram crocodile, named Merry, is thought to have bitten off Tuwo's arm and most of her abdomen. The reptile has been relocated to a conservation site while authorities look for its owner and decide whether to kill it with hammers. Tuwo was head of the laboratory at the pearl farm and was feeding Merry on 10 January when she was extremely killed. Some reports claim that the crocodile dragged her into the enclosure but local conservation agency officials believe she merely fell in. Her colleagues discovered her body the next morning. Or, what was left of it after Merry had finished with it. Hendriks Rundengan from the North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency told BBC Indonesian that officials had tried to visit the facility several times in the past to remove the crocodile but had not been allowed in. 'We've come here a few times but the fences are always locked,' he claimed in an interview on Wednesday. According to AFP, authorities believe Tuwo's body parts may still be inside the crocodile. Police are now trying to track down a Japanese national who owns both the farm and the crocodile. The Indonesian archipelago is home to several species of crocodile that regularly attack and kill humans, AFP reports. Shit, dear blog reader, they're crocodiles - it's what they do. In April 2016, a Russian tourist was very killed by a crocodile on the Raja Ampat islands, a popular diving site in the east of the archipelago. Worldwide, crocodiles are estimated to kill about a thousand humans per year, many more than sharks, for instance. Crocodiles do not necessarily set out to hunt humans, but they are opportunistic killers and enjoy a good snack when one presents itself. In Africa alone, there are several hundred crocodile attacks on humans per year, between a third to half of which are fatal, depending on the species.
Two rappers - that's a young persons thing a bit like popular beat combos only with taking instead of singing - have been given suspended sentences in The Big House for performing 'drill music' which allegedly 'incited violence against rival gang members.' Skengdo, real name Terrell Doyley and AM, real name Joshua Malinga, pleaded very guilty to breaching a gang injunction at Croydon County Court. The injunction was made against the pair last year because they were members of a gang in South London. They were sentenced to nine months in jail, suspended for two years. The Metropolitan Police say that Skengdo and AM, both twenty one, breached an interim gang injunction which was made in August last year. 'It was breached when they performed drill music that incited and encouraged violence against rival gang members and then posted it on social media,' the fuzz said in a statement. Their manager, TK, told the Press Association that the musicians were not involved in gang violence. He claimed they pleaded guilty after a video of one of their live performances was uploaded to the Internet without their knowledge. The interim injunction was made against the rappers because they were members of a gang in Lambeth and were linked to rising violence in the borough, police said on Friday. The injunction was brought into full force during hearings held on 10 and 14 January. It will last for two years. Detective Inspector Luke Williams, of Lambeth and Southwark's Gangs Unit, said: 'I am pleased with the sentences passed in these cases which reflect that the police and courts are unwilling to accept behaviour leading to serious violence. The court found that violence in drill music can - and did in this case - amount to gang-related violence.' TK, the director of Finesse Foreva, said the last time either of the rappers 'might have had a run-ins with the law was when they were sixteen and seventeen.' He claimed at a hearing in January, that police had 'tried to link Skengdo and AM' to the history of crime in Brixton. 'They didn't find nothing on them in terms of violence because they don't have nothing on them.' He added: 'Why the Met's probably done that is because they want to affect their lives, scare big venue owners off.' Skengdo and AM have performed at Reading and Leeds festivals and have appeared on 1Xtra. They performed on Kenny Allstar's 1Xtra show on 11 January, he described them as 'one of the hottest duos in UK drill music.' Drill music came under the spotlight last year when the Met's Cressida Dick linked it to an increase in violence in London.
A woman who randomly attacked two people with an axe in an Australian convenience store has been extremely jailed. Evie Amati seriously wounded the man and woman at a Seven-Eleven in Sydney in January 2017. She swung her axe at a third customer but did not injure him. Amati pleaded not guilty on mental health grounds at a trial last year, but the court rejected her argument. On Friday, a judge sentenced her to a maximum of nine years in prison for the 'very serious' incident. 'The risk of death was high in each cases and the fact that death did not occur was entirely a matter of good fortune,' Judge Mark Williams told the New South Wales District Court. Security footage played during the trial showed Amati approaching her first victim, Ben Rimmer, as he waited to buy a meat pie. After a brief conversation, she struck Rimmer in the face. He was knocked to the ground with a four inch facial wound and fractures. She then attacked her second victim, Sharon Hacker, near the door, fracturing the woman's skull. Amati turned on a third customer, Shane Redwood, but he shielded himself using his backpack. Amati was arrested shortly after. The court heard that Amati had been 'out of her mind' after consuming drugs, alcohol and prescription medication. She testified that her mental health had declined prior to the attack, after she began taking hormones to transition from male to female. However, a jury rejected her lawyer's argument that she was suffering from 'mental derangement.'
Women's magazine Marie Claire has been criticised as 'irresponsible' by medical experts, after suggesting that women can insert parsley into their vaginas to induce periods. Or, you know, 'for a laugh.' According an article - which has since been deleted - parsley can help 'kick-start your period' by 'softening the cervix' and 'levelling hormonal imbalances' that 'may' be delaying the period. The reason is, supposedly, because parsley is an emmenagogue, a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow. 'If you're struggling to find a dish based on parsley, don't panic - the most effective forms are said to be parsley tea and parsley vaginal inserts,' the article states. However, doctors strongly advise against inserting parsley into the vagina - as it can lead to 'numerous health risks.' Doctor Shazia Malik told the Independent: 'There is no evidence of any benefit to a woman of doing this and clear risk of significant harm as deaths have been reported. I would urge women not to insert anything unless they have taken proper medical advice.' Doctor Sheila Newman reiterated that the warning to avoid putting parsley in the vagina, saying: 'That is not something that is recommended by gynaecologists. There are only a few things that should go in your vagina and vegetables generally aren't one of them.' Additionally, Doctor Newman said: 'There are ways to manipulate your menstrual cycle and avoid having your period at certain times but they should be discussed with your gynaecologist' and that the advice published by Marie Claire is 'irresponsible.' In addition to non-medically backed claims that parsley can induce periods, the herb has also been touted as a method of inducing at-home abortions - which can lead to infection and be potentially fatal. There are also 'no evidenced-based practices,' that this works, Doctor Newman said. 'We have safe and effective ways to terminate an undesired pregnancy.' In August, a woman died from septic shock and infection after reportedly using parsley to induce miscarriage in Argentina. A spokesperson for Marie Claire told the Independent: 'Marie Claire prides itself on well-researched beauty and lifestyle stories, with advice sought from appropriate industry experts - sadly this feature does not reflect those standards and we have removed the article. It was misguided and we are sorry our usual care and stringency was not followed.'
And, as a footnote to the previous story, the ever-helpful Sun have published The Five Things You Should Keep Away From Your Vagina. Or, six if you include Harvey Weinstein.
Sergeant Jeffrey Kutz, one of the Sayreville Police Department's most experienced officers with twenty two years on the job, found himself getting booked on 18 December. After allegedly drinking at the home of another officer, Kutz drove his Dodge pickup truck at seventy miles per hour into two vehicles on the shoulder of an Old Bridge highway, seriously injuring a man, according to police reports. Old Bridge officers described Kutz - whom they knew was an off-duty officer in the neighbouring town - as 'drunk, agitated and confused.' They said the fifty seven-year-old veteran had 'urinated on himself' and was 'unable to keep his balance,' the report said. 'I know he feels terrible that someone was hurt,' said Kutz's attorney, Joseph Benedict. He added that the incident was 'a life-changing experience' for Kutz, whose aim is to help people. 'It's anathema to his calling in life.'
A Maryland woman was apprehended earlier this week on charges stemming from a seafood theft incident that occurred in September 2018. According to police, twenty five-year-old Katie Lynn Pritts ordered a bushel of crabs, two pounds of shrimp and a dozen ears of corn at a local seafood suppliers. When Pritts arrived to pick up the order, she allegedly placed the items in her car and then drove away without paying for them. A deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office arrested Pritts on 15 January, but she was later released on personal recognisance. She was also served with a bench warrant which was previously issued when she failed to appear in an unrelated theft case.
Did you know, dear blog reader, that Thursday of last week was National Cheese Lovers Day? Well, if you didn't, you do now. Though, sadly, you've missed it and you'll have to wait until 18 January 2020 before you can celebrate it again. Sorry 'bout that.
A thirty three-year-old man from upstate New York, who is facing sexual assault charges, claimed it was his clothing that got an eleven-year-old girl pregnant. After a DNA test determined that Robert Cronin was, indeed, the baby’s father, Cronin did not dispute the results, but insisted that he never had sex with the child, a report said. 'I don't want to be known for a crime I didn't commit,' he told Schenectady's WRGB-TV. Cronin claimed the girl, with whom he was 'acquainted,' became pregnant after 'coming in contact with clothing' he had 'used while masturbating,' Albany’s WTEN-TV reported. He told the station that he realises his story may 'be difficult for some to understand' (no shit?) but said that the police who arrested him were 'just lacking scientific knowledge.' Also, the last time something like this happen, three wise men came from the East. Police in Niskayuna, about twenty miles from Albany, extremely arrested, threw him in The Slammer and charged him with endangering the welfare of a child and felony predatory sexual assault against a child younger than thirteen. Cronin, who has five children with his fiancée, was being held at Schenectady County Jail without bail, WRGB reported. The girl gave birth recently and both she and the baby are being safely cared for, police said.
A woman and two men are in custody in Canada after they approached police in a stolen vehicle filled with drugs, asking for help because they had run out of gas. The trio were extremely arrested after a traffic stop on Friday afternoon as they headed Northbound on Highway Two near Leduc. According to an Royal Canadian Mounted Police news release, the vehicle pulled over in front of the police and the woman exited the vehicle wanting help because she had run out of fuel. As officers chatted with her and provided her with assistance, they discovered that she was extremely wanted on an outstanding warrant. Then police found two men hiding in the vehicle; they were also wanted on outstanding warrants. One of the men was 'in medical distress' and was transported to hospital by ambulance. Officers searched the vehicle and found almost a shitload of what was believed to be methamphetamine and a smaller quantity of cocaine. The vehicle was stolen. The trio are currently in The Big House facing 'a multitude of charges' and 'awaiting a judicial hearing.'
A Florida woman has been charged with grand theft after police officers reportedly found four Rolex watches 'hidden in her vagina' during a strip search. Delajurea Brookens, met forty six-year-old businessman Ramon Diaz at a nightclub on Miami Beach on Tuesday. The pair went back to his hotel room, presumably for a bit of the old how's yer father but, when Diaz came out from the bathroom he noticed that his velour Crown Royal whisky bag - which contained five watches worth a total of over one hundred thousand dollars - was nowhere to be seen. Brookens is then said to have fled the hotel with Diaz in hot pursuit. As she attempted to hail a taxi, Diaz 'noticed his bag in Brookens purse' and demanded that she return it. But police said she was able to 'beat Diaz to the ground with an unknown object.' She was soon found in a nearby alleyway and officers say she kicked windows, spat and bit an officer during her arrest. Having detained her, officers looked in the bag and scoured the area, but could only find one of the businessman's watches. It was only after police subsequently conducted a strip search at the station that they found the other four watches, which were stashed up her fury front bottom. Brookens was charged on Wednesday with grand theft, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and battery. She was also charged with 'criminal mischief' after urinating in her holding cell. Miami Springs Police Chief, Armando Guzman, told the Miami Herald that such crimes were 'common place' - exploitation of affluent and gullible men that is, not stowing upmarket watches in the unmentionables. He said: 'These individuals are very good at targeting victims, especially business people from out of town.' Fortunately for Diaz, his watches have now been returned, though he will presumably have to splash out to get them professionally cleaned before use.
A policeman smacked a junior female colleague on the bottom as they helped with the clean-up after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding, a disciplinary panel has found. PC Clinton Geldard was ruled to be guilty of gross misconduct after the panel heard he spanked the woman he was meant to be 'mentoring' as she bent over near Windsor Castle last May. He also told the rookie officer, 'I will destroy you' and made 'lewd sexual comments' which 'insulted her and made her feel uncomfortable,' the hearing was told. The former Thames Valley Police officer was also said to have slapped the same woman on the bottom as they were refuelling a patrol car. Geldard, who extremely resigned from the force last August, did not attend the hearing. The panel found he also 'poked' a male colleague in the bottom at Reading police station in April. During an interview, Geldard had denied the assault allegations but said the sexual comments were 'part of ex-military-type banter.' Panel chairman Muzamil Khan said Geldard, from Reading, had 'a propensity to physically touch colleagues without consent.' Khan added: 'The evidence of the complainants is consistent. We find the allegations proven. Despite being challenged, former PC Geldard continued with his behaviour. We are satisfied that former-PC Geldard's behaviour amounts to gross misconduct.' Geldard was retrospectively sacked, despite having previously resigned from the force. After the hearing, Geldard's wife said that he did not wish to comment. He now works as a sixty pounds-per-hour massage therapist.
An Australian woman has been sentenced with six months behind bars for biting a police officer's arm at the Origin NYE Festival in Perth in 2016. PerthNow reports that the biting incident was a part of a scuffle between the woman, Amina Robert Lowoja and the unnamed police officer, who was placing her under arrest for fighting with event security. 'While obtaining her account of events, Ms Lowoja kicked a security officer to his abdomen,' a WA Police Union spokesperson said. Which, presumably, made his eyes water. 'When the officer was placing her under arrest, Ms Lowoja lent [sic] in and bit his left upper bicep.' The bite left a four-centimetre puncture and bruising on the officer, but did not cause any permanent damage. Lowoja was charged with assaulting an officer and common assault before being on trial last November.
From The North's latest Headline Of The Week award most definitely goes to the Essex Daily Gazette for this magnificent effort: Yobs' Rocket Ends Up Stuck In Ornamental Spiderman's Bum. Quality item.
A woman in Malmö has been jailed for sending more than one hundred anonymous letters to her live-in partner, purporting to be from a jealous ex, as well as women's underwear, handcuffs and a rusty razor blade. 'According to the court, there are strong reasons to view the crime seriously,' judge Håkan Olaussen said in his ruling according to The Local. He noted that the woman's false accusations led to her boyfriend's childhood friend being put in custody for six days. He also said that the defendant had been 'fully conscious of what serious consequences her actions had incurred.' The woman filed her first police report in 2016, claiming that someone had rung her persistently from a hidden number, threatening to take her partner away from her. After that, she filed eight further reports about a series of objects and letters left outside the couple's apartment. Some months later, the woman accused a childhood friend of her partner's of being behind the campaign of harassment. The friend had recently got back in contact over Facebook and started an online relationship with the man, which included 'the exchange of naked pictures.' The police arrested this female friend and held her for six days in The Pokey before she was released, without charge. Prosecutor Hans Harding first had suspicions about the authenticity of the letters when he was transcribing them to make them easier to analyse. 'I realised, having rewritten several of these letters, that the writer seemed to know too much about the couple,' he told The Local. 'Things that they had said to each other during private discussions at home, things that they had been told by their baby's doctor. The writer criticised the man in the couple, saying that he didn't pay the woman enough respect and that he didn't show her enough love and that was very confusing. It didn't really add up, I thought.' Police arrested the woman a few days later while she was giving a statement. 'Nobody but one half of that couple could have known all the things that were in the letters, so it came down to two people and it certainly wasn't the man,' Harding said. The woman had disguised her handwriting, but when police dictated the contents of the letters to her and the childhood friend, she made the same spelling mistakes which had been found in the letters. Investigators also found writing paper in the couple's apartment that matched that on which some of the threatening letters were written. In addition, when the woman sent photos of the letters to her partner, saying she had discovered them on coming home, she accidentally included parts of her slipper in one and in the other had left the front door ajar. The woman, who continued to deny her guilt, was nevertheless sent to The Slammer for one year and two months and ordered to pay fifty five thousand Kronor in damages to the woman whom she falsely accused. 'I'm quite sure that I'm right and the court was also convinced,' Harding said. 'Once we asked her boyfriend about it, he admitted that he, too, had that same suspicions. He had even considered putting up some hidden cameras in the house to catch her at it.'
A Clyde woman was arrested early on Monday after police received a report of a woman 'waving a sword around' in an untoward manner in a gas station parking lot. Krystal Colella was very arrested and no injuries were reported, according to a dispatcher. Police 'confiscated' the sword from Colella, who was arrested and chedk out to the Bellevue Hospital before being taken to the Sandusky County Jail, where she was booked on charges of aggravated menacing, obstructing official business and disorderly conduct in which she could've had someone's eye out.
A Cambridgeshire woman whose flat was used by a London drug gang boss and who was found with fifty seven packages of crack cocaine and six packets of heroin hidden 'inside her body,' has been jailed by Peterborough Crown Court. Lakiea Smith was found very guilty at Peterborough Crown Court on of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin. She was sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Police did not reveal exactly where, 'inside her body' Smith had hidden the packets, though one can probably guess.
A pet owner had to be rescued from a tree after climbing it to free her missing cat. Maria Parry spent 'three days of searching and no sleep' after Harry the tabby disappeared from her home in Fareham, Hampshire. When she found the bedraggled moggy in a back garden she climbed the tree 'by instinct' to comfort him before getting stuck herself. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the pair were rescued using a ladder. Parry mounted her ill-fated bid to free the feline just before midday on Thursday. 'It was instinct, I wasn't thinking - he was shaking, I just tried to calm him and I before I know it I was climbing the tree,' she said. When the branches started swaying, Parry said, she lost her nerve. 'I was "oh my God, It's really high, I cant get down - I'm really scared."' Deborah Baxter, a hypnotherapist who works in neighbouring house, gave Parry a cat basket when she arrived at the garden. 'To my horror, forty five minutes later I saw the cat basket still on the ground - where's the cat? Up the tree. Where's the lady? Up the tree. Her poor husband is running up the street going into gardens to try to find his wife. Harry was not budging, the poor little mite. We can laugh about it now because it had a happy ending. The fire brigade were absolutely brilliant - it was quite precarious,' she said.
The former CIA agent who inspired the Oscar-winning film Argo has died aged seventy eight. The literary agent for Tony Mendez said in a tweet that he died on Saturday and had suffered from Parkinson's Disease. At the CIA, Mendez specialised in disguises, forgery and rescue operations. He is best known for smuggling six American diplomats out of Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. 'He was surrounded with love from his family and will be sorely missed,' said Christy Fetcher, Mendez's literary agent. Ben Affleck, who directed Argo and starred as Mendez in the movie, paid tribute on social media, calling him 'a true American hero. He was a man of extraordinary grace, decency, humility and kindness,' Affleck said. 'He never sought the spotlight for his actions, he merely sought to serve his country.' Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell also tweeted that Mendez 'was one of the best officers to ever serve at CIA. His work was unique, and it help [sic] to protect our nation in significant ways.' Born in 1940, Mendez worked as a draftsman after graduating university and joined the CIA after answering a blind advert for a graphic artist. Over a twenty five-year career he worked with Hollywood make-up artists and stage magicians to perfect disguises and fake identities. He served in multiple foreign posts, mostly in Asia. In early 1980 he orchestrated what would later be called The Canadian Caper, a daring rescue of six American diplomats from Iran. The diplomats had been forced to shelter Canada's embassy in Tehran after protestors overran the American embassy. Mendez met with the six and helped them to pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a - non-existent - SF movie, Argo. With Canada's help, the group were able to evade Iranian security services and board a flight to Zurich from Tehran. After his retiring from the CIA, Mendez ran an art studio and wrote three memoirs about his experiences. 'I've always considered myself to be an artist first,' he told the Washington Post. 'And, for twenty five years I was a pretty good spy.'
The actor Windsor Davies, best known for his role as the bullying Battery Sergeant Major Williams in the long-running BBC sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum, has died at the age of eighty eight. His family said Windsor died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, with his daughter, Jane, adding that her parents left 'a large family who will all remember them with love, laughter and gratitude.'
Born in August 1930 in Canning Town to Welsh parents, Windsor Davies returned to his father's home village, Nant-y-Moel in the Ogmore Valley, when World War II broke out. He was educated at Ogmore Grammar School and worked as a miner, like his father, before National Service with the army in Libya and Egypt. After training to be a teacher in Bangor, Windsor taught English and Maths for four years in the 1950s in Leek, where he was known as something of a joker who enjoyed making his pupils laugh. But, he was also involved in amateur dramatics and was persuaded by his wife, Lynne, to answer an advert for a drama course run by The Kew Theatre Company. 'Lynne said to me, "you'll never be really happy unless you have a go at this, will you?"' he recalled to BBC Wales in 2012. But, he had a false-start to his acting career when he was cast in a small role in the TV series Probation Officer in 1962. 'It was a terrible mistake to have taken that job because I didn't know one end of a TV camera from the other and I didn't know how to tackle the job properly,' he recalled. Having studied drama at Richmond College, he joined The Cheltenham Rep and was spotted by the Royal Court Theatre director, John Dexter who offered him roles in The Kitchen and The Keep. He followed these successes playing Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at The Shaw Theatre and the title role in Tartuffe in Edinburgh. Despite often being typecast in television roles - due to his physique - as aggressive officious soldiers or police officer-types Windsor also had a good grounding in comedy. 'I worked with virtually every comedian the BBC employed as a feed man - I'd go along and do one scene, working with people like Dick Emery, Norman Wisdom and Charlie Drake,' he said. And, it was ultimately a comedy which was to propel him from jobbing character actor to stardom and make him familiar to millions in the 1970s. 'Apart from the brilliance of the writing, I think It Ain't Half Hot Mum was brilliant because that is how it really was,' Windsor told the BBC. 'Sergeant Majors had these recognisable forms of expression. A lot came from David Croft and Jimmy Perry who were both ex-army.' Among his catchphrases on the Croft and Perry-created comedy about an army concert party in India during the last days of the war was 'Shut Up!', delivered as an eardrum-shattering military scream and 'Oh dear, how sad, never mind,' said in a wonderfully dry, sarcastic manner and used when others around him had suffered some misfortune. Frustrated in his endeavours to drill his 'lovely boys' into a fighting unit, his character had little time for the artistic pursuits of his charges - always happier in costume than in uniform - or the upper class twits who were his commanding officers. His authority was further subtly undermined by the camp's Indian servants. Sergeant Major Williams was originally written as a Londoner and created with Leonard Rossiter in mind. 'David Croft and Jimmy Perry had auditioned a number of people and they were fed up with some of them telling them how to play the Sergeant Major,' said Davies. 'I did my old Cockney bit but they said, "hang on a minute, you're a Welshman - do him as a Welshman" and I remember thinking about a bloke I knew from the South Wales valleys, who talked this certain way and they laughed. When I got home, my agent had called to say they wanted me. I thought, it's a series! Which was lovely, with me having a wife and five children.' Windsor also topped the pop charts in 1975, with his sitcom colleague Don Estelle via an in-character cover of The Ink Spots' 'Whispering Grass' ('Sing, Lofty!') In 1978, Windosr also featured in the acclaimed BBC's drama Grand Slam, which subsequently gained cult status. About the exploits of a group of Welsh fans who travelled to Paris for a rugby match, it was shot on location during the weekend of a France versus Wales international - with the cast even flying over with the Welsh team. Davies - a 'low grade' rugby player in his youth - was cast as Mog Jones, the leader of the group, who ends up behind bars after an incident at a strip club. He appeared alongside Welsh comic talents like Hugh Griffith, Sion Probert and Dewi Morris, who were all encouraged to improvise. 'That was probably the one I enjoyed most of all,' Davies recalled. 'I enjoyed my work a lot but that was something else.' Windsor was also the voice of Sergeant Major Zero in the 1980s Gerry Anderson puppet series Terrahawks. As well as numerous stage appearances, he had roles in more than twenty films, including two of the Carry On movies. Other television roles included the sailor Taffy in The Onedin Line, a special branch detective in Callan and the antique dealer Oliver Smallbridge in another popular sitcom, ITV's Never The Twain with Donald Sinden which ran for the best part of a decade. Windsor appeared in the well-remembered 1967 Doctor Who seven-parter The Evil Of The Daleks. In 2004, Davies played an elderly night porter in the BBC sitcom My Family, one of his final acting roles. Windsor performed a large amount of advertising voice-over work and his instantly recognisable voice could be heard as New Zealand's Pink Batts house insulations and adverts for Cadbury's Wispa and Heinz Curried Beans with the catchphrase: 'Beans for the connoisseur.' He played a sergeant in the Highland Regiment in the movie adaptation of Spike Milligan's Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall and voiced characters in the Paul McCartney film Rupert & The Frog Song in 1984. His CV also included appearances in Thirty Minute Theatre, Ring Out An Alibi, Recap, Orlando, The Corridor People, Coronation Street, Talking To A Stranger, Turn Out The Lights, Adam Adamant Lives!, Smith, Boy Meets Girl, Softly Softly, Sanctuary, Special Branch, Tom Grattan's War, The Worker, UFO, The Expert, The Mind of JG Reeder, Brett, The Troubleshooters, The Shadow Of The Tower, The Main Chance, Dixon Of Dock Green, General Hospital, The Donati Conspiracy, Z Cars, Bless This House, How's Your Father?, The Dick Emery Show, Sam, The New Statesman, Mosley, Sooty & Co, Gormenghast, Cor, Blimey!, Casualty and in the movies Murder Most Foul, The Alphabet Murders, Drop Dead Darling, The Family Way, Hammer's Frankenstein Must be Destroyed, Endless Night and Not Now Comrade. In his seventies, he retired to France living near Toulouse with his wife, to whom he was married for sixty two years before her death in September 2018. Their five children include their eldest daughter, the casting director Jane Davies.