Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Pyramid At The End Of The World: "Look Upon His Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair!"

'We know you.' 'Then, you'll know that there is a line in the sand. And, I'm the man on the other side of it.'
'Miss Potts, this is the Secretary General of the UN!'
'The end of your life has already begun. There is a last place you will ever go. A last door you will ever walk through. The last sight you will every see. And, every step you ever take is moving you closer. The end of the world is a billion, billion tiny moments. And somewhere, unnoticed, in the silence or the darkness, it has already begun.' 'Are you talking to yourself in there?'
'Three minutes to midnight.'
'It's a funny thing, fear, isn't it?'
'It's impossible to set a trap without making a self-portrait of your own weaknesses.'
'Oh, I'm sorry, it's not my first dead planet!'
'Fear is temporary, love is slavery.'
'The trick with misdirection - don't look where the arrow is pointing, look where it's pointing away from.'
'What do you depend on?' 'Air. Water. Food. Beer.'
'I'm not going to lie to you, this will mean your insurance premium will go through the roof. In fact, everything's going to go through the roof. Because I'm going to blow it up.'
'You can have the world, just make him see again. I consent.' 'You act out of love, love is consent.'
'Hello, I'm The Doctor. Saving the world with my eyes shut!'
'It's a five thousand year old pyramid. One tiny problem with that. It wasn't there yesterday.' Delayed - by four minutes - because of the FA Cup Final (which one is sure several someones will be whinging about!), that was properly good! 'Enjoy your sight, Doctor. Now see our world!'
The BBC has confirmed that this week's Doctor Who episode was edited 'out of respect for victims of the Manchester bombing.' A small sequence in the episode, referring to terrorism, was removed from the programme. This is, of course, not the first time that a Doctor Who episode has been edited because of events in the real world. In 2014 the episode Robot Of Sherwood was edited shortly before transmission, following the murder of two hostages by terrorists.
BBC Worldwide this week issued a press release about Doctor Who sales to China. No great astonishment about that, of course, Doctor Who is as we all know one of the BBC's biggest generators of income in terms of overseas sales, not only paying for itself but a decent sized chunk of other stuff that BBC Drama make. But, hidden away within the minor details of the release, is one line indicating that the entire catalogue of Doctor Who-related shows will be made available in China via Shanghai Media Group Pictures and that this will include a first look at Doctor Who up to its fifteenth series. 'The deal not only covers showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat's series one to ten,' it notes, 'but also incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall's yet-to-film series eleven, as well as a first look for series twelve to fifteen.' Which, presumably, means that as far as the BBC are concerned, at least the next five series of the popular long-running family SF drama have already been already commissioned. Which is nice.
What do we think of that, Kool & The Gang?
'Blimey. That's it, End Titles,' noted The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (OBE) this week on completing his first draft of the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special. 'I'll never write a Doctor Who script again,' wrote Steven before hurriedly adding 'though, obviously, I'll rewrite one.'
Twin Peaks made its hugely-anticipated return to TV this week, twenty six years after the last episode of David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult classic was broadcast. And unsurprisingly, it was every single bit as shit-weird as everyone, if they'd watched the original, should have expected. As the BBC News website noted, 'its return was greeted with both praise and bafflement by critics, one of whom called it "familiarly inscrutable."' Not sure exactly what that particular critic was hoping to see; something along the lines of Britain's Got Toilets, perhaps? The same can also be said of that scruffy, full-of-his-own-importance Middle Class hippy Communist bell-end Mark Lawson in the Gruniad Morning Star who also suggested that 'new fans' might be 'put off' by the weirdness. Oh, get a bloody shave you hippy. Other reviews in, for example, the Torygraph, the Metro and the Ledger seemed a touch more understanding of exactly what Frost and Lynch were trying to achieve. As, indeed, did viewer Homer Simpson of Springfield. What he said.
That noted, if you have watched the first four episodes and still haven't got a bloody clue what the hell is going on (and, more importantly, are actually bothered by that) then David Lynch's interview with Entertainment Weekly is probably well worth a few moments of your time. It may not make things all much clearer but, as usual with Lynch, it's very amusing.
For what it's worth - and it's worth loads dear blog reader, trust me - this blogger thought the first four episodes were effing mad-brilliant. Weird-as-Hell, admittedly, but still, mad-brilliant. And, Wally Brando Brennan might just be the greatest TV creation in the history of the medium. That is all.
There were also fine episodes of American Gods and Gotham broadcast this week. In the former we had an entire episode told in flashback from the point-of-view of a dead woman (no, this is American Gods, not Twin Peaks, honest). And proved that an episode featuring not much Ricky Whittle and no Ian McShane (or Gillian Anderson for that matter) still works.
Albeit, apparently From The North favourite Gillian is in the next episode. Switch on your TV, dear blog reader, you may pick her up on Channel Two.
Gotham, meanwhile, once again gave all the best lines to the finest double-act on US TV at the moment, Robin Lord Taylor and Cory Michael Smith. Plus, Sean Pertwee got to get bad-ass again for the first time in a while. Tasty.
'Enemies to the East. Enemies to the West. Enemies to the South. Enemies to the North. Whatever stands in our way, we will defeat it.' If you thought you'd be spending July out in the sunshine this summer, you might want to change your plans. Game Of Thrones returns next months and promises to keep viewers sat indoors with the curtains closed, as the wildly popular fantasy drama approaches its final series. Series seven is the penultimate run of the HBO show. A new trailer for the series, released this week, promises it will be one of the most dramatic yet. The trailer was viewed over sixty million times across digital platforms including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in the first day following its debut, according to HBO. That is believed to be the most distributed views for a TV show trailer ever in a twenty four-hour period.
Meanwhile, over on Soccer Saturday, Kammy's got the Winterfell Stadium gig this week. 'Unbelieveable, Jeff!'
The BBC pulled miserable bitter old Red Jimmy McGovern's new drama Broken from Tuesday night's schedule following the terror attack which took place in Manchester the previous evening. The six-part series follows Father Michael Kerrigan (Sean Bean), a modern Catholic priest with responsibilities for a Northern urban parish. He attempts to reconcile his religious beliefs with the demands of contemporary Britain, as he supports his congregation struggling with the same problem. Following the tragic events at Ariana Grande's concert at Manchester Arena, which saw twenty two people die, Broken was considered, perhaps, a bit grim to be inflicting on the viewing public who were feeling bad enough already without having McGovern inflict more misery on them. 'Following last night's tragic events in Manchester, BBC1's new drama series Broken will not start tonight as planned,' a corporation statement read. 'It has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, 30 May.'
John Simm and Adrian Lester will experience Trauma in a new drama from Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett. The three-part thriller about the consequences of a life-saving surgery gone wrong and one man's obsession with his own grief will enter production shortly Lester will star as the well-regarded trauma surgeon Jon Allerton, who happens to be attending to the emergency care of fifteen-year-old Alex after a vicious stabbing. When Alex doesn't make it through surgery, his grieving father Dan (played by Simm) blames Allerton and becomes obsessed with unravelling the surgeon's life. 'I wrote Trauma knowing we needed, and hoping we'd get, hugely talented actors for the roles,' Bartlett said in a statement. 'But this cast has exceeded expectations. I'm a huge fan of all of them individually and can't wait to see them onscreen together.' Production begins on the series next month in London.
A BBC service that let people buy and 'keep' BBC shows is to close less than two years on from its 2015 launch. A spokesman for BBC Store said that demand 'had not been as strong as had been hoped' and that it did not 'make sense' to invest in the service further. BBC Store was intended as an extension of the BBC iPlayer, where content expires thirty days after broadcast. A message on its website said the BBC would 'continue to find new ways of making BBC archive content available. We do hope you enjoyed discovering some wonderful programmes, old and new,' the message added. More than seven thousand hours of TV was initially made available through the BBC Store, with shows typically costing £1.89 an episode. Offerings included Early To Bed, a rarely seen Alan Bleasdale work from 1975, and The Power Of The Daleks, a Doctor Who adventure from 1966 that was reconstructed in animated form. With hit programmes such as Sherlock and Doctor Who available on subscription sites Netflix and Amazon Prime, though, the BBC Store found there was less demand to download programmes to keep than anticipated. Viewers will be able to watch their purchases via the BBC Store website or through the BBC Store app until 1 November, after which they will no longer be available. Customers will be refunded for the shows they have purchased, either in cash or with Amazon Video vouchers. Those who opt for the latter will receive ten per cent more than they are owed, as a goodwill gesture. A BBC representative would not reveal how many people would be affected but said the service had been 'part of the corporation's attempts to generate income outside the licence fee.'
Sad news for Supergirl fans, one of the main cast members will only make sparing appearances in series three. TVLine reports that Maggie Sawyer (played by Floriana Lima) will not be classed as a regular character for the next series, despite becoming engaged to girlfriend Alex Danvers in the current series finale.
TV moment of the week came when The Last Leg's host From The North favourite Adam Hills delivered a message of admiration and respect to the people of Manchester. Adam admitted feeling like he wouldn't be able to find anything uplifting to say following the atrocity. 'I'll be honest, I felt really numb this week,' he said. Tuesday in particular, I kind of felt beaten down. After Charlie Hebdo, after the Paris attacks, after Brussels, Nice, Stockholm, Westminster. I felt a bit broken to be honest and then I started thinking about this show and thought I don't think there's anything I can say that's uplifting.' Then, he noted, he began to see the people of Manchester coming together. 'It was amazing. From the Sikh and Muslim taxi drivers giving free rides, the Rabbi who was taking tea to a police officer, the queues to give blood, the vigil at Albert Square.' Adam also spoke about the 'incredible' homeless man who helped some of the victims and the crowdfunding pages set up to support him in response. He mentioned that he bumped into Steve Coogan on the street and the pair talked about the city's sense of community. 'There's the sense of humour as he pointed out that it's a cheap and easy cure [for] all. It gets you through everything. Hate will never win against a city of poets, you've got no chance at all. No matter what you do, no matter how many lives you take, we will still help each other. Not because you forced us into it or we're trying to defy you, it's because it's what decent people do.'
Police investigating the Manchester Arena bomb attack have reportedly stopped sharing information with the US after leaks to the media. UK officials were reported to be 'outraged' when photos appearing to show debris from the attack appeared in the New York Times. It came after the name of bomber, Salman Abedi, was leaked to American media just hours after the attack, which left twenty two people dead, many more wounded and a nation traumatised. Theresa May said that she would tell Donald Trump at a NATO meeting that shared intelligence 'must remain secure' although few people doubted to she would tell Trump that or anything even remotely like it but, instead, continue to show the usual British Prime Ministerial lack-of-backbone when dealing with the American President. The US's acting ambassador to the UK 'unequivocally condemned' the leaks in a BBC radio interview. 'These leaks were reprehensible, deeply distressing,' Lewis Lukens said. 'We have had communications at the highest level of our government. We are determined to identify these leaks and to stop them.' In total eight men are now in police custody following the bombing carried out by Manchester-born Abedi, a twenty two-year-old from a family of Libyan origin. The arrests have been 'significant' while searches of premises in the North West have also yielded items 'important to the investigation,' Greater Manchester Police said. It has also emerged that two people who had known Abedi at college made separate calls to a hotline to warn the police about his extremist views. A Whitehall source claimed that Abedi was one of a 'pool' of former 'subjects of interest' whose risk remained 'subject to review' by the security service and its partners. Greater Manchester Police hope to resume normal intelligence relationships - a two-way flow of information - soon but is currently said to be 'furious' with their American counterparts. Its chief constable, Ian Hopkins, said that the recent leak had caused 'much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss.' The force - which is leading the investigation on the ground - gives its information to National Counter-Terrorism, which then shares it across government and - because of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement - with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. All other US-UK intelligence is still being shared, while five terrorist plots have been disrupted in the UK since the 22 March Westminster attack, the BBC has claimed. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said that she is 'confident' the leaks will now end, after having voiced her 'irritation' following the leak of the attacker's name to the US media. However, the pictures of debris - which appear to show bloodstained fragments from the bomb and the backpack used to conceal it - were subsequently leaked to the New York Times, prompting an angry response from within Whitehall and from UK police chiefs. BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said that UK officials believe US law enforcement rather than the White House was the most likely culprit for the leaks.
It looks as though Peaky Blinders is going to get even more brutal for the upcoming fourth series, if that's possible. New to the cast is Oscar winner Adrian Brody in a role which was reportedly written especially for him. His character is going to become 'a major threat' to Tommy Shelby and his clan.
FOX News has retracted a story on the 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, which was roundly condemned for perpetuating conspiracy theories, while odious scumbag host Sean Hannity said that he would 'cease further discussion' of the subject on his show in the network's evening line-up. Both FOX and Hannity invited a torrent of criticism for a report on 16 May that Rich, a twenty seven-year-old staffer at the DNC, had - allegedly - been in contact with the website WikiLeaks prior to his fatal shooting in Washington in July of 2016. The entirely unsubstantiated report was published and promoted on both FOX News, most heavily on Hannity's show and the network's local Washington affiliate, WTTG-TV. In a statement issued on Tuesday, FOX News said that the article in question 'was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting.' Or, in other words, it was a load of crap. 'Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed,' the statement read. 'We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.' Hours later, Hannity addressed the controversy at the top of his programme and was largely unapologetic but said that he would 'back down' from the story for the time being. 'Out of respect for the [Rich] family's wishes, for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time,' Hannity said having, previously, shown not the slightest bit of interest in Rich's family or how his coverage might have upset or hurt them. Even so, the characteristically bombastic scumbag anchor blamed what he described as 'liberal fascism' amid a campaign targeting Hannity's advertisers in the wake of his promotion of the false report. 'I promise you I am not going to stop doing my job,' Hannity sneered. 'I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.' Right-wing scum websites and commentators had sought to tie Rich's murder to the release of the hacked DNC e-mails ahead of the party's convention last July, as well as to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, despite no evidence to support such a link existing or anything even remotely like it. In an emotional op-ed published on the Washington Post on Tuesday, Rich's family said that Seth was, in fact, 'excited' about an opportunity to join Clinton's campaign on the day that he was killed. 'Every day we wake up to new headlines, new lies, new factual errors, new people approaching us to take advantage of us and Seth's legacy,' his parents, Mary and Joel Rich, wrote. 'It just won't stop. The amount of pain and anguish this has caused us is unbearable.' Following Hannity's broadcast, his family's spokesman said: 'We hope that Mister Hannity will join FOX News in their rededicated commitment to editorial integrity.' Some hope, mate. Rich's murder remains unresolved, but the police department of Washington have said that evidence suggests the murder resulted from a botched robbery. FOX News falsely alleged that federal authorities had found 'thousands' of e-mails between Rich and Wikileaks, when in fact law enforcement officials disputed that Rich's laptop had even been in possession of, or examined by, the FBI. FOX nonetheless continued to feature the report, which was widely characterised as an example of the 'fake news' phenomenon. Rich's family pleaded with the network and Hannity to suspend its promotion of a conspiracy theory. Brad Bauman, a spokesman for the Rich family, told CNN earlier on Tuesday that they were 'grateful' for the retraction. However mealy-mouthed it might be. 'The family would like to thank FOX News for their retraction on a story that has caused deep pain and anguish to the family and has done harm to Seth Rich's legacy,' Bauman said in a statement. 'We are hopeful that in the future FOX News will work with the family to ensure the highest degree of professionalism and scrutiny is followed so that only accurate facts are reported serving this case.'
A rare poster advertising a gig by The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them) which was owned by the singer Mary Hopkin has been sold at auction for twenty eight thousand knicker. The band's 1963 poster was expected to fetch between four hundred and eight hundred notes as part of a collection of Sixties memorabilia auctioned off by the artist. Hopkin, of course, was one of the first acts signed by The Be-Atles' Apple Records label. The singer, who had a UK number one single 'Those Were The Days' in 1968, is also selling off stage dresses. The colour poster advertised The Fab Four's gig at The Pier Pavilion in Llandudno, in August 1963. Later the same month the band went straight to number one with their fourth single 'She Loves You', sparking the eruption of Be-Atlemania. The poster was sold at the Antiques and Fine Art auction in Colwyn Bay. Before the sale, auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones said: 'My hope is that it will go to somebody local to the area who was at the gig, but there's sure to be huge interest from elsewhere as the market for Be-Atles memorabilia is colossal.'
A twenty one-month jail term handed down last year to Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to go to prison. Because he is very rich. Messi and his father Jorge, who manages his finances, were both convicted in 2016 of defrauding Spain of over four million Euros in taxes. Jorge Messi's jail term was reduced because he has now paid some of the taxes owed. In Spain, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation. The case will now return to the court in Barcelona that handed down the original judgement. Messi, a five-time world footballer of the year, has denied any involvement and told his trial in June 2016: 'I only worried about playing football.' But in its decision on Wednesday, the court said: 'It defies logic to concede that someone who earns a large income does not know that he must pay taxes on it.' Well, you'd think, wouldn't you? Both men were originally convicted of three counts of fraud, for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009 and were also given heavy fines. They were found very guilty of resorting to fictitious companies to evade Spanish taxes on income from companies using Lionel Messi's image rights. Jorge Messi's jail term was reduced from twenty one months to fifteen by the Supreme Court to take into account the money he had since handed to the tax authorities. Messi's high-profile trial is not the only one involving Barcelona stars and the Spanish government. Defender Javier Mascherano - also an Argentine - admitted to tax fraud, escaping a jail term with a one-year suspended sentence. Brazilian star Neymar is also facing allegations of corruption and fraud over his transfer to Barcelona in 2013 - a case which also involves his parents. Prosecutors allege the transfer cost much more than publicly declared and that millions were concealed from authorities. And, in the same week as Messi's sentence was upheld, former president of the club, Sandro Rosell, was extremely arrested as part of a money-laundering investigation.
Shekih Yer Manc City defender Jason Denayer 'regrets' becoming involved in a brawl outside a Brussels nightclub in which he 'reacted instinctively' by kicking out at a man who was punching his friend. An eight-second video of the incident - which took place on Sunday - shows the twenty one-year-old striking a man who is punching another man on the floor. A longer version shows how Denayer, at first reluctant to intervene, strikes out when his friend was pinned down. 'I reacted instinctively,' he said after the video appeared online. 'Of course I regret to have been caught up in a conflict that was not mine to begin with, but I saw my friend was in real danger and I had to interfere and protect him.' Belgium international Denayer, who has been on loan with relegated Blunderland this season, then left the scene in his car, which had been damaged by friends of the man he kicked, according to the player's agent. 'Jason tried to be peaceful and to avoid further escalation,' Jesse De Preter told BBC Sport. 'He then gets pushed away from the scene and about forty people start to fight. Jason went to his car, which was destroyed fifty per cent by friends of the guy, but he went home and told the police. The police have made a report but there are no charges against Jason. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.'
Southend United will reportedly 'take time to consider' Nile Ranger's future, after the striker was very jailed for eight months for online banking fraud. The twenty six-year-old was extremely sentenced for conspiracy to defraud by obtaining bank details and transferring money. he Shrimpers chairman, Ron Martin, said that the club need to assess 'the impact of this startling, unexpected, outcome.' Ex-Newcastle and Swindon forward Ranger joined Southend last summer and signed a contract until 2020 in December. Ranger - who committed the offence in February 2015 - scored eight goals in twenty eight appearances for Southend last season. Before joining Southend in August 2016, Ranger had not played a competitive game for almost two years, during which he spent several months absent from Blackpool which he put down to 'being distracted' following death of two close friends. Southend manager Phil Brown said before signing him that Ranger was in the 'last-chance saloon' during a one-month 'test period' at Roots Hall. Ranger was also subject to a Football Association investigation this season, unrelated to the criminal sentence and had previously had several run-ins with the law during his time at Newcastle. Following the result of the hearing at Wood Green, Martin's statement continued: 'As I have said previously, this offence occurred long before Nile joined the club and everyone deserves a second chance, which the club has afforded Nile. [He] is unlikely to ever be a model professional, however during his time at Southend his behaviour has been acceptable and improved. We have worked hard at rehabilitation and Nile has responded well to his team mates both on and off the pitch. At the time of writing, the club is awaiting details of the court hearing and will review the details before coming to any decision surrounding Nile's future.'
Blunderland manager David Moyes has extremely resigned following The Mackems relegation from the Premier League. The end of the Black Cats' ten-year stay in the top flight was confirmed when they lost to Bournemouth last month. Moyes informed chairman Ellis Short of his decision to step down at a meeting in London on Monday. 'I wish the players and my successor well in their efforts towards promotion back to the Premier League,' said Moyes. The former Everton and The Scum manager took charge at The Stadium of Plight in July last year, after odious lardbucket Sam Allardyce left to become, briefly, England manager. Blunderland finished extremely bottom of the Premiership table this season with but twenty four points, having won only six games. 'I pursued the services of David Moyes for a considerable period prior to his appointment last summer, which makes the announcement of his departure difficult for everyone concerned,' said Short. He added that Moyes was not taking compensation for his departure, calling it 'a testament to his character. In the days ahead we will take some time for reflection and then focus on recruitment and pre-season as we prepare for our Championship campaign. We wish David well in the future,' added Short. The Scot had faced calls from Blunderland fans to quit and initially said it was 'too soon' to commit to the club following relegation. However, earlier this month he suggested that he would stay with The Mackems in the Championship next season, saying: 'I know what needs to be done to get back in the Premier League.' In a club statement on Monday, Moyes said: 'I would like to thank Ellis Short and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club.' This is the first time that Moyes has been relegated as a manager, having warned Blunderland supporters just two games into the season that his squad would struggle. And, let's face it, you know you're club are in troule when your manager is talking about a season-long reegation struggle before the end of August. Moyes' departure from Blunderland after a truly desperate - if, from a distance, very amusing - season of one calamity after another ended in relegation carried an air of inevitability. And, it is only a minor blessing for The Black Cats that the decision has been taken so quickly after its conclusion. It is a sign of how Moyes' stock has fallen that since he was awarded a six-year contract to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at The Scum in 2013 he has been sacked at Old Trafford, again by the Spanish side Real Sociedad and now has a relegation and resignation on his CV at Blunderland. And, there are still two years left on that original contract with The Scum. Moyes looked a solid appointment in succession to odious lardbucket (and drag) Allardyce but set the negative tone he adopted for the entire campaign when he flagged up a relegation fight after only two games of the season. Blunderland's football was drab and draped in defeat. They have, in short, been a sodding disgrace. The only shining lights were leading scorer Jermain Defoe and promising goalkeeper Jordan Pickford - both of whom now look certain to follow Moyes out of the door. Moyes made some defiant noises about taking charge of Blunderland in the Championship but, in the end, his unpopularity with Mackem fans who had suffered all season, plus the embarrassment of relegation, left him with nowhere to go but away from Wearside.
On, still the hilarity continues. Odious lardbucket (and drag) Sam Allardyce has extremely resigned as Crystal Palace manager five months after he joined the Premier League club. Allardyce replaced Alan Pardew in December on a two-and-half-year deal with The Eagles then one point above the relegation zone. The sixty two-year-old, who had an ill-fated one-game spell as England boss, led the club to eight wins in twenty one games to guide them to a fourteenth-place finish. 'I have no ambitions to take another job,' Allardyce said in a statement. 'I want to be able to savour life while I am still relatively young and when I am still relatively healthy enough to do all the things I want to do, like travel, spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. This is the right time for me. I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.' Odious lardbucket (and drag) Allardyce revealed his decision to chairman Steve Parish at a meeting in London on Tuesday. The Eagles are now looking for their eighth manager in seven years. Although it took Allardyce six games to get his first victory the former Notlob, Blackburn Vindaloos, yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle, West Hamsters United and Blunderland boss maintained his record of never being relegated from the Premier League. Albeit, he remains about as popular as a nasty rash on the bell-end at - at least - three or those clubs. Only Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Harry Redknapp and David Moyes have managed more games in the Premier League. Allardyce's final game in charge of Palace came on Sunday, a two-nil loss at The Scum, having guaranteed safety the previous week by thrashing relegation-haunted Hull four-nil. Following defeat at Old Trafford, Allardyce indicated his plans to improve the Palace squad in the summer. He had told BBC Sport: 'We now need to grow, develop and invest. You need to choose the right players and not the wrong ones. Recruitment is the difficult task in the summer.'
They're the team from the smallest nation ever to qualify for a World Cup Under Twenty finals and they very nearly pulled off a huge shock holding Mexico two-two until the final seconds of their match in South Korea, but Vanuatu's hearts were broken when the Mexicans scored a winner with pretty much the last kick of the game. So, high drama and a momentous occasion for football in the tiny Pacific island country, but sadly no-one in Vanuatu got to actually watch the game live and see their team make history. The national broadcaster VBTC had said late on Friday that 'matters were in hand' and the match would be shown, but they failed to deliver and now, there are reportedly to be a lot of very angry people in Vanuatu. Harry Attison from Capital 107FM in Port Vila said that he fielded 'a series of calls' from people demanding to know where the TV pictures were, while trying to keep his radio audience up to speed with the game. The President of the Vanuatu Olympic Committee, Antoine Boudier, said that the state broadcaster had 'let the nation down.'
Yer actual Jenson Button says that he is 'feeling no pressure' going into his one-off return to Formula 1 at Monaco this weekend. The 2009 world champion is substituting at McLaren for Fernando Alonso, who is racing in the Indianapolis Five Hundred. Button said: 'I am very relaxed. Very excited, actually. It is interesting coming back for one Grand Prix. It being Monaco is very special. I have won here. I lived here for seventeen years. It is exciting but I don't feel any pressure.' McLaren have not scored any points so far this year and are currently extremely last in the constructors' championship. Monaco represents their best chance of points so far this season. Alonso put the car seventh on the grid in Barcelona two weeks ago and the car should be even better suited to Monaco, where the lack of power from the Honda engine is less important in the overall performance of the car than at any other track this year. 'Everything in life is the same,' the popular Button said. 'You want to get the best out of yourself and the equipment and team you're working with. The car seemed to be working well in Barcelona. Fernando did a good job. It proves the car is good. I drove the car in the simulator, I drove the upgrade and if it all goes well we should be reasonably competitive.' The cars have changed significantly since Button retired from F1 at the end of last season, with rule changes making them faster and more demanding - and also twenty centimetres wider. Button's first experience of the McLaren on a race track was in first practice at Monaco on Thursday. He turned down the chance to test in Bahrain in April because he felt it would not have been productive. 'I thought would be absolutely useless for me to do, completely different circuit,' he said. 'Preparation could have been better if I had had the opportunity to test the car at a proper test but that's not the way F1 works. Fitness won't be an issue. My neck will be a bit sore after Thursday but we have Friday off and Mikey, my physio, is back for one weekend. It's a challenge and that's what we're all here for, isn't it? I have every bit of information possible and I have run through it for several days - how the car works, the way the tyres work. The tyres have been pretty tricky the last few years, they work differently but you work your way around it. A few things will be tricky but it is about putting the effort in and working around the issues. The only thing I am worried about is my neck, but apart from that it should be all right.' Jeson qualified ninth on his return to Formula 1 one place ahead of McLaren team-mate Vandoorne, who was quicker than Button and seventh in second qualifying only to crash at the end of the session. However, sadly for all of his fans, Jenson will have to start at the back of the grid because of a fifteen-place grid penalty after another one of Honda's notoriously unreliable engines blew up and had to be replaced.
The UK must not get a better deal with the European Union than non-members who went through the effort of obtaining access to the single market, Adrian Hasler, the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein has suggested. The principality of thirty eight thousand and an area - slightly smaller than the capacity of an average Premier League ground - nestled between Austria and Switzerland, is one of three nations in the European Economic Area that aren't EU members. Together with Norway and Iceland, Lichtenstein enjoys EU rights of free movement in exchange for adopting most EU policies, but has little say in drafting them. 'Liechtenstein said "Yes" to the EEA membership twenty two years ago to get access to the EU market and we consciously accepted the duties this entails,' Hasler said in an interview in Vienna. 'The effort is enormous for such a small country. It's absolutely key for us that this is recognised by the EU and we don't find ourselves suddenly worse off than the UK, which turned its back on the EU.' Liechtenstein, an independent principality since 1806, was once famous for banking secrecy, beating even the anonymity of neighbouring Switzerland. It abandoned that status beginning in 2009 after it came close to pariah status during high-profile tax evasion investigations, especially in Germany. It looks, however, like a lovely place to live or visit (yer actual Keith Telly Topping has always rather fancied a holiday there). And, it also has a national anthem that shares its tune with 'God Save The Queen.' Which was especially amusing when England played Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifier a few years ago and all the skinheads stood up for the national anthem twice!
Labour's shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, has accused Michael Fallon of 'talking bollocks' after the defence secretary claimed she wanted to negotiate with Argentina over the future of The Falkland Islands. A Tory MP talking 'bollocks'? Surely not? In a spiky exchange on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Thornberry hit back at Fallon, saying: 'That is bollocks. It's untrue,' and adding: 'You can't just make this stuff up.' Well, he can, love and, seemingly, he just did. Asked earlier whether she could envisage military action to protect the sovereignty of The Falklands, Thornberry had said simply: 'Yes.' She added: 'I think that, as a matter of last resort, if British citizens are being attacked, we defend them.' Asked if she could imagine negotiating over the islands' future, she said: 'You have to look at the alternatives first. In the end there is no solution to international disputes without there being international agreement and it's a question of how you get there fastest.' But, she stressed that 'if we're under attack, we defend ourselves.' She also said: 'There needs to be a future in terms of talking to neighbours of The Falklands, but certainly not undermining the sovereignty of The Falkland Islands.' Her tone was noticeably tougher than that of the wholly incompetent Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who gave a foreign policy speech on Friday saying that a Labour government - which, there isn't going be one for the foreseeable future so this is all theoretical - would 'focus on defence, development and diplomacy,' with armed action only used as 'a last resort.' Although quite what he actually meant by such waffle, no one knows. Least of all, one suspects, him. The shadow foreign secretary also underlined Labour's commitment to NATO, after being challenged over past remarks by Corbyn in which he was critical of the military alliance. Thornberry, the Islington South MP who is regarded by some left-of-centre Labour MPs as a potential future leader, also reminded Fallon that he had once attended a drinks reception to celebrate an election victory by the Syrian dictator and mass murderer, Bashar al-Assad. When Fallon raised Corbyn's past association with senior figures from the IRA, Thornberry said: 'I suppose if you judge people by who it is that you spend time with, the question has to be: do you remember where you were on 27 May 2007? I'm not going to judge you on you going to a reception with Assad and I don't think that people should judge Jeremy by trying to talk to people who might be open to a settlement in Northern Ireland.'
Sexism in Hollywood is certainly not a new topic, but Jessica Chastain is the latest industry figure to talk about her experience with sexual harassment in her workplace. In an interview with the Torygraph, the actress reveals that early on in her career she was 'kind of spanked' on-set by 'a well-known member of the film industry.' 'I won't say who, but I've been on a movie where someone very important ... I had been walking down the hall and they kind of spanked me on the butt. And I did turn around and say, "Did you just spank me?" I was really upset about it. But in their mind, it was completely normal. It was fine behaviour.' Recently, there have been several major sexual harassment lawsuits filed against big name members of FOX News. The network's former CEO Roger Ailes and host Bill O'Reilly have both been accused of harassment as well as verbal abuse. Last year, FOX News reporter Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes alleging that he 'sabotaged her career' because she 'refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.' Carlson received a reported twenty million bucks settlement deal from Twenty First Century FOX and Ailes resigned. Just this month, O'Reilly was forced out of FOX News after it was revealed that he and the company paid settlements to multiple women who accused the host of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. In both of these FOX News situations, after one woman exposed their experience with sexual harassment, other women followed. Chastain told the Torygraph: 'I think stuff like that happens all the time. Probably now it would never happen to me because I'm not a shrinking violet,' she said. 'If I see behaviour against me, or against anyone, that is unjust, then I will absolutely say something.'
Four Nepalese men are stuck on a rickety boat in the Federated States of Micronesia nearly a year after they were given refugee status according to Radio New Zealand. Which, some might regard as, frankly, a bit of a sodding disgrace. Or, indeed, a lot of a sodding disgrace. The men were moved to the island state of Pohnpei at the end of June after arriving with a boat load of others from Nepal and India on neighbouring Yap. They were detained on Yap for eighteen months and were the only ones among the thirty four men determined to be classified as refugees. An American living on Pohnpei, Mark Dvorak, who has been visiting the men said that they were now confined to Pohnpei's dock on a boat which needed constant pumping to stay afloat. He said that he was 'concerned' for their welfare. Dvorak said the men should be allowed to leave the port while they waited for a third country to accept them. He said the police had raided the boat and confiscated electronics which the men had been given. He added they had been given food and other care by the UN. Lawyer Marstella Jack, who is a former Attorney General for the Federated States, said she had met with the men and would likely start taking legal action in the near future. 'It's arbitrary detention. Number one they have not been charged with anything. FSM is not a party to the refugee convention but we are a member of the United Nations and we subscribe to the principles under the UN Declaration on Human Rights.'
Declassified documents reveal concerns of the UK government sixty years ago that Rockall could become 'a base for spying' on a missile test site. The rock is an eroded volcano which lies two hundred and sixty miles West of the Western Isles and is only thirty metres wide and twenty metres high above the sea. The NATO documents report how the UK claimed Rockall in 1955. The government feared that it could be used by 'hostile agents' as 'a place to monitor the Hebrides Rocket Range.' A small team of military personnel was taken to Rockall by the Royal Navy in September 1955 to claim it as UK territory. A union jack was raised and a plaque installed on the rock. In the documents, it says: 'This decision of the UK government was connected with the fact that the UK government had recently decided to set up a guided missile range in South Uist, in The Outer Hebrides. The island of Rockall was uninhabited but this government wished to guard against the possibility of hostile agents installing themselves on the island in order to observe the effects of the tests on the South Uist range.' People have stayed on Rockall, though only temporarily, in the past, including in 1997 when three campaigners from Greenpeace managed to climb onto the rock. They lived on Rockall for forty two days and renamed it Waveland in protest at exploration of new oil and gas reserves in the surrounding seabed. In 2014, a Scots adventurer broke the record for occupying the remote North Atlantic rock. Nick Hancock survived on Rockall for forty five days, also beating the previous solo occupancy record of forty days set by Tom McClean in 1985. Hancock celebrated achieving the solo record by drinking a bottle of champagne while also sending a tweet to the veteran adventurer McClean. His message was simply: 'Sorry Tom.'
Scientists working on the American space agency's new Juno mission say that its initial observations at Jupiter have 'taken their breath away.' Just like that Berlin song. Only, you know, better. In particular, they have been amazed - amazed - by the storms seen at the planet's poles. 'Think of a bunch of hurricanes, every one the size of the Earth, all packed so close together that each hurricane touches the other,' said Mike Janssen of NASA. 'Even in rooms of hardened researchers, these images of swirling clouds have drawn gasps.' The Juno probe arrived at Jupiter on 4 July last year. Since then, it has been making a close pass over the gas giant every fifty three days. The first data to come out of these observations are now being reported in two papers in the journal Science and in more than forty others in a special collection for Geophysical Research Letters. The mission team say that in nearly all instances, previously cherished theories about how Jupiter works are being challenged. 'We're getting the first really close up and personal look at Jupiter and we're seeing that a lot of our ideas were incorrect and maybe naive,' said Juno's principal investigator Scott Bolton from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Those big cyclones that cover the highest latitudes of the planet are only now being seen in detail because previous missions to the planet never really got to look from above and below like Juno - certainly not at such a high resolution. Features down to fifty kilometres across can be discerned. The structures are very different from those seen at Saturn's poles, for example, and the team will have to explain why. It is also not clear at this stage how long-lived they are. Another surprise comes from Juno's Microwave Radiometer, which senses behaviour below the visible cloud surface. Its data indicates the presence of a broad band of ammonia around the equator that goes from the top of the atmosphere to as deep as it is possible to detect, at least three hundred and fifty kilometres down. It could be part of a major circulation system. But the MWR records the ammonia at higher latitudes to be much more variable. 'What this is telling us is that Jupiter is not very well mixed on the inside,' said Doctor Bolton. 'The idea that once you drop below the sunlight everything would be uniform and boring was completely wrong. It's actually very different dependent on where you look.' Mission team-members picked out a number of highlights in the new results. One concerned the magnetic field of Jupiter. It was known to be very strong but it has now been determined to be even stronger than expected - a doubling of the assumed strength where the probe makes its closest approach to the planet (the field is about ten times the strength of Earth's magnetic field, for example). But the signal is quite lumpy, which tells the scientists that the dynamo system - the electrically conducting region generating the field - is probably not that deep into the planet. 'When we see small spatial-scale variation, it indicates to us that we may be very close to the source and so that might mean the dynamo is above the metallic hydrogen [layers] and it may operate in the molecular hydrogen envelope above. That's very significant,' said Jack Connerney, Juno's deputy principal investigator and the lead for the mission's magnetic field investigation. It is the magnetic field investigation that is also at the heart of trying to understand Jupiter's very bright auroras - its Northern and Southern lights. And again, what Juno is finding is not what everyone was expecting. The auroras should result from electrons running down field lines and then striking the atmosphere. But the current carried by the electrons should have its own magnetic signature and Juno has not at this stage been able to detect it. 'It's got us all scratching our heads, I have to say,' said UK scientist Doctor Jonathan Nichols from the University of Leicester. 'We see the auroras, we have a good idea we think of how they're generated but when it comes down it we're not seeing the signature of supposedly millions of amps of current.' One very smart picture taken by Juno and released on Thursday showed the ring of dust that surrounds Jupiter. It is not well known that Jupiter has a ring, but it does. What was clever was getting the familiar stars of the Orion constellation to be in on the shot as well. 'This is the first image of Jupiter's ring that has ever been collected from the inside of it looking out,' said mission scientist Heidi Becker from NASA. 'Juno is three thousand miles from the planet when we took this picture. So, what you're looking at is a ring of dust that's forty thousand miles away and stars that are hundreds of light-years away, all in the same picture.' It is early days in the mission still (which is likely to run for several years yet), but the first gravity sensing data is pointing to some weirdness in respect of Jupiter's centre. Theories had suggested it either had a relatively small rocky core or no core at all; one suggestion was that the planet's gases went all the way down to the centre in an ever more compressed state. Scientists are now considering something in between - a diffuse core. 'It really looks fuzzy,' said Bolton. 'There may be a core there but it's very big and it may be partially dissolved, and we're studying that.' Bolton flagged up Juno's next pass, on 11 July. This will be dedicated to investigating the Great Red Spot.
Healthy baby mice have been born using freeze-dried sperm stored in the near-weightless environment of space. The Japanese team behind the gravity-breaking experiment on the International Space Station say that it shows that transporting 'the seeds of life' away from Earth is feasible. Sperm banks could even be made on the Moon as a back-up for Earth disasters, they told a leading science journal. It is unclear if this will ever help humans populate space, however. Sustaining life in space is challenging to say the least. On the ISS, radiation is more than one hundred times higher than on Earth. The average daily dose of 0.5mSv from the cosmic rays is enough to damage the DNA code inside living cells, including sperm. Microgravity also does exceedingly strange things to sperm. In 1988, German researchers sent a sample of bull semen into orbit on a rocket and discovered that the sperm were able to swim much faster in low gravity, although it was not clear whether this gave a fertility advantage or not. Another space test showed fish eggs could be fertilised and develop normally during a fifteen-day orbital flight, suggesting a brief trip into space might not be too harmful for reproduction - at least for vertebrates. The freeze-dried mouse sperm samples were stored on the space station for nine months before being sent back down to Earth and thawed at room temperature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports. Although sperm DNA was slightly damaged by the trip, it still did the job of fertilising mouse eggs and creating apparently healthy 'space pups.' Fertilisation and birth rates were similar to healthy 'ground control' mice. The space pups had only minor differences in their genetic code and grew to adulthood. A select few were allowed to mate and became mums and dads themselves. The researchers, Sayaka Wakayama and colleagues from the University of Yamanashi, suspect that some of the sperm DNA damage is repaired by the egg once it has been fertilised. 'If sperm samples are to be preserved for longer periods in space, then it is likely that DNA damage will increase and exceed the limit of the [egg] oocyte's capacity for repair. If the DNA damage occurring during long-term preservation is found to have a significant effect on offspring, we will need to develop methods to protect sperm samples against space radiation, such as an ice shield,' they said. Once they've cracked that, they can set their sights on sperm banks on the Moon. 'Underground storage on the Moon, such as in lava tubes, could be among the best places for prolonged or permanent sperm preservation because of their very low temperatures, protection from space radiation by thick bedrock layers and complete isolation from any disasters on Earth,' the scientists say. But, that still leaves the massive question of whether mammals, including humans, can permanently live and procreate in space. Professor Joseph Tash, a NASA-supported physiologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said although the latest findings were interesting, the ISS was a 'somewhat sheltered' environment to use as the test zone for space. 'The ISS orbit is within the protection of the Van Allen radiation belt - the magnetic field that diverts most high energy radiation particles from hitting the earth or the ISS.' He added that the actual risk of radiation damage at the Moon and beyond would be 'much higher. Ovaries and testes are the most sensitive organs to both acute and chronic radiation exposure.' He said that the feasibility of mammalian reproduction in space beyond the Van Allen belt would depend on the creation of 'radiation-hardened' facilities which could protect sperm, eggs and embryos from harm. 'Given the nine month gestation for humans, the pregnant mother would also need to be protected by such a facility. So it presents very real habitat, medical, social, and psychological questions that need to be addressed as well.'
A driver could face a ten thousand dollar bill after he ploughed into newly poured concrete in Lincoln, Nebraska, and became stuck. The accident occurred on Wednesday on a portion of a road repair project in the state capital. Police spokeswoman Angela Sands said on Friday that police would not be charging the driver, nineteen-year-old Shadrach Yasiah with any offence. A police incident report said it was not obvious that the concrete wasn't dry and that Yasiah drove into it through a twenty four-foot gap between traffic control cones. City engineer Thomas Shafer said that a driver is responsible for any repairs required. He added that the contractor estimated it will cost more than ten grand to pay for removing the car, scraping out the ruined slurry and reconcreting it.
In a week where police resources in Manchester have been stretched to their limit, you can always rely on someone to waste their time. Despite enduring their most trying week on record in the aftermath of Monday's terror attack, officers were called out to deal with a rather bizarre and far more mundane dispute between neighbours according to the Metro. But, as the (not a real) paper notes, 'this was no ordinary neighbour's dispute, this neighbour's dispute involved a dead gold fish covered in cheese being posted through a letterbox.' And, just in case you can't imagine what such a thing might look like, dear blog reader, Metro provided a helpful illustration.
A naked man carrying a five-gallon bucket stole a twenty five thousand dollar swan statue from the front of a business in Lakeland, Florida last Thursday. The Polk County Sheriff's Office released surveillance footage of the suspect trying to break in to Lakeland Cold Storage. The suspect stole a company truck as well as the black-and-white checkered swan. The truck was later recovered in Hillsborough County, but the swan was not. The man was subsequently identified as Ronald Thompson. He was extremely arrested and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail. The sheriff's office said they are still searching for the swan.
A pigeon has reportedly been caught by customs officials carrying illegal drugs in miniature backpack in Kuwait. The Independent reports that a fabric pocket attached to the back of the bird was found to contain a total of one hundred and seventy eight pills. Drug smugglers apparently used the bird as a mule to fly across the border from neighbouring Iraq. It was intercepted above a building near Kuwait's customs department, according to Al Arabiya. It is thought the drugs were a form of ketamine, although this has yet to be verified, an Al-Rai journalist claimed. Local media in the region has widely reported the case and apparently officials have known for some time that smugglers were using pigeons to transport drugs. This is not the first time that a pigeon has been caught carrying drugs. In 2015 guards captured a pigeon flying cocaine and cannabis into a prison in Costa Rica. The bird was caught as it flew fourteen grams of cocaine and a similar amount of cannabis into the facility stuffed into a pouch attached to its body.
An eighteen-year-old girl is selling her virginity through an infamous auction website which invites potential buyers to 'inspect' her purity. According to, again, the Metro (if not a more reliable source) Kim, who gives only her first name, is half-Austrian and half-German. Like Hitler. She is selling her virginity through the agency Cinderella Escorts so she can buy a car, a flat and finance her studies. Bidding starts at one hundred thousand Euros, of which twenty per cent goes to the agency, according to local German media. According to the Cinderella Escorts website, Kim's virginity is 'proven' with a doctor's certificate and any potential buyer can also 'do their own tests' to 'inspect' the girl. On the website, Kim states that she likes drinking orange juice and loves Greek food and roses. And, money, obviously. Kim said: 'I would like to study in Germany or Vienna. With the money I can buy a flat, pay my tuition fees and afford a car.' The student was, she claims, 'inspired' by Aleexandra Khefren, an eighteen-year-old Romanian model who allegedly sold her virginity for around two million knicker to an unknown Hong Kong businessman.
Students and teachers at Stanford Elementary in Oroville, California, thought that they had been the victims of a prank on Wednesday 17 May when they turned up for school to find the entire area - including the building's roof - covered in dead fish. However, their disbelief turned to bewilderment as it started to rain fish again during school classes and recess, according to school librarian Rachael Thompson. Whether this was followed by a plague of locusts and the rivers turning to blood as The Whore Of Babylon appears and seven trumpets sounds in the firmament is not, at this time known. But, if we find out, this blog will certainly let all dear blog readers know as soon as possible. Experts believe that tornadic waterspouts could be responsible for such a strange rain. 'I've seen small ponds literally emptied of their water by a passing tornado. So, it wouldn't be unreasonable for frogs (or other living things) to "rain" from the skies,' said Professor Ernest Agee from Purdue University in an article for Weatherwise Magazine. A common consensus among scientists is that that salt, stones, fish, or frogs can be pulled into a waterspout's swirling updrafts and deposited once the waterspout hits land and loses its energy. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife believe the fish is a kind of carp and is not found in the nearby Feather River, although rains of fish have been reported as far away as one hundred miles from their natural habitat.
A man wearing body armour and a mask backed a tractor-trailer through the gate of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and crashed it into the front door of the famed Nevada brothel featured in the CatHouse reality television show, according to authorities and the brothel's owner. Brian Brandt, of Reno, was extremely arrested and now faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon, property destruction and possession of stolen property, the Lyon County Sheriff's office said. Brothel owner Dennis Hof said that none of the five employees, thirty female prostitutes and ten customers inside at the time of the incident were hurt. The impact of the truck crashing into the building scared them and sounded 'like a bomb going off,' Hof said, causing what he estimated at four hundred thousand dollars damage. Hof added that the suspect was wearing full body armour and a mask. He claimed that he did not know Brandt and none of the people working at the brothel did.
A young woman and her mother were subjected to 'a torturous two-and-a-half-hour hoax' in Barnstaple's Poundworld during which they were 'ridden like horses' by members of staff and 'forced to lick their feet' by a prank caller who was impersonating a charity worker it has been reported. Naomi Desmond and her mother, Pamela, had gone into Poundworld in Barnstaple on Saturday 13 May to do some shopping. At 4.30pm a man purporting to be from a charity based in Cork called the store and told the staff to close it for a team training exercise which would involve entering two members of the public into a competition. Naomi and her mother, as it happens, were the only shoppers in the store and were told they could win three thousand knickers. They were then taken by the manager into the store room at the back of the shop, where they spoke to the caller. Naomi said: 'He was asking us who were and where we worked and stuff like that, but I obviously didn't want to disclose where I worked so I just said I worked in a café.' The caller, who managed to dupe both the staff and Naomi and her mother, then made them carry out a serious of 'humiliating and embarrassing' tasks around the store. The manager and another member of staff were told to tie string around Naomi and Pamela's ears, throw water over them, draw on their faces with pens and make them crawl around the store on their hands and knees. The mother and daughter were also ridden like horses and told to lick the staff's feet. Throughout the hoax Naomi and her mother were referred to by the two female members of staff as 'ugly and beast' and, in return, had to refer to the manager as 'beautiful lady.' And, seemingly, never once whilst all this was going on did anyone - either Naomi and her mother or any of the staff - think 'hang on, this all sounds a bit odd'? 'I started to think this was a scam and my mum then mentioned this to the staff and eventually we left saying if this was a prank we would want compensation,' Naomi whinged. 'The manager asked to take my number and promised to let me know what happened,' she added. Naomi then received a call on her mobile from the prank caller. 'The manager must have been contacted by him again and given him my number. He said to go back to the store and when you arrive, you have to knock on the door on your hands and knees. You have ten minutes left to win the money.' Naomi and her mother then returned as did as instructed and 'the ordeal continued for another half-an-hour.' Eventually the manager of the store called the company's HR and was told to contact the police. According to her daughter, Pamela who has one arm, was 'horrified' by the ordeal. 'We are both too scared to go into Poundworld now. I had to go in again to get these special straws for the holiday because it was the only place where I could get them and I had to go in with accompanied with other people because I was scared,' Naomi said. Why these particular 'special' straws were so necessary for the family holiday, why other, ordinary straws which could have been purchased at any high street supermarket were unsuitable and who these 'other people' who accompanied Naomi in her second visit to Poundworld are questioned to which,sadly, we do not have any answers. 'I sustained injuries, my knees were red raw and I had marks on my wrists, arms and back,' she added. A Poundworld spokesperson said: 'We apologise unreservedly to our customer for their experience at our Barnstaple store, which our team also fell victim of. The incident has been referred to the police and we are assisting them with their enquiries. We have conducted our own investigation and re-issued guidance to our stores around the verification of telephone calls to help ensure something such as this does not happen again in the future.' Poundworld has apologised to the family and offered them a two hundred pound Poundworld voucher, which, considering that they were scammed themselves some might consider a pretty reasonable gesture. Not Naomi, though. 'That was it. It's ridiculous,' she said, seemingly in high-dudgeon. 'We want to sue but we can't because the police don't know who it is.'
A black man who received a penis transplant is to have it tattooed in a world first because the donor was white according to the Daily Mirra. So, it's probably a load of old crap. The forty-year-old reportedly lost his organ 'after a botched traditional circumcision' and underwent the transplant as only the third person ever to undergo the procedure. But in the next six months, he will be able to have sex and urinate standing up for the first time in seventeen years. The South African team who carried out the surgery revealed there was just one issue to resolve - which they delicately described as 'a colour discrepancy.'
A California woman is reportedly suing the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans, claiming that she was 'tricked' into believing one of the company's candy products was 'free of sugar.' The plaintiff, one Jessica Gomez of San Bernadino County, first brought the case against the company earlier this year, blaming 'fancy phrasing' for her 'confusion' over the ingredients, according to Legal News Line. Gomez purchased Jelly Belly's Sport Beans, a product marketed as 'an exercise supplement' containing carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins, which lists 'evaporated cane juice' on the label instead of citing sugar as an ingredient. In the class action suit, Gomez claims the wording on the label is 'in violation of state's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Business Practices Law and False Advertising Law' and is 'designed to intentionally deceive the health-conscious consumers being targeted by Sport Beans,' Forbes reports. Jelly Belly called the case 'nonsense,' as stated in an April motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing, 'No reasonable consumer could have been deceived by Sport Beans' labelling - Gomez could not have seen "evaporated cane juice" without also seeing the product's sugar content on its Nutrition Facts panel.' Gomez, however, appears to have the Food and Drug administration on her side. In May 2016, the FDA announced that the term 'juice' should not be used unless referring to that of a fruit or vegetable and that calling sugar 'evaporated cane juice' is, in fact, misleading to consumers. But Jelly Belly is still arguing that the case should be thrown out of court for a number of reasons, primarily because the Plaintiff 'does not explain why an athlete - or anyone - would be surprised to find sugar in a product described as "Jelly Beans."' Other than rank stupidity, obviously. Then again, there's no law against that.
Deputies in Florida reportedly arrested a woman accused of hitting her boyfriend in the face with a package of Ramen noodles. The incident occurred in 2015, according to a police report, but twenty nine-year-old Channing Benson was arrested Wednesday 24 May. The victim, Anthony Mobley, called the Escambaia County Sheriff's Office deputies when his live-in girlfriend walked into his job at a local convenience store and began yelling at him to bring food home for her and their children. He told Benson that he would finish his shift in an hour and would bring him some food. That's when, according to Mobley, she 'became more irate' and demanded that he give her a phone card. He said that he refused to do so and asked her to leave the premises three times because she was 'causing a scene.' According to the police report, she 'suddenly picked up a package of dry Ramen noodles and threw them, hitting him on the left side of his mouth causing a small laceration.' A responding deputy reported that he tried to find Benson at her home, but when he got there he found a child that had been left home alone. Following her arrest, Benson was booked into the Escambia County Jail charged with 'battery, child neglect, trespassing, fraud, resisting an officer, burglary and other crimes.'
A former UKiP politician has demanded that the death penalty should be reintroduced for suicide bombers.
A North Carolina woman is facing charges after police in Charleston claimed that she 'startled' a pair of carriage horses whilst dressed as a T Rex. Nicole Wells was allegedly as a dinosaur as a carriage passed her on the street, according to Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis. 'The individual in the costume stopped and began making growling noises at the horses,' Francis told the Charleston Post & Courier. 'This spooked the horses and they began backing up. The carriage then struck an unoccupied vehicle and caused minor damage to its bumper.' The driver, Van Sturgeon, was thrown from the carriage and a wheel rolled over one his legs. He told WCIV TV that he had suffered a broken bone in his left foot and severe bruising on his right leg. The horses weren't injured, nor were any passengers. Sturgeon said that the animals 'weren't prepared for the sight of a Tyrannosaurus costume.' He told WCSC-TV in Charleston that he 'yelled' at the person in the costume to 'get out of here' three times. Instead, the dinosaur continued to face the horses, which caused them to back up and jackknife the carriage. 'Perhaps she did not realise what a threat that appeared to be to my animals, but they responded remarkably well,' Sturgeon told the station. 'Any animal, you included, are entitled to your flight response, the key is how quickly do you come back under control. If I throw a snake on you and you jump, you're entitled to that, but if you can come back and get in control really quickly, that's the key to emotional control and both of the animals demonstrated that.'
A naked woman punched a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy in the mouth, as deputies tried to stop a fight between two women they encountered while driving according to Mercury News. With traffic at a standstill, several motorists used cell phones to record the nude female, later identified as Selena Stacy, walking on the sidewalk. There she grabbed the head of a female motorist, who got out of her vehicle and fought with Stacy, according to a sheriff's news release. Stacy was taken to the Central Detention Center where female deputies 'assisted with clothing her,' then to a hospital for a medical exam prior to her being arrested on suspicion of assault on a peace officer.
Three employees from the alarm company ADT were arrested in Mississippi on 17 May after they were all caught 'having a public threesome on the deck of a family bar.' One of the two women, Amy Hammers, had just gotten married three weeks earlier. The bar in question, Triple D's Landing in Kiln, Mississippi, is a family establishment, according to the Daily Scum Mail. At the time of the very naughty trio's arrest, the bar was closed, but the owner had come to the restaurant to 'take care of some business.' As far as we know, that's not a euphemism for anything, just in case you were wondering dear blog reader. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said that when the bar's owner arrived, she saw all three of them 'right there. In the middle of the day. In broad daylight. In front of God and everybody.' God's thoughts on the matter - as a witness - are not, at this time, known. The other suspects were Brandon Mabery and Tiffany Thibodeaux. 'I can't imagine the stunned looks on their faces at the time when they saw our deputies,' the sheriff said. 'I'd hate to have to tell mama and daddy I got arrested for such as that.' All three were charged with misdemeanour indecent exposure.
In the most unexpected of developments, Angie Bowie has this week sold the story of her life with David to The Times. Sorry, not unexpected, what's the opposite of that?
And, speaking of vile attention-seekers, That Awful Hopkins Woman is to leave LBC with immediate effect, the radio station has confirmed. The announcement comes shortly after Hopkins said that a 'final solution' was needed following the Manchester terror attack. The since-deleted post appeared to call for genocide, her use of 'final solution' presumably referring to the Nazi genocide of millions of Jews in the Second World War. LBC told the Independent it would not be 'commenting further.' The same newspaper also reported that LBC staff 'broke into massive cheers and applause' when the news was announced. Complaints were made to the Metropolitan Police about Hopkins' tweet, which she later said she stood by, but claimed the use of 'final' was 'a typo,' changing it to 'true' in a retweet. Hopkins has consistently been referring to 'Islamic terror' and 'Islamic extremists' on Twitter, phrasing with implications to an entire religion that even Donald Trump has been conscious to try and avoid. A spokesman for the Met said: 'We can confirm that a complaint has been received by the Metropolitan Police Service on Tuesday 23 May in relation to a tweet published on the same day. As is routine, the allegation will be reviewed and assessed by specialist officers.' Last year, ScumMailOnline, whom Hopkins still works for, was forced to pay one hundred and fifty thousand smackers to a Muslim family whom she falsely accused of extremist links. Hopkins achieved z-list 'fame' in 2006 on BBC show The Apprentice, but it was her outspoken and often controversial opinions that furthered her career. In 2015, she hosted a talk show on TLC called If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World which was cancelled after one series due to abysmally poor ratings. Her subsequent LBC show aired on Sunday mornings between 10am and 12pm. Her 'final solution' tweet was not the first time she has referenced the Holocaust, previously saying of the House of Lords: 'Frankly, I don't really mind if we seal up the room and gas the lot of them.' Hopkins is not a member of a political party, although, according to The Spectator, she has applied to join UKiP several times but has always been denied.
On Friday, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping did 2017's first sweep of the strimmer across the not-even-remotely well-manicured lawns of Stately Telly Topping Manor. Considering that the damn thing hasn't been touched since August last year, this blogger was rather delighted to report that about thirty minutes of strimming before the battery conked out and needed to be recharged accomplished about two-thirds to three-quarters of the lawn being cut down to 'a moderately acceptable' level. Another couple of sessions over the weekend (if the Stately Telly Topping Factor Fifty tube doesn't run out by then, obviously) and the grass should be 'straggly, but at least short.' The muscles in this blogger's left arm doth fairly knack, however, from having to press on the strim button for half-an-hour. Which, obviously, made the typing up of this blogger something more or chore than usual. What can this yer actual Keith Telly Topping say, dear blog reader? He's not built for manual labour, there's are artists hands.