Nigeria lost $32bn to corruption under Jonathan – DFID

Jonathan, PDP

About $32bn was lost to corruption during the six-year administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development said on Monday.

The agency said the huge amount represented 16 per cent of the previous government’s resources that could have been channeled to development.

The agency’s Head of Office, DFID Nigeria, Debbie Palmer, said this at the expression of undergraduate debates challenge to celebrate this year’s international anti-corruption day.

The event was organized by a non-governmental organization, Youngstars Foundation Initiative in Abuja.

She said millions of dollars tied up in legal challenges remained in other countries.

Palmer said: “An independent report estimates that up to $32bn was lost to corruption under the previous government. This is around 15 per cent of state resources during the period and could well be an under-estimate.

“So the estimate is that nearly 16 per cent of the previous government’s money was lost to corruption. That is a staggering amount of money. And that is money that is to all of you and to your future. That is why we all should care about corruption.

“Millions of dollars also remain in other jurisdictions tied up in legal challenges.”

Palmer said youths in the country have a critical role to play in President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft fight.

She added that the UK is committed to supporting Nigeria to tackle corruption in all its various forms through its anti-corruption programme in Nigeria.


India bans day time advertisement of condoms

India on Tuesday banned telecast of condom advertisements on TV during day time, a move that has invited fierce criticism from campaigners of safe sex.

In an advisory, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked all TV channels in this country not to air condom advertisements between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time to avoid exposure of such material to children.

“It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting that some channels carry advertisements of condoms repeatedly which are alleged to be indecent especially for children.

“In view of the above, all TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/ inappropriate for viewing by children,” the ministry added.

The ministry has said the condom advertisements should only be aired late night till early morning, and asked TV channels to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of Cable Television Networks Rules.

The ministry has also warned of action against any TV channel found flouting its order, which comes in the wake of a plea by the Advertising Standards Council of India ( ASCI ) earlier this month to decide the telecast timing of such advertisements.

“The ministry has taken a call on our request. ASCI had received several complaints on the content of condom advertisments… (which) were explicit for children.

“The main issue was with the timing of the advertisements,” Shweta Purandare, secretary general of ASCI, told the media.

Doctors and critics, however, came down heavily on the government’s restrictions on telecast of such advertisements, saying such a move will prove counterproductive for campaigns against unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and unsafe sex.

“Sex education in schools may not be enough for teenagers. Good condom advertisements can help curb unwanted pregnancies, which are on the rise among teens, by giving the right message.

“I think it’s a wrong step by the government,” Dr. Gauri Kaushik, a gynacologist, said Tuesday.

Poonam Mutreja, executive director of non-governmental body, Population Foundation of India, echoed similar sentiments.

“There are 13 per cent unwanted pregnancies in India, there are nearly 15 million abortions.

“This decision is a red flag for me,” she told the media.


Serial Killer Taunts Police In New Letter, Claims There Are More Victims

A convicted serial killer sent a letter to a South Carolina newspaper claiming police hadn’t found all of his victims ― and he’s not planning to help them.

Todd Kohlhepp, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder, wrote an eight-page letter to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in South Carolina claiming there were more victims outside of the state.

Yes there is more than seven,” Kohlhepp wrote. “I tried to tell investigators and I did tell FBI, but it was blown off. It’s not an addition problem, it’s an multiplication problem. Leaves the state and leaves the country. Thank you private pilot’s license.”

He added: “At this point, I really don’t see any reason to give numbers or locations.”

Todd Kohlhepp is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences plus 60 years, with no possibility of parole for seven murders.
Todd Kohlhepp is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences plus 60 years, with no possibility of parole for seven murders.
Don Wood, chief division counsel with the FBI’s Columbia office, told The Associated Press there was a pending investigation. He did not elaborate.

Kohlhepp, who worked as a realtor, killed seven people in South Carolina between 2003 and 2016, including four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003. He was arrested last year when a missing woman named Kala Brown was rescued from the storage container where Kohlhepp had kept her in chains for two months.

Brown told police Kohlhepp had shot and killed her boyfriend, whose body was also found on the property. She said Kohlhepp bragged that his body count was in the “high two-digits.”

When confronted about that boast, the killer was vague.

“I don’t think that’s going to help my case right now,” Kohlhepp told investigators, according to Fox Carolina. “I’ll give it to you. I just don’t want to give it to you today.”

Kohlhepp’s guilty plea spared him the death penalty. The 46-year-old is currently serving seven consecutive life sentences plus 60 years, with no possibility of parole.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Trump Lawyers Want A Second Special Counsel

Trump Lawyers Want A Second Special Counsel
President Donald Trump’s legal team says it’s fed up with the Justice Department and the FBI “witch hunt” into whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government.
President Donald Trump’s legal team says it’s fed up with the Justice Department and the FBI “witch hunt” into whether his campaign colluded with the Russian government.

After a newly reported conflict of interest in the office of Special Counsel Robert Muller, Trump’s lawyers said they want a second special counsel ― one to investigate Mueller’s team, which is leading the probe into Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Fox News reported late Monday that Nellie H. Ohr, the wife of a senior Justice Department official who was demoted last week for not being forthcoming about meetings with Fusion GPS, the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier, worked for Fusion for a part of last year.

The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests,” Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Axios on Monday night after the Fox report. “These new revelations require the appointment of a special counsel to investigate.”

The president’s legal team added that they trust Mueller and want to “get to the finish line” with him, despite reports indicating that Trump has considered firing Mueller. They said they plan to fully cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, confident that Trump will be cleared of wrongdoing.

The New York Times reported on another potential conflict of interest earlier this month. Mueller reassigned a top FBI agent, Peter Strzok, over the summer after it was discovered that Strzok had sent anti-Trump text messages to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Mueller’s team.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions apparently contemplated the idea of appointing a second special counsel in November, according to The Washington Post.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

A Lil’ Positivity:French firms to invest in Nigeria

A consortium of 30 French companies on Monday expressed readiness to invest in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The Head of French delegation, Mr. Philippe Labonne, made this known when he led the investors on a visit to the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, in Abuja.

Labonne listed the key sectors to include banking, infrastructure, renewable energy and youth empowerment.

He said the decision by the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the French government for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.

According to him, the Nigerian economic environment is encouraging following the recent stability in the country’s foreign exchange market.

In a bid toward achieving their investment objective, Labonne said most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterpart.

“We are here to access the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.

“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.

“We are interested in many areas such as energy, agriculture, services, especially toward youths and we will identify other areas subsequently,’’ Labonne said.

The NIPC Executive Secretary said Nigeria remains a top destination of capital inflows in the African continent.

According to Sadiku, Nigeria is strategically located in Africa to serve the needs of many countries as a regional hub to the continent.



Nigeria:Woman seeks divorce over husband’s constant battery

A housewife, Basira Musa, on Tuesday pleaded with a Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court‎ in Abuja for the divorce over alleged battery.

Musa said that her 10-year-old marriage to one Tasiu Miko had been characterised by constant battery.

She told court that Miko was also accusing her of stealing his money and that he had no respect for her parents.

The petitioner said that the union, which had produced two kids, had been a nightmare for her due, to constant beating by her husband.

She, therefore, prayed the court to dissolve the marriage forthwith.

Miko, however, pleaded not guilty to Musa’s allegations, saying that ‎he was still in love with his wife, whom he described as his cousin.

He said also that he had never insulted Musa, pointing out however, that she tore his clothes because he brought a second wife to their matrimonial home.

The Judge, Mr Mohammed Marafa, gave the couple two weeks to reconcile their differences “since the respondent is still in love with his wife.’’‎

He adjourned the matter until December 8 ‎ and told the parties to come to court with their parents.


Several abortions while dating cause of my childlessness – Wife

marriage court

A hotelier, Oluwafemi Ajadi, on Monday asked an Agege Customary Court in Lagos to dissolve his 16- year old marriage to his wife, Chinwe, over threat to life and infidelity.

But Chinwe, 35, amid tears, urged the court not to grant the petitioner’s application on the grounds that she had aborted several pregnancies for him before their union was legalised.

The petitioner, a native of Ibadan in Oyo State, told the court that he was no longer interested in the marriage.

Ajadi, who lives at No. 26, Bamgboye St., Mushin, Lagos, described his wife as arrogant and a trouble maker.

“My wife is a party freak; I warned her to desist from moving around with bad friends but she did not heed my warning.

“ She also likes frolicking with different men.

“She is not caring and lacks respect for the institution of marriage; please separate us, I can no longer live with her,” he said.

The respondent, who denied the allegations, pleaded with the court to save her marriage.

Chinwe, who hails from Imo, described her husband as a drunk and wife beater.

She alleged that the petitioner beats her at will and abuses her emotionally because she could not conceive.

“My husband usually drinks to stupor and misbehaves and this usually leads to serious misunderstandings between us.

The respondent, who vowed to resist the planned divorce, said: ” l have aborted on several occasions for him before legalising the marriage and have wasted the better part of my life.

“In spite of my husband’s attitude toward me, l still love him and do not want the marriage dissolved,” she said.

Reacting to the court’s plea to him for a change of heart, however, the petitioner urged it not to waste its time in appealing to him, saying he was committed to the dissolution of the union.

“I wasted several millions of naira on the respondent through Invitro fertilization (IVF) but lost the pregnancy due to her stubbornness and nonchalant attitude,’’ he said.

The court’s President, Mrs Ibironke Elabor, who advised the estranged couple to keep the peace, adjourned the suit till Dec. 14 for judgment.

The Nation

Chinese ‘rooftopper’ unwittingly films his own death as he plunges from the top of a 62-storey skyscraper

This is the moment an internet star known as ‘China‘s first rooftopper’ fell to his death from the top of a 62-storey skyscraper.

Wu Yongning, 26, was doing pull-ups at the top of the Huayuan International Centre in Changsha, the capital of Huan Province, when he lost his grip and fell.

Harrowing footage captured the moment he let go, plunging 45ft on to a terrace below where his body was later found by a window cleaner.

The incident was captured on a camera that Wu had placed on another part of the building to record himself.

Wu Yongning’s girlfriend, who refers to herself as Jin Jin, told the Beijing News that he was due to ask her parents’ permission to marry her two days after the stunt.

Has a groundbreaking drug trial found a cure for Huntington’s?

A cure for Huntington’s disease could be in the pipeline following the results of a groundbreaking new drug trial.

For the first time, scientists have been able to correct the defect that is responsible for the devastating neurodegenerative disease.

The results, hailed as the ‘biggest breakthrough in 50 years’, saw 46 patients of the incurable disease given an experimental drug.

University College London researchers discovered the pill lowered their levels of toxic proteins in the brain.

The drug, dubbed a ‘tremendous step forward’, was also found to be safe – despite fears it could lead to meningitis.

For the first time, scientists have been able to correct the defect that is responsible for the devastating neurodegenerative disease

Professor Sarah Tabrizi, lead researcher told the BBC: ‘I’ve been seeing patients in clinic for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen many of my patients over that time die.

‘For the first time we have the potential, we have the hope, of a therapy that one day may slow or prevent Huntington’s disease.’

Professor Tabrizi, director of UCL’s Huntington’s Disease Centre, added: ‘This is of groundbreaking importance for patients and families.’

Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects the central nervous system and leads to involuntary movements, difficulty talking and memory loss.

The condition, which affects 8,500 adults in the UK and around 30,000 in the US, occurs as a result of a fault in the huntingtin gene.

On average, patients live for between 10 and 20 years after their diagnosis.

The results, hailed as the 'biggest breakthrough in 50 years', saw 46 patients of the incurable disease given an experimental drug

The results, hailed as the ‘biggest breakthrough in 50 years’, saw 46 patients of the incurable disease given an experimental drug

The huntingtin protein itself is vital for the development of the brain, but the genetic error leads to it instead killing brain cells.


Huntington’s disease is an illness caused by a faulty gene in your DNA (the biological ‘instructions’ you inherit which tell your cells what to do).

If you have Huntington’s, it affects your body’s nervous system – the network of nerve tissues in the brain and spinal cord that co-ordinate your body’s activities.

Huntington’s can cause changes with movement, learning, thinking and emotions.

Once symptoms begin, the disease gradually progresses, so living with it means having to adapt to change, taking one day at a time.

Living with Huntington’s disease can be very challenging. Getting the right information and support is vital and we’re here to help.

Huntington’s is not something you can catch; it is inherited. Every child conceived naturally to a parent who carries the Huntington’s gene has a 50% chance of inheriting it.

The new drug works by silencing the faulty huntingtin gene – stopping the creation of damaged proteins in the brain, the BBC reports.

Having proved successful on animals, the British researchers looked to investigate the drug’s effects on human patients.

For the trial, the patients were injected with the drug into their spinal fluid at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Alongside its benefits at reducing the amount of huntingtin, the volunteers were found to tolerate the drug well.

However, the team remain adamant that more research is needed to prove that lowering levels of huntingtin could lead to a possible cure.

The results of the Roche-owned drug, which was created by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, are expected to published in a journal next year.

Professor John Hardy, who was awarded the Breakthrough Prize for his work on Alzheimer’s, welcomed the findings.

He told the BBC’s James Gallagher: ‘I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.

‘That sounds like hyperbole – in a year I might be embarrassed by saying that – but that’s how I feel at the moment.’

Professor Hardy believes the findings also offer hope for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, both of which see a build-up of toxic proteins in the brain.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Warns That Nuclear War Is One ‘Tantrum Away’

Total nuclear destruction is “only one impulsive tantrum away,” this year’s Noble Peace Prize winner warned while accepting the award for an international anti-nuclear weapons campaign.

“The threat is real. We have avoided nuclear war not through prudent leadership but good fortune. Sooner or later, if we fail to act, our luck will run out,” Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said during a ceremony in Oslo on Sunday.

“The risk for nuclear weapons use is even greater today than at the end of the Cold War. But unlike the Cold War, today we face many more nuclear armed states, terrorists and cyber warfare,” she said. “A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities.”

ICAN has since its 2007 establishment worked to draw attention to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons and promote a treaty-based prohibition of them, according to the Nobel Prize’s website.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, embraces Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow (center) during the Nobel Peace Prize's award ceremony on Sunday. Berit Reiss-Andersen, leader of the Nobel Committee, stands to the left. (Norsk Telegrambyra AS / Reuters)
Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, embraces Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow (center) during the Nobel Peace Prize’s award ceremony on Sunday. Berit Reiss-Andersen, leader of the Nobel Committee, stands to the left. (Norsk Telegrambyra AS / Reuters)

During a news conference on Saturday about ICAN’s work, Fihn included mention of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump, who in recent months have engaged in mutual verbal threats and name calling over Pyonyang’s nuclear weapons program.

“These weapons do not make us safe, they are not a deterrent, they only spur other states to pursue their own nuclear weapons,” Fihn said, according to The Associated Press. “If you are not comfortable with Kim Jong-un having nuclear weapons, then you are not comfortable with nuclear weapons. If you’re not comfortable with Donald Trump having nuclear weapons, then you are not comfortable with nuclear weapons.”


Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi Germany


Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi Germany

It’s not that democracy is “fragile,” exactly, but it is “reversible,” according to former President Barack Obama.

During an interview earlier this week at the Economic Club of Chicago, Obama reminded his audience to remain vigilant in protecting the values and institutions that make up American democracy or risk following in the path of Nazi Germany.

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens,” he told interviewer Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, after defending institutions such as freedom of religion and freedom of the press. (Obama admitted, however, that the latter sometimes drove him “nuts” during his time in the White House.)

“Now, presumably, there was a ballroom in Vienna in the late 1920s or ’30s that looked and seemed as if it ― filled with the music and art and literature and the science that was emerging ― would continue into perpetuity. And then 60 million people died. And the entire world was plunged into chaos.”

“So you’ve got to pay attention ― and vote,” Obama said in video of the event.

The former president’s comments, in which he did not directly name President Donald Trump, came after a mediation on the way technology has disrupted culture and politics around the world.

“Right now we’re seeing a collision of cultures we’re not accustomed to,” he said. “It used to be that if you were very conservative, Muslim or Christian or Jew or Hindu, you could live in your community and people didn’t question your assumptions.”

Obama continued: “The combination of economic disruption, cultural disruption ― nothing feels solid to people ― that’s a recipe for people wanting to find security somewhere. And sadly, there’s something in all of us that looks for simple answers when we’re agitated and insecure.”

He ended with some “good news.”

“The narrative that America at its best has stood for, the narrative of pluralism and tolerance and democracy and rule of law, human rights and freedom of the press and freedom of religion, that narrative, I think, is actually the more powerful narrative. The majority of people around the world aspire to that narrative, which is the reason people still want to come here,” he said.

“But we have to fight for it. It doesn’t happen automatically. So when people think about our own institutions and our own culture and our own politics, the one thing that I always want to emphasize for people is not to take for granted the institutions and norms and values that we know. It’s not so much that they’re fragile, but they are reversible.”

Posted By:Sara Boboltz

Cory Booker Calls On Donald Trump To Resign Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is calling on President Donald Trump to resign over the more than a dozen sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Booker made the comments Saturday during a campaign event in Alabama to support Doug Jones, the state’s Democratic candidate for Senate. Jones is engaged in a tight race against embattled Republican candidate Roy Moore, whose campaign has been dogged by sexual misconduct accusations.

Booker told VICE News that the sexual harassment allegations against Trump are “far more damning” than the claims against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who on Thursday announced his resignation from office after multiple women accused him of groping them.

“I just watched Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign,” Booker said. “My question is — why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing? Who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward.”

(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle via Getty Images)
While Trump has been quick to call out other high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct in recent weeks, including Franken and Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC’s “Today” show over sexual assault allegations, he’s refrained from applying the same level of scrutiny to his own behavior.

At least 19 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including forcible kissing and groping, since the 1980s. He even bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy” in 2005 on the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

Trump denied the allegations throughout his 2016 presidential campaign and dismissed the “Access Hollywood” recording as merely “locker room talk.” In October, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested all the women accusing Trump of sexual harassment were lying.

Booker’s comments follow a call by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that Trump should resign.

“The president should resign because he certainly has a track record with more than 17 women of horrific conduct,” Merkley said on Thursday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted on Thursday that Trump should “think about resigning,” a point he reiterated on Sunday during NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

 As lawmakers push for Trump’s record of alleged sexual misconduct to be re-examined, the president is working to get Moore elected in the Alabama Senate race. Despite his swift condemnation of Franken, Trump has endorsed Moore, a man accused of making sexual advances toward teenagers when he was in his 30s decades ago.

“We cannot afford, this country, the future of this country, cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate,” Trump told a crowd Friday at a rally in Florida near the Alabama border. “Get out and vote for Roy Moore!”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

NO LAUGHING MATTER: Bill Cosby Nemesis Hannibal Buress Is Arrested


Hannibal Buress, the bold standup comedian whose joke about Bill Cosby and rape ultimately brought down the megastar, was reportedly arrested early this morning.

As The Miami Herald has reported, Buress was booked into jail early Sunday in Miami on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly intoxication.

 According to records, Buress, 34, was booked into a Miami-Dade jail at 1:57 a.m. and posted bail just before 6 a.m.

But the funnyman doesn’t look good in a video that spread online, which showed him handcuffed against a Miami patrol car as he spoke with officers.

“Am I under arrest? For what?” Buress yells in the video. “Explain what I’m detained for. What I am detained for?”

A police officer responds, “For trespassing,” but Buress wasn’t satisfied, saying, “You know y’all goofy as f**k.”

He added that the cops “don’t have probable cause for anything.”

Buress also was shown on video telling an officer who looked like he was trying to get the comedian to calm down, “You’re making it hard. I’m chillin.’ ”

Buress was not charged with trespassing, according to the Herald article.

He was arrested by Miami PD about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday in an area which is featuring Art Basel-related events popular with stars.

Miami police haven’t yet released the arrest report, saying a public-records request had to be made during regular business hours.

Buress shot to fame after in his standup show, he mentioned long ago allegations of Cosby’s sexual assault, saying, “You rape women, Bill Cosby.” After his joke went viral, dozens of women, including former top modelsBeverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, accused The Cosby Show star of rape.

Cosby, 80, went on trial for sexual assault but it ended in a mistrial this June.

But he will be re-tried in the case of him allegedly drugging and molesting a former operations manager of Temple University’s women’s basketball team.

Cosby has hired a new attorney for the retrial, expected to begin in November.

The comedian has starred in numerous standup-comedy specials, the show Broad City and as an actor in movies such as “Spiderman Homecoming” and “Baywatch.” He’s also known for talking on stage about rumors of sexual assaults by comedian Bill Cosby, who was later accused publicly by a slew of women.


Dustin Hoffman Is Accused Of Sexual Harassment — Again!

In an explosive piece for the Hollywood Reporter, actressKathryn Rossetter claims The Graduate and Tootsiemovie icon subjected her to “nightly sexual harassment” while they were co-stars in the 1984 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman.

 According to Rossetter, Hoffman continued the disgusting behavior after they appeared in a TV adaptation of the play the following year.

Rossetter wrote in her Hollywood Reporter article that Hoffman put his hands up her costume, touching her thighs, despite many requests for him to stop — and asked her for massages.

Rossetter said that Hoffman, now 80, helped her get the role of his lead character Willy Loman’s mistress, known as “the Woman In Boston.”

During the play, Rossetter noted that one scene required her to stand in the small space in the wings and laugh into a microphone, wearing “a vintage slip, no bra, garter belt and stockings.” Hoffman sat in a chair behind her between scenes.

“One night in Chicago, I felt his hand up under my slip on the inside of my thighs,” Rossetter wrote about the traveling show.

“I was completely surprised and tried to bat him away while watching the stage for my cues. After the show he was busy with the producer and director so I had no access to him to address it. It then happened almost every show. Six to eight shows a week. I couldn’t speak to him in the moment because I was on a live mic. He kept it up and got more and more aggressive. One night he actually started to stick his fingers inside me. Night after night I went home and cried,” Rossetter claimed.

According to the actress, Hoffman, known for his hijinks, once called some of the crew together for a “surprise,” and the woman alleged, “Suddenly he grabs the bottom of my slip and pulls it up over my head, exposing my breasts and body to the crew and covering my face.”

Rossetter also claims how, for their photos together, Hoffman would often grab her breast then remove his hand just before the picture was taken.

The actress contended that other times during the play’s run, Hoffman would request she come to his dressing room, then ask her for massages.

“I considered reporting him to Actors Equity,” wrote Rossetter, who later appeared in the movie Speed 2: Cruise Control. “But I was cautioned by some respected theater professionals that if I did, I would probably lose my job and, because he was such a powerful star, any hope of a career.”

The Hollywood Reporter says in the article that they contacted Hoffman’s representatives, who declined to comment.

But after his lawyers put the publication in touch with several people who were also part of Death of a Salesman at the time, production stage manager Tom Kelly said of Rossetter’s claims, “‘It just doesn’t ring true. Given my position, it’s insulting to say this kind of activity would go on to the extent of sexual violation.”

The new accusations come a month after author Anna Graham Hunter claimed that Hoffman groped her when she was a 17-year-old intern working on the 1985 TV movie of Death of a Salesman.

Hoffman apologized in a statement about Hunter, saying, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

But the scandal hasn’t ended as earlier this week, TV hostJohn Oliver confronted Hoffman about his alleged sexual harassment during a Q&A panel for the 20th anniversary of the film Wag the Dog.

Oliver said Hoffman’s apology had been insufficient and Hoffman got annoyed, asking the host, “Do you believe this stuff that you’re reading?”

POETIC JUSTICE 55-By Mshinaram Warigon Ahrey



The lion and sheep spent the night

The lion snored under the moonlight

But the sheep could not sleep

She’s caught in thought deep

Sleep was the last thing in mind

She knew the lion hadn’t dined

So she plotted on her escape

Suddenly she sighted an ape

Who could be her solitary deliverer

On second thought, maybe her devourer

Sweats of dilemma soaked her forehead

Should the lion wake, she would see red

So she took the gauntlet

Locked the ape in toilet

And rode on the back of an eagle

With glee, the eagle agreed to mingle

Having his agenda under his wings

A sheep may not know wise things

But she was sure she was not a lollipop

To be licked, be shared or be tossed up




Italian restaurant worker, 43, bit off her ex-lover’s TESTICLE in a drink and drug-fuelled rage

A woman bit off her lover’s testicle in a bitter drug-fuelled rage when he refused to have a threesome.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard restaurant workers Nunzia Del Viscio, 43, and Marcello Palma, 44, had been drinking together in a nightclub before returning to his flat with two other friends.

But Del Viscio, who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, ripped Mr Palma’s testicle out of his scrotum with her teeth when he turned her down after she demanded a threesome.

When police arrived at Mr Palma’s flat in Edinburgh following the incident in May last year they found Del Viscio outside in the street with blood on her teeth and face.

She had injuries to her eyes and bruising on her face and told officers: ‘He hit me and I grabbed his balls’.

Police said Palma was ‘fairly distraught’, while his bedroom was in a state of disarray with pools of blood on the floor.

Sheriff Peter McCormack heard those involved in the incident were Italian nationals who were working in restaurants in Edinburgh and met up after work in a nightclub.

Nunzia Del Viscio, 43, ripped Marcello Palma's testicle out of his scrotum with her teeth

Mr Palma told the court he and Del Viscio went back to his flat with their friends Massimo Torrice and Luisa Bragaglia ‘to keep the night going’ and have ‘sexual relations’.

Mr Palma had been in a sexual relationship with Del Viscio but when they got to his home, he and Luisa went to one bedroom and Massimo and Del Viscio went to another.

He said around 4am Del Viscio jumped on his bed naked and said she wanted a threesome because his friend was ‘no good in bed’.

He added: ‘I took her clothes and threw them at her. We were insulting each other and she came against me and bit my left testicle.

Del Viscio had been in a sexual relationship with Mr Palma but when they got to his home, he went to one bedroom with another woman while Del Viscio  went to another with a different man

Del Viscio claimed self-defence but was found guilty of assault at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and has been placed on six month night curfew and ordered to pay her victim £500 compensation

‘I threw two or three punches and had a finger in her eye to push her away.

‘She drew her head back and my testicle came out’.

He said he tried to staunch the flow of blood with a towel and was taken to the Royal Infirmary where his testicle was put back into the scrotum and he was given 15 stitches.

Del Viscio claimed self-defence but was found guilty of assault and has been placed on six month night curfew and ordered to pay her victim £500 compensation.


X-Men director Bryan Singer sued for ‘raping a 17-year-old boy

Bryan Singer is being sued for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him and then raping him during a yacht party in 2003.

The X-Men director issued a statement in which he strenuously denied all the claims.

The lawsuit, filed by Cesar Sanchez-Guzman’s attorney, alleges that Singer was at a party, with young gay men, on tech investor Lester Waters’ yacht in Seattle in 2003.

It claims that Singer offered to take a then-17 Guzman on a tour of the yacht, but when they got to one of the rooms, the director allegedly forced the teen to the floor, shoved his crotch against Guzman’s face and demanded he perform oral sex.

Bryan Singer (pictured)  is being sued for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him and then raping him

Guzman goes onto say in the lawsuit, that Singer then pulled out his penis and forced it into his mouth, causing him to choke as he begged him to stop.

Singer allegedly forcibly performed oral sex on Guzman, who repeatedly told him to stop, before he anally raped him, according to the lawsuit.

The suit states that Singer later threatened Guzman, telling him he was a powerful Hollywood producer and that he could hire people to ruin his alleged victim’s reputation.

The director, who co-produced X-Men: First Class (2011), and directed two more X-Men films, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) strenuously denies all the claims

He added that no one would believe him if he did come forward. But if he kept quiet, he would help his acting career.

Guzman, who is represented by lawyer Jeff Herman, is suing for emotional distress, mental anguish, and physical and mental pain.

However, Singer’s representative told TMZ that Herman had a history of representing false claims against the director and had even been sued for malicious prosecution.

A rep for Singer told People: ‘Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end.

‘Cesar Sanchez-Guzman apparently claims that he did not remember this alleged incident from 2003 until now. Significantly, when Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years ago, he failed to disclose this alleged claim when he was supposed to identify all of his assets, but conveniently, now that the bankruptcy court discharged all of his debts, he is able to recall the alleged events.’

Herman previously represented Michael Egan, who accused Singer and other Hollywood figures of sexual assault in 2014, only to later withdraw the claims. He was sentenced to two years in jail in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme in 2015.

The lawsuit was filed just days after Singer was fired from the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

He had just taken an unexpected leave of absence a few weeks before filming was set to wrap on the project, leaving Twentieth Century Fox in the lurch.

The decision to fire Singer came after the director reportedly feuded with multiple actors on the set according to The Hollywood Reporter, forcing Twentieth Century Fox to remove him from the project.

By Hannah Parry and Abigail Miller and Chris Spargo For

Nigeria:Okorocha says new Ministry of Happiness & Purpose Fulfillment will ‘shock’ critics

Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has replied critics over the newly-created Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment.

According to a statement on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, Mr. Okorocha said the ministry was a laudable initiative and predicted that critics will regret downplaying the essence.

“At the end of the day, the achievements of the new Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment will be so amazing that the critics of the initiative, will not only be shocked but will also regret to have drawn the curtain for the new Ministry even before it takes off,” the statement read.

Mr. Rochas said the accolades he envisaged will overwhelm the early criticisms when the ministry takes full effect.

“We accept all the criticisms in good faith and commend the critics. That is what makes the society dynamic and our democracy juicy. The truth is that, the new Ministry is not an accidental discharge but a well-thought out idea that will benefit Imo people in particular and all men and women of goodwill in general. We only ask the critics to give us time,” the governor said.

He cited the statue he recdently erected in honour of South African President, Jacob Zuma as the basis for the widespread criticism.

“Some people have also talked about Jacob Zuma’s statue as a referenced case. The criticisms that greeted Zuma’s statue were all anchored on the corruption allegations against the South African President. Yet, the fact remains that the man is still the President of that country. He has neither been sentenced to imprisonment nor impeached as president following these corruption claims.”

He faulted his predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim, for also criticising Mr. Okorocha’s policies and programmes, adding that Mr. Ohakim was the least qualified to make criticism.

At a ceremony in Owerri, the state capital, on Monday, Mr. Okorocha administered the oath of office to his sister, Ogechi Ololo (Nee Okorocha) and 27 others in a cabinet reshuffle.

The appointment of his sister to head the new ministry sparked off widespread criticism from Nigerians on Twitter and other social media.

On Wednesday, Mr. Okorochas’ administration had clarified the christening of the new ministry.

His spokesperson, Mr. Onwuemeodo, said a typographical error led to the naming of the Ministry as the Ministry of Happiness and Couples Fulfillment. It is now called Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfillment.

The recent development has triggered a group known as the Imo People’s Action for Democracy, IPAD, to announce a planned one-week rally in Owerri, the state capital to express dissatisfaction against the Okorocha-led government.


This Church Banner Perfectly Captures How Progressive Christians Feel Right Now

St. Thomas' Parish in Washington, D.C., has been putting up banners expressing frustration at the current political climate.
An Episcopal church is causing a stir in Washington, D.C., after putting up banners that attempt to capture the mood of many progressive Christians in the nation’s capital.

The signs from St. Thomas’ Parish express frustration over some of the political positions taken by conservative Christians on topics such as gun rights and science. The banners feature an image of Jesus holding a hand to his face, a gesture that some are calling “faithpalming.”

One sign, which went viral on Twitter last week, illustrates the congregation’s feelings about President Donald Trump. Trump is a Presbyterian (though faith doesn’t appear to play a large role in his life), and has continued to enjoy the support of many conservative Christians in the country.

The Rev. Alex Dyer, the priest in charge of the 126-year-old parish, is the one who designed the banner campaign. He told HuffPost that his congregation saw the signs as an “opportunity to give voice to a side of Christianity that many people may not associate with Christianity.”

“There are many people who think Christians are close-minded, judgmental, and oppose science,” he said. “This is not the people in the congregation or many congregations around the country.”

He believes the signs capture the feelings of a lot of people in D.C. about the state of American politics.

“We are a very progressive church in a very progressive city,” he said. (The District of Columbia has voted Democratic in every presidential election it’s participated in, and went overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.)

The signs were placed around the construction site of St. Thomas’ Parish new church building in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood.

Carol Kuruvilla/HuffPost

Conspiracy theorists have a bizarre new theory about the moon – and it means the apocalypse is on the way

Conspiracy theorists who predicted the world would end last month have made another series of bizarre claims – this time involving the moon.

Refusing to give up on his apocalyptic predictions, Matt Rogers – who has already made unfounded claims about a mysterious (and non-existent) Planet X – believes that life of Earth could still be wiped out in the near future.

Planet X, or Nibiru, as it is also known, was set to trigger a series of earthquakes last month that would end our world as we know it.

Of course, this conspiracy theory fell flat when, on November 19, the world didn’t actually end.

But Matt has an explanation. He believes that world leaders are trying to cover up the truth about Planet X, in a bid to avoid mass panic.

Is the moon part of a bigger cover-up? (Image: Getty)
An artist’s impression of Nibiru (Image: Getty)

Amazingly, he claims the moon and the sun are being used to hide the mythical planet and that authorities are spraying chemicals into the skies to obscure Nibiru from the naked eye.

In a new video which appears to show an image of the moon, captured from Austria, Matt says: “Looking up we should see the moon, not that beam of light.

“I do believe they are using another reflector up there – it does look very strange.

“That is not the moon.

“I have seen the moon on webcam images and even with binoculars, the moon does not cause this blue sky around it.

“People state they can’t see the stars at night, it is being lit up.

Matt believes chemicals are sprayed into the sky and reflectors used to hide Planet X (Image: youtube)

“it is absolutely without a shadow of a doubt that is not the Moon – it is too bright, too white.”

On his own YouTube channel, Matt appears to have a lot of support.

Reiki Lynx wrote: “Yes Matt, you speak such truth. No gov’t has stopped it have they? Logic presents itself.”

Nancy Simmons added: “The public is aware of the cover up by the government, nasa. I have emailed our president asking him to tell us the truth, we the voters who put you in office, but hope the rest of you will do the same . Be safe all.”

Within hours of Matt’s video being released, one man debunked his theories with his own footage, asking Matt to explain why other people were able to obtain crystal clear images of the moon in so many other cases.

He claimed that the only reason the moon was so bright in Matt’s footage was because the image was overexposed.

Last month, Nasa was forced to debunk the world ending theory after it swept the nation.

Scientist David Morrison said: ““You’re asking me for a logical explanation of a totally illogical idea.

“There is no such planet, there never has been, and presumably there never will be — but it keeps popping up over and over.”

And way back in 2008 he wrote on his blog, the Washington Post reports: “I assumed that Nibiru was the sort of Internet rumor that would quickly pass.

By Kara O’Neill

French naked restaurant opens – and is going down a storm with diners

Coq au vin! Paris now has its very own nude restaurant for anyone willing to dine in the buff.

The establishment is not Europe’s first. In the summer of 2016, London’s Bunyadi pop-up opened to an unsurprising degree of hype. Reviews were mixed.

And in January this year, a nude restaurant arrived in Tenerife. The founder was inspired by London’s naturist dining. 

Snails (Image: AFP)
Tuck into steak in the buff (Image: AFP)

Now, Paris – perhaps the most suitable of the three locations, given France’s openness and willingness to these things – has O’naturel, the brainchild of businessmen Mike and Stephane Saada.

Neither Mike nor Stephane are nudists themselves. Instead, the former insurance salesmen saw an opportunity. And why not?

O’naturel is open for dinner only and reservations are required. Diners are warned beforehand that the restaurant is a restaurant, and not somewhere to try to score. It’s billed as an evening locale for the more free flowing among us. Discreet lakes are too cold in winter.

“People only get to be nudists in the summer,” said Stephane, 42.

Unlike the Bunyadi, which was heavily themed, O’naturel’s decor is minimalist. The menu is classically French, with items such as lobster, foie gras, and snails in parsley cream sauce.

The majority of diners are male (Image: MEGA)

A three-course menu costs $57.50. A large white curtain over the windows shields guests from perverts. Or curious passersby.

Diners are asked to leave their clothes in a cloakroom, and are provided with slippers. Ladies – which make up just 40 per cent of the clinetele, shockingly – may keep their heels on. Oh la la.

Yves Leclerc, the president of the French Naturist Federation, said he was thrilled at the idea of being able to strip off for supper.

“We’re in the heart of Paris and we’re eating naked. It’s a little surreal,” he told the Mail.“It’s like when we’re on holiday, but it’s even better. I have to put my clothes on to go to a restaurant.”

There are also naked restaurants in Tokyo, Japan, and Melbourne in Australia.

By Joshua Barrie/MIRROR

U.S. judge presiding over Michael Flynn criminal case is recused

The Last Temptation of Michael Flynn
James Stavridis writes: The investigation into Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia and lies to the FBI says a lot about money, fame and powerWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge presiding over the criminal case for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been recused from handling the case, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

According to a court filing, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1 hearing where Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia, will no longer handle the case.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Klem did not say why Contreras was recused, and added that the case was randomly reassigned.

Reuters could not immediately learn the reason for the recusal, or reach Contreras.

An attorney for Flynn declined to comment.

Now, Flynn’s sentencing will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan was appointed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Flynn was the first member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion by Trump aides. Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has dismissed any suggestion of collusion.

Flynn has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the parties are due to return to court on February 1 for a status report hearing.

Contreras was appointed to the bench in 2012 by former Democratic President Barack Obama.

He was also appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in May 2016 for a term lasting through 2023.

That court issues warrants that allow Justice Department officials to wiretap individuals, a process that has been thrown into the spotlight amid the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

The most recent controversy related to FISA warrants involves Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent who was removed from the Russia investigation for exchanging text messages with a colleague that expressed anti-Trump views.

At a hearing on Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee, Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to Trump’s campaign and associates was used by Strzok to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s transition team.

Judge Sullivan previously served on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals under appointments by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch/Editing by Sandra Maler)

This woman bears such an uncanny resemblance to Beyoncé she gets hounded by fans

Brittany has attracted a lot of attention (Image: Brittany Williams / mediadrumwor)

“I get approached all the time; whether it be on planes, at the airport or while attending events.

“I’ve also been chased, had pictures taken of me without my consent and pranks done without me knowing.

On the similarities between the two, Brittany, from Detroit, said:

“She sings, dances, writes and I am gifted in the same ways; we’re both strong dominant women, fearless, and God fearing.”

As for the attention she’s been getting, it’s been pretty extreme at time.

By Zahra MulroySocial Audience Writer

Nigeria:Boko Haram’s plot to bomb Abuja, other states real —Police

The Police have said the plot by Boko Haram to bomb the Federal Capital Territory and six other states is real.

The FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Bello, said the Police would work with other security agencies to ensure that the threat is not actualized.

The United States and the United Kingdom missions in Nigeria had, last week, warned of possible attacks on soft targets in FCT, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, and Yobe states by Boko Haram insurgents.

They warned Americans and Britons in Nigeria to avoid crowded places, including shopping malls, gardens and hotels which could be targeted by the terrorists.

Following the warning, the Inspector-General of Police directed Commissioners of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and personnel in the states to be on red alert.

The IG also directed the CPs in the states to hold stakeholders’ meetings with the people in order to proffer possible ways of tackling the threat.

Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum on Thursday in Abuja, Bello said that security agencies were working hard to thwart the Boko Haram plot, adding that various strategies were being executed to keep the states safe from terrorists’ attacks.

The CP said, “The threat to attack the city is real; however, we want to assure members of the public that we are working in collaboration with other sister security agencies to ensure that we all enjoy a peaceful Yuletide.”

He added, “We are doing a lot, but we don’t want to mention the strategy so that the men of the underworld don’t take advantage of it.

“We are doing a lot, especially with our sister security agencies. We have already mapped out strategies and we have already commenced that.

“It may involve massive raids, massive visibility policing, vigorous stop-and-search and we would also embark on intelligence gathering.”

Bello also urged members of the public to volunteer useful information that could assist the security agencies to prevent the attack.

He said, “Police work is not magic, we depend on members of the public to make contribution and that is why we are urging members of the public to come up with useful information that would help us nip crimes in the bud.

“If they see people of questionable character and suspicious movement, they should come to us quickly because we want to take necessary measures to prevent the actualisation of the threat,” the commissioner added.

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

Man poisons grandparents, aunt, five others because they were unclean

Italian police said Thursday they arrested a man who used thallium, used in rat poison, to murder two grandparents and an aunt because he claimed they were “unclean”.

Maria Luisa Zanetti, the prosecutor from the northern town of Monza just north of Milan, told reporters that 27-year-old Mattia Del Zotto said he killed them and used the poison on another five relatives “to punish unclean people”.

Del Zotto bought the thallium from a company in Padua near Venice, and sprinkled the toxic chemical in the drinks and dishes of his family members.


 His paternal grandparents, aged 94 and 88, and a 62-year-old aunt died in October after ingesting the poison at the start of October.

He then tried to poison other relatives. Five others, including his maternal grandparents, have been hospitalised in the past weeks.

Police were able to apprehend del Zotto thanks to an email on his computer quoting the poison’s price as well as tax and shipping rates, investigators said.

His mother told investigators del Zotto had become “manic”. He spent his days in front of his computer and had stopped eating sweets and drinking alcohol, saying people were only allowed to consume “vital” things.

Thallium, a soft metal, has long been used as a murder weapon as it dissolves in water and is odourless and tasteless.



Islamophobia is real, folks’: Bouncers threw Muslim Law Student out of a London landmark after seeing him praying with a friend in the corner’

A Muslim law student has been left horrified after bouncers allegedly threw him out of a London landmark after seeing him praying with a friend in the corner of the building.

Nadim Chowdhury visited the famous Sky Garden on the 35th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street yesterday afternoon with a group of friends.

He said while they were there it became prayer time but as there were no facilities available, he and a fellow Muslim found a quiet spot to pray.

But half way through two security guards approached them and allegedly asked them to leave.

Mr Chowdhury said he was ‘shocked and embarrassed’ as they escorted them down the gigantic tower and outside.

A spokesman for the venue said: ‘The Sky Garden security team approached two guests after they had completed their prayers yesterday afternoon to advise them of a less busy area where they may prefer to pray.

‘Whilst we are respectful of all religious beliefs, it is imperative that walkways are kept clear to ensure the safety of other visitors.’

Medicine student Ryan Riordan, who studies at the University of Cambridge, was praying with Nadim at the time and said he believes they were asked to leave because they were Muslims.

Speaking to Mail Online, Mr Riordan said: ‘We thought it was because we were Muslims and perhaps they saw a possible security threat in us praying, we thought if it was really about the fire exit they simply could have told us not to do it and we would have stopped and gone to somewhere more suitable without causing an issue.

‘We were hesitant to say it was only because we were Muslim and assume what they were thinking but their manner and little communication left that as the only option in our minds.’

'Shocked and embarrassed': Mr Chowhury described how he and his friends are 'goofy' and are the least-threatening people one is likely to meet 

Posting to Facebook yesterday, Mr Chowdhury wrote he was feeling ‘drained’ by the incident which made him feel like a stranger in a city he loved so much.

He described how he and his friends are ‘goofy’ and the least likely people to been seen as criminals.

He wrote:  ‘In the middle of a ridiculously busy and stressful week, I was really looking forward to spending some time with my friends this afternoon, and we decided to go to the sky gardens.

‘I had never been there before so I was really excited. While there, it became time for Maghrib (evening prayer) and me and one of my friends needed to pray.

‘As there was no prayer room in the building and we were on the 35th floor, we found a quiet spot that was completely out of the way and decided to pray there so as to stay out of everyone’s way.

‘This spot was in front of a bench (that nobody was sitting on) on a higher platform with very few people around.

‘There was a path around us on the other side of the bench so people could walk around and, during the prayer, we didn’t cause any inconvenience to anyone. It was virtually empty and we tried to be as quiet as possible.’

‘Halfway through, two security guards came and stood next to us and as soon as we finished, one of them told us we had to leave immediately. When we asked why, the other guard said that, apparently, we had blocked a ‘fire exit’ (we were nowhere near any exit at all) and thus had to leave right away.

‘We tried to explain to him that we had specifically chosen this spot to stay out of everyone’s way and had no intention of drawing any attention to ourselves, and asked him for further clarification as to where this blocked exit was.

‘They both refused to listen to us and kept insisting that we had to leave right away, speaking into a walkie-talkie.

‘When we went to go and get my other friend, who was on a lower floor, they followed us downstairs and stood very close to us in an attempt to usher us out.

‘Until we got on the lift, they would not look away from us and continued to speak into their walkie-talkies the entire time.

‘We were kicked out of a place that I considered to be public and where I thought we would feel safe. It was extremely embarrassing and I don’t understand it at all.

The UCL student added: ‘I never thought something like this could happen here in London, where we talk so much about diversity and acceptance.

‘In the past, whenever someone talks about islamophobia, my reaction has always been somewhat sceptical as I thought that could never happen to me.

‘This is my third year living in this city and I don’t want attention or to be different because of my faith. I love London, but today made me feel like more of an outsider and a stranger than I have in a long time.

‘Man, what an eye-opening day. Islamophobia is real folks, and it affects even the goofiest, and least threatening people you may ever meet.’

By KATIE FRENCH/Mailonline

Zimbabwe orders return of land to white farmer

Robert Smart, who grew tobacco and corn on his farm in Makoni in eastern Zimbabwe, was evicted in June after a former minister ordered that the plot be turned over to pro-Mugabe cleric Trevor Manhanga.

“(He) surrendered part of his farm during the land reforms and the G40 started racially profiling him to justify eviction,” said Chris Mutsvangwa, a special advisor to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.


The G40, or Generation 40, was a faction of the ZANU-PF party, mainly younger members, once loyal to Mugabe’s wife Grace.

“Smart and others were victims of racial discrimination, greed and abuse of power. Their farms were acquired outside the parameters of the law.”

He added that the government was investigating other illegal farm takeovers.

Smart and his son Darryn were reportedly evicted by heavily armed men who beat farm workers and stole property.

In 2000 Mugabe launched the disastrous land seizure programme in which farms were forcibly taken from white farmers, officially justified as an effort to stimulate economic growth for black Zimbabweans.

The evictions, often brutal and arbitrary, were blamed for a collapse in agricultural production and chronic food shortages that forced the one-time breadbasket of Africa to become dependent on imports of staples.

Economic output fell by half following the start of the land seizures, as more than 4,000 of the country’s 4,500 white farmers were stripped of their land.

Mnangagwa, who replaced Mugabe last month following a military takeover, has vowed to revive the country’s economy by lifting agricultural production and attracting foreign investment.

 In his inauguration address, he also pledged that his government would compensate white farmers whose land was seized by Mugabe.




Beyonce’s Daughter Blue Ivy Has Wardrobe Consultant, Personal Chef, And Swahili Teacher?


Beyonce Blue Ivy

By Michael Lewittes |

Beyonce’s 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy does not have four nannies, a “bevy of teachers” instructing her in French and Swahili, a personal chef who makes healthy ballerina-shaped pasta, a wardrobe consultant, and a team of four “play specialists,” despite a wholly made-up report. Gossip Cop can exclusively correct this over-the-top story. We’re told it’s “fiction.”

According to Star, Beyonce “spares no expense” when it comes to her three children. A so-called “source” tells the tabloid, “Each child has four nannies” at a cost of $100-a-year. The magazine also contends, “Aside from Blue’s bevy of teachers, who instruct the tot in French, Swahili, art and ballet, Bey’s hired a personal chef to cater to her picky appetite,” which includes whipping up “whole-wheat pasta in the shape of ballerinas with pureed organic asparagus and vitamin-infused cheddar cheese.”

Oh, but that’s not all. The tabloid further maintains that Beyonce has “wardrobe consultants,” who go everywhere she, Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir go, just to ensure they “change outfits a minimum of five times a day.” “The stylist is always there so Blue never has to ask, ‘What should I wear?’” especially since the magazine asserts the little girl has 400 tutus. And to guarantee the kids have fun and partake in games, adds the outlet, Beyonce foots the bill for a team of four “play specialists.”

While it’s true that Beyonce has a few nannies for her three small children, it’s nowhere near as many as the tabloids claims. Nor does Blue Ivy have French and Swahili tutors. The site also cooked up the part about the 5-year-old having a personal chef, who makes her noodles that look like ballerinas, paired with vitamin-infused cheddar cheese. For the record, anyone can buy the dancer-shaped pasta online.

Also, the little girl does not have her very own wardrobe consultant who makes sure she’s outfitted in a minimum of five ensembles a day from a collection of 400 tutus. And lastly, Beyonce hasn’t hired “play specialists” to “ensure [her kids] are exposed to fun games.” The only one playing games is Star, with the truth.

Gossip Cop understands that high net worth individuals like celebrities live a more luxurious lifestyle than the rest of us. We also suspect that the tabloid manufactured this article against the backdrop of Beyonce and Jay-Z buying multimillion-dollar homes in Los Angeles and the Hamptons. But, for the most part, the claims are just rich in fantasy. Arguably, among the reasons Beyonce is so wealthy, in addition to the vast amount of money she’s amassed from her singing career, is that she doesn’t squander cash foolishly.

In any event, Gossip Cop checked in with an impeccable Beyonce source, and we’re assured the tabloid’s claims are beyond exaggerated. Our source tells us the magazine’s article is “fiction.” Or, as Blue Ivy would say in Swahili, it’s “si ukweli” (not true).


Source:Gossip Cop

10-year-old girl hangs self after fight with bully was posted online

 A 10-year-old girl, Ashawnty Davis took her own life after a video was shared on social media of her fighting an alleged bully.

Ashawnty, a fifth-grade pupil of Sunrise Elementary school in Aurora, Colorado had got into her first ever school fight which turned out to also be her last and the video recording of the fight was posted online.

She died Wednesday after being taken off life support at a children’s hospital, two weeks after she was found hanging in a closet at home

“It’s just devastating,” her father, Anthony Davis, told Fox31 Denver. “She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone.”

Her mother, Latoshia Harris, claimed the girl had been bullying her.

“I saw my daughter was scared,” Ms Harris said.

Footage of the fight was then uploaded and shared on the app

“My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,” Ms Harris said.

According to the Independent, her parents hope her story will help save the lives of other young people.

“We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids,” Mr Davis said.

“I want other parents to know that it’s happening,” Ms Harris added. “That was my baby and I love my baby and I just want mothers to listen.”



Nigeria:District heads, scores feared dead as Fulani militia attacks Adamawa

The Adamawa State Police Command has confirmed attacks by rampaging Fulani militia on Dong and Lawura villages in the Demsa Local Government Area of the state.

They torched many buildings, scores were reportedly killed while  many others fled the communities.

Although some residents fleeing the attacks claimed that a District Head and one other  village head were killed by the gunmen,  the police could not confirm the report.

The spokesman for the Adamawa State Command, Superintendent Othman Abubakar, though confirmed the attack on Monday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, he did not give the casualty figure.

He did not also confirm the death of the two village leaders.

Abubakar said, “This morning (Monday) Lawura and Dong communities in Demsa Local Government came under attacks by gunmen, but our operations unit has yet to provide me with details of the casualty figure.

“But according to reports we are getting through third parties, we gathered that some of the villages have been razed to the ground. But that is all we have for now.

“The other issue we have before us is that some communities in Tabongo and  Gereng in Girei Local Government area require police reinforcement.”

But the attacks on some villages, which entered its fifth day on Monday, witnessed air bombardment from the Nigerian Air Force who tried to halt the rampaging Fulani militia from entering into Numan.

One of the fleeing residents, who identified himself as Hebron Nzonzo, said about five villages had been razed to the ground.

Nzonzo said, “We were forced to flee this morning. Now almost five villages have been razed to the ground. Government has not deployed troops in the area. Instead, these villages have come under bombardment from NAF fighter jets, in Gyawana and Shaforon which were bombarded twice.

“The village head of Lawura was also killed in the attacks. The government has failed to either protect us or declare a curfew, which one would have expected under the circumstances.”

However,  the Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Ahmed Sajoh, who denied any complicity on the side of the state, said the government’s proactive response to the dawn attacks ensured that the rampaging gunmen were halted from entering Numan.

He said the government had been meeting to try to end the hostilities, adding that apart from additional police deployment, the Brigade Commander 23rd Armoured Brigade in the state had since relocated to Numan.

“This morning, we woke up to another attack, in Dong and Lawura unfortunately for the past five days no senior official of this government has slept, we have all been on the field. The governor was in Abuja to brief the President and Commander in Chief.

“The attackers were supposed to be marching to Numan but because of the meeting we had this morning they were halted. We are taking steps to make sure the situation does not escalate beyond those two places,”  he said.

Sajoh also said the government would not allow anybody in the state to be harmed by any other person for any reason.

Explaining the deployment of air operations in curtailing the attacks, Sajoh said, “We are also aware that the Nigerian Air Force Commander has mobilised fighter jets, and got all the necessary approvals to give air support to the ground troops.”

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency on Monday said it had not received clearance from the military to enable it to deploy its officials in the area where suspected herdsmen clashed with police officers and residents in Adamawa State.

Although it was aware of the crisis in the area, NEMA said it would not be right and safe for emergency officials to visit the affected communities without appropriate clearance from the military.

When asked to state what the agency was doing as regards the crisis in Adamawa, NEMA’s spokesperson, Sani Datti, told one of our correspondents that “there is a need for clearance when it comes to issues like this.”

He added, “You are aware of how some police officers were attacked despite being armed. NEMA officials are not armed and it won’t be safe to just go in there without obtaining clearance from the military. So, we are waiting for clearance and that is the standard.”

Okechukwu Nnodim and Hindi Livinus, Yola/Punch

Taiwan rainbow ‘lasts record-breaking nine hours’

This may be the longest-lasting rainbow ever

A rainbow may be a wondrous sight but for most people it’s also a fairly fleeting one.

But last week, professors and students of the Chinese Culture University in Taipei’s mountains were treated to one that lasted for nine hours.

“It was amazing… It felt like a gift from the sky… It’s so rare!” said Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor in the university’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Prof Chou and a second professor, Liu Ching-huang, led the efforts to document the rainbow with the help of the department’s students and the campus community.


Source:BBC World

BBC accused of racism after it played a clip of the WRONG Indian actor to mark death of Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor


The BBC was accused of racism last night after it played a clip of the wrong actor while paying tribute to Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor.

Tributes poured in from all around the world for the actor who made more than 100 films and died on Monday in Mumbai at the age of 79.

His death made the BBC News at Ten, but the video tribute they played caused fury because it showed footage of fellow star Amitabh Bachchan by mistake.

It got worse when they also featured footage of actor Rishi Kapoor instead of his famous uncle.

The BBC faced backlash on social media with users claiming the same mistake wouldn’t have been made if a white star had died.

Actor and comedian Adil Ray was among viewers who took to Twitter to voice their complaints.

The Citizen Khan star tweeted: ‘Someone at the BBC thought the brown person in this VT is the same person. Worse still neither of them are the deceased actor Huw refers to. It’s poor when it would have taken them seconds to verify. Not enough care.’



The man who will become Prince Harry’s father-in-law is living in a small beachfront house


The man who will become Prince Harry‘s father-in-law lives a secluded life in a little yellow house perched high on a 120-foot cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, DailyMailTV can reveal.

Thomas Markle, 73, is seen in exclusive DailyMailTV pictures at his home in Rosarito,Mexico just south of the border with the U.S., where he lives in a peaceful retirement.

And according to residents, Markle enjoys spending time relaxing at home, shops at Walmart, and tells friends: ‘Have you heard of Meghan Markle? I am her dad.’

It is a lifestyle far removed from the family into which his daughter is marrying.

His red-tiled home sits on a cobblestone street, with plywood covering the windows that face inland.

But on the other side, he enjoys sweeping views of pelicans flying low over the Pacific and curlews and other wading birds strutting on the shore.

The outline of the Coronado Islands, eight miles out to sea, can be seen in the distance.

Thomas’s family recently confirmed that he will be attending his daughter’s wedding to Prince Harry.

When approached by DailyMailTV he said: ‘I can’t speak out of respect for my family. I just can’t.’

Thomas' house is perched on a 120-foot bluff which looks over the Pacific Ocean. A large four-bedroom vacation property at the complex, can be rented for as little as $159 per night

Directly below his house is a long sandy beach which is almost always deserted. He has no steps down but can drive the quarter mile to the shore instead.

When he does leave home he walks with a noticeable limp.

The Markle family says it stems from a leg injury two years ago, but will not stop him from walking his younger daughter down the aisle of St George’s Chapel in Windsor next spring.

Markle’s life in Rosarito could hardly be more different from the world his daughter has entered by becoming engaged to Prince Harry, fifth in line to the British throne.

In Rosarito, his neighbors are a mix of locals and Americans and many of the apartments in the complex are let to vacationers. California license plates far outnumber those from Mexico.

Residents and visitors have access to a park dotted with royal palm trees and a quiet beach club bar.

The complex also houses a small supermarket, a sushi bar, and a communal tennis court and swimming pool.

But Markle, who likes to spend his days relaxing at his small home, is not normally seen at them.

He drives both a silver Volvo S70 and a red Ford Escape and instead he is a regular at a local branch of Walmart, a few miles away, where he shops for groceries.

A guard at the supermarket told DailyMailTV: ‘He likes to come here about once every few weeks, usually in the morning.




‘My blood was sucked’: Victims of Malawi’s ‘VAMPIRES’

Stories of midnight attacks by blood-sucking vampires is continuing to cause problems in Malawi, southeastern Africa.

‘Victims’ claim they are being attacked in the night by vampires, unlikely tales which have triggered deadly vigilante violence in the southern parts of the country.

At least seven people have been killed in one district, and earlier this year, UN workers and US Peace Corps volunteers were pulled out of the region.

Vampire victim: Jamiya Bauleni claims that a vampire entered her home in southern Malawi and sucked her blood in October


While UN staff have now returned, the stories of blood-sucking attacks continue.

Jamiya Bauleni, a 40-year-old single mother, said that an attacker entered her home and sucked her blood at her home in Thyolo district.

‘This is not hearsay,’ she told a fascinated crowd in Ngolongoliwa village in the country’s south, which has been at the heart of recent panic over rumours of vampire activity.

‘I know my blood was sucked. I saw light on the corner of my roof. I failed to stand up from my bed and felt something piercing my left arm,’ she said, pointing near her breast.

Her story is part of a long line of similar testimonies in Malawi, where belief in witchcraft and vampire activity is widespread and rouses revenge mobs that kill those suspected of black magic. 

Bauleni, who makes a living selling wild pea stew, said that before she fell unconscious she heard someone fleeing the scene.

She was taken to a clinic and later discharged after being given vitamin supplements, but she chose not to report the attack.

The latest bout of vampire rumours allegedly originated in Mozambique and spread across the border to Malawi’s districts of Mulanje and Phalombe, according to the United Nations.

At least seven people have been killed in Mulanje district after being hunted down, police say.

Strong belief: A view of Ngolongoliwa Village in Thyolo district in southern Malawi where reports and rumours of vampires are rife

One purported victim, Florence Kalunga, 27, says she was sleeping alongside her husband in their home when she saw a light ‘like fire’.

‘I heard the door open. I felt something like a needle in my finger,’ she said.

The people targeted by vengeful mobs are often wealthier individuals in rural parts of the southern African country, where grinding poverty and poor educational standards are the norm.

Entrepreneur Orlendo Chaponda narrowly avoided an attack when 2,000 villagers, some carrying machetes and stones, stormed his home in Thyolo on September 30.

‘They said I was keeping blood suckers,’ said Chaponda, who was out at the time. ‘They could have killed me if they found me.’

He called the police who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd after a five-hour standoff.

‘There is no truth about blood suckers, but jealous people and thugs want to take advantage to attack rich people,’ Chaponda said.

‘If you have a nice car, you are a bloodsucker.’

Malawi’s national blood transfusion service – the only institution mandated by the government to collect blood for hospitals from volunteers – says that rumours of vampire activity have also begun to set back activity.

‘This issue has affected us a lot. It has prevented us from going to collect blood in the affected areas,’ said Bridon M’baya, medical director of the service.

At least 250 people have been arrested in Malawi over the mob violence, and 40 more arrested over similar crimes in neighbouring Mozambique.


Malawian President Peter Mutharika was even forced to step in and insist that the government had the situation under control.

‘There is no evidence of blood suckers. It’s a lie meant to destabilise the region,’ he said recently. ‘Those spreading rumours will face the law.’

Anthony Mtuta, assistant lecturer in anthropology at the Catholic University of Malawi, said the roots of the vampire scares were in ‘economic hardships and inequalities’.

‘It’s the rich versus the poor. The poor believe the rich are greedy and are sucking the blood of poor people,’ he said.

Malawi is largely reliant on foreign aid, but some locals view the assistance with suspicion.

‘To villagers, the thinking is that no gift is for free… you pay back through blood,’ said Mtuta.

He has researched the vampire phenomenon and has warned that violence would ‘resurface unless the government learns how to handle contemporary issues’.

McDonald Kolokombe, a clerk at the state-run Likhubula forest reserve, noted that the number of tourists visiting the Mulanje area had collapsed since mid-September.

‘The communities rely on visitors to feed their families working as tour guides, porters and selling curios,’ he said.

‘We are starving because of a bad rumour about blood suckers,’ added amateur tour guide Eric Yohane. ‘It is a big lie.’


Missing Fla. teen found in NY with a soccer coach has ‘a lot of growing up to do’

Days after a missing Florida teenage girl was allegedly found hundreds of miles away from home with a 27-year-old high school soccer coach, she stood between her parents at a news conference today.

Caitlyn Frisina, 17, was found safe Friday in a car in Syracuse with Rian Rodriguez, who is a family friend and assistant soccer coach at her Florida high school, authorities said. She had last been seen at home six days earlier.

PHOTO: Caitlyn Frisina is seen in this undated photo. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
PHOTO: Caitlyn Frisina is seen in this undated photo. (Columbia County Sheriff’s Office)

The teenager, who has since been reunited with her parents, silently stood between them at today’s news conference in Columbia County, Florida, holding her father’s hand and linking arms with her mother.

“We are so thankful and blessed to have our beautiful daughter … back with us,” said Caitlyn Frisina’s mother, Scarlett Frisina. “We’re looking forward to a very merry Christmas”

Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said he’s proud of the teen for coming to the news conference.

Hunter said he believes the teen “was influenced by someone who was in control, was in a supervisory role. That shouldn’t be. She’s got a lot of growing up to do even though she’s a very strong young lady.”

Meanwhile, Rodriguez is being held in New York on a Florida warrant for alleged custodial interference, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said.

He appeared in front of an Onondaga County Court judge this morning where he was appointed an attorney. Rodriguez was also informed of the charges and chose to waive his extradition to Florida, where authorities have two weeks to pick him up.

Source: YahooNews

Instagram Now Warns Users Against Wild Animal Selfies

If you’re thinking of posting that pic of you riding an elephant during your vacation in Thailand on social media, you may want to reconsider.

As of Monday, whenever an Instagram user searches for or clicks on a hashtag that is commonly connected to abusive behavior toward animals, including posing with and holding wild animals, the following warning message will pop up:

You are searching for a hashtag that may be associated with posts that encourage harmful behavior to animals or the environment.

Users who click through to “learn more” are directed to a page onwildlife exploitation, with information warning tourists against taking photos with exotic animals.

“We encourage you to be mindful of your interactions with wild animals, and consider whether an animal has been smuggled, poached or abused for the sake of tourism,” Instagram’s page reads. “Be wary when paying for photo opportunities with exotic animals, as these photos and videos may put endangered animals at risk.”

The social media platform worked with several wildlife organizations ― the World Wide Fund for Nature, TRAFFIC, andWorld Animal Protection ― to identify the most commonly used hashtags associated with abusive behavior toward animals, including animal tourism and the wildlife trade.

Now hundreds of hashtag combinations will trigger the warning, an Instagram rep told HuffPost, ranging from phrases that tend to be used on photos of tourists with captive animals, such as #lionselfie, to more nefarious ones connected to illegal animal trafficking, like #exoticanimalforsale.


Just a cursory search of the hashtag #lionselfie on Instagram turns up thousands of photos, many of which include people touching the wild cats or posing next to animals being held in captivity.

While most people know that trafficking endangered animals and selling their parts is illegal and harmful to the creatures involved, not everyone considers photos of someone holding a cute monkey or riding an elephant as endangering an animal’s well-being ― but they often can be.

“Many of the animals who tourists take photos with are stolen from their natural habitats. They are kept in cramped conditions and passed around from tourist to tourist, causing extreme stress,” animal rights group World Animal Protection writes on its website. “Animals may look happy in selfies. But they’ve often been taken illegally from their natural home and repeatedly baited with food. All this excessive human contact causes extreme trauma.”

Some indicators of whether an animal may be being abused include an animal being held, restrained or kept captive for tourists. It’s also not a good sign if the animal is away from its natural habitat or is not a safe distance from humans.

Instagram already had a policy in place that disallowed images showing animal abuse or the sale of endangered animals. Now the staff behind the app’s reporting and monitoring system have also gotten further education, with the help of wildlife experts, on what types of activities are abusive or illegal when it comes to animals, a company rep told HuffPost.

Instagram’s warning around wildlife exploitation functions much like those the platform set up last year related to issues of self-harm, which prompted a pop-up message to users searching hashtags related to suicide, eating disorders and other topics.

The platform’s warning system has its limits, however. While a message pops up after clicking on a given hashtag related to wildlife photos or sales, it won’t show up to warn a user if they’re the one posting a photo with the hashtag.

What’s more, anyone who sees the warning can simply choose to click through to “show posts” anyway and go about their search for #lionselfies.

The goal of the program is less about preventing people from posting or searching photos than about educating users about harmful behavior, an Instagram rep told HuffPost. It aims to teach people who might not otherwise know that their actions can encourage activities in the tourism industry that are harmful to animals.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to see wildlife while still being respectful of animals’ well-being, World Animal Protection has animal-friendly vacation tips.

Posted By:Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Even Lawyers And Cops Knew About Roy Moore’s Behavior. Why Didn’t They Do Anything?

Even Lawyers And Cops Knew About Roy Moore’s Behavior. Why Didn’t They Do Anything?
― There were stories told around the courthouse, lawyer gossip about Roy Moore.

GADSDEN, Ala. ― There were stories told around the courthouse, lawyer gossip about Roy Moore. All word-of-mouth, with nothing ever in writing.

There was small stuff that maybe doesn’t seem as small now. Like the story about Moore supposedly getting thrown out of a Pizitz department store for hanging around the undergarments section. Three people in legal circles said they’d heard that one. This would’ve been in the late 1970s, when Pizitz was still a going concern; a few years later, the Gadsden Mall reportedly banned Moore for chasing teenage girls.

There wasn’t much anyone could do, one longtime criminal defense lawyer in town said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Certainly there was nothing to be done about the alleged Pizitz ejection. “You’ve got to have some sort of written document that says” what happened, the lawyer said. “Everybody kinda knows that. Him getting kicked out was verbal — it was never in writing.”

And of course there were the bigger things, of the kind the rest of the country is learning about now. The defense attorney had heard about Moore’s prowling for teenagers. But in that case, too, nothing could’ve been done, the attorney said.

“Well, for one, you couldn’t do anything to help these girls, unless a girl comes forward,” he said. “If I [as an attorney] wanted to say something in 1980, I would have made him a hero because I could not have proved anything. The only way you can prove what was going on with the girls, is that they have to come forward.”

Everyone knew. That’s been the mantra over the past few weeks. Lifelong residents knew. Mall employees knew. Area reporters knew. And most distressing of all, even the lawyers and law enforcement types working in and around the courthouse — the people responsible for bringing sexual predators to justice — knew.

A retired officer knew that Moore had a thing for young cheerleaders. One of Moore’s own colleagues told CNN it was“common knowledge” he dated high school girls. A Gadsden cop previously told The New York Times: “It was treated like a joke. That’s just the way it was.”

Posted By: Andy Campbell

Drug dealers using bitcoin cashpoints to launder money

Drug dealers and gangsters are pumping their profits into bitcoin cash machines across Britain to launder the dirty money, police have warned.

Detectives say they have seen an explosion in the use of digital currency by criminals who are strolling into cafes, newsagents and corner shops to dump their ill-gotten gains in virtual currency ATMs.

The cash machines, found in 93 locations in London and other cities, allow anyone to deposit sterling in exchange for bitcoin and other ‘crypto currencies’, which are held electronically and only exist in cyberspace.

The funds can then be transferred across borders to criminal associates who can withdraw them in any currency or spend them on the dark web, without being traced.

Scroll down for video 

Bitcoin has shot up by 1,000 per cent alone this year and the move to stash profits online could even make more money for web savvy criminals

Police have described crypto currencies as one of the biggest emerging threats in organised crime because gangs have realised that the cash machines offer the perfect opportunity to offload large quantities of cash.

Traditionally, casinos and bookmakers have been used to launder crime proceeds, but detectives believe that crypto currency ATMs will soon overtake them.

 The cash machines allow anyone to deposit sterling in exchange for bitcoin and other ‘crypto currencies’

All online currencies are highly encrypted and some are marketed specifically for the ‘privacy conscious’.

Criminals are using pay-as-you-go mobile phones, bought with cash and soon thrown away, to set up bitcoin accounts so these ‘online wallets’ cannot be traced back to them.

There is also no paperwork trail for police to follow because there are no bank statements or bitcoin certificates.

Criminals can put bank notes directly into a bitcoin ATM and turn them into bitcoin currency, without the notes being checked by a bank clerk or bank cash machine.

With the value of bitcoin shooting up by 1,000 per cent alone this year, the move to stash their profits online could even make more money for web savvy criminals.

Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gallagher, who leads the Metropolitan Police’s Organised Crime Command, said: ‘Drug dealers know how to use this.

‘Officers from Trident [the Met’s gang crime command] are finding that street dealers are loading up local ATMs and standing on street corners cashless, which decreases the risk for them. If you move large quantities of cash it lowers your vulnerability to other criminals.’

Drug dealers are now straying outside their traditional patch and instead basing their activities near a bitcoin ATM where they deposit up to £1,500 a day.

He said the number of bitcoin ATMs was growing because shopkeepers get around £1,200 a month to have the machines, which resemble ordinary ATMs, in their stores.

There are 76 bitcoin ATMs in London alone, and they are also available in cities including Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Coventry, Leicester, Derby and Manchester.

Many of them are hidden away at the back of corner shops and newsagents, but they are also popping up in hairdressers, mini-cab offices and restaurants.

Cyberspace currency

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that emerged in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

It can be bought and sold using regular cash, but the coins exist only in cyberspace in the form of a numerical code.

Once purchased, they can be exchanged for some goods and services, like normal money, or transferred into other currencies.

Unlike money issued by banks and regulated by governments, bitcoins can be exchanged anonymously with anyone in the world at the click of a mouse or a button on a mobile phone.

They can be bought for cash via the ATMs with no questions asked.


Harry and Meghan’s wedding will boost UK economy by £500MILLION and improve special relationship with the US

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could boost the UK economy by up to £500million.

Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism to the UK, with visitors also expected to spend big on royal memorabilia.

The ‘Meghan effect’ has already seen brands sell out of the bags and clothes modelled by the American, with UK and US relations also set to strengthen.

Consultancy firm Brand Finance said royal endorsements, sometimes referred to as the ‘Kate effect’, accounts for about £200million a year.

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could boost the UK economy by up to £500million

 The ‘Meghan effect’ has already seen brands sell out of the bags and clothes modelled by the American, with UK and US relations also set to strengthen
Worldwide interest in the royal wedding is likely to mean a big increase in tourism to the UK, with visitors also expected to spend big on royal memorabilia

However that figure could be smashed by Miss Markle, who announced her engagement to Prince Harry on Monday at Kensington Palace.

A £495 handbag by British designer Strathberry’s sold out on its website after Miss Markle was seen clutching it during her first public outing on Friday.

David Haigh, chief executive of Brand Finance, told the Sunday Express: ‘A lot of value generated by the monarchy comes from the Duchess of Cambridge’s Midas touch and the extra sales of fashion brands that she is seen wearing.

‘Meghan Markle is an accomplished actress in her own right, with a global popularity and a strong personal brand.

‘It can be expected that she will join the Duchess of Cambridge as a great ambassador of the monarchy and British brands in general, especially in her native United States and in Canada where she recently lived.’

Mr Haigh said that Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 boosted the British economy by £390million, thanks in part to hotel bookings and merchandise sales.

Meghan flew the flag for Canada, where she had lived until recently, in a navy double breasted coat from the Canadian brand Mackage

 A £495 handbag by British designer Strathberry’s sold out on its website after Miss Markle was seen clutching it during her first public outing on Friday 

The couple appeared in perfect sync as they moved along the seemingly endless line of well-wishers during their first joint public engagement on Friday

The newly-engaged couple couldn’t keep their hands off each other as they undertook their first official duties on Friday.

The pair were in Nottingham, a city that Harry has a close affiliation with, to meet members of the public together for the first time.

While it took Kate three whole months to become a fully-fledged working royal, Meghan, 36, threw herself in the deep end after just five days.

But after years working at the coal-face of showbusiness, the newest member of the Royal Family took everything in her elegant stride.

Arriving in the city centre after travelling up from London with the Queen’s grandson by train, she jumped purposefully out of their official car and stood, arms entwined in Harry’s, as he introduced her to a handful of dignitaries.

Harry, 33, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat, then chivalrously ushered his fiancé over to the first few faces in the 1,000-strong crowd, many of whom had waited in freezing temperatures for several hours in order to catch a glimpse of them.

At first it was the prince who started the conversation, but his wife-to-be quickly caught on – and then, remarkably, took herself off to the other side of the road to greet well-wishers on her own, with all the confidence of someone who had been doing the job for years.

At numerous points during the half-hour walkabout, Miss Markle, dressed in a £585 military coat by Canadian brand Mackage, put a reassuring hand on Harry’s back, rubbing her hand up and down, with Harry returning the gesture. Both frequently looked lovingly into each other’s eyes, much to the delight of well-wishers.

Several of Harry’s most senior Scotland Yard police protection officers had been assigned to guard Miss Markle, while the prince’s assistant private secretary, Heather Wong, temporarily helped out by holding onto her £455 handbag by Scottish firm Strathberry and the many bouquets of flowers she was handed.

The glamorous actress brushed her long hair from her face and smiled broadly as she shook hand after hand.

More tactile than any other royal before her, she frequently stopped to touch people on the arm and even rubbed someone’s wrist – as if to warm them up on the cold day.