An FBI agent who accidentally shot a man while showing off his smooth dance moves appeared in court on Wednesday.
Davina McCall has reportedly started a new romantic relationship with celebrity hairdresser Michael Douglas, following her divorce from Matthew Robinson.
Vince Cable has said he “welcomes people with dark faces”, as he condemned Nigel Farage‘s infamous Brexit referendum poster in a heated debate ahead of the European elections.Accusing the Brexit Party leader of whipping up antagonism against foreigners, the Liberal Democrat leader tackled Mr Farage over his previous rhetoric on immigration.But Mr Farage insisted he was “far from racist”, and said he “utterly rejected” any suggestion he was attempting to “stir anything up”.During a debate hosted by The Daily Telegraph – ahead of Thursday’s European parliament elections – Sir Vince told the former Ukip leader: “You have played a role in whipping up this antagonism to foreigners. “In the referendum, you told us that next year, 2020, Turks are going to be free to come to this country. A lot of people were alarmed by something that is patently untrue.”Referring to the widely-condemned “Breaking Point” poster that Mr Farage unveiled during the Brexit referendum, he continued: “You put out that advertisement, the hoarding, showing immigrants who had dark faces. I welcome people with dark faces. I was married to one.“But people coming in from Europe are Europeans. It was giving a totally false picture of what immigration actually amounts to.”In the debate, Mr Farage insisted: “Far from being racist, actually, we really are more internationalist than those who want our whole future decided by the EU.“All I have ever argued with immigration is that we should have a free, fair system that stops discriminating against India and against Australia in favour of Romania, or anywhere else.“I utterly reject the idea that I am trying to stir anything up.”Their exchange came as the Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake suggested the prime minister could be gone within days, as he claimed the Conservatives will be thrashed at the European elections on Thursday. Mr Brake said he could not see “any circumstances in which her deal is not going to be defeated”, adding: “If anything, the Brexiteers have hardened their position, that would be my interpretation of what they’re saying, so her bill goes down at second reading and that’s clearly it for her.”
Thousands of comic book fans have signed a petition calling for Danny DeVito to play X-Men favourite Wolverine. Hugh Jackman played the clawed mutant in the film franchise and in a series of spin-off films between 2000 and 2017, before finally saying goodbye to the role in James Mangold’s Logan. Following the Disney and Fox studio merger in March, Marvel has regained the rights to use Fantastic Four and X-Men characters in future films, after selling the properties to 20th Century Fox in 1993.
Tottenham vs Liverpool, the 2019 Champions League final. After two incredible comebacks - Liverpool vs Barcelona and Spurs against Ajax - we have an all-English final.
A computer programme isn’t going to drag the pencil out of your hand and scrawl an X on the ballot paper for you, but they are doing everything they can to make sure you head to the polling station with a warped idea of popular politics. And by a large majority, it is the right-wing of politics that is doing the warping.Using a programme we developed to study bot interference in elections, we found that some 12 per cent of tweets using hashtags promoted by far-right EU parties came from users which showed tell-tale signs of full-automation. That is double the average across all partiesWe studied Twitter hashtags supporting respective EU political groupings across five different countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, and France – and looked at the most active users from about 12,500 of the most recent tweets. While bots exist in each study area, we found that they target Southern Europe the most, with Italy and Spain taking the lead.Overall, we found that nearly 6 per cent of tweets which promoted hashtags for all parties and nations studied originated from such accounts. However, the bots were markedly overrepresented in hashtag campaigns supportive of the far-right Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom Group at a full 12 per cent. Second to that grouping came the right-wing eurosceptics with the Alliance for Conservatives and Reformists in Europe with around 9 per cent.In some ways, the far-right’s relatively large proportion of bots is unsurprising because they tend to have more ambitious and aggressive social media strategies. Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right party, League, has energetically adopted social media, and is the top influencer by far for the hashtag 26maggiovotoLega.It is also true though that the social media influence of Salvini’s account is at least partially inflated by bots logging more than 400 tweets per day on average. The majority of all bots we found in the 26maggiovotoLega hashtag were created in May 2019 and almost exclusively retweet everything that Salvini’s account tweeted. In two days, from 13 May to 15 May, the total number of tweets of these accounts increased drastically (from seven to 428, on average).On 10 May, League launched a social media game with a promotional video in which Salvini declares: “They are all against us, big newspapers, big professors, big intellectuals, analysts, and sociologists, but we use the internet... And we win online.”By contrast, left and liberal centrist leaders in some countries that we studied did not use hashtags at all, or simply placed them haphazardly without an apparent understanding of their utility.Our model weeded out all but the most obvious bots in just those five countries, and still found more than 700 bot-like accounts that we can say with the highest confidence are indeed bots. In a separate study conducted in March, SafeGuard Cyber found 6,700 “bad actors” linked to Russian disinformation operations spreading propaganda to up to 241 million users.While we have no way of knowing the origins of the bots we detected, it is important to note the context of Russian support for disinformation campaigns and that the parties that comprise the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom do have close ties with Russia. The League and the Austrian Freedom Party have signed cooperation agreements with Moscow, and the National Rally (formerly Front National) has received funding from Kremlin-linked backers.While the Freedom Party was recently brought down by a scandal involving trading public contracts for campaign contributions from someone posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch, League has denied allegations of trading oil contracts for support to Kremlin representatives.The far-right Alternative for Germany, which votes with the far-right group, is embroiled in a scandal over Russian strategy papers that apparently said that German MP Markus Frohnmaier could be “absolutely controlled” by the Kremlin. Manuel Ochsenreiter, Frohnmaier’s employee, has also been implicated in an alleged fascist false flag attack in Ukraine, allegedly orchestrated by Russian secret services, which he has denied.These are only links of course, which prove nothing about the origins of the bots that we found, but it is useful to remind ourselves that Russia has built a powerful track record in this area.As Europeans go to the polls on Thursday, they will be making important decisions about the direction of the future of supranational institutions like the European Union. Far-right parties focusing on anti-immigration politics as an antidote to the crises of neoliberalism hope to make big gains against those seeking a more inclusive, left alternative or a safe return to the status quo.In the midst of these important issues, information warfare is being waged in support of an increasingly online and internationalised far right fighting to tip the scales against a united Europe and in favour of nationalist alternatives.Our findings suggest that social media providers must do more to combat these attacks, and to build users’ capacity to identify and marginalise malicious online content. The bots want to swing your vote, and you may not even realise that they have succeeded.Emmi Bevensee is a PhD student at the University of Arizona studying machine learning and disinformation; Alexander Reid Ross is the author of Against the Fascist Creep (AK Press); Sabrina Nardin is a graduate student at the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona
Michael Gove has suggested the government may ditch plans to ask MPs to voteon its EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the first week of June, following abacklash from all sides of the Commons
The window is open and clubs are beginning the thankless task of doing their business early enough to give their managers a full season with their new squads. But as has been the case for years, players and clubs hold on for just the right deal, dragging out negotiations over months. The truncated window to fall in line with the start of the Premier League season may help to some extent, yet nobody is expecting the biggest deals to be neatly packaged together before July comes. Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba look to be the biggest dominos to fall, and once Real Madrid strike a deal, or not, others will follow. It promises to be a busy few weeks, with the groundwork well underway before the Champions League final has even been played. Read Jack Pitt-Brooke’s verdict on the biggest signings to happen – or not – this summer
A Labour peer has resigned from the party after announcing that he will vote for the Liberal Democrats in this week's European Parliament elections. Michael Cashman, a prominent LGBT campaigner and former Labour MEP, said he "can't trust" Jeremy Corbyn and his team on Brexit and would be backing the Liberal Democrats because of their "absolute consistency" on the issue.A number of elected officials from the main parties have now said they are unable to vote for their own party in the EU elections because of the leadership's position on Brexit. Mr Corbyn has come under pressure for refusing to commit to another Brexit referendum and has seen many of his party's supporters switch to the Liberal Democrats.The latest polling suggests Labour is on course to receive just 13 per cent of the vote in Thursday's elections, compared to the Liberal Democrats' 19 per cent.As the main parties haemorrhage support, the Conservatives are polling at just 7 per cent having significantly lost ground to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which is on course to win the elections with 37 per cent of the vote.Lord Cashman, who sat as a Labour MP between 1999 and 2014, used his Twitter page to announce that he "Will not be voting for the Labour Party".Referring to journalist Matthew Parris, who said he would also be voting Lib Dem for this first time ever, the peer wrote: "I can’t trust Corbyn or the people around him on the defining issue in postwar Britain so on Thursday I will not be voting for the Labour Party. As Matthew Paris [sic] said, I am not a Liberal Democrat, but I support their absolute consistency. Voting Lib Dem in the EU elections."He added: "I think I’ve just resigned from the Labour Party by declaring that I will support the Liberal Democrats in the European elections."He had earlier told his followers to "vote wisely on Thursday", suggesting they should back a party that wants another referendum. He said: "The only way to resolve the most important issue facing this country and dividing it is with a final say on Mrs May’s deal. "A Labour spokesperson said they did not comment on individual membership cases.Conservative peer Andrew Cooper, a former director of strategy to David Cameron, also announced that he would be voting for the Liberal Democrats, and swiftly had the Tory whip withdrawn. He follows in the footsteps of Michael Heseltine, the former Tory deputy prime minister, who said last weekend that he would be voting for Sir Vince Cable's party.Lord Cooper said: "I have come to the same conclusion as Michael Heseltine, for exactly the same reasons - and will be voting Lib Dem in Thursday's European Parliament elections."Warning the Conservatives to ditch their current Brexit policy, he added: "I think the party is going to plunge into oblivion if it continues on the path of trying to out-Brexit the Brexit Party. I think the right thing to do in this election is to vote for the party that believes in a referendum and giving a chance to look again at the whole question.”A Conservative spokesperson said: "Publicly endorsing the candidates of another party is not compatible with taking the Conservative whip in parliament."As a result, the chief whip in the House of Lords has informed Lord Cooper of Windrush that he will have the Conservative whip suspended."This will be reviewed if he is willing to support Conservative candidates at future elections."Earlier in the week, Lord Heseltine wrote in The Sunday Times: “I cannot, with a clear conscience, vote for my party when it is myopically focused on forcing through the biggest act of economic self-harm ever undertaken by a democratic government".A third peer, former cabinet secretary Gus O'Donnell, also announced his support for the Lib Dems.The former head of the civil service, who sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords, said he believed another referendum was the only way "to bring to country" together and that he would back Remain in such a vote.Admitting it felt "very strange" to be endorsing a political party, he wrote in The Times' Red Box: "I am extremely disappointed that while the Brexit Party is an obvious choice for dedicated Leavers the Remain vote is potentially spread across many parties."This is deeply disappointing and very annoying, particularly given that the Liberal Democrats seemed to be prepared to cooperate with other parties. Under the voting system used for European elections it means that the Brexit Party will do extremely well compared with the Remain parties unless supporters of the latter view vote tactically."This means voting Liberal Democrat in England, so that’s what I will do. I would urge all those who support Remain to do the same."
Cancer Research UK filmed a seven-hour operation using a camera inside the operating theatre to showcase a new procedure.
You'd think that with each episode averaging a budget of $10 million, and with a crew that includes over 85 directors and over 3,000 cast and crew, Game of Thrones might have the capacity to catch a little mistake.
It was a daring gambit: Juan Guaidó, Venezuela’s opposition leader, stood by a military base alongside dozens of uniformed officers and political allies, calling for a military uprising against President Nicolás Maduro.Three weeks later, Mr Guaidó is shuttling among a half-dozen safe houses to escape capture.Most of the men who stood with him by the base that day, and many of the legislators who support him, are in jail or sheltering in foreign embassies.Soldiers routinely shut down the National Assembly that Mr Guaidó leads.And the protests that filled the streets with Mr Guaidó’s supporters are dwindling as Venezuelans, struggling with a crumbling economy and shortages of food, gasoline and medication, return to the business of surviving.Weakened and unable to bring the political crisis gripping Venezuela to a quick resolution, Mr Guaidó has been forced to consider negotiations with President Maduro, the man he had promised to remove from power.Both sides have sent representatives to Norway for talks, a concession Mr Guaidó previously rejected.In public, Mr Guaidó remains upbeat and unwavering.At flash rallies around the capital, Caracas, he implores supporters to keep up the protests. But during an interview, he acknowledged that the opposition’s capacity to operate is hurting.“The persecution has been savage,” he said in the empty hallway of one of the safe houses he uses.More than 50 countries — including the United States, Canada and most members of the European Union — recognised Mr Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president in January, calling Mr Maduro’s re-election for a second term fraudulent.Since then, several countries that support Mr Guaidó have expressed an openness to other approaches to ending the political paralysis in Venezuela — a big shift from the urgent international calls for Mr Maduro’s removal four months ago.In an interview in April, Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Venezuela, said that for a democratic transition to work, all Venezuelans should be part of it, including those who remain loyal to Mr Maduro.“They are part of Venezuela’s political scene,” he said. “So we’re just trying to make it clear that we really want a democratic Venezuela. We’re not picking winners.”President Donald Trump has since turned his international focus to Iran, dashing for the time being any hopes that members of the opposition may have had of securing US military support.Despairing of a quick resolution, Mr Guaidó’s European allies have redoubled efforts to secure a negotiated pact between the opposition and the government, moving the main front in Venezuela’s political battle to the diplomatic arena, said Félix Seijas, the director of Caracas-based pollster Delphos, which has advised the opposition.Last week, envoys from each side travelled to Norway to meet with representatives for preliminary talks, according to officials from both sides.In a speech to public sector workers Thursday, Mr Guaidó said he had agreed to the talks, but restated: “We will not lend ourselves to false negotiations.”He said the goal remained to remove President Maduro, establish a transitional government and call free and fair elections.Mr Guaidó also met last week with European diplomats representing the International Contact Group on Venezuela, which has been working to secure new elections in the country.And, in separate attempts to find common ground on Venezuela with Mr Maduro’s biggest backers, Canada’s foreign minister travelled to Cuba and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to Russia.Mr Maduro has also been weakened by Guaidó’s uprising attempt.His intelligence police chief has defected, and the US claims that top officials, including the defence minister and chief justice, were involved in the plot.US sanctions are ravaging Venezuela’s vital oil sector and imports, making it increasingly difficult for Mr Maduro to govern.The country largely ground to a halt over the weekend because of a lack of fuel — a shortage that President Maduro has blamed the sanctions for.Six years of recession, however, have made Mr Maduro adept at managing, if not solving, cascading crises.He is now betting that repression and fatigue will destroy Mr Guaidó’s support before sanctions force his government out of power, Mr Seijas said.“The government feels that the time is in their favour, and they are not necessarily wrong,” Mr Seijas said. “Neither side can strong-arm the other, but the government feels this situation is something they can manage and control.”Opposition leaders said they would continue working to remove President Maduro and set up a transitional government from the safe houses and embassies where they have sought shelter.“The goal now is not to become a political martyr by getting arrested,” said Juan Andrés Mejía, a lawmaker from Mr Guaidó’s Popular Will Party who went into hiding after the government stripped him of parliamentary immunity last week.“The goal is to bring about a transitional government. I’m focused now on making sure the work we started doesn’t stop.”The New York Times
The Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Derby County. The prize? A place in the Premier League for the 2019/20 season, estimated to be worth around £170million.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched an earth observation satellite to enhance the country's surveillance capabilities. Footage shows rocket PSLV-C46 blasting off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota, carrying the satellite on May 22. The satellite, called RISAT-2B, was released into the orbit 15 minutes after launch, reports say.
Almost half of British millennials said they were exposed to domestic abuse during childhood and many of them have gone on to suffer long-term negative consequences, a new survey reveals. In total, 47 per cent of the 2,004 UK 18-34-year-olds reported witnessing a parent being a victim of domestic abuse as a child, compared with 28 per cent of 35-54-year-olds and 17 per cent of those who are over 55.This gap between different age groups could either be due to instances of domestic abuse rising in recent years or linked to younger people being more aware and knowledgeable about domestic abuse and understanding it also includes emotional abuse, coercive control and financial abuse as well as physical violence. The research was conducted on behalf of domestic abuse charity Hestia by British polling council member Opinium. Hestia said it highlighted the “devastating impact” of domestic abuse on young people. Millennials who had witnessed domestic abuse as a child said the experience had long-term consequences for them, with 59 per cent of those polled saying they had experienced anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Half said they had trust issues in relationships.A third said they had self-medicated with alcohol or substance misuse; 42 per cent of respondents had experienced exclusion from school or low academic performance; while 27 per cent said they had experienced low attainment in their employment.Around one in three believed the exposure to domestic abuse had also affected their siblings, while 26 per cent of respondents said their ability to forge successful relationships was impacted the most.“Children have long been forgotten as victims of domestic abuse,” said Lyndsey Dearlove, of Hestia, one of the largest providers of domestic abuse refuges in London, which supports over 1,900 women and children. “The data reveals the urgent need for specialist support for children as the long-term impact of domestic abuse can shape a person’s life. The new domestic abuse bill could create a monumental shift in society’s response to domestic abuse and allow all those experiencing domestic abuse access to vital services to break the cycle of abuse. We must not fail another generation”.The organisation said the findings strengthen their calls for the government to enshrine specialist support for children in the domestic abuse bill which was published in January. Currently being scrutinised by a joint committee of members of the Commons and the Lords, Hestia criticised the fact that children had been omitted from it. The charity said 50 per cent of children who experienced domestic abuse as a child become a victim later in life. As a result it is calling for the legislation to include protected waiting list status for all children affected by domestic abuse to make sure they get the support they need.A 31-year-old woman who experienced domestic abuse as a child said it had profound consequences on her. “My dad was abusive to my mum,” she said. “He would lose his temper and become a different person. This went on for years. Sometimes when I was still in the room. I can always remember my parents arguing and fighting since I was five years old. I thought that it was normal for parents to shout at each other, I imagined all the children at school had the same experience every night at home. Looking back I realise how wrong I was.”Recalling an incident when she was around 12 years old, she said she had been excited by the prospect of a relative’s visit when her father told her mother to cancel it. When her mother said it was too late she said her father “lost it”.She added: “He turned the table over in a spontaneous rage. Before I had time to react, he had reached my mum across the room and raised his arm, and swung his fist directly in the face. I was glued to the spot, terrified. Blood was oozing from her face as she lay there helpless. He left for work shortly after as if nothing happened. That was when she called the police. Since then domestic abuse has been present in my life.” She said she wished there had been specialist support available for her after the police were called. While her mother was offered a place in a support network, she was “just left to get on with things”, she said. As she grew older she said her ability to form relationships had been “difficult”. “I find it very challenging to trust people,” she added. “I’m scared they will be just like my dad. My performance in school and higher education was hindered after I developed a stammer in my speech. The fear and anxiety I had growing up manifested in ways I didn’t know was possible.”While at university she would make excuses to avoid giving presentations and would avoid speaking whenever she could, she said.“I really want there to be awareness given to students in schools about healthy relationships and for them to be told about the signs of abuse so they are able to confidently speak with a teacher,” she added. “For children who are experiencing domestic abuse, I hope they know they can speak out and will be listened to. Don’t keep things bottled up like me. My mum and I have tried to create a new life but the memories of the past are always there.” A previous report by Pro Bono Economics for Hestia found failure to support children exposed to domestic violence costs UK taxpayers up to £1.4bn. This is made up of up to £70m for Health & Adult Social Care, up to £110m for crime, up to £790m for education and up to £460m for foster and residential care. Hestia’s campaign, which has the backing of 140 MPs and Lords, is calling for the new draft domestic abuse bill to recognise children in the definition of domestic abuse, give children affected by domestic abuse priority access to schools and make sure child survivors are given special waiting list status for all NHS services including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Support.The landmark legislation introduces the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse to include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative behaviour that is not physical.While a 2015 law aimed at those who psychologically and emotionally abuse partners in England and Wales is already in place, the new bill pulls different forms of abuse into one definition under one piece of legislation.
The education secretary has hit back at vice-chancellors who accused the government of acting unlawfully in its attempts to curb the use of “conditional unconditional offers” at universities.Damian Hinds has said it is a “shame” that universities are still justifying giving out guaranteed places to students, regardless of A-level results, as long as they make them their first choice.Eight universities have stopped or will stop offering "conditional unconditional" offers to prospective students, but a number of institutions have not yet made a change. The minister’s comments came after academics accused the government of unlawfully threatening their autonomy when he called for a review of university admissions.Mr Hinds wrote to 23 of the worst-offending universities, including a Russell Group institution, calling on them to stamp out “pressure-selling tactics” last month. Seven other institutions have also pledged to review their use of these offers, the Department for Education has said. Mr Hinds said: "While I am pleased that many university leaders are taking the issue seriously, it is a shame there are still some trying to justify practices which are damaging the integrity of our higher education and students' interests. I make no apology for speaking out as I have done."The education secretary added that he could not “stand idly by watching questionable practices spread and educational standards slide.”“Universities are making billions of pounds in public funds, as well as students' own contributions, and I have a responsibility also to sixth form teachers, who want all their students to have the same incentive to reach their best,” he said. A spokesperson for Universities UK (UUK) said: “There are clear benefits for students in universities being able to use a variety of offer making practices that reflect the individual student’s circumstances and potential.“As with all offers to study at university, universities must be able to explain why and how they award unconditional offers with conditions attached. We are already working together with Ucas, reviewing existing guidance and gaining a better understanding of how these offers are being used.”They added: “This work will help inform the review and includes surveying universities to understand how good practice is being adopted, and holding forums to discuss best practice. It is essential that admissions processes and policies are fair and transparent, underpinned by clear criteria and in the best interest of students.”
A Conservative Brexiteer MP has been called a “liar” and a “traitor” during an extraordinary exchange with a Leave supporter during a television interview.David Davies was speaking to BBC Wales outside parliament about a rise in abuse towards politicians when he was confronted by a passing woman, who accused him of “acting like a snowflake” and being a “remoaner”.“I voted to leave, actually,” the Monmouth MP responded. “I’m not a snowflake.”He added: “I was actually campaigning for Brexit and have been for years, so I don’t need to be given lectures by people like you.”But the woman, wearing a microphone and filming Mr Davies on her mobile phone, told the Conservative he was “a liar” after he confirmed he voted for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.“Shame on you. You’re a traitor,” she added. “You’ve betrayed 17.4 million people.”Mr Davies responded: “I tell you what, people like you make me want to join the EU again quite honestly.”Turning to the camera towards the end of the three-minute exchange, the Tory MP said: “And that’s what you have to put up with when you’re out here all the time.”One viewer, writing on Twitter, said the confrontation between two staunch Leave supporters “kind of sums the whole sorry mess” of Brexit.“BBC manages to find the personification of Brexit during David Davies interview,” added another.A third wrote: "David Davies meets the contents of Pandora’s box. Wonder if it’s sunk in yet?"Labour Welsh Assembly member Alun Davies said the spat “showed the need for a conversation about how we can disagree with each other, have a serious debate and rebuild our politics”.Mr Davies replied: “I can start by agreeing with you 100% on that Alun!”The Tory MP has taken to wearing a GoPro camera around his neck in public to document any abuse from members of the public.He told The Independent in January the footage he captured was also for his “protection” against “malicious allegations”.