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Entertainment Politics

Will the Brexit story be made into a Hollywood movie?

Is the story of British Brexit about to be turned into a movie? And, if so who will play Nigel Farage? Hollywood producers are understood to be in discussions about making a movie to document the Brexit campaign, and UKIP interim leader Nigel Farage’s role in the referendum result.

The move could be based on memoirs kept by Arron Banks, who was the main financial backer for the Leave campaign. The diary, called the Bad Boys of Brexit, has been selling like hot cakes, which has led Hollywood to sit up and take interest in the possibility of making it into a feature film.

It is thought that Warner Brothers producers are seeking a meeting with both Mr Farage and Mr Banks in the New Year, while they are in America for the inauguration of Donald Trump. The filmmakers are major players in the move world, having been behind both Harry Potter and Batman.

Serious Hollywood interest

Mr Banks’ spokesman Andy Wigmore confirmed that “very serious Hollywood people” had been in touch about snapping up the rights to the book. Large sections of the book are already written in dialogue and do read like a screenplay, so they are likely to have the basis of any movie already set out. Mr Wigmore has said that any cash made from selling the rights will go to charity.

Mr Banks worked alongside Donald Trump ally Mr Farage, Mr Wigmore, and the US pollster Gerry Gunster on the campaign they called Leave.EU. While the official Leave campaign was called Vote Leave, and was the brainchild of now Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former Education Secretary Michael Gove, Hollywood is believed to have been inspired by that involving Mr Farage. So far, Warner Brothers has made no official comment about whether it is interested or not.

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Life Style

British Olympian Mo Farah to be Knighted

British Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah has been given a knighthood in the New Year’s honours list Mr Farah, 33, described it as a dream come true.

Mr Farah is joined by other Team GB Olympians including world number one Tennis star Andy Murray who won Olympic gold in Brazil, and Jessica Ennis-Hill heptathlete becomes a dame.

Mr Farah said, “I’m so happy to be awarded this incredible honour from the country that has been my home since I moved here at the age of eight.

“Looking back at the boy who arrived here from Somalia, not speaking any English, I could never have imagined where I would be today – it’s a dream come true.

“I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to race for my country and win gold medals for the British people, who have been my biggest supporters throughout my career.”

Other knighthoods have been award to Kinks frontman, Ray Davis, 72, and Ken Dodd, 89, both recognised for their services to the arts.  Ray Davis said, “Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write.”

Opera singer, Bryn Terfel, 51, will also receive a knighthood for services to music.  He said, “What an immense honour to receive such an accolade. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for all the support and encouragement I have received from the great British public and further afield.

“I am truly humbled.”

Other stars to be honoured include Victoria Beckham, 42, who is awarded an OBE.

American vogue editor, Anna Wintour, 67 is also honoured and becomes a dame in the diplomatic and overseas list for services to journalism and fashion.

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Science

Experts Believe we will find Alien Life in 2017

Scientists are optimistic about finding alien life in 2017.  The Cassini spacecraft which is currently orbiting Saturn’s moons could, according to the scientific community discover life.  As well as the moons of Saturn, scientists are monitoring Proxima B, a planet they believe could have alien life.

The Cassini space probe left Earth in 1997 on a twenty year mission which is due to finish next year.  It has been orbiting the moons of Saturn giving scientists a close up view of the planet and her moons for the first time.

During its mission, it has made fascinating discoveries, such as a global ocean within Enceladus and liquid methane seas on Titan.  The craft is almost out of fuel and will plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere in a dramatic finale to its mission, beaming back data before it is destroyed.

Dr Simon Foster, a physicist from Imperial College London believes that 2017 could be the year we discover microbial alien life.  He told the Daily Express Newspaper, “In the past, when we thought we had discovered aliens previously, it was a new form of star called the pulsar. What’s interesting is that one of [Saturn’s] moons, Enceladus, is an icy moon and that leaves the tantalising prospect of looking for life.

“The concentration has been on Mars, and I think moons like Enceladus and Europa, there is a good prospect of finding life – microbial that is.”

He added, “We don’t know hardly anything and when we come up against something we don’t know or doesn’t fit into our current understanding, it is quite nice to say that it could be aliens, whereas a lot of it is just a phenomena that we haven’t discovered.

“Either way there is a breakthrough just around the corner.”

Scientists are also focusing on Proxima 3 and probes are currently orbiting Jupiter.

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Life Style

Are Hatchimals swearing? Parents claim must have Christmas toy has a potty mouth

Angry parents claim this Christmas’ must have toy is spewing out swear words after ‘hatching’ out. Hatchimals became almost impossible to get hold of in the run up to Christmas, with most stores selling out because their popularity.

The toy is a little interactive egg, which hatching out after a child plays with it for around 20 minutes. The bird like creature then goes through baby and toddler stages and children can talk to it. However, some parents are claiming that the £59.99 toys are saying swearwords.

Parents Nick and Sarah Galego, from British Columbia, said they noticed the little furry animal was swearing just a few days after gifting their six year old son one of the toys as a Christmas present. Nick, said: “I’m pretty sure it says “f**k me.” Sarah also says that she heard the toy swear, although because their little boy loves it so much they say they are letting him keep it.

Another parent, Kelsey Rawson said she agreed that the sound of her child’s Hatchimal seemed like swearing, also she conceeded that perhaps it was actually saying something like “hug me” or “hold me”.

Statement

However a spokesman for Spin Master, the firm which makes Hatchimals said that the toys definitely do not swear. In a statement, the company said: “Hatchimals communicate by speaking their own unique language, which is made of up of random sounds, and by making other noises, including shivering when they’re cold and snoring while they sleep.” He added that Hatchimals definitely do not swear or use any foul language.

Many parents also complained that the Hatchimals they had received did not hatch on Christmas Day, which meant that children had to manually break their eggs, rather than having the magical experience of their toy hatching. The toys are meant to hatch after being rubbed and held for around 20 minutes, but some families said they had tried for hours and nothing happened.

 

 

 

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Politics

U.S. Commander: Fresh Advance in East Mosul to Commence Within Days

U.S. Troops are set to move closer to the front line in the battle to retake the Iraq city of Mosul.  Lieutenant Colonel Stuart James, commander of a combat arms battalion assisting Iraqi security forces on the south eastern front, told Reuters news agency, “Right now we’re staging really for the next phase of the attack as we start the penetration into the interior of east Mosul.

“So right now, positioning forces and positioning men and equipment into the interior of east Mosul… it’s going to happen in the next several days.”

One hundred thousand Iraqi troops together with members of the Kurdish security forces and Shi’ite militiamen have been battling jihadists for several months.  The fighting has been dogged and slow.  A planned operational refit has seen the fighting momentarily stop.  Despite the conditions a quarter of the city has been recaptured by the Iraqi soldiers.

Two weeks ago, however, army units advised by the Americans suffered heavy losses.  This led to several thousand police units redeployed to the region.

The advance will be the biggest American ground troop deployment to the front line since the invasion of 2003.  The threat to the American troops has been described as moderate by James.  Three servicemen have been killed in the last month.

The U.S as part of a coalition force has conducted thousands of airstrikes and trained tens of thousands of troops.  The Iraqi forces will work alongside U.S advisers.

James describes success against ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, also known as Islamic State as the amount of resistance they can mount.  He said, “If we achieve great success on the first day and we gain momentum, then it may go very quickly. If Daesh fights very hard the first day and we run into a roadblock and we have to go back and go OK that was not the correct point of penetration, it may take longer.”

The American integration with the Iraqi troops is unprecedented and it is believed that this will increase and coordinate surveillance, air support, and force movements.

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Featured

New Zealand is hit by third huge earthquake in weeks

New Zealand has been rocked by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake just weeks after two earlier tremors hit. The quake hit the little town of Seddon, near Kaikoura, at a depth of just 17 kilometres.

Residents as far away as Christchurch, 500 kilometres from the epicentre were reporting that they felt shaking. Wellington resident Schariona Parker-Poto said that the shaking was quite gentle before becoming more intense. She said she and her mother quickly rushed outside, fearing that the building they were in could be damaged. According to reports, the shaking latest for between 15 and 40 seconds.

Darryn McKenzie, who owns Awatere Accommodation in Seddon, said the area was used to earthquakes since being hit by a major tremor three years ago. Locals are still repairing damage done in earlier quakes, and have tried to secure furniture and household appliances in a bid to prevent any further damage.

Drop, cover and hold

New Zealand residents have been given the advice to remember to “drop, cover and hold” during each quake, and to remain indoors. The warning comes because aftershocks are due to hit the affected region today.

This latest quake comes just a few weeks after two tremors hit New Zealand, in the Cheviot area, between Christchurch and Kaikoura. Those tremors measures 6.3 and 7.8 magnitude, and more than 1,000 tourists and residents were evacuated from the pretty seaside resort of Kaikoura by helicopter and a naval vessel following the quakes, which caused major damage. Two people were killed in the quakes and houses and roads were damaged.

 

 

So far, there have been no reports of any fatalities in the latest quake, although officials are now urging people to check on their loved ones, particularly those who live by themselves, or who are frail or ill. Train services were delayed during the quake, but are now understood to be returning to normal.

 

 

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Business

How Robert De Niro has angered locals on Princess Diana’s favourite paradise island

Hollywood A lister Robert De Niro is embroiled in a row with locals on Barbuda island over a new tourist development at a club once a favourite of Princess Diana.

It was one of Princess Diana’s favourite places to unwind. But, the once plush K Club resort in Barbuda has been empty and derelict for more than a decade, despite sitting on one of the most incredible stretches of white sand anywhere in the world.

However, two years ago, the Taxi Driver and Goodfellas actor revealed plans, along with the Australian billionaire James Pakcer, to bring the resort back to life with a £204 million investment. Last year, locals voted to support the plans.

Growing unrest

However, there is now growing dissent about the plans and, because the island is owned by the people they have the right to give or refuse permission for new developments. Mackenzie Frank, who is heading up a group of protestors, said he was concerned that people had not been given full details of the plans. Without further information, he said it would be impossible for anyone to make an informed decision.

His appeal against the developed was, however, denied by the High Court and a new bill was passed called Paradise Found. Residents now say they fear the legislation could affect their rights when it comes to having a say in other future development.

Three hundred of the 1,500 residents of Barbuda have now signed a petition which is protesting against Mr De Niro’s development. While Mr Frank said that no one was against the K Club opening up again, he said developers were wanting too much extra land. It is understood that Mr De Niro and his business partner want an extra 300 acres around the site of the K Club site so they can develop the new Paradise Found resort over the next decade. The new resort would have 50 villages and cottages, each with their own private swimming pool.

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Science

Nuclear Power Plant on Alert as Fukushima Earth Quake Strikes

According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 has struck in the Kanto area of Japan.  This region borders the Tōhoku area where the Fukushima Power Plant suffered a meltdown in 2011.

The Japanese news agency NHK reported that the epicentre was not at sea which means a repeat of 2011’s Tsunami is unlikely to occur again.  Nonetheless, tremors were felt in a “wide area” on Japan’s east coast.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company which is currently decommissioning Fukushima nuclear plant is investigating the impact the earthquake may have had.  In a statement, the company said, “At the moment, we have not confirmed the impact of the earthquake on our main power facilities (including nuclear power plants).”

The earthquake struck Ibaraki Prefecture at 9.38 pm local time.  There were no reports of injuries or damage.  Last month a larger earthquake struck Fukushima.  The country is situated on one of the most volatile places on the planet in terms of seismic activity.  The Pacific Ring of Fire stretches from Japan to the U.S.

Ninety percent of the world’s earthquakes and 81 percent of the most powerful earthquakes on the planet happen in the Pacific Ring of Fire.  As well as the Japan earthquake, a series of earthquakes has struck the U.S on the Nevada and California border.  Although no reports of damage or injury have yet to be reported, the quakes are believed to be at a magnitude between 2.8 and 4.

Fortunately, seismologist Lucy Jones believes the quakes were decaying and this was not a prelude to a bigger quake.  She tweeted, “They could be foreshocks but much more likely that we’ve already seen the largest.  Sequence decaying normally.”

Since the 2011 Fukushima meltdown, any kind of seismic activity near the area tends to raise the alarm of those in charge of dismantling the reactor of the plant.

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Featured Life Style

Moving Rocks of Death Valley Finally Get a Solution

For the last 100 years, a weird phenomenon has been observed at Death Valley. The phenomenon is that rocks and boulders have been moving and rolling around the floor of the desert. Some gigantic boulders weigh as much as 600 pounds, and they leave a long trail behind them in places they have rolled across. Since 1948, scientists have tried to find an answer to why this happens, and at last an answer seems to have presented itself.

The options doing the rounds till now were UFOs, winds which had the strength of hurricanes, flooding, dust devils and other ‘out there’ explanations. However,when the researchers saw the rock phenomenon themselves, the mystery finally became clear. The people who made it possible were James Norris and Richard Norris. The two are cousins, and while the former is an engineer, the latter is a scientist.

What they did was to put a GPS tracker on some of the stones. The stones were then surrounded by cameras. The results that came out showed a weird and surprising result. The movement in the stones was due to ice! And that also in a place which is considered to be one of the driest and hottest in the world!

They found that with the right conditions, when there has been rainfall in the lake bed named “Racetrack Playa,” and sunshine just after that, thin plates of ice formed and that ice helped to push those rocks on the desert floor,the speed of which sometimes goes up to several feet per minute. When the duo had gone to inspect their instrument once, and “we were sitting on a mountainside and admiring the view when a light wind kicked up and the ice started cracking,” and “suddenly, the whole process unfolded before our eyes,”

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Education

Prince George set to attend £6,500 a term London school

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to make Kensington Palace their permanent base from next year after signing Prince George up for a £6,500 a term school in London.

Prince George is set to attend Wetherby School, which is less than a mile away from the palace. Currently, the family split their time between Norfolk and London. The Duke and Duchess, who are both 34, have chosen the same pre-prep school attended by Prince William and Prince Harry.

The family could walk to school as it is just 15 minutes away from Kensington Palace, in a listed building overlooking Pembridge Square Gardens. The all boys school accommodates just 250 pupils, many of whom go on to study at prestigious schools including Eton, St Paul’s and Westminster. Prince George will be wearing a uniform of a little grey cap, scarlet trimmed blazer and a red tie.

It is thought that they have already enrolled Prince George, although the couple could decide to break with tradition and send the young prince to local primary St Mary Abbots Primary School.

Royal duties

Both Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to take on more official royal duties next year, particularly as the Queen is standing down as patron from a number of charities, which means they will need a permanent residence in London.

Currently, Prince William works part time as a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance Service. And, while his contract ends in March, it is understood that he will continue in this role until the summer.

Prince William and Kate are also understood to want to expand their own Royal Foundation charity as well as focusing on mental health causes. While it is believed that Kate had not been keen on a move back to London, she understands that the Queen, in her advancing years, does need to lighten her workload.