England

P Diddy Stars In Downton Abbey Spoof Video

P Diddy Stars In Downton Abbey Spoof Video

P-Diddy-Downton-Abbey

Hip hop producer P Diddy has released a spoof video showing him ‘starring’ in hit TV show Downton Abbey.

The US music mogul, real name Sean Combs, had announced on his Twitter account that he was to become a regular on the popular ITV period drama.

“MY BIG NEWS: So happy to announce that Im a series regular on DOWNTON ABBEY-my favorite show+i’ll be debuting a sneak peek tonight 12am PST!,” he said.

But after a series of posts promoting his ‘appearance’ in the show, a video featuring the 43-year-old was released on the Funny or Die website.

He begins by admitting his love for the series – declaring himself an “Abbeyhead” – before insisting he had been cast as its first black cast member.

A succession of clips follow, in which he appears alongside some the show’s main characters – while employing language unlikely to have featured previously in the period drama.

Hip Hop Summit
Diddy in more familiar surroundings, at a 2001 hip hop summit

Having introduced himself as Lord Wolcott, the new owner of Downton Abbey, he assures footman Thomas Barrow: “You keepin’ these hoes in check right here.”

Another clip shows him attempting to coax the Dowager Countess and Isobel Crawley to kiss each other, telling them: “I want you to use your tongues.”

After initial bemusement at Diddy’s claim he had joined the Downton cast, the show’s makers, Carnival, welcomed the producer’s humourous skit.

A spokesperson said, in a statement issued to Sky News: “P Diddy has done a brilliant job with this skit and we are thrilled that he is such a fan of the show.

“We would certainly welcome him to visit Downton Abbey in the future. Lord Wolcott may meet the Dowager yet.”

Actor Elizabeth McGovern, who plays the part of Downton’s Cora, Countess of Grantham, also said she would be happy to see Diddy join the show’s cast.

“Cora looks forward to welcoming him as a potential future son-in-law with open arms and possibly more,” she said.

Source : Sky.com
German neo-Nazi trial starts in Munich protests + people take to the streets

German neo-Nazi trial starts in Munich protests + people take to the streets

A handout police picture taken from the website of the German Federal Police, showing a picture of Beate Zschaepe, asks for information to the public

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Munich in memory of 10 alleged murder victims of a neo-Nazi cell, the National Socialist Underground (NSU). A trial begins this week.

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Saturday’s demonstrations were called for by an alliance of leftist groups in memory of the NSU’s alleged victims.

The right-wing extremist group is accused of killing 10 people – eight with Turkish heritage, one from Greece and a German policewoman – between 2000 and 2007. The group was only uncovered in 2011. The sole surviving alleged core member, a 38-year-old woman, and four alleged accomplices are facing trial. The case is scheduled to begin next Wednesday.

Organizers of the protest march and rally through Munich said there were up to 10,000 attendees, while a police spokesman put the figure at around 5,500. Both said the gathering had been peaceful.

The march went for about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) past a number of former Nazi buildings and a memorial to Munich’s Oktoberfest bombing of 1980. On September 26, 1980, a bomb exploded at the festival gates leaving 211 injured and 13 dead, including the bomber himself. The perpetrator was 21-year-old geology student Gundolf Wilfried Koehler, a member of a right-wing extremist group called the Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann. The group had been banned shortly before the attack.

“We must have zero tolerance for neo-Nazis in this city,” said a survivor of Auschwitz, Esther Bejarano, in a message to the demonstration.

Foreign journalists granted access

On Friday, the German Constitutional Court ruled that Turkish journalists must be granted accreditation for the upcoming trial.

The court ordered the upper regional court (OLG) in Munich to reserve “a suitable number of seats for representatives of foreign media with particular consideration to the victims of the alleged crimes.”

Up until then, the OLG had resisted pressure to allow Turkish or Greek media into the court. There were 50 available places for reporters, and these were allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. No Turkish or Greek media outlets were among the first 50 to apply.

Several politicians, most recently Turkish President Abdullah Gül, had called for this situation to change – given a majority of the victims were of Turkish origin – along with Turkish and German news organizations, journalists’ unions like the DJV and other groups.

The federal government had voiced its “hopes” for a “sensitive” solution to the situation, albeit simultaneously stressing that the decision must lie with the independent German judiciary.

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By Damien McElroy and agencies

Police erected security barriers in anticipation of possible protests by far-right extremist groups, while hundreds of reporters queued outside the Munich courthouse in the hope of gaining one of the few available seats in the packed courtroom for the start of a trial scheduled to last for more than a year.

The chance discovery of the gang, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), which had gone undetected for more than a decade, has forced Germany to acknowledge it has a more militant and dangerous neo-Nazi fringe than previously thought.

The main defendant is Beate Zschaepe, 38, accused by prosecutor of complicity in the murder of eight Turks, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. If convicted she faces life imprisonment.

Zschaepe is also accused of involvement in at least two bombings and 15 bank robberies carried out by her accomplices Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt, who died in an apparent murder-suicide in November 2011. In a break with standard practice the court allowed Zschaepe’s face to be filmed as she entered the court in a dark suit, her arms folded, before turning her back to the cameras.

Four male defendants are accused of assisting the self-styled National Socialist Underground in various ways:

– Ralf Wohlleben, 38, and Carsten Schultze, 33, are accused of being accessories to murder in the killing of the nine men. Prosecutors allege that they supplied the trio with the weapons and silencers used in the killings.

– Andre Eminger, 33, is accused of being an accessory in two of the bank robberies and in the 2004 nail bombing in Cologne’s old town that injured 22 people, four of them seriously. He is also accused of two counts of supporting a terrorist organization.

– Holger Gerlach, 39, is accused of three counts of supporting a terrorist organization.

Like Zschaepe, the co-defendants were known to German authorities before the existence of the self-styled National Socialist Underground came to light. Many in Germany have asked how the country’s well-funded security services, with their network of informants in the far-right scene, could have overlooked the group’s existence for so long. For years, police suspected the immigrant victims of being involved with foreign gangs linked to gambling and drugs.

Families of those killed and survivors of the bomb attacks in particular have said they are hoping not just for justice, but answers to questions such as how the group chose its victims, none of whom were high-profile targets.

One of Zschaepe’s three lawyers has claimed that his client faces “execution by media.”

Wolfgang Stahl told public broadcaster SWR last week that Zschaepe was being portrayed as “evil incarnate, a murderer, a member of a murder gang, a Nazi bride or a Nazi killer” in a way that could prejudice the trial judges.

Her lawyers have said she will remain silent during the lengthy trial. Under German law Zschaepe won’t have to make a plea until the end, though her lawyers have said they will contest the prosecution charges.

‘Ethnic majority’ areas growing, says report

‘Ethnic majority’ areas growing, says report

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David Barrett

By , Home Affairs Correspondent

The number of areas where black and Asian people make up the bulk of the population has grown significantly in the last decade, according to new research.

Demos, the Left-wing think-tank, said its analysis of Census data for England and Wales showed ethnic minorities are concentrating in particular areas and white people are moving out.

The findings echo a phenomenon first seen in the mid-20th century United States – where it was dubbed “white flight” – which saw racially-mixed urban areas become predominantly black as affluent whites moved to the suburbs.

The research is significant because Demos, which was once closely linked with the previous Labour government which increased immigration to record levels, suggested ethnic minorities are becoming more isolated in British life rather than becoming more integrated in a “multi-cultural” Britain.

It found 4.6 million ethnic minority Britons – about 45 per cent of the country’s black and Asian population – are now living in areas where whites are in a minority.

Ten years ago just one million black and Asian people, or 25 per cent of the country’s then total ethnic minority population, lived in such communities, said Demos.

In the 2001 Census, 282 of the 8,850 council wards in England and Wales were classed as “high non-white” or “highest non-white” by Demos, but in the 2011 Census that figure had risen to 414.

David Goodhart, director of Demos said: “This has uncovered a really quite shocking level of concentration of the ethnic minority population, which means there is less opportunity for interaction with the white mainstream.”

Demos’s research said in minority-dominated areas new waves of immigrants such as Somalis take up housing vacated by established minorities, such as Afro-Caribbeans.

“This means a dissipation of ethnic concentrations, but also an increase in the number of people who have limited contact with white British people,” it said.

The paper attributed the changes to white British people choosing not to move to minority-dominated areas.

Trevor Phillips, a former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and its successor, described it as “majority retreat”.

Mr Phillips, who is now a Demos associate, said: “This very interesting piece of research reveals a number of vital findings about how people in England and Wales are living together.

“What ought to make us a little anxious is the ‘majority retreat’ it has unearthed – white people leaving minority-led areas and not returning – which isn’t good news for the cause of integration.”

The research by Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck College, London, also showed some ethnic minorities are spreading out more into white-dominated parts of the country.

Black and Asian people are becoming less rare in provincial England because there are now fewer than 800 council wards that are more than 98 per cent white compared with more than 5,000 in 2001.

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch said the findings were a sign that Britain is becoming more segregated.

He said: “This is extremely serious. It is undeniable evidence that we have indeed been sleepwalking into segregation as Trevor Phillips warned seven years ago and it is the clear result of Labour’s mass immigration policy.

“Public dismay at the pace of change in our communities largely explains why so many voted as they did in last week’s local elections.

“The case for a sharp reduction in immigration is now overwhelming; we cannot possibly integrate new arrivals on anything like the present scale.”

New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

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New 2013 Porsche 911 Turbo unveiled

Leo Wilkinson

By  @ The Daily Telegraph

The new Porsche 911 Turbo has been revealed; it gets a twin-turbocharged engine, four-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering, and costs from £118,349.

Technical highlights of the new 911 Turbo include a new 3.8-litre flat-six petrol engine with two turbochargers that’s more powerful, yet more fuel-efficient, than its predecessor’s. In standard form it develops 514bhp, while the Turbo S version gets 552bhp.

Drive is via a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission, and there’s a newly-developed four-wheel-drive system that features an electronically controlled and activated multi-plate clutch.

A start/stop system is standard. EU Combined fuel consumption for both models is 29.1mpg, an improvement of up to 16 per cent. Porsche quotes a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds for the 911 Turbo with optional Sport Chrono Package Plus, and 3.1 seconds for the Turbo S. Top speed is 197mph.

At speeds up to 31mph the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to improve responsiveness and aid parking. Above 50mph the rear wheels turn parallel to the front wheels to improve high-speed stability.

As with its predecessors, the new 911 Turbo has wider rear bodywork than lesser 911 models – in this case its overall width is 28mm wider than that of the Carrera 4. Other distinguishing features are two-tone 20in alloy wheels and bespoke bumpers.

An “active aerodynamic system” makes its debut on the 911 Turbo. It consists of retractable three-stage spoilers at the front and rear of the car, allowing the aerodynamics to be biased towards either efficiency or downforce.

The new Porsche 911 Turbo is available to order now. It costs £118,349 for the standard model and £140,852 for the Turbo S. First customer deliveries will be in September.

Kris Kross Rapper Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly Dies

Kris Kross Rapper Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly Dies

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Chris Kelly, known as one half of the 1990s US rap duo Kris Kross, has died at the age of 34 in what police say may have been a drug overdose.

Police were called to Kelly’s home in south Atlanta at around 4:30pm (local time) on Wednesday.

He was taken to the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Centre and pronounced dead around 5pm.

Corporal Kay Lester of the Fulton County police said “it appears it may have been a possible drug overdose”.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out to establish an official cause of death.

Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy,” and Chris Smith, known as “Daddy Mac”, were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri.

Chris Kelly, Kriss Kross
Police say Kelly may have died from a drug overdose

He had discovered the pair in an Atlanta shopping centre.

Their most famous song was the frenetic Jump, taken from their multi-platinum debut album Totally Krossed Out.

And they were also known for their fashion style, wearing their clothes backwards.

Jump reached number one in the US and Australia and two in the UK.

Their musical achievements led to instant fame. They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.

The duo was never able to match the success of their first song, though they had other hits like Warm It Up and Tonite’s Tha Night.

Earlier this year, the pair performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri’s label, So So Def.

Beyonce’s demands for London’s 02 event

Beyonce’s demands for London’s 02 event

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A list of demands from Beyonce‘s London O2 Arena residency have reportedly been revealed.

The singer is allegedly demanding £600 drinking straws and hand-carved ice balls on her rider and she is insisting that her crew wear only 100 per cent pure cotton clothes, to save her from allergic reactions, according to The Daily Star. It also claims she demands her dressing room has freshly painted white walls and a new toilet seat, and will only use red toilet paper.

Junk food is banned and snacks must include glass platters of almonds and oatcakes – and there’s a strict green-only policy when it comes to salad bar nibbles. Other reported demands include special alkaline water that is served at exactly 21 degrees. “She’s extremely regimented and is taking everything extremely seriously, so she expects her list of demands to be adhered to. Working so hard and with the toll the travel takes on her body in addition to the intense shows, she feels that her requests aren’t too much to ask for as she wants to ensure everything goes to plan,” a source said.

During her six-night residency, Beyonce has snubbed brand new dressing rooms at the venue in favour of much larger quarters normally reserved for sports teams. “The new dressing rooms are superb – it’s like you’ve stepped into a luxury apartment. But she surprised everyone by turning them down, going for the larger ones that are used by sports teams when they play at the O2,” an insider told the Evening Standard, before adding: “They are much bigger though, and she was given free rein to refurbish them to her own taste. They’re also in a quieter part of the backstage area, which gives her a better atmosphere to get focused for her shows.”

Beyonce last night (April 30) played the second night of her O2 residency, performing for another packed house and – as happened previously – covering part of The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’. Her song ‘If I Were A Boy’ replicated the Verve hit’s string sample, and the lyrics were changed to include the ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ line “I’m a million different people from one day to the next“.

Source: NME

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in EVERY OTHER major UK city

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in EVERY OTHER major UK city

London Living 

  • The report from the Land Registry highlights the gulf between London and the rest of the UK
  • In the capital, the average house price has increased by 9.6 per cent
  • Of properties sold over £1m in England and Wales, two-thirds are in London
  • In regional cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool prices have fallen

By BECKY BARROW @ The Daily Mail UK

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but flat or falling in every other major city in the UK, a report from the Land Registry revealed today. I wrote a bit more on why at http://the-silencer.com/ if you’re interested.

The report highlights the gulf between the capital’s property market, where prices have reached an all-time high, and the rest of the UK, where they are falling by up to 16.5 per cent a year.

In London, the average home now costs £374,568, having soared by 9.6 per cent over the last year, according to the Land Registry.

House prices in London are rising by £90 a day - where prices have reached an all-time high - but are flat or falling in every other major city in the UKAll-time high: House prices in London are rising by £90 a day but are flat or falling in every other major city in the UK

This is equal to around £90 every single day, including weekends.

In the most exclusive corner of London – the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – the average property costs £1.1million, up by an eye-watering £120,000 over the last year.

 

Of all the properties sold for more than £1million in England and Wales, around two-thirds are in London.

Around 13 homes every day change hands for more than £1million in the capital, according to the Land Registry, which excludes Scotland.

The Royal Borough of Kensington (pictured) and Chelsea have the average property costs £1.1million, up £120,000 over the last yearCostly corner: The Royal Borough of Kensington (pictured) and Chelsea have an average property price of £1.1million, up £120,000 over the last year

But the rest of the country tells a very different story, fuelling an unprecedented property apartheid between the capital and the rest of the country.

The Land Registry figures show prices have dropped over the last year in the vast majority of urban areas.

Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Wakefield, Wigan and Wolverhampton are all on the casualty list.

For example, house prices in Liverpool have fallen four per cent since last March.

The average home used to be worth £93,514 but it has dropped to just £89,974, a fall of £3,720 or £10 a day.

Overall, the Land Registry said the average house price in England and Wales is £161,793, up 0.1 per cent in March and up 0.9 per cent over the last year.

Outside London, prices are rising in some of the more expensive areas such as Surrey and Windsor and Maidenhead, but falling 16.5 per cent in Middlesbrough.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of the estate agency Marsh & Parsons, said: ‘House price growth in London continues to surge ahead of the rest of the country with the capital continuing to operate in another realm.’

Giles Hannah, managing director of the upmarket estate agency VanHan, said: ‘There is no getting away from the fact that national average indices conceal significant regional differences.

‘London is undoubtedly the big success story and is doing a good job of pulling up the national average.

Casualty list: House prices in Liverpool (pictured) have fallen by four per cent since last March, a fall of £10 a dayCasualty list: House prices in Liverpool (pictured) have fallen by four per cent since last March, a fall of £10 a day while in Manchester housing prices fell by £9.05 a day

‘Its residential sales market remains robust with prices continuing to rise. International buyers, particularly from Asia, are fuelling demand for best in-class properties and are snapping up properties at 10 to 14 per cent discounts as a result of the weakness of sterling compared with their own currencies.’

The majority of people who bought ‘super-prime’ homes in the countryside last year were foreigners, the first time that British buyers have become a minority.

The research, by Knight Frank, looked at the nationality of people who bought country homes for £5million or more last year from the upmarket estate agency In 2010 and 2011, foreigners accounted for around 40 per cent of buyers.

Last year, it tipped over the 50 per cent mark for the first time to reach 55 per cent.

Around one in four buyers came from Russia and its former republics, such as Armenia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

HOW THE GULF WIDENS BETWEEN THE CAPITAL’S PROPERTY MARKET AND THE REST OF THE UK

 

March 2012 March 2013 Daily equivalent
London £341,759 £374,568 +£89.89
Birmingham £112,832 £111,035 -£4.90
Leeds £126,205 £123,658 -£6.97
Liverpool £93,514 £89,974 -£10.19
Manchester £95,341 £92,036 -£9.05
Sheffield £114,531 £114,121 -£1.12

Source: Land Registry

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