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Showing posts from April 27, 2013

'I'm willing to die for Islam': Boston Marathon bomber's chilling texts

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A disturbing flurry of text messages has revealed that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was willing to lay down his life for his Muslim faith. It's the latest in a series of new revelations about the elder Tsarnaev brother, who was killed in a shootout with police in the early morning hours of Friday. Little is known about Tamerlan in the months before the attacks, but his brother has confessed that they were self-radicalized and angry over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fox News reported that in 2011, he sent text messages to his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, indicating that he was willing to die for Islam. Around the same time he sent those texts, suspicions were brewing about the 26-year-old former boxer. On Wednesday, U.S. officials described to the AP what the government knew about Tsarnaev since he was first placed on the intelligence community's radar 18 months ago. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discu

From maverick genius to exactly the kind of old bore he used to despise:

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Anyone who switched their telly to BBC1 at 10.35pm on Tuesday night could be forgiven for some momentary confusion and a queasy feeling of deja vu. As the opening scene unfolded in Ben Elton’s new sitcom The Wright Way, it suddenly felt like a Sunday evening, just after Songs Of Praise. In 1984. Council health and safety official Gerald Wright, played by David Haig, was in his kitchen, moaning: ‘Victoria won’t get out of the bathroom. She’s female, she’s in a bathroom, she’s never going to be finished... I thought at least when my wife left me, I’d be able to get into the bathroom occasionally.’ Lazy gender stereotypes, middle-aged self-pity and mild misogyny — this couldn’t be a new series, surely? It had to be some unseen pilot from the vaults . . . an early version of The Brittas Empire, or George And Mildred. Or maybe this was post-modern irony and the camera was going to pull back and reveal the set, showing us that these characters were actors in a sitcom-within-a-sitcom. But i

Pimp my chimp: Bizarre fashion craze sweeps U.S. with owners dressing monkeys

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A new fashion craze is sweeping the country as monkey owners dress their pets as pirates, cowboys and disco dancers. The adorable garments are all handmade by internationally-renowned designer Julie Staup, who has sold thousands of outfits around the world. Her online business Sew Simply Monkey is the one-stop shop for unique designs and requests for costumes have gotten more and more outrageous. Laughing: Mattie especially loves dressing up in her pirate costume and posing in front of the camera Biker: Mattie's owner Pam Welch has purchased an array of costumes for her Long-term customer and friend Pam Welch has been one of her biggest advocates since day one - purchasing an array of cute costumes for her monkeys Mattie and Tito. More... I knew I shouldn't have had that last piece of sweetcorn: Prairie dog pup needs a nap after eating too much Mum, can I have a hamster... and some tarantulas, scorpions and snakes? Student, 16, shares family home with 300 pets (and w

Striking gold! Photographer captures spectacular moment lightning bolt clashes

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This is the spectacular moment a photographer struck gold by capturing a bolt of lightning cracking through a rainbow during a freak weather display. The extraordinary one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by keen photographer Nolan Nitschke, 27, while on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S. Mr Nitschke knew a storm was approaching the area and that the incredible rocky peaks throughout the park act as lightning rods. However, he had no idea he would capture such a breathtaking moment. Magical: This is the dramatic moment a photographer captured a bolt of lightning cracking through a rainbow in a freak weather display Extraordinary: The one-of-a-kind sighting was captured by keen photographer Nolan Nitschke, 27, while on a trip to Yosemite National Park in California, U.S Beautiful: To get his impressive picture, Nolan knew a storm was approaching the area and that the rocky peaks act as lightning rods. This is another of his impressive images of the national

Buy-to-let landlords will be main beneficiaries of £80bn Bank of England

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The Bank of England will expand an £80billion scheme to increase the flow of cheap loans to households and businesses - and buy-to-let landlords are set to benefit. Funding for Lending was launched in August to offer cheaper credit to cash-strapped small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) struggling to get funding in the wake of the financial crash. Under Funding for Lending, every pound of additional net lending to SMEs for the rest of this year will entitle banks to £10 of super-cheap Bank of England loans. Pay it forward: The Bank of England will allow business that borrow money under the Funding for Lending Scheme to pass it on to property investors. The scheme has been criticised as a desperate attempt to prop up the economy by Chancellor George Osbourne Now these SMEs will be allowed to lend the money on to property investors. Rob Wood, chief UK economist at Berenberg Bank, told the Financial Times that although the BoE's extension of the scheme was intended to boos

D-Day veterans' anger at Normandy landings tourist campaign

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D-Day veterans have protested after a new French Second World War tourism campaign ignored one of the Normandy beaches where British troops went ashore. Six tourist boards along the Normandy coast launched the new D-Day initiative to promote what it calls the 'Secteur mythique' - or mythical sector where action took place. It stretches from Utah and Omaha in the west to Gold and Juno beaches where Allied troops from the U.S., UK and Canada went ashore. Mark of respect: WWII veteran Bill Stoneman (centre), from Newquay in Cornwall, plants a Union Jack flag in the sand on Sword Beach in Hermanville, Normandy, in 2004 Never forget: Normandy Veteran Eric Buckley, then 85, from Leicester places a wooden remembrance plaque on what was the British Sword beach at Colleville Montgomery on June 5, 2009 near Caen, France But the campaign stops short of Sword Beach in the east, where 700 British soldiers were killed or wounded on June 6, 1944. Sword Beach was the code name given by S

Inside Bin Laden’s Florida mansion: Terror chief's brother owned 13-acre

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Just a stone's throw from Disney's Magic Kingdom, with five bedrooms, 13 acres of land and its own swimming pool, this 1920s waterside stucco mansion would be the ideal holiday home for anyone with a family. But the property has gained a degree of notoriety among its Florida neighbours - it once belonged to the family with the world's most infamous surname - the Bin Ladens. Khalil Bin Laden, brother of Al Qaeda mastermind Osama and one of 50 plus siblings of the terror chief, bought the palatial mansion for his wife back in 1980. And it is even thought that Osama himself may have stayed at the property while visiting his brother. Needs some work: The Florida mansion once owned by Khalil Bin Laden, brother of terror chief Osama Bin Laden, pictured looking dilapidated and with overgrown grass Run down: Khalil Bin Laden's home is pictured in the years following 9/11 when the family fled the US through fears of reprisals Impressive: The spacious dining room of th