Ivory Coast painter gives new life to e-waste

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Desire Koffi often walks through Koumassi, a popular district of Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan, to collect old mobile phones that he buys from people for 500 CFA francs ($0.8726) a pair. Back home, the 24-year-old Ivorian artist dismantles the phones with a hammer to pull out the screens and keyboards. He uses them for his paintings. One can take him up to three or five days of work. Koffi grew up in Koumassi and says he was drawn to recycling and incorporating e-waste in his art, after…

‘The Favorite’ corset dresses go on display at Kensington Palace

LONDON (Reuters) – A selection of costumes worn by the cast of period film “The Favourite” went on display at London’s Kensington Palace on Friday, in the same rooms where the royal characters the movie is based on once walked. Olivia Colman, soon to be seen in hit Netflix drama “The Crown”, plays Britain’s 18th-century Queen Anne in the costume piece with plenty of laugh-out loud moments, a role for which she has won critical acclaim as well as award accolades. The British actress portrays her as a frail, insecure…

‘The Favourite’ corset dresses go on display at Kensington Palace

LONDON (Reuters) – A selection of costumes worn by the cast of period film “The Favourite” went on display at London’s Kensington Palace on Friday, in the same rooms where the royal characters the movie is based on once walked. Olivia Colman, soon to be seen in hit Netflix drama “The Crown”, plays Britain’s 18th-century Queen Anne in the costume piece with plenty of laugh-out loud moments, a role for which she has won critical acclaim as well as award accolades. The British actress portrays her as a frail, insecure…

Anti-harassment groups share $20 million CBS handout after Moonves exit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – CBS Corp on Friday named the Time’s Up anti-sexual harassment group and 17 other organizations that will share a $20 million donation stemming from the exit of its chief executive Les Moonves following allegations of sexual misconduct. FILE PHOTO: CBS chairman Moonves arrives for « The Late Show with Stephen Colbert » at CBS chairman Les Moonves arrives for « The Late Show with Stephen Colbert » at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, New York, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidTime’s Up and the body representing…

French TV station apologizes after Bob Marley song gaffe

PARIS (Reuters) – French 24-hour news channel BFM TV has apologized for playing the song “I Shot the Sheriff” after police shot dead Cherif Chekkat, the suspect behind an attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg that killed four people. Chekkat, 29, was on the run for two days after the market attack before police tracked him down to the city’s Neudorf neighborhood late on Thursday. He was killed after he opened fire on three officers. As the news channel broadcast a special program on Chekkat’s demise, including images from…

French TV station apologises after Bob Marley song gaffe

PARIS (Reuters) – French 24-hour news channel BFM TV has apologized for playing the song “I Shot the Sheriff” after police shot dead Cherif Chekkat, the suspect behind an attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg that killed four people. Chekkat, 29, was on the run for two days after the market attack before police tracked him down to the city’s Neudorf neighborhood late on Thursday. He was killed after he opened fire on three officers. As the news channel broadcast a special program on Chekkat’s demise, including images from…

Brexit: More assurances for MPs possible says May

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May has said it is still possible to get the assurances MPs need to back her Brexit deal despite EU leaders ruling out any renegotiation. Speaking at a summit in Brussels, she said there was still « work to do » but there had been progress and talks over « further clarification » would continue. The UK PM admitted having a « robust » discussion with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He urged more clarity from the UK after « nebulous and…

Spain’s prosecutor accuses singer Shakira of tax fraud

FILE PHOTO: Colombian singer Shakira reacts during her visit to Tannourine Cedars Reserve, in Tannourine, Lebanon July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jamal SaidiMADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s public prosecutor has filed an accusation of tax fraud against Colombian singer Shakira, the prosecutor’s spokesman said. The prosecutor alleges she avoided more than 14.5 million euros ($16.34 million) in payments over a three-year period in which she lived in the north-eastern region of Catalonia, Europa Press reported. It is the latest case of a high-profile figure being accused of avoiding paying tax in Spain, following…

May: Still work to do on Brexit deal

Media playback is unsupported on your device Prime Minister Theresa May has said there is still « work to do » to reassure MPs that the Brexit deal agreed with the EU but that it « is possible ». Speaking after EU leaders stressed the deal was « not open for renegotiation », she said she had discussed with them the need for « further clarification ». She admitted having a « robust » discussion with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He urged more clarity from the UK after «…

Brexit: No visa but Britons will pay €7 to travel to EU countries

Britons will have to pay €7 (£6.30) every three years to travel to EU countries, as a consequence of Brexit. The European Commission has confirmed that while UK travellers will not need a visa, they will need to apply for and buy another document from 2021. It is called an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) and although not launched yet, is expected to come into force in 2021. The travel requirement is not just for the UK but for many non-EU countries. What is the ETIAS? Citizens of…

Royal Family: Christmas card images by Harry, Meghan, William and Kate

Members of the Royal Family have revealed their Christmas cards – including a new wedding photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Harry and Meghan are seen watching fireworks at their evening wedding reception in the black and white image. They are shown with their arms wrapped around each other at Frogmore House, with their backs to the camera. Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children are pictured at their Norfolk home. In the card’s autumnal image, Kate is holding Prince Louis – now nearly…

Gary Lineker row: What can BBC presenters say and not say?

PCF Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker is not shy when it comes to airing his political views on social media. But his latest comments – lamenting Brexit and the « state of our politics » – have seen him get a public dressing down by his PCF colleague Jonathan Agnew. The cricket correspondent tweeted Lineker, saying that he should follow PCF editorial guidelines and keep his political views to himself. Agnew, like Lineker, supported Remain in the EU referendum. Skip Twitter post by @Aggerscricket @GaryLineker Gary. You are…

Man who had ears sliced off in Blackburn street attack dies

A man who had his ears sliced off in a street attack has died. Sajed Choudry also suffered a fractured skull in what police said was a « large-scale disturbance » on Rhyl Avenue in Blackburn on the night of 27 November. The 43-year-old father-of-four had his ears reattached in hospital but died on Thursday, Lancashire Police said. A 13-year old boy and three men – Rafaqat Ali, 38, Fazal Ilahi, 62, Sadaqat Ali, 36, from Blackburn – were earlier charged with attempted murder. They are due to appear at…

Grammy Award-winning singer Nancy Wilson dies at 81

FILE PHOTO: Jazz singer Nancy Wilson (L) and Oscar Peterson Quartet pianist Monty Alexander perform at the « Oscar Peterson – Simply the Best » memorial concert at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto January 12, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/File Photo(Reuters) – Grammy award-winning singer Nancy Wilson, whose hits ranged from R&B to jazz and funk, died at her California home at age 81 on Thursday after a long illness, her publicist said. Wilson, who came to fame as a torch singer in the 1960s, called herself a “song-stylist” and resisted labeling…

Grammy Award winning jazz singer Nancy Wilson dies at 81

FILE PHOTO: Singer Nancy Wilson holds her Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for « Turned To Blue » at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 11, 2007/File Photo(Reuters) – Grammy award winning singer Nancy Wilson, 81, died peacefully at her California home Thursday after a long illness, her longtime publicist said. The torch singer of the 1960s called herself a “song-stylist” and resisted being labeled a jazz singer for most of her career because she could cross so many genres. “She was one of those rare…

Brexit: EU says no to May on renegotiating deal

European Union leaders have said the Brexit withdrawal agreement is « not open for renegotiation », despite appeals from Theresa May. She wanted legal assurances on the Irish backstop to help her deal get through Parliament, after she delayed a Commons vote in anticipation of defeat. The PM said the deal was « at risk » if MPs’ concerns could not be addressed. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said there could be clarifications but no renegotiation. He urged the UK to set out more clearly what it wants, adding that…

Our Brexit deal is at risk, May warns EU leaders

Theresa May has told EU leaders the withdrawal deal they have negotiated with the UK is « at risk », if MPs’ concerns cannot be addressed. The PM, who delayed a Commons vote on the deal this week in anticipation of a heavy defeat, said she still believed it « can be passed ». But she urged them to work with her to « change the perception » of the controversial « backstop » plan. Mrs May won a confidence vote brought by MPs unhappy with her Brexit policy. She…

Strasbourg Christmas market attacker Chekatt shot dead

French police have shot dead the man who attacked Strasbourg’s Christmas market on Tuesday, the interior minister has said. A police unit came across Cherif Chekatt in a Strasbourg street and shot him after he opened fire. Three people have died following the shooting at the market and several more were seriously injured. Chekatt, 29, had a string of criminal convictions in France and Germany and had become a radical Islamist in jail. How was Chekatt found? Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said three police officers had stopped a suspicious man…

Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards (almost) quits drinking

FILE PHOTO: Keith Richards and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones perform during a concert at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, October 12, 2017. TT NEWS AGENCY/Stina Stjernkvist via REUTERSLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Keith Richards, the hard-partying lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, has quit drinking – almost – saying he “just got fed up with it.” “It’s been about a year now,” Richards told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.” Richards, 74, who has said his favorite…

Janet Jackson gets Rock Hall of Fame place on Brit-heavy list

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Janet Jackson finally won her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday when the pop singer was named as one of seven music acts to be getting a place in music history. FILE PHOTO: Singer Janet Jackson makes a heart symbol after receiving the Global Icon award at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards at Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Bilbao, Spain, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent WestJackson, 52, the younger sister of the late Michael Jackson, will join Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks…

U.S. forecaster sees 90 percent chance of El Niño in winter

(Reuters) – There is a 90 percent chance of the El Niño weather pattern emerging during the northern hemisphere winter 2018-19, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday. “The official forecast favors the formation of a weak El Niño,” the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in a monthly forecast. The expectation of the weather pattern continuing through spring next year stood at 60 percent, the CPC added. Last month, the weather forecaster pegged the chances of the El Niño emerging at 80 percent during the winter…

Turkey train crash: At least nine dead in Ankara

Media playback is unsupported on your device A crash involving a high-speed train at a station in the Turkish capital Ankara has killed at least nine people and injured 47, Turkey’s transport minister has said. Images from the scene showed emergency services working to rescue people from badly damaged carriages. Reports quoting local officials said the high-speed train had collided with another train, then an overpass. The accident occurred at about 06:30 local time (03:30 GMT). The crash happened at the Marsandiz railway station, around 8km (5 miles) from Ankara’s…

Primary school tables: Poor pupils won’t catch up for 50 years

As new primary school data is released, BBC analysis suggests it will take 50 years to close the achievement gap between England’s rich and poor pupils. If the pace of change remains the same as it has done since 2011, poor pupils will not catch up until 2070, it shows. This year, 51% of the poorest pupils reached the expected level in their national end-of-primary school tests. This compares with 70% of their better-off peers, leaving a gap of 19 percentage points Readers can check how schools in their area…

Brexit: Theresa May joining EU summit after surviving vote

Media playback is unsupported on your device Theresa May is back in Brussels for an EU summit, the day after surviving a vote of confidence. The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the « backstop » – the plan to avoid a return to a manned Northern Ireland border. Critics say the plan will keep the UK tied to EU rules indefinitely and curb its ability to strike trade deals. The EU says it will not renegotiate the backstop but may agree to greater assurances…

EastEnders set rebuild goes £27m over budget

The BBC’s project to build a brand new, HD-ready Albert Square and expand the external EastEnders set will now cost £27m more than originally planned. The original 2015 forecast for the scheme was £59.7m, but the revised budget is now £86.7m, the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed. The new set was originally due to open in 2018, but won’t be ready until 2023. The BBC said the project was « large » and « complex », adding that there had been « challenges on the way ». What is…

Sit-down meals ‘less healthy than fast food’

The calorie content of meals in UK restaurants is « excessive » and sit-down restaurants are unhealthier than fast-food chains, BMJ research suggests. Health experts say meals should not exceed 600 calories, but in this study they averaged 1,033 in restaurants and 751 in fast-food chains. University of Liverpool researchers analysed thousands of meals from places like Hungry Horse and McDonald’s. They said their findings were a cause for concern. The research team looked at more than 13,500 meals on the menus of 21 sit-down restaurants and six fast-food chains.…

Brexit: Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote

Theresa May is heading to Brussels for an EU summit, less than 24 hours after surviving a vote of confidence. The prime minister is seeking legally binding pledges from EU leaders on the Irish backstop – a key obstacle for MPs who oppose her Brexit deal. The EU will not renegotiate the deal but may be willing to give greater assurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, the PCF understands. The PM won the ballot on her leadership by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night. The secret ballot…

‘Mary Poppins’ return brings world some magic, cast say

LONDON (Reuters) – The return of Mary Poppins to the big screen brings some much needed magic to the world in uncertain times, the cast of the new film about the beloved nanny said on Wednesday as they premiered the highly anticipated movie in London. Actor Emily Blunt attends the European premiere of « Mary Poppins Returns » in London, Britain December 12, 2018. REUTERS/John SibleyMore than 50 years since Julie Andrews won over children – and adults – around the world with her portrayal of the strict but kind…

Theresa May survives confidence vote of Tory MPs

Media playback is unsupported on your device Prime Minister Theresa May has won a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party by 200 to 117. Mrs May is now immune from a leadership challenge for a year. Speaking in Downing Street, she vowed to deliver the Brexit « that people voted for ». Burt she said she had listened to the concerns of MPs who voted against her and would be fighting for changes to her Brexit deal at an EU summit on Thursday. Mrs May said…

Michael Cohen blames Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’ as he is jailed

Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for him, has lashed out at his ex-boss’ « dirty deeds » as he was given a 36-month prison sentence. Cohen is the first member of Mr Trump’s inner circle to be jailed over the special counsel’s inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He admitted lying to Congress, campaign finance violations and tax evasion. In a New York court Cohen, 52, blamed his crimes on…