• Westlife to split after 14 years

    Out 20 2011, 8h52

    Westlife are to split "amicably" after 14 years, the band have announced.

    The Irish pop group will finish with a farewell tour next year and said they were looking forward to "new ventures".

    Westlife - for many years managed by X Factor judge Louis Walsh - have had 14 UK number one hits over the course of their career.

    The group said in a statement: "Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family."

    The band, whose number one singles have included Swear It Again and Flying Without Wings, has sold more than 44 million records around the world.

    They survived the departure of founding member Bryan McFadden in 2004 to continue as a four-piece.

    'Amazing journey'
    Remaining members Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Nicky Byrne are due to release a greatest hits album on 21 November.

    In a statement on their website, the band thanked their fans "who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too".

    They said: "The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures."

    In 2001, the band were chosen to record the Comic Relief single, a cover of Billy Joel's Uptown Girl.

    Source: BBC
  • Man Utd's Edwin van der Sar to retire at end of season

    Jan 27 2011, 15h40

    Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar will retire from football at the end of this season.
    The 40-year-old former Netherlands international moved to Old Trafford from Fulham in 2005.
    Van der Sar has made 245 appearances for the Red Devils and helped them to win three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.
    "It is now time to pay attention to my family," he told the website of his management agency.
    Van der Sar admitted he had been contemplating quitting the game since his wife, Annemarie, collapsed with a brain haemorrhage in December 2009.

    I cannot really identify a time when it [the decision] happened," said the former Ajax and Juventus player. "Let's just say that it was playing on my mind from the moment Annemarie had her stroke.
    "She has fought back from it. We decided on another year in England and thus to stay at Manchester United.
    "But, once engaged in the season, the thought of saying goodbye started to gnaw a bit more emphatically."
    Van der Sar admitted it had been a difficult decision to make, but ultimately the correct one.
    "One minute you're out. The next, you question it again," he added on www.sport-promotion.nl. "I thought about stopping, maybe a year ago.

    It is a difficult process. After a defeat, I thought differently than after playing a few good games in a row.
    "My age played no role. I am 40 years old but I still feel fit.
    "And then the decision came suddenly. Do not ask me how or why, but suddenly you know. That was sufficient.
    "The time has come to devote greater attention to my family - although they have never complained. Everyone in the family has indeed always had to focus on me, but we have also had a lot in return."
    United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele commented that Van der Sar will go down alongside Peter Schmeichel as one of the club's greats following his decisive penalty save from Nicolas Anelka in the Champions League shootout against Chelsea in 2008.
    "He has been a fantastic servant," Steele told BBC Radio Manchester. "I was very lucky. I worked alongside Peter Schmeichel at Villa and I worked with Edwin for two and a half years.

    "That penalty save in Moscow has elevated Edwin alongside Peter."
    The 2008 Champions League crown is one of six major club trophies Van der Sar has won during his time with United.
    He also won a hat-trick of back-to-back Premier League titles with the club between 2007 and 2009, the 2006 League Cup and the 2008 Fifa Club World Cup.
    During the 2009/10 season, he set a new Premier League record by going 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal.
    He has twice been named Europe's best goalkeeper by Uefa, has made the Premier League team of the year on two occasions and was named in the team of the tournament for Euro 2008.
    He began his career with Ajax in his native Netherlands and enjoyed nearly a decade of success, winning four Eredivisie titles and three Dutch cups in addition to winning the Uefa Cup in 1992 and the Champions League in 1995.

    He then spent two years at Italian club Juventus before moving to Fulham in 2001, and then to United four years later.

    Van der Sar called time on his international career after Euro 2008 before returning briefly to help out Oranje coach Bert van Marwijk in two 2010 World Cup qualifiers a few months later, before retiring for good with a Dutch record 130 caps to his name.
    United's Polish keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who has been at the club since 2007, recently declared his desire to succeed Van der Sar as the club's number one.
    However, United have been linked to several keepers and the club signed Denmark international keeper Anders Lindegaard from Norwegian club Aalesund in November last year while Ben Amos, 20, went on loan to Oldham until the end of the season.
    Commenting on Amos, Steele said: "The manager thinks a lot of him. But he is still young and goalkeepers do develop later."
    "Anders Lindegaard has been brought in to have five months working under Van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak has done admirably every time he's come in for us," said Steele. "But we're naturally looking at potential suitors ready for the summer.
    "Come the end of the season, the whole thing will be re-assessed by the management," he added. "We either do it internally, and we have looked at the best targets, and we have a nice one, two and three."

    sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/9377719.stm
  • José Mourinho refuses to commit future to Real Madrid next season

    Jan 21 2011, 15h57

    José Mourinho has refused to commit his future to Real Madrid beyond the end of this season. With widespread reports of a rift with the club's director general, Jorge Valdano, driving speculation that Mourinho could cut short his stay at the Bernabéu, Mourinho said he would wait until the summer to make a decision.

    "The world is full of rumours, but they're not all true," he said after Real Madrid's 1-0 Copa del Rey win over Atlético Madrid. "Regarding my future, we'll see what happens at the end of the season. Contracts aren't the most important thing in football. If all the parties are happy at the end of a campaign, they remain together. If they aren't, they don't."

    Before the match at the Bernabéu, Valdano had again moved to end reports of a disagreement, something Mourinho would not do.

    "There are no problems between Mourinho and I," Valdano said. "He is our coach, the man who must lead us to triumph, and the team is proving to be very competitive under him. It's all about being better each season and we are better now than we were in the previous campaign. We expect to keep this up."

    Mourinho has been keen to bring in an extra striker as cover for the injured Gonzalo Higuaín, but so far the club hierarchy have resisted entering the January transfer market. One set of fans who would seem to be happy to see Mourinho go are the Atlético fans, who barracked the Portuguese coach throughout last night's games with chants that included "Mourinho die". But the coach insisted this did not bother him.

    "I have no problems with the crowd's chants against me," he said. "Atlético have a great fan base. They packed the stadium despite the 3-1 score of the first leg and the cold weather.

    "They hoped to see an intense match and they nevertheless stayed until the end after (Cristiano) Ronaldo's goal. They are a fantastic crowd that deserves all my respect."

    Sources: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/jan/21/jose-mourinho-future-real-madrid
  • ‘Arshavin is on the up and happy to stay’

    Jan 21 2011, 14h51

    By Chris Harris at London Colney

    Andrey Arshavin has suffered a blip in form but he’s getting back to his best and is happy to stay at Arsenal.

    That’s the view of Arsène Wenger, who spent much of his pre-match press conference fending off questions about the Russian playmaker’s future following a difficult spell for the 29-year-old.

    Arshavin started the season with five goals in nine games but he has scored just twice since September and was omitted for the recent Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Manchester City.

    However the Russian did start at Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday and Wenger saw enough at Elland Road to suggest that Arshavin is on the up.

    “Arshavin has played many games since the start of the season but I think physically he was quite sharp at Leeds, the sharpest I have seen him for a while,” said the manager.

    “He looks to me that he is coming back to a normal level. Maybe he lacks a bit of confidence because he plays less but overall I think his numbers since the start of the season are good.

    “He has gone through a difficult patch in the last month but now he looks to me that he is on the way up.”

    It was put to Wenger at London Colney on Friday that Arshavin might not be happy at Emirates Stadium but the Frenchman was having none of it.

    “I make everything to keep him happy because I like him as a man and as a player. He looks to be happy here,” said Wenger.

    “Why should I think about that [the prospect of him leaving]? He is a deep thinker, a very intelligent thinker.

    “He is very happy at this club and loves London as well, I don't know why you English people [in the media] don't want people to love England.”

  • The Beatles

    Jan 12 2011, 17h17

    The Beatles
    Drag to create a new widget
    The Beatles Released in Britain on 17th January, 1969 (and a few days earlier in the US), Yellow Submarine was the soundtrack to an animated feature film which had received its UK premiere some six months earlier. The original LP release contained the Beatles tracks on side one with a newly recorded orchestral score composed and arranged by George Martin occupying side two of the disc. Of the Beatles tracks, four were brand new songs. The album was never intended as a high profile Beatles release, indeed it was issued when The Beatles was still no. 1. Despite that the album still managed a no. 3 position in Britain and climbed one place higher in the US.
  • Old Trafford is no longer intimidating - Nasri

    Dez 13 2010, 9h29

    Arsenal's Samir Nasri claims Old Trafford has lost its fear factor ahead of his side's Premier League visit to Manchester United on Monday night.

    The Gunners are top of the table on goal difference from Manchester City, with United a further point behind.
    But Nasri believes the current United team lacks the same aura of past teams.
    "Manchester United is not the same team as before, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Tevez it was a little bit scary to play at Old Trafford," he said.
    "Now I don't think offensively they are the same as before, but still they are a good team and when they are 1-0 up it is very hard to beat them.
    "We will see, but we are really confident to get a result out of this game."

    Although both managers Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have attempted to defuse the tension ahead of Monday's showdown, Nasri's remarks come after United defender Patrice Evra claimed earlier this week that that Gunners were in crisis.
    "We could lose to them but then what? There is nothing [for them], there will be no trophy, nothing," said Evra.
    "Arsenal are a great club but it has been five years since they won anything and that for me is a crisis."
    Arsenal last won at Old Trafford in September 2006 but they have won five times away from home this season - including an impressive 3-0 victory at Manchester City.
    "The difference when we play away is that we defend much better. Our discipline and shape is more efficient when we play away," Nasri added.
    "I am quite confident because we can play our game and we know we can score at any moment away.
    "We have to reproduce this kind of game at home and to be more efficient at home as well."
    It is not the first time Evra has questioned Arsenal's credentials, saying after United's victory over them in the 2009 Champions League semi-finals that "it was 11 men against 11 babies, we never doubted ourselves".

    Since Wenger became Gunners boss in 1996, his side have won three Premier League titles, the last of which was in 2004, and four FA Cups. They also reached the Champions League final in 2006 and the final of the League Cup in 2007.
    But in the last six years Wenger's youthful side have won only the 2005 FA Cup, while United in the same period can lay claim to three Premier League crowns, three League Cups and one Champions League trophy.
    "Arsenal is a training centre," Evra told French television station Canal Plus. "I watch them play and enjoy it but will they win the title? That's what people remember.
    "When you play against Arsenal it is a lot of fun. They are a team that play football. They won't come to Old Trafford and put 11 men behind the ball.

    "The difference is we play football but also have power. Sometimes they don't kill matches off while we are more efficient.
    "Our real enemy is Chelsea. We are more concerned with Chelsea's results than Arsenal's, even if we know Arsenal are a great team who can beat Chelsea, us or anyone."
    Wenger stopped short of directly condemning his fellow Frenchman, saying he would leave others to judge whether Evra had transgressed.
    "Personally, I believe if you are a big player you always respect your opponent and that is what we try to do," said Wenger.
    "We do not want to go into any unneeded talking before a game like that.
    "We want to focus on the way we want to play and ignore any provocation."
    The comments come after a more convivial atmosphere to the build-up earlier in the week.
    Ferguson called for his team's supporters not to repeat the offensive chanting that has been aimed at his Arsenal counterpart on some of his previous appearances at Old Trafford.
    But Wenger remains philosophical about the possibility of more personal abuse.
    "You know what happened over the years. I believe in individual responsibility of what you do in life," he said.
    "I cannot master 70,000 or 80,000 people. I try to do my job, that is all."
    Club captain Cesc Fabregas's recovery from a hamstring injury will be assessed shortly before kick-off, but Wenger said he will not take "an unreasonable gamble" on the midfielder's fitness.
    United have been near-faultless on their own turf in the 2010-11 campaign, winning seven and drawing one of their eight home Premier League games.
    But a return of only one victory and six draws from seven away fixtures has left them a point adrift of Arsenal, albeit with a game in hand.
    United's trip to Blackpool last Saturday was cancelled because of a frozen pitch, so this will be their first league outing since the 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn on 27 November.
    Ferguson has confirmed that Evra, centre-back Rio Ferdinand and central midfielder Paul Scholes should be fit.
    Defensive duo Jonny Evans and Wes Brown had been struggling with a virus but they are also in contention.

    Source: BBC Sport (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/9275441.stm)
  • Rapper TI talks man down from building

    Out 14 2010, 17h26

    Police say TI joined an assembled crowd of people below the skyscraper before asking officers if he could help.

    The man agreed to come down in exchange for a few minutes with the rapper, police said.

    "I told him it ain't that bad. It'll get better, to put the time and effort into making it better," said TI, whose real name is Clifford Harris.

    Rapper TI's advice to the man
    He told the Associated Press news agency the man seemed "beat up by life".

    "I just reminded him, know that I know. It looks bad right now but it can turn around."

    TI said he drove to the building after hearing about the incident on the radio.

    The musician recorded a video of himself on a mobile phone which was shown to the man to prove that he was really there.

    The man, who has not been named, was later taken to hospital.

    TI is due in court on Friday for a parole hearing after he was arrested last month on suspicion of possessing ecstasy.

    He is on probation following his release from prison in December after serving several months for possessing illegal weapons.

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11540125
  • Woman guilty of smothering daughter with Piglet toy

    Ago 13 2010, 16h09

    A mother from Greater Manchester has been found guilty of murdering her three-year-old daughter by smothering her with a Piglet cuddly toy.

    Helen Caudwell, 42, had denied murdering Bethany at her home in Stockport on 3 October last year.

    But a jury at Manchester Crown Court found her guilty following an eight-day trial, during which they heard she had lived a double life.

    She told two men they were the father of the little girl.

    Caudwell is due to be sentenced shortly.

    sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-10969413
  • Couple who gave heroin substitute methadone to a toddler who died of suspected…

    Jul 15 2010, 13h55

    Gloucestershire methadone pair jailed after baby death
    Holly Agius Holly Agius died at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

    A couple who gave heroin substitute methadone to a toddler who died of suspected poisoning have been jailed for child cruelty.

    Holly Agius, aged 14 months, died after being taken to hospital from her home in Broadwell, Gloucestershire.

    Bristol Crown Court heard earlier that the pair repeatedly gave her methadone in an attempt to soothe her.

    Her mother Bonny Richards, 28, was jailed for 15 months. Her partner John Davies, 32, was sentenced to 18 months.

    Soothe attempts 'misguided'

    Post-mortem tests revealed later that the drug-addicted couple frequently gave the infant the heroin substitute in the six months before she died.

    But this was eventually ruled out as a contributory factor in her death, which was found to have been caused by complications arising from a rare and lethal form of chickenpox.

    Richards, of Trafalgar Mews, in Broadwell, and Davies, of Albion Court, in Scowles, had each previously admitted three counts of child cruelty towards the little girl.

    The court heard that their attempts to soothe her with the drug were "misguided".

    Methadone is a synthetic drug used to wean addicts off heroin.

    Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-10646498
  • Larry King to end long-running US TV chat show

    Jun 30 2010, 15h53

    Larry King, Nov 2004 Larry King has conducted tens of thousands of interviews over the years

    Veteran broadcaster Larry King has announced that he will be ending his nightly show on CNN in the autumn.

    Over 25 years of the show, King, famous for wearing braces, has conducted more than 40,000 interviews.

    Larry King Live recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running show with the same host in the same time slot.

    The news comes at a time of falling ratings for the show. King, 76, said he would spend more time with his family.

    His marriage to seventh wife Shawn Southwick had appeared to be on the point of breaking up earlier this year when King filed for divorce.

    The couple have since reconciled their differences.

    On his blog, King wrote that CNN had agreed to his request to wrap up the show in the autumn "giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids' little league games".

    He said he would "still be a part of the CNN family" and planned to host special programmes on major national and international events.

    "With this chapter closing I'm looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders (braces)," he concluded.

    Over the course of his career, King has interviewed every US president since Gerald Ford. His most recent interviewees include Bill Gates and singer Lady Gaga.

    However, his show has slipped behind those of rivals such as MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Fox News's Sean Hannity in the ratings battle.

    The news of King's decision to end his show comes only a week after New York Times media critic David Carr suggested CNN needed to find a worthy successor for him soon.

    "As it is, Mr King has been left to dangle, battered by tabloid reports, sliding ratings and his own daily battle to anchor the show five days a week," he wrote.

    "The more legendary the talent, the more delicate the endgame."

    Earlier this month, there was speculation in the press that Britain's Got Talent judge Piers Morgan was in talks with CNN to replace King.

    Morgan is known in the US as a panellist on America's Got Talent and hosts Life Stories in the UK, a talk show on which he has interviewed celebrities and politicians including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10457092.stm