Sunday, 28 July 2013

Banksy removed from London street by private company - BBC News

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

London Anniversary Games day one as they happened - BBC South East Wales

BBC Radio 5 live are up and running with their coverage from inside the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with Mark Pougatch currently chatting to Donovan Bailey, Steve Backley, Allison Curbishley and Darren Campbell. They'll be on air until 2200 BST today, 1200-1800 on Saturday, and 1200-1300 and 1430-1930 for the Paralympic event on Sunday.

In terms of TV, your port of call should be BBC Two from 19:30-2030 and BBC One from 2030-2200. On Saturday, it's BBC One from 1330-1715.

Or you can follow absolutely everything right here on the BBC Sport website, mobiles and via the BBC Sport app.

Santi Cazorla not leaving Arsenal for Atletico Madrid -

Atletico's most significant signings this summer have been Leo Baptistao, who joined for around €7m (£6m) from Rayo Vallecano, and David Villa, who arrived from Barcelona for an initial €2.1m (£1.8m).

Although Cazorla stressed he was not about to link up with his Spain team-mate Villa at the Calderon, he said he was pleased for him.

"I'm very happy for Villa, because he had a difficult year with Barcelona due to his injury [a broken leg he suffered in December 2011], but now he's got another chance to shine again," he said.

And he declared to work extra hard this year for Arsenal so he can be guaranteed a place in Spain's squad for next year's World Cup in Brazil, after missing his country's triumph in South Africa due to a back injury.

He said: "I still have unfinished business in the World Cup after missing the last one because of my back. I really want to experience a World Cup, so I have to have a great year with Arsenal. I hope this year is even better than the last."

(Edited by Giles Mole)

Twitter apologises for fake tweets to push new advertising service - The Guardian

Twitter has apologised after it mocked up a string of fake tweets from the accounts of real users to champion one of its products.

The tech firm promoted a new advertising service on its blog earlier this week and accompanied the spiel with bogus tweets attributed to three social networkers.

The micro-blogging site has now said sorry for the "mistake" and updated its site to attribute the endorsements to its own staff.

A note on its marketing webpage now reads: "An earlier version of this blog post included an image with mock tweets from real users of our platform.

"This was not OK.

"Once we became aware of this mistake, we took it down immediately.

"We deeply apologise to the three users included in the earlier images."

The blog was designed to promote one of the San Francisco firm's latest ventures, which enables companies to promote their television advertisements on Twitter.

It featured three posts from real users apparently discussing commercials they had seen.

One stated "What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!" and another read: "The @barristabar ad is giving me the coffee shakes. Looks so good!"

But the tweets were all fictional and the social networkers were unaware their profiles had been used.

The company later tweeted the trio saying: "Hey @Neil_Gottlieb, @WilliamMazeo, @subhash_tewari – so sorry about the confusion earlier today. We're fixing the problem now."

Mazeo, whose Twitter profile states he is from Brazil, replied: "Don't do this again."

Gottlieb, from Philadelphia, added: "Still curious how it happened."

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Arsenal beat Urawa Reds thanks to Chuba Akpom's late intervention - The Guardian

The teenage striker Chuba Akpom came off the bench to score the winner as Arsenal completed an unbeaten tour of Asia with a 2-1 win against the Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds.

Arsenal had taken the lead through Lukas Podolski, a half-time replacement for Olivier Giroud, before the Japan international Yuki Abe scored the equaliser with a long-range effort.

But Akpom sealed the victory for Arsenal eight minutes from time when he capitalised on a defensive blunder to score his fourth goal of a successful tour.

Arsenal could have won by more. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott both hit the woodwork in the first half and Giroud saw a lofted shot drop just wide of the post.

But the manager Arsène Wenger was happy to have come through a tough test after beating Nagoya 3-1 and putting seven goals past both the Indonesian Dream Team and Vietnam.

"We wanted a competitive game and we were not disappointed," Wenger told "The game was played at a good pace. They tried to catch us on the break, defended very well and were very sharp on counter attack so it was a good test for us."

Podolski finished an intricate move to put Arsenal ahead, with Aaron Ramsey and Walcott combining to tee up the German to finish from close range.

Abe rifled home the equaliser after Arsenal only half cleared a corner and it seemed the Japanese side were destined for a well-earned draw when Akpom pounced to win it for Arsenal.

Wenger revealed that Ryo Myaichi is likely to go back out on loan if he can bring in more experienced midfield reinforcements before the new campaign.

"He has done well, you could see that he is finding his sharpness back," Wenger said. "He is fighting for his position like many players. I like his game. I believe he is in a position where he needs to play to have a good chance of competing at the top level.

"At the moment he will stay in the squad. Should we buy more players I will have to reassess the situation. At the moment he will stay with us."

Wenger was also impressed by the academy midfielder Serge Gnabry. "He was very good as well. He is 17 years old and he has a presence, power, good technique and can play on both sides. He is a very interesting, promising talent," Wenger said.

Australia gold rush as Manchester United and Liverpool unlock door to untold ... -

But the success of United and Liverpool's trip to the country suggests that their domestic rivals will already be investigating the prospect of cashing in by embarking on Australian tours next summer.

Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director, was asked about the benefits of touring the country when the club arrived in Melbourne on Monday.

Bearing in mind that the majority of sponsorship money at Anfield comes from the United States and the Far East - the same applies to United - it was a fair question to ask and one which prompted the 'tell them what they want to hear' response.

Australia, according to Ayre, was in the top five of every one of Liverpool's commercial, marketing and supporter surveys.

The country may not generate the megabucks deals that Liverpool have earned with Standard Chartered and Warrior, or United with Aon, Chevrolet and Nike, but Ayre was not simply sweetening up his audience.

Four days after United played in front of over 83,000 fans at Sydney's ANZ Stadium, Liverpool turned the iconic MCG into a bowl of red with over 95,000 turning out to watch Brendan Rodgers' team.

On Saturday, over 4,000 Australia-based United supporters claimed ownership of the steps of Sydney Opera House, while Melbourne's Flinders Street Station could have been Liverpool Lime Street at 2pm before a league game at Anfield, such were the numbers of Liverpool shirts streaming onto the streets.

Mark Bosnich, the former Manchester United and Aston Villa goalkeeper now working as a television pundit for the Fox network, insisted that United and Liverpool were merely scratching the surface of support in Australia during their brief visits.

Bosnich's dream, to see the Community Shield transplanted to Sydney or Melbourne, might seem fanciful, but there would certainly be a market.

According to local reports, United received AUS$5m for playing in Sydney, which is roughly £3.5m. Liverpool are rumoured to have earned a similar fee for travelling to Melbourne.

With so many supporters Down Under, both United and Liverpool know of the financial windfall they could earn through subscription to club websites or television channels, not to mention the sales of merchandise.

As Bosnich also noted, Australians only want to see the best, playing at the top of their game, so the appetite for other clubs to visit the country will be strong.

And with the country's cricket team currently going through a deep trough, just weeks after the Wallabies suffered a series defeat against the British Lions, Australia might just want a bit more of the distraction that soccer has brought over the past 10 days.

public says £9bn Olympics worth it - BBC News

More than two-thirds of the UK public believe the £8.77bn cost of the London 2012 Olympics was worth the money, according to a ComRes poll for the BBC.

It indicates 74% would also welcome the Games back to Britain.

The results suggest people are more active since the Olympics, with 11% exercising more than a year ago, rising to 24% for those aged 18 to 24.

The London showpiece, together with the Paralympics, cost more than three times the original budget of £2.4bn.

Recent government research suggests the UK economy received a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment from staging the Games.

A year on from the start of London 2012, the survey of 3,218 adults, conducted by ComRes, aims to understand public perceptions of Olympic legacy and what impact the event has had on communities.

It found that, of those polled:

  • 11% said they are more active as a result of the Games;
  • 32% said the Games had a positive impact on sports facilities;
  • 22% said the Games had improved their local economy;
  • 21% said the Games had resulted in improved public services.

One of London's legacy promises  was to "inspire a generation".

And with many of the stars of London 2012 preparing to compete at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium this weekend, the poll suggests young adults are the most enthusiastic about the Games returning to Britain, with 82% of those aged 18 to 24 keen on the idea.

On the issue of cost, 69% of people responded positively to this use of public money, although a higher percentage of those came from the South East, where most events at the Games were staged.

In the BBC South East region, 78% were happy with the cost, compared with 63% in BBC Yorkshire.

On the issue of people becoming more active, the last Labour government pledged that two million  would play more sport as a result of the Olympics. That target was later revised to one million.

People in the BBC North East and BBC Cumbria regions are likely to have been the most active, according to the survey, with people in the BBC South West and BBC West Midlands regions the least.

However, 88% of those polled said their activity levels had not changed following the Games, which ran from 27 July to 12 August.

A recent Sport England study suggested that the number of people participating in sport once a week fell by 200,000 between October 2012 and April 2013.

But Sport England points out that, according to its figures, there are still 1.4m more people playing sport than in 2005, when London won the right to stage the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Lord Coe, who was chairman of the London Olympic Organising Committee and is now Olympics legacy ambassador, told BBC Breakfast: "The overall response to your survey has been incredibly positive.

"It doesn't surprise me given the boost to the economy we revealed the other day.

"Again your survey shows a positive outcome of regional spread of interest. It was one of the ambitions we set out very clearly. We did not just want to talk about the three weeks in London."

On the issue of legacy, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said: "We've made an incredibly good start, but I would be the first to admit there is an awful lot left to do.

"I don't think we'll be able to make a judgment until three years after the Olympics, maybe five, and probably, if we are being really honest, until a decade has passed."

He added: "The single most important legacy we have got from London 2012 is that, everywhere I go around the world, people still reminisce about the Games and say 'well done' for laying on the best Olympics and Paralympics of all time.

"That is a calling card that is worth a lot in the international market."


As Rebecca Adlington says, legacy is a difficult issue because people expect to see results instantly.

One year on from the Olympics, it is worth giving credit for the progress that has been made. Work on transforming the Olympic Park into a new community is under way and the venues all have their futures sorted.

But getting the country more active remains the biggest challenge. As the poll shows, changing sporting habits could take years. The worry is that the further one gets from the Games, the more momentum is lost.

Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, who quit competitive swimming after winning two bronze medals in London, added: "Legacy is a difficult subject for people to talk about because people want to see it happening straight away.

"For me, what will be a nice moment is, in 10 or 15 years, seeing someone come out of a pool or the velodrome, doing their interviews and saying, 'I was inspired by London; it got me into sport'. That is what legacy is about."

Mo Farah, who won the 10,000m and 5,000m titles in 2012, said: "We did the best job any country could ever do. After the Olympics so many kids have got involved into sport and been more active.

"We should be proud of what we did."

A key part of the London 2012 legacy plan  focused on sports facilities. Of those polled, 32% said they had noticed an improvement, although more than half said there had been no impact at all.

One in five people polled reported an additional benefit to their local economy and public services.

However, 69% said there has been no impact on public services, while 67% said they have not witnessed any impact on the local economy.

Tim Lamb, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, the organisation responsible for the governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK, said: "It's very important to keep the momentum going.

"We're going to have to find a way of investing in facilities in our sports clubs, making sure that when facilities are hired for sporting activity they are affordable, making sure that clubs and people playing sport have got the right equipment.

"It's about spending money more wisely and recognising the enormous social benefits that sport has.

"It is obviously good for your health, it can help to reduce anti-social behaviour, it's proven to improve academic attainment and it can help build community cohesion. It's a very low-cost way of tackling some of the key social problems that we've got in this country."

Between 5 and 21 July 2013, telephone interviews were conducted with 3,218 adults and the data weighted to be representative of all United Kingdom adults aged 18 and over.

Have your say on the survey and Olympic legacy via Sportsday Live.

Why would Luis Suárez swap Liverpool for Arsenal? asks Brendan Rodgers - The Guardian

Brendan Rodgers has told Luis Suárez he would be making a big mistake by leaving Liverpool for Arsenal this summer.

Liverpool remain adamant that the Uruguay international will not be sold unless their valuation of more than £50m is met, despite a belief in the player's camp that Arsenal's latest offer of £40,000,001 should trigger talks over a move to the Emirates Stadium. Suárez and his agent, Pere Guardiola, have told Liverpool he wants to join a club in the Champions League but, in the absence of a firm offer so far from Real Madrid, Rodgers claims to be mystified at why his leading striker would consider teaming up with Arsène Wenger's side.

"I know what we are trying to build and grow, so why would you swap Liverpool to go to Arsenal?" the Liverpool manager said. "I am not sure that it adds up, to be honest. Arsenal has a wonderful history in its own right but Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. OK, we might not be in the Champions League and haven't been for a while now but our competitors have grown around us and we have to step up to the challenge now."

Arsenal qualified for the Champions League for a 14th season in succession last term whereas Liverpool are approaching a fourth consecutive campaign outside the European elite. But Rodgers insisted his debut season in charge at Anfield, which yielded 30 goals for Suárez, demonstrates why the striker would be wrong to move to north London.

He added: "Would it be a mistake for Luis to leave? 100%. The team was built around Luis last season. I made some big calls to get the team to work in a way to suit his strengths and it is no coincidence he had a great season apart from the end bit. We would love to have him to continue the next phase.

"It is difficult for Luis, I understand that. If a team wants you, it can be difficult. But I am not sure many teams will have done what we have done in the last couple of games [play to crowds of over 80,000 and 90,000 in Indonesia and Australia respectively]. I am sure Luis will have seen the sheer size and status of the club, so we'll just see how it goes. It is not something we want to run on too long."

Asked if the stand-off would change should Suárez submit a transfer request, the Liverpool manager responded: "Luis is under contract so I haven't even thought about that."

Arsenal prepare new bid for Luis Suárez as Liverpool stay silent on talks - The Guardian

Arsenal are preparing to raise their offer once again for the Liverpool striker Luis Suárez as they seek to capitalise on perceived tensions between the player and his employer.

Suárez held talks over his future with the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and the chief executive Ian Ayre on Thursday. The club's refusal to discuss how the meeting went has been interpreted by Arsenal as a positive sign for them. If Suárez had indicated any willingness to stay at Anfield, then Liverpool would have been expected to publicise it.

Arsenal's strategy when they made their second offer for Suárez of one pound over £40m on Tuesday was to put pressure on a clause in the Uruguayan's contract, which they were led to believe would permit him to open negotiations with them and, effectively, force the player's hand. They would love to see him agitate for the move, although a written transfer request may be too much for them to hope for.

Liverpool have refused to confirm whether Suárez asked to speak to Arsenal in the talks with Rodgers and Ayre since the £40,000,001 offer was received and rejected. However, they remain adamant that the disputed clause in Suárez's contract does not allow him to meet or open negotiations with Arsenal now that a bid of more than £40m has been made.

Liverpool have not granted Suárez permission to speak to Arsenal officials. The clause in the contract he signed last August, they insist, entitles Suárez to be informed of any bid over £40m and for Liverpool to enter into discussions over his transfer should they wish to do so.

Arsenal, whose opening offer for Suárez was worth £30m plus £5m in add-ons, are now ready to go higher, as they seek what would be a stunning coup. They have never previously paid more than £15m for a player. They are aware, though, that Liverpool will not countenance Suárez's sale unless there is a bid of more than £50m. Suárez scored 30 goals in Rodgers' debut season in charge and Liverpool's hopes of returning to the Champions League rest on him.

Real Madrid continue to lurk in the background, and they have indicated to Suárez's representatives that they have an interest in signing him. Their bank balance has been boosted by the £32m that they received from Napoli for the striker Gonzalo Higuaín, who was previously a target for Arsenal.

Arsenal, though, believe that they are in the driving seat for Suárez as Real are preoccupied by their pursuit of the Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale. Tottenham maintain that Bale is not for sale. Suárez is expected to play some part in Liverpool's friendly against Thailand in Bangkok on Sunday.

One year on, what legacy has the London Olympic Games left us? - The Guardian

On Friday night, Usain Bolt, arguably the biggest star in sport, will thunder down the track where he won three gold medals 12 months ago, amid the head-spinning swirl of London's giddy and glorious Games. On Saturday, it will be the turn of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah to return to the spine-tingling scene of their Super Saturday triumphs as the 60,000 people watching try and recapture some of that Olympic magic.

But beyond the confines of a stadium that now has a secure future as a home for West Ham and athletics, albeit at a cost of at least £600m to the taxpayer, the Olympic Park remains in a state of flux. And like the dusty expanses that once played host to a sporting wonderland and will soon become houses and parkland, the wider legacy promises – layer upon layer of them, like tiers of a wedding cake, to justify the Games' £8.7bn cost – are a work in progress. The L-word came to mean so many things to so many people that trying to determine its success can be like searching for the end of the rainbow.

As Farah, Ennis-Hill et al take to the track again, it is a reminder that it is both the physical regeneration of this once-scarred patch of east London, pump-primed with billions of pounds of public money, and the legacy of Britain's elite sporting infrastructure that appear most secure one year on.

Even before the curtain had come down on the Olympics, the government had promised to boost its investment in the next Olympic cycle by 11%, to £355m, to ensure our transformation from plucky losers to driven winners was sustained.

The revolution in British sport – which began when National Lottery funding began to pour into the system – was honed by brilliant minds to combine with another huge boost in funding in 2005, and delivered an avalanche of medals in 2008 and 2012.

Some of the smaller sports that enjoyed a moment in the sun in London have struggled since – victims of UK Sport's ruthless "no compromise" policy and a lack of commercial interest now that the bandwagon has moved on. But the principle of pouring large amounts of exchequer and lottery money into elite sport has retained broad public support.

Liz Nicholl, the chief executive of UK Sport, which decides how that £355m should be divvied up, is clear that there is no turning back. She has promised to deliver more medals in more sports in Rio in three years' time.

"During the Games, it was a unique opportunity for the whole nation to see elite sport, to value it, to be proud of it, to feel it, to experience it and be inspired by it. And our politicians were there, and they saw it and they felt it. They saw the nation was proud, and that a proud nation is a happy nation," she says.

Elsewhere, legacy remains in the eye of the beholder. Look left as you come out of a spruced-up Stratford tube station and you'll see that towering temple to consumerism, the Westfield shopping centre, which acts as the gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, attracting more than 700,000 visitors a week and employing thousands of locals.

Turn right, however, and walk through the indoor market stalls and discount shops of the Stratford Centre and on into Plaistow, and you'll still find plenty of locals wondering what the Olympics have done for them.

But there are others who, while reserving judgment on the Park, concede that the Olympics have, at the very least, put their postcode on the map. It suddenly feels like part of London rather than an afterthought, and many of the 11 million people who streamed into the Park last summer have already returned – whether to shop at Westfield or watch Bruce Springsteen.

The lofty, endlessly stated aim of politicians was to use the Games as the catalyst for social change, to bring east London closer to the west in terms of prosperity, and change the much-quoted statistic that you lose a year in life expectancy for every station you pass eastwards on the Jubilee line between Westminster and Canning Town.

London's mayor, Boris Johnson, was on typically ebullient form this week as he delivered a series of set pieces bashing the "Olympo-sceptics" and, inevitably for a man drawn to the big idea like a moth to a flame, unveiling a new scheme for Europe's largest indoor ski centre next to the Park.

"The Olympics have helped trigger a regeneration in east London that has been accelerated by about 70 years," he said, pointing not only to Westfield but to the new iCity development that houses BT Sport's new studios and a planned "tech hub". "There's a secondary impact and I really believe it. There is no doubt in my mind that there has been an absolute fascination among international investors around London and east London. The idea that London was open and accessible and a great place to invest has caught on internationally."

Paul Deighton, the man who brilliantly marshalled Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) to deliver the Games and then took up a role as commercial secretary to the Treasury, in order to try to bring some of that stardust to large-scale infrastructure projects like HS2, is similarly enthusiastic. He says that a sceptically received UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) prediction that the Olympics would translate into £40bn in extra inward investment by the end of the decade was in fact a woeful underestimate.

The Westfield shopping centre near the Olympic site in Stratford The Westfield shopping centre near the Olympic site in Stratford, east London, has given the area a boost, but not everyone locally has felt the benefits of the Games. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

This is where the legacy again becomes open to interpretation. Westfield would have happened without the Games (albeit more slowly), and while Johnson says the Chinese investment in Royal Albert Dock was a direct result of the Olympics, others say it was nothing to do with it. Newham says 5,000 residents were helped into Games-time jobs, but most of those were temporary.

Either way, there can be little doubt that the Games have helped transform perceptions of a small corner of the East End. More uncertain is what sort of place the Olympic Park and its surrounds will become. Executives of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) insist that it won't become an island of prosperity amid poverty, like Canary Wharf.

"This isn't going to be a gated community. In terms of the housing we're building, a large component is social housing with a rented element as well. It's always been our aim to create a mixed community on the Park that matches the diversity of the local area," insists the LLDC chief executive, Dennis Hone, as he walks around the track in the stadium.

But Newham's chief executive, Kim Bromley-Derry, is just as quick to point out that it must also raise aspiration and provide employment where its residents can work as well as live. That is the balancing act this surprisingly cluttered and compact urban park must perform.

But it is the claim that hosting the biggest sporting event in the world would inspire a nation to become fitter and healthier that remains most open to challenge. Here again, it can be hard to separate the rhetoric from the reality.

Wander around Charlton Park and the adjoining Hornfair Park on a summer's evening and you'll see young people splashing around in the newly refurbished 50-metre lido, brand new tennis courts full to bursting, teenagers tearing around a new BMX track, the "Adizone" outdoor gym in regular use, and a queue for the outdoor table tennis table. All are directly or indirectly linked to "legacy" projects.

In Greenwich, one of the five Olympic boroughs, it feels as close as we may ever get in grimy south-east London to the continental idyll of community sports facilities in every town or suburb, offering cheap, easy access to exercise to all who want it.

Yet, up and down the country, other local authorities are being forced to slash their sport and recreation budgets by up to 40%, putting facilities, coaching programmes and maintenance budgets under grave threat. Some, such as the closure of the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield, where Ennis-Hill trains, and of Newcastle's City pool, have been high profile. Others, such as a battle to maintain football pitches on Hackney Marshes in east London, less so.

While grassroots sport quango Sport England has seen its annual investment of £300m go up as a result of coalition changes to the distribution of lottery income – a large chunk of which is channelled through sports governing bodies and targeted at 16- to 25-year-olds – it is just one part of a much wider picture.

The official figures measuring sports participation are disappointing, though the former London 2012 chairman Lord Coe is right to plead for time. The latest numbers show that, of 29 sports that recorded a change in once-a-week participation figures, 20 suffered a decline.

And while 15.4 million people played sport at least once a week in April 2012, a year later that figure has declined to 15.3 million. The government prefers instead to focus on the fact that 1.4 million more people are playing sport once a week than they were when the bid was won in 2005.

An earlier promise to increase the number of people playing sport three times or more a week by one million, and a parallel promise by the NHS to increase the number of people taking exercise by the same number, were quietly dropped before the Olympics when it became clear they wouldn't be met.

Fans cheering on Jessica Ennis at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield Fans cheering on Jessica Ennis at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield last summer. Don Valley is to be closed in September. Photograph: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns/Getty

A new BBC poll showing that only one in 10 people played more sport as a result of the Games, but that seven in 10 thought it was value for money, shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Beyond the rhetoric, the link remained tenuous at best.

In some ways, elite athletes are the very worst people to ask whether inspiration can beget participation. They can all trace the spark of their sporting career back to a moment of inspiration, without realising that they are exceptional rather than typical.

But as far as the younger generation is concerned, those who were cynical about the link between watching feats of remarkable sporting achievement and increased enthusiasm for playing it were forced to eat their words last summer – up to a point.

Anyone who witnessed the surge of enthusiasm in schools across the country, and at the Olympic Park in particular, would have had to work hard to hang on to their cynicism.

But evidence in the wake of the Games showed a disappointing number ended up on waiting lists at the local athletics club or searching in vain for a gymnastics club that wasn't oversubscribed. Meanwhile, school sport remains in flux.

"For me, the biggest disappointment is still school sport. I think we have gone backwards. I can't say anything else and be honest," says Olympic gold medallist and Locog board member Jonathan Edwards. "The primary school money is there, but there is no network and, anecdotally, some of the stories about how that money is being spent aren't brilliant. They might have had their faults, but school sports partnerships were essentially doing a good job. To dismantle that and start again from scratch – it's madness."

And given that the central pledge of the Games was to "inspire a generation", it seems bizarre that there is no way of actually measuring how many kids are playing sport. The coalition scrapped Labour's national school sport survey, saying it was overly bureaucratic, while Sport England currently only measures adults and relies on landline telephone surveys.

An education select committee report published last week welcomed the £150m investment in primary schools announced in March, which replaces the £162m school sport partnerships that were axed in December 2010, but said it was far from enough on its own.

It said that without extending the two-year commitment to invest £150m annually in primary school sport it risked being seen as little more than a "gimmick", and said schools needed more support in how it was spent.

A commitment to training more specialist PE teachers and to raising awareness among primary-age teachers of the importance of sport are to be welcomed, but there remains a lack of joined-up thinking.

And too much time is still spent on the redundant exercise of championing competitive sport over some non-existent "prizes for all culture" when the emphasis should be on getting kids to exercise, whether that means hula-hoops or hockey sticks.

Speak to those involved in the original bid, from Tony Blair down, and they will claim that a key plank of their mission was to shift the centre of gravity so that sport would come to be seen as an integral part of education, health and social policy. With the NHS and education policy in a state of permanent revolution, it is little surprise that embedding sport and exercise are not at the top of their priority list.

Coe is right to point out that the fact that these questions are on the agenda at all is a victory of sorts. Others, such as former Locog deputy chairman Sir Keith Mills, who has taken matters into his own hands with his Sported foundation, believe there is an awfully long way to go.

During the seven-year run-up to the Games, it was as though the government was so taken with Coe's legacy pitch that it couldn't resist endlessly adding promise after promise to the list.

The legacy for volunteering, for one, is harder to fathom. The whole nation was caught up in a wave of enthusiasm for the 70,000 purple and red-clad Games Makers a year ago, but here, too, there is a feeling that the momentum stalled as those treasured uniforms were returned to the wardrobe as keepsakes.

There are other shifts in perception that shouldn't be underestimated. According to Sue Tibballs, chief executive of the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation and a longstanding critic of the lack of media coverage for female athletes, the Games were a watershed moment in the way female sports stars are perceived.

London IAAF Diamond League meeting The Olympic Stadium being prepared for the first anniversary of the Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

In some sports there is a clear correlation between the investment that was guaranteed and maintained as a result of a home Games and their success in driving achievement at all levels.

British cycling has become the exemplar of how to marry elite success with long-term growth at the grassroots, creating a virtuous circle of public and corporate investment to deliver ever more ambitious goals.

Nicola Adams, the first British female boxer to win a gold medal, has almost single-handedly inspired a 79% uplift in the number of women practising her sport regularly. "A lot of girls come up to me all the time and say I've inspired them to take up boxing. It's really good to see," she says.

Yet other sports, like netball, suggest it is not major events that boost participation but well thought-out, intelligent marketing and strategies. It has targeted lapsed players and mums with clever campaigns and offerings, and been rewarded with a rise in numbers despite not being an Olympic sport. But these are the exceptions that, in too many cases, prove the rule. While there are pockets of good practice among some governing bodies and some schools, there is no overriding sense that sport is becoming more central to our way of life.

With various degrees of frustration, everyone from outgoing legacy tsar Coe to Locog deputy chairman Sir Keith Mills voices concern that the system is still far from joined-up enough.

Most obviously, the education secretary, Michael Gove, had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table to put up a share of the cash for a new school sport policy to replace the one arbitrarily axed for ideological reasons in 2010. According to a survey commissioned by Asda this week, seven in 10 parents think more sport should be made available to children at primary school. "It's vital. It's the biggest thing. We talk about finding champions of the future but, to be honest, they're probably always going to find themselves," says runner Paula Radcliffe, gazing at the finishing line as thousands stream across it having completed a National Lottery fun run around the Olympic Park. "I don't think people realise that kids perform better at school, they're happier, and the economy is stronger if everyone does sport. It's making sure there is time allocated in schools, and that they have strong links with clubs. For me, as a parent, if you're told this is the first generation that is going to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, then that is scary."

This is the somewhat humdrum reality of turning all that glittered last summer into lasting gold. While everyone lauds the cross-party consensus that delivered the Games, the legacy debate has descended into political point-scoring. The shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman, went on the attack on Friday, accusing the government of "squandering the Olympic legacy" and wasting a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

Yet, even if all that the London Games did was give the country a shot in the arm and provide a stage for a magical six weeks of sporting action, many would argue it was still worth it. Jordan Duckitt, one of the seven teenagers who lit the flame at the climax of Danny Boyle's remarkable opening ceremony, says legacy "isn't a thing but a feeling".

Christine Ohuruogu, the London silver medallist who grew up a stone's throw from the Olympic Park, says the Games delivered an unquantifiable dividend that can't just be measured in pounds and pence. Which is why, despite continuing economic uncertainty and widespread social unrest, Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid are desperately vying to host the 2020 Games.

"Some things can't be measured. General wellbeing, feeling better – you can't disregard that impact. Once you aim higher, you have more opportunity. You won't always measure it in monetary value, but I think in emotional, spiritual terms, people feel a lot better about themselves," says Ohuruogu.

A YouGov poll published on Friday revealed that 75% of Britons believed London was right to have bid to host the Games, up from the 44% who were in favour of the Games in a poll conducted a year before the Olympics.

Whether that is enough for the electorate – who this weekend will bathe in the warm glow of memories of a sporting summer like no other – remains the £8.7bn question.

"This, for me, is not about a six-week dip in an active people survey. There are serious problems. The average kid in the UK is now 50% less active at the age of 15 than at the age of nine. That is unsustainable," says Coe. But without a serious, long-term, cross-party plan to equal that which delivered perhaps the best Olympic Games of modern times, one of its defining legacies could yet be a fatter, rather than a fitter, nation.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Nagoya Grampus 1-3 Arsenal – as it happened - The Guardian

Arsenal: Fabianksi, Sagna, Metesacker, Jenkinson Gibbs; Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey, Miyaichi, Giroud, Walcott.

Nagoya: to follow

Facebook app for the developing world reaches 100 million users -

"In just two years, Facebook For Every Phone has successfully put Facebook into the hands of millions of people around the world with limited access to the Internet, giving them the power to connect and share."

Facebook is already hugely popular developing countries, but like many other technology giants it has struggled with the shift of its customers from desktop computers to mobile devices, and the effect this has had on advertising revenues.

Although the immediate prospects of making money from feature phone users are modest, Facebook hopes that these users will become more attractive to advertisers as their incomes grow and they gain broader access to the Web.

The company will report its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, but analysts expect that developed markets will be the biggest source of Facebook's revenue and profit for a long time.

"In a lot of foreign markets, people think that the Internet is Facebook," eMarketer analyst Clark Fredricksen told the New York Times.

As of late March, Facebook reported having 751 million customers using accessing their site on mobile devices, up a whopping 54 percent from one year earlier.

Weather: Heatwave Hits Peak Before Storms - Sky News

The highest temperature of the year has been recorded, with parts of Britain basking in 33C sunshine.

Southeast England was Monday's hotspot, where the thermometer reached 33.5C (92.3F) at Heathrow and Northolt in London. It was the hottest day since July 20, 2006.

The UK has seen its longest prolonged heatwave in seven years, although temperatures dipped slightly over the weekend.

But Sky News Weather Presenter Isobel Lang said: "The weather is set to break and violent thunderstorms are forecast over the next 48 hours across many parts of Britain and Ireland.

"These thunderstorms could bring around 50mm (2in) of rain in just a few hours leading to some flash flooding."

"Temperatures will ease down to into the mid-20s but it will continue to feel rather warm and humid."

The unsettled weather is expected last for the rest of the week with further heavy showers at times.

West and northwest London were hit by a severe thunderstorm at about 6am on Monday, when 7.4mm of rain fell at Kew Gardens in just an hour, which is more than Kew has received so far this month.

The Met Office has issued a rain warning for Tuesday for most of England and all of Wales, with localised flooding possible in places.

Temperatures will start gradually dropping as the week continues but will remain in the mid-20s, which is still above the average for this time of year.

The hot weather has taken its toll on the UK in recent weeks, with grass fires in London, mountain blazes in the Welsh valleys and forest fires in Fife, Scotland.

Hundreds of premature deaths are believed to have been caused by the hot weather.

Gonzalo Higuain stalls on completing Napoli move to give Arsenal chance to bid ... -

Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain has stalled on a move to Napoli - in the hope Arsenal come back in.

** See Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo in action.... against Bournemouth! **

Higuain asked for 48 hours to think over whether to join Napoli after Rafa Benitez's new club had a £30million bid accepted for the Argentine World Cup star.

It is believed Higuain would still prefer moving to Arsenal but his potential switch to the Emirates went cold after Real Madrid suddenly "moved the goalposts" and increased the price from £24m to £32m.

Arsenal had agreed personal terms with Higuain but are not willing to increase on their valuation and have now made Liverpool striker Luis Suarez their No.1 target.

But if Real Madrid can sell Higuain - and the Spanish club have yet to confirm they have accepted Napoli's bid as reported in the Italian media - then it may give them the cash to launch a full scale bid for Suarez.

Suarez would prefer to go to Real Madrid and if Higuain ends up going to Napoli it could leave Arsenal missing out on their top three targets as Wayne Rooney is set for a move to Chelsea.

** Watch our FootballSpy special - Suarez or Higuain: Who will be Arsenal's new star striker?  **

It leaves Arsenal sweating on pulling off a big-name striker with their fans getting nervous despite the club publicly insisting they will spend big this summer.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis is in Asia to co-ordinate with Arsene Wenger and they remain confident on landing targets this summer.

Meanwhile, Pepe Reina's agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, is due to fly to Napoli on Monday to complete a one-year loan move - but the Liverpool keeper is still set to join Barcelona 12 months later.

Reina will go to Napoli on a one-year loan with the Italians meeting his £110,000-a-week wages with Liverpool set to make new signing Simon Mignolet their new No.1.

But Barcelona have proposed a £6m deal next summer with the offer of a three-year deal to replace Victor Valdes who is set to leave the Nou Camp when his contract expires in 2014.

Twitter road trips USA: Las Vegas to Denver day one – as it happened - The Guardian

Morning everyone. The clock's ticking down until the road trip officially starts. I'm meeting the rest of the team in about an hour.

I'm staying at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, allegedly Las Vegas's most "seductive" hotel. It's basically Paris, but with air-conditioning and slot-machines and with no Parisians, so arguably an improvement. (I feel, as a person of French extraction, I can joke fondly about these stereotypes.)

There's a massive Arc de Triomphe in the forecourt.

So, today's route will take us from Las Vegas to Utah. Looking at all the great suggestions that people sent in, I think Zion might be our next destination.

Las Vegas to Zion certainly has a nice ring to it for a day's drive. My co-driver, Andy, thinks that it sounds like a Bob Dylan album.

Once Andy and Jacob, the photographer are here, I'll introduce the team properly. In the meantime, it would be good to hear about essential Vegas things to do before we leave. @mollyodonnellblatantfraud already tweeted about the Neon Museum.

Is that a good suggestion? What about breakfast? Please send any tips to @Therouvian, #TwiTrips, @GuardianTravel, or in the comments below.

Still no sign of Jacob the photographer. I'm guessing he's held up in a Parisian traffic jam...

Landmark art deco building in London damaged by fire - The Guardian

Residents of a landmark art deco building in the City of London were evacuated on Saturday evening after fire swept through part of the distinctive curved facade of the nine-storey block of flats.

Four fire engines and a specialist fire investigation unit were called to the incident at Florin Court in Charterhouse Square – better known to TV viewers as Whitehaven Mansions, the home of Agatha Christie's famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot.

Residents of the 120 flats – which include a large proportion of studio or bedsit apartments – were evacuated but nobody was hurt.

Alerted to the drama, actor David Suchet, who played the detective in the long-running British TV series, tweeted: "I am so sorry!! I do hope no-one was hurt?" In June he bowed out of the series after solving 67 cases.

The London fire brigade confirmed that a first-floor flat was "severely damaged" by the blaze, which also spread upwards to a second-floor flat, causing a small amount of damage. Smoke damage spread to six floors above and those whose homes were affected were moved to the Barbican Thistle hotel.

A spokesperson for the London fire brigade said: "We believe the fire was accidental, most likely caused by a cigarette. None of the occupants of the flat were smokers, so it's possible that someone threw a cigarette out of a window or off a roof terrace above, which then blew into an open window in the bedroom and started the fire.

"Wherever you're smoking, it's crucial to make sure you put out cigarettes fully before disposing of them, particularly in these dry conditions. Never, ever throw a lit cigarette out of a window – you have no control over where it ends up, and it could cause a great deal of damage and upset to you or someone else. It's very lucky no one was injured in this fire."

The 1930s apartment block, on the east side of Charterhouse Square and close to the Barbican estate, is considered an architectural gem of the art deco period and is popular for fashion photo shoots as well as Poirot. It is known for its distinctive curved facade, including curved glass in windows, many of which were shattered by the blaze.

One couple, who did not wish to be identified but who said they rented the flat above the one where the fire broke out, returned to look at the scene on Sunday morning and said: "There was a delivery van outside and we believe the driver called the fire brigade. It all happened so quickly but the first fire engine came within five minutes. It could have been a lot worse and we are thankful no one was hurt."

Weather change from heat to rain brings flood warning - BBC News

Weather forecasters are warning of a dramatic break in the current heatwave with heavy rain overnight and early on Tuesday bringing flash floods.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected to hit parts of north east Wales on Monday evening with downpours likely to make driving conditions difficult.

Showers will spread across Wales overnight and the heat will trigger more thunderstorms in the morning.

It is likely to remain humid though temperatures will be slightly lower.

The Met Office has issued a rain warning for England, Wales and southern Scotland.

The yellow alert covering most of Wales, apart from the far west and Pembrokeshire, is issued to give people notice that there may be disruptive storms.

"Start Quote

It will still feel warm but not as warm as it has been today"

End Quote Behnaz Akhgar, weather presenter BBC Wales

The first of the downpours are expected to arrive in the next few hours in parts of north east Wales.

The sun-hardened ground is likely to make it easier for rain water to run off into drainage systems more quickly.

People travelling home from work or events like the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Well, Powys, are being advised to be prepared for the change to wet road conditions.

Natural Resources Wales said heavy rain is likely to cause roads to flood and drains, ditches and small streams to overflow.

In a statement, it said: "Those who are camping or caravanning should also keep an eye on the weather conditions and listen to advice from the site owners."

BBC Wales weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar said the first downpours would be replaced overnight by extended showers moving up from the south into the north and east.

"These will intensify as the sun comes up. There is a risk of hail and thunder and some gusty winds.

"The rain will fall heavily in some places, with the risk of localised flash flooding, but a couple of miles down the road there might not be anything.

"It will still feel warm but not as warm as it has been today. It will still be humid, perhaps even more humid than today."

Typically average temperatures in the shade on Tuesday would be 24C (75F) compared to around 28C (82F) on Monday.

The showers should disappear by later afternoon on Tuesday, leading to a settled period once again, she said.

The UK has had its first prolonged heatwave since 2006 - though Saturday was the first day in seven when temperatures did not exceed 30C anywhere in the country.

However, it has not matched a heatwave in the summer of 1976, when temperatures above 32C (89.6) were recorded on 15 consecutive days.

Liverpool insist Luis Suarez will be unable to force through transfer -

"I am very strong on the values of the club, where we are and how we operate.

"Football and society is different nowadays, the [transfer] market is totally different and players can create different ways to open it up.

"But I have always said that there is no player bigger than Liverpool Football Club and that is something we are very strong on.

"Do I expect him to stay? Very much so. A lot has been said in the off season, but the reality is that he is very much a player of importance.

"Every player has a value and a worth, but it doesn't mean we are going to sell him."

Rodgers and Suárez held informal discussions at the team hotel on Monday after the player took part in a small-sided training session and further fitness work in the swimming pool.

And with Suárez due to remain with the squad for the remainder of the tour, which moves on to Thailand on Thursday, Rodgers admits that talks will continue in order to resolve the situation.

"I will do what I have done with the rest of the players and sit down with him," Rodgers said. "The reality is that we do have one or two things to clear up, but that will be done and we will continue to work.

"Luis and I have been in regular contact, but by the time we got here on Sunday night and had a bite to eat, it was late.

"We have that sort of relationship, though, where communication is open. I always tell him what I feel.

"Luis is here as expected, he is an integral part of squad and we will chat at some stage.

"The bottom line is he's a Liverpool player. We have only had one bid for him and it was nowhere near the value we have of him and there has been nothing since."

The strength of reaction to Suárez from the club's Australia-based supporters could yet prove influential in the outcome of his battle to leave, with an anticipation that he will be greeted warmly by fans at an open training session on Tuesday and during Wednesday night's game.

But despite his brief summer break - partially extended by the serving of four of his 10-game suspension at the end of last season for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic - Rodgers insists that Suárez will play some part of the friendly in Melbourne.

"I'm sure he will want play some part against Melbourne," Rodgers said. "The players are not quite up to 90 minutes yet. In Indonesia on Saturday, I played a team for about 60 minutes and looked to make changes, but all players will be involved and have some part to play because it is about our preparation.

"Luis will train and we will communicate over the next few weeks, but we have spoken quite a lot over the summer.

"We will chat more, but he is a Liverpool player, he will be part of the group and you could see his closeness with squad when we arrived on Sunday night."

Twitter in meltdown: 487million take to social networking site to share in the ... - Daily Mail

  • More than 500,000 tweets were sent mentioning the Royal baby
  • David Cameron and Nick Clegg were swift to celebrate the new arrival
  • Cheryl Cole wrote of the baby boy: 'Can't wait to see him now'
  • In break with tradition, news of labour itself was announced on Twitter

By Claire Ellicott


News of the royal birth brought Twitter close to meltdown yesterday as millions from around the world shared their excitement and offered congratulations.

Before the baby's birth was even announced, an incredible 487million Twitter users had viewed posts about the Duchess of Cambridge going into labour on what is thought to be one of the busiest days the social network had ever experienced.

By 8pm yesterday, more than 500,000 tweets were sent mentioning the royal baby, according to social media monitoring firm Netbase – and after the birth was announced at 8.29pm, the number rocketed higher by the second. 

Scroll down for video

The Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson, with Badar Azim, a footman, places an official document to announce the birth of a baby boy, while Twitter was going in to meltdown

Traditional version: The Queen's Press Secretary Ailsa Anderson, with Badar Azim, a footman, places an official document to announce the birth of a baby boy, while Twitter was going in to meltdown

Online invitation: Clarence House are inviting people to sign a card for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Online invitation: Clarence House are inviting people to sign a card for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

But just 41 per cent of the posts came from the UK. The US accounted for 29 per cent, followed by Canada and Australia, and two-thirds were made by women.

In a break with tradition, the news of the labour and the birth were also officially announced on Twitter.

A tweet from Clarence House yesterday morning read: 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, in the early stages of labour.' The message was retweeted, or shared, among users nearly 7,000 times.

Later, as the paper bulletin was posted on an easel confirming the baby's birth, a further post read: 'Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm.' This was retweeted more than 13,000 times, and marked the first time the traditional announcement of a royal birth has been paired with a release through social media.

The public outside Buckingham Palace after the offical easel was put by the gates announcing the birth of the baby boy

Contagious excitement: The public outside Buckingham Palace after the offical easel was put by the gates announcing the birth of the baby boy


Photographer Jesal Parshotam, 24, alerted the world to the impending arrival of the royal baby when he spotted the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William go into the hospital just before 6am yesterday.

An all-night stint watching the back entrance had ended in success and he broke the news via Twitter.

London-based Mr Parshotam said: 'I guess it's the biggest scoop of my career'.

However, he chose not to take any pictures of the couple, claiming it was out of respect. Either that or he left his lens cap on.

Within hours of the Palace's announcement that the Duchess had gone into labour, the term '#royalbaby' had become the most popular topic on the UK site, while the words 'Kate Middleton' were a top discussion in the US.

At least seven topics relating to the royal baby jumped to the top of the 'trending' list, and among the most popular was speculation over the baby's name.

And as soon as the birth was announced last night, celebrities and politicians rushed to tweet their messages of congratulations to the Duke and Duchess.

From model Cara Delevingne and singer Cheryl Cole to Olympic diver Tom Daley and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the good wishes came thick and fast.

Prime Minister David Cameron wrote: 'I'm delighted for the  Duke and Duchess now their son has been born. The whole country will celebrate. They'll make wonderful parents.'

21st century family: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's happy news was released over Twitter and to traditional news media simultaneously

21st century family: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's happy news was released over Twitter and to traditional news media simultaneously

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wrote: 'Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Good news to make the whole country smile.'

The Archbishop of York John Sentamu wrote: 'Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of  Cambridge. The joy and hope  of the Royal baby boy is a great gift of God.'

As the birth was announced, Stephen Fry wrote: 'The official easel. We really are a marvellously bonkers country.' Earlier, noticing that the word 'labour' was trending on the website, he wrote: 'Labour has never been so popular' – adding: 'My guess is that it will be a baby.'

Piers Morgan also joined the labour discussions, guessing: 'PREDICTION: A boy, called George, weighing 8lbs 2oz #MysticMorgan'

The Mumsnet discussion forum was also dominated by news of the baby. More than 700 messages were posted within hours yesterday on the single thread 'Kate's in labour: royal baby on way'. 


The website of the Left-wing Guardian newspaper was dominated by news of the royal baby yesterday – but offered republican readers a chance to avoid 'royalist' news.

Those clicking on the 'Republican' option had a picture of a smiling Kate replaced by one of pop singer Morrissey.

Guardian Live blogger Peter Walker informed his handful of readers: 'I'm a republican', lamely adding: 'But I nonetheless, of course, wish all concerned the very best.'

Hayley Simmonds and Tristan Layton hanging Union Jack flags from the ceiling of British themed restaurant Tea & Sympathy in New York

Good news travel fast: Hayley Simmonds and Tristan Layton hanging Union Jack flags from the ceiling of British themed restaurant Tea & Sympathy in New York

Users were quick to advise and sympathise with every stage of the process, with one posting: 'I feel sorry for her. I really did not want anyone except my mum and [husband] to know I was in labour and just wanted to get on with it.

'It must be awful to think that the world is all imagining her huffing and puffing.'


The royal baby will have a punt named after him in Cambridge.

The 22ft wooden boat is being refurbished and will have the child's royal title carved on each side.

Sam Matthews, of its owners The  Cambridge Punting Company, said: 'We are proud to say that it will be the first water-going vessel to bear the name of the royal baby.

'They can take it out any time – obviously with parental supervision.'

Elsewhere on the internet, the baby had his own Wikipedia page before he was even born. Entitled 'Royal Baby: Child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge', the entry had been viewed more than 95,000 times. A number of spoof Twitter accounts also sprung up under the name 'Royal Baby' or 'Baby Cambridge'.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Actually I'm not commenting as 500 million idiots have done it already.

There is a certain lack of decorum in our politicians "tweeting" their congratulations to the royal family. Whatever happened to a personal note?

OMG. Now we are going to have this on the tv night and day until we all become demented.

The Global interest in England's Ancient Traditions is staggering.

What? No Royal proclamation from Beckingham Palace? "Err on behalf of the entire nation etc..."

Somewhere in hiding, Kim K is crying because no one cares about her baby anymore. I wonder if North may suddenly make an appearance now that the royal baby is born...

Of all the momentous celeb tweets to share with us about the future kings birth, you went with rochelle from the Saturdays? Really DM? Really?

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Monday, 22 July 2013

CIA backs $630000 study into how to control global weather through ... - The Independent

Study part-funded by the CIA to investigate national security implications of geoengineering

London's 'Medical City' to seal golden triangle of UK research centres -

[ unable to retrieve full-text content]

London's 'Medical City' to seal golden triangle of UK research centres
The Mayor's office will this week put in a bid to the London Enterprise Partnership for £1m seed funding to create a "golden triangle" in medical and life sciences research, linking the capital with Oxford and Cambridge. Kit Malthouse, the deputy Mayor ...

Pepe Reina to leave Liverpool and join old boss Rafa Benitez on a season-long ... -

[ unable to retrieve full-text content]

Pepe Reina to leave Liverpool and join old boss Rafa Benitez on a season-long ...
Liverpool say they have no reason to presume Suarez would disobey team instructions and fail to travel, but it will come as some relief for the club's supporters to see their start striker back on the training pitch. The rejection of Arsenal's bid ...

Indonesia XI v Liverpool – as it happened - The Guardian

Hello. This summer it's been Jose this, Moyesie that and there's been little chance for Brendan Rodgers to edumacate us about the time he invented passing. A travesty, you'll no doubt agree. He's not even had much to say about the ongoing Luis Suarez saga. Will it be Arsenal? No, it won't be Arsenal, will it. Will it be Real Madrid? Quite possibly. Will it be Stenhousemuir? You wouldn't want to rule it out. But whatever does happen, Suarez - a real warrior of spirit, to quote Rodgers - is extremely unlikely to remain at Liverpool, so this year is a chance for us to discover what a post-Suarez world might be like - definitely calmer, you'd expect.

With Suarez elsewhere, Iago Aspas, procured from Celta Vigo, leads the line against an Indonesia XI, while there's also a start for the former Sevilla winger, Luis Alberto. Interesting times in attack and interesting times at the back: Kolo Toure starts alongside Daniel Agger, reportedly a target for Barcelona while Rodgers, fully aware that Pepe Reina is an accident waiting to happen, has nabbed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. He starts in goal. Reina is off to join Rafa Benitez at Napoli. Now if they could just persuade him to take Stewart Downing as well...

Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Toure, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Gerrard; Alberto, Coutinho, Downing; Aspas. Subs from: Jones, Assaidi, Henderson, Spearing, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Kelly, Skrtel, Flanagan, Wisdom, Robinson, Ibe.

Kick-off: 2.30pm BST.

While we wait, here's a video of what Steven Gerrard's presence is doing to the young female population of Jakarta. Naughty Stevie G!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

London 2012: 12500 run Olympic Park race - BBC News

Paula Radcliffe has joined 12,500 people running in the first public event staged in the Olympic Stadium since London 2012.

People had to enter a ballot to take part in the five-mile (8,047m) National Lottery Anniversary Run around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton is also taking part while fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy was the official starter of the race.

There are about 30,000 spectators.

'Good to be back'

The route crosses the Olympic site's wetlands and loops around the Velodrome.

Sir Chris said: "It is a huge honour to start it and it gives me a great excuse not to show everybody my lack of running ability in front of thousands of people."

Great Britain runner Chris Clark tweeted: "Feels good to be back in the Olympic Stadium. Running for the fifth time."

Ms Pendleton was delighted with her time of 36.43 and the race in general.

She said: "It was good. I tried to pace it quite slowly but to get under 40 minutes was really good.

"It's hard to get into your stride because you're having to sidestep people."

Among the runners was Adrian Rose, 26, who proposed to his girlfriend Anne Codling, 28, when she crossed the finishing line.

Mr Rose, from Redcar in Cleveland, said: "I'm just thankful she said yes.

"What better way to do it than in the Olympic Stadium a year after we came here to watch 'Super Saturday'?"

A 1.5 mile (2,414m) family fun run brought the number of total participants to about 15,000.

The event was organised to celebrate the financial contribution made by the Lottery, which contributed £2.2 billion towards the funding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rapper Wiley quits 'Cockrock' after Cumbria Twitter jibes - BBC News

Rapper Wiley stormed off stage after 15 minutes at a Cumbria rock festival after being booed by crowds.

The Wearing My Rolex singer had tweeted while en route to Cockermouth that he did not want to headline the "Cockrock" Festival on Saturday.

He blamed his agent for booking him and quit the stage after three songs when some of the crowd booed. He later dubbed the crowd "pagans" on Twitter.

Events director Marie Whitehead said she was taking legal advice.

She said she was "disappointed" but other "brilliant" bands - Reverend and the Makers and local band Colt 45 - had stepped in and "more than made up for" Wiley's disappearance.

'Hate my agent'

The rapper later posted on Twitter that he had earned £15,000 for the set.

"Start Quote

It is very disappointing as it would appear he did not fulfil his contract and was supposed to play for 45 minutes "

End Quote Marie Whitehead Organiser

Last month he dropped out of the Glastonbury Festival after claiming he was not being paid enough.

On Saturday he performed at the Lovebox festival in London before heading to Cockermouth.

On route he Tweeted: "Gotta start heading towards Cumbria...I hate my agent...

"Just the name of that festival in Cumbria makes me not wanna go..."

Wiley has almost 350,000 followers on the social media site. However, not all of his comments were negative, he said he was enjoying a local cheeseburger and that he was now "in Cumbria - all is good."

Some followers reacted to the posts by the London-based grime act.

One said: "Prepare to be booed, your attitude towards Cockrock was shocking."

But another added: "Still like @WileyUpdates even if 99% of Cumbria doesn't"

Cockrock is an annual three-day, non-profit making festival to promote music and local bands.

Ms Whitehead said she did not know whether the rapper had been paid yet, but that claims about his earnings were "exaggerated".

She said: "We are dealing with 250 contracts for the event, so I'm not sure what the position is but we will be getting legal advice on what happened.

"It is very disappointing as it would appear he did not fulfil his contract and was supposed to play for 45 minutes.

"I was watching and the crowd was enjoying the music but then he launched into a speech and tried to explain his Twitter posts.

"He said it wasn't to do with Cumbria and that he had had a fall out with his manager and hadn't wanted to do all the travelling. There was a little bit of booing so he just walked off saying 'goodnight'.

"But the other acts that stepped in were brilliant - Colt 45 were fantastic and Reverend and the Makers came back on stage."