» Listings for 2012
Posted on 9:54pm Tuesday 18th Dec 2012
Are you stressed? If so, your chances of heading to an early grave are significantly higher.
New research has found that people who reported feeling anxious and overwhelmed were 27 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack.
The study, led by Columbia University Medical Centre researchers, was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.
The researchers looked at six previous studies where people had been asked about their perceived stress with questions such as ‘how stressed do you feel?’ and ‘how often are you stressed?’.
The groups were separated into high and low stress scores and then followed for 14 years to track the number of heart attacks .
Those who were the most stressed were 27 per cent more likely to have a heart attack.
The effect of stress was so profound that the researchers compared it to smoking more five cigarettes a day.
It was also likened to a 2.8mmol/l increase in LDL cholesterol and a 2.7/1.4 mmHg increase in blood pressure.
The British Heart Foundation says that people who are at high risk of, or already have, heart disease should aim for an LDL cholesterol level under 2 mmol/l.
Therefore, it says the figures suggest a 2.8mmol/l rise is more than double the recommended cholesterol levels for heart and stroke patients.
A healthy blood pressure reading should be below 140/90mmHg.
LDL cholesterol is considered a risk for heart disease that can lead to heart attack because it contributes for narrowing of the arteries that supply blood flow to the heart from plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis.
Higher blood pressure puts stress on the heart and contributes to stiffening of the arteries, making them more susceptible to blockage. It is thought to be responsible for 50 per cent of all heart attacks and strokes.
The researchers did further analysis to try to learn what might unpin the link between stress and heart disease. They found that while gender was not a significant factor, age was.
Posted on 9:54pm Tuesday 18th Dec 2012
Martin Skrtel turned out to be a natural tattoo artist when the Liverpool defender took part in a charity inking session to raise money for the victims’ families of the Hillsborough disaster.
In a show of solidarity, 96 football fans bustled into a tattoo studio in Liverpool to take part in the challenge, and one was even willing to let first-timer Skrtel try his hand at inking his his back.
The event was organised by tattoo artist Will Holmes, but special guest Skrtel wasn’t prepared to leave him in the lurch when it came to inking some of the fans.
The Slovakian defender helped tattoo the back of an employee of the football club, Barry Nicholls, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Barry said: ‘Martin agreed to come and pledge his support, which we were really pleased about.
‘We thought he had done tattooing before, so to find out he hadn’t when he turned up was a little alarming.’
The 28-year-old Skrtel, who has plenty of tattoos himself, seemed pretty competent as he put some colour into an eternal flame on the back of his brave volunteer.
But Barry was in safe hands, as Skrtel was coached through his first-time inking by an expert.
Skrtel said: 'Before I came here I didn't know a lot about Hillsborough but once I got used to being at the club, I started to understand what had happened.'
'I think it is great that the Liverpool supporters and the club have stuck together to fight for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.'
An impressive £1,000 was raised from tattoos as well as £500 for a shirt signed by Skrtel.
Demand was so high for the tattoos on offer at the Royal Ink Tattoo Studio in Anfield that they had to compile a reserve list for those who wanted to be inked for the cause.
All the money raised on the day will go towards the fight for justice for victims, survivors and families of the Hillsborough tragedy, which claimed 96 lives in 1989.
Former Liverpool players Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, comedian John Bishop, musicians Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams have also joined forces under the moniker of the Justice Collective and released a charity cover of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother in a bid to top the charts at Christmas to raise money for the worthy cause.
Posted on 9:53pm Tuesday 18th Dec 2012
Mario Balotelli missed training due to sickness today, casting doubt over his appearance at tomorrow’s Premier League tribunal.
The Manchester City striker is due to face his employers in London tomorrow to contest a two-week fine imposed by the club as a punishment for poor on-field discipline last season.
But it is understood that the 22-year-old did not train with Roberto Mancini’s squad at Carrington this morning after arriving with an unknown virus.
Club doctors told Balotelli to go home immediately and he will be assessed again before a decision is made about his appearance tomorrow.
The hearing will go ahead without Balotelli if he is not well enough to attend but – given how hard he has fought this issue so far – it is unlikely he would wish that to happen.
As revealed in Sportsmail this morning, Balotelli, or those speaking on his behalf, will claim at the tribunal that City have acted outside rules agreed by the Premier League and its member clubs by trying to fine him £340,000.
Meanwhile his absence from training today – and possibly again tomorrow – will not please coach Mancini who left the striker out of his squad for the game at Newcastle at the weekend after deciding he wasn’t fit enough.
Balotelli’s chances of featuring against Reading on Saturday now seem very slim indeed.
Posted on 9:52pm Tuesday 18th Dec 2012
Nick Cannon has revealed that he dumped Kim Kardashian after she 'lied' to him about the existence of her now-infamous sex tape. Despite calling the reality star 'one of the nicest people you'll ever meet' Nick explained that he couldn't forgive her for denying the tape existed. Radio presenter Nick, now happily married to Mariah Carey, briefly dated Kim from September 2006 to January 2007.
Speaking on The Howard Stern Show last week he explained: 'This was my issue. We talked about this tape…And she told me there was no tape. 'If she might have been honest with me I might have tried to hold her down and be like "That was before me" because she is a great girl. 'She’s actually one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. But the fact that she lied and told me that there was no tape?'
Kim made the tape while with then-boyfriend Ray J in 2003. It's release brought her to a wide audience and directly led to her now-lucrative reality star career. Nick revealed that he had always suspected that Kim might have had something to do with the tape's release. 'And I still think she might have even had a part to play with [its release],' he said.
It seems unlikely Kim will be too concerned about losing out with Nick, however. Since their breakup she has gone on to become one of America's biggest stars, despite her lack of talent. Nick seems to appreciate this, adding: 'I think she's a great businesswoman if you ask me.'
Posted on 11:33pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
Jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck died from heart failure on Wednesday while on his way to an appointment with his cardiologist. The Take Five musician was with his son Darius when he passed away in Connecticut, his manager Russell Gloyd said.
Brubeck would have turned 92 on Thursday.
He had a career that spanned almost all American jazz since World War II. He formed The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951 and was the first modern jazz musician to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine - on November 8, 1954 - and he helped define the swinging, smoky rhythms of 1950s and 60s club jazz. The seminal album Time Out, released by the quartet in 1959, was the first ever million-selling jazz LP, and is still among the best-selling jazz albums of all time. It opens with Blue Rondo A La Turk in 9/8 time - nine beats to the measure instead of the customary two, three or four beats. A piano-and-saxophone whirlwind based loosely on a Mozart piece, Blue Rondo eventually intercuts between Brubeck's piano and a more traditional 4/4 jazz rhythm.
The album also features Take Five - in 5/4 time - which became the Quartet's signature theme and even made the Billboard singles chart in 1961. It was composed by Brubeck's longtime saxophonist, Paul Desmond.
'When you start out with goals - mine were to play polytonally and polyrhythmically - you never exhaust that,' Brubeck told the Associated Press in 1995. 'I started doing that in the 1940s. It's still a challenge to discover what can be done with just those two elements.'
After service in World War II and study at Mills College in Oakland, California, Brubeck formed an octet including Desmond on alto sax and Dave van Kreidt on tenor, Cal Tjader on drums and Bill Smith on clarinet. The group played Brubeck originals and standards by other composers, including some early experimentation in unusual time signatures. Their groundbreaking album Dave Brubeck Octet was recorded in 1946.
Posted on 11:32pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
It's not been a good week for X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos. Not only is she entering the singing contest's final this weekend without any acts to mentor but her debut album has only managed to reach number 17 in the midweek chart. And to add insult to injury, on Wednesday morning Tulisa would have been left fuming once more after her chauffeur-driven car was impounded after it was parked in a taxi bay outside her hotel.
The N-Dubz star's people carrier was seen being lifted on to the back of a lorry after her driver committed the parking violation outside her hotel in Manchester. And if that wasn't enough bad news, her debut album has failed to set alight the charts, managing to secure a disappointing number 17 in the midweek figures. But it doesn't look as though Tulisa Contostavlos was dwelling on the situation too much as she headed out for dinner with her trusted PA Gareth Varey on Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old singer seemed to be taking the situation in her stride as she celebrated a friend's birthday at Mem and Laz restaurant in Islington, North London, grinning away as she left the eatery with Gareth. Tulisa opted for a vampy black ensemble for her night out, teaming a form-fitting minidress with a quilted leather jacket, thick black tights and shoe boots, while her raven locks hung long and straight down her back. The somewhat lacklustre midweek chart performance of Tulisa's The Female Flop comes after she heavily promoted the debut solo record, with a high-profile appearance on The X Factor last week.
With the extremely poor early signs it is likely that by Sunday, when the full chart is announced, Tulisa's album will have fallen out of the top 20 altogether.
Posted on 11:31pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
George Osborne today squeezed the welfare bill, insisting benefits could no longer rise faster that average wages. In a politically-charged Autumn Statement designed to target 'strivers', the Chancellor announced all benefits will rise by just 1 per cent for the next three years, which will mean a real terms cut. The £3.7billion move creates a major dividing line with Labour, with the government planning a crunch vote in the New Year designed to pile pressure on the opposition to back the curbs or explain why the welfare bill should continue to soar.
Amid grim economic forecasts, Mr Osborne was forced admit he had failed to meet his own targets for getting a grip on Britain's debt, blaming the 2008 crash which had created the worst economic shock since World War Two. But the revised growth figures failed to spook investors, with the FTSE 100 index of 100 leading UK companies closing up 24 points 5892.08.
Mr Osborne also announced a plan to limit the amount the wealthy can put into pension pots tax free to £40,000, arguing the richest must also contribute to tackling the deficit. The new round of tax rises and spending cuts were needed because the recession was worse than previously thought - with GDP contracting by 6.8 per cent in 2008-09, Mr Osborne revealed. ‘Those with the most should contribute the most, and they will,' he said. But fairness is also about being fair to the person who leaves home every morning to go out to work and sees their neighbour still asleep, living a life on benefits. As well as a tax system where the richest pay their fair share, we have to have a welfare system that is fair to the working people who pay for it.'
The Chancellor broke the link between inflation and the ballooning welfare bill, announcing that out-of-work benefits will rise by just one per cent for the next three years. Under previous rules each April benefits were increased by the inflation rate in the previous September, which this year was 2.2 per cent. But Mr Osborne announced that Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support will be cut in real terms, saving £3.7billion by 2016-17.
In addition to curbing rises in out-of-work benefits, it will also mean lower rises for the low paid on income support and housing benefit. Maternity pay and sick pay will also be affected. Child benefit is already frozen for next year, but from 2014 will also only rise by one per cent. The disabled, carers and pensioners will not be affected.
Mr Osborne had favoured a freeze in benefits, but reached the compromise deal with the Lib Dems after weeks of wrangling. Housing benefit is claimed by 3.5 million, income support is claimed by 900,000, and job seekers’ allowance paid to 1.6 million unemployed.
Labour said 60 per cent of families would be affected in some way with a real terms cut in benefits payments. It also suggested women would be hit four times harder by the tax and benefit changes.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: 'Holding down benefit increases to one per cent is better than a total freeze, which would have been disastrous for people on the lowest incomes already having to spend a higher proportion of their income on essentials when rents, food and heating bills are all rocketing.'
Posted on 11:30pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
Veteran TV and radio presenter Stuart Hall was last night charged with indecently assaulting three girls. The former It’s A Knockout host and BBC Radio 5 Live commentator was arrested by police during a dawn swoop on his £1.5million detached home yesterday. The 82-year-old was then taken to a police station where he was questioned for several hours over accusations of indecent assault.
Last night he was charged with indecently assaulting three girls – one as young as eight – in alleged attacks dating back to 1974. John Dilworth of the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘Following investigations by Lancashire Police into allegations of sexual assault by Stuart Hall I have reviewed all the evidence that they have gathered and have authorised Lancashire Police to charge him with three counts of indecent assault.’
The first charge is that between September and December 1974 Hall indecently assaulted a woman who was then aged 16 or 17 years. The second charge alleges he indecently assaulted a girl aged eight or nine in 1983. Finally he is accused of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old girl between July and September 1984.
Mr Dilworth said: ‘I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.’ Hall, famed for his distinctively highbrow approach to football commentary, was released from custody and bailed to appear before magistrates next month. He was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning at his family home in a quiet leafy area of Wilmslow, Cheshire, where he lives with his wife of 44 years, Hazel, 74.
Posted on 11:29pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
American Apparel has again fallen foul of the advertising watchdog with campaigns featuring 'gratuitous' images and the sexualisation of models who appeared to be under 16 years old. The clothing brand, which ran into similar issues with campaigns in 2009 and earlier this year, said the ads were 'standard practice' across the industry in answer to two separate complaints.
In the first complaint, a woman said she had wanted to look at the brand's website with her 12-year-old daughter but found that 23 images advertising stockings and hosiery were 'unnecessarily sexual' and inappropriate to be seen by children.
A second complaint objected to images of what appeared to be a young girl with her breasts visible through a shirt and others featuring 'overtly sexual' poses.
American Apparel said the ads which attracted the second complaint were 'completely decent and were a fair representation of their product line'.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the model 'looked under the age of 16'.
It added: 'We considered both poses were sexually provocative and concluded that the images were irresponsible and likely to cause widespread offence, because they were displayed on a website which could be viewed by, and was likely to have appeal to, children under 16 years of age.' It ruled: 'The ads must not appear again. We told American Apparel they should not use images which were likely to sexualise models who appeared under 16 years of age, and they should not use images which were likely to cause offence.'
Posted on 11:29pm Wednesday 5th Dec 2012
The hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge has released private details about her condition to two prank callers from an Australian radio station. The King Edward VII Hospital in central London has launched an investigation into the extraordinary stunt by two Australians DJs. The two presenters pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles to obtain intimate medical information about pregnant Kate, who is suffering from acute morning sickness. The nurse who answered the call revealed that Kate, 30, ‘had a comfortable night’ and was about to get ‘freshened up’. She also revealed further details that MailOnline will not publish to protect the Duchess’s privacy.
Today the horrified hospital boss John Lofthouse confirmed his staff had passed on information about Kate, saying: 'This was a foolish prank call that we all deplore.'
A hospital spokesman added: 'King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes can confirm that an Australian radio station made a hoax call to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 'This call was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff. King Edward VII’s Hospital deeply regrets this incident.'
St James's Palace declined to comment. It is the second time since marrying Prince William that Kate has suffered a breach of privacy, following the publication of photographs of her sunbathing topless in France in September. In the outrageous stunt in the early hours of the morning, 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian joke about impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles before calling the hospital number.