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Friday, September 30, 2011

Sunny boy! This lad's got a lot of (solar) flair as heatwave brings spectacular sunsets

By Hugo Gye

The recent heatwave has produced sunny scenes around the country, with flowers in bloom and beaches looking positively tropical.

But no less amazing are the spectacular sunrises and sunsets which have been seen in the last couples of days.

These extraordinary photographs show how the landscape has been transformed at dawn and dusk.

Rare opportunity: Youngsters like Thomas and Alex Kingston, pictured, can witness spectacular sunsets which would normally occur well past their bedtime

Dawn: A man walks through the morning mist on Hampstead Heath in north London this morning

Commute: Workers troop across London Bridge as they prepare for another sweltering day

Although there is no direct correlation between warm weather and beautiful sunsets, the lack of cloud cover means that the morning and evening sun has been more visible than it usually would be at this time of year.

And the shorter days mean that the late sunrise and early sunset are witnessed by millions on their way to and from work or school.

This is a rare opportunity for the likes of Thomas Kingston, six, and his five-year-old brother Alex, from County Durham.

They would usually be tucked up in bed when the sun sets, but now they can witness the beautiful scene for themselves, as shown above.

'Sunsets are old-fashioned': But those who witness these spectacular scenes might disagree with Oscar Wilde

A new day: The sun rises over Canary Wharf and London's Docklands

Isolated: A paddle boarder enjoys last night's sunset in south Devon

The Californian weather has also encouraged activities more associated with the West Coast of America than with Britain's south-west.

In Devon, hardy ocean-goers have been snapped surfing and paddleboarding against the backdrop of the red night sky.

Office workers probably don't feel as lucky, but London commuters still had the privilege of seeing the city's skyline in a unique dawn setting.

Oscar Wilde may have argued that 'sunsets are old-fashioned', but those who have witnessed the amazing scenes from last night would surely disagree.

Catch a wave: A Devon surfer takes advantage of the extraordinary Californian conditions

Walkies: A man and his dog enjoy the morning mist on Hampstead Heath

Skyline: From St Paul's to Canary Wharf, London presented quite a sight at dawn today


Moment quick-thinking beachgoers drag Briton to shore after he lost both legs in shark attack

-Swimmer pictured in surf seconds after South Africa horror
-Rescuers saved his life with makeshift tourniquet using wetsuit
-Accountant had gone for a dip at beach despite warnings
-In 'critical' condition after losing right leg and left foot
-10m Great White also went for rescuers - but was distracted by a seal

By Jane Flanagan

In shock: Michael Cohen in the water seconds after the attack by a 10ft Great White shark off a beach in Cape Town

This is the dramatic moment a British swimmer is rescued from the sea by quick-thinking beachgoers after losing both legs in an attack by a Great White shark.

In an astonishing sequence of pictures, Michael Cohen can be seen being dragged to shore by brave bystanders as the shark circled nearby.

Graphic images show the 42-year-old in the surf with his limbs bleeding profusely off Clovelly Beach, in Fish Hoek near Cape Town, South Africa.

Full details of the sensational rescue effort by a pair of men in their sixties emerged today.

Dragged to safety: Mr Cohen is pulled ashore while the shark is still circling nearby

Douglas Drysdale, 61, and Hugh Till, 66, had seen a shark's distinctive outline heading towards a lone swimmer as they looked out from cliffs above the bay.

They raced to the shoreline and dived into the surf but were very nearly attacked themselves by the same shark as they pulled to safety Mr Cohen - who lost his right leg and part of his left foot in the attack.

Amazingly, it was only the sudden appearance of a seal that distracted the 10m shark and enabled the trio - now helped by an unidentified fourth man - to get to the beach yesterday lunchtime.

Canadian-born Mr Cohen, who has a UK passport and previously lived in Chiswick, west London, regularly swam in the area.

He was bitten 'numerous times' and is today 'critical' in hospital after doctors battled to save him.

Craig Lambinon, of South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute, praised the efforts of the rescuers: 'They shouted and waved at the man, but he didn’t notice. By the time they got there he’d been bitten and was struggling in the water.'

He said the men, volunteer preachers at a prison, waded out to Mr Cohen but onlookers started yelling that the shark had returned and was heading towards them.

It was homing in on them when the seal appeared and distracted it.

It has emerged that Mr Cohen entered the sea yesterday even though the beach had been closed after three sharks were spotted.

Onlookers said he walked past a flag indicating a shark was in the water.

Safely ashore: Mr Cohen is dragged on to Clovelly beach near Fish Hoek - he was airlifted to hospital and is in a 'critical' condition today

Is this the culprit? This image of a Great White was taken close to where Mr Cohen was attacked. It was taken by shark spotters monitoring the area this week

Witness Tracy Sassen, a former South African surfing champion, said: 'The man was crying and pleading, "Please help me". He was white and in shock. Half one leg was missing.'

Kathy Geldenhuis, 58, who helped paramedics, said: 'You could tell there was a shark because seals were coming as close as they could to the beach and fish were jumping out of the water.'

Monwabisi Sikweyiya, one of the shark-spotters who guards the bay, said: 'Mr Cohen was very interested in sharks but never took any notice of our warnings. We told him he was taking a risk, but he always said, “If a shark takes me then blame me, not the shark’.”

As chilling video footage of the shark circulated on the internet, Cape Town announced that all beaches in the area would remain closed today.

Beach rescue: Medics treat Michael Cohen's injuries, using makeshift tourniquets to stem the blood flow from his legs

Drama: Members of the Fish Hoek emergency services stretcher Mr Cohen from the beach to a waiting helicopter. He has lost his lower right leg and left foot

Airlift: Mr Cohen is taken to hospital in Cape Town where he was expected to undergo around six hours of surgery

Mr Cohen, who is believed to be single, works as a part-time accountant and lives in the Cape Town suburb of Plumstead. He was airlifted to Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic where he arrived fully conscious.

Medics stabilised him and battled to save his life, taking him into surgery where the tourniquet was removed.

Prof Nichol said: 'We continued with the resuscitation and stabilisation. In theatre it was fairly obvious that nothing could be done as there were was no right lower leg so we just formalised the amputation on that site surgically.'

False Bay, where Fish Hoek is located, has one of the world’s highest densities of Great White sharks. A 37-year-old Zimbabwean man was killed by one in January last year off the same beach.

Clear warning: A woman reads a book on a bench beneath a shark warning flag next to the closed Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town, South Africa, where the man was attacked


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Following in Diana's footsteps: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit cancer-stricken children at Royal Marsden hospital

By Maysa Rawi

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Royal Marsden to open a new £18 million children's cancer unit in Sutton, Surrey today

It was the hospital Princess Diana chose for her first solo charity trip.

So it is rather fitting that the Duchess of Cambridge should follow suit for her second official engagement since the Royal Wedding with husband Prince William today.

Kate was all smiles in an elegant in cream Amanda Wakeley dress and her favourite L.K. Bennett nude heels at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in South London.

A sleep-deprived William, who flew a mercy mission just hours before opening the new £18 million children's cancer unit, looked slightly less sprightly in a navy suit.

William and Kate, both 29, are touring the Oak Centre for Children and Young People which has been built to treat day and inpatients, where they will meet medical staff, young patients and their parents.

During the visit, William will be reunited with Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed him two years ago for the CBBC Newsround programme.

The 12-year-old, who is due to fly to America to receive radiotherapy for a brain tumour, presented Kate with a bouquet of flowers when she arrived at the hospital.

The Duchess is spending her time trying to get to know various charities and good causes so she can decide what her future role will be

Children and hospital staff wait for the couple to arrive

A St James's Palace spokesman told the London Evening Standard: 'The Duke is looking forward to seeing Alice again and finding out how she has been.

'Through his close connection with the hospital he has met many inspirational young people, like Alice, who have shown such bravery in battling their illness.

'Tomorrow, he is keen to show the Duchess the incredible work the Royal Marsden does to help Alice and others like her.'

The sleep-deprived Duke flew a mercy mission to take a sailor to see a seriously-ill relative just hours before today's event

Kate will recieve a bouquet of flowers from Alice Marples, a cancer patient who interviewed Prince William two years ago

William is president of the Royal Marsden - the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research into the causes of the disease.

He took over from his mother, who took on the role in 1989 until her death in 1997.

William went without sleep last night as he ferried the serviceman from a warship off the Isle of Man to Sandhurst in Surrey.

The royal flew back to his base at RAF Valley on Anglesey just after 9am before making the trip to open the Royal Marsden's new £18 million children's cancer unit in Sutton, south London, a few miles from Sandhurst.

The duke, an RAF search and rescue force helicopter co-pilot, carried out the 'compassionate call-out' during a normal 24-hour shift which also saw him help pick up a casualty with serious head injuries in Snowdonia.

A St James's Palace spokesman said the duke would have got little, if any, sleep and was expected to arrive at Oak Centre for Children and Young People on a royal flight helicopter this afternoon.

His wife, who was in London, was arriving by car.

The royal couple have been enjoying married life together in North Wales since their glittering nuptials in April.

They have deliberately kept a low profile over recent months as the Duke, a flight lieutenant with the RAF Search and Rescue Force, is focusing on earning a promotion to captain.


Cut price Kate: Duchess shops at Topshop... and hesitates over £8.50 pair of earrings


Duchess of the High Street: Kate Middleton shopped at High Street Kensington's Topshop on Monday night

The Duchess of Cambridge has almost direct access to The Crown Jewels. She wore the Queen's Cartier Halo tiara on her wedding day, and borrowed her grandmother-in-law's maple leaf brooch for her official trip to Canada.

But refreshingly down-to-earth Kate is not yet past hesitating over buying a pair of £8.50 earrings.

The young royal shopped at Topshop on High Street Kensington, West London on Monday evening. And although she splashed out more than £100 on three items, she left an extra pair of earrings with the cashier at the last minute.

Keeping it local: The young royal visited Topshop on High Street Kensington

That extra £8.50 obviously seemed just a little too decadent.

It is the first time Kate has been spotted in her local Topshop, which is just a couple of minute's walk away from her London residence, Kensington Palace.

By royal appointment: Topshop's cobalt-blue velvet trim boucle jacket (£65) and teal spotted pencil skirt (£38)

To buy or not to buy: The Feather-like earrings that Kate purchased (left) and the ones she left behind

Kate, who had a wallet through of rewards cards, splashed her cash on a trendy teal spot pencil skirt (£38) that was seen on dozens of fashionistas at London Fashion Week.

She also bought a more classic cobalt-blue velvet trim boucle jacket (£65) and a pair of golden roundish earrings with a feather motif.

source: dailymail

How did a Sei whale get beached in the middle of a field in East Yorkshire?

-Marine experts baffled by discovery in salt marshes
-Monster 33ft beast found 800 yards from the sea

By Daily Mail Reporter

Stranded: The 33ft whale was found beached 800 yards from the shoreline of the Humber Estuary

A rare breed of whale found dead 800 yards from the shoreline in the Humber Estuary has baffled marine experts.

The 33ft mammal, thought to be a Sei whale, was discovered in salt marshes on the north bank of the River Humber.

It is thought that the whale became stranded in shallow waters, rolled over onto its blowhole and died, before the tide retreated and left it behind, near the village of Skeffling.

Mysterious: Experts are baffled by the beached whales, as this one, like others, are from species not normally stranded on the British coast

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has spent the summer monitoring the area due to an increase in whale sighting and activity.

Conservationists believe the increase in the number of strandings could be explained by a change in sea currents bringing colder streams of Arctic water into the North Sea and with them whales that would not normally pass so close to the UK shoreline.

Experts who examined the animal said they are 95 per cent certain it is a female Sei whale and say the huge sea creature could simply have been looking for food when the tide turned.

Kirsten Smith, North Seas Living Seas manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: 'The area where the whale was found is salt marsh, which is still connected to the sea.

Too late: Andy Gibson from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust examines the young female whale on the banks of the Humber Estuary on Wednesday

'With the high tide the whale probably got carried up on to the salt marsh, got pushed further in shore and then got stuck when the tide went out.

'The salt marsh is one of several components of the Humber Estuary, and is further in than the mud flats and sand components.

'Sometimes whales come into the shallow water looking for food and get stuck.

'It can be illness or confusion in individual animals, but for it to happen twice in the area, and with reports of another whale nearby now, that could be more than just coincidence.'

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has launched a campaign called Petition Fish to encourage to Government to monitor more closely the changes in British marine life.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said that the whale is likely to have found herself so far in as today marked the day of the highest and lowest tide of the year.

Stuck in the mud: Last month a 30ft baby Minke whale became beached in a shallow dock near Grimsby, Lincolnshire, but rescuers managed to save it after an eight-hour mission

Successful mission: Over 50 emergency personnel descended on Grimsby's Immingham Docks, including the RSPCA, Coastguard, RNLI, fire services and British Marine Rescue

Humber Estuary Services estimate that water levels at Albert Dock, near Hull went as high as 9.5m by 7am today, and went down to 1.3m by 2pm.

The whale, found at 2.30pm last Friday, is the latest of a number to have died in the Humber estuary.

Andy Gibson, of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, added that Sei whale strandings were very rare with only three in UK waters in the last 20 years.

Mr Gibson said: 'It was in shallow water of 4ft -5ft, making contact with the bottom. When it gets in that situation it rolls onto its side and it can cover its blow hole. It is sad but we will be able to learn a lot from it.'

Earlier this month, a young Fin whale - a relative of the Sei - became stranded at Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, and washed up dead near Spurn Point.

Another dead whale was spotted in the river mouth in the last few days but has yet to wash ashore.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has reported a rise in whale sightings this year but no-one is sure why the mammals are making their way to the North Sea.

Over the summer, a pod of around ten Minke whales were regularly spotted off the North Yorkshire coast between Whitby and Scarborough.


The agony of Jacko's children: How Paris and Prince Michael wept as they watched desperate attempts to revive their dead father

-Jackson's personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
-Court played panicked voicemail Murray made before calling 911
-Bodyguard and personal assistant recount chaotic scene as attempts were made to revive lifeless star
-PA tells how Murray claimed he needed to go back from hospital to mansion 'to get rid of cream that the world should never see'
-Concert organiser Paul Gongaware told court that Jackson gave a 'good rehearsal' in his final time on stage
-Lawyer Kathy Jorrie who drew up contract between Murray and concert promoter said doctor requested a CPR machine in concert
-Katherine, Joe, Janet, La Toya, Jermaine, Randy and Rebbie Jackson all back in court for second day of hearing

By John Stevens

Scroll down for video

Paris and Prince Michael Jackson stood in the doorway of their father's bedroom crying as attempts were made to resuscitate him, the court heard

Michael Jackson's two eldest children witnessed the full horror of 'frantic' efforts to revive the lifeless star as he lay dead in his Los Angeles mansion, jurors heard this afternoon.

Prince Michael and Paris, who were 12 and 11 at the time, stood in the doorway of their father's bedroom crying as Dr Conrad Murray tried to resuscitate the singer.

The horrifying scene was told to Los Angeles Superior Court by Jackson's head of security Faheem Muhammed on the second day of Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial today.

Jackson's head of security Faheeem Muhammed told the court that he found Jackson's two eldest children crying

The aide said he moved the children away from the room as they waited to know whether or not their 50-year-old father would survive.

He said that Paris was 'on the ground, balled up crying' and Prince Michael was 'shocked and slowely crying'.

'I realised that his two older children were standing outside of his room in a panicked state,' said Mr Muhammed.

'I took them to a more secure location where they couldn't see what was going on.

The bodyguard said that when he entered the bedroom, he saw Murray next to Jackson's body on the floor.

The court was shown a picture of the space next to Jackson's bed where Murray tried to revive the star's lifeless body

Jackson's personal assistant, Michael Amir Williams, said that Dr Conrad Murray asked to be driven from the hospital to the singer's house to 'get rid of a cream that the world should never see'

He said that the doctor looked 'nervous' and was 'sweating'.

Mr Muhammed said that Jackson's 'eyes were open and that his mouth was slightly open'.
He was asked if the star appeard to be dead. He replied, 'yes'.

Earlier the court heard from Jackson's personal assistant who described the chaotic moments as he drove all three of the singer's children to hospital.

Michael Amir Williams told how he drove behind the ambulance to the hospital with Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, and their nanny.

The court was played a video that Michael Amir Williams, Jackson's personal assistant, made of the panicked voicemail from Murray

He recounted how they were followed by the media, which forced him to shield the children from view when they arrived at the hospital.

'I took off my jacket and covered them up one by one, and took them inside the hospital. There were cameras everywhere,' he said.

Mr Williams told the court how Murray panicked and asked to be taken back to the singer's house 'to get rid of a cream that the world should never see' as the King of Pop lay dead.

The personal assistant said that he asked security to place Jackson's house on 'lockdown' after Murray repeatedly asked to go back from the hospital to the singer's mansion.

After Jackson had been pronounced dead, Mr Williams said he had the 'odd' conversation with Murray, in which he made the request to go back to the mansion.

'I was in a hallway. We were making small talk about how horrible this is,' Mr Williams said.

Then, 'he said that there's some cream in Michaels room... that he wouldn't want the world to know about. And he requested that I or someone give him a ride back to the house to get it.

'I was emotional. There was a lot going on. that was the last thing I really was thinking about,' he said.

The personal assistant said that he lied to Murray and told him the keys to his car had been taken by the police as Murray insisted that he be taken back to the house.

Conrad Murray looked uncomfortable at times during the second day of his involuntary manslaughter trial

The jury was shown a photo inside the front door of Jackson's home in Los Angeles

Murray then asked to be taken 'to get food', but Mr Williams said he again refused.

The court was also played the panicked voicemail that Murray left on Mr Williams' phone before he called 911.

'Call me right away, please. please call me right away. Thank you,' Murray is heard saying on the recording.

The physician looked uncomfortable and started touching his neck as he waited for the recording to be played.

Mr Williams said that he had received the voicemail at 12:13pm on the day that Jackson died, 11 minutes before the emergency call was placed.

The prosecution showed the court Jackson's last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears

Dr Conrad Murray stands with his attorneys J Micahel Flanagan and Edward Chernoff today

When Mr Williams called Murray back two minutes later he was told that something had gone wrong.

'He said "Where are you?" I said: "I'm downtown". He said "Get here right away, Mr. Jackson had a bad reaction. Get here right away"... He said "Get somebody up here immediately,"' Mr Williams told the court.

Mr Williams said that he was not asked to call 911.

When the personal assistant arrived at Jackson's LA mansion 30-40 minutes later, he said he saw the singer's body being brought down the stairs on a gurney.

'It was real frantic. I got there when the gurney was coming down,' he said.

The evening before Jackson was taken to hospital, Mr Williams said he had gone to the singer's final rehersal at the Staples Center.

Paul Gongaware, CEO of AEG Live, told the court today that Michael Jackson was 'engaged' and 'energetic' in the two performances before his death

Kathy Jorrie, who drew up the contract between Murray and the concert promoter said that the doctor told her Jackson was in 'perfect health' on the day before he died

He said that he had been 'blown away' by the performance and that Jackson was in 'high spirits' as he returned home for what would be the final time.

The court was told how Jackson asked to stop the car at the end of his driveway so he could wind down the window and speak to fans.

'He was in good spirits,' Mr Williams said. 'Sometimes he was not feeling well and wanted to drive in and just wave, but he wanted to stop the car.'

After a dramatic first day of the hearing into charges against his personal doctor Conrad Murray, the prosecution continued to present their case claiming that the singer died after he was ‘abandoned' by the doctor.

Prosecutors allege Murray caused Jackson's death by providing him with a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol and other sedatives without the proper lifesaving equipment or skills.

Conrad Murray on the second day of his trial for involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles

Dr Conrad Murray today listened as the jury heard about negotiations over his contract with AEG Live

Jermaine Jackson, left, and Janet and Randy Jackson, right, arrive at the court for the second day of the trial

Second day: Michael Jackson's parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson, arrive at the courthouse in Los Angeles today

LaToya Jackson, who yesterday sent a stream of bizarre tweets from the court, arrives for the second day of the trial

A photo of Jackson in white medical robes with his mouth covered with a tube and tap was shown in a shocking beginning to the trial yesterday.

In opening statements, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said Murray delayed summoning emergency crews and lied to doctors and medics when he failed to reveal that he had been giving Jackson the medications to try to help the entertainer sleep.

One of the day's most stunning moments came when Walgren played a recording of a conversation between Jackson and Murray in which the singer detailed what he wanted out of the shows. Jackson's voice, though recognizable, was slow and slurred.

'We have to be phenomenal,' Jackson is heard saying in the recording, which investigators gleaned from Murray's phone after the singer's death.

'When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, 'I've never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I've never seen nothing like this. Go. It's amazing. He's the greatest entertainer in the world.

Murray, who could face four years in prison if convicted, claims that Jackson administered the drugs that killed him himself.

His defence attorney Ed Chernoff said that Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol, but that the entertainer kept requesting it on the day he died to help him sleep.

'Michael Jackson started begging,' Chernoff said. 'When Michael Jackson told Dr. Murray, 'I have to sleep. They will cancel my performance,' he meant it.'

He told jurors that Jackson swallowed enough of the sedative lorazepam to put six people to sleep before ingesting propofol, while Murray was out of the room.

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

The trial will today hear what happened in Jackson's house in the minutes after he died

The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson's home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor

Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA

The combination, which Chernoff called a 'perfect storm' of medications, killed Jackson so quickly that he didn't even have a chance to close his eyes.

Yesterday, the jury was played four minutes of Jackson's final rehearsals of two songs.

Days before Jackson's 'Earth Song' performance during a rehearsal at Staples Center, the superstar's health prompted friend and collaborator Kenny Ortega to question whether the singer needed serious help. He had just spent hours cradling the singer, trying to warm him from deep shivers that kept him from rehearsing.

'He was like a lost boy,' Ortega wrote in an email to promoters five days before Jackson's death.

'There may still be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs.'

The email drew a rebuke from Murray, who Ortega said told him not to try to play amateur doctor or psychologist. Five days later, the singer was dead.

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