Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.
A 17-year-old boy who threatened to carry out an Islamic State-inspired vehicle attack in Cardiff will be sentenced on Friday.The teenager, from the Rhondda Cynon Taf area of South Wales, was arrested at his home in June last year, hours after searching the internet for details of security at a Justin Bieber concert being held at the Principality Stadium.Jurors convicted the youth of preparing for terrorist acts after a nine-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court last November.The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was also convicted of two counts of encouraging terrorism by posting extremist material on Instagram, and two charges of possessing Isis propaganda magazines.Jurors were told the teenager, from a white British background, hid a hammer and knife in his school bag and wrote a “martyrdom letter” after being radicalised online.At the start of the trial it emerged that the boy had written a note apparently aimed for distribution after his death reading: “I am a soldier of the Islamic State and I have attacked Cardiff today because your government keep on bombing targets in Syria and Iraq.“There will be more attacks in the future.”Cardiff’s Castle quarter was among the areas researched by the boy using Google maps, while other searches sought details of a shopping centre, the city’s Central Library and the New Theatre.After the boy was remanded in custody following his conviction on November 27 last year, Sue Hemming, from the CPS said: “This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster Bridge.“He was also posting extremist content online that could have encouraged others to commit terrorist acts and downloading instructions on how to carry out ‘lone wolf’ attacks.”The boy will be sentenced by Judge Mark Wall QC, who has warned that the offences obviously merit a significant custodial sentence.
Two social workers who say an inquiry report into allegations of child abuse on the British overseas territory of St Helena destroyed their professional reputations have taken legal action.Claire Gannon and Martin Warsama, who worked on St Helena and made cover-up allegations, have sued the Foreign Office and the senior barrister who led the inquiry.They say they “stand by the accuracy and honesty of their disclosures” and say conclusions were reached on the basis of an inquiry which was procedurally unfair.Lawyers representing ministers and inquiry chairman Sasha Wass QC dispute their claim and say the litigation should not proceed.A judge was on Friday considering issues in the case at a High Court hearing in London.Barrister Neil Sheldon, who is leading a legal team representing Foreign Office ministers, asked the judge, Master Victoria McCloud, to halt the litigation and dismiss the claim launched by Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama.The inquiry had been set up by ministers following corruption and cover-up allegations which had been raised in newspaper articles and leaked documents and made by Ms Gannon and Martin Warsama.An inquiry report published in December 2015 concluded that: St Helena did not “attract sex tourism”; said allegations that the island in the South Atlantic was a “paedophiles’ paradise” were not true; reported “no corruption at all”; and found no evidence of any attempt by the Foreign Office, the Department for International Development, the St Helena government or police to cover up child abuse.The report said: “We stress that there was no ‘cover-up’ as alleged by Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama, rather an ignorance of proper safeguarding procedure.”Nicholas Bowen QC, who represents Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama, told the judge the conclusions of the Wass Inquiry “destroyed” the professional reputations of his clients.He said the inquiry process was “procedurally” unfair and said Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama were entitled to “just satisfaction” for their loss.Ms Gannon and Mr Warsama say their claim should not be dismissed but say evidence should be analysed at a trial.
A young woman was killed when a bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit her in the back as she stood in the heart of gang territory, a court heard.Mohanna Abdhou, 20, known as Montana, was caught in a hail of gunfire from two masked men on bicycles, a jury was told.The alleged killers Mohammed Tawfik, 19, and Kylann Grannum, 21, were helped by a 17-year-old boy who provided them with a bike and a place to change, the Old Bailey heard.The three defendants are on trial for murder alongside Grannum’s girlfriend Kathleen Peddar, 21, who is accused of assisting the alleged gunmen to evade capture in the hours after the shooting.Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC said the victim was killed on the evening of May 26 last year on the South Kilburn Estate, in north west London.He said: “Mohanna was shot by two masked gunmen who approached, riding pedal cycles, the group she was with.“At least three, probably more, shots were fired in the direction of her group.“One bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit Mohanna in the back, severing her pelvic artery. She died at the scene.”Miss Abdhou, of Hayes, was not believed to be a specific target of the shooting.Mr Orchard told jurors the killing followed years of tit-for-tat violence between two rival gangs whose territories lie just half a mile apart.The Mozart Estate is the home turf of the Harrow Boys or HRB who had a long-running dispute with a gang known as Killy or SK from the South Kilburn Estate.The prosecutor said Tawfik and Grannum were linked with HRB while the 17-year-old defendant mixed with people from the same gang.He said the shooting took place while the victim was standing in the middle of the South Kilburn Estate, the heart of the rival gang’s territory.Tawfik, from Kilburn, Grannum, of no fixed abode, and the youth, who cannot be identified, have pleaded not guilty to murder.The youth also denies assisting offences and Peddar, of Brent, north west London, denies two counts of assisting an offender.
Two men have been cleared of killing a young woman who was hit by a ricochet bullet during a tit-for-tat shooting.Mohanna Abdhou, 20, known as Montana, was shot in the back by a stray bullet which had bounced off a wall on an estate in north west London on May 26 last year.Afterwards, two masked killers made off on bicycles, the Old Bailey heard.Following a trial, Mohammed Tawfik, 19, from Kilburn, and Kylann Grannum, 21, of no fixed abode, were found not guilty of murder.Grannum’s girlfriend Kathleen Peddar, 21, of Brent, north west London, was cleared of assisting them.Prosecutor Anthony Orchard QC had told jurors how Ms Abdhou, from Hayes, was not the target of the shooting on the South Kilburn Estate.He said: “Mohanna was shot by two masked gunmen who approached, riding pedal cycles, the group she was with.“At least three, probably more, shots were fired in the direction of her group.“One bullet ricocheted off a wall and hit Mohanna in the back, severing her pelvic artery. She died at the scene.”Mr Orchard told jurors the killing followed years of tit-for-tat violence between two rival gangs whose territories lie just half a mile apart.The Mozart Estate is the home turf of the Harrow Boys, or HRB, who had a long-running dispute with a gang known as Killy or SK from the South Kilburn Estate.The prosecutor said Mr Tawfik and Mr Grannum were linked with HRB.The shooting took place while the victim was standing in the middle of the South Kilburn Estate, the heart of the rival gang’s territory.One bullet was retrieved from her body and a second was found in a nearby flat, although the revolver used in the shooting was never recovered.Giving evidence, Tawfik told jurors he and his co-accused were smoking a joint at his mother’s house at the time of the killing.A 17-year-old boy was acquitted of murder mid-way through the trial on the directions of the judge.
A lawyer has accused Oscar-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush in court of touching an actress inappropriately on an Sydney stage three years ago while he was starring in a production of King Lear.Rush is suing Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper in federal court for defamation over articles last year which alleged inappropriate behaviour and touching during the Sydney Theatre Company production in 2015.The newspaper’s lawyer, Tom Blackburn, told the court that Rush, now 66, touched an actress who has not been identified on five consecutive nights in the last week of the production in a way that he had not done before and that made her uncomfortable.Mr Blackburn told the court: “She said stop — he didn’t. He went on doing it. Our case is that that in itself is inappropriate.”But Rush’s lawyer, Richard McHugh, told the court the accusations were vague.Mr Blackburn is fighting Rush’s request to have the newspaper’s truth defence struck out.Justice Michael Wigney delayed his decision on that request to a later date.Mr McHugh told the court that parts of the defence lacked specificity and did not detail Rush’s alleged behaviour.The inappropriate behaviour is alleged to have occurred when Rush and the actress were required to touch on stage, Mr McHugh said.“To this day, it’s not clear what they’re saying. Not just unclear, it’s completely opaque,” Mr McHugh said.The newspaper’s lawyers have previously told the court that the articles did not allege Rush engaged in inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature.Mr Blackburn said for the purposes of the defence it was not important where Rush touched the actress, but the fact she allegedly asked him to stop — and he did not stop — made it inappropriate.Rush, who was not in court on Monday, has denied behaving inappropriately.The actor announced in December he was suing the newspaper over its reporting of the actress’s complaint over what the theatre company described in a statement as “inappropriate behaviour”.The company said the complaint was made after the production closed. The actress had not wanted Rush to be informed of her complaint, the company said.Rush has performed in the Sydney Theatre Company for 35 years. He won the 1997 best actor Academy Award for Shine and has three other Oscar nominations. He is perhaps best known as Captain Barbossa in the Pirates Of The Caribbean films.
The Scottish Youth Theatre’s planned closure in the summer will not go ahead after new funding was announced.The Scottish Government will give £150,000 to match private sponsorship secured by the theatre, including from Edinburgh-based investment firm Baillie Gifford.The cash will enable the theatre to stay open for the rest of 2018.The theatre, whose alumni include stars such as Gerard Butler and Karen Gillan, announced earlier this month it planned to close in the summer after losing out on Creative Scotland funding.Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the new cash would give the theatre a chance to find money to stay open long-term.Scottish Youth Theatre chief executive Jacky Hardacre said: “With a future now secured for Scottish Youth Theatre, our focus is firmly on ensuring the nation’s young people have their own thriving national theatre company to engage with, be inspired by and to aspire to be a part of.“This solution would not be possible without the support from Baillie Gifford and a number of private-sector organisations and individuals.“Furthermore, the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary have shown a great willingness to explore every option for Scottish Youth Theatre and we are very grateful for their time and efforts and their clear commitment to youth arts in Scotland.”She said she had been “overwhelmed and humbled” by the support for the theatre.Ms Hyslop said: “There was widespread concern about the announcement that the theatre was facing closure due to its financial position.“This funding from partners will allow the theatre to maintain its work and complete the ongoing positive changes to their business. It will also give time for further dialogue about a longer-term funding strategy.“I have set out this offer to the Scottish Youth Theatre and I have encouraged them to continue exploring all options available to secure a more permanent funding solution.”She said they had also discussed improving the “reach, depth and quality” of the theatre’s work across Scotland and how the new money will assist.The government had faced criticism over the planned closure would in the Year of Young People but ministers stressed Creative Scotland is at arm’s length from the government and officials are legally barred from interfering in their funding decisions.
The planned closure of Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT) would “jeopardise” the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People, MSPs have heard.The theatre, whose alumni include stars such as Gerard Butler and Karen Gillan, announced last week it will close in summer after losing out on Creative Scotland funding.Childcare and Early Years Minister Maree Todd faced questions on the closure at Holyrood.Conservative Rachael Hamilton said the closure “stands to jeopardise” the Year of Young People, which includes an objective to allow young people to express themselves through culture.She said: “How will the Scottish Government ensure that the decisions made with regards to the Scottish Youth Theatre promote, and not jeopardise, the objectives and ambitions of the Year of Young People?”Labour’s Claire Baker highlighted a petition to prevent closure has gathered more than 37,000 signatures and asked Ms Todd to examine giving the theatre national status, enabling it to receive direct Scottish Government funding.The Minister said Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop is due to meet SYT members later this week and conferring national status is “likely” to be one of the options under discussion.She stressed Creative Scotland is at arm’s length from the government and officials are legally barred from interfering in their funding decisions.“We recognise the potential closure of Scottish Youth Theatre is of concern to many people, including right across this chamber,” she added.“That’s why we’re exploring all the options available with the theatre and Creative Scotland.“Difficult decisions just can’t be completely escaped though but we are absolutely determined to look at all options to protect, if we can, the work that Scottish Youth Theatre does, and to support as far as we can a healthy, vibrant culture sector right across Scotland in this year, the Year of Young People, and beyond.”
The First Minister has said the government will explore “all options” to keep the Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT) running after it failed to secure regular funding from Creative Scotland.Nicola Sturgeon was urged to intervene to prevent the closure of the arts organisation during First Minister’s Questions at Holyrood.SYT has said it will be forced to cease trading in July due to a funding gap amounting to around a third of its required income.Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said the lives of people across Scotland had been “enriched and transformed” by the experience of attending SYT.He said he accepted that the Scottish Government could not instruct Creative Scotland but added that ministers had a “direct responsibility” for a national asset like the theatre group.Staff and young people deserved some good news and confidence about the organisation’s future, he added.Mr Harvie said: “This year is being billed as the year of young people. Are we really going to let Scottish Youth Theatre close?”He was joined by SNP MSP Sandra White, who said the decision had been a “very big slap and a kick in the teeth” for SYT, and it was “absolutely essential” it was allowed to continue.Ms Sturgeon said that she had a “lot of sympathy” with the views expressed by MSPs.“Scottish Youth Theatre do fantastic work and I think it would be the desire of all of us to see them able to continue to do that,” she said.The First Minister highlighted that decisions about funding were for Creative Scotland and legally the Scottish Government was unable to intervene.She added: “That said, the announcement by the Scottish Youth Theatre … is of serious concern. It will be of serious concern to many people across Scotland and indeed it is to me.“I know that Creative Scotland has approved some funding to allow the organisation to continue to operate while they hopefully work together to look at alternative routes to support and I would encourage the Scottish Youth Theatre to continue these discussions.”Ms Sturgeon said she had asked Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop to offer to meet with SYT “to see whether there is some action that the Scottish Government could be party to that would help to secure a future for the Scottish Youth Theatre”.She added: “While I can’t give detail about what those options might be, today I certainly give a commitment that we will do everything we can to fully explore all options to allow young people in the future to benefit from the Scottish Youth Theatre in the way that young people in the past have done.“There will always be difficult decisions on funding to be made and I think sometimes Creative Scotland is unfairly criticised because they have to make these decisions, but we want to make sure that theatre, and youth theatre in particular, can flourish not just in this year but generally in Scotland.”Creative Scotland has said it is “disappointed” to learn of SYT’s decision, is fully committed to supporting youth arts and has been in discussions with the theatre group “regarding alternative routes to support”.
The plea has been postponed in the case of a man accused of strangling and dismembering a police officer he met on gay dating website Grindr. Italian Stefano Brizzi, 50, allegedly murdered 59-year-old PC Gordon Semple at his London flat some time between April 1 and April 7. Mr Semple was originally from Inverness in Scotland and had been with the Metropolitan Police for 30 years. He went missing on April 1 and his remains were discovered a week later after a neighbour alerted Scotland Yard to a "smell of death" coming from a property on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, south London. Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC has already set a provisional date for Brizzi to face trial on October 18. The defendant appeared before the Old Bailey judge by video link from top-security Belmarsh prison. Wearing sunglasses and a white and beige tracksuit, he spoke only to confirm his name. Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC asked for the plea hearing to be put back to September 9. Judge Hilliard agreed the new timetable and remanded Brizzi in custody until the next hearing.