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Crowds celebrate as balloons are released to mark the New Year at the Zojoji Temple, in Tokyo

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Crowds celebrate as balloons are released to mark the New Year at the Zojoji Temple, in Tokyo, seconds after midnight Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.

Balloons fly across the sky as people celebrate New Year at a countdown event at the Zojo-ji Buddhist temple in Tokyo January 1, 2010.

Peoples wait to release balloons to celebrate the New Year at Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, early Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.

Peoples set balloons free to celebrate the New Year at Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, early Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.

photo: AP

Outlook is bright as U.S. weather girl accepts boyfriend's surprise proposal live on air

By Cher Thornhill

What are you doing here? A forecast on the U.S. Weather Channel is interrupted when presenter Kim Perez's boyfriend steps on to the set

Video: See the proposal, click here...

She may have forecast stormy weather but the outlook certainly appears bright for weather girl Kim Perez.

The unsuspecting presenter was describing rainfall in South Florida on the US Weather Channel when her boyfriend walked in front of the camera and proposed.

Policeman Marty Cunningham had clearly prepared for the moment which was accompanied by a soundtrack of tear-jerkers.

Instant atmosphere: A heart appears on the weather map as policeman Marty Cunningham gets on one knee to a Hollywood-style soundtrack

Tear-jerker: Kim holds back tears as Marty asks her to marry him on-air

Happy ending: The couple kiss before a voiceover introduces the football forecast

'You got me': Kim's marriage proposal has become an internet favourite

As he got down on one knee, the words ‘Will you marry me?’ appeared in a heart in place of the America weather map.

The beaming police sergeant said: ‘We've been talking about this for a long time.
‘And I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

'So I'm asking you today, will you please marry me?’
Miss Perez immediately threw her arms around her boyfriend and said: 'I will,' before adding ‘You got me’ and ‘You make me so happy.’

The unconventional proposal has been viewed by hundreds and become an internet favourite.

Miss Perez worked as a weather forecaster in the Air Force before joining the Weather Channel.


Your risk of cancer - at the click of a mouse: How new software will spot early signs of disease

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
By Tamara Cohen

GPs will be given computer software to help spot the early signs of cancer, it emerged yesterday.

Doctors will use a new programme to give patients their percentage chance of having cancer based on their including age, weight and symptoms such as bleeding or constant tiredness.

Patients calculated to be at high risk of cancer developing would be referred for urgent tests in hospital within two weeks.

The plan was unveiled by Professor Mike Richards, the Govenment's cancer czar, in a bid to prevent the 10,000 unnecessary deaths each year caused by late diagnosis.

Every GP in England could be using the software within five years, he said.

Cancer is the UK's biggest killer after heart disease and strokes and kills more than 150,000 people every year, around half of those diagnosed.

England is the first country to use the tool, as it has a lower rate of early cancer diagnosis than many European countries, Professor Richards added.

GPs spot cancer in 90 per cent of patients with screening picking up the other ten per cent.

Although some patients do not seek help in time, many cancers become fatal because they are not diagnosed by doctors at an early stage. There are more than 200 forms of cancer and the early stages can be similar to the symptoms of other conditions.

Professor Richards said computers could help doctors improve their diagnosis rate by giving them all the information they need in one place, although GPs will still make the decision to refer.

The software was devised after Government-funded research into the prevention of lung and bowel cancers by Dr Willie Hamilton, an Exeter GP and cancer expert at Bristol University.

One of the tests showed that a man aged over 40 who develops diarrhoea has less than a one per cent chance of that indicating bowel cancer, but two visits to the GP with the same symptom produce a 1.5% risk.

This rises to 3.4 per cent if there is a combination of diarrhoea and rectal bleeding and 6.8 per cent if he visits his GP twice with rectal bleeding.

Professor Richards told the Guardian: 'This is helping GPs because none of us can retain this sort of information [about cancer symptoms] and having to retain it for bowel cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as for heart disease, it would take a remarkable human brain to be able to do that, so why not get computers to support it?

'The benefit of this will be that GPs will know who should be investigated and who shouldn't. It will also help patients to know that whether they are being reassured, or referred, or getting a test, that is the right thing to do.'

But he added: 'The GP will always have the final say. If he wants to refer a patient to hospital, he will always have the right to do so.'

The Department of Health is recruiting GP practices for a pilot starting in Spring 2010.
A spokesman said: 'The work by Dr Willie Hamilton has not been to create a database but to develop a diagnostic risk assessment tool to assist earlier diagnosis of lung and bowel cancers for use in primary care. All GPs in the pilot will be trained in how to use the tool's use ahead of the expected pilot start date of Spring 2010.'

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners said the software would save lives.

He said: 'The future of medicine will be that GPs will be using more and more computer-aided diagnostic tools for more and more conditions, and ultimately in years to come genetic information will be part of that. GPs will welcome this because it will make their diagnoses quicker and better. Over time this will save lives'.

Sarah Woolnough, head of policy at Cancer Research UK, said: "We welcome any initiative that encourages the earlier diagnosis of cancer.

'Late diagnosis is the reason behind thousands of avoidable cancer deaths every year so it has to be a huge priority to make every effort to diagnose cancer earlier.'

GPs have recently begun using similar software to help them assess a patient's risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which looks at blood pressure, family history, cholesterol, smoking history and current symptoms before producing an odds ratio.


The first wedding photo of Kevin Jonas and his new bride

Fairytale: Kevin Jonas and his new bride Danielle wed in a lavish ceremony before Christmas at a castle in New York

It was a fairytale wedding themed with an enchanted forest and it was complete with a blushing bride and groom.

The first look at Kevin Jonas's wedding to Danielle Deleasa has been revealed, and the pictures show the bride looking radiant in her tulle and Chantilly lace Vera Wang gown.

The eldest sibling of the Jonas Brothers pop group, who famously promised to keep his virginity until he wed, married his girlfriend of two years on December 19 at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York.

They have been honeymooning in Mexico over the festive season.

Jonas, 23, and his wife, who sold their wedding pictures to People magazine, held their wedding breakfast in a heated marquee decorated with an enchanted forest and icicle-shaped crystal decorations.

And the groom even bought his bride glass slippers as a surprise for the big day.

He said: 'I knew that my princess needed her glass slippers and her castle.'

The new Mrs Jonas added: 'I always wanted my wedding to have that princess feel. I couldn't have imagined this.'

The groom added: 'I've never seen a more beautiful bride.'

Despite a blizzard blanketing the roads around the castle, the wedding went forward without a hitch.

Honeymoon: The happy couple are holidaying in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The 22-year-old bride, a former hairdresser, was escorted down the aisle by her father Thomas to Bella Notte, from Lady And The Tramp, played on the guitar by a friend of the Jonas Brothers.

The service was performed by the groom's father, Kevin Jonas Sr, an ordained minister, along with Danielle's childhood pastor, the Rev Ron DePasquale Jr.

And after reciting traditional vows, the couple exchanged Jacob & Co wedding bands which they designed for one another.

It replaces the chastity ring which Kevin, along with his pop-star brothers, wore on his wedding ring finger.

While honeymooning in a luxury resort at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, newlywed Kevin was spotted playing with his swish new ring, and rubbing suntan lotion on to his wife's skin.
Kevin and Danielle met in 2007 on a beach in the Bahamas.

Before the big day: Danielle and Kevin announce their engagement in July on the band's MySpace page

source: dailymail

Severe weather warnings across UK as temperatures plummet to -18C and forecasters predict a FOOT of snow

By Paul Sims

Blizzard conditions: Drivers near Merthyr, South Wales, had an early taste yesterday of the cold snap which is likely to grip Britain into 2010

Britain was placed on a New Year high alert last night as temperatures plummeted to -18c (-0.4f) in some areas and forecasters predicted snowfalls as deep as 12 inches.
Temperatures are set to drop below freezing on New Year's Eve with sleet, snow and rain almost certain to plunge the country into chaos once again.
The Met Office issued severe weather warnings for Wales, the West Midlands and South-West England, and warned of further flurries in the North.

High alert: An overturned car near Lochty, three miles outside Perth on the A85

Big freeze: Shoppers at Asda in Brynmawr, Wales, struggle through the heavy snow as forecasters warn there is more to come

Wales was worst hit yesterday with as much as eight to 12 inches (20-30cm) of snow in places.

There were also snow showers in the West Country and across the Midlands, North-East England and Scotland.

Temperatures plunged to -18c (-0.4f) at Braemar in Aberdeenshire, the coldest night so far this winter. There were a series of accidents on the roads because of the extreme conditions.

Cold front: A digger clears snow outside an Asda store in Brynmawr, Wales yesterday

A young boy was killed in a car crash after the car he was travelling in collided with another on icy roads in Rugby, Warwickshire.

There were also warnings for walkers-One man died after slipping on ice while visiting his mother's grave in Manchester on Christmas Day.

Motorists were told to beware icy roads as forecasters claimed that the cold weather would grip the country well into next week.

Use your horn: A deer on the road near Garve in the Scottish Highlands

Up to four inches (10cm) of snow is expected to fall elsewhere in the next 24 hours, while long periods of rain are expected in the South, turning the snow into ice.

By 3pm yesterday, the AA had attended around 14,000 breakdowns since midnight and expected the day's total to exceed 18,000 compared with around 8,500 on a normal Tuesday.

New Year revellers were also urged to be careful in the treacherous conditions as temperatures fall and ice forms on roads and pavements.

John Hammond, from the Met Office, said: 'The snow will be heavy at times with drifting likely in strong easterly winds, leading to blizzard conditions over hills.

'And the cold weather will remain with us into the New Year and into next week.

'There won't be any let up. It's going to affect all parts of the country.

'Temperatures will fall below freezing in pretty much every region and in some parts it could drop into double figures.

'It's going to be incredibly cold.'

source: dailymail

Second Trailer of 'Inception' Reveals Objective

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Released via Apple, the trailer sheds a bit about Leonardo DiCaprio's mission in the sci-fi thriller which synopsis is kept hidden.

Video: Inception Trailer 2, click here..

The released synopsis for Christopher Nolan's "Inception" does little to explain what the movie is all about and the newly-released trailer of the movie does not help much either. However, it basically revolves around stealing an idea because it is the "most resilient parasite" and that "your mind is the scene of the crime".

A contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind, the film is centering on Leonardo DiCaprio as some CEO type of guy who wants to steal ideas from other people's mind. From the look of the trailer, the power of idea is able to fold the city and rewrite all the rules.

Supported also by Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Cillian Murphy, the movie is looking at July 16, 2010 U.S. release in theaters.

source: aceshowbiz

Edwin van der Sar's vigil for sick wife: Manchester United keeper by stroke victim Annmarie's bedside

By Ian Ladyman and Simon Cass

The wife of Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is seriously ill after a stroke.

Van der Sar is at his wife Annmarie van Kesteren’s hospital bedside in Holland awaiting test results.

Sportsmail understands Annmarie collapsed at home last Wednesday as Van der Sar and the couple’s two children, Joe and Lynn, were preparing to celebrate Christmas.

Out of action in recent weeks with a knee injury, Van der Sar had been given permission by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to return to his homeland for the festive period and to receive treatment from the Holland team doctor.

The 39-year-old former international is not expected back in Manchester until more is known about his wife’s condition.

Van der Sar is United’s No 1 and has been considering an offer to stay at the club for another season.

source: dailymail

Dressed-down Sharon Stone plays the regular mom as she takes her son to basketball

Motherly love: Sharon Stone stares lovingly at her adopted son Roan Bronstein as they enjoy a basketball game at the Staples Centre in LA

She's rarely seen in a T-shirt but Sharon Stone dressed down for a trip to the basketball with her son yesterday.

The 54-year-old actress made the most of a rare visit to LA from Roan Bronstein, 9, by taking him to see the Clippers - and the pair seemed to have a great time.

Stone in particular appeared to get very animated in the match against the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center in LA.

The excitement of being able to look after the young son she adopted and then lost in a bitter custody battle clearly caught hold.

Stone was playing the regular mom role in a black T-shirt with 'Alpha Dog' emblazoned across the front, with a pair of black jeans over her black cowboy boots.

The Hollywood star also appeared to be without make-up and wearing her hair longer than or late.

It was in Septmber last year that Stone lost joint custody of Roanto ex-husband Phil Bronstein after a judge decided that the boy should stay with his father.

Casual: The Hollywood actress dressed down on the outing - Stone only sees her son when her ex-husband allows her after losing custody of him last year

At the time Bronstein was living in the Bay Area of San Francisco with Roan, while Stone lived in Los Angeles.

The judge decreed that the nine-year-old should stay with her ex-husband unless his actress mother or father relocated to be closer to one another.

Sharon is now only allowed to see her son when Bronstein allows her to, although according to reports she is unhappy with the situation and has made several bids to gain permanent access to Roan.

Joy: Sharon looks a picture of happiness as she takes in the match with her nine-year-old son Roan Bronstein

It was claimed, in court papers obtained by TMZ, that Sharon Stone was an alarmist parent who had convinved herself that Roan had a spinal complaint, despite no eveidence to back it up and that she had considered injecting his feet with botox to stop them smelling.

Although she later denied these claims.

In January this year, a source revealed to Daily Mail showbiz columnist Nathan Kay that friends of the actress had become concerned by her erratic behaviour since losing custody of her son.

The source said: 'Sharon has taken losing custody of her son very badly and has been eratically up and down over recent months.

'Friends are becoming increasingly concerned for her welfare. Some days she will be on top of the World and at other times she will be struggling to cope and won't be able to go out.'

However, as these pictures clearly show, the actress appears to be happy and content.

source: dailymail

Are women being conned about the benefits of breast cancer screening?

Monday, December 28, 2009
Here's a little test. Breast cancer screening reduces deaths by 25 per cent. If we assume that 1,000 women dutifully turn up to all their screening appointments, how many lives will be saved?

Remarkably, the answer is one. Not 250, or 100, or even 25 - the figures picked by a substantial proportion of gynaecologists who were asked this question.

As a recent study showed, if 1,000 women began screening at the age of 50, and had a mammogram every year, only one would have her life saved through early detection and treatment of cancer by the time screening stops at the age of 70.

Without screening, four women would have died from breast cancer. With it, three would have done so.

But in the same group, between two and ten women would also be treated needlessly - possibly with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

And between 100 and 500 would have a false alarm, suffer worry, and need further tests before getting the all-clear. About half would undergo an unnecessary biopsy.

Here's another example. The drug giant Pfizer claims, on the basis of a clinical trial, that its statin drug Lipitor reduces the risk of heart attacks in people with multiple risk factors - high blood pressure, high cholesterol or angina - by 36 per cent.

Assume 100 people take Lipitor for three-and-a-half years. How many heart attacks will be prevented?

The answer, once again, is one.

Without Lipitor, there would have been three heart attacks. With it, there were two

This is, indeed, close to the 36 per cent reduction claimed: Pfizer is not lying. But the bottom line is that 100 high-risk people had to take Lipitor for more than three years to prevent one of them having a heart attack. The other 99 got no benefit.

Benefits are easy to exaggerate when they are expressed in this way - and medicine is riddled with examples of inflated benefits and understated risks, misleading the unwell into unrealistic expectations and causing healthy people to worry needlessly.

The problem is called mismatched framing. Benefits are framed in one way; side-effects in another.

Expressing benefits as a relative risk - 25 per cent fewer breast cancer deaths, 36 per cent fewer heart attacks - produces a nice big number that looks impressive. But unless we know what the real underlying risk is, a percentage reduction is meaningless.

Let's suppose that the risk to women of dangerous blood clots from a contraceptive pill is one in 7,000. A new pill is introduced and the risk doubles. Letters are sent to GPs across the country saying that the risks of the new pill are 100 per cent greater, and panic ensues.

Women give up the new pill in droves, abortions rise, and so does the risk of blood clots, since pregnancy carries a greater risk of thrombosis than the new pill.

This, of course, actually happened in 1995. If women had been told not that the risk had doubled, but it had increased by one in 7,000, would the same panic have occurred? Almost certainly not. One in 7,000 is an absolute risk increase; 100 per cent is a relative risk increase.

In medical journals, it is commonplace for benefits to be expressed in relative terms, while side-effects are given in absolute terms.

One recent study of the BMJ, the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet found that a third of papers that included both benefits and harms failed to express them in the same metric.

The Academy of Medical Sciences has postponed a report on the issue until later in 2010.

In February, misleading leaflets urging women to get screened for breast cancer were withdrawn by the NHS because they failed to mention risks - false positives, invasive tests, misleading results, unnecessary operations and anxiety - and did not express benefits straightforwardly.

Public health specialists are in a bind over this. Their job is to get as many participants as possible screened, or vaccinated against flu, or whatever the latest wheeze is. So they focus on big numbers in order to make not participating seem like a dereliction of duty.

But what matters to the individual making a decision about whether to participate is not how it affects national statistics, but what it means to him or her.

The best way to express that is as a 'number needed to treat' (NNT) - that is, how many people have to take the treatment to save one event. In the case of the statin trial, the NNT would be 100. With breast cancer screening, it is 1,000.

So the chances that an individual will personally benefit are quite small: one in 100 for statins, one in 1,000 for mammography.

Some doctors argue that any treatment with an NNT of over 50 is no better than buying a lottery ticket. If women were told this, some would decide to get screened anyway. Others may prefer to opt out.

Screening is not worthless, but nor is it quite as wonderful as women have been led to believe.

Can public health doctors afford to be honest about risks and benefits? I wouldn't bet on it. If drug companies, journals, public health campaigners and journalists are allowed to exaggerate without actually lying, who's to stop them?

Meanwhile, the public struggle to understand what's really best for them. Much greater transparency is needed, and fast.

NIGEL HAWKES is director of Straight Statistics. This article first appeared in Prospect Magazine

source: dailymail

If David Beckham is fit and playing he will be in my England World Cup squad, says Fabio Capello

By Sportsmail Reporter

England manager Fabio Capello has told David Beckham he will be at the World Cup as long as he is fit and playing regularly.

The ex-England captain is set to start his second loan spell with AC Milan and Capello expects the 34-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy star to have another successful stint in Serie A.

Beckham has played in the last three World Cups and could make it four in a row when Capello names his squad for South Africa at the end of the season.

The Italian said: 'Certainly (I'll call up Beckham) if he is playing and physically fit.

'I don't look at age, I look at qualities and Beckham has lots. He's serious, he's a great professional and the World Cup is incredibly important to him.

He added in La Gazzetta dello Sport: 'He will do well (at Milan). I have no doubt about it. David is a player with his head straight.'

Capello also hailed the appointment of his fellow Italian Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.

'It's a reason for pride for our football,' he said. '(They choose Italians because) we bring ideas, desire for new things, experiences.'

However, the former AC Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid coach said that despite the success of his compatriots, Italian football still could learn from the English game.

Something to aim for: Beckham could play in his fourth World Cup
'The Premier League is the most interesting, attractive championship in the world,' he said.

'There are special aromas - full stadiums, safety, beauty, a lack of stupidity. Take Newcastle United. They were relegated and they are applauded. Now they are in the second tier and 50,000 go to see them.

'The atmosphere in Italy is different - hostile, nasty. We make the same mistakes with the management of the grounds, with violent fans. We don't improve, we don't move forward, we don't resolve the problems. This upsets me.'

source: dailymail

Cao Cao: Chinese archaeologists uncover vast tomb of infamous 3rd century ruler

The austere interior of Cao Cao's tomb. He ruled the Kingdom of Wei from 208 to 220 AD.

Chinese archaeologists have found what could be the tomb of Cao Cao, a skilful general and ruler in the third century who was later depicted in popular folklore as the archetypal cunning politician.

Archaeological officials say Cao's 8,000 sq ft tomb complex, with a 130ft passage leading to an underground chamber, was found in Xigaoxue, a village near the ancient capital of Anyang in central Henan province.

Historians say Cao Cao's outstanding military and political talents enabled him to build the strongest and most prosperous state in northern China during the Three Kingdoms period in 208 to 280 AD, when China had three separate rulers.

Several agate decorations (l) were found in the 1,800-year-old tomb in central Henan province (r)

Experts say the male was Cao, who died at age 65 in 220 AD, the elder woman his empress, and the younger woman her servant.

The report said among the relics found were stone paintings featuring the social life of Cao's time, stone tablets bearing inscriptions of sacrificial objects, and Cao's personal belongings.

Tablets carrying the inscription 'King Wu of Wei', Cao's posthumous title, were seized from people who had apparently stolen them from the tomb, the report said.

'The stone tablets bearing inscriptions of Cao's posthumous reference are the strongest evidence,' archaeologist Liu Qingzhu, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying.

'No one would or could have so many relics inscribed with Cao's posthumous reference in the tomb unless it was Cao's.'

He was the final chancellor of the Eastern Han dynasty, before going on to form his own state during the political turmoil of the Three Kingdoms period. He died in 220 AD in Luoyang, the capital of the Eastern Han dynasty, and was posthumously named Emporer of the Wei state that he founded.

His father was the adopted son of the chief eunuch of the imperial court and Cao was a minor garrison commander before rising to prominence as a general when he suppressed a rebellion, which threatened the last years of Han rule.

Characters based on Cao are depicted as shrewd and unscrupulous villains in traditional Chinese operas and in one of China's best-loved historical novels, 'Romance Of The Three Kingdoms'. In the fictionalised account, Cao says: 'Better for me to wrong the world than for the world to wrong me.'

The common saying in Chinese 'speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives' is the equivalent of the English expression 'speak of the devil'. Cao was also a prolific poet.

From the tomb complex, the bones of three people and more than 250 relics have been unearthed in nearly one year of excavation work, Chinese archaeological officials were quoted as saying. The bones were identified as the remains of a man aged about 60 and two women, one in her 50s and the other between 20 and 25 years.

A stone with engraved-paintings that depict life in China nearly 2,000 years ago

Experts say the male was Cao, who died at age 65 in 220 AD, the elder woman his empress, and the younger woman her servant.

The report said among the relics found were stone paintings featuring the social life of Cao's time, stone tablets bearing inscriptions of sacrificial objects, and Cao's personal belongings.

Tablets carrying the inscription 'King Wu of Wei', Cao's posthumous title, were seized from people who had apparently stolen them from the tomb, the report said.

'The stone tablets bearing inscriptions of Cao's posthumous reference are the strongest evidence,' archaeologist Liu Qingzhu, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying.

'No one would or could have so many relics inscribed with Cao's posthumous reference in the tomb unless it was Cao's.'

Among the relics found were stone paintings featuring the social life of Cao's time, stone tablets, and Cao's personal belongings which had the inscription 'personal belongings frequently used by King Wu of Wei.'

Archaeologists believe it is likely there will be many burial sites in the surrounding area.

The tomb was discovered in December last year when workers at a nearby kiln were digging for mud to make bricks.

The discovery was not reported and local authorities knew of it only when they seized stone tablets carrying inscriptions from some tomb raiders.

Historians say Cao Cao's outstanding military and political talents enabled him to build the strongest and most prosperous state in northern China during the Three Kingdoms period in 208 to 280 A.D, when China had three separate rulers.

His rise to power came during the waning years of the Han Dynasty. He was also described as a talented poet.

His father was the adopted son of the chief eunuch of the imperial court. Cao was a minor garrison commander who rose to prominence as a general when he suppressed a rebellion, which threatened the last years of Han rule.

source: dailymail

After this, the election will be easy! David Cameron gets muddy as he burns off the Christmas turkey with a stream run for charity

By Georgina Littlejohn and Beth Hale

Mr Cameron braves the freezing waters of Coldron Brook as he approaches the end of the run

As Conservative leader he knows the world of politics is paved with pitfalls.

So a few natural obstacles and some healthy competition must have seemed like light work for David Cameron yesterday.

Cheered on by wife Samantha and children Nancy and Arthur, he pulled on shorts, T-shirt and trainers to plunge himself into the mile-long Chadlington Great Brook Run.

The cross-country charity event, near Mr Cameron’s constituency home in Witney, Oxfordshire, is raced for half its length in the cold, muddy waters of the brook itself.

For a man who had yesterday vowed a clean fight in the General Election, this was a rather more mucky affair as he clambered under a bridge.

And there were plenty of cameras on hand to capture the star competitor’s rather breathless efforts.

The race, which raises money for the local primary school, was first run in 2006.

Mr Cameron, 43, successfully completed the event last year, but at one stage yesterday looked a touch unsteady.

He stayed the course, however, to cross the finish line where he was greeted, left, with a medal, a kiss from his wife – and a pint of ale.

Cheered on by wife Samantha and children Nancy and Arthur, he and hundreds of other runners of all ages, some in fancy dress, set off from The Tite Inn at 12.30 this afternoon.

They ran along a path and through muddy fields before leaping into the ice-cold waters of Coldron Brook, where they are plunged into darkness as they make their way through 3ft gap under a bridge.

At one stage, Mr Cameron looked a little unsteady on his feet as he tried to navigate his way through the runners and along a very muddy footpath.

The mile long race, which started in 2006, always takes place on December 27th, and raises money for Chadlington Primary School.

On your marks, get set, go! David Cameron joins hundreds of runners for the annual Chadlington Great Brook Run today

The run finished back at the 17th century Tite Inn where Mr Cameron was greeted with a medal, a kiss from his wife - and a cold pint of ale.

The mile long race, which started in 2006, always takes place on December 27th, and raises money for Chadlington Primary School.

A notice on the run's official website asks all competitors to pay £5 'which will be donated to Chadlington School in the hope that the money raised will help educate the children of Chadlington to know how stupid it is to go running in freezing water in the middle of winter'.

Mr Cameron shows off a muddy bottom after dragging himself through a muddy brook but is rewarded for his efforts with a pint of ale and a loving kiss from wife Samantha

Mr Cameron, who is also the MP for the neighbouring town of Witney, is becoming a familiar face in this post-Christmas fixture.

He took part last year and finished 25th out of 105 competitors in just under 15 minutes - but was beaten by three schoolgirls and a semi-naked man.

The Tite Inn landlord Michael Willis said Mr Cameron wanted to join the race in 2007, but 'he reluctantly agreed to start the race for us instead'.

source: dailymail

He came, he saw, he conked out again... But Arsene Wenger defends risking two-goal Cesc Fabregas

By Simon Cass

Galvanised: Fabregas whips Arsenal into the lead with a glorious free-kick

Arsene Wenger insisted he would not shy away from another gamble on Cesc Fabregas’s fitness after his skipper inspired Arsenal to a victory over Aston Villa.

Fabregas came off the bench in the second half and galvanised Arsenal to a 3-0 win which leaves them four points behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand. Manchester United stay second after Wayne Rooney inspired them to a 3-1 win at Hull.

Fabregas lashed in a 25-yard free-kick before finishing off a quick-fire second. But he limped off soon after and watched as Abou Diaby added a third in stoppage time.

Wenger said: ‘If you can prove to me we would have won the game without him coming on, I was wrong. He adds creativity and at that moment I felt that was needed.’

But Wenger’s risk-taking could see Fabregas recurrence of a hamstring strain, not that the Arsenal manager felt he had much choice.

‘Fabregas is happy we won the game but is concerned about his hamstring,’ said Wenger, who also saw Denilson forced off with a back problem.

Feeling the pain: The Spaniard limps away in celebration after his second goal

‘We don’t know if it’s a recurrence of the pull or just scar tissue. We’ll know more about it tomorrow. If it’s scar tissue it’s a few days, if it’s a recurrence it’s three weeks.'

The win gives Arsenal breathing space over Villa in fourth place, even if it once again illustrated Wenger’s need to shop for a new striker in the transfer window.

‘It’s a massive result when you look at where we were a few weeks ago,’ added Wenger. ‘Credit to the team, they didn’t give up when everybody had written us off.

'We kept going and that shows that the team have shown mental strength. It makes it interesting now. We are in a strong position.’

On the subject of buying a replacement for the injured Robin van Persie, Wenger said: ‘We will keep our eyes open and if a good opportunity turns up we will do it.

I will have to look maybe as well at midfielders.

'If we lose Denilson and Fabregas we will be short there.’

Villa manager Martin O’Neill refused to be too downhearted.

‘We were right in it until the free-kick, and Fabregas’s contribution was immense in the time he was on,’ he said. ‘We are up there because we deserve to be and it is up to us now to see if we can maintain the form which put us there in the first place.’


Rachel Uchitel puts the Tiger Woods scandal behind her with a walk on the beach

Dog day afternoon: New York club hostess Rachel Uchitel enjoys the Florida sunshine with her four legged friend - just seven miles from where Tiger Woods moors his private yacht

After weeks of feeling the heat from the Tiger Woods scandal, bikini-clad beauty Rachel Uchitel is feeling the heat of a different kind - that of a sun-soaked beach.

The 34-year-old club hostess has distanced herself from reports of the champion golfer's alleged infidelities, other than to deny having an affair with him.

And it looked as though she didn't have a care in the world as she took in the Florida sunshine during a Christmas break with friends.

Rearing to go: Rachel heads for a dip in the warm waters off the Florida coast

The native New Yorker is currently holidaying in Palm Beach, which just happens to be seven miles from where Woods moors his luxury yacht called 'Privacy'.

Although she has publicly denied an affair, a source told the New York Post that Miss Uchitel claimed to have met Woods during a party held by Derek Jeter, who plays for the New York Yankees, at his apartment.

'This girl has a real history of sleeping with rich, powerful and famous people,' a friend told the Post. 'Rachel is going to end up going on Oprah, telling her story - and doing Playboy.'

What's up dog? Rachel shows off her toned figure in her skull motif bikini

It's reported that Woods, 33, has been spending his days in seclusion in a house he owns near the family home in Windermere, Florida, eating cereal and watching cartoons.

His Swedish-born wife, Elin Nordegren, has made it clear to associates that she is pushing forward with a divorce.

She is believed to be meeting celebrity attorney Sorrell Trope - who has represented Nicole Kidman and Britney Spears - and could get up to £169million of his fortune

Puppy Love: Rachel relaxes on a sunbed while her pet pooch stands guard

Meanwhile it's thought Rachel has hired an expensive, high-profile Los Angeles attorney.

Lawyer Gloria Allred acted for OJ Simpson and Michael Jackson and Spice Girl Melanie B in her paternity suit against Eddie Murphy.

She declares herself: 'Fearless lawyer, feminist, activist, television and radio commentator, warrior, advocate, and winner - Gloria Allred is all of these things and more.

source: dailymail

Charlie Sheen spends Christmas Day in jail on domestic violence charge

Sunday, December 27, 2009
Actor Charlie Sheen spent Christmas Day in police cells after allegedly attacking his wife.

The 44-year-old, the highest-paid actor in TV, was arrested after an emergency call just after 8.30am from a house in Aspen, Colorado.

Sheen, who earns £500,000 an episode for his role in the sitcom Two And A Half Men, had flown to the ski resort to be with his wife Brooke Mueller, 31, and their twin nine-month-old sons Bob and Max.

He was arrested on three charges - second-degree assault, which is often used to describe causing actual
bodily harm, menacing behaviour, and criminal mischief, or damaging property.

He was eventually released on bail after paying a £5,000 bond.

Neither police nor Sheen’s representatives would confirm who the alleged victim was, but friends claimed it was his wife.

Police said they had been called at 8.34am on Christmas Day ‘regarding a domestic violence situation’.

Spokesman Stephanie Dasaro said: ‘Officer Rick Magnuson placed Carlos Irwin Estevez, also known as Charlie Sheen, 44, of Encino, California, under arrest. All charges are coupled with a domestic violence component.’

She said an ambulance also went to the scene but the victim did not need to be taken to hospital.

The actor and wife Brooke Mueller are said to be having 'significant marital problems' but Sheen had travelled to Aspen to spend Christmas with his wife

Sheen is due to appear in court on February 8.

The conditions of his release include no contact with the victim, the victim's family or any witnesses; no harassing or intimidation of the victim; no entry to the family residence until further order of the court; no consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs; and no possession of guns or other weapons.

His lawyer, Richard Cummins, said: ‘I think at the end of the day it will be much ado about nothing.’

The Aspen retreat, where he was arrested by police - the actor spent 10 hours in a cell, but was released after agreeing to bail conditions and an $8,500 bond

source: dailymail

'Life is crazy, but I welcome the chaos': Sarah Jessica Parker on her hectic Hollywood life

By Elaine Lipworth

'The place where I feel least stressed out is Manhattan. It's my favourite place to be,' says Sarah Jessica

From grappling with Hugh Grant in her latest film to juggling all-night SATC shoots with the demands of three young children, Sarah Jessica Parker certainly has her hands full at the moment. No wonder the world's most famous fashion icon now prefers putting her feet up to shopping for shoes…

Sarah Jessica Parker hasn’t slept for 24 hours. She’s just finished an all-night shoot for the second Sex And The City movie when she meets me at 6am to talk about her latest film, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, a sharply written romcom co-starring Hugh Grant.

We’re having a coffee near the Greenwich Village home she shares with her husband of 12 years, 47-year-old actor Matthew Broderick (star of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Election and The Producers) and their three children. And when she gets home she’ll have six-month-old twin daughters Marion and Tabitha (born via a surrogate last summer) to feed, and seven-year-old son James Wilkie to walk to school.

But this is the most energetic 44-year-old I have ever met, and she manages to look lovely – even at this unearthly hour – in pale blue Closed jeans over sand-coloured Uggs, with a grey cashmere jumper and an old Rick Owens jacket. ‘It’s very cosy,’ she says. ‘This is what I wear to take my son to school. I get him dressed first, I get dressed last – and always for the weather.’

She clearly loves motherhood, but there are no plans to stay at home full time. As well as her film career, she has a contract with cosmetics company Garnier and two perfumes: her third, SJP NYC, launches in the UK in May. ‘Sometimes I worry about being overextended, but I really love being a wife and a mother and I also love working. I’ve worked all my life and I’m lucky that I get to do both.’

She grew up poor in Nelsonville, an Ohio mining town, one of four children. Her parents divorced when she was very young; her mother remarried and had four more children. A successful child actress, SJP appeared in TV shows and plays and at 12 landed the lead role in the original Broadway production of Annie. As an adult, long before Carrie Bradshaw, she was regarded in Hollywood as a skilled actress, with roles in films such as LA Story and The First Wives Club, but it was with the international phenomenon of SATC in 1998 that she became an overnight icon.

'Sometimes I worry about being overextended': SJP reveals her life is a juggling act

She won’t be drawn on plot details about SATC2 (there are internet rumours that Carrie and husband Big will have a baby) but we do know that Miley Cyrus, Liza Minnelli and Penélope Cruz all have cameos.

Meanwhile, in contrast to all that city glamour, Did You Hear About the Morgans? sees Sarah and Hugh playing a battling Manhattan couple whose relationship deteriorates further when circumstances maroon them on a ranch in the wilds of Wyoming. Coping reluctantly with unfamiliar country life (while falling off horses and being chased by a bear), they are forced to slow down and reassess their lives.

Not something SJP herself gets much chance to do these days…

Q How thrilling is it to have your daughters? I know you’d wanted more children for some time.

A Yes, and it’s wonderful, it’s a blessing, we feel really privileged. It was a different experience, in obvious ways, from having James Wilkie, but it was very magical. It’s brought us unspeakable joy. They are tiny little girls just figuring out who they are, and it is a delight.

Q How’s your son getting on with his sisters?

A Babies are not terribly interesting to a seven-year-old, but he’s very proud to be an older brother – he understands how lucky he is. I think your first-born is a special experience: we have a remarkable young boy in our lives and now I feel really grateful that he has siblings to share his good fortune. I belong to a big family, so I know the value of having brothers and sisters.

Q Is James Wilkie aware that he has famous parents?

A When we leave our house and there are photographers outside, he’s certainly aware that something’s different for him, but so far he’s just pretty much interested in the things all seven-year-olds are interested in – primarily himself.

Q How would you feel if your children wanted to follow you into show business? Do you ever feel you missed out on childhood because of your acting?

A With so many siblings, it wasn’t as if I missed out on being with other children. I had a great childhood. I don’t think I would encourage my children to pursue acting until they had gone to college, but then if that’s what they were to choose I would be supportive. James Wilkie doesn’t show any interest so far, and the twins are not expressing anything other than a desire to be fed and have a nappy change…

Sarah Jessica with co-star Hugh Grant in their new romcom

Q So how do you manage three children as well as several jobs?

A I feel like I do it the same way, for better or worse, as any other working mother! At the moment the twins sleep a good six or seven hours, and wake up as late as 7am – they are being incredibly cooperative! Your children are your priority; you do everything you can to make sure they are content. And you get into bed at night thinking of all the things you did wrong, and you hope things will be better the next day. I think women tend to put more pressure on themselves to do everything exceptionally well, which is an impossibility. But most working mothers probably do a lot better than I do, with far less support than I have. So I don’t think that I’m any champion. I muddle through the best that I can.

Q What kind of character are you playing in your new film?

A I am a very successful estate agent, Meryl Morgan, estranged from my husband, played by Hugh Grant, and we live in New York City. He’s had an affair, and is very contrite and trying desperately to woo me back.

Q So how do you end up marooned in the wilds of Wyoming? (Although actually I know you filmed it in New Mexico…)

A We are living separately, and he convinces me to have dinner with him one night, and then we go to one of the houses I am selling and the potential buyer is murdered in front of us. The next day the murderer tries to murder me, so we are put in a witness protection programme together. Wyoming is a land far away, culturally, from New York, and of course it is a great culture shock and very comedic – and the hope is that perhaps, during the course of our time together, the marriage will fix itself…

Q Did Hugh Grant live up to your expectations?

A Up to and beyond. He’s absolutely fantastic – smart and funny and incredibly hard-working: the kind of self-deprecating guy who says, ‘I’m bad at Trivial Pursuit’, and then wins it. A delight.
‘Hugh Grant is fantastic: the kind of self-deprecating guy who says, “I’m bad at Trivial Pursuit”, then wins it’
Q I know you are a confirmed New Yorker like your character. How did you cope stuck in the countryside for a couple of months?

A It was tough. Hugh is a city person too, and we were thrown into an environment which was very different for both of us – hours away from cellphone and BlackBerry use – riding horses, shooting guns, jogging in the desert and working with animals.

Q What sort of animals?

A Oh, horses and cows – and a massive bear. When you land at Wyoming airport there are signs about how to be safe, because bears roam Wyoming very freely. There’s a whole series of rules to follow if you come into contact with a bear. And of course in the film we do.

Q But isn’t it relaxing to get away from the stresses of city life?

A No, actually the place where I feel least stressed out is Manhattan. I’m comfortable with all the noises of the city and its accompanying humanity. It’s my favourite place to be. I can’t imagine a time when I would want to leave New York City. You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming. Matthew would never want to. He was born and raised here, our son was born here, and it’s my home.

Q You are also a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef and a social campaigner. And you’re a big supporter of President Obama — how do you think he’s doing?

A I think he’s ascended to our ‘throne’ with a lot of grace and a surprising amount of common sense, given that he’s a fairly young fellow. I think he has a great sense of what people need right now. He seems very intuitive and he’s a great listener and I’m thrilled by his desire to engage in real diplomacy. I feel he doesn’t shy away from the things that are daunting and so far, while it’s an incredibly challenging time economically and politically, he seems to be incredibly capable. I’m very impressed with how he’s reaching out globally and engaging other countries.

Q And how do you combine your political interests with being a fashion icon?

A Fashion is not the focus of my life. I dress like a lot of mothers – quickly! – and hope to be presentable and not embarrass my son; honestly, that’s my only goal. I am sure I am a disappointment to many people, but not to my son. I will always love
a beautiful dress, but I haven’t shopped in a really long time. I borrow clothes from designers for special events – it’s like the library, you return them in good faith, then you get to borrow more.

Q So, returning to your role as shopaholic Carrie Bradshaw — what can we look forward to in the new movie?

A This film is sort of the antidote to the first one, which had a lot of sadness in it; it was really a grown-up tale. This movie is more like a caper, a romp. It’s fun and big and cinematic and all the girls [she and co-stars Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall] are together a lot more.

Q You look fabulous — and natural, unlike many Hollywood stars these days. Would you ever consider plastic surgery yourself?

A I don’t really have any hard and fast rules about that. People can choose to preserve their youth in whatever way makes them feel comfortable. I don’t hide my age – I just try to take decent care of myself. I wash my face at night and put on moisturiser, but I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about the ageing process, because it’s inevitable. I want to look like myself, and I don’t want to pretend that time has stood still for me and nobody else. I’m encouraged when I see women who look their age rather than 20 years younger.

Q What are the positive aspects to life in your 40s?

A Well, I don’t mean to sound trite, but I think the older you get, hopefully the smarter you get and the better you become at problem solving. One of the big advantages of getting older is experience and wisdom.

Q Do you ever get to enjoy ordinary domestic life?

A I do, but I’m not going to lie to you, I haven’t cooked recently. But when I’m not working I cook and we all eat together every single night. Roast chicken, lamb stew – I’ll buy whatever looks good at the butcher’s.

Q What about time for you and Matthew together?

A We don’t really have any quiet time at the moment, but sometimes we’ll have Saturday night together after I put the kids to bed. Any time spent alone is great, when everybody else is quiet (ha!) and asleep. That is very rare.

Q Is it total chaos at home with the babies?

A It’s crazy all day long, but you adapt very quickly. It is daunting, yeah, but we welcome the chaos. And as they get older there will be more chaos, once they start talking and crawling around and getting into mischief. It will be insane, it will be wonderful – and it is exactly what we wanted.

Q So what’s the trick of keeping a marriage strong when you both have busy, high-profile careers?

A We don’t live somewhere that shines such a strong spotlight on our marriage [she means LA]. And we live in a city where the engine is not the entertainment industry, it’s art and commerce and education and museums. I think we’ve made choices in our life that protect us from the glare and allow the relationship to be real.

• Did You Hear About the Morgans? will be released on Friday

source: dailymail