Carol Vorderman health: ‘I was ill, properly ill’ Countdown star’s lung disease battle

The former Countdown star was prescribed high-strength antibiotics and  given an inhaler to help her cope with the symptoms.

Carol, who appeared on the ITV show in 2016, revealed at the time: “There’s a coughing virus going around, you will have heard it. Mine got worse and worse and worse then on Saturday I had sharp chest pains so I asked to see Bob [the show’s medic].”

She continued to The Sun: “It was like breathing through bubbles. Once I got the chest pains, I thought I need something. He immediately put me on really strong antibiotics, electrolytes and glucose tablets.

“It took me two days to get over it. And by day three I felt much better. I was ill, properly ill.”

READ MORE: Sarah Harding health: Girls Aloud star diagnosed with breast cancer – symptoms to know



BBC boss to expose highest-paid stars’ extra earnings 'Impartiality as the cornerstone'

Highly-paid presenters will have to be transparent about their outside roles that subsidise their incomes. Presenters including Naga Munchetty, from BBC Breakfast, Jon Sopel, the North America editor, and Fiona Bruce, the Question Time host, have been criticised for topping up their large salaries with commercial work. A source close to new BBC boss Tim Davie said: “Tim sees impartiality as the cornerstone of the BBC.

“We need to think about whether there are things that happen with outside interests and on social media that can erode trust and confidence.”

The new director-general of the BBC Mr Davie has planned to “shame” presenters into revealing their financial interests outside the organisation.

Mr Davie will become the head of the BBC is hoping to deal with the impression that the BBC is out of step with much of the nation.

He is hoping to crack down on presenters, such as Gary Lineker, who air their political views on Twitter.

Mr Davie has announced he will “accelerate change” to ensure the BBC is able to keep up to pace with a fast-moving world.

He has tasked the organisation with creating content of the “highest quality and impartiality”.

The new director-general wishes to contend with allegations that the BBC is biased against Brexiteers.

The most contentious issue in the past few months was when Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis criticised Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham during the lockdown.

READ MORE: Baffled OAPs targetted by SCAMMERS as free TV licence fee ends

There was controversy because only one-third of the list of highest earners were women.

Last year’s list revealed seven of the top 10 of those earning the highest salary were men for a second year running.

Chris Evans received up to £2.2m while Gary Lineker pocketed £1.8m.



TikTok stars charged for throwing parties during the Covid-19 pandemic


Blake Gray and Bryce Hall, two TikTok stars, were charged with misdemeanors on Friday after holding two large house parties in defiance of local health orders, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced.

The pair could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000, according to Feuer.

“If you have a combined 19 million followers on TikTok in the middle of a public health crisis, you should be modeling great behavior…rather than brazenly violating the law,” Feuer said during a press conference.

Prosecutors allege that Gray and Hall held a party on August 8, and that they were issued a warning about the gathering by the Los Angeles Police Department, who responded to a complaint call about the party.

Less than a week later, police were back at the house responding to a “shots fired” call, according to Feuer.

Feuer says officers found no evidence of a gun but did find several hundred people celebrating Hall’s 21st birthday.

When police spoke to Gray on August 14, he acknowledged the previous LAPD warning on August 8, according to Feuer. Gray was cited and given a final warning, Feuer says.

On August 19, as authorized by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, power was cut to the home in Hollywood Hills.

“Despite several warnings, this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills, hosting large gatherings in flagrant violation of our public health orders,” Garcetti said in a news release at the time. “The City has now disconnected utilities at this home to stop these parties that endanger our community.”

Representatives for Gray and Hall have not yet responded to CNN requests for comment.

By filing the charges, Feuer hopes that others will be deterred from holding large gatherings.

“Everyone’s health in our community depends on remaining vigilant,” he said.

It remains unclear whether any Covid-19 cases have been linked to the parties. Party-goers are not subjected to citations or charges, but Feuer says that could change if the behavior continues.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe contributed to this report.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry invited to Hollywood star’s home for ‘a lot of fun’

Ms Robbie, 30, is known for prominent roles in blockbuster films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Suicide Squad. In an interview with New! magazine, the Australian actress said she had met Prince Harry, 35, at parties in the past.

She said: “Whenever I met Harry in London at parties, he always seemed a lot of fun, so it would be great to have them both over.”

Ms Robbie said she had not hosted the royal couple for dinner before, but said she “would, for sure.”

She added she had not yet met Meghan Markle, 39, but said “it would be cool to hang out.”

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star also gave some advice to Harry and Meghan, who relocated to Los Angeles earlier this year amid their decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family.

She advised the Sussexes to “give it time,” adding that she herself had moved to a different country twice.

Ms Robbie described the experience as “not easy,” but said “LA has a lot to offer.”

Harry and Meghan no longer live in Los Angeles as, according to reports, the couple moved to the nearby coastal city of Santa Barbara having purchased a home there this summer.

READ: Kate gives teaches and schoolchildren a surprise after overwhelming messages from pupils

If Harry and Meghan do visit Ms Robbie’s home, it will not be their first brush with celebrity.

When the couple first moved to Los Angeles this year, they stayed at a large house owned by US actor Tyler Perry.

They are also reported to be close to US television talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who in January said she “1,000 percent” supported their decision to step back from royal duties.

Ms Winfrey is also said to be a close neighbour to the Duke and Duchess in their new Santa Barbara home.

Meghan Markle has also met former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

The two met after Markle attended a speech the former First Lady was hosting in London.

Markle also interviewed Michelle Obama, wife of former US president Barack Obama, for her guest-edited edition of British vogue, according to Hello Magazine.

Recently, Markle has been speaking out to encourage US citizens to vote in the upcoming presidential elections due to take place in November.

Prince Harry, however, is expected to step back from the matter, since the Royal Family are traditionally supposed to be politically neutral.



Joey Essex health: ‘I froze in time’ Stars disorder which worsened after mother’s death

In a study published in Research Gate, the dyslexia experience including difference, disclosure, labelling, discrimination and stigma was analysed.

The study noted: “Interpretive Phenomenology Analysis was used to investigate dyslexia and stigma.

“Many perceived dyslexia as positive and gave them unique skills but made them feel different.

“This difference was perceived to come from having to work harder than their non‐dyslexic peers to achieve in life, as dyslexia affected many aspects of their daily life.

Evidence suggested that dyslexics experience discrimination due to their disability, whether they perceive it as a disability or not. 

“Many dyslexics have survived the last twenty, thirty or more years in the workplace and school without their difficulties being highlighted, one participant noted that they had felt successful in hiding for so long, with many feeling unhappy about disclosing their difficulties as they may fear this would firstly go on their record.” 



Champions League: Lisbon hopes for tourist boost from stars, despite coronavirus

Heading by car into the center of Lisbon by way of the city’s vast, impressive Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April) Bridge, the landscape that fills all vehicles’ windows is not too dissimilar to that around San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

A land of opportunity awaits and, unusually around the Champions League, the bigger opportunity in western Iberia is not of a sporting kind.

Having had its tourism hit hard by the coronavirus, Portugal playing host to the pinnacle of club football is the small Atlantic-ocean-facing country’s chance to let Europe and the rest of the world know: we are open, and safe, for business.

That Manchester City are among the Champions League challengers is pertinent, at a time when the United Kingdom continues to discourage the visiting of Portugal and enforces a 14-day quarantine period for most of those who opt not to follow pursuant government travel advice.

Manchester City are one of the teams playing in Lisbon (Reuters/Pool/D. Thompson)

Raheem Sterling celebrates after his goal against Real Madrid in the previous round

Around 2.5 million British nationals visited Portugal in 2019, which is why, for a Mediterranean country with a population only four times that number, UK holidaymakers are so critical. The four other nations with representatives at European football’s grand climax, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, are not imposing UK-style restrictions on Portugal.

Business is slow

Ricardo Santos, a Lisbon-based taxi driver, said his work has almost entirely dried up.

“I make journeys for local people who are not here now, but the big problem for me and the others [taxi drivers] is the tourists, we need the tourists,” he said.

“This is more of a problem than the financial crisis, because even then the people from other countries still wanted to come here for holidays.”

A view of Lisbon (picture-alliance/NurPhoto/J. Mantilla)

Tourism in Lisbon has been badly hit by coronavirus

Away from the capital, and 260 kilometres south, times are tough for businesses in the Algarve.

La Cabane is a family-run, quaint French-Portuguese restaurant.

“For many years the Algarve has relied for the best part on British tourism and this is the same for us, Britain is the main country,” Beatrice Mousca, La Cabane’s joint owner, told DW.

“As well, [the UK restrictions] have affected other countries’ confidence. I have had messages from Dutch, Spanish and Swedish people, I feel they are worried.

“My husband [the restaurant’s other owner, Carlos] is optimistic the Champions League will help, but I am not so sure, as without a green light, I am not so hopeful.”

In spite of her struggle to maintain her livelihood in a popular haunt that has been open in the town of Quarteira since 1979, Beatrice is philosophical about the challenge facing her and tens of thousands of other business owners.

“I am of course worried about the future of La Cabane and the Algarve in general, but health is a bigger worry.”

Positive tests from Atleti

While Portugal persists in its UK-political-travel struggle, health is very much a primary concern for European football’s governing body, UEFA, as they work from a temporary base in Lisbon.

The two Champions League venues, Estadio da Luz and Jose Alvalade Stadium, are closed to supporters, as has become normal in most of Europe since March, while all eight teams’ players, coaches and officials have to pass a Covid-19 test prior to travelling to the Portuguese capital.

Benfica's Estadio da Luz is one of the Champions League venues (picture-alliance/Zumapress/H. Amaral)

Two Atletico Madrid players, forward Angel Correa and defender Sime Vrsaljko, tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday in the Spanish capital and have not therefore travelled to Portugal.

In a statement, Atleti admitted the news “motivates changes in the training schedules, in the structure and development of the trip and the accommodation in the Portuguese capital.” The club then confirmed, on Monday, that the pair are asymptomatic and in quarantine at home. Their relatives have also tested negative while Atleti added there have been no further positive tests.

Nevertheless, UEFA are repeat testing clubs upon arrival into Lisbon and have recommended clubs rent out entire hotels to minimise the risk of coming into contact with others outside of their party beyond match participation and vice versa.

When serial Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain arrive at Estádio da Luz for the ‘tournament’ opener on Wednesday against Serie A’s in-form Atalanta, the home of Benfica will, from the outside, look like normal, including the extensive, polished signage of UEFA and its partners. But inside, a 65,000-capacity arena will be empty, quiet, perhaps eerily soulless.

Europe’s finest then, including Bayern Munich, who must overcome Barcelona for a spot in the last-four, are tasked with staying healthy – as requested by restaurateur, Beatrice – and facilitating the opportunity for hundreds of millions of Champions League-loving supporters globally to still take in and enjoy a finale to this year’s showpiece; and  for Portugal to at least be in a position to experience a golden summer of tourism in 2021. That’s another thing on  Beatrice’s wish list.



Shooting stars: What we know and still need to find out about the Perseid meteor shower

You could almost set your watch by it. The Perseid meteor shower is an annual event, about as regular as Christmas. The precise dates can vary depending on the relative positions of the Earth and the sun or if it’s a leap year, but it’s reliable.

So we’re as certain as science that the Perseid meteor shower peaks on August 12, and for more than a week we can expect to see spectacular things like bright lights and shooting stars in the northern night sky.

These shooting stars, as magical as they may appear to be, are caused when the Earth passes through a stream of dust and rocks – meteoroids – left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle as it orbits the sun.

When you see a shooting star, you’re seeing a meteoroid clash with the Earth’s atmosphere and then burning up. This causes a short-lived trail of light called a meteor. The lucky ones survive our atmosphere and land to become meteorites.

It fascinates us year in, year out.

“The Perseids have a large number of bright meteors, many of which leave persistent trains,” says Dr John Mason of the British Astronomical Association, “and people like to watch it on a warm summer’s evening.”

Infographic Meteor shower Perseids

“I’m curious to see whether that really turns out to be true,” says Koschny. “If you ask: How many there are in absolute terms?… that’s a problem.”

What we know

Comet Swift-Tuttle is known formally as 109P/Swift-Tuttle. It was discovered in 1862 and has an orbital period of around 130 years. The last time it flew past the Earth was in 1992.

When the comet passes, it lays down dense filaments of dust on its orbit. Each layer holds a wealth of knowledge about the universe.

“We learn about the comet itself, about the evolution of dust in the solar system,” says Mason. “The dust from comets is important [as] it’s some of the most primitive material in the solar system.”

We know, for instance, that interplanetary dust particles can be rich in sodium.

It is even possible to date the dust using computer models.

“[They model] the comet as it evolves over thousands of years and work out the precise position of each dust filament laid down every 130 years. And then they look at how the planets perturb those dust particles, and they can work out when we will pass through those particular dust trails,” Mason says.

Scientists say the comet created the Perseids meteor shower because it appears to originate from the Perseus constellation of stars in the northern sky. The meteor stream is more than a million kilometers across, and the tiny dust grains that make it travel at about 60 kilometers per second. This is why they produce so much energy – they move so fast – and burn so bright when they hit the Earth’s atmosphere.

Why we need to know more

So we know a fair bit about the Perseids, and yet there is more we need to know.

First, it’s basic science. Meteoroids come from comets, and comets – and other celestial objects like them – are about the closest we’ll ever get to the big bang.

“If we find traces of organic material in a meteoroid, then we can understand a bit better how life came on Earth,” says Koschny.

Infographic Meteor shower Perseids

But we also need to understand more about the distribution of dust in the solar system because these tiny objects pose a threat to our spacecraft.

“When one of these particles hits a spacecraft, it can generate an electric charge, a little plasma cloud, and that can shortout a satellite,” says Koschny. “[Satellites] are very sensitive and not grounded like all the equipment on Earth. So a change in the electrical potential can do damage.”

Then there’s that matter of absolute numbers. It’s only been the past five to 10 years that scientists have tried to predict the numbers of particles, to estimate how many shooting stars we see. But it’s still very “relative,” says Koschny.

“A model may predict […] 200 per hour and then people go out and see 50 per hour, or the other way around,” says Koschny. “So that’s what everyone is working on now, what we call the flux density.”

Koschny is currently working on a paper he hopes will provide new answers. And not just so we know how great the annual spectacle will be.

“It’s very relevant for this impact threat to satellites,” he says. “The spacecraft operators want to know whether there’s a chance of being hit once a year or once every 10 years.”

How space-based observation could help

Speaking of satellites raises the question why so much observation is done from Earth. If we need to learn more about meteoroids, shouldn’t we get to them before they burn up?

“For a long time, we’ve been trying to get cameras into space that observe meteors too,” says Koschny. “Even better would be a camera permanently recording the sky, looking down, say, from a space station. And if I add a spectrograph, an objective grating in front of my camera, I get a spectrum, and I can ascertain the chemical composition of the object, and that tells us what it is made of.”

All you would need is a “simple” video camera, recording at 25 frames per second to pick up movement, and a two-dimensional sensor.

John Mason agrees there are advantages to space-based observation, but he has reservations.

“What we can’t do from the ground is collect the dust grains and analyze them before they reach the atmosphere, as opposed to observing the luminous trails in the atmosphere from above,” says Mason. “But you wouldn’t need a camera to do that. There are lots of dust particle detectors that have flown on many other cometary missions, which would do the job very well.” 

This article has been updated.



Trump humiliation: TikTok stars claim ban is REVENGE for pranks that ‘ruined’ campaign

Mary Jo Laupp and DeJuan Booker famous TikTok trolls, have claimed that the US president wants to ban the app over its users pranking him. Mr Trump has issued an executive order that would ban any US transactions with the parent company of TikTok, saying the US must take “aggressive action” against the app in the interest of national security. Trump previously said that unless the app is bought by an American company, it will be banned from the US by September 15.

Ms Laupp was responsible for a video encouraging TikTok users and to register for Mr Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally on June 20.

Mr Trump held the rally in Tulsa’s BOK Centre, which has a 19,000 capacity.

But the fire marshal in Tulsa counted only 6,200 tickets for attendees.

Ms Laupp said in a video posted June 11: “I recommend all of those of us that want to see this 19,000-seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now, and leave him standing there alone on the stage.”

READ MORE: TikTok ban: Trump signs executive order banning US from doing business with Chinese app

Because of the Tulsa rally prank, Ms Laupp believes Mr Trump wants revenge on the platform.

Speaking to TMZ, she believes that a TikTok ban is not because of fears of Chinese data theft, and instead is over animosity towards users pranking him.

She also said she hopes a ban on TikTok would show younger Americans how they can impact politics.

Ms Laupp previously expressed this hope in an interview with the New York Times, where she said: “There are teenagers in this country who participated in this little no-show protest, who believe that they can have an impact in their country in the political system even though they’re not old enough to vote right now.”

Mr Trump has made no reference to TikTok users and pranks in his statements about banning the app.

The president has issued an executive order today confirming that the app must have an American owner by September 15 or it will be banned.

The order alleges the app “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users”, which it could send to the Chinese Communist Party.

It also claims that the platform censors “content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive” and “may also be used for disinformation campaigns.”

TikTok is hugely popular in the US, with over 100 million active users.

After Mr Trump initial threats to ban the app last week, TikTok US General Manager Vanessa Pappas appeared in a video thanking American users for their “outpouring of support.”

He said: “We’re not planning on going anywhere.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do … We’re here for the long run.”

Microsoft is attempting to buy the app from Chinese owner Bytedance.



Trump humiliation: TikTok stars claim ban is REVENGE for pranks that ‘ruined’ campaign

Mary Jo Laupp and DeJuan Booker famous TikTok trolls, have claimed that the US president wants to ban the app over its users pranking him. Mr Trump has issued an executive order that would ban any US transactions with the parent company of TikTok, saying the US must take “aggressive action” against the app in the interest of national security. Trump previously said that unless the app is bought by an American company, it will be banned from the US by September 15.

Ms Laupp was responsible for a video encouraging TikTok users and to register for Mr Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma rally on June 20.

Mr Trump held the rally in Tulsa’s BOK Centre, which has a 19,000 capacity.

But the fire marshal in Tulsa counted only 6,200 tickets for attendees.

Ms Laupp said in a video posted June 11: “I recommend all of those of us that want to see this 19,000-seat auditorium barely filled or completely empty go reserve tickets now, and leave him standing there alone on the stage.”

READ MORE: TikTok ban: Trump signs executive order banning US from doing business with Chinese app

Because of the Tulsa rally prank, Ms Laupp believes Mr Trump wants revenge on the platform.

Speaking to TMZ, she believes that a TikTok ban is not because of fears of Chinese data theft, and instead is over animosity towards users pranking him.

She also said she hopes a ban on TikTok would show younger Americans how they can impact politics.

Ms Laupp previously expressed this hope in an interview with the New York Times, where she said: “There are teenagers in this country who participated in this little no-show protest, who believe that they can have an impact in their country in the political system even though they’re not old enough to vote right now.”

Mr Trump has made no reference to TikTok users and pranks in his statements about banning the app.

The president has issued an executive order today confirming that the app must have an American owner by September 15 or it will be banned.

The order alleges the app “automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users”, which it could send to the Chinese Communist Party.

It also claims that the platform censors “content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive” and “may also be used for disinformation campaigns.”

TikTok is hugely popular in the US, with over 100 million active users.

After Mr Trump initial threats to ban the app last week, TikTok US General Manager Vanessa Pappas appeared in a video thanking American users for their “outpouring of support.”

He said: “We’re not planning on going anywhere.

“When it comes to safety and security, we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do … We’re here for the long run.”

Microsoft is attempting to buy the app from Chinese owner Bytedance.



Royal row: Was Meghan Markle and Kate feud written in the stars? Star signs reveal split

The royal feud between Meghan Markle and her sister-in-law Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, has been the topic of much speculation for many years. The royals are currently in the news regarding an alleged row they had ahead of Meghan and Prince Harry’s split from the royal family. But were the two women always destined to have a tense relationship?

Claims about a royal feud between Meghan and Kate have been dismantled in the upcoming royal biography Finding Freedom.

The book, co-authored by royal experts Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, explores this idea and debunks rumours about the feud.

Scobie and Durand said: “Meghan would agree with the assessment that the duchesses were not the best of friends.

“Their relationship hadn’t progressed much since she was Harry’s girlfriend.

“Although Meghan might have understood Kate’s wariness to strike up a meaningful friendship, they were still no closer by the time she was a fellow senior working member of the royal family and the wife of William’s brother.”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s ‘gesture might be behind rift with Kate’

Meghan, born on August 4, 1981, is a Leo which Ms Frank claims is naturally a royal sign.

Leos have naturally commanding manners and gravitate towards the limelight.

Leo’s world revolves around them being King or Queen with an entourage of helpers assigned to maintain their position.

They thrive on an audience, on attention and appreciation and visibly wilt if they are ever relegated from the starring role.

By comparison, the astrologer claims Kate, born on January 9, 1982, is a “quietly composed Capricorn”.

She said Capricorns are natural rule-followers and adore the structure and monarchy.

Ms Frank added Capricorns feel a strong sense of duty and are extremely hardworking and responsible.

She said: “Kate’s Moon is in Cancer so her twin drives are duty and family and she’s a natural fit for the protocols and demands of her royal role.

“She is happy to be in for the long game as Capricorn prefers hard-earned rewards, whereas fiery Meghan looks for instant applause and results.”

Ms Frank added the pair may have got along well in private, but that they face greater tension being in the public eye.

She said: “In private, Meghan’s Leo warmth might have lit up Kate’s Capricorn coolness.

“Yet Meghan couldn’t get over not having the most prestigious role.

“Perhaps there was an element of the Capricorn cold shoulder freezing her out.

“Very sad, that having landed a truly important position where she could have carved out a fabulous and popular niche for herself, she felt so unappreciated and eclipsed she had to leave.”