Kanye West buys Kim Kardashian a hologram of her late father Robert Kardashian for her 40th birthday | Ents & Arts News

Kanye West has raised the present buying stakes for couples around the world, gifting his wife Kim Kardashian a hologram of her late father for her 40th birthday.

Kim shared a video of the holographic resurrection with her hundreds of millions of social media followers calling it “the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime” and a “special surprise from heaven”.

It shows an impressive digital likeness of her dad, Robert Kardashian, who died of oesophageal cancer in 2003 aged 59.

Kim called the birthday present ‘the most thoughtful gift of a lifetime’

A well-known lawyer, he became a household name in America when he represented OJ Simpson during his 1995 murder trial.

In his holographic message, Robert who is dressed in a beige suit and open necked white shirt, tells Kim: “I am so proud of the woman that you’ve become.”

He praises her as a businesswoman, a mother and for her support of Armenia, the country his family originally hailed from.

He also says he is touched by Kim’s decision to carry on his legacy and pursue a career in law.

Kim started a four-year apprenticeship to become a criminal justice lawyer with a firm in San Francisco in 2018 and plans to take her exams in 2022.

The two minute 20 second video begins with Robert directly addressing his daughter and saying: “Happy birthday, Kimberly. Look at you, you’re 40 and all grown up. You look beautiful just like when you were a little girl.

“I watch over you and your sisters and brother and the kids every day.”

The family of five posed together
The hologram praised Kim for her skills as a mother

He describes driving Kim to school in his “little Mercedes” while listening to the Barry Mann track Who Put The Bomp together. At this point the hologram even does a little dance.

He goes on: “I am so proud of the woman that you’ve become Kimberly and all that you’ve accomplished. All of your hard work and all of the businesses you have built are incredible. But most impressive is your commitment to become a lawyer and carry on my legacy.

“It’s a long and a hard road but it’s worth it. And I am with you every step of the way.”

The message also gives the seal of approval to Kim’s choice of husband: “The most beautiful thing I have witnessed is watching you grow your family. You married the most, most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world, Kanye West.”

The flourish points to West having had a hand in the scripting in at least part of the birthday message.

The Kardashians - and Kanye - at the Met Gala in 2019
The Kardashians – and Kanye – at the Met Gala in 2019

It goes on: “You are the most, most, most, most amazing mother to your four beautiful children and they are perfect.

“Keep doing what you are doing, Kimberly, you are a beautiful soul. Know that I’m very proud of you and I’m always with you. I have built a firewall around our family. I love you, Kimberly.”

Kim said she didn’t have the words to describe how meaningful the gift was to her and her family, and said they watched the message “over and over”.

Kaleida – the company who made Kim’s hologram – say they specialise in “Hollywood blockbusters and major theatrical shows” and use “a combination of performance, motion tracking, SFX, VFX and DeepFake technologies to resurrect pop singers, heads of state and historical figures”.

Their website says the performance took place in Tahiti, where Kim is believed to have celebrated her birthday on a private island with her “closest inner circle”.

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Her trip was criticised for being “insensitive” and “tone deaf” by some social media users who questioned both the safety and lavish nature of the event during a worldwide pandemic.

Robert Kardashian is not the first high-profile figure to find themselves reincarnated in hologram form.

He follows in the footsteps of stars including Tupac, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse, all of whom have performed for fans posthumously.

It’s likely the Robert Kardashian hologram was created using a 200-year-old technique called “Pepper’s ghost”.

Named after the English scientist John Henry Pepper, it is made by projecting a two-dimensional image in such a way that it gives the illusion you’re looking at a live person standing on a stage in a three-dimensional space.

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Libel action against former MI6 officer over Trump ‘dossier’ rejected by court | UK News

A Russian businessman has lost his High Court libel action against a former MI6 officer who compiled a report on Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.

Aleksej Gubarev sued Christopher Steele over what he claimed were “seriously defamatory allegations” that he had “knowing involvement” in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Aleksej Gubarev and his company Webzilla took legal action against Mr Steele

Mr Steele was the author of the so-called “Steele dossier”, which included claims that the US president had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, the FSB, and taken part in “perverted sexual acts which have been arranged/monitored by the FSB”.

The dossier also alleged that Russian leader Vladimir Putin “supported and directed” an operation to “cultivate” Mr Trump as a presidential candidate for “at least five years”.

Mr Gubarev and his company Webzilla took legal action against Mr Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence, a corporate intelligence company co-founded by Mr Steele, after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017.

But, in a judgment delivered remotely on Friday, Mr Justice Warby dismissed Mr Gubarev’s claim.

The judge said references to Mr Gubarev in the dossier were “defamatory of Mr Gubarev at common law, and its publication in this jurisdiction and the EU caused serious harm to his reputation”.

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But Mr Justice Warby added: “He would have been entitled to substantial damages, if he had proved that the defendants are responsible in law for the publication complained of.

“But he has failed to prove that.

“So, Mr Gubarev’s claim must be dismissed.”

The judge said Webzilla’s claim against Mr Steele and Orbis “must also be dismissed for the same reason”.

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Major earthquake hits holiday hotspots in Turkey and Greece | World News

A strong earthquake of magnitude 7 has hit holiday hotspots in Turkey and Greece, destroying a number of buildings.

The epicentre of the tremor was in the Aegean Sea some 11 miles (17 km) off the coast of Turkey’s Izmir province, at a depth of 10 miles (16km).

Turkish media showed wreckage of a multiple-storey building in central Izmir, with people climbing it to reach rescuers.

Smoke was also filmed in several areas.

The authorities said there was no immediate information on casualties.

It has been reported the earthquake was felt across the region, including in Istanbul, as well as the eastern Greek islands and as far as the capital Athens.

Greek media said the residents of Samos and other islands fled their homes, while some rockfalls were reported.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Both countries reported aftershocks.

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Coronavirus: More than 560,000 people had COVID-19 in England last week – ONS | UK News

More than 560,000 people had coronavirus in England last week with the number of infections rising steeply among secondary school children, figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest.

The figures also suggest around 1 in 100 people had COVID-19 in England for the week between 17 and 23 October, as the number of cases continues to rise across the UK.

The numbers show there has been increase in cases in all age groups over the past two weeks, with older teenagers and young adults having the highest current rates.

Rates appear to be steeply increasing among secondary school children.


Labour: Sir Keir Starmer ‘disappointed’ with Jeremy Corbyn but says ‘no reason for civil war’ | Politics News

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told Sky News he was “disappointed” in his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn’s response to a damning antisemitism report – but has insisted there is “no reason for a civil war” in the party.

Mr Corbyn was suspended from Labour on Thursday – a move he condemned as “political intervention” – after he claimed that antisemitism in the party was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.

He has vowed to fight his suspension, raising the prospect of a bitter battle between Mr Corbyn, his allies and Sir Keir‘s leadership.

Sir Keir Starmer’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, has been suspended from Labour

Some Labour MPs loyal to Mr Corbyn have condemned the decision to suspend the party’s former leader and called for him to be reinstated to the party.

But Sir Keir played down the prospect of a looming internal conflict within Labour.

“I don’t want a split in the Labour Party,” he told Sky News.

“I stood as leader of the Labour Party on the basis I would unite the party, but also that I would tackle antisemitism.

“I think both of those can be done, there’s no reason for a civil war in our party.

“But we are absolutely determined, I am absolutely determined, to root out antisemitism.

“I don’t want the words Labour and Labour Party and antisemitism in the same sentence again.”

Sir Keir stressed that the Equality and Human Rights Commission investigation, published on Thursday, had made “no individual findings” against Mr Corbyn.

But he said Mr Corbyn’s response to the critical report – in which the former leader suggested antisemitism was exaggerated by Labour’s opponents and the media – was “part of the problem” the party faces in addressing the issue.

“I was disappointed in Jeremy’s response yesterday, particularly since I had said in my response that the Labour Party will not tolerate antisemitism, nor will it tolerate those who deny there’s a problem of antisemitism and say it’s all exaggerated or factional,” Sir Keir added.

“That, for me, is part of the problem.”

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Corbyn responds to Labour suspension

In another broadcast interview, Sir Keir revealed he had spoken to Mr Corbyn on Wednesday night, before the report was published, in which he discussed with his predecessor his planned comments about those who made claims of antisemitism being exaggerated.

Sir Keir served in Mr Corbyn’s shadow cabinet for three-and-a-half years and campaigned for him to become prime minister at the general elections in both 2017 and last year.

The Labour leader defended his decision to align himself with Mr Corbyn’s leadership during that time, despite the allegations of antisemitism that dogged his predecessor’s spell in charge of Labour.

Sir Keir said he “spoke out about antisemitism” both within the shadow cabinet and in media appearances during that time.

“I thought it was right to raise it inside the shadow cabinet and outside the shadow cabinet,” he told Sky News.

“But there’s no getting away from the findings of the report yesterday.

“They are clear findings and we all have to accept them, including myself, which is why I thought the right response yesterday was to accept the findings, to apologise again for the hurt that has been caused, and to make it my absolute business to implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.”

John McDonnell, Mr Corbyn’s close ally and former Labour shadow chancellor, warned that – despite Sir Keir’s comments – the party was “drifting towards a hell of a row over use of language, misinterpretation, followed by overreaction”.

“My advice is that with a bit of explanation over what was meant in various statements we could all save ourselves a lot of unnecessary grief & get on with tackling Covid & job cuts,” he added on Twitter on Friday.

Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, told Sky News that Unite general secretary Len McCluskey – a key ally of Mr Corbyn – was “part of the problem” with antisemitism.

Mr McCluskey has previously claimed antisemitism allegations were used to undermine Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

A demonstrator holding a painting saying "For the many not the Jew", as people protest against anti-Semitism in the Labour party in Parliament Square, London, as Jewish community leaders have launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn, claiming he has sided with anti-Semites "again and again".
Allegations of antisemitism dogged Mr Corbyn’s spell in charge of Labour

In his Sky News’ interview, when asked repeatedly if Labour would continue to accept millions of pounds in funding from Unite, Sir Keir said he spoke to Mr McCluskey on Thursday and the trade union leader “recognises the antisemitism in the Labour Party”.

But Mr Goldstein said: “Len McCluskey is part of the problem, he’s been part of the problem since the beginning.

“He’s part of the faction that supported Jeremy Corbyn. There’s been denial on this issue since the very beginning.

“He described it as ‘mood music’, he’s described it as ‘overstated’.

“He’s part of the problem and until those around Jeremy Corbyn and Jeremy Corbyn himself have a level of self-reflection and understand that when Jewish people complain about antisemitism – in the same way that black people complain about racism and Muslim people complain about Islamophobia – they undertand what they are talking about, they understand what they’re feeling.

“Until he respects Jewish people and understands their problems, I’m afraid he will remain part of the problem himself.”

Mr Goldstein questioned whether Mr McCluskey was “fit and proper” to lead Unite.

Mr McCluskey has condemned the decision to suspend Mr Corbyn as a “grave injustice” but he urged the former leader’s supporters not to quit Labour.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be able to resolve the matter and my message really to literally hundreds of thousands of our members who are already expressing their anger is to stay in the party,” he said on Friday.

“We need the party to be united – working people out there need us, need a Labour government.

“So stay in the party and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get through this fairly quickly to everybody’s satisfaction.”


Scarlett Johansson secretly marries comedian Colin Jost in ‘intimate’ ceremony | Ents & Arts News

Scarlett Johansson tied the knot in secret over the weekend, it has emerged.

The Hollywood actress, 34, married comedian Colin Jost in an “intimate ceremony”.

The announcement was made on Instagram by Meals on Wheels America, which stated the nuptials were attended by “immediate family and loved ones”.

The charity added that the event took place in accordance with COVID-19 safety measures.

The actress and the Saturday Night Live star, 38, got engaged in May 2019 after two years of dating.

Meals on Wheels America wrote that the couple wish to “help make a difference for vulnerable older adults during this difficult time” and are encouraging people to donate to the charity, which aims to “fight senior hunger and isolation”.

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More from Scarlett Johansson

This is Johansson’s third marriage.

The Avengers actress was previously married to fellow Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds and to journalist Romain Dauriac.

She has a daughter with Dauriac – Rose – who was born in 2014.

The pair were dating for two years before they became engaged last year

It is the first marriage for Jost, who co-hosts SNL’s Weekend Update.

The two-time Oscar nominee has compared Jost’s proposal to a “James Bond situation”.

Johansson told Ellen DeGeneres: “He did, he killed it. It was a very James Bond situation. It was surprising.”

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TfL and ministers eye six-month funding deal as deadline looms | Business News

The government and London’s transport bosses are locked in talks about a six-month funding deal hours before the capital’s bus and Tube networks face the renewed threat of financial collapse.

Sky News understands that the Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) – which is chaired by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan – are negotiating a number of options including a bailout deal that would guarantee services until next April.

Under one potential agreement that was being discussed on Friday morning, funding likely to be worth between £1.5bn and £2bn would be provided to TfL by the government.

One possible condition attached would involve amending the terms on which children can use London’s transport network for free, according to a Whitehall insider, although the details remained fluid and subject to significant change.

It remained possible that no deal would be reached before a deadline on Saturday night.

The latest frantic round of negotiations are aimed at preventing TfL from being plunged into an even deeper crisis that would be triggered by the filing of a Section 114 notice – a process which would effectively declare it insolvent, and lead to services being severely curtailed.

A two-week extension to TfL’s funding was granted earlier this month amid an increasingly bitter row between Mr Khan and ministers including the transport secretary, Grant Shapps.

The Financial Times reported last week that the government had threatened to take direct control of TfL unless the impasse was resolved – an option that is said to remain on the table.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We continue to discuss our immediate funding requirements with the government and hope these discussions can be concluded successfully soon, so we can help London through this next phase of the pandemic.

“We are doing what we can to minimise costs and aim to continue operating a full service across our network while our funding discussions continue.”

A mayoral spokesman said the government “needs to give TfL a deal that will allow TfL services to continue, and that works for Londoners”.

The DfT declined to comment on the progress of the talks beyond the fact that they were ongoing.

Sky News revealed earlier this month that the government was demanding the extension of London’s congestion charge zone and fresh fare hikes as part of a possible £1bn bailout package.

The DfT provided £1.6bn of taxpayer support to TfL during the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis earlier this year, but the protracted impact of the pandemic has resulted in only a limited recovery in passenger revenues.

A Whitehall source said a deal could be announced after a TfL board meeting later on Friday but cautioned that key details had yet to be finalised.

The financial strain on TfL, which is expected to lose £4bn this year, is posing an early test for Andy Byford, the authority’s new commissioner, who stepped down from the equivalent role in New York earlier this year.

The transport authority put 7000 of its staff on furlough earlier this year, and has halted hundreds of construction projects in a bid to save money.

It has asked commuters to “reimagine their journeys where possible”, including walking or cycling as alternatives to public transport.


Travis Roy: Paralysed ice hockey player and disability champion dies aged 45 | US News

A promising US ice hockey player who was paralysed 11 seconds into his first college game and went on to become a high-profile disability campaigner has died at the age of 45.

Travis Roy has been hailed as “a special man” and “the epitome of inspiration and courage” in tributes mourning his death on Thursday.

Roy was aged just 20, making his debut for then reigning champions Boston University (BU) in the 1995-96 season opener, when he crashed headfirst into the rink boards.

The accident left him a quadriplegic, but he then dedicated his life to helping other spinal cord injury survivors both in and outside the sports world, giving as many as 40 motivational speeches a year.

Roy was making his college debut when he was injured. Pic: Travis Roy Foundation

The Travis Roy Foundation, created in 1997, went on to raise more than $9m (£7m), which was divided equally between research and providing specialist equipment for those who had sustained spinal cord injuries.

In an interview he gave shortly after turning 40, Roy said: “I like to say the first 20 years I had a life that was full of passion and the last 20 I’ve had a life full of purpose.

“The dream is to have both at the same time, but I’m fortunate. I’ll take either one.”

Confirming his death, Boston University’s athletic department said: “It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Travis Roy.

“His story is the epitome of inspiration and courage, and he was a role model and a hero to so many people.

“Travis’ work and dedication toward helping fellow spinal cord-injury survivors is nothing short of amazing. His legacy will last forever, not just within the Boston University community, but with the countless lives he has impacted across the country.”

Offering it condolences, the National Hockey League (NHL) called Roy “a special man who responded to his devastating injury by dedicating himself to serving others”.

Cam Neely, president and former star of the Boston Bruins ice hockey team, said: “Travis Roy was the ultimate symbol of determination and courage.”

Jack Jablonski, a Minnesota high school hockey star who was also left paralysed after a hockey collision, wrote on Twitter: “Travis Roy, you were my friend, mentor, role model and the most positive person I knew.”

Travis Roy
Roy gave up to 40 motivational speeches a year. Pic Bill Politis/YouTube

Former US Olympic ice hockey captain Mike Eruzione said: “It’s so sad for so many reasons – not just the athletic end of it, but what his life could have been.

“To see a life changed in such a direction because of 11 seconds.

“But what he did with it afterward was incredible. Such an inspiration. He could have folded the tent. He could have said, ‘This is it.’ But he chose another path in his life, and he raised millions of dollars.”

Roy was the son of a Maine hockey rink manager who began skating when he was 20 months old.

Boston University retired Roy’s No 24 jersey in 1999.

Among the players on the 1995-96 college team were future NHLers Chris Drury, Jay Pandolfo, Shawn Bates and Mike Grier.

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Coronavirus: Advice on wedding cancellation refunds due to pandemic ‘may be unlawful’, says top lawyer | UK News

Official guidance given to thousands of couples whose wedding had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic could be unlawful, it has been claimed.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been advising couples to seek full refunds from their wedding suppliers, including venues, rather than through their own wedding insurance.

Many have faced long delays in getting their money back because both suppliers and insurers consider each other responsible for paying out when weddings are cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

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15 Oct: Police break up wedding reception in west London

More than 200 members of the Wedding Venues Support Group, set up during the pandemic, crowdfunded legal analysis of the CMA guidance.

Jonathan Kirk QC said the guidance may have “unfairly placed the burden of COVID-19 compensation on smaller traders as opposed to national insurance providers”.

There is “no excuse” for the fact that the CMA failed to consult the £10bn wedding industry, which employs half a million people in the UK, before issuing the guidance, according to the leading barrister.

He found the guidance contains “material errors of law” and may be “counter-productive to the interests of consumers” because it has resulted in insurance companies refusing payouts to couples.

Many wedding venues have warned they face financial ruin due to the pandemic and have said the guidance doesn’t take into account costs including upkeep, planning meetings and site visits in the run-up to the big day itself.

They argue that as well as losing out on any income when an event is cancelled, they also face the prospect of actually making a loss if they have to pay a full refund.

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The Association of British Insurers says wedding insurance is a “safety net” for when a refund isn’t possible, but insists that if a wedding can’t go ahead, it’s the suppliers who are legally obliged to provide a refund.

Faye Hughes’ wedding reception was cancelled due to the lockdown in March. She works as a wedding supplier at the reception venue in Bristol and is still waiting to get back the £7,000 she spent – something she expected her insurance to sort out.

“Like any insurance – car insurance or house insurance – you feel that if there are unforeseen circumstances, which arguably a pandemic is, then you should be able to recover the costs,” she said.

A spokesperson for the CMA, which is an independent government department, said “[our] statements in relation to cancellations and refunds during the pandemic set out, and remain, our view of the law”.


Australian banks complain of too much cash as ‘people don’t want it’ | Business News

Banks in Australia have complained they have too much money because no one wants it and the “problem” is set to get worse.

With the country struggling to recover from a coronavirus-inflicted recession, the authorities have poured billions into the economy, cut interest rates to a record low, and introduced a wage subsidy scheme.

Further steps to stimulate credit demand are in the pipeline, including scrapping “responsible lending” laws and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) poised to cut its interest rate again to just 0.1% and increase its bond buying, which will inject more money into the economy.

But bankers argue they do not need the extra cash.

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Making money ‘more free’ will make little difference, say lenders

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd boss Shayne Elliott said “There’s all this liquidity flushing around and I don’t have much productive use for it, because people don’t want it.

“Money is essentially free today. Making it more free doesn’t really change anything.”

Announcing a 40% slump in profits, Mr Elliott added: “It actually becomes a bit of a problem because it… becomes a drag to our margins.”

Net interest margins, a key gauge of profitability for banks, have already shrunk from more than 3% in early 2000s for the four major lenders, to just above 2% now, according to official data.

Banks say another rate cut and more money from the RBA are unlikely to increase credit demand.

One reason people are reluctant to borrow more is that Australia’s household debt-to-income ratio is at a record high of near 200% compared with a median level of less than 150% for 22 advanced economies.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, credit growth in Australia shrank as workers and businesses hoarded cash and banks became more risk-averse, with repayments on nearly one in every 10 dollars in their loan books frozen under forbearance schemes.

Although there are signs of recovery, with signs of economic growth, the overall outlook remains bleak, with business failures expected to rise and unemployment likely to remain high for a long time to come.

Joseph Healy, the chief executive of specialist business lender Judo Bank, said: “Liquidity is not the problem at all.

“The big banks are overwhelmed by the challenges of dealing with their existing customers, so they have been much more cautious in lending to new customers.”

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