For good or ill, after 32 years serving on the frontline of radio news presentation for the Today programme, John Humphrys has become an emblem of BBC journalism. One of the corporation’s journalistic attack dogs, he has been the interviewer that political leaders, notably Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, are keenest to dodge. This week, Humphrys is finally to bow out in the company of a former prime minister. David Cameron will brave an interview on the eve of the publication of his memoir – and it promises to be a vintage encounter. The avowedly impartial BBC, which Humphrys joined in 1966, regularly deploys the defence that it must be doing something right because it is equally unpopular with Remainers and Brexiters, with one-nation Tories and radical socialists, and with feminist activists and reactionary misogynists. And as Humphrys leaves Radio 4’s flagship news show at the age of 76, he could certainly make a similar claim. Since February, when his decision to … [Read more...] about Rows, bloopers and scoops: John Humphrys’ 32 years at Today
‘How to talk about it? That’s been a struggle from the start.” Jeff Edwards, 58, pauses and shifts his weight in the armchair. We’re sitting in the front room of his house in Aberfan where for the past hour Jeff has been describing for me some of the difficulties experienced by the village in trying to negotiate the ongoing tightrope between memorial and healing, between sharing and silence, in the wake of the disaster that befell them 50 years ago. “Personally I found speaking about it better for me,” he continues, “in terms of my recovery. But other people, well, they just cannot speak about it at all.” It was the last Friday before half term – 21 October 1966 – and, like hundreds of other children across Aberfan, Jeff set off for school that day looking forward to the holiday ahead of him. School would finish early, at midday, after which lay the promise of a whole week of playing with his friends in the orchards and farmed … [Read more...] about Aberfan 50 years on: how best to remember the tragedy?
Dog owners live longer than people without a canine pet, two new studies suggest. And older people who live alone are a third less likely to die after a heart attack if they have a furry friend at home, according to the Swedish researchers. Loneliness plays a well known role to the detriment of older people in the US, not only hindering them from living happy lives, but often actually increasing their risks of death and chronic illnesses. The American Heart Association (AHA), which released an accompanying statement, noted that it's not exactly proof that dogs will keep you healthier, but it's pretty good evidence that having one is beneficial for older people. 'While these non-randomized studies cannot 'prove' that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this,' said chair of the AHA's writing group, Dr Glenn Levine. Dog owners are at lower risks of death by any cause, 65% … [Read more...] about Owning a dog could extend your life: People are 24% less likely to die after a heart attack if they have a furry friend at home
A well-preserved fresco depicting a gladiator standing victorious against his bloody opponent has been discovered in the city of Pompeii. Archaeologists believe it was once hung in the basement of a tavern frequented by these battling brutes, which also had upper floors for the innkeeper or prostitutes. Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD leaving the Roman city and its residents frozen in time, making it one of the world's most visited archaeological sites. Scroll down for video A well-preserved fresco depicting a gladiator standing victorious against his bloody opponent has been discovered in the city of Pompeii. Archaeologists believe it was once hung in the basement of a tavern frequented by these battling brutes The fresco appears to have kept its bright gold, blue and red colors, and depicts a bloody scene where only one man stood victorious. A 'Murmillo' fighter wearing a plumed, wide-brimmed helmet with visor stands victorious … [Read more...] about Vivid fresco discovered in Pompeii depicts bloody gladiator battle that is said to have adorned a tavern below a brothel
Manuel Noriega, the former military ruler of Panama who was ousted by a US invasion in 1989, has died aged 83, according to the country's President. Juan Carlos Varela announced Noriega's death on Twitter late on Monday, and said his passing marked the closing of a chapter in Panama's history. Noriega had suffered a brain haemorrhage following the first of two surgeries to remove a benign brain tumour in March. The former dictator, who ruled the Central American nation from 1983 to 1989, was released from prison in January and transferred to house arrest in Panama for the first time in three decades ahead of his operation. Scroll down for video General Manuel Antonio Noriega speaks 1988 in Panama City during the presentation of colors to the San Miguel Arcangel de San Miguelito volunteer batallion. Panamanian authorities reported his death early on Tuesday morning Recent sighting: Panamanian ex-dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega (in the red cap), arrives home … [Read more...] about Panama’s former military dictator and CIA stooge Manuel Noriega dies aged 83 following surgery to remove a brain tumour