MICHAEL Portillo is a former MP who is now more focused on his railway documentaries than Westminster power struggles. The ex-Conservative lawmaker has certainly changed his career path over recent years. Who is Michael Portillo? Michael Portillo was born on May 26, 1953, in Bushey, Hertfordshire. He was born to his Spanish father Luis Gabriel Portillo — exiled as an anti-Fascist republican — and Scottish mum Cora. His first foray into showbiz was as a child star in a 1950s ad for Ribena. Michael was famously a Tory MP and Defence Secretary. When was Michael Portillo an MP? Michael was elected to represent Enfield Southgate in 1984 but lost the previously safe seat in the Labour landslide of 1997, an event that coined the phrase "Portillo moment" to signify major political upset. He returned in a by-election in 1999 to represent the rock-solid safe seat of Kensington and Chelsea and would go on to be Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor. He stood down in the … [Read more...] about Who is Michael Portillo, presenter of Great Continental Railway Journeys?
Six flags great america
A Tory MP's attempt to celebrate election day by waving a flag backfired when she used a 400-year-old version that doesn't include Northern Ireland. Andrea Jenkyns shared the emblem on Twitter just after 6.30am as polls prepared to open across England, Wales and Scotland. But instead of the current Union flag, she shared the flag of Great Britain - without Northern Ireland - that was used from the early 1600s until the beginning of 1801. The version is missing the diagonal cross of St Patrick of Ireland. It is perhaps fitting, as tensions rise in Northern Ireland over trade issues in the Brexit deal - and as some accuse the Tory government of abandoning the region. But Brexiteer Ms Jenkyns insisted she wasn't trying to make a political point. Ms Jenkyns told the Mirror: "It was an honest mistake, been up since the crack of dawn for elections, quickly tweeted, and later saw my mistake so deleted. "Note to self, check and double check!!" Given the amount of … [Read more...] about Tory MP tweets wrong flag from 400 years ago to celebrate election day
A DEAFENING invasion of cicadas is expected to bombard the East Coast of the United States, after the critters have lain dormant for 17 years. A particularly loud breed of the winged insects will soon swarm out from their long slumber in up to 15 different states. These include Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C. Brood X, or the Great Eastern Brood, is a variety of periodical cicada, USA Today reported . Unlike greenish, annual cicadas, periodical cicadas have black bodies and bold red eyes. They were unique to North America. Brood X was known for the critters' deafening buzz, which was described as sitting between a "buzz" and a "rattle". John Cooley, an entomologist (insect scientist) at the University of Connecticut, acknowledged that most people didn’t realise the bugs were “always there”. They lived … [Read more...] about Deafening invasion of ‘head-splitting’ cicadas to bombard East Coast after 17-year hibernation
Former power couple Bill and Melinda Gates are set to halve their entire wealth after filing for divorce after 27-years – but what’s included in their £93billion fortune? It’s an empire that includes an incredibly generous charity, $2million cars, private jets, superyachts and the best part of America’s farmland. A 'separation contract' - referred to in court filings - suggests the couple have already divided their assets, with Melinda not seeking any additional spousal support. It means the couple’s £93billion wealth could go 50:50, a move that would see Bill Gates fall from the fourth-richest man in the world to number 17, far behind current billionaire rivals Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Bill and Melinda, together with their three children, live in a $125million lakefront mansion near Seattle - just around the corner from The Gates Foundation’s headquarters. Their 66,000-square-foot family home - called Xanadu 2.0 - was bought for $2million in 1988. It took seven years to … [Read more...] about Inside Bill Gates’s fortune as couple set to split homes, super cars and empire in half
As part of the bicentenary of Napoleon's death, the Parisian cultural center Grande Halle de la Villette is now hosting a major exhibition on Napoleon Bonaparte , which will open as soon as COVID restrictions are lifted and held until September 19, 2021. Amid 150 exhibits embodying the dazzling imperial grandeur of the former French emperor — "a figure who is at once fascinating and controversial," as the show's trailer says — one section of the exhibition however focuses on a darker side of his legacy. It features the original copies of laws signed by Napoleon in 1802, which reversed the abolition of slavery that had been declared eight years previously, in the wake of the French Revolution. It made France the only country to have actually brought back slavery after outlawing it. "When they hear of Napoleon, most people think of the great empire, France's many victories during the wars of that era. There is this glory about Napoleon which has eclipsed everything else he … [Read more...] about Remembering that Napoleon reinstated slavery in France