IT’s big week for Tom Cruise. After a PR blitz that has seen him dazzle Cannes, walk the red carpet with Wills and Kate and almost overshadow the Queen, it’s time for paying punters to give their verdict on his latest blockbuster. Sequel Top Gun: Maverick hits cinemas on Wednesday backed by almost universal critical praise. No wonder the 59-year-old’s trademark smile has beamed out for every TV, newspaper and website for what seems like months. It is a moment of triumph for the man whose bizarre behaviour once threatened to derail his career. As one source put it: “Tom is feeling on top of the world. It was a gamble to revisit a classic film like Top Gun but it looks like it’s paid off.” READ MORE ABOUT TOM CRUISE ICE TO SEE YOU Find out if Val Kimner is in Top Gun 2 BIT OF A MAVERICK Tom Cruise 's Top Gun 2 is FINALLY hitting cinemas So how has Cruise regained his crown as Hollywood’s golden boy? For … [Read more...] about How Tom Cruise reclaimed movie throne with Top Gun: Maverick after PR disasters, Scientology scandal and chat show spats
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The owners of the hotel where Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured hundreds more are being scrutinized for setting up hero security guard Jesus Campos in a room for free, prompting concerns that the hotel is tampering with a key witness in the case. MGM Resorts International, which owns the Mandalay Bay hotel that employed Campos, began housing the guard shortly after he was identified on October 4 as the officer shot by Paddock. Lawyers are concerned about the arrangement because authorities have had trouble pinning down whether Paddock shot Campos before or after his rampage began. "There's a suspicion that they are trying to shape his testimony and don't want him to provide information to the public about the incident," Las Vegas attorney Will Kemp, who sued the MGM Grand after a deadly 1980 fire, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday. "Obviously they want him to come out with a version of the timeline that's favorable to them." Campos is … [Read more...] about Security officer shot by Las Vegas gunman has been staying at MGM, drawing witness-influence concerns
The mum of a teen who was murdered by her violent ex has warned other parents to keep an eye on their children’s relationships. Ellie Gould, 17, was strangled and stabbed by her boyfriend of three months, Thomas Griffiths, in May 2019 after she called off their relationship. Refusing to accept her decision, vicious Griffiths went to Ellie’s house during a free period in the school day and brutally attacked her. After initially grabbing Ellie by the throat, he took a kitchen knife and stabbed her 17 times. When he was done, he washed the knife to get rid of his DNA and stuck the knife back into her neck to make it look like suicide. Three years on from Ellie’s death, her mum Carole wants other parents to know the dangers of controlling relationships which can easily spiral into violence. Carole says Ellie was concerned about Griffith's behaviour in the lead up to her death ( Image: ITV) For more of the news you care about straight to your inbox, sign up for one … [Read more...] about Mum of murdered Ellie, 17, warns of ‘subtle’ domestic abuse signs in teen relationships
Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines Nato expansion | Turkey vetoed a Nato decision on whether to accept Finland and Sweden into the military alliance. At a "classified" meeting of Nato ambassadors in Brussels, the Turkish representative stopped a vote on their applications, which were officially submitted earlier in the day, according to sources with knowledge of the discussion. Read what happens now and more on Ukraine in the Around the World section. Rape arrest | Sir Keir Starmer backs calls for Tory MP to be named Julian Assange | He should not be extradited to US, Europe tells Patel Pavement parking | Scrap it or net zero drive will fail, charity warns 'Blood rain' | Red Saharan dust cloud to mix with thunderstorms Watch | Morrison channels inner Johnson as he rugby tackles child The big story: Large mortgage warning amid inflation Homeowners have already felt the impact of inflation surging to a 40-year high on their energy … [Read more...] about Wednesday evening UK news briefing: Inflation nightmare just beginning
President Donald Trump's controversial judicial nominee Steven Menashi was confirmed by the Senate to a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday. Despite his having no experience as a judge, Trump nominated Menashi to the position in August. The 40-year-old serves as the associate White House counsel and special assistant to the president and also worked as a legal adviser for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The Senate confirmed Menashi to serve on the court in a 51 to 41 vote. Every Republican present except Senator Susan Collins of Maine supported Menashi, while all the Democrats present opposed him. Menashi will now take over a judicial seat that was once filled by Civil Rights leader Thurgood Marshall. Several progressive organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Alliance for Justice, oppose Menashi's confirmation and over 100 protesters gathered outside Menashi's hearing in front … [Read more...] about Trump’s controversial judicial nominee Steven Menashi was just confirmed to a lifetime court appointment
Gett, the Uber rival that lets users hail down a Black Cab, is locked in a dispute with HMRC over unpaid VAT. It comes as the Government mulls new measures to boost tax revenues from ride-hailing companies and the sharing economy. Gett, the Israeli company, which is part owned by Volkswagen, lets users or corporate customers book a taxi through its ride-hailing app. Unlike Uber, it also works with London’s Black Cabs. But according to accounts filed to Companies House, Gett has been hit by an HMRC investigation into £5m of business-to-business VAT receipts. Gett said HMRC “deems the group to be the principal rather than the agent”, meaning it must charge the full amount of VAT on its ride-hailing fees. The claim only refers to its business customers. Gett has previously said it already charges VAT on its consumer ride fares. Its accounts showed it had £37m of revenues in 2019 in the UK. The company said in its accounts that it “maintains its position as an agent and in line … [Read more...] about Ride-hailing firm Gett faces HMRC inquiry over VAT payments
Days after Finland and Sweden formally applied to join NATO — essentially ending decades of neutrality on the world stage — former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called the development "huge" and a major defeat for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin's decision to invade Ukraine was partly driven by a desire to prevent the country from joining NATO, which would put the military alliance right at Russia's border. But last week's move by Finland and Sweden suggests that plan has backfired, Gates told "Face the Nation" Sunday. "I think it changes the geopolitics in Europe in a dramatic way. Now he's got NATO on his doorstep, not only in Ukraine and elsewhere," Gates said, referring to Putin. "He's going to have them on his border in Finland. And it's an amazing thing he's done because he's gotten Sweden to abandon 200 years of neutrality," Gates said. "So I think one of his many, huge miscalculations in invading Ukraine is he has dramatically changed the … [Read more...] about Robert Gates says NATO expansion “changes the geopolitics of Europe in a dramatic way”
TOP GUN fans are desperate to know if the Ice Man will return for the sequel. Val Kilmer made the role famous in the original 1986 film , and moviegoers want to know if he will appear in Top Gun 2 . Will Val Kilmer's Iceman appear in Top Gun 2? Accepting the part of Ice Man in the original 1986 film proved to be a fortuitous break for Val. Top Gun was the box office’s biggest hit of that year, and Val’s line, “you can be my wingman any time,” is part of pop culture. The good news is the actor is in the movie, but you better be ready for the most heart-tugging moment in the film. Tears have been shed in previews, as the actor makes a return to the role of cocksure Tom “Iceman” Kazansky that made him famous. A highly charged scene with Tom Cruise’s pilot, Maverick , is at the emotional heart of the movie that has received five-star reviews. Read more on Top Gun 2 VAL'S FIGHT Top Gun's Val Kilmer forced to use voice box to … [Read more...] about Is Val Kilmer in Top Gun: Maverick?
Coleen Rooney took to the stand at the High Court today for day four of the explosive Wagatha Christie trial. So far the bitter battle has seen Rebekah Vardy , 40, compare her arch rival to a 'pigeon that s***s in your hair' after the WAG's infamous Instagram post and break down in tears as texts with her agent about Rooney's personal Instagram were read out in court. The three-year defamation case centres around Rooney, 36, accusing Vardy of leaking "false stories" about her private life in October 2019 after she said she carried out a months-long “sting operation” which saw her dubbed “Wagatha Christie” . Vardy denies the allegations and has sued the fellow footballer’s wife for damages for libel over the "untrue and unjustified defamatory attack". WAG Vardy has been arriving at court surrounded by burly security guards clad in full designer gear while Rooney has been flanked by hubby Wayne. For full coverage of yesterday's jaw-dropping case - read our recap … [Read more...] about Coleen Rooney V Rebekah Vardy RECAP: WAG says leaks about marriage woes were ‘horrific’
This article first appeared on the Brookings Institution site. In a manic attempt to make good on a campaign promise before the end of his first 100 days in office, President Trump tried to make funding for his big, beautiful wall on the Mexican border a condition for keeping the government open. And his administration also offered a dollar for dollar deal —one dollar for Obamacare subsidies for every dollar for the wall. That political calculus never did make much sense. As my colleague Bill Galston has pointed out, this is not a real estate transaction. To Democrats, healthcare for millions of Americans is simply not the same currency as Donald Trump's wall. So, after several days, the White House backed off. If the idea of building a wall makes little political sense, the president's proposal to turn his campaign pledge into reality is even further off base. For starters, Mexico will not pay for the wall. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. And everyone, except Donald … [Read more...] about Why Trump’s big, beautiful Mexico wall will never get built.