Showing posts with label daily mail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daily mail. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The giraffe hunters who pay £10,000 to shoot the gentle giants with guns and bows for sport

Dead Giraffe
Tourist trophy hunters are paying thousands of pounds to go and shoot giraffes with high-powered guns and bows.

The gentle giants are loved around the world for their comical appearance and gentle nature.

Just like character 'Melman' played by Friend's-star David Schwimmer in Disney's Madagascar, they are a hit with kids who love their long necks and eyelashes.

But shocking images show how scores of big-spending men and women - and even families - travel from across the globe, some even from Britain, to kill them for sport.

Hunters pay up to a whopping £10,000 for the the chance to slay them - preferring bulls because they are the biggest.

Safari clubs and game reserves ask for a £1,500 trophy fee, and then add on rates for guides and trackers costing around £1,000 per day.

The hunts typically last three-to-five days and see tourists using .458 Winchester Magnum rifles to kill the animals.

With most hunters flying to Africa from their homes in Europe or America, the costs stretch into five figures.

The hunting continues even though numbers of the animals are plummeting.

But the world's leading giraffe expert said populations in the countries where it is legal - South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe - can cope with the killings.

The latest statistic show the number of giraffes in the world have nearly halved since 1988 from over 140,000 to less than 80,000.

Dr. Julian Fennessy produced the report for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Another recent IUCN report suggests the giraffe may already need to be listed as a threatened species - because some populations are being decimated in places like West Africa and DR Congo.

They are already thought to be extinct in Angola, Mali and Nigeria.

Dr. Fennessy also founded Giraffe Conservation Foundation - the only dedicated giraffe conservation group in the world.

He said: 'I'm not interested in hunting giraffe, but hunters obviously get a kick out of it like others enjoy a game of squash or cooking. It's a complicated argument. There are lots of factors.

'The loss of habitat and breaking up of populations by man-made constructions are the main factors threatening their numbers.

'In the countries where you can hunt legally, the populations are increasing but across Africa the overall numbers are dropping alarmingly.

'It shows that if properly managed with proper policy and controls, the hunting can be sustainable.'

In some African countries legal hunting can actually help local communities by bringing in money and making meat available to them.

'Many hunting staff like guides, trackers and skinners who assist the tourists are paid in meat from the kills,' added Dr. Fennessy.

'If the tourist has paid the fee for the trophy, the carcass is theirs. Some just like to have photo taken next to the dead giraffe, but others pay taxidermists to mount the head a neck so they can take them home as a souvenir.

'Or they might want to take the skin home.'

He added: 'Some hunters come from Britain but the big majority are from North America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.

'The worst part of trophy hunting is the fact that the hunters can miss their target and fail to kill the giraffe quickly.

'If they don't hit the right spot then it can lead to suffering for the animal.

'They might have a 'second gun' in the party whose job it is to take the animal down quickly if the tourist misses.

'But hunting guides need to asses the ability of the hunter and stop the hunt if they do not have the skills to do it humanely.'

Another factors decimating the giraffe population is poaching.

'Poaching is illegal and is not licensed,' said Dr. Fennessy.

'They set wire snares at giraffe-height in the trees to snare their necks, or to trap their feet and kill them when they return.

'It leads to huge suffering for the animals, sometimes for days.'

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Amy Childs shows off her curves in a pretty polkadot bikini

nude girls
Amy Child
She has become one of the most well-known celebrities in the UK this year thanks to her role in The Only Way Is Essex and Celebrity Big Brother.

But her success in 2011 is nothing compared to what Amy Childs is hoping to achieve next year.

Before embarking on 2012, however, Amy decided to treat herself to a celebratory holiday in Spain with her brother Will.

The 21-year-old redhead, who now stars in her own Channel 5 reality show It's All About Amy, hit the beach in a pretty pink and white polkadot bikini as she soaked up the sunshine and enjoying a cooling dip in the water.

Amy teamed her curve-boosting two-piece with a huge pair of sunglasses, and did her best to keep her long red hair away from the water as she messed around in the sea with her sibling.

The former TOWIE star was enjoying a relaxing break in Spain ahead of celebrating the New Year with friends and family.

And, if recent reports are to be believed, Amy has a lot to look forward to over the next 12 months.

Since quitting TOWIE and appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, Amy has been named the new face of Ultimo boss Michelle Mone's Bra Queen range for Tesco, as well as releasing a fitness DVD and opening her own beauty salon in Brentwood, Essex - taking her estimated earnings for 2011 to £1.5million.

It was claimed yesterday that if Amy continues at the same rate of success in 2012, she could make up to an astonishing £10million.

sexy girls
Amy Child

A source told The Sun: 'Money will just flow in now. She can keep reinventing herself like Katie Price.

'If she is managed carefully £10 million is very achievable.'

But when asked what her resolutions are for 2012, Amy had slightly more modest aims.

She said: 'I'm going to calm down on the fake tan - I've started to look more natural, but Amy Childs' tan, from my salon, is really good.

'I also want to stop pouting because it's a bad habit. It's time I started smiling again.'

Hot on Amy's tail on the TOWIE rich list, however, is her fellow Essex star Mark Wright, who is thought to have the capability to make himself £9million in 2012.

The source added: 'Mark's earnings can hit £9million but he must be clever and market himself quickly.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You have a human right to hoard (even if your junk can be seen from space): Court victory for eccentric homeowner

richard wallace
Richard Wallace
Junkyard seen from space
It was an astonishing case. Eccentric hoarder Richard Wallace had accumulated so much rubbish in his back garden that it could be seen from space - much to the fury of his neighbours.

But when his local council served a notice on him to remove it, he took his case to the crown court – arguing that it was his 'human right' to hoard junk on his land - and won.

Now, in an extraordinary twist, the case has taken a new turn – without the need for lawyers and judges.

Mr Wallace, 61, has already cleared the rubbish from his garden, which was so out of control it showed up on Google Earth – and he was helped by the very neighbours he had been in dispute with for years.

The battle between the inhabitants of the picturesque village of Westcott, in the Surrey commuter belt, and the man they dubbed ‘Stig of the Dump’ after the children’s novel, had been rumbling for years.

Living in a designated area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’ as well as a conservation area, the villagers were naturally keen on their environment, competing annually for the Britain in Bloom competition.

Priding themselves on their sense of community – the village has a gardeners’ club, amateur dramatics, Japanese martial arts classes and line dancing - they were appalled by the collection of junk - a mountain of newspapers included 34 years' worth of the Daily Mail - which spilled out of Mr Wallace’s million-pound home.

Words such as ‘eyesore’ and ‘health hazard’ were bandied around as his two neighbouring properties – a three-bedroom bungalow where he lives and a semi-detached house used for storage - became barely visible beneath overgrown vegetation.

But it was the six rusting cars – three Jaguars, an Audi and Two Wolseleys – which jostled for space in the garden with piles of wooden pallets, bags of empty cans and bottles, an office chair covered with moss, pushchair, tarpaulins, old front doors and kitchen sinks that fuelled their rage.

Finally, in May 2009, Robert Primrose, a senior planning enforcement officer with Mole Valley council, served an order on Mr Wallace under the Town and Country Planning Act ordering him to clear up his garden.

But he had underestimated Mr Wallace, who had maintained a sense of community spirit despite having become ostracized from some of his neighbours. He delivers newspapers around the village, providing a bespoke service to collect any readers’ offers, shovels snow from the road outside his home and often takes the milk from people’s gates to their doorsteps.

Representing himself with research from his local council library, he took his case first to magistrates and then to the crown court arguing that it was his ‘human right’ to hoard junk on his land.

Recorder Christopher Purchas QC agreed. ‘The evidence does not go far enough to show Mr Wallace in his use of his property interfered with the amenity of other people who live in the locality,’ he said, awarding him £250 costs to cover his photocopying and Internet use.

But now, 22 months after Mr Wallace's victory at Guildford Crown Court, comes the extraordinary conclusion to the story.

He is now working on the house, fuelled by home-cooked meals from locals, is waiting for an appointment to see a psychologist, and has had his first haircut in years.

And in it lies a lesson for us all. It shows that a bitter dispute can be resolved with a little care and understanding on both sides – and a community working together is more effective than the law.

It just goes to show that, if the bureaucrats had taken more trouble to find out that Mr Wallace had an obsessive illness, the case would never have escalated so far.

It is an extraordinary turnaround, which has been filmed by the Channel 4 filmmaker Christian Trumble for his documentary Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder, and shows that the hand of friendship often achieves more than the rule of law.

‘Truth be told it was far, far worse than I ever envisaged,’ Mr Wallace says, tears streaming down his face. ‘It was really quite shocking. Now that it’s all laid bare, I can see the stupidity of it, that this medical condition, known as hoarding, is a psychological problem.  It’s just indescribable. I really am worried about it. My mother would be absolutely horrified.

‘I don’t think you can change overnight. It’s got to be a gradual process. I am going to go to one session to start with and then proceed from there.

'Actually I think the whole exercise has been quite a reward in itself. It’s very therapeutic to get on top of it and get back in control of things.

'I’m surprised that so many people were prepared to turn up and make such a big effort so quickly. I wouldn’t expect people to give up their time for little old me. I got myself into this mess and so it’s really down to me to get myself out of it.’

Mr Wallace’s volte-face began during this summer’s Westcott in Bloom competition when the gardening committee suggested they paid for a fence to hide the rubble. Landscape gardener Andy Honey approached Mr Wallace with the offer and he accepted.

Afterwards Mr Honey offered to help him cut back his undergrowth and remove the foliage. He then appealed for neighbours to help clear the rubbish – in just one afternoon they removed 30 tons of junk – enabling Mr Wallace to walk to his front door. Over the next eight weeks, they cleared the remainder of the garden.

‘At the time, I felt he was getting a little bit victimised and picked on,’ Mr Honey says. ‘I think I was probably the only one that found it slightly amusing on Westcott in Bloom when he did win. I was determined to get him so he can live and not “exist” as he puts it, because I think it’s really sad to think that somebody in this day and age “exists”.’

Born on June 9, 1950, the only child of former bus driver Maurice Wallace and his wife Freda, whose family had lived in the village since the 19th century, Richard Wallace was destined for a bright future.

His grandfather Frederick Balchin, a grocer, who ran the local Balchin Stores, and his wife Alice, a former scullery maid at nearby Westcott House, had built up a substantial property portfolio, including the infamous bungalow, a three-bedroom semi-detached house and a number of garages.

But as a pupil at Pixham Junior School and Sondes Place secondary modern, Mr Wallace showed signs that he was different from the other students as he was more interested in collecting than girls. After he left school he did a training course at the BBC but ended up working as a television engineer locally. He has never had a proper girlfriend.

‘I didn’t get very far because the girls that interested me were, shall we say, spoken for,’ he admits.  ‘They already had somebody in tow or somebody in line and so I didn’t exactly get the brush off but I was sort of politely declined.’

Mr Wallace’s obsessive behaviour appears to stem from his overbearing father, who was also a traffic warden, but he did not start collecting in earnest until after his father’s death in 1976.

‘He wouldn’t tolerate things lying around for very long,’ he recalls. ‘He would be constantly sorting out and throwing out and so I've sort of rebelled against that.’

But his hoarding really spiralled out of control when his mother died in 2005. She had played an active role in village life – she was a member of the Westcott Players – but without her presence, he became a virtual hermit.

‘At that stage you could get from room to room and all round the house perfectly easily,’ he reveals. ‘There wasn’t any question of clambering over things as is the case now.’

Yesterday he told the Mail how he has ‘always been a collector’, starting with Corgi toy cars when he was a boy, then progressing to Practical Electronics magazine when he was 14.

‘I always wanted to refer back so I never threw a copy away,' he said.

‘I’ve taken the Daily Mail for the last 34 years, among others. It was a good idea although I’ve been overtaken by events now that you can online.

‘When the house was full I bought wooden palettes and put stuff on them and covered them with tarpaulins. It was manageable for a couple of years, but then they got waterlogged and ivy and bind weed grew through them.'

Living amongst decades of clutter has made even the most basic of functions a logistical nightmare. It took him half an hour to get to the front door from his only chair: he literally had to crawl from room to room as the rubbish was piled so high in places that there was little more than a foot’s space below the door frames.

Every aspect of his home life operated to a precise set of rules. He ate, worked and slept in his chair – he hasn’t slept in a bed for years and has not had a bath or shower because they were both covered with clutter. His television was blurred and the remote control barely worked because the sensor was obscured.

His staple diet was two eggs a day, which he cooked on a hob, narrowly avoiding setting the whole house alight. Each time he had to remove a tray piled high with papers before he lit the match. He then had to find a gap big enough for the tray and wriggle through it, using his momentum to go forwards. The whole procedure took three quarters of an hour – the calories burnt outweigh the content of the meal.

‘It's reached the point where even I can run out of tolerance now,’ he admits.  ‘It's not a life. It's just an existence at the moment isn’t it really? Someone said to me the other day “Did I live here?”  I said: “No. I exist here.” There’s a subtle difference. A lesson to anybody thinking about collecting things - don’t. It’s not really worth it, is it? It doesn’t make sense.’

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

We'll screen shocking images of violence and child abuse that proves Syrian torture policy

shocking images in syria
Shocking Images in Syria
Some of the most graphic images ever to be shown on British television will be screened tomorrow night.

Channel 4 is planning to broadcast shocking film of protesters – including children, teachers and a mayor – allegedly being beaten by members of Syria’s secret police.

It claims the images provide ‘irrefutable prima facie’ evidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is torturing its citizens.

Executives have sanctioned the broadcasting of the footage after the 9pm watershed but it was deemed too explicit for the station’s early evening news.

Instead, the documentary, ent-itled Syria’s Torture Machine and presented by Jonathan Miller, will be shown at 11.10pm.

Siobhan Sinnerton, Channel 4’s current affairs commissioning editor, said: ‘Assad’s government has denied accusations of torture. This film aims to establish, through forensic analysis, the extent to which torture is systematic.’

The UN estimates 5,000 Syrians have been killed and 50,000 tortured since the Arab Spring uprising spread to the country in March. More than 30,000 videos showing violent repression have been put on the internet, which Assad’s regime insists are faked.

Now Channel 4 has investigated some of that footage and claims it has verified it, presenting strong evidence that the regime is committing crimes against humanity.

The revelation is expected to cause shockwaves and revulsion around the world. Mr Miller said: ‘We got a group of independent experts, including an exiled former member of the security forces, Syrian translators, a forensic pathologist, a specialist doctor and IT experts to examine the footage.

‘The result is a grotesque collection of verified videos which we believe shows the regime is committing crimes against humanity.

‘The film is too horrific to broadcast on pre-watershed news but we believe it is too important not to show. The world has to know what’s going on in Syria. It’s torture on an industrial scale. And it’s going on right now.’

The images were allegedly sourced from ‘trophy’ footage taken by officers from the four main pillars of the secret police – military intelligence, air force intelligence, the political security directorate and the general security directorate – and mobile phone footage made by protesters and family members.

Perhaps most shocking is what Channel 4 believes is trophy footage of teacher and father-of-six Loay Abdul Hakim al-Amer being tortured and killed. His ankles are bound to an assault rifle so that the soles of his feet can be whipped by Special Forces soldiers.

‘Film me while I’m hitting him,’ one soldier orders. ‘Shall I shoot him and get rid of him?’ another yells. Five days later his body was returned to his family bearing the tell-tale marks of torture.

In another piece of suspected trophy footage, a blindfolded man, his hands tied behind his back, is allegedly kicked and stamped on by soldiers with Alawite accents – the minority Shia Muslim sect to which the President and the army’s officer corps belong. ‘Kick him, kick him,’ one says.

A third shows the mayor of a district in Idlib province being subjected to a foot-whipping technique known as falaqa.

The footage is believed to have been filmed by soldiers from the elite 4th Armoured Division, which is commanded by Assad’s brother Maher. The victim is seen passing out after being kicked in the head.

Professor Derrick Pounder, a forensic pathologist at Dundee University, reviewed 20 videos for the film and concluded: ‘It is crude, physical violence in an extreme form.

‘It would suggest that what was happening was on a wide scale and is carried out with impunity.’

The Mail on Sunday contacted the Syrian Embassy about the film but staff did not respond.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pull the other one! Chinese actress bares her bra in Beijing when awards show host 'accidentally' stands on her dress

chinese actress
Sun looks down at her gown as it starts to slip
 Chinese actress Sun Feifei has discovered what the TOWIE girls realised months ago... to receive international recognition, all you need to do is flash a bit of cleavage.

Sadly for the TV star, though, her revelation came as a result of an embarrassing red carpet wardrobe malfunction.

Sun was looking stunning in a floor-length white gown as she posed for photographs on the way into the Esquire Awards in Beijing.

But as she turned to enter the building, the evening's host, Fang Ling 'inadvertently' pulled the actress' dress down by standing on the front sash.

Fortunately, Sun was wearing a skin-coloured strapless gown under her dress, and an aide quickly leapt into action hiding Sun's embarrassment behind a large grey blanket.

They write: 'The comedic splaying of Sun's arms and her poorly conveyed mock-surprise, along with the exaggerated look of oops on Fang's face, give us the impression that the whole thing was a planned publicity stunt.'

Besides, this is just the latest in a series of Chinese actresses gaining attention for their chests rather than their acting skills.

Last week, Liu Yuxin set the bar pretty high in a very, very push-up bra which exposed just a touch too much.

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