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  • Danny Dyer leads tributes to EastEnders' actor who has died after more than 30 years on the soap

    Michael Leader, the actor who played EastEnders’ milkman since the soap’s very first episode, has died. The long-serving extra also made his name in one of the film world’s most famous out-takes, banging his head while playing a Stormtrooper in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977. Viewers recently saw Leader drive Peggy Mitchell (Dame Barbara Windsor) around in his milk float in her final week on the BBC1 soap. And he was on the Square for 16 years before he said his first line, asking Charlie Slater (Derek Martin) “Is this yours, Squire?” as he dropped off his drunken daughter Kat (Jessie Wallace) after she hitched a lift home among the milk bottles. “We were terribly saddened to hear that our dear

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  • Madeleine McCann detectives may seek more funds to complete 'outstanding work'

    Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have "outstanding work" left to do on the inquiry and may apply for more British Home Office funding. In April, the UK's then-home secretary Theresa May granted the team £95,000 (110,000) to keep the investigation going, with the cash expected to last until October. On Wednesday, Scotland Yard said it would talk to the Home Office about funding. A force spokesman told the Press Association: "Whilst there remains outstanding work on this case, the Metropolitan Police Service will remain in dialogue with the Home Office regarding the continuation of funding." The British investigation, Operation Grange, was expected to be wound up after

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  • ‘I’ve never felt settled in Australia. It is time to move back’

    TheCentral Statistics Office published new figures on Tuesday showing 31,800 Irish people emigrated in the 12 months to April 2016, while 21,100 returned to live here from abroad. Irish Times readers have been sending us their stories and reaction to the new statistics. Aoife Doran, Brisbane: ‘I’ve never felt settled in Australia. It is time to move back’ I moved to Australia nine years ago before there was really talk of a recession. I was a young 20-year-old just wanting to travel the world. It was never my plan to be away for so many years, but after meeting my Australian husband and the recession taking over in Ireland, moving home was not an option. I am preparing to move home from Brisbane

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  • Courteney Cox: I've 'done things' to my face that I regret

    Courteney Cox has admitted that she regrets succumbing to the pressure to look young in Hollywood. The former Friends star, 52, opened up about her changing appearance while joining adventurer Bear Grylls on a gruelling trip to the Irish moors. In a video clip released from the show, Running Wild With Bear Grylls, the star said that she had seen “pretty mean” comments about the way she looks. The former Cougar Town actress said of looking young: “There’s a pressure to maintain that, not just because of fame. “Being a woman in this business … getting older is not the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons.” She added: “It’s something you can’t keep up with … Sometimes you find yourself trying

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  • Mother 'killed baby boy by putting him in fridge'

    A South Carolina mother killed her four-day-old son by putting him in the refrigerator for three hours, authorities said. Angela Blackwell is charged with homicide by child abuse. During a brief court appearance on Tuesday, the judge explained that because of the severity of the charges no bond could be set at the initial hearing, in accordance with state law. She only nodded and shook her head, leaving the small courtroom after a few minutes without a sound. Blackwell, 27, was arrested on Monday, nearly six months after her son died. Investigators said they have spent that time taking statements and getting forensic tests done on the baby. A post-mortem showed that the boy, William David Blackwell,

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  • Hanging of 36 men in Iraq ‘fuelled by vengeance’, says UN

    Thirty-six men hanged in Iraq for a sectarian mass killing of soldiers were denied a proper legal defence at their trials and the executions appeared to have been “fuelled by vengeance”, the United Nations said yesterday. The hangings were carried out on Sunday at a prison in southern Iraq, state TV said. Those executed were suspected Sunni Muslim militants convicted of the killings of as many as 1,700 soldiers, mostly Shia Muslims, after they were taken captive by Islamic State insurgents two years ago. – (Reuters)

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  • Piers Morgan gets more than he bargained for in Twitter chat with Gerard Pique

    Arsenal fan Piers Morgan got more than he bargained for when he asked Barcelona defender Gerard Pique to join his club. Broadcaster Morgan has been a regular critic of manager Arsene Wenger during Arsenal's often strained bid to keep pace with the Premier League's title hopefuls. Despite consistently qualifying for the Champions League, title charges either fade away or fail to materialise and fans such as Morgan are dismayed by one point from six at the start of this season. Joining in a question and answer session with Barcelona's Pique on Twitter, Morgan attempted to boost Arsenal's depleted defence and asked: "Will you sign for Arsenal & put us out of our misery? #AskPique." Pique - who has

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  • Jamie Oliver confirms the name of his new son

    Jamie Oliver has revealed the name of his new baby son – River Rocket Oliver. The celebrity chef posted a picture on Instagram of his fifth child snoozing in the garden, as he formally introduced him to the world. He wrote: “Ow what a Hot Day today guys. So the littlest one is stared out and sleeping again….. it’s probably polite to formally introduce the new boy to you, his names River Rocket Oliver we think it suits him and he’s a little gift and we are all very happy…. “Thanks for all your kind wishes big love jamie and gang X X X.” The family had kept quiet about their son’s name since he arrived on August 8. However, Jamie’s wife Jools recently dropped a big hint when she posted an Instagram

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  • PIC: Sister’s post shows Conor McGregor as an angelic schoolboy

    It’s a long way from Irish primary school to the UFC octagon, as a recent post from Conor McGregor’s sister Erin shows. The proud older sister posted a picture just days after the Dublin MMA star beat Nate Diaz in an epic, five-round battle at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. After seeing McGregor in the bloodstained octagon, it is difficult to connect him to the sweet-faced schoolboy posing with his two sisters. Captioning the picture, Erin wrote: “Just the 3 of us, who knew Ud change r lives 4ever!!. The small boy is recognisable as McGregor, despite the many changes that have taken place over the years. Erin went on to praise her brother for his determination, saying he never doubted himself

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  • The Bake Off tent has claimed its first victim after a difficult cake week ...

    Church minister Lee Banfield said he was disappointed at being the first person to leave The Great British Bake Off. The 67-year-old, who is also the oldest competitor in the seventh series of the popular BBC show, fell behind the other 11 bakers to become the first to exit the tent. He admitted he was “disappointed to be the first off” after his trio of bakes failed to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. The bakers were asked to create drizzle cakes for the Signature bake and Jaffa Cakes in the Technical challenge, before constructing a perfect genoise sponge with a mirror glaze for their final bakes, known as the Showstopper. Lee struggled early on, with his sponge turning into clumps

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  • Man missing since Friday found safe and well

    Earlier: Gardaí are searching for a man who has been missing from his home in Co. Louth for four days. Austin Speight, who is aged 55 and from Blackrock village, has not been seen since last Friday. When last seen he was driving his white Chrysler Voyager with a northern reg YY 64 MWD. Austin is described as being five foot eight inches tall and of stocky build.

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  • Chicago Rose Maggie McEldowney crowned 2016 Rose of Tralee

    The Chicago Rose Maggie McEldowney has been crowned the 2016 Rose of Tralee. The 27-year-old Chicago native was brought to tears when the announcement was made. Her grandmother, Brigid O’Neill, was born in Co Derry. After an unexpected interruption during last night’s show the Rose of Tralee part two went smoothly. Best of luck to this cailín throughout the year. Long may she reign.

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  • Strongman 'looking forward to pulling a lorry' at Belfast competition

    An Irish strongman has said he is looking forward to pulling a lorry as he tucked into a breakfast of champions. Sean O’Hagan, 26, warmed up for the Rudridge Ultimate Strongman Giant Weekend which begins on Thursday in Belfast. The near 7ft tall heavyweight took a break from his normal healthy eating to munch through nearly four plates of Ulster fry – groaning platters of bacon, sausage, soda farls and potato bread at Crumlin Road Gaol. He joked: “I am always hungry.” Mr O’Hagan downed the best part of a fried feast of 400g of baked beans, 400g of chopped tomatoes, soda farls and potato bread, 12 rashers of bacon and 12 sausages. He left most of the black pudding. Strongmen eat a 10,000 calorie

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  • Ricky Gervais has posted a very funny snap

    Ricky Gervais wasn’t content with just showing off his mansion when he posted an image of his new home on Twitter. The funnyman moved into the house in north London, said to have cost an eye-popping £10.8 million, at the weekend. And he decided to share a snap of the building and the garden – and a little bit more – with his fans. The David Brent: Life On The Road star donned nothing but a pair of black underpants as he posed while preparing for his stand-up gig in his mammoth garden. Ricky also owns a mansion in Buckinghamshire – complete with tennis court – and a boat. “My partner Jane and I go down to our house in Buckinghamshire and play tennis all the time,” he recently told the Mirror.

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  • Jeremy Corbyn passed empty seats before sitting on train floor

    CCTV images have been released appearing to show Jeremy Corbyn walking past empty train seats before he was filmed sitting on the floor complaining about “ram-packed” carriages. The Labour leader was travelling on the three-hour 11am Virgin Trains service from London King’s Cross to Newcastle on August 11. A video emerged last week which showed him sitting on the floor and describing a lack of seats as “a problem that many passengers face every day”. He then called for public ownership of the railways. However, Virgin Trains has released CCTV images which appear to show Mr Corbyn and his team walking past both unreserved and reserved seats at 11.07am. He recorded his video message on the floor

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  • Girl, two, dies days after being swept out to sea in same incident that killed her father

    A two-year-old girl who was swept into the sea off the coast of England during an incident in which her father was killed has died in hospital, police said. Mckayla Bruynius died at Bristol Children's Hospital on Tuesday night, having been caught by a large wave at Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall, last Friday. Her father, Rudy Bruynius, also died in the incident, during a weekend in which a total of six people were killed in tragedies around the coast. The little girl's mother, Lisinda, paid tribute to her daughter and husband in a statement released by Devon and Cornwall Police. "Rudy was a loving, caring and supportive husband, father and friend," she said. "He had a great sense of humour

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  • Celtic fans have raised more than €115,000 for Palestine

    Celtic fans have raised well over their initial target of £15,000 (€17,464) for Palestinian charities in a bid to match an impending Uefa fine for their club. The European governing body last week launched disciplinary proceedings against Celtic after a number of fans displayed Palestinian flags during their 5-2 Champions League victory against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Glasgow. The Green Brigade group of supporters subsequently launched an appeal on gofundme to match Uefa’s fine and they hit the £45,000 mark early on Monday evening, a day after the fund was set up. The fans are raising money for Medical Aid Palestine, which delivers health and medical care to those “worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement”, and the Lajee Centre, a cultural and sports project for children in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

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  • Britney Spears sings one of her biggest hits with James Corden on Carpool Karaoke preview

    Britney Spears is joining James Corden on Carpool Karaoke this week … and viewers have been given a sneak peek at one of the songs they belt out together. The American pop star and British funnyman sing her number one hit Toxic in a preview to Thursday’s episode of The Late, Late Show. Britney, 34, talks about her two sons in the clip as James quizzes her about whether they have seen her Las Vegas show. “I saw my mum in her underwear once when I was like 11,” he reveals, before Britney interrupts by saying: “You’re so dirty.” James replies: “I’m saying it’s not dirty, I can’t shake the image from my brain.” It remains to be seen whether Britney can surpass the reigning Queen of Carpool Karaoke,

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  • Samantha Fox and Katie Waissel evicted from Celebrity Big Brother house

    Samantha Fox and Katie Waissel have both been evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house. The X Factor reject Katie became the seventh housemate evicted with the lowest number of public votes, while former glamour model Samantha became the eighth. Eternally-nominated Stephen Bear whooped with joy at remaining in the competition. Geordie Shore star Marnie Simpson, EastEnders actor Ricky Norwood and Frankie Grande – brother of singer Ariana Grande – also survived the public vote. They go on to face the live final on Friday with Aubrey O’Day and Renee Graziano. Katie nearly quit the show the night before after having a meltdown over Frankie’s nomination of her and spending two hours being talked

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  • Ice job: Olympic-standard arena for Liffey Valley

    A local authority has given the green light for the major expansion of one of Dublin’s largest shopping centres, which is to include the development of an Olympic-standard ice rink. South Dublin County Council has granted planning permission for an additional 22,000sq m net retail space expansion of the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. Asset and development management company Hines said the plans include the addition of “a major new public space equivalent to a typical European-scale urban plaza”. It said the ice arena would have capacity for 2,500 spectators, and will be capable of hosting international ice skating competitions, ice hockey matches, and ice entertainment performances. Brian Moran,

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