Tag Archives: personal

Meghan and Harry could become ‘world’s richest personal brand’, says expert – ‘Achievable’

Meghan and Harry could become ‘world’s richest personal brand’, says expert - ‘Achievable’

In a statement shared on their official Instagram page on Jan. 8, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said that, as they transition away from their role as “senior” royals, they plan to “work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

According to Andrew Bloch, a branding expert, founder of Frank PR and spokesperson for Lord Alan Sugar, the couple is on the verge of owning “the world’s richest personal brand.”

“Since moving to California and stepping down as working royals, Harry and Meghan have secured a number of lucrative business deals and personal endorsements which have seen their personal wealth rocket,” the expert told The Sun.

“I would estimate their combined net worth is circa £250million.

“They are really making the most of their newfound status, and their potential to become the world’s richest personal brand looks imminently achievable.

“Them becoming a billion-dollar brand is certainly not out of the question.

“Sky is limitless.”

In his estimation of the couple’s worth, Mr Bloch considered everything from entertainment deals (Netflix, Spotify, Apple) to Harry’s role within the BetterUp start-up as CIO (Chief Impact Officer).

READ MORE: Prince Harry announces new eco project

Although Prince Harry received a £14.5million advance for his 2022 memoir, he is reportedly going to donate the proceeds to charity.

Still, expert Andrew Bloch estimates that the couple now earns around £250 million per year since quitting their job at The Firm.

The couple’s brand is set to grow even more as Meghan is supposedly working on her own beauty line.

Adding their name to the list of rich celebrity power couples, Harry and Meghan remain far from Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West who top the ranking as they are worth £3billion together.

Read more here Daily Express :: Royal Feed

Julia Stonehouse reveals John Stonehouse’s political and personal scandals in revealing new book

Julia Stonehouse reveals John Stonehouse’s political and personal scandals in revealing new book

It was one of the most astonishing political – and personal scandals – in modern British history. 

A Labour MP who stole a dead man’s name, left his clothes neatly folded by a Miami beach and vanished. 

Here, in the final part of our serialisation of her book about John Stonehouse, his daughter breaks a 46-year silence to explain how his financial deceit and sexual betrayal unravelled.

We were wrapping presents in my father’s study and remembering him on a surreal Christmas Eve, five weeks after he had disappeared from a beach in Florida, presumed drowned. 

What exactly had happened to our adored father we didn’t know. But we were very sure that we would never see him again.

As for any family suffering tragedy or grief, Christmas 1974 was unbearably poignant.

Our father, John Stonehouse, had always left his festive preparations until the afternoon of Christmas Eve, when he’d go shopping in Central London. 

Back home, he’d always wrap the gifts he’d bought using unusual and amusing paper and make his own gift-tags with funny little drawings on them. We missed him so much.

At about 1am on Christmas morning, my mother Barbara, brother Mathew, older sister Jane and I were still in his study when the phone rang. 

It was a newspaper reporter saying they were 99 per cent certain my father had been found in Australia.

The journalist rang back and confirmed the news, saying that the Melbourne police were going to make a statement at 4am our time.

I can’t even begin to describe our feelings at this astounding turn of events: elation, bafflement, disbelief – all mingled with despair in case it wasn’t true.

At 4am, Jane answered the phone. We saw the utter amazement on her face and heard her say: ‘Daddy, Daddy, is it really you?’

What exactly had happened to our adored father we didn’t know. But we were very sure that we would never see him again. Pictured: John Stonehouse and his wife, Barbara 

Jane wrote in her diary: ‘I went weak, cold, hot, shaky. He sounded as if all his nerves were being stretched right to their limit, ready to snap. His voice was high and he was definitely not himself. All he could say was that he was sorry, sorry, sorry.’

Jane handed the phone to my mother, who was visibly shaking. She fell into a chair.

‘John?’ she asked, unbelieving.

‘Yes, darling, it’s so good to hear your voice,’ he said.

My mother’s questions came in quick succession: ‘What’s happened? Where are you? What have you been doing?’

He replied: ‘I’m sorry I’ve given you so much trouble, darling. It didn’t work out. I tried to make it easier for you all. I’m here at Melbourne police station.’

Jane answered the front door. It was three journalists holding air tickets to Melbourne. She wrote a note to my mother, who was still on the phone: ‘Reporters have tickets to Australia. Do you want to go?’

My mother told my father what the note said and asked if he wanted her to come. ‘Yes, come as soon as you can,’ he said, adding: ‘And bring Sheila with you.’

This request came as a total shock to the family. We had no idea that Sheila, his secretary and the woman who had been his secret mistress for five years, was so important to him.

He’d had affairs before but they had always fizzled out.

Sheila was 28, Jane was 25, and I was just about to turn 24. She was our generation, not his. In her diary, Jane would later write: ‘What a nerve – he’s flipped his lid.’

But in that moment we were all crying, laughing and hugging each other and trying to analyse what he meant by ‘it didn’t work out’ and ‘make it easier for you all’. We were baffled but thrilled.

Before she packed, my mother phoned Sheila with the news that my father was alive. It sounded as if she already knew – as we’d later find out, she did.

My mother asked her not to go out to Australia and Sheila agreed. By 5.30am a three-car cavalcade was heading for Gatwick Airport.

My parents were reunited on Boxing Day at Maribyrnong Detention Centre, near Melbourne. My father looked dreadful: ashen, with glazed but wild eyes.

Sheila was 28, Jane was 25, and I was just about to turn 24. She was our generation, not his. In her diary, Jane would later write: ‘What a nerve – he’s flipped his lid’

He’d lost a stone, looked more than his 49 years, his hair was turning grey and his voice was strangely high-pitched. 

He was quite unlike the confident, self-assured man my mother knew. After warmly embracing in the full gaze of prison officers and police, they were ushered into a bleak interview room. 

My mother had many things to say to him. He’d allowed her and the family to think he was dead for five weeks, and then had the audacity to ask her to bring his mistress with her, she said. 

She’d told him before that another affair would be the end of their marriage.

For five minutes she explained how cruel he’d been to casually abandon his children, allowing us and her to suffer the grief of believing him to be dead when he was very much alive – not to mention leaving her to deal with all the problems he’d left behind with his numerous political and business activities.

When she’d finished, my father broke down and cried and cried, sobbing his heart out. My mother realised for the first time that he was really ill, and was almost certainly suffering a complete nervous breakdown.

A few days later my father had a consultation with an eminent Australian psychiatrist Dr Gerard Gibney, who diagnosed severe depression. 

A large part of this, he said, was to do with the fact that as an MP, my father had persisted in following causes for oppressed peoples around the world, becoming seriously distressed when he couldn’t improve their lives in the way he wanted. 

Dr Gibney said that instead of physical suicide, my father had committed ‘psychiatric suicide’, by taking on the identities of two of his deceased constituents, Joseph Markham and Clive Mildoon, and escaping into their personalities.

Leaving those new identities behind and returning to being John Stonehouse again was causing him immense mental anguish.

His doctors and lawyer suggested that it would be very bad for my father in his fragile psychological state to contemplate a return to Britain in the near future.

On December 29, he was released on bail, and afterwards moved into a flat in Melbourne with my mother and 14-year-old brother Mathew. 

John (pictured in the 1970s) and Barbara Stonehouse, celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary at their favourite restaurant in London on the evening of November 13, 1974

Members of our family would take it in turns to fly out to live with him in Australia, experiencing at close quarters his tragic and ongoing breakdown.

We never knew what to expect. Some days he would cry, scream, bang his head on the floor repeatedly, rush around shouting, and even lose complete control of his body. On others he would be found curled up in a ball on the sofa. 

Or he’d just cut out completely when somebody was talking to him by falling asleep in a chair. In public, he would put on a brave face, but in private he was a wreck.

Back in Britain, the knives were quick to come out in the Labour Party for their runaway MP.

Even while my father was still missing, the Prime Minister Harold Wilson had made a Commons statement about allegations that my father had been acting as a Czech spy. 

Josef Frolik, a defector from the Communist Czech secret service, had accused him of being one of their agents.

Frolik had no proof, had never seen my father’s file, or given him any money. The head of MI5 didn’t believe Frolik because he was a known liar: his unfounded fabrications included stories about Prime Minister Edward Heath and Labour’s Michael Foot. 

But rogue Right-wing elements within MI5 wanted to use the Frolik misinformation for their own purposes and they made sure the rumour about my father being a spy spread.

As the information came from MI5, people believed it. A miasma of suspicion and contempt fell over my father and he was doomed. 

However, Wilson said that the claims had been thoroughly investigated and disproved, as had suggestions that my father had been working for the CIA. John Stonehouse ‘was in no way a security risk’, he told MPs. But the rumours continued to rumble.

When he was arrested on December 24, my father sent a telegram to Wilson saying he’d had a mental breakdown and adding: ‘I can only apologise to you and all the others who have been troubled by this business.’ The Prime Minister didn’t reply.

By early spring, there had been so much bad publicity about the Stonehouse case that Labour politicians were keen to dissociate themselves completely from my father. My mother, too, would face years of total silence from former friends and colleagues.

Being involved in the party as an MP for 17 years meant nothing. 

There was no sympathy or understanding. So much for the supposed ‘comrades’. On January 28, 1975, a parliamentary select committee was set up to ‘consider the position of Mr John Stonehouse’. 

But, shockingly, a detailed report on my father’s condition written by Dr Gibney was kept from them by civil servants and diplomats. 

Mr A. R. Clark of the Foreign Office’s south west Pacific department had sent a memo to colleagues saying: ‘I do not think that it would be appropriate to give the [Dr Gibney’s] letter a wider distribution. If the select committee want a psychiatric report, they will no doubt formally go about getting one.’

Sir Thomas Brimelow, the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, agreed, adding a handwritten note: ‘The Secretary of State may think it better that letters such as this should be kept in the Private Office under Ministerial Control.’

While all this was going on unknown to my father, he himself was desperate to see his mistress. On February 6, my mother picked up the phone in our rented flat in Melbourne and found Sheila on the line.

‘Where are you?’ my mother asked.

‘Singapore,’ replied Sheila. ‘John asked me to come.’

My mother handed the phone to my father and heard them making arrangements to meet in Perth.

Mum was devastated, telling my father: ‘If she comes to Australia, she can take on the role of nursemaid, secretary, chief cook and bottle-washer. I’m going home.’

There was a silence, and then my father lost control.

He grabbed my mother and threw her to the floor, yelling: ‘Why can’t you understand?’

My mother was face-down on the floor and my father leaned over, grabbed her hair, and used it to bang her head up and down.

My brother was in the sitting room and came running in, shouting ‘Stop it, Dad, stop it!’ and pulled him away, telling my mother to get in the kitchen and shut the door.

Mum stood with her back to the door, panting and amazed. Nothing like that had ever happened to her in her life before. He’d turned into a monster. Usually my father was so gentle.

In the bedroom, he was banging his head against the wall and crying his heart out.

My mother reached for the phone to try to contact his psychiatrist, but my father burst into the room, snatched the phone from her hand, and shouted: ‘Who are you calling? I suppose you’re calling the police.’

‘I’m trying to get the doctor,’ my mother replied. ‘You need help.’

He shouted: ‘Yes, I do need help! Your help! And what do you do? You call the police. You bitch!’

He then pulled the phone cord from its socket and started beating my mother about the head with the handset.

My mother had no idea it would be their last ever anniversary dinner. Six days later, my father flew to Miami. Pictured: John and Barbara with their children, including Julia (left), in 1965

It broke, shattering on the floor. Then he put his hands around her throat and started banging her head against the wall. My mother thought he’d choke her to death, but Mathew managed to drag him off.

My father broke loose, and rushed out of the front door, shouting: ‘I’m going. Do you hear? This is the last you’ll see of me! I’m going to kill myself. That’s what everybody wants and then you’ll all be happy.’

Mathew ran after him, but he was in the car and away.

It was many hours before my father’s solicitor Jim Patterson tracked him down, by which time he was subdued and contrite.

But it was not to be the last such terrifying episode.

The day after the attack, my father went to Perth to meet Sheila. 

My mother by this time had decided she’d had enough and was driving to Sydney to fly home with Mathew. But perhaps against her better judgment, she was persuaded by Patterson that it would be good for her to talk to my father and Sheila face to face.

With emotions running so high, a showdown was inevitable.

The ill-fated meeting took place in the early evening at a picnic area near a dam at Albury, New South Wales. 

As the love triangle sat together, my father told my mother he wanted both women in Melbourne: his wife so she could transcribe a book he was writing; Sheila so she could help him with questions about his business affairs from the Department of Trade and Industry, whose inspectors would be arriving shortly.

The insensitivity didn’t seem to occur to him.

My mother told him: ‘No. I won’t have that girl there. If she goes to Melbourne, I go back to England.’

He shouted: ‘I want you both! You are both important to me.’

‘Look,’ my mother said, ‘our suitcases are packed and in the boot of the car. I’m ready to fly to England tomorrow with Mathew and I will do so if you bring that girl back to Melbourne.’ She meant it. 

His manic behaviour was truly frightening 

Suddenly, he jumped to his feet and yelled ‘If you leave me, I’ll kill myself’, and started running towards the dam.

Sheila screamed at my mother: ‘Barbara, you must do something!’

Something inside my mother snapped and she turned to Sheila and said: ‘You do something.’

Sheila ran after him. My brother, who was waiting in the car nearby, turned the headlights on in time to see my father climbing up on to the edge of the dam.

Mathew drove up to my mother and she slipped into the driving seat and sped towards my father and Sheila.

By now, he was off the dam and he and Sheila were sobbing in each other’s arms.

Somehow my father persuaded my mother to stay on in Australia, and they returned together to the flat in Melbourne. Sheila, who had until recently wrongly believed she was pregnant with my father’s child, remained in Sydney.

My father’s manic behaviour was so out of character that it was truly frightening. It could well have been a symptom of him withdrawing from the drug Mandrax on which he had in recent years become dependent – a procedure so dangerous it often necessitated hospital supervision.

Perhaps he had taken some Mandrax or Mogadon, the other prescription drug he regularly used, to Miami when he faked his death and he had reached the last of his supply? 

Eventually the medical profession became wise to the dangers of the highly addictive Mandrax and it was banned in the UK in 1984 – ten years too late for my father.

In March 1975, my father and Sheila were arrested on various charges relating to his disappearance, including conspiracy and the theft of four cheques that belonged to one of his companies worth £7,500, £6,981, £2,112 and £3,029.

My father faced a further 15 charges including not paying his most recent credit card bills, applying for a credit card and passport in the name of Joseph Markham, and obtaining birth certificates in the names of Joseph Markham and Clive Mildoon.

On July 17, escorted by Scotland Yard, the pair returned to Britain.

DURING my father’s trial at the Old Bailey in the summer of 1976, the judge, Edward Eveleigh, told the jury it was not their business to consider mental health issues.

‘Those are matters which can be taken into consideration in mitigation by the court, if appropriate, but they are not matters which affect guilt itself,’ he said.

The difficulty faced by my father’s defence team was that he had seen a psychiatrist only after his arrest. The court was constantly trying to press the idea that he wasn’t crazy before his arrest, but only became so because of it.

To us, as his family, it was patently obvious that a sane John Stonehouse wouldn’t adopt alternative personas and fake his own death. But people just weren’t interested in the mental health aspect of what had happened.

If this trial was happening today, experts would be asked to describe the psychological effects of taking too much Mandrax and Mogadon, taken individually and in combination, over a two-year period. 

But this was 1970s, when those drugs were handed out like sweets, and the subject of men’s mental health was not talked about. 

Convicted on charges of theft, fraud and deception, my father was sentenced to a total of 95½ years in prison, to run concurrently, which meant he would be locked up for just seven.

Judge Eveleigh said the extraordinarily harsh sentence was about being a deterrent.

‘Its principal object is to inform others that they cannot profit by this kind of behaviour or any criminal behaviour,’ he stated.

Sheila was given a suspended sentence of two years. The lead prosecutor, Michael Corkery QC, accused her of being a ‘shrewd and tough operator’. 

But having read all the trial statements, I see nothing to indicate that Sheila had any idea what was going on inside my father’s head before he faked his death.

While I might not admire her capacity to have an affair for years with my father, she was never the wild sort of character who’d go along with such a mad plan.

John Stonehouse was escorted from the Old Bailey to Wormwood Scrubs in London before being transferred to a high-security prison at Blundeston in Suffolk.

From there, he wrote to the family: ‘I have been feeling happier and more relaxed than for at least four years and possibly longer. I feel more like a whole person.

‘The worst possible conditions at the Scrubs are so much better than the tension and desolation that I had to bear before. I am learning at last what a joy it is to have an “ordinary” life.’

He was released from jail in 1979, and married Sheila in 1981. He died in her arms at the age of just 62, seven years later after a series of heart attacks.

I wish my father had never been caught in Melbourne and had succeeded in his escape from reality, living a calm, new life, playing chess, listening to jazz and classical music, soaking up the sun.

He might have lived to the age of 83, when he could have used newly released files from the Czech secret service to prove that he was, in fact, innocent of the allegations of treason that never quite went away.

For most people, John Stonehouse will for ever remain the infamous runaway MP. But to me, my wonderful father was a hero.

Everywhere I’ve gone in my life, I’ve met people across the world who were helped by him.

Travelling around East Africa in the late 1960s, I spoke to many who remembered his efforts on their behalf in their struggle for justice and independence.

For years, I wasn’t allowed to pay in Indian restaurants in Britain because many are run by people from Bangladesh (another country he helped), and when they saw the Stonehouse name on my credit card or cheque they’d say: ‘No, no, you must accept our gratitude. Come again, any time, no charge.’

My father taught me something invaluable: that the world can be changed if people talk enough and work enough together.

After all he suffered, he is at peace. I send him my undying love and respect.

John Stonehouse, My Father: The True Story Of The Runaway MP, by Julia Stonehouse, is published by Icon on July 19 at £16.99. 

To pre-order a copy for £14.44, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193 before July 25. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.

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This post originally posted here The European Times News

My personal “jihad” against Gaddafi

My personal “jihad” against Gaddafi

Thirteen pages of a “life dissertation”.

1987, April 2, headquarters of the №36050 division of the Bulgarian People’s Army, Momchilgrad. The office of the chief of artillery intelligence. I, the private, sit at his desk and write “The Doctor of My Life” – those 13 pages of handwritten explanations on plaid sheets, on which it depends whether I will go to a military court to disband the army or not. Based on these explanations, the Deputy Chief of Military Counterintelligence of the Army Headquarters decided that I was “either innocent as an angel or the worst scum he had ever met,” choosing the first option and terminating the investigation. Naturally, during my studies at the Theological Academy “St. Kliment Ohridski ”- Sofia I am under constant surveillance with all the negatives of this, but at least I knew that I was being watched, that maybe against me special technical means are used, now known as special intelligence means (in the sense of today’s Bulgarian Law on Special intelligence means these are the technical means and the operational means for their application), but above all to take into account the human factor. The office of the Holy Synod was buzzing with paid, operative workers and agents, as well as volunteer informers and others with the lowest spiritual temperature.

Thirteen years later.

2000, April 2, Plovdiv. I am receiving a letter №219846 / 31.03.2000 from the Commission under the VAT Act regarding my request in connection with Art. 7 (1) of the Law on Access to the Documents of the Former State Security (SG, issue 63 / 06.08.1997), by which I was invited on 12.04.2000 at 13:00 in the reading room of RDVR – Plovdiv to get acquainted with the documents collected for me by the former State Security. In order to find some answers personally, I wanted to photocopy these thirteen pages (in the file numbered from pages 50 to 56), which I consider no less important for my life, even than the title “teacher of the Holy Orthodox Church ”, A Byzantine scientific title similar to the medieval“ doctor of the church ”in the Western Christian world, awarded to me by a deliberate patriarchal letter (pitakion) in October 1999 by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Then I had to give a plausible answer to the denunciations against me that I had unregulated contacts with foreign citizens, that I was pro-monarchist, the grandson of a Plovdiv industrialist, a religious propagandist (admitted to the Theological Academy before the barracks), and to express remorse for disturbing the minds, hearts and souls of the officers and soldiers in the unit.

I found that the WRC officers had given the chief informant (listed by his three names in my file, but in my opinion, it is unnecessary to mention the same) mainly operational tasks to determine my views on foreign policy issues. The main problem for the services turned out to be my statements against the policy of the leader of the Libyan revolution, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, after the criminal bombings of April 14, 1986 over what President Reagan called “terrorist locations” – Tripoli and Benghazi in the Libyan Jamahiriya. the Arabic word dzhumhuriya – a republic that can be translated as a people’s state). Apparently, at the time I repeated some of Ronald Reagan’s statements, quoted in the newspaper “Abroad” or in broadcasts of the Bulgarian editions of the western “enemy” radio stations, which my anti-Libyan statements were brought to the Military Counterintelligence. The Reagan administration saw Gaddafi as an unwanted player on the international stage because he supported Palestinian terrorist groups, revolutionary Iran during the war (1980-1988) against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, and separatist terrorist groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Motherland and Basque Freedom (ETA). I was obliged to give up in writing my “wrong” worldviews, I quote myself, namely: “the American thesis that Libya threatened the interests of the United States, or Nicaragua, with its 3 elevators and 1 excavator. I agree with Lenin’s statement about the mistakes of his brother and his terrorist environment, in the sense that terrorism not only does not contribute, but also hinders the revolution. So I also reject the fact that Libya has been a hotbed of international terrorism, a hotbed of which Syria was recently declared. ” The following 2 decades categorically proved my opinion and position at the time that this cunning Bedouin tyrant was not a friend of the Bulgarian people.

In 2010, under the Law on Access to Documents of the Former State Security and the Former Intelligence Department of the General Staff, I again reviewed the cadastral archives available to me, lustrating myself, requesting a letter certifying that no information had been found. I have cooperated or been recruited by the services of the totalitarian regime in any form.

Over the years, I have not experienced myself as an “active fighter against the Libyan Jamahiriya”, but with the case of innocent Bulgarian medical workers, the gossip about their personalities, our national Bulgarian dignity, justice, over 400 infected Libyan children and their families, as well as many Compatriots and people from all over the world have signed online petitions and other gestures of sympathy for a fair outcome of the case. In 2005, however, being on a short-term specialization for comparative analysis between Bulgarian and Geneva legislation on religious rights and freedoms with temporary accreditation to the press center at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, I mobilized as an Orthodox clergyman. the Bulgarian lobby in the World Council of Churches in Geneva, with the active support of the Help the Needy Foundation – Plovdiv and the intercession of the great Bulgarian church historian and former longtime Deputy Secretary General of the WCC prof. Todor Sabev (+ 2008), to support the cause of the Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death. By God’s will, on the most Bulgarian holiday, May 24, 2005, I had the honor to personally present to the Bulgarian Ambassador at the reception in the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the UN a copy of the letter of Pastor Dr. Samuel Kobia, then Gen. Secretary of the World Council of Churches, to the Libyan leader M. al-Gaddafi, in which a request was made for mercy to the five Bulgarian and Palestinian doctors on behalf of all 347 member churches from over 120 countries on all continents, representing all Christian traditions.

To what extent this document has contributed to the favorable development of the fate of the six medics, whether our country has used it as a trump card in the negotiations with the Libyan side, I can not judge. For me, this was a kind of culmination of my personal “jihad”, a sacred struggle against the Libyan dictator.

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This post originally posted here The European Times News

Euro 2020 final: Boris pens personal letter to Southgate’s team – ‘Bring it home’

Euro 2020 final: Boris pens personal letter to Southgate's team - 'Bring it home'

The Prime Minister wrote to the manager, calling on him to “bring it home”. “We are not just hoping or praying,” he wrote.

“We believe in you, Gareth, and your incredible squad.”

The England team will play Italy at Wembley on Sunday at 8pm.

“On behalf of the entire nation, good luck, have a great game – and bring it home!” Mr Johnson wrote.

In the letter the Prime Minister wrote that Gareth Southgate’s team had “already made history”.

READ MORE:‘Surreal!’ Three Lions team given pep talk by Tom Cruise

“You have lifted the spirits of the whole country, and tomorrow we know you can lift that trophy too.”

Gareth Southgate’s team has been flooded with messages of support ahead of the final on Sunday.

The Queen presented the 1966 World Cup to the England team, unbeknownst that it will be the last time the team would reach a final in a major tournament for 55 years.

“55 years ago I was fortunate to present the World Cup to Bobby Moore and saw what it meant to the players, management and support staff to reach and win the final of a major international football tournament,” the monarch wrote.

“I want to send my congratulations and that of my family to you all on reaching the final of the European Championships, and send my good wishes for tomorrow with the hope that history will record not only your success but also the spirit, commitment and pride with which you have conducted yourselves.”

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Do you REALLY need a personal trainer? 5 reasons why working with a PT is worth it

Do you REALLY need a personal trainer? 5 reasons why working with a PT is worth it


Not everyone NEEDS a personal trainer, but the level of knowledge a personal trainer has is essential if you want to get amazing results and change your life.

First things first, being a beginner in the gym is really difficult and nerve-wracking.

Sarah explained: “In the gym, especially in the free weights section, you think everyone is an expert.

“But the honest truth is, most people don’t know what they’re doing unless you become an expert.

“If you haven’t been to the gym before and you walk in, you’re bound to think everyone’s doing it perfectly, they’re not!

“You’ve got to remember, everyone was a beginner once. Nobody is watching, nobody is judging, really nobody cares. They probably all feel the same as you.”

Personal trainers can help to eliminate the embarrassment or ‘feeling silly’ from the moment you step into the gym.

Author: Izzie Deibe
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Health
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Gray foxes use black bears as personal body guards

Put yourself in the shoes of a gray fox. You’re about the size of a housecat, and you need a steady supply of mice and other rodents to keep your belly full. But that puts you in competition with coyotes, which not only want your dinner, but are happy to knock you off in the process.

So where do you turn for cover? Maybe the home turf of a black bear.

Gray foxes use black bears

That’s according to research published this week in the journal Oecologia, which found that in the mountains of Nevada, black bears play a key role in moderating competition between all kinds of smaller predators.

“Many carnivore species are declining, but black bears and coyotes are exceptions,” says Remington Moll, the study’s lead author and wildlife biologist at the University of New Hampshire. “They’re both what we call generalists. They eat a bunch of types of food and prey, and so you’d expect these species to compete with one another, but there’s virtually no studies on them.”

Coyotes are such all-purpose eaters that they compete with both gray foxes and black bears.  Both coyotes and bears, for instance, scavenge carcasses, but it’s likely that the much bigger black bears push out anyone else who tries to grab a bite. That opens up space for the much-smaller gray fox to find a niche.

That fits into a larger body of work on what are called “landscapes of fear:” From Yellowstone to lagoons in the Great Barrier Reef, ecologists have found that entire ecosystems, from the plants to the soil itself, are shaped by the ways that prey animals avoid predators.

The research stems from a larger project to count and map the black bear population of western Nevada. This region previously  had a black bear population, Moll explains, where they lived in the pine forests of the high mountains. “Several decades ago, black bears were essentially gone. But then, California’s bear population has been doing really well, and those bears are repopulating the Nevada site.”

As part of that work, the team had already collared a set of bears with GPS trackers, and could plot out the animals’ home ranges. Tracking the movements of shy foxes was trickier. The team set up a network of trail cameras, which take a photo when an animal passes by. To get the animals to investigate the cameras when they were in the neighborhood, they baited them with a cocktail of raspberry extract, anise extract, fish oil, and “Ultimate Bear Lure,” an attractant that hunting stores describe as made from “all-natural secretions.”

[Read more: To save monarch butterflies, we need more milkweed.]

The fact that black bears hibernate sets up a kind of natural experiment: For half the year, the bears dominate the landscape. Then, in the fall, they effectively disappear.

When bears are out and about, the cameras found foxes spending much more time hanging out inside core bear territory. The coyotes were nowhere to be seen. In the winter, with the bears gone, the coyotes push into bear country, and the foxes scatter. Moll says he’s not sure why exactly the coyotes shift to the temporarily-vacant bear habitat with the changing seasons. “It would seem to be that there’s something about the food supply, maybe these sites are better for survival over the winter.”

Plenty of caveats apply to the findings: The study is entirely correlational, so the researchers can’t say for sure why the foxes and coyotes move from place to place. And they don’t know how the foxes and bears interact when they’re sharing space—whether they stay far apart, or are comfortable around one another. (That would take GPS collars on both species, Moll says.)

Still, Moll says, he’s surprised by how powerfully the foxes appeared to favor bear territory. “It was a stronger effect than environmental variables like snow, it was a stronger effect than the amount of prey that was available.”

Philip Kiefer

Author: Claire Maldarelli
This post originally appeared on Science – Popular Science

Phillip Schofield reflects on coming out as gay on air as he talks ‘personal struggles'

Phillip Schofield reflects on coming out as gay on air as he talks ‘personal struggles'

“There are much, much bigger things in the world than our own personal struggles.”

Phillip came out as gay via a statement posted on one of his Instagram stories and followed up in an interview on This Morning, stating that “with the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay”.

At the time he received the full support of his wife Stephanie and their two daughters Molly, 28, and Ruby, 25, explaining how his family and their love had helped him through his torment.

And Phillip also thanked TV wife Holly Willoughby for her support during his time of emotional turmoil.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed