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Monthly Archives: May 2019

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Black and white TV still OK in UK

Thousands of Britons have turned a blind eye to huge high-definition TVs and streaming programs in favour of their old black and white set.

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According to TV Licensing, 9356 people in the UK still have a licence to watch television in shades of grey, nearly 50 years after the first colour broadcasts.

But the number has reduced dramatically since 2000, when 212,000 people went without colour, while nine years ago, 50,000 people stuck with black and white.

“It’s astounding more than 9000 households still watch on a black and white telly, especially now over half of homes access TV content over the internet,” TV Licensing spokesman Jason Hill said on Monday.

“Whether you have the latest 4K TV or a black and white set from the 1970s, however, if you are watching or recording live television, then you do need a TV licence.”

The first regular colour TV broadcasts in the UK were from the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in July 1967 as David Attenborough, then controller of BBC2, raced to beat networks in Germany to it.

Londoners account for the most mono licences with 2222, while residents of Birmingham and Manchester trail with 429 and 313 respectively.

“There are hundreds of collectors like myself who have many black and white TVs; some of them are purists who won’t have this new-fangled colour TV in the house,” said television historian Jeffrey Borinsky.

“We like the glow of valves, rich sound and wonderful warm smell of these old sets. It’s simply pure nostalgia and the joy of seeing old equipment still working in the internet age.

“Older people who grew up with black and white still love it and don’t see why they should throw away their perfectly good set to get colour they don’t even want.”

About 20 killed in Nigeria bombing

About 20 people have been killed and 90 wounded by a bomb explosion in a mosque in northern Nigeria.

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The blast comes a day after the army fought Boko Haram militants west of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and birthplace of their campaign to create an Islamic state in the northeast of Africa’s most populous country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Monday’s blast bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed thousands and displaced 2.1 million in the region.

The explosion happened in a western suburb where the army had exchanged fire on Sunday with suspected Boko Haram fighters who it said had tried to slip into Maiduguri to stage suicide bombings. Residents then reported explosions and heavy gunfire.

Musa Abdukadir, a resident, said after the mosque attack he counted the bodies of more than 50 victims in the state specialist hospital in Maiduguri.

Medics had told him more bodies had been brought to two other hospitals. The count included victims from Sunday’s fighting.

“We all fled yesterday as our houses were on fire. This morning we came back, and while we were counting the people who had burned in the houses, another bomb exploded,” said Ibrahim Goni, a resident who said he had visited the blast scene.

An army counter-offensive earlier this year recaptured most of the territory Boko Haram had seized over the past few years.

Boko Haram has since reverted to a strategy of hitting soft targets such as markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages, mainly in Borno state.

Thunder move to top of BBL ladder

Sydney Thunder secured a hat-trick of wins for the first time in the BBL courtesy of an easy seven-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers, with Jacques Kallis and Andre Russell leading the way.

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Set 118 for victory in Monday night’s clash at Spotless Stadium before a sellout crowd of 21,500, the Thunder cruised to victory with 21 balls to spare as Kallis hit 49 off 48 balls.

The comfortable win, coming on the back of victories over Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars, thrust the Thunder to the top of the BBL ladder as the only undefeated side in the competition.

The Thunder have at last cast off their tag as Twenty20 easybeats and the three wins so far this season matches their output from their three previous campaigns.

Kallis and Blizzard (35 off 29 balls) combined for a first wicket stand of 66 in 10 overs on a pitch that didn’t appear to have the same demons as it did for the Strikers to put the home side right on track for the win.

Russell added to his 2-28 with the ball by hitting 17 off just seven balls.

Earlier, captain Brad Hodge topscored for the visitors in hitting 34 off 33 balls in their total of 9-117.

The visitors slumped to 2-3 early after Tim Ludeman was out first ball of the innings and Craig Simmons was dismissed the following over.

Two needless mid-innings runouts to Mahela Jayawardene (21 off 31) and Michael Neser (2 off 8) with Ben Rohrer involved in both, didn’t help the Strikers’ cause.

Hodge and Adil Rashid (25 off 18) combined for the Strikers’ most fruitful partnership of 37 for the seventh wicket to push their score past 100, before 14 runs off the final over gave the visitors something to defend.

The loss was the Strikers’ first in three matches this season.

Before this season they had only secured five victories over the first four seasons of the BBL.

Thunder probably only need to win two more games to secure their first finals appearance.

Skipper Mike Hussey said Sydney controlled the contest from start to end.

“It was a brilliant performance all round,” Hussey said.

“Getting those early wickets certainly put them under a lot of pressure and they couldn’t really get any momentum going with their innings.

“All in all I’m rapt with the performance.

“Sometimes with those small totals it can be a bit nerve racking but Kallis and Blizzard got off to a nice calm start and then Andre came in and added a bit of excitement towards the end.”

Comanche stages epic comeback to win Sydney to Hobart race

Comanche sailed into Constitution Dock in Hobart after crossing the finishing line at around 10 p.

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m. local time (1100 GMT) ahead of compatriot Rambler 88, which was set to take second place, followed by Australia’s Ragamuffin 100 and Italy’s Maserati.

Rambler 88 had led the race for several hours after Comanche briefly retired on Saturday night, before quickly reversing that decision and electing to battle on.

Most of the leading yachts sustained damage this year, amid wild weather and southerly gusts of up to 40 knots which knocked out the Australian pre-race favourite Wild Oats XI, thwarting its bid to break its record of eight victories.

Organisers say it has been the toughest race since 2004.

It is a sweet victory for Comanche’s owner Jim Clark as well as for Australian co-owner Kristy Hinze-Clark, who was among the crew and was showered with champagne as the yacht arrived in Hobart to a crowd of supporters dressed in American Indian headdress.

Even more so for skipper Ken Read.

“That is a hard, hard body of water,” Read told reporters after arriving, recounting his decision to continue the race despite damage to a daggerboard and a rudder.

“It was my decision. Sure enough this boat did its thing and got us out of trouble.

“We love this boat.”

It is the first victory for Comanche, a 100 foot super-maxi designed to be the fastest monohull ever built, and deliberately made to break records. It is also the first time since 1998 that a U.S. yacht has won the ‘blue water’ event.

On its first attempt at the 630 nautical mile classic in 2014, Comanche lost its early lead and ultimately had to settle for second place as Wild Oats XI won a record eighth line honours title.

Comanche had already stamped its seal on the race as the fleet headed out of Sydney Harbour on Saturday but then ran into trouble as conditions worsened a few hours later.

Its crew spent 13 hours battling to regain the lead from Rambler 88, which belatedly discovered it too had sustained damage.

Comanche finally crossed the finish line in a time of two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.

(Reporting by Chris McCall; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Comanche takes Syd to Hob line honours

A fightback line honours victory for American supermaxi Comanche could well make owner Jim Clark reconsider his decision not to recontest the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

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Bruised and battered, the 100-footer crossed the finish line just before 10pm (AEDT) on Monday in a time of two days, eight hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds, well outside the 2012 record.

Clark said before the 2015 race that the four-and-a-half-month campaign to bring the boat Down Under cost too much time and money.

But he admitted Monday’s result could change his mind.

“There’s lots of other things to do in the world,” Clark argued.

“But we’ll think about it, we’re not sure if we’ll come back.”

However Clark’s wife, Australian model Kristy Hinze-Clark – who steered the boat across the line on Monday night – had no such doubts.

“It’s not going to be the last time she’s here … not if I’ve got anything to do with it,” co-owner Hinze-Clark said.

Skipper Ken Read said the boat took a pounding when it hit something in the water on the first night at sea.

The heavy knock dislodged the dagger board which was flailing beneath the boat, attached only by ropes.

“I was most worried about the sharp edges of the dagger board puncturing up through the hull of the boat so we desperately were trying to cut the ropes to get rid of the dagger board,” Read told reporters after the race.

“Of course when we cut the ropes to get rid of the dagger board we saved the hull but cleaned out the rudder.”

It wrecked the steering system and broke off the tiller arm, leaving the rudder facing backwards.

At first the crew dropped the sails and everyone thought the campaign was over, but after some emergency repairs, the race was back on and, 13 hours later, the lead Comanche had lost to Rambler 88 was regained.

The extent of damage to the boat remains to be seen.

“I’ve gone around the world a couple of times and I don’t think I’ve come into a dock … as wounded as this boat is,” Read said.

“We don’t even know what the underbody looks like, I have a feeling we’ve got some pretty big gashes.”

Comanche was one of many boats damaged during the 2015 race.

From the starting fleet of 108, there have been 31 withdrawals, most linked to the first night of rough conditions.

Second-placed Rambler, also from America, and due to finish about 8am (AEDT) on Tuesday, has suffered dagger board damage, as has third-placed Australian supermaxi Ragamuffin.

The standings for handicap winner remain wide open and are not expected to be finalised for days.