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Grant Shapps clashes with Kay Burley over Mark Menzies sleaze scandal: ‘Do you think it is funny?’

Grant Shapps clashed with Sky News host Sky Burley as he was quizzed over the latest sleaze scandal to hit the Conservatives. Mark Menzies is the latest Tory MP to have his whip suspended. Mr Menzies is alleged to have used thousands of pounds given by donors to fund medical expenses and to have made a late-night call to a 78-year-old aide asking for help because he had been locked up by “bad people” demanding money for his release. Ms Burley asked Mr Shapps on Thursday (18 April): “Eight independent MPs, former Tories… what’s that saying about your party and the state of British politics?” Mr Shapps appeared to smirk and replied: “I thought I was on to talk about two wars. “Do you think it’s funny?”, Ms Burley asked.

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Fernando Tatis Jr. has 50 custom cleats planned this year, including odes to Gwynn, Curry and more

Fernando Tatis Jr. had Tony Gwynn with him when he rounded the bases after a dramatic, go-ahead home run against the Chicago Cubs last week. The San Diego Padres star stutter-stepped into third base with his right cleat, designed with the look of the team’s home white pinstriped jerseys from 1998, when Gwynn led the Padres to their most recent World Series. Tatis’ left cleat was in the brown and yellow color scheme from the 1980s. Both cleats had “Mr. Padre” on the back to honor the late Hall of Famer. Perhaps divine providence led Tatis to unveil those custom cleats on the 20th anniversary of the first Padres game at Petco Park, where a statue of Gwynn stands beyond the center field fence. Or maybe it’s just the swagger and flair that sets Tatis apart from most other ballplayers. “Definitely the shoes,” Tatis said after helping turn an 8-0 deficit into a 9-8 win. “The power came from above. Always grateful. Definitely a little bit inspired today. Just happy I was wearing those shoes today.” He’s hoping to pull more inspiration from the ground up this season. Tatis plans to unveil 50 pairs of custom cleats in conjunction with his branding company, Xample, and Los Angeles-based Shoe Surgeon. The cleats will honor people, events and whatever strikes the 25-year-old Tatis’ fancy. “It’s a crazy idea,” Tatis said. “We’re definitely having fun with them.” Tatis previously had a shoe deal with Adidas, but the company ended that days after MLB suspended him for 80 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in August 2022. Being a shoe free agent has allowed the dreadlocked Dominican to be creative and use different brands, although he favors Jordan 1 Mid cleats by Nike. “I think that really made him more expressive in terms of really showing the world who he is,” Xample founder and CEO Nick Drbal said. “Never judge a book by its cover or else we’ll just write our own book.” In 2019, MLB began allowing more colorful cleats. Tatis, along with Bryce Harper and a handful of others, have been at the vanguard of creativity. Tatis unveiled his first custom pair during a two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul, South Korea. For the home opener, he honored late Padres owner Peter Seidler with cleats that included images of Seidler, who died Nov. 14 at age 63, and palm trees. Seidler stood by Tatis during the PED suspension and was at the star’s first game back. Tatis put Seidler’s quote, “I believe in him,” on the back of the cleats. Tatis plans to give them to Seidler’s family. The next night, Tatis wore “ Tatis & Co. ” shoes in stylish Tiffany Blue to match the Padres’ colorful City Connect uniforms. He homered twice. A pair called “Platino” honored his 2023 NL Platinum Glove Award and featured the silhouette of Tatis leaping to make a home run-robbing catch last season. On Military Appreciation Day, he wore cleats made from the camouflage uniform Army veteran Mark Bartlett wore while deployed in Afghanistan and a uniform worn by Navy veteran Jared Kenney, including their name tags. That project came about after Tatis asked fans on Instagram what they’d like to see. A longtime Padres fan, Bartlett, 41, said he was “speechless and emotional” when he found out at game time that Tatis was wearing the cleats. “I was celebrating Easter with my family and I had to go in the garage to let it out. Started bawling when I first set eyes on them.” Raised in a military family, Bartlett applauded Tatis for supporting San Diego’s military community. He said his father, a 24-year Navy veteran who died during the pandemic, “would be so proud to see his family name on one of his favorite player’s cleats.” Tatis opened a series in San Francisco by wearing a pair of Stephen Curry’s Under Armour basketball shoes that had been modified into cleats. The Golden State Warriors superstar personalized them with his favorite Bible verse, “I can do all things.” Curry said he and Tatis connected through a mutual friend. “It’s kind of cool to see him wear it. One of one,” said Curry, a four-time NBA champion and two-time MVP. “The love and respect from fellow athletes, guys that are — how old is he? — the fact that he felt a certain type of connection to me and my story knowing where he is and the profile he has now, I know his intention is good so that’s pretty dope that he wanted to rock them with pride.” Tatis honored his father with cleats named “In The Blood” for the opener of a series at Dodger Stadium, where Tatis Sr. hit two grand slams in the same inning on April 23, 1999. For Jackie Robinson Day, he wore “Never Let Them Know It” cleats with beautiful laser-etched images of Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier. “Every one of them have a different type of value, but I feel they’re coming out really nice so far,” Tatis said. “When you look good, you play good.” Tatis and Drbal began dabbling with custom cleats last season and decided to go all out this year. “He is the most swaggy player in baseball. His fashion is unmatched. He’s very different in that regard,” Drbal said. “I’ve never really met someone who takes such pride in the details in every part of his life, let alone his wardrobe. He’s 100% the right guy for this. “It’s completely collaborative. It’s beautiful,” said Drbal, who also works with Ronald Acuna Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Oneil Cruz on their shoe designs. ___ AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this story. ___ AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

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‘There is no time to waste’: EU leaders want to boost competitiveness to close gap with US and China

EU rules restrict member governments’ aid to companies to avoid distorting business competition across the 27-member union’s free trade zone. One solution, Letta proposed, is to require countries to use a chunk of such aid for EU-wide projects instead of purely national ones. The report also calls for better integrating the bloc’s financial markets so companies can raise money for new renewable energy projects from stock, bond and venture capital investors instead of relying mostly on bank lending. That is a longstanding idea that has progressed slowly. Letta’s ideas would be taken up only after this year’s EU parliament elections and the appointment of a new executive commission. “There is a need for more investment,” said European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits. “What is fundamental is to act in order to put in place the capital markets union. And also to increase the capacities of the European Investment Bank to invest in strategic sectors.” Creating more broad-based financial markets would channel European citizens’ “billions of euros” in savings as a tool to invest in strategic sectors within the bloc. “Today, there’s a paradox,” he said. “A substantial part of these savings leaves the European Union and is not mobilized to support the economic base, to support innovation, to support the technological base.” ___ AP Business Writer David McHugh in Frankfurt, Germany, contributed to this report.

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PDP crisis: Drama as Dino Melaye, Ortom exchange words during meeting [VIDEO]

Former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, was involved in a hot exchange with ex-governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. Melaye accused Ortom of anti-party activities during the 2023 presidential election. Speaking at a North Central zonal leadership meeting of PDP in Abuja on Wednesday, Melaye said Ortom’s anti-party activities led to PDP losing both the presidential and governorship elections in Benue. He expressed surprise that the former governor could attend a PDP meeting despite his previous disloyalty to the party. This led to a hot exchange between both PDP chieftains. During the 2023 election, Ortom had teamed up with the G-5 governors led by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, to work against PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. While other members of the group worked for President Bola Tinubu’s victory, Ortom backed the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi. Video: Dino Vs Ortom at PDP North Central Zone leadership meeting. Melaye expressed surprise at Former Governor Ortom ease in attending a PDP meeting despite his previous disloyalty to the party. The two engaged in a heated exchange during the encounter. pic.twitter.com/Y8WTycJ88q — Imran Muhammad (@Imranmuhdz) April 18, 2024

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Congress moving swiftly on bipartisan action to punish Iran after revenge attack on Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran’s attack against Israel over the weekend has spurred a flurry of bipartisan legislative action in Congress, uniting lawmakers against the country even as the risk of a larger regional war looms. Several measures introduced and passed in the House and Senate seek to both publicly condemn Iran and punish the Islamic Republic financially. Lawmakers have denounced Iran’s actions, which came in response to a suspected Israeli strike weeks earlier on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed two Iranian generals. “The world is on fire, and history will judge us for our action,” said Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, during a news conference Tuesday. The swift, bipartisan condemnation of Iran has put on sharp display the durability of American support for Israel, even amid growing partisan division over how the country is handling its more than six-month war with Hamas. The House passed nearly a dozen bills by Wednesday that would, among other things, issue a slate of new sanctions and other financial restrictions against Iran and its leaders. Other legislation looks to prevent current Iranian officials sanctioned from evading those penalties and urge the European Union to “expeditiously” designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization as the U.S. has already done. On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday advanced five bills, including ones that targeted Iran for its human rights record and would require sanctions on ports and refineries that receive and process Iranian oil. “Iran’s direct attack on Israel this week underscores the need to further cut off the Iranian regime’s key revenue streams,” Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said in a statement. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to support this bill — which has already passed the House — so that we can send it to President Biden’s desk immediately.” A number of the bills had passed the House weeks before Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel in October but have been stalled in the Senate committee. An Israeli offensive in Gaza has since caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials. Israel’s conduct of the war has revealed the depth of unease among U.S. lawmakers as concerns over the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza have caused even some of President Joe Biden’s closest allies to threaten conditioning future aid to Israel. Congressional Democrats have been reluctant to challenge Biden’s handling of the ongoing conflict and related regional tensions that have taken shape, mindful that criticism could further weaken Biden in his reelection campaign against former President Donald Trump. But the attack on Saturday has proven to consolidate public support for the Biden administration’s quick response as it ordered U.S. forces to help Israel down “nearly all” the 300 drones and missiles that were headed its way. It also comes as House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., released legislation Wednesday that would provide $95 billion in aid collectively to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. The aid package had been held up for months over Republican opposition to continuing wartime funding for Ukraine as it battles Russia. Iran’s attack on Israel added urgency to Johnson’s plans to bring the issue to the floor for a vote. While the measures targeting Iran have received overwhelming support — with the series of House bills mostly passing with at least 300 votes — there has been a quiet but growing dissent among progressive Democratic lawmakers in both chambers, who warn that legislative efforts could risk further escalation in the Middle East. “Following last weekend’s unprecedented response by Iran to Israel’s attack on its consulate, the Republican Majority is explicitly leveraging a series of bills to further escalate tensions in the Middle East,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in a statement Tuesday. “This is a blatant attempt to distract from their own incompetence.” The strike on Saturday marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Israel has vowed to retaliate against Iran, risking further expanding the shadow war between the two foes into a direct conflict. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, condemned Iran’s attack in a statement but called on his colleagues to respond cautiously. He warned that further U.S. action against Iran could lead to a dangerous escalation that could drag America into a war in the Middle East. “Cooler heads must now prevail to ensure peace in the region and security for Israel,” Sanders said.

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Former No. 1 Kento Momota retires from international badminton at 29

Two-time world champion Kento Momota said Thursday he is retiring from international badminton at age 29, admitting he had never been the same since a serious car crash four years ago.Momota was once badminton’s undisputed king, winning 11 titles in 2019 and losing just six of the 73 matches he played that year.But in January 2020, the vehicle taking him to Kuala Lumpur Airport crashed hours after he won the Malaysia Masters.

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DJ Switch denies reported arrest in Lagos

Popular disc jockey Obianuju Catherine Udeh, aka DJ Switch, has debunked reports that she was arrested in Lagos. Reports on Thursday emerged that DJ Switch was arrested and taken to the magistrate court in Eti Osa over an alleged complaint of fraud and assault. Writing on X, DJ Switch said the report was false and the perpetrators intended to tarnish her image. She also threatened to sue the originators of the fake news. ”I was woken up by a barrage of calls and text this morning. I wondered why because I know today is not my birthday. Only to find that I, have been arrested,” she wrote. ”One of the links that was sent to me alleged that I had assaulted the police. Now, while I am not a fan of many of our police men and women, I do not condone nor do I support violence against the police. ”Our blogs have such an unhealthy appetite for traffic that they can’t even spend the transport fare it would cost them to go investigate and make certain of the news they share to the public. These false reporting is dangerous and negatively shapes narratives. ”Many people want so badly to believe I am just like those I’ve fought against or believing that I have sacrificed all I have ever worked for just to bring down Nigeria. This is false. ”That being said, my lawyers have screenshotted every blog they can find this false news and this is defamation of my character. These blogs have till end of day to take down this false news and kindly replace with a post correcting their mistake. I am not looking for cheap publicity, I hate clout chasing and I actually am not an ass because I was advised to sue immediately which would cost them all a lot. So please do the needful and let us learn.

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Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin: Savi To Learn Of Ishaans Involvement In Her Familys Demise, Will This Be The

HomeEntertainmentGhum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin: Savi To Learn Of Ishaan’s Involvement In Her Family’s Demise, Will This Be The End Of Her Feelings Towards Him? Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin: Savi To Learn Of Ishaan’s Involvement In Her Family’s Demise, Will This Be The End Of Her Feelings Towards Him? A recent promo of Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin shows Ishaan confessing a long hidden truth to Savi.

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UK tourists could face daily charge in Canary Islands as travellers threaten holiday boycott

Brits could be hit with a new daily charge while soaking up the sun in the Canary Islands due to a recent surge of visitors sparking calls for a boycott from disgruntled tourists. Authorities in popular holiday destinations such as Lanzarote and Tenerife are looking at ways to ‘claw back’ revenue with island officials, including Fernando Clavijo, President of the Canary Islands, suggesting a tourist tax for Brits. He told reporters: “It is true that the ecotax is not included in the government program, but it is also true that we are willing to discuss it; the government will always engage in dialogue.” He further explained: “It is a successful model that has generated a lot of employment and wealth, but it is also true that we have to continue improving it.” He stressed the importance of deepening added value, increasing turnover, profit, and wealth, indicating stating these topics would be laid on the table and “discussed openly without holding back and no taboo subjects.” However, authorities’ plans seem to irk UK holidaymakers who love these islands, resulting in mounting tensions. Anti-tourist sentiments are visibly escalating, evidenced by graffiti across Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Tenerife, reports the Mirror. Moreover, ahead of the protests on April 20 scheduled for Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Tenerife, one group of locals took their revolt to a more drastic level, initiating an “indefinite” hunger strike last Friday outside a church in La Laguna, Tenerife. Victor Martin, who spearheads the protest without participating in the hunger strike himself explained: “The hunger strike is indefinite and will continue until the two macro projects we’re fighting against are stopped forever and the regional agreement agrees in writing to sit down and talk to us about a tourist moratorium. A tragedy could occur and someone could die if the government don’t listen.” UK holidaymakers expressed disappointment over the spike in prices for holidays on Spanish shores, sparking threats of boycotts. The Mirror has been reporting that individuals planning European getaways this summer might need to expand their budget with an increasing number of popular tourist locations in Europe heightening their tourist tax charges. While most cities typically impose a certain levy on visitors staying in hotels that’s usually paid at check-in, there has been a trend of destinations enhancing these costs and instituting new regulations to mitigate over-tourism. This includes top tourist spots like Paris and Venice, and extends to hostels, B&Bs, and holiday rentals. For those journeying to Greece and its array of islands, a new tax payable at their chosen accommodation upon arrival is to be expected. Fees vary from 50 cents per night for apartments to €4 per night for a stay in a five-star hotel. Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond. Sign up to our daily newsletter.

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De Rossi to continue as Roma manager

Former player Daniele De Rossi will continue on as AS Roma’s manager for the next season and the “foreseeable future”, the Serie A club’s owners said on Thursday. De Rossi, who was appointed in January on a deal that ran until the end of the season, replaced Jose Mourinho and took over a side that was ninth in the league’s standings. Under the former Italy international, Roma have climbed to fifth in the standings following a seven-game unbeaten run in the league. They have also reached the Europa League quarter-finals, in which they have a 1-0 advantage over opponents AC Milan heading into Thursday’s second leg. “After meeting yesterday afternoon with Daniele De Rossi, we are delighted to announce he will continue as head coach of AS Roma after this season and for the foreseeable future,” club owners Dan and Ryan Friedkin said in a joint statement. “In his short tenure as head coach, the positive impact that his leadership has brought to the entire club has told its own story. “Daniele leads with respect and courage, while his strength and deep-rooted belief in the club are truly aligned with Roma’s values, city and unparalleled fans.” The club did not provide any details on the length of De Rossi’s contract. Roma next host Milan in the Europa League later on Thursday, before taking on Bologna in a league clash on Monday.

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