Mail order knife site linked to murder

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Police believe a knife seen in Ashraf Hussan’s lap before the murder was bought from an online store

A mail order website selling machetes, swords and a knife “mystery box” has been criticised by police who believe one of its blades was used in a murder.

Ashraf Hussan was pictured with a knife police believe he bought from the website hours before he and a teenager fatally stabbed a man in Cambridge.

Det Ch Insp Alan Page, who investigated the murder, was “aghast” at how easy it was to buy dangerous weapons.

The store said: “All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

Hussan, 20, had purchased “numerous” knives from the website, including a folding knife on 13 July, Cambridgeshire Police said.

Twelve days later officers believe county lines drug dealer Hussan used that knife when he and Juned Ahmed, 18, both from Newham in east London, murdered Peter Anderson.

The pair are due to be sentenced later.

Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Peter Anderson was stabbed to death in Stourbridge Common, Cambridge, in July

The knife sales company, which is based in a residential estate in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, sells axes, “Rambo” knives and other weapons glamorised in films, such as Batman throwing knives.

It also offers the chance for customers who “can’t decide” to “make it a surprise” and purchase an unknown knife in a mystery box – a concept Det Ch Insp Page labelled strange.

“Surely if people are going online to buy a knife to use in gardening or some sort of maintenance they know what knife they are looking for,” he said.

Image caption The BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife using ID with a doctored age and a debit card

The website requires purchasers to prove they are 18 or over but the detective called for legislation to include further background checks when people purchase knives.

“Yes, people can get access to kitchen knives, but why make it so easy to get these “Rambo” knives and hunting knives?” Det Ch Insp Page said.

“Fair enough if someone is a tree surgeon and needs it for a legitimate reason, but someone who lives in a flat in London with no garden and no employment – you’ve got to ask yourself why do they need a knife such as that?

“I think it’s because they’re going to use it for a criminal purpose.”

The company asks for a driving licence and for payments to be made on a pre-paid credit card which can only be owned by those aged 18 or over.

But the BBC purchased a spring-assisted knife from the website using a licence with a doctored age and a debit card, which can be owned by under-18s.

Company director Joseph Wheeler said there were no flaws in the firm’s age verification process.

Image caption Det Ch Insp Alan Page called for more background checks on the sale of knives

The government has plans to ban the sale of bladed articles online to residential addresses and the knife sales site said it was “implementing delivery to collection points for age verification checks in person”.

In a statement, Mr Wheeler added: “Knives are used for thousands of legitimate purposes by law-abiding citizens.

“(We) are extremely careful with our age verification checks, this is our number one priority.

“Trading standards do regularly check this, and we follow all their age verification guidelines thoroughly. All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.”

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-47280242

Incredible images show bat drinking nectar from a flower

A British pensioner captured these stunning pictures of tiny Long Tongue bats licking nectar from a flower while he was on holiday in Costa Rica. (Credit: SWNS)

Holy nectar, Batman.

A British retiree managed to capture a stunning image of a Long Tongue bat licking nectar from a flower while he was on vacation in Costa Rica.

72-year-old John Hudson was touring a nature reserve while on vacation and managed to come across the bats by chance, SWNS reports. From there, he set up a makeshift hideout and began capturing pictures of the animals using their elongated tongues to sip the sweet nectar inside.

‘OMEN OF EVIL’ BABY AYE-AYE LIVES IN DENVER ZOO

Hudson said he spent three hours crouched taking the pictures, a remarkable feat because bats are nocturnal and only feed at night.

John Hudson, 72, a semi-retired hypnotherapist, was touring a nature reserve late at night when he came across the bats by chance. He spent three hours crouched in a makeshift hide to capture the pictures of the animals using their tongues to lap up the nectar. (Credit: SWNS)

“The shots were taken around 11 p.m. somewhere up in the highlands on a nature reserve in Costa Rica,” Hudson said in comments obtained by SWNS.

He continued: “The bats are quite common to the country but are nocturnal so they are very hard to photograph in the pitch dark. The night before some sugar water was put out in a feeder in the hope of catching hummingbirds feeding – but none came.”

Hudson, who added that he’d traveled to the country to snap pictures of birds using his DSLR Canon 5D Mark IV, said he got very lucky and was amazed at what he’d been able to photograph.

 The extraordinary snaps are almost never seen with the naked eye because bats feed at night and are notoriously difficult to spot. (Credit: SWNS)

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“I’ve been a keen photographer since I was 14 and I have a particular interest in things like hummingbirds,” Hudson said. “You have to set the equipment up to trigger a photo automatically when a bat flies across because you really can’t see anything. When I saw what I’d captured I was amazed. They are a lovely set of pictures which are rarely seen.”

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

Read more: https://www.foxnews.com/science/incredible-images-show-bat-drinking-nectar-from-a-flower

3D-printing dad goes from arms to bikes

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption Adam Dengel was inspired to start helping other children through experiences with his son

A dad who builds 3D-printed arms in his garage workshop has created a specially adapted bicycle for children missing an upper limb.

Adam Dengel, 30, created his first DIY limb in his bedroom for son Thomas, four, who was born without a hand.

He has since set up a charity and made superhero-themed prosthetics free of charge for children around the world.

For his latest project, he plans to surprise four children with their own custom-made bikes.

They cost £220 to make and are fitted with an ergonomic cup which allows the rider to reach the handlebars without leaning.

Mr Dengel said the modification makes the bikes safer to ride than a normal model.

The parts, like the arms, are created on Mr Dengel’s 3D printer in the garage of his home in Royston, Barnsley, which he has converted into a workshop.

“These kids haven’t had the best start in life and we wanted to help boost their confidence,” he said.

“Plus this gets them outside, riding bikes with other youngsters, and helping them to make friends.”

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption The design means children with missing upper limbs do not have to lean to reach the handlebars

Mr Dengel, 30 and his wife Katie were inspired to help others through their experiences with their son.

Thomas was born with a short forearm and missing his hand due to amniotic band syndrome – a rare condition where stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs of an unborn baby and cut off blood flow.

Unhappy with the basic NHS prosthetic, the couple started looking at alternatives and found a charity which made Thomas his first mechanical arm.

This led him to buy his own printer and set about creating a number of colourful, comic book-inspired hands for his son – including his latest Batman-themed prosthetic.

Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption The bike adaptations and arms are built by 3D printers
Image copyright Adam Dengel
Image caption Son Thomas has a selection of superhero arms thanks to his father’s efforts

Through the couple’s charity LimbBo Foundation, Mr Dengel has so far built 33 personalised arms for children, including youngsters in America and Holland.

“To say we the charity started out as an idea on the sofa we’re thrilled with how things have gone,” he said.

“We only ever wanted to help other kids like Thomas and it gives us so much pleasure to know we’re doing that.”

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-46607396

What films will you watch in 2019?

Image copyright Disney/Fox/Paramount
Image caption Clockwise from top left: Brie Larson in Captain Marvel, Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Olivia Colman in The Favourite and Samuel L Jackson in Glass

As 2018 prepares to shuffle away like a pensionable usherette and 2019 gets ready to throw open its doors like a brand new 28-screen multiplex, it’s time to cast our eyes over next year’s cinematic offerings.

From Oscar hopefuls and musical biopics to superhero sequels and blockbuster remakes, there’s something for almost everyone over the next 12 months.

Here’s a by no means exhaustive preview of coming attractions.

January/February/March

With the Oscars taking place on 24 February, the first few months of 2019 will see a large number of film awards contenders jostling for attention.

It all kicks off on New Year’s Day with quirky royal drama The Favourite staking its claim as the one to beat.

It’s early days, but many are already tipping its leading lady Olivia Colman to be the latest queen-playing Brit to take home an Oscar.

Image copyright Fox
Image caption Emma Stone (left) and Rachel Weisz (right) compete for Colman’s affections in The Favourite

Other candidates in the mix include drug addiction tear-jerker Beautiful Boy, gay conversion therapy drama Boy Erased, Nicole Kidman crime thriller Destroyer, two racially-charged period pieces (Green Book and If Beale Street Could Talk) and another royal saga in Mary Queen of Scots.

There is also a slew of biographical dramas tackling such diverse subjects as William Shakespeare (All is True), French author Colette, comedy duo Stan and Ollie, literary forger Lee Israel (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), war reporter Marie Colvin (A Private War) and ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (The White Crow).

Fans of American politics, meanwhile, can gorge on portraits of former US vice-president Dick Cheney (Vice), one-time presidential hopeful Gary Hart (The Front Runner) and supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (On the Basis of Sex).

Image copyright Disney
Image caption Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and James McAvoy as they appear in Glass

Elsewhere in January, director M Night Shyamalan will be hoping Glass proves as shattering as the previous two instalments in his Unbreakable trilogy.

And there’ll be more superheroics in March with the arrival of Captain Marvel, the first female heroine from the MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe to you) to get a stand-alone vehicle.

Image copyright Disney/Marvel
Image caption Brie Larson has a train to catch in Captain Marvel

Animation fans can look forward to two high-profile sequels in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, not to mention manga-inspired action in Alita: Battle Angel.

Another classic animation will get the big-budget live-action makeover treatment when Tim Burton brings Dumbo back to the big screen.

April/May/June

The superhero bandwagon rolls on into April with the debut of Shazam!, the return of Hellboy and Marvel’s Infinity War follow-up Avengers: Endgame.

May sees an evil superhero crash-land on Earth in Brightburn, while June brings us another batch of super-powered mutants in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Detective Pikachu’s yellow fur has been a hair-raising topic for many fans

Pokemon’s Detective Pikachu gets his own big-screen vehicle this spring, while the Men in Black will be back – minus Will Smith – in Men in Black International.

Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, meanwhile, will keep the little ones entertained – as will new animations Missing Link and Wonder Park.

Elton John’s rise to fame will be recreated in musical biopic Rocketman, while the music of the Beatles will infuse the latest (and still untitled) comedy fantasy from Love Actually’s Richard Curtis.

Image copyright Paramount
Image caption Taron Egerton plays Elton John in Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman

And then there is Aladdin, another live-action Disney remake starring Will Smith as the Genie. We knew he’d turn up somewhere, and he’s reassured fans he will be blue, just like his animated predecessor.

July/August/September

There are six letters in summer and six letters in sequel. Coincidence? Probably, but there’s no doubt they go together like Wallace and Gromit.

You only have to look at this year’s offerings for proof, with everything from Spider-Man: Far From Home and Gerard Butler actioner Angel Has Fallen to It: Chapter 2 and Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw ensuring it will be déjà vu all over again at your local picture palace.

But wait! Who’s this? Why it’s only Quentin Tarantino, back to bring us a dose of Manson-era mayhem in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio dress to impress in Tarantino’s latest

There are also big-screen versions of two British telly favourites – Downton Abbey and Horrible Histories – plus yet another Disney remake in The Lion King.

Yes Sir Elton, we can feel the love tonight.

October/November/December

More TV staples reach the big screen towards the end of the year via new versions of Charlie’s Angels, The Addams Family and Masters of the Universe.

We’ll also see Joaquin Phoenix give his version of Batman’s nemesis in Joker, not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest iteration of the Terminator franchise.

Image copyright Paramount Pictures
Image caption Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis and Linda Hamilton as they appear in the next Terminator film

Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX will bring down the curtain on what’s certain to be a bumper year for the Disney empire.

And we’ll end with something paws-itive and purr-tinent – the all-star film version of moggy mews-sical Cats, arriving on 20 December to ensure we’re all feline groovy next Christmas.

Tabby or not tabby? That is the question.

All release dates are subject to change.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email [email protected].

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46596753

‘Aquaman’ sails along on waves of fun and spectacle

(CNN)In their zeal to catch up with Marvel, DC and Warner Bros. plunged into the super-team waters before establishing individual building blocks, creating a high degree of difficulty. While not on par with “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” is a step toward restoring equilibrium, creating a sprawling undersea world that most closely resembles the Thor franchise in terms of scope, majesty and happily, humor.

In a sense, Wan brings the same eye that “Batman v Superman” director Zack Snyder possesses in adapting comic-book images to the screen, without drowning his protagonist in angst. The result is a movie that’s fairly buoyant, and to use a term that might seem out of place when describing a special-effects-laden blockbuster, generally fun.
After two appearances in earlier films (one, admittedly, silent and brief), Aquaman finally gets a full-blown origin story, including the tale of how his mother (Nicole Kidman) — a runaway Atlantean princess — washed ashore and met his dad (“Star Wars” alum Temuera Morrison), hanging around long enough to give birth to a son, Arthur.
    Forced to return to Atlantis and its elaborate society hidden beneath the waves, she leaves the boy to grow up with his dad, a youth that’s complicated when those extraordinary abilities manifest themselves.
    Back to present day, a threat arises in the form of Arthur’s half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), who is determined to declare war on the surface-dwellers. Aquaman is enlisted to stop the plot by another rebellious Atlantean princess, Mera (Amber Heard), who is putting her own status at risk — and potentially alienating her father (Dolph Lundgren) — by siding with him.
    What amounts to a quest ensues, one necessary to give Arthur a fighting chance against the forces arrayed against him. That also creates a little too much opportunity for Aquaman and Mera to squabble and of course bond, while crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of a trident imbued with fantastic powers.
    There’s no escaping that the dialogue feels strained in places — it’s not easy taking a villain seriously who yearns for the title “Ocean Master” — and “Aquaman” requires a certain degree of buy-in, perhaps especially from those whose familiarity with the character begins and ends with “Super Friends.” Wan compensates for that, however, with the enormously intricate civilization that he conjures, from the fantastic beasts to the towering spires of Atlantis.
    The action, similarly, is both kinetic and mounted with the kind of scale where a submarine can be thrown around like a toy. And while the idea of a reluctant hero tasked with fulfilling his destiny is hardly a new one, Momoa alternately makes him irascible and actually kind of goofy — the first member of this DC universe with whom you might actually like to throw back a beer or three.
      Perhaps foremost, Wan offers a giant spectacle that, while sporadically unwieldy, sails along briskly enough (despite running well over two hours) and proves consistently interesting visually. In an cinematic age where part of the challenge is motivating people to see movies during their theatrical window, “Aquaman” feels like a master of that domain.
      “Aquaman” premieres Dec. 21 in the U.S. It’s rated PG-13. Like Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, CNN is a unit of WarnerMedia.

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/11/entertainment/aquaman-review/index.html

      Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury: The fight for salvation for two heavyweights

      (CNN)Tyson Fury bought a convertible Ferrari in 2016 and made the decision to drive it off a bridge at top speed.

      At the time, Fury had it all: a loving wife and children, and was the heavyweight champion of the world.
      But he says he was “frozen in 2015” — the time of his greatest triumph when he shocked Ukraine great Wladimir Klitschko.
        The three-year thaw has been long and painful, but in theory, it will reach its climax with another world title shot against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
        In the intervening time, Fury has very publicly dealt with his demons of drugs, drink and depression.
        It was “the lowest low that anyone could ever have,” he recalled of that moment behind the wheel of the Ferrari where “I gave up on life.”
        Thoughts of his children wrestled him back to sanity, and he quickly sought help.
        A psychiatrist warned family members he was an imminent death risk. The slow climb back to physical and mental health began when fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders, his cousin and best friend, lured him to his boxing camp in Marbella, Spain.
        Going in, Fury topped the scales at a whopping 392 pounds. By the end of the Spanish camp, he was already 28 pounds lighter.
        Now back on the brink of another heavyweight title, the 30-year-old’s resurrection is almost complete.

        ‘Quick fix’

        Boxing has also been Wilder’s salvation. The American picked up the gloves at the age of 19 — far older than most of his peers — after his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida. He thought the sport would offer a financial quick fix to help pay for treatment.
        “All I was thinking about was the money,” he said. “I thought everyone made a lot of money by just stepping into the ring. My focus was to do whatever I could to support my daughter.”
        Naieya remains his guiding light in the ring, and he has a tattoo on his hand with the words “Road to Success” to remind him of his personal journey.
        Branding himself a leader, king and soldier, the 33-year-old Wilder has a contrasting boxing background to that of Fury.
        The son of a pastor, the family were just $50 away from going broke on a number of occasions.
        At his parents’ behest, he worked hard and became a college basketball star before getting his then girlfriend pregnant with Naieya and quitting college for a life within the ropes.

        Shed ‘a welterweight’

        In contrast, Fury’s name alone meant he was born to box. As he said back in 2014, “While other kids watched cartoons, I watched video tapes of boxing.”
        But it was not his namesake Mike Tyson that he aspired to emulate, instead Michael Spinks, renowned for his skilful boxing and footwork.
        Born into the traveling community prematurely at little more than a pound, for a time Fury was the self-styled “Gypsy King” in the ring. Undefeated in his 27 fights, Fury insists the greatest threat to his own thrown has always been himself.
        As he has said repeatedly this week, “The only one to stop me being successful as a boxer is me.”
        The turnaround has been remarkable. “I’ve come back from wanting to commit suicide and 28 stone [392 pounds) to as fit as a fiddle and in a great place mentally,” he said.
        Fury has shed nearly 140 pounds — akin to an entire welterweight — and much of his return to form and fitness is down to the relatively unknown trainer Ben Davison, who was working initially with Saunders in Marbella.
        Shedding that weight has only been part of the fix. Post-Klitschko, Fury took cocaine and drank heavily. On the road to recovery, religion has been key. At his lowest ebb, he prayed to God. There are still days where he thinks “this is shit.”

          Anthony Joshua on Tyson Fury & Deontay Wilder

        Getting inside Klitschko’s head

        The one major blot in his own salvation story is a positive test for a banned substance in February 2015 for which he received a two-year backdated ban from UK Anti-Doping, which left him free to box again in December 2017.
        But there is no doubting his self-belief as a boxer. Against Klitschko, no one gave him a chance but he completely outboxed the Ukrainian.
        The secret to that success lay in the build-up. Famously turning up as Batman to one press conference, Fury was a conundrum the normally methodical Klitschko could not work out.
        It was the same in the ring — one sparring partner likened Fury to an octopus, with attacks coming from everywhere, making him immensely difficult to prepare for.
        As one of Wilder’s team, Mark Breland, put it: “Even Tyson Fury doesn’t know what he’s going to do. If he doesn’t know, then how can his opponent know? Tyson is the most awkward guy in the division, he’s the hardest to figure out.”
        The evidence of Wednesday’s final press conference would suggest Fury has got inside Wilder’s head, such was the vitriol from the American. The alternative, cynical view would simply be that two men had millions more to be made from the pay-per-view audience — the thinking being no publicity is bad publicity.
        For his part, Wilder is adamant he won’t fall into the same traps as Klitschko: “This is not Klitschko. I looked him in his eyes at the first press conference and said I’m not Klitschko, you can’t get in my head.”
        Trying to assess the fight is nigh-on impossible. Fury has added Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach to his corner, either an astute bit of business or a late sign of panic from Fury and Davison, depending on your take.
        Wilder is the No.1 ranked American, Fury Britain’s No.2 behind Anthony Joshua, who is primed to face the winner in April in London.
        “Either of them that’s ready, if you’re serious, talk about me post-fight all you want, but if you’re not really serious about fighting, leave me out of it so I can focus on fighting someone else,” said Joshua.
          A Joshua fight would finally unify the division. First, comes Saturday night in front of Wilder’s home crowd, although Fury insists home advantage will have little impact with Wilder not heralded in the same way as Mike Tyson and the past American heavyweight greats.
          Either way, it is a salvation for both; Fury for his mind, Wilder for his child.

          Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/sport/tyson-fury-deontay-wilder-boxing-world-title-spt-intl/index.html