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BUSINESS EN DIRECT : JD Sports affiche des bénéfices records

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BUSINESS LIVE : JD Sports affiche des bénéfices records ; Mitchells & Butlers frappé par des coûts élevés ; Prévisions de mises à niveau du groupe Sage

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Parmi les sociétés avec des rapports et des mises à jour commerciales aujourd’hui figurent JD Sports, Mitchells & Butlers, Sage Group, Experian, Watches of Switzerland Group, Ninety One, British Land et Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. Lisez le blog Business Live du mercredi 17 mai ci-dessous.

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Coast-to-coast Super Tuesday elections set to kick off Biden and Trump rematch

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President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are poised to move much closer to winning their party’s nominations during the biggest day of the primary campaign on Tuesday, setting up a historic rematch that many voters would rather not endure.

Super Tuesday elections are being held in 16 states and one territory — from Alaska and California to Vermont and Virginia. Hundreds of delegates are at stake, the biggest haul for either party on any single day.

While much of the focus is on the presidential race, there are also important down-ballot contests. California voters will choose candidates who will compete to fill the Senate seat long held by Dianne Feinstein. The governor’s race will take shape in North Carolina, a state that both parties are fiercely contesting ahead of November. And in Los Angeles, a progressive prosecutor is attempting to fend off an intense reelection challenge in a race that could serve as a barometer of the politics of crime.

But the premier races center on Biden and Trump. And in a dramatic departure from past Super Tuesdays, both the Democratic and Republican contests are effectively sealed this year.

The two men have easily repelled challengers in the opening rounds of the campaign and are in full command of their bids — despite polls making it clear that voters don’t want this year’s general election to be identical to the 2020 race. A new AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds a majority of Americans don’t think either Biden or Trump has the necessary mental acuity for the job.

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“Both of them failed, in my opinion, to unify this country,” said Brian Hadley, 66, of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Neither Trump nor Biden will be able to formally clinch their party’s nominations on Super Tuesday. The earliest either can become his party’s presumptive nominee is March 12 for Trump and March 19 for Biden.

The final days before Tuesday demonstrated the unique nature of this year’s campaign. Rather than barnstorming the states holding primaries, Biden and Trump held rival events last week along the U.S.-Mexico border, each seeking to gain an advantage in the increasingly fraught immigration debate.

After the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 on Monday to restore Trump to primary ballots following attempts to ban him for his role in helping spark the Capitol riot, Trump pointed to the 91 criminal counts against him to accuse Biden of weaponizing the courts. 

“Fight your fight yourself,” Trump said. “Don’t use prosecutors and judges to go after your opponent.” 

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State of the Union speech

Biden delivers the State of the Union address on Thursday, then will campaign in the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The president will defend policies responsible for “record job creation, the strongest economy in the world, increased wages and household wealth, and lower prescription drug and energy costs,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt said in a statement. 

That’s in contrast, LaBolt continued, to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement, which consists of “rewarding billionaires and corporations with tax breaks, taking away rights and freedoms, and undermining our democracy.”

Biden’s campaign called extra attention to Trump’s most provocative utterances on the campaign trail, like when he evoked Adolf Hitler in suggesting that immigrants were “poisoning the blood” of the U.S. and said he’d seek to serve as a dictator during his first day back in the White House. 

Trump recently told a gala for Black conservatives that he believed African Americans empathized with his four criminal indictments, drawing a sharp rebuke from the Biden campaign and top Democrats around the country for comparing personal legal struggles to the historical injustices Black people have faced in the U.S.

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Trump has nonetheless already vanquished more than a dozen major Republican challengers and now has only one left: Nikki Haley, the former president’s onetime U.N. ambassador who was also twice elected governor of her home state of South Carolina. 

Haley has hopscotched across the country, visiting at least one Super Tuesday state almost daily for more than a week and arguing that her base of support — while far smaller than Trump’s — suggests the former president will lose to Biden.

“We can do better than two 80-year-old candidates for president,” Haley said at a rally Monday in the Houston suburbs.

Haley has maintained strong fundraising and notched her first primary victory over the weekend in Washington, D.C., a Democrat-run city with few registered Republicans. Trump tried to turn that victory into a loss for the overall campaign, scoffing that she had been “crowned queen of the swamp.” 

Vulnerabilities

Though Trump has dominated the early Republican primary calendar, his victories have shown vulnerabilities with some influential voter blocs, especially in college towns like Hanover, New Hampshire, home to Dartmouth College, or Ann Arbor, where the University of Michigan is located, as well as in some areas with high concentrations of independents.

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Still, Haley winning any of Super Tuesday’s contests would take an upset. And a Trump sweep would only intensify pressure on her to leave the race.

Biden has his own problems, including low approval ratings and polls suggesting that many Americans, even a majority of Democrats, don’t want to see the 81-year-old running again. The president’s easy Michigan primary win last week was spoiled slightly by an “uncommitted” campaign organized by activists who disapprove of the president’s handling of Israel’s war in Gaza.

Allies of the “uncommitted” vote are pushing similar protest votes elsewhere. One to watch is Minnesota, which has a significant population of Muslims, including in its Somali American community, and liberals disaffected with Biden. Gov. Tim Walz, a Biden ally, told The Associated Press last week that he expected some votes for “uncommitted” on Tuesday.

While Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history, his reelection campaign argues that skeptics will come around once it is clear it’ll be him or Trump in November. Trump is 77 and faces his own questions about age that have been exacerbated by flubs like over the weekend when he mistakenly suggested he was running against Barack Obama.

That hasn’t shaken Trump’s ardent supporters’ faith in him.

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“Trump would eat him up,” Ken Ballos, a retired police officer who attended a weekend Trump rally in Virginia, said of a November rematch, adding that Biden “would look like a fool up there.”

(AP)

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Meet the new Arsenal: Not too emotional like their manager, powered by the pain of last season’s collapse – and proving Gary Neville’s prophecy right. IAN LADYMAN writes on a team who nobody is laughing at now

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  • Sheffield United suffered a 6-0 thumping at the hands of a rampant Arsenal side 
  • Mikel Arteta’s players have bolstered title intentions with a series of winter wins  
  • Liverpool can’t play a weakened team that says they can’t be bothered in Europe just to be ready for Man City – It’s All Kicking Off podcast

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It was Gary Neville who said recently that Arsenal could win the Premier League by finding a way to produce last season in reverse. Nobody thought it possible. Surely Manchester City and Liverpool were just a little bit too good. But an astonishing run of seven consecutive domestic wins underpinned by an extraordinary tally of 31 goals has changed all that.

Neville’s point, made on his Stick to Football podcast, was simply that Arsenal had shown during the first half of last season just how devastating they can be when they get on a roll. In the 2022-23 campaign, Arsenal only lost one league game before the start of February. Nerves – and Pep Guardiola’s City – got them in the end but, Neville asked, where could they go this time round if a more modest autumn and winter set of results could be bolstered by something better once the clocks went forwards?

And now, suddenly, here we are. As City and Liverpool prepare to meet and therefore take points off each other at Anfield on Sunday, Arsenal’s recent uptick in form and confidence will take them to the summit of the table if they beat Brentford at home a day earlier. They already have a superior goal difference.

Monday night’s 6-0 demolition of Sheffield United at Bramall Lane was beautiful in its sheer heartlessness. We have asked before whether Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal are too weak and too soft. We have asked if, like their Spanish coach, they can become too emotional. Well that’s not happening. Not now. Now here.

Arsenal were magnificent on Monday night. They scored three goals in 15 minutes, four in half an hour and five by half-time. By the time we got to full-time, it was six and they had stopped trying.

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Arsenal faltered last season towards the end of their title charge but are now in rampant form

Arsenal faltered last season towards the end of their title charge but are now in rampant form

Arsenal faltered last season towards the end of their title charge but are now in rampant form

The Gunners hit Sheffield United for six at Bramall Lane in their third league win by five or more goals in February

The Gunners hit Sheffield United for six at Bramall Lane in their third league win by five or more goals in February

The Gunners hit Sheffield United for six at Bramall Lane in their third league win by five or more goals in February

Just two points off league leaders Liverpool the north London side are facing a spell which could define their season

Just two points off league leaders Liverpool the north London side are facing a spell which could define their season

Just two points off league leaders Liverpool the north London side are facing a spell which could define their season

This, though, is a new Arsenal. It’s a development of the prototype. It had to change and grow if it was to win things. Last season taught us that and the progress in this regard is now writ large in their results ledger. 5-0, 2-1, 3-1, 6-0, 5-0, 4-1, 6-0. It reads almost like the result of a one-sided tennis match and that is how it feels watching Arsenal right now. Certainly they had too much pace, power, imagination and craft for Sheffield United on Monday night.

Having rebooted with a spell away during a winter break handed them by their January FA Cup expulsion at the hands of Liverpool, Arsenal now face a spell that could decide their season. They will face Brentford this weekend without preferred goalkeeper David Raya who is not allowed to play against the club from which he has moved to Arsenal on loan. They also have doubts over Gabriel Martinelli, who hurt his foot on Monday night, and also Bukayo Saka who left the field at half-time feeling unwell. 

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Next Tuesday, meanwhile, they have a single goal Champions League deficit to overturn at home to Porto but beyond all that comes the promise of a nineteen day break – due to their lack of involvement in the FA Cup – before an enormous game at City on March 31.

Arteta on Monday ruled out the prospect of taking his squad abroad again which is a shame given how well their January sojourn to Dubai seemed to work in January. They left having just lost at home to Liverpool and returned ready to sweep all aside who stood before them.

Instead Arsenal will be driven on now partly by their own momentum. They simply don’t look like they can lose right now. But also by the memories of last season’s late collapse.

‘It was so very painful,’ said Martin Odegaard, one of five different Arsenal scorers on Monday night.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard is keen to erase the bad memories of last season's faulty run

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard is keen to erase the bad memories of last season's faulty run

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard is keen to erase the bad memories of last season’s faulty run

‘I think now is the time to show we have learned.’

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Words are easy to say. It feels as though Arsenal must beat City at the end of this month if they are to have a genuine say in this title race. That apart, their hardest other game between now and the season’s end is a north London derby at Tottenham on April 27 and with that in mind it does look as though there is a path available to navigate if Arteta and his players feel ready to be involved at the death this time.

Last season was too much for them and we know that. There is no shame in being run over by the City juggernaut. This time opportunity knocks again. Their key players are in form and the presence of Jorginho and the fit again Thomas Partey may release Declan Rice in to the forward positions in which he has shown he can be so effective and dangerous.

We laughed at Odegaard and his gang when they celebrated like champions after beating Liverpool on their own turf a month ago. None of it looks quite so frivolous now.

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Filmmaker Polanski goes on trial in France on defamation charges

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Veteran Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski goes on trial in France on Tuesday over allegations he defamed a British actress who accused him of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Issued on:

3 min

The 90-year-old is wanted in the United States over the rape of a 13-year-old in 1977 and faces several other accusations of alleged sexual assault dating back decades and past the statute of limitations — all claims he has rejected.

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The director — whose lengthy career includes his Oscar-winning films “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” — fled to Europe in 1978.

Polanski is not due to appear in court, his lawyers have said.

His accuser, Charlotte Lewis, 56, is expected to be present.

Lewis in 2010 accused Polanski of sexually assaulting her “in the worst possible way” as a 16-year-old in 1983 in Paris after she travelled there for a casting. She appeared in his 1986 film “Pirates”.

The France-born filmmaker retorted that it was a “heinous lie” in a 2019 conversation with the Paris Match magazine.

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According to Paris Match, he pulled out a copy of a 1999 article in British tabloid newspaper News of the World, and quoted Lewis as saying in it: “I was fascinated by him, and I wanted to be his lover.”

Lewis has said the quotes attributed to her in that interview were not accurate.

Lewis filed a complaint for defamation, and the film director was automatically charged under French law.

‘Right to defend himself’

“Discrediting and defaming (people) is an integral part of the Polanski system, and this is what Charlotte Lewis is very bravely calling out,” her lawyer Benjamin Chouai told AFP.

Polanski’s lawyer Delphine Meillet said there had been no defamation in the Paris Match article.

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“Polanski has the right to defend himself publicly, as does the woman who accuses him,” she said.

His defence lawyers have called on Stuart White, who wrote the 1999 News of the World article, to appear as a witness during the trial.

White is a Los Angeles-based reporter for the now-defunct News of the World who quit to become a scriptwriter.

In the contested article about Lewis, he purportedly described “how she went from hooker to Hollywood”.

The tabloid, which has repeatedly been accused of libel and fabricating quotes, was forced to close in 2011 after its employees were accused of phone hacking in pursuit of stories.

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In 2010, Lewis said she decided to speak out to counter suggestions from Polanski’s legal team that the 1977 rape case was an isolated incident.

She spoke in the Los Angeles offices of Gloria Allred, a high-profile attorney who has also represented women accusing US producer Harvey Weinstein, sit-com star Bill Cosby and former US president Donald Trump.

‘Impunity’ 

France, Switzerland and Poland have refused to extradite Polanski to the United States.

But plans for Polanski to preside over the Cesars, the French equivalent of the Oscars, were dropped in early 2017 under pressure from feminists.

Between 2017 and 2019, four other women came forward with claims that Polanski also abused them in the 1970s, three of them as minors. He has denied all allegations.

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Among them, California artist Marianne Barnard accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1975 after asking her to pose naked when she was 10 years old.

At the 2020 Cesars ceremony, actress Adele Haenel walked out in protest at Polanski being awarded for his film “An Officer and a Spy”.

The director has in recent years kept a very low profile, his latest film “The Palace” premiering without him in Venice last summer.

The defamation trial comes as French cinema reels from accusations it has too long provided cover for abuse.

Read more‘Wind of revolt’ sweeps French cinema in belated #MeToo reckoning

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At this year’s Cesars Awards, actress Judith Godreche denounced “impunity” in the film industry, after accusing two directors of raping and sexually assaulting her as a teenager.

(AFP)

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Celebrity Big Brother is BACK! Sharon Osbourne enters as a surprise guest star, Louis Walsh prepares to bring the X Factor and Ekin-Su Culculoglu ups the glam as the full lineup is finally REVEALED after weeks of rumours

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Celebrity Big Brother is back on screens. 

The reality show is returning six years after its last broadcast, in the wake of the wildly-successful comeback of the civilian series in November last year and is now set to appear on ITV for the first time ever on Monday night.  

After much-anticipation over the cast list, the stars of the show have now been revealed with X Factor legend Louis Walsh at the helm alongside Fern Britton, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, David Potts and Garry Goldsmith. 

Monday’s launch also revealed that Sharon Osbourne will be moving into the house as a surprise lodger, after ITV were reportedly unable to match her fee demands.

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ITV bosses have reportedly spent a massive £2 million on a number of high-profile stars for the programme, which was was last broadcast on Channel 5 in August 2018.

So who IS starring on the show?

The Celebrity Big Brother 2024 lineup has finally been revealed (L-R David Potts, Fern Britton, Zaza Mills, Levi Roots, Ekin-Su Culculoglu, Sharon Osbourne, Nikita Kuzmin, Louis Walsh, Marisha Wallace, Colson Smith, Bradley Riches, Gary Goldsmith and Lauren Simon)

The Celebrity Big Brother 2024 lineup has finally been revealed (L-R David Potts, Fern Britton, Zaza Mills, Levi Roots, Ekin-Su Culculoglu, Sharon Osbourne, Nikita Kuzmin, Louis Walsh, Marisha Wallace, Colson Smith, Bradley Riches, Gary Goldsmith and Lauren Simon)

The Celebrity Big Brother 2024 lineup has finally been revealed (L-R David Potts, Fern Britton, Zaza Mills, Levi Roots, Ekin-Su Culculoglu, Sharon Osbourne, Nikita Kuzmin, Louis Walsh, Marisha Wallace, Colson Smith, Bradley Riches, Gary Goldsmith and Lauren Simon)

SHARON OSBOURNE

Sharon Osbourne is moving into the CBB house for a guest stint, after ITV bosses were reportedly unable to meet her fee demands

Sharon Osbourne is moving into the CBB house for a guest stint, after ITV bosses were reportedly unable to meet her fee demands

Sharon Osbourne is moving into the CBB house for a guest stint, after ITV bosses were reportedly unable to meet her fee demands

AGE: 71

FAMOUS FOR: Being a member of the Osbourne family, married to rock legend husband Ozzy as well as being a judge on The X Factor.

While it was originally reported that Sharon has joined the main CBB lineup, it’s since been revealed that she’ll be appearing on the show as a guest star.

It’s thought that ITV bosses were unable to match her fee demands, and so she will be entering the house as a late arrival, for just five days.

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Sharon will be reunited with her X Factor co-star Louis Walsh in the house, and it’s hoped their hilarious antics will be a hit with viewers. 

Music manager Sharon appeared on the first four series of The X Factor from 2004 to 2007, the 10th series in 2013, and the 13th and 14th series from 2016 to 2017, with Louis starring alongside her.

The pair became known for their bond and amusing interactions during auditions on The X Factor, with a reunion on Celebrity Big Brother being their first on screen in seven years.

LOUIS WALSH 

LOUIS WALSH is switching his spot on the X Factor panel for a place in the UK's most famous house, after a prestigious career as a music manager to bands like Westlife and Boyzone

LOUIS WALSH is switching his spot on the X Factor panel for a place in the UK's most famous house, after a prestigious career as a music manager to bands like Westlife and Boyzone

LOUIS WALSH is switching his spot on the X Factor panel for a place in the UK’s most famous house, after a prestigious career as a music manager to bands like Westlife and Boyzone

AGE: 71

FAMOUS FOR: His stint as an X Factor judge following a prestigious career as a music manager to bands like Westlife and Boyzone. 

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Louis is one of the biggest signings, as fans hope he will spill secrets behind the scenes from The X Factor amid scandal around the defunct competition. 

A source previously said: ‘[Louis] is one of the most intriguing signings for Celebrity Big Brother because he has almost half a century of experience in showbusiness to recall when he enters the house. 

‘Viewers will be most interested in his memories of his time on The X Factor and working with huge music acts including Westlife and Boyzone.

‘But there may be a few celebrities outside the house who are feeling nervous about what he might say, because Louis is notoriously outspoken.’

GARY GOLDSMITH 

Kate Middleton's uncle GARRY GOLDSMITH, has sparked fears he could 'embarrass' the Royal Family with his views on Harry and Meghan

Kate Middleton's uncle GARRY GOLDSMITH, has sparked fears he could 'embarrass' the Royal Family with his views on Harry and Meghan

Kate Middleton’s uncle GARRY GOLDSMITH, has sparked fears he could ’embarrass’ the Royal Family with his views on Harry and Meghan

AGE: 58

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FAMOUS FOR: Being Kate Middleton’s ‘black sheep’ uncle.

Experts have warned Gary could ’embarrass’ the royal family with his views on Harry and Meghan.

The outspoken businessman brother of Kate’s mother Carole, is reported to have inked a meaty deal with bosses for the return of the celebrity edition of the series after a six-year absence.

It comes at a challenging time for the royals as Kate continues to recover from her abdominal surgery at The London Clinic, while King Charles had a procedure for an enlarged prostate before his cancer diagnosis.

Gary attempted to gain a spot on I’m A Celebrity last year, but was turned down over concerns it could embarrass William and Kate.

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DAVID POTTS 

After shooting to stardom in the Ibiza Weekender, DAVID POTTS will no doubt make a splash in the famous house

After shooting to stardom in the Ibiza Weekender, DAVID POTTS will no doubt make a splash in the famous house

After shooting to stardom in the Ibiza Weekender, DAVID POTTS will no doubt make a splash in the famous house

AGE: 30

FAMOUS FOR: Ibiza Weekender 

David, 30, shot to reality stardom after featuring on Ibiza Weekender as a fun-loving holiday rep and he would no doubt make an entertaining housemate.

The reality personality recently revealed he has lost an incredible three stone and would be in great shape ahead of his arrival in the house.  

Sharing his weight loss secrets recently, he said: ‘For everyone wanting to know how I’ve done it. 

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‘I’m no dietitian or PT, but I try and go to the gym 6 days a week and eat 1700 calories! Then one day I do zero exercise and eat whatever the F I want! It seems to be working for me.’

Following his time on Ibiza Weekender, David has also appeared on The Big Celebrity Detox with other celebs including Kerry Katona.

He has exhausted the reality circuit, also appearing on Celebs Go Dating, Celebs on the Farm, Celebrity Karaoke Club and Celebrity Ghost Trip.

EKIN-SU CULCULOGLU 

EKIN-SU CULCULOGLU is moving into the Big Brother house, after splitting from her boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti earlier this year

EKIN-SU CULCULOGLU is moving into the Big Brother house, after splitting from her boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti earlier this year

EKIN-SU CULCULOGLU is moving into the Big Brother house, after splitting from her boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti earlier this year

AGE: 29

FAMOUS FOR: Winning Love Island in 2022. 

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The reality star, 29, who won Love Island with her ex-boyfriend Davide Sanclimenti in 2022, split from the Italian hunk earlier this year.

Media personality Ekin-Su confirmed she had parted ways with Italian businessman Davide, 29, last month.

Taking to her Instagram Story, the former Dancing On Ice contestant wrote: ‘The last 18-months have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, just like every relationship.

‘Davide and I both wanted to make this work as we cared deeply for each other. Unfortunately I have recently made the decision to end our relationship and to go our separate ways..

‘Breakups are never easy. For any couple. And we hope that our privacy will be respected. I enjoyed our time together and the memories we made.

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‘Thank you for your continued support. It’s been so lovely to have you follow our Love Island journeys together since the villa and we hope you’ll continue to follow our careers as we go off in our own directions. Love always, Ekin-Su.’

ZEZE MILZ 

Social media star ZEZE MILLZ will undoubtedly speak her mind if she gets a lot on the show, as her show bio reads: 'If we can get them in a room with Zeze... It's gloves off'

Social media star ZEZE MILLZ will undoubtedly speak her mind if she gets a lot on the show, as her show bio reads: 'If we can get them in a room with Zeze... It's gloves off'

Social media star ZEZE MILLZ will undoubtedly speak her mind if she gets a lot on the show, as her show bio reads: ‘If we can get them in a room with Zeze… It’s gloves off’

AGE: 35

FAMOUS FOR: Social media star  

The social media star will undoubtedly speak her mind if she gets a lot on the show, as her show bio reads: ‘If we can get them in a room with Zeze… It’s gloves off.’

Zeze, known for her intense interview style, has her own self-titled show which has featured big names including Akon, N-Dubz and Fireboy DML. 

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Over the years she has also appeared on Good Morning Britain, Celebrity Cooking School and The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

COLSON SMITH 

Coronation Street star COLSON SMITH is the latest soap star to move into the house, with sources tipping him to go 'all the way'

Coronation Street star COLSON SMITH is the latest soap star to move into the house, with sources tipping him to go 'all the way'

Coronation Street star COLSON SMITH is the latest soap star to move into the house, with sources tipping him to go ‘all the way’

AGE: 25

FAMOUS FOR: Playing Craig Tinker in Coronation Street 

Insiders have already predicted that the soap star will go all the way as he is extremely ‘likeable and down to earth in real life’ just like his Corrie character.

A source told The Sun: ‘Big Brother producers have been in talks with Colson for months and it looks like a done deal.

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‘They’re thrilled he’s keen to enter the nation’s most famous house because he’s a big name already loved by millions of viewers and they were hellbent of securing someone from Corrie as it’s great cross-promotion for ITV.

‘Colson’s character Craig is a huge favourite with soap fans and he’s just as likeable and down to earth in real life so don’t be surprised if he ends up winning the whole thing. He’s got all the ingredients of a Celeb BB champion.’

LAUREN SIMON 

Real Housewives of Cheshire star LAUREN SIMON will be swapping one TV show for another as she moves into the CBB house

Real Housewives of Cheshire star LAUREN SIMON will be swapping one TV show for another as she moves into the CBB house

Real Housewives of Cheshire star LAUREN SIMON will be swapping one TV show for another as she moves into the CBB house

AGE: 47

FAMOUS FOR: Real Housewives Of Cheshire

The reality veteran rose to fame as part of the scripted ITVBe show’s inaugural cast when the show debuted in 2014.

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Last year, Lauren spent three weeks in hospital after a botched boob job saw her nipple nearly die.

And Lauren, who split from her ex-husband property tycoon Paul Simon in 2018, recently travelled to a sex retreat where she learnt tantric sex techniques to improve orgasms.

FERN BRITTON 

FERN BRITTON became a household name as a longtime host of This Morning alongside Phillip Schofield, but has since hit out at her time on the series

FERN BRITTON became a household name as a longtime host of This Morning alongside Phillip Schofield, but has since hit out at her time on the series

FERN BRITTON became a household name as a longtime host of This Morning alongside Phillip Schofield, but has since hit out at her time on the series

AGE: 66

FAMOUS FOR: Nineties TV sensation, and acting as Phillip Schofield’s This Morning sidekick before being replaced by Holly Willoughby. 

She became a household name hosting This Morning alongside Philip, 61, from 1999 to 2009. The pair co-hosted the daytime show together from 2003 until 2009.

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It was claimed at the time she felt ‘undervalued by ITV’ and that she was ‘living in Phil’s shadow’.

It was also reported Fern was being paid £250,000 a year less than Phil and that he was earning three times her salary when they were fronting Mr and Mrs together from 2008 to 2010. 

Phil is said to have banked £45,000 an hour while Fern earned just £15,000.

However, Fern denied she left ITV because of her salary and upon her departure she mentioned the whole This Morning team rather than just Phillip.

Four years after her departure, Phillip admitted he and Fern no longer spoke.

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Last year Fern confirmed that while she had a ‘marvellous’ time working on This Morning, she hasn’t stayed in touch with Phillip. 

She said: ‘We were involved in the show and mates at the time, but we don’t really [speak anymore].’

LEVI ROOTS

LEVI ROOTS is one of Dragon's Den's biggest success stories, and has been a fixture on cooking TV shows

LEVI ROOTS is one of Dragon's Den's biggest success stories, and has been a fixture on cooking TV shows

LEVI ROOTS is one of Dragon’s Den’s biggest success stories, and has been a fixture on cooking TV shows

AGE: 65

FAMOUS FOR:  One of Dragons’s Den’s biggest success stories. 

Levi, 65, made millions after taking his Reggae Reggae Sauce on the BBC investment show, asking for a £50,000 investment for a 40 percent stake.

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In a recent interview with The Sun, Levi said: ‘I couldn’t even say my own first name when I left Jamaica, so to come to the UK and now run a multimillion pound business is beyond belief.’

Following his appearance on the show in 2007, Levi went on to stock his sauce in major supermarket retailers and appear on cooking TV shows.

BRADLEY RICHES 

BRADLEY RICHES, best known for his role in Heartstopper, and hopes a stint on the show will help with representation

BRADLEY RICHES, best known for his role in Heartstopper, and hopes a stint on the show will help with representation

BRADLEY RICHES, best known for his role in Heartstopper, and hopes a stint on the show will help with representation

AGE: 24

FAMOUS FOR: Netflix’s Heartstopper. Bradley, who is gay and autistic, played James McEwan, a potential love interest for the main character Charlie Spring’s friend Isaac.

According to sources, Bradley hopes an appearance on the iconic reality series will help with representation.

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A source told The Sun: ‘Brad really wants to fly the flag for autistic, queer people on a huge mainstream show like Celebrity Big Brother.

‘He was diagnosed with autism when he was nine and is passionate about being an advocate for his community. He’s keen to show the world that being neurodiverse isn’t something that holds you back, it’s a superpower.’

NIKITA KUZMIN 

NIKITA KUZMIN, best known as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing, has reportedly ired BBC bosses by moving into the CBB house

NIKITA KUZMIN, best known as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing, has reportedly ired BBC bosses by moving into the CBB house

NIKITA KUZMIN, best known as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing, has reportedly ired BBC bosses by moving into the CBB house

AGE: 26

FAMOUS FOR: Being a professional on Strictly Come Dancing

The twinkle-toed star joined Strictly as one of four new professionals in 2021 and has been paired with chef Gordon Ramsay’s daughter Tilly Ramsay, former Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds and actor Layton Williams during his time on the show. 

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With West End star Layton, Nikita reached the Strictly final for the first time, but missed out on the glitterball trophy to winner Ellie Simmnds. 

Since it was first revealed he’d signed up for the show, reports surfaced that Strictly bosses are fearing he could quit the BBC show after his stint in the famous house.

A TV insider told The Sun: ‘This will send the rumour mill into overdrive, with some already suggesting he may not return to Strictly and is instead making the most of being a rising star.

‘He’ll have been selected by CBB producers as an obvious heartthrob who can spice things up in the house — and maybe even spill some secrets from behind the scenes of Strictly.’

 MARISHA WALLACE 

Theatre star MARISHA WALLACE is swapping the stage for the Celebrity Big Brother house, after roles in Broadway adaptations of Aladdin, Something Rotten and Dreamgirls

Theatre star MARISHA WALLACE is swapping the stage for the Celebrity Big Brother house, after roles in Broadway adaptations of Aladdin, Something Rotten and Dreamgirls

Theatre star MARISHA WALLACE is swapping the stage for the Celebrity Big Brother house, after roles in Broadway adaptations of Aladdin, Something Rotten and Dreamgirls

AGE: 38

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FAMOUS FOR: Actress and singer. 

Marisha’s showbiz history includes performing in Broadway adaptations of Aladdin, Something Rotten and Dreamgirls.

Marisha has released two albums; Soul Holiday in 2017 and Tomorrow in 2020.

The singer was the recipient of an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress following her performance as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!.

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Extraterrestrials could be stuck on their exo-planet ‘home world’ due to ‘physical limitations,’ study claims – is this why we haven’t found aliens?

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‘Where is everyone?’ It’s the famous question about aliens, echoing out to our quiet galactic neighbors after Manhattan Project physicist Enrico Fermi asked it in 1950.

But perhaps even a highly advanced extraterrestrial civilization might find itself without the resources or the key information needed to escape their home world, at least according to a new study from Spain’s Atlántico Medio university.

Some so-called ‘Super Earths’ might be within their star’s habitable zone, but so massive that their gravity makes interplanetary rocket launches all but impossible.

These and other ‘Fishbowl Worlds’ are just one of several ideas introduced in the new paper, which hopes to help explain Enrico Fermi’s infamous 1950 ‘Fermi Paradox.’

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Fermi’s paradox has perplexed astronomers for over six decades, asking in short: In a universe teeming with as many as 200 billion trillion stars, and still more planets, many capable of supporting life, why haven’t Earth’s scientists spotted any aliens?

Even highly advanced alien civilizations might find themselves without the resources - or key information - needed to escape their home world, according to a study from Spain's Atlántico Medio university. Above, Jupiter's watery moon Europa, imaged by NASA's Galileo spacecraft

Even highly advanced alien civilizations might find themselves without the resources - or key information - needed to escape their home world, according to a study from Spain's Atlántico Medio university. Above, Jupiter's watery moon Europa, imaged by NASA's Galileo spacecraft

Even highly advanced alien civilizations might find themselves without the resources – or key information – needed to escape their home world, according to a study from Spain’s Atlántico Medio university. Above, Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, imaged by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft

‘The image of a planet whose gravity makes it difficult or impossible to leave suggested to me the metaphor of a fishbowl,’ the new study’s author Professor Elio Quiroga told DailyMail.com via email.

‘I found it to be a powerful analogy,’ Prof. Quiroga, who lectures at Atlántico Medio in Spain, said.

For one category of his Fishbowl Worlds, Prof. Quiroga calculated a value he termed the ‘exoplanet escape factor’ (Fex): a value comparing a given exo-planet’s escape velocity to Earth’s 7 miles-per-second (11.19 kilometers-per-second) escape velocity.

Escape velocity, the speed needed for a spacecraft to break free from the gravity of any celestial body — be it a moon, planet or asteroid — varies with that body’s mass. 

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Escaping the potentially habitable exo-planet Proxima Centauri b, four light-years from Earth, for example, is relatively easy: 5.9 miles-per-second, or an ‘Fex’ of just 0.85-times Earth’s own.

But massive, yet hypothetically habitable planets like Kepler-131 b, 746 light-years from Earth, require a daunting speeds to break free: 21.8 miles-per-second to exit Kepler-131 b, for example, or an Fex of 3.13-times Earth.

Some so-called 'Super Earths' might be within their star's habitable zone, but so massive that their gravity makes interplanetary rocket launches all but impossible, like Kepler-131 b (above), 746 light-years from Earth

Some so-called 'Super Earths' might be within their star's habitable zone, but so massive that their gravity makes interplanetary rocket launches all but impossible, like Kepler-131 b (above), 746 light-years from Earth
Others, like Proxima Centauri b (above), turn out to be easier to blast off from than Earth, with lower escape velocities

Others, like Proxima Centauri b (above), turn out to be easier to blast off from than Earth, with lower escape velocities

Some so-called ‘Super Earths’ might be within their star’s habitable zone, but so massive that their gravity makes interplanetary rocket launches all but impossible, like Kepler-131 b (left), 746 light-years from Earth. Others, like Proxima Centauri b (right), are easier to blast off from

‘Many worlds, particularly super-Earths,’ Prof. Quiroga told DailyMail.com, ‘may be dismissed due to prohibitive escape velocities.’

But there were also interesting edge cases, like the habitable world GJ-1214b, 48 light-years from Earth, which has an escape velocity about 1.5 times that of Earth’s. 

Planets like these, which also includes Kepler-103b, might prove harder for an advanced race to blast off from, but might not trap a species on their home world.

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Prof. Quiroga’s research, published in last October in the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, theorizes that any escape velocity with an Fex more than 2.2 times Earth’s own may lock a civilization onto their planet of origin for good.  

The more than 5,000 exoplanets confirmed in our galaxy so far include a variety of types - among them these mysterious 'super-Earths' that are larger than our world and possibly rocky

The more than 5,000 exoplanets confirmed in our galaxy so far include a variety of types - among them these mysterious 'super-Earths' that are larger than our world and possibly rocky

The more than 5,000 exoplanets confirmed in our galaxy so far include a variety of types – among them these mysterious ‘super-Earths’ that are larger than our world and possibly rocky

But Prof. Quiroga also pointed to unique cultural factors that might lock a species into their home planet, in one case discussing a more literal ‘Fishbowl World.’

An advanced civilization on an ocean planet, he speculated, might have mastered long-distance communication via their own evolution, given that communication travels much further naturally in a fluid environment (think sonar) than in open air.

The dominant species on a watery planet, or a watery moon like Jupiter’s moon Europa, may have enjoyed conversations that travel naturally for hundreds of miles.

In those worlds, Prof. Quiroga wrote, ‘communication between individuals could be feasible without the need for communication devices,’ stifling the urge to innovate advanced communication technologies.

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There were also interesting edge cases, like the habitable world GJ-1214b (above), 48 light-years from Earth, which has an escape velocity 1.5 times Earth's: hard but possible to leave

There were also interesting edge cases, like the habitable world GJ-1214b (above), 48 light-years from Earth, which has an escape velocity 1.5 times Earth's: hard but possible to leave

There were also interesting edge cases, like the habitable world GJ-1214b (above), 48 light-years from Earth, which has an escape velocity 1.5 times Earth’s: hard but possible to leave

‘Telecommunications technology might never emerge on such a world, even though it could be home to a fully developed civilization,’ Quiroga argued in his paper. 

‘Such a civilization would not be “communicative” and would not be contemplated in the Drake equation,’ the famous calculation formulated to predict the chance of finding intelligent life in the universe, Quiroga said.

An evolutionary feature like innate, biological, undersea sonar, in other words, could leave them both silent and unable to listen to humanity’s SETI radio transmissions.

But, as Prof. Quiroga told DailyMail.com, his research is not a cause for astronomers and planetary scientists to drastically change policies or research plans just yet.

‘The initial step is to search for basic life, simple life-forms,’ he said.

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‘We are making progress in this direction, but we require more advanced tools (such as the future Vera Rubin telescope) and improved methods for analyzing the faint signals emanating from these exo-planets.’ 

‘If we were to discover a world in another star system displaying clear and indisputable signs of intelligence,’ Prof. Quiroga said, ‘then we could contemplate whether those beings have achieved space travel, or if it’s within their capability or not.’

What those first, successful signs, which researchers call techno-signatures, will turn out to be remains to be seen, he noted, in part due to the truly alien possibilities of life outside our world.

‘We can only assert that we know of one civilization in the cosmos, and that is our own,’ Prof. Quiroga said.

‘Consequently, we tend to humanize or anthropomorphize everything; it’s inevitable.’ 

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‘However, there is something intriguing to consider,’ he added. 

‘We emerged as a species more or less in the middle of the lifespan of our star, the sun, which suggests something profound: intelligence takes a considerable amount of time to evolve.’ 

Perhaps, Prof. Quiroga suggested, an answer to Enrico Fermi’s famous paradox is that most alien species are taking just as much time to evolve as life did here on Earth.

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DON’T do these before selling you car: Nine mistakes to avoid losing money trading in your wheels

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 Buying a car is an exciting moment, but selling a car can be a headache.  

While most of us just want to get the car sold fast, we also want to get the best price possible. 

And with 85 per cent of motorists willing to accept a low offer just to get the process over with, rushing to make that sale unequipped could leave you with 50 per cent less cash in your pocket.

A survey by independent used car retailer Motorpoint of over 2,000 UK car owners who sold or changed their motor in the last five years has highlighted a key set of things to avoid before selling which could impact the sale or reduce the price you get.

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With new ’24’ plates on sale since the 1 March, many car owners are wanting to trade their old wheels in for new ones. 

So, here are the top nine things Motorpoint’s experts want you to look for to save money, and time:

1. Two sets of keys 

Car key replacement is around £240 but modern keys with keyless lock and go can cost more than £1000 but trying to sell your car without the spare key can cut 5 to 10 per cent off the price

Car key replacement is around £240 but modern keys with keyless lock and go can cost more than £1000 but trying to sell your car without the spare key can cut 5 to 10 per cent off the price

Car key replacement is around £240 but modern keys with keyless lock and go can cost more than £1000 but trying to sell your car without the spare key can cut 5 to 10 per cent off the price

It might seem like a small issue, only having one key. After all isn’t a key only a couple of hundred quid to replace?

But John Hood, Motorpoint’s general manager of trade acquisition, claims that not having both sets, and not having the original key in particular can make your car much less desirable and, in some cases, impossible to sell.

‘The average cost to replace a key is around £240, but a new remote or keyless entry key for a modern vehicle could cost you more than £1,000. 

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‘However, without both sets of keys, expect to see anywhere between 5 to 10 per cent less for your vehicle’, he says.

According to data from Motorpoint’s Sell Your Car service, motorists without both sets of keys could be missing out on as much as £1,530 when it comes to selling their car.

2. Having 100k miles on the clock could knock off £3k 

60,000 miles on the clock is the sweet spot before your wheels lose 27 per cent value - but make sure you sell before 100,000 miles in particular

60,000 miles on the clock is the sweet spot before your wheels lose 27 per cent value - but make sure you sell before 100,000 miles in particular

60,000 miles on the clock is the sweet spot before your wheels lose 27 per cent value – but make sure you sell before 100,000 miles in particular 

Recent data from Carwow found that the  sweet spot to sell your car is before it reaches 60,000 miles. 

On average cars lose around 27 per cent of their value when the odometer reaches 60,000.

Motorpoint adds that, while it is a misconception that over 100,000 miles makes a car less reliable, it does mean your wheels can drop 20 per cent in value because of this view.

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Hood recommends ‘motorists sell their vehicles before they reach this mark because simply put, the lower the mileage, the higher price you’ll get for your car.’ 

3. Removing modifications could increase value by £6k

It’s worth remembering that customising your car to your own specific tastes is great while you’re driving it, but it might make it harder to sell on.

Before modifying a vehicle Hood advises keeping retail impact in mind: ‘Performance enhancements such as swapping out exhausts, rather than adding value, can lead to reduced sale prices, sometimes by as much as 40 per cent – meaning you’ve not only spent money modifying your vehicle, but you’ll also be missing out when it comes to selling. 

‘In extreme cases, motorists with modified cars could lose out on somewhere near £6,120 in resale value.’

4.Keep your car as clean as possible

Getting a professional valet before you sell your car can help improve first impressions but keeping your car clean regularly has the biggest impact on value retention

Getting a professional valet before you sell your car can help improve first impressions but keeping your car clean regularly has the biggest impact on value retention

Getting a professional valet before you sell your car can help improve first impressions but keeping your car clean regularly has the biggest impact on value retention 

A poorly kept car could knock over £1,500 off its value, so keeping it clean and well-maintained really is worth it. 

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Smoking or having pets in your car regularly could impact the price by 10 per cent, according to Motorpoint. 

First impressions count so it’s worth getting a professional valet done, but if you think you can make your car sparkle inside and out then you can also save yourself around £150 by doing your own valet.

5. Sort warning lights or miss out on up to £4,590

Warning lights can knock up to 30 per cent off the value of your car when looking to sell.

Don’t be tempted to pass on repair costs during the sale because you’re likely going to be losing more money than you would have to fork out for repairs. 

‘While it’s dependent on the value of your vehicle, the average motorist could expect to see as much as £4,500 knocked off the value of your car. 

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‘In many cases, it really is cheaper to get the issue fixed before selling’, Hood recommends.

6. Private plates don’t increase the value of your car

Private plates can make a fortune when sold separately to your car, but actually reduce the value of your motor if you sell them with the car as a private plate is seen as a modification

Private plates can make a fortune when sold separately to your car, but actually reduce the value of your motor if you sell them with the car as a private plate is seen as a modification

Private plates can make a fortune when sold separately to your car, but actually reduce the value of your motor if you sell them with the car as a private plate is seen as a modification

Private plates are hot commodities with some of the most expensive DVLA plates going for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

While private plates can look cool they are classed as a personal modification to a vehicle. 

Any modification wise can impact the price of the car and a private plate could knock off between £200 and £300.

John says: ‘You probably want to keep your private number plate when you sell up, but if for any reason you don’t want it anymore, it’s probably best to sell it separately than with the vehicle.

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‘Not only are you likely to get a good price for them, but a personalised plate won’t make the value of your car higher. In many cases, you’ll be charged for the inconvenience and time it would take to return the car to the age-related plates.’

7. Tread depth matters, and could cost you

Tyre checks are critical for safety and to make sure you aren’t breaking the law while driving.

Whether you use a tyre tread depth or the 20p coin check, your car tyres should always meet legal requirements. 

Monthly tyre checks should be part of your car maintenance routine.

But when you sell your car on, do a final check of the tyres to make absolutely certain that they meet legal tread depth requirements.

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Same as with repairs, dealerships will charge you for time and inconveniencing changing your tyres, so check your tyres before you hand over the keys.

8. Each scratch or scuff deducts £50 off your valuation

Each scratch or scuff could knock £50 off the price of your car so make sure you get small repair costs covered before you sell

Each scratch or scuff could knock £50 off the price of your car so make sure you get small repair costs covered before you sell

Each scratch or scuff could knock £50 off the price of your car so make sure you get small repair costs covered before you sell

Even minor chips can impact your car’s value. Address any damages to your car before selling to make sure you take home the full value of the car.

According to the experts, motorists could see as much as £50 per scratch knocked off an initial valuation if their car doesn’t meet the condition you stated, so it’s worth getting these checked out.

Most of the time your car insurance policy will cover these small repair costs anyway so shop around at garages to get some quotes for light body paint touch ups and repairs.

It’s vital to make sure colours and parts are authentic and matching though, or Motorpoint warns or you could have thousands knocked off the offer price. 

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9. Keep up with service checks to prevent £2k hit

Falling behind on your car servicing can reduce your car's value by 10 to 15 per cent so mkae sure you book in regularly and keep a record of all the service history too

Falling behind on your car servicing can reduce your car's value by 10 to 15 per cent so mkae sure you book in regularly and keep a record of all the service history too

Falling behind on your car servicing can reduce your car’s value by 10 to 15 per cent so mkae sure you book in regularly and keep a record of all the service history too

It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but falling behind on your car’s service schedule can prove to be a costly mistake when selling your car. 

An incomplete service history will reduce your car’s value by 10 to 15 per cent – and even more if your car is still within the manufacturer’s warranty period, as this will be void if you haven’t kept up with your services.

Remember you’re entirely entitled to go to independent garages for MOTs and service works. Unlike what many drivers are told or believe, you are not legally required to go to the official dealership.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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Diplomatic efforts to broker Israel-Hamas ceasefire continue

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Gaza’s health ministry collects data from the enclave’s hospitals and the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The health ministry does not report how Palestinians were killed, whether from Israeli airstrikes and artillery barrages or errant Palestinian rocket fire. It describes all casualties as victims of “Israeli aggression”.

The ministry also does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. 

Throughout four wars and numerous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, UN agencies have cited the Hamas-run health ministry’s death tolls in regular reports. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Palestinian Red Crescent also use the numbers.

In the aftermath of war, the UN humanitarian office has published final death tolls based on its own research into medical records. The UN’s counts have largely been consistent with the Gaza health ministry’s, with small discrepancies. 

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For more on the Gaza health ministry’s tolls, click here.

(FRANCE 24 with AP) 

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Disney fanatic SLAMS park’s insane price hikes – revealing just how wildly ‘expensive’ a single day trip has become – suggesting vacationing overseas instead

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The happiest place on earth is also becoming the most unaffordable; with a Disney fanatic declaring it’s cheaper to take a family on an overseas vacation than visit the famous theme parks.

Longtime Disney fan Jake Williams slammed the park as being ‘anti-consumer,’ noting the removal of some of the once-complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family’s day at the park.

Jake visited the Disney Magic Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida, documenting how much it costs for two people to visit the park – noting a whopping 44 per cent price increase since 2017.

Visiting the park with his partner Emmi, Jake stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans resort and opted to visit the Magic Kingdom park for the day.

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Disney fanatic Jake Williams (pictured) slammed the park as being 'anti-consumer,' noting the removal of some complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family's day at the park

Disney fanatic Jake Williams (pictured) slammed the park as being 'anti-consumer,' noting the removal of some complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family's day at the park

Disney fanatic Jake Williams (pictured) slammed the park as being ‘anti-consumer,’ noting the removal of some complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family’s day at the park

Jake slammed the park as being 'anti-consumer,' noting the removal of some of their complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family's day at the park

Jake slammed the park as being 'anti-consumer,' noting the removal of some of their complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family's day at the park

Jake slammed the park as being ‘anti-consumer,’ noting the removal of some of their complimentary services adds hundreds of dollars to a family’s day at the park

‘I got a discounted rate at $249 a night but that really turned out to be $280 a night with tax so to start,’ he shared of their room. which he labeled ‘pretty nice’ and in a good location.

The pair began their Disney day at the dining hall in the resort.

‘We both got the bounty platter which was pretty good,’ he shared. ‘The platter is $22.79 per person and that came out to an okay $27.24 with tax.’

From there, they were able to take Disney’s complimentary bus transportation from the resorts – but the park had reformatted the price tier of their annual passes system since the last time Jake visited.

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‘[They] bumped up the prices for both the passes and regular day tickets,’ he explained. ‘We chose to do the classic Park Magic Kingdom which also happens to be the most expensive Park unlike days of the past Disney, it now has variable pricing for each park depending on when you’re going.’

Magic Kingdom cost $154 per person, making it $328 for him and his girlfriend Emmi.

‘As expensive as that sounds, at least it’s not on a more expensive day like in late November where day tickets can get as high as $184 a person,’ he pointed out.

Once at the park, Jake reported the lines were ‘insane’, with lines as long over 90 minutes  for some attractions and rides.

Magic Kingdom cost $154 per person, making it $328 for him and his girlfriend Emmi, wait Jake saying the crowds were 'insane'

Magic Kingdom cost $154 per person, making it $328 for him and his girlfriend Emmi, wait Jake saying the crowds were 'insane'

Magic Kingdom cost $154 per person, making it $328 for him and his girlfriend Emmi, wait Jake saying the crowds were ‘insane’

He paid a discounted rate at $249 a night for the room at Disney's Port Orleans resort

He paid a discounted rate at $249 a night for the room at Disney's Port Orleans resort
It ended  up being $280 a night with tax

It ended  up being $280 a night with tax

He paid a discounted rate at $249 a night for the room at Disney’s Port Orleans resort, which ended up being $280 a night with tax 

Jake noted the difference between 2024 prices and 2017 was around $320 - or a huge 44 per cent

Jake noted the difference between 2024 prices and 2017 was around $320 - or a huge 44 per cent

Jake noted the difference between 2024 prices and 2017 was around $320 – or a huge 44 per cent 

However, while in the past parkgoers could have used a FastPass to skip the line, Disney have reformatted their wait system in 2021, rebranding it as Lighting Lane.

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The exact same trip in 2017 would have cost a total of $567 – that’s almost a $320 difference between two trips that’s a 44% increase in just 7 years far outpacing inflation which is around 24 per cent 

Jake said the main reason for the price hike was Disney’s decision to start charging for  the bus to the resort and the fast passes.

‘During our trip we paid $23 per person, making it $46 for both pf us,’ he reported. ‘So after purchasing the privilege of something we used to get for free, we booked a few attractions for later in the day like Pirates and Haunted Mansion – but throughout the afternoon the wait times were consistently long.’ 

‘In this iteration they now charge you money for it,’ he said disgruntled, adding the system means you have to purchase another app called Genie+ to download that app – and some rides you have to pay extra to queue for. 

The park's changes to their annual passes system has been reformatted from the last time Jake went and are far more expensive

The park's changes to their annual passes system has been reformatted from the last time Jake went and are far more expensive
Jake also noted long wait times for all rides and attractions

Jake also noted long wait times for all rides and attractions

The park’s changes to their annual passes system has been reformatted from the last time Jake went and are far more expensive. Jake also noted long wait times for all rides and attractions   

Jake and his partner Emmi visited the park and spent a total of $886 between them for one day at Magic Kingdom

Jake and his partner Emmi visited the park and spent a total of $886 between them for one day at Magic Kingdom

Jake and his partner Emmi visited the park and spent a total of $886 between them for one day at Magic Kingdom

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‘I do not like crowds at all, I don’t like standing for long periods of time – this is all very uncomfortable for me so we really didn’t do all that much,’ Jake admitted.

The pair stopped for lunch at Park Columbia Harbor House, paying $31.70 between them, and after wandering around for a few more hours got a coffee and popcorn as a snack, which costs $12.70 together.

The only ride Jake wanted to try was the Tron Lightcycle Power Run – which opened in spring 2023. Unlike regular rides, it has two intakes for a ‘digital’ queues – which they missed out on.

Magic Kingdom 

For two people:

Bus to resort: $33.60

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Hotel: $280.81 night

Breakfast:  $27.24

Magic Kingdom Ticket:  $328.02

Genie+: $46 

Lightning Lane: $42.60 

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Lunch: $31.70

Snacks (coffee and popcorn):  $7.20 and $5.50

 Dinner: $83.75

TOTAL: $886.34 

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Because of this, they had to purchase the individual Lightning Lane – the remodeled new fast pass – which cost them $20 each.

‘$42 for a 60 second attraction, that is a hard pill,’ he admitted.

Jake and Emmi dined at Skipper Canteen, which came to $83.75, which Disney fan said was ‘overpriced.’ 

Overall, the day out at Disney for two adults came to $886.34 – more than a $320 difference from the prices in 2017.

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‘Doing a Disney World trip has gotten a lot more expensive,’ Jake reflected.

‘And remember this is without buying additional merchandise or any other snacks or even magic bands which used to be free but are now like $35.’

Although a Disney fan, he admitted it’s ‘difficult’ to justify how expensive it is. 

‘It’s frustrating to see Disney make something that used to be free generate tens of millions from it and give no extra value in the parks,’ he said 

He said a hypothetical trip for a family of three –  two adults and one child – that spent six days at a resort and four days at the parks – along with food and drinks plus the additional costs for ride queues is around $4,000.

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‘I can’t help but think that nobody seems to care if Disney is just staggeringly more expensive than it used to be, all while removing perks that used to be free,’ he observed.

‘At this point there basically is no argument to be made for Genie plus and the elimination of FastPass, it is simply anti-consumer as are these steep price hikes,’ he continued. ‘But people just eat the costs.’

In comparison, Jake said he had priced out a trip to the French Rivera for $3,462, and a luxurious trip to Bali for around $4,600. 

‘I really do love the Disney parks but I’m not willing to put up with the huge price hikes and this convoluted system where I know there are better places for my money to be spent,’ Jake declared. 

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Haiti’s capital ‘paralysed’ as gang conflict intensifies after jailbreak

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Haiti’s capital was largely shut down Monday with residents only venturing out for essentials, as authorities imposed a state of emergency after an attack on a prison freed thousands of inmates.

Issued on:

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As the latest crisis spiraled, Prime Minister Ariel Henry was still out of the country after a trip to Kenya to push for the deployment of a UN-backed multinational police mission to try to stabilise Haiti. 

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The prison break came in a new wave of violence sweeping through Port-au-Prince, where armed gangs who control much of the city have wreaked havoc since last week.

An AFP reporter said some locals were on the streets looking to buy water and fuel on the day after the state of emergency and a nighttime curfew were declared.

Schools and banks were closed, and people sheltered for safety in schools, sports venues, gyms and public buildings, often without adequate toilets, health facilities or drinking water.

“This morning the city is paralysed,” Carlotta Pianigiani, a coordinator in Port-au-Prince for the Alima medical NGO, told AFP.

“Public transport is practically at a standstill, private vehicles are rare and schools are closed. Some roads are also barricaded.”

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She said 15,000 people were displaced in weeks of recent unrest and that the largest public hospital suspended operation last week, adding that the situation was “already very tense.”

President assassinated 

Gang leaders such as Jimmy Cherisier, known by the nickname Barbecue, say they are coordinating to oust Prime Minister Henry, who has led the troubled Caribbean nation since the assassination of president Jovenel Moise in 2021.

About a dozen people died in the violence at the National Penitentiary in the capital on Saturday night, according to AFP reporters, with only a few of the estimated 3,800 inmates still inside.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed alarm at the “rapidly deteriorating security situation” and called for more funding for the planned international police mission.

A spokesman for United States’ State Department said that Henry was heading back from Kenya, adding “it’s important that he do so, and that he be allowed to do so.”

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The Haitian government has vowed the security forces would take back control, but they are notoriously weak — kidnapping and other violent crime is rampant, and gangs are often better armed than the police.

Among those held in the jail over Moise’s assassination were 17 Colombian mercenaries who chose not escape as their lives would be in danger, their lawyer said Monday.

A gang was “waiting to execute them at the prison entrance,” Sondra Macollins told on Blu Radio in Bogota, adding the former soldiers were now detained in a police station.

The Haitian news outlet Le Nouvelliste reported that the prison, located close to the National Palace, had been under surveillance by gangs using drones before the assault was launched.

The UN Security Council in October approved an international police support mission to Haiti that Nairobi had agreed to lead, but a Kenyan court ruling has thrown its future into doubt.

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On Friday, Henry signed an accord in Nairobi with Kenyan President William Ruto on deploying the force.

Haiti, the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation, has been in turmoil for years, and the 2021 presidential assassination plunged the country further into chaos.

No elections have taken place since 2016 and the presidency remains vacant.

White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday that the United States was monitoring the situation “with great concern.”

(AFP)

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Steve Rider’s prostate tumour had no symptoms. If his wife hadn’t made him see a doctor, it could have been fatal

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Last autumn, after a 45-year career in sports broadcasting ‘without a single day off through ill health’, Steve Rider learned that he had ­prostate cancer — and it could kill him if he didn’t act fast.

He didn’t have a single symptom, and if it hadn’t been for his wife Jane, ‘who’s been the star of all this’, Steve might not have followed up a slightly raised PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.

This measures the protein made by the prostate gland and can be a sign of cancer — but also of benign problems such as an enlarged prostate.

Steve Rider, 73, has presented major sports events including the Olympics, World Cups and Formula 1 Grand Prix for ITV, BBC and Sky

Steve Rider, 73, has presented major sports events including the Olympics, World Cups and Formula 1 Grand Prix for ITV, BBC and Sky

Steve Rider, 73, has presented major sports events including the Olympics, World Cups and Formula 1 Grand Prix for ITV, BBC and Sky

However, Steve discovered his 6cm tumour was highly aggressive, as he tells Good Health in an exclusive interview — and in October he underwent three and a half hours of surgery to remove the entire prostate.

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‘It’s probably given me ten to 15 years of quality life that I almost certainly wouldn’t have had if Jane hadn’t encouraged me to pay attention to the PSA test results,’ admits Steve, 73, who has presented major sports events such as the Olympics, football World Cups and Formula 1 Grand Prix, among others, for ITV, BBC and Sky over the decades.

After the PSA test, Steve saw a specialist in August who discovered ‘an ­abnormality’ in his prostate and referred him for further scans and a biopsy.

Steve and his wife Jane have been married since 1985 and have two children

Steve and his wife Jane have been married since 1985 and have two children

Steve and his wife Jane have been married since 1985 and have two children

‘I thought, at my age, it could be cancer,’ Steve says. But when he and Jane went to hear the results, the news was worse than he’d imagined.

‘The specialist told us the tumour was large and pressing against the wall of the prostate, and he was concerned about whether it had gone into the lymph nodes and to the bones because this is where it almost always spreads to. He said it could grow fast and be deadly.’

Steve adds drily: ‘It wasn’t the best day of our lives, but if I hadn’t gone down the route I did, six months or a year later, we might have been hearing terrible news of terminal cancer on what might have been the worst day of our lives.’

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His routine PSA test in late July was done as part of a check-up to renew a prescription for high blood pressure medication. Steve confesses that neither he nor the private GP he saw picked up on his slightly raised PSA level of 6ng/ml. (For younger men, this should be three or less; a reading of five is acceptable for those over 70.)

However Jane did, remarking on how his previous scores were around 3ng/ml — and insisted he went for further tests.

Steve found out his scan and biopsy results the day after a charity walk last September

Steve found out his scan and biopsy results the day after a charity walk last September

Steve found out his scan and biopsy results the day after a charity walk last September

Steve says: ‘We knew a few men in our village who had been ­surprised when they followed up their PSA results, so Jane made me go. However, we weren’t ­thinking it was going to lead to anything dramatic.’

(The couple, who live near ­Marlow, Buckinghamshire, have been married since 1985 and have two children, Jack, 34, a teacher and father of two, and Polly, 31, a ­digital content creator.)

Steve used medical insurance to see a private specialist a ­couple of weeks later. He admits: ‘All I knew then was that prostate cancer was the one that chaps have to be aware of, but I didn’t know what or where the prostate was.’

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A digital rectal examination (which Steve says ‘lasted about 45 seconds — men need to get over themselves and not fear it’) revealed an abnormality on one side of the prostate. He then had a multiparametric MRI scan, which gives more detailed ­pictures than a standard MRI (as it uses dye to highlight the blood vessels feeding a tumour), then a PET scan.

This scan, which is not offered as standard on the NHS, checks the body for cancer by tracking a radioactive substance, injected into a vein in the arm. This ­targets a protein expressed by cancerous and non-cancerous cells; in ­prostate cancer, many copies of the protein are created.

Then Steve underwent a ­transperineal biopsy, to take ­tissue samples from the prostate. Days later he was able to join Jeff Stelling’s Football March, to help raise nearly £400,000 in memory of the BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, who died of prostate cancer in 2022 and whom Steve had met a few times.

Throughout the four-hour walk, Steve talked to those who had prostate cancer and came across people who had misunderstood or ignored their PSA results. ‘A lot of people regard it as pass or fail — but, like me, it can just be the first clue that you need to do more,’ says Steve.

There were also those with ‘pretty low or variable PSA [test results] but they still had cancer. I really found out how unreliable the PSA test can be.’

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The test can give false negative and false positive results, which may lead to advanced cancers being missed or unnecessary tests and treatment.

Steve found out his scan and biopsy results the day after the charity walk, last September.

Although he was expecting to be told he needed treatment, he was shocked to learn his tumour was ‘heavily embedded in the prostate, fast-growing and at the top end of the Gleason scale’. This is a measure of how abnormal prostate cells look; a score of eight to ten indicates aggressive ­cancer: Steve’s score was eight.

He was advised that the most effective approach would be to remove his entire prostate. Despite this, Steve was relieved. ‘We were presented with a ­solution that was almost 100 per cent effective,’ he says. ‘It was chilling news but there was a get-out-of -jail-free card.’

A multiparametric MRI scan, which Steve had, gives more detailed ­pictures than a standard MRI as it uses dye to highlight the blood vessels feeding a tumour (stock image)

A multiparametric MRI scan, which Steve had, gives more detailed ­pictures than a standard MRI as it uses dye to highlight the blood vessels feeding a tumour (stock image)

A multiparametric MRI scan, which Steve had, gives more detailed ­pictures than a standard MRI as it uses dye to highlight the blood vessels feeding a tumour (stock image)

He went home feeling fine the day after his keyhole operation, but the next day ‘couldn’t get out of bed — every muscle in the top half of my body was screaming’, he says. However, the surgery was successful: ‘When I went back in December for an update, the ­consultant said my PSA level was too low to measure, so effectively zero — the best news.’

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Friends including fellow TV ­presenter Nick Owen — who revealed his own prostate cancer diagnosis last year — rallied round. ‘Nick and I compared our ­reaction to the pelvic floor ­exercises we were meant to do — I find them a chore — to overcome the slight urinary incontinence you can get after the op,’ says Steve. Jane administered his anti-­clotting injections and changed the drainage bag attached to his urinary catheter.

‘I was sleeping down the ­corridor because that bag on your leg is not the most romantic thing,’ he says. ‘I’d wake up at 6.30 am and, remarkably, Jane would come in to change the bag.’

At 5ft 8in, Steve has lost 10lb since his surgery. He now weighs 12st 11lb and is keen to stay trim. Although he previously led a ‘moderately healthy’ life with ­regular charity runs and walks, he has now adopted more healthy habits: ‘The nightly bottle of wine hasn’t reappeared,’ he says.

One possible side-effect of the surgery is erectile dysfunction. ‘I’ve got no reason to think it isn’t going to work any more — but if it doesn’t, so what. I’m 73 and I have a ­family and grandchildren — it’s not my No 1 issue.

‘There is a slight urinary issue — the sprinkler system is a little erratic. It’s all part of the glorious indignity and humour of it all.’

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Steve is keen to share his ­experiences in order to increase awareness among men. He has also decided that it’s time to ‘bow out’ of his presenting career to enjoy life with his family.

‘Cancer has changed me,’ he says. ‘I have another year left with ITV and that will probably be it.

‘We have great fun looking after the grandchildren three days a week and doing the school run, and we like to travel.

‘I’ve been reminded of what is important in life, how families can come together and deliver strength when it’s needed.’

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