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Kim Kardashian’s sex tape leak and battle to quash rumours Kris was behind it


Kim Kardashian shot to fame in 2007 following the release of her notorious sex tape which continued to haunt her for years to come.

Thirteen years ago, the reality TV superstar was just an aspiring celebrity who owned a fashion store in Calabasas, California with her sisters.

However, the release of the tape – which Kim made in 2002 with her then-boyfriend Ray J – changed everything for her and made her a celebrity in her own right.

The leak came just months before Kim’s reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians was due to air and has been credited with bringing the series to the public’s attention.

Subsequent rumours suggested Kim’s momanager Kris had orchestrated the whole thing as a publicity stunt for the show and the star has spent years denying the claims.

Kim Kardashian, pictured right, and Ray J, pictured top left

Kim filmed the tape with Ray J back in 2002 during a holiday in Mexico for her 23rd birthday.

She’d started dating the singer in the early 2000s following the breakdown of her marriage to music producer Damon Dash.

It was another five years before it got out, with the tape being sold to porn giant Vivid Entertainment in early 2007.

At the time, Kim had enjoyed her first taste of showbusiness working for Paris Hilton as her assistant and making a number of brief appearances in the hotel heiress’s reality show The Simple Life.

The company put out a press release stating the tape had been bought from an unnamed third party for $1 million and they released it as Kim Kardashian Superstar in March that year.

Kim had filed a highly-publicised lawsuit against Vivid, but failed to stop the tape’s release – eventually settling with them for a reported $5 million.

That figure has since been described by Kim’s lawyer as “greatly inflated”.

Ray J, pictured left, and Kim Kardashian, pictured right

At the time, Kim was looking forward to the premiere of her new family reality show after signing a deal with E! to film their lives for TV.

The tape’s release came just six months before the show’s debut.

The situation seemed to mirror the experiences of Kim’s then-boss Paris several years earlier.

Back in 2004, Hilton’s own sex tape – 1 Night In Paris – was released shortly before her show The Simple Life debuted on TV.

Paris ended up in a legal battle over the tape, which was filmed by her former boyfriend Rick Salomon, and ended up with a reported $400,000 settlement.

Although 1 Night In Paris was initially put out by another distributor, the rights were eventually snapped up by Vivid – the same company which released Kim’s tape.

Kim Kardashian, pictured left, and Paris Hilton, pictured right

Kim Kardashian, pictured left, and Paris Hilton, pictured right

Paris’ TV show was a huge success, and many commentators put its massive ratings down to the publicity boost she received from the tape.

The socialite has since insisted she was no way involved in its release and “hasn’t made a dime” from its distribution.

After the release of Kim Kardashian Superstar, Keeping Up With The Kardashians debuted to much fanfare becoming a hit for E!

During the first season, Kim was seen posing for Playboy in a sexy shoot that was published in December 2007.

The TV scenes showed Kim’s mum and manager Kris Jenner encouraging her daughter to strip off for the sexy title claiming it would give her career a massive boost.

In subsequent years both Kim and Kris had been forced to fend off rumours they were involved in the leak of the sex tape.

Kim Kardashian, pictured, has long denied being involved in the release of the sex tape

The rumours were put to print in Ian Halperin’s book Kardashian Dynasty in which he described setting up a meeting with bosses at Vivid to try and work out how a sex tape could make it to market.

In the book, the writer claims Vivid chiefs told him they would not be able to release a sex tape unless it was signed off by both parties otherwise it would be considered an invasion of privacy.

Halperin claimed a Vivid rep told him: “A third party brought it [Kim’s tape] to Vivid.

“Vivid got in touch with the Kardashian family and explained the truth, which is if [their representative] doesn’t buy it and pay for it, there’s a good chance that other sites will put it up and not charge for it, and they’ll never get anything.”

He went on to question whether Kim and Kris could have been involved as the release would have needed her consent, and called her lawsuit an attempt to portray herself as a victim.

Pictured from left to right, Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Caitlyn Jenner and Kylie Jenner. Pictured front, Kim’s daughter North West

Kim’s representatives denied the claims in Halperin’s book, and they have long denied the tape was released to publicise the family’s reality show.

Steven Hirsch, the head Vivid Entertainment also denied Kim was involved in the deal, telling New York Post gossip column Page Six: “Someone just called the office one day and said, ‘We have some footage of a celebrity.’ Somebody took the call and we set up a time to talk.

“The person brought it in and they had the footage on this computer and they came in with this big, like, rolling suitcase and they unpacked all of it. It was a production…

“I think they just wanted to be in control the whole time… It wasn’t that they were representing the people in the video.

“It definitely wasn’t. Because Kim was not involved in it. It was that these people had the footage and were looking to sell it.”

Kim Kardashian, pictured, is celebrating her 40th birthday this week

Speaking in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Kim insisted she was definitely not behind the leak.

She explained: “You know I think that was definitely how I was introduced to the world.

“I like to think I’m not naive to that… I felt like I really had to work 10 times harder to get people to see the real me… I felt humiliated…”

When asked whether she was behind the release, Kim added: “I think why would anyone put that humiliation on their family like that?

“I have always been concerned about humiliating the family and that’s what I did.

“And that’s something I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life and it’s something I’m going to have to explain to my children one day…

“That’s something I would take back.”

Kim Kardashian, pictured left, and Kris Jenner, pictured right

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Speaking about the sex tape in a 2018 interview with author Bret Easton Ellis for Richardson magazine, Kim insisted she went through hell.

She explained: “I thought that for Paris [Hilton, whose own sex tape was released in 2004], it was explosive and a super lot of attention for her too, in a positive way.

“But once you go through it and you have those conversations with your parents and grandparents and everyone that you’d be really embarrassed about it with, I think you get to a point where you’re like, ‘Okay, we’re dealing with this legally, and it’s time to move on.’

“Everyone deals with things differently and I seem to deal with things — whether the sex tape, the robbery, even the death of my dad, who was the most important person in my life – I push to just overcome it.”

Kris Jenner, pictured, called the sex tape release ‘devastating’

Kim’s mum Kris has also previously spoken out about the sex tape.

In a 2018 episode of Fox News’ OBJECTified, she insisted the release was “devastating” for her and the family.

She said: “You know I can’t control what other people say and obviously that was a hard thing to go through.

“The thing I learned from that is that you can get through anything as a family.

“That was obviously a real hard time for any mom, it was devastating.”





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Strictly’s Amy Dowden opens up on battle with Crohn’s disease


Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has taken part in a documentary to share on living with Crohn’s disease.

The brave dancer, 31, has detailed her struggle with the disease – which causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system – in a BBC documentary named Strictly Amy: Crohn’s And Me.

And in the film the Welsh beauty – who is partnered up with JJ Chalmers on the upcoming series of the BBC dance show – tells how being on Strictly has got her “through the darkest times” when she has been unwell but added that she fears her career could be taken away by the disease.

During the candid documentary, the charismatic star explains: “Strictly has been more than a dance show to me, it got me through the darkest times of my illness. For me it was a big inspiration to keep me dancing.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has taken part in a documentary to share on living with Crohn’s disease

“Dancing has pulled me through my Crohn’s but it’s a battle. I live in fear that what I love the most could be taken away. And I’ve been more ill this year than I have been in a long time.”

Elsewhere in the film, footage is shown of the star in hospital – after she was taken to the medical venue due to vomiting and passing out following the most recent Strictly tour.

She says in the film footage: “To the public watching me with all our make-up, fake tan, glitz, glamour and spotlights, it’s a different world. I don’t think they could ever imagine this could be me the next day.

In the film has tells how being on the successful series has got her “through the darkest times” when she has been unwell

“I knew things weren’t right but your body goes: ‘Right you’ve got to get through this, you don’t want to let anyone down, you can do this.’ And you can just push yourself through anything.”

She heartbreakingly adds: “I can’t think of how many times I’ve been in hospital. It’s got to be at least over 100 times. When I was 18 or 19 it was every month at least for a week.”

Amy fears her career could be taken away by the disease

Amy also tells how Strictly has been her “saviour” amid her health issues.

“Dance has definitely been my saviour. It’s got me through my lowest points. That’s what’s saved me and kept me going. And finally my childhood dreams became true,” she says.

“I often stand there just before I dance and think: “Look how far I’ve come.” You can tell I’m always in my element. In fact people say, ‘Why do you smile so much?’ Because I love it.”

*Strictly Amy: Crohn’s and Me is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.





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SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Mike Tindall scrums down for High Court battle over rugby podcast 


The Royal Family usually avoids the bruising scrums of legal action, but ex-England rugby star Mike Tindall, who is married to the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, has found himself embroiled in a High Court battle.

I can reveal that World Cup winner Tindall — whose uncompromising style of play earned him a broken nose at least eight times during his illustrious career, not to mention a lacerated liver and punctured lung — is being sued for damages over a rugby podcast he recorded with his former England team-mate James Haskell.

Presented by Old Etonian broadcaster Alex Payne, and featuring expert analysis by Tindall and fellow man-mountain Haskell, House Of Rugby speedily established itself as Britain’s most popular podcast of its kind after its launch in 2018. It attracted lucrative sponsorship from brewing giant Guinness.

England rugby stars James Haskell (left) and Mike Tindall (right) on House of Rugby podcast

But the trio’s success was in glaring contrast to that of the company which had set up the podcast, Joe Media, which went into administration in May.

Two months later, Joe Media was acquired by a newly formed firm called Greencastle, which confidently presumed it had thereby secured the services of Tindall, Haskell and Payne.

However, according to Greencastle’s High Court claim, Tindall and Co were by then thundering towards a try-line of their own, by ‘assert[ing] and represent[ing] to potential sponsors… and others that they were continuing the House Of Rugby podcast… and owned the right [to do so].’

Additionally, they were allegedly ‘prepar[ing] and distribut[ing] a PR campaign’ which indicated that they were ‘continuing the podcast’ and ‘rebranding [it] “The Good, The Bad And The Rugby”’.

Haskell, the claim alleges, even posted a message on social media showing him and Tindall wearing House Of Rugby T-shirts, and declaring: ‘The King is dead!…long live the king!!!…same choir, different cathedral. Get ready!’

But Greencastle — which is suing the trio for what is known as ‘passing off’ and is seeking injunctions against them — has now felt the force of Tindall’s counter-attack.

Claiming that Joe Media owed them £75,000 in unpaid fees, he, Haskell and Payne allege that Payne ‘made it clear’ to Greencastle in July that they were ‘pretty far down the line with [their] own plans’.

Ex-England rugby star Mike Tindall, who is married to Zara Phillips is being sued for damages over a rugby podcast he recorded with his former England team-mate James Haskell

Ex-England rugby star Mike Tindall, who is married to Zara Phillips is being sued for damages over a rugby podcast he recorded with his former England team-mate James Haskell

Greencastle’s ‘real complaint’, they claim, is that it ‘overpaid’ for Joe Media — while failing to retain their services and, in consequence, Guinness’s continuing sponsorship.

Greencastle partner David Sefton tells me: ‘Despite our best efforts to resolve this situation amicably, the continued actions of the defendants has left us with no choice but to act to protect House Of Rugby.’

 Why The Crown’s Claire really is a golden wonder

She portrayed the Queen in the first two series of The Crown with such unerring poise that she picked up an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

But star Claire Foy assumed a less regal guise while out near her North London home.

Sporting a beanie hat and a handful of autumnal leaves rather that a crown and sceptre, she looked lost in thought — perhaps about her impending role in Louis Wain, a period drama in which her on-screen husband will be Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.

Claire Foy as the Queen in the Crown TV series

Claire Foy out with what appears to be her mum in Hampstead

Claire Foy, who played the Queen in the Crown TV series (left), picks up beautiful autumn leaves while out with what appears to be her mum in Hampstead earlier this week (right)

 Game of Thrones makes Harrington royally rich

Looking forward to the birth of his first child with fellow Game Of Thrones star Rose Leslie, Kit Harington can afford an opulent nursery.

I can reveal that Harington, who played hero Jon Snow in the hugely popular sex and dragons drama, saw his fortune rise to more than £3.1 million last year.

Newly published accounts disclose that Kit Harington Ltd, through which he channels his earnings, made a profit of £600,000 in the 12 months to March. The period covers the final series of the hit show.

A source said: ‘Famed for his character Jon Snow’s catchphrase “winter is coming”, he could just as well have said “cash is coming” too.’

As well as his business, Harington has a £2.8 million North London house, a nearby flat and a Suffolk mansion reported to be worth £1.7 million.

She’s an Up-Tree Girl! Christie branches out! 

In the video for Eighties classic Uptown Girl, Christie Brinkley arrives in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce as her soon-to-be second husband, Billy Joel, and a gang of mechanics dance with her. These days, Brinkley’s more of an up-tree girl.

The American model, 66, could easily pass for a woman 30 years younger as she poses in a swimming cossie for a magazine.

Christie — whose fourth marriage to architect Peter Cook ended in 2008 — says the picture, which she shared with fans this week, shows she can ‘branch out’, and proves ‘the numbers don’t dictate to us’.

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt is sending people to sleep

Jeremy Hunt is sending people to sleep. Boris Johnson’s former Tory leadership rival has informed parliamentary officials he plans to provide his services for free one day a month to Soak And Sleep, which sells pretty much all you need to get 40 winks.

The company, originally known as the Duvet & Pillow Warehouse, might seem an odd career move for the multi-millionaire former health secretary.

But a closer look shows that it belongs to his brother, Charlie.

Dame Joan Collins, 87, will find herself in period costume as she is appearing alongside Jane Seymour in an upcoming series Glow and Darkness, about the life of St Francis of Assisi

Dame Joan Collins, 87, will find herself in period costume as she is appearing alongside Jane Seymour in an upcoming series Glow and Darkness, about the life of St Francis of Assisi

Joan, Queen of the Screen

She made her Hollywood debut 65 years ago in the lavish historical drama The Virgin Queen, and it’s very much a case of plus ça change for Dame Joan Collins, who finds herself in period costume once more for her latest project.

The evergreen Dynasty star is appearing alongside Jane Seymour in the forthcoming medieval series Glow And Darkness, about the life of St Francis of Assisi.

Joan shared a picture of herself as Queen Adelaide of Savoy, second wife of King Louis VI of France, explaining: ‘My first day on set.’

The Queen was no older than 62 when she died.

 Dame Harriet Walter is convinced she looks royal

Despite an absence of blue blood, Dame Harriet Walter keeps being cast as a noblewoman — and she’s convinced it’s because of her looks.

The actress, whose father was a legal consultant, played a countess in Julian Fellowes’s costume drama Belgravia and Lady Shackleton in his ITV hit Downton Abbey. Says Harriet: ‘I know that I’ve been given aristocratic parts simply because I’m tall and I’ve got a large nose.’ 



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Entertainment USA Hollywood

Angelina Jolie Takes Son Pax, 16, Clothes Shopping In LA Amid Custody Battle With Brad Pitt — Pic


Angelina Jolie is definitely a fan of brick and mortar shopping in this online age. She brought son Pax to an Urban Outfitter’s store so the teen could pick out some new clothes in person.

When it comes to shopping, Angelina Jolie is apparently no fan of online purchases. She’s regularly seen heading to stores around L.A. with her kids, and this time around it was 16-year-old son Pax Jolie-Pitt who needed some new clothes. On Oct. 17, they headed to the Urban Outfitters store on busy Melrose Avenue for some retail time together. Which probably made other shoppers look on in shock, as one of Hollywood’s most famous faces and her son browsed for items in their midst. But Pax really does like the clothes there, as Angelina took him shopping to the exact same UO in Feb. 2019.

Angelina Jolie and her son Pax Jolie-Pitt leave Urban Outfitters after the teen did some clothes shopping on Oct. 17, 2020. Photo credit: SplashNews.

Angie looked chic as always, wearing a form fitting black dress with a skirt that flared just above her ankles. The long sleeves were perfect for the autumn season’s style, even though it is still quite warm in Los Angeles. The 45-year-old wore a pair of black slide-on mules and carried a black cross-body purse with gold detailing.

Angelina’s long brunette hair was pulled back from the sides and worn long down her back. While she donned a black face mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, the Maleficent star’s famous gorgeous green eyes gave her away from the rest of the Urban Outfitters clientele.

Angelina Jolie and kids
Angelina Jolie and her children Zahara, 15, Pax, 16, and Shiloh, 14, enjoy lunch at West Hollywood’s Fig and Olive on Sept. 2, 2019. Photo credit: MEGA.

Pax followed close behind his mom as they exited the store. He could be seen wearing a tan and white striped shirt, while carrying a big UO bag full of items. No matter how much older The Eternals star’s kids are getting — with her youngest, 12-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox nearing their teens — Angelina is still the doting mom who comes along on their shopping trips to make sure they get everything they need.

While Angelina is regularly pictured going on shopping runs with her five kids who still live at home — Pax, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 14, and twins Vivienne and Knox — their dad Brad Pitt, 56, has not been photographed out with any of the children since  Angelina filed for divorce in Sept. 2016. While he does get to spend time with the kids, he obviously prefers to keep it private. Brad and Angelina are finally going to court soon to settle child custody issues once and for all, with the list of key witnesses already submitted for the case. Until they meet in a courtroom, Angie is going about business as usual by tending to their kids’ retail needs.



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Legendary Ibiza DJ José Padilla dies aged 64 after battle with colon cancer


DJ legend José Padilla has died aged 64 after his fight with cancer.

The rocker made his name on the music scene as one of Ibiza’s best DJs.

Everyone knew the star for his sunset sets in the 1990s at the Cafe del Mar in San Antonio.

His loyal fans were devastated when the news was delivered on his Facebook page on Monday.

A statement was released on his Facebook: “Hola amigos. It is with great sadness that we bring you the news that José passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night here on his beloved island of Ibiza.

Legendary Ibiza DJ Jose Padilla dies aged 64 after battle with colon cancer

“His family and friends would like to say thank you to everybody who sent donations and messages of support to help make his last few months easier, and to all the staff of Can Misses Hospital for taking care of him until the end.

“Now he has gone and the sunset in Ibiza will never be the same without him , but the beautiful music of Jose Padilla will stay with us forever. Adiós maestro … x.”

Everyone knew the star for his sunset sets in the 1990s at the Cafe del Mar in San Antonio

Many fans shared their outpouring of heartache in the comments below the statement.

Among the fans, one wrote: “What a great sadness, you will always be in my memory especially for goodbye and yesterday that was the song of the entry of my wedding, God what a horrible year ennio morricone and now you.”

“Master forever heaven will have its best sunset!!!!”

“Thank you very much for your music that accompanied me in so many good times. You gave new meaning to the Sunsets in ibiza. R.I.P.”

We’ll be bringing you the latest updates on this breaking celebrity news story.
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Caroline Flack’s mum on desperate battle to remind daughter of ‘fabulous life’


Caroline Flack’s mum has opened up about her helpless battle to get her daughter to see how wonderful her life was before she took her own life in February.

In a heartbreaking interview with ITV Anglia, Christine Flack revealed how she tried to get Caroline to acknowledge the ‘fabulous carer and nice home’ she had created as she battled depression.

“We tried to talk to her and say you’ve got this fabulous career and you’ve got a nice home. But actually, that doesn’t matter, because that isn’t how they feel. I think when someone is in that place, what we say isn’t being heard,” said Christine.

Christine said Caroline wanted to keep her mental health battle under wraps and was terrified of appearing ‘vulnerable’ to her fans.

Christine Flack has opened up about her battle to remind her daughter how fabulous she was before her death

“She was always frightened that the public would find out that she was vulnerable and she had these dark feelings.

“I used to sit with Caroline and watch television, the same as everybody else, and I would say, ‘Oh I don’t like them’.

“And she’d say: ‘Mum, you don’t even know them.’ It made me stop and think, no I don’t. We judge people and we don’t know them. We don’t know what they’re going through.”

Christine said she tried in vain to get her daughter to open up about her ‘dark feelings’

Caroline took her own life in February at the age of 40 a day after learning that the Crown Prosecution Service would be proceeding with her trial for allegedly assaulting boyfriend Lewis Burton in December.

At the Love Island star’s inquest coroner Mary Hassell ruled that Caroline had intended to cause her own death.

“She hanged herself. She had only one expectation – her own death. There’s no doubt in my mind at all,’ said Hassell at the hearing.

She added that Caroline was suffering from ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the prospect of her upcoming court trial.

Caroline Flack took her own life aged 40

During the inquest, Caroline’s mum Christine also spoke out via video link to agree where she tearfully agreed with the ruling.

“I totally agree, I think you got it spot on. We know you are not allowed to say certain things and it’s up to us if we want to take it any further, and we don’t. You’re spot on,” Christine said.

Christine is also mum to Caroline’s twin sister Jody, Paul and Elizabeth Flack.

If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.





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Russell Watson says cancer battle has left him with younger looking skin


Russell Watson has revealed how younger looking skin has been an unexpected benefit from his near-fatal cancer battle.

The opera star, who turns 54 next month, says he puts his youthful looking visage down to beating two brain tumours.

Russell was first diagnosed with an aggressive tumour in 2005. He was given the all clear but received the devastating news that he had a second pituitary tumour in 2007 as well as bleeding on his brain.

After surviving the terrifying ordeal, Russell has opened up on how the hormonal imbalance caused by the tumours have affected his appearance.

Russell Watson says beating two brain tumours has left him looking much younger than his 53 years

“The type of illness I had is known for making you look like you have a younger looking face because I wasn’t producing certain hormones and not producing certain other ones. So I am actually 3373 years old.

“I have been asked about having Botox before but I’ve never had it.

“In the middle of last year, someone Tweeted me and said: “’Oh my God, look at Russell Watson’s face – he can’t move it with all the Botox he’s had.’

“I thought, ‘I haven’t had any! But thanks mate!'” Russell told The Sun, ahead of the release of his new album 20.

The singer pictured leaving hospital in Cheshire in October 2007 to recover at home after brain surgery

While he went on to make a full recovery, Russell had been left fearing he would never sing again when he was diagnosed with the second tumour in 2007.

He underwent a seven hour operation to remove the growth, which had hemorrhaged in four places, followed up with intense radio therapy treatment.

Despite giving the all clear, Russell says he was still traumatised by what he went through and was terrified of the tumour returning.

“For two years after the illness, I had a really bad traumatic disorder, where I had this horrible feeling each evening when I went to bed that I was going to die.

“It took a long time to overcome,” he previously told Best magazine.

He went on: “I’d feel panicky and had palpitations.

“I wasn’t sleeping, and got hooked on prescription sleeping pills.”





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Headline USA Politics

Senator John Cornyn, facing tough re-election battle in Texas, tries to distance himself from Trump


Yet another Republican senator has attempted to downplay their allegiance to Donald Trump, as the election edges closer and the president’s prospects look increasingly worrying.

John Cornyn, 68, is running for a fourth term as a senator for Texas, having been first elected in 2002. Before then he was the state’s attorney general, and a judge before then.

Cornyn’s challenger, former air force pilot MJ Hegar, 44, has never won elected office before and yet nearly doubled Cornyn’s fundraising over the past three months, eliminating his long-running cash-on-hand advantage. 

Hegar’s fundraising momentum is the latest sign of an increasingly competitive race, even as polls continue to give Cornyn single-digit leads. 

An October 16 poll gave Cornyn a 49 per cent chance, to Hegar’s 46 per cent, and on Tuesday, the Cook Political Report shifted its rating of the race from ‘Likely Republican’ to ‘Lean Republican.’

On Friday both met with the editorial board of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and Cornyn was at pains to distance himself from Trump.

John Cornyn in private was critical of Donald Trump, his local newspaper reported

He is being challenged for his seat by MJ Hegar, whose tattoos cover up shrapnel wounds

He is being challenged for his seat by MJ Hegar, whose tattoos cover up shrapnel wounds

Hegar, 44, is trailing Cornyn only by 3 points, with a 46 per cent chance, to his 49 per cent

Hegar, 44, is trailing Cornyn only by 3 points, with a 46 per cent chance, to his 49 per cent

According to the paper, at the private meeting he described his relationship with the president as ‘maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well.’

Cornyn, who served as Senate majority whip during the final two years of the Obama presidency and the first two years of Trump’s rule, said that he had adopted a policy of avoiding public confrontation with the president. 

‘I think what we found is that we’re not going to change President Trump. He is who he is. You either love him or hate him, and there’s not much in between,’ he said. 

‘What I tried to do is not get into public confrontations and fights with him because, as I’ve observed, those usually don’t end too well.’ 

Cornyn pointed out that his friend Bob Corker, former senator for Tennessee, chose not to run for re-election in 2018 after clashing with Trump on issues such as a border wall, and being derided by the president as a result.

Cornyn singled out judicial nominations, tax cuts, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal and response to Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 as areas where he and Trump agreed, and worked well together.

‘But when I have had differences of opinion, which I have, I do that privately,’ Cornyn said. 

‘I have found that has allowed me to be much more effective, I believe, than to satisfy those who say I ought to call him out or get into a public fight with him.’

Donald Trump, campaigning in Nevada on Sunday, was criticized by Cornyn for his deficits

Donald Trump, campaigning in Nevada on Sunday, was criticized by Cornyn for his deficits

Cornyn, pictured with Trump in Jan 2019, also disagreed about diverting the defense budget

Cornyn, pictured with Trump in Jan 2019, also disagreed about diverting the defense budget

Cornyn said he disagreed with the president on budget deficits and debt, and took issue with Trump’s handling of trade agreements with China and other Asian countries.

Trump in 2017 pulled the United States out of a Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that would have expanded trade in 12 countries.

‘I applaud him for standing up to China but, frankly, this idea that China is paying the price and we’re not paying the price here at home is just not true,’ Cornyn said.

Cornyn also said he opposed taking money from the defense budget to build portions of a border wall, saying he is ‘very much a defense hawk’ who disagreed with the use of national security funds for that purpose.

Hegar is giving Cornyn a surprising run for his money in the Texas senate race

Hegar is giving Cornyn a surprising run for his money in the Texas senate race

Cornyn is just the latest political figure to try and distance themself from Trump.

Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, facing a challenge for his seat in Kentucky, was at pains to stress that he hadn’t been in the White House since August.

Martha McSally, senator for Arizona, who could well lose her seat to Democrat Mark Kelly, on October 6 gave an excruciatingly tortured response when asked if she was proud of her support of the president. 

And last week Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican senator, was caught on tape savaging Trump for his handling of the coronavirus and saying his party’s president ‘kisses dictators’ butts’, in a newly revealed audio recording.

Sasse tears into the president in recorded comments from an apparent conference call with his constituents, the Washington Examiner reported – accusing him of having ‘ignored’ the coronavirus as it spread through the nation. He also accuses Trump of having ‘treated the presidency like a business opportunity.’ 

He also predicted that Trump will lose the election.

‘I’m worried that if president Trump loses, as looks likely, he’s going to take the Senate down with him,’ Sasse frets on the recorded call.



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A daily battle


Ali Nestor is living proof that it is possible to trip, but also to get up beautifully afterwards. The journey of this veteran has always been inspiring for street youth, but also for the rest of the population.

His book Me, Ali Nestor – Little prince of the street, which launches Wednesday, lets readers learn about the journey of this veteran who was once a member of a street gang in good standing.

“I started writing the book in 2003,” says Ali Nestor in a generous interview with The Journal de Montreal. Originally, it was not to be a book, but a manuscript or a journal for youth centers and schools.

“I went on a trip and thought I would write this in two weeks. It didn’t happen. Then, after appearing on a radio show for the past few months, an editor asked me to write a book. The only thing I asked was that I didn’t want to be misrepresented. “

So it took him 17 years to complete the book on his journey through street gangs and his redemption.

“I’m glad I didn’t finish it in 2003. You don’t think the same way at 40 as at 30. Your perception and your life experience are not the same. “

Ali Nestor after a victory against Patrick Tessier (2009).

Photo courtesy, Ali Nestor Charles

Ali Nestor after a victory against Patrick Tessier (2009).

Determination

Nestor’s book, whose preface is signed by Justin Trudeau, Denis Coderre and David Heurtel, is the logical continuation of the work accomplished by his organization “Ali and the Prince.sse.s of the Street” over the past 19 years.

It was not always easy for Nestor to find the necessary support to allow him to bring his departure project to fruition.

The Haitian-born Quebecer never doubted his vision even when he was in his small gymnasium in Saint-Léonard, in eastern Montreal. Today he has a center where combat sports and education come together under one roof. His dream has come true.

“I fought for recognition of the effectiveness of my program,” says Nestor. We knocked on every door, but we weren’t getting help.

“A lot of people took a dim view of helping young people through combat sports. There was a lot of prejudice against street youth.

“If I hadn’t persevered, we wouldn’t have the same media impact today. People better understand the situation of young people in difficulty. “

Ali Nestor Charles made a successful return on September 5, 2009, to the Claude Robillard Center, when he captured the Quebec middleweight title with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Longueuil's Patrick Tessier.

Photo QMI Agency

Ali Nestor Charles made a successful return on September 5, 2009, to the Claude Robillard Center, when he captured the Quebec middleweight title with an eight-round unanimous decision victory over Longueuil’s Patrick Tessier.

Achievement of happiness

Each person has their recipe for happiness. Nestor’s doesn’t have a lot of ingredients.

“My greatest achievement is being able to come here [au centre d’Ali et les Prince.sse.s de la rue] every day and to be able to see the development of young people and give them the possibility of having a better future. “

Nestor’s organization welcomes around 300 young people a year. The former boxer does not know his success rate. His pay, however, is not just monetary.

“Not long ago, there was a young man who came back 15 years after his visit to us,” he explains. At first, I didn’t recognize him. He now has four children and he does a job he loves.

“It gave me the confirmation that I am not doing all of this for nothing. He told me that his time with us was a defining moment in his life. It does not have a price. “

This type of testimony helps soften stories that go wrong.

“I know young people who have died by suicide. Each time, it stabbed me. When these sad events happened, I questioned myself about what I was doing and about my mission with young people. “

Ali Nestor's fight against Victor Daychief (2008)

Photo Le Journal de Montreal

Ali Nestor’s fight against Victor Daychief (2008)

Same dynamic

Are the youth of today different from those they saw at the turn of the 2000s?

“It’s the same dynamic. Drugs and guns are much more accessible. You can get them around the corner quite easily.

“I have a pretty good relationship with my kids to know certain things and I will walk around certain circles. We are there to provide support and not to piss off anyone. “

In his book, we discover that Nestor did not open up easily with the workers in the youth centers he attended during the turbulent periods of his life. He was an oyster until the day he met Michel Jetté who subsequently became his mentor in his mission with young people.

“The bond of trust is sometimes difficult to find. With Michel, I didn’t feel any insistence or authority on his part. This is a method that I have kept. Young people need to feel that they have an ear that can listen to them without judging them. “

Different flame

Nestor is no different from other boxers or fighters. The flame for battle is still very much within him.

“You can’t make it disappear,” he stresses. However, we can take it elsewhere. My mission with Ali and the prince.sse.s allowed me to make a smooth transition between the end of my career and my future as a citizen.

“Now, my fight, I do it with young people on a daily basis. I am just a tool for them. When they do, it’s because they used the right tools to do it. “

With his organization, Ali Nestor has been able to make a difference in society for almost 20 years. We can think that it will be the same with his book.

Some passages from the book

About his friendship with Dan Bigras

“Meeting Dan was like getting to know myself. Our first contact was a look, a deep observation, and the second was in my ring in combat. “

On racism in Quebec

“Discrimination is certainly less visible, but it is still so present, and I think that is what makes it dangerous. “

On his journey

“There is no question of getting lost in my wounds and living in regret. In life, just because you come a long way doesn’t mean you can’t go far. “

On the importance of her mother in her life

“My mom is my spark plug. His words make me aware of the pain of living that I feel, an evil that makes me run after my death. “

“Racism is unconscious”

“With regard to systemic discrimination, in my experience, Quebec is very far from having evolved. “

It is with these words that Ali Nestor concludes one of the chapters of his book on the subject. He does not hesitate to speak candidly about the systemic racism in our society.

After the events of the last few months, notably with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, he called his editor back to make some important changes.

“They had been written for a long time and I had walked on eggshells during my writing,” says Ali Nestor. After some incidents that happened, I contacted my editor to ask if I could write passages with my real view of the situation.

“She gave me her approval and I was able to readjust a few passages. “

He tells of several humiliating and violent situations of which he was the victim during his childhood and adolescence. The chapter “racial profiling” could open the eyes of many people on this subject.

A place for Indigenous people

When you read Nestor’s book, you might think he is a diviner. He devoted an entire chapter to the racism that Aboriginal people have suffered for decades.

The veteran hit the nail on the head not knowing that Joyce Echaquan’s passing would come shortly before his book’s release.

“People will think I’m referring to this story as I write this part several months ago. Between 2003 and 2020, there was an awareness that took place.

“On the other hand, at the state level, there hasn’t been a lot of change. People may have evolved, but as long as the structure remains the same, there will always be this form of racism that will exist. “



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Leeds star Kalvin Phillips set to spark £50m transfer battle next summer


Kalvin Phillips is set to spark a £50million transfer scramble next summer – with Tottenham and Liverpool both closely watching the Leeds United midfielder.

Phillips has made a splash in the Premier League and with England in the opening weeks of the new season and is a wanted man.

The 24-year-old star is already stirring interest at Anfield and White Hart Lane with Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho both impressed by the Leeds star who has seen his stock rise dramatically in just a few weeks.

That new profile has been welcomed by Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa who watched Phillips perform for England on TV.

But it has given the Yorkshire giants a financial headache that top six Premier League clubs are prepared to exploit.

Phillips has made 185 appearances for the Whites

Leeds-born Phillips signed a new five-year contract a year ago tying himself to the club until 2024 before Bielsa’s squad had even secured theor ticket back to the big time.

It’s believed the star agreed a £30,000-a-week wage package – but both Spurs and Liverpool would more than double that if they can persuade Leeds to sell their midfield anchorman next summer.

Mourinho is known to have been impressed by the Leeds enforcer as he looks to reshape his Spurs side for the future.

Holding midfielder Moussa Sissoko will be 32 before the start of next season while there’s an on-going conversation whether Eric Dier’s long term future at the club is as a centre-back rather than a defensive midfielder.

Liverpool have a doubt over the long-term future of Dutch midfielder Gini Wijnaldum who is into the last year of his contract at Anfield.

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The experienced Holland international is wanted by Barcelona and is more than open to moving to the Nou Camp to team-up with former Dutch national boss Ronald Koeman who is now in charge of the Spanish super-power.

That would leave Klopp short of a driving force in midfield to share the load with Jordan Henderson, Thiago and Naby Keita – with Phillips being watched by Liverpool’s scouting team.

Bielsa’s high-energy pressing style is in line with the way both Tottenham and Liverpool like to play with Phillips at the hub of he way Leeds operate their system.

But prising Phillips away from his boyhood club will be a difficult task – even for the £50 million Leeds now rate the midfielder.

Aston Villa failed with a £25 million bid for the star last year and didn’t get past first base in conversations with the Leeds hierarchy who weren’t interested in selling.

Phillips made his England debut last month

It proved a smart move by United who finally won promotion back to the Premier League with Phillips an integral part of their success.

And Bielsa is delighted at the way Phillips is performing on the international stage – with Leeds set to reap the benefits.

“It is very positive as he is competing at international level and he is also disputing for a place with the best players in England.

“I think that Phillips is a versatile player that can play in different styles.

“In the national team he plays in the centre of the pitch and in our team he plays in the same position. And the things he picks up playing for England will surely make him better.”

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