Entertainment UK

All The Masked Singer clues and theories as fans rush to rumble celeb identities

The Masked Singer kicked off in gloriously surreal style on Saturday night with six celebrities taking to the stage to show off their vocals while concealed behind an array of dazzling costumes.

Pop singer Sophie Ellis-Bexter was the shock first elimination of the series after failing to impress the studio audience and panel as she performed under the guise of Alien.

Judges Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross, Rita Ora and newcomer Mo Gilligan all failed to correctly guess that Sophie was behind the mask.

While the foursome struggled to agree on a number of the characters’ true identities, viewers at home flocked to social media to publish their predictions.

We take a look at some of the best guesswork and the all important clues as The Masked Singer Series 2 gets underway….


As Robin walked out onto the stage for the first time, Mo couldn’t help but comment on his “swag”.

The first clue package hinted that Robin could be a performer, with posters of the character on stage with a microphone in hand accompanied by a voiceover that said: “Ladies and gentleman, please put your hands together and make some noise for Robin”.

Another clue was “I’m fast, light on my feet and I’m ready to go the distance”, which prompted Davina to guess he could be an athlete, while Jonathan felt they were boxing terms.

“I’m trained and now I’m fighting fit for The Masked Singer,” Robin added while curling his bicep.

A sign for Albert Square was also shown, perhaps hinting at a connection to soap EastEnders.

After his performance, Robin revealed another clue, saying: “I may be a Robin, but I’ve been known to fly without wings”, perhaps a reference to Westlife song Flying Without Wings.

Could the confident Robin be seasoned pop star Bruno Mars?

After his first performance, Mo guessed it was Bruno Mars behind the mask. Davina thought boxer Barry McGuigan, but changed her mind as soon as he started singing to Amir Khan.

Rita guessed singer Yung Filly and later theorised it could be Dean Gaffney. Jonathan guessed it could be Joe Wicks, Joe Swash, Joe Pasquale and even Jo Brand, before changing his mind to Noel Edmonds.

Fans think Robin could be JLS star Aston Merrygold, fellow X Factor star Olly Murs or Pop Idol alum Gareth Gates.

There are also theories about EastEnders stars Jake Wood and Sid Owen and football pundit Chris Kamara.


The Swan’s clues left viewers divided

Before her first performance, Swan said: “Swans might be known for being beautiful birds, but when I think of swans I think of their loyalty, their strength and independence.”

Jonathan felt the word “independence” hinted towards her being American. Swan added that she’s a “loyal person” before looking through a magnifying glass.

She walked through a ballroom, with the panel thinking that could be a nod to Strictly Come Dancing.

She said there was also something “royal” about swans and that they always seem to be in a “calm state”. She said that becoming the swan felt like “coming full circle from where it all began”.

After she sang, Swan told the panel: “My career has been very honoured.”

Is Michelle Visage behind the Swan?


After her first song, Jonathan felt the references to America pointed to Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle or that the “calm” person could be a double bluff from Gordon Ramsay. He later guessed Dame Darcey Bussell

Rita guessed former Strictly star Michelle Visage while Davina thought Swan could be Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. Mo guessed American comedian Ruby Wax and fellow Pussycat Dolls star Ashley Roberts.

Fans at home think Swan could be singer Shania Twain or Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle.

Other guesses so far include Love Island’s Zara McDermott and former Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan.


Sausage’s true identity had the judges stumped on The Masked Singer this evening

The Sausage had viewers stumped right from the very start after they initially guessed the celeb was a man only to do a complete U-turn when the character started speaking.

Described as a ‘tomboy and a bit of a silly sausage’, the concealed star was filmed larking around in the entertainment capital of the North Blackpool, for their VT – where they were positioned just outside the famous tower.

The banger then headed over to ‘Billie’s burgers’ for a snack. However, eagle-eyed viewers noted that one of the items on the menu suspiciously read ‘Red Herring’ which led them down a different path.

Could Stacey be the silky voiced ‘tomboy’ behind the Sausage?

Theories: After noting the name of the fast-food stall and the ‘tomboy’ description, many people took to Twitter to declare it could only be Billie Piper.

However, after the sausage showcased her soaring vocals, suggestions that it was in fact Stacey Solomon – who has previous experience having been a contestant on the X Factor.

While others suspected it was TV and theatre star Sheridan Smith after listening carefully to her ‘breathy tones.’


The Badger strutted on to the Masked Singer stage like a seasoned performer radiating rock star swagger from behind his whiskers.

Giving away the first clue, the woodland creature was teased as: “Stepping out of the set but will this badger stand out from the crowd?”

More clues then continued to suggest the mysterious Badger has enjoyed a long career in the spotlight that has gone unnoticed.

Fans thought Mick Hucknall could be masquerading as Badger


Davina McCall thought Hollywoood star Andy Serkis was behind the cuddly character but viewers at home guessed it could be Queen drummer Roger Taylor.

Others suggested the black and white creature was professional singer Mick Hucknall or Mike Skinner trying to confuse the public with misleading hints.

Many fans joked that they had developed a crush on the cool and confident singer – but who is behind the mask?


Who is behind the cuddly dragon disguise?

Before their first performance, Dragon wandered around a castle and their first words appeared to give away an American accent.

“The thing about dragons is they’re all fire and strength on the outside but underneath they just want to be loved,” the character said.

Dragon walked into a doll’s house, with the wall falling down to reveal piles of money hidden inside, which Mo felt could be a reference to Dragon’s Den.

“Sorry, it’s like I’ve got two left feet,” the Dragon said.

He added: “I’ll try to conduct myself better during this contest, but I can’t make no promises. Deal?”

When he said he mustn’t “drag on” before cheekily laughing, the panel felt that could be a reference to him being a drag queen. Dragon’s rainbow tummy also prompted the panel to think a LGBT person could be inside.

After the first performance, Dragon said: “I might be cute but sometimes I have a fiery temper.”

Could Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother star Courtney Act be the fiery dragon?


After the performance Rita said she didn’t care who was inside the costume because he was “so cute” she was “in love” with him either way. She guessed it was Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Jonathan guessed Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud while Mo thought Dragon could be Dion Dublin from Homes Under The Hammer.

And Davina said she wasn’t sure if Dragon was a man or a woman. She guessed it could be presenter Sandi Toksvig.

Fans think Dragon is Drag Race star Alyssa Edwards or former Strictly star Susan Calman. Other guesses included rapper Queen Latifah, H from Steps, and comedian Sue Perkins. While others predicted Drag Race’s Courtney Act and US TV host Ellen DeGeneres.


We didn’t have to wait long to find out who was behind the Alien

Sophie Ellis-Bextor was the first celeb to leave the show

Sophie Ellis-Bextor became the first celebrity to be ‘outed’ this year after losing the first vote.

Many fans said they worked out the pop star was the Alien within seconds of her singing.

Speaking after the show, Sophie said: “Yes so as most of you guessed. It was me & she in #themaskedsinger. Even my one year old pointed at the telly and shouted ‘mummy!’ when I started singing in the alien suit!

“Anyhoo a fun and trippy way to spend a few days and enjoy the rest of the show- no idea who anyone is!” she teased.

The Masked Singer continues Saturday night at 7pm on ITV

Headline USA

The true origin of the triangle with an eye inside that appears on dollar bills (and the theories it fuels) | The State

Conspiracy theories thrive on cryptic symbols and signs that appear to be covert.

And the Eye of providence, also called “the all-seeing eye“It is part of these graphics that unleash multiple interpretations.

It is an eyeball within a triangle that is associated with Freemasonry, but also linked to apocryphal groups such as the Illuminati, a secret elite society that at different times sought to control global affairs.

The Eye of Providence is something of a magnet for conspiracy theorists because it seems to be hidden and in plain sight at the same time.

Not only does it appear in countless Masonic churches and buildings around the world, it is also on the US one dollar bill and on the reverse of the Great Seal of the USA.

It can be said that this is a strange and striking inclusion for a state symbol.

The disembodied eye strongly conveys the feeling of some kind of meddlesome authoritarian “big brother.”

And, in combination with the pyramid, it is an emblem that may suggest a ancient cult and esoteric.

So what are the origins of the Eye of Providence, why does it generate such fascination, and why is it frequently associated with the Freemasons and the Illuminati?


It was originally a Christian symbol, since the earliest known examples of its use can be found in Renaissance religious art to represent God.

An early example is the painting “Supper at Emmaus”, painted by the Renaissance Portormo in 1525, although the eye symbol was added later, perhaps in the 17th century.

Another key to the icon is found in a book of emblems called “Iconology”, first published in 1593.

In later editions, the Eye of Providence was included as a attribute of personification of “Divine Providence”, that is, the benevolence of God. As the name of the symbol and its early use suggest, it was invented as a sign of God’s compassionate vigilance over humanity.

“Dinner at Emmaus”, painted by the Renaissance Portormo in 1525. Uffizi Gallery

No one is sure who originally invented it, but its creator is considered to have started from a previously existing set of religious motifs.

The triangle was long a symbol of the Holy Trinity Christian of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In centuries prior to the Middle Ages God was sometimes depicted with a triangular halo.

The rays of light that are often shown emanating from the symbol are also a pre-existing sign of God’s radiance in Christian iconography.

The eye

However, what are the origins of that strange disembodied eye?

God had been represented in numerous cryptic ways before. For example, as with a hand emerging from a cloud, but not like an eye.

An eyeball depicted in isolation can be said to have its own inherent psychological impact, as a sign of authority and implying a sense of vigilance.

This effect is even found in nature, as some animals have developed “eye spots” on their skin to scare off predators.

The ocular eye on the pyramid is on the reverse of the US one dollar bill Getty Images

But there is a deeper history of the eye as a symbol to take into account, and in particular one that takes us back to the earliest known religions.

In the third millennium BC, the Sumerians, considered the first civilization in the world, made certain sculptures of their sanctities enlarging abnormally his eyes to accentuate the sense of vigilance.

They even held ceremonies in which artists “brought life” to their sculptures by opening their eyes.

But it was the ancient Egyptians who created the symbol of the detached eye.

For example, they painted a pair of eyes on a coffin so that the dead could see into the afterlife.

And one of the most famous Egyptian symbols is the Eye of horus.

It is a hybrid between a human eye and a hawk eye, and includes the dark markings on the eyebrows and cheeks of the bird.

According to ancient Egyptian mythology, the god king Horus (often depicted as a falcon or hawk-headed) had his eyes cut out in battle with his uncle Set.

With Thoth’s help, he then healed his eyes. The Eye of Horus was therefore a protective symbol, often used as an amulet, a piece small enough for a person to carry in their pocket for protection.

This and other Egyptian hieroglyphs of human eyes influenced European iconography during the Renaissance.

Sumerian sculpture
The Sumerians made certain sculptures of their sanctities by abnormally enlarging their eyes. Metropolitan Art Museum

At that time, thinkers and artists were fascinated with Egyptian writing.

The only problem was that they didn’t fully understand it, and translation attempts were usually riddled with inaccuracies.

One of the most famous samples appeared in a 1499 romance titled “Poliphilo’s Dream”, where the translation of an Egyptian one-eyed symbol was “God.”

Lost in translation

Back then there was a fundamental misunderstanding about the meaning of hieroglyphs.

Today we know that they are a written language of mainly phonetic signs, but in the 15th and 16th centuries it was believed that they had a much more mystical background.

Symbols in hieroglyphic writing – animals, birds, and abstract shapes – were thought to be deliberately mysterious, each creating meaning through inspiration from the viewer rather than being part of a linguistic system.

They were, it was believed, open puzzles that contained multiple meanings.

This belief had a great effect on European art.

When dictionaries of symbols appeared, such as the 1531 “Emblemata” by Andrea Alciati and later “Iconologia” by Cesare Ripa, the emphasis was on cryptic visual symbols, often highly complex, in which the viewer participates as a participant in the decipherment and construction of meanings from them.

Eye inside a triangle
Throughout history, different images of an eye were made within a triangle. Getty Images

As a result, an item like the Eye of Providence had a deliberately esoteric look, almost as if it were specifically constructed. to be reinterpreted, and maybe even misunderstood.

Modern times

All of this materialized at the end of the 18th century.

Three key examples from this period demonstrate the diversity present in the symbolism of the Eye of Providence.

In post-revolutionary France of 1789, in Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, you can see the Eye of Providence at the top.

In this case, it was used as a paternal symbol that watches over the new nation that proclaims equality.

In London, in 1794, Jeremy Bentham commissioned the architect Willey Reveley to design a logo for his “Panopticon“, A new model of prison designed to allow continuous surveillance of each cell.

The resulting design prominently featured the Eye of Providence, a symbol representing the unblinking gaze of judicial righteousness, surrounded by the words “Mercy”, “Justice” and “Surveillance“.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
The image also appears in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. Getty Images

And going back to the Great Seal of the United States (1782), Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams had proposed ideas for the design, but it was Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress, who devised the pyramid and the Eye of Providence, among others. Stamp Elements, in collaboration with a young lawyer and artist named William Barton.

The unfinished pyramid was meant to symbolize “strength and duration,” with 13 levels to represent the original 13 states of the United States.

The Eye of Providence, as in earlier examples from the same period, was a conventional symbol of God’s comprehensive supervision over this fledgling nation.

In none of the three cases was Freemasonry involved in the choice of the symbol.

And what about the Illuminati?

Known details of the early years of the original group, said to have been founded in Bavaria in 1776 and dissolved in 1787, are scarce.

Inconveniently, we also don’t know how important visual symbols were to that command.

It seems that the Illuminati were inspired by the ideas behind Freemasonry, which had sporadically used the Eye of Providence as Supreme Architect symbol (God), following the example of many other churches at that time.

However, the symbol was not widely used by Freemasons until at least the late 18th century, and not before Bentham, Le Barbier, and Thomson adopted it for their purposes.

The reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.
The reverse of the Great Seal of the United States. Getty Images

Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, the Eye of Providence on the dollar bill tells us much more about the aesthetics of the late 18th century than on the authority of the secret elites.

In our time, Madonna, Jay-Z, and Kanye West have been accused of using Illuminati iconography, including the Eye of Providence.

But more than any link to the Illuminati, what each musical artist has in common is their affinity for the iconic and for provocation, both in imagery and melody.

Repeated use of the Eye of Providence, and we can apply this to Madonna and Jay-Z as well as Bentham, Le Barbier, Thomson, Barton, the Freemasons, Renaissance artists, or almost any other individual or group, is proof that not a symbol of a concerted conspiracy.

But it is a sign of his enduring strength as an icon.

*This article is an adaptation and you can see its original version in English here.

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Georgia Headline USA Politics

Chris Christie calls Donald Trump’s legal theories about electoral fraud an ‘absurdity’

Trump ally Chris Christie slams the president for STILL refusing to concede and calls his electoral fraud claims an ‘absurdity’

  • The former New Jersey governor helped Trump with his election campaign
  • He has grown increasingly frustrated with the president’s refusal to concede
  • Christie was part of a round table discussion on ABC on Sunday morning
  • He said it was dispiriting how the president was attacking decent governors 

Chris Christie on Sunday dragged continued efforts from Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the election results, claiming their legal theories are an ‘absurdity.’

‘The legal theory put forward by his legal team and by the president is an absurdity,’ Christie told ABC’s ‘This Week’ on Sunday morning.

The Republican former governor of New Jersey was specifically referencing the recent case brought to the Supreme Court by Texas, attempting to police how other states run their election in an effort to overturn Joe Biden’s victory.

Seven of the nine justices refused on Friday to hear the case.

Chris Christie appeared on ABC’s This Week on Sunday to discuss the election results

Donald Trump spoke to Fox on Saturday and said he believes the election is not over

Donald Trump spoke to Fox on Saturday and said he believes the election is not over

‘The reason why the Supreme Court didn’t take it is because it’s an absurd idea to think that any state or any number of states, no matter how good they are, can challenge another state’s right to run the election as they see fit,’ Christie said.

He added: ‘And, also, there’s no evidence.’

Although Christie was working with Trump earlier this year as he prepared for debates with Biden before, he has now become critical of the way the president is handling the aftermath of the election.

During his roundtable discussion on ABC News, Christie also denounced Trump’s recent attacks on Republican governors he claims are ‘decent people’ – mainly those in swing states that went blue.

‘What’s gotten even worse,’ Christie said, ‘is the attacks by the president on good, hardworking, decent Republican governors.

‘He’s calling them corrupt, and also telling people things that aren’t true,’ said Christie, who ran against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary election.

Trump on Sunday played golf at his Sterling, Virginia course and greeted supporters

Trump on Sunday played golf at his Sterling, Virginia course and greeted supporters

Trump has come down hard against two Republican governors, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Brian Kemp of Georgia, for not doing enough to overturn the election results in their respective states, which both went blue – securing Biden’s victory.

Last month, Trump tweeted that Kemp is ‘hapless’ and later said in a Fox News interview: ‘The governor’s done nothing. He’s done absolutely nothing. I’m ashamed that I endorsed him.’

On Saturday, the president tweeted that he didn’t know whether Ducey or Kemp was worse in a series of tweets about the two GOP state leaders.

‘Who is a worse governor, @BrianKempGA of Georgia or @dougducey of Arizona???’ he said.

Coronavirus COVID-19 The Buzz

Groups associated with al-Qaeda, ISIS spread conspiracy theories about Covid: UN report

United Nations, November 19 

Groups associated with al-Qaeda and ISIS are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to spread conspiracy theories that the virus is “punishing the unbelievers”, is “God’s wrath upon the West” and incites terrorists to use it as a form of biological weapon, according to a UN report.

The report titled ‘Stop the virus of disinformation: the malicious use of social media by a terrorist, violent extremist and criminal groups during the COVID-19 pandemic’ was released by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) on Wednesday.

It said that criminals and violent extremists are exploiting the pandemic to build their support networks, undermine trust in government and even weaponise the virus. The report added that terrorist, violent extremist and organised criminal groups have maliciously used social media to disseminate conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19.

“Groups associated with ISIL and Al-Qaeda have also spread conspiracy theories that assert that the virus is a ‘soldier of Allah’ that is punishing the unbelievers and the enemies that have damaged Muslims over the last years. For example, ISIL and Al-Qaeda claimed that the virus is God’s wrath upon the West,” the report said.

Similarly, Al-Shabaab declared that the coronavirus disease is spread by the “crusader forces who have invaded the country and the disbelieving countries that support them”, the report said.

The Global Fatwa Index has identified COVID-19 related messages from groups associated with ISIS and al-Qaeda, including non-official fatwas that called on ISIS members who have contracted COVID-19 to act as “biological bombs” by “deliberately spreading the disease among the organisation’s enemies,” it said.

UNICRI Director Antonia Marie De Meo wrote in the introduction to the report that it is “alarming that some terrorist and violent extremist groups have attempted to misuse social media to incite potential terrorists to intentionally spread COVID-19 and to use it as an improvised form of a biological weapon.” “There are cases in which right-wing extremist groups… explicitly asked their followers to spread the virus by coughing on their local minority or by attending to specific places where religious or racial minorities gather. Other groups…advocate to spread the coronavirus disease in countries with large populations or high levels of pollution,” the report said.

It also notes the case of “inspired terrorism” was that of Timothy Wilson, who plotted to detonate a bomb in a hospital caring for coronavirus patients in Kansas City. He died during a firefight with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in March.

According to the report, the researchers examined three groups of non-State actors: right-wing extremists; groups associated with the ISIS or Da’esh terror group and al-Qaeda; and organised crime groups.

The researchers said that the main conclusions that they have drawn from their study were that violent non-state actors, including terrorist, violent extremist and organised criminal groups, have been maliciously using social media during COVID-19.

Right-wing extremist groups and the groups associated with ISIS and al-Qaeda have tried to use the pandemic to reinforce their narratives (either racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and anti-immigrant or against democracy and modernisation).

Organised criminal groups have been trying to take advantage of the pandemic mainly to portray a positive image of their organisations to expand their activities and penetrate the legal economy, the report said.

The conspiracy theories usually attribute the origin of the virus to governments, religious or ethnic groups, secret networks, companies or businessmen who, according to these interpretations, are trying to push through secret agendas such as globalist depopulation, the control of the world or the generation of financial incomes through the sale of already produced vaccines and drug treatments, it said.

Right-wing extremist groups have also circulated conspiracy theories that blame immigrants and foreigners as the ones responsible for spreading the virus.

The New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA) shared a campaign where they placed stickers with slogans such as “Stop coronavirus – deport all illegal aliens”, “migrants accepted no – we are infected”, “open borders is the virus”, “multicultural is the virus”, “open borders spread disease” around the city, the report said.

Conspiracy theories such as Accelerationism, QAnon, and Boogaloo have also been used to misrepresent the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

The UNICRI researchers identified several instruments to debunk disinformation and misinformation, including data science tools, fact-checking apps and artificial intelligence but warned that technology countermeasures alone cannot stop the abuse of social media. PTI 

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Entertainment UK

Robert Maxwell’s rise to power and death that spawned wild conspiracy theories

When the body of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean in 1991, the world was left stunned.

At the age of 68, the media mogul had boasted a seemingly successful empire when he fell from the £15m yacht that he had named after his daughter, Ghislaine.

While his untimely death triggered speculation of suicide and foul play, Robert’s once booming publishing empire also began to crumble as layers of fraud began to emerge.

Robert’s daughter now awaits trial for her links to Jeffrey Epstein, but her powerful father also boasted his own dramatic story of wealth and scandal.

Born to humble beginnings in Czechoslovakia, the Jewish youngster escaper persecution by fleeing to France during the Second World War.

Having lost many of his family in the Holocaust, Robert joined the Czechoslovak army and was commended for his efforts by the British Army.

After the war was over, Robert stepped into the world of publishing and grew Pergamon Press into a booming business before casting his focus onto politics.

Robert Maxwell (pictured) died in 1991

He remained a Labour MP for six years – and made many high-ranking political connections – before falling back into business and acquiring several major publishing houses, as well as the Mirror Group Newspapers.

With business apparently thriving, Robert lived a life of extravagance and often travelled by helicopter and enjoyed throwing lavish parties.

However, others noted that he was also prone to “bullying and intimidation” in his business partnerships and social circles.

“You have to think of him as a multipersonality. He was the City magnate, the bully, the aspirant politician, the Jewish daddy,” Mirror’s Political Editor Julia Langdon explained, according to The Guardian.

Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell (pictured) died after falling from his yacht

Ghislaine Maxwell (left) with her dad Robert Maxwell (centre) and mother Elizabeth Maxwell (right)

Other controversies quickly emerged around the larger than life figure, including suggestions that he was an informant for Israeli intelligence service as well as implications that he had several ties to eastern Europe and political interests in Communist countries.

And, prior to his death, Israeli born Mossad officer Ari Ben-Menashe accused Maxwell of being an agent and suggested that he could go public with vital information.

On November 5, 1991, Maxwell was last seen in the early hours walking on his yacht.

He had just a huge row with his son over a major upcoming meeting with the Bank of England.

Robert Maxwell pictured with the first edition of the London Daily News

Robert’s sons Ian (left) and Kevin Maxwell (right) were cleared of all charges linked to the defrauding the Maxwell pension funds

Hours later, his naked body was pulled from the ocean close to Spain’s Canary Islands.

While pathologists were unable to determine his cause of death, some suggested that the 22-stone man had tripped while urinating overboard – which he often did naked.

In the days after his death, it emerged that Robert had looted over £440million from the Mirror Group pension fund in a bid to keep his businesses afloat.

The conspiracy theories around the nature of Maxwell’s death continued to flood in, however his family maintained that Robert did not take his own life.

Years later, his sons Kevin and Ian Maxwell told The Sunday Times, they do not believe their dad took his own life, nor was he murdered.

Robert Maxwell (pictured) died at the age of 68

Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured) is currently awaiting trial

“If I say anything about it, I think it is highly unlikely that he would have taken his own life, it wasn’t in his makeup or his mentality,” Kevin told the publication.

“I don’t think any murder conspiracy stands up, so for me, it is an unexplained accident and I’m content to live with that.”

The fallout from Robert Maxwell’s death would see his two sons acquitted of all charges in the £460 million fraud on Mirror Group’s pension fund.

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Headline USA Politics

Trump Intensifies Fraud Theories and Twitter Calls His Messages Misleading | The NY Journal

President Trump insists on his conspiracy theories.

MANDEL NGAN / AFP / Getty Images

President Donald trump and his campaign began Tuesday night a tough mail campaign among his followers, claiming that the Democrats want to “steal” the election, as he “had predicted.”

The Republican has maintained the same trend on Twitter, especially after the conservative commentator Matt mackowiak report that the former vice president Joe biden received more than 128,000 votes in Michigan.

Then the columnist Matt walsh He took up the information and said that that was enough to go to court, something that President Trump reiterated with the question: “What is this about?”

Twitter kept access to the messages, but flagged them as “misleading” information.

President Trump’s campaign began a fundraising plan last night for possible court battles, something that the president’s team weighed in a phone call with the media on Wednesday.

“Democrats will try to steal this election!”says one of the president’s campaign emails. “Just as I predicted from the start, mail-in ballots are leading to chaos like I’ve never seen before, plain and simple! The Radical Left will do everything necessary to try to win victory from you. “

He adds that he needs the help with donations that can go up to $ 5 or more.

“Contribute $ 5 right now to uphold the integrity of our choice”he adds.

The electoral fraud theories, which the president has launched without any proof, come as a bloody vote-counting battle is fought in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. In the first two states, Democrat Biden leads. There is also a closed competition in Nevada.

At the moment, none of the candidates has the 270 Electoral College points that are needed to be considered a winner. Biden adds 227 and Trump 213.


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Entertainment USA

Taylor Swift Says ‘Red’ Is Her ‘Only True Breakup Album’ & Fans Reignite Jake Gyllenhaal Theories

Out of her eight studio albums, Taylor Swift picked one that was ‘specifically’ about ‘heartbreak.’ It just so happened to be released a year after her breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal.

Taylor Swift has been singing about love since 2006, but the 30-year-old pop star chose only one album as her “breakup” record: Red. Much to Swifties’ interest, this album came out a year after her breakup from Donnie Darko star Jake Gyllenhaal, 39! “I look back on this [Red] as my true breakup album, every other album has flickers of different things,” Taylor said in an audio snippet from her upcoming interview in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums List podcast with Amazon Music.

On the subject of Red, Taylor added, “But this was an album that I wrote specifically about pure, absolute, to the core, heartbreak.” Of course, this led to a resurgence of age-old theories that Taylor’s ex, Jake, was supposedly the muse behind this lyrical “heartbreak.”

“Jake Gyllenhaal did this,” one Swiftie tweeted in response to the podcast teaser, while another fan tweeted, “i’d like to thank jake gyllenhaal for breaking taylor swift’s heart because red really is her best album.” Swifties have long speculated that Taylor’s relationship with Jake, which lasted for roughly three months in the fall of 2010 up until the New Year, inspired her 2012 pop album. Specifically, it’s widely believed that the songs “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” and “The Moment I Knew” off Red were about Jake!

There’s another song that many fans have insisted is about the Brokeback Mountain star: “All Too Well,” which is actually found on the deluxe album version of Red. In fact, fans believed that Jake accidentally referred to this bittersweet track this past September! The actor shared a childhood yearbook photo of himself wearing glasses, which just so happened to line up with Taylor’s lyrics in “All Too Well”: “Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red / You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed.”

Taylor Swift (left) was linked to Jake Gyllenhaal (right) for three months in late 2010. (Photo Credit: AP)

It has been nine years since they broke up, and fans are still just as fascinated with Taylor and Jake’s extremely short-lived romance. These days, Taylor is in a relationship with Boy, Erased star Joe Alwyn, 29, while Jake is dating French model Jeanne Cadieu, 24.

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California Entertainment USA Georgia Headline USA Politics

YouTube BANS QAnon videos in crackdown on conspiracy theories

YouTube BANS QAnon videos in crackdown on ‘conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence’

  • YouTube on Thursday said it had expanded its hate and harassment policies
  • Conspiracy theories targeting individuals or groups are now banned
  • Google subsidiary said QAnon and Pizzagate fall under the new policies
  • YouTube vowed to ‘ramp up’ its crackdown in the coming weeks
  • Last week, Facebook banned QAnon and accounts that promote it 

YouTube has banned videos promoting QAnon, cracking down on videos that target an individual or group with ‘conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence.’

The online video service, owned by Google parent Alphabet, said on Thursday that it would begin enforcing expanded hate and harassment policies immediately and would ‘ramp up’ in the weeks to come.

QAnon is a sprawling conspiracy theory that preposterously claims President Donald Trump is secretly battling a cabal of child-sex predators that includes prominent Democrats, Hollywood elites and ‘deep state’ allies. 

The conspiracy theory also borrows from the bogus Pizzagate theory, which held that a pedophile ring was being run out of the basement of a pizza restaurant in Washington DC. 

A man holds a Q sign and waits in line with others to enter a campaign rally with President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in August. YouTube has now banned QAnon

YouTube said in a statement that it would now ‘prohibit content that targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence.’ 

‘One example would be content that threatens or harasses someone by suggesting they are complicit in one of these harmful conspiracies, such as QAnon or Pizzagate,’ the company added. 

‘As always, context matters, so news coverage on these issues or content discussing them without targeting individuals or protected groups may stay up,’ YouTube said.

QAnon was first spawned in 2017 by anonymous posts on the discussion board 4Chan, with the poster claiming to be someone who held Q clearance, the highest level of classified access in the Department of Energy, including nuclear secrets.

The conspiracy theory has exploded in popularity in right-wing circles, painting Trump as a heroic figure opposing the dark forces of evil arrayed against him.

QAnon supporters often use the slogan WWG1WGA, which stands for ‘Where We Go One, We Go All,’ and the movement has expanded its appeal by purporting to be based on anonymous ‘drops’ of secret information that proponents can scrutinize and analyze for themselves.

QAnon supporters are seen in a file photo. QAnon was first spawned in 2017 by anonymous posts on the discussion board 4Chan

QAnon supporters are seen in a file photo. QAnon was first spawned in 2017 by anonymous posts on the discussion board 4Chan

The fringe online beliefs have spilled over into troubling acts in the real-world, and the FBI has classified QAnon as a potential source of domestic terrorism.

On June 15, 2018, Matthew Phillip Wright of Henderson, Nevada, was arrested on terrorism charges for blocking the Hoover Dam in an armored truck, claiming he was on a mission for QAnon. 

In December 2018, a California man was arrested with bomb-making materials he intended to use to ‘blow up a satanic temple monument’ in the Springfield, Illinois Capitol rotunda to ‘make Americans aware of Pizzagate and the New World Order, who were dismantling society,’ according to a leaked FBI memo.

The QAnon theory has also entered mainstream politics. Georgia Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene has promoted the theory.

Lauren Witzke, the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate in Delaware, has promoted QAnon on Twitter and been photographed wearing a ‘Q’ shirt, although during the campaign she distanced herself from the movement. 

In Colorado, restaurant owner Lauren Boebert upset Rep. Scott Tipton in a GOP primary. Boebert has voiced support for QAnon conspiracy theories, though she’s since backtracked. 

Trump, perhaps realizing that QAnon devotees are among his most ardent supporters, has shied away from denouncing the theory. 

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Up to ONE-THIRD of people believe unproven theories that the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

Up to one-third of people believe the coronavirus was engineered in a laboratory in Wuhan, China – where the pandemic originated, a new study suggests. 

Researchers found that around 23 percent of people in the UK and the US believe the unproven conspiracy theory and labeled it as ‘reliable’ information.

In Ireland, the number jumped to 26 percent, while 33 percent in Mexico said they believe the theory as did 37 percent in Spain. 

Several scientists around the world, including Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, say there is no evidence to suggest the virus was manufactured in or accidentally escaped from a lab – a theory that President Donald Trump himself has spread. 

That notion is widely disregarded as misinformation.  

The team, from the University of Cambridge in the UK, says its findings indicate that being more inclined to believe misinformation was linked to a lower likelihood of being vaccinated, which could limit how soon the pandemic is curbed.

A new study found that between 22% and 23% in the US and the UK believe the coronavirus was made in a lab in Wuhan, China as did 26% in Ireland, 33% in Mexico and 37% in Spain. Pictured: Members of the medical team of the Second Military Medical University work at Hankou Hospital in Wuhan, January 2020

More than 20% in Mexico believe the pandemic is 'part of a plot to enforce global vaccination' in addition to 18% in the US and 13% in the UK. Pictured: Officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health speak with two men who tested positive for the coronavirus, January 2020

More than 20% in Mexico believe the pandemic is ‘part of a plot to enforce global vaccination’ in addition to 18% in the US and 13% in the UK. Pictured: Officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health speak with two men who tested positive for the coronavirus, January 2020

For the study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the team looked at large national surveys from Ireland, Mexico, Spain, the US, and the UK. 

In the surveys, participants were asked to rate the reliability of several statements, including six conspiracy theories about the virus 

The theory that was deemed the most valid in each country was the claim that the virus that cause COVID-19 was created in a laboratory in Wuhan.

Between 22 and 37 percent rated this assertion as ‘reliable’ across all five nations.

Hundreds of scientists say that the new virus has lots of features seen in other  coronaviruses as well as nature.

‘There are lots of data and lots of evidence, as well as previous examples of this coming from nature,’ wrote Dr Kristian Andersen, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, in a research letter. 

‘We have exactly zero evidence or data of this having any connection to a lab.’  

Additionally Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told National Geographic there is nothing to suggest the virus was manufactured in a laboratory. 

He added that scientific evidence is ‘very, very strongly leaning toward’ the conclusion that the virus originated in nature and was transmitted from animals to humans. 

Another theory that has gained some traction is that the pandemic is ‘part of a plot to enforce global vaccination.’

Twenty-two percent of participants in the survey from Mexico rated this statement as reliable, as did 18 percent each in Ireland, Spain and the US, and 13 percent in the UK. 

A smaller portion believes that 5G telecommunication towers spread COVID-19 with 16 percent rating this statement reliable in Mexico, 16 percent in Spain, 12 percent in Ireland, and eight percent in both the UK and US. 

The team then looking at correlations between demographic categories and the susceptibility to misinformation.

Scoring highly on numbers tests also given as part of the study was ‘significantly and consistently’ linked to low levels of believing false information across all countries.  

‘Numeracy skills are the most significant predictor of resistance to misinformation that we found,’ said lead author Dr Jon Roozenbeek, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Cambridge’s Department of Psychology.

‘We all now deal with a deluge of statistics and R number interpretations. The fostering of numerical skills for sifting through online information could well be vital for curbing the ‘infodemic’ and promoting good public health behavior.’  

Additionally, having high levels of trust in scientists was associated to being less likely to believe statements with misinformation.

The team also found that older was actually linked to lower susceptibility to COVID-19 misinformation in every country except Mexico. 

Results also showed that believing misinformation as reliable was associated with being less likely to get a coronavirus vaccine once it is available.

Every one-seventh increase in perceived reliability of false information was correlated with a 23 percent drop in the likelihood of agreeing to get vaccinated.

Similarly, every one-point increase on the scale was linked to a 28 percent decrease in the odds of recommending the jab to high-risk friends and family members.

However, with each one-seventh increase in trust in scientists was associated with a 73 percent increase in the odds of getting immunized and a 79 percent increase in in recommending the shot to others.

‘We find a clear link between believing coronavirus conspiracies and hesitancy around any future vaccine,’ said Dr Sander van der Linden, co-author and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab.

‘As well as flagging false claims, governments and technology companies should explore ways to increase digital media literacy in the population. Otherwise, developing a working vaccine might not be enough.’  

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Sports USA

Conspiracy theories cannot lessen Yankees’ pain this time

This time, there was nothing nefarious lurking around the batter’s box. Nobody will ever ask if Mike Brosseau had a buzzer attached to his chest. Nobody will ever wonder if someone slammed a garbage can in order to relay what was coming. That was last year. That was Jose Altuve, in a deafening cauldron called Minute Maid Park.

This time it was simply the 10th pitch of an epic at-bat on church-quiet neutral grounds. Aroldis Chapman wasn’t going to be beaten with his slider this time. He came with the heat. He came with the gas. He came with 100 miles per hour. Brosseau was ready for it.

And Brosseau wasn’t going to wave his teammates away after he crushed it, either, wasn’t going to beg them to not rip his jersey off. In the serenity of an empty Petco Park, he was going to let joyous Rays teammates share the moment with him any way they wanted to: hugging, back-slapping, dancing, howling.

And all the Yankees could do was stare.

What a wonderful game this was, this 2-1 Rays victory that clinched a 3-2 win in the best-of-five American League Division Series. You won’t feel that way for a while if you are a Yankees fan, nor should you. In that case this will bookend the way last year ended, and felt, a couple of home-run balls surrendered by the closer, Chapman.

Gio Urshela walks back to the dugout after making the final of Game 5.AP

“It’s awful,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, barely able to contain his distress. “The ending is cruel, it really is. I’m proud of so many people, proud to work along so many who sacrificed so much this year. We played a really good team who played a really good game tonight.”

This will be a difficult few days watching — or ignoring — the American League Championship Series, now featuring two bitter enemies. Somehow the Astros are there after a 29-31 regular season, defiant and insolent, eager to argue they haven’t been artificial champions.

And somehow the Rays are there after surviving this breathless, breathtaking, winner-take-all classic. Gerrit Cole was as magnificent as he needed to be, one run allowed across 5 ¹/₃ innings, nine strikeouts, only one hit, the fifth-inning homer to Austin Meadows that tied the game at 1-1. Aaron Judge had given the Yankees hope with a solo shot in the fourth, and it seemed for a time that might hold up.

It didn’t hold up. Meadows hit one just out of Judge’s reach in the fifth, and then Brosseau hit one just out of the reach of Brett Gardner in the eighth. Brosseau swore at game’s end he wasn’t seeking revenge for the missile Chapman had unleashed near his head back in September, and if he says it’s so, we have to believe it.

But the contrasting dugouts told you all you needed to know about how everyone else felt. Tampa Bay was jubilant, a frat house unleashed with kegs freshly tapped, a party brewing in San Diego. And the Yankees were instantly silenced, a season of such promise suddenly hooked up to life support. There would be no ninth-inning magic, no 11 o’clock lightning. Not this time. Not this year.

Winter comes early this year.

Winter arrives, and brings with it an uncertain offseason, nobody knowing when we will see baseball again in New York, what the virus has in store for the sport, what the time between now and spring training has in store for the Yankees, what they’ll look like, who’ll be back, who’ll be added.

“Not the way we drew it up,” Cole said.

Something will have to give. This was supposed to be the team to beat in the American League, after all, and they wind up finishing a step short of last year. There wasn’t enough starting pitching. And in the most critical time of the year, there wasn’t enough offense against Tyler Glasnow (working on two days’ rest) and a Tampa Bay bullpen that was close to perfect.

It was the Yankees who were supposed to romp through the American League and instead it was the Rays, winners now of 45 of the 67 games they’ve played so far this year. The rest of the baseball world may be all-in with the Rays now, hoping they’ll wipe the smirks off the Astros’ faces; Yankees fans can be forgiven if the whole ALCS suddenly feels like Iran-Iraq, best-of-seven. Nobody to root for. No season left. Winter awaiting.

“We’re gonna get there,” Boone said. “I know it. It’ll make it all the sweeter. We just have to keep grinding away at it.”

No grinding until February, if we’re all lucky. No baseball for a while. Winter awaits. Boone was right. The ending is cruel. It really is.

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