Bad DogBad Dog's Journal
From the BBC.
Reports from the US suggest Donald Trump is struggling to find A-list stars to perform at his inauguration. We asked the stars of the BBC Music Awards what it would take to get them to play.
When President Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, he was serenaded by Beyonce and Aretha Franklin.
During his stay in the White House, he's had audiences with the likes of Rihanna, James Taylor and Kendrick Lamar.
Donald Trump might not be so lucky.
According to US news website The Wrap, Trump's inaugural committee is scrambling to find stars who are willing to play at his swearing in ceremony on 20 January 2017.
"They're calling managers, agents, everyone in town to see who they can get and it's been problematic," an unnamed source told the site.
Grammy-winner John Legend, who has been a guest of the Obamas several times, says he is "not surprised at all".
"Creative people tend to reject bigotry and hate," he told the BBC.
This is a excerpt from a much longer article, how much longer before this starts happening in the West proper?
A series of assassinations has taken place in Turkey of men from the countries of the former USSR. There's evidence that some were carried out by killers from Russia, writes Murad Batal - including, in one case, names, photographs and a memory stick carelessly left behind for Turkish police to study.
Ruslan Israpilov knew the Russians might come for him.
"They've been preparing something," he said in a message left on a friend's voicemail in late April. "Those two men they came here and hid their car among the trees and did surveillance. They've been seen here."
Israpilov was a refugee from the conflict in Chechnya, one of a number who had moved to the tiny Turkish town of Ilimtepe, where perhaps they thought they could protect each other.
"I told those who claimed to have seen them, 'If you saw them and knew they were definitely Russians, why didn't you catch them?'" he said on the voicemail.
But two weeks later they caught him. At the age of 46, Ruslan Israpilov was shot in cold blood at the front door of his flat.
Before he's taken office there's a fear of censorship.
Artist Alison Jackson has said that she chose to self-publish spoof photographs of Donald Trump as part of a protest against the potentially chilling effect a litigious president could have on artistic freedom.
The celebrity lookalike specialist said she was warned by her lawyers against publishing the images, some of which feature a Trump lookalike in compromising situations, and that no book publisher was prepared to release a collection of the Trump images.
Vanity Fair and the Mail Online have published some of the images. However, no publisher has shown some of the most politically sensitive pictures she has produced, including one in which a Trump character is depicted with members of the Ku Klux Klan and another where he is shown holding a rifle.
All kinds of artistic endeavour, from the cast of the Hamilton musical to Saturday Night Live have also come under fire from Trump directly. Most recently the Saturday Night Live sketch starring Alec Baldwin which imagined the president elect constantly tweeting unknown teenagers and possible bigots while in the middle of a security briefing provoked Trump who tweeted:
"Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad"
Forced to consider the threat of legal action by her lawyers, who have never given such warnings before, Jackson said she had to fight against self-censorship. It makes you frightened, it makes you put the brakes on and that is very worrying.
She admits that she will probably think very carefully about future work. I dont want to be sued and I really dont want to be sued by the next US president.
He is a buffoon, but on this occasion he's spot on. Sort of gets in the way of vested interests though.
Boris Johnson has accused Britain's ally, Saudi Arabia, of engaging in "proxy wars" in the Middle East.
The Guardian newspaper has published footage in which the foreign secretary talks of politicians "twisting and abusing religion" for political gain.
He said Saudi Arabia and Iran were "puppeteering" because of a lack of strong leadership in the region.
The Foreign Office said Saudi Arabia was an ally and the UK supported its efforts to secure its borders.
In the footage from last week, Mr Johnson said: "There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives.
"That's one of the biggest political problems in the whole region. And the tragedy for me - and that's why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area - is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves."
The foreign secretary told the Med 2 conference in Rome there was a lack of "big characters" in the Middle East who were willing to "reach out beyond their Sunni or Shia" group and bring people together.
He went on: "That's why you've got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars."
Theresa May will say the Iran nuclear deal is vitally important in her first major intervention on the issue since the election of Donald Trump, who has said he plans to tear up the agreement secured by the Obama administration.
Mays comments make it clear to the US president-elect and the Iranian government that the UK would consider itself bound by the deal even if the US withdrew. Britain, along with the other signatories France, Germany, Russia and China, has resumed trade relations with Iran since sanctions were lifted.
A robin has "delighted" a cathedral's congregation by taking up residence in its Christmas tree.
Liverpool Cathedral staff noticed the bird shortly after the tree was installed. It is believed to have got into the branches while the tree was stored outside the building.
A spokesman said the bird was "nesting or at least sleeping in the tree" and had taken a few people "by surprise".
He added that the robin had become "a welcome addition to services".
Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia's authoritarian president of 22 years, has suffered a surprise defeat in presidential elections.
He will be replaced by a property developer, Adama Barrow, who won more than 45% of the vote.
Mr Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, has not yet spoken since the results were announced.
Electoral commission chief Alieu Momar Njie Njie has appealed for calm as the country entered uncharted waters.
The West African state has not had a smooth transfer of power since independence from Britain in 1965.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-38183906
From the BBC.
Paul Nuttall has been elected leader of the UK Independence Party, replacing Nigel Farage.
The 39-year-old Member of the European Parliament, who served as UKIP's deputy leader for six years, won 62.6% of support among party members.
He promised to "put the great back into Britain" and force the government to "give us a real Brexit".
Nutter, as he will now be known, is even more unhinged than Farage. Hopefully UKIP will now fade into obscurity.
From the BBC.
The government is facing a legal battle over whether the UK stays inside the single market after it has left the EU, the BBC has learned.
Lawyers say uncertainty over the UK's European Economic Area membership means ministers could be stopped from taking Britain out of the single market.
They will argue the UK will not leave the EEA automatically when it leaves the EU and Parliament should decide.
Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle discusses the American election. With it, he makes a welcome return to the BBC, he's foul mouthed with a wonderful turn of phrase. He says some wonderful things about Trump.
Profile InformationName: Duncan White
Home country: England
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