Thursday, December 26, 2019

Edinson Cavani set to join Atletico Madrid on three

EDINSON CAVANI is set to join Atletico Madrid on a three-year deal next summer for a free transfer, according to reports.

UOL Esporte claim that the Uruguayan striker wants to see out the remainder of his current Paris St Germain contract and leave when the season is over.

Cavani, 32, was said to be wanted by David Beckham's new MLS outfit Inter Miami, as well as Serie A giants Inter Milan.

But PSG's all-time record goalscorer has reportedly opted for a challenge in Spain in La Liga.

In a meeting with the French champions' sporing director Leonardo, Cavani is believed to have told the Brazilian he would stay until the summer, unless the club wanted to cash in on him.

According to UOL Esporte, Leonardo told Cavani the club wanted him to stay, so they could boast two of the best No9s in world football, including the on-loan Mauro Icardi, who PSG might take up an option to buy in the summer.

Cavani is currently injured and is unlikely to play again until 2020.

The PSG star has figured in just eight Ligue 1 games this campaign and 11 in all competitions due to injury.

Only four of them have been starts and he has hit the target three times.

The veteran missed the 4-1 win over Amiens with a muscle problem last Saturday.

PSG manager Thomas Tuchel said of Cavani's injury problems: “It's a mixture of a lot of things: lack of rhythm, a lack of playing time.

“It's not his fault, the others have performed super well.

“It's perhaps the best thing for him to celebrate the end of the year and come back in January.”

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CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews Christmas TV: Nurse Trixie's top trick!

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews Christmas TV: Nurse Trixie’s top trick? Using her silk stockings as a lasso!

Call The Midwife


The Snail And The Whale


Convent-issue thermals on, everyone. Call The Midwife (BBC1) was heading to the frozen north, where it was bucketing with rain and blowing a Force Ten gale. Much like the whole of this year, really.

It took more than beige long-johns to cramp Nurse Trixie’s style, though. The midwifes and nuns trekked by train and ferry to the Outer Hebrides, and Trixie (Helen George) apparently lugged an entire wardrobe all the way.

When the mission from Nonnatus House first set foot among the benighted Scots, who had no medical facilities within four hours, Trixie was wearing Santa Claus red, trimmed with fur and set off by a jaunty blue-checked trilby.

Five minutes later she’d changed into an outfit with a white fur hat, a stole as long as Doctor Who’s scarf and a muff like a snowman’s head . . . all in mink.

Call The Midwife nurses Valerie (Jennifer Kirby), Trixie (Helen George), and Lucille (Leonie Elliott)

At least, I assume it was mink. Perhaps she’d shot a polar bear.

Later, Trixie used her silk stockings to lasso a calf, before sweeping along the headlands in knee-length boots and a purple sheepskin that would make DelBoy blush with envy.

Even Melania Trump probably doesn’t travel with so many clothes. The Christmas special of Call The Midwife is as much a tradition as the Queen’s speech, but unlike the royals this is the first time the nuns’n’nurses have visited Scotland.

For any viewers who tuned in late and wondered where we were, the theme tune was played on the bagpipes. Or perhaps that was just the sound of a mother in labour.

There was less drama and poignancy than in previous years. At its best, this show can be heartbreaking: think of the Christmas story that ended with orphans being shipped off to a life of hardship in the colonies, or the year we had the first intimations of the thalidomide scandal.

This episode lacked that urgency. A teenage girl drank half a pint of whisky and fell asleep on a moorland road, while the lighthouse keeper’s wife had a baby and her appendix out simultaneously.

But there was lashings of nostalgia to make up for it. Cliff Parisi, recently escaped from the jungle on I’m A Celeb, fed handfuls of sixpences into a coinbox to make a long distance phone call that lasted barely 30 seconds.

Doof-doofs of the season:

Ructions in Albert Square are as Christmassy as crackers, and the hour-long edition of EastEnders (BBC1) didn’t disappoint. Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) has been building up to this for weeks and when he blows his top, it stays blown.


This was 1965: the electricity kept going out, and Nurse Crane fought off flu with syrup and onions. That’s the sort of thing Mr Wilson meant when he talked of the ‘white heat of technology’. Technology made The Snail And The Whale (BBC1) a wonder for grown-ups to enjoy, as well as a delightful tale for children.

Adaptations of the books by poet Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler have become a Christmas staple since the success of The Gruffalo ten years ago, but none has featured quite such detailed computer graphics before.

Many of the shots appeared to be modelled on iconic imagery from Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet films, in particular high aerial views of the humpback whale tracing a rollercoaster path over and under the vast ocean currents, and of penguins cavorting among the ice floes.

This painstakingly natural look was hugely impressive, something to be enjoyed even if you weren’t watching with little ones entranced by the rhyming story of a ‘snail with an itchy foot’ who sets off to see the world.


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Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Breckenridge, Colorado cancels New Year's Eve fireworks, cites environmental impact

FRISCO, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado town of Breckenridge cancelled its New Year’s Eve fireworks display over environmental considerations, officials said.

The decision was a continuation of the town’s decision earlier this year to celebrate holidays in ways that have less environmental impact, Summit Daily reports.

The town cancelled its 2019 Fourth of July fireworks display, which officials said was a result of concerns about fire safety and potential negative effects on the forest and wildlife.

The town council opted to remain consistent with its summer holiday cancellation, Breckenridge spokeswoman Haley Littleton said.

“Because of this summer decision, council decided that they did not want to have fireworks in the winter either to provide consistency and to continue not to disturb our wildlife,” Littleton wrote in an email.

A skier jumps off a moving snow jump float during Ullr Fest on Dec. 12. (Photo: Jack Dempsey, AP)

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“The town of Breckenridge believes that there are better options moving forward to celebrate these holidays that have less of an environmental impact,” Littleton wrote.

Breckenridge Ski Resort has not changed plans to host its annual New Year’s Eve torchlight parade, in which ski and snowboard instructors carry torches and ride from the top of one of the mountain’s peaks down to the resort village.

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Boy pens heartbreaking Christmas letter to mum in 'heaven' after her death

A grieving boy has broken hearts at Christmas after he penned a moving letter to his mum in 'heaven'.

The emotional letter – which has since gone viral – was discovered in the town of Netherton in the West Midlands.

The message on the envelope reads: "I was asked to write a letter to someone I care about in 2019.

"I wanted to write to my mum but she died in March. Maybe it will find its way to heaven."

The eight-year-old's mum, Kerrie, was just 34 when she suddenly suffered a stroke and died in March, 2019.

Since her death Harry has struggled to express his feelings.

In the letter, the young boy told his mum about how he had been crowned player of the match for his football team and how much he missed her Sunday dinners.

He also wrote: "Sometimes I talk to you at night even though you never talk back. I wish you did.

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"If you come back, I would eat all of my broccoli and sprouts and I would clean my room, not be gobby and help you do everything."

Harry also made a heart-wrenching confession as he wrote: "I still cry everyday but I don't tell anyone."

Speaking about the letter, Harry's dad Rich said: "Kerrie passed away unexpectedly in March after suffering a stroke.

"Harry had gone into his shell almost and he'd started acting up at school and really struggling with his grief.

"His doctor recommended a grief counsellor for children and young people.

"The counsellor said that he didn't know how to voice his feelings and writing them down would be easier. It would be his choice whether or not he let someone see them – or throw the letter away.

"It was Harry's choice to write the letter about how he is feeling to his mum. He asked me if she would see and I said the angels will take it away for her to read in heaven.

"He hid the letter in his bedroom and I wasn't able to find it, so I told him we needed to take it and hide it outside for the angels to be able to get it.

"He decided to put a stamp on it and leave it on a bench in Netherton Park and he kept asking me if we could go and see if it had gone."

A day later the letter had gone, leading Rich to think that it had blown away or been taken.

"I didn't expect to see it ever again, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear that it was posted online," the dad said.

"It was merely a way to help Harry cope and I didn't know it would touch so many's hearts – but I'm happy that it has."

Talking about how Harry has been coping since the letter, Rich added: "He is understanding the situation much more clearly than he did.

"He spent a while blaming himself and thought Kerrie had just left; he had never experienced a loss before so this was especially difficult.

"He helps me get through it every day seeing how he soldiers on through the heartache. He's an inspiration."

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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

‘Blue Bloods’: Will There Be a Christmas Episode?

Fans love “BlueBloods” because of the focus on family. Will there be a special Christmasepisode this year? Showbiz Cheat Sheet will tell you what to expect this week.

When does ‘Blue Bloods’ return in 2020?

The first “Blue Bloods” episode in 2020 will air Friday, January 3, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The last new episode aired December 6, 2019. In this episode (season 10, episode 10, titled “Bones to Pick”), Danny and Baez were in charge of investigating the death of a woman who was found at a men’s club.

We also see Jamie and Eddie clash over gender politics. Things get tense between them after Eddie (Vanessa Ray) hands Jamie (Will Estes) a honey-do list. Jamie doesn’t seem thrilled and later forgets to do what Eddie requested. He eventually completes the list, but the couple has another tense moment.

Will ‘Blue Bloods’ air a Christmas episode?

You’ve likely been waiting for a new “Blue Bloods” episodefor some time now. The holidays have resulted in quite a few re-runs. Unfortunately,the episode airing during Christmas week will also be a rebroadcast. However, “BlueBloods” did mention Christmas during the family dinner in season 10, episode10. In a way, viewers already got their “Blue Bloods” Christmas episode.

During the family dinner, Eddie led grace. However, her prayer was a bit rushed, so Frank chimed in and reminded everyone that prayers are usually given more attention and said slower during the holiday season. Eddie was confused about how holiday prayers are said, so Henry explains. “During the Christmas season, we like to try to add a little more grace to our grace,” said Henry.

‘Blue Bloods’ had Christmas elements during season 10, episode 10

You might not get the “Blue Bloods” Christmas episode you’ve been hoping for, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be left out in the cold. There were some Christmas elements in “Blue Bloods” season 10, episode 10. For example, in the first scene with Jamie and Eddie, if you listen closely, you can hear the song “Jingle Bells” playing in the police station. There is also a poinsettia in the corner of Jamie’s office. And before family dinner, the Reagans sing “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Eddie even wishes everyone a happy early Christmas.

Although there won’t be a new “Blue Bloods” episode until2020, the good news is you’ll have a chance to catch up on episodes if you’ve misseda few here and there. And if you’re new to the series, this is the perfect timeto start binge watching past seasons.

Read more: Doesthe ‘Blue Bloods’ Cast Get Along?

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Archbishop of Canterbury will refer to terror attack during sermon

Archbishop of Canterbury will refer to London Bridge terror attack during Christmas Day sermon as he describes darkness as a ‘monster that lies’

  • Justin Welby to give Christmas Day sermon at Canterbury Cathedral Wednesday
  • He will say darkness is ‘monster that lies’ when referring to the terrorist atrocity 
  • The Nov. 29 attack killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones
  •  He is also expected to address recent visit to the Congo and its Ebola outbreak

The Archbishop of Canterbury will address the London Bridge terror attack during his Christmas Day sermon.

Justin Welby is to tell worshippers at Canterbury Cathedral that darkness is a ‘monster that lies’ as he refers to the terrorist atrocity which killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones.

The archbishop is also expected to speak of a recent visit to Beni, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has had an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

‘Darkness is a monster that lies. Its growling claims seem to call out with a louder volume than the love filled whispers of the light,’ Justin Welby is expected to tell worshippers, ‘We see the shadows out of the corner of our eyes. They may be violence as in the Congo or on London Bridge’

Jack Merritt, 25, (left) of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire and Saskia Jones, 23, of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire were killed by Usman Khan in the attack on November 29

Justin Welby is to tell worshippers at Canterbury Cathedral that darkness is a ‘monster that lies’ as he refers to the terrorist atrocity which killed 25-year-old Jack Merritt and 23-year-old Saskia Jones (pictured: Usman Khan is subdued by police officers after the attack) 

He will deliver his sermon during a Eucharist service at 11am on Christmas Day.

‘Canterbury – a place of some 50,000 people, is a city of peace celebrating Christmas,’ he is expected to tell the congregation.

‘Now imagine a city five times this size where its citizens face disease and war this December 25. I was there in October. It is called Beni.

‘It has been at the centre of the second worst outbreak of Ebola; about three thousand people have died.

‘Its Anglican bishop is alight with Christ, always present, always giving of himself.

‘Darkness is a monster that lies. Its growling claims seem to call out with a louder volume than the love filled whispers of the light.

‘Canterbury – a place of some 50,000 people, is a city of peace celebrating Christmas,’ he is expected to tell the congregation. ‘Now imagine a city five times this size where its citizens face disease and war this December 25. I was there in October. It is called Beni’ (pictured: a child receives an Ebola vaccine in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo)

‘We see the shadows out of the corner of our eyes. They may be violence as in the Congo or on London Bridge.’

He is due to add: ‘Whether solid or illusion, they are the reality with which we live, if we believe the dark.’

While discussing darkness and light, the archbishop, leader of the Church of England, is also due to tell the cathedral in Kent that ‘the closer we get to the light the more our imperfections are revealed.’

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Heartbreaking reason behind Queen's decision to not visit Philip in hospital

Prince Philip will finally be allowed to spend Christmas with his family after being discharged from hospital earlier today .

The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, spent four nights at the the King Edward VII hospital in London after he was admitted on Friday due to a "pre-existing condition".

He will now head back to Sandringham to spend Christmas with his wife, Queen Elizabeth.

Observers will have noted that the Queen and other senior royals did not visit him during his stay, due in part to a long-standing protocol.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter explained that such visits are regarded as disruptive and cause undue stress for patients undergoing treatment.

She also said that this approach shows 'sensible' thinking on behalf of the royal family.

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She wrote: “After seeing some pretty horrid comments about the Queen being at Sandringham while Philip is in hospital I’d like to TRY to add a little perspective. 

“Generally royals don’t visit each other in hospital. 

“There are always exceptions but sensible thinking is at the core not a lack of sensitivity. 

“Were the Queen to visit him the security requirements alone would be incredibly disruptive.

“Conscious of other patients undergoing treatment they don’t want to cause undue stress for them or their families.

“Not only are they very private when it comes to medical issues they also want to avoid further speculation. 

“Philip of all of the royals abhors any kind of fuss and he would want the Queen to continue as normal for the rest of the family – children, grandchildren.”

Although royals have visited each other in hospital before, Victoria stresses that this is “not the norm” and the decision is made with consideration of the public in mind.

She said: “It’s all about the regular members of the public that would be affected. 

“That to me suggests an awareness and lack of selfishness as opposed to the ugliness that’s being touted.

“Every royal decision is made because it’s ‘sensible’. Nothing more nothing less.

“Philip is pretty set in his ways and the Queen above anyone will be keen to respect his wishes. I hope royal watching proves to be a little less contentious on 2020.

“They’re not horrible people but rather a family whose every move is analyzed and criticized. 

“Perhaps a little empathy would be nicer than throwing stones…especially at Christmastime.”

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