March 18, 2018

Controversial Liverpool ‘Evil Cabal’ blog is legal

Friday, August 11, 2006

Merseyside Police concluded after a brief inspection that the controversial blog Liverpool Evil Cabal does not break criminal law. However the council officers continue to search for the editor.

The blog has been blocked on computers controlled by Liverpool Direct Ltd, a company jointly owned by Liverpool City Council and British Telecom. The council’s elected officials have denied ordering the block and are currently investigating its origin.

Previous fights between Liverpool city councillors and executive staff have resulted in controversy before, most notably in the resignation of leader Mike Storey and CEO Henshaw.

Uncategorized @ 3:10 am
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U.S. Senate approves revised bailout package after controversial additions

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The U.S. Senate passed a revised bailout bill designed to help the struggling U.S. financial economy, which has measures nearly identical to the bill rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

“Senate Democrats and Republicans believe it is essential that we work quickly on this important legislation to restore confidence to our financial system and strengthen the economy,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The new revisions include raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000, a move designed to please progressives. However, the $110 billion in tax breaks, earmarks and what has been called pork barrel spending is not offset by any increases in revenues and has added opposition to the bill from some Representatives in the House.

Earmarks added into the bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Virgin Islands rum industry, $148 million in tax cuts for the wool industry, $100 million tax cuts to the auto racing industry, and $48 million in Hollywood tax incentives.

Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, Steve Ellis, offered his explanation for the pork and earmarks added in. “People who support some of these provisions will forget about the $700 billion and concerns they may have on that, and say, ‘If you give me a few million in tax breaks for my constituents, I’ll go along'”.

The tactic seems to have worked, however, managing to flip enough votes to pass the bill.

“The inclusion of parity, tax extenders and the FDIC increases has caused me to reconsider my position,” said Representative Jim Ramstad (R Minnesota), who voted against the previous bill on Monday. “All three additions have greatly improved the bill.”

But Representative Marcy Kaptur (D Ohio) was not changing her no vote. “I will not support this legislation because it’s the wrong medicine,” she said.

Do you think the bailout bill will help the US economy, hurt it, or be a waste of money?
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The Senate took H.R.1424, a bill originating in the House concerning “equity in the provision of mental health and substance-related disorder benefits under group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment,” and extended it with the bailout provisions.

H.R.1424 was introduced on March 9, 2007, by Rep. Patrick Kennedy (RI-1) and had the support of First Lady Rosalind Carter. It is noted on the Congressional Website that “On 10/1/2008, the Senate passed H.R.1424 as the vehicle for the economic rescue legislation. In the EAS version of the bill (Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by the Senate), Division A (pp.1-110) is referred to as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008; Division B (pp. 110-255) is referred to as the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008; and Division C (pp. 255-441) is referred to as the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008.” It was not treated as an appropriations bill in the House.

There were two votes in the Senate. The first was to amend H.R.1424, which required 3/5 to be accepted, which it was. The second was a vote on the bill. Passage of the Bill required only a 1/2 majority. It was passed with 74 yeas and 25 nays. Senator Kennedy did not vote.

Uncategorized @ 2:29 am
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Wikinews investigates: Advertisements disguised as news articles trick unknowing users out of money, credit card information

 Notice — May 19, 2010 This article has been judged, by consensus of the Wikinews community, not to meet Wikinews standards of style and neutrality. Please see the relevant discussion for details. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Internet has already brought great things to the world, but has also brought spam, phishing, scamming, etc. We all have seen them across the Internet. They promise money, weight loss, or other things a person may strive for, but they usually amount to only a lighter pocket. Online advertising has become something that the increasingly Internet-reliant society has become used to, as well as more aware of. As this is true, online ads have become more intricate and deceptive in recent years.

However, a certain type of advertisement has arisen recently, and has become more deceptive than any other Internet ad, and has tricked many users into credit card charges. These sites claim to be news websites that preach a “miracle product”, and they offer a free trial, and then charge the user’s credit card a large amount of money without informing them after the trial ends. These sites appear to be operating under one venture and have caught ad pages of high-traffic websites by storm. In this report, Wikinews’ Tjc6 investigates news advertisement sites.

These Internet ads work in different ways:

Hypothetically speaking, a reader is browsing the web, and then happens to come across something that they believe is too good to be true. A link on one of these high-traffic pages promises white teeth, weight loss, or huge profits from working at home part-time. Out of curiosity, they click on the link.

This is the way that people are attracted to these fake news sites on the internet. The domain owners draw in customers by purchasing advertising on some of the World Wide Web’s most visited pages. Curious users click and are led to what they believe is a news article. From anti-aging to shedding weight, these “articles” from non-existant newspapers and television stations depict a skeptical news reporter trying a product because they were instructed to by a superior.

As the user reads on, they find that the “reporter” miraculously achieves significant weight loss, teeth whitening, or other general health and beauty improvement. The reporter states that the reader can get the same results as they did by using a “free trial” of the product.

Next, the user looks to the bottom of the page, where there seems to be a set of user comments, all of them praising the product or products that are advertised — this is where we first see something suspicious. Across several of these false articles, the comments appear to show the exact same text, sometimes with even the same usernames as other sites.

There is obviously some kind of correlation. Although this appears to be true, most users who purchase these products do not look at multiple versions of these similar pages of what appears to be a fast-growing network of interconnected fake news sites.

Once customers have convinced themselves into buying the product, they are led to a product (or products) website which promises a free trial for a very low price. What they do not know about this, however, is that they are giving their credit card data to a company that will charge it automatically after the trial ends. In about 14 days, the user receives a charge on their credit card for an excessive amount of money, usually from about $80 to $100 (USD). All attempts to contact these companies and cancel their shipments usually prove to be futile.

What these sites have is a large amount of legal copy located at the bottom of each site, stating their right to charge the user. This site, a fake news article claiming to offer teeth-whitening benefits, has several paragraphs of fine print, including this: “…Upon signing up for the 10 day trial membership you will be charged up to $4.97 depending on various shipping and initial offer promotions at that time but not more than $4.97 upon signing. If not cancelled, you will be charged $89.97 upon completion of the 10 day trial period. Monthly thereafter or 30 days from the original order date, the charge will reoccur monthly at a total of $89.97 until cancelled…,” the site says.

Practices like this have alerted the Better Business Bureau, an American organization that studies and reports on the reliability and practices of US businesses. In a press release, a spokesman from the BBB spoke out against sites like this. “Many businesses across the country are using the same selling model for their products: They lure customers in with claimed celebrity endorsements and free trial offers, and then lock them in by making it extremely difficult to cancel the automatic delivery of more products every month…,” said the report that denounced the websites.

When a user looks at several of these sites, they notice that all of them have the same exact structure. Because of this, Wikinews decided to look into where some of the domains were owned, and if they were all in fact part of one company.

However, the results that Wikinews found were ones that were not expected. Out of the three random websites that were found in Internet ads, all using similar designs and methods to attract the customers, came from three different locations in three countries and two separate continents. The first came from Scottsdale, in the United States, while the next two came from Vancouver and Hamburg. There is no location correlation, but surely, there has to be something that connected these sites together. We had to look even further to try to find a connection.

What do you think of these sites? Have you ever fallen for an advertisement similar to this one?
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There is some correlation within the product’s contact information. A large amount of the teeth-whitening products analyzed actually shared the same phone number, which lead to a distribution center located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and several other similar distribution centers located across the Southern United States. But, that explains only one of the categories of products that these websites cover, teeth whitening.

What about the other products? The other products such as weight loss and work-at-home kits all trace back to similar distribution centers in similar places. So, what do we make of all of this?

There is obviously some company that promotes these products through the fake news advertisements, but that company is nowhere to be found on the websites. All contact information is given on the product pages, and websites are copyrighted under the name of the domain, not a company. Whatever company has been the setup for these pages has been very good at hiding themselves from the Internet, as there is no information across the web about that mysterious large advertiser.

As a result of customers buying the products and having unauthorized charges on their credit cards, a large volume of complaints are currently present on awareness sites, complaint sites, and even the Better Business Bureau. Several customers point out that they were not informed of the steep charges and the company made it extremely difficult to cancel their subscription, usually resulting in the loss of several hundred dollars.

  • The trial offer was to pay for $3.95 for the cost of the shipping for one bottle. I noticed shortly after placing the order I had a charge on my credit card for $149.95. Unknown to myself the company charges for a membership if you don’t cancel within 14 days, I cancelled within 18 days…When I called the customer service number they told me the decision has been made and my refund request was denied. When I questioned the person on the other line about what I was getting for my $149.95 she told me I was not getting anything because I cancelled the membership.
?“Tamara”, in a post to the Ripoff Report
  • This is a “free sample” scam: Pay only postage and handling and get a free sample of a tooth whitening system, they say. I looked for the “catch,” something that would indicate that there’d be hidden or recurring charges, but didn’t see anything, and ordered. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, I see a charge for $88.97 on my bank statement…When I called, the guy answering the phone had obviously answered the same angry question many, many times: “Why has your company charged $88.97 to my card?” “Because you didn’t cancel your subscription in time,” he said tiredly.
?“Elenor”, in a post to the Ripoff Report

One notable lawsuit has occurred as a result of these articles. Some of the articles about work at home kits specifically advertise things like “work for Google”, or “job openings at Google”. However, Google asserts these claims as false and has taken the case to court, as it is a copyright violation. “Thousands of people have been tricked into sending payment information and being charged hidden fees by questionable operations,” said Google in a statement.

The BBB has received over 3,000 complaints about products such as the ones that Google took offense to. The lawsuit has yet to begin in court, and no date has been set.

Uncategorized @ 2:28 am
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Skeletons found under home in Hertfordshire

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Catherine McGuigan, a resident in South Mimms, Hertfordshire, UK, found skeletons from over a century ago buried under her dining room.

She had hired builders for an extension for her cottage, where she has lived for eleven years, and at the beginning of April they found human bones in the ground.

Her cottage was built over a burial ground; from 1697 to 1820 the land was owned by the Religious Society of Friends. In the 1600s, members of the society, better known as Quakers, were persecuted for their beliefs and so were not allowed to be buried in consecrated church grounds. Instead burials, which were also sometimes for others not recognised as parishioners – such as homeless people, often took place in the countryside.

The Daily Mail states in its April article that the Religious Society of Friends have advised McGuigan that she “must cremate” the bodies, however Quakers have written an open letter to the Daily Mail, informing that for Quakers, there is “no specific advice on the disposal of bodies”, and that they had never expressed an opinion on how the discovered skeletons should be buried.

The cremation was rumoured to cost up to £32,000 – an £800 quote for cremation of a single body multiplied by 40, however as yet only ten bodies have been discovered.

The builders originally thought the bones were pieces of pipe, and McGuigan has now ordered coffins and is looking to holding a mass cremation or a burial in a nearby field.

Uncategorized @ 2:20 am
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Vacation Rentals By Owner Offers Safe And Comfortable

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Opting for vacation rentals by owner in your prepared holiday has a lot of benefits. What are vacation rentals by owner? They are usually owned by families which might be rented by interested vacationers and tourists. If you’re going to compare it with commercial hotels, vacation rentals by owner are economical. So if you want to rent out a place in just shorter time you will get vacation rentals by owner anytime. In this accommodation, you can get the privacy and comfort that you wish to have.

It is safe to stay in vacation rentals by owner especially those located in the rural places. Owners of these house rentals are protective to their guests so you won’t feel so worried during your holiday. In fact, vacation rentals by owner have a lot offer. It has all the amenities like fully furnished kitchen, dining room, living room, multiple bedrooms, internet connection and more.

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You need to know what you are paying for when it comes to taking a vacation and staying in a vacation rental that is privately owned. However, cheaper does not always mean you are getting a great deal with safe and secure accommodations. You must verify certain issues to determine that you are getting the right one. First you need to know if the rental unit is in a secure and safe place. Your next concern is about the tidiness and cleanliness of the area. Check also if the appliances are in good condition and if it offers amenities that you need.

Certainly, when you are looking for a vacation rental the last thing you should be looking for is a cheaply priced rental. Try to look for a vacation rental by owner that has spent the money to market themselves, this usually means they have also spent the money on the rental unit. A nice website with pictures of the units and information about the amenities in the unit, the area and about the owners is always a good choice.

In getting vacation rentals that are privately owned make sure they have a contract with rules and regulations clearly written so that you understand them. Try to see and check if they offer refund and damage policy for missing or lost items. You should also look for vacation rental units that prohibit smoking in the units and do not allow pets for health and safety reasons.

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Lance is a full time blogger and writer that helps thousand of searches online in good and quality content articles and blogs Staying in vacation rentals by owner in your vacation is great. Just visit the following link Vacation Rentals By Owner and you will get for information and assistance that you need in arranging your vacation.Author: Lance Ruggles

March 17, 2018

Australian treasurer declares that he is “a lot of fun”

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Australian Treasurer Peter Costello said today that he was “a lot of fun” while he was outlining his plans for Australia as a possible future Prime Minister.

During an interview with ABC Radio, Mr Costello was asked to say something about himself that the public didn’t know. Mr Costello’s replied “That I’m a lot of fun – a lot of fun and good company.”

Costello, who is considered current Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s likely successor when he retires, said he was not expecting an easy rise to the Prime Ministership, admitting that the forthcoming federal election would be difficult.

The treasurer said “If you read polls, then (Kevin) Rudd is in front and he’s already carrying on as if he’s got the election in the bag,”

“I would say an election is not over until all of the votes have been counted on the polling day, and I think it will be a hard-fought election.”

Mr Costello also outlined his vision for Australia should he become Prime Minister in the future centering his platform upon education and water.

“I think we need first, a first-class technical school system in this country, training people for trades,” Mr Costello said.

“I think we need improved standards of literacy in our primary and secondary schools and I think we need better facilities at the tertiary level.”

The treasurer admitted that education was one of his key priorities as he had been a university tutor and had a father who was a teacher. Speaking of his father, Costello said “I watched him influence generations of students,”

“I know the difference that a good school teacher makes in a person’s life and I believe in the importance of education.”

Mr Costello also said that Australia would need to carefully manage its water resources for the future.

“We have to manage our water better, we have to invest in water better, we have to harness water better, we have to price water better,” he said.

“I think we really do have a water crisis in this country and it’s something that we’re going to have to deal with in order to keep our country growing and our lifestyle up in the decades which lie ahead.” Mr Costello criticised state governments for failing to invest in water infrastructure and predicted desalination plants would have a major role to play in securing the nation’s water supply.

“There has not been enough investment in dams, there has not been enough investment in pipes, in irrigation canals and I think we’re going to have to look very, very carefully at desalination plants for our major capital cities,” said the Australian Treasurer.

Uncategorized @ 2:25 am
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Experts: obesity is a bigger threat than AIDS or bird flu

Friday, September 8, 2006

From September 3 to 8, experts gathered at the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, to discuss what they call the worldwide “obesity epidemic”. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 billion people in the world today are overweight, and 300 million of those are obese. “Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer“, a WHO fact sheet states. According to AP, experts at the conference “have warned that obesity is a bigger threat than AIDS or bird flu, and will easily overwhelm the world’s health care systems if urgent action is not taken”.

Of particular concern is the large number of overweight children. Dr. Stephan Rossner from Sweden’s Karolinska University Hospital, a leading obesity expert who was present at the conference, has warned that as a result of the increasing number of overweight children, “we will have, within a decade or two, a number of young people who are on kidney dialysis. There will not be organs for everybody”. UK-based International Obesity Task Force has said that junk food manufacturers target children, for example, through Internet advertising, chat rooms, text messages, and “advergames” on websites. Politicians are not doing enough to address the problem of obesity, including childhood obesity, the experts said.

According to Wikipedia, examples of junk food include, but are not limited to: hamburgers, pizza, candy, soda, and salty foods like potato chips and french fries. A well-known piece of junk food is the Big Mac. The US version of just one Big Mac burger contains 48% of calories from fat, 47% US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of fat, 52% RDA of saturated fat, 26% RDA of cholesterol, 42% RDA of sodium, and little nutritional value. It also has 18% of calories from protein. According to WHO, most people need only about 5% calories from protein. Staples such as rice, corn, baked potatoes, pinto beans, as well as fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, oranges, and strawberries, provide more than this required amount of protein without the unhealthy amounts of fats or sodium, without cholesterol, and with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Both WHO and the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define overweight in adults as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or above, and obese as a BMI of 30 or above. To combat overweight and obesity, WHO recommends that, among other things, people should be taking the following steps

  • eating more fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and whole grains;
  • engaging in daily moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes;
  • cutting the amount of fatty, sugary foods in the diet;
  • moving from saturated animal-based fats to unsaturated vegetable-oil based fats.
Uncategorized @ 2:03 am
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March 16, 2018

How To Use Sponsor Ads To Increase Website Traffic

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By Anton Cheranev

How many times have you surfed the Internet and noticed that most e-zines and websites have advertisements posted all around its pages? Flashing ads that are popping up and blocking your view are often hard to get rid of. Even some search engines and directories carry sponsor ads. Sometimes those sponsor ads can get in the way, but sometimes the ad appears too tempting not to check. If it was not for those sponsor ads, you might not have realized a specific business or website existed.

The two primary goals of sponsor ads are to increase awareness of a product, brand, or business and to enhance the image of the business or brand. These goals are very important to the success of small businesses and their websites. In order to strive, small businesses need to spread the word on what products and services they have to offer in order to increase their profits. They also need to stay in communication with customers and potential customers to what they have and why you need it. This may even mean they have to send out an emailed newsletter. People like to know what is out there that they can benefit from. To achieve these two primary goals, consider using sponsor ads to increase the traffic to your website.

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Using sponsor advertising can be a great way to increase traffic to your website and encourage more product and services purchases. Sponsor advertising has become increasingly popular among web site owners, allowing the businesses to develop relationships with the online community by providing information and becoming a part of the online community. Many online business owners who are looking to promote their website may be interested in using sponsor ads to increase the traffic to their website. More website traffic can mean more sales and increased profits. Sponsor ads can be free, bought, traded, or sold. It all depends where you look, and whether you are looking for free opportunities or can afford to pay for them. It will also depend on where your business stands financially and how much you plan to advertise or invest in advertising.

Sponsor ads can offer many different advantages to both the sponsor and the website. The sponsor may be able to benefit as attitudes that are more promising evolve with trust, leadership, credibility, and enhanced customer service. When the sponsor or website is able to develop good customer relationships, this may prompt the sales to grow faster. Customers want to know they can depend on a business for their wants and needs. Customers want reliability and outstanding customer service. The business website can benefit by providing secure, updated information at no charge to the customer. Visitors may also see the website as more active and responsive to their interests and therefore develop a kind of relationship with the website.

E-zines offer great sponsor ads that will be of benefit to your website. There are varieties of E-zines from which to choose. It is important to make sure you choose the ones that compliment your website or that have similar content. In this age of computer technology, there are many different types of E-zines out there. The Internet has become the fastest growing form of having an online business. There are literally millions of people online everyday searching through websites, E-zines, directories and search engines. The more sponsor ads you have in popular locations, the more likely customers will find our website and look at what you have to offer them. Making your website business available to the world and easy to find is the best way to increase the traffic to your website.

You have a purpose for having a website, so why not use every opportunity to promote your website and reap the profits. It is up to you to use sponsor ads and be the next flashing, pop up, blocking your view, hard to get rid of advertisement online. You want to be that online advertisement that gets in the way and that is so tempting, others just have to check it out. Once you increase the awareness of your product, brand, or business, you can generate more traffic to your website and receive a Return on Investment (ROI) to make all your hard work worth all your time and effort.

About the Author: Question #1: Are You an Internet Marketer? Question #2: Are You an Ezine/Newsletter Publisher? Question #3: Do You Use Email to Send Messages to Your Subscribers, Prospects and Clients? If Yes, Check Out Here:


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Ontario investigators search for the body of Victoria Stafford

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Police forensic investigators in Canada continue the search for the body of eight-year-old Victoria Stafford, whom they now believe was murdered on the same day she was abducted, April 8, 2009 from her Woodstock, Ontario school.

Counselors have been providing support to students at Oliver Stephens Public School.

There have been two arrests made, one for the first-degree murder and abduction of Tori Stafford and the other person has been charged with being an accessory and abduction. The next court appearance is May 28.

Police and neighbours say that the parents of Tori may have been familiar with at least one of the abductors.

The search continues for the body of Tori as well as the rear seat of a vehicle connected with the abduction. The search area is around Guelph, and Fergus north east of Woodstock.

Police are seeking information about a blue 2003 four-door Honda which is believed to be blue with black spray paint on large portions of it. Investigators believe it to have been in the Home Depot parking lot in Guelph on the evening of April 8, the day of the abduction.

The grey cloth covered back seat from the above vehicle is missing and police are seeking to recover it. Police have been combing rural areas and scouring lake bottoms in the hopes of turning up more evidence.

“We continue to receive information on all different parts of the investigation and each piece of lead or tip, if you will, is being investigated as far as it can take us,” said Laurie-Anne Maitland, an Oxford Community Police Constable. “If I were her parent I would want to have that ounce of hope too until I knew 100 per cent. I think it’s the nature [of people to hope for] one possible little miracle … and it’s not [possible].”

Woodstock, the home town of Tori is located in the county of Oxford, and the search has spread out to the neighbouring county of Wellington. The city of Guelph is located about 42 miles (68 km) to the north east, and Fergus which is north of Guelph is about 57 miles (92 km) from Woodstock.

Uncategorized @ 2:32 am
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Ben Shephard announces departure from GMTV

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ben Shephard has announced his departure from GMTV, the current television breakfast programme on ITV in the United Kingdom, having been a presenter on the programme for ten years. His current contract ends in April 2010, but he is expected to leave by the end of the Summer of 2010, according to the Press Association.

Initially, Shephard only presented an entertainment section of the television programme before being given a promotion to the sofa in 2005. He is the third presenter to leave GMTV within the last year, after the departures of Fiona Phillips and Penny Smith.

According to a statement released from Ben Shephard’s agent: “Ben’s two-year contract with GMTV is up at the end of April. Earlier this year, his management made it clear that he would not be renewing it, but would be happy to stay on temporarily during this transitional period. Ben is excited about moving on after 10 incredible years and will be focusing on a number of new projects with ITV and other channels.”

Adrian Chiles, who recently announced his departure from the BBC after modifications were made to The One Show — a show that he presented with Christine Bleakley — was recently reported to be appearing as a presenter on GMTV in the future.

Uncategorized @ 2:23 am
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